I Am the Dog

Daniel Manus Pinkwater’s I Am the Dog tells the story of Jacob, a boy, and his dog Max. One day they decide to change places. Jacob eats from a bowl on the floor while Max eats at the table with the family. Jacob runs around the yard while Max goes to school. Max does homework while I Am the Dog


Arnold Lobel is probably my favorite children’s book author, and a master at generating philosophically suggestive narratives. The Frog and Toad books, in particular, are full of stories that raise many puzzles about life and experience. One of my favorites is the story “Shivers,” in Days With Frog and Toad. Frog tells Toad a ghost “Shivers”

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

The nature of sadness. Michael Rosen’s Sad Book describes how sadness feels and tries to understand it. “Sometimes sad is very big. It’s everywhere. All over me.” Michael Rosen’s son, Eddie, died, and that, he tells us, is what makes him most sad. “Sometimes I’m sad and I don’t know why. It’s just a cloud Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Harry and Hopper

Harry and Hopper is the story of Harry’s relationship with his dog, Hopper. Harry taught Hopper “how to sit, how to stay, how to catch a ball, how to fetch the lease, how to wrestle.” Hopper helps Harry with his homework and Harry helps Hopper run his weekly bath. They are inseparable. Then one day Harry Harry and Hopper

Infinity and Me

Infinity and Me is a new book, written by Kate Hosford with illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska, that explores the nature of infinity. Uma, an eight-year-old girl, begins wondering, as she looks up at the sky one night: How many stars were in the sky?A million? A billion?Maybe the number was asbig as infinity. I started to Infinity and Me


Mies Van Hout’s Happy explores feelings by illustrating one word – brave, surprised, proud, angry – with lively pastels of unusual-looking fish. The book is engaging and the simple structure makes it easy to discuss with children some interesting questions about feelings and emotions. What is an emotion? Are emotions and feelings the same? Do the Happy

The Universe and Dr. Einstein

I’ve been re-reading the short book The Universe and Dr. Einstein, originally written in 1948 by Lincoln Barnett. I first read and was inspired by this book when I was 17. An engrossing account, written for the general public, of the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, this is an accessible and effective resource for The Universe and Dr. Einstein

Dreams and sleep

This week the fifth grade students and I talked about dreams and sleep and the mysterious world of non-waking life. Our conversation, excerpted below, ranged from an exploration of dreams and nightmares and why they occur the way they do, to wondering about whether all of life is a dream or illusory in some way. Dreams and sleep

A Wrinkle in Time

I love this book. A science fiction young adult novel by Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time was first published in 1962 and has won all kinds of awards. In the engrossing story, packed with philosophical questions, three children travel through the universe by means of “tesseract,” a fifth-dimensional phenomenon explained as being the square A Wrinkle in Time