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When wood and words come together: A children’s picture book is born

Q&A with debut author illustrator Joseph Taylor + three book recommendations By Laura Bird Madison, Wisconsin-based working artist Joseph Taylor is many things: pianist, vocalist, yogi, gardener, dad. Now, he’s an author illustrator, too. Taylor’s debut children’s picture book, The Walking Tree, celebrates a centuries-old woodworking technique called Intarsia—but with his own vibrant spin. “I make wooden wall art by cutting recycled skateboards and other found woods, and I arrange the pieces on hand-painted backgrounds,” Taylor says. “My final pieces might feature a whimsical submarine floating in the sky or an ancient tree balancing in the wind. I play with [...]

2022-06-30T12:32:59-07:00June 30th, 2022|

Crossing the Pressure Line with Laura Bird

An Interview and Book Recommendations with Debut Author Laura Bird By Sue Millinocket It's a really exciting day when one of our own publishes her first book. We're so excited to talk with Laura Bird about her delightful middle grade novel, Crossing the Pressure Line. Her story is set in the North Woods of Wisconsin, a place I grew up visiting. Spending a summer with her young heroine was like visiting parts of my own childhood, but with someone much more courageous and determined! I know Laura well. We live in the same city in addition to sharing a love [...]

2022-04-01T11:47:16-07:00April 1st, 2022|

Deceit and Denial in the Windy City

An interview with Truth and Other Lies novelist Maggie Smith By Laura Anne Bird In Truth and Other Lies, debut novelist Maggie Smith weaves a riveting and swiftly moving tale of mothers, daughters, journalism, and politics. Twenty-five-year-old Megan Barnes has just lost her reporting job and her boyfriend. She leaves her apartment in Brooklyn and moves back to Chicago, feeling (and acting) like a hot mess. Helen, her mom, welcomes her in, but within minutes they’re bickering as usual, clashing over everything from reproductive rights to #MeToo. To make matters worse, Helen has announced her run for US Congress, which [...]

2022-03-13T12:53:03-07:00March 13th, 2022|