Friday, August 17, 2018
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I recently watched the movie, “No One’s Perfect” and decided I had to get the book it was based on, the autobiography of a man born with no arms or legs. Calhan, Colorado high school physical education equipment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The movie showed the author during one year of teaching, how he related to his students, how he managed his considerable challenges, which were less about his physical needs than the reaction of students and teachers alike to him. As movies often do, it turned out the movie had little to do with the book. Instead of focusing on a single year of teaching,... (Read More ...)

Published in 1971, Leo the Late Bloomer was written by Robert Kraus and illustrated by Jose Aruego. Picture of A lion cub with his mum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Kraus started out as a cover artist and cartoonist for The New Yorker, after winning his first cartoon contest at the age of 10 and selling his first cartoon to The New Yorker at age 16. He went on to found his own publishing house, Windmill Books, which drew artists like Jacob Lawrence and Norman Rockwell to its fold, for collaborations with Kraus. Windmill was the first to publish board books for children. Leo the Late Bloomer is about... (Read More ...)

Written and illustrated by American cartoonist and children’s author, David Johnson Leisk, whose pen name was Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon is the first in a series, published in 1955. Color mark from Crayola “Violet (purple)” crayon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The illustrations are simple, clear and compelling. But, what is most appealing about this simple story is that the little boy at its heart, Harold, is in charge of his world. When he wants to go for a walk, he draws a road with his purple crayon. When he wants moonlight to see by, he draws a moon. When he wants... (Read More ...)

  Illustration from the play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Jessie Braham White, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Edmond W Rickett, and Charles Buckles Falls. The caption read: “Here for nearly a year they have watched over and night”, this has been stripped in this derivative for transcription at another place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Millions of Cats, Wanda Ga’g’s first children’s book, (1893 – 1946), was released in 1928. This must be the first place we heard, “millions and billions and trillions” that now is associated with the number of stars, as popularized by... (Read More ...)

A friend told me recently that she had received a book for Mother’s Day from her daughter that gives her a place to write down stories about her childhood and her children. Children with a book (Photo credit: Wikipedia) She planned to sit down and fill out every page. Called “Mom, Tell Me Your Story: A Guided Journal,” the book is a series of questions with lined pages leaving room to write down the answers in the book. The questions are organized in four categories: Family framework Milestones Lessons Learned Personal. The family framework questions invite the reader to enter their parents’... (Read More ...)

Having no daughters, I imagine that mothers and daughters have a deep, intimate relationship in which they can share hopes and fears, tea parties and toenail painting. Mother and Child watching each other (Photo credit: Wikipedia) But, that may just be in my imagination. I’ve interviewed enough young mothers now to know that when young women become mothers, whether they are daughters or daughters-in-law, their mothers think the relationship will remain one-way – they will continue to give advice. Daughters, by contrast, just like sons, think that they are pretty good at this parenting business... (Read More ...)

Română: Nicolae Tonitza (1886 – 1940) – Mama şi copilul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Every fall, for years, my mother, who lived in Atlanta, went to a book-signing by Lewis Grizzard. Grizzard was a famously funny Southern writer and comedian who wrote about growing up in Moreland, Georgia, a town of 300, about 40 miles southwest of Atlanta. “My son-in-law grew up in Moreland, too.” “I think he might have known you. I’m getting this book for him for Christmas.” “Of course, I knew David. His mother and mine were both teachers in Moreland.’ “Tell him I... (Read More ...)

It is, perhaps, no surprise that a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist from the New York Times can write about his Southern family in a way that makes you love them and forgive them their trespasses. The Pulitzer Prize gold medal award (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Rick Bragg rose from reporting for his high school newspaper to being a journalist in the Atlanta bureau of the New York Times  and best-selling author. He comes to understand, if not forgive, why his father was broken by the horror of the Korean War and tried to drown his memories in alcohol and anger. He is in awe of the dogged work ethic... (Read More ...)

I think one of the signs that you have grown up is when you forgive your parents for being human. Parents with child Statue, Hrobákova street, Petržalka, Bratislava (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Lauretta Hannon, author of “The Cracker Queen,” describes her own life through the lens of her parents’ and grandparents’ lives. She explains the difficult childhoods her parents had, leading them to make their own mistakes in parenting. In a book filled with insight, humor and pathos, probably the statement that sums up the reason for her parents’ poor parenting skills best was, “they should... (Read More ...)

What Do 10 Breast Cancer Survivors Have in Common? A couple of women in a breast cancer support group decided to tell their stories to a larger audience. Breast Cancer 3-Day Atlanta 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The book that came out of this decision was B.O.O.B.S.: A Bunch Of Outrageous Breast-Cancer Survivors Tell Their Stories of Courage, Hope and Healing. They approached an editor to help them write their book. Her name was Ann Kempner Fisher. She asked them how many women they planned to include in this project. When they answered three or four, maybe as many as five, she replied that they... (Read More ...)