Children's Books

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Ariel Waldman, a San Francisco-based writer and science advocate who is a fellow at the Institute for the Future, a National Academy of Sciences committee member, and the founder of Spacehack.org (which is a directory of ways to participate in space exploration). Waldman joins us to talk about her new book: "What's It Like in Space? Stories from Astronauts Who've Been There." It's a fun-to-read collection -- written for parents and kids alike -- that gathers eyewitness stories from dozens of international astronauts.

Today's ST is a replay of a show from two weeks ago, which was preempted by a presidential press conference. For this edition of our program, we check in with our longtime book reviewer, Nancy Pearl, for a few page-turning gift suggestions. (With the holidays fast upon us, it's entirely worth pointing out that one can never really go wrong with a good book....) A well-known librarian, now retired, who began appearing on our show back when she lived in Tulsa -- in the early 1990s -- Nancy is also a bestselling author, literary critic, and book editor.

On this edition of our show, a conversation with the prolific and bestselling author Sharon Draper, who's the winner of this year's Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. This prize is awarded each year by the Tulsa Library Trust, and Ms. Draper will formally accept the honor at a presentation and address on Friday the 28th at 7pm. This event happens at the Hardesty Regional Library here in Tulsa, and Ms. Draper will also speak about her life and works, answer questions from the audience, and sign copies of her books.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with Fran Stallings, a longtime storyteller who has performed at numerous national and international storytelling festivals, in schools and libraries, and on the radio. Stallings has two new books out, which she tells us about: "How to Fool a Cat: Japanese Folktales for Children" and "The Price of Three Stories: Rare Folktales from Japan." In each of these collections, Stallings has edited and adapted the stories of her friend and collaborator, Hiroko Fujita.

Our guest on ST via telephone is Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer, a bestselling author, critic, editor, and retired librarian (and former citizen of Tulsa) who can also be heard regularly on NPR's Morning Edition. Now that the warm and sunny days of summer have finally arrived, Nancy joins us with a stack of favorites that ought to be perfect for that long trip in the car, endless airplane ride, idle day at the beach, lazy afternoon in the hammock, or all of the above.

On this edition of ST, we welcome James Warhola (born 1955), an American artist and illustrator who's created more than two dozen children's picture books over the years. Warhola briefly worked at Interview magazine in New York City -- which was established and edited by Andy Warhol, his uncle -- before becoming a science fiction illustrator. As such, beginning in the early 1980s, he did the cover art for hundreds of sci-fi books, and he was later an artist and illustrator for Mad magazine.

On this edition on StudioTulsa, we offer an entertaining and wide-ranging chat with Stacy Nyikos, an author, writing teacher, and on-the-go mom who lives in Bixby.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about Reach Out and Read, a long-running nationwide program that, per the "mission" page of its website, "prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.... The program serves more than 4 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities.

The Tulsa Library Trust's Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature, inaugurated in 1991, aims to "give formal recognition, on behalf of the Tulsa County community, to nationally acclaimed authors who have made a significant contribution to the field of literature for children and young adults." Past winners of the Zarrow Award include Jim Murphy, Jacqueline Woodson, Jane Yolen, Gary Paulsen, Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L'Engle, and S.E. Hinton -- and this year, the highly deserving recipient of this award is Jack Gantos.

Our guest on ST today is William Joyce, the well-known children's book author and illustrator, veteran New Yorker magazine cover artist, and all-around creative guru. Joyce's many picture books include "George Shrinks," "Dinosaur Bob," and "Santa Calls" --- and he won three Emmy Awards for his "Rolie Polie Olie" animated TV series.

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