What do shipwrecks, flying pigs, and talking fruit have in common? There were all featured in story submissions for the Vermont PBS Kids’ annual Writing Contest, which I had the pleasure of judging last week.
Last Friday, I joined nine other writers, librarians, and members of educational non-profits at Vermont’s PBS headquarters in Colchester to review 106 compelling stories written and illustrated by talented students from all over the state.
My favorite part of CLiF events is always helping kids choose their own books to take home. But the CLiF event I went to last week was a little different. There were no kids. It wasn’t in a school, daycare center, or library.
There is a four-year-old girl who comes to the library every week with her mother and older sister. When they came in last week, her mother mentioned to me that she and her girls had just sat down to make their Christmas wish lists together.
I am writing this from my lovely little bubble of Bear Pond Books. I think we can all agree it’s been a busy, distracting fall. I know that my book reading time has taken a precipitous fall because of it.
I don’t want to talk about politics. You don’t want to talk about politics. But let’s talk about how we talk to kids about politics. Because they’re paying attention, and if we don’t help them frame what they’re hearing in context, they’ll fill in their own blanks.
My daughter lobbied hard for a fish. I put it off until after summer travels, but I had to make good on my promise after Labor Day.
I got a book about caring for fish out of the library; I wanted us prepared for the cleaning, feeding, and choosing the correct fish for our environment (our environment calls for the most low-maintenance fish possible).
by Jane Knight – Bear Pond Books
As I write this, there are four middle school kids hanging out in our play space in the Children’s Room at Bear Pond– ‘The Chicken Coop’—they are reading picture books to one another, laughing and reminiscing about their ‘childhood favorites’.
Summer is a magical season for kids – a time when they finally get to make many of their own decisions. Except when it comes to reading. This summer millions of children will be slogging through a school-assigned reading list. And that may not be such a good thing.
By Simon Brooks
As a storyteller I travel to many different schools and colleges, libraries, birthday parties, summer camps, business retreats, and private events. As a result I see a great many people from all walks of life, especially younger people.
By Caroline Jones
This past Sunday, I was driving back from Maine and passing the time in traffic with the wonderful podcast “This American Life”. One of the episodes, “The Birds & The Bees”, explored the complexities of explaining all kinds of difficult issues to young children.