Saturday, May 27, 2017
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If you wanted to cut down the leading cause of death for children under five, then around 500 a year, what would you do? A bottle of brand coated tablets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) President Nixon signed the Poison Prevention Packaging Act into law on December 30, 1970 to require child-resistant packaging for hazardous household substances and medicines. Now, about 30 children a year die from accidental poisoning. What is included in the special, child-resistant packaging requirement? Furniture polish Turpentine Prescription drugs Lighter fluid Ibuprofen Aspirin Manufacturers have to include... (Read More ...)

Peekaboo with the Moon  Meyerheim: Three children playing "hide and seek" in a forest (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One of my son’s favorite books was one published by Weekly Reader’s Children’s Book Club in 1984. It is now one of his six-year-old son’s favorite bedtime stories. Moon Game was written and softly illustrated by Frank Asch. What Is the Story About? The story is of a little bear in the forest playing hide-and-seek with his friend, the bird. After the sun went down, the bird went home. The little bear decided to play hide and seek with the moon. Everything was fine,... (Read More ...)

Grandma Covin Image by moominmolly via Flickr Used by permission Grandparents. Poems. Wisdom. Sometimes we forget. They grow up so fast.   Speak to Us of Children Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You... (Read More ...)

Paper Cup Flour. Tower. How Do You Make a Game with Two Pennies and a Cup of Flour Once again, a big thank you to the 4-H club of Prince William County, Virginia, who demonstrated this game at this summer’s 2011 County Fair. Supplies: 2 pennies (any coin will do) 1 cup of flour 2 spoons 2 small paper cups Cookie sheet, table top or counter Instructions: 1. Fill a small paper cup with flour. The kind of cups the dentist uses, or kid’s yoghurt containers both work well. Pat the flour down gently in the cup. 2. Turn the paper cup over gently onto the cookie sheet. You can also put a small... (Read More ...)

Teddy Bear Grandchildren Droppings There are press-on stickers on the couch. There are jars of shells next to the television. There are jars filled with dirt and unhatched moths on the kitchen counter.            The teddy bears are not where they belong. There are large cardboard boxes taped together by the back door. The homemade racecar with CDs for tires sits next to a bowl of fruit. A cardboard tube from a paper towel roll, once a megaphone, now hides under a bookshelf. Most of the things the grandchildren played with when they visited this summer have been put back in the guest... (Read More ...)

Little boy A little boy is sent to bed without any supper. He takes himself into his imagination, where wild things live and he can control his world. Finally, homesick, he brings himself back home, where his mother has left his dinner on the table in his bedroom, hot and waiting. Sometimes, children know better than the adults around them. This book spent two years looking for an audience, as adult critics claimed it was too negative. Meanwhile, librarians started to notice that children were checking it out over and over. In 1964, the book won a Caldecott Medal, one of the two highest awards... (Read More ...)

We were at a bookstore to get the next Harry Potter book in Spanish. I noticed one of the books I had just been reading to my granddaughter. It had been one of her father’s favorites and was now displayed prominently in the children’s section of the store. 40 years later. In the next aisle, there was one that had been one of my other son’s favorites. It got me thinking that parents and grandparents might want to know both the books that last through time and the newest and best books out today. My daughter-in-law walked me around the store, showing me the ones she had found to be the best... (Read More ...)

Flat Stanley I’m not sure why we missed the Flat Stanley phenomenon. The original book came out in 1964, before my first son was born in 1968. Written by Jeff Brown and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer, it is a playful story about a little boy who is flattened and can be mailed. It’s the kind of story I would like to have read to my children. Eventually, there were six books in the series. But, the real phenomenon came later, and by then, my children had grown past its value. A third-grade Canadian teacher, Dale Hubert, introduced the Flat Stanley Project in 1995, to promote literacy through reading... (Read More ...)

Image via Wikipedia I suppose it is a mark of social maturity to understand that not everything adults tell you is true, and therefore, not everything you tell them has to be true. “Did you flush the toilet?” “Yes.” “Did you wash your hands?” “Yes.” Well, no. He was too busy. He forgot. Yesterday, he finally told me, “I can’t reach the towel. That’s why I don’t wash my hands.” Easily fixed. Now, he knows to show me his hands so I can see if they’re still damp. How soon before he figures out all he has to do is run his hands under the water? One son, then age seven,... (Read More ...)

I went to vendors’ day today at the Department of Transportation to sell my books. This is a retail outlet I’d heard about from a jewelry vendor at the OCNA conference. It turns out a lot of federal office buildings in the Washington, DC area host vendor days. This one had a modest commitment of $20, for which DOT provided a table or two, a chair, a canopy and a front banner for the table. Carol Pemberton, who manages the vendor day on Thursdays and the Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays, runs a tight ship organizing the vendors, assigning tables, making sure everything is in place for us, collecting... (Read More ...)