Monday, November 1, 2010

Movin' On

Hey Guys!

Well, I have some exciting news: I've sold my first novel! Yay! I'm going to be blogging over at Rebecca Serle Books:

from now on so head on over and of course I will continue to chat your ear off about literacy at The Huffington Post.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Blog!

It's been awhile since I checked in but I've been busy over at The Huffington Post. Please check out my blogs here: and let me know what you think! I've been doing a lot of author interviews, which I love, but have a new series coming up in which I rank the top 10 classic children's books...picture, YA, etc. Please post a comment here or over there if there's a book that you think I absolutely MUST include.

Read away!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Nurturing Narratives takes the Hamptons!

I had so much fun helping to host the children's tent at Super Saturday this weekend in bridgehampton. We made storybooks, colored, ate cupcakes and laughed all was a blast!

I've attached some pictures below for you to enjoy but I wanted to share one anecdote from the day:

The storybooks we made were pattern books and one of the printed questions was: "what words do you use to talk about YOU." The goal was to get the children thinking about words as tools of empowerment and applying them to themselves and others. I was helping the child, not yet of writing age, and asked him who he'd like to talk about. Immediately, he responded "mom!" His mother beamed (she was sitting next to him). I asked the child for a few words to describe his mom and he turned me to, toothy-smile and all, and declared: beautiful and LOVE!

It was a sweet moment.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Super Saturday!

I have been asked to co-host the children's tent at Super Saturday this year and I am just so darn excited. The host is this amazing non profit SFK that empowers at risk children and teens. It is going to be a wonderful event all around and I cannot wait!

One thing on my to-do list this week is to create some "empowerment storybook lessons" for the children who will be coming through our tent (about 2-6 yr olds). These children are young and "using words" will probably not be available to them in the written form yet but verbally and conceptually? You betcha. I want the children to think about what they love about themselves, what makes them special and unique and what they can do...I can...I am...I will. What can you do? What makes you YOU? What do you dream about? What do you WANT to do?

In playing around with my word document this morning I found that a lot of the lessons I was cooking up were actually working on me! Yea, what DO I love about myself? What DO I dream about? What do I see for my life?

Take some time today to think about what you can do, who you are, what makes you special and what you WILL do with the gifts you've been given. And, for all your parents out there, send any empowerment story ideas my way! I'll be drafting up lessons all week!

Have a great one,


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Madness!

I hope you have all been enjoying my blogs over at The Huffington Post. I realize I've neglected the blog a bit in the last few weeks and my summertime goal is do better....starting immediately.

Memorial Day was so much fun. The weekend kicked off Thursday night with my agency's BEA party. Foundry is definitely where the cool kids are (my agent even got onstage and played bass!) and it was wonderful to catch up with colleagues and friends and dance the night away.

Friday morning found me off to Colonial Williamsburg with friend and fellow writer, Leila Sales. We spent Saturday touring and researching her next novel (fun!) and then it was off to DC to cap the weekend with some friends.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and that you all had a lovely weekend!



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's with this cold front?

I was all geared up for summer. I changed over my closet last week, inspected which coats had to be dry-cleaned and which I could get away with leaving untreated for next year. I started saying "it's summer" at the end of nearly every sentence (I use the phrase to express how carefree I am feeling. Also, to forgive impulsive decisions). I even folded up my scarves and jammed them into a box at the top of my closet. Then wham! Like a smack to the face this cold front came in. Not only does "it's summer" currently sound ridiculous, it also feels like it's never going to come.

I'm spring boarding, here.

A few weeks ago I was having a discussion with my friend Kate Tempesta. We were talking about what she calls "level four." That place right before you reach the summit where your energy is low, you're worn out, and it feels like the peak is never going to appear. We were talking about work, about how to navigate this "level four." How to hang in there when it seems like what you're working towards might never come to fruition. How to push through to level five.

Of course there are many different tactics: nose to the ground, perseverance, belief, acceptance. All of these worthy of consideration. But sometimes what you really need to do at level four is look around and realize how far you've made it. OK, it's not level five. And OK, you had your flip flops all out and ready and now you've been knocked back into boots but the truth is it's still May, it's still spring, and there are many wonderful things to acknowledge about this particular moment in time.

Speaking of level four...I have begun blogging for The Huffington Post on children's literacy, storytelling and a great many related things. You can read my first post here and please feel free to check back from time to time. I hope it can be a place, like this one, where you will feel welcome and maybe just a little bit inspired.

Here's to level four (and the promise of summer)


Monday, May 3, 2010

blast from the past books

I was at the New York Public Library this weekend for a children's writing panel and picked up From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. It's one of my all-time favorites and since I haven't read it in about five years, I'm having a lot of fun. It's an amazingly sensitive book, written with care and grace and humor.

"But it never makes any difference. Going home without knowing about Angel for sure will be the same as going home from camp. It won't be any different. After one day, maybe two, we'll be back to the same old thing. And I didn't run away to come home the same."

I can remember feeling this way as a child, wanting so badly to be different, for something to, finally, be the catalyst to set my adult life in motion. I suppose, if I'm fair, I still often feel that way.

What are you favorite blast from the past books? Do they still hold up when you read them today?


Friday, April 23, 2010

HealthCorp Gala

I was lucky enough Wednesday evening to attend Dr. Oz's HealthCorp Gala. It was at Pier 60 on the water and it was a beautiful (and fun!) evening.

I went because a very good friend of mine Tara Guber was being honored for her work with YogaEd, an organization that she started whose mission it is to bring yoga into the school system. It's an incredible program with some remarkable people attached and it was wonderful to get to celebrate her success. In fact, the entire evening was like a whose-who of the children's world in New York. It was a very different crew than my usual publishing circuit but it was all people who are running programs whose mission is the betterment of our youth. I met a man who brings drumming and musical theater into schools, a woman who is running a program to bring art therapy to preschools and many bigwigs who I (admittedly) was more than a little starstruck at meeting. These are people who inspire me daily, who make me feel, in the moments when it would be easier to crawl up and give up, that what we do is important and beyond important, absolutely vital.

I felt a bit like Cinderella after it was all over, slipping back into my flats and walking the distance home to my Chelsea apartment. But one thing stayed with me from the night and that's the passion all these people have (and sustain) for their cause. I've realized lately it's very difficult to get anything done, really done, without passion. With passion comes the motivation to do amazing things. These individuals are pure proof.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Library Week!

In honor of National Library Week I've compiled some links I think are fun and informative. I love libraries. And librarians. And books. And children. And quiet time (ask my roommate, I'm a big fan of quiet time), so I wanted to celebrate on the blog. Thank you, thank you, libraries and the people who work in them. You do us all proud.

Reading Rockets has a great post on favorite books about libraries and librarians. Read it here:

Jo Knowles has written a lovely post on why libraries are important. And why we should fight to save them. Read it here:

Betsy Bird's complete "100 greatest kid novels" list. OK, so it's not necessarily about libraries but she is the raddest librarian I know. So, it stays. Read it here:

Last but not least celebrate National Library Week by going to your local library. Set up show for a few hours. Read, write and observe. Libraries are special places. It does us all good to remember that.

Read away,


Sunday, April 11, 2010


Very close friends of mine had twins last summer and since they were born my Sundays more or less revolve around spending time with them. I usually stop by their apartment once or twice a week to say hello but Sundays are really our time. Sometimes we go for brunch after hanging out with the twins in the morning or we just lounge around the apartment, drinking coffee and gossiping. It's one of my favorite things about my week, least of which is the fact that I think (hope, really) that the twins are developing knowing who their aunt Rebecca is.

When I moved to New York is never occurred to me that I'd miss family. Sure, I knew I'd miss my own family, but I saw that as missing my mom and dad as individuals, not necessarily as people who provide comfort and stability. I've heard people say that New York is a city in which you find your family. That people move here from every corner of the world and are drawn together by circumstance, interest, faith and heart. I realized today, as I puttered around their kitchen, pulling open drawers and setting the table for lunch, that I felt at home. That I felt like I was home. It's a funny thing to wake up in the middle of your life. To have a moment in which you realize that whenever there is, you're somewhere close. Sundays remind me that sometimes just slowing down and taking in the simple pleasure of the people around you is what life is all about. That this is the best it gets.

Although I have a sneaking suspicion that when the twins say "Rebecca," it might get even better.

Have a wonderful week,


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Order Rules

April is shaping up to be a very big month. Birthdays, some travel plans, and, of course, lots of work. My general routine has been shaken up quite a bit which is proving to be challenging when it comes to getting anything really done. You know what I mean, right? The extra-long weekend away or the doctor's appointment during your usual writing time or the lunch meeting outside are all innocent enough, except when they're back to back to back and all of a sudden you've gotten no writing done for a week.

I was speaking to a close friend of mine and kindergarten teacher about this over the weekend. I was lamenting a bit about my schedule, how whenever I become lax in my day structure everything seems to fall apart, and we started to chat about children. Routine is unbelievably important in the early years of life. Yes, childhood is about free expression and exploration but there is a reason the garden is the consummate metaphor of childhood. Children need to feel free to run wild, but in the confines of safety and order. In other words, routine is key. So much of life at that age is new and scary. The magnitude of things a four year old comes in contact with over the course of a day that they fail at is overwhelming. Having a structure and a routine creates a sense of accomplishment and peace. It allows children to succeed at the small things like how to tie their shoelaces and knowing where the crayons are for free drawing time. It's also the reason I love to write children's books. The beautiful simplicity the picture book form allows is something I have always gravitated towards. How best can we tell a story with the fewest words? How can we pay tribute to the ever-present themes of childhood? How can we, at the end of the day, create something that will last?

The experience of childhood changes from generation to generation, certainly, but those beginning years remain the most untouched. They don't know how to work ipads yet (well, maybe some do!) or care that pizza has hydrogenated fat. To them, life is magic. Yes, frustrating and confusing and at times terrifying, but new, and exciting. Everything is an adventure.

Order helps them to feel secure in the wild of this world. To know there are certain things they can count on, even if the rest of life fails them. My guess? It would help us, too. What are the things in your life you need in order to feel safe, fulfilled, content? Make sure they don't leave your day. I'm going to try.

Have a great day,


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Catching Up

It's been way way WAY too long since I posted. A mis-mosh (mish-mosh?) of things are to blame for this most of which in some way involve my absurdly short attention span, the approximate four books that I'm working on, and, of course, chocolate. As my friend Leila would attest to, chocolate is always to blame. I've also been working on some really neat freelance projects with a few educators I wholeheartedly admire. So, all in all, time well spent.

But, I digress.

Nurturing Narratives is growing in all sorts of exciting ways. I was lucky enough to participate in the specialist (it's a word, I decided) of birthday parties last week. It's always such a joy to bring writing to children on their birthday and make language and narrative FUN. Like, CLOWN fun. For me that's the name of the game. Being silly, laughing, making words and enjoying it. We came up with a great story about princesses and faraway places and there was even a dramatic play to top it all off. A lovely afternoon, indeed.

What else?

I was in Portland over the weekend and had the absolute privilege of going to Powell's Bookstore. Has anyone been? It's the Mecca of books, I think. I spent about three hours in the children's section. So long, in fact, that I nearly missed the reading I came there to see. It was wonderful. I've never seen a bookstore quite so fully stocked in my life and everyone was so helpful and friendly. Well, everyone in Portland was so helpful and friendly. Which was appreciated. Especially since it rained the entire four days.

More to come soon. Have a wonderful week!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Faraway Places

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Women In Need, an organization that houses women and children (and fathers!) throughout the city. I have been working with them for a few months, bringing Nurturing Narratives to the children in their shelters.

I set out to Brooklyn with a friend and fellow associate committee member in tow. With us we brought How I Learned Geography and Where The Wild Things Are. I decided I wanted to do a lesson on faraway places and get the children, quite literally, outside themselves.

They were a rambunctious batch but as soon as we started reading they were completely captivated. Their eyes were glued to the pages and they were transported to that magical place I call Reader's Anywhere.

See the thing about books is that they are vehicles. We use this world a lot but I have only recently started to really understand what it means. They have the literal power of transportation, to move us from one place to another. To elevate us.

After we were done reading I asked the children to choose a faraway place they'd like to tell a story about. I explained that the little boy in the book used his imagination and traveled to the farthest reaches of the earth simply through his thoughts and that we, too, with the help of some colored pencils, could do the same. Some children chose the beach, others places like Jamaica and Mexico. One little boy, however, chose Coney Island. I applauded his efforts but when I asked him why he chose Coney Island he said, "because you said to pick a faraway place and it is very, very far away."

I was so touched by his words I had to briefly look away. Now I'm not saying every child has to envision an African Safari or a Moroccan desert tour, quite the contrary. Every child has their own, unique imagination which is what makes each of them so special and spectacular. But this is just my point. I saw in that little boy not joy in the prospect of Coney Island but complete lack of an alternative... he simply did not know any other place existed or that it was within his right to call upon one.

I asked him a series of question about why he liked Coney Island and with each one I could see him getting a bit more excited. Something very interesting was happening. He was applying the excitement he felt in reading the books and thinking of faraway places to a place he had been. He was feeling ownership over this exercise and as he began to remember the place, I saw that he was traveling there, too.

When we expose children to books we not only enhance their literacy skills but we also cultivate their own abilities to dream beyond themselves. I was amazed during that class that two picture books had the power to transport these children outside their circumstances and into another reality, a different way to live. By the end of the session the little boy had stuck with Coney Island but boy, was it an imagined version. Full of bright, neon colors, ice cream machines and blue beaches it looked like a paradise to me, too. He didn't write about Egypt but he dreamed up Coney Island with passion, and joy.

Read and Dream,


Sunday, January 24, 2010

That Magic Age

I am working on a new book with a particularly quirky concept and a few weeks ago I asked my friend Kate Tempesta if I could go up to St. Thomas More Playgroup where she works and observe/ do some activities with the children (ages 3-5).

I headed uptown with my notebook in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. I was greeted when I walked in the door by about a dozen smiling faces, excited chatter, and lots of coats and boots. I wound my way around their fabulous library and downstairs to where Kate teaches. A big, open area with lots of room for creative movement.

Without going into what my book is about (I am constantly talking too much about things I shouldn't...or so says my agent), we had a very playful morning doing lots of fun, silly things. It took everything I had in me not to constantly snatch those little ones up and hug them (I refrained as this is frowned upon).

There is just so much joy in that room. There is so much joy in that school! Kate told me after classes had finished that if she's not around children for a few days she starts to feel agitated. That, as they need her to educate, she needs them as well. I get that. I completely get that.

Lately I have found myself working with older children, which I am really enjoying. It is wonderful to get to explore writing with them and have serious and meaningful discussions on words. But, I realized yesterday, I miss the little ones. I miss their playful laughter and puffy-cheeked smiles. I miss the way even the simplest of activities completed correctly brings tremendous triumph. I miss their runny noses and tiny little toes and fingers. I miss that magic age before reality has been completed cemented, where everything and anything is possible.

My program was created for children 3-6 but has since been opened up to include children as old as 12. I welcome the growth and am excited for everything that is happening with Nurturing Narratives and the unexpected yet delightful progress we have made. I am blessed to get to be in the presence of children and each age brings specific challenges and extraordinary joys. Someday soon I hope to return, at least partially, to that magic age. Until then, I suppose I will have to be content writing about it. Fair enough.

*Note: I am working with Women In Need doing storytelling/ narrative-building in their shelters with children 5-8. If you live in the New York area and would like to get involved please stop by their website. They are a truly wonderful organization doing great things in the city.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

For the Love of Libraries

I had to return some books today at the public library and stopped by to say hello to Betsy Bird, infamous children's librarian and blogger. Unfortunately Mrs. Bird was not in but I decided to wander around the children's section anyhow, it had been awhile. I try to get up to the library when I can and do just this: walk around. There is something so magical about not even reading all those books but simply being in their presence. The sheer magnitude of titles is exciting. Old friends and new ones. Recognizable covers and perfect strangers.

As I browsed the shelves and picked up a few favorite titles I was all of a sudden incredible humbled. Humbled to be in the presence of so much remarkable literature, certainly, but also humbled by the hundreds and thousand of writers who have decided to commit themselves to the craft of writing for children.

I was not always a children's writer. In fact all of my published work to date is in the adult sphere. But there was always something about children's that spoke to me, something that promised writing could be challenging, tough, problematic, frustrating, and also incredibly joyful. That is what I feel when I write for children: joy. And in my little corner of the library, all alone and quite as a mouse, I imagined that other writers feel that, too. That there is something about writing for developing minds and hearts that is just, well, downright fun.

Don't get me wrong, a picture book may look like a breeze but believe me, it's not. Choosing the right words, knowing how to challenge and how not to patronize, is a poet's craft. It is a demanding and difficult process but it is, far and away, the most fun I have ever had while writing.

I was reminded of why I write today at the NYPL. That's the amazing thing about libraries that bookstores just don't seem to have. What I'm talking about is dialogue. Dialogue between author and reader and the knowledge that one is, without a doubt, in the presence of shared magic. Because doesn't a book become that much more important, that much more exciting, when there is someone to discuss it with and someone who has come to those same pages before?

Take some time out of your week and visit your own public library. Browse the shelves or sit in a little quiet corner and take it all in. Even without the talking, there is much to be heard.

Enjoy the week!


Winter Reading Series, Part 2- Children

Somewhere in my envy-induced haze of all the peeps at ALA this weekend I sat down and created a list of my most beloved children's books from when I was young and now old (I just celebrated a birthday, it does feel that way). It was a very fun endeavor indeed and a few made the cut that I just plum forgotten about over the years. Below is my list narrowed down into my top five picks for winter reading. Some are picture books, others are not, all are loved dearly.

Hope everyone has a wonderful week and all you conference-goers are back home safe and sound!

1) Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers. A strange first pic? Perhaps, but this book marked a turning point in my own reading trajectory as a child. I absolutely adored this book about a mother and daughter who switch bodies for the day. It was one of the first novels that got me to realize narrative could be darn near anything you wanted it to be and that story was downright magical.

2) The Runaway Bunny by Wargaret Wise Brown. Funnily enough, neither my mother nor myself remembers reading this book when I was a child but it did make it's way under the Christmas tree this year. I gave it to my mom because, well, is there anything more appropriate? A story about a mother whose love will follow her little bunny to the ends of the earth. I cried (balled) in Barnes and Noble when I read it again in November. A must for any new mother.

3) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. This book is a true pillar of children's literature. It was exciting and wonderfully rich when I read it all those years ago and still holds up today. A classic, to be sure.

4) The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I read these books with my father when I was a child and devoured each one. They are perfect for the cold, winter months. Cuddle up with your youngster or just gift them the book to read on their own. Don't be surprised if by April when the weather warms they are through more than a few! I am a sucker for the originals (only the first 19 were written by Warner) so try to start with those if you can.

5) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. As one of my trusty readers and friends pointed out about last week's post...can you really have a winter reading list and NOT include Harry Potter? The answer is most definitely no. If you are one of the baffling few who have yet to read the books (there must be one or two, no?) please PLEASE pick them up asap. As I told one of my friends ten years ago when I was beginning my own journey with HP, "if you don't read them, you are only punishing yourself." I still feel that way today. And if you, like me, have been a constant reader, why not start the series over and brush up on your Potter Plots? The next movie will be out before we know it...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter Reading Series, Part 1- ADULTS

If you live anywhere remotely close to where I do (well, except for maybe Florida), it is likely that winter has set in by now, and how. It is cold, sometimes too cold to even snow, and, if you again, like me, live in a city, space is cramped. What is one to do? Read, of course!

I have found that a good book on a cold winter's night can be just what my mood ordered (plus, Glee is on hiatus) and since I do feel the winter has a tendency to get adults down more than children (those of us who are past our snow-angel prime...I know, I know, never too old!) I have decided to, just this once, make this blog about grown-ups. In my mind the winter is the time for meat, for length, for a novel that will work it's way into your heart and spend some time with you. Below are my top five book choices for winter reading. Enjoy! And stay warm.

1) The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud.

This novel is one of the most fascinating character studies I have read in awhile. Set in New York directly before the fall of the twin towers and with a cast of characters, the book asks that age-old question that has been the underbelly of human existence since the beginning: what is truth, and what does it mean to be an authentic human being? I loved it.

2) The Last of Her Kind by Jenna Blum.

Ms. Blum is not only a sensational writer but a remarkable researcher. The book, chronicling the lives of two German women during the Nazi occupation, is a heartbreakingly accurate account of war and the things we do to survive. I especially liked the emphasis on the idea of "remembrance" and how we all bear the burden of our past in different ways. A truly fantastic novel.

3) Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik.

This memoir holds a special place in my heart and I revisited it this winter when I gave it to my father for Christmas. Gopnik, as some of you may know, is a beloved New Yorker writer who moved his young family to Paris in the 90's. Through his expat eyes, one encounters the very real diversion (and subsequent marriage) of the odd, unpredictable nature of the French Life and the timeless romanticism of this beloved city. It is funny, quirky and incredibly lovely. *Read with a glass of red wine and a warm blanket.

4) Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins.

This is another classic favorite of mine and a book I recommend again and again. It is a tale about science, love, and the questions that lead man beyond the realms of human control. It takes place mostly at a research facility in the states during WWII where radioactivity was being explored and tested.

5) My French Life by Vicki Archer.

I was gifted this book last week for my birthday and tore through it. The gift-giver knows I am painfully in love with all things French and came across My French Life thinking it would make a nice coffee-table adornment for my apartment. It does, indeed, but it's also a delicious written window into French life. Meaty perhaps it isn't but divine it definitely is. With rich, edible descriptions of French food, poignant anecdotes about French lifestyle and sensibility and enviable examples of French fashion it is a book to read and re-read. Paired with the delectable text are wonderful photographs by Archer's longtime friend and colleague, Carla Coulson. Enjoy with a cocktail and drift away along the Seine.

How about you all? Any favorite winter reads?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Books and Birthdays

As some of you may know from my website I do Nurturing Narratives birthdays. Part of the mission of my program is to foster a LOVE of literacy and what better way to do that than to bring books into the birthday realm?

I was talking to a client earlier today about a party for her daughter (we are planning something special with a poetry theme) and it got me thinking that I have yet to share some birthday suggestions on the blog here for you all. So, candles and cakes aside, here are some ideas for a fun (and educational) birthday party.

- An Eloise Party. What little girl doesn't love Eloise at The Plaza? Throw a Eloise-themed tea party where you read Eloise, pretend you are at The Plaza and create your own Eloise adventure. Feeling adventurous? Eloise in Paris also works.

- Move to the beat of the book! This is especially fun for younger children. Get your child's favorite storybook out and asked the children to act it out. You can do everything from symbolic movement (let's all be trees in the forest!) to assigning each child a character to play.

- A Poetry Party. Cut up a bunch of fun words---adjectives are especially great!---and put them all in a paper bag. Have each child choose 10 and create their own poem. Afterwards play "poetry puzzle" and guess whose poem belongs to who...the birthday child can be the reader and get the first guess.

- Storybook Swap. Buy some inexpensive writing journals and give one to each child. Tell them to describe one person or thing in the room is the most descriptive and unique language they can without naming what it is. Then pass the journals to the right and have each child try to draw the object or partygoer based on the description. Then, if it's not already obvious, guess who and what is on the page!

And be sure to spread the literacy love! Sticking to the theme of the party, give out party-favors of your child's favorite book and let each child go home with the poem or writing journal they have created.

Happy Birthday to anyone who is celebrating out there!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Children's Ambassador

OK. I know I am a little late in posting this (the news broke 4 days ago, really) but I have just touched back down in New York and, I suppose, better late than never.

As many of you know Katherine Paterson has been named the new national ambassador for young people's literature. She succeeds Jon Scieszka as the second writer to hold the post. Paterson is best known in my book for "The Bridge to Terabithia," a novel I absolutely adored as a child first coming to literature and "Jacob Have I Loved." Perhaps Mrs. Paterson is not part of the youth culture but vetted she most definitely is. She has an impressive resume that spans decades of writing (both novels and picture books) as well as an elementary teaching career. Her books can be dark and a bit dangerous which is probably why she appeals so much to children. She is not afraid of going to places that are not all sunshine. And as we know from watching beloved author J.K. Rowling at work, children respect the honesty of darkness far more than the false reality of endless light.

I am looking forward to Paterson's rein and the twinkle-eyed spirit I hope she will bring to the job post. Some notes to come on winter reading soon but in the meantime, stay warm and happy reading!