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  • Gennifer Choldenko

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 [...]

Grandparents, Part 2

Leave Me Alone

Fictional Caldecott grandparents reveal interesting and surprising personalities. While the stories are imaginary, some of the characters are inspired by admired grandparents and mentors.

Javaka Steptoe

Radiant Child

Though our focus this month is on Javaka Steptoe, we want to begin this column with another book by his father, John Steptoe, Daddy is a Monster…Sometimes. This book is narrated by two children, Bweela and Javaka, who begin, “We are Bweela and Javaka and we have a daddy. He’s a nice daddy and all, [...]

Arte Público Press

Pinata Books

Piñata Books Are Full of Surprises! Arte Público Press uses the delightful metaphor of piñata to describe its imprint of bi-lingual Spanish-English books for children — full of delights and full of surprises. Surprise #1 — Arte Público Press is the original publisher of Sandra Cisneros’ seminal The House on Mango Street. To further bring Hispanic [...]

Anita Dualeh and Her Reading Team
October 2020

Yellow Elephant

It’s always fun to catch up with one of our Reading Teams and see what titles have become new favorites for them. This month, however, Anita Dualeh and her sons are revisiting OLD favorites: picture books that were once beloved by Anita’s boys, but that they have now outgrown at ages 10 and 12. Below, [...]

Caren Stelson

Caren Stelson

The book I wish everyone would read: I love Make Way for Ducklings written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey, and I wish every parent and child would read this ageless picture book together. Why do I love Make Way for Ducklings? Let me start with the fact that my family is from Boston and Make Way for Ducklings takes place [...]

Curiouser and Curiouser with John Owens

One Summer Up North

Once in a while a debut book comes across my desk and I'm too curious to put it into a to-be-read pile. I glance at the cover throughout the day until I can't resist opening the book. What is it about? Am I going to like it? Then I keep turning the pages, marveling over [...]

Hand in Hand

I live and work in a train community and often use trains as an analogy when I talk about storytime. Like a train, storytime offers an audience a chance to hop on board to experience a new world with characters. The characters of a story can help us understand some of the experiences the children [...]


Lynne Jonell

Okay, so it's true. You can't write ALL the time.

Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

Author Gennifer Choldenko contributes this recipe, which is just right for autumn, Halloween, or curling up with a good book. Have you read her Orphan Eleven yet? It's nummy, too. Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls ½ cup honey 3 T peanut butter 2 T water 4 T butter 12 cups popcorn 1 cup salted mixed nuts [...]


Yasmin the Zookeeper

Once I finished reading Yasmin the Zookeeper, I was charmed. I wanted to find out more about this young Pakistani American girl who is curious about everything.

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 [...]

Enola Holmes

I sent the email as a joke, really. Netflix sent me the announcement that the much anticipated Enola Holmes movie would premier on the upcoming Wednesday, and so I sent our (grown-up) kids an email with words I certainly never thought I’d utter and don’t really understand: We should have a Netflix Party! (For those [...]

Picture Books Minus the Age Stereotypes and Ageism

Nature's Friend

Modern day children’s books riddled with negative stereotypes of age? Sadly yes, they are all too easy to find.

Science + History = Whole Picture”

Author Candice Ransom

On my “final” draft of Bones in the White House: Thomas Jefferson’s Mammoth, I drew a line of little mastodons trooping across the bottom of the manuscript pages. Each animal bore a date that matched a sidebar fact or referenced the main text. I thought this was a clever way to remind readers of the [...]

Naming Your Labels

Red A Crayon Story

Living from a Place of Inner Peace Ellie: Michael Hall’s Red: A Crayon’s Story is the tale of a blue crayon with a red label. The crayon was not very good at being red. He couldn’t draw strawberries or work with yellow to draw an orange. Everyone tried to help. Even scissors and sharpeners made [...]

Brenda Sederberg and Her Reading Team
October 2020

On the Day You Were Born

Raising Star Readers is delighted to hear that Brenda Sederberg’s Reading Team has added to its membership: welcome, Baby Phoebe! Brenda is also focusing on adding something else—she is expanding on the list of her Team’s old favorites by intentionally looking for books that are diverse and inclusive

Big Green Textbook

Candice Ransom

My first inkling there was a thing called children’s literature came at a yard sale. I picked up a thick green textbook, Children’s Literature in the Elementary School, by Charlotte S. Huck. I marveled at the idea that people discussed and studied the books I loved and planned to write, that children’s books were literature, [...]

It isn’t much work …

Lynne Jonell

I said "NO" again this week ...

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

Our collection of cookbooks is vast. Some of them are in use more than others, and some of them are in rough shape from too much use. I'm always on the lookout for good cookbooks that will encourage young people to cook and to read about cooking, just as I did with the gift of [...]

A Good Word

Margo Sorenson

As teachers and writers, we all love words. Wouldn't we love to be able to infuse that same love into each and every one of our students! Teaching English to middle schoolers and high schoolers for years gave me plenty of opportunities to try out different ways of attempting to kindle enthusiasm in my students [...]

How the Heather Looks: a Joyous Journey
to the British Sources of Children’s Books

If any good has come from the quarantine of 2020, it’s made me a heavy library user—my personal library, that is, since the public libraries are closed. I found this book in a dresser drawer. (When I redid my office, I didn’t want the clutter of bookcases, instead opting for vintage dressers and armoires—lovely to [...]

John Steptoe’s Beautiful Books


This month we want to celebrate the work of John Steptoe, brilliant artist and writer, who was born on September 14, 1950. His work is a year-round birthday present to all of us.

Grandparents, Part 1

Grandfather's Journey

The typical post-World War II nuclear family was sidelined during the political and societal turmoil of the 1960s. Due to divorce, remarriage, and blended families, the 21st century has seen an increasing number of grandparents involved in their grandchildren's lives. To celebrate Grandparents Day in September, this article examines the portrayal of grandparents and great-grandparents in [...]

Enchanted Lion

Telephone Tales

I am enchanted … with the fresh, delightful, and imaginative books published by this independent publisher. Their doors opened in 2003 and even during these tumultuous times, their doors have stayed open and their vision has stayed strong. Enchanted Lion Books come from a diversity of sources and voices that have been under-represented, translated books from other [...]

Picture Book Salute to Blue

Rare & Blue

Blue is beloved for the awesome beauty of its various shades on display in the natural world, and for the feelings of calmness, security, loyalty, and friendliness, it evokes. So, without further ado: a collection of ten lovely and compelling books, plus one, that celebrate blue.

The Next President

The Next President

Who the next U.S.A. president will be is pre-occupying many minds around the world right now. This book takes a stance by telling us about the distinctive presidents of the past, a couple of sentences about every one of them, #1 through #45, and asks us to realize that the next ten presidents are probably [...]

Dead Ends on the Long Road of Nonfiction Research

Susan Latta

Researching in nonfiction isn’t much different. You run into many dead ends. But the key may be in knowing when to find a different route and when to change up your purpose. Is the story important and viable? Then I believe there are ways to work around those dead ends and get the car moving [...]