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Books in the Home: The Joys of Cooking: Good Books About Good Food

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How does a person learn to cook? My mother prepared family meals every evening. She didn’t involve us in the making of the meal, but she was my model of a home cook who knew the importance of ­families eating together. She relied on a 1940s edition of The Boston...

Books in the Home: Reading with Sophie: Finding Books for a Teen with Special Needs

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How do you choose a book for a child who doesn’t have the capacity to choose one for herself? As the mother of a nonverbal teenager with autism and developmental delays, it is a question I ask myself all the time. When Sophie was first diagnosed in preschool, we were...

Books in the Home: What My First Grader Taught Me About Reading

Miles reads to his baby sister. Photo: Summer Clark.What does it mean to learn to read? As a former first-grade teacher and a professor of literacy education, I have constructed plenty of answers over the years. But witnessing the process as a parent has led me to challenge any overly...

Books in the Home: "Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?": Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books

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When my son was five, he was watching TV when a commercial came on that showed a woman slathering her peach-colored arms with lotion. He glanced down at his own brown arm. After poking it with a finger, he asked: “Mommy, do I have white skin?”It was a moment that...

Books in the Home: Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters

Not long ago I was having a conversation with a friend while our children were in the school playground. She was worried because her daughter hates reading. The girl is aware that she does not read as well as her classmates, and this upsets her because she enjoys school and...

Books in the Home: The Boy Ramona

After a particularly hard day at school, my then nine-year-old son, Rory, forlornly and aptly announced, “I think I’m the boy Ramona.”Rory is thirteen now, and he continues to turn to books and their characters for escape and solace as he sets out to slay the particular dragon that he...

Books in the Home: Committing the Crime Without Doing the Time

by Jessica AngottiI was a nanny for two years. In my care were three little girls under the age of seven. Since the older two were in school most of the day, the youngest, Hope, was my main responsibility. At twenty-one months, Hope loved books. She liked “reading” them to...
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