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Curiouser and Curiouser

One Summer Up North

Curiouser and Curiouser with John Owens

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 the illus­tra­tions … and there are no words!… more

The Shared Room

Curiouser and Curiouser with Kao Kalia Yang

When A Map into the World found its way to my desk last year, I had to remind myself to breathe. This gem of a book cap­tures feel­ings of love and friend­ship in a way that cross­es gen­er­a­tions and speaks to each of our hearts. What else had she writ­ten, I won­dered? Her mem­oir for grownups, The Late­home­com­er: a Hmong Fam­i­ly Mem­oir, caused quite a stir when it was pub­lished in 2009.… more

Lee Bennett Hopkins

Curiouser and Curiouser with Lee Bennett Hopkins

As I read each of Lee Ben­nett Hop­kins’ col­lec­tions of poet­ry, I find my curios­i­ty piqued: “How does he do this?” When I was a grad stu­dent, I came across Mr. Hop­kins’ book, Books Are by Peo­ple: inter­views with 104 authors and illus­tra­tors of books for young chil­dren. Those inter­views pro­voked my imag­i­na­tion and pro­pelled my career.… more

Paul O. Zelinsky

Curiouser and Curiouser with Paul O. Zelinsky

Read­ing and admir­ing the books of Paul O. Zelin­sky rais­es my curios­i­ty. How does he work on the illus­tra­tions for his own books and those of oth­er authors? What is he think­ing about when he evolves his unfor­get­table char­ac­ters? Of his newest book, All-of-a-Kind Fam­i­ly Hanukkah (writ­ten by Emi­ly Jenk­ins), Mr. Zelin­sky says, “Now that I’m done, when I con­sid­er how I worked on these pic­tures, try­ing to rough them up when they got too smooth, to flat­ten them out when they got too round, to main­tain a sense of tex­ture through­out, I think that per­haps what I was real­ly try­ing do was rep­re­sent the qual­i­ties of a good pota­to latke!… more

Melissa Stewart

Curiouser and Curiouser with Melissa Stewart

This month we’re fea­tur­ing Melis­sa Stew­art, author of sci­ence books for young read­ers and a seem­ing­ly tire­less advo­cate for read­ing non­fic­tion books, par­tic­u­lar­ly expos­i­to­ry non­fic­tion (“5 Kinds of Non­fic­tion”). Melis­sa has writ­ten more than 180 books in her career, the first of which was pub­lished in 1998 and the most recent of which is Pipsqueaks, Slow­pokes, and Stinkers: Cel­e­brat­ing Ani­mal Under­dogs (illus­trat­ed by Stephanie Laberis, pub­lished by Peachtree Pub­lish­ers).… more