Posted tagged ‘Letters’

Don’t Let the Crayons Quit!

January 9, 2014

When crayons are new, they fit into a neat little box like soldiers in a row. Each crayon boasts its special color. Over time, some crayons get broken. Some get lost. Some lose their paper jackets. Some get used more than others. And some are hastily stuffed back into their boxes. Those bright new crayons can become a sad lot.

Crayons have feelings. If you don’t believe me, take a look at The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. When Duncan opens his box of crayons, he finds letters instead of crayons. In the appropriate color, each crayon writes a letter to Duncan. Some are complaints, some are suggestions, and some are asking for his help. Duncan takes the letters to heart and comes up with a delightful solution that pleases all – even his teacher who gives him an A+ for creativity. The combination of Jeffers illustrations and Daywalt’s imaginative text makes for a truly fun reading experience.


This book brings to mind another thought. In our efforts as parents and teachers to make sure every child fits in, we sometimes forget to think outside the box. Every child has unique qualities. It’s our job to encourage our children to develop their talents to the best of their abilities so they can add their special color to the world.

Don’t let the crayons quit!


July 4, 2013

After the Continental Congress voted to declare its independence from England, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, in which he said:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142)


July 2, 1776 was the day the Continental Congress declared its independence from England. The final written document, the Declaration of Independence, was approved and dated July 4, 1776. It was not signed until August 2, 1776.


Fly our flag, proudly!


Celebrate our freedom and independence!

Hidden Treasure

October 8, 2010

“Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.” ─ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I found gold!  Gold in the form of love letters written long ago.

While in Florida visiting my dad, he insisted I search the wall of boxes stored in the garage in order to find letters he and my mom had written to each other during World War II. This was not an easy task. My parents have saved everything from old ash trays to broken zippers. I should know. Each time I visit, I clean, dump, and organize closets and drawers. It’s a never ending job.

The garage presented its own challenges. Think Florida. Think bugs – lovebug season. (I guess that’s why my dad wanted me to find their love letters.) Most of all think HOT! Even though my dad thought it was cold, I was HOT. He pointed to boxes. I lifted them, opened them, and returned them to the shelves when the letters weren’t found. The treasure hunt continued. I was exhausted and dripping like a faucet when I hit pay dirt.

The box I opened was filled with letters – hundreds and hundreds of letters. Not only were there letters from both of my parents postmarked from 1942-1944, there were also letters from my grandfather to my grandmother before they married that were postmarked from 1921-1922.

My dad was pleased at the find and happy to see the letters were still in good condition, considering where they had been stored. He wanted to make sure they weren’t destroyed so he told me to take them. It was quite a lot of the written word to ship home.

I was awestruck, thinking of the history inside that box. I’ll be able to take a peek into the lives of my parents and grandparents when they were young and see them from a whole new perspective. It’s going to take me sometime to organize and read the letters, but I can’t wait to begin.

The letters they wrote are a lost art, and I’m so lucky to have them!

Books about writing letters:  Clementine’s Letter by Sara Pennypacker (Hyperion Book CH, 2008), First Year Letters by Julie Danneberg (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2003), Dear Mrs. LaRue – Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague (Scholastic Press, 2003), A Letter  to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats (Puffin, 1998)

Coming soon:  Of Thee I SingA Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama (Knopf Books for Young Readers, November 16, 2010)

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