The Warren & the World is Story Warren's weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We're glad you're here!
Around the Web
Beverly Cleary is Turning 100, but She Has Always Thought Like a Kid
- Though the world was a very different place when Cleary was a child, she has always maintained that kids pretty much stay the same — which explains the ongoing popularity of her beloved characters, like Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins and Ralph S. Mouse.
Parenting is Hard. Especially When You're Doing it Right
- Kwame Alexander writes books that bend genres — novels about middle school boys, written not in prose but verse. And he does it well: His book The Crossover won the Newbery Medal last year for children's literature.
His new book is no different. Composed of a series of poems, Booked tells the story of a 12-year-old named Nick, a boy who loves soccer and hates books. But, as Alexander notes, there's a reason for that.
Cook your way through Little House
- After our year of Little House in 2013/2014, I honestly thought we were done with it.
We’d read the series twice start to finish (once when the kids were 6-8; once when they were 8-10), and even voyaged in crazy road trip fashion to see with our own eyes where the Ingalls lived and worked.
But then Christmas happened–and I read this book aloud. One of the kids, who tends to be my more reluctant reader, got all into it: giggling at the funny parts, engaging with thoughtful questions. This same child? Loves to cook.
So a Goat Walked into a Starbucks…
- Employees dangled a banana in front of the goat in the hope of apprehending her, but she preferred to chew on a cardboard box.
So, here at Goats and Soda, we knew it was time to talk to one of our favorite goat experts, Susan Schoenian, a sheep and goat specialist at the University of Maryland Extension, to probe the goat's behavior.
Around the Warren
A Room Like This One
Glenn McCarty writes of finding his own special writing spot, and what that taught him about the authors of stories he read as a child.
- Then, when we bought our house a few years back I began hunting for a spot to call my own. I set my sights on the shed out back. I called it a “studio,” painted the walls, hung a few pictures, and set to work. I soon discovered the Studio was not as glamorous as I had envisioned. In the summers, it was pretty hot. And there was the spider problem. The winters in Western New York? Forget about it. So I moved to the loft above the garage. It wasn’t insulated, but it was better protected against the elements. A summer passed out there, the weather began to turn, and I noticed the temperatures in November creeping lower and lower. No matter; I bought a space heater, threw on fingerless-gloves, and kept pounding away at the keys. But when Christmas vacation arrived, I knew this was folly; it was time to head indoors. Keeping a long story short, I wound up in a corner of our walk-in closet.
Psalms to Sing
Kelly Keller recommends a new album as we seek to speak to one another in "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs."
- A few months ago my husband David and I sat with our friend Thomas after Sunday lunch at our house. Thomas is our worship leader and takes his role very seriously. He spoke about Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians to speak to one another in “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” At our church, which is a revitalization — merging a new church plant team with an older congregation — we seem to have an abundance of the second two categories. Hymns? Yep. Every self-respecting Baptist should have more than a few favorites of those. Spiritual songs? OK, we’ve got those too, thanks to the recent decade’s advent of worship bands producing a steady stream of albums.
But how many psalms do we sing? We’ve been given an entire book of them in the Old Testament. How often do we sing those — and sing them to one another? The Psalms were Israel’s “hymnbook.” Certain psalms were dedicated to festivals, days of celebration, or occasions for mourning. But in recent years, Christian music seems to have veered away from this portion of Scripture in favor of original lyrics. Sandra McCracken’s release from last year is a nice exception. I’d like to introduce you to another.
Something to Do with Your Kids
I was struck this week in a conversation about summer activities how fortunate I am that my mom stressed memorization for me. There are whole swaths of scripture, poems, speeches, that I have rattling around inside my head because I started working on them when I was a preschooler. I'd encourage you to look for a summer memory plan to work on with your kids, but if you've got little ones, here's a make-at-home memory game you can start with.
And Something to Watch
Someone took old photographs and animated them—so cool.
Thank you for reading. We're on your side.