Kids’ Almanac (May 16-May 23)

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(Photo by Dion Ogust)

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
– Groucho Marx


Sil & Eliza Reynolds, poet Bobbi Katz speak at Inquiring Minds

I’ve been checking out the website and blog of local mother/daughter duo Sil and Eliza Reynolds, and I’m appreciating their grounded, honest and inspiring sharings about the mother/daughter relationship, which they describe as an energizing and nurturing dynamic: “We know that mothers and daughters share, and mutually want, a bond for life – one that can in fact remain positive and grow stronger with each passing year.”

The interviews on the blog are interesting, too, including this insight from developmental psychologist and author Gordon Neufeld: “Parents are looking for emancipation in today’s world. We get so tired of our responsibilities that we confuse our children’s dependence upon others with independence.”

The Reynolds’ style feels open, supportive and inviting – not dogmatic, like other parenting resources can be. I’m looking forward to reading their new book, Mothering and Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong through the Teen Years, which I’ll pick up at this weekend’s reading. On Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m. at Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz, Sil and Eliza Reynolds will be joined by Nan Gatewood Satter, who will facilitate a lively discussion.

Local author Bobbi Katz’s poetry is clear, direct, whimsical and delightful. I enjoy this bit from Katz’s book, Pocket Poems: “With a poem in your pocket/and a pocket in your pants/you can rock with new rhythms./You can skip. You can dance.”

Katz loves “the very taste of words” and will be reading from her book Pocket Poems twice this weekend: at Inquiring Minds in New Paltz on Saturday, May 18 at 4 p.m. and in Saugerties on Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m.

These author events are free and open to the public of all ages. Inquiring Minds Bookstore has two locations: 6 Church Street in New Paltz, (845) 255-8300, and 65 Partition Street in Saugerties, (845) 246-5775; and online at To learn more about the authors and the books, visit and


Illustrator G. Brian Karas at Staatsburg Library

You’ve seen the work of local award-winning author and illustrator G. Brian Karas in countless children’s books, but how does he choose the stories in the first place? “I know I get hooked into a manuscript when I draw my breath in because someone has written something so honest and beautiful, or has captured a feeling on such a visceral level. Of course, all of the books I choose to work on have elements of what I like in particular: funny, likable (or unlikable) characters, interesting places, situations that ring true.”

Here’s an example of a line that does just that, from the book Neville that Karas illustrated, written by Phantom Tollbooth author Norton Juster: “Nobody had asked [Neville] about moving. They’d just told him. ‘You’ll love it,’ they’d said. That’s what they always said when they knew he wouldn’t love something.”

On Thursday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Staatsburg Library, Karas will discuss what it is like to be an author and illustrator and do some illustrations and demonstrations. His favorite medium to work in? “Pencil. It’s the tool I use to start visualizing with, when I have to see the idea that’s going around in my head. I also finish many of my pictures with pencil. Pencil can be an expressive single stroke or light, subtle quivery lines or deep and bottomless dense shading. It’s the single tool I can use to go to all of those places.”

Karas’ presentation is free and open to the public of all ages. The Staatsburg Library is located at 70 Old Post Road in Staatsburgh. For more information, call (845) 889-4683 or visit To learn more about the author/illustrator, visit


Jazz Exploration program at Bethel Woods

As Bix Beiderbecke said, “One thing I like about jazz, kid, is that I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Do you?” If your family loves jazz, or you would like to introduce this wonderful genre of improvised music to them, check out the Jazz Exploration program at Bethel Woods this weekend.

On Sunday, May 19 at 12:30 p.m., participants can learn about the history of jazz, hearing stories behind some of the songs and comparing rhythms and sounds with a hands-on art activity inspired by painter Piet Mondrian’s jazz-influenced work. A performance of jazz will follow at 2 p.m.

This event is free and open to all ages, but tickets are required. Bethel Woods is located at 200 Hurd Road in Bethel. For tickets or more information, call (845) 295-2521 or visit


Homeschool orchestra Muset performs in Lake Katrine

Another musical event worth noting this week is the performance by Muset, our area homeschool orchestra. This all-ages concert takes place on Wednesday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fountain of Life Church building at 71 Old Kings Highway in Lake Katrine. Smaller ensembles as well as the full orchestra will perform.

Admission to the concert is free, but donations are always welcomed. For more information about the concert or to inquire about joining this group in the fall, e-mail [email protected]




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