Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Archive | Reading Ahead

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Our bookmarks are in …

Mem­bers have writ­ten to tell us about the books they cur­rent­ly have book­marked … From Nan­cy Carl­son: I am read­ing The Hunger Games (Scholas­tic Press, 2008). Very good! From Sarah Lam­stein: I just fin­ished Jeannine’s Atkins’ Bor­rowed Names (Holt, 2010), a bril­liant book of poet­ry about Lau­ra Ingalls Wilder, Madame C.J. Walk­er, Marie Curie, and […]

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Tales from a Finnish Tupa

Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 1936 by Albert Whit­man & Com­pa­ny, Tales from a Finnish Tupa has recent­ly been reis­sued by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Press. This col­lec­tion of Finnish tales includes sto­ries of mag­ic and humor (“Droll Tales”) as well as fables or pourquoi sto­ries. I can remem­ber read­ing the “Col­or Fairy” books when I was […]

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Shoe books

No, not the books by Noël Streat­field, but slice-of-life books that I think of as “walk­ing in some­one else’s shoes” books. They’re writ­ten in a con­vinc­ing, ready to assume the loafers or ten­nis shoes or flip-flops man­ner that allows me to become the main char­ac­ter from the front cov­er to the back cov­er … and […]

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More summer reading

Future Self to Vic­ki: You’re going to read a nov­el about play­ing bridge … and you’re going to enjoy it. Vic­ki: Not going to hap­pen. My moth­er tried, on sev­er­al occa­sions, to raise some enthu­si­asm for bridge in my body and soul. I love to play cards, board games, guess­ing games, triv­ia games … not […]

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Summer reading

Every good inten­tion of post­ing every week­day … and then a vicious flu attacks and all plans go astray. Flu trumps blog. Now I know. One good thing to come out of hav­ing a week-long flu: my to-be-read pile isn’t as high as it once was. In fact, it brought back mem­o­ries of a per­fect […]

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It’s All about Advertising

In eighth grade, my Eng­lish teacher, Ms. Ander­son, spent sev­er­al weeks teach­ing our class about per­sua­sive lan­guage by exam­in­ing adver­tis­ing. This accom­plished sev­er­al goals. We learned how to write per­sua­sive­ly. We learned the dif­fer­ent ways peo­ple or orga­ni­za­tions could per­suade us. We learned to apply crit­i­cal think­ing and a healthy dose of skep­ti­cism. Decades lat­er, […]

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Fairy Tales Can Come True

Once upon a time, an author wrote three books about a fourth-grad­er named Ida May who had friend­ship trou­bles. One friend moved away, leav­ing Ida May feel­ing unhap­py and untrust­ing. That sto­ry is told in My Last Best Friend. An intrigu­ing and adven­tur­ous girl moves to town and Ida May is excit­ed about My New […]

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Where Lifelong Readers Begin

When my sec­ond grade teacher took our class­room to the school library, I thought I had dis­cov­ered the great­est place on earth. A room filled with books, more books than I had ever seen in one place. I remem­ber that room well. Sud­den­ly, mov­ing from my small home­town in Wis­con­sin to the over­whelm­ing big city […]

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Monday Morning Roundup

We’re a lit­tle behind time today. CLN has entered the world of cloud com­put­ing … Steve spent the week­end mov­ing all 25,000 pages, pho­tos, blogs, and pho­tos to the CLN Cloud. Doesn’t that sound rest­ful? For you, we hope it means the pages will load faster, videos will run more smooth­ly, and you’ll enjoy hang­ing […]

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The Nature of Humor

I’ve been pon­der­ing the many ques­tions I have about the nature of humor as the Chap­ter & Verse Book Clubs pre­pare to dis­cuss next week the book Fun­ny Busi­ness: Con­ver­sa­tions with Writ­ers of Com­e­dy, com­piled and edit­ed by Leonard S. Mar­cus (Can­dlewick Press). Wher­ev­er we go, teach­ers and librarians—and parents—ask for more fun­ny and light-heart­ed […]

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On Your Bedside Table

Mem­bers have writ­ten to tell us about the books that are cur­rent­ly on their bed­side tables. I’m in the midst of five books, so it’s good to gath­er more titles. Who knows when I’ll run out of some­thing to read? (Is that the ground lev­el ques­tion of the booka­holic?) From Lau­ra Pur­die Salas: After Ever […]

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Punctuation Pastiche

In one part of my life, I am an edi­tor (no pulse quick­en­ing, please—not for children’s lit­er­a­ture). Punc­tu­a­tion makes me hap­py. I can­not read a book with­out notic­ing the punc­tu­a­tion: how it’s used, how it’s mis­used, and how I would have done it dif­fer­ent­ly. I have New York­er car­toons about punc­tu­a­tion hang­ing over my desk. […]

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Monday Morning Roundup

A CLN wel­come to author Cyn­thia Cot­ten, our newest mem­ber. Cyn­dy lives in Vir­ginia. Her books include Rain Play (illus by Java­ka Step­toe, Holt), Abbie in Stitch­es (illus by Beth Peck, FS&G), and Snow Ponies (illus by Jason Cock­croft, Holt). I’m look­ing for­ward to the Ramona and Beezus movie due to release on July 23rd. […]

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A Writing Tip

In Leonard Mar­cus’ inter­view with author Bev­er­ly Cleary, which you’ll find while read­ing one of this month’s Chap­ter & Verse Book Club selec­tions, Fun­ny Busi­ness: Con­ver­sa­tions with Writ­ers of Com­e­dy, she pass­es along a won­der­ful tip for prompt­ing kids (and oth­ers) to write. Q: In the Ramona books, Beezus wor­ries about not hav­ing enough imag­i­na­tion. […]

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Everything We Know

Syn­chronic­i­ty. We mark its occur­rence by say­ing the word out loud, not ful­ly grasp­ing its pow­er but under­stand­ing that we are hon­or­ing a con­flu­ence in our lives. There are three con­trib­u­tors to my con­flu­ence: Ani­ta Sil­vey, Wen­dell Minor, and Kather­ine House. Last fall, Ani­ta Sil­vey’s book Every­thing I Need to Know I Learned from a […]

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Bank Street’s 2010 Choices

We eager­ly await the annu­al list of books cho­sen by the Bank Street Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion as books that work well with chil­dren from birth to age 14. Each year, the Children’s Book Com­mit­tee reviews over 6000 titles each year for accu­ra­cy and lit­er­ary qual­i­ty and con­sid­ers their emo­tion­al impact on chil­dren. It choos­es the […]

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Monday Morning Round-Up

From Wen­dell Minor comes this news (applause, please),  “It′s offi­cial: the orig­i­nal art from Look to the Stars will be includ­ed in the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of The New Britain Muse­um of Amer­i­can Art, and the orig­i­nal art from Abra­ham Lin­coln Comes Home will be includ­ed in the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of The Nor­man Rock­well Muse­um. Watch […]

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Free Comic Book Day

Tomor­row. May 1st. At a com­ic book store near you. Zowee! Have you been made aware that May 1st is inter­na­tion­al Free Com­ic Book Day? Fly like a super­hero to this web­site for all of the details. You can enter your zip­code in the left­hand col­umn to get a list of par­tic­i­pat­ing stores near you. […]

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2010 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards

What a plea­sure it is each year to dis­cov­er which books the Jane Addams Peace Asso­ci­a­tion has cho­sen to hon­or. Since 1953, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annu­al­ly acknowl­edges books meet­ing stan­dards of lit­er­ary and artis­tic excel­lence, pub­lished in the U.S., with themes or top­ics that engage chil­dren in think­ing about peace, jus­tice, world […]

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Hitting a Home Run

It’s still April and I’m still feel­ing crazy about base­ball. The first Ron Koertge book I read was Shake­speare Bats Cleanup (pub­lished by Can­dlewick Press in 2006). He tried sev­er­al tricky writ­ing tasks in that book and I fin­ished it with a sense of admi­ra­tion for his skill as a writer. Koertge hit a triple. […]

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Aliens and Nature

My thanks to Kather­ine House, who sent word that illus­tra­tor John Schoen­herr passed away on April 8th at the age of 74. I have admired his work in two fields for many years—I am sad­dened by the loss of this prodi­gious and pio­neer­ing tal­ent. Born in 1935, Mr. Schoen­herr (he was known as Jack) grew […]

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Monday Morning Roundup

Bar­bara O’Connor’s book How to Steal a Dog is a real children’s favorite. This book about a home­less girl’s plan to save her fam­i­ly by steal­ing a dog has, to date, been nom­i­nat­ed in twen­­ty-one states for a children’s choice award. We’ve recent­ly learned that the book is a win­ner in three states, receiv­ing the […]

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Celebrating Earth Day

How did you cel­e­brate? How about your class­room? Your library? Your fam­i­ly? We went to Joyce Sid­man’s pub­li­ca­tion par­ty for Ubiq­ui­tous: Cel­e­brat­ing Nature’s Sur­vivors (Houghton Mif­flin), illus­trat­ed with linoleum block prints by Becky Prange, who lives in Ely, Min­neso­ta, and was trained as a sci­en­tif­ic illus­tra­tor. When Joyce explained how Becky cre­at­ed the amaz­ing time­line […]

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Baseball Crazy

Yup. I admit it. I am base­ball crazy. I have been since my mom took me to games at Met­ro­pol­i­tan Sta­di­um in Bloom­ing­ton, Min­neso­ta, to see the new­ly arrived Min­neso­ta Twins. And this year the Twins have out­door base­ball for the first time since 1982. It’s no won­der “base­ball aware­ness” is height­ened at this time […]

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Jordan Sonnenblick

Some­times it’s about being behind in my read­ing. I’m final­ly get­ting to the lev­el in my read­ing pile occu­pied by Jor­dan Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls, & Dan­ger­ous Pie. In truth, I’ve moved the book down a few times, not feel­ing strong enough to read a book about leukemia. I’m sure you understand—there are cer­tain times when […]

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Best Read-Aloud Picture Books

Read­ing out loud is a low-cost, high-pay­back activ­i­ty. It ben­e­fits both the read­er and the lis­ten­er. Life­long bonds are often formed between peo­ple who engage in this activ­i­ty. Make read­ing out loud a can’t-miss half hour in your home, class­room, day­care, place of wor­ship, library, or work­place. The results may sur­prise you. “Best Read Aloud […]

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Libraries are Essential

This is Nation­al Library Week. It’s a great time to reflect on how much libraries mean to each and every one of us. Pub­lic libraries are the only place where every­one in the U.S. can access infor­ma­tion for free … with help from a knowl­edge­able librar­i­an. School libraries offer a safe and won­drous refuge for […]

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Rambling Around

Oh, how I love the Vin­tage Kid­s’ Books My Kid Loves blog. A feast for the eyes, I enjoy the rich­ness of these illus­tra­tions and the mem­o­ries they stir. Not of my own child­hood. I had curi­ous­ly few books, pri­mar­i­ly those that could be pur­chased at a gro­cery store or dime store. These are books […]

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Controlled vocabulary

These two words always make me shud­der. I know there are sound ped­a­gog­i­cal rea­sons for this con­cept, but it arous­es images of fences and cat­tle prods and all mat­ter of uncom­fort­able con­straints. Vocab­u­lary is the last thing we should con­trol. One of my ear­li­est mem­o­ries is walk­ing around the house repeat­ing a word over and […]

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Humorist, screenwriter, biographer, magician, novelist

I’ve just fin­ished read­ing Sid Fleischman’s new biog­ra­phy, Sir Char­lie, Chap­lin: the Fun­ni­est Man in the World. It’s due to be pub­lished in June by Green­wil­low Books. I nev­er had the hon­or of meet­ing Mr. Fleis­chman, but through his books, par­tic­u­lar­ly his biogra­phies, I have a sense of the man. His inter­ests were wide, his […]

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Monday morning roundup

Hey, Joyce Sid­man, your new book, Ubiq­ui­tous, has done the Most Unusu­al … five starred reviews! In 2009, only 13 books received five starred reviews (if you’re curi­ous, check out the See­ing Stars 2009 doc­u­ment, stored on Radar, the CLN mem­bers’ home page). Book­list, The Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, Pub­lish­ers Week­ly, and School Library Jour­nal […]

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