Archive for June, 2010

Back to Thomas Wartenberg’s Big Ideas for Little Kids: Teaching Philosophy Through Children’s Literature. One of the books that Wartenberg examines is Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny. I love Wartenberg’s book, and both my philosopher-partner and my teacher-daughter are in line to read it now that I’ve finished. He respects the intelligence of children (and teachers), […]

I will get to Knuffle Bunny and the philosophy of language next post, I guess. I get sidetracked by shiny things . . . I got to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg last night on a friend’s ticket. It was wonderful, and not just because John was an extra in the crowd scenes. The sets […]

Back in April I posted on a New York Times article about teaching philosophy to elementary school children. The article profiled Thomas Wartenberg, a philosophy prof. from Mount Holyoke College, who developed a primary primary grade curriculum in how to “do philosophy” with young kids. His website is here. I just finished his book, Big […]

Short Post


I’m in Chicago for my daughter’s graduation from grad school at U. Chicago. Congratulations to her and to everyone in the Masters of Arts Program in the Humanities (affectionately known as MAPH). A lot of new ideas for me for what people want to see me post on, and I got to hear my cousin’s […]

What follows is my take on a difficult part of a wonderful fairy tale. It is by no means “received wisdom” and there is no right and wrong. I’d love to hear comments and arguments. We’ve looked at the story of the princess and the frog up to the point where the frog has turned into a prince […]

Just an aside, new on the BSBSD (bedside bookstack of doom) is Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaardner, which looks like it’ll be wonderful. I’ll let you know when it bubbles to the top. And check out Art Passions’ post on The Frog Prince. The picture below is by Anne Anderson, and is taken from Art […]

I just found David Elzey’s Exelsior File blog post on The Frog King or Iron Heinrich–check it out. David is also a VC-MFA in Writing for Children graduate, and interested in fairy tales. Let’s look at the surface of the tale as we told it last post: A princess makes a promise involving her bed […]

I’m going through fairy tale withdrawal and The Frog King or Iron Heinrich is traditionally the first fairy tale in the Brother’s Grimm collection, so I’m discussing it. Bear with me. This will take three posts. As usual, I’ll start out with a brief retelling of the tale then talk about what points tend to […]

In the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you that I feel connected to Norma Fox Mazer–she was my teacher and I counted her among my friends. She was a graduate of Antioch College about 20 years before I was and she taught at the Vermont College MFA in Writing for Children program when […]