Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

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Aimee Bissonette NonfictionaryTwo for the Show LullabiesReading Ahead Fly With MeCandice Ransom The Angel in the WoodsReading AheadWriting Road Trip | Blind SpotsNonfictionary Susan LattaSomalian booksSmall Press MedleyPaul O. Zelinsky

A Tough Season for Writing

Lynne Jonell

I haven’t made a ton of progress on the book.



The Finish Line

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Noth­ing is a big­ger thrill for the young writ­ers I men­tor than what we have come to call their “pub­li­ca­tion par­ties.”



A Long-Term Slog

Lynne Jonell

There is noth­ing, noth­ing, NOTHING so cru­cial for suc­cess as a writer as being able to sus­tain a long-term SLOG.



Storm

Storm by Sam Usher

That irre­sistible urge to jump into a cush­ioned pile of waist-high leaves, sink­ing into the vivid col­ors, the smell of earth and sky, the sounds of nature embrac­ing you? Don’t miss Storm by Sam Ush­er (Tem­plar Books). The glow­ing reds and golds of fall jump off the cov­er, invit­ing you to open the book and […]



The Books We Keep Forever

Candice Ransom

A few weeks ago, I stood at the cor­ner of 37th and Madi­son Avenue in New York City and gazed long­ing­ly at the ele­gant pink mar­ble build­ing that housed J.P. Morgan’s library, now the Mor­gan Library and Muse­um. In late Jan­u­ary 2019, the Mor­gan will host the “Tolkien: Mak­er of Mid­­dle-earth” exhib­it. I’m too ear­ly. […]



The Princess and Her Panther

Last week, I was work­ing on my WIP, a sprawl­ing mess of a nov­el. I’d hit a rough patch and I set myself the assign­ment to just type away for ten minutes—ten min­utes of non­stop typ­ing just to Get Words Down—I wouldn’t let my fin­gers stop. I sim­ply need­ed some words to work with, I […]



A Match Made in Heaven

A lit­tle more than two years ago I shared a Teach it For­ward col­umn enti­tled “Books for my Grand­ba­by and Me.” As I cel­e­brat­ed the arrival of my first grand­child and mar­veled at the joy of becom­ing a first-time grand­ma, I embraced the chance to share my love of read­ing with this most pre­cious future […]



Pie and Gratitude

Novem­ber is a month of gratitude—and, for us, a month to cel­e­brate Pie. We all have a favorite. Many of us have child­hood mem­o­ries of good times and pie. We all wait for the days when we can eat pie for break­fast. So we two thought this would be the per­fect month to look at […]



Elements of a Nonfiction Booktalk

Melissa Stewart

Not long ago, I saw this list of rec­om­mend­ed com­po­nents for a book­talk: Title Author Genre Main char­ac­ter Plot bit And boy, did it frost my britch­es. Why? Because the per­son who wrote it assumed the book­talk­er was rec­om­mend­ing a fic­tion title. What about non­fic­tion? It’s impor­tant to book­talk these titles too because many kids […]



Getting Started

Lynne Jonell

Just get­ting start­ed is HUGE. The inner dri­ve to set down that image that won’t leave us alone …



History’s Mysteries

History's Mysteries

You pick up the bright­ly col­ored book lying on the table and open it near the mid­dle. What’s this book about? In 1848, the HMS Ere­bus and the HMS Ter­ror set out to find the link between the Pacif­ic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean by sail­ing into the Arc­tic waters. The ships and the crews […]



The BIG Umbrella

I am extra­or­di­nar­i­ly lucky in that I have a group of wee ones who join me for sto­ry­time most weeks. They’re little—age three and under, with sev­er­al babies in the mix—so we don’t tell long sto­ries or read great doorstop­per books. But with pic­ture books, some of the best ones are pret­ty spare in terms […]



The Angel in the Woods

Candice Ransom

It was the ear­ly eight­ies and I was grap­pling with my first mid­dle grade nov­el, a piti­ful imi­ta­tion of Daniel Pinkwater’s Alan Mendel­sohn, the Boy from Mars. The boy in my apt­­ly-titled “The Dooms­day Kid” played Dun­geons and Drag­ons and attend­ed a rock con­cert that end­ed in a bot­­tle-and-can riot. For “research,” I tried to […]



The Christmas Alphabet

When our kids were small and we were build­ing our Christ­mas book col­lec­tion, the night on which we brought out the hol­i­day books that had been in stor­age since the pre­vi­ous year was always a very spe­cial night. With #1 Son, this was but a hand­ful of books at first; but once we added Dar­ling […]



Literary Madeleine: Sing a Song of Seasons

I believe this book belongs in every class­room, every home, and in every child’s life. It is a won­drous book to read, to look at, to mem­o­rize, and to talk about with the chil­dren around you. It is a Lit­er­ary Madeleine, scrump­tious in every way. The full title is Sing a Song of Sea­sons: A […]



Teaching Writing to Reluctant Writers
—and Who Isn’t One?

Margo Sorenson

What’s next?” kids—ask, as they whiz through life at warp speed. You’ve seen them con­stant­ly check their phones for texts, Snapchat, and Insta­gram. Kids at video game kiosks hunch over the con­trols, zap­ping ani­mat­ed fig­ures and blow­ing up char­ac­ters by the dozens.  Should the adren­a­line abate for even a sec­ond, they turn to the next […]



Lucille Clifton: All About Love

Poet Lucille Clifton in a 1998 inter­view “Doing What You Will Do,” pub­lished in Sleep­ing with One Eye Open: Women Writ­ers and the Art of Sur­vival, said, “I think the oral tra­di­tion is the one which is most inter­est­ing to me and the voice in which I like to speak.” Asked about the most impor­tant aspect […]



Outstanding Short Biography Collections

Girls Think of Everything

You know the young read­ers, and striv­ing read­ers, who will love all three of these books. They’re a col­lec­tion of biogra­phies, two of the books focused on women, and one of the books choos­ing among chil­dren across the cen­turies and around the world. Whether you’re look­ing for your home book­shelves or your library’s these three […]



Blind Spots

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Blind spots are a dri­ving dan­ger, but they can also be a read­ing plea­sure.



Nonfiction Setting and My Comfy Chair

Susan Latta

I’m fussy when it comes to choos­ing where to sit. The com­fy chair or the well-worn red sofa? Lights on high or nice­ly dimmed? Soft throw blan­ket? Some­times even in a restau­rant, I ask to sit at a dif­fer­ent table than the one the host choos­es because it doesn’t feel right. My hus­band rolls his […]



The Quiltmaker’s Journey

Ear­li­er this week I pulled out our small stash of Thanks­giv­ing pic­ture books. The kids are old­er now, but they seem to like it when the old favorites come out. I got lost, as I always do, in The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brum­beau, illus­trat­ed by Gail de Mar­ck­en. I’ve writ­ten about that book for Red […]



Gobble up a Good Time

Runaway Pumpkin

It is amaz­ing how quick­ly depart­ment stores move all of the Hal­loween items out and bring out Christ­mas lights, wrap­ping paper, reli­gious items, dif­fer­ent sized San­ta Claus­es and orna­ments. Oh, and who can for­get about the start of Christ­mas music at the begin­ning of Novem­ber? I love Christ­mas, but for the longest time, I’ve been […]



School-Themed Books That Build Empathy

Anita Dualeh

Dur­ing one of our vis­its to our local library in late sum­mer, sev­er­al of the books on dis­play caught my eye. School was the com­mon thread, and my fam­i­ly found some good con­ver­sa­tion starters among the titles. I’ll high­light three that have mer­it as texts that help build empa­thy and/or broad­en children’s views about school […]



If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur

If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur

At once ridicu­lous and sub­lime, If da Vin­ci Paint­ed a Dinosaur is mag­net­ic. Which dinosaur will be fea­tured in whose paint­ing? Quick, turn the page! Amy New­bold, author, and Greg New­bold, illus­tra­tor, fol­low up If Picas­so Paint­ed a Snow­man with this vol­ume com­bin­ing a herd of his­toric and imag­i­nary dinosaurs includ­ed in 19 famous artists’ […]



Books about Somali Immigrants/Refugees

The Ogress and the Snake

In an effort to help my chil­dren under­stand more about their own her­itage, I have searched far and wide for books by or about Soma­li immi­grants or refugees. Here are some of the best ones we have found. Though a num­ber of these titles have not been writ­ten by Soma­lis, they have at least been […]



Catalyst Press

Catalyst Press

Cat­a­lyst Press has a bold and dar­ing mis­sion.  As a new inde­pen­dent press, Cat­a­lyst Press brings to Amer­i­can read­ers books from the African con­ti­nent writ­ten by Africans and/or about Africa, con­tem­po­rary and his­tor­i­cal. One of Catalyst’s first books is the star­tling graph­ic nov­el, Sha­ka Ris­ing: A Leg­end of the War­rior Prince.  It is writ­ten and […]



Virginia Euwer Wolff: The Guys’ Clubhouse

I didn’t even ask why I was turn­ing into Hold­en Caulfield. I was fif­teen, a brochure girl for post­war inno­cence. And I was a farm kid, three thou­sand miles away from Holden’s Man­hat­tan; I took vio­lin lessons, rode my bike through orchards, mem­o­rized social stud­ies facts, picked straw­ber­ries to make mon­ey, earned Camp Fire Girl […]



Skinny Dip with Nicola Davies

We’re pleased to wel­come author Nico­la Davies to our Skin­ny Dip col­umn. She writes such fine books about our nat­ur­al world. Her most recent book, The Day War Came (Can­dlewick Press), relates the sto­ry of a refugee child who real­izes that war fol­lows her in the closed doors and turned backs. It is through the kind­ness of […]



Curiouser and Curiouser with Paul O. Zelinsky

Paul O. Zelinsky

Read­ing and admir­ing the books of Paul O. Zelin­sky rais­es my curios­i­ty. How does he work on the illus­tra­tions for his own books and those of oth­er authors? What is he think­ing about when he evolves his unfor­get­table char­ac­ters? Of his newest book, All-of-a-Kind Fam­i­ly Hanukkah (writ­ten by Emi­ly Jenk­ins), Mr. Zelin­sky says, “Now that […]