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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Two for the Show

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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 […]

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To Bee or Not to Bee

Jackie:  It’s good to be back on this blog this month. We took a necessary break, but cannot be away from talking about books for too long. The pressure builds… Phyllis is busy writing in the North Woods, so I am bee-side myself with enthusiasm for doing this blog. We have a make-shift birdbath on […]

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The Funny and the Heart

Jackie: Recently Phyllis and I read a heart-breaking column in The New York Times, written by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who wrote many children’s books, and a couple of books for adults. The column, written as a love-note to her husband from a dying wife, was heartfelt, sad, and funny all at the same time. We […]

More, More, More Said the Baby

Our Hearts Will Hold Us Up

Jackie: It seems perfectly appropriate that the Manager of Holiday Placement  has placed Valentine’s Day, a day to celebrate love and affection, right in the middle of cold, dark February. I want that celebration to spread out for the whole month (why not the whole year?) the way the smell of baking bread fills an […]

Night on Neighborhood Street

The Books in the Night

Phyllis: Night means many things: the terrifying darkness behind the garage where I had to carry the garbage after supper as a child, the dark night of the soul that depression brings, the hours between sunset and sunrise that grow longer and longer as our earth turns into winter. But night holds comfort as well as […]

Doctor De Soto

William Steig and Transmogrification

Jackie: After Phyllis and I read Amos and Boris for our last month’s article on boats we both wondered why we hadn’t looked at the work of William Steig. He so often executes that very satisfying combination of humor and heart. Steig’s language is funny but his stories regularly involve worrisome separation and then return to […]

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Coming Home to Safe Harbor

Phyllis: This summer I had the opportunity to sail for a week in Lake Superior, so we are turning our thoughts to books about the sea (including the great inland sea that borders Minnesota, so vast it makes its own weather).  If we can’t go sailing right now, we can at least read about it in […]

Lies and Other Tall Tales

A Few Tall Tales from the Land of Rampaging Zucchini

Jackie:  Phyllis, the zucchini seeds you gave me have grown into a plant that knocked on our back door this morning. I gave it coffee and it retreated to the yard, heading toward the alley. When I was a kid one of my favorite stories was the tall tale of Paul Bunyan. I laughed at […]

Tomi Ungerer

Tomi Ungerer: Far Out Toward the Heart

Phyllis: Tomi Ungerer has written and illustrated over 30 books for children, along with over 100 other books. I didn’t know much about him until Jackie suggested we do a blog on him, and I’m so glad she did. I came home from the library with a stack of his books, which range widely from […]

Farmer Duck

Gardening and Farming Delights

  Jackie: At last—we made it to spring and all the usual accoutrements have shown up—lilacs, violets, the smell of apple blossoms, and thoughts of sprouting seeds and growing vegetables.  How could we not look at picture books about gardens and farming this month? I have to confess, Phyllis, I did not know of Miss […]

Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring

Spring, Where Are You?

Phyllis: Each year, as soon as the snow melts, I’m eager to go search for native wildflowers. Two of the earliest flowers bloom in two different protected places a car ride away. And every year, I go too early—either the ephemeral snow trilliums aren’t even up yet or the pasque flowers are still such tiny, […]

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats

Celebrating Ezra Jack Keats

Jackie: This is the time of year when I read the Travel Section of the Sunday paper. I just want to go away from gritty snow, brown yards and come back to Spring. Well, there are no tickets on the shelf this year so Phyllis and I are taking a trip to the city created […]

Crankee Doodle

Feeling Cranky

Phyllis: February is the month for lovers and for love. And it’s the month where some of us also get a little grumpy. Gray slushy snow—no good for skiing or building snow people—lines the streets. The weight of winter coats wears old. And even though we do love February, we thought we’d look at books […]

Moonlight

That Lovely Ornament, the Moon

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root Jackie: We’ve passed the Solstice but we still have more night than day. We can watch the moon with our breakfast and with our dinner. We thought we’d celebrate this season of the moon by sharing some stories featuring that lovely ornament. Phyllis: And Christmas Eve we saw […]

TwoForShow

Two for the Show: Winter Stories

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root Jackie: Ah winter. Season of holidays and snow. Such a richness of stories. Phyllis: I have a shelf full of favorite Christmas books. What most of them have in common is story, not just about Christmas itself but also about families celebrating their connection to each other.  They […]