The Book of Chocolate by H.P. Newquist

Are you drooling yet? Go ahead, wipe your chin. I'll wait. Just in time for Halloween! A treatise on that treat of treats!!! To research this book about chocolate, Newquist suffered through chocolate tasting after tasting, from "Venice to Vietnam." I'm sure it was a horrible slog. Who isn't interested in chocolate? But, arguably, a … Continue reading The Book of Chocolate by H.P. Newquist

Cricket in the Thicket – Perfect Picture Book Friday

This week's addition to Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Fridays comes to us from the heart of bug country, the Great Plains. What do you think of when you think of Kansas? Well, that's what I used to think until I spent the week with Carol Murray at Highlights Summer Camp last July. When not … Continue reading Cricket in the Thicket – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

In honor of National Poetry Month and Perfect Picture Book Friday, I'm shining the spotlight on a brilliant Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award Winner from 1997: "They took to the road in Waycross, Georgia Skipped over the tracks in East St. Louis Took the bus from Holly Springs Hitched a ride from Gee's Bend … Continue reading Harlem: A Poem by Walter Dean Myers

Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  Here's my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday! There is more tongue-in-cheek fact-stretching in Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea than you can shake a pair of Levis at, but it's sooo much fun, you just don't care. The author gives you the real low-down about the origins of Levi jeans … Continue reading Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea – Perfect Picture Book Friday

This Is the Rope – Perfect Picture Book Friday

I loved Jacqueline Woodson's MG/YA book, "Brown Girl Dreaming." It was the first book I'd ever read by this fabulous writer. So I went in search of some of her picture books. And I'm happy to say that I love "This Is the Rope" just as much. So here's my book for Susanna Leonard Hill's … Continue reading This Is the Rope – Perfect Picture Book Friday

LitQuake – The Bridge Between Fiction and Nonfiction

The conversation last night, between two Pulitzer prize winners—Adam Johnson and TJ Stiles  kept me scribbling notes while I tended bar. Yes, I volunteered to work the event. Johnson recounted how his journalism professor would identify all of the false quotes he had created while reporting on community meetings, quotes that Johnson thought told the … Continue reading LitQuake – The Bridge Between Fiction and Nonfiction

Black Diamond Wisdom – Writers Take Note

Yesterday, at 10:59am PST, I despaired. Piles of research lay scattered about my desk, in my backpack, across the kitchen table. Papers I'd been shuttling around since last fall. I was trying to finish a revision of a nonfiction picture book I've been writing since last September, but I felt scattered. And I couldn't figure … Continue reading Black Diamond Wisdom – Writers Take Note