Kids say the darndest things, Mother's Day edition!
Setting: We have just read the "Things to do or be when you get bigger" spread in Little Monster's Word Book.
Estelle: When I grow up, I'm going to have 100 kids.
Lulu: Me going to make snowballs all day.
At least they'll have their hands full?
Inspired by too-many-to-count viewings of "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singin' in the Rain, Estelle decided that her first dance class would be of the tap variety. I'm not sure how she'll take it when she finds out that she won't actually learn to run up walls like Donald O'Connor. Good thing she's totally in love with the shoes.
Other awesome occurrences from day one of Pre Tap: Watching a roomful of 3-year-olds hilariously learn how to make jazz hands and tip imaginary top hats. Seeing our biggest kid tackle her butterflies and shine.
Don't let its name fool you. The craft/activity blog, All for the Boys, is most certainly one that any girl I know might love. I'm trying hard to look past the name because the site, which I recently discovered via Momfilter, is just too cool to ignore.
AFTB creator, Allison Waken is an Arizona-based mom of two boys who felt that the boys' activities she found were too narrowly focused on sports. She writes on the blog, "Boy stuff doesn't have to be all baseballs, footballs, and soccer balls am I right?!" (I wonder how she'd stomach the none-too-varied hot pink trappings of the girls' aisles at the toystore, but I digress.)
In response, the site is jam-packed with activites that any imaginative kid would like: Fort Fridays, themed weeks for spies and pirates, and simple science and construction projects. Of course these realms and stories are usually geared toward a male audience, which is all the more reason I'll be bringing them into our household. Up first: Balloon Races and a Moby Wrap Fort. What would you try?
Welp, we've lost another great one: children's book author E.L. Konigsburg died last Friday, at 83. Despite the two Newbery medals her books have won and the impressive number she wrote over 40 years, she doesn't seem as well known as she should be.
My favorite book -- one that I certainly hope you've heard of -- is 1967's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It's the sort of book that captures your imagination: a suburban brother and sister run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They hide out, sleep in the museum's antique bed, bath in a fountain, and stumble upon an art-world mystery. At the center of the book is the 12-year old sister, Claudia, a straight-A student in search of (a comfortable) adventure and a secret to keep. I still have my ratty 25-year-old copy of the book.
While reading Konigsburg's obituary, I discovered that the Mixed-Up Files was Konigsburg's second book, written while her small kids were at school. She took a chance -- she was a housewife with no connections or agent -- and mailed both her first (Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth) and second manuscripts to Atheneum publishing in New York. Not only were both published, both won Newbery honors that year (Mixed-Up won, and Jennifer claimed honors), the first and only time a single author's books took both prizes in the award's history.
Want to continue this Konigsburg lovefest?
- Check out Picture Book Report, a blog that calls itself a "love song to books," where 15 illustrators take on their favorite books. A few years ago, illustrator Phil McAndrew took on From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. See below, or check out all of his illustrations.
- Take your own mixed-up tour of the Met. Lucky New Yorkers or visitors to the city can use the Met's downloadable museum tour to visit the artwork that Claudia and Jamie saw. It includes an interview with Konigsburg where she describes how she came up with the story and its mystery.