Have Book Bag, Will Travel: A Practical Guide to Reading Aloud

Goodnight Moon

By Mary M. Burns and Ann A. Flowers Suddenly, literacy is a hot topic. While definitions may vary, there is general agreement that it’s a good thing, and the more of it, the better. The problem seems to be discovering how to nurture it. Because Americans incline toward Puritanism when faced with self-improvement, the process […]

Board Books Go Boom

Not long ago, while browsing through the picture book shelves of a local book store, I came across something that immediately caught my attention: Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species in a board book edition. One volume in the “Children’s Condensed Classics” series created especially for babies and toddlers, it opens with the line, “Long […]

“Look”

by Lois Lowry My oldest child, a daughter, remembers that when she was three, and we lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while her father was a law student, she often walked with me to a nearby grocery store. She tells me that there were letters painted in the street at the corner where we stopped and […]

“You can be president”

Sunday dinner in our family is a time for sharing food and ideas. One night, we discussed the upcoming presidential election. We ended by saying to each of our three sons, “You can be president.” Spontaneously, the oldest, Fred Jr., stood up, burst forth with a full chorus of “Hail to the Chief,” and declared […]

Snapshots: “Delicious rhythms”

Recently when our ten-year-old son was asked to name his favorite book, he said promptly, “I have thousands of favorites,” and proceeded to describe his room as if he were living in a small crack between bookshelves — the pleasant problem of the voracious reader. Madison’s bookshelves span a decade of evolving interests and travels […]

Heather and Her Critics

newman_heather has two mommies

As an out lesbian author of six picture books, five of which depict families with gay or lesbian members, I have been called one of the most dangerous writers living in America today. In fact, in 1994, my book Heather Has Two Mommies was the second most challenged book in the nation, following closely on […]

“Accumulated Power”

By Margaret Mahy When I was a child, books published in the U.S. were difficult to come by in New Zealand, dominated as it was by its trading relationship with Britain. But by the time I came to read to my daughters, the publishing world had changed. I was able to read them Blueberries for […]

“Have a Carrot”

by Cynthia Voigt I don’t know that my children would agree — and I am not consulting them to find out — but high on the list of favorite read-aloud books in the house where I was the Mommy is The Runaway Bunny. As a mother, as a pillow to the warm small nestling body, […]