Podcast #11: The BFG by Roald Dahl

An Interview with Ashley Mills Monaghan 

For my eleventh Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed author Ashley Mills Monaghan about the children’s middle grade novel The BFG by Roald Dahl.

The classic novel was originally published in 1982, and more recently inspired the Steven Steilberg animated adaptation in 2016. The BFG, which stands for The Big Friendly Giant, is the story of the unusual companionship between a young orphan girl and, as you might guess, a big friendly giant. Together they must find a way to keep the other giants, who are much bigger and not at all friendly, from eating up any more “human beans”.  Along the way they discover where dreams can be captured and bottled up, why snozzcumbers should always be avoided,  what the joys of whizzpopping are, and who are the ones you can always count on when the going gets tough. It is a imaginative story with a big heart and a lot of big laughs.

Ashley’s own book, A Little Goes a Long Way, is about a boy named Fin and his dog Sausages searching for the things they’ll need to do the household chores. It has been written for children ages 2 to 6 as a fun way to start a discussion about the importance of conservation. Her website can be found at alittlegoesalongwaybook.com

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published April 20th, 2017.

Podcast #10: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

An Interview with Michelle Houts

For my tenth Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed author Michelle Houts about the children’s middle grade novel Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

Originally published in 1975, Tuck Everlasting was republished in 2015 with a special 40th anniversary edition. The novel tells the fable-like story of a young girl named Winnie and her encounter with the remarkable Tuck family.  The Tucks have a secret, and its up to Winnie to help them keep it, particularly when a devious man in yellow threatens to expose them. Along the way, Winnie has to make a decision that will literally change her life forever. It is a book full of heart and adventure that raises a few big, not so easily answered questions about what it means to be alive.

Michelle’s own books include the middle grade novel Winterfrost, her middle grade biography Kammie on First: Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek,  and her recent picture book When Grandma Gatewood Took a Hike. He website can be found at michellehouts.com/

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on April 1st, 2017.

Podcast #8: Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

An Interview with Jen Garthe

For my eighth Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed former teacher, aspiring writer, free-lance editor, and kids’ book enthusiast Jen Garthe about the middle grade children’s novel  Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson.  It is a story about three young boys who go on a quest to give their favorite teacher a memorable last day before she enters into treatment for a serious and life-threatening condition. Along the way, they have a few wild and unexpected adventures and remember the moments when Ms. Bixby helped shape their lives. They also discover that real meaning of courage, which is, in the words of Ms. Bixby’s favorite book, “when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

Jen’s website is called A Bookish Nook, and it can be found at abookishnook.blogspot.com.

All podcasts are available on iTunes and Stitcher, and are now also available on Google Play. Please share or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on March 1st, 2017.

Podcast #6: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

An Interview with Priya Chhaya

For my sixth Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed historian and author Priya Chhaya about Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. It is a historical children’s novel about a young girl living in German occupied Denmark in 1943. She finds herself unexpectedly thrown into the dangerous world of the underground resistance when her Jewish friend’s family must escape to Switzerland before they are rounded up by Nazi soldiers. Priya’s website is called Priya Chhaya, A Certain Point of View, which can be found at priyachhaya.com. Her blog, …this is what come next, can be found at thisiswhatcomesnext.com. The next podcast will be published on February 1st, 2017.

Podcast #5: The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher

An Interview with Erin Browne

For this fifth Dream Gardens podcast I interviewed author, speaker, teacher and consultant Erin Brown about the science fiction middle grade novel The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher. Consisting of three books – The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire – the trilogy  is set in a dystopian future and tells the story of a young boy, Will Parker, and his battle against an army of tripods that have conquered not only the Earth but also the minds of his fellow human beings. Erin’s blog, Thup!, can be found at erinbrownconroy.wordpress.com.

The next podcast will be published on January 15th, 2017.