Maurice Sendak: Author, Illustrator, Artist

Maurice Sendak 1928-2012

Almost All The Truth - Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak was a true visionary, mildly subversive, and literary magician in the world of children’s books. Sendak’s work celebrates and encourages imagination. His realm was picture books, but as evidenced by the popularity of his darker, dramatic stories and illustrations, he was certainly no ordinary picture book author.

I write about books a lot. You may wonder why an environmentally focused writer would spend so much time on children’s books. Books create a thinking population. Children who can think critically are going to go out into the world and make it a better place.

Sendak’s enduring body of work will live on through the children it was meant for (honestly, go back and read some of his stories as an adult and you will have a widely different perspective). I hope these books live on through my own children.

Thank you for everything, Mr. Sendak.

Top 7 Children’s Books by Maurice Sendak

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

“She climbed backwards out her window into outside over there.”

“Bumble-ardy had no party when he turned one. (His immediate family frowned on fun.)”

“Did you ever hear of Mickey, how he heard a racket in the night?”

“Each month is gay,
each season nice,
when eating
chicken soup
with rice.”

“What would you like to eat?”
“I don’t care!”
“Some lovely cream of wheat?”
“I don’t care!”
Don’t sit backwards on your chair.”
“I don’t care!”
“Or pour syrup on your hair.”
“I don’t care!”

“Alligators All Around, Bursting Balloons, Catching Colds.”


Read with a child’s eye, read with wonder, just read.

Do you have a favorite Maurice Sendak story and is it different from when you were a child?

**There are affiliate links to make it easier for you to find these books to add to your bookshelf, but I encourage you to seek them out at your local library as well.


A Mother’s Day Wish For A Better World

What makes a mother?

A Mother's Day Wish

A mother is unconditional love. (Love is a choice.)

A mother is warmth. (Warmth is human compassion.)

A mother is patient. (Patience is how the passionate can persevere.)

A mother is kind. (Kindness is love.)

We believe mothers should be all these things and more. In fact, based on our use of mother to mean the most significant of all, we believe mothers to be everything to us. Mothers as symbols; mothers as metaphors; mothers as living, breathing beings; mothers as our everything.

My wish for this upcoming Mother’s Day is to go big or go home.

I want to see an end to the economic penalization of motherhood and an end to the wage gap for all women. Motherhood should not be an indicator of poverty.

I wish for there to be a global commitment to the idea that society benefits when we help the most vulnerable: mothers and children. Mothers who are valued, children who are healthy, happy, and well-educated are going to be more productive.

I wish for mothers to sleep at night without worrying about their children’s health, their children’s hunger, their children’s safety. We have borrowed the earth from our children and when we give it back it will be unrecognizable. It is entirely possible that this generation of children will have a lower life expectancy than their parents and grandparents.

I wish for the world to be a better place for us all. I wish for love to be enough.

What is your Mother’s Day wish?


Sunshine, Happiness, Connection To Earth


Sunshine for Earth Day

Manifestations of happiness abound when the sun shines, the temperatures warm, and the good people spend their leisure out-of-doors. Intentional connection with our environment will help us all make every day an Earth Day.

Beginning on April 30th, I will be chronicling a screen-free week-in-the-life for Green Child Magazine right here on Almost All The Truth. This will be the story of a green family finding ways to pass the day away from our necessary, yet distracting, technological advances.

I am not sure what we will decide to do, but in preparation for the week, here are a few general suggestions.

Bake. This is one of my favorite activities to do with my children. They love it. They can learn about healthy ingredients, math, measuring, and get something delicious to eat when we’re done. Try a kid’s cookbook or a new recipe you find together on Pinterest – just watch out for those desserts!

Gardening. While the details of organic gardening may be lost on young children, the idea of choosing flowers or vegetables, planting, and watering are all great for even the littlest ones. Allow your child to design a garden in one area of the yard or even just a container and watch them both grow.

Storytelling. Telling stories is a time-honored tradition that can get lost in the hustle of modern life. It is a great way to encourage pre-literacy skills in the small child and story development, sequences, and memory in older children.

Art. Art, music, and creativity are enormously important for children’s development. That baby covered in paint (eco-friendly and non-toxic of course) is learning a lot more than making a mess. She is learning to use her imagination, fine-motor skills, and self-esteem. Older children gain significant cognitive and critical thinking skills through art.

Nature Exploration. Children are inherently curious. Nurture that curiosity through scientific exploration of our natural world. Whether it is your yard, neighborhood, or a local destination, exploration of the natural world is just plain fun, but can also incorporate larger lessons of observation, senses, biology, and wherever else your child’s enthusiasm leads. Nature is indeed inspiring.

That is a week’s worth of activities right there! I want to hear from you… What do you think you will do with your children next week, anything special?


An Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic Laundry Room

The laundry room can be one of the most toxic rooms in the house, yet is completely unavoidable. Sigh.

Non-Toxic Laundry

Laundry is not a task that I – or even most people I would venture – enjoy. We still often find ourselves washing and folding massive amounts every week.

This is particularly true for those of us with children who like to dig in the soil and eat with gusto! And even though those sweet cloth diapers drying on the line is something to swoon over. The dirty ones? Not so much.

Luckily there are lots of ways to reduce our impact on the environment and minimize our own exposure to toxic chemicals.

Green and Non-Toxic Laundry Tips

Wash less. The first step to eliminate our trips to the laundry room is to only wash our clothing when necessary. Clothes are not dirty after the first wear, unless we are digging in that aforementioned dirt. Washing our clothing less will keep them looking better for longer.

Wash cold. Only wash when you have a full load and do it with cold water. It is just as effective as warmer temperatures, plus it saves energy, money, and is gentler on clothing. Stained clothing may need a little extra love, but cold water is ideal for every day.

Eco-friendly detergent. Make a switch to a natural detergent and avoid the bleach altogether. Look for something plant-based, biodegradable, and free of fragrance, dyes, brighteners, SLS, to name just a few. Another alternative is to make your own laundry detergent!

Rethink the dryer. For most laundry, the dryer is completely unnecessary. Dark clothes can be hung to dry inside  all year while light clothing, towels, diapers, and sheets love a little time in the sun. When you do have to use the dryer on occasion, try wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

What are your best tips for an eco-friendly, non-toxic laundry routine?