Literature Guide for Leo Lionni’s “Tillie and the Wall”

Literature Guide for Leo Lionni’s Tillie and the Wall

One of beloved author and illustrator Leo Lionni’s lesser-known works, Tillie and the Wall tells a fantastically symbolic tale of a young mouse and the power of curiosity. Told through somewhat simple text, the story is accessible to young readers yet includes deep symbolism that older readers can engage with.

Lionni’s classic style of illustration (a mixture of cut paper, collage, and traditional hand-drawn images) echoes both the story’s simplicity and below-the-surface complexity, and the book’s images add additional layers to the embedded symbolism. Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Guide for Barbara Cohen’s “Molly’s Pilgrim”

Literary Guide for Barbara Cohen’s “Molly’s Pilgrim”

Download literary guide for Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen.

Set in the early 20th century, Molly’s Pilgrim illuminates the multiple meanings and cultural roots of the word pilgrim. The story features a Jewish family who immigrated to the United States from Russia, likely to flee the pogroms.

Molly, the title character, has just moved with her parents to a small and culturally homogenous community. She doesn’t yet speak English fluently, and her parents are even less fluent than she is. Molly’s biggest challenge is fitting in at school. As the only Jewish student, she is teased and taunted for her difference in appearance, her accent, and her lack of knowledge about American cultural traditions – especially Thanksgiving.  Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Love & Social Consciousness Episode with Guest DJ, Lisa Mathews of Milkshake (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Love & Social Consciousness Episode
with Guest DJ, Lisa Mathews of Milkshake

LISTEN TO PODCAST:

Lisa Mathews of the Grammy-nominated kid rock band Milkshake talks about love and social consciousness in this musically diverse hour. With a song list that includes Sly and the Family Stone, Billie Holiday, the Civil Wars, Adele, Lucienne Boyer and a sprinkling of Milkshake tunes from the band’s CD,  Got a Minute?, the show is sure to reward big ears and inspire discussion.

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Feb 7th & 8th, 2015
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: “I Love You” Music Video: A compilation of clips from Real Look Autism, with the song “I Love You” by Milkshake. – www.milkshakemusic.com


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Milkshake – “Enemies” (Great Day)
  • Beatles – “All You Need is Love” (Yellow Submarine)
  • Recess Monkey – “The Sandbox Song” (Tabby Road)
  • Lucienne Boyer – “Parlez-Moi D’Amour” (The Moderns movie Soundtrack)
  • Adriana Caselotti – “Someday My Prince Will Come” (Snow White Soundtrack)
  • Civil Wars – “Poison & Wine” (Barton Hollow)
  • Adele – “Turning Tables” (21)
  • Sly and the Family Stone – “Everyday People” (Crooklyn – Soundtrack)
  • Milkshake – featuring Alex Handy – “More Than Me” (Got a Minute?)
  • Brady Rymer – “Love Me For Who I Am” (Love Me For Who I Am)
  • Max Velthuijs/Anthea Bell – “Frog In Love” – (story)
  • Carpenters – “(They Long to Be) Close to You” – Interpretations – Carpenters
  • Johnny Cash – “Further Up the Road” (American V: A Hundred Highways)
  • Billie Holiday – “God Bless the Child” (Ken Burns’ Jazz)
  • Simon & Garfinkel – “The Sound of Silence” (Old Friends)
  • Milkshake – “Let ‘em Know” (Got a Minute)
  • 23 Skidoo –“Gotta Be You” (Make Believers)
  • Milkshake – “I Love You” (Great Day)

HFVS Love & Social Consciousness Episode with Guest DJ, Lisa Mathews of Milkshake (Radio Show/Podcast)

Love & Social Consciousness Episode
with Guest DJ, Lisa Mathews of Milkshake

LISTEN TO PODCAST:

Lisa Mathews of the Grammy-nominated kid rock band Milkshake talks about love and social consciousness in this musically diverse hour. With a song list that includes Sly and the Family Stone, Billie Holiday, the Civil Wars, Adele, Lucienne Boyer and a sprinkling of Milkshake tunes from the band’s brand-new 33-song Got a Minute? CD (featuring the long-lost 13 songs written for PBS KIDS), the show is sure to reward big ears and inspire discussion.

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Feb 16th & 17th, 2013
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured video: “I Love You” Music Video: A compilation of clips from Real Look Autism, with the song “I Love You” by Milkshake. – www.milkshakemusic.com


 Archived Podcasts Radio  Facebook Twitter

PLAYLIST

  • Milkshake – “Enemies” (Great Day)
  • Beatles – “All You Need is Love” (Yellow Submarine)
  • Recess Monkey – “The Sandbox Song” (Tabby Road)
  • Lucienne Boyer – “Parlez-Moi D’Amour” (The Moderns movie Soundtrack)
  • Adriana Caselotti – “Someday My Prince Will Come” (Snow White Soundtrack)
  • Civil Wars – “Poison & Wine” (Barton Hollow)
  • Adele – “Turning Tables” (21)
  • Sly and the Family Stone – “Everyday People” (Crooklyn – Soundtrack)
  • Milkshake – featuring Alex Handy – “More Than Me” (Got a Minute?)
  • Brady Rymer – “Love Me For Who I Am” (Love Me For Who I Am)
  • Max Velthuijs/Anthea Bell – “Frog In Love” – (story)
  • Carpenters – “(They Long to Be) Close to You” – Interpretations – Carpenters
  • Johnny Cash – “Further Up the Road” (American V: A Hundred Highways)
  • Billie Holiday – “God Bless the Child” (Ken Burns’ Jazz)
  • Simon & Garfinkel – “The Sound of Silence” (Old Friends)
  • Milkshake – “Let ‘em Know” (Got a Minute)
  • 23 Skidoo –“Gotta Be You” (Make Believers)
  • Milkshake – “I Love You” (Great Day)

Accepting My Teen: A Shift in Attitude

Winter was Forgetting. Spring is Remembering

Spring is in the air.  Yesterday every window of my home was wide open. I usually love to watch the sheers in the living room billow out with a cool breeze and gently lay back down over the windows, back and forth, over and over.  It is usually such a peaceful sight…Usually.

While playing on the floor with my toddler, I could hear the annual peals and squeals of the neighborhood kids as they rode their bikes and skateboards past the house, racing and daring each other, reveling in the rebirth.   This happy sound bore a hole in my soul.  A hole.  The sadness puzzled me.  Usually spring’s sun and warmth and smells bring me out of winter’s gloom and gray….usually.  But instead of feeling light, I felt suffocated.  For awhile, I wondered why…for awhile.

Later on, returning home from a visit to my parents’ house, I rounded the corner and saw those same neighborhood children standing on the side of the road, a kickball in their hands and my instinct–a split instant thought–was to look for my son, Gannan, king of kickball, prince of warm weather, skateboarder extraordinaire.  However, reality set in quickly and I realized that I wouldn’t see him.  He wouldn’t be there, out on that road, in the front yard, up a tree because he was no longer a part of this neighborhood.  It dawned on me then that his essence was what was missing, and that absence was making me sad.

But this column is really not about the wheres, whys and hows of his leaving.  If you want to read about that you can do so at my blog. Instead this column will serve as a reminder to parents of teen sons.  Sometimes the trials and tribulations, the battles and the bitter, the disrespect and the dirt can cloud our thinking and we forget to or won’t notice the beauty of our boys.  We get so involved in “trying to fix them” or “teaching them life lessons.” We get so preoccupied with keeping them out of trouble or with our disappointment in their adolescent decisions that the negativity can mire us down in a bog of muddied intentions.

And I will fully admit that this fall and winter my mindset had been exactly that; disappointment, worry, doom and gloom, gloom and doom.  My mind kept a constant vigil in reminding me that Gannan WASN’T this or that.  His life choices were so WRONG.  What if….what if….what if…he got in serious trouble, stayed on this brambly path, what if…what if….what if?

But the presence of spring and his absence has made me realize that he is so much more then this little adolescent bump in the road (alright maybe not so little…okay okay…it’s a crater!)   Anyhoo, my point is that I had forgotten that his energy, especially in spring, is infectious.  I had forgotten that the stories he deftly tells at night of his outdoor adventures make us smile and look forward to dinner.  I had forgotten that he was my husband’s companion in the evening on the couch talking sports and all things baseball, high-fiving over a homerun, ribbing each other when their favorite teams held the lead.

I know that although our children may make poor decisions and get lost, even very lost on their way to adulthood, I must try and remember, as all moms should, that our sons are made up of layers and layers of characteristics both bad AND good that make them the unique individuals that they are.

Read the rest of this entry »

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