Adapted Classics: The Art behind the Stories

Several years ago, I had a chance to read and review Jerome Tiller’s debut book Sammy’s Day at the Fair; The Digestive System featuring Gut Feelings and Reactions. It was a collaborative project, based on his son’s science fair project. This summer, Jerome reached out to tell me about his new endeavor: Adapted Classics. These are illustrated versions of select short stories. As he explained in our interview at the Reading Tub, the goal is to bring classic 19th century literature to a more modern audience. One of the key aspects of adapting these stories is that they are illustrated. There is so much to explore on the imagery side of the equation, that I asked Jerome and Marc Johnson-Pencook … Read more

Josh Armstrong and Picture of Grace

One of the great joys of being Executive Director of The Reading Tub is not just discovering wonderful books, but also having the chance to chat with authors about their stories. More often than not, an author’s life experiences is woven into some aspect of the book, but for every author it’s a different “fabric.” A few months ago, I met a debut author with a wonderful story. Josh’s new book Picture of Grace is a beautiful, touching story about a little girl and her grandfather. But Josh has been writing for years. The newspaper articles written for the local paper are definitely for a different audience, and yet they had the same, sweet “voice” that carries you through Grace’s story. [Tell me you don’t love this … Read more

The Wheelbarrow Puppy Club – an Interview with Christina Valenti

Four paws up for authors who expand our world through stories of cultures different than our own! We are excited to welcome children’s book author Christina Valenti to the Family Bookshelf. After graduating from James Madison University and working in the media industry for several years, Christina moved to China, where she taught English for two years. As Christina explains in our Reading Tub interview, every night, as she walked home from work, she would pass a wheelbarrow full of puppies for sale. She bought and adopted Wu (renamed Varly), eventually bringing him to the United States. Christina has always loved reading, writing, and dogs. When she discovered and fell in love with Varly, it rekindled a love of writing. … Read more