Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

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  • Two for the Show

Tree Talk

We have been thinking of trees—green, leafy, blooming, buzzing trees. It’s not that we’re tired of winter. We love winter. Phyllis even has snowshoes—and uses them! Jackie loves walking in the snowy quiet and the nearly monochromatic landscape. We both love candles, sweaters, and hot soup. But every now and then we think of green. [...]

Jen Bryant

Jen Bryant

Author and poet Jen Bryant is known for her picture book biographies of artists, poets, wordmongers, composers, and playwrights. Her verse and prose novels are well-researched, often focused on an historic event like the Scopes trial or the Lindbergh kidnapping trial or Captain Kidd's buried treasure in New Jersey. Always focused on her next book, [...]

Cardamom Scones

Melanie Heuiser Hill

I adore books that have food details. I like to know what the characters are eating. Even better, I like to know what they’re cooking and baking. And if there’s a food or feast that plays a prominent role in the plot, I’m hooked. Turns out, these are the sorts of books I enjoy writing, [...]

What’s in the Basket?

“Investing in early childhood nutrition is a surefire strategy. The returns are incredibly high.” —Anne Mulcahy I am the head of children’s services at Ericson Public Library in Boone, Iowa. According to Iowa Department of Education, Boone has 1,901 students and 877 of those students are in a free or reduced lunch program (Kids Count, [...]


Lynne Jonell

Inspiration! It's so wonderful when it shows up at my door. And it usually brings its friends ...

What Gets Left Out

Jen Bryant

In my three decades as a professional author, I’ve written about many intriguing, accomplished people: the Wyeth family of artists, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, abolitionist Lucretia Mott, author Peter Mark Roget, poets William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore, self-taught artist Horace Pippin, inventor Louis Braille, and most recently Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. In every case, [...]

The Rabbit Listened

In my current regular storytime group, I have a little one who insists he has whatever book I’m reading at his house, too. I hold up a book and he jumps in excitement. “I have that book at my house!” he says, while his parents shake their head behind him. I tease him saying, “We [...]

Knowing Your Past to Make Peace


Welcome to Peace-ology. We are two children’s authors teaming up to review children’s books with peace in mind.  Ellie: The other day, I looked over the shoulder of my five-year-old to see what he was drawing. There was the Ireland flag on the left, the Norway flag on the right, and he was finishing the [...]

Norma Gaffron and Her Reading Team
February 2020

Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Norma Gaffron is thrilled to have this chance to share her family’s long tradition of reading aloud. Her children and grandchildren are now grown, but they took the time during their Christmas Eve celebration to share a picture book together. Norma’s son Tim took the photos of Lauren (21), Norma (88), and Erik (25) enjoying [...]

Catherine Friend

Catherine Friend

We welcome author Catherine Friend to our Skinny Dip column this month. You may know her for her picture books The Perfect Nest and My Head is Full of Colors, or her chapter book Barn Boot Blues. You may have thought about becoming a farmer after reading Hit by a Farm, Sheepish, and The Compassionate Carnivore. Perhaps you're [...]

The Crack in the Door:
How I Came to Write Bones in the White House

Candice Ransom

I’ve been keen on dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals my whole life, since I read Roy Chapman Andrews’ All About Dinosaurs. When I was nine, I added paleontologist to my string of future occupations (writer, artist, ballet dancer, detective). My love for Jefferson began when we moved to Fredericksburg in 1996. I was touring James Monroe’s [...]

Lincoln or Jaguar?

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Names are one-word poems. I often do tons of research to figure out which name is the best match for the individual I’m inventing; it matters that I get it right.

Elizabeth Verdick

Freddy the Detective

When I picture myself as a kid, I think of my bedroom in our split-level West Virginia house, a room I loved but had to leave behind at age eleven when my family moved to Maryland. For years, that room was my own little world, my book nook, my place to cuddle my cat Rag, [...]

Creativity Flourishes

Lynne Jonell

My creativity tends to flourish when I have a physical challenge.

The Gems: Revolutionize Your Teaching of Writing

Margo Sorenson

The stack of student papers lurks on the corner of your desk, just waiting to be marked and graded. Yes, the rubrics and grading standards will be applied conscientiously, paper after paper. Your students wait, some in dread, some in hopeful anticipation, for your final judgments on their papers. But wait—there's another way to evaluate [...]

Bedtime for Sweet Creatures

Bedtime for Sweet Creatures

Such a charming book! From Nikki Grimes, we hear the story of a young boy stalling his bedtime, all the while collecting a menagerie of imaginary creatures. This is a child who has well-practiced ploys for avoiding bedtime. His parents respond with playfulness and good humor. Mom and dad are patient but, finally, the child [...]

My Word for the New Year

As in past years, in lieu of a New Year’s resolution, I’ve chosen a single word to frame the year ahead. There are numerous websites and blogs that celebrate this idea. This is my favorite. The following sentiment from the site really sums it up beautifully; My One Word replaces broken promises with a vision for [...]

Susan Fletcher

Susan Fletcher

Storyteller adept Susan Fletcher's mind has given us The Dragon Chronicles, Alphabet of Dreams, the startling Falcon in the Glass, and most recently Journey of the Pale Bear. As you'll read below, she has traveled to amazing locations and had enviable experiences as she researched her novels. Susan taught at the Vermont College of Fine [...]

Timeless Tales Program

Rachel Snyder, Lemont Public Library

Creating a Connected Community of Readers: Intergenerational Storytime After seeing a handful of articles about nursing homes opening up preschools in a shared space, as well as the benefits from this partnership, I wanted to find a way to create the same intergenerational connection in a library setting. We already had a relationship with our [...]

Modern-Day Treasure Hunting

David LaRochelle

Why was I crawling through a frozen sewer pipe on my hands and knees in the middle of winter? I was geocaching, my latest obsession. If you haven’t heard of geocaching, it’s a worldwide treasure hunt using GPS to locate hidden containers called geocaches. There are literally millions of geocaches hidden around the globe. When [...]

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Cookology Page Break Bullet Booktalks
Bookstorms Reading Ahead Chapter & Verse
Interviews Red Reading Boots Timelines
Literary Madeleines Skinny Dip
Middle Kingdom Teach it Forward
Quirky Book Lists Two for the Show
Small Press Medley
Writing Road Trip
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