Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

  • Curiouser and Curiouser with Kao Kalia Yang

The Very Amazing Eric Carle

The Grouchy Ladybug

Phyllis: Spring is finally here, and the pollinators are buzzing in the blossoms, so we thought we’d write about bugs this month. Plus, we’ve just finished a book with our good friend and fellow writer Liza Ketchum about the rusty-patched bumblebee, the first bumblebee to be listed as endangered. Once we started looking for buggy [...]

Curiouser and Curiouser with Kao Kalia Yang

The Shared Room

When A Map into the World found its way to my desk last year, I had to remind myself to breathe. This gem of a book captures feelings of love and friendship in a way that crosses generations and speaks to each of our hearts. What else had she written, I wondered? Her memoir for [...]

Death and Grief

My Father's Arms Are a Boat

Our Chapter & Verse Book Clubs read three books about death, written for children, in April of 2017. We've updated this list with newer books in July, 2020. Several of our librarian members stated that they receive many requests from patrons for books that help children understand death. Our members around the country put their [...]

Cold. Hard. Facts.

Lynne Jonell

Having received my agent's letter after reading my work-in-progress, it's time to assess some cold. hard. facts.

Road Scholar

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

I once had an “aha” moment while giving my nephew a ride on a beautiful summer day. He was in that early stage of adolescence: old enough to sit in the front seat, but young enough that riding shotgun was exciting. But during this ride, he was giving off strange signals. He twitched. He wiggled. [...]

Dogs and Cats, Part 2

Peter McCarty doesn’t just include his dog, but also his cat in Hondo and Fabian, a 2003 Caldecott Honor book. This story describes a day in the life of his pets. Hondo goes to the beach while Fabian stays home, but both have a good time. The soft pencil illustrations of the yellow Labrador retriever [...]


This is the sound of walking into retirement for me and so many teachers this spring. Although friends are already emailing to congratulate us on this new journey, we’re all alone while packing up our offices and classrooms for the last time. There will be no big parties, no formal farewells, no cozy get-togethers where [...]

Books Set in Bookstores


 For many of us, wandering around inside a bookstore is our Happy Place. It can also be a place of mystery, surprise, romance, adventure, how-tos, and an opportunity to tap into the knowledge of the universe. Here then are fifteen books for children that are set in bookstores.   Archie Greene and the Magician's Secret [...]

Little Engines:
A Simple but Impactful Early Literacy Initiative

In early fall of 2019, I completed a grant application through our local early childhood board. I proposed a new early literacy program called Little Engines. Each month, we will have an early childhood professional provide a storytime program with activities. These include literacy, nutrition, childcare, school readiness, music/recreation, creativity/arts, and STEAM. The library provides [...]

Rev Their Engines

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Sometimes, despite cramming plenty of action and conflict into my writing, it still falls flat. I want the words to leap off the page and grab readers by the throat, and instead they flop around gasping for breath. Fortunately, there’s a straightforward revision trick that can rejuvenate such writing: a verb check. I start by [...]

Something My Agent Said

Lynne Jonell

So if my agent had said something irrelevant, I would have known it.

Ann Angel and Her Reading Team
May 2020

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

In this Raising Star Readers update, Ann Angel shares how reading aloud helps carry on her family’s heritage of storytelling. Here’s how Ann describes it:  With Stay-at-Home a requirement in most states, mine included, I only see some of my grandkids via Skype and Zoom. But I have a daughter and grandson living with us. [...]

Almost Time

I’ve been waiting for Elizabeth Stickney and Gary D. Schmidt’s Almost Time for quite awhile. Seems appropriate—it’s a book about waiting, after all. I read very early drafts of it years ago, so long ago that I can hardly recall details—only that it’s about the making of maple syrup. What I discovered upon reading it [...]

War and Peace

A Bowl Full of Peace

"What happened to me must never happen to you." Caren: Those were the first words Sachiko Yasui, a Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor, told me as we began our work together writing her story. On August 9, 1945, at 11:02, six-year-old Sachiko was playing outside with her friends, making mud dumplings, when the second atomic bomb [...]

Fillyjonk in Moominland

Candice Ransom

I’m trying hard not to be a Fillyjonk. Honestly, I am. Mrs. Fillyjonk is a character in Tove Jansson’s wonderful Moomintroll series. Fretful Mrs. Fillyjonk needs order in her world. If anything is out of place, or goes wrong, she is flattened by depression and anxiety. Is anything more out of order than the world [...]

Where She Went

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

I love book spine poetry, and it’s a great way to get young writers to engage with both books and poetry-writing. Check out your own shelves and see what stories emerge. Here are some of my own efforts to show you how easy it can be. Where She Went Looking for Alaska Chasing Vermeer Tracking [...]

Two Questions

Lynne Jonell

So I send the partial to my agent. Bless him, he reads it right away. No waiting and waiting ...

Dogs and Cats, Part 1

A Ball for Daisy

It is almost guaranteed that children will respond favorably to animal stories, especially stories with dogs and cats. Two-thirds of American households own dogs or cats. Nineteenth century British illustrator Randolph Caldecott seemed to understand the natural affinity between children and animals. Before science documented the importance of pets in children’s lives, he included animals [...]

Deb Andries and Her Reading Team
April 2019

The Gingerbread Baby

We’re especially delighted to celebrate with Deb Andries (a.k.a. Grammy) this month as she launches her newest Reading Team. Here’s how Deb describes the experience: My heart has always felt this “explosion of love” when we’ve welcomed a grandchild into our family. I vividly remember when our grandson Parker, now 14, was born, and the [...]

Playing Your Troubles Away

Margo Sorenson

“Fantasy and feeling lie deeper than words… and both demand a more profound, more biological expression, the primitive expression of music.” (Maurice Sendak in "The Shape of Music") Tied up in knots—nots—er—words? Are sentences slithering past you and paragraphs parachuting from your brain? If so, maybe it's time to step away from the writing task, [...]

Ferris Wheels

Fabulous Fair Alphabet

These are books about Mr. Ferris or his Ferris wheel, which debuted at the 1893 World Colombian Exposition. Grand in scale, rising up into the sky, the Ferris wheel is a focal point wherever it appears.

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Author Lesa Cline-Ransome is known for her picture book biographies of poets, anti-slavery crusaders, musicians, athletes, and mathematicians. Her novel Finding Langston received a Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. We impatiently waited for the companion novel, Leaving Lymon, which was published in early 2020. Lesa is a wonderful [...]

The Mozart Season

The Mozart Season

Fresh Lookology features books published several years ago that are too good to languish on the shelf. At the end of softball season and the beginning of summer, 12-year-old Allegra Leah Shapiro learns that she has been selected as a finalist in the Ernest Bloch Young Musicians’ Competition. She is the youngest finalist, something she [...]

Cynthia Grady

Wild Swans

In the beginning, before I found myself within the pages of a book identifying with this character or that one, I listened to my grandmother read aloud from My Book House while surrounded by my eight siblings. The giant, multi-volume anthology contains poetry from Mother Goose to Shakespeare, selections from the Song of Solomon to [...]

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