Luke's Reading Response to Harriet the Spy

We've been reading Harriet the Spy and Luke wrote this week's Reading Response to it, for school. In answer to the question, "If...more

Babies in Literature: Harriet the Spy

Ron Mueck's sculpture. Art imitating literature? In Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy, one of the families Harriet spies on is the Robinsons, a very boring couple who like to buy things and show them off ....more

Happy Birthday Dear Harriet!

Harriet the Spy is fifty this week! I wonder what she's writing in her notebook now? Here are some of her early observations: OLE GOLLY SAYS DESCRIPTION IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL AND CLEARS THE BRAIN LIKE A LAXATIVE ....more

Portrait of the Crooked House

I got this lovely portrait of our Crooked House in the mail yesterday from Emma Fitzgerald, the artist who illustrated "The Best Places to Live in Atlantic Canada" for the Chronicle Herald. (Bridgewater is apparently the best place for young families in Atlantic Canada, yay.) Her drawing perfectly captures the ramshackle qualities of this big old house. You can practically feel the roof leaking ....more

Babies in History: Elizabeth Keckley's Behind the Scenes or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House

After watching Lincoln on the weekend, I googled Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's good friend, a former slave who lived with the Lincolns in the White House. I was so struck by an anecdote about her early life I found on Wikipedia that I downloaded her autobiography, Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, And Four Years in the White House, to find its source. Just read this: Mrs ....more

True Story, Just Happened.

On the way home from the library, in the car. Soft music is playing on the radio; sunlight is glinting off the snow. I glance into the rear view mirror and am struck by my daughter’s profile ....more

You Can Actually Buy My Book!

This feels surreal. I just googled If I Wrote a Book About You and discovered that you can preorder it at any one of a number of places! It will be available on,,, Chapters, Powells (my beloved Powells!), and Barnes & Noble ....more

Sylvie Reads Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Four-year-old Sylvie "reads" her current fave, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! I don't know why the colours are so wonky -- something's wrong with my camera ....more

Sylvie Solves Fairy Tale Problems: Cinderella

Sylvie and I have been reading a lot of fairy tales at bedtime lately -- we're particularly fond of James Marshall's versions of them. Last night we read Cinderella. Sylvie sensibly pointed out to me that things could've been much simpler ....more

The Ongoing Name War With Siri

I'm really looking forward to seeing Her, that creepy/sad/romantic movie starring Joaquin Phoenix in which he falls in love with his computer's operating system. However, I am not remotely concerned about the possibility of anyone falling in love with Siri, Apple's "intelligent personal assistant." Siri is the most irritating virtual creature in existence -- the only remotely human thing she actually seems to do is enjoy taunting our four-year-old, Sylvie. For some time now, Siri has refused to address Sylvie by name, which really should be a very simple matter ....more