Authors and illustrators

October 18, 2019

Kevin McCloskey delivers fascinating information in digestible, user-friendly formats, which appeal to not only young readers but experienced ones as well.

Sporting a white tie with black ants, I had the chance to speak with him again recently about his newest book, Ants Don’...

October 1, 2019

Illustrator, writer, and filmmaker Mordicai Gerstein died earlier this month. He leaves behind an amazing body of work which is sure to be read and appreciated; several have already been anointed as modern classics.

It seems that Gerstein was born to be an artist just as it seems he was born to be a reader. He mentions a photograph of himself as a...

September 25, 2019

A recent article from Edutopia suggested that we’re rushing young children through childhood.

I see it frequently when adults want their young children to read books that are too sophisticated (beyond the child’s age) — both in terms of style and content. I am not suggesting that...

August 13, 2019

I like to read in all kinds of weather, but it’s been a wild summer to try to pick up a book outdoors! Friend Cindy Chiu and her son know all about this.

But whether or not the weather cooperates, this teacher-reader-writer-mom and son are filling their summer with all kinds of stories.

“We can wait...

July 31, 2019

The last time award-winning author Erica S. Perl visited Book Life, we had some jaw-dropping reading fun learning about sharks and her new book Truth or Lie? Sharks!

We’re so glad she’s...

July 23, 2019

Fifty years ago, I was clueless about the fact that Neil Armstrong was taking the first steps on the Moon. I was a busy toddler taking my own very first steps! Even though I missed the big event, I have forever been fascinated by the Moon. Like many young children, I was sure it was following me every time I went out at night and wondered why the Moon and I had such a special connection....

July 15, 2019

This month, in celebration of the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, we’re launching some out-of-this world reading fun that starts at Start with a Book with a new Space Rangers resource to help your young learners blast...

June 26, 2019

Leah Henderson shares with Book Life how a simple moment can lead to hours of exploration and real and imagined adventures. Complement her recommendations for summer exploration with the Start with a Book Geography, Travel...

June 12, 2019

Reading Rockets resources at Start with a Book provide an abundance of book recommendations and great ideas for pairing fiction and nonfiction to engage kids and help them make connections between what they read and their own lives.

May 6, 2019

David Bowles is an award-winning writer and poet, reviewer and translator, elected to the Texas Institute of Letters in 2017. He teaches children’s and young adult literature at the University of Texas Rio Grande. Living in Texas on the border of the United States and Mexico with his family, he not only embraces his Mexican-American heritage, he explores it in his writing.

I first...

January 22, 2019

Walter Dean Myers was so much more than an award-winning author.  He was a mentor, spokesperson, and friend to many and a trendsetter in children’s and young adult literature.

In his role as the country’s third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Walter traveled around the country with an ambassadorial theme: “Reading is not optional.” Not in a democracy, not in the...

November 27, 2018

There’s power in words. There is even more power in words that are strung together to tell a story. Stories reveal truths, encourage exploration, generate curiosity, and more. They become a connective tissue between time, people, cultures, and experiences.

There’s special power in a story shared aloud.

A few weeks ago, I witnessed an author reading to an all-adult audience. The...

August 28, 2018

Earlier this year, I came across a book that struck a personal chord and made me wonder about its genesis. What made it stand out above others?

Then I had a chance to hear the author, Minh Le, talk about it. I knew he had a background in early childhood policy and has two young children of his own.

His first book,...

July 27, 2018

Becky Koons is a Senior Resident Services Manager with AHC Inc. at the Woodbury Park Community Center in Arlington, Virginia. AHC’s Summer Camp program is designed to prevent learning loss — a particular challenge for low-income students — through both educational and enrichment experiences.

Becky believes there is not much better than sitting on the beach with her toes in the sand...

July 11, 2018

A picture book that can stand up to multiple readings is a good one in my book. You know what I’m talking about — the books a child wants to hear (or read independently) over and over. These are most books with enough textual and visual interest to engage time and again. But a picture book does so much more.

A recent...

May 31, 2018

Emily Arnold McCully has taken readers on a family Picnic, introduced The Queen of the Diamond and a dog named Strongheart. She may be best known as the Caldecott Medalist who took readers to Paris to view the city along with Mirette on the High Wire.

I heard Ms. McCully speak recently at a meeting where she agreed to answer some questions about her...

February 15, 2018

James Ransome and Lesa Cline-Ransome have been writing and illustrating together and individually for many years. And their work continues to grow and evolve. Perhaps James said it best: “What makes illustrating books so exciting is that because each book has a special voice, my approach toward each is different. Whether it be through my choice of palette, design or perspective, there is...

February 12, 2018

I had the distinct pleasure of attending a bookstore program featuring author Lesa Cline-Ransome and artist James Ransome. This husband and wife team continues to create books for young readers that intrigue as well as inspire. And their work — together and as individuals — continues to evolve and grow.

Their newest collaboration is a fresh take on Harriet Tubman,...

January 26, 2018

Bringing guest readers into the classroom is a great activity any time of year. But the calendar is also full of opportunities for hosting special guests who read aloud. Many of these — including World Read Aloud Day, National African American Read-...

January 9, 2018

I just came back from the inauguration of Jacqueline Woodson as the sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at the Library of Congress. The National Ambassador program — co-sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader — was created in 2008 to "raise national...

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo