Interview with Kathryn Lasky

Monday, March 9, 2009.

We’ve heard it said that a writer should write what they know. So, it stands to reason that many authors write from personal experience.  That doesn’t explain how some authors can write amazing books on subjects that they haven’t directly experienced.

Kathryn Lasky is one example. Her books include One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin, Pirate Bob and She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head.  We’re pretty sure that she doesn’t have specific first-hand experiences with the subjects of those books (exploring with Charles Darwin, plundering with Pirate Bob and being at the centre of the suffrage movement).  And yet, her books makes readers feel as though they’re right there.

On this edition, author Kathryn Lasky talks about relating to characters, taking twenty-four years… literally… to write One Beetle Too Many, and giving the reader room.

Of Curiosity and Creationism: One Beetle Too Many (The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin)

Friday, January 9, 2009.

One Beetle Too Many -- The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles DarwinAuthor: Kathryn Lasky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Matthew Trueman (on JOMB)
Published: 2008 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 076361436X

Wonderfully wonky, earth-toned images and casual, lilting narration treat us to the antics, adventures, achievements and apprehension of Charles Darwin, the curious young collector who changed our view of the world.

Other books mentioned:

More inspiring biographies on JOMB:

Be sure to make Esme Raji Codell’s Biography Break blog a regular stop on your great book gathering rounds.

HOTLINE VOICES: Michelle Brownlow of My Semblance of Sanity tells sings the praises of Hooway for Wodney Wat (by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger)

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave us a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

Plundering Unplugged: Pirate Bob

Wednesday, February 27, 2008.

Pirate BobAuthor: Kathryn Lasky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: David Clark (on JOMB)
Published: 2006 Charlesbridge (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1570915954

Surprisingly descriptive, thought-provoking text and a cast of goofy, grinning hooligans provide a peek into a career in nautical crime as a reflective rogue ponders pillaging — its logistical details, dangers and doldrums — and grapples with issues of greed, freedom, friendship and distrust.

Other books mentioned:

  • Tough Boris

Of Songbirds and Suffrage: She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head

Wednesday, January 16, 2008.

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her HeadAuthor: Kathryn Lasky (on JOMB)
Illustrator: David Catrow (on JOMB)
Published: 1995 Hyperion (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0786811641

Scowls, gasps and frowns abound in this surprisingly informative yet thoroughly entertaining account of the Audubon Society, its origins and its triumph over the silliness of the dead-bird fashion industry.

Other books mentioned:

  • The Ballot Box Battle

You can read more about John Audubon’s Bird’s of America here.


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