Categories
Picture Books Poetry

Isn’t There a Rule About That?

Twenty faces in Zoom cubbies scrunched up in thought. Max, the teacher had asked, “What do you think of when you hear “poetry?” My heart fluttered – a kind of panic. “There are rules, but I don’t know what they are,” I said. “There’s no wrong way to write a poem,” Max was saying. I […]

Categories
Essays Picture Books

Purple Mountains Majesty _ As Seen from the Hoosegow

Got COVID cabin fever? Me too! When I fantasize about open spaces and freedom of movement, my mind always travels to the American West. This is not unusual. Traveling west to get away from entanglements has been a staple of the American narrative since before the United States was a country. “Go West, young man,” […]

Categories
Memoir Non-Fiction Picture Books

Iran: What We Don’t Know

General Suleimani Who? Is it legal to kill another country’s official when we are not at war? Does this mean Guatemala can assassinate Mike Pence for the two dozen deaths of Central Americans in ICE custody? And what’s the deal in Iran? They’ve been chanting “Death to America” for forty years now. I was full […]

Categories
Picture Books Self-Help

Guardians of Being

I can’t say if April really is the cruelest month. From my position here throughout April and into May, it feels pretty shitty. I am a cheerful person — some friends might say, relentlessly cheerful — yet, I feel edgy, unsettled, depressed. My next book review was going to be the redacted Mueller Report. But, […]

Categories
Picture Books

St. Louis Better Together and “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip”

The town of Frip is “three leaning shacks by the sea.” The combined population of St. Louis City and St. Louis County is 1.3 million people. What the tiny fictional town and the Midwestern city have in common is that conditions are not working for the people. Something needs to change. I grew up in […]

Categories
Picture Books

The Bear on the Stair: Tales of the Prairie, with Paintings

Journalist Susan Caba wrote this book review. She first published it on her blog: http://www.resaleevangelista.wordpress.com. Susan is one of my co-authors of the book Guilty Pleasures. “As I was walking through our house one night, a smelly, fierce, roaring black bear appeared out of a dark corner and chased me up the stairs. He almost […]

Categories
Classics Picture Books Poetry

Shakespeare Cats: My Version of Cute Cat Videos

I am a cat person. I have lived with, in the order of appearance, Wolfie (for Mozart), Moose (who walked with a swagger despite his small size), Salt (who was all black), Kitty (aka White and Black Kitty) and my current cat Lily, a Siamese with the sky-blue eyes of her breed. They all had […]

Categories
Classics Fiction Picture Books

The Little Prince and Me: It’s Complicated

Everybody loves The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Except me. Every time the name comes up, there is a universal “Oh, I love the Little Prince,” accompanied by a wistful, faraway look. I’m never sure if they mean the book or the character. I quite like the little guy myself, especially from his pictures: […]

Categories
Being Chinese Picture Books

The Third Reading Group (or, How I Became a Blogger)

My mother called me a bookworm. She was rather proud of her knowledge of this idiom in a foreign language. She was oblivious to the “lack of social life” aspect that this word implied. She was not wrong. I was usually reading at the dining table, in the bathtub and under the covers. Not resourceful […]