Picture Book Review: Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

I’m a sucker for cute covers.  I mean, who isn’t?  It doesn’t matter if it’s a six year old kindergartener walking among the stacks in my library or if it’s a forty-four year old man (me!) walking through Barnes and Noble, readers are drawn to books initially due to the cover art.  I have a…

Of Bovines and Christmas Trees

One of the few benefits of moving is that I’m forced to look in boxes I haven’t opened since the last time I moved.  If we haven’t opened the box in a year we usually throw it away, but pictures and family mementos usually pass the “keep” test no matter how many times we move.  While going…

Kwame Alexander: The Voice of a Generation

My first encounter with Kwame Alexander was through his book Crossover.  When a title wins several awards including the Coretta Scott King Award and the Newberry Award I felt the need to pay attention.  I expected to find a novel about teenage angst set in a high school whose identity fit within the lined border of…

Little Boy Lost: Jonathan’s Adoption Story

Jon never figured into our plans to become a family.  In reality, he never seemed to fit into anyone’s plans.  When the social worker first discussed Phillip and Carl with us, she told us there were four brothers.  One was about to turn four and the other was two.  The two year old lived with…

Loving the Moment

About a year ago I became very nostalgic for the 1990’s.  That decade encompassed most of my high school years, all of my undergraduate work, and the very beginning of my life as a teacher.  I moved out of my parents’ home in 1999, so in my mind that decade was my last as a child…

The Slow Cruelty of Dementia

Fat, wet snow flakes plopped from the clouds to cover the the green leaves of the shrubs that flanked the front door.  All you could see was the red berries whose vibrant colors would not be hidden so easily under the soft white blanket.  It was freezing outside but I didn’t feel it.  I sat…

The Book that Saved my Life

I’ve always been a rule follower.  Even as a kid I never got into trouble.  I would sit in my playroom with my denim record player listening to books on 33 1/3 records and follow along with the floppy paperbacks until they nearly fell apart.  Other times I wrapped construction paper around empty cereal and cracker…

Child of Anger: Carl’s Adoption Story

*Note- Some names have been changed to protect privacy.  Immediate family members and close friends’ names have not been changed. Ah, my little monkey-butt.  It’s hard to know where to begin.  So much of Carl’s story has been a whirlwind of emotion, drama, and ultimately, healing.  Before we met Carl our social worker told us…