69 episodes

A twice monthly interview show where we talk about the children's books we love best. I chat with teachers, librarians, writers and other kid lit enthusiasts about their favorite middle grade novels, picture books and young adult reads.

Dream Gardens: Talking Up the Children's Books We Love Jody Lee Mott

    • Education for Kids

A twice monthly interview show where we talk about the children's books we love best. I chat with teachers, librarians, writers and other kid lit enthusiasts about their favorite middle grade novels, picture books and young adult reads.

    When We Were Very Young: an interview with Laura Sassi

    When We Were Very Young: an interview with Laura Sassi

    Podcast #069







    For my sixty-ninth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Laura Sassi about the children’s book of poems When We Were Very Young , written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. Told from the viewpoint of children, this assortment of poems about everything from boots to Buckingham Palace has been a favorite of kids and adults since it first came out in 1924. And if you look very closely, you might even catch an early appearance of Milne’s most famous creation, Winnie the Pooh.







    Laura Sassi is author of the picture books Goodnight Manger and Goodnight Ark as well as Diva Delores and the Opera House Mouse and Love is Kind, both of which came out in 2018. You can find Laura’s website at laurasassitales.wordpress.com.







    Podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Please link, share, comment, write a review or subscribe. Let me know what you think! And if you are interested in participating in the Dream Gardens podcast, send me a request through my contact page.







    My next podcast will be with author Theresa Julian about the classic children’s book Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary. It will be published on Monday, February 3rd , 2020.

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    • 31 min
    The Case of the Missing Message-a Brains Benton Mystery: an interview with Fred Rexroad

    The Case of the Missing Message-a Brains Benton Mystery: an interview with Fred Rexroad

    Podcast #068







    For my sixty-eighth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Fred Rexroad about the children’s mystery novel The Case of the Missing Message: A Brains Benton Mystery by Charles Spain Verral. Jimmy Carson knows that when his best friend and part-time super sleuth Brains Benton gets his hands on mystery, he’s not going to let go no matter what kind of trouble they run into. And they run into plenty. Circus performers, secret messages, stampeding elephants, mouthy parrots, and a couple of real nasty guys all turn up in mystery tailor-made for Brain Benson.







    Fred Rexroad is author of the Tanner-Dent Mysteries, including Whiz Tanner and the Phony Masterpiece, Whiz Tanner and the Mysterious Countdown, and Whiz Tanner and the Olympic Snow Caper. You can find  Fred’s website at www.fredrexroad.com.







    Podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Please link, share, comment, write a review or subscribe. Let me know what you think! And if you are interested in participating in the Dream Gardens podcast, send me a request through my contact page.







    My next podcast will be with author Laura Sassi about the children’s book of poems When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne. It will be published on Monday, January 20th , 2020.

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    • 35 min
    The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963: an interview with Kate DiCamillo

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963: an interview with Kate DiCamillo

    Podcast #067







    For my sixty-seventh Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Kate Dicamillo about the children’s historical novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. For ten year old Kenny, it isn’t always easy being a member of his family, “the weird Watsons”, especially with his older brother By getting into one mess after another. But when his father takes the whole family down to Birmingham, Alabama, what starts out as just another crazy misadventure takes a horrible turn, and Kenny finds himself in the middle of one the ugliest moments of American history. But even through the worst moments, Kenny finds he can always count on the indestructible love of his family. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, winner of both the Newbert and Coretta Scott-King awards, is a big-hearted book that is in turn wildly hilarious and utterly heartbreaking.







    Kate DiCamillo is the Newbery-award winning author of such books as Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, Flora and Ulysses, among many others, including my personal favorite, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  Her latest book is Beverly, Right Here, which is the third book in the Three Rancheros Series. You can find Kate’s website at katedicamillo.com.







    Podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Please link, share, comment, write a review or subscribe. Let me know what you think! And if you are interested in participating in the Dream Gardens podcast, send me a request through my contact page.







    My next podcast will be with author Fred Rexroad about the children’s mystery novel The Case of the Missing Message (A Brains Benton Mystery) by Charles Spain Verral. It will be published on Monday, January 6th, 2020.

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    • 37 min
    Anne of Green Gables – an interview with Pam Allyn

    Anne of Green Gables – an interview with Pam Allyn

    Podcast #066







    For my sixty-sixth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed literacy educator and author Pam Allyn about the classic children’s novel Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. First published in 1908, this is first of several novels about the irrepressible red haired orphan Anne Shirley, who despite all the trouble that follows in her rambunctious wake, still finds a tender place in the hearts of the people of Green Gables.







    Pam Allyn is a literacy expert, author, motivational speaker, and  Senior Vice President of Innovation and Development  at Scholastic. She is also Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, an advocacy group for children’s rights as readers, writers, and learners, and creator of World Read Aloud Day. You can find more information about Pam and World Read Aloud Day at pamallyn.com, litworld.org and teacher.scholastic.com/worldreadaloudday.







    Podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Please link, share, comment, write a review or subscribe. Let me know what you think! And if you are interested in participating in the Dream Gardens podcast, send me a request through my contact page.







    My next podcast will be with author Kate DiCamillo about the classic children’s novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. It will be published on Monday, December 16th.

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    • 47 min
    The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle – an interview with Dan Richards

    The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle – an interview with Dan Richards

    Podcast #065







    For my sixty-fifth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Dan Richards about the middle grade novel The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox. Part historical fiction, part supernatural fantasy, and part espionage thriller, the novel tells the story of twelve year old Kat Bateson and her siblings, who are sent to a boarding school at the mysterious Rookskill Castle, run by the equally mysterious Lady Eleanor. Sent there to escape the Blitz of London, they become entangled in a series of strange events that may prove to be just as dangerous. Dark magic, spies, hidden rooms and terrible secrets lurk in the shadowy halls of the castle, and Kat must discover what is really going on before Lady Eleanor, who is not what she seems, finds her out first.







    Dan Richards is author  the middle grade novels Stu Truly and Stu Truly: First Kiss, the picture books The Problem With Not Being Scared of Monsters and The Problem With Not Being Scared of Kids,  and the recently released picture books Once Upon a Goat and Penny and Penelope. You can find Dan’s website at www.danrichardsbooks.com.







    All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Please link, share, comment, write a review or subscribe. Let me know what you think! And if you are interested in participating in the Dream Gardens podcast, send me a request through my contact page.







    My next podcast will be with literacy expert, author, and creator of World Read Aloud Day Pam Allyn about the classic children’s novel Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. It will be published on Monday, December 2nd.

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    • 40 min
    The Golden Compass (Northern Lights): His Dark Materials, Book 1 – an interview with Kat Zhang

    The Golden Compass (Northern Lights): His Dark Materials, Book 1 – an interview with Kat Zhang

    Podcast #064







    For my sixty-fourth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Kat Zhang about the classic fantasy novel The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman. Originally published in the UK with the title Northern Lights, The Golden Compass is first of three books (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass being the other two) that tell the adventures of a young girl, Lyra, and her demon Pantalaimon, as the search out to find the meaning of a mysterious Dust that’s got everyone panicked, and why something known only as the Gobblers are kidnapping children. Along the way she’ll meet an army of talking armored bears, prophesying witches, and the enchanting Mrs. Coulter, who may not be what she seems. In this book Philip Pullman creates a world that is both completely original and yet oddly familiar, and brings us one of the great characters of fiction in the form of the wild and big-hearted Lyra Belacqua.







    Kat Zhang is author the YA series The Hybrid Chronicles, the middle grade novels The Emperor’s Riddle  and The Memory of Forgotten Things, the recently published picture book Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, and coming in 2021, Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon. You can find Kat’s website at katzhangwriter.com.







    All podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Please link, share, comment, write a review or subscribe. Let me know what you think! And if you are interested in participating in the Dream Gardens podcast, send me a request through my contact page.







    My next podcast will be with author Dan Richards about the middle grade historical supernatural thriller The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle. It will be published on Monday, November 18th.

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    • 35 min

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