I’d never heard of English novelist, Nancy Mitford, until I listened to today’s selection from The Spoken Word. Quite full of herself, that one. And her family! The liner notes say: “As one of the six aristocratic Mitford girls, Nancy Mitford was prominent in high society in the 1920’s and 20’s. Her sisters included Unity,… Read more »

Totems, Tokens and Treasured Memories

The children’s literature world is abuzz with today’s ALA announcements. I know there are Dour Dannies out there, gnashing teeth over the state of such awards. In the words of Scarlet O’Hara: “Fiddle-dee-dee.” I love anything which shines the spotlight on this rich and lush world of literature. I have some catch-up reading to do… Read more »

Cooking Lessons

It has been cold, cold, cold here and pasta sounded like the perfect dinner. I had a butternut squash and found a recipe for squash and spinach lasagna (p. 450 in the 2007 Cooking Light Annual Recipes cookbook). And it was delicious — but it had countless steps. First, I had to peel, dice and… Read more »

Ack! How could I write that last post and forget to mention my hero, Karen Cushman, who can take words by the scruffs of their necks and shake them into sensibility? And, good news for all Karen Cushman fans: she has finally, finally launched a website! I for one am chomping at the bit for… Read more »


Several times recently, Barbara O’Connor has talked about how important rhythm is to her in her writing. So it was no surprise to me to learn that she is taking African drumming classes. What better fit for a woman who writes sentences like this: “The day I decided to steal a dog was the same… Read more »


I have been teary all day, overcome by the inauguration and the decentness of our new president. I was impressed by his classiness in escorting former President Bush to the helicopter and standing there in the freezing cold to wave good-bye. I was impressed by the intensity of his emotion when, nearing the end of… Read more »

Hot Women Redux

Okay. Awhile back, I had a temper tantrum about the Hot Men of Children’s Literature. For a time, I honored the Hot Women of Children’s Literature. We are all so over that now. But my first honoree, Mitali Perkins, was in town yesterday so I just have to acknowledge her once again. It figures: I… Read more »

The Principles of Uncertainty

I’ve joined GoodReads (thanks to the nudging of several bookworm friends) and am actually enjoying it immensely. It’s an especially good way to keep track of all the books I want to read (merci to my friend, Dick, for suggesting an armful of titles to add!) This is one I’ve marked as “read” but I… Read more »

If a Tree Falls in the Forest

Today’s selection from The Spoken Word: British Writers was offered by Rudyard Kipling, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 (a fact I, in my ignorance, did not know). For all his dash and deering-do, Mr. Kipling’s voice reminded me of Bill Gates’. He was speaking at a luncheon of the Canadian Author’s… Read more »

My Wall of Fame

I am posting this photo only because I was recently interviewed by Lori Van Hoesen and she asked me where I keep my Newbery Honor medal. . . I had to break it to her, gently, that those of us in the Sterling Society do not get medals, exactly. We get plaques. Mine hangs on… Read more »