Children's Books

Hemingway once noted: "There are two kinds of stories. The ones you live and the ones you make up. And nobody knows the difference. And I don't ever tell which is which." Great writers aren't the only ones who feel compelled to tell stories. It's something we all do. We have to. Doing so makes us human; sharing stories makes life easier, richer, more coherent, more meaningful. On this installment of ST, we learn about a story-driven event for the Tulsa community that's happening this weekend.

On today's ST, we offer a thoroughly gosh-wow-how-cool discussion with Stephen Voltz. Along with Fritz Grobe, Voltz is co-founder of the EepyBird Laboratory in Maine --- please see website here --- which is well-known for its experiments with ping pong balls, sticky notes, balloons, soda cans, Ivory soap, and so forth, with many of these experiments becoming viral videos at YouTube and other sites.

Our guest is Michael Smith, a professor of teaching and learning at the Temple University College of Education.

On today's show, we speak by phone with Dav Pilkey, the popular children's book author and illustrator who's probably best known for his "Captain Underpants" series of books. (There are ten books in this series --- Pilkey's now working on the 11th --- as well as a few different spin-off series.) Pilkey tells us about how his career got started, when the "Captain Underpants" character was actually born, and where some of his recurring ideas and themes as a writer and illustrator come from.

On this edition of our show, we chat with Jim Murphy, winner of the 2013 Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature, which is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. Murphy will be given this award on Friday the 23rd at 7pm at Gilcrease Museum; he will then offer a 10am reading/talk/signing, on Saturday the 24th, as part of the TCCL's Young People's Creative Writing Contest Awards Presentation, which will happen at the Hardesty Regional Library.

On this edition of our show, we visit with D.J. MacHale, the bestselling YA novelist and veteran TV writer/director. MacHale is probably best known as the author of the ten-volume, YA fantasy book series called "Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure through Time and Space." He's also the author of the "Morpheus Road" trilogy --- you can read all about MacHale's literary output here, by the way --- and he's likewise been successful in the world of children's television.

The Best of ST in 2012: Bob Balaban

Dec 27, 2012

On this "best of" edition of our show, we're listening back to a discussion with the well-known Hollywood actor --- and children's book author --- Bob Balaban. When we spoke with Mr. Balaban by phone, back in early October, he had just put out a book called "The Creature from the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast" (Penguin Young Readers Group). We spoke with him about this work, and about his efforts as a writer and actor --- and film producer / director / screenwriter --- more generally.

Nancy Pearl's Gift-Giving Book Suggestions

Dec 18, 2012

On this installment of ST, we are discussing great reads for the gift-givng season --- for yourself and/or the avid reader(s) on your holiday shopping list. We check in with Nancy Pearl, a former librarian and bookseller here in Tulsa who's now based in Seattle, and who's well-known for her book-promoting appearances on NPR's Morning Edition as well as her popular series of "Book Lust" volumes (which recommend all sorts of books for a range of different readers).

On this edition of ST, we speak with the multi-faceted, multi-talented Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She's written more than 20 books for children, and her popular adult book of 2005, "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life," was named by Amazon as one of the top ten memoirs of the previous decade. Rosenthal has also created several widely viewed videos (as seen on YouTube and elsewhere) --- among them "The Beckoning of Lovely," "The Money Tree," and "Life Is a Marathon" --- and some of these videos have gone viral online.

He's a familiar and award-winning Hollywood actor, as well as an acclaimed director and producer. He's also (who knew?) a highly successful children's book author. Our guest on ST is Bob Balaban, who tells us about his newest book, "The Creature from the Seventh Grade: Boy or Beast" (Penguin Young Readers Group). In this funny, tween-friendly tale, we meet Charlie Drinkwater, a middle-school kid who's probably among the least popular --- and least noticed --- boys in his class.