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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

Pat Schmatz The Key to Everything Rick Chrustowski The Coolest Fact Writing Road Trip | Tripping with Mona Lisa | Lisa Bullard Earth Day What's So Special about Shakespeare? Melanie Heuiser Hill Planting Giant Pumpkin Seeds Kathleen Baxter Pumpkins into Coaches Nonfictionary Susan Latta Wendy Watson Two for the Show Linda Sue Park Jerdine Nolen

Skinny Dip with Pat Schmatz

Pat Schmatz

Pat Schmatz is the smart, well-read, insightful, and talented author of books such as Lizard Radio, Mousetraps, Bluefish, and her most recent The Key to Everything. She occasionally teaches writing, especially to middle school and high school students. If you have a chance, attend one of her classes. What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever read a [...]

The Coolest Fact

Reports about animals are boring, and they usually go like this: Honeybees are insects. Honeybees eat nectar. Honeybees live in a hive. See? BORING!

Pomelo Books

What do a university professor from Dallas and a lawyer from Princeton have in common? Both are passionate about poetry, specifically, poetry in the classroom for everyone, everyday, and about anything, even algebra. Sylvia Vardell, professor and author of educational books for teachers, and Janet Wong, lawyer and author of several dozen books for children, combined [...]

Earth Day

Whether you are celebrating Earth Day this week or next week or every week, there are books here that will enchant your students or your family, opening up possibilities for good discussions.   Earth: My First 4.54 Billion Years Stacy McAnulty, author James Litchfield, illustrator Henry Holt, 2017 primary and elementary grades Told from the [...]

What’s So Special about Shakespeare?

We celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23rd (or thereabouts). Consider reading excerpts of this book to your classes. In What’s So Special about Shakespeare?, the author, Michael Rosen, walks into a house with us, peeking into rooms where Shakespeare’s plays are being enacted. Such variety! It’s an inspired way to place young readers among [...]

Planting Giant Pumpkin Seeds

As I write this, Minnesota is in line to get hit with another Major Winter Storm. I know many of you in the northern latitudes can sympathize as we’ve all been hit, but it’s mid-April, and even by Minnesota standards, this is demoralizing. Proms are being cancelled this weekend, the grocery stores are crazy, everyone’s [...]

Skinny Dip with Kathleen Baxter

Kathleen Baxter, a librarian for more than 30 years, a nationally-known booktalker, a co-author of the wonderful Gotcha! resource books, is best known as the woman who has worked tirelessly to keep Maud Hart Lovelace’s books in print, thereby introducing new generations of readers to the Betsy-Tacy books and the other cherished novels set in Deep [...]

Tripping with Mona Lisa

Not Enough Beds!

After my first book was published, one of my friends gave me a knowing look and said, “I’ve figured out exactly what your story means.” I nodded wisely, two of us in on the same secret together, but truthfully? I was eager to hear what she had to say. Because in all the time I’d [...]

Pumpkins into Coaches

Candice Ransom

In 1961, when I was nine, I fell under the spell of a crumbling stone tower. It stood on the weed-choked property of the Portner Manor in Manassas, Virginia, catty-corner from my cousin’s house. As a devotee of Trixie Belden books, I craved mysteries the way other kids longed for ponies. Here was a mystery [...]

Sorry—I Mean Structure—Seems To Be the Hardest Word

Susan Latta

There’s an old Elton John song titled, Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word. Well, I wonder if he’d mind if I changed the title to, Structure Seems to be the Hardest Word. Structure is a lot like voice; it needs to be present, yet it must be invisible and unforced. Without it, the writing [...]

Dearie Darling Cuddle Hug: A Tribute to Wendy Watson

When our children were young we both spent many hours with them pouring over Wendy Watson’s illustrations for her sister Clyde’s rhymes in Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes and delighting in the sounds and the silliness of the rhymes themselves. We felt as though we had lost a personal friend when Wendy Watson died, even though we [...]

The Enchanting Boggarts

Whenever anyone asks the title of my favorite book, it’s a toss-up between two: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper. A Wrinkle in Time because it opened the whole wide universe to my young mind and The Dark is Rising because I understood for the first [...]

Pablo and Birdy

  There are books I read with my eyes leaking beginning to end. Counting by Sevens…Swallows and Amazons…The View From Saturday…Because of Winn Dixie…Orbiting Jupiter…. I don’t mean to say these books make me cry—that’s another category, the ones that make you ugly cry so you can’t read it outloud. Rather, these leaky-eye books are [...]

Linda Sue Park

Melanie Heuiser Hill recently interviewed Linda Sue Park, curious about her daily work habits as a writer, and how Linda Sue balances life and work. Do you have specific writing goals that you formulate and work toward—a certain number of words/pages a day, a draft finished by a certain date, revision done in x number [...]

Skinny Dip with Jerdine Nolen

Jerdine Nolen

Jerdine Nolen is the versatile author of picture books, chapter books, and novels, including her most recent books, the Bradford Street Buddies series and Calico Girl. We enjoy having the opportunity to learn more about this writer and educator. What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever read a book?  The weirdest place I have ever read a [...]

Georgia, Broadway, and Niagara – Cheese or Font?

Lisa Bullard

So what’s the perfect game for somebody who lives in a state with lots of dairy farms, spends a huge hunk of her time writing or reading, and has been known to insert a butter head into a novel as a red herring? Why, it’s Cheese or Font, of course! If you’ve never played, please [...]

The Hate You Give

  This past weekend, Darling Daughter and I participated in a parent-teen book discussion about The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. This book has won many awards, received fantastic reviews, and is a hot topic of discussion in both the book and teen world—especially where those worlds overlap. It’s about the aftermath of a [...]

In Memoriam: Wendy Watson

Wendy Watson was a third generation author and artist. Her grandparents, Ernest W. Watson and Eva Auld Watson, were painters and pioneer color block printers.  Ernest was also founder and editor of the magazine American Artist, co-founder of Watson-Guptill Publications, and co-founder of one of the first summer art schools, the Berkshire Summer School of Art. Wendy’s father, Aldren A. Watson, [...]