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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Red Reading Boots


The Nativity

by Melanie Heuiser Hill It was my job to read to the children. There were many other stations—crafts and coloring, games and songs—all built around the most important task of the morning: The Trying On of the Costumes for the Christmas Program, which was to be held later that afternoon. I had my own little […]


Red Reading Boots: Lucia Morning in Sweden

This week is full of preparations at our house. Lucia Day comes on Sunday and our household’s Lucia wishes to make the Lussekatter buns this year. I’ve learned not to stand in her way—she cannot be deterred. The magic of St. Lucia was introduced to our family fourteen years ago. It was a difficult December […]


Red Reading Boots: The Tapper Twins

by Melanie Heuiser Hill I’m generally a reader of “traditional novels,” by which I mean novels that have chapters with titles, paragraphs with grammatically correct sentences, and perhaps the occasional complementary art under the chapter number. I’m intentional about expanding my horizons and reading graphic novels, hybrids, and the like…but I still have to be […]


Judy Blume

by Melanie Heuiser Hill I had the extraordinary fortune of seeing Judy Blume a few weeks ago. I was going to say “seeing Judy Blume in concert”—that’s sort of what it felt like, actually. She’s a rock-star in my world. And she was interviewed by Nancy Pearl, no less, so the whole event felt like […]


Keeping Track

I’ve not kept track. Not really. I mean, I can peruse our many bookshelves and make a sort of list, but it would be missing things. What about all the library books we’ve read together? I was in a book discussion earlier this week with a woman who keeps A Reading Journal. She writes as […]


Mouse and Bear Books

by Melanie Heuiser Hill When I plan a storytime, I always plan for the kiddos first and foremost. But I do like to give a nod to the grownups who have brought them when I can—something they’ll “get” at a different level than the kids, a treasure they might remember from their own childhood, a […]


The Berenstain Bears

Last night, I was reminded of our family’s love of The Berenstain Bears books. (Happy Sigh.) Before I go any further in my homage, please understand—I’m not claiming these books are stellar literature. I’m just saying that we read a lot of Berenstain Bear books at our house once upon a time, and we loved, […]


Brambly Hedge

by Melanie Heuiser Hill When they were little, both of our kids had a fascination with anthropomorphic mice. One actually had a set of imaginary mice friends who preceded us into anxiety producing situations, of which there are many when you are a small child. These benevolent mice (who had names, specific jobs, and amazing […]


Enola Holmes Mysteries

by Melanie Heuiser Hill The summer’s roadtrip is behind us—a wonderful vacation had by all. We were in two cars this year due to different destinations at the start, but we met up for the second half of the week. The car my daughter and I drove was equipped with several audiobooks. The boys neglected […]



by Melanie Heuiser Hill We are talking a lot these days at our house about Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set A Watchman. As a family we listened to To Kill A Mockingbird, narrated by Sissy Spacek, last summer on our vacation. Everyone in the car was riveted to the story…but both […]


In Which the Boy Cleans His Room …

by Melanie Heuiser Hill We’re at the one-month mark before #1 Son leaves for his first year of college. This is big for our family. (I realize it’s a big thing for every family, but it’s feeling particularly personal for us right now—indulge me.) It’s entirely right, he’s absolutely ready, and he’s going to a […]


Anne of Green Gables

by Melanie Heuiser Hill I received Anne of Green Gables for my tenth birthday. I fell in love immediately. Absolutely In Love—that’s the only way I can describe it. For the next several years, I received the next book in the Anne series each birthday and Christmas. I could spot the book in my pile […]


How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen

by Melanie Heuiser Hill I have written before about the need for longer picture books in addition to the shorter ones making up the current trend in picture book publishing. I want to stay on the record as saying there’s plenty of reason to keep publishing picture books that are longer than 300-500 words. I’m […]


The Betsy Books

by Melanie Heuiser Hill My daughter and I are finishing what we call “The Betsy Books”—the wonderful series of books by Maud Hart Lovelace that follows Betsy Ray and her friends as they grow up in Deep Valley, Minnesota. When I first read the Betsy Series, I started with Betsy and the Great World and […]


How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird

by Melanie Heuiser Hill Our household has been patiently (and not so patiently) stuck in a long season of waiting for decisions around some important and exciting opportunities. Everyone has something up in the air. Applications, interviews, tests, hopes, and dreams are all out there, and now we watch for the mail, check messages compulsively, […]