Hanukkah Countdown – 40 Days

Once I flip my wall o’ calendars to November, I always feel the strong end-of-year wind at my back. It’s exciting. It’s sobering. It’s hang-on-for-the-ride time. For us, in addition to the potlucks and invitations to local events, it’s who is hosting Thanksgiving? Who is coming for end-of-year visits? And when can we get together to celebrate Hanukkah? Even though we're not into tons of gifting, I already feel a little better having inaugurated a spiral notebook to make notes on gifts from us, gifts we buy from my mother for her great-grands, and -- eventually, I hope! -- plans for some … [Read more...]

What Do You Look for in Children’s Books?

With Hanukkah around the corner, I start thinking about little gifts for our grands – which always include some books. I picked up two at our town’s charming independent bookstore, where the covers seemed to shout “pick me, pick me!” For our little guy, I got Ball by Mary Sullivan, a Theodore Geisel Honor Book. It’s got one word. Yes, you guessed it! The illustrations carry the story of the dog who yearns for someone to toss the ball for him – and gets creative when he can’t find a buddy to help him out. For our older toddler, I got Who’s Next Door? by Mayuko Kishira, illustrated by … [Read more...]