“The artist, if he is not to forget how to listen,” Madeleine L’Engle writes in Walking on Water, “must retain the vision which includes angels and dragons and unicorns and all the lovely creatures which our world would put in a box marked Children Only.” Let us retain the vision.
Around the Web
The Author’s Mission: Gary Schmidt
Janie at Redeemed Reader shares some of what she learned recently from author Gary D. Schmidt.
- One question every author gets, sometimes several times a day: Where do you get your ideas?
I had the happy opportunity to sit in on a presentation by Gary Schmidt and chat with him later, and while I didn’t ask the question, I got loads of material for an answer.
Speaking of questions: he began his presentation with the true story of creature-in-distress in San Francisco Bay. The distress call sent by a ship’s captain failed to mention the type of creature it was, so when three men from the Humane Society set out in their 8-foot rubber dinghy they were stunned to encounter a 40-foot whale!
The Vital Love of Friendship Stories
K.B. Hoyle’s piece at Christ and Pop Culture is a challenge to all of us–adults and children alike–to remember the beauty that is the love of friendship.
- In the long-running USA comedy series Psych (2006–2014), Shawn Spencer—the grown, hyper-observant son of a police detective—uses skills ingrained in him by his father to fool the Santa Barbara police department into believing he’s a psychic. Shawn (played by James Roday) is both amateur and immature, and alone in his antics, he would fail as a protagonist. Liars are not usually very endearing, so the audience of Psych needs a sympathetic window through which to view him. We get this via Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill), Shawn’s lifelong best friend.
The Dinner Table as a Place of Connection, Brokenness, and Blessing
Barry D. Jones reminds us of the value of the dinner table.
- A few months before we married, my wife and I purchased our first piece of furniture, a well-worn antique English pub table. We paid more for it than we could afford at the time, but it had just the right combination of refinement and scruff to suit our sense of style. And it fit nicely into our small apartment.
More than a decade later, when the time came to replace the pub table with something that better suited our growing family, we could not bring ourselves to get rid of it. After countless meals together, often shared with family and friends, that table had become an icon of God’s grace and goodness.
Poetry for Middle School that Kids Can Relate To
Erica, at What Do We Do All Day, introduces us to some great poetry for kids.
- Do your young teenagers and pre-teens like to affect an air of being a little jaded? Let’s face it, middle school is not an easy time for anyone. Parents, students, teachers, everyone is just a little on edge! 6th, 7th and 8th grade can be a rough couple of years. But what better way to express oneself than through poetry? As you know, I’m a big fan of recommending poetry that is not boring and this list of poetry for middle school contains an abundance of poems that kids ages 10 and up will appreciate. So if your 12 year olds slam the door in your face, make sure they have a book of poetry on the bed to read while they stew about how unfair life is!
Around the Warren
Jack the Giant-Hugger
Josh Bishop turns a classic fairy tale on its head.
- I tell my son, who is conveniently named Jack, two different versions of that classic story, Jack the Giant-Killer. The first is known to most of us as Jack and the Beanstalk, and it follows the traditional storyline: a tumbledown shack, a cow, some magic beans, a beanstalk, fee-fi-fo-fumming, bravery and derring-do, and, at the end, a very dead giant.
Big Red, by Jim Kjelgaard
James Witmer introduces us to a classic boy-and-dog story.
- Let’s get this out of the way first: Big Red is a boy-meets-dog story in which the dog doesn’t die in the end. That won’t come as much of a surprise once you begin reading, because Big Red, like his seventeen-year-old trainer Danny, is a survivor.
This book was originally published in 1945.
Something to Do with Your Kids
If your family finds yourself stuck in a rut of same-old, same-old, maybe you need some suggestions of fun things to do to spice up the norm.
Something to Watch
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.