The Rhythm of Reading


Karmen MacKendrick

For a child from an extended family that loved both children and books, there is a sensory rhythm built into reading, an indulgence of words, pages that turn with a satisfying swish (or, later, a delicate onionskin crinkle), the voices that go with warm laps. One of my particular childhood favorites was Dorothy Haas’s A Penny for Whiffles. Penny is a girl with copper colored hair, and that she was Penny-like in two senses at once was almost too much of a pleasure. Whiffles is the onomatopoetic pony who, without knowing it, has been searching for Penny all along. His gratifying name, such a pleasure to say, made me want to pet his velvety nose. Continue Reading ›

Reading of the world, and then going to see it


Russ Crawford

Growing up in the isolated small town of Ainsworth, Nebraska, which actually celebrates The Middle of Nowhere Days each summer, it was easy to feel a bit cut off from the world. With only two television channels (CBS and PBS), and a few radio stations, books were a primary gateway for me to the wider world. Continue Reading ›

Romance: not just a love story

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Donald Hair

When in 1842 Elizabeth Barrett published a series of periodical “notices” that were her history of English poetry – a history that has been mostly ignored by her critics – the plot she chose to order her materials was romance.

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