In [a series of notes to Noel Moore, the oft-sickly son of her former governess], Potter punctuates her words with small, sweet illustrations: 'I have come a very long way in a puff-puff …' (next to a train), a straightforward, 'Here are some rabbits throwing snow balls,' and, of course, Peter’s debut in a special dispatch from 1893. - Beatrix Potter’s Picture Letters, The Birthplace Of Peter Rabbit [more inside]
Growth is a project in which I reconstructed and re-photographed pictures that my dad took of me and my three little sisters when we were children. I tried to make the new photograph look as similar as possible to the old one: the place and the composition are the same, and so are our positions and facial expressions. - Wilma Hurskainen [more inside]
In 1972, an early version of best-selling novelist Lois Gould's X: A Fabulous Children's Story was published in Ms. Magazine as part of its monthly "Stories for Free Children" feature. In 1978 it was expanded and turned into a wildly delightful children's book with a distinctive illustration style, critiquing gender expectations in infancy and childhood. The New York Times, for which she wrote, has more about her in her obituary, while Google Preview has some history on the publication of X, now in print only as part of the 2008 anthology Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature.
While mothers breastfeeding their babies goes in and out of fashion over the ages, so to does another facet of breastfeeding – wet nurses. [more inside]
Over the past few weeks, I, along with ten of my closest friends, have taken turns saying our goodbyes to our college bound kids. For some of us, this was a virgin voyage; for others, it was the beginning of an empty nest. [more inside]
Science is Rewriting the Rules of Reproduction Aarathi Prasad's new book investigates taking sex out of the reproduction equation. [more inside]
"Abused people go one or two ways: They either self-destruct or make a difference, you feel me? I’m gonna make a difference."
'In 2002, five years before journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery, (Previously) a woman identified only as Jane Doe No. 1 stepped forward to report decades of sexual abuse, welfare fraud and violence by the bakery's leader, Yusuf Bey Sr. She was prepared to hand over to Oakland police DNA from her three children -- evidence that Bey had impregnated her, the first time when she was 12. This was a risky move, but the woman had powerful motivation: her daughter, then 18, had alerted her that Bey was trying to abuse her -- his own child. Now, Jane Doe No. 1 has decided she no longer wants to be nameless. Her name is Kowana Banks and she is the first of Bey's victims to speak publicly.' Video interview. Transcript. (Via) This post recounts experiences of rape and sexual abuse. Topics may be disturbing to some readers. [more inside]
"...he has been fairly clear that he is simply a boy who sometimes likes to dress and play in conventionally feminine ways."
What do today's kids make of the Commodore 64? BBC News invited Commodore enthusiast Mat Allen to show schoolchildren his carefully preserved computer, at a primary school and secondary school in London.
During his tenure as Mayor of New York City, "public health autocrat" Michael Bloomberg has attempted to regulate trans fats, smoking and sugar-filled sodas. Now, he has a fresh target: moms who don't breastfeed. Beginning September 3, NYC hospitals participating in a new, voluntary program: Latch-On NYC (press release / posters / FAQ -pdf-), will make formula less accessible, to encourage moms of newborns to breastfeed instead of using formula. [more inside]
"This is about a girl that goes mining. I don’t know why, but she looks like she would go mining, mining for gold. " Judging a Book by its Cover: A 6-Year-Old Guesses What Classic Novels are All About.
John Goerzen, an IT development manager in Kansas and a developer for Debian, has been teaching his two sons, ages five and two, respectively, how to use Linux. [more inside]
Andy Fairhurst uses silhouetted children to brilliantly illustrate the imaginations of Superhero Kids. [more inside]
In June of 1973, spurred on by the recent discovery of a dying bird in his garden, 9-year-old Anthony Hollander wrote to the presenters of Blue Peter — the BBC's much-loved children's television show — and asked for assistance in his quest to "make people or animals alive."
A German court has ruled that male circumcision is "bodily harm" and that a child's right to "physical integrity" trumps parental or religious rights. Jews and Muslims have reacted strongly to the decision, with some going as far to allege anti-Semitism. Intactivists are generally pleased.
Have food pouches become the mainstay of the eating culture of young American children? "Mr. Grimmer believes the pouch’s popularity can be attributed to the emergence of a new way of relating to our children. He calls it “free-range parenting.”Parents, he explained, want to be as flexible as modern life demands. And when it comes to eating, that means doing away with structured mealtimes in favor of a less structured alternative that happens not at set times, but whenever a child is hungry." Some people have concerns about the trend.
When the Penn State scandal came out last year, I kept getting tangled in the questions everyone else was getting tangled in: How does an institutional culture arise to condone, or at least ignore, something that, individually, every member knows is wrong? An alumnus of Horace Mann School writes a shocking expose (NYT) of a culture of sexual abuse at the elite prep school, some at the hands of teachers who were allowed to remain for years after accusations were first made.
There are some frightening looking children's books titles in English but, it seems nobody manages to bring them out like the French.
Daddy, I’m going to read you a story, okay? It’s about a little boy who was born. But he was born like a girl.
Transgender at Five - "Tyler was born a girl, but at the age of 2 he began insisting that he was a boy."
Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? Charming but volatile, L. quickly found ways to play different boys off one another. “Some manipulation by girls is typical,” Waschbusch said as the kids trooped inside. “The amount she does it, and the precision with which she does it — that’s unprecedented.” She had, for example, smuggled a number of small toys into camp, Waschbusch told me, then doled them out as prizes to kids who misbehaved at her command.
"What appears as discipline or “tough love” from one perspective often appears as abuse from another."
On Tiger Moms: "What the controversy surrounding Chua demonstrates, however inadvertently, is that parenting techniques are always grounded in basic assumptions about the way things are and what matters to us. And they are always guided by some answer to the most fundamental of ethical questions—how to live?" [more inside]
Elizabeth Kolbert explores the case against kids. Drawing from the work of philosophy professors David Benatar, Christine Overall and economist Bryan Caplan, Kolbert examines the justifications for reproducing.
"From days of long ago... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!" [more inside]
Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
A series of short animations explaining critical thinking. Created for children and pretty good for adults too.
In the Netherlands, bikes abound. And now, they even take kids to school. Behold, the bicycle school bus.
In 1976, American students put their Tricentennial imaginings to paper. Some larger versions of the drawings are available over at Buzzfeed.
1. Find 5 very cute children.
2. Teach them how to play the guitar, and play it well.
3. Find a catchy little song for them to play.
2. Teach them how to play the guitar, and play it well.
3. Find a catchy little song for them to play.
Kevin Zelnio is a science writer with a degree in marine biology. He is the father of two children. And, like many in this country, he has no insurance. Earlier this week, his 6 year-old developed pneumonia.This is his account of what happened.
"My daughter thought it would be funny/rebellious/cool to post on her Facebook wall just how upset she was and how unfair her life here is; how we work her too hard with chores, never pay her for chores, and just in general make her life difficult. She chose to share this with the entire world on Facebook and block her parents from seeing it. Well, umm... she failed. As of the end of this video, she won't have to worry anymore about posting inappropriate things on Facebook..." (youtube video, contains cursing) Background. Original thread on Facebook.
Last year it was Amy Chua, Tiger Mother (previously on mefi). This year, Paula Druckerman has written Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, inspired by a trip to a coastal town when her daughter had temper tantrums and French parents didn't. French kids eat the same food as their parents, and aren't constantly snacking. And "when French friends visited [...] the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves." It's about patience -- let the kids cry it out a bit, let them learn how to play alone instead of hovering. And perhaps obsess a little less -- the French don't even obsessively buy books about how to parent. Wall Street Journal article, and video interview by WSJ's Gary Rosen.
ALIEN age 11 - an adaptation created by an underage artist based on the Alan Dean Foster novelization and a few stills, without having seen the actual film.
The Beardslee, Shellrude and Darr families left North America for West Africa during the 1950s. They followed what they believed to be “God’s Calling” – to spread Christianity throughout the world. Their children however - starting at the age of 6 – were required to attend the boarding school in Mamou, Guinea, run by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Cut off from their families for 9 months out of the year and without any reliable means of communication, the children quietly suffered emotional, spiritual, physical and/or sexual abuse at the hands of the all-missionary staff. All God’s Children tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents’ missionary colleagues. The survivors and parents share their journey of seeking justice, redemption and healing. [more inside]
Pocoyó is a charming little animated children's show from Spain. Many episodes are available online in English (narrated by Stephen Fry), in the original Spanish, and in a few other languages. You can make your own Pocoyo-style avatar and read the Pocoyo blog at the show's website. [more inside]
First recorded 50 years ago, Peter Paul and Mary's Puff the Magic Dragon has a rather sad ending: Puff 'sadly slips into his cave' while little Jackie Paper grows up and puts his childhood behind him. But in 2007, Peter Yarrow published a book, Puff, the Magic Dragon, in which the classic song remains the same, but whose illustrations give us a new glimpse into Puff's future. Here is Mr. Yarrow, performing the song with his daughter Bethany at Woodstock's Bearsville Theatre, in '07. [more inside]
"One jar contained chilli powder, the other turmeric. But in the dark, the girl from Odisha couldn't see which jar had the chilli powder. So she mixed both the powders, carried it to the bedroom and threw it into the eyes of five thieves brutally beating up his [sic] parents." The (Indian) Daily Mail write about the 24 child winners of the National Bravery Awards.
The Rabbit Dreams of Dr. Freud's Niece - An illustrator of children's books, Sigmund Freud's niece Martha went by the name Tom, wore men's clothing, and died by her own hand in her late 30s, a year after her husband's suicide. BibliOdyssey recently featured some of her early work from Das Baby-Liederbuch, noting that because she was Jewish, many of her books were destroyed in the Nazi era and are scarce in the book trade. More about the artist and her work at Tom Seidmann-Freud.
Kathryn Joyce looks at unregulated Christian homes for troubled children.
Swedish dreams: Jan Johansson was an amazing Swedish jazz musician and composer, author of the ground-breaking Jazz på Svenska, where Swedish folk music was combined with jazz improvisation. He inspired other European artists, like Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen. But for younger Europeans, his most important achievement is the creation of the Pippi song. If you grew up with this, no wonder you like melancholic jazz.... [more inside]
Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens snapped controversial (and artistic) portraits of children between the ages of four and nine smoking fake cigarettes. The photo shoot in action was recorded and her portfolio can be seen here. (Previously) [more inside]