Weird Stories from the Lonesome Cafe

Fall 2013

Coming soon--Ukulele Hayley!

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best list 2012

Oregon Book Awards 2012

Ukulele Lady

Bank Street College of Education, Best Books of 2011

200,000 people attended the National Book Festival.

Each state had a table at the Pavilion of States. Look closely, and you'll see CARMEN LEARNS ENGLISH.

Everyone got a map. Kids took the maps to each state's table to get it stamped. I helped stamp using Oregon's Ramona Quimby stamp (because Beverly Cleary is an Oregon author.)

We saw Giant Pandas at the National Zoo in Washington, D. C.

After visiting Washington, D. C. we took the train back to Portland, Oregon--from sea to shining sea!

After three days on the train, I look a little bit tired. But happy!

Move over Rock Bottom Remainders! Here comes "Banned"! From left to right: Neysa, Monelle, Michelle, Judy (not pictured: Docena, Lucinda)

Keynote address at SCBWI--Southern Idaho/Northern Utah April 2011

Bank Street College of Education, Best Books of 2011

Prince George, B. C. gets a lot of snow!

Fleur in Aberglen Castle (Div. 6 Highglen Elementary)

At Heather Park Elementary with Ishbu the rat puppet.

Frederick and Ishbu's first adventure!

The second book in The Tails of Frederick and Ishbu

Summer Reading

Word by Word

One for the Fans!

September 22, 2016

Tags: Children's fiction about Rats, Adventure, Humor, Mystery, Judy Cox, new books, Frederick and Ishbu, travel

It's finally finished! Several years ago, I started a third book about those adventuresome rat brothers--Frederick and Ishbu. It's been a long wait, but the book is done and available as an eBook. You can buy it at Amazon.com.

Why the long wait? Well, real life has a way of interrupting a writer's fantasy world from time to time. We had a rough couple of years that included an across-state move to be closer to family, and some severe health problems. But all is well now, and I was at last able to finish THE SECRET OF THE DOOLITTLE DEVICE. It is currently ONLY available as an eBook. If there is some demand, I will release a print version. There is a FREE preview on Amazon.com!

Many thanks to all of the fans of Frederick and Ishbu who encouraged me to keep going. I love those ratty brothers, and I love all of you.

THE SECRET OF THE DOOLITTLE DEVICE
Ishbu loves carrot sticks and marshmallow treats, and Frederick loves Geography. The rat brothers live and learn in a cozy cage in Miss Dove’s classroom, until the fateful day when Mrs. Thorn throws them out of the window, and launches them on a wild journey to save the world. This third adventure finds them traveling the globe in search of a rare element needed to power the mysterious Doolittle Device. But can the brothers reach it before the Big Cheese gets his evil paws on it?
A companion volume to "The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot" and "The Case of the Purloined Professor" also by Judy Cox.

Exciting New Opportunity

August 27, 2015

Tags: Diane Kidd, Judy Cox, Weird Stories from the Lonesome Cafe, children's books, chapter books

Judy Cox and Diane Kidd at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Recently I took a trip to Washington D. C. where I was fortunate to meet Diane Kidd, the illustrator of my book, WEIRD STORIES FROM THE LONESOME CAFE. Diane works at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

You might know that WEIRD STORIES FROM THE LONESOME CAFE, published by Harcourt in 2000, is now out of print. The rights have reverted to us, and so we are pursuing the opportunity to bring out a new edition.

And--(drum roll, please) we are planning to publish a sequel as well!

This is an exciting new venture for us! I'll keep you posted as things progress!

Welcome to the Blog Hop!

August 13, 2013

Tags: Ukulele Hayley, children's books, Bruce Hale, Judy Cox

Thanks to multitalented children’s author Bruce Hale for the invitation to this blog hop! Here’s a link to his website where you can read about his new picture book, CLARK THE SHARK and his School for Spies series for middle grade:
Bruce Hale

What gave you the idea for Ukulele Hayley?

I knew that ukuleles were enormously popular, and that many schools were starting up uke bands and clubs. As part of my research, I taught myself to play ukulele and became completely hooked! The uke is a fun instrument—it’s light, portable, and inexpensive. It’s relatively easy to learn the basic chords, but the instrument is versatile enough for jazz and classical music. In the book, Hayley starts a uke club at school. I became so enthralled with ukulele that I started a ukulele group in my town, and I also teach uke classes for children at a local music store. It’s a clear case of Life imitating Art!

How does it differ from others in that genre?

Ukulele Hayley is an early chapter book with a lot of humor. There are lots of books for that age group, but I think mine differ in that they are a little bit deeper. I hope that my children’s books have “heart”—something you can take away after you finish the book—an idea that resonates with both children and adults. In the case of Ukulele Hayley, I wanted to portray the power music has to bring people together.

Why do you write what you do?

I write humor because I see the quirky side of things. It’s my nature to make up stories; that just seems to be the way I think. I probably only get around to writing down a small portion of them! I was a bookworm growing up, and I remember all the wonderful books from my childhood and the joy reading brought me. I always wanted to be a part of that writing and reading world. Even after 26 books, seeing my books at a library or bookstore is a tremendous thrill.

What’s the hardest part about writing?

That’s changed over the years. When I was working as a teacher, playing in a band, and raising my son, finding the time to write was the hardest part. Now that I’m retired, and my son is grown, I still struggle with finding time--possibly even more so now that I don’t have a regular job to organize my time. I’d so much rather play the ukulele! But, once I sit down and get involved in my story, the words eventually flow, even if not quite at the same pace as they once did.


What are you working on now?

I have a new picture book, tentatively titled “WoolGathering” coming out in 2014. I’m currently working on the third book in my fantasy/animal/adventure series, The Tails of Frederick and Ishbu. The series includes The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot and The Case of the Purloined Professor. Frederick and Ishbu are brother rats who live in a cage in Miss Dove’s fifth grade classroom. Ishbu loves carrot sticks and marshmallow treats and Frederick loves Geography. In my new book, they are evicted from their cage and must find their way back home (and save the world from their nemesis, the Big Cheese—an evil mastermind who heads up the Bilgewater Brigade gang.

I've invited other children's authors to participate--I'll add them as they respond, so keep checking back!

The Secret Chicken Society Awarded Oregon Spirit Award

May 19, 2013

Tags: The Secret Chicken Society, OCTE, Oregon Spirit Book Award, Judy Cox, children's books, chickens, Portland

The Secret Chicken Society won The Oregon Spirit Book Award in the Juvenile category. The award, sponsored by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, selects Oregon authors who make “a distinguished contribution to children’s literature or young adult literature that engages and encourages readers’ imagination, discovery, and understanding, reflecting the spirit and values held by Oregonians.”

Winners will be presented with the award at the OCTE Fall Conference on October 5, 2013, at Wilsonville High School.

THE SECRET CHICKEN SOCIETY

$15.95 HC • 978-0-8234-2372-9

$5.99 PB • 978-0-8234-2765-9

The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot

November 14, 2012

Tags: mystery, rats, burmese, backinprint, adventure, Judy Cox, children's books

Now available in paperback--a new edition of The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot!

One of the hardest things about being an author these days is seeing a favorite book go out of print. In the olden, golden days of children's books, books stayed in print for decades, giving time for people to find the book and for the audience to grow. Not so anymore. All sorts of economic pressures conspire to put books out of print.

I cried when I found out that The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot was going OOP. I cried, and then I bought up as many copies as I could afford. And then I decided to do something else--something that was never available to me before. I brought out a new paperback edition of the book, through Authors Guild's Back in Print program.

Sadly, I wasn't able to obtain the rights to Omar Rayvan's gorgeous cover illustration, so I made a cut paper illustration of my own and used that.

Now, at long last, the first adventure of Frederick and Ishbu is available again. I hope you enjoy it!

The Snuggle Factor

January 25, 2012

Tags: learn to read, read aloud, reading development, Judy Cox, picture books, cuddle, snuggle, help your child learn to read

Bookends!
Baby, it’s cold outside! I’m watching snowflakes drift past my window, a mug of steaming hot chocolate in my hand, carols on the radio. Time to cuddle up with a good book.

Speaking of cuddling, I have a theory about how children learn to read. I’m a reading specialist. Over the years, I’ve come up with a completely unscientific hypothesis about why some children learn to read seemingly without effort, while some children struggle. I have no evidence or proof—it’s just a gut feeling.

I call it the “cuddle factor”. Maybe children who love to read have somewhere, sometime, been cuddled as they read or were read to-- heads bent together over a favorite book, sitting on grandma’s or grandpa’s lap, curled up with mom or dad or a favorite aunt or uncle—even a caring babysitter.

I have no basis for this theory, but I like it. You don’t get cuddling from a video game, the computer, or TV screen! So while I’m teaching phonics, or decoding, or any of the thousand required reading skills I’m employed to teach, I make it a point to sit close to my students and share a silly poem, a nursery rhyme, a funny song, or a favorite book, in the hopes that some of my love of reading will “rub off” on them.

So on these cold, dark winter days, do yourself and your little ones a favor--cuddle up together with a good book!

Oregon Book Award Finalist

January 24, 2012

Tags: Oregon Book Award 2012, Judy Cox, Nora and the Texas Terror, Oregon Book Award finalist, Nancy Coffelt, Eric Kimmel, Cynthia Rylant, Graham Salisbury, Oregon Literary Arts

I'm thrilled to announce that NORA AND THE TEXAS TERROR has been named a finalist for the Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for Children's Literature, one of the Oregon Book Awards, for 2012!

Many of the other nominees in my category are good friends and colleagues, so it's a double thrill to see my name on the same page with writers I admire: Nancy Coffelt, Eric Kimmel, Cynthia Rylant, and Graham Salisbury. (more…)

The Important Thing About Picture Books

November 12, 2011

Tags: pciture book month, Children's books, Judy Cox, literature, learning to read, reading research

November is Picture Book Month! In honor of the occasion, I am re-running a blog post I wrote last year.

THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT PICTURE BOOKS

Recently, an article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/us/08picture.html
stated that picture books seem to be on the wane, as parents and teachers push children into reading “harder” books in order to make gains on reading tests. This is such a mistaken notion.
Picture books far are more than easy books with pictures as a crutch. Like learning to crawl before learning to walk, picture books serve an important function in a child’s language development.
I hope we as a culture haven’t forgotten that picture books:
• Develop vocabulary. Because picture books are meant to be read by an adult to a child (and not the other way around) the author is free to use any words at all—including made up words and words in other languages. There are no restrictions. The level of vocabulary in a picture book is much higher than in a leveled chapter book.
• Teach an appreciation for language. Picture books sound best when read aloud. They use playful, tongue-tickling language. Picture books teach an appreciation for all the fun of English, including alliteration, onomatopoeia, puns, and word play. No where else, aside from poetry, will you find such joy in words.
• Visual interpretation. The pictures in a picture book often tell a companion story to the text, so the reader learns to interpret visual clues—like facial expressions and body language. In our graphics-heavy culture, the ability to “read” visuals is a key skill.
• Shared experience. A picture book, shared by an adult with a child, is an interactive experience. It gives the child a chance to ask questions, and make comments. It gives the adult a chance to listen, guide, and direct. The interaction leads to increased receptive and expressive language.
• Brain development. A picture book read by an adult to a child engages more centers of the brain than a video. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2848291/

I remember hearing about a grandmother who was concerned when her grandson entered school, and was labeled as language delayed. She promptly put him on a “diet” of fourteen picture books a day. Imagine—she read fourteen picture books every day (not in a row) to her grandson! Within months, he had caught up to the rest of the children in his class.
So snuggle up with a child today and share a picture book. You won’t regret it.

Find more great posts from picture book authors and illustrators at www.picturebookmonth.com



Thanksgiving Giveaway

November 5, 2011

Tags: Judy Cox, One is a feast for mouse, thanksgiving, free signed book, Mouse books, Holiday House

Win a Signed Copy!
Just in time for Thanksgiving! Because I'm feeling grateful for all my readers, I'm giving away a signed copy of the first Mouse book--ONE IS A FEAST FOR MOUSE.

Enter to win. Send me an email at Gtrmouse@​aol.com with the subject line: THANKSGIVING GIVEAWAY. I'll draw the winner's name on November 17 and contact the winner for his or her mailing address. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October 18, 2011

Tags: Anti-bullying, NEA, children's books, Judy Cox, teachers, cyberbullying, Carmen Learns English, Mean Mean Maureen Green, Puppy Power, That Crazy Eddie and the Science Project of Doom, Carmen Learns English, Nora and the Texas Terror

October is National Bullying Prevention Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Several of my books are used in school anti-bullying programs as discussion starters. At the heart of my chapter books, I write about relationships--how to get along with others,treat one another equitably, make friends, deal with conflicts. Fiction is a great way for children to experience another child's reality and learn empathy. There's an old saying, "You don't really know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes". Stories take you on that walk.

Here are some of my books that are used in anti-bullying programs: (Note--some of them are no longer in print, but available at libraries)

Mean, Mean Maureen Green
Puppy Power
Nora and the Texas Terror
That Crazy Eddie and the Science Project of Doom
Third Grade Pet
Butterfly Buddies
Carmen Learns English

How can you help? Sign the anti-bullying pledge on NEA's website, pledging to be a caring adult. Be a role model for treating people with kindness and compassion. Share books with your children that open discussions on how to treat others. If we all work together, we can stop bullying.

My Trip to the National Book Festival , or Tim and Judy's Excellent Adventure

October 15, 2011

Tags: National Book Festival, children's literature, Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie, Pavilion of States, Deborah Hopkinson, Amtrak, Judy Cox

Author Judy Cox with Sara, Katie and Susan at the National Book Festival
Wow! What a stupendous trip! My husband and I flew to Washington, D. C. on Friday, September 23. Picture acres of white tents pitched on the National Mall between the Washington monument and the Capitol building. Like the book lover I am, I'd seen the festival on C-SPAN's BOOK TV channel, and it gave me thrills to be there in person.

I helped to host the Oregon table and the Pavilion of States. Every child (adults, too) attending the Festival got a paper map (with MY book, "Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!" listed on the back). The kids took the maps around to each state table, plus Guam and American Samoa to get them stamped.

After the even, we met the librarians, Sara and Katie, and Oregon children's author Deborah Hopkinson and her son for a crab cake dinner at Union Station.

The next couple of days were packed with sightseeing. I'd seen the White House on an earlier visit, so my husband and I opted to visit the Giant Pandas at the National Zoo instead. We watched the pandas do what they do best--eat and sleep. An adult panda can eat up to 40 pounds of bamboo a day!

A few days later, we boarded the Amtrak train and took trains all across the entire country. We traveled through fourteen states! We got to eat in the dining car and sleep in teeny-tiny berths in a roomette. What an amazing trip!

Thanks to everyone at the Library of Congress and Oregon Center for the Book for inviting me!

Mrs. Millie Goes to Washington, D. C.

September 10, 2011

Tags: Judy Cox, Mrs. Millie, National Book Festival, Oregon Center for the Book, children's literature, picture books

Mrs. Millie is going to the National Book Festival!
Mrs. Millie is going to Washington, D. C.! I've been invited to help host the Oregon table at the Pavilion of States at the National Book Festival in Washington, D. C. on Saturday, September 24, 2011.

Each year, a different Oregon author is invited, and I'm so proud and excited to have been chosen. What an honor to represent Oregon literature! My book, "Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!" will be listed on the map of the states. Participants take the map to the state tables and get them stamped. I'll get to visit with readers from all across the country. Maybe I'll even see the First Lady and her children--or the First Grandma!

I'm thrilled to be going to Washington, D. C. I haven't been there since 1965--when my whole family drove from California to New York to see the World's Fair. I'll bet things have changed just a little bit! Who knows, maybe I'll have material for a new book when I get back!

Best Books of 2011

April 2, 2011

Tags: Bank Street College of Education Best Books for Children, Carmen Learns English, Cinco de Mouse-O!, Jeffrey Ebbeler, Angela Dominguez, picture books, Judy Cox, children's books

Happy News!

Two of my books, CINCO DE MOUSE-O! (Holiday House; illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler)and CARMEN LEARNS ENGLISH (Holiday House; illustrated by Angela Dominguez) have been chosen as Best Children's Books of 2011 by the Bank Street College of Education.

The Children's Book Committee reviews over 6000 books each year and selects 600 books to include in their annotated bibliography. From their website:

"The Children's Book Committee was founded almost 100 years ago to help parents, teachers, and librarians choose the books that children will find captivating and transforming."

I'm proud to be among the books selected.

Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here

March 3, 2011

Tags: Judy Cox, children's author, school visits, Prince George, British Columbia, Frederick and Ishbu, The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot, The Case of the Purloined Professor, rats

Luncheon in Prince George
I recently had a wonderful time in Prince George, British Columbia. In spite of some travel mishaps (maybe someday I'll write a humorous account of my travel mishaps--but right now they are still NOT funny)I was treated like royalty by three elementary schools: Highglen Montessori, Heather Park, and Ecole College Heights.

I was invited to visit Prince George by Nancie Miners's Division 6 class at Highglen Montessori. They had read both books in The Tails of Frederick and Ishbu series, THE MYSTERY OF THE BURMESE BANDICOOT and THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PROFESSOR last year, and wrote me letters. They sent me photographs of their classrooom pet rats--Tonks and Fleur--who just happened to look like the rats in my book! We started corresponding, and I was invited to visit.

It was wonderful to meet all of the children, parents,teachers, and librarians. One of the highlights of my visit was a luncheon put on by Division 6. We had tea brewed in a china teapot and served with cream and sugar, coffee cake made by the teacher, and a violin serenade. I shared stories about the real Frederick and Ishbu, and gave the kids some writing tips.

Thank you, Prince George! It was a trip I will long remember.

Countdown to Chicago!

April 21, 2010

Tags: IRA, Chicago, Judy Cox, children's books, reading, Cinco de Mouse-O!, Jeffrey Ebbeler

Judy and illustrator Jeffrey Ebbeler in Chicago
It's only four days away and Wow!--am I excited.

I'll be speaking at the International Reading Association National Conference in Chicago at 11am on Monday, April 26. My presentation--with Deborah Wooten, education professor and author of "Children's Literature in the Reading Program"--is entitled "Celebrate Reading!" I'll be giving a slide show and talking about the stories behind my books.

Come join me at 2:30 that afternoon at the Holiday House booth, #1910. Jeff Ebbeler and I will be signing our newest book, Cinco de Mouse-O!

If you're in the Windy City, stop by and say "Hello!"

NEW CURRICULUM GUIDE

January 27, 2010

Tags: lesson plans, curriculum, Judy Cox, rat fiction, children's books, mysteries, adventure, Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot, The Case of the Purloined Professor, lesson plans, science activities

Download the curriculum guide on the parents and teachers page.
I've just added a free downloadable curriculum guide to my website.

You can find the guide by clicking the FOR TEACHERS tab, but it's not just for teachers. I hope everyone will check it out. I loved coming up with the activities in the guide--that's the teacher in me. In fact, I had to work hard just to limit it to nine pages. Maybe I'll have to do a Volume Two!

Some of the activities you'll find are:

How to make a Marshmallow Catapult
A Paper Airplane Contest
Postcards from Frederick and Ishbu
Mapping the Journey
A Recipe for Ishbu's Favorite Treat

In addition, I'd like to invite teachers to enter a drawing for free books. Details are available on the For Teachers tab under the link to the curriculum guide.

Find all this and more at www.judycox.net


Fleased as Punch!

December 10, 2009

Tags: Time magazine, awards, Mrs. Millie, children's books, Best Books, 2009, Judy Cox

I'm thrilled to announce that TIME Magazine listed PICK A PUMPKIN, MRS. MILLIE! as one of the top ten children's books for 2009!

The first Mrs. Millie book, DON'T BE SILLY, MRS. MILLIE! was named to the list in 2005.

Scholastic Book Club News

October 27, 2009

Tags: Scholastic, book club, teachers, One is a Feast for Mouse, That Crazy Eddie and the Science Project of Doom, Judy Cox, science projects, Thanksgiving, Jeff Ebbeler, Blanche Sims

Exciting news for teachers and students--two of my books are available from Scholastic Book Clubs this Fall.

ONE IS A FEAST FOR MOUSE is available in the November See Saw book order.

THAT CRAZY EDDIE AND THE SCIENCE PROJECT OF DOOM is a December selection in the Lucky book order. It comes with a SLIME science project kit full of all sorts of interesting looking stuff!

Sometimes Less is More

October 18, 2009

Tags: Where the Wild Things Are, movies, books, picture books, Maruice Sendak, writing, movies, Judy Cox, Polar Express, Jumanji, Shrek

I don't plan to see the new movie, Where the Wild Things Are. I don't want to know Max's Freudian motivations for wearing a wolf suit or yelling at his mom. I don't want to hear the Wild Things talk. I don't want to see the island "brought to life on the big screen".

I adore the book; in my mind Maurice Sendak created the perfect picture book--short, spare, concise, and elegant in its design. (Have you noticed how the pictures take up more of the page's space as Max's journey evolves?)A good picture book--a great picture book--can say as much in a few words as a novel. Like a poem, much of the meaning is constructed by the reader. Movies tell too much. They leave nothing for the viewer to do. I want to participate in the creation of the story, bringing my own memories, fears, hopes, and dreams to my reading. In this way, each reader experiences the book in a unique fashion.

I haven't liked other movies that have been adapted from picture books because that inevitably means that plot is added, unlike a novel adaptation where plot is cut. Jumanji, for instance--where did that sad, lost hunter come from? Or How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a horrible movie which seeks to explain why the Grinch turned bad. I never had a problem accepting that he was bad because his heart was two sizes too small, did you? The only movie based on a book that I did like was Shrek, and I suspect that was because I had not read the book first.

Instead of movies, I prefer the richer, less limiting experience of my own "theater of the mind" where Wild Things do not need to talk, and the Polar Express is full of unexplained magic.

So, while other folks are in the dark theater, finding out what Wild Things do at a rumpus, I'll be at home, with a cup of tea, my cat at my feet, and a stack of picture books at hand. Relaxing, reflecting, watching stories come to life in my head.

Pick a Pumpkin, Mrs. Millie!

July 22, 2009

Tags: Judy Cox, children's books, children's author, reading, books, Mrs. Millie, pumpkin patch, field trip, Kindergarten, Halloween, pumpkin, puns, wordplay

It's here! My new book, PICK A PUMPKIN, MRS. MILLIE! is now available in bookstores. It's always a thrill to get a new book. All those hours and hours of work have finally paid off.

I was sitting in my living room when the brown UPS truck pulled up. My husband and I tried to remember if we'd ordered anything, then I realized it must be my new book. What a thrill! I even told the UPS driver--"It's my new book!" He was underwhelmed. "Uh, uh," he said. Maybe he hears it all the time?

PICK A PUMPKIN, MRS. MILLIE! is the third in the Mrs. Millie series. In this adventure, she takes her kindergarten class on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Every year I took my kindergartners to the pumpkin patch. The book is dedicated to Farmer Don. He and he wife, Jeanne, had a very small farm in West Linn, Oregon. Their barn was over 100 years old. Every year, they hosted hundreds of school children. Farmer Don picked us up at the gate in his tractor-drawn wagon and drove us to the patch to pick out pumpkins. His pumpkin patch was not the biggest, or the fanciest, or the most hi-tech--but I'll bet it was the sincerest patch in Oregon. Although the events and characters in the book are imaginary, it is this patch that inspired me. Thanks, Jeanne and Don!

Summer Reading, Part II

June 14, 2009

Tags: Judy Cox, Miracles on Maple Hill, children's books, vintage books, Virginia Sorensen, Beth and Joe Krush, Newbery Medal, library, reading, summer, children's author

I bought a real treasure at the second hand bookstore yesterday. I found a copy of "Miracles on Maple Hill" by Virginia Sorensen. Published in 1956, this book won the Newbery Medal in 1957.

The book I found is not in mint condition, but condition doesn't matter to me. If it's readable--and a book I love--I'll buy it. This copy is a discard from the Wichita City Library in Wichita, Kansas. I know this because there is an imprint embossed on the title page. The book has a red library binding with an illustration on the front. It's been well-used. There are inked-out marks on some of the pages, and the cover and edges of the pages are worn. At some time during its life, the book must have belonged to the Wyoming Indian Elementary School Library, because there's a stamp from them. I don't know if that school was in Kansas or Wyoming--I'll have to search on the internet. This book is probably the same edition that my school library had. The only thing that's missing is the old library card pocket.

I don't remember reading this book as a child, but I think one of my teachers read it aloud to the class. I can't recall the story, but as I started reading it yesterday, the chapter about sugaring off sounded familiar. I look forward to reading the whole book.

One of the best things about this book is the charming pen and ink illustrations by Beth and Joe Krush. When I was a child, mid-grade books were nearly always illustrated. I loved Beth and Joe Krush's work so much that I would check books out from the school library simply based on their illustrations. They illustrated the Gone-Away Lake books by Elizabeth Enright, as well as the Borrowers series by Mary Norton.

We've been having a lot of summer rain showers this June, so I think I'll turn off my computer and go curl up with "Miracles on Maple Hill".

Happy Reading!

Summer Reading

May 24, 2009

Tags: reading, summer, Judy Cox, children's author, library, books

Summer vacation is coming! It's so close I can almost taste it. In fact, some of my favorite things about summer are tastes--Lemonade. Fried chicken. Watermelon. Cherry Popsicles. Books.

Wait a minute--did I just say books? That's right,books. Of course, I don't actually eat books. I don't even nibble them. But certain books just seem to have a kind of flavor--a flavor that puts me in a lazy summery mood. I try to reread a few of them every summer.

Some of my all time favorites are:

The River at Green Knowe by L. M. Boston

Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright

The Swing in the Summerhouse by Jane Langton

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

I hope you'll savor a few of your favorites this summer, too!

Selected Works

Picture Book
Animal Adventure
A stand-alone companion volume to "The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot" and "The Case of the Purloined Professor" also by Judy Cox.
Award
Bank Street College of Education Best Books 2014
New Books
Join Mouse on his fourth adventure--a romp in the snow!
Mrs. Millie's Kindergartners surprise her with a pun-filled birthday party!
Mouse is back in a Halloween adventure.
Nora's rowdy cousin from Texas is coming to stay. Is Ellie as bad as Nora remembers? Junior Library Guild Selection
Award Winners
Oregon Spirit Award
Bank Street College of Education, Best Books of 2011
Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2011
TIME magazine Best Children's Books of 2009
Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award 2009
Children's Choices list 2009
TIME magazine Best Children's Books of 2005
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award 2004
Nevada Young Readers Award 2002