Books for Sad and Scary Times

blog graphic comfortI had planned to write a different post, but I’m finding it hard to disengage myself from what is going on in Boston; this is particularly true because my son has been told to shelter in place in his neighborhood and can see the media clustered outside his window. I know I, personally, need to take a break from the continuous coverage of the terrible events that have been unfolding…even if only to address it here. (more…)

There’s A New Library in Town

car pool girls 2My first little free library was housed in a large carton on our screened-in porch in our old house. We left the screen lock unlatched so the borrowers could come and go as they pleased. The Lending Library was officially launched one Thursday afternoon as Ashley, Julie, Laura, Laura, and Lindsey (a.k.a. The Car Pool) all gathered around my kitchen table to enjoy the chocolate-chip cookie pizza I had prepared (I might have had some, too), and I issued each of them a homemade library card informing them of their rights and responsibilities (hard to remember what those might have been). Enthusiastic in the way of little girls, each one came with books to contribute. A believer in recycling, I had turned my attention to books; why should we be all be purchasing the same or similar books if we could exchange books? Both a borrower and a lender be.6109912_orig (more…)

A Picture is Worth…

IB488_Kids_largeIB455_HarryPotter_largemyidealbookshelf1_grandeBook love can take many forms. Last year, I came across a lovely way to pay tribute to the books that are meaningful to you or to those you care about. Since 2007, artist Jane Mount has been creating detailed and colorful paintings and prints of book spines. I fell in love (I’m not alone) with both the concept and her wonderful execution. (more…)

Calling All Grandpas (not just Republicans)

max in ny

My Father ~ Max M. Michelson

This past February marked 40 years since my father passed away. At the time of his death, he was a grandfather of six. I wish he knew that all these years later, his grandchildren (2 of whom are grandparents, themselves) would hold vivid and treasured memories of him close to their hearts. Through his words and actions, he set a standard that they’ve tried to emulate in key areas of their lives. Probably that was his hope; he made all the small moments with each of them count. (more…)

Repairing the World through the Power of Reading

_ICT0756-01As a grandparent, you can be a role model for reading. You can also be a role model for giving. I suggest you combine the two by finding a way for you and your grandchild to help promote literacy on a local or global basis. Children benefit greatly from experiencing the joy associated with giving and from understanding that they can be a force for good in this world. Take inspiration from Tikun Olam, the Jewish concept of repairing the world one good deed at a time. I’ve included a sampling of worthwhile organizations who strive to break the barriers that impede literacy in the United States and beyond. Visit their websites to get details on how you can get involved or donate to their efforts.  (more…)

Teacher Interview: Laurie Bagan

Laurie3Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Laurie Bagan, an experienced preschool teacher, who shares her enthusiasm for reading with her class. She is also the mother of three, a new grandmother and, I am happy to say, my friend. Welcome, Laurie! (more…)

Books about Passover

SederThe Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated with a ceremonial dinner called a Seder. At the heart of the Seder is the story of the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt. Jews are commanded to retell the story:

You should tell your children that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 

This passing on of our history and heritage to the children in our lives is important and valuable, and grandparents can play a vital role in this conversation. In this vein, I want to offer you some suggestions of children’s books about Passover. I found a vast array of books about this holiday—most of which were educational and entertaining—so this is just a small selection.  (more…)

World Read Aloud Day

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Celebrate by reading aloud, giving away a book or taking action in any way you can to Read It Forward to help advance the Global Literacy Movement. This day was established by LitWorld, a wonderful non-profit literacy organization fostering resilience, hope, and joy though the power of story. Learn more about all the worthwhile things, large and small, that they do by visiting their website or look for them on Facebook.

Books with a French Accent

Eiffel TowerRecently, my book club read Bringing up Bébé, Pamela Druckerman’s account of raising three children in France. In fact, my local library was a stop on her current book tour and drew many admirers of her work (well, there was also French pastry involved).

The popularity of her book had me thinking that perhaps your grandbébés would also enjoy a peek into la vie française. Books that feature a young child in another country will stimulate their curiosity about diverse cultures and help develop empathy. Have you lived in or visited France? One of these books could give you the opportunity to have an age-appropriate discussion about your travels. (more…)