Posts Categorized: Children’s Books, Gifts, Culture

5 Food Lessons Learned from Kids’ Books

When you finished Catcher in the Rye as a teenager, did you feel like someone finally understood your misunderstood self…OR were you captivated by Holden Caulfield’s go-to restaurant order: “a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk?” When you read (or saw) Silence of the Lambs, were you amused by Hannibal Lecter’s famous line — “I ate his liver with some… Read more »

Kids’ Audiobooks for the Road Trip (or Whenever!)

Summer! Time for watermelon, s’mores, road trips, and — of course! — the annual Dinner A Love Story kid’s reading round-up. This year, I’m happy to present a twist: The gifted and talented mother, magazine vet, friend of DALS, and childrens’ book lover extraordinaire, Rory Evans tackles the best audiobooks for kids (and their parents). Take it from here Rory! –Jenny —- Last… Read more »


As my daughters slowly, tragically transition from Dollhouse Phase One (turning anything and everything into a miniature world, then spending hours and hours inside that world) to Dollhouse Phase Two (watching Wes Anderson movies, naturally), I’m so glad I have this blog. Seriously. How else would I be able to justify obsessing over pretend kitchens like the one you see… Read more »

Being 12

Anyone who has ever volunteered at school will appreciate the scene in my kitchen all day yesterday: Dozens of 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes and cannellini beans, enough chopped onions to kill a small animal, large, misshapen bags of frozen homemade chicken stock thawing in the sink, two 6-quart Dutch Ovens on the stovetop, and one lobster pot on the… Read more »

When the Cat’s Away, The Mice Will…Watch Movies The Cat Would Never Watch

Both of my kids did a week of sleep-away camp this summer, different camps, during different weeks, which was wonderful for many reasons: They made new friends, they ate new foods, they learned new skills (including sitting on one end of a raft while a counselor jumped on the other, launching her fifteen feet out into the lake). But the… Read more »

Kid Classics for Summer

Just in time for summer reading, I’m delighted to present this guest-post by Catherine Hong, veteran magazine editor and writer, mother of two, and the Mrs. behind Mrs. Little, one of my most favorite book blogs for kids that you should be reading if you’re not already. Take it away Catherine! –JR I know that plenty of great children’s books… Read more »

How to Shop Responsibly

As we are all well too aware of, having kids these days seems to be synonymous with having stuff. Especially when we are new, impressionable parents, easily bamboozled by marketing messages telling us we need everything — from wipe warmers to the developmental toy du jour — or our kids will be destined for failure. But let’s forget about our… Read more »

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Welcome to our annual guide for everything we want, covet, crave, and, yes need this holiday. (I don’t know about you, but in my world, coffee qualifies as an essential.)  As always, the round-up was compiled with cooks, kids, and parents in mind (again, coffee), as well as for those of you who have already bought Dinner: A Love Story for everyone… Read more »

The Classics, Kid-Style

. As parents — and English majors — we take a great deal of pleasure in introducing our kids to the Good Books. In a way, I feel like we’ve got all of our favorites just cued up, waiting to roll ‘em out when the kids are ready: The Catcher in the Rye (we handed this one to Phoebe last… Read more »

Summer Reading Series: Michael Paterniti

Our next guest in the DALS Summer Reading Series is Michael Paterniti, a man who needs no introduction (and not only because we just introduced him last month). Besides being the father of three voracious readers, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Revenge, Betrayal, and the World’s Greatest Piece of… Read more »

Abby’s Top 10

Not to be outdone by her sister, Abby — heading into fifth grade — has decided to weigh in with her picks for summer reading. Here are the best books she’s read in the past two years (that she hasn’t already written about here and here), graded on the very official Summer Sun Scale. Ten Summer Suns is, obviously, highest,… Read more »

Introducing Nerd Alert

You guys might be wondering why it’s July 10 and there has been none of the usual summer book club coverage for your kids. Well this year, instead of asking Lemony Snicket or George Saunders or Shaun Tan for reading recommendations, we figured we’d step things up a bit and go right to the source: Our 11-year-old daughter, Phoebe, who… Read more »

We Knew Him When

If you didn’t believe Andy (and MacArthur) when he said George Saunders was a genius, maybe you can believe today’s COVER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE that has declared Tenth of December “the best book you will read this year.” In honor of the Saunders coronation, we wanted to point you towards last year’s DALS guest-post where Saunders weighed in on his favorite… Read more »

Pass it On

Like Santa Claus, my mom never shows up empty-handed. When she visits, the kids gather at the door, waiting to see how lucky they’ll be this time. Will it be the new Lemony Snicket book? That turtleneck Abby had circled — hint, hint — in the Land’s End catalog a few months ago? A pair of earrings for Phoebe’s recently… Read more »

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to Our Second Annual Family Holiday Gift Guide. And by that, we of course mean gifts for New Moms, New Dads, Seasoned Moms, Seasoned Dads, Little Ones, Big Ones, Babysitters, Carpool Helpers, School Teachers, Cello Teachers, Art Teachers, the Nice Guy Who Brews You a Badass Cup of Coffee Every Morning…and even YOU! Read carefully and you’ll see what… Read more »

The Importance of Being Empathetic


Part of the joy of working with writers who are smarter and more knowledgable than you is that you learn stuff. They do the research and make sense of the material and then you get to absorb it, process it, and then go to dinner parties and act like you know what you’re talking about. I’ve just finished editing a… Read more »

School Year’s Resolution 3: No iPhone at the Restaurant Table

Dear Jenny, Any insight on how to enjoy a restaurant meal with a three year old that doesn’t involve handing over the iPhone? The coloring book is kind of wearing off–and a few weeks ago my family went out for my bday dinner which kinda felt like a flush of $75 down the toilet because we spent most of the dinner telling her… Read more »

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