Simple but effective tips for busy parents.




From the Caterpickles Parenting series , Vol. 1

A debut how-to book that aims to help parents cultivate creativity in kids ages 3 to 10.

In 2012, when Howell took her 5-year-old to traditional art museums, the little girl was bored and wanted to go home. The stiff, quiet atmosphere and the fact that she wasn’t allowed to touch any of the artworks caused her to lose interest. However, things changed in her town of Dedham, Massachusetts, when 15 artist-decorated fiberglass rabbits were installed in public places. Suddenly, the girl became excited about art. In part, this was because she was free to touch each piece, run around them, and shout out questions about how they were created. She even got to meet a few of the artists. The experience was so good that the author—who also has a blog called Caterpickles—decided to create this colorful guide. In it, she passes along 15 practical tips for using public art to stoke kids’ creativity. The easy-to-browse tips contain short anecdotes about the Dedham bunnies featuring Howell’s inquisitive daughter. The author’s voice is friendly throughout, though some tips—such as “Five Minutes Really Is All It Takes” and “Make Time For Play”—will be obvious to many parents. Others are more compelling, however; at one point, for instance, Howell advises readers to think about the significance of an artwork’s location. In her town, a piece called Leroy the Peace Rabbit caused controversy when it was installed next to a veterans’ memorial, but it enabled her to have conversations with her child about how people can have different reactions to the same art. Other important discussions arose when her daughter discovered that another work, Bengal Bunny, had been vandalized. Bright, cheerful photographs of the art adorn the pages of this slim guide; in a cute twist, a few of these images were taken by the author’s daughter with a Fisher Price Kid-Tough digital camera. Overall, Howell proves with this guide that anyone can nurture a lifelong love of art in little ones.

Simple but effective tips for busy parents.

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9982891-0-6

Page Count: 82

Publisher: Caterpickles Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2019

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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