Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Tag Archives | Vicki Palmquist

Boys and Girls of Bookland

Boys and Girls of BooklandThis is how book col­lect­ing goes. You see some­thing that piques your curios­i­ty. You won­der: “Why did this book get pub­lished?” “Who would have bought this book?” “On whose shelves did this book rest and why did they let it go?” “Was it a gift, nev­er opened, or was it cher­ished and read over and over again?”

Some­times you’re curi­ous about the text or the illus­tra­tions or the bind­ing or the pub­lish­er.

When I first began col­lect­ing books, sat­is­fy­ing my curios­i­ty was hit or miss. I would go to the library and look up some of the things I won­dered about in the Reader’s Guide to Peri­od­i­cal Lit­er­a­ture or in the card cat­a­logue (I know I’m dat­ing myself, but that’s the point). Usu­al­ly, I had to keep won­der­ing.

Book col­lect­ing today is entire­ly dif­fer­ent. Many of the anti­quar­i­an book­stores I fre­quent­ed are gone because it became too expen­sive to main­tain a phys­i­cal store. They sell on the inter­net where one entire­ly miss­es the smell and ran­dom­ness and hap­py acci­dents of book col­lect­ing. And yet I have access to used book­stores across the coun­try. One comes to appre­ci­ate the buy­ers in these stores, their par­tic­u­lar tastes.

A cou­ple of my favorites? Cat­ter­mole 20th Cen­tu­ry Children’s Books in Ohio. The Her­mitage Book­shop in Den­ver.  Old Children’s Books in Ore­gon. Do you have a favorite? Please share in the com­ments.

Some­time last year, I pur­chased Boys and Girls of Book­land from Bob Topp at The Her­mitage Book­shop. I did this because it was illus­trat­ed by Jessie Wilcox Smith and I hadn’t ever heard of the book. I admire Miss Smith’s work a lot. And I admire the sto­ry of her life.

David Copperfield and His Mother

David Cop­per­field and His Moth­er by Jessie Wilcox Smith

Nora Archibald Smith

Nora Archibald Smith

The book is writ­ten by Nora Archibald Smith. I’d nev­er heard of her before. Because of the inter­net, I quick­ly dis­cov­ered she was Kate Dou­glas Wiggin’s sis­ter. You remem­ber Ms. Wig­gin: Rebec­ca of Sun­ny­brook Farm. I also learned that the two sis­ters were instru­men­tal in found­ing the Kinder­garten move­ment in San Fran­cis­co in 1873. They wrote 15 books togeth­er. I’ll have to hunt for more about this author.

The book’s copy­right is with the Cos­mopoli­tan Book Cor­po­ra­tion which, with a lit­tle dig­ging, I learned was owned by William Ran­dolph Hearst. Why would he pub­lish this book?

David MacKay

David MacK­ay

The pub­lish­er of this book is David MacK­ay. I learned that he was born in Scot­land in 1860. He immi­grat­ed to the USA in 1871, when he was 11. At age 13, he start­ed work­ing for J.B. Lip­pin­cott, learn­ing the book­selling trade. A rival pub­lish­er, Rees Welsh, offered him a job. Dur­ing his tenure, he pub­lished Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass before he was 21, even though the attor­ney-gen­er­al of Mass­a­chu­setts didn’t want it pub­lished for its “alleged immoral­i­ty.” At age 22, MacK­ay opened his own pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny, epony­mous­ly named. Will I be able to find out more about him?

You see, the author wrote rough­ly nine pages each about famous books such as Lit­tle Women, The Jun­gle Book, David Cop­per­field, Jack­anapes, and more. They’re sum­maries of the sto­ries, hop­ing you will read the full book. I guess you could say they’re lengthy book­talks in writ­ing. And Jessie Wilcox Smith did a paint­ing for each sto­ry in full col­or. What an inter­est­ing for­mat. Were oth­er books like this pub­lished?

I even searched online to find the name of the woman who was giv­en this book as a gift, Susan Class House, from Uncle Thad and Aun­tie “B” Lawrence. I would like to know more about their lives.

There are often objects inside a book. This one did not dis­ap­point. I found a plas­tic book­mark, a Yahtzee® score­card with a 1996 copy­right date, and a “Thank you!” card from Bob Topp.


Book col­lect­ing isn’t just buy­ing a book to read the sto­ry. It’s about dis­cov­er­ing the sto­ries that swirl around the book.


From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane GoodallThank good­ness for pub­lic libraries. I’ve been a user and fan for well over 50 years now, but for the last eight months, as I’ve worked with the oth­er bookol­o­gists putting togeth­er the mag­a­zine, I’ve put more book miles on my card than in many years com­bined.

My local library is the largest in a con­sor­tium of near­ly 50 libraries in west­ern Wis­con­sin, which means deliv­ery of spe­cial requests hap­pens quick­ly; that reach and speed has been a key ele­ment in my abil­i­ty to keep up with the nec­es­sary book work. This is espe­cial­ly true for the Book­storm™ books. Before we rec­om­mend or write about those titles we like to—at the very least—get our hands on the can­di­date books, rif­fle pages, and exam­ine back mat­ter and illus­tra­tions. And of course we read. For near­ly a year now I make the trip to the library sev­er­al times a week to see what’s wait­ing for me on the hold shelf.

This month our Book­storm™ fea­tures Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, writ­ten by Ani­ta Sil­vey, with pho­tographs and book design by the edi­to­r­i­al team at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic. The com­pan­ion book read­ing for this month’s storm has quite pos­si­bly cov­ered more lit­er­ary dis­tance than that trig­gered by pre­vi­ous Book­storms. Not only have I crossed and recrossed the African con­ti­nent, but I’ve read about ani­mal friend­ships and inspir­ing sci­en­tists, East African trick­ster sto­ries, and vis­it­ed a mar­ket in Zanz­ibar.

golden-baobab-prizeI’ve dis­cov­ered more than books, of course. I’ve learned about the devel­op­ing and excit­ing children’s lit­er­a­ture scene through­out the African con­ti­nent: The Gold­en Baobab Prize, first award­ed in 2009 to cel­e­brate and encour­age emerg­ing writ­ers and illus­tra­tors of children’s sto­ries; Book­shy, a won­der­ful blog­ger who focus­es on African lit­er­a­ture and book art; Book Dash, a writ­ers and illus­tra­tors’ project designed to pro­vide thou­sands of chil­dren with sto­ry books at lit­tle or no cost, and–most intrigu­ing–Worl­dread­er, a non­prof­it that pro­vides e-read­ers and e-books to schools and stu­dents in Africa and also works with African pub­lish­ers to dig­i­tize their titles. 

And of course, I’ve read and thought a lot about Dr. Jane Goodall. As Book­storm™ cre­ator Vic­ki Palmquist says in her intro­duc­tion to this month’s ‘storm, “[i]t’s not often that a book offers us a glimpse into the child­hood of a woman who has fol­lowed a brave, and car­ing, career path, but also fol­lows her through more than 50 years in that cho­sen pro­fes­sion, describ­ing her work, dis­cov­er­ies, and her pas­sion for the mam­mals with whom she works.”

Thanks for vis­it­ing Bookol­o­gy. Please roam, and enjoy.


Skinny Dip with Vicki Palmquist

Rice Lake Carnegie Library

Rice Lake Carnegie Library

What do you wish you could tell your 10-year-old self?

A good many things, but most emphat­i­cal­ly I would tell myself to not lis­ten to the com­ments about being too smart or show­ing off by using big words or being too curi­ous. I have always enjoyed learn­ing about new things and shar­ing what I’ve learned. I love dis­cussing ideas and unknown-to-me cor­ners of the world and peo­ple who have accom­plished great things and shown great imag­i­na­tion. In hind­sight, my 10-year-old self would have found more joy in school and in life with­out accept­ing those lim­i­ta­tions. “To thine own self be true” is some­thing I’ve learned to live by, but it’s tak­en many years.

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Start my own busi­ness in part­ner­ship with my hus­band. There’s the work­ing-with-your-hus­band aspect twen­ty-four/­sev­en, which I’m hap­py to say has been reward­ing and enliven­ing. Being in busi­ness (which was always anath­e­ma to me when I was in my teens and twenties—I may have coined the term “suits”) has been a process of con­tin­u­al­ly rein­vent­ing our­selves, keep­ing ahead of the changes in a rapid­ly glob­al­iz­ing world, and learn­ing every sin­gle day. Most of all, it’s been the kind of chal­lenge I’ve need­ed for the past 27 years.

From what pub­lic library did you get your first card?

The Rice Lake Pub­lic Library in Rice Lake, Wis­con­sin. I was ten. I could ride my bike there dur­ing the sum­mers when I vis­it­ed my grand­par­ents. They gave me a wick­er bike bas­ket for my birth­day in June. I rode to the library every oth­er day and filled up that bas­ket with new trea­sures. It was a Carnegie library, upon a hill, with the adult col­lec­tion upstairs and the children’s col­lec­tion down­stairs. We weren’t allowed to go upstairs. Who knows what trou­ble we might have got­ten into!

Did your ele­men­tary school have a librar­i­an?

I adored my ele­men­tary school librar­i­an at Ethel Bas­ton in Saint Louis Park, Min­neso­ta. I don’t think I ever knew her name. Is that pos­si­ble? She always had a new book to rec­om­mend when I ran out of steam. I remem­ber read­ing the Box­car Chil­dren books, rac­ing through the mys­ter­ies, and the Land­mark His­to­ry books. When I’d fin­ished all of them, she had won­der­ful new sug­ges­tions. In sixth grade, our librar­i­an and my teacher, Mr. Gor­don Rausch, cooked up a scav­enger hunt in the library, ask­ing us all kinds of ques­tions that could only be found in spe­cif­ic books in that library. It was one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever par­tic­i­pat­ed in. Then and there, I decid­ed that I would become a librar­i­an, too. I’m not but I do have a minor in library sci­ence.

What’s on your night­stand?

My Kin­dle. A clock radio that plays inter­net sta­tions. It’s on all night, play­ing jazz or clas­si­cal music. A beau­ti­ful coral rose that a friend brought me today.  Samu­rai Ris­ing, a new book by Pamela S. Turn­er and Gareth Hinds. The Most Impor­tant Thing by Avi. Grayling’s Song by Karen Cush­man. I’m a very lucky woman—I have to read for my job!



From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Wel­come to Bookol­o­gy.

Thank you for com­ing back, or check­ing us out for a first look, or for paus­ing if you land­ed here by acci­dent.

Chasing FreedomReturn­ing read­ers know that each month much of our con­tent is con­nect­ed to the magazine’s month­ly cen­ter­piece: the Book­storm™, a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books and web­sites com­piled and writ­ten by our chief Bookol­o­gist, Vic­ki Palmquist, which has at its start­ing point a sin­gle book. This month that book is Chas­ing Free­dom by Nik­ki Grimes, in which the author imag­ines a con­ver­sa­tion that might have occurred had Susan B. Antho­ny and Har­ri­et Tub­man sat down for tea. Susan B. Antho­ny and Har­ri­et Tubman’s “paths fre­quent­ly crossed one another’s,” Grimes says in our inter­view with her, but she could find no doc­u­men­ta­tion of an actu­al shared tea.  Still, “[t]he fact that these his­tor­i­cal pow­er­hous­es knew one anoth­er was excit­ing.”

The Sep­tem­ber Book­storm™ focus­es on the 19th cen­tu­ry and the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry and the polit­i­cal and social envi­ron­ments and insti­tu­tions in which Susan B. Antho­ny and Har­ri­et Tub­man lived and worked: slav­ery, war, Recon­struc­tion, the advent and dawn of Jim Crow, the new cen­tu­ry.  If you don’t have time now to look over the bib­li­og­ra­phy, our Bul­let Point Book Talks offers a quick look at some of the books in the ‘storm.

On the lighter side, today we also cel­e­brate the back-to-school sea­son with a Quirky Book List of books involv­ing class­room pets. Cau­tion­ary read­ing for our teacher friends? Per­haps.

Catch You Later, TraitorDon’t for­get to return after today, because, as usu­al, through­out the month you can join us for some skin­ny dip­ping and read what our reg­u­lar book-lov­ing con­trib­u­tors have to say about their lat­est for­ays into children’s lit­er­a­ture. Want to be alert­ed to Bookol­o­gy updates? Please sub­scribe.

And final­ly: We have a win­ner. Last month we encour­aged our read­ers to com­ment on our arti­cles, and we offered a signed copy of that month’s Book­storm™ book, Catch You Lat­er, Trai­tor by Avi as the prize for a draw­ing for which all com­menters would be eli­gi­ble. Lin­da B. from Col­orado took a moment to com­ment on our August Lit­er­ary Madeleine, and it was her name we pulled out of the Bookol­o­gist Hat. Con­grats to Lin­da, and thank you to all who com­ment­ed.

That’s enough. Time to explore Bookol­o­gy. Thanks for stop­ping.


From the Editor: Welcome

by Mar­sha Qua­ley

Wel­come to Bookol­o­gy.

WelcomeWhat began almost a year ago as a con­ver­sa­tion among col­leagues has now tak­en shape and arrived on your vir­tu­al doorstep: an e-mag­a­zine ded­i­cat­ed to nur­tur­ing the essen­tial con­ver­sa­tion about the role of children’s books in the K-8 class­room.

That meet­ing was con­vened by Vic­ki and Steve Palmquist, own­ers and founders of Wind­ing Oak and per­haps more famil­iar to many of you as the founders and heart­beat of Children’s Lit­er­a­ture Net­work, an orga­ni­za­tion they rolled up last year after pro­vid­ing 12 years of lead­er­ship as well as an unpar­al­leled online plat­form for com­mu­ni­ca­tion between children’s book cre­ators and the adults who love those books.

Vic­ki and Steve want­ed to cre­ate a sim­i­lar online pres­ence, one that would not only high­light the work of Wind­ing Oak’s many clients, but which would also invite a larg­er net­work of read­ers, writ­ers, illus­tra­tors, teach­ers, and librar­i­ans into the con­ver­sa­tion.

A quick guide to what you’ll see each month:

A Book­storm ™.  Each “storm” begins with one book. From there we spin out a cross-cur­ricu­lum array of sub­jects and pro­vide titles for each cat­e­go­ry. Com­mon Core, STEM/STEAM, state standards—any cur­ricu­lum struc­ture will be served by the Book­storm™ bib­li­og­ra­phy. But we also go beyond a sim­ple list, and each month much of the Bookol­o­gy con­tent we present will emanate from the Book­storm™ titles.

Columns.  Whether writ­ten by one of our reg­u­lars or a guest writer, these posts are intend­ed to share the voic­es of peo­ple immersed in the world of children’s lit­er­a­ture. We are espe­cial­ly delight­ed to launch “Knock Knock,” a blog col­lec­tive from Wind­ing Oak’s many clients that will appear on alter­nate Tues­days. Heather Vogel Fred­er­ick game­ly accept­ed the assign­ment to write the inau­gur­al col­umn; she’ll be fol­lowed up lat­er this month by Melis­sa Stew­art and Avi.

Inter­views and arti­cles. We will be vis­it­ing with illus­tra­tors, writ­ers, teach­ers, librar­i­ans and oth­ers in order to expand what we all know and under­stand about children’s lit­er­a­ture. We’ll also be offer­ing a lighter, more humor­ous get­ting-to-know-you inter­view venue: Skin­ny Dips, in which we ask about almost any­thing except the cre­ative process.

We will scat­ter about the mag­a­zine fea­tures and inci­den­tals we hope will be of inter­est, such as Lit­er­ary Madeleines—dis­cov­er­ies that even the vet­er­an read­ers on the staff savored—and Time­lines, quick at-a-glance looks at sem­i­nal books in a genre or sub­ject. Con­test, quizzes, and book-give­aways will also appear through­out the month.

What you won’t see are book reviews. While many of our arti­cles and columns will of course dis­cuss and rec­om­mend books, those rec­om­men­da­tions will always be in con­text of a larg­er top­ic. There are plen­ty of book review forums avail­able, and we weren’t inter­est­ed in adding to those voic­es.

And for now you won’t see “Com­ments” sec­tions. This is iron­ic of course in view of our stat­ed mis­sion of nur­tur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion; we’ll open those, and soon. In the mean­time, should you have a com­ment or sug­ges­tion or request, send me a note.

Thanks for your time and inter­est. Now please go explore Bookol­o­gy.



Joy-in-Words Day

Isn’t it about time for a hol­i­day? It’s been three weeks since the Fourth of July and we won’t cel­e­brate Labor Day for anoth­er five weeks. Well, I here­by declare July 25th Joy-in-Words Day. Help cel­e­brate! What’s your favorite word to say out loud? What word gives you joy as it rolls around in your […]


Our bookmarks are in … books recommended July 2010

Author Heather Bouw­man is read­ing The Book of Every­thing by Guus Kui­jer, pub­lished in the US by Arthur Levine. “This book is one of the weird­est and best I’ve ever read. Post-WWII Nether­lands, quirky char­ac­ters, and a pro­tag­o­nist you want to root for for­ev­er.  I’d love to know what you think of it if you […]