Hey, Al


Hey, Al

Arthur Yorinks, text

Richard Egielski, illustrations

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986

28 pp.

Age: 5+

Interests: birds, dogs, city life, travel, adventure, vacation, New York, magic, apartments

Other Titles by this author and illustrator: Homework, What a Trip!



Parenting Trends – the swing of the pendulum

Here’s an article on the times news website about the 1970s trend of “permissive parenting” and how it was all wrong.

A pretty black and white commentary, not much depth to it, but thought-provoking. I definitely think it’s not such an either/or proposition, every parent tailors their parenting strategies to the needs, strengths and weaknesses of the individual child. The real concern is when a parent (or pundit) buys into one or another ideology 100% and takes it full steam ahead, refusing to temper it with doubt or amendment – damn the torpedoes!

The bigger issue re. “Thoughts and ideas have been replaced by feelings” is how this has happened in the adult sphere beyond parenting… self-help mania, reality tv, celebrity obsession, personality journalism, popularity contest elections… Children grow up mirroring adult society, not solely by reacting to how their parents treat them.

Still, useful to contemplate. Self-esteem is good, but empathy is better. And the ability to control and manage one’s emotions is a vital skill that needs to be learned.

Noah’s Ark


Noah’s Ark

by Peter Spier

Doubleday, 1977

46 pp.

Age: 5+

Interests: bible stories, animals, boats, wordless books, religion, God

Also by this author/illustrator: People, Circus, The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night, London Bridge is Falling Down, Christmas!


Raising Readers

Much parental hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth occurs over the extent – and type – of reading that children do. It’s a high-stakes concern, since academic proficiency is greatly aided by voluminous reading. Young bookworms almost effortlessly gain a larger vocabulary and an instinctive knack for proper grammar and spelling, not to mention all the spiritual/artistic/empathetic/etc. benefits of literature.


Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions


Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions

Margaret Musgrove, text

Leo and Diane Dillon, illustrations

Dial Books, 1976 (now available: Picture Puffin Books)

28 pp.

Age: 6+

Interests: Africa, folklore, traditions, rituals, family life, alphabet books, geography

Also by these illustrators: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears; The People Could Fly – The Picture Book; Who’s in Rabbit’s House: A Masai Tale; Pish, Posh Said Hieronymus Bosch


Newbery, Caldecott winners announced

The ALA has announced the 2012 Newbery and Caldecott winners – check them out here.

I’m still working my way through the Caldecott list, reading and reviewing every title, and I’m almost done! Go to LISTS above to see the complete list, and click on the links to my reviews.

(I’m back from our trip, still reeling from the Disney World experience, and contemplating the hyper-reality of it all…)

A pause in the proceedings…

And I was doing so well, with a post a day since the new year!! Tomorrow the wee one and myself are heading off for a few days of magical Disney World insanity.

I’m a little excited, a lot apprehensive, having never been there before. It feels like a bit of a ‘Heart of Darkness’ trip, and yet a little Florida sunshine will be fantastic…

At any rate, apologies for the next 6 or so days of silence. Will get back to it as quickly as possible, I promise!

The Woodcutter’s Duck


The Woodcutter’s Duck

by Krystyna Turska

Macmillan, 1972

32 pp.

Age: 4+

Interests: folktales, Poland, country life, ducks, kindness to animals, pets


Duffy and the Devil


Duffy and the Devil

text by Harve Zemach

illustrated by Margot Zemach

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1973

36 pp.

Age: 4+

Interests: folktales, Great Britain, country life, magic, fairy tales


A Story A Story


A Story A Story

an African Tale retold and illustrated by Gail E. Haley

Atheneum, 1970

32 pp.

Age: 3+

Interests: folktales, Africa, animals, gods

Also by this author/illustrator: The Post Office Cat


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.