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Amish Boy’s First Trip to Florida, 1944

Another Way for week of January 18, 2019

Amish Boy’s First Trip to Florida, 1944

Guest column by Merle Headings

Columnist’s note: Many northern Amish spend the holidays or coldest months of a northern winter in the south. My friend Merle Headings (no longer Amish) remembers how excited he and his family were to make their first trip. This is the first of a 2-part guest column as told by Merle to Deven Eileen Lewis.

Photo taken the same year as the trip to Florida. Thanks to Merle Headings for this precious photo.

It was 1944 and I was nine years old. My family and I lived in an Amish community in Plain City, Ohio. My parents, Abe and Orpha Headings, were farmers who had three boys; me, Merle, nine; Chester, seven; and Elton, three.

We had five churches in our community. Three were horse and buggy Amish, one was Mennonite, and our church was Beachy Amish. Preaching and singing during church was in High German, which meant I understood very little. Our church was like horse and buggy Amish churches except we were allowed to have cars, (as long as they were painted black) and we used electricity. I remember when Dad bought a 1939 green Dodge and the bishop gave Dad two weeks to get the car painted black.

At home I got up early every morning before school and headed to the barn to milk cows, and then again every evening after school. That was my life until my parents began to grow restless. Some of the Amish within our community were beginning to travel to a small town in Florida called Sarasota. I was ecstatic when my parents announced that we were going to Sarasota for a month.

There were plenty of obstacles: we were in the middle of World War II, and all gasoline was rationed. You had to have government stamps in order to buy gas. Second, you were not supposed to go out of state in your car, so we couldn’t drive our car to Sarasota.

This did not deter Dad. He soon found we could travel by train, which we could get 100 miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio. My mother’s brother agreed to do our chores and even drove us to Cincinnati in our “black” two-door car.

We boarded the train while it was still dark. The train was noticeably warmer than our black Dodge. My eyes first fell on the seats, which were covered in red velvet with a delicate design etched into the fabric. I ran my fingers softly across the top of the chairs. The windows were big and we could soak up all there was to see.

There was no sleeping that first day on the train, except for my little brother Elton. We were simply too excited and looking forward to warmer weather in the south. With our eyes glued to beautiful mountain scenery, we quickly found that when the train went around a curve, we could see the steam engine ahead and smoke. Traveling through Georgia, we saw shack houses with smoke billowing out of chimneys, and began to smell the pine trees! We had never smelled anything so fresh and clean.

We arrived in Sarasota late in the evening, the final leg traveled by bus. We didn’t really know anyone. The first time we went to the beach, I was amazed when I saw the pristine white sand, and looked out over the water that had seemingly no end in sight. There were oranges and grapefruit aplenty that you could buy with very little money! Back in Ohio, they cost too much and were nothing compared to the oranges that we picked right off the trees.

During our stay in Florida we ate a lot of oranges and went to the beach as often as we could. Back then Sarasota was not very big, with only two traffic lights compared to the hundreds today. So when we weren’t lazing about on the sand or cooling off in the water, we were having a grand time driving from Sarasota to the muck farms east of town. Once there, we bought the best celery and other veggies.

I was so happy to be in Florida where there seemed enough sunshine to warm up the whole of Ohio. [More from Merle to be continued next week.]

My mother, Bertha, holding me as an infant, probably on a Sunday dressed up for church. My Dad, Vernon plus big sisters Linda (Pert) and Nancy, l to r. My little brother, Terry, was born four years later and lives in north Florida.


One reason I (Melodie) loved Merle’s description of their trip to Florida in 1944 is that my own parents followed the trend among certain Mennonites and Amish and went to Sarasota for their honeymoon in January of 1946. Five years later, I was born there when they spent six months back in their beloved paradise.


The interest in starting Mennonite communities and churches in the southeast continued for many years, and is described in Roots & Branches: A Narrative History of the Amish and Mennonites in Southeast U.S. 1892-1992 by Martin W. Lehman, Cascadia Press.


Any early trips you recall as a child? Send to me at or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  


Cultivating Conversations: Spread Sweetness

Another Way for week of January 11, 2019

Cultivating Conversations: Spread Sweetness

We didn’t have any children or grandchildren home the weekend before Christmas, none on Christmas Eve, none on Christmas Day. They came later in the week, including the weekend of Dec. 27-30. When children are grown and live a distance and have families and activities of their own, that is how life goes.

While we had plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas afternoon with friends and relatives, I thought it would perhaps be a good time to seek out others who were finding themselves alone over the holidays, rather than sit home and pity ourselves. So we spent several hours over three days visiting older friends who don’t get many visits.

Richard and Jean Hogshead.

We had conversations I will cherish. Jean, from our church, lost her husband Richard five years ago. He had been a great source of information for my husband as they worked on various projects around church. When our children were just toddlers and Richard was already in his 70s, he climbed up on our house to help put on a new roof. Jean had some thoughtful questions about how things were going at church; she is not able to attend much anymore, instead attending services at the retirement home where she lives in an independent apartment.

We chatted with Margaret—her son was my husband’s best friend and best man at our wedding. Sadly, he died suddenly a number of years ago. We also reminisced about her husband who died five years ago, just a week before Christmas. She talked about how the first day he was in the hospital from a heart attack, she held Elwood’s hand and asked him to squeeze it if he knew she was there. He did, and just that small—and only—communication is treasured by Margaret. So she has had a rough and painful time, but has a positive spirit as she gets together with other friends, relatives, and a granddaughter.

Bolling is another friend in his mid-90s from church. He never had any children. So his visitors are few and far between—a niece lives a state or two away and comes to see him when she can. So after his Christmas dinner at the lovely family-type dining room in his care facility, we popped in. He still has a good mind and enjoys reading, although he is slowing down. He loves to visit and also asks about various folks at church. We told him Jean wanted to talk with him sometime so we hope to make that happen in the near future.

Martha and my mother, right, enjoying a laugh at the wedding reception for our daughter Tanya.

Then we visited Martha, our friend for the last twenty years. We met through our daughter and her granddaughter. When our daughter was in marching band in college, we loved sitting with Martha and her family in the stands at football games, and sharing parties afterwards. Martha was an LPN who cared for elderly patients in her home for many years. When her husband could no longer take care of Martha at home, she had to go to a nursing home. He was faithfully by her side every chance he got until he succumbed to various ailments last February. My husband always enjoyed visiting with him—they’re both great talkers—so now I usually stop by to see Martha alone when I’m out running errands. In this visit, when Stuart took hold of Martha’s hand to say hello, she grabbed onto it and didn’t let go. Even though she doesn’t open her eyes anymore and can only make a few sounds in response to questions, I know she knew she was holding Stuart’s hand. So our conversation with her was chiefly hand-holding, talking to her son, and hugs.

Holding hands and offering hugs are perhaps the best medicine we can offer. Even when these gestures don’t bring health, touch brings a lift to the spirit and sweetness to the mind and heart.

Again I will ask the question I have asked before in this space: who would enjoy your visit, phone call, text, or card? We may also be in these shoes someday. That is how life goes.


Who is special to you? Do they know it? 


Bonnie Annis writes: “Most of us crave love and acceptance. What better way to communicate that than by reaching out and touching someone?”

Do you agree or disagree?

Comment here or write to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

Starting the New Year Well

Another Way for week of January 4, 2019

Starting the New Year Well

Do any of your goals for the New Year include drawing closer to God, or deepening your walk of discipleship?

Perhaps “disciple” isn’t in your active vocabulary of how you think of or describe your faith life. The early disciples who followed Jesus were kind of like students of a favorite professor or of a certain school of philosophy. Our learning should be lifelong, including actively following the teachings of Jesus.

Two books have helped me ponder these ideas, and look freshly at desires for my own life. One book is not published yet but that I had the opportunity to edit, called By The Way: Getting Serious about Following Jesus. The author’s name is Derek Vreeland, and while he has self-published a number of books, this is his first book by a regular trade book publisher which means getting the book out more widely.

The book is designed to help new believers or young people joining a church to be grounded in some basics—including things (as I told the author) that I have kind of forgotten or left by the wayside, even though I’ve gone to church faithfully all my life (well, there was that year or two in college where I wasn’t so faithful, like many others).

But even today, I tend to let good habits slide: reading the Bible, praying authentically, serving others, living what I believe.

One of my faith habits of the last several years has been participating in a very small group with “Morning prayers” at the office, begun by my former boss and supported fervently by my current one. So it’s not “time off” or letting our work slide, but it has become an important part of our work praying for other staff members, our board, authors, people who do contract work for us (editors and proofeaders), readers, and website visitors. It is also a chance to breathe deeply and focus on being in the presence of God. We use a book called Take Our Moments and Our Days compiled a number of years ago; it is patterned like an Anglican prayer book which gives you readings for every day and then steps you through various prayers.

I picked up a memoir that has helped me appreciate this prayer book and this practice even more, titled The Close: A Young Woman’s First Year at Seminary. It is written by Chloe Breyer, who went to a small Episcopal seminary in New York City known as General Theological Seminary. The word Close in her title referred to a part of campus that was like a cloister, a garden-y space in the city set aside for reflection and prayer.

Being Episcopal, the seminarians were expected to participate in prayer meetings at least five times a day: morning and evening prayer in a chapel with others, and then various prayers and sometimes communion or Eucharist, depending on the day of the week. She struggled at first with trying to keep track of the hymnal and multiple other books in the pew rack, as many as six. Finding the collects and readings and recitations and songs was at first distracting from actual prayer, but she wrote, “As my historical understanding [of Christianity] grows, I feel the power of a prayer spoken by centuries of Christian worshippers. Although I still doubt that God would find a lovely hymn more pleasing than an act of charity, more often now, I leave evening prayer feeling refreshed” (p. 107, Basic Books, Perseus Books Group, NY, 2000).

Her comment compares to my own experience with written prayers passed down through centuries, at first having almost zero appreciation and wondering how any could appreciate prayers that can become mere ritual or rote and not thought about at all. I grew up with spontaneous—always unwritten prayers.

Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum of prayer, know that God is as close as our most intimate, hidden thoughts and needs. God wants us to draw closer, however we experience both the Maker of the universe, and our soul friend who knows us better than we do ourselves. May it be so in the coming year.


I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences of faith, and stories. Or what you’re reading in the new year! Comment here.
Books I mention: the first two are available now and the last one is available for preorder, publishing in June 2019.

Take Our Moments and Our Days

Take Our Moments and Our Days: Prayerbook

The Close (a memoir)

By The Way

Or contact me at or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  



Looking Towards Retirement

Some surprise bookends a daughter bought for me a couple years ago, which I love.

Another Way for week of December 28, 2018

Looking Towards Retirement

It feels weird to be sitting here thinking back on my career, rapidly coming to a close. It is almost as scary of transition as getting out of college and sending out résumés looking for my first real job, which is what I began doing some 43 years ago on my Christmas vacation from college.

If I’m lucky, my life will be bookended with something like the 20-24 years I spent preparing to enter the work world, with (I hope) another two decades tacked on after leaving the old nine to five. But that very thought—that that’s all I might have left: 20 years, is bewildering, scary, undoing. Knowing how fast 20 years can pass is part of it.

Preparing for retirement has been a little overwhelming in terms of the paperwork, the legalese, the understanding how things work or don’t work, the jumping through the Medicare hoops, understanding donut holes and supplements, figuring out when it is best to start drawing Social Security, will I lose too much money if I don’t wait until I’m 71 (which you hear a lot of “experts” recommending these days).

First let’s clarify two things:

  1. I’m planning to officially retire from full time work the end of March 2019.
  2. I’m planning to keep writing this column for the foreseeable future, as long as papers keep using it. It was a very small side gig for me these last two years. So, no retiring from that at this point: with a sincere and grateful thank you to papers and readers!

I’m writing about retirement because so many of us baby boomers and beyond are here (are we the only ones reading print newspapers anymore?) and the struggles and aging issues are real.

My husband and I started going to retirement seminars and consultations about handling retirement money a few years ago and I felt like I was in first grade. What are they talking about? What language is this? How will I ever learn all this? Forget seminars: I need to go back to school! Will we do the right thing or get ourselves in trouble?

Two years back when my husband hung up his work shoes we faced a worrisome money decision with some of his retirement money. It was one of the most stressful couple of days we went through in recent years. I knew then and there I wasn’t cut out to play the stock market.

Now that I’ve announced my pending retirement, I’ve had all the feels: do coworkers think I’m treading water? Dare I even write about this? Am I losing my creativity, word skills, ability to think on my feet? Am I keeping up with the thirty and forty-year-olds? Are my slacks too wide-legged and over the hill?

It will be nice not worrying about these things and having more freedom to spend time with grandchildren, travel, visit my mother and siblings. But will I dry up?

And now I sound and feel like the mythical J. Alfred Prufrock (what a great name) fretting and stewing about minutia in some favorite lines of my pet poet, T.S. Eliot:

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons …

I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?” (From “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot.)

And oh yeah: now I remember another thing I want to do as I enter a different era; I hope to resume reading poetry in the English literature textbooks I saved and have mostly never cracked.

I will also not soon forget the words of one of my four bosses after he took early retirement: “Don’t wait to retire. Retirement is wonderful, just great! You can do what you want to do.”

I’m looking forward to it but not without lots of questions, wonderings and worries. I know one thing for now, I will continue writing, because that helps me think things out. I will continue a life of faith, with God who has been faithful through so many other bewildering and happy transitions.


If you’re retired, how do you like your life? I’d love to hear advice and encouragement.

If you’re just starting out in a career or life, what do you hope to be or do in 40 years?

This is the last week to request the bookmark “Top 35 Books for Children” compiled by friends and readers. Or send your comments or retirement advice and stories to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  







Mom’s Pecan Pie for Christmas

Another Way for week of December 21, 2019

Mom’s Pecan Pie for Christmas

Counting down the days? Many of us indulge at Christmas in once-a-year pies. My father always loved my mother’s pecan pies and I love making them and eating them, because they are so delicious and easy.

But did you ever wonder how pies were first created? I never really thought about it until a great young chef at my church shared some research he had done on the history of pie.

Early pies began with meat pies, according to the American Pie Council and other history of pie websites. My Mom was also famous for her mince pie, and still loves it to this day, and I’m still not a fan. Sorry Mom! But I get that meat pies are how pie came to be. Early pies may have been around with ancient Egyptians using reeds to hold the filling and not eaten (of course). Romans spread the custom of pies to Europe and we usually think of England as being famous for its meat pies of all kinds (think shepherd’s pie, where sometimes the legs of whatever fowl was in the pie hung over the edges of the pie). Ewww. To each their own.

The American Pie Council people remind us that pies became so popular in the U.S. that people even say, “As American as apple pie.” (And do we really need a “council” or association to remind us to eat pie?) Oh and of course there was that 50s song about American pie. But I digress.

Signs of well-worn favorite cookbooks.

Do you enjoy eating the crust of a pie? Probably if it is yummy, and not so much if it is tough and hard. I’ve had (and made) both kinds. The website “What’s Cooking America?” says, “The purpose of a pastry shell was mainly to serve as a baking dish, storage container, and serving vessel, and these were often too hard to actually eat. For hundreds of years, it was the only form of baking container used.” I’m guessing it was hard like homemade playdough. While the royalty or well to do would have eaten the inside of the pie, the hard crust (which would have soaked up some of the yummy filling) might have been given to the servants or those clamoring for food outside their gates. I’m told that when settlers (our immigrant predecessors) sailed to America, pies in long rectangular shapes encasing meat and other veggies were made to hold food for the travelers and stored in the ship’s hold. No wonder people got sick and died on those long trips.

I’ll share my favorite recipe but source it back to a half dozen women who contributed their favorite versions to my first and long time favorite cookbooks, Mennonite Community Cookbook and Fellowship Cooking created by women of North Goshen Mennonite Church where I grew up. The names on the recipes (four different recipes altogether) include Jean Kauffman, Clara Blucker, Lizzie Weaver, Alberta Troyer, Pauline Beachy, Mrs. J.D. Graber and Mrs. John Martin. (Sorry about the names from ye olde Mennonite Community Cookbook which used women’s husband’s names!) I share the names because I know some readers will surely remember the cooks, as I do. And I call this my mother’s recipe because it was her favorite.

Mom’s Pecan Pie

A sign of often-used favorite recipes, adapated and adapted again over time.

3 eggs
1 cup corn syrup (I use half dark, half light)
¼ cup white sugar (or brown, your preference)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
¼ cup water
¾ cup pecans, chopped
Pastry for 1 9-inch crust

Combine sugar, flour and salt. Add beaten eggs. Add water and syrup to egg mixture. Stir.
Add nuts. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 to bake 35 minutes longer. (I recommend using a crust shield to prevent over-browning.) Makes 1 9-inch pie. Some of these recipes call for 2 tablespoons cream or butter but the recipe is rich enough without the extra fat.

Have yourselves a Merry Christmas and don’t forget those clamoring outside our gates, including recent immigrants. Thanks for the birth of a baby who still longs to bring us all together some day in a peaceable kingdom.


Do you have a cookbook that looks like either of the above? Did your church women compile cookbooks and do they still?

What’s your favorite must-have Christmas dessert?


The Mennonite Community Cookbook 2015 edition can be purchased here, and has a history section that I wrote, giving the history of the cookbook. Loved doing that, I was happy to have had the opportunity.

As a gift, I’d love to send you the bookmark I created “Top 35 Books for Children” compiled by friends and readers, to save for ideas for birthdays and more. Or send your comments or pie stories to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

Where Eggs Don’t Come in a Box

Another Way for week of December 14, 2018

Where Eggs Don’t Come in a Box

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts I was ever given was the opportunity to grow up on a farm. I’m part of a very small group in our U.S population who is only one generation removed from farm life.

Believe me, as a girl, I would never have called it a gift or an opportunity. It was a chore—endless, daily or twice-

The farm near Middlebury Indiana where I grew up. Now an Amish farm.

a-day chores that made me different from all my town friends, or even different from my friends whose fathers kept a farmette going on the side of their regular job, to supplement income. Most of our mothers in that community and generation were full time homemakers.

Our chores—gathering eggs each evening—meant we couldn’t be in 4-H or scouts, and although we did begin playing interscholastic sports in junior high and high school, Mom and Dad rarely came to games. My sister was a star player, yet I think they only ever saw her play a handful of times even in high school or college. They weren’t bad parents—that was how parents did back then. At least parents of girls. Chores also kept my parents busy during typical late afternoon “sports.” The farm was a handicap to my social life, or so I thought. I should add that Mom or Dad did pick us up from practice or a game, or we carpooled, so we were allowed the privilege of team sports.

But let’s get back to the farm. I thought about this when an older retired pastor led the children’s time at church recently asking the children if they knew where the tradition of Thanksgiving came from, emphasizing the harvest celebration of food. The little ones were generally stumped on this, and his point was helping the children learn where Thanksgiving turkeys (and Christmas hams) come from. Do kids know that milk comes from—not a jug, but a cow’s body? That eggs don’t come from a box, but from the inside of a chicken?

Husband Stuart picking pole beans.

My husband and I started our first garden when we bought our first home. His dad didn’t have a farm but was a master gardener, known for the bounty of his garden. So our garden and its hard work was first more my husband’s idea than mine. But now that we have grandchildren it gives me joy to let them pick cherry tomatoes and pull carrots. They’re not quite big enough to pick green beans and corn, but at least they know where these veggies come from.

Grandson Henry learning to can beans.

Many young families and couples in their 20s or 30s are finding their way back to the land—starting vegetable or fruit farms to sell produce at auctions, farmers’ markets, or restaurants and local food co-ops. My youngest daughter just told me that the family of one of her best friends is moving to a small farm for just such purposes—helping a brother-in-law who’s already involved. I would have never guessed it of this particular young woman—an extraordinary pianist. I’ve been amused at how some of the city friends from my youth, those I envied, their children have ended up on such farms.

Psalm 67—written as a song for a musician ends with a beautiful blessing for the land: “The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will revere him” (verses 6-7).

Was that written for us, today, just one year away from the futuristic sounding 2020? It seems to speak to the need for all of us on earth to take care of the precious land, water, crops, flowers, animals, birds and butterflies. Three millennia have passed since the Psalmist wrote those words, and yet I feel a powerful connection across the centuries. Some of that connection comes from my father who tilled and worked the land for his animals and our livelihood and our food.

Thanks, Dad and Mom, that I grew up gathering eggs.


Read about the “fight” my sister and I got into gathering eggs one day.


Do you enjoy raising things? Or do you do it out of necessity?


What do you love about your growing up days? What would you rather forget? Comment here!

Youngest daughter Doreen showing up some tall tomato plants and some taller sweet corn from our original garden.

And can still request our Another Way bookmark listing “Top 35 Books for Young Children,” to use and save for book gift ideas. Include a #10 self -addressed stamped envelope. Request from or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  


Top 35 Books for Young Children

Grandma Davis reading to some little folks.

Another Way for week of December 7, 2018 – And a free bookmark.

Our Top 35 Books for Young Children

Some of my grandsons are growing up just like I did: in a home with no TV. My grandsons do see some videos at nursery school and daycare, and their parents share special events with them streaming on a laptop.

But some children grow up in a home without books—or at least no books beyond what they might get with a fast food kid’s meal. Now that is sad.

Our boys love books—all five of them in two families—and yes, I’m including the two-month-old who heard books all nine months inside his mommy. The five-year-olds, although not in kindergarten yet, know many words by sight and by hearing certain books over and over.

If you have children on your Christmas list, books are among the finest gifts you can give. Here, in no particular order, is my top 35 list from my grandsons, and the children and grandkids of friends, starting with books for younger children (0-2), and then for 2-4 year olds. Some of these books are totally new to me! You should be able to find them on Amazon or at any bookstore with a children’s section, staff should be able to help you. Friends and family who created this list: I am very grateful for your help.

Top 35 books for young children

Younger children 0-2:

  1. Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner (five hidden objects on each page)
  2. Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton
  3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  4. Pete the Cat by James Dean
  5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  6. Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  7. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

    Yet another favorite book for grandson James.

  8. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  9. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Caroline Jayne Church

Older children 2-4: (many of these are series)

  1. No David by David Shannon
  2. The Nut Family by Eric Litwin and Scott Magoon
  3. Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever
  4. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  5. Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer
  6. Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  7. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  8. Moonshot by Brian Floca
  9. Oh Were They Ever Happy by Peter Spier
  10. I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas
  11. Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex
  12. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  13. Llama Llama Who’s Your Mama by Anna Dewdney
  14. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen
  15. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  16. What if Everybody Did? by Ellen Javernick
  17. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  18. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
  19. Seuss books, numerous
  20. The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
  21. The Giant Jam Sandwich (old) by John Vernon Lord
  22. The Little Engine That Could (classic)

    Listening to a book in story time.

  23. Grimms’ Fairy Tales (classic)
  24. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina and Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer
  25. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
  26. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Gerald and Piggy series) by Mo Willems, a Sesame Street writer. One friend said, “Anything by Mo Willems is always a hit at our house.” Another said “My girls liked me to read these to them; then my oldest started reading them to her little sisters.” Sue, a grandmother, adds “I really like them, too. They’re quite funny.”

My friend Dennis Benson wrote about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program which gives each child born in her native Tennessee a free book each month for their first year. Niece JoAnn added it now operates as a nonprofit with people and businesses donating to help send more than one million books a month to children all around the world. Impressive!

Our oldest daughter Michelle, reading to her little sisters, Tanya, right and Doreen far left.

[Find Part 1 on reading and children here.]



Any of these books new to you? Which do you plan to check out?


I’m happy to send you this list as a bookmark to save for ideas for birthdays and more. Include a #10 self-addressed stamped envelope. Or send your comments or questions to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  




To walk or tramp about; to gad, wander. < Old French - trapasser (to trespass).

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A blog looking for harmony, grace and wisdom in many spheres of daily living.


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