The Harry Potter Discs

Every year my family likes to create a ‘family present.’ Something everyone – kids and parents – can contribute to. Something low cost to produce – that can be shared and shipped to the ever-burgeoning list of family and friends. One year we made a calendar based on kids’ art. One year we made a [...] Read More


Reading is Reflective

Reading is Reflective I am often asked and often write and speak about the differences between reading and other forms of media – especially television and video games. Typically this conversation becomes a discussion of the differences between passive and active media. Thus… – Television is passive. Thus the classic couch potato vegetative look. [Caveat: [...] Read More


Re-Reading Winn-Dixie

Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie has been a very successful book for thousands of families via our One School, One Book program.  I remember the first time I read the book with my family – three daughters then – the first time we experienced the graceful, efficient, poetic prose of Kate DiCamillo – and the simple, rich encounters the [...] Read More


Re-Discovering Usagi Yojimbo

Yes, you can read comic books!  I’ve said it before – but perhaps it’s become sotte voce.  So I’ll say it again here, now:  Yes, you can read comic books! This weekend I got to pull one of my favorite comic book series for kids off the shelf.  I hadn’t read it in ten years. [...] Read More

book is better

Why the Book is Better than the Movie

The Treasure’s in the Details I made a couple of TV appearances recently, and it got me thinking about different media and the people who consume them.  We in the parenting/educational line are often thinking of what’s best for our children and students.  We are very judgemental.  We’d rather they eat healthy and play healthy [...] Read More


After the interview

I was interviewed by a local television station in Richmond this week.  The morning show on Fox.  It’s not the first time – but my emotions and reactions were different this time. 1) It’s just TV.  And it’s not the first time.  Who even watches TV anymore?  It hardly feels like it’s a topic of [...] Read More

james and the giant peach

Re-Discovering James and the Giant Peach

I have a three-year-old.  I’ve raised three daughters – and written about reading aloud with them here.  I’ve looked forward to writing about reading aloud anew – from the trenches – with my three-year-old son.  And the moment has finally arrived. My wife and I didn’t push it.  Our young son is a boy – [...] Read More

vermont Christmas

Serendipitous Magic in Vermont

A late postcard from the holidays. My family travelled up to Vermont after Christmas to visit family – my wife’s sister’s family – including their three grown-up children – all home from college and entrepreneurial heaven. On the way up – 13 hours – we listened to a little HP 3 (Harry Potter and the [...] Read More

power of one

Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One

Yes, you can dare to read a high quality, 500-page contemporary novel with your middle school child.  You can.  You can read to them.  They can read to you.  Most importantly – you can share it together. I might recommend any number of novels.  The range of books you can read or share w/ a [...] Read More


Watch a Child’s Face

(or: Why you must read picture books…) This was penned mid-summer, while watching my wife read a picture book to our 2-and-a-half-year-old son. (We have three grown daughters – grown, as in teenagers, that is – so bringing the picture books off of the shelf is allowing something of a renaissance for us – and [...] Read More