The Case for Paper

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“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Here we go again: it’s time for me to pack up all my books as we are moving: just across town, but still, every single object, piece of food, lingering dust bunny, must be transported. The kids are having an interesting reaction to this idea: “Will this chair come? Do I get to bring my bed? Will we have lights there?”

Since, like many creative types, I lean towards being both impulsive and compulsive, I look at my shelves and shelves of books and think: of course, those are so easy, I’ll begin with the books. One narrow shelf per small book box. They stack perfectly and neatly next to each other. There is no scheming or planning for those boxes; it’s instant gratification.

And yet. And yet. Here I am just a few days after the boxes have been taped and stacked, and of course, I need a few of those books. For what? Why? Well I’m working on a blog post for someone in which I reference that scene in Cather in the Rye when Holden asks the cab driver where the ducks go in winter, and I can’t remember how the cab driver responds. And, my mother-in-law told me that her favorite book is Stuart Little and I’ve saved my copy from childhood and want to begin reading it with my daughter, but – you got it, it’s packed up. And, I just read an interview with George Saunders (one of my favorite writers) and he recommended a story that I want to read and I’m pretty sure I already have it one of my collections.  This is where the impulsiveness parts settles in. I’ve come to terms (partly by reading other writers’ memoirs) that a lot of fostering creativity is about these moments which we feel the need to answer the questions, or continue the study, or sit and peruse, immediately. It’s not so much about instant gratification, but allowing your mind to swell over a sliver of an idea that takes hold and begins to sprawl. [Read more…]

Get Up, Get Up

Today, I’m featuring my favorite guest poster again: former elementary school teacher and current busy mom of three young girls, Maura Dyson. Here are her pics for fall books:

We have been having the most beautiful weather here in New England…the air is cool and the skies are blue! It’s the perfect weather to get your little ones active  – whether it’s jumping in a pile of leaves, apple picking, or running through mazes at the local farms. Keeping your littles ones moving through books is another great way to pass time on a beautiful fall day.

One of our favorites is: The Little Old a lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. Children love to act this story out, using their whole body to stomp their feet and wiggle their hips!

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The classic fable Stone Soup is also a great story where children can use their imagination by stirring a big pot and throwing different vegetables in the pot to make a yummy delicious soup.

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A more current book we adore is Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper, where the soup calls for slices of pumpkin, water and a pipkin of salt. Children love to look at the pictures of this book and to act out the parts of the animals who are cooking the soup!

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Lastly, I recommend Five Little Pumpkins by HarperCollins Publishers. This is a great book for early preschoolers using their fingers and hands to motion each pumpkins movement on each page. After a beautiful day, curl up with your child and watch their eyes brighten and their imagination come alive with one of these fun books!

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Have a spooktacular month!