Book #16: The Great White Man-Eating Shark

Back in 1991 I got a job as an intern at The Horn Book magazine, which is a  publication devoted to reviewing the best of children’s books.  It’s a journal of some reputation; books that are considered mediocre or shabbily put together don’t even… Continue reading

Book #15: Greek Myths

When my son was about four-and-a-half he went through a phase where he only wanted to read Greek myths.  He loved the stories of Hercules and Icarus and Orpheus of course, since like many boys his age he is a hero worshipper, but it… Continue reading

Book #14: Possum Come a-Knockin’

Here’s a must-have.  Written in a rhyming, Southern vernacular, this book tells the story of a possum bothering a family while they are inside their home doing their respective southern thangs.  It reads incredibly well, and even though it’s a rhyming, cumulative story, the… Continue reading

Book #13: Swirl by Swirl

Here’s a paean to both art and science from an award-winning author and illustrator.  You can enjoy this book on many levels, and it’s appropriate for a wide age-range, which is always useful.  Joyce Sidman is a poet, and the language she uses to… Continue reading

Truly Scrumptious

Readers, let us speak today of the violin recital. Contrary to what you might think, a musical  performance is never about what plays out on the stage.  It’s what goes on behind the scenes.  Think of your child’s violin recital as a canvas  upon… Continue reading

Book #12: I Love You, Mouse

Sometimes I like to feature a lesser-known children’s book by a greater-known author or illustrator. Tomie dePaola is enormously prolific. He has illustrated hundreds of books.  His art is distinctive and recognizable; once you have read Strega Nona or Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs, you… Continue reading

Book #11: No Roses for Harry

Harry.  What do we do with you?  You were born in 1958 at a time when men were men and girls didn’t carry heavy artillery.  Yes, you’re a dog.  But an animal in a children’s book is just a human with excessive fur, and… Continue reading

Book #10: The Scrambled States of America

Generally, I don’t like goofy, cartoony books.  I know, I’m a stodgy old stick-in-the mud and I’m snotty about high literature besides, but sometimes you just have to cave into the silly.  Plus the idea and its execution is so clever that you can’t… Continue reading

My Husband Has No Penis

An abridged version of this essay, entitled “When Your Husband is Not a Man,” was recently featured on YahooShine. I’ll tell you a secret. I still have some internalized homophobia.  I get squeamish when I have to come out, even if it’s a circumstance… Continue reading

Book #9: Knuffle Bunny

First of all, I’d like to apologize in advance for the quality of these reproductions.  Mo Willems would probably have me killed if he saw what I have done with his beautiful drawings-over-photographs, but I am a new blogger, so this is about as… Continue reading