Weekend Pilot . . . A Valentine for My Dad

In the summer of 1945 when I am six, Dad has his pilot’s license and the use of a single propeller, two-seater plane. Dad is a bear of a man-burly, strong, and capable of deep growly curses when things don't go as planned. He sings in the shower and whistles as he dresses for the day.

On Sunday afternoons, Mom, Dad, my brother, Ben and I drive to the local airport, no more than a single hangar and a landing strip located in the section of the rich farmlands in Southern Pennsylvania that we call home. Dad flies my brother and me in turn around the countryside. [...]

February 14th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |

Separated in Flight. . . . Reunited by Love

Illustrations by Sue Cornelison from “Lost and Found Cat”, Crown Books 2017

A little over a year ago, Sura, a widowed mother, her three daughters and only son fled war torn Iraq under cover, taking only what they could carry on their backs and in their arms. Among their possessions was Kunkush, their beloved cat. On their way to Istanbul, they travelled by car, followed by three days on foot where Sura and her children walked behind the others lest the smugglers discover Kunkush and double the price of their escape.

Crossing the Aegean Sea to the island of Lesbos, the family along with 60 others was crammed into a flimsy rubber boat meant to carry 25. When they finally scrambled ashore, in the excitement Kunkush’s carrier—its door broken—was left unattended for several moments. He slipped out and retreated to the forest.[...]

Bribes Are Best with Love

dell antonia bribing kids

The secret to building kids’ connections to the printed page is through stories—the pot of gold in books and the imaginations of young children. My grandson, Matthew, loved to tell stories about how he thought the world worked, or, better yet, the violence and valor (in his mind) of dinosaurs: how they lived and how they died.

I loved to listen, my form of bribery. I even upped the ante and the two of us improvised dino-dramas in my living room converted to dinosaur habitats—one for his carnivores and one for my herbivores. As time went on, [...]

July 27th, 2016|Categories: the social side of learning|Tags: , , , , |