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The Berenstain Bears are 50 years old

The Washington Post celebrates 50 years of the Berenstain Bears books. As a parent of two girls, I can only say that I detest these books. I know I shouldn’t say awful things about a series of children’s books that mean well but why do they preach about what is right and wrong all the […]

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The magic of Edward Eager

Thanks to all the folks who made suggestions for our next bedtime read in my household. Of all the suggestions, I like the idea of Artemis Fowl, Harriet the Spy and Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. In the end, our neighbours came to our assistance. They have just retired and brought over a bag of books […]

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Our Harry Potter Reading Odyssey Ends

It was a momentous evening in our household last night. I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to my eldest daughter. That’s it. It’s all over. All seven books, read out loud at bedtime over the past 18 months or so. Apart of a few nights here and there when I was out […]

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Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother sparks parenting row

Excellent, our first bookish controversy of 2011. The Barney Rubble is all about Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, an autobiographical study of why western parents are crap at bringing up kids, written by Yale law professor Amy Chua. Sadly, Amy Chua called one of her two daughters Lulu so she is obviously off her […]

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Books about Prince William & Kate Middleton

Stand by your beds for a lot of books about ‘Princess’ Kate Middleton, the commoner (although she does have millionaire parents) who is going to marry Prince William. Poor old Katie Nicholl, a royal reporter, got it so wrong by just bringing out her book William and Harry. Who’s going to care about Harry in […]

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Top 10 stories about sisters

I have two daughters. One four, the other eight. They’re already starting to fight like cat and dog. I particularly like it when the eight-year-old reads to the four-year-old at bedtime and I go and make a cup of tea. Author Cathy Cassidy lists her top 10 stories about sisters at The Guardian. Dear Lord, […]

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The Golden Mean’s bum rap ban from BC Ferries

I love banned books stories. Here’s a cracker from our neck of the woods here in British Columbia that I spotted in The Province newspaper. BC Ferries has banned The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon from its on-board shops because the cover features a naked arse. Check out the cover – as you can see, […]

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My summer holiday reading

I have been away on vacation for the past week. I thought it would be nice to not think much about books but, of course, they kept cropping up everywhere. My summer holiday reading was a copy of a collection of Sports Illustrated’s best essays. It’s a thick book and I didn’t even get close […]

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Bedtime Harry Potter reading: fear & nightmares

Last night was all about being scared at my household. Firstly, the four-year-old comes up to me just before bedtime and starts a rather surreal conversation. “Daddy, I’m scared of the tomatoes.” “You what!” “Daddy, I’m scared I’ll dream about the tomatoes again. They’re swirling round and round (does hand action to illustrate) above my […]

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The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead: Worth revisiting?

Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections, is urging bookish people to take another look at Christina Stead’s 1940 novel, The Man Who Loved Children, in Sunday’s New York Times book review essay. It’s a book about a dysfunctional family that has truly slipped off the literary radar. Stead, an Australian writer who died in 1984, […]

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