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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

Page Break Writing Road Trip | Pickle Voice | Lisa Bullard= Big Green Pocketbook Mary Casanova Marion Dane Bauer From Gridlock to Road Trip Melissa Stewart

Skinny Dip with Mira Bartók

Mira Bartók

Mira Bartók, author and illustrator, recently ushered The Wonderling into the world and it is already on several best of 2017 book lists. Congratulations, Mira, and thanks for sharing your responses with our readers. When did you first start reading books? Age 4. All-time favorite book? The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Favorite breakfast or lunch as [...]



Predictable Pattern

Lynne Jonell

I used to HATE revision letters. My reactions followed a predictable pattern …



Mighty Jack

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

We are thrust into the midst of the action, which never stops until the epilogue. This is how Ben Hatke tells a story. We don’t know what’s going on. There’s no setup. Instead, we quickly learn that Jack is climbing some vegetative matter to find the ogre who kidnapped his sister Maddy and take her [...]



Cloth and the Picture Book:
Storytelling with Textile Techniques

Spiike Ugliest Dog in the Universe

Author and illustrator Debra Frasier was invited to lecture on this topic to the Western North Carolina Textile Study Group, and the public, in mid-November 2017. This is the bibliography that accompanies Debra’s presentation, with book selections by Debra Frasier and Vicki Palmquist. If you would like to invite Debra to give this presentation to your [...]



Art and Words, Words and Art

Amanda Panda

Thirty years ago, I bought a poster of “Jungle Tales” by J.J. Shannon (1895) at the Met in New York City. I took it to my favorite framer, but when it was ready, I was horrified to see they’d cut off Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Children’s Bookshop at the bottom, framing just the image.  [...]



A Picture and a Thousand Words

Karen Blumenthal

As a reporter and editor for decades, I often heard people accuse my colleagues and me of “bias,” of having a particular slant on a story—usually a point of view that the accuser disputed. It was a common charge, especially if the issue was controversial. But in truth, reporters are no different than anyone else. [...]



Pickle Voice

Lisa Bullard

I think that what we mean when we talk about “writer’s voice” is a writer’s personality showing up on the page. It emerges through many diverse writing choices, ranging from word usage to tone to rhythm.



Skinny Dip with Susan Yutzey

Susan Yutzey

Susan Yutzey worked as an Ohio school librarian for many years, serving in local, state, and national leadership positions. Now retired, she continues to be a tireless advocate for school libraries and librarians. Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? Ms. D’Angelo was my seventh grade teacher. I was a new student [...]



Revision Letter

Lynne Jonell

At long last, the revision letter arrives! Lynne Jonell reflects on this part of the publication process.



The Sameness of Sheep

Candice Ransom

Once, when I discussed my work-in-progress, middle-grade novel with my agent, I told her the character was eleven. “Make her twelve,” she said. “But eleven-year-olds aren’t the same as twelve-year-olds,” I protested. “Those are different ages.” “Make her twelve,” she insisted. “The editor will ask you to change it anyway.” I didn’t finish the book [...]



Mouse Books

We have mice. Hopefully just one, but it’s a brash one, scuttling around the kitchen during breakfast this morning. This happens in the fall at our house. We’ve certainly tried to find where they might be getting in, but they say a mouse only needs a dime-sized hole, and we obviously haven’t found it. Caught [...]



Tiny House, Cozy Cabin

Mary Casanova

A few months ago, my husband and I sold our home of 30 years and decided to live full-time in our cozy cabin in the woods. We left behind greater square footage, a quaint and sometimes bustling village on the waterfront, and a home with lots of family memories. But it was time for a [...]



Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer and her books are respected and loved by children, parents, educators, librarians, editors, and writers. She began her career as a novelist, turning to picture books later in her career. Celebrating the release of her newest picture book, the charming Winter Dance, we were curious about how she writes these short books [...]



A Vehicle for Change

Lisa Bullard

I’d heard my mom talk about “duck and cover”: hiding under her school desk from a potential nuclear attack. And I’d participated myself in tornado drills during my own school days, lining up in a basement hallway with our arms covering our heads. None of that prepared me for a lockdown drill. I was on [...]



A Kindle* of Cats

Phyllis:  *Even though kindle means cats born in the same litter, the alliteration was hard to resist. “All my work is done in the company of cats,” writes Nicola Bayley, wonderful picture book artist and writer, in her book The Necessary Cat. I know what she means. Right now my cat Luna is sitting on [...]



Melanie Heuiser Hill

Melanie Heuiser Hill

Our Bookstorm this month features Giant Pumpkin Suite, the first novel from Melanie Heuiser Hill (Candlewick Press). Often called debut authors, a first-time author is intriguing for a reader. Is this someone we’ll look forward to reading for many years to come? How will this author grow as they become more experienced at crafting a [...]



Pigs Galore

Gracie LaRoo on the Big Screen

This past September, after years of writing and teaching the writing of realistic YA fiction, I was pleased to launch into the world a set of four early chapter books. Not surprisingly, the challenge of telling a story in 1000 words instead of 60,000 was huge. It was not the only challenge. Instead of focusing [...]



Skinny Dip with Anne Broyles

Author Anne Broyles is a world traveler, explorer, and social justice advocate who writes books about historical journeys, family traditions, and the immigrant experience.   Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? My fifth grade teacher at Schumaker Elementary School, Mr. George Willems, encouraged me to think of myself as a writer through [...]



From Gridlock to Road Trip

If you were stuck in bumper to bumper gridlock, heading south on Hwy 100 last week, you may have noticed a woman laughing all alone in her car as she waited patiently (with eyes on the road) for things to start moving again. The very next day you might have caught a glimpse of that [...]



Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

I have had the pleasure of entertaining a few young writers in my office in the last couple of months. They come with a Mom, usually. (My office doesn’t really hold more than three people at a time.) These Moms are so thankful that I would do this “generous thing” of having them over that [...]



Why Young Writers Need an Authentic Audience

Melissa Stewart

For me, writing nonfiction is a fun adventure. A game to play. A puzzle to solve. A challenge to overcome. But many students don’t feel the same way. According to them, research is boring. Making a writing plan is a waste of time. And revision is more than frustrating. It’s downright painful. Why do young [...]



On Growing Older … Old

Marion Dane Bauer

Why is “older” an acceptable word and “old” almost forbidden? To answer my own question, I suppose it’s because we’re all growing older, even the four-year-old next door. But old … ah, old smacks of incompetence, of irrelevance. Even worse, old smacks of that truly obscene-to-our-society word … death. I am approaching my birthday month. [...]



Getting Inside the Head of the Long Dead

Pamela S. Turner

Don’t be alarmed by the ghoulishness of my title. Trying to resurrect the life of someone who turned to dust centuries ago is a challenge, especially if the person left behind no personal writings such as letters or diaries. But it can be done. In preparation for writing Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto [...]