It’s a bit of a statement say we fan-grilled a bit over this week’s guest on the Spawned Parenting Podcast, two-time Newbery award-winning author Kate DiCamillo.

Surely you know her incredible children’s books like The Tale of Despereaux,  Because of Winn-Dixie, and Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, which has been adapted into a 2021 Disney Originals feature film directed by Lena Kahn, now streaming on Disney+  … and getting terrific reviews, we might add!

Kate is not just talented, but so fun and funny, as you might have guessed, and so generous with her wisdom — and not just about raising readers, though we loved hearing her views on that.

The wonderful Flora & Ulysses book by Kate DiCamillo is now a charming movie on Disney Plus

Take a listen right now to hear how she comes up with her stories, why she’s a fan of George Saunders’s new book on writing, the importance of diverse protagonists and female heroines, why kids need superheroes right now.

And you’ll definitely want to hear her answer to the question, “should we make kids read the book before the movie?”


You can also listen through favorite podcast app, and be sure to subscribe to Spawned on Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode of Spawned. And thanks so much for taking the time to leave nice reviews! We really appreciate this support.


Kate DiCamillo on the value of reading and writing | Spawned Parenting Podcast with Kristen and Liz of Cool Mom Picks


About our awesome sponsor: Outschool

Outschool offers so many really fun, engaging, live classes online for kids, from STEM to art, dance, to dinosaurs, and everything in between (sponsor)

Outschool is the innovative education platform with so many fans among our team at Cool Mom Picks, we joke that they’re not only a sponsor, we’re also a client, ha.

With so many of our kids exploring new passions and interests these days — and parents looking for ways to fill kids’ days with the activities they enjoy — Outschool is a terrific option. They offer  thousands of engaging, interactive, live online classes for kids that allow them to explore their interests — or find new ones — with passionate, engaging, vetted instructors who share their interests too.

The classes are truly amazing! Whether your kids are interested in Minecraft, LEGO, foreign languages, theater, musical instruments painting, reading, poetry, STEM…they have a class.Plus they classes are live, to give kids preschool through high school, a chance to connect with other kids who share their interests.

Explore the selection of cool online courses for kids at Outschool where most classes are just $10-15, with some as low as $5 each.


Our Cool Picks of the Week 

Flourless peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Ambitious Kitchen: Gluten free and highly recommended by Kate DiCamillo

She has become a pandemic baker like so many of us, and highly recommends the flourless peanut butter-oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe from Ambitious Kitchen. Pssst Kate… we have an amazing archive of gluten-free recipes and products on Cool Mom Eats!

Liz Chill Pill essential oil from Aura Cacia is pre-bedtime chill out perfection.

Kristen The Expressie quick-dry polish from Essie is her new must-have for at-home manicures.

Cool Mom Picks is a reward style affiliate.