James Baldwin’s One & Only, Delightfully-Illustrated Children’s Book, Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood (1976)

≡ Category: Art, Books, K-12 |Leave a Comment


As a writer, a thinker, and a human being, James Baldwin knew few boundaries. The black, gay, expatriate author of such still-read books as Go Tell it on the Mountain and The Fire Next Time set an example for all who have since sought to break free of the strictures imposed upon them by their society, their history, or even their craft.


Mick Jagger Acts in The Nightingale, a Televised Play from 1983

≡ Category: K-12, Literature, Music, Television |Leave a Comment

Pity the man who has everything. Satisfaction is but fleeting.
One wonders if rock god Mick Jagger might know a thing or two about the condition. He doesn’t seem to know all that much about acting, as evidenced by his turn in The Nightingale episode of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre series.
No matter.


An Animated Introduction to Virginia Woolf

≡ Category: Animation, Education, K-12, Literature |2 Comments

It’s a pity writer Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) drowned herself before the advent of the Internet.
Industrialization did not faze her.
It’s less clear how the great observer of “the Modern Age” would’ve responded to the proliferation of Mommy bloggers.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Read by Sir John Gielgud: A Great Way to Celebrate the Novel’s 150th Anniversary

≡ Category: Audio Books, K-12, Literature, Poetry, Theatre |1 Comment

I never thought I could love an audio recording of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (technically Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass) more than I love the unabridged version narrated by Christopher Plummer.


New Research Shows How Music Lessons During Childhood Benefit the Brain for a Lifetime

≡ Category: Education, K-12, Music, Science |1 Comment

As a sometime musician, it’s only natural that I want my four-year-old daughter to take an interest in music. Sure, it’s a fun bonding activity, and sure, there may be a bit of a stage dad lurking inside me at times.


Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn & Twain Himself Meet Satan in the Zany 1985 Claymation The Adventures of Mark Twain

≡ Category: Animation, K-12, Literature |2 Comments


“But who prays for Satan?” Mark Twain asked in the autobiography left behind as he exited this mortal coil on the tail of Halley’s comet, whose 1835 appearance coincided with his birth.
It’s a good question.
Had he instead asked who claymates Satan, the answer would have been clearcut.


How Franklin Became Peanuts‘ First Black Character, Thanks to a Caring Schoolteacher (1968)

≡ Category: Comics/Cartoons, History, K-12, Life |4 Comments


Like many children of the 70s, I was wild for Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, and had the merchandise to prove it. I was a Snoopy girl, for the most part, but not averse to receiving items featuring other characters—Linus, Schroeder, the caustic Lucy, PigPen, and, of course, Charlie Brown.


Neil Gaiman & Famous Friends Read Aloud the Entirety of Coraline (and The Graveyard Book Too)

≡ Category: Audio Books, Books, K-12, Literature |1 Comment

One of the many pleasures of hearing a children’s author reading his or her own work is their overwhelming lack of vocal sentiment. When my children were young, I always opted for the horse’s mouth, over the more histrionic characterizations of a hired narrator, regardless of what sitcom or Broadway play he or she may have starred in.


Hear Jack Nicholson Read Rudyard Kipling’s “The Elephant’s Child,” With Music by Bobby McFerrin

≡ Category: Audio Books, K-12, Literature |4 Comments


In the months before my daughter was born, I built up reserves of enthusiasm for her introduction to stories—in book form, movie form, and in the form of famous actors reading them.


Watch Twin Beaks, Sesame Street’s Parody of David Lynch’s Iconic TV Show (1990)

≡ Category: Comedy, K-12, Television |Leave a Comment

Who killed Laura Palmer?
If the answer comes unbidden to your lips, you’re no doubt old enough to have spent much of 1990 glued to Twin Peaks, cult director David Lynch’s supremely creepy series. (Note: US-based viewers can watch the show for free on Hulu.


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