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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Reading Ahead

Space Dumplins

Telling a Story the Hard Way

by Vicki Palmquist I’ve just finished reading the graphic novel Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson, with color by Dave Stewart (Graphix, 2015). I am overwhelmed by the work that went into this book. First off, it’s an engrossing, turn-the-page story with an appealing cast of characters. As readers, we care about what will happen. That’s […]

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Rolling the Storytelling Blocks

by Vicki Palmquist Looking for hours of fun with a book the whole family can enjoy … or one person can easily study to learn to write or tell a story … better? Then you’ll want to give this a try: How to Tell a Story, written by Daniel Nayeri, illustrated by Brian Won, and published by […]

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Looking inside

by Vicki Palmquist For several years, I have been dipping into a book that I keep beside my desk. It’s called Today I Will: a Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself (Knopf, 2009). Two acknowledged masters of children’s literature, Eileen Spinelli and Jerry Spinelli, wrote it. They are parents and grandparents and one […]

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“Don’t get took! Read a book!”

by Vicki Palmquist I go crazy when I hear that Vaunda Michaux Nelson has another book coming out. I’m a fan. For my own reading life, No Crystal Stair: a documentary novel of the life and work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem bookseller, is one of my top ten books in the last ten years. I […]

Welcome to New Zealand

Collecting your observations

by Vicki Palmquist I never kept a journal. Why? It never occurred to me. It wasn’t within my realm of familiarity. I started writing many stories on notebook paper and stuffed them into folders. But how satisfying to have a journal, specifically an observation journal to keep track of what you see, hear, and think. […]

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Is It a Classic?

by Vicki Palmquist When I was in my twenties, I worked at an architecture firm. Several of the architects were fascinated by my deep connection to children’s books. One day, one of them asked me, “Which books, being published now, will become classics?” That question has stuck with me, holding up a signpost every now […]


Museum Feast

Historium curated by Richard Wilkinson and Jo Nelson Big Picture Press, 2015 by Vicki Palmquist In a large, folio-sized book, the curators of Historium present a printed-page trip through a museum, grouped by cultures and described in detail so you can understand what you are seeing without being rushed along by the crowd. Much like those […]

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Laughter and Grief

by Vicki Palmquist There are books we remember all of our lives, even if we can’t remember the details. Sometimes we can’t even remember the story, but we remember the characters and how they made us feel. We recall being transported into the pages of the book, seeing what the characters see, hearing what they […]

Folk Tale Classics Treasury Galdone

The Classics, Galdone-Style

by Vicki Palmquist Are you looking for a shower or baby gift that will be appreciated for a long time? A good birthday present for a young child? The Folk Tale Classics Treasury, interpreted and illustrated by Paul Galdone (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2013), is a good place for parents to start with retellings […]

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Fashion Forward and Backward

by Vicki Palmquist (A) If your kids are plugged in to Project Runway or (B) if you come from a tradition of sewing clothes in your family or (C) if you’ve ever been asked about where jeans come from …  this is the right book for your 5- to 8-year-old. Where Did My Clothes Come From? by […]


There’s Nothing to Dooooooooo

by Vicki Palmquist By this point in the summer when I was young, the charm of being out of school had worn off, I’d played every game on my grandma’s shelves, and I’d had a few fights with my friends in the neighborhood, so I’d retreated to reading as many books as I could, consuming stories […]

Eddie Red Undercover

Give me a good mystery

Summertime is synonymous with reading for me. My grandmother kept a light blue blanket by the back door so I could spread it out under the elm tree and dissolve into stories. Sometimes a lemonade, sometimes a piece of watermelon … but always a book. Sometimes a friend would sit next to me absorbed in […]

Dad's First Day

“I’m not ready for school!”

I minored in theatre in college, where I crossed the street from Augsburg to attend Arthur Ballet‘s legendary history of theatre class at the University of Minnesota. Lessons learned in that class came rushing back as I savored Mike Wohnoutka‘s Dad’s First Day because it struck me how well this book would play as theatre […]

Star Wars Epic Yarns

Epic felt

Three small board books … encompassing the first three Star Wars movies and a year-long craft project. As I read each book, all 12 words, one word and one photo on each two-page spread, it slowly dawned on me just how ingenious they are. In those 12 carefully chosen words and scenes from the movie, […]


Outer Space Ambassador

by Vicki Palmquist Every once in a while I come across a book that wakes up that breathless, eager, sense-of-wonder-at-everything-new feeling I had about reading as a child. I admit it, after 3,000 or so books the plots and characters and resolutions can feel similar to something I’ve read before. Well, I joyfully read a […]