TWIG

In 1945, Elizabeth Orton Jones was awarded the Caldecott Medal of Honor for her illustration in Prayer for a Child. Before that success, however, Jones published a charming and delightful story about a little girl with a very big imagination. TWIG is one of those books that feels like a sweet dream on a warm…

The Black Stallion

What is it about gorgeous black horses that draw men in, set their imaginations on fire, and steal a bit of their hearts? As a child, I knew that horses were regal creatures. Because they are gorgeous, capable of intelligence, posses affection, and have a certain nobility, I was always smitten with horses. Nearly all…

Spelling VIII: Pronunciation

Five days a week I spend a large portion of each morning teaching spelling.  I watch children working, like ancient scribes, to represent their speech sounds with the symbols I am teaching them.  I do teach standard spelling.  I do not teach them to spell any way that feels right, but I encourage students to…

The Great Brain

We are boy moms. Diane and I have a daughter each and two sons a piece. Diane also has grandchildren, most of whom are boys. We love our daughters and we know that our culture has some special snares and traps for them. But as mamas of boys, we are particularly aware of today’s cultural…

Charlie the Lonesome Cougar

I have been packing around a paperback copy of Charlie the Lonesome Cougar for almost 50 years now.  The title is from a Disney movie that came out in 1967.  I may have watched the movie on a Sunday evening “Wonderful World of Disney.”  Perhaps at a drive-in theater!  In 1968, Scholastic Books published a…

Henry and the Chalk Dragon

“He looked at his armor, then back at the door. This was a morning that needed a knight.” I love this book. Really, truly, and sincerely love Henry and the Chalk Dragon. In fact, I am practically jumping out of my skin with excitement as I try to gather my thoughts and explain why Jennifer…

The Incredible Journey

Today I am bawling into my laundry. My son read The Incredible Journey by Shelia Bunford a few weeks ago and begged me to read it. As I am writing this, I am ignoring the stack of notes I have from ten other books which I have read and need to review. I was worried…

The Wishes of the Fish King

In May of 2016, author Doug McKelvey and illustrator Jamin Still collaborated on a Kickstarter project to fund the creation of a gorgeous new picture book. The Wishes of the Fish King is a story that Doug wrote when his first daughter was two years old. At the time, they lived in a house on…

Henry Reed, Inc.

“According to Uncle Al the Princeton area is filled with all sorts of research centers. I didn’t know that the big companies had separate buildings and places where their scientists developed new products, but apparently they do. I guess that’s an example of free enterprise, and I am going to learn more about these research…

Raising Chaste Catholic Men

“The sexual sins are the sins of our day. There is no denying it, and there is no denying that our men and boys struggle mightily to remain chaste and retain their purity in a world designed to incite lust and drag them down to the dark pit of hell. Dramatic? Nope, it’s just reality….