Cheryl Fusco Johnson's blog

Katherine L. HouseWhich U.S. president's son peppered Andrew Jackson's portrait with spitballs? Which president's daughter splashed Easter Egg dye on White House kitchen walls? Vivid anecdotes and 21 fun yet educational activities make Iowa City author Katherine L. House's new book a great read for kids and adults. Slated for release by Chicago Review Press in February, The White House for Kids: A History of a Home, Office, and National Symbol reflects its author's enthusiasm for history. Katherine was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Arlington, Virginia. She's written about U.S. and Iowa history for children's magazines and she's also contributed work to The New York Times, The Washtingon Post, and other publications. Katherine loves lighthouses, too. She's visited over 100 in the U.S. and Canada. Her first book was Lighthouses for Kids.

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Why Books for Kids Still Matter: Loren Long & Sarah Aronson

Do children's books still matter? Children's book authors Loren Long and Sarah Aronson have slightly different takes on why kids and reading belong together. Famous for illustrating picture books by President Barack Obama and pop star Madonna, Loren is best loved for writing and illustrating wildly popular books about Otis, a brave and humble farm tractor. Loren treasures the feeling of security young children experience when adults take time to read to them. Sarah writes middle grade and young adult novels, like Beyond Lucky and Believe, that inspire young people to thoughfully consider their views on leadership, friendship, and faith. Both authors have much to say during this episode of The Studio with Cheryl Fusco Johnson, pictured here with Loren Long.

Otis Christmas book coverLoren Long illustrated President Barack Obama's picture book Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to  My Daughters and pop star Madonna's picture book Mr. Peabody's Apples. Children love Loren best, though, for the books he writes and illustrates about Otis, a friendly, brave farm tractor. Loren's picture book Otis was a New York Times Best Seller. On October 3, 2013 over 2,460,000 children enjoyed Otis because Jumpstart, a children's literacy program, selected it as its 2013 Read for the Record book. How did a guy who admits he didn't like to read as kid launch such an amazing career in children's books? Find out this week on The Studio with Cheryl!

Sarah Aronson, authorAuthor Sarah Aronson embraces one of the last taboos in children's literature by injecting issues of faith and moral complexity in her novels for young people. Because Sarah enjoys provoking thoughtful discussion, her published novels, which currently include Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe, feature characters that are not all that nice. A former physical therapist who was once principal of a private religious school, Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Children's Literature from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she organizes Novel Writing Retreats. Sarah will read and discuss books at the One Book Two Book Festival taking place in Iowa City January 17-19, 2013.

 

Published in eight languages, Darcy Pattison's children's books earned her the Arkansas Governor's Art Award for Individual Artist in 2007.

Two years later she launched Mims House to independently publish children's books (such as Prairie Storms) and how-to-write books for adults (such as Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise and The Book Trailer Manual).

Darcy's independently published books win prizes, are acclaimed by major review media, and earn her a profit. How does she do it?

Learn specific strategies for succeeding at independent publishing during this episode of The Studio with Cheryl.

Now on Kickstarter, Eric Johnson's Pinup Popup 2014 Desktop Calendar weds paper engineering techniques to fun and tasteful images inspired by the classic style of pinup girls' golden era (the 1940s and 1950s). On this episode of The Studio Eric explores the ups and downs of crowdfunding, the evolution of paper engineering, maker spaces, and how emergent technologies benefit artists. A book indexer, maker, author, and artist, Eric studied book arts at Brown University under Walter Feldman.

Eric Johnson with Pinup Popup CalendarNow on Kickstarter, Eric Johnson's Pinup Popup 2014 Desktop Calendar weds paper engineering techniques to fun and tasteful images inspired by the classic style of pinup girls' golden era (the 1940s and 1950s). On this episode of The Studio Eric explores the ups and downs of crowdfunding, the evolution of paper engineering, maker spaces, and how emergent technologies benefit artists. A book indexer, maker, author, and artist, Eric studied book arts at Brown University under Walter Feldman. If you're considering launching a Kickstarter campaign or if you're wondering what happens when you combine the concepts behind a desktop calendar, pinup girls, and popup books, be sure to tune in!

Lighthouse in North Carolina

Anola Pickett makes history intriguing for kids of all ages. She's repeated the 2011 success of her juvenile historical novel Wasatch Summer, set in Utah in 1889, with a great just-released page-turner, Whisper Island, set in 1913 in North Carolina's Outer Banks. Abandoned by her mother, protagonist Primmy longs to someday join the U.S. Life-Saving Service like her dad and older brother, but until 1919 this precursor to the U.S. Coast Guard accepted only men.

With an exquisite eye for detail and a deep understanding of human nature, Anola utlizes all the skills and knowledge she developed as an urban language arts teacher and avid world traveler to pump life into days gone by. Adults, too, will enjoy this book! Tune in to The Studio with Cheryl this week to learn Anola's techniques for making her travels pay off.

Chris Higdon clearly recalls helping his dad glue pink tiles onto a customer's bathroom wall when he was only four years old. in 2009 this father/son duo founded Everything Stone by Masterpiece LLC. They specialize in polishing and installing granite, marble, ceramic tile, and cultured stone. Partnered with Creative Edge Mastershop, they've tackled many ambitious projects, including the inticate floor medallion that greets visitors to the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa. In this hour of The Studio, Chris, now 27, discusses the rewards and challenges of running an intergenerational small family business. Tune in to learn how the Higdons successfully solved the puzzle of how a father and son can work harmoniously side-by-side for decades. 

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