Book Review: Mirette on the High Wire

This week we are revisiting some Caldecott Medal-winning favorites. Early in the week we featured Owl Moon. Today we take a look at Mirette on the High Wire, a long-time Fair Play favorite.

I recently asked my mother to select some of our family’s favorite picture books. Raising four children of their own and now two grandchildren, my parents’ collection has become well-honed over time. Every book that remains seems to have a distinct purpose – a lesson to learn, gender fair and anti-racist representation, or beautiful illustrations and rhythmic text. Needless to say, competition for this short list of favorites was hot. Today we’ll talk about one of the winners (and Caldecott award winner), Emily Arnold McCully’s Mirette on the High Wire.

Continue reading

Book Review: Owl Moon

OwlMoonCoverWe haven’t featured many books on Fair Play and frankly, that’s an oversight. We love to read, a passion kindled by Fair Play Supermom and dad and their dedication to providing a constant stream of new reading material. We’re going to make a concerted effort to feature more books on Fair Play, beginning today with the Caldecott Medal-winning Owl Moon, by Janet Yolen. Later this week we will revisit another favorite Caldecott Medal Winner, Mirette on the High Wire.

Continue reading

Themed Gift Guide: Books and Music

FrogTroubleLast in our themed Gift Guides, today we’re rounding up our favorite gender-fair books and music. Check out our other themed Gift Guides — STEM toys and games. All of these posts include links to lengthier articles we’ve written previously about a topic, so if you need more information or ideas, check those out as well (linked throughout).

Continue reading

Themed Gift Guide: Games!

ApplestoApplesJrWe kicked off our themed Gift Guides discussing STEM toys on Friday. Today we’re going to talk about games we’ve featured in our on-going Game Night series. Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up with books and music. All of these posts include links to lengthier articles we’ve written previously about a topic, so if you need more information or ideas, check those out as well (linked throughout).

Continue reading

re-Gift Guide: The Princess Problem (Gifts for 2 & 5 y/o Girls – doll, art supplies, scooter)

We’ve been negligent in getting up Gift Guides this holiday season, owing to an unfortunate surgery and lengthy hospital stay. But, we’re back in action! To provide you with maximum content and inspiration, we’re going to do some “re-Gift Guides,” re-posting/revising some of our favorites from the past, in addition to brand new Gift Guides. As always, if you have a specific question, send it our way! Today we kick off with the re-Gift Guide to purchasing for the princess-loving little girls in your life. How to avoid stereotypes? We have some answers!

Continue reading

Trick or Treat! Halloween Story Time

Our family keeps a seasonal table of holiday books out for a quick read any time of dayOne of the best ways to set the tone for the season or an upcoming holiday is with seasonal books. I’m a big supporter of evening family reading, and holiday books are great for this because they get everyone in a common spirit of the season and emphasize the kind of family time the holidays are all about (or should be!). Our family room coffee table becomes a display for holiday books arranged in a fan, easily accessible for a quick read when the mood strikes. The content varies according to the season, beginning with Halloween and ending with Christmas…or whenever Christmas gets put away, which is often some time in March.

Continue reading

Songs, stories, and silliness: All things Jessie Modic

Jessie Modic’s three song & story album are wonderful lessons in folk music for children

We don’t talk too frequently about music here on Fair Play, and that’s mostly because there are so many great things to review for children, we don’t get to everything. It is probably also because we have the musical taste of a child stuck in the 1990s. You might remember Fair Play’s defense of Taylor Swift in which we revealed some personal details about our musical taste and discussed the importance of musical role models for preteens and teenagers. Today, by recommendation of our Fair Play Aunt, we have three excellent albums to review by Jessie Modic.

Continue reading

The World Didn’t End, Time to Finish Your Shopping

From, “First Photo Out of Australia After the Mayan Apocalypse: It’s Not Good” — Just kidding. Christmas is still on!

To no one’s surprise at all, the world did not end, although I find the above photoshopped creation quite hilarious. Today we’re just rounding up all our recommendations in one single post. For most web shopping, today is your last day to get in orders for guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery (depending, of course, how much you are willing to bleed for overnight shipping – you may be able to push this back to tomorrow). This weekend look for our Last Minute Gifts – the Hail Mary of gift-giving, also known as the homemade gift certificate. Actually I delight in homemade certificates, but we’ll get to that on Sunday.

Continue reading

Gift Guide: The Princess Problem (Gifts for 2 & 5 y/o Girls – doll, art supplies, scooter)

Instead of buying a Barbie, I bought this doll and doctor set for a little girl in the family I adopted for Christmas. It can be hard not to buy Barbies when children ask for them, but there are other options out there that may fulfill their interests and desires without indulging the Barbie or Princess factor.

Today’s Gift Guide is a little bit different. I’m using the Christmas List from the family I adopted for Christmas to illustrate how you might get around the Princess Problem. What is the Princess Problem? The princess problem is this: you might not want to buy the little girl in your life a princess (or Barbie)-related item, but she says she really, really wants it. What to do? Buy her what she wants? Ignore her wishes, and buy her something else? Call me heartless, but I vote the latter. There are some craftier ways to do that, though, so let’s use this list as an example:
Jenny, age 5. Gift Ideas: 1. Barbie and Barbie’s Horse. 2. Art supplies. 3. Princess Costumes. Jenny is very girly, likes art, books, princesses, and dolls.
Molly, age 2. Gift Ideas: 1. Dolls. 2. Balls. 3. Dressing up in costumes. Molly is a girly tomboy, she likes to draw, play dress up, and she is very active.

Continue reading