Reflecting on a request from the editor after blurbing a book
If you’ve ever dipped a toe into the children’s book publishing world, you’ve probably heard cautionary tales about writing in rhyme. In short, most insiders say, “Please don’t rhyme.”
Flyways? Up until this moment, I confess I had a relatively elementary-school-like understanding of how and why birds migrate. Join me in learning more.
This much-anticipated froggy season and this week’s World Frog Day mark a time of increased appreciation for our amphibian neighbors. It’s the perfect time to study frogs
I’m not certain, but I suspect stories have played significant roles in the lives of most librarians. We are story people, after all — their sacred keepers, and we delight in helping others discover their wonders.
Spring is in the air, and we’re pulled outdoors to wander in our favorite city parks. Ducks are dabbling; frogs are trilling; the apple trees are bursting into bloom. Everywhere, it seems, children frolic and neighbors wave. It’s been a long winter, but our cities are alive.
Today, writing about nature and outdoor play just feels as natural and right to me as breathing. All my happy memories of chasing frogs, climbing trees, and splashing in summer lakes easily inform the stories I write.
“Fantasy and feeling lie deeper than words… and both demand a more profound, more biological expression, the primitive expression of music.” (Maurice Sendak in “The Shape of Music”) Tied up in knots — nots — er — words? Are sentences slithering past you and paragraphs parachuting from your brain? If so, maybe it’s time to step away from the writing task, or any chore
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 I first started playing,
A few months ago my daughter, Aliza, came over after an evening out with her work friends. Aliza told us she and her friends had gone to the Minneapolis Bouldering Project or MBP, an indoor climbing gym where people climb “circuits” of up to 17 feet high without ropes or harnesses. She was so excited
As authors, we send our books out into the world and, if we’re lucky, they connect us to good people whose paths we wouldn’t otherwise cross. For 28 years, Dinner at the Panda Palace has been my excellent emissary. Dinner at the Panda Palace started as a simple counting and sorting book with lots of animals and a party atmosphere
Bridging the Gap Between My Writing and Reading Selves:
an Author’s Experience of Recording an Audiobook
“The woman who read Climbing the Stairs aloud did a great job,” my friend said. She was telling me, with delight, how her children and their friends — two girls and two boys — listened with rapt attention to the audio book version of my debut novel, refusing to get out of the car when the trip ended but the
I didn’t even ask why I was turning into Holden Caulfield. I was fifteen, a brochure girl for postwar innocence. And I was a farm kid, three thousand miles away from Holden’s Manhattan; I took violin lessons, rode my bike through orchards, memorized social studies facts, picked strawberries to make money, earned Camp Fire Girl honor beads. I also sought the right
As I write this, Minnesota is in line to get hit with another Major Winter Storm. I know many of you in the northern latitudes can sympathize as we’ve all been hit, but it’s mid-April, and even by Minnesota standards, this is demoralizing. Proms are being cancelled this weekend, the grocery stores are crazy, everyone’s watching the
I loved first grade. Fifty-one years later, I still have vivid memories of my teacher, Miss Follett. She played the piano every day. She read to us from her giant book of poetry. She showed us photos of her trips to exotic places, like Alaska and Hawaii. At Halloween we screamed in terror and delight when she