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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Reading Ahead

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. […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]



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 […]


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 […]

Me, All Alone, at the End of the World

Me, All Alone, Reading This Book

Sometimes, the illustrations are wonderful but the language is captivating. You know how you read a picture book and you can’t decide which part to focus on? Should you look at the picture first? Should you read the story because it’s the thread that’s pulling you through? Well, when you read “He was a long-leggedy […]


The Best Wish of All

Once in awhile I find a book on my reading pile that I’ve passed by a few times. It might be that the cover doesn’t make sense to me and I shuffle through to choose another title. Or the title might be silly (in my mind) and I don’t open the book because something else […]