Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts from the ‘Questions’ category

On an average day, my daughter’s question-to-declarative sentence ratio clocks in at a healthy 5:1. In this section of the blog, I explore what happens when instead of saying “I don’t know,” I say “Let’s find out!”

Sam the Eagle and Jean Pierre Napoleon in a still from Muppets Most Wanted. I picked this photo because they have their index fingers against their face like they are thinking hard about something puzzling.

Sam the Eagle: Bald Eagle, Harpy Eagle, or Shoebill Stork?

I grew up watching the Muppets. For years I wandered through life, filled with the happy conviction that I knew everything I needed to know about Sam the Eagle. This happy state continued until I saw a video of the African shoebill stork on Twitter. It bore a disconcerting resemblance to old Sam. To make matters worse, while researching shoebills, I discovered that some think that the harpy eagle is actually the model for Sam the Eagle. There’s only one thing to do when your world has been rocked by this sort of question: compare and contrast.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Someone on Twitter commented that living through 2020 had given them a new appreciation for the relentless partying that broke out during the Roaring Twenties after WWI and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. Living through 2020 also made me think about the Roaring 20s differently. I finally understand why so many women in vintage flapper photos are giving such achingly sad side-eye.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! Thank you for spending another year with us here at Caterpickles. May this holiday season bring some measure of peace and joy to you and yours.

“What was it like to get a mortgage in 1875?”

About 20 years ago, my grandparents gave me a set of old family journals from 1871-1952. Mixed in with all sheep, pig, apple, and pork accounts are surprisingly interesting narratives of daily life in upstate New York in the late 1800s. This week, my great-great-grandfather goes to Rochester for a second mortgage, and comes away feeling a bit… swindled.

Hello, world!

What I’ve been doing this month instead of blogging: participating in NaNoWriMo, orchestrating a veggie-free Thanksgiving, and booting up the Christmas spirit.

header for the Caterpickles bookshop

Introducing the Caterpickles Bookstore and a word about affiliate links on Caterpickles

As this pandemic rages on, it’s come to my attention that while Amazon will be fine, independent booksellers are suffering. That’s why I decided to become a Bookshop.org affiliate. Starting today, my book reviews may contain affiliate links to Bookshop.org, an online bookstore that provides financial support to independent bookstores nationwide. I’ve also added a new Caterpickles Bookstore Learn more about Bookshop.org, affiliate links on Caterpickles, and the new Caterpickles Bookstore.

What are we going to do about Halloween?

Last week our local public health office released official guidance for how to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 during Halloween and Día de Los Muertos celebrations. I wanted to share it with you here, in case your family is also trying to figure out what those celebrations will look like this year.

My OcTBR Reading Challenge

Eighty-seven years ago, I decided that my resolution for 2020 would be to deal with my 45-book high Currently Reading tower. Good news? I’ve gotten the pile down to a mere 28 books. Bad news? It’s October. Time to kick it into high gear. Enter the #OcTBRChallenge.