Celebrating at Good Reads with Ronna – Win books!

I hope many of you have been following my reviews on the best of the best new children’s books at Good Reads with Ronna.  My last post featured the incredibly beautiful picture book Once Upon a Memory by Nina Laden and illustrated by Renata Liwska.

once (image from Amazon)

Good Reads with Ronna  is currently celebrating a major milestone – over 1000+ Twitter followers – by giving away three sets of award-winning books, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (2014 Newbery Medalist) with illustrations by K. G. Campbell, together with Journey, a wordless picture book (2014 Caldecott Honor Book) by Aaron Becker. Click here for all the details and enter by February 18, 2014!

N.B. – The giveaway has ended.  Congratulations to the winners Lauri Meyers and Danielle Davis! Click on their names to reach their fabulous book blogs!

It’s my privilege to offer you a glimpse into the brains behind this wonderful website, the marvelous Ronna Mandel!  Ronna agreed to answer my questions – serious and silly – for Bildebok readers!  Without further ado… Ronna!
Ronna Mandel

Ronna Mandel

You’ve been blogging about fabulous children’s books since 2009.  How did you develop your passion for kid lit?

I think there’s a part of me that hasn’t completely grown up. I was not a big reader as a child until a very helpful librarian found me some special books. Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina was one of the books she recommended. When I got a little older, the same librarian recommended Family Sabbatical by Carol Ryrie BrinkSusan Foster and Caddie Woodlawn.  I was hooked. Having kids was just the icing on the cake. I could buy kids’ books to my heart’s content. Books fired my imagination as a child and still do.

If you could put one book from your childhood into every public library, what book would you choose and why?

I can’t answer this question relating to my childhood. I can, however, tell you that Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton is one of my family’s all time faves. It’s got math, humor, a wild party scene, great Boynton artwork and of course, it’s also hysterical (and I mean that in the best possible way) hippos. As with so many Boynton books, Hippos Goes Berserk is great for practicing memorization skills! It’s one of those books that will instantly bring a smile to a child’s face (okay, and parents’ faces, too) when they’re feeling down. I want all libraries to have this book on their shelves. It just shouts out “We’ve got a great sense of humor!”
If you could wave a magic book wand, for what book would you create a sequel?

How about a book #8 in the Harry Potter series?

Hardcover, paperback, Nook or Kindle.  How you do prefer to read?

I have remained steadfast in avoiding an eReader.  I can read PDFs publishers send me online although I am old-fashioned and do prefer to hold a book in my hand. I love taking baths so I’d be scared to bring anything electronic into the tub, another reason why I stick to hardcover or paperback. I like the bulkiness of a hardcover, the smell, the cover art and all the info that can be included when there’s a book jacket.

Ronna, you are granted a superpower for one day.  Do you want to fly or be invisible?

Easy. Fly. I wanted to be Gidget as a child and travel the world. I had the good fortune to do so in a previous travel industry career and also living abroad in Europe for 10 years. I’ve traveled to Russia, India, Nepal, Israel and Morocco so, if I cannot fly on a plane, reading books is the next best thing.  I’ve even visited the Pyramids in my dreams or maybe I was really flying?

Ronna Mandel writes from the San Gabriel Valley in CA where she lives with her family after spending ten years in Frankfurt and London. Her blog, Good Reads with Ronna, features author interviews, literacy related events and giveaways, and reviews children’s books and educational products.  Good Reads With Ronna also appears weekly in www.parenthood.com’s Practical Parenting newsletter.

Ronna is a member of SCBWI and writes her own stories for children. Contact Ronna directly at Ronna.L.Mandel@gmail.com, on Twitter @goodreadsronna, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/goodreadswithronna and on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/ronnamandel/.

Thank you Ronna!  It was a pleasure to have you visit.  I hope everyone will head over to her website and enter the giveaway.  Wouldn’t you love to own or share these two incredible books?


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at cmealey@post.harvard.edu or Twitter @catballoumealey
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23 Responses to Celebrating at Good Reads with Ronna – Win books!

  1. Thanks for a great interview, Cathy and Ronna! Hippos Go Berserk is a huge family favorite at our house too! And I loved Caddie Woodlawn when I was little 🙂

  2. Enjoyed the lovely interview with Ronna! I found many of my Ronna’s similar to mine — but had to laugh about reading in the bath tub. Never have done that. Yes, I wish there was a Harry Potter #8 — I know it lives inside Rowlings mind. Thank you for introducing Ronna to me!

  3. Sue Wang says:

    Wonderful Ronna. I think we all have a Peter Pan part of ourselves and I am glad that she is expressing hers. I’d fly and love books too. After reading on a Kindle (maybe it’s old), I find it really hard to go back to pages I had read, but couldn’t quite remember where in the book.

    • Peter Pan…never could reconcile the Disney character with the image of Cathy Rigby! I’d like to fly on a magic carpet, like Aladdin. 🙂 I’d like a Kindle to replace the heavy, thick books that are too bulky to take on trips.

  4. Ronna Mandel says:

    Thanks so much, Cathy, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share my thoughts on kidlit.
    When I hear that a child has been introduced to a new author, illustrator or genre because of the blog, it not only makes my day, but makes all the time I put into GRWR worthwhile. Although I could not do it without the wonderful assistance and spirit of people like you. Here’s to firing imaginations!!

  5. rnewman504 says:

    Terrific interview, Cathy and Ronna.

  6. tinamcho says:

    Lovely interview. I, too, prefer a physical book than an e-book. Congrats on all your Twitter followers!

  7. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Great interview. The sequel question is double edged I think. You love a book, because you want more. But would another one be better or ruin the thrill of the final ending?

  8. Of course it’s flying, Cathy! Invisibility is for pervs.

    Great interview, Cathy. And Ronna is absolutely right about Hippos Go Berserk. It’s a hoot!

  9. izatrapani1 says:

    How did I not know about your Good Reads with Rona reviews? Any book with Renata Liwska’s art is bound to be good. I LOVE her work.
    Great interview and Congrats to Rona on all her twitter followers. She just got one more 🙂

  10. LovableLobo says:

    Fun interview, Cathy! Thanks for sharing! I would bet that a great majority of people that write/illustrate for children “suffer” from the Peter Pan Syndrome of never wanting to grow up. I know I certainly do. My next stop: Ronna’s blog.

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