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Wounded Feelings

Lynne Jonell

They're a fact of life, especially for an author.

Mélina Mangal

Melina Mangal

I looked on my shelves, wondering which books to highlight. I have several shelves, scattered around the house. Though I am a school librarian, my home shelves are quite fluid, as in, they’re not strictly organized. Books are loosely grouped by format and size, sometimes by genre. I really don’t have that  many books (I love [...]

Ten Ways to Hear Snow

Ten Ways to Hear Snow

When you grow up in Minnesota, snow is a part of your world. From playing in it until your feet are so cold and wet that your grandmother will scold while you drink hot cocoa to lifting your feet high as you trudge through knee-deep snow to a bus stop that's farther away than it [...]

Visual Artists, Part 2

Bill Peet: An Autobiography

When considering picture book biographies of visual artists, one cannot overlook the three illustrators who have garnered Caldecott Honors for their autobiographical works: Bill Peet, Uri Shulevitz, and Peter Sis.

Ashley Bryan: Brave for Life

Beautiful Blackbird

Ashley Bryan's life has been so full of making children’s books and there are so many wonderful children’s books that we can only call out a few—a few enticements, and encourage you to take yourself on a wonderful journey into Ashley Bryan’s world.

Deb Andries and Her Reading Team
February 2021

Snow Uri Shulevitz

Reading teams do read together, and my Reading Team(s) and I have been doing just that. However, as you view the photos of the twins, Hayes and Myles, now seventeen months, you see them reading by themselves.

Bookstorm™: Virginia was a Spy

Virginia Was a Spy

World War II spy Virginia Hall was born and raised on a farm in Maryland. Her parents took her abroad when she was three, awakening a life-long fascination with travel and adventure. She was in France when Hitler was recognized as the threat he was. When Germany overtook France, she became a part of the [...]

Curiouser and Curiouser with Mike Wohnoutka

Mike Wohnoutka

I've known Mike Wohnoutka for many years, from his first SCBWI meeting when he introduced himself and showed samples from his portfolio. His adorable character in Cowboy Sam and Those Confounded Secrets (Kitty Griffin, Kathy Combs), an early book, captured my attention. Here was an illustrator who infused humor into the visual story. Hannukah Bear [...]


“One of the most beautiful qualities of a true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)Growing up it was difficult for me to make friends. Some of the key phrases I was told included: “it is a natural process,” “the sky is full of many stars, but having one friend is [...]

The Comfort of James Herriot’s Stories

James Herriot's Treasury for Children

I don’t know if you are watching All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece Theater on PBS these Sunday nights, but if you’re not, you are missing something wonderful.

Finding Peace While Grieving

The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden

Some days are tough. During this COVID-19 pandemic, our children face plenty of challenges. Loss of playground time. Loss of playdates. Changes in school routines. Changes in home routines. These days, children may need more time alone on a “peace blanket” to grieve their former lives. The rest of us may need the same.

Ann Angel and Her Reading Team
February 2021

Be Kind

Our Raising Star Readers contributor Ann Angel always has a unique take on selecting books for her Reading Team. Here, Ann talks about books that encourage what she calls “mindfulness moments”—titles that help kids (and adults) slow down and focus during our current “wild” times: Our house is home to three generations. So husband Jeff [...]

Losing Wonder

Candice Ransom

I hadn’t written in months. Yet each morning, during that misty period between sleep and wakefulness, ideas popped into my mind. In the cold winter light, though, those ideas were revealed as withered and drab. Covid stole more than concentration and motivation. It robbed me of wonder.

The Joy of Bad Reviews

Lynne Jonell

Ah, the joy of bad reviews! Yes, they're fun. But they take a little getting used to.



We are so pleased to have this opportunity to interview the two women behind HarperCollins' new Native-focused imprint, Heartdrum: Rosemary Brosnan, vice president and editorial director at HarperCollins Children's Books, and Cynthia Leitich Smith, children's and YA author, writing instructor, and blogger. Let's learn more ... Rosemary and Cynthia, you have worked together for more than [...]

Tracy Sue Walker

Tracy Sue Walker

This month we welcome Tracy Sue Walker, author, public librarian, and professional storyteller. She's recently been revealing "the truth about" a series of mystical creatures, so far including dragons, Bigfoot, and unicorns, for Scholastic Book Clubs. Tracy describes herself this way, "A booklover, daydreamer, and goofball, I’m pretty quiet unless I’m telling a story, then [...]

Love is Powerful

Love is Powerful

This book will lift you up in its arms and make you believe that “Love is Powerful”! It’s the right choice to help us understand what a group of people can accomplish if they are united in their purpose and moving toward treating all people with love and kindness. Written by Heather Dean Brewer from [...]



My fascination with outer space is well-documented. I had star charts on my childhood bedroom walls. But this book would have enthralled me … in fact, it still does. The illustrations by engraver and printmaker Chris Wormell are detailed in a way that aids understanding. Scale is a tough concept for our comprehension but this [...]

Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration

When Marsha Qualey began this column six years ago, she had us all on the lookout for books about children’s literature. What would add to our understanding of this very particular community of educators, students, collector, and creators? This book about Helen Oxenbury by Leonard Marcus is a gem, filled with the wisdom of a [...]

Books about the Night

The Tinaja Tonight

Nighttime is a magical time for kids. It’s a time for exploring the night skies. It’s a time for dreaming cozy dreams.  It’s a time of mischief when it comes with the thrill of being allowed to stay up late. Nighttime picture books have always had an allure for me because of the topics they [...]