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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Red Reading Boots

Mrs.-Frisby-100

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

I have had the plea­sure of enter­tain­ing a few young writ­ers in my office in the last cou­ple of months. They come with a Mom, usu­al­ly. (My office doesn’t real­ly hold more than three peo­ple at a time.) These Moms are so thank­ful that I would do this “gen­er­ous thing” of hav­ing them over that […]

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E.B. White

A cou­ple of weeks ago I was in the base­ment of the Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing Library at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta get­ting a lit­tle writ­ing in before work. It’s a good spot—there’s a nice cof­fee shop, noth­ing in the stacks is intel­li­gi­ble to me on that floor so I’m not dis­tract­ed, and it’s qui­et and […]

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Bless This Mouse

Over the last month or so, my nieces and I have been read­ing Bless This Mouse by Lois Lowry. We start­ed it on one scary­ish night when I picked them up at the hos­pi­tal emer­gency room. My broth­­­er-in-law had a mishap with a chis­el in the garage result­ing in a flesh wound that cre­at­ed an […]

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English Syllabus

I used to hate the night of the first day of school. I loved hear­ing about the first day details, new teach­ers, old and new friends…but The Forms near­ly did me in. A whole pack­et for each kid filled with mul­ti-col­ored papers, many of which asked for the very same information—so many emer­gency num­bers, med­ical […]

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The Wild Flag

Fif­teen years ago this sum­mer, I stood weep­ing in our local pub­lic library while mak­ing copies of let­ters on the pub­lic pho­to­copy machine, dimes in one hand, fold­ed linen sta­tion­ary in the oth­er. I remem­ber it was fif­teen years ago because I was enor­mous­ly preg­nant with Dar­ling Daugh­ter. Peo­ple walked a wide cir­cle around me […]

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What’s a Favorite Book of Yours?

Late­ly I’ve been ask­ing groups about their favorite books—as a get-to-know-you activ­i­ty of sorts. You know: “My name is Melanie…and one of my favorite books is Anne of Green Gables.” That sort of thing. I’ve asked groups that include chil­dren and groups with only adults. (I ask groups of kids this a lot—great mar­ket­ing research.) […]

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Pinkerton & Friends

I had a “Why in the world….?” moment the oth­er day. It was unex­pect­ed and a lit­tle strange and it was this: When I imag­ine pic­ture books that I am writ­ing and/or think­ing about writ­ing, I imag­ine very spe­cif­ic illus­tra­tions. From a very spe­cif­ic illus­tra­tor. Even though I admire the work of many illus­tra­tors. (I […]

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Following The Ducklings

We have just returned from a trip to the Boston/Concord area and Maine. It was a bit of a lit­er­ary trip. Three days in Con­cord, Mass­a­chu­setts set the stage as we toured Louisa May Alcott’s house and Ralph Wal­do Emerson’s, too. We fol­lowed The Amble, which became more of A Ram­ble, between Emerson’s home and […]

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The Reading Summer

A stressed moth­er of a first grad­er sought my coun­sel this week. The issue was read­ing. Her son wasn’t. And at the close of first grade he was expect­ed to. There was talk of test­ing, reme­di­al help over the sum­mer, read­ing logs, etc. She and her spouse were dread­ing it, wor­ried, and a lit­tle irked—not […]

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The Bluest Eye

  It’s been years since I could keep up with my kids read­ing. When they first began read­ing inde­pen­dent­ly, I’d often read (or at least skim) the books they were work­ing on so I could ask ques­tions and talk about it with them. Then for sev­er­al more years, they would sim­ply tell me about what­ev­er […]

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Some Writer!

I had the won­der­ful good for­tune of hear­ing Melis­sa Sweet talk about her work last week. It was a fas­ci­nat­ing pre­sen­ta­tion about her process, her research, her art. I left inspired, and with a han­ker­ing to find scis­sors and a glue stick and do some col­lage myself. (Let’s be clear, things would not turn out […]

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This Is Just To Say

April is Nation­al Poet­ry Month, which is as good an excuse as any to take some poet­ry books off the shelf and have a read. I’m quite method­i­cal in April—it’s the hint of spring in the air, I sup­pose. I clean my office and then I build a stack of won­der­ful poet­ry books—some Bil­ly Collins, […]

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Pop-up Books

Our household’s fas­ci­na­tion with pop-up books came as a sur­prise to me. As a child I didn’t like them much. We had a few—one was Sleep­ing Beau­ty, I think. But they popped with bor­ing mod­esty and they always had these tabs that you pulled to make things move, only my broth­er pulled them too hard […]

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Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?

Once there were two bears. Big Bear and Lit­tle Bear. Big Bear is the big bear, and Lit­tle Bear is the lit­tle bear. They played all day in the bright sun­light. When night came, and the sun went down, Big Bear took Lit­tle Bear home to the Bear Cave…. There was a time—and it doesn’t […]

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Hidden Figures

This week, my moth­er and I heard Mar­got Lee Shet­ter­ly, author of Hid­den Fig­ures, speak at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Dis­tin­guished Carl­son Lec­ture Series. Shetterly’s book tells the true sto­ry of Mary Jack­son, Kather­ine John­son and Dorothy Vaughan—three of dozens of African-Amer­i­­­can women who worked in the 1950s and ‘60s for NASA […]