Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman; illustrated by the author; Abrams/Appleseed, 2015.  32 pages; $14.94 (hardcover); reading level:  ages 4 and under. What item of clothing is more fascinating to a potty-training-aged fashionista than underwear? And what food is more on the minds of the fashionista’s care-givers than vegetables? Chapman gives a nod to both… [Read More]

Things to Do With Children This Summer – Slow Down and Read To Your Kids. See Reasons Why…

The message that parents should read to their kids is getting out, I know. But how many of us who take that message seriously could list 10 compelling reasons why it’s so important? Below are a number of common sense reasons why the parent-child reading experience affects so many areas in a child’s life so positively…. [Read More]

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

If You Plant a Seed; words and paintings by Kadir Nelson; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2015.  32 pages; $18.99 (hardcover); reading level: ages 3-8. Seeds – both real and metaphoric – are the subject of this stunning, oversized picture book.  The biblical adage of reaping what you sow (carrots…selfishness…kindness) is conveyed in a restrained text that… [Read More]

On Your Mark, Get Set, READ! – First Annual National Readathon Day on January 24th!

On Saturday, January 24, from noon to 4 p.m. is the first annual National Readathon Day, a marathon to encourage reading across the nation and promote literacy. The National Book Foundation, Penguin Random House, Goodreads, and Mashable are partnering on the event, which will benefit the Foundation’s education programs. Just think, to participate you have… [Read More]

Connie is Speaking at the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Children’s Literature Conference, Saturday, Nov. 8th

Connie will be speaking at the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Children’s Literature Conference, Saturday, November 8, 2014. Traditional registration is now available for the 2014 Ohio Kentucky Indiana Children’s Literature Conference! Adventure Across the Ages: Exploring Literature from Pre-K to YA, featuring Stephanie Bodeen, Sneed Collard III, and Jon and Pamela Voelkel will be held November… [Read More]

A Quiet Rebel

Edith Wharton was my kind of rebel:  A quiet, well-behaved one.  She tended to take practices that were rigidly defined by the Victorian society in which she grew up (entertaining, decorating, traveling, learning, gardening) and “rewrite”them according to her own specifications. In a recent issue of Slate Magazine, Kate Bolick takes a close look at… [Read More]

Writing and Talking

Awhile back, I wrote a blog (“I Don’t Talk – I Just Write”) about how terrified I was when people discovered I was a published writer and started asking me to do talks. Today I can tell you that not only did I overcome that initial fear, but the talks I do for various audiences… [Read More]

Best Friends Pretend! by Linda Leopold Strauss Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Best Friends Pretend! by Linda Leopold Strauss; illustrated by Lynn Munsinger; Scholastic/Cartwheel Books, 2014. 14 pages; $6.99 (board book); reading level:  ages 3-6. The two “princesses” dressed up in sparkly pinks and purples on the cover are a sure-fire draw for very young girls. But don’t be fooled into thinking they can’t pretend outside the… [Read More]

Monitor by James Tertius deKay Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Monitor; The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History by James Tertius deKay. Ballantine Books, 1997.  247 pages; $11.95 (paperback). Reading level: high school/adult. Building on the premise that it was not the more famous land battles that determined the outcome of the Civil War… [Read More]

Etched in Clay Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Etched in Clay; The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet by Andrea Cheng; illustrated with woodcuts by the author; Lee & Low, 2013.  143 pages; $17.95 (hardcover); reading level:  ages 10 and up. Born into slavery in 1801, Dave should have lived an invisible life and died unknown.  That he didn’t is due to an almost… [Read More]