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  • Visual Artists Part 2

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 [...]



Friendship

“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.



Heartdrum

Heartdrum

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 [...]



The Many Travelers through
The Hundred Acre Wood

Throughout my childhood, my father and I traveled to the local library with a wagon. He insisted that I fill the wagon as high as we could with books. We went on hundreds of journeys with some of the most special characters in children’s literature. The adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends in The Hundred Acre [...]



Disruption. Alarm. Distress.

Lynne Jonell

Riot and destruction at our nation's capitol. Riot and destruction in our nation's cities.



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 [...]



The Very First & Last Page

Last week I zoom-visited a kindergarten class to read my own picture book. The class was terrific and at the end we had a time for Q & A. They are working on the difference between asking a question and “sharing.” It’s an important and difficult skill. One little girl, who might’ve been a stringer [...]



The Alchemy of Fry Bread

Fry Bread

Bread brings people together. The ingredients in bread are so elemental. When combined with love, they nourish and sustain a people. At the center of a gathering, at the center of a culture is a foundational grain that sustains life—naan, tortilla, rice, ugali, injera, and fry bread to name a few. Food, then, is a [...]



Anita Dualeh and Her Reading Team
January 2021

Echo Pam Munoz Ryan

Raising Star Readers is grateful to have regular reminders from Anita Dualeh’s Reading Team that reading aloud isn’t an activity reserved only for families with small children. Instead, sharing and talking about books as you read them aloud together is something a family can grow into ...



Planetarium

Planetarium

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 [...]



Gennifer Choldenko

Gennifer Choldenko

I’m so pleased to have Gennifer Choldenko grant Bookology an interview about all the questions I’ve bottled up since reading Orphan Eleven, her newest novel. Each one of her novels is a page-turner from first to last, often introducing history we didn’t know but can’t wait to learn more about. Those are my favorite sorts [...]



Bookstorm™: Orphan Eleven

Orphan Eleven

Four orphans have escaped from the Home for Friendless Children. One is Lucy, who used to talk and sing. No one knows why she doesn’t speak anymore; silence is her protection. The orphans find work and new friends at a traveling circus. Lucy loves caring for the elephants, but she must be able to speak [...]