Wanting to know more. . .

A big part of the intrigue with kidlit history is the idea that there’s always more to discover.  These favorite stories are based on something within the author’s life, which should make the biographer or historian tingle with anticipation.  But, because these were written for children, these authors are rarely given the same consideration thatContinue reading “Wanting to know more. . .”

The best presents. . .

I admit it–my favorite part of Christmas just might be presents.  And it’s not so much the receiving (though don’t get me wrong–I do love receiving), but the giving.  It’s the joy in finding just the right thing, something that is more than the sum of its parts, and seeing the reaction when it hits its mark.Continue reading “The best presents. . .”

Christmas won’t be Christmas. . .

This Christmas will be quite a bit smaller than usual.  Of course, with the economy still in the doldrums, I don’t think I’m alone in this.  But it’s not like things are quite to the point of Jo’s moan: “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents!” Looking back at kidlit history, there are plenty ofContinue reading “Christmas won’t be Christmas. . .”

The Life of a Book

Last night, I was reminded of that other kind of history that books can hold.  I was reading The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.  Not exactly a kidlit history book, even though it is set in the Depression (yeah!) and features another awesome old house (double yeah!  I seem to have this talent lately of finding lots ofContinue reading “The Life of a Book”

Falling in love with bricks and mortar

In need of a break from my self-imposed “Non-fiction November,” I grabbed Katie John by Mary Calhoun as my before bed book.  It’s one of those books I’ve heard about for years, but never read.  At a recent gathering of fellow book-lovers, someone just handed me Katie and said “You need to read this.”  SoContinue reading “Falling in love with bricks and mortar”

The other Little House

Certain picture books from my childhood firmly planted roots in my mind.  Are You My Mother?  Laurie and the Yellow Curtains, Lady (an adaptation of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp)  And then there’s Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House. I remember gazing at Burton’s wonderful illustrations and her wonderfully personified house.  I always felt soContinue reading “The other Little House”

The sparest of spare rooms

For the first time in my adult life, overnight guests can sleep somewhere besides the couch.  As a fairly new homeowner, I have a spare room!  With an extra bed!  However, as a fairly new homeowner, the bed is a hand-me-down and the mattress has certainly seen better days.  Buying a new mattress has beenContinue reading “The sparest of spare rooms”

From the other side

Following the recommendation of a dear reader, I picked up The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy.  For those unfamiliar with the book (like I was), this is a sequel to The Good Master.  It’s the story of two cousins,Kate and Jancsi, growing up in the Hungarian country side during the early part of the last century. Continue reading “From the other side”

The beginning

Thus far, the vast majority of books that I’ve talked about here are ones I first read as a child.  I grew up with Anne and Jo and Laura.  But there’s one very important exception.  I didn’t discover Betsy Ray until I was an adult–halfway through college. Oh, I had heard about the Betsy-Tacy books, largelyContinue reading “The beginning”


This afternoon, while attempting to be domestic, I caught up with one of my favorite NPR programs, This American Life.  A few weeks ago, they aired a new episode called “The Book That Changed Your Life.”  How could I not listen?  The entire show was fantastic, but I was particularly intrigued by Act 4: LittleContinue reading “Pilgrimages”