Issue Nineteen - Root and Star
Issue Nineteen - Root and Star
Issue Nineteen - Root and Star
Issue Nineteen - Root and Star
Issue Nineteen - Root and Star

Issue Nineteen

Regular price $8.00 Sale

For this issue, we explore a theme of both beauty and danger. Here you’ll read a story about fire hiding inside wood, meditate on the fire in our bones, and play with the mess of charcoal. This magazine is a place to gather on a cold night, to sit together and share stories. Art and words keep us warm in winter!

In this issue, we feature matchbox babies, which you can make, too! Download this template, print it out, and soon you’ll have a set of your own!



1. Wrap the outside of a standard, small matchbox in paper. Glue it on. Draw on it.

2. Color the baby animal and its blanket, then cut it out and glue it into the inside of the matchbox. 

3. With the matchbox lid removed, pierce a hole through the lid (both in its front and its back) close to the top.

4. Run an approximately 8-inch string through the hole (we used an embroidery needle and embroidery floss). 

5. Tie a knot at the ends of the string where they meet.

6. Slide the inside of the matchbox back into the lid, and pop it out again and again like a jack-in-the-box!

The target audience for each magazine is children ages 3–8, or children who are being read to and/or are just learning to read. But because children are never far from their siblings and caregivers, we created a magazine that can be enjoyed by all ages, from 1 to 100.


Issue 19 Contributors


  • Amanda Blake (Constellations painting) is an oil painter in Morgantown, West Virginia. Her work focuses on themes of hope and destiny.

  • Matthew Burtner (Listening to the Snow) is an Alaskan-born composer, sound artist, and eco-acoustician. His music and research explore embodiment, ecoloy, polytemporality, and noise.

  • Kristina Closs (Our Fire watercolor) is a watercolor artist who lives and works in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. She works from home with her two children who are 2 and 4. She loves birds and takes inspiration from the garden and forests that surround her home.
  • Meg Connerton (Charcoal photo) lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts with her part-elfin daughter, husband, and cats. They spend their time in the forest with their fingers in the earth, or by the ocean with their toes in the sand.
  • Ian Cotner (Winter Day poem) is a writer and game designer who loves skiing, snowball fights, and curling under a blanket to read a cold winter day away.
  • The Far Woods (Listen) is two sisters, Sonya and Nina Montenegro, who make are together on a farm in Portland, Oregon.
  • Heather Feinberg (Ammi text) is a mother, counselor, writer, educator, and the founder of Mindful Kids, a nonprofit organization in Austin, Texas, whose purpose is to help children (and the child inside us all) discover their voices, access their power, and, most importantly, connect to their inner knowing.
  • Nadira Filatova (How Coyote Warmed the Winter) is an artist. She lives in Moscow, Russia and dreams of seeing the whole world.
  • David Gregal Jr. (Ask Arden art) lives in Maryland. At the end of the day, he loves reading books with his wife and three kids before bedtime.
  • Simone Hale (Our Fire illustration) is a graphic designer and illustrator who lives in Armidale, Australia with her husband and three children and is inspired by their family life, vintage finds, and children’s picture books.
  • Aimee Hagerty Johnson (Flight of Embers) has always loved to do all kinds of art. Some of her favorite things to draw are horses, sweaters, coffee pots, trees, and telescopes.
  • Petya Kazantseva (covers) lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her passion is drawing and creating. She loves to travel and dreams of everything beautiful, but mostly she finds her magic when being around friends. Petya adores life, and she has promised herself that she will turn all the impossible into the possible.
  • Lida Larina (Root & Star comic) lives in Russia. Every day, Lida walks her best friend—her black dog named Babai. After their walk, Lida draws the sleeping Babai.
  • Courtney Mandryk is a maker of this magazine. She collected one thousand matches,a nd she and her children made over three hundred fires while performing research for this magazine. Quote: We're all just walking each other home (Ram Dass).
  • Bethann Garramon Merkle (A Forest After Fire) lives in Wyoming, where she cooks, gardens, hunts, hikes with her dog Brio, and hangs out with scientists like her husband. As a writer and illustrator, Bethann best enjoys telling stories about nature and the scientists who study it.
  • Josey Miller (child photo) is from Montana. She lived overseas in urban Asia with her family, and now they are back enjoying their days together, discovering all the wonderful things about the western US, traveling and pitching the tent in beautiful places.
  • Sofi Naydenova (Hello/Goodbye) is an illustrator who makes joyful illustrations and short animations about life, human relationships. And funny characters, but she also shows conceptual pieces with subjects covering ecology and veganism. Her work has been shown in Hungary, Germany, Russia, and Japan.
  • Jack Prelutsky (Ask Arden poem) has published so many books of poetry for children that we could read one for almost every single year of our lives. How wonderful!
  • Tim Reisert (Constellations poem) lives, teaches, and makes music in Cincinnati, Ohio. He participates with the Ohio Writing Project. His article “Art and Poetry: A Conversation” appered in the Ohio Journal of English Language Arts, and his poems have appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal.
  • Kathleen Rice-Guter (You Are Special, You Are Going to Grow) is a writer captivated by the gentleness and generosity of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Autumn Shaffer (Charcoal activity) is a lifelong learner and full-time educator who enjoys being outside in nature, spending time with her children and husband, and trying new foods!
  • Nancy Thorne Chambers (back cover poem) is a mom, grandma, therapist, and creator of large ceramic sculptures. A Story Place, her installation of thirty animals listening to a child read a story, was shown at the Bainbridge Museum of Art.
  • Stephen Whiteside (Our Fire poem) has been writing rhyming verse for children for many years. His book “The Billy That Died With Its Boots On” and Other Australian Verse won a Golden Gumleaf award for Book of the Year at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards.
  • Stories from Your Auntie (Calendar of Music) is a collaboration between friends Donna Amey Bhatt who writes, and Emily Mayor who draws. Their aim is to create tales that young people love to hear and not-so-young people like to read.