Many picture books have anonymous settings, but some include authentic landmarks identifying locations that can be pinpointed on a map. Traveling from west coast to east coast, several Caldecott Award books feature settings in the United States, and we can become armchair travelers through the illustrations.
We’re pleased to welcome author Padma Venkatraman, whose every novel I have found delightful. Her perspectives as a world citizen and an oceanographer and a person who cares fervently about children’s well-being give a powerful depth to her writing. We asked Padma to answer the Skinny Dip questions that appealed to her: How many bookcases do you have in your house?… more
“There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration.” —Andrew Carnegie Libraries in the USA are at mission critical. Those who went before us worked hard to establish free public libraries so we could have access to what we need to know.… more
by Phyllis Root and Jacqueline Briggs Martin It’s high summer in the garden, with an abundance of vegetables to harvest and flowers abuzz with pollinators. Crunchy carrots, leafy kale, sun-warm tomatoes, garlic bulbs, green beans, zucchini (some gigantic) all offer themselves to the gardener. But more grows in a garden than plants. People grow, too, and connections between people take root and blossom.… more
By Phyllis Root and Jackie Briggs Martin Who doesn’t go a little wild when spring finally arrives? And even though we set out to choose pairs of books to write about, this month we couldn’t resist a hat trick of three books. At the heart of each is not only wildness but also how those around us react when our wild natures leak out.… more
What’s your favorite holiday tradition? Although only my father is Italian, I grew up with a strong connection to my Italian heritage. And really, when does one’s heritage shine more brightly than the holidays? So, every Christmas Eve finds me with my family in our Maine farmhouse kitchen making homemade ravioli. My husband Ken rolls out the dough that has been resting on the counter under a bowl for several hours while my son Topher and I wrestle the circles of dough he provides us into folded cushions of deliciousness that we drop into a boiling pot of salted water.… more