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Mom cutting carrots into soup pot Mom throwing peas in soup pot
Mom throwing peas into soup pot

So, who is Stella Reinhard?

I love words. I love to write them, read them, roll them around the edges of my mind savoring their music and implications. Oliver Wendall Holmes once said that when a mind has been stretched, it can no longer return to its previous dimensions. Words have the power to stretch minds.

I love art. Art, too, has incredible power to stretch minds and change worlds. I have painted since I could hold a brush, and recall many nights spent painting all night until that painting was finished . . . runnning on the fumes of inspiration.

To complete a trio, I love ideas as well. I relish the challenge of problem-solving using the power of ideas translated through design into art and text.

So it is no surprise that I have loved books, the vessels for both words, art and ideas, since before I learned to read. I have avidly collected children's picture books all my life because picture books contain all three of these interests. Picture books may seem trivial to some, but they have the power to stretch young minds when they are still easily stretchable; and it is young minds that are open enough to embrace those challenging ideas necessary to create a better world. Yes, picture books have power . . . .

It is exciting in my studies to grapple with exploring the changes that are happening with the book form as it reinvents itself in light of all the exciting hybrid forms of media emerging because of new technology and the world of the Web.

At home, I share my love of picture books with my children, my husband and my dogs named after some of my favorite authors and illustrators (the dogs, not the husband and children), as we rattle around in an historic home on the shores of the Pamunkey River in Tidewater Virginia. In addition to books, I also get lost in art and music stores and occasionally pick up odd items like an old Wurlitzer jukebox, or a one horse open sleigh that doubles as a mean reading nook. "Attempting" to play music together with my family on our eclectic assortment of instruments from an antique grand piano to an old double string bass is one of my "favorite things." And, contrary to the implication of the neighboring illustration, I am not known for my cooking skills, and have been known to burn the cookbook (by accident).