Book #8: Corduroy

Look at Corduroy.  How can you resist that little face?  Don Freeman’s Corduroy has been around since 1968 and still continues to sell.  It’s hard to believe the story was first rejected by his own publisher (eventually they took it). This uncomplicated story is about a teddy bear that wanders around the department store in […]

Book #7: Babar

It has colonialist and racist undertones, this is true.  It’s also marvelous.  But only when your child is ready for this traumatic opening: Babar is riding happily on his mother’s back when a wicked hunter, hidden behind some bushes, shoots at them.  The hunter  has killed Babar’s mother!  The monkey hides, the birds fly away, […]

Book #6: Where the Wild Things Are

I know, I know.  I had planned a different book for today, but when Ray asked for the wild things, how could I say no?  I hadn’t read it to him in years, and this was a favorite when he was three. This book is arguably the finest illustrated children’s book ever published.  You could […]

How to Thaw Your Unborn Children, Part 1

Dearest Readers, Here’s the first part of a longer book I’m working on about the process of making your family via artificial insemination. Ever since I was a kid, I’d wanted to have a kid. When I was nine years old and in the fourth grade, I used to play a game called Birth on […]

Book #5: Happy Birthday Moon

A bear buys a top hat for the moon.  He hangs it in a tree until the moon moves toward it, as if to try it on.  Can you even stand it?  Frank Asch has written a number of books about this little bear, and they are all beautifully written and totally charming.  How can […]

Book #4: Rotten Ralph

Jack Gantos has published a lot of material for both children and young adults, and he’s won numerous awards, but at the end of the day I still like the Rotten Ralph books the best.  The crazy-looking illustrations with the messed up perspective, the purposeful and obvious lack of message, and Rotten Ralph sawing off […]

Book #3: Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock

The premise of this book is so peculiar that you wouldn’t imagine it being such a hit with small children. But this was my go-to when I had to substitute a class at the elementary school while their teacher was undergoing the breathalyzer test in the hallway. Honestly, if you had to silence a room […]

Book #2: Millions of Cats

Not every book will have a medal on the front of it, but Ray was in a feline kind of mood today, so here was today’s choice. Hundreds of cats Thousands of cats Millions and billions and trillions of cats. Who doesn’t find this lovely refrain enchanting? Wanda Gag’s brother did the hand-lettered text. The […]

Protected: Please Don’t Sue Me

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Book #1: One Morning in Maine

I am going to try and read an illustrated children’s book to our son every day, 365 days a year, right after we complete violin practice.  What the hell.  We’re alone together  at this time, and for now I’ve given out so many skittles that Ray won’t be able to enjoy being a virtuoso when […]


When I was thirty-one years old I had a torrid affair with a woman.  Let’s call her Mary (her name was Mary).  It was not very nice of me to carry on with Mary, especially since I was already married to Mark.  (Let’s call him Mark.) Mark liked Mary very much until I admitted that […]

Squirrel — Part 9

2 March 2013 Readers! Here is what I hope and pray will be the last installment of my rodent nightmares. Thank you so much, every one of you, for reading my story and for providing such encouraging feedback. I loved reading all the comments and I thank you for helping me cope with a really […]

Squirrel — Part 8

27 February 2013 Hi friends, I’m sorry it took so long to get back to this. I assume there are only like three people left who are even still reading this thing anymore, but here we go — the final stretch! I sped toward the bridge. “Got one,” was what the text message said. Got […]

Squirrel — Part 7

21 February 2013 I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last squirrel post. I also can’t believe this ordeal isn’t over. I walk around my neighborhood looking at squirrels with a kind of renewed respect. Who are you, I think to myself, as I look out my window at the squirrel building his […]

Squirrel — Part 6

5 February 2013 Artie still likes me. When I bent over to pick up my lantern yesterday, he said, “Put those boobs away, you’ll get me excited.” I admit I was taken aback, but I apologized and followed his instructions (I took them off and left them in the car) feeling absolutely thrilled and elated […]

Squirrel — Part 5

1/2/13 later A lot of people are asking me, so I’ll tell you: I didn’t end up going to the squirrels last night, even though Artie said I was supposed to because they can freeze to death outside in a trap. I just knew there wouldn’t be any, I could feel it in my gut, […]

Squirrel — Part 4

1/2/13 Who put the squirrel calendar in Ray’s cubby at pre-school today? ABZ Click here to read Part 5

Squirrel — Part 3

1/31/13  (evening) I really don’t want to go to the rodents tonight. It’s 8:45 and the girls just fell asleep and I’m beat from spending the evening with Ray and the twins at Barnes & Noble, where the former of this group had a complete mental disintegration show because I wouldn’t buy him a book […]

Squirrel — Part 2

1/30/13 It’s a long and lonely drive across the Hudson River late at night when you’re in the business of catching squirrels, and when I say late at night, I mean really late, like almost eight-thirty p.m. or maybe even quarter to nine. I have to play Skrillex at a horrible decibel to keep myself […]

Squirrel — Part 1

Here’s a series of posts originally published on my Facebook list.  The response was overwhelming. 12/28/12 There are a family of squirrels wintering in the attic of our rental property. Every night I drive over there from Kingston and set traps. No matter the bait, the cages are always empty when I get back there, […]