If you have children, you know who author Marc Brown is -- the creator, author, and illustrator of the beloved Arthur series, featuring his iconic “little aardvark with a big agenda.”
More than 66 million Arthur books are now in print in the United States and the PBS television show Arthur is the network’s most-watched children’s program and the winner of six Emmy Awards. It is enjoyed by children and families in more than 100 countries around the world. Brown and his wife Laurie Krasney Brown are also the creators of the critically-acclaimed nonfiction Dino Life Guides for Families series. During this afternoon event at the Boston Public Library, children are encouraged to participate in the question-and-answer period with Mr. Brown and craft questions for him. Mr. Brown appears in Boston Public Library’s 2014 Lowell Lecture Series which is dedicated to the theme “Gateway to Reading,” a program which explores the fundamental importance of childhood literacy and addresses the joys, discoveries, questions, and challenges facing today’s generation of young readers. The series of acclaimed speakers includes beloved authors and illustrators who turn reluctant readers into voracious bookworms, noted scholars in the field of children’s literature, and experts who bring literacy skills and the love of reading and writing to children in new and groundbreaking ways. Sunday, March 9, 2 p.m. Free. All ages. Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston St., Boston. www.bpl.org
Marc Brown Photo
Is it his clean shave? His crooked smile?
Whatever it is, there's something about NBC Nightly News anchorman Brian Williams that terrifies a 10-month-old baby named Jude McGuire.
Jude's dad Jordan McGuire posted this video to YouTube, which has gone viral. He named it "My 10mo son hates brian williams."
"This is a video of my son...we hate to do it, but anytime brian williams comes on the tv he starts screaming until we turn it off," writes McGuire.
To prove that point, McGuire tapes Jude watching President Barack Obama and NBC reporter Chuck Todd on the news. The baby watches quietly. Then Williams is back on the screen and Jude is immediately upset.
Does your child have a fear you can't explain?
Take a trip around the world at the Puppet Showplace Theatre with Sparky's Puppets in "One World, Many Stories," an interactive performance featuring funny folktales from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Visit a friendly family of mice in Japan. Laugh at the antics of West African trickster Anansi the Spider. Then, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, meet a mischievous leprechaun who proves very hard to catch! Kathleen “Sparky” Davis began dramatizing stories with hand puppets while working as a children's librarian. Since 1980, Sparky's Puppets have performed for children and family audiences at schools, libraries and festivals throughout New England. Every summer, Sparky creates a special show for the Rhode Island statewide public libraries' summer reading program. March 13 & 14, 10:30 a.m.; March 15 & 16, 1 & 3 p.m. Ages 3 and up. $12. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. www.puppetshowplace.org
Puppet Showplace Theatre
Check out the stylish baby bumps on pregnant actresses Elsa Pataky, Kerry Washington, and Olivia Wilde last night at the Oscars.
Pataky, wearing an Elie Saab gown, is expecting twins this spring with hubby Chris Hemsworth.
Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Olivia Wilde and fiance Jason Sudeikis are expecting their first baby. She wore a Maison Valentino gown. And Kerry Washington, dressed in Jason Wu (the first ever gown he designed for the red carpet, according to hollywoodlife.com), is expecting her first baby with NFL husband Nnamdi Asomugha.FULL ENTRY
Playful Paws Playgroup at the Franklin Park Zoo is as much for the caregivers as it is for the "cubs."
In this unique playgroup just for toddlers, you can get out of the house and bring your little one (18 months to 3 years) to the zoo for some open play and animal exploration. At each class you'll learn through looking, touching and movement. The possibilities are endless and may include story times, animal encounters, biofacts, simple crafts, and more! And, if the weather is nice, you might go for treks outside. Pricing varies by number of programs per month. Individual class registrations open up after the first class has happened if there is still space available. Wednesdays in March, 10:15 - 11:00 a.m. Members, $32 adult/child pair; Non-members, $40 adult/child pair. Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston. www.zoonewengland.org
Zoo New England
The Jewish holiday Purim is a joyous festival that celebrates the bravery of Queen Esther, a Persian monarch, who, along with her cousin Mordechai, foiled the plans of the king's advisor (Haman) to exterminate the Jews in Persia.
The general topsy-turvy spirit of Purim is ascribed both to the merry celebration of the occasion, and as an allusion to how the decree against the Jews was suddenly overturned and their standing in the kingdom went from outcast to privileged. Join the celebration of Purim in and around Boston with these family-friendly events:
"Celebrate Purim," Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress St. Sun., March 2, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. $14. Enjoy all your favorite exhibits plus see a PJ Library story come to life in an interactive musical puppet show. Children will make holiday crafts, watch a Purim Shpiel (play), and more. www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org
"Purim Merriment at the Museum" Children's Museum of Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., Easton. Sun., March 9, 10-11:30 a.m. $15 per family preregistered; walk-ins, $20. Celebration includes dancing, sing-a-longs, costume parade, crafts and hamantaschen (Purim pastries). www.bostonjcc.org/southpurimmuseumFULL ENTRY
Oh, the foods you'll eat!
In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday March 2, we've rounded up some fun Seuss-inspired recipes from the web. So grab your copies of "Green Eggs and Ham" and "The Cat in the Hat" for inspiration and hit the kitchen with your kiddos to whip up some fantastical treats. And then follow it with a viewing of "The Lorax" as you munch.
How fun are these? Your kids can eat Lorax trees! We especially love the cotton candy leaves on top. Get the recipe at myfrugaladventures.com.FULL ENTRY
People magazine and the "Today" show are adopting a policy against using unauthorized photos of celebrity kids, thanks to celebrity parents like Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard.
The famous couple launched a campaign last month against the paparazzi (or pedorazzi, as they call them). They are tired of photographers hounding their family to take photos of their daughter Lincoln, who turns 1 in March, without their consent. The "Veronica Mars" actress has been using social media to get the word out, posting tweets like this and using the hashtag #NoKidsPolicy:
And she has vowed to boycott media, as evidenced by this tweet:
I wont do interviews 4 entities that pay photogs to take pics of my baby anymore. I care more about my integrity & my values than my career.— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) January 27, 2014
Nickelodeon's "Sam & Cat," Bruno Mars, and Disney's "Frozen" are among the top nominees at Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards.
The fan-voted awards show, hosted this year by our own Mark Wahlberg, will take place March 29.
Below are the nominees. Tells us your child's favorite in each category!
The Butterfly Place is an indoor garden filled with hundreds of free-flying butterflies. Visitors can see New England butterflies and tropical species from all over the world through October. Walk along a winding
pathway. Observe butterflies sipping from flowers, basking in the sunshine and flying freely in a natural habitat. Enjoy the koi fish and quail birds which live among the butterflies. Visit the "show and tell bench," where a staff member is always available to answer your questions and help make your visit fun. See eggs, caterpillars or other interesting creatures up close. Watch a 15 minute, continuously running video which explains the butterfly life cycle. Explore exhibits where you may observe eggs, caterpillars, cocoons and chrysalides. Each display gives information about the species featured. The butterfly flight area is kept at 80-85 degrees as butterflies need warmth to fly. Dress appropriately. There is air conditioning in all other areas. Most visitors spend about one hour. Your admission is valid for the entire day, so you may "come and go" as you please. There is no place to eat inside. The Butterfly Place does offer an outdoor picnic area, where there is a covered tent available from April through Halloween. In addition, there are nearby places to go for coffee, lunch or ice cream. Don’t forget your camera! Open daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ticket sales end 30 minutes prior to closing. All ages. Children under 3 must be in strollers, backpacks, carried or held by the hand. Adults, $12; seniors, $10; ages 3-12, $8; under 3, free. The Butterfly Place, 120 Tyngsboro Rd., Westford. www.butterflyplace-ma.com
The Butterfly Place
Israeli fashion model Bar Refaeli posted on Instagram this baby photo of herself as a tot with an unlit cigarette dangling from her mouth.
The 28-year-old Sports Illustrated model captioned the photo, "I swear they raised me well," referring to her parents.
What do you think of the photo?
Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox named their new baby, born Feb. 12, Bodhi Ransom. Do you think they took inspiration from American ski racer Bode Miller, who competed in Sochi this month? Though the names are spelled differently, they are pronounced the same (boh-dee).
Nope. It looks like the Greens instead liked the meaning behind the name, according to reports.
Bodhi is a Buddhism-inspired name. It means awakened or enlightenment. And Ransom means warrior's shield (Oh, and for what it's worth, Bode Miller's full name is actually Samuel Bode Miller).
Learn more about baby Bodhi in the Splash News video below.
Spring celebrations begin early at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the
maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling, billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse. On these naturalist-guided tours you will learn how to identify a sugar maple, observe tapping and sap collection methods, watch the sap being boiled down in the sugarhouse, and get a sweet taste of the final product. Afterwards, you can warm up in the barn by the wood stove, indulge in a hot dog cooked in maple sap, sample delicious soups and desserts made by sanctuary volunteers, or browse through the gift shop. The syrup is available for sale (quantities may be limited). Tours last about an hour and run rain or shine. Dress warmly and wear warm waterproof boots because the walk is entirely outdoors. Advance registration required. Sat. & Sun., March 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16. Tours begin at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Members: adults, $8; ages 3 and up, $7. Non-members: adults, $9; ages 3 and up, $8. Under 3 are free and should be in a backpack. Ipswich River Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. www.massaudubon.org
Photo by Marie-Anne Verougstraete
In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, head to the Providence Children's Museum for a wonderfully wacky weekend-long celebration full of Seussational activities and crazy Seuss characters!
Inspired by "Horton Hears a Who!," visitors can use an array of interesting loose parts to fashion theor own Who-ville sound inventions. Cast a line to catch One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and try your hand at a Cat in the Hat toss game. Browse silly Seuss stories, act out your own Seussian tales in a puppet theater, and more. Sat. & Sun., March 1 & 2, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. All ages. With museum admission, $9. Providence Children's Museum, 100 South St., Providence, RI. www.childrenmuseum.org
Providence Children's Museum
From the family that brought us "Christmas Jammies," we now have "Snow Day: The Musical," a musical depiction of parents' agony when school is canceled and kids want to sled and play all day.
Yup, it's the Holderness family in Raleigh, N.C. again. They should start a businesses doing this. Oh wait, they already have. These videos are a way to get the word out about the family's marketing company. With more than 100,000 views on YouTube and plenty of social media buzz, it looks like it's working.
Can you relate to the snow day complaints of these parents?
As part of Winter on the Waterfront's Family Fun Week, District Hall in Boston's buzzing Innovation District will play host to its first ever science fair tomorrow afternoon. During the event, some of the best and brightest local tech companies on the verge of incredible breakthroughs will entertain, enlighten, and inspire kids of all ages into new heights of thinking. Say goodbye to the three-cornered posterboards in the lunchroom science fair -- this one is sure to blow them away! Mad Science of Greater Boston will present a science show for children that highlights some of the best of Mad Science. Mad Science’s high energy demonstrations are fun and sure to leave the children with memories that last well beyond the grand finale. The show will also include foggy dry ice and demonstrations of how science is used to float beach balls in the air. And, with suggestions from the audience, the Mad Scientist will unlock the mystery of how to get “Egg-bert” back into his house. Ever seen scissors sizzle and shiver? Ever taken a bubble shower? Here’s your chance! Sat., Feb. 15, noon - 3 p.m. Free. All ages. District Hall, 75 Northern Ave., Boston. www.winteronthewaterfront.org
You've probably seen a blog post called "A Letter From a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother, and Vice Versa" by Dr. Carolyn Ee on the blog "the healthy doctor" in your Facebook feed this week. The post has gone viral.
In the post, Ee, an Australian doctor and working mother of a four-year-old daughter and baby son, writes two letters -- one for stay-at-home moms from the working mom's point of view, and the other for working moms from a stay-at-home mom's point of view. It is obviously a topic that hits close to home, since in the introduction area of her blog, she writes, "I constantly grapple with balancing 'work', 'life' and being a mother."
Here are some excerpts from her post.
"Working Mum" writes the following, in part, to "Stay-At-Home Mum":
I know you do unpaid work, often thankless work, which starts the moment you wake up, and doesn’t even end when you go to sleep. I know you work weekends and nights, with no discernible end to your day or working week. I know the rewards are joyous but few.FULL ENTRY
Parents in Sonora, Mexico, can no longer choose the name Facebook or Circumcision for their babies.
Yes, that was happening.
The state has legislated a ban on a total of 61 names. Also on the list: Lady Di, Rambo, and Martian.
"The law is very clear because it prohibits giving children names that are derogatory or that don’t have any meaning and that can lead to bullying,” said Sonora state Civil Registry Director Cristina Ramirez to the Associated Press.
Bundle up and celebrate all things winter at Lowell's annual Winterfest.The two days of fun kicks off on Friday at 3 p.m. with free skating at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, followed by a number of kids' activities, including face painting, balloon animals, a special Lowla Bear temporary tattoo station, a live magic and juggling show by "Lucky Bob," and DIY snowman building. There's also a 21+ party at Club Celsius ($5). Both the official opening ceremonies and the Human Dogsled preliminary heat and costume contest will be held at 6 p.m. The 3rd annual Microbrew Showcase & Competition (21+, $20) will begin at 7 p.m., and includes samples of some of the area's finest craft brews, microbrews, and gluten-free hard ciders from across the nation with over two dozen brewers represented. Enjoy live musical performances in conjunction with the New England Music Awards (NEMA). Cost of admission includes fifteen sample tickets redeemable for 3-ounce samples. Saturday is equally filled with activities and events including wildlife tracking, an all-you-can-eat chocolate festival, a trivia contest, indoor playspace (with crafts, music, games and more), maple sugaring, outdoor ice games, carriage rides, the national soup competition, live dog mushing demonstrations, the Human Dogsled finals, pyrotechnic displays, spoken word performances, and more. Winterfest ends with a laser light show inside Club Celsius. This winter's been a long one -- but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the season! Fri., Feb. 21 & Sun., Feb. 22. Most events are free but some have a small admission fee. Pricing details and times of each event/activity is listed on the event website. Winterfest is held at various locations in downtown Lowell. www.lowell.org/pages/winterfest
Now that the Olympics are underway in Sochi, you have probably seen this Proctor & Gamble ad that pays homage to moms.
It's all part of Proctor & Gamble's hit "Thank You, Mom" campaign. The video, "Pick Them Back Up," first aired during the Golden Globe Awards, but it is now airing regularly in short form since Friday's opening. The viral ad shows mothers encouraging their little athletes to get back up and try again.
Haven't seen it yet or looking to see it again? Here you go:FULL ENTRY
Celebrate our nation's presidents with an 1830s-style tribute to United States history at Old Sturbridge Village.
The party lasts throughout Presidents' Day weekend, and will include a variety of activities, including Washington's Birthday Ball, Presidential Trivia, a toast to George Washington and other American patriots, and presentations of “I Cannot Tell a Lie: Songs and Stories of George Washington.” The weekend will also feature portrayals of Presidents John Adams and Ulysses S. Grant. On Saturday, February 15, feet will be tapping as costumed historians dance at the Village’s annual Washington Birthday Ball. Old Sturbridge Village historians will demonstrate how ladies in the early 1800s styled their hair (using bear grease and sausage curls) in “Her Crowning Glory: Hair Dressing 1830s Style” earlier in the day, along with programming on etiquette and accessories for the ball. Visitors can also participate in contra dances and cotillions, the forerunners of today’s line dancing and square dancing. During this celebration, if your name is George or Martha, you'll enjoy free admission. In addition, Old Sturbridge Village is offering free admission for children (ages 17 and under) on weekends through March 30 when accompanied by one adult paying full-priced, regular admission. Sat., Feb. 15 - Mon., Feb. 17, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Adults, $24; seniors, $22; ages 3-17, $8, but free on weekends with paying adult. Old Sturbridge Village, One Old Sturbridge Rd., Sturbridge. www.osv.org
Head to the Beginnings School in Weston on Saturday for its 3rd Annual Winter Festival. Kids can immerse themselves in a world of wonder at the festival by letting loose and getting silly with Little Groove, an interactive musical experience featuring drumming, movement, and singing. You can get up close and personal with exotic friends from Animal Adventures, including a giant Eurasian owl and spiky porcupine, and explore wacky motions, crazy chemistry, crystals, and science magic with Top Secret Science and Math. Beginnings School transforms its classrooms into a wonderland of fun and learning. Experiment with bubbles in Bubble World, frozen physics in the snow, and get messy in the hands-on sensory room. All of the activities at the Winter Festival are specially designed for children from infants through elementary-school age, but there are plenty of things to do for the whole family -- sledding, snow painting, light and shadow games, face painting, and experiencing the beauty of the school’s two acres of nature preserve. Sat., Feb. 8, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. $20 per family. Beginnings School, 210 South Ave., Weston. www.beginningsschool.com
Follow the journey of three-year-old Zoe, her dad, and a carrot as she tries to build a snowman.
Just goes to show, not all snowmen conjure images of Olaf in "Frozen." Some are just plain frustrating.FULL ENTRY
Check out how school administrators in Kentucky are telling parents that school is closed because of bad weather.
They uploaded a video of their phone message to YouTube, writing, "We like to have fun at our school. So, after several school closings due to snow and cold, we recorded this call to parents to see if we could make them laugh."
What do you think? Funniest school closing announcement ever?
MassArt welcomes families and friends of all ages to join the festivities at Family Day in the Bakalar & Paine Galleries. Family Day brings together visitors of all ages to explore exhibitions in a fun, creative way.
Courtesy of MassArtAdmission is free and materials are provided, so attendees are encouraged to drop in at any time to enjoy art-making projects, guided conversations, interactive activities, and refreshments. The activity stations, which are designed and facilitated by MassArt students, are structured around two exhibitions that offer unique opportunities for conversation and learning. On view in the Paine Gallery is "Surface," showcasing bold new works in site-specific installation, sculpture, painting, and video that explore fragility, desire, and impermanence. In the Bakalar Gallery is "Alison Saar: STILL...," featuring monumental sculptures interrogating themes such as racial identity, womanhood, and the African diaspora. Twice a year, the Bakalar & Paine Galleries host Family Day, an interactive event planned and run by gallery education staff with the help of MassArt students. Visitors of all ages are invited to enjoy art-making, writing, games, and take-home creations. Activities are tailored to the current exhibition's theme and designed to illuminate meaning and facilitate social connections. Visitors of all ages are welcome, but activities are best suited for ages 4 and up. Sat., Feb. 22, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, South Hall, Bakalar & Paine Galleries, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston. www.massart.edu
About Parent Buzz
Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.