Podcast #17: Storm Boy by Colin Thiele

An Interview with Allison Tait

For my seventeenth Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed author Allison Tait about one of her favorite children’s books, the Australian classic Storm Boy by Colin Thiele, illustrated by Robert Ingpen.

First published in 1963, the short book tells the story of a young boy who lives with his father on the isolated Southern coast of Australia.  One day, a mother pelican is shot, and the boy rescues her chicks and raises them. After growing up, one of pelicans, Mr. Percival, remains with the boy and becomes his closest friend.  And when a fishing boat is threaten to be shipwrecked on the coast, the two of them jump into the fray. What happens after that will change both of their lives forever.  For over fifty years this narrative has been beloved by children and adults alike for its lyricism, and for its timeless narrative of friendship,  adventure, and heartbreak.

Allison Tait is author of the middle grade adventure series The Mapmaker Chronicles, which includes the books Race to the End of the World, Prisoner of Black Hawk, Breath of the Dragon, and the recently published Beyond the Edge of the Map .  She is also host of the podcast series So You Want to be a Writer along with Valerie Khoo of the Australian Writers’ Centre, which is available on itunes. You can find Allison’s website at allisontait.com and the website for her book series at themapmakerchronicles.com.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share, comment, or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on August 16th, 2017.

Podcast #9: A Time to Keep by Tasha Tudor

An Interview with Betsy Bird

For my ninth Dream Gardens podcast, I interviewed librarian and author Betsy Bird about the children’s picture book  A Time to Keep: The Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays by Tasha Tudor.

First published in 1977,  A Time to Keep is a  nostalgic look back at life in the rural New England countryside.  In the picture book, a grandmother recounts a year of her life as a young girl to her grandchild. She recollects everything from sleigh rides during the Twelfth Night celebrations in January to family gatherings around a candlelit Christmas tree in December. Each month’s traditions and holidays are described and colorfully illustrated in loving detail . In addition, Betsy shares some of her reading recommendations for books from 2016.

Betsy’s website is called A Fuse 8 Production. It can be found through the School Library Journal at blogs.slj.com/afuse8production.

All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Please link, share or subscribe. The next podcast will be published on March 16th, 2017.

Podcast #7: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

An Interview with Jennifer Baker

For my seventh Dream Gardens podcast I interviewed writer, editor, and educator Jennifer Baker about Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe, a picture book for children inspired by the folktales  and landscape of Zimbabwe. It is Cinderella-like story about two sisters whose search for a mysterious king leads to many strange encounters and a discovery that what’s in your heart matters most of all. Jennifer is a panel organizer for the non-profit organization We Need Diverse Books, and host of the podcast Minorities in Publishing. Her website is called Jennifer N. Baker, which can be found at www.jennifernbaker.com.

All podcasts are now also available on iTunes and Stitcher. The next podcast will be published on February 15th, 2017.