WILD THINGS . . . A Rumpus in a Teapot

Dance of the Books, Panel 7, by Helena Clare Pittman, Grahamville Library, Grahamville, NY.
www.helenaclarepittman.com

“But I don’t want to do a story!”

Storytelling in the last thing Mathew, my 7-year-old grandson, and I do before lights out when he stays over.

“You’re good at starting off,” I say.

He squints. “Ok. I’ll do the starting, but you’ll do the finishing.”

I nod in agreement to this familiar clause in our contract: if he begins, [...]

LOL . . . A Personal Perspective

On the first page of George’s Marvelous Medicine, author Roald Dahl introduces us to George’s Grandma, as loony an old lady as ever existed. She lectures George that he should be growing down, not up.

“Before it’s too late!” she rants. Her recipe? Eat insects, all manner of small crawly creatures.

From Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvelous Medicine illustrated by Quentin Blake, Penguin Group, 1981.

I chose the book to read to my six-year-old grandson, Matthew. The title sounded interesting.[...]

Rediscovering Neverland

Believing Begins with Books

Dance of the Books, Panel 4, by Helena Clare Pittman, Grahamville Library, Grahamville, NY. www.helenaclarepittman.com

Long ago in the war-plagued world of 1944, my family moved up and down the East coast according to my Dad’s assignments as a Navy Supply Officer for troops over seas. Ripped from my classroom in my hometown, I fumbled my way through the year; annoyed each new teacher who had to acclimate the new student, endured exile from the kids on the block, and teetered on the brink of academic failure in first grade.[...]

Bedtime for Toddlers: ‘I’m Sorry, No More Ducks’

I'm Sorry, No More Ducks NYTimes article

I remembered rocking my drowsy grandson in my arms, in his dusk-lit bedroom, our songbook closed long ago, his crib in the ready just a few feet away. I could hear the voices of his mom and dad at dinner downstairs. I felt hungry myself, but was never in a rush to give up the sleeping bundle in my arms. Unlike when I was a mom, as a grandmom I had time (lots of it) to give to the bedtime ritual, a routine I knew would pass all too soon. And I had perspective, not lots, but enough to realize that the value of moments spent with this small body nestled next to mine were invaluable. [...]