When is a story worth telling? And why are the best stories in history seen through the lens of a single human being? We’re diving into those questions to day with one of the most talented and effervescent authors I know: Barb Rosenstock.

I recommend every single one of Barb’s picture book biographies. Listen to this episode and you’ll know why. You’ll find links to her books at the bottom of this post.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • the magic of “So what?”… just wait till you hear her talk about this!
  • why Barb and Charlotte Mason could be friends (and she didn’t even know it!)
  • how Barb researches her books and lands on stories she wants to tell

I also answer a listener question about gift book ideas for teachers.

Click the play button below to start listening:

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Listener Guide:

1:45Best book gifts for teachers
4:34A ‘trickster tale’
6:35Barb Rosenstock is back!
7:23Barb and Charlotte (Mason)
10:10Dates aren’t enough 🗓
11:09A ‘long and meandering’ process
12:43So what?
13:41Ben Franklin and John Adams
15:46‘A natural connection’
17:11Ben Franklin’s Big Splash
18:29Surface research and deeper research
20:13Two new books
21:47The ‘original juggler’ Abigail Adams
26:07The most difficult book to research
28:08Barb’s first book, Fearless
28:32What’s next: Monet 🎨
29:56Let the kids speak

Quotes to remember:

“It’s the one thing we all have in common: personhood. So having any topic, no matter what the… I don’t care if it’s science or math or a social studies topic or a history topic or whatever, relate it first by the stories of the people who did it. To me is just like, ‘Oh, of course that’s where you start.'” – Barb Rosenstock

“Idea is the easy thing, execution is everything.” – Barb Rosenstock

“A lot of times kids will say that they hate history. I don’t think they hate history. I think they hate the way it’s being presented.” – Barb Rosenstock

Links from this episode:

Some of Barb’s books:

Ben Franklin’s Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention
Dorothea’s Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth
Blue Grass Boy: The Story of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass Music
The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art
Vincent Can’t Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky
Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library
Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero
Yogi: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra
Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall’s Life and Art
Prairie Boy: Frank Lloyd Wright Turns the Heartland into a Home
Fight of the Century: Alice Paul Battles Woodrow Wilson for the Vote
Leave It to Abigail!: The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams
The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art

Books Sarah recommends as teacher gifts:

Frindle
Thank You, Mr. Falker
The Tale Of Tricky Fox
A Letter to My Teacher
The Art of Miss Chew

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