Archive | From the Editor

From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

ph_redbirdHere in the upper Mid­west most of us are wait­ing for the oth­er shoe to drop. We’ve had a hint of win­ter, and we all sus­pect the real thing will arrive soon.  Mean­while, the land­scape is brown, with the occa­sion­al flash of col­or from hol­i­day trim­mings, birds, blaze orange out­er­wear. 

The Nation­al Book Awards were bestowed last month at what’s prob­a­bly the fan­ci­est book event in the U.S.  While the book award sea­son is now on hold until Jan­u­ary, the end of year “best” or “best bets for gifts” list­ing is in full swing. These com­mer­cial lists have a lot in com­mon with those announced in con­junc­tion with an award: They’re all about the new books.

From its incep­tion, Bookol­o­gy has not been about new books. Yes, a num­ber of our Book­storm™ books have been new releas­es, but month-to-month we aim our focus on and use our plat­form to her­ald the vast cat­a­logue of books pub­lished in pre­vi­ous years.  The per­fect book to place in the hand of a young read­er might not be the one gen­er­at­ing all the cur­rent buzz, and that’s why so many titles in our columns and ‘storms and Quirky Book lists have a few miles on them and deserve to be talked about once again.

Firekeeper's SonOur Book­storm™ book this month is The Firekeeper’s Son by New­bery medal­ist Lin­da Sue Park. A pic­ture book set in 19th cen­tu­ry Korea, it’s the sto­ry of a boy who is sud­den­ly swept away from play­time with his toy sol­diers and chal­lenged to “step up” when his father is injured.

We’ll have inter­views with both Lin­da Sue Park and, lat­er this month, the illus­tra­tor, Julie Down­ing. Also com­ing soon: a Quirky list and an end-of-year slide show hon­or­ing the children’s book cre­ators who have died this year. And of course we’ll have the usu­al columns from the bookol­o­gists and authors who show up reg­u­lar­ly in Bookol­o­gy. Today: author Eliz­a­beth Fixmer shares how children’s books deep­ened her work as a psy­chother­a­pist.

Thanks for vis­it­ing Bookol­o­gy.


From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane GoodallThank good­ness for pub­lic libraries. I’ve been a user and fan for well over 50 years now, but for the last eight months, as I’ve worked with the oth­er bookol­o­gists putting togeth­er the mag­a­zine, I’ve put more book miles on my card than in many years com­bined.

My local library is the largest in a con­sor­tium of near­ly 50 libraries in west­ern Wis­con­sin, which means deliv­ery of spe­cial requests hap­pens quick­ly; that reach and speed has been a key ele­ment in my abil­i­ty to keep up with the nec­es­sary book work. This is espe­cial­ly true for the Book­storm™ books. Before we rec­om­mend or write about those titles we like to — at the very least — get our hands on the can­di­date books, rif­fle pages, and exam­ine back mat­ter and illus­tra­tions. And of course we read. For near­ly a year now I make the trip to the library sev­er­al times a week to see what’s wait­ing for me on the hold shelf.

This month our Book­storm™ fea­tures Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, writ­ten by Ani­ta Sil­vey, with pho­tographs and book design by the edi­to­r­i­al team at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic. The com­pan­ion book read­ing for this mon­th’s storm has quite pos­si­bly cov­ered more lit­er­ary dis­tance than that trig­gered by pre­vi­ous Book­storms. Not only have I crossed and recrossed the African con­ti­nent, but I’ve read about ani­mal friend­ships and inspir­ing sci­en­tists, East African trick­ster sto­ries, and vis­it­ed a mar­ket in Zanz­ibar.

golden-baobab-prizeI’ve dis­cov­ered more than books, of course. I’ve learned about the devel­op­ing and excit­ing chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture scene through­out the African con­ti­nent: The Gold­en Baobab Prize, first award­ed in 2009 to cel­e­brate and encour­age emerg­ing writ­ers and illus­tra­tors of chil­dren’s sto­ries; Book­shy, a won­der­ful blog­ger who focus­es on African lit­er­a­ture and book art; Book Dash, a writ­ers and illus­tra­tors’ project designed to pro­vide thou­sands of chil­dren with sto­ry books at lit­tle or no cost, and – most intrigu­ing–Worl­dread­er, a non­prof­it that pro­vides e‑readers and e‑books to schools and stu­dents in Africa and also works with African pub­lish­ers to dig­i­tize their titles. 

And of course, I’ve read and thought a lot about Dr. Jane Goodall. As Book­storm™ cre­ator Vic­ki Palmquist says in her intro­duc­tion to this mon­th’s ‘storm, “[i]t’s not often that a book offers us a glimpse into the child­hood of a woman who has fol­lowed a brave, and car­ing, career path, but also fol­lows her through more than 50 years in that cho­sen pro­fes­sion, describ­ing her work, dis­cov­er­ies, and her pas­sion for the mam­mals with whom she works.”

Thanks for vis­it­ing Bookol­o­gy. Please roam, and enjoy.


From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

written by Candace Fleming  illustrated by Eric Rohmann  Atheneum, 2015

Atheneum, 2015

Wel­come! It’s the first Tues­day of the month and time to launch a new month of Bookol­o­gy. Our Octo­ber Book­storm™ has as its cen­ter­piece the won­der­ful pic­ture book Bulldozer’s Big Day, the first time we’ve focused on a pic­ture book for young read­ers.

Bulldozer’s Big Day was writ­ten by Sib­ert hon­or author Can­dace Flem­ing and illus­trat­ed by Calde­cott Medal­ist Eric Rohmann. We will fea­ture inter­views with both, begin­ning today with our con­ver­sa­tion with Eric Rohmann.

Rohmann’s block print art for Bull­doz­er trig­gered a dis­cus­sion between var­i­ous bookol­o­gists about oth­er print-illus­trat­ed children’s books, and put togeth­er a slide show of some of the stand-outs of the last cou­ple of decades. Have your own favorite? Let us know.

Our reg­u­lar colum­nists will be writ­ing through the month about their lat­est book or writ­ing dis­cov­er­ies; today: Read­ing Ahead author Vic­ki Palmquist on Isabelle Day Refus­es to Die of a Bro­ken Heart, a new mid­dle grade nov­el by Jane St. Antho­ny and many oth­er books that deal with “Laugh­ter and Grief.”

Don’t for­get to check out our two lat­est Authors Emer­i­tus posts about Vir­ginia Lee Bur­ton and Lynd Ward, who both used block print tech­niques in their illus­tra­tion work.  


Eric Shabazz Larkin, illus.
Read­ers to Eaters, 2013

Octo­ber is a month of change in the north­ern hemi­sphere, so why not change a world record? Two orga­ni­za­tions are look­ing to claim the world record of most chil­dren-read-to-in-a-day.

On Octo­ber 19, 2015, Points of Light, a Hous­ton-based non­prof­it, will attempt to estab­lish a new world record by ral­ly­ing vol­un­teers to read to over 300,000 chil­dren in 24 hours. The cam­paign book for this attempt is Farmer Will Allen and the Grow­ing Table, writ­ten by Bookol­o­gy colum­nist Jack­ie Brig­gs Mar­tin!

The cur­rent world record is held by the non­prof­it Jump­start, which in asso­ci­a­tion with Can­dlewick Press, has for ten years run a glob­al cam­paign, Read for the Record® that gen­er­ates pub­lic sup­port for high-qual­i­ty ear­ly learn­ing by mobi­liz­ing mil­lions of chil­dren and adults to take part

Noah Z. Jones, illus. Candlewick, 2005

Noah Z. Jones, illus.

Can­dlewick, 2005

in the world’s largest shared read­ing expe­ri­ence. This year’s attempt is sched­uled for Octo­ber 22; the cam­paign book is Not Nor­man: A Gold­fish Sto­ry, by Kel­ly Ben­nett.

And, final­ly, it is a truth uni­ver­sal­ly acknowl­edged that any Octo­ber issue of a mag­a­zine must include some­thing relat­ed to Hal­loween.  We’ve got that cov­ered with this month’s Two for the Show col­umn: “What Scares You?,” in which Phyl­lis Root and Jack­ie Brig­gs Mar­tin dis­cuss the role of fear in books for young read­ers and spot­light a few books that deliv­er on a scary promise. Look for their con­ver­sa­tion Octo­ber 14.

As always, thank you for tak­ing the time to vis­it Bookol­o­gy.


From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Wel­come to Bookol­o­gy.

Thank you for com­ing back, or check­ing us out for a first look, or for paus­ing if you land­ed here by acci­dent.

Chasing FreedomReturn­ing read­ers know that each month much of our con­tent is con­nect­ed to the magazine’s month­ly cen­ter­piece: the Book­storm™, a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books and web­sites com­piled and writ­ten by our chief Bookol­o­gist, Vic­ki Palmquist, which has at its start­ing point a sin­gle book. This month that book is Chas­ing Free­dom by Nik­ki Grimes, in which the author imag­ines a con­ver­sa­tion that might have occurred had Susan B. Antho­ny and Har­ri­et Tub­man sat down for tea. Susan B. Antho­ny and Har­ri­et Tubman’s “paths fre­quent­ly crossed one anoth­er’s,” Grimes says in our inter­view with her, but she could find no doc­u­men­ta­tion of an actu­al shared tea.  Still, “[t]he fact that these his­tor­i­cal pow­er­hous­es knew one anoth­er was excit­ing.”

The Sep­tem­ber Book­storm™ focus­es on the 19th cen­tu­ry and the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry and the polit­i­cal and social envi­ron­ments and insti­tu­tions in which Susan B. Antho­ny and Har­ri­et Tub­man lived and worked: slav­ery, war, Recon­struc­tion, the advent and dawn of Jim Crow, the new cen­tu­ry.  If you don’t have time now to look over the bib­li­og­ra­phy, our Bul­let Point Book Talks offers a quick look at some of the books in the ‘storm.

On the lighter side, today we also cel­e­brate the back-to-school sea­son with a Quirky Book List of books involv­ing class­room pets. Cau­tion­ary read­ing for our teacher friends? Per­haps.

Catch You Later, TraitorDon’t for­get to return after today, because, as usu­al, through­out the month you can join us for some skin­ny dip­ping and read what our reg­u­lar book-lov­ing con­trib­u­tors have to say about their lat­est for­ays into children’s lit­er­a­ture. Want to be alert­ed to Bookol­o­gy updates? Please sub­scribe.

And final­ly: We have a win­ner. Last month we encour­aged our read­ers to com­ment on our arti­cles, and we offered a signed copy of that month’s Book­storm™ book, Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor by Avi as the prize for a draw­ing for which all com­menters would be eli­gi­ble. Lin­da B. from Col­orado took a moment to com­ment on our August Lit­er­ary Madeleine, and it was her name we pulled out of the Bookol­o­gist Hat. Con­grats to Lin­da, and thank you to all who com­ment­ed.

That’s enough. Time to explore Bookol­o­gy. Thanks for stop­ping.


From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Catch You Later, TraitorWel­come to the sixth issue of Bookol­o­gy.

This mon­th’s Book­storm™ Book is Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor, the lat­est nov­el by New­bery medal­ist Avi. Set in the 1950s in New York City dur­ing the era of com­mu­nist-hunt­ing, the nov­el explores the long and fright­en­ing reach of gov­ern­ment into pri­vate lives under the guise of secu­ri­ty and patri­o­tism and how a point­ed and accus­ing fin­ger can cause so much dam­age.  Accom­pa­ny­ing the Book­storm™ is a con­ver­sa­tion between Avi and New­bery Hon­or author Gary D. Schmidt and our usu­al bul­let point book talks for some of the Book­storm™ com­pan­ion books.

After prep­ping and read­ing for this mon­th’s 1950s-influ­enced Bookol­o­gy, I’m ready to claim the podi­um and assert that the most impor­tant year in Amer­i­can Chil­dren’s pub­lish­ing was 1957. Thanks to two of that year’s events, every­thing changed.

  1. bk_cat-hatThe pub­li­ca­tion of The Cat and the Hat. In one fell swoop, read­ing instruc­tion and the type of books ear­ly read­ers could encounter would nev­er be the same. Dick and Jane would hold on for a few years, but not much longer.
  2. The launch of Sput­nik. Accord­ing to author and chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture schol­ar Ani­ta Sil­vey, after this sal­vo in the space race the “school mar­ket for chil­dren’s books surged into the fore­front of chil­dren’s pub­lish­ing” (Chil­dren’s Books and Their Cre­ators, p. 5 43). This surge was strength­ened a year lat­er with a tremen­dous increase in the fed­er­al funds avail­able for pur­chas­ing school books — texts and gen­er­al read­ing mate­r­i­al.
Sputnik 1

Sput­nik 1

Every­thing changed.

Well, that’s a bit of hyper­bole, isn’t it? It’s also quick­ly refut­ed because one big thing that did­n’t change was the white­ness of Amer­i­can chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture.

The world of chil­dren’s book writ­ing and pub­lish­ing is now engaged in a need­ed and won­der­ful cam­paign for diver­si­ty in the top­ics and sub­jects of the books and in the voic­es cre­at­ing, pub­lish­ing, and pro­mot­ing those books.

A won­der­ful cam­paign, but not a new one, though the def­i­n­i­tion of diver­si­ty has expand­ed in ways the ear­ly pro­po­nents might nev­er have imag­ined. One of those pro­po­nents was Nan­cy Lar­rick, whose 1965 Sat­ur­day Review arti­cle “The All-White World of Children’s Books” brought the top­ic to the gen­er­al public’s eye, much like Wal­ter Dean Myer­s’s 2014 arti­cle in the New York Times short­ly before his death.

Blacklist coverThe white­ness of chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture came into sharp relief as I was read­ing and read­ing about books includ­ed in this month’s storm.  We include sev­er­al Red Scare nov­els on the list, but they are cen­tered on white lives; I’d love to hear about books that explore what a child or teen of col­or expe­ri­enced. In the ter­rif­ic book The Oth­er Black List, author Mary Helen Wash­ing­ton writes “Because J. Edgar Hoover sus­pect­ed that any­one work­ing against seg­re­ga­tion or in the field of civ­il rights also had com­mu­nist ties, the FBI (in league with Joseph McCarthy’s Per­ma­nent Sub­com­mit­tee on Inves­ti­ga­tions and the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties com­mit­tee) per­sis­tent­ly tar­get­ed the black intel­lec­tu­al and cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ty of the 1950s” (pp. 22 – 23). At least some of those tar­get­ed adults must have had young peo­ple in their lives who were affect­ed.  I want to read their sto­ries.

bk_FreeWithinIn her excel­lent book Free With­in Our­selves: The Devel­op­ment of African Amer­i­can Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture, Rudine Sims Bish­op, Pro­fes­sor Emeri­ta at Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, states there is a sur­pris­ing dearth of chil­dren’s nov­els about the orga­nized civ­il rights events of the fifties (and by exten­sion, I sup­pose, the Red Scare).

Which brings me back to 1957 and yet anoth­er momen­tous event: the deseg­re­ga­tion of Cen­tral High School in Lit­tle Rock. At the cen­ter of that were nine teenagers:  Ernest Green, Eliz­a­beth Eck­ford, Jef­fer­son Thomas, Ter­rence Roberts, Car­lot­ta Walls, Min­ni­jean Brown, Glo­ria Ray, Thel­ma Moth­er­shed, and Mel­ba Pat­til­lo. Per­haps one rea­son there are so few fic­tion­al explo­rations of the 1950s civ­il rights peri­od is that the real sto­ries and peo­ple involved tend to blow every­thing else out of the water. Still, deseg­re­ga­tion is one civ­il rights era expe­ri­ence that many authors HAVE tack­led in nov­els, and our time­line this month shares some of those.

The upheavals of the 1960s, on the oth­er hand, have inspired many writ­ers, and lat­er this month we’ll have an inter­view, “Writ­ing His­to­ry,” with Kekla Magoon, author of How it Went Down, Fire in the Streets, The Rock and the Riv­er, and many more books for teens and mid­dle grade read­ers.

And of course through­out the month we will run our reg­u­lar fea­tures and columns, begin­ning today with a Knock Knock col­umn: “Being Ten” by Can­dace Ran­som.

We also have a con­test! Any­one who com­ments (on any arti­cle in Bookol­o­gy) dur­ing the month will be entered into a ran­dom draw­ing to win a signed hard­cov­er of Avi’s book, and our fea­tured Book­storm, Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor.

And by all means…if you dis­agree with me about the year 1957, tell me why. In a com­ment, please. You might be a win­ner.

Thanks for vis­it­ing Bookol­o­gy.





From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

ph_catI made my pro­fes­sion­al entrance into the world of children’s books in the ear­ly 1990s when the first of my YA nov­els was pub­lished. One thing that has changed dras­ti­cal­ly since then is the increased media cov­er­age; YA lit is an espe­cial­ly big show right now. While you still run across some ves­ti­gial arti­cles of the “Should Adults Read Children’s Books” nature, gone are the days when a children’s book author would be dis­missed out of hand as not being a real writer, espe­cial­ly by writ­ers of lit­er­ary fic­tion and poet­ry.

My response — most often deliv­ered to unap­pre­cia­tive but patient cats but a few times when face to face with those writ­ers — was always, “Well, where do you think your read­ers come from? Do you think read­ers don’t exist until they dis­cov­er your writ­ing?” #snap!

Okay… #sad­snap. 

Shadow HeroAnoth­er thing that has changed is the preva­lence of graph­ic nov­els in the class­room, libraries, and pub­lish­ers’ cat­a­logues. For the sec­ond time in its short his­to­ry Bookol­o­gy’s Book­storm™ book is a graph­ic nov­el: Gene Luen Yang and Son­ny Liew’s The Shad­ow Hero.

I’ve had the good for­tune of work­ing with Gene in a writ­ing pro­gram for adults. He is a nat­ur­al, bril­liant teacher. I’ve observed die-hard nov­el­ists and poets emerge from one of his Writ­ing a Graph­ic Nov­el work­shops excit­ed about this new sto­ry­telling form.

Of course it’s not real­ly new, just new to us here in the main­stream US book world. Wouldn’t you love to go back in a time machine to a library con­fer­ence in the 1940s or 50s and tell every­one about comics in the class­room? Can’t you just see the white gloves fly­ing up to smoth­er gasps or cov­er ears?

Lat­er this month we will have inter­views with both Gene and Son­ny. Today we’re rolling out the Book­storm™ and a cou­ple of relat­ed fea­tures — storm cells, you might call them (and yes, it’s pour­ing as I write this.) We also have a thought­ful Knock Knock essay by author Lynne Jonell: “Jus­tice in Anoth­er World.” Skin­ny Dip inter­views and our reg­u­lar columns will of course appear through­out this week and weeks to come.

Enjoy — and thank you for stop­ping by.



From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

cover imageThe con­flu­ence of sci­ence and art is at the heart of this month’s Book­storm™ book, Scaly Spot­ted Feath­ered Frilled by Cather­ine Thimmesh.

In con­ver­sa­tions about school cur­ricu­lum, STEM (sci­ence-tech­nol­o­gy-engi­neer­ing-math) turned into STEAM (+arts) quite some time ago. But why were sci­ence and art ever detached from each oth­er?

I sus­pect the truth is that wher­ev­er learn­ing has occurred, they nev­er were detached.

As a vet­er­an writer and writ­ing teacher, I know the impor­tance of ask­ing “What If?” Most often the ques­tion is used to nudge or explode a plot (Drag­ons!). But the ques­tion has equal impor­tance when applied to manip­u­lat­ing read­er reac­tion: What if I add some white space here? What if I move that page turn? How will that affect the reader’s response? Why?

As for the visu­al arts and music, well what’s NOT about explor­ing the sci­ence of the tools?

Helen Frankenthaler on Life Magazine cover

Helen Frak­en­thaler, artist. Pho­to by Gor­don Parks. Click to enlarge.

What sound will I get if I mute this horn?

What If I thin the paint and don’t prime the can­vas?

As you peruse this mon­th’s Bookol­o­gy you’ll see sci­ence and art hand in hand many places, most obvi­ous­ly in the books includ­ed in the Book­storm ™ and our fos­sil slide show. Lat­er this month we’ll have more that embraces the con­flu­ence: inter­views with Cather­ine Thimmesh and Melis­sa Stew­art (on teach­ing sci­ence through lit­er­a­ture), and an arti­cle by Jen­ny Bar­low on using pic­ture books to con­nect with peo­ple liv­ing with Alzheimer’s and demen­tia.

All that and our reg­u­lar columns and arti­cles. And of course, we’ll be skin­ny dip­ping. Glad you could join us.





From the Editor


by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Nancy2Hap­py Birth­day, Nan­cy Drew!

For the last few days it’s been hard to nav­i­gate online with­out stum­bling across some cel­e­bra­to­ry mus­ing about the tit­ian-haired hero­ine turn­ing 85. Which main char­ac­ters from recent YA and children’s lit do you think could be the sub­ject of such atten­tion eight decades down the road?

This month’s Book­storm™ book is a graph­ic nov­el, Lowrid­ers in Space. The hero­ine of the sto­ry, Lupe, gives Nan­cy D. a run for her mon­ey in con­fi­dence, skills, and road­sters. What’s more, Lupe — like Nan­cy — keeps com­pa­ny with two fine friends.  Vic­ki Palmquist, Bookol­o­gist extra­or­di­naire, has done her usu­al ter­rif­ic job of com­pil­ing a storm of good read­ing to enjoy in the class­room or at your leisure.

I’m hap­py to announce three new reg­u­lar addi­tions to the Bookol­o­gy line-up. We sneaked one in a week ago: Mid­dle King­dom, a month­ly vis­it with a mid­dle school librar­i­an. Author Lisa Bullard wran­gles these inter­views, and the first librar­i­an spot­light­ed is Lau­rie Amster-Bur­ton of Jane Addams Mid­dle School in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton. If you know a hard-work­ing mid­dle school librar­i­an, email us with the info!

Mau­r­na Rome returns, and she’ll now be writ­ing reg­u­lar­ly about her class­room lit­er­a­cy work (and the work of oth­ers) in Teach It For­ward. Green eggs and ham nev­er looked so good.

I’m espe­cial­ly delight­ed to intro­duce two won­der­ful writ­ers to the Bookol­o­gy crew: Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin and Phyl­lis Root. I’m sure many if not most of you are famil­iar with their books. Each month in their new col­umn Two for the Show they’ll dis­cuss two old­er pic­ture books they’ve dis­cov­ered or redis­cov­ered.

And all that (and more) just today — issue launch day, the first Tues­day of the month. Look for even more all through this month as our reg­u­lar columns and fea­tures roll out. 

Thank you for stop­ping in. Now please go explore the third issue of Bookol­o­gy.



From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

April Bookology cover

The FIRST Bookol­o­gy!

It’s the first Tues­day of the month, and all the Wind­ing Oak bookol­o­gists are a bit breath­less but hap­py to be open­ing this sec­ond issue of Bookol­o­gy.

We’ve been so grat­i­fied by the warm response to the mag­a­zine. Thank you.

In this April edi­tion you’ll find anoth­er Book­storm™ at the cen­ter of every­thing. Since its pub­li­ca­tion in 1994, Cather­ine, Called Birdy by Karen Cush­man has been a read­er favorite and class­room stal­wart. So why shine the spot­light on a book that earned its hon­ored place long ago?

Well, we chron­ic read­ers may know a book is worth read­ing and we may believe in our bones that you shouldn’t need a rea­son to pro­mote and share a good book in the class­room, but ever-shift­ing cur­ricu­lum require­ments demand that we take a fresh look at old favorites and eval­u­ate how well they sup­port that cur­ricu­lum.

And so we took a fresh look at Cather­ine, Called Birdy; we’re delight­ed to share the results in the new Book­storm ™.

Besides the reg­u­lar fea­tures and columns, you’ll also find an inter­view with the author of Birdy, Karen Cush­man. Because we want­ed to focus on the sto­ry behind the sto­ry, espe­cial­ly the research involved, we asked vet­er­an non­fic­tion writer Claire Rudolf Mur­phy to con­duct the inter­view. 

April means poet­ry, and for this Bookol­o­gy we asked Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong to share exam­ples from two of their Poet­ry Fri­day antholo­gies.

And, final­ly, we’ve also launch a new fea­ture: Wacky Book Lists. In this month — books star­ring dachs­hunds.




From the Editor: Welcome

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Wel­come to Bookol­o­gy.

WelcomeWhat began almost a year ago as a con­ver­sa­tion among col­leagues has now tak­en shape and arrived on your vir­tu­al doorstep: an e‑magazine ded­i­cat­ed to nur­tur­ing the essen­tial con­ver­sa­tion about the role of children’s books in the K‑8 class­room.

That meet­ing was con­vened by Vic­ki and Steve Palmquist, own­ers and founders of Wind­ing Oak and per­haps more famil­iar to many of you as the founders and heart­beat of Children’s Lit­er­a­ture Net­work, an orga­ni­za­tion they rolled up last year after pro­vid­ing 12 years of lead­er­ship as well as an unpar­al­leled online plat­form for com­mu­ni­ca­tion between children’s book cre­ators and the adults who love those books.

Vic­ki and Steve want­ed to cre­ate a sim­i­lar online pres­ence, one that would not only high­light the work of Wind­ing Oak’s many clients, but which would also invite a larg­er net­work of read­ers, writ­ers, illus­tra­tors, teach­ers, and librar­i­ans into the con­ver­sa­tion.

A quick guide to what you’ll see each month:

A Book­storm ™.  Each “storm” begins with one book. From there we spin out a cross-cur­ricu­lum array of sub­jects and pro­vide titles for each cat­e­go­ry. Com­mon Core, STEM/STEAM, state stan­dards — any cur­ricu­lum struc­ture will be served by the Book­storm™ bib­li­og­ra­phy. But we also go beyond a sim­ple list, and each month much of the Bookol­o­gy con­tent we present will emanate from the Book­storm™ titles.

Columns.  Whether writ­ten by one of our reg­u­lars or a guest writer, these posts are intend­ed to share the voic­es of peo­ple immersed in the world of children’s lit­er­a­ture. We are espe­cial­ly delight­ed to launch “Knock Knock,” a blog col­lec­tive from Wind­ing Oak’s many clients that will appear on alter­nate Tues­days. Heather Vogel Fred­er­ick game­ly accept­ed the assign­ment to write the inau­gur­al col­umn; she’ll be fol­lowed up lat­er this month by Melis­sa Stew­art and Avi.

Inter­views and arti­cles. We will be vis­it­ing with illus­tra­tors, writ­ers, teach­ers, librar­i­ans and oth­ers in order to expand what we all know and under­stand about children’s lit­er­a­ture. We’ll also be offer­ing a lighter, more humor­ous get­ting-to-know-you inter­view venue: Skin­ny Dips, in which we ask about almost any­thing except the cre­ative process.

We will scat­ter about the mag­a­zine fea­tures and inci­den­tals we hope will be of inter­est, such as Lit­er­ary Madeleines—dis­cov­er­ies that even the vet­er­an read­ers on the staff savored — and Time­lines, quick at-a-glance looks at sem­i­nal books in a genre or sub­ject. Con­test, quizzes, and book-give­aways will also appear through­out the month.

What you won’t see are book reviews. While many of our arti­cles and columns will of course dis­cuss and rec­om­mend books, those rec­om­men­da­tions will always be in con­text of a larg­er top­ic. There are plen­ty of book review forums avail­able, and we weren’t inter­est­ed in adding to those voic­es.

And for now you won’t see “Com­ments” sec­tions. This is iron­ic of course in view of our stat­ed mis­sion of nur­tur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion; we’ll open those, and soon. In the mean­time, should you have a com­ment or sug­ges­tion or request, send me a note.  marsha.qualey@bookologymagazine.com

Thanks for your time and inter­est. Now please go explore Bookol­o­gy.