Nature Centers

Say what you will about 2016; it was a pretty good year for me. Early in the spring, I pitched a book idea to Adventure Publications about Michigan’s nature centers and preserves, and wouldn’t you know they liked it! So I spent the the spring and summer traveling around the state with my kids looking…

Owls: The Book

Owls: Our Most Enchanting Bird does a couple things well, and one not so well, but the latter might just be a matter of expectations. We buy books like this for one reason: to read to the kids. In one sense, Owls has a lot going for it. It’s a book about nature, what Tater…

Emerald Ash Borer: Foreign Agent

You can’t spend too much time outside before you realize that there’s a lot of death and dying sprinkled throughout nature’s celebration of life. That’s part of the deal, though, right? Living and dying? Growth and decay? To a point. Unfortunately, a lot of the dying we see these days is not all that natural…

Soup for One?

Cookbooks are a weakness of mine. I love all sorts. Earlier this year I was excited to receive a copy of The Soup Club Cookbook to review on our site. This blog is mostly about getting kids outdoors. There are lots of book reviews on here, but the rub is that the book has to…

The Pizza Bible: A Review

A few years back my doctor told me it was time to improve my diet. “For example,” he said, “you need to take pizza right off the menu.” Of course, I love pizza, so moderation rather than total abstinence became the mantra. When pizza became a “special treat,” it was suddenly terribly important that when…

Finally, a Book for Us Good-Looking Folks!

We’re a handsome family, I am not too humble to admit. And though we take a mighty fine picture from time to time, when I see amazing family photos on Pinterest, I feel judged… Ha! No. I don’t feel judged. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I simply assume that all these families with great…

The Nourished Family

Once again I return to write a quick book report. There are a couple more in the works, so if you enjoy reviews of new books, stay tuned. But for now, permit me to turn your attention to The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther. Food culture in America is a complex thing, borne of a…

Pioneering? Kinda

There’s a book I have that I love. It’s called Country Wisdom & Know-How. The tag line is “Everything you need to know to live off the land.” It’s brilliant. Everything about the book screams utility. Its trim size is 13.5 by 10.5 inches, that is to say, this thing will NEVER rest on a…

Shakespeare Matters

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows. Ken Ludwig kicks off his book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare, with the first line from the bard’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From the very start Ludwig emphasizes the book’s approach, that is to get kids (and parents) memorizing Shakespeare. The author rightfully compares…

Vegan before Six O’Clock?

The easiest posts are reviews of books and gear, and since I’ve been slacking on here a bit, I thought I’d share a recent cookbook we discovered. Mark Bittman’s cookbook, How to Cook Everything, has been to me and my family what the Fanny Farmer Cookbook was to my parents. Come Thanksgiving, I am digging…