It’s been 20 years since Cynthia Rylant’s beloved middle grade novel Gooseberry Park introduced the world to Stumpy the squirrel and her quirky, clever, community-minded friends. Now, the furry and feathered bunch is back in Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, and readers will delight in discovering that the Gooseberrians are as adorable, smart and resourceful as ever.
Susan Vaught is the author of several books for teens, including Trigger and Freaks Like Us, and is a neuropsychologist at a state psychiatric facility. Her novels often include fascinating ties to mental illness, but her first middle grade book, Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy, reveals a hilarious new side to the author. We needed to know more about Footer and her family, so we contacted the author, who lives on a farm in rural Kentucky.
There's a moment in Kwame Alexander's middle grade novel, The Crossover, when protagonist Josh Bell's father is telling him all about jazz musician Horace Silver: "Josh, this cat is the real deal. / Listen to that piano, fast and free, / Just like you and JB on the court." Alexander's poetry is the real deal, and its action, energy and heart earned it the 2015 Newbery Medal as well as a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. Alexander told us all about what it's like to win the prestigious Newbery.
The sweet, crowned star of Dan Santat's picture book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, is a hero like no other—because he almost doesn't exist! Beekle's an imaginary friend with no child to imagine him, and so he leaves his fantastic island, full of other strange creatures like him, in search of a friend. It's so nice to be acknowledged, and there's no better nod than the 2015 Caldecott Medal! We contacted Santat in the whirlwind of his win.
Sally M. Walker likes to connect young readers with history. In her new picture book, Winnie, she does just that, telling the little-known story of the real bear who inspired A.A. Milne’s legendary children’s book character, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Thanks to a smart-alecky student who sat in the back row of her classroom, Sharon M. Draper went from teacher to award-winning writer. Of course, there were other factors: a lifelong love of reading, plus years of hard work and outstanding scholarship, for starters.
Do animals have a Santa Claus? This is just the sort of question Jan Brett would ask. In her new book, The Animals’ Santa, a young snowshoe hare in a cozy striped vest doesn’t believe all the other animals when they talk about Santa. Brett’s classic illustrations capture the precious details and gentle beauty of the snowy wood, and children will treasure this tale of believing in Christmas.
BookPage called Brett at home in Massachusetts to chat about this sweet Christmas story.
Nature photographer Nancy Rose began making waves on photo sharing sites with her unique and playful photos featuring curious wild squirrels. Her adorable images went viral, and fans began asking for more, prompting Rose to release her first children's book, The Secret Life of Squirrels. We asked Rose a few questions about her passion for photography, her creative process and, of course, Mr. Peanuts.
Martine Leavitt has a super-cool dad—a smart, rugged man named James Webster who, throughout his life, has gone on countless hikes into mountain ranges and national parks in his native Canada, where he immersed himself in and learned about nature. He also took pages and pages of notes, and countless photographs of the flora and fauna he encountered.
After Jacqueline Woodson spoke to an eager audience at the 2014 Southern Festival of Books, BookPage chatted with the award-winning author about her new memoir-in-verse, Brown Girl Dreaming, her love of words and her complex relationships with music, the South and so much more.