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Authors & illustrators

Fit for a President

It happens every four years. There's an increase in visitors, heightened activity, lots of temporary structures being built in the nation's capital. Regardless of the weather, regardless of the political chatter, there's a Presidential Inauguration to prepare for.

A new year

A new year is about to begin. It's a fine time to think about sharing with family and friends old and new. And what better to share than a good story? Readers may find a new friend or come across an old buddy.

A simple tradition to bring some comfort

Our hearts are heavy during this time for our neighbors in Connecticut. During tough times, I find comfort in returning to simple pleasures and traditions. This is our third year for "a book on every bed," and it's a tradition that I love, and one part of my shopping that I actually look forward to!

Slow down with a book

The media reminds us constantly that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Children — and adults — pick up the message often becoming overstimulated.

How can parents and teachers help children slow down (and maybe even themselves)? Sometimes all it takes is a good book and maybe a shared laugh.

Strong, vivid narratives inspire, in nonfiction, too!

Sid Fleischman was best known for his novels. His fiction often demonstrates a sense of humor and always provides insight into human nature. Fleischman brought his writing skills to several longer biographies (and a memoir).

Reflections on 'A Wrinkle in Time'

The sure sign of a classic is reader response. If adults reread a childhood favorite and it reads well, if it continues to "speak" to new generations of readers, if it feels fresh again and again — well, in my estimation that book is a classic.

Though it was considered an odd book when first published in 1962, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time has become a classic. Readers remember, read, reread, and discuss it.

Red flowers honor and remember

On the 11th hour on the 11th day in the 11th month of 1918, a ceasefire agreement between Allied forces and Germany went into effect. This armistice ended the Great War which was to become known as World War I. Also in 1918 the red poppy became the symbol of remembrance for those who served.

Truth (or is it fact?) in fiction

Can a story about a family of mice be realistic? Can readers empathize with a rodent and her family's history? The answer to both is an emphatic yes.

Point of view in nonfiction picture books

In a recent article, Washington Post columnist Jay Matthews points out there's a battle brewing over the use of fiction or nonfiction in the Common Core standards. He calls it the fiction vs. nonfiction smackdown.

Why a smackdown? The literature of both fact and fiction can engage and educate.

Book-inspired costume ideas

I don't know what to be! Every day my girls have a different idea for their Halloween costume. One year, Anna changed her mind around 5 PM! Thankfully a stocked dress up box meant she could throw something together last minute. That year she went as a … hmmmm … someone wearing crazy mixed-up clothes!?!

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"I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book." — Coolio