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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

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Marsha Wilson Chall and Jill Davis

Relevance: 100%      Posted on: July 27, 2016

The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo

I recently had the honor of interviewing Marsha Wilson Chall, the author of the new picture book, The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo, and her editor, Jill Davis.Marsha Wilson Chall grew up an only child in Minnesota, where her father told her the best stories. The author of many picture books, including Up North at the Cabin, One Pup's Up, and Pick a Pup, Marsha teaches writing at Hamline University's MFAC program in St. Paul, Minnesota. She lives on a small farm west of Minneapolis with her husband, dog, barn cats, and books.Jill Davis has been an executive editor in children’s…

Spend the Day with Arnold Lobel

Relevance: 94%      Posted on: February 28, 2018

Phyllis: February is the month of valentines and lovers, and we spent a day (through his books) with someone we love: Arnold Lobel. He wrote easy reader stories that help children crack the code of reading, give them fun stories with characters who remind us of people we know and that give readers of all ages plenty to think about. In his fifty-four years, he illustrated almost a hundred children’s stories and wrote many of them. An editor once, when asked if Arnold Lobel was more like Frog or Toad, responded, after thinking about it, that he is more like Owl.…

Skinny Dip with Marsha Qualey

Relevance: 89%      Posted on: March 15, 2016

Marsha Qualey

 Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? Joni. And I’d come prepared with questions about her painting, not her music, because then, just maybe, she’d see beyond the gobsmacked fan. Maybe she’d draw something on a napkin for me.  If she didn’t show, I’d be okay because I’d have a back-up date with Louisa May. What’s your favorite late-night snack?Buttered toast, but I can’t indulge that often now. Once upon a time, though, it was a nightly thing. Then when I was diagnosed with celiac disease I went years without it because the…

From the Editor: Welcome

Relevance: 26%      Posted on: March 3, 2015


by Marsha Qualey Welcome to Bookology. What 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…

From the Editor

Relevance: 24%      Posted on: April 7, 2015

Dog and bird

by Marsha Qualey 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…

From the Editor

Relevance: 23%      Posted on: June 2, 2015

by Marsha QualeyThe 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…

From the Editor

Relevance: 23%      Posted on: July 7, 2015

by Marsha QualeyI 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…

From the Editor

Relevance: 23%      Posted on: December 8, 2015

by Marsha QualeyHere 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…

From the Editor

Relevance: 22%      Posted on: May 5, 2015

 by Marsha QualeyHappy 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…

School Desegregation in Children’s Literature

Relevance: 21%      Posted on: August 4, 2015

by The BookologistIn this month's "From the Editor," Marsha Qualey share's scholar Rudine Sims Bishop's observation that while there are many nonfiction books for children and YAs about the civil rights events of the 1950s, not too many authors have tackled the topics in fiction. One exception might be school desegregation/integration,which is the focus of this month's timeline. We've included one of the first books to deal with desegregation after Brown vs. The Board of Education (1954), a few from the boundary-pushing era of "problem novels," and some recent titles, which are of course also problem novels (what novel isn't!) but with…