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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Reading Ahead

Explorer Academy

Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret

Explor­er Acad­e­my: The Neb­u­la Secret Tru­di Truett illus­trat­ed by Scott Plumbe (with a blend of pho­tos) Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Part­ners, 2018 ISBN 978−1−4263−3159−6 Done with the Har­ry Pot­ter series, maybe not quite ready for the Alex Rid­er series, what do you sug­gest? Explor­er Acad­e­my. Emphat­i­cal­ly.  The book opens in Hawaii, where Cruz Coro­n­a­do (not quite 13) […]

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imagine

There are times when I open a new book that my pulse quick­ens and times when I need to be con­vinced. Some­times I can sense myself slid­ing com­fort­ably into the sur­round­ings of a pic­ture book, feel­ing wel­comed, under­stand­ing every­thing about the book because it is so well craft­ed. That’s this book. First off, this is an […]

Anna and Johanna

Anna and Johanna

Anna and Johan­na: a Children’s Book Inspired by Ver­meer Geral­dine Elschn­er illus­trat­ed by Flo­rence Koenig Pres­tel Pub­lish­ing, 2018 pub­lished in French in 2016 ISBN 978−3−7913−7345−4 Delft. Delft blue. The book begins with blue and yel­low. 1666. Two friends born on the same day. This day, their birth­day. They are each mak­ing gifts for the oth­er. […]

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Summer Reading

When I say “sum­mer read­ing,” you think about … a good nov­el, right? I have a cou­ple of sug­ges­tions. Every kid should have these two books tucked in their beach bags, ready for a car trip, or packed for sum­mer camp. Seri­ous­ly. In between the read­ing out loud of those nov­els you’ve been sav­ing up […]

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What’s So Special about Shakespeare?

We cel­e­brate William Shakespeare’s birth­day on April 23rd (or there­abouts). Con­sid­er read­ing excerpts of this book to your class­es. In What’s So Spe­cial about Shake­speare?, the author, Michael Rosen, walks into a house with us, peek­ing into rooms where Shakespeare’s plays are being enact­ed. Such vari­ety! It’s an inspired way to place young read­ers among […]

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The Enchanting Boggarts

When­ev­er any­one asks the title of my favorite book, it’s a toss-up between two: A Wrin­kle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and The Dark is Ris­ing by Susan Coop­er. A Wrin­kle in Time because it opened the whole wide uni­verse to my young mind and The Dark is Ris­ing because I under­stood for the first […]

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With My Hands

Some­times, a book comes across my desk that sparkles like a gem, attract­ing my atten­tion, insist­ing that I stop what I’m doing and read it. This hap­pened when With My Hands: Poems about Mak­ing Things arrived last week. I thought I’d take a peek. Next thing you know, I was clos­ing the last page of the […]

The Magic Misfits

The Magic Misfits

I’m one of those peo­ple that often reads a cele­bri­­­ty-writ­ten book because I’d like to find one that defies the odds. How about you? Did you get over the won­der­ing at a cer­tain point? Or do you still give a new star-pow­ered book a try? Sad­ly, I don’t often find a celebri­ty book I can […]

The Secret Kingdom

The Secret Kingdom

This book is irre­sistible. For all kinds of rea­sons. Remem­ber when you were a kid, or maybe you do this now, how you’d take what­ev­er was at hand and cre­ate a house, a camp, an entire set­ting for you to play in? Where you could act out your sto­ries? Did you do this with found […]

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

Mighty Jack

We are thrust into the midst of the action, which nev­er stops until the epi­logue. This is how Ben Hatke tells a sto­ry. We don’t know what’s going on. There’s no set­up. Instead, we quick­ly learn that Jack is climb­ing some veg­e­ta­tive mat­ter to find the ogre who kid­napped his sis­ter Mad­dy and take her […]

Maurice the Unbeastly

For The Beast in Us All

The theme of being your­self is famil­iar. Many books, movies, and plays are devot­ed to this idea. When it’s done well, we all sit up a lit­tle straighter, laugh more con­fi­dent­ly, and dream about all the things we’d like to do to be true to who we are. Chil­dren need to hear this mes­sage often […]

Rufus Blasts Off!

No Pigs in Space?

Some of my read­ers know that the very first sto­ry I wrote (in sec­ond grade) was Pigs in Space. I still have it. I still won­der what­ev­er prompt­ed me to write it. This was before the Mup­pets launched their pigs into space. And it was def­i­nite­ly before Kim T. Griswell and Valeri Gor­bachev launched their […]

Journeys

Proof

If you ever doubt that kids are affect­ed by books, read any one of these let­ters. They will touch your heart deeply. You’ll remem­ber each two- or three-page mis­sive and the ardent con­nec­tion to the book. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll more than like­ly be moved to read (or re-read!) the book that […]

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Imaginary Selves

Each of us knows well the per­son we imag­ine our­selves to be. I’m guess­ing that this imag­i­nary per­son has changed shape and iden­ti­ty through­out your life. As a child, do you remem­ber your secret iden­ti­ty? Mine was a fear­less super­hero ver­sion of myself, because fear­less I was not. If Richard Tor­rey had known that, he […]

Jabari Jumps

August Shorts

Pic­ture books you’ll want to add to your reper­toire! Touch the Bright­est Star writ­ten and illus­trat­ed by Christie Math­e­son Green­wil­low Books, 2017. A night-time book, set­tling down for bed, qui­et­ly look­ing at the pages, hear­ing the sto­ry. An inter­ac­tive book? Yes, because the author/illustrator wise­ly invites the read­er and lis­ten­er to touch the pages, to […]