Kids (69)

Are There Really Monsters in Our World? An Interview with children's book author Gregory Hofmann

Are your kids old enough to be fascinated by fantastical creatures, but still young enough to want to look at pictures while you read to them? We may have found the perfect solution, in local author Gregory Hofmann’s new children’s picture book, Larger than Life, which he also illustrated. Excited about his kids’ lit debut (he’s already a novelist and poet), he took the time to reveal some insights to us:   GG: What were…

Outside the Box for Mom

Upon hearing the phrase "Mother's Day," many women who are raising or have raised children will scoff and say, “Everyday should be Mother’s Day,” the implication being that moms are the hardest working people on earth (and the veterans of the most pain). It is an assertion against which it is hard to argue. So to make this year special, here’s a spin on the usual breakfast in bed, card and flowers, comprising three events…

BFFs Make It All Okay

If you grew up in the U.S., chances are that you have fond memories of Sesame Street, the characters you loved, the things the show taught you. And Sesame Street is where word-magician Mo Willem got his start, as a writer and an animator. Now, years later, his characters Elephant Gerald and Piggie have leapt off the pages of Willem’s books and onto the stage at Merrill Auditorium, in the rollicking children’s musical, Elephant &…

New Mothers, This One's for You

Back in the day, when a woman found out she was pregnant and decided she was going to raise her child, her sources of information were basically limited to her own mother’s and grandmother’s collective advice, and reading Dr. Spock. Those are still two very good ideas, but in the past several decades, science has advanced, industry has done its best to keep up, and now there is a whole world of resources available to…

Celebrate Earth Day!

Disclaimer: A certain writer, yours truly, is in his forties. So long ago, when April 22 came around, you would go to the feed store, get a sapling, and plant it somewhere around your house. It was Earth Day. Americans were worried about the devastation of the South American rainforest, among other things. But environmentalism was still a relatively new phenomenon, starting to be taught in schools, so it was the kids who bugged their…

How Did We Used to Get So Many Vacations?

April means two things, to most adults who have kids: No more kidding around about your taxes, and the rugrats are loose for another week. But Portlanders are lucky, because local organizations have plenty of activities for their youngsters to get involved in, lest they go Lord of the Flies on us. To wit: What kid doesn’t love the story of Robin Hood? If your son or daughter goes straight to the dowels when you’re…

Easter Fun

The kids have already seen the Cadbury Bunny on TV. It’s too late to stop them on the candy track. That’s right, it’s Easter. In the old days, all it took was a couple dozen eggs and a pack of Paas. It was the policy of many families to have the children turn in their (real, hard-boiled) eggs for Mom and Dad to make egg salad with; that was lunch for the next few days.…

Talking Through the Unthinkable: Author Maria Padian's Wrecked

Don’t read this one with the kids unless they are educated about, and fortified against, the unthinkable.   April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It has happened to some of us. A relationship of trust and confidence turns out to be nothing but the worst betrayal other than outright murder. Some bear their scars well, and others allow themselves to be more like their attackers than they would like, if they thought about at all.…

Lead Your Little Horses to Water

Did you know that the original storyline of the ballet Swan Lake included a disastrous ending for the dashing Prince Siegfried and his lovely Odette? Hint: That’s one secret you can share with your kids when you make one more attempt to interest them in the most beautiful form of dance. Go on and let them in on the secret: They’ve read about World War II, right? After that nightmare was over, the Bolshoi Ballet…

Was Your School Librarian a Real Character?

People that love books are a special breed. They can disappear into the pages of some volume for so long that you’re afraid they’ll never come back. But when they do, they always have something interesting to say.   The ones who are so in love with the magic of reading that they make a career out of sharing it with children, well, they’re even more special. And we as Portlanders are lucky. Our library…
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