Category Archives for Topics

April Fools & Children’s Stories

How kids appreciate moron jokes, stupid folks, and playing the dummy

01. April 2016 by Jerry Griswold
Categories: Holidays, Topics | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Island Dreams

“Robinson Crusoe” was published on 25 April 1719… Island stories provide dreamy locales to rehearse issues of control and chaos (from Parents’ Choice)

30. March 2016 by Jerry Griswold
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Gardening with Children

“Then comes the time for the young to discover the pleasures of digging in the dirt…” (from Parents’ Choice)

22. March 2016 by Jerry Griswold
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The Literary Moms of Children’s Books

In Storyland every day is, more or less, Mother’s Day . . . 

07. March 2016 by Jerry Griswold
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Irish Children’s Stories: Folk & Fairy Tradition

Irish storytelling embraces folkloric materials and the matter-of-fact inclusion of fairies

18. February 2016 by Jerry Griswold
Categories: Holidays, Topics | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentines Day: Sweets & Sweethearts

We preferred chocolate “kisses” to the other kind.

10. February 2016 by Jerry Griswold
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Living Toys

For the very young, the whole world is alive–from talking teddy bears to the North Wind (from Parents’ Choice)

04. February 2016 by Jerry Griswold
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Small and Tall: Books About Height

“In a world of alpha dogs (bullies at skating rinks, high school girls making slighting comments) we became the smart alecks, the sidekicks, the class clowns” (from the New York Times Book Review”)

05. January 2016 by Jerry Griswold
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In Praise of the Grinch

“For a person of unblinking honesty, the holiday season (as wonderful as it is) offers plenty of things to hate” (from Parents’ Choice)

25. December 2015 by Jerry Griswold
Categories: Holidays, Pictures & Picture Books, Topics | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Origami with Kids: A Day with Robert J. Lang

” Youngsters interested in bugs, computers, math and Rubik’s cubes should be introduced to origami.”  (from Parents’ Choice)

11. November 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Monsters Aren’t What They Used to Be

Nowadays, I am sorry to say, monsters aren’t what they used to be (from the Los Angeles Times)

27. October 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Pirates & Pretending

The theatrical gorgeousness of being a pirate!

19. September 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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“Octavian Nothing” & M.T. Anderson

It may be hard to conceive of making this claim about a young adult book, but I believe “Octavian Nothing” will someday be recognized as a novel of the first rank (from the New York Times Book Review)

03. July 2015 by Jerry Griswold
Categories: History, Topics | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Zen & Kids

Multi-generational sharing, my favorite haiku is by Basho: “Come, children, / Let’s run outside— / Hailstones falling!” (from Parents’ Choice)

30. May 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Cowboys & Cowgirls

Mamas, Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys and Cowgirls

12. May 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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“The Flint Heart”: Robust Fantasy, Subtle Politics

Which politician is a bully & a narcissist, ignorant & narrow-minded,  ­power-hungry & hardhearted? (from the New York Times Book Review)

08. May 2015 by Jerry Griswold
Categories: Fantasy, Topics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading for Fun

Whatever Happened to Reading For Fun? In a 2004 study “Reading at Risk,” the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) noted an alarming Adownwards trend in book consumption by Americans@ and concluded, AOur worst fears about American reading have been confirmed.@ … Continue reading

01. April 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Pollyanna, Ex-Bubblehead

    Pollyanna is not all bubbleheaded gladness.  She is instead one of the most cunning tricksters to appear in American children’s books since Tom Sawyer persuaded his friends to whitewash the fence.   

24. March 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Tom Sawyer & the Absence of Sex

Though it might at first seem an unlikely assertion, sex plays a significant role in Children’s Literature. One of the cornerstones of our very definition of childhood–evident, for example, in our system of movie ratings–is the taboo that surrounds knowledge … Continue reading

11. March 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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The Prince & the Pauper

The book that “everyone seems to know but few have actually read,” Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper,” has continued to fascinate me. I wrote about it at length in “Audacious Kids: The Classic American Children’s Story” and linked it … Continue reading

07. March 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Immigration Stories

Two Latino/a Books About the Immigrant Experience Ours is, largely, an immigrant nation: its citizens having ultimately come from Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Vietnam; from Polish shtetls, Scandinavian farms, Khymer communities, and countless other places. In that regard, it is … Continue reading

03. March 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Reading Differently After 9/11

If I can speak on behalf of others, the events of September 11, 2001, have increased Americans’ sense of vulnerability. In the words of a song by Sting now associated with these events, we have come to learn “How fragile … Continue reading

15. February 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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DiCamillo’s “The Tale of Despereaux”

    “the book is a terrific, bravura performance”–New York Times Book Review    

02. February 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Burdening Kids with Innocence

Danielle van Dam. Samantha Runnion. Nicole Timmons. Jahi Turner. Alexis Patterson. Jennifer Short. Elizabeth Smart. The list seems endless. In 2002, child-snatching seems a national epidemic taking on the biblical proportions of Herod’s slaughter of the innocents. 

01. February 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Children’s Books in the Era of iPad

Should youngsters be kept from digital media or should every toddler be given an iPad? The backlash against eStories by parents who love snuggling up with books & going to the library. But what’s the difference from other gadgets–the View Master, the toy theater, the board game? Continue reading

25. January 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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Bears in Kids’ Stories

“In Kidsworld, every tenth animal seems to be a bear.”

11. January 2015 by Jerry Griswold
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