“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” —Mahatma Gandhi I went into the weekend prepared to take it easy from a long and busy week. I quickly shifted my focus to the horror happening in Australia. I was watching a video that showed a small fraction of the [...]
Writing Road Trip
Some students jump into wild creativity without hearing a single warning rattle. Others stop to look both ways so often that they never successfully make it across the writing street.
When We Reach Them
Creating a Connected Community of Readers: Intergenerational Storytime After seeing a handful of articles about nursing homes opening up preschools in a shared space, as well as the benefits from this partnership, I wanted to find a way to create the same intergenerational connection in a library setting. We already had a relationship with our [...]
Some good things have come from having a broken wrist.
Know some pickle crazy kids? I do! A favorite birthday dinner that my grandkids request is Pickle Pasta (recipe below) — not the cold pasta salad variety, mind you, but warm buttery noodles dotted with briny pickles. My daughter created this simple but oh-so-satisfying dish during her college days when the cupboards were sometimes nearly bare. I [...]
Written by Deborah Diesen in readable-out-loud verse with a refrain that reflects the cumulative action in the preceding pages, this picture book traces the diligent efforts of those who worked for decades to make America’s voting rights more inclusive. There is history here for everyone to know. The illustrations add passion and understanding to the [...]
Red Reading Boots
I realized (again) over the winter holidays this year that much of holiday frivolity centers on food. I’d have it no other way, myself, but I must say that after a couple/few weeks of eating grand meals, too many sweets, and grabbing tea/coffee more often than usual, I crave simplicity when I sit down for [...]
Welcome to Peace-ology. We are two children’s authors teaming up to review children’s books with peace in mind. Caren: After all our interviews for our book Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story, I asked the book’s inspiration, peace educator Sachiko Yasui, if she had any last words she would like to share with children. Sachiko’s response [...]
To begin our year of Skinny Dippin’ for 2020, and in the coldest month of the year (brrrrr), we interviewed Caroline B. Cooney, the author of so many beloved books.
Raising Star Readers
Raising Star Readers relishes this chance to catch up with Ann Angel and her multigenerational Reading Team. For this entry, Ann was especially focused on how the words and visual art in picture books lead kids to think and to dream. Here’s how Ann describes it: Long before I had kids and grandkids, I thought [...]
Big Green Pocketbook
Every winter I find myself missing Arnold Lobel, a quietly brilliant author-illustrator who left us far too early. I pull out my Lobel I Can Read collection. Frog and Toad Are Friends was published in 1970, the year I graduated from high school, bent on my own career in children’s books. Hailed an instant classic [...]
Uh-oh. In a never-ending quest for exercise (the writer’s life is all too sedentary), I fall like a chopped oak.
Writing Road Trip
Writing well is hard. If you’re not challenging yourself as a writer, you can turn into writing road kill. Besides: angels need a reason to show up.
Why was I crawling through a frozen sewer pipe on my hands and knees in the middle of winter? I was geocaching, my latest obsession. If you haven’t heard of geocaching, it’s a worldwide treasure hunt using GPS to locate hidden containers called geocaches. There are literally millions of geocaches hidden around the globe. When [...]
Small Press Medley
Looking for a book for a child who is experiencing a hard time — maybe being bullied, maybe parents are divorcing or someone is seriously ill, or something scary happened at school or in the community. Or maybe a teen feels “different”? Magination Press is a book imprint of the American Psychology Association that — through books — helps families, parents, [...]
Two for the Show
Phyllis: Winter has come down like a snowy blanket, and animals in our world have migrated, hibernated, or are shivering their way through the months ahead. But animals in picture books have other ideas. Why not be a part of December’s celebrations of Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice or help a friend in frozen need? These books [...]
This month we welcome author Cheryl Minnema to our Skinny Dip tradition, learning more about this Ojibwe author who has published two picture books, Hungry Johnny and Johnny’s Pheasant.
Carrots are most often served raw in our home due to our sons’ preferences. But five years ago at the library we found the book Carrot Soup by John Segal.
Self on the Shelf
A few days ago, I scanned my many bookshelves in anticipation of writing this piece. My charge was to assemble a small stack of books that had significance to me. Perhaps, I thought, I’ll write about my love for mysteries. After all, I spent countless hours as a young girl devouring the Hardy Boys and [...]
One of my favorite books of Gennifer Choldenko’s is One-Third Nerd, in which a brother and two sisters attempt to solve the problem of their beloved dog being incontinent in their rented apartment, over which the landlord threatens to evict them. They’ve been told a vet could fix the problem, but surgery for their dog [...]