The Dog in the Dentist Chair, by Peggy Frezon

Reading The Dog in the Dentist Chair, I imagine Peggy Frezon like a reporter, walking around with a microphone in her hand, interviewing the special animals she’s discovered and getting their stories straight from the source, even though cats, dogs, and pigs can’t talk to us with human words. Her careful, loving observation of their…

Guest Post: A House of Books

Guest poster Melissa Naasko invites us to a family ritual and the powerful reason she reads to her children.  In a corner of my house is a round oak table that was the kitchen table my husband sat at as a child. It is where the teenaged children do their school work. Next to it is…

Dear Komodo Dragon, by Nancy Kelly Allen

Lots of children have pen pals but one little girl has a real-life dragon—a Komodo dragon—for a pen pal! Leslie plans to be a dragon hunter when she grows up. When she and Komodo become pen pals, the wise-cracking dragon adds a generous helping of humor to letters that are chock full of accurate, interesting…

New Release: The Barn and the Book

Happy book birthday to the second story in the Sam and Saucer series!  The Barn and the Book releases today in print and ebook editions, and the audiobook will be live as soon as Audible completes its mysterious approval process and turns it on! What’s the story? Sam wants to know if animals (especially Saucer!)…

Piggy in Heaven: Full Cover Spread

Piggy in Heaven, releasing from Paraclete Press on January 8, 2019, is a story I wrote for my own family when our much-loved guinea pig died. We are a family who knows that love is love, no matter how small and furry the loved one is, and we needed help thinking about our Piggy in…

The Runaway Bunny as Christian Allegory

In this remarkable scene from Wit (2001, directed by Mike Nichols), Evelyn Ashford (Eileen Atkins) comforts her dying friend and former student Vivian (Emma Thompson) by cradling her gently and reading Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny. At the 5:00 minute mark, these two grieving women, both academics, share a surprising discovery about the book. “Ah!…

The Happy Man and His Dump Truck, by Miryam

“A happy man thrills a group of farm animals when he takes them for a joy ride in his dump truck. This book is a true classic illustrated by the inimitable Tibor Gergely.” The Happy Man and His Dump Truck is one of my favorite picture books. The first time you read it, you think…

Meh: A Story about Depression, by Deborah Malcolm

Meh: A Story about Depression is a wordless picture book with remarkably evocative, content-rich illustrations leading the reader on an emotional and spiritual journey through an episode of depression and recovery. The concept of using a picture book to launch a conversation about depression with a child is fascinating and brilliant, in my view. You’ll want…

Froggy Learns to Swim, by Jonathan London

“Zzzziiiinnngggg splash! Everyone’s favorite frog learns to swim! Frogs are supposed to be great swimmers. “Not me!” says Froggy, who’s afraid of the water. But with a little encouragement, some practice, and the help of a silly song or two, Froggy becomes an expert frog-kicker!” You have to read this book out loud. You can’t…