Red Reading Boots
The Secret Garden
Now that books are being banned and “revised” for language used before we “knew better,” I find myself thinking about this a lot.
A Literary Advent Calendar
This year, I decided to do a special advent calendar for them. Each day of advent there was a Christmasy quote from literature, heavy on our Christmas picture books. And chocolates.
If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackwell
I love reading wordless picture books and picture books that are very busy (think Richard Scarry’s books) with small groups of kids. My latest favorite of this “genre” is Sophie Blackall’s If You Come to Earth.
A Literary Bathroom
And then came the time to choose a theme for the bathroom. We got the family together so everyone could have their say. And people…I’m so proud! Our offspring suggested a literary-themed bathroom!
Never did I ever think I would do storytime on a screen. I want to see those sweet faces, get the high-fives and hugs, watch their delight in a story’s twists and turns. However…needs must!
Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden
I’ve been reading gardening books these last few weeks. They’ve kept me entertained and inspired while the temperatures warm in my own garden so that I can begin planting the flats of flowers I have under lights in my laundry room.
And the People Stayed Home
Perhaps you saw it. On social media, or in a chain email. A poem that seemed like a hopeful sigh went out into the world very early in the pandemic last spring and made its rounds as quickly as the virus. And the people stayed home. And they listened, and read books, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played
Reading Mary Oliver with Kids
Sunday mornings find me on zoom with a gathering of kids ages 3 – 10. We call this time Songs & Stories. It is a highlight in my week. They come in their pajamas, often eating breakfast, and usually with some “stuffies” they want to introduce to the group. They are full of energy and good cheer. They mute and
The Comfort of James Herriot’s Stories
I don’t know if you are watching All Creatures Great and Small on Masterpiece Theater on PBS these Sunday nights, but if you’re not, you are missing something wonderful.
The Very First & Last Page
Last week I zoom-visited a kindergarten class to read my own picture book. The class was terrific and at the end we had a time for Q & A. They are working on the difference between asking a question and “sharing.” It’s an important and difficult skill. One little girl, who might’ve been a stringer for the New York Times, or perhaps
Shall I Knit You a Hat?
I’ve received a wonderful early Christmas gift this year — two new regular storytimes to conduct. Both interested in the season’s books — and do I have Christmas books to share! The only downside — and I can live with it — is that it’s via the technologies with which we see people these days. I’m so grateful for the Zooms, the FaceTimes, the Facebook Lives…it’s the
On Halloween morning, Pooh Bear came for a visit on our porch. There was coffee for her parents and hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles for her, as well as a round of pastries for all. A lovely morning, however distanced and masked we had to remain.
I sent the email as a joke, really. Netflix sent me the announcement that the much anticipated Enola Holmes movie would premier on the upcoming Wednesday, and so I sent our (grown-up) kids an email with words I certainly never thought I’d utter and don’t really understand: We should have a Netflix Party! (For those of you who also don’t
Thanks for the Memories, Miss Rumphius!
Today, the day I am writing this column, has been a long one. It started with a 4 a.m. alarm. It is the day Darling Daughter moves to college. In Boston. Which is far from Minnesota and so necessitates a plane ride. During a pandemic. Alone, as her university is not allowing parents on campus during this challenging time. Tell me
I’ve been waiting for Elizabeth Stickney and Gary D. Schmidt’s Almost Time for quite awhile. Seems appropriate — it’s a book about waiting, after all. I read very early drafts of it years ago, so long ago that I can hardly recall details — only that it’s about the making of maple syrup. What I discovered upon reading it in published form is