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Red Reading Boots

Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten

Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten

Rose meets Mr. Win­ter­garten by Bob Gra­ham has been around for awhile. I’ve been read­ing it to kids for almost as long as it’s been on this side of the pond. But I’ve read it two dif­fer­ent ways, and I’m ready to con­fess that now. I love most every­thing about this sweet pic­ture book. I adore the

Caps for Sale

Caps for Sale

My col­lege boy is home this week. So far his spring break has been spent fight­ing a doozy of a virus, lying about fever­ish and wan. Per­haps there is slight com­fort in Mom mak­ing tea and soup, vers­es the non-homi­­­ness of the dorm, I don’t know. He seems grate­ful. I asked if he want­ed some­thing to read and went

Worm Loves Worm

Worm Loves Worm

I final­ly had a chance to read one of my new favorite pic­ture books — Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Aus­tri­an, illus­trat­ed by Mike Cura­to — to a group of kids. It was Valentine’s Day — the kids were mak­ing valen­tines, learn­ing origa­mi, and lis­ten­ing to love sto­ries read by moi. My mis­take was try­ing to call them away from the origa­mi and stick­ers and

A Walk in the Woods 

I tend to win things. Not always, of course…but if there’s an “enter to win” offer that shows up on Face­book and I don’t mind the spon­sor­ing par­ty hav­ing my email or mail­ing address (usu­al­ly they already do), I enter. I’ve won con­cert and play tick­ets, music, din­ner, and books this way. I think maybe not many other

Little Peggy Ann McKay 

I might have insta­mat­ic flu,” said the young girl as her moth­er checked her in at the doctor’s office. “Let’s hope not,” her moth­er replied. Insta­mat­ic flu. Instamatic…flu…. The words bounced around in my head. “My mouth is wet, my throat is dry…” the girl said in half-heart­ed sing-songy voice as they took a chair in the

Bambi

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill When I was 16, my aunt gave birth to twin boys. We did not see them near­ly often enough as they were grow­ing up (we were sep­a­rat­ed by sev­er­al states), but the mem­o­ries I have of those boys when they were lit­tle are clear in a way they are not with regard to my other

Tales from Shakespeare

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill One of my favorite class­es in col­lege was a Shake­speare class. It was well-known, well-loved, hard to get into, and manda­to­ry for all Eng­lish majors. It orga­nized my life the semes­ter I took it. The rhythm it dic­tat­ed was this: Arrive at class on Mon­day hav­ing read the assigned play and accom­pa­ny­ing crit­i­cal literature.

The Nativity

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill It was my job to read to the chil­dren. There were many oth­er sta­tions — crafts and col­or­ing, games and songs — all built around the most impor­tant task of the morn­ing: The Try­ing On of the Cos­tumes for the Christ­mas Pro­gram, which was to be held lat­er that after­noon. I had my own lit­tle nook.

Red Reading Boots: Lucia Morning in Sweden

This week is full of prepa­ra­tions at our house. Lucia Day comes on Sun­day and our household’s Lucia wish­es to make the Lussekat­ter buns this year. I’ve learned not to stand in her way — she can­not be deterred. The mag­ic of St. Lucia was intro­duced to our fam­i­ly four­teen years ago. It was a dif­fi­cult Decem­ber for

Red Reading Boots: The Tapper Twins 

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill I’m gen­er­al­ly a read­er of “tra­di­tion­al nov­els,” by which I mean nov­els that have chap­ters with titles, para­graphs with gram­mat­i­cal­ly cor­rect sen­tences, and per­haps the occa­sion­al com­ple­men­tary art under the chap­ter num­ber. I’m inten­tion­al about expand­ing my hori­zons and read­ing graph­ic nov­els, hybrids, and the like…but I still have to be inten­tion­al about it, I’m

Judy Blume 

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill I had the extra­or­di­nary for­tune of see­ing Judy Blume a few weeks ago. I was going to say “see­ing Judy Blume in con­cert” — that’s sort of what it felt like, actu­al­ly. She’s a rock-star in my world. And she was inter­viewed by Nan­cy Pearl, no less, so the whole event felt like I’d won a prize and

Keeping Track 

I’ve not kept track. Not real­ly. I mean, I can peruse our many book­shelves and make a sort of list, but it would be miss­ing things. What about all the library books we’ve read togeth­er? I was in a book dis­cus­sion ear­li­er this week with a woman who keeps A Read­ing Jour­nal. She writes as she reads — notes and quotes, ques­tions and

Mouse and Bear Books 

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill When I plan a sto­ry­time, I always plan for the kid­dos first and fore­most. But I do like to give a nod to the grownups who have brought them when I can — some­thing they’ll “get” at a dif­fer­ent lev­el than the kids, a trea­sure they might remem­ber from their own child­hood, a book that will make them smile or laugh. The Mouse and

The Berenstain Bears 

Last night, I was remind­ed of our family’s love of The Beren­stain Bears books. (Hap­py Sigh.) Before I go any fur­ther in my homage, please under­stand — I’m not claim­ing these books are stel­lar lit­er­a­ture. I’m just say­ing that we read a lot of Beren­stain Bear books at our house once upon a time, and we loved, loved, loved them. And

Brambly Hedge 

by Melanie Heuis­er Hill  When they were lit­tle, both of our kids had a fas­ci­na­tion with anthro­po­mor­phic mice. One actu­al­ly had a set of imag­i­nary mice friends who pre­ced­ed us into anx­i­ety pro­duc­ing sit­u­a­tions, of which there are many when you are a small child. These benev­o­lent mice (who had names, spe­cif­ic jobs, and amaz­ing vehi­cles of trans­porta­tion) went

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