Virginia Johnson

05/29/2015 - 9:18am

"Long, long ago, when the earth was set down and the sky was lifted up, all folktales were owned by the Sky God."

So begins an Ashanti tale, Anansi Does the Impossible!, retold by Verna Aardema. Anansi the Spider and his clever wife, Aso, use their wits to buy the folk tales for the Ashanti people. Verna Aardema spent much of her life retelling these folktales.

05/29/2015 - 12:38pm

Take a moment to savor the summer delights and craft some new traditions while learning the legends of summer.

Ancient Stargazers

05/01/2015 - 3:06pm

Two-time Caldecott medalist Nonny Hogrogrian grew up in a stone house in the Bronx, New York which had belonged to her family for three generations. She came from a hard-working and artistic family with strong Armenian roots. When very young she would settle into a big chair in the home library and page through books of beautifully illustrated children’s stories dreaming about one day drawing such pictures herself.

05/01/2015 - 3:41pm

As every baby who's ever beaten a spoon against her high chair knows, there's nothing more fun than the rhythm of a pounding drum sound. Fast or slow, loud or soft, people around the world use the drum to build community spirit.

05/01/2015 - 4:53pm

Before you finally finish your grade and head out for a summer of fun, there’s still one more thing to do. Your teachers have worked hard all year to get you ready for your future. So now it’s time to think about a little way to say thanks for all they do. Teachers are special people. They do not go into the job for the money they can make. The best teachers are there because they love to teach.

As the school year winds down into lazy summer days, take a little time to thank your teachers. Not everybody can afford to hand out gift certificates, so here are some thoughtful, inexpensive ways to let your teachers know you care.
04/27/2015 - 8:05am
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Handsome, rich Percy smiled at Olivia from his seat above her in the theatre. She is sure of it. Feeling bold on this, the night of her birthday AND Halloween, she goes up on stage where his eyes must follow her—to be hypnotized by the mysteriously dashing Henri Reveri. What follows in Cat Winters’ The Cure for Dreaming is something a bit scandalous and very eye-opening as she is told to "see the world the way it truly is."

04/07/2015 - 8:50pm
Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick

Young in years but not so much in worldly cares, Rose Meadows is set adrift when her wayward father abandons her permanently and her handsome, caretaking distant cousin takes up with the local Bolshevik crowd. But, in Cynthia Ozick’s historical novel Heir to the Glimmering World, Rose doesn’t give up. She takes matters into her own hands and answers an advertisement for a research assistant in a town miles away.

04/01/2015 - 1:03am
The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

One of the food trends with the strongest staying power has to be vegetarianism, or at least dishes that are unabashed in their embrace of vegetables, grains, and fruits. Before “Farm to Table” was a thing, we still had farmers’ markets, and cooks would take advantage of them and their own backyard gardens to serve meals with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

04/01/2015 - 8:54am

Ethiopia-the faraway land on the horn of Africa, was Jane Kurtz's home when she was a young girl. Her parents were missionaries there, and her playmates were dark-skinned, smiling children. They mostly lived in grass-covered huts with dirt floors covered with mats—as did Jane and her family. The boys might work as cattle herders; the girls would help their mothers with cooking until it was time for them to be married.

04/01/2015 - 11:10am

To the Europeans, the West was a great unknown. Many people believed that over the western sea there was nothing but darkness and danger. Yet throughout the past, travelers tried to find out what was on the other side of the water. There are very few traces of those first explorers. They lived in times when most people could not write, so stories of their discoveries were passed down as tales told around hearth fires. Sometimes they were believed, sometimes not. Russell Freedman’s Who Was First? Discovering the Americas looks at the evidence behind this puzzle.

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