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Candice Ransom

Candice Ransom

One green thing I wish every­one would do:  Give up plas­tic bags. It’s hard, I know, to remem­ber to car­ry a bag into a store. I wish we could give up oth­er forms of plas­tic, like the blis­ter packs encas­ing every­thing from Bar­bie dolls to Bic pens. Back in the days of five and ten stores, it was so nice to sim­ply pick an item out of a bin or off a shelf, pay for it, and not wres­tle with tin snips to get it open.
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Caren Stelson

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 in the city of Boston. In
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Lesa Cline-Ransome

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Author Lesa Cline-Ran­some is known for her pic­ture book biogra­phies of poets, anti-slav­ery cru­saders, musi­cians, ath­letes, and math­e­mati­cians. Her nov­el Find­ing Langston received a Scott O’Dell His­tor­i­cal Fic­tion Award and a Coret­ta Scott King Author Hon­or. We impa­tient­ly wait­ed for the com­pan­ion nov­el, Leav­ing Lymon, which was pub­lished in ear­ly 2020. Lesa is a won­der­ful sto­ry­teller and a stel­lar non­fic­tion researcher and author.… more
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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, we’re thank­ful Jen took time from her sched­ule to answer our Skin­ny Dip questions. … more
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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 FarmSheep­ish, and The Com­pas­sion­ate Car­ni­vore.… more
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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 Arts’ Mas­ter of Fine Arts in Writ­ing for Chil­dren and Young Adults pro­gram but now she lives full-time in Texas.… more
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Caroline B. Cooney

Caroline B. Cooney

To begin our year of Skinny Dippin' for 2020, and in the coldest month of the year (brrrrr), we interviewed Caroline B. Cooney, the author of so many beloved books.
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Cheryl Minnema

Cheryl Minnema

This month we welcome author Cheryl Minnema to our Skinny Dip tradition, learning more about this Ojibwe author who has published two picture books, Hungry Johnny and Johnny's Pheasant.
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Brian P. Cleary

Skinny Dip with Brian P. Cleary

We're pleased to welcome author and poet Brian P. Cleary for a Skinny Dip this month. His books have made kids guffaw and chortle, all while learning parts of grammar or math! Impossible, you say? Not for Brian, whose brain just works this way.
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Sarah Sullivan

Skinny Dip with Sarah Sullivan

Bookol­o­gy is delight­ed to wel­come author Sarah Sul­li­van for an Octo­ber Skin­ny Dip. Look for Sarah’s A Day for Skat­ing, illus­trat­ed by Made­line Valen­tine (Can­dlewick Press, avail­able Novem­ber 5th), a love­ly book to read out loud before you go skat­ing or to explain what skat­ing is. Sarah’s pic­ture book Pass­ing the Music Down is a much-praised sto­ry about old-time fid­dlers inspired by the lives of renowned fid­dlers Melvin Wine and Jake Krack.… more
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Carla Killough McClafferty

Skinny Dip with Carla McClafferty

We’re pleased to wel­come author Car­la Kil­lough McClaf­fer­ty to our Skin­ny Dip col­umn. She is known for her fine and care­ful­ly researched non­fic­tion books, such as The Many Faces of George Wash­ing­ton: Remak­ing a Pres­i­den­tial Icon; Some­thing Out of Noth­ing: Marie Curie and Radi­um; Fourth Down and Inch­es: Con­cus­sions and Foot­bal­l’s Make-or-Break Moment and her most recent Buried Lives: The Enslaved Peo­ple of George Wash­ing­ton’s Mount Ver­non.… more
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Padma Venkatraman

Skinny Dip with Padma Venkatraman

We’re pleased to wel­come author Pad­ma Venka­tra­man, whose every nov­el I have found delight­ful. Her per­spec­tives as a world cit­i­zen and an oceanog­ra­ph­er and a per­son who cares fer­vent­ly about chil­dren’s well-being give a pow­er­ful depth to her writ­ing. We asked Pad­ma to answer the Skin­ny Dip ques­tions that appealed to her: How many book­cas­es do you have in your house?more
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Skinny Dip with Nicola Davies

We’re pleased to wel­come author Nico­la Davies to our Skin­ny Dip col­umn. She writes such fine books about our nat­ur­al world. Her most recent book, The Day War Came (Can­dlewick Press), relates the sto­ry of a refugee child who real­izes that war fol­lows her in the closed doors and turned backs. It is through the kind­ness of oth­er chil­dren that she finds hope.… more
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Kara LaReau

Skinny Dip with Kara LaReau

We’re pleased to con­nect you with author (and edi­tor) Kara LaReau, whose two book series, The Infa­mous Rat­sos and The Unin­ten­tion­al Adven­tures of the Bland Sis­ters, are tick­ling read­ers’ fun­ny­bones and stir­ring their sense of adven­ture. She was an edi­tor for ten years, edit­ing some of our most-loved books such as Because of Winn-Dix­ie and the Mer­cy Wat­son series.… more
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C.M. Surrisi

Skinny Dip with C.M. Surrisi

Have you read the Quin­nie Boyd mid­dle-grade mys­ter­ies? The May­pop Kid­nap­ping, Vam­pires on the Run, and A Side of Sab­o­tage? I dis­cov­ered them this spring and I stayed up sev­er­al nights to read them. The author of those books, C.M. Sur­risi, is just as inter­est­ing as you’d think the writer who dreamed up Quin­nie, her friends, and her vil­lage in Maine would be.… more
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Skinny Dip with Phuoc Thi Minh Tran

We are pleased to Skin­ny Dip with Phuoc Thi Minh Tran this week. As a librar­i­an, author, sto­ry­teller, and moth­er, she adds her per­spec­tive to the rich­ly tex­tured quilt of books for children. What’s the weird­est place you’ve ever read a book? In the hos­pi­tal, I read my new­ly released book My First Book of Viet­namese Words : An ABC Rhyming Book of Lan­guage and Cul­ture to my 94-year-old father-in-law as a bed­time sto­ry.… more
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Becky Kruger

Skinny Dip with Becky Kruger

We are so for­tu­nate to have ded­i­cat­ed and inspir­ing librar­i­an edu­ca­tors work­ing with chil­dren in many schools through­out our land. Becky Kruger not only serves as the librar­i­an at Ray Miller Ele­men­tary School in Mis­souri but she also helps orga­nize the annu­al Tru­man State Uni­ver­si­ty Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Festival. Which book you read as a child has most influ­enced your life?more
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Pat Schmatz

Skinny Dip with 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 book? more
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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 Val­ley.… more
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Jerdine Nolen

Skinny Dip with 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 book is in a clos­et.… more
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Lester Laminack

Skinny Dip with Lester Laminack

Lester Lam­i­nack is sought after as a speak­er in school dis­tricts all over the coun­try. A retired pro­fes­sor, active­ly involved in lit­er­a­cy on many lev­els, he’s thought­ful, artic­u­late, and has a sparkling sense of humor.  We’re pleased that this very busy author and speak­er took time to share his thoughts with Bookol­o­gy’s read­ers this month. What’s the weird­est place you’ve ever read a book? more
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Laura Purdie Salas

Skinny Dip with Laura Purdie Salas

Lau­ra Pur­die Salas is a poet, a researcher, and a pop­u­lar vis­it­ing author in ele­men­tary and mid­dle schools. Sev­er­al of her books have turned heads and stirred up a buzz, includ­ing Water Can Be … and If You Were the Moon. She has pub­lished many books about writ­ing for chil­dren and fre­quent­ly speaks at con­fer­ences.… more
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Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Skinny Dip with Lisa Bullard

Lisa Bullard is a well-respect­ed writ­ing teacher in Min­neso­ta and beyond, hav­ing shared her wis­dom and her sense of humor about writ­ing with class­rooms full of adults and chil­dren (usu­al­ly not at the same time). She has two books on writ­ing, one for adults (Get Start­ed in Writ­ing for Chil­dren) and one for chil­dren (You Can Write a Sto­ry!more
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Brenda Sederberg

Skinny Dip with Brenda Sederberg

Brenda Sederberg is the current facilitator of the Chapter & Verse Book Club in Duluth, Minnesota. She's an enthusiastic reader and wonderfully avid about sharing the books she reads. A retired teacher, she continues to inspire learning wherever she goes.
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DeDe Small

Skinny Dip with DeDe Small

DeDe Small shares her enthu­si­asm about books, read­ing, and lit­er­a­cy with her stu­dents at Drake Uni­ver­si­ty in Des Moines, Iowa. We invit­ed DeDe to Skin­ny Dip with us, our first inter­view in the New Year. When did you first start read­ing books?  I don’t actu­al­ly remem­ber learn­ing to read but I do always remem­ber hav­ing books. I even came up with my own cat­a­loging sys­tem in the lat­er ele­men­tary grades.… more
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Kelly Starling Lyons

Skinny Dip with Kelly Starling Lyons

You may know Kel­ly Star­ling Lyons for One Mil­lion Men and Me or Tea Cakes for Tosh or Ellen’s Broom, mem­o­rable pic­ture books, but we’re cel­e­brat­ing her new chap­ter books star­ring Jada Jones! Thanks, Kel­ly, for tak­ing a Skin­ny Dip with us in December. Who was your favorite teacher in grades K‑7 and why? That’s a tough ques­tion.… more
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Sarah Aronson

Skinny Dip with Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aron­son’s most recent books, The Worst Fairy God­moth­er Ever (The Wish List #1, Beach Lane Books) and Keep Calm and Sparkle On! (The Wish List #2) are at once light­heart­ed and seri­ous — sto­ries that are fun to read and encour­age work­ing for caus­es that mat­ter to the world. Sarah is wide­ly known in the chil­dren’s book writ­ing com­mu­ni­ty as an enthu­si­as­tic and effec­tive writ­ing instruc­tor.… more
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Mira Bartók

Skinny Dip with Mira Bartók

Mira Bartók, author and illus­tra­tor, recent­ly ush­ered The Won­der­ling into the world and it is already on sev­er­al best of 2017 book lists. Con­grat­u­la­tions, Mira, and thanks for shar­ing your respons­es with our readers. When did you first start read­ing books? Age 4. All-time favorite book? The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Favorite break­fast or lunch as a kid? Lunch: grilled cheese sand­wich, mashed pota­toes, and choco­late milk!… more
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Susan Yutzey

Skinny Dip with Susan Yutzey

Susan Yutzey worked as an Ohio school librar­i­an for many years, serv­ing in local, state, and nation­al lead­er­ship posi­tions. Now retired, she con­tin­ues to be a tire­less advo­cate for school libraries and librarians. Who was your favorite teacher in grades K‑7 and why? Ms. D’Angelo was my sev­enth grade teacher. I was a new stu­dent at Edith A.… more
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Skinny Dip with Anne Broyles

Author Anne Broyles is a world trav­el­er, explor­er, and social jus­tice advo­cate who writes books about his­tor­i­cal jour­neys, fam­i­ly tra­di­tions, and the immi­grant experience.  Who was your favorite teacher in grades K‑7 and why? My fifth grade teacher at Schu­mak­er Ele­men­tary School, Mr. George Willems, encour­aged me to think of myself as a writer through our week­ly writ­ing assign­ments.… more
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Patti Lapp

Skinny Dip with Patti Lapp

A ded­i­cat­ed edu­ca­tor in Penn­syl­va­nia, we invit­ed Pat­ti Lapp to answer our twen­ty Skin­ny Dip questions.  Who was your favorite teacher in grades K‑7 and why? Mr. Jor­dan was my favorite teacher who taught 7th grade. He was fun­ny and straight­for­ward; all of us stu­dents respect­ed him, and he cer­tain­ly kept every­one in line. I attend­ed a Catholic school, and he was unique in that setting.… more
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Cathy Camper

Skinny Dip with Cathy Camper

Are you fans of the Lowrid­ers graph­ic nov­els? We are! And we can’t wait for the next one. The author who thinks up those great sto­ries is Cathy Camper. We invit­ed her to Skin­ny Dip with the Bookol­o­gist … and she said yes! When we asked her point­ed ques­tions, here’s what she had to say. Favorite break­fast or lunch as a kid? more
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Suzanne Costner

Skinny Dip with Suzanne Costner

We’re thrilled to Skin­ny Dip with out­stand­ing edu­ca­tor Suzanne Cost­ner, Thanks to Suzanne for answer our ques­tions dur­ing her very busy end-of-the-school-year hours. Who was your favorite teacher in grades K‑7 and why?  My favorite teacher was Mrs. Hill in 4th grade. She read to us every day after lunch: Stu­art Lit­tle, Where the Red Fern Grows, James and the Giant Peach.… more
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Aimee Bissonette

Skinny Dip with Aimée Bissonette

We’re thrilled to Skin­ny Dip with Aimée Bis­sonette, who is the author of two acclaimed pic­ture books so far, North Woods Girl (Min­neso­ta His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety Press) and Miss Col­fax’s Light (Sleep­ing Bear Press). Thanks to Aor tak­ing time away from writ­ing and work to answer Bookol­o­gy’s ques­tions! When did you first start read­ing books? My best friend, Lyn, taught me to read when I was 5 years old.… more
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Susan Latta

Skinny Dip with Susan Latta

This week we’re all set to Skin­ny Dip with Susan Lat­ta, who is cel­e­brat­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of her first trade book on Sep­tem­ber 1st, Bold Women of Med­i­cine: 21 Sto­ries of Astound­ing Dis­cov­er­ies, Dar­ing Surg­eries, and Heal­ing Break­throughs (Chica­go Review Press). With his­tor­i­cal to con­tem­po­rary biogra­phies of women who have found cures, advanced med­i­cine, and tend­ed to the sick with com­pas­sion, Susan has writ­ten an inspir­ing book that teen read­ers will find fas­ci­nat­ing.… more
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Loni Niles

Skinny Dip with Loni Niles

We inter­viewed Loni Niles, K‑12 media spe­cial­ist in the Wade­na-Deer Creek pub­lic schools in west cen­tral Min­neso­ta. She shared her thoughts about books and life. What is your favorite late-night snack? I love pop­corn and can eat it any time dur­ing the day, even for breakfast! Favorite city to visit? Chica­go. Even though we moved from there when I was just a baby, I still take some pride that I was born there! … more
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Mike Wohnoutka

Skinny Dip with Mike Wohnoutka

We inter­viewed Mike Wohnout­ka, chil­dren’s book illus­tra­tor, wide­ly known for his books Dad’s First Day, Moo!, and Lit­tle Pup­py and the Big Green Mon­ster. (Mike’s last name is pro­nounced wuh-noot-kuh.) Which book do you find your­self rec­om­mend­ing passionately? Pic­ture books in gen­er­al. I often hear par­ents say their chil­dren are too old for pic­ture books.… more
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April Whatley Bedford

Skinny Dip with April Whatley Bedford

We inter­viewed April What­ley Bed­ford, life­long read­er, cur­rent­ly the Dean of the School of Edu­ca­tion at Brook­lyn College. Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop? Can I choose two? I would love to have cof­fee with Michelle and Barack Oba­ma, either togeth­er or indi­vid­u­al­ly. I’m sure I’m not alone in this answer, but there are no two peo­ple I admire more in the world, and I also believe we would laugh a lot dur­ing our conversations.… more
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Nancy Peterson

Skinny Dip with Nancy Peterson

We inter­viewed Nan­cy Peter­son, EdD, pro­fes­sor of ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion at Utah Val­ley Uni­ver­si­ty and co-chair of UVU’s annu­al Forum on Engaged Read­ing “For the Love of Read­ing” con­fer­ence and retreat.  Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop? I recent­ly learned that Patrick Hen­ry (Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War Patri­ot) is one of my ances­tors.… more
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Skinny Dip with Linda Sue Park

We inter­viewed Lin­da Sue Park, vet­er­an author and New­bery medal­ist, whose books have inspired chil­dren in many ways, appeal­ing to a wide range of read­ers with books like A Sin­gle Shard, The Mul­ber­ry Project, Keep­ing Score, Yaks Yak, and A Long Walk to Water. Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop?… more
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Caren Stelson

Skinny Dip with Caren Stelson

We inter­viewed Caren Stel­son, first-time author, whose non­fic­tion book Sachiko: a Nagasa­ki Bomb Sur­vivor Sto­ry has received a good deal of pos­i­tive recog­ni­tion, includ­ing the longlist for the Nation­al Book Award and inclu­sion on many Best Books of 2016 lists. (Her name is pro­nounced just as you would say Karen.) Which celebri­ty would invite you like to invite to a cof­fee shop?more
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Janet Taylor Lisle

Skinny Dip with Janet Taylor Lisle

For this inter­view, we chat with Janet Tay­lor Lisle, New­bery Hon­or-win­ning author of After­noon of the Elves, the Scott O’Dell Award-win­ning The Art of Keep­ing Cool, and the thriller Black Duck, along with many oth­er read­er favorites. Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop? I’m quite sure Emi­ly Dick­in­son, shy and secre­tive as she was, would nev­er invite me to a cof­fee shop, but per­haps I could slip a note under her door in Amherst, Mass­a­chu­setts and beg for a vis­it.… more
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Ed Spicer

Skinny Dip with Ed Spicer

For this inter­view, we vis­it with Ed Spicer, edu­ca­tor, author, cur­ricu­lum guide writer, and ALA com­mit­tee mem­ber many times over. Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop? I would love to spend some time in a con­fi­den­tial, friend­ly chat with Michelle Obama. Which book do you find your­self rec­om­mend­ing passionately?more
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Cynthia Grady

Skinny Dip with Cynthia Grady

We visit with Cynthia Grady, author and librarian, at her home in New Mexico. She tells us her favorite childhood candy, the person she'd ask to meet her at a coffee shop, and much more.
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Debby Dahl Edwardson

Skinny Dip with Debby Dahl Edwardson

For this inter­view, we vis­it with Deb­by Dahl Edward­son, author of the Nation­al Book Award final­ist My Name is Not Easy and co-founder of the Loon­Song Writ­ers’ Retreat. Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop?
Anne Lam­ott. I feel like I already know her so well though her books that I would actu­al­ly feel com­fort­able with this kind of meet­ing, which is a bit out of my com­fort zone, for sure.… more
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Heidi Hammond

Skinny Dip with Heidi Hammond

For this inter­view, we vis­it with Hei­di Ham­mond, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at St. Cather­ine Uni­ver­si­ty in the MLIS pro­gram, long-time school librar­i­an, and author of Read­ing the Art in Calde­cott Award Books: a Guide to the Illus­tra­tions, along with co-author Gail D. Nordstrom. Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop?more
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Pamela S. Turner

Skinny Dip with Pamela S. Turner

For this inter­view, we vis­it with Pamela S. Turn­er, chil­dren’s book author with two new books out in 2016, Samu­rai Ris­ing: The Epic Life of Minamo­to Yoshit­sune and Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Bright­est Bird: Which celebri­ty, liv­ing or not, do you wish would invite you to a cof­fee shop?
Sir Richard Fran­cis Bur­ton, the Vic­to­ri­an anthro­pol­o­gist, trans­la­tor, lin­guist, and African explor­er.… more
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Mélina Mangal

Skinny Dip with Mélina Mangal

For this inter­view, we vis­it with Méli­na Man­gal, chil­dren’s book author and librarian: What’s your favorite late-night snack? My favorite ANYTIME snack is white ched­dar pop­corn.   Most cher­ished child­hood memory?  Roam­ing through the north woods, climb­ing trees with my sis­ter and broth­ers.  I loved being out­doors so much.  Illustrator’s work you most admire?  There are so many illus­tra­tors I admire, such as Leo and Diane Dil­lon, whose vast body of work has inspired sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions. … more
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