This month we’re featuring Jazz Day, a book that’s all about jazz and a photograph that recorded a moment in time, people at the top of their musical careers and people who were just getting started. Author Roxane Orgill is familiar with the jazz culture; she’s written several books about the music and the people. Illustrator [...]
We are pleased to share with you our interview with Francis Vallejo, the illustrator of Jazz Day: the Making of a Famous Photograph, our Bookstorm™ this month. This book is so rich with visual images that stir readers’ imaginations. You’ll feel like you’re standing on the street with the other onlookers! The title page says that you [...]
I finished reading The Road to Little Dribbling over a week ago, and I’m still laughing. I’m a sucker for a funny story, and Bill Bryson has provided me with a steady stream of them since I first discovered him in Granta magazine back in the ’80s. I couldn’t get enough of his wisecracking tales [...]
Teach It Forward
In several past articles I’ve written about the frustration I’ve felt concerning my district’s decision to adopt a new reading curriculum. In recent weeks I have had to reflect and dig deeply to understand my uneasiness and fear related to “an innovative and modern way to teach the gamut of elementary literacy skills” (quote from [...]
Third rainy day in a row … outside the Ivory Tower.
In which our mild-mannered heroine is pitted against the dreaded coffee shop Bluetooth Guy…
“That’s your Great-Grandfather Who Lost His Arm in the Battle of the Wilderness.” That was his name. In a big gold gilt-framed photo: a distinguished-looking, white-haired, mustached gentleman high above the upright piano in my grandmother’s music room.
We are pleased to share a Skinny Dip with Nancy Johnson, professor, children’s/young adult literature and English/ language arts education, Western Washington University.
For this interview, we visit with Mélina Mangal, children’s book author and librarian: What’s your favorite late-night snack? My favorite ANYTIME snack is white cheddar popcorn. Most cherished childhood memory? Roaming through the north woods, climbing trees with my sister and brothers. I loved being outdoors so much. Illustrator’s work you most [...]
Writing Road Trip
Developing your voice as a writer is a little like bouncing to “un-stick” an airboat…without the danger of alligators.
Writing Road Trip
There is a particular road trip that has become a summer ritual for me, a journey that takes me to another time as well as another place: going to The Lake.
Memories of my childhood are imperfect. Yours, too? I don’t remember having a lot of books as a child. I remember The Poky Little Puppy and another dog book (title unknown) and Three Little Kittens (perhaps a reminder to me to keep track of my mittens). I remember using the school library voraciously to read books. [...]
In recent weeks, we’ve had many requests for books about anger and fear and conflict resolution. I was immediately reminded of an excellent resource published in 2010 called Book by Book: an Annotated Guide to Young People’s Literature with Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution Themes (Carol Spiegel, published by Educators for Social Responsibility, now called Engaging [...]
Were you already a jazz afficionado? Love groovin’ to the tunes? Or did reading Jazz Day: the Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgill, with inspired illustrations by Francis Vallejo, draw you closer to the sometimes energetic, sometimes mellow, but always riveting music we call JAZZ? If you love puzzles and games, we hope you [...]
A Cajun-inspired favorite recipe from jazz musician Louis Armstrong
Red Reading Boots
A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to make a really good pie. I asked around—bakers, caterers, cooking store owners etc. and the book The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum came up consistently. One person mentioned How to Make An Apple Pie and See The World by [...]
Red Reading Boots
Early this morning I read Bink and Gollie books to my nieces. We were killing time while their parents picked up the rental car for their Great American Summer Roadtrip. To say that the level of excitement was palpable is an understatement—it was a wave that nearly knocked me down when they opened their door. [...]