Jam and Butter

There’s a book I read once that used an analogy of two things going together like peanut butter and jelly.

I can’t remember the title but I do remember reading the French version and the analogy was slightly and culturally adapted to “butter and jam.”  Makes me think of tartines, sliced baguette with fresh preserves and butter.

The Italian version: tomato and mozzarella.

The vegetable version: peas and carrots.

Writers and teachers and others will tell you that reading and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly, like butter and jam.  Probably more eloquently than that.

Any way you look at it, the two are inseparable.  If you want to become a better writer, you must read, read, read.

There’s a little bit of a curse that comes with being an English major, a writer: you can’t resist the urge to want to write in the margins or underline key texts.

I love a good novel as much as the next person and my analytical mind loves it even more.

As a French teacher, I was always trying to balance the reading/writing activities in the classroom and it’s no different in English.

So, my writing friends, I encourage you to 1) keep writing and 2) take breaks from writing to read the greats.

Parents, continue reading to your children

Good Books & Tastebuds

Good books have genuine spiritual substance, not just intellectual enjoyment.  Books help children know what to look for in life.  Reading develops the taste buds of the mind as children learn to savor what is seen, heard, and experienced and fit this into some kind of worthwhile framework.

–Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Child’s Heart (21)

What books are you and your kids reading?

Happy New Year

My 2-yr-old in awe of the cars & skyscrapers of NYC

Happy Leap Year, everyone!

Are you ready to write 2012?  My grandma would always joke with us, making sure we’d remember to write the new date on all of our papers at school.  No more papers at school, but there are certainly checks and bills to write..not quite the same.

So, I am back after a short break and ready for a new year!  2011 brought many disappointments — the loss of a job and leaving a community & place we love, but it also brought us back to family and new opportunities.  Not to mention a new decade for me.

I can’t say that I have any specific resolutions per se but I am excited to continue learning my camera and the art of (mostly portrait) photography, read some good books, and write.

Tomorrow, I’ll be featuring a book I discovered in the “new” section at the library.

Stay tuned,

Uncle Chuck’s Truck

uncle_chuckThis week’s review is of a cute little book which is about to max out on the number of renewals from our local library.

You know the kind; the ones you read several times a day and your toddler can “read” from memorization. The ones you recite as you’re out running errands or trying to bring calm to a situation with the comfort of the familiar.

[Read more…]

Choosing Literature: Book Links

I only had a few moments to make my selection.

Story Time had just finished and we were on our way to the train table in the children’s section at the library.

I quickly perused the wall of magazines for something to browse while the Little Bug played.  I discovered a gem called Book Links which is designed mostly for teachers and librarians as a guide to selecting children’s books for the curriculum.  As lover of children’s literature, I grabbed the current issue as well as one from the archives.

Of course, I couldn’t get much reading done as I had to keep my eye on my guy.  It can get tricky with 3 or 4 little toddler boys all huddled around one small train table, on a rainy day none-the-less.

Much to my surprise, I was able to check out both issues and I’m glad I did; Book Links is a fabulous resource for teachers, librarians, parents, and book lovers.