My first grader is a strong reader, but not a risk taker.  Until recently she hesitated to pick up anything challenging.  She read the Rainbow Fairy books again.  And again.  And again.  She read those books so many times the fairies were starting to complain.  “Little Bit… you again?  Put us down and let some other little girl visit us!”


Lately, though, she’s really branched out.  She read all eight of the Ramona Quimby books.  She adored Charlotte’s Web.  She delighted in Because of Winn Dixie.  And now, having built up her confidence, she’s knee deep in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 


I can tell she’s really involved in the story because of the head lice.


As happens distressingly often, my kids have been exposed to other kids who turned out to be infested with the scourge of elementary school.  So, as I have done many times before, I sat each child in turn in a kitchen chair and painstaking combed through their hair with a fine-toothed nit comb. 


The procedure has always been traumatic for Little Bit, who howls at the slightest tug on a tangled bit of hair.  Not this time.  With HPATSS in hand, she read all the way through the combing with barely a wimper.  (And I didn’t find any evidence of bugs—hooray!)


My fifth grader, whose reading level is about grade 37, chose to read The Diary of Anne Frank for a school project.  Her teacher emailed me to ask permission to give this adult-themed book to Tigger.  I thought that was funny considering the content of the Young Adult books in the library, but I appreciated the gesture.  The teacher also offered to send an extra copy home so I could read it along with my daughter. I accepted.  As an added bonus, the play is being performed at a local theater in April and May, so perhaps we will go see it. 


I didn’t find any bugs on Tigger, either. 


By the way, in case anybody was wondering about my ongoing agent search, I received one of my self addressed stamped envelopes in the mail the other day.  The agent was sorry to be sending me a form letter, she was sure some other agent would be riveted by my query, but no.


As Tigger used to say in her toddler days, before her tongue could produce the L sound, “ayas.”







  1. I’m sure a scourge of little head-hoppers probably did run through the school for gifted wizards, but the nurse had such a neat little spell for getting rid of the suckers that it wasn’t even worth mentioning in the books. 
    That’s what I’m thinking.

  2. If you don’t make it to the play, you should rent the pbs version of the movie.  Ben Kingsly is her father, and he’s fantastic.  I remember being blown away by the whole movie . . .like at the end, I bawled my eyes out.

  3. Tigger is going to be a weepy puddle of goo by the time she’s done with Anne Frank.  I hope Little Bit isn’t going to have nightmares about the scary stuff in Harry Potter.  Haggar’s animals alone were pretty scary!
    Did you read Anne Coulter’s column?  She hates McCain so much  she’s dubbed Hillary an honorary Republican!

  4. Congratulations on being bug free.  My kids got lice this winter and it was horrible.  Scourge, indeed.I loved the Diary of Anne Frank, when I was about ten or eleven years old, and you’re absolutely right about how it compares to a lot of the YA stuff out there.

  5. TR, feel free to submit your manuscript to me. I am Senior Editor for
    Written Pictures Publishing, Inc. Make sure your work is 100,000 words
    or more and I will put it in front of our Executive VP. We are accepting the following Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy,
    Horror, Mystery/Suspense,
    Historical Fiction, Thriller and Military Fiction. We will consider
    Romance as long as it is not pornographic in nature. We do not accept
    Erotica at all. We do not currently publish children’s literature.A query letter must be sent before submitting your work. Only
    completed manuscripts will be considered. Please do not submit queries
    for ideas or incomplete works. Queries should contain a synopsis of
    your work as well as an author biography. If this is not a singular
    submission, please state it in the query. Please do not exceed two
    pages for the query. Send your query to queries@writtenpictures.com
    . Allow up to 4 weeks for a response. Once the query is accepted, we will invite you to submit further
    examples of your work. Your submission should include the first three
    chapters of your work and a cover page which includes genre, word
    count, and your contact information. All submissions will be in either
    MS Word or .PDF format, and in a standard font such as Times New Roman or Calibri.
    Pages must be double spaced, no header or footers. Do not send the
    entire manuscript. If we are interested, we will ask for the completed
    work.Written Pictures Publishing was founded in 2007. The owners and
    several board members are published authors committed to excellence in
    the field of writing. Where most authors – published or aspiring –
    understand the Industry’s idiosyncrasies, we at Written Pictures have
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    Jane M. Smith, Senior Editor
    Written Pictures Publishing, Inc.

  6. Interesting–why in the world would a child need permission to read a historical book? Heck, in my day we had “Little Black Sambo” in our library. It was funny, and totally wrong–as I recall, there aren’t any tigers in Africa, so wasn’t he supposed to be from India or something?
    Anyhoo, apparently the Young Adult book section has changed–but maybe I was just reading books I had no business reading at that age. What do young adults read these days?

  7. Just stopped by to say hi and it sounds like your girls had a fun easter – so glad Little Bit is expanding her reading repertoire – so many good books out there for her to read!  Okay, that’s all. Just making the rounds. (-:

  8. RYC:  ”food spray” is edible spray paint.  Wilton makes it.  It gives a mottled, spray painty look to your cake or cupcakes.  I used it because I had a tropical monkey theme, and I needed grass and sky.  So I sprayed the top half of the cake blue, and the bottom half green.  But not solid…the colors came out kind of uneven, with a little white showing through, so it looked more like sky and grass.  Did you ever try the muffins??

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