Ronna is one of the sweetest, intelligent and funny women I know. She truly has a passion for family, anything European and literature! I love all of her stories and she always makes me smile when I’m in her presence. Meet Ronna Mandel:
Ronna Mandel, is a mother of 2: Coleman, 11 and Gemma, 17. Ronna, her husband and two children moved back to the States in 2006 after living 10 years overseas in both Frankfurt and London. Now residing in the San Gabriel Valley, Ronna interviews authors, reviews children’s books and educational products and promotes reading-related events on Good Reads With Ronna (www.goodreadswithronna.wordpress.com). Her site also offers contests and giveaways throughout the year. When her head’s not buried in between the pages of a book, you can find Ronna writing her own stories for children (as well as a mystery for adults). You can also find Ronna’s book reviews in print and online at www.laparent.com. The Good Reads With Ronna blog, along with some of Ronna’s other blog faves, can be found weekly in www.parenthood.com’s Practical Parenting newsletter. Contact Ronna directly at Ronna.L.Mandel@gmail.com, on Twitter @goodreadsronna and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/goodreadswithronna
Why did you start your blog, Good Reads With Ronna?
I started the blog because I was working as Associate Editor at L.A. Parent and books kept coming in but we did not have a set vehicle apart from our monthly Book Nook where we could cover more titles. Carolyn Graham and Christina Elston both knew I lived and breathed children’s literature so they suggested I start a blog. It began in January 2009 and has grown since then even though I am no longer at the magazine.
When did your love for books begin?
My love for books began when a librarian at my elementary school selected a few books for me since my mother told her I had refused to read at home. Once I got my hands on some choice reads, I never looked back and have been hooked on books since then.
Who is your all time favorite author?
Sandra Boynton is one of my favorite authors. Her books have never failed to produce full-bodied shrieks of laughter and delight from my kids. However I’d be lying if I said she was my only favorite because frankly I have too many to list. There is such tremendous talent out there in the children’s book world that by mentioning just one author I do an injustice to all the other brilliant writers.
What is your favorite children’s title
I have several faves including We’re Going on A Bear Hunt, The Big Red Barn, Jamberry and Hippos Go Berserk!
Why are public libraries still important to society?
Libraries are crucial for our children’s literacy and imagination. I cannot picture a town without libraries because they have played such an important part of my life as well as my children’s lives no matter where we have lived. It’s a free, safe environment to nurture the love of all things reading. There are story times, author events, and even the wonderful reading dog programs now available in cities nationwide.
What do you do for some “me” time?
Believe it or not, quality ‘me’ time involves reading but then I fill up a bath and settle in to read a mystery.
What book are you currently reading or what book are you wanting to start?
Right now I’ve got a Maisy Dobbs mystery by Jacqueline Winspear on my nighttable and a treat by Bill Bryson called At Home (I do admit to indulging in one of his nonfiction gems when I get hold of one). I tend to read two books at a time, one for home and another always at hand in my car. This time I happen to be reading three, the third being The Guinea Pig Diaries by Esquire magazine’s A.J. Jacobs.