Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Red Reading Boots

A_wrinkle_in_time_digest_100

A Wrinkle in Time

It was a dark and stormy night.  When I read this aloud one chilly fall evening on the porch to my kids, I laughed out loud. It was Banned Books week and we were “cel­e­brat­ing” by read­ing Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrin­kle in Time, one of the peren­ni­al repeaters on banned books lists. #1 Son was […]

Grinch-100

The Grinch

I’m just going to say it. Go on the record. I do not like The Grinch. I do not like the book. I do not like the char­ac­ter. I do not like the sto­ry of How The Grinch Stole Christ­mas. I do not like the bril­liant the­ater pro­duc­tions of the sto­ry (though I acknowl­edge the […]

teaset100

Thanksgiving Tea

The week before Thanks­giv­ing I was part of a won­der­ful Thanks­­­giv­ing-themed Sto­ry­time. Excel­lent books were read: Otis Gives Thanks by Loren Long and Thank­ful by Eileen Spinel­li. We sang through There Was An Old Lady Who Swal­lowed A Turkey by Lucille Colan­dro, and Sim­ple Gifts by Chris Rasch­ka. All was going swimmingly—beautiful chil­dren, rapt and […]

contact_mouse 100 copy

Mouse Books

We have mice. Hope­ful­ly just one, but it’s a brash one, scut­tling around the kitchen dur­ing break­fast this morn­ing. This hap­pens in the fall at our house. We’ve cer­tain­ly tried to find where they might be get­ting in, but they say a mouse only needs a dime-sized hole, and we obvi­ous­ly haven’t found it. Caught […]

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 […]

The-Wild-Flag-100

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 […]

bless-this-mouse-100

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 […]

100pix

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 […]

The-Wild-Flag-100

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 […]

TB100

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.) […]

Pinkerton-100

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 […]

ducks-100

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 […]

HP-100-pix

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 […]

Bluest-Eye-100

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 […]

Some-Writer-100

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 […]