People have often asked me if I have children. The answer is always, “No, but I really like children.” *
Yet in my five years and 502 posts so far here at Diamond-Cut Life, I haven’t offered a resource, to date, for children and their parents. Today changes that! I’m featuring and recommending Patterson’s Picks, a great blogsite that reviews excellent books for children.
Dan Patterson, a seasoned schoolteacher, knows kids inside out and is grounded in reality on how children respond to various books. For example, he struggles to get his first grade class’s attention on the exhausted day after Halloween. He finally hits on reading The Runaway Pumpkin, and almost instantly finds he has a captive audience.
The girls stop bickering and I can see the boy still under a desk looking right at the book . . . the class is like a responsive instrument now, a busted guitar that’s turned into a Stradivarius. We’re all excitedly watching this crazy large pumpkin rampaging down a hill. S.D. Schindler’s illustrations are uproarious. Grandpa is on the ground waving his fist with a displaced chicken on his head. A banana peel and an indignant but unharmed chicken are stuck to the rolling pumpkin.
Patterson’s Picks covers books for all ages of young folks, including middle grade and young adult. Dan Patterson is a children’s writer, himself (I’ve got to say, his simile of a busted guitar turning into a Stradivarius really works for me and makes me want to read his own books). Dan and his vivacious wife Jen, a soon-to-be counselor and his blogmaster, teach Sunday school at Lincoln Street church here in Southeast Portland. That’s where I met them. (Have I mentioned that I love church?)
Our young generation needs the keenest minds and best problem-solving skills they can possibly develop, because they will be dealing with a planet wracked by climate change. I just left a comment on Patterson’s Picks asking Dan if he’d consider finding and recommending some children’s books that help them address that topic. Write on, Dan.
*My husband Thor and I met in mid-life, past the option of biological children. We didn’t choose to adopt, but we’ve chosen to embrace children in a variety of ways, including mentoring and tutoring Mahamudi, who is from Somalia and is now a sophomore in high school.