TV Ads Are Bad: “More TV Means More Junk Food”

From the Hospital for Sick Children’s website, “More TV Means More Junk Food”.

Even if you don’t believe in the pervasive influence of advertising on our thought processes, you can’t deny that if your child doesn’t even know that a particular product exists… he/she won’t pester you for it!

p.s. Another vital factor in the equation is the influence of parental example – I sure wish I was a better model of healthy eating! (Oh Cheezies, how I adore you…)


“Every child is a scientist.”

Here’s a wonderful perspective on children and science from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson:

I can’t think of any more human activity than conducting science experiments. Think about it — what do kids do? … They’re turning over rocks, they’re plucking petals off a rose — they’re exploring their environment through experimentation. That’s what we do as human beings, and we do that more thoroughly and better than any other species on Earth that we have yet encountered… We explore our environment more than we are compelled to utter poetry when we’re toddlers — we start doing that later. Before that happens, every child is a scientist. And so when I think of science, I think of a truly human activity — something fundamental to our DNA, something that drives curiosity.

(courtesy of )

War Boy: A Country Childhood


War Boy: A Country Childhood

by Michael Foreman

Pavilion Books, 1989

92 pp.

Age: 9+

Interests: history, war, World War II, autobiography, England, airplanes

Next (also by Foreman): War Games: Village Green to No Man’s Land, After the War Was Over

Related Movies: Hope and Glory


Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?


Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?

Martin Waddell, text

Barbara Firth, illustrations

Candlewick Press, 1988

30 pp.

Age: 2+

Interests: bears, night, bedtime, dark, fears, single parent


Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

by Chris Riddell

Macmillan, 2007

171 pp.

Age: 6+

Reading Level: 8+

Interests: mysteries, adventure, travel, strong heroines, fashion, clever plans and maps

Next: Ottoline At Sea, Ottoline Goes to School


I’m Back… Finally!

Hello friends, sorry for the lack of posts but apparently when my house is turned upside down so is my life and everything I love to do gets put on hold… which includes writing! I’m glad to say though that the worst seems to be over with and I will happily putter along writing as much as I am able until the next big upheaval in July (a cross-country move, nothing serious).

The Whales’ Song


The Whales’ Song

Dyan Sheldon, text

Gary Blythe, illustrations

Hutchinson Children’s Books, 1990

24 pp.

Age: 3 +

Interests: whales, ocean, grandparents, animals, nature


Maurice Sendak (1928 – 2012)

Maurice Sendak has died at the age of 83 due to complications from a recent stroke.

There is a wonderful obituary on the New York Times site by Margalit Fox, which includes this lovely description:

A largely self-taught illustrator, Mr. Sendak was at his finest a shtetl Blake, portraying a luminous world, at once lovely and dreadful, suspended between wakefulness and dreaming. In so doing, he was able to convey both the propulsive abandon and the pervasive melancholy of children’s interior lives.

He did have a rather dark vision of the world, yet not without sympathy and understanding. Here’s a quote from Sendak himself, from his Caldecott acceptance speech:

… from their earliest years children live on familiar terms with disruptive emotions… fear and anxiety are an intrinsic part of their everyday lives… (and) they continually cope with frustration as best they can.

His was always a refreshing antidote to the unrelenting sunshine and cheer of the majority of children’s books, and – like the traditional fairy tales he drew inspiration from – his works grip the imagination more tenaciously than the floaty bits of fluff that pass for children’s entertainment these days.

Related posts on this blog:

Book reviews…

Where the Wild Things Are

Outside Over There

Higglety Pigglety Pop!


Oh Maurice, You Old Curmudgeon…

Children’s Authors Who Broke the Rules

New Sendak Book!

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