Kids (78)

Last Chance Railroad

Portlanders who live paycheck to paycheck, and have friends and relatives who have to move to Westbrook or farther because their in-town living situation has changed and nothing is open to the poor in Portland, those residents might have a sour view of the gentrification and development our city is currently undergoing. On the other hand, people who have a little extra on hand might be happy that the place is getting better-looking. However you…

Nine Pizzas Around the Sun

Most readers will remember when the International Astronomical Union got together in 2006, consulted whatever oracles of science they hold dear, and told the rest of us that the planet Pluto had officially been demoted to ‘dwarf planet’ status. Depending on your age and interests at the time, the news item was anything from a major upheaval in your knowledge set, to a quirky two-minute phase in that season’s dinner conversation.   But if you…

The Other Conversation

It’s the other conversation every parent has to have with their teen, and it’s pretty close in importance to the one about the birds and the bees. That little plastic card that the state chooses to let a youngster carry around after they’ve taken the course and passed the test, that changes a youth’s life, and it certainly changes a parent’s. The first time a teenager asks for the car and doesn’t ask for a…

Like a Day of the Best Streaming Video

On Monday, the weather forecast for Saturday, July 1 called for scattered showers. If the magical powers of the internet, backed up by some kind of official meteorology, we hope, are to be trusted, it's an iffy beach day at best.   So, do what Americans do best: binge watch. But don’t let your family down with a two-hour session of trying to find a nugget of gold in the barrel of silt that is…

Is Our Universe an Electron In a Bigger One?

Remember when the junior high science teacher said that a lot of water got back to the ice caps and lakes and rivers when transpiration took place? Remember when it was easy to tell someone that those clouds up there are cumulonimbus, so we better head home? How about this one: How many of us have thought about subatomic particles and the enticing notion that entire universes are contained in every electron, neutron and proton…

When the "What Ifs" Are Frightening

Remember the last time you took your kids on vacation, out of state or out of the country? If your awareness of their proximity and your surroundings got jacked up to the level of a black ops reconnaissance expert, you’re not alone. We trust everyone got back safely — but what if they didn’t? Allow us to introduce novelist Maile Meloy. If you read for pleasure, you may already be aware of her 2009 collection,…

The Magic of Music

We can’t say enough about childhood literacy. Skillful, natural reading really is the key to success in any field of endeavor. If your child is especially perceptive, he or she may receive the building blocks of literacy from children’s television programming, and learn the finer points in kindergarten and beyond, with no difficulty. But this is not a thing to hedge your bets on. It’s all hands on deck, battle stations, let’s get these rugrats…

The Solution to Spring Fever

If teacher’s reports are worth anything (and they are), their young students are already absent from the classroom, gone in their minds to summer vacation as soon as the snow was gone. Many readers have calendars on their refrigerators, x-ing off days one by one until the big hoorah. Rambunctiousness is the order of the day. Fidgeting. Bickering. Resisting. One friend of The Phoenix family had to order lumber for a treehouse in exchange for…

The Age-Old Aphorism

Let’s talk about healthy kids. Assuming they’re generally happy internally (that is, emotionally) there still remains the issue of encouraging them to learn maintenance skills for the body. That means, as we’ve all heard millions of times, diet and exercise. Good food at a healthy level of intake, and plenty of all kinds of moving around, will build a strong young person. So, if we take nourishment and activity as separate points for the time…

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…
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