Wander into the Wardrobe: Reasons to Return to Narnia in December

Along with the pleasure of lighting the Advent wreath, of busy preparations and programs and starry night silence, I love to return to the land of the lamp post in December, to do battle against the White Witch who made made Narnia always winter but never Christmas. I refuse to join the war between fans … Continue reading Wander into the Wardrobe: Reasons to Return to Narnia in December

Grow Your Family’s Gratitude with The Secret of Saying Thanks

"The world is full of secrets, gentle, shy things that some people know and some don't.  The best secrets are the ones that make us happy, and the best thing about any secret is sharing it with someone else who wants to know..." Read these words with a child and perhaps you'll find yourself the … Continue reading Grow Your Family’s Gratitude with The Secret of Saying Thanks

Crow Call: Beautiful Children’s Book for Fathers and Daughters

"The details of this story are true," Newberry-winning author Lois Lowry writes of her beautiful father-daughter story Crow Call.  "But parents and children groping toward understanding each other--that happens to everyone.  And so this story is not really just my story, but everyone's." It is indeed.  Lowry's Crow Call is a masterful evocation of the … Continue reading Crow Call: Beautiful Children’s Book for Fathers and Daughters

Frustrated with the Gift of Gab? Consider the Word-Smart Strength Behind It

An author who confesses that her childhood nickname was "Chatty Kathy" is someone I know I'll appreciate. In 8 Great Smarts:  Discover and Nurture Your Child's Intelligences, Dr. Kathy Koch presents the multiple intelligence theory of Dr. Howard Gardner in an accessible guide for parents wishing to help children understand and grow their natural strengths.  … Continue reading Frustrated with the Gift of Gab? Consider the Word-Smart Strength Behind It

Big Pink Baby Name-calling and The Invisible Mistakecase

Insults and epithets abound in today's culture and seem socially acceptable in many circles.  Now more than ever, it's important to hold ourselves accountable to high standards of speech and to teach our children to do the same. Cherise Mericle Harper's The Invisible Mistakecase is a sweet and humorous tale about a grandpa who helps … Continue reading Big Pink Baby Name-calling and The Invisible Mistakecase

Peter Rabbit, Bluebeard, and Adam and Eve: A Theological Meandering

The mother of one of the children at my school came to discuss strategies for handling her four-year-old daughter's constant complaints about rules. Exceptionally inquisitive and logical, the girl reminds me of one of my sons, who at about the same age, disputed my insistence on a daily afternoon nap. When I tried reducing the … Continue reading Peter Rabbit, Bluebeard, and Adam and Eve: A Theological Meandering

Hans Brinker’s Humble Heroism

Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates has thrilled children since its publication in 1865. Sadly, the book may have become a "victim of technology," writes award-winning children's author Bruce Coville in a note to readers of his 2007 adaptation of the novel. He explains that Mary Mapes Dodge wrote the book not only to entertain … Continue reading Hans Brinker’s Humble Heroism

Counteracting the Big Me with Two Frogs and a Toad

Humility is a beautiful, elusive quality, a virtue that's fallen completely out of fashion. Google its definition and you can ponder a graph showing the word's diminishing use in our language from 1885 to today. A century ago, we talked a good deal about humility. Today, not so much. Because I read to young children … Continue reading Counteracting the Big Me with Two Frogs and a Toad