The Republic of Childhood

Just inside the cover of an 1895 book by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin entitled The Republic of Childhood is a librarian’s note:  “Attention Patron:  This volume is too fragile for any future repair.” In the aftermath of recent shootings and bombings, it’s tempting to ask if the Republic of Childhood itself (that brief season of… [Read More]

Serious Research

Writing for children often means doing serious research.  I brought my husband along on a research trip just last weekend. I carefully observed two little boys, one aged two, the other aged four. I observed as they woke from their naps, the older boy dapper and ready to meet the world, the younger temporarily speechless… [Read More]

Tree Calculations

When I was ten years old, I climbed a tree with my best friend every day of the summer. Its lower branches (all seven of them) began spreading within a foot or two of the the ground and each of them was thicker than the circumference of the two of us when we hugged each… [Read More]