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Girl Detectives: The Legacy of Nancy Drew

Back in 1930, hard-boiled detectives like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe were in vogue, making mystery-solving a decidedly masculine occupation. And then Carolyn Keene came along and tossed an 18-year-old girl into the mix. I would dare say Nancy...

I Hate That My Kids Hate 'Dora the Explorer'

In Dora's 10 years, my daughter has loved her. Then hated her. And now? Credit: Nick Jr.
As the iconic Dora the Explorer celebrates its 10th year on the air this week, I began to reflect on my own children's relationship with the spunky Latina...

Opinion: Why I Hate Bouncy Castles

Kids gotta bounce. Illustration: Christopher Healy.
Bouncy castles, moon jumpers -- whatever you call them -- oh, how I wish I could take my family to a street fair or an outdoor festival without seeing one of those inflatable behemoths. From...

Retro Gaming With Kids: Let Your iPhone Take You Back

Go back to the days of blips and pixels. Illustration: Christopher Healy
However you feel about them, video games make up a huge part of today's kids' pop-culture diet. But to many parents who grew up on the barely-2-D blips of "Pac-Man" and...

Cry, Laugh, Shiver, and Learn: New Picture Books

Reading a good book can be an emotional experience. Here's a selection of new picture books that can run you through the full gamut.
Amazon
"City Dog, Country Frog" by Mo Willems, illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Hyperion, $18) We all know...

iPad, Read Me a Story

Reading by iPad app-light. Illustration by Christopher Healy.
Whatever you want to do, there's an app for that: It's already a stale joke. But, as they say, there's truth in jest. And when it comes to bedtime stories, yes, there's an app for...

Kids' Music: Fresh & New vs. Tried & True

The children's sections of music stores -- whether online or off -- have never been more crowded. You've not only got the exciting, parent-friendly new wave of family artists, but you'll always have the still-wonderful, nostalgia-inducing old...

Summer Picture Books You Must Read to Your Kids

In these hot, schedule-mangling summer months, it can be difficult to remember to read to your kids. Here are some of the more pleasantly surprising recent picture books -- breaks from the typical that will help keep you interested as you provide...

A Book With Its Own Soundtrack: Please Let This Be a Trend

Books and music: Two great tastes that taste great together. Credit: Walker Books
Songwriter Josh Farrar's immensely likable and entertaining first novel, "Rules to Rock By" (Walker Books, $17), chronicles a middle schooler's efforts to form...

Opinion: The Real Reason Grown Men are Crying at 'Toy Story 3'

This is what it sounds like when dads cry. Illustration by Christopher Healy
Just like the majority of the adults in the audience with me, I was wiping tears from my cheeks as the credits rolled on "Toy Story 3". This was far from the...

Pop Culture Smackdown: Polar Bears vs. Penguins!

Which cold-weather creature comes out on top in pop culture? Illustration: Christopher Healy
We've always had a fascination with cold-weather animals. Perhaps it's because they live in environments we never could. Polar bears and penguins are...

Top Teen Beach Reads: Which Should Scare You, Which Should You Borrow?

Beach season is upon us and tweens and teens, just as much as adults, are going to be grabbing dishy, fun reads to page through while they lie out on the sand. Some are lighthearted and innocent, some are lighthearted and not-so-innocent, some...

"Toy Story 3" Revolutionizes the Industry - The Video Game Industry, That Is

Woody explores a wholly original virtual world in Toy Story 3: The Video Game. Credit: Disney Interactive
In the world of video games, the movie tie-in game is generally the quintessence of mediocrity.
These are often games that developers...

Return of the Masters: New Books From 3 Big Names in Children's Literature

Once an author has a hit of a certain size or accolades of a certain degree, it's expected that every subsequent book they turn out will be just as genius or just as huge as now-classic story he or she is most famous for. Of course, it's not really...

What Year Is It? Retro Kids' Books and Retro Art Styles

Between contemporary illustrators who recreate the look and feel of old-timey picture books and publishers printing new editions of under-the-radar "classics" from decades past, it can sometimes be hard to tell what era a children's book actually...

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