Margo Bartlett

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Just the right time

Let’s talk about the book neither of my six-year-old grandchildren would let me read. I almost didn’t read it myself. When I plucked Patricia MacLachlan’s What You Know First from the library shelf, I saw right away the book’s illustrations would not appeal to my young listeners. The pictures are...

Undercover Reading

My daughter and her husband caught their six-year-old reading in bed after lights out and celebrated.Quietly, of course. They didn’t want her to know they’d seen her taking advantage of the fading daylight coming through her bedside window. Still, they managed to take a picture of her, surrounded by stuffed...

A big place to run and play

My husband recently took a picture of me reading to our five-year-old granddaughter. He takes such pictures often; his phone holds dozens of photos of our granddaughter and me behind a variety of books. On this occasion, he caught us at an exciting point of the narrative. My granddaughter's eyes...

Make a Circle

Children’s books are better today than they were when my own children were small. At least, I think they are. It’s possible that good books existed in the late- to mid-1970s and 1980s, and I lacked the leisure to find them on the shelves. Going to the library in those...

Books, Fresh and Juicy

Not long after I started toting library books to my grandchildren’s houses, one of my daughters gave me a gift: a sturdy canvas bag with wide handles and, on the side, a photograph of my three grandchildren and me reading.I treasure the bag, not just because of the photo, not...

Mr. Slinger wows again

Recently I had a little talk with my two four-year-old grandchildren.All talks with four-year-olds are by definition little. Preschoolers aren’t ready for marathon discussions. For one thing, marathon discussions tend to happen late at night when they’re asleep, and for another, their favorite topics don’t support extended discourse. That is,...

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