UP!–Q&A with Paul A. Reynolds

Q&A-LighterSideUp_WriterSideUp.com_byDonnaMariePaul - portrait

       A “Lighter Side Up”

               Q & A with

            Paul Reynolds

 

For those of you who’ve been following my blog since its launch, you may recall that at that time it had been planned to do Q&As with the Reynolds brothers, but due to life’s demands the posts had to be postponed. These are two busy guys. After all, what else would you expect from superheroes?! Well, I can tell you—they were worth the wait. When you read their sensitive, wise, affecting responses to my questions, their superpowers are crystal clear: words and actions that stem from passionate, sincere hearts. I’m SO honored to be hosting them as part of International Dot Day 2018 (just 2 weeks away, having been inspired by Peter’s book, The Dot!). This year, rather than creating my own little Dot, I think this is a MUCH better way to celebrate 🙂 ❤ Continue reading

UP!: Q&A with “Neighbor Girl” Felicia Maziarz

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 Felicia A “Lighter Side Up” Q & A:

Getting to Know

Felicia Maziarz

 

When I first became more active on social media by getting more involved on Twitter and following Kidlit-related blogs, an unknown and somewhat unexpected world opened up for me. What I totally did NOT expect was to find accomplished “kid” authors! Not only was I more than impressed, but witnessing this kind of creativity, passion and drive for something so worthwhile—which also takes perseverance to complete—filled me with a sense of hope.

For such a young author, Felicia Maziarz has a very distinct writing voice, and a sturdy grasp on her clearly fleshed-out characters. Writing “funny” is not an easy thing to accomplish, but Continue reading

UP!–John Newbery: The Man Behind the Medal

Born in England on July 9, 1713, at the age of 16, John Newbery left his home town and parents’ farm to work for a printer. So was his first step into the world of publishing. In 1737 he became co-owner of a publishing company. At that time, the books typically given to children were tedious and lesson-filled, or handed-down folktales written for adults. These were considered “tall” tales, so thought of more for children. Books such as Gulliver’s Travels and Robinson Crusoe were among them, though young children weren’t capable of reading at that level. Newbery eventually came up with the groundbreaking idea to publish books designed specifically for children by making the books fun to read. It was risky and he could’ve ultimately lost his business if the idea failed, but he was confident children would like them. He was right. Continue reading

UP!–Q&A with Matthew Winner!

Q&A-LighterSideUp_WriterSideUp.com_byDonnaMarieMatthew Winner 1

A “Lighter Side Up” Q&A:

Getting to Know

Matthew Winner

 

I am honored to be a stop

on the Blog + Pod Tour

in celebration of…

LGBPodcast100

It is no accident when someone like Matthew Winner achieves what is akin to royalty status in the world of school libraries and children’s literature. But he is not the type king who rules with an iron fist. Instead, he leads with a passionate spirit.

When I first became aware of Matthew, through Twitter, and eventually became a true fan of his “Let’s Get Busy” podcasts (now at All the Wonders), I had no idea just how much this man accomplishes. He is one BUSY Librarian!  The truth is, he’s more of a “jack of all trades,” as he puts it. (I call it multi-talented and driven 😉 ) That versatility has enabled him to touch the lives of an ever-growing, wide variety of people, including mine. His expressive personality and exceptional insight shines through with fervor and enthusiasm in all aspects of his life: as a Teacher-Librarian, a Media Specialist, a podcast interviewer, and as a husband and father. His genuine interest in and caring about people is evident—he naturally “connects” with whomever he engages, whether it’s a child in a classroom, a colleague face-to-face and on Twitter, or a Kidlit professional through Skype. Continue reading

UP!—SO Glad I Didn’t Miss THIS Train!

platform 9 and 3 quarters

We can miss a lot of things in life, including the proverbial “boat.” After all, there are so many things to do, people to meet and places to see, and it’s impossible to be aware of or actually do it all when it’s timely, right? Well, one big train I happened to catch when the timing was right, having walked through the barrier onto Platform 9 3/4, was none other than the Hogwarts Express, and OH, it’s taken me on the most unforgettable ride!

When Sheila of Book Journey announced her hosting a Harry Potter ReRead-a-long, I couldn’t resist, regardless of how little time I had to add “pressure” reading to my life. The thing is, though the page count is sometimes hard for me to achieve in my time frame, there’s nothing about the actual reading of this series that is a burden. For me it is a joy 🙂 Continue reading