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Friday, July 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

ISTHMUS PARENTS

Mama Madison: Wisconsin Book Fest 2013 for kids and parents

This past Saturday, I took my youngest to hear Caldecott award-winning author/illustrator Kevin Henkes read from his latest work, The Year of Billy Miller, a short novel for the early elementary grades. >More
 Mama Madison: A visit to the East Madison Community Center

I was greeted at the door by Tom Moen, who has served as executive director of what he likes to call "Madison's best kept secret", for the past 39 of the center's 47 years. Located in the middle of the subsidized Truax Park apartment complex, EMCC, with its vast array of offerings for kids, seniors and everyone in between, is unquestionably the heart of the neighborhood. >More
 Kashmira Sheth's children's fiction makes connections between worlds

Madison's Kashmira Sheth has written four award-winning novels for middle grade and teen readers, and a popular chapter book for six- to nine-year-olds, but right now her picture books are what she's excited to talk about. >More
 Mama Madison: I was a synchronized swimming dropout

A few summers back, my daughter, maybe 8 or 9 at the time, decided to take part in our swimming pool's annual water ballet show. I'm not really sure what initially piqued her interest in the somewhat under-the-radar, very much under-the-water sport of synchronized swimming. >More
 Mama Madison: New library!

We rarely included a stop at the Central Library as part of our regular outing. For those of you who've been in Madison for a while, I'm sure you'd agree that the old building was pretty run down. Not to mention, dark, cavernous and depressing. Libraries, at their best, should be portals to discovery, right? >More
 Mama Madison: The fall school wardrobe

My eleven-year-old daughter spent most of last weekend alone in her room, door shut. It wasn't a temper tantrum or an overwhelming need for tween privacy that led to her self-induced isolation, though. Instead, I didn't see her (except for meals) for two days because she was, in her words, "going through her closet." >More
 Mama Madison: Are 'mean girls' inevitable?

Yes, the 2004 classic comedy Mean Girls is an absolutely delightful movie. But it's definitely not the smartest mother/daughter viewing as your child is about to enter her inaugural year of middle school. >More
 Middleton's Knowledge Unlimited works to engage students -- and others -- with current events

Despite celebrating 30 years in business this year, Knowledge Unlimited Inc. remains relatively unknown in the community. Those concerned with closing the achievement gap in Madison's schools, however, may want to take note. This award-winning educational-materials producer, based in Middleton, is unique in emphasizing multiculturalism throughout its lines of educational posters, DVDs and children's books. >More
 Mama Madison: Mom and daughter agree on VMA fail

The Millenials have probably known all along that the VMAs are more about gawking at the Miley-like train wrecks than spending a few minutes with the more "classic" models. But the show has definitely turned off one 11-year-old member of Generation Z and her Gen X mom. >More
 Mama Madison: Sibling flying behavior

Flying with older kids, as I did on our annual vacation last week, is a world apart. First, no one cries or throws up any more. And I'm pretty sure my children aren't too much of a nuisance to any of the adults on board, with the possible exception of the flight attendant when asking for a second bag of pretzels. >More
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