The Kiddy Pool: Knuffle Bunny Free, A Review

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. I fell in love with Trixie at “Aggle flaggle klabble!” The lovable little girl from the Knuffle Bunny series embodies all the things that children’s writer Mo Willems does best: intimate, expressive, poignant characterization. Set against the photographed backgrounds, the simple elegance of Willems’ drawings amplifies real, raw emotions. In the first book, … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Persons of Interest in Mississippi's Amendment

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. A controversial issue will be featured on ballots in Mississippi this November. Voters will weigh in on the “Personhood Amendment” that would extend the definition of “personhood” and its attendant legal protections to unborn babies. This legislation bears significant implications for the legality of abortion in Mississippi, and perhaps beyond, as other states … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Free to be Freida

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. There are a lot of Freidas at our house. It’s my daughter’s latest naming trend, and I have no idea where it came from. We don’t know anyone named Freida and I can’t recall any stories with a Freida, but suddenly we need a numerical system just to differentiate the Freida crowd. One of our extended family members was not so thrilled about this, and promptly … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Face of Food

Lately my daughter has been raising a lot of interesting questions about animal ethics. While stroking a faux-fur vest at the mall, she turned to me and said “Mommy, where it face?” I wasn’t sure how to answer that one. She also insists on calling the turkey in her Thanksgiving play-set (yes, those things exist) “turkey food.” She’s never eaten meat, and I’m not sure she understands the connection between the actual birds she regularly sees on farms and the decapitated, featherless … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Fearful and Wonderful Genes

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. I’m not that into aliens. It’s nothing personal, but I prefer science fiction that stays a bit closer to home. Take Gattaca, for instance. The 1997 film features subtly spectacular performances by Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law as they grapple with a world where genetic determinism and biometrics reign supreme. There are two kinds of people in this world: … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: A Tale of Two Tragedies

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. My mother hazily remembers the day JFK was shot, a day defined for her by weeping nuns and being sent home early from school. Most adults today have seen the footage, even if we weren’t alive when it happened, of the 35th president’s tragic convertible ride. That bloody image, framed by the ever-elegant Jackie, is part of our collective national … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: C'mon Irene

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture. My daughter and I are reading and rereading (and rereading…) the toddler versions of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. These adaptations, charmingly illustrated by Renee Graff, provide glimpses into the frontier tales that have delighted generations of readers. I am no exception. I loved the stories as a girl, and I love the stories now. I marvel at the … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: The Politics of Play

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.  Where some folks see a cardboard box for the recycling truck, I see an opportunity. Why would I drop hundreds of dollars on play structures when the boxes from a chair and a lawn mower become tunnels and houses and sailboats with a little imagination? Sure, that philosophy explains why I keep finding kidney beans in the living room (I made bean bags; my daughter … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: It Ain't Easy

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.  My college running coach relayed an anecdote that has stuck with me for years. He described a conversation with an athlete who says “Coach, when does this get easier?” The coach responds “It doesn’t. You just get faster.” That message parallels not just my running life (where, let’s be honest, I’m not actually getting faster anymore) but also my … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Truth and Lies

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.  I confess: I love the show Pretty Little Liars. It’s standard teen-drama fare with a twist. The show centers on the quartet of Aria, Spencer, Hanna, and Emily, who struggle to solve the mystery of their queen bee Alison’s murder. The plot, driven by overwrought acting and lots of text messaging, twists in unexpected (and often ridiculous) ways each week as the … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X