Day #343: Children’s Literature Community

A new batch of review books is piling up on my desk. Their topics are irresistible: voting rights, resiliency, the well-researched similarities between humans and other animals … topics that call for our attention in this weary world and surely cause concern and confusion among our children. I am grateful for this children’s literature community that listens, researches, and shares the truth in such a caring way. You are priceless! (pictured: a sampling of the many, many authors and illustrators who do their best for the children of the world)

Authors
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Day #315: Nussbaum

I am grateful for the endless possibilities of language. This morning (before 7 am) my spouse and I were discussing the origins of the terms “Don’t be a nussbaum” and his memories of playing with army men with parachutes attached that they called “Ish Kabibble.” Alert: word derivation mysteries! The hunt is on. Where did these words originate and how did they enter our family lexicon? Not that we’ve discovered any answers.

Nussbaum means “nut tree” in German. It’s a last name. Martha Nussbaum is a distinguished philosopher and educator. But none of that explains our family use of the word (but researching Martha Nussbaum convinced me I need to learn more about her philosophy and read her books.)

Ish Kabibble? Look him up on Wikipedia. Fascinating! A study in how words are invented and spread over miles and across years. However, no reason is evident for naming army men Ish Kabibble. Steve believes he might have attached the name to them, but where would he have heard this term? (He’s not THAT old.)

Do you have familiar family phrases for which the origin is fuzzy? I am curious what they might be.

I truly LOVE searches like this. What a great way to start the day!

detective work

Day #306: Librarians

I am grateful for librarians everywhere: in public libraries, school libraries, business libraries, church libraries, and specialty libraries. They know how to access information. They are concerned about opening the arms of the reading community to include more people. They share what they know … and they know A LOT. My thanks to every librarian who has made a difference in my life, including the librarian who helped me research “day parts” and ketchup use at fast food restaurants and the librarian who helped me find my way to the repository of the English language in Norway. Librarians are superheroes.

Librarians are like search engines

Day #127: Gustav Klimt

I have long appreciated how the search for knowledge begins with one specific hook. As a young reader, I set off on some wacky journeys to learn everything I could about any number of topics, absorbing as much as I could, sometimes writing reports so I could do something with the knowledge, making my interest fit the assignment, but always feeling a hunger satisfied.

I am grateful to “Woman in Gold,” a good, not great, movie with Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds that follows the attempt to recover a stolen work of art. The movie led me to find out everything I could about artist Gustav Klimt. I had been been aware of him but that’s different than purposefully researching his life and learning about the influences on his art. This is the “Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer,” finished with gold leaf. Isn’t it beautiful? 

Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, Gustav Klimt

Day #97: Our Coral Reefs

I am grateful for the research and awareness-raising that scientists, science writers, funders, and volunteers have committed to saving OUR coral reefs by recognizing the threats to their existence and developing new methods for rehabilitating the reefs that have been bleached. We can all help this vital part of our ecosystem, no matter how far away we live. This article, “Saving the Coral Reefs,” provides background, information about what’s being done, and concludes with contributions we can make. It’s our earth!

Saving Our Coral Reefs

Day #73: Factum Arte

If it weren’t for insects and lizards, archaeologist was high on my list of careers. The history, the discovery, understanding the connection between then and now. Today I am an armchair archaeologist, avidly following developments in the field. One aspect I could never align with my beliefs is removing items to a museum, oftentimes in another country. I am grateful to know that Factum Arte is reproducing artifacts without moving them, without endangering them, “accurate to one-tenth of a millimeter.” Their work is jaw-dropping, so be sure to watch the video. There are days that being a Luddite is highly appealing (except that I spend 12 hours a day on a computer), but Factum Art’s use of technology is a welcome advancement in archaeology.

Factum Arte workshop. Photo: CBS News

Day #45: Maud Hart Lovelace

Gratitude Journal Day #45: Maud Hart Lovelace wrote the Betsy-Tacy series and Emily of Deep Valley, books I read over and over again after my elementary school librarian placed them in my hands. But Maud also wrote historical fiction for adults, sometimes with her husband Delos W. Lovelace. They are based on research at the Minnesota Historical Society. I find them fascinating … a wondrous connection to the past. Of writing with her husband, Maud wrote, “As was usual in our collaborations, I did the research and Delos did most of the plotting. We shared the writing… amicably, too.” I am grateful to the people and publishers who are dedicated to making these books available many decades after they were written.