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Aug 18 2014

My Son’s First Overnight Trip is a Milestone for Him–and Me

By at 9:58 am

Sleeping-bag

Today marks a milestone in my oldest son’s life: his first “big” camp trip–a day at Sesame Place, followed by a sleepover at our local Y/JCC. My son could not be more excited. He has been talking about this day since June. This morning, as he confidently swung his sleeping bag over his shoulder and headed for the door, he told me that he has been waiting for this day “forever.”

Time is a funny thing in a child’s eyes. I am guessing that this same child does not remember that last summer, as he watched the kids one year older than him head off on this same trip, he said that next year, when it was his turn to go to Sesame Place, there was “no way” he would sleep at the Y.

The change in perspective from one summer to the next epitomizes how much my son has matured over the past year, and how greatly he desires to be independent. I am left simultaneously nostalgic for the days of his infancy, proud of the person he is becoming, and uncertain about how to best parent him during these transition years. How do I nurture his growing independence while keeping him safe in a world that appears to be growing more threatening which each passing day? Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 4 2012

Shalom Sesame Wishes You A Happy Hanukkah–A Kveller Exclusive

By at 1:25 pm

We’ve got an exclusive message from Shalom Sesame and our favorite residents of Sesame Street. Elmo, Grover, and Cookie Monster have come together to wish us a Happy Hanukkah. Gather the kids around to see what their furry friends have to say!

If you’re a fan of Shalom Sesame (and of course, you should be) don’t forget to check out their website and Facebook page for awesome videos, pictures and more.

Feb 9 2012

Maurice Sendak Ripped Off Sesame Street (Not Really)

By at 10:56 am

bumble-ardy by maurice sendakIt’s hard to put into words how much Maurice Sendak means to me. I know I’m not alone in this–Where The Wild Things Are touched a nerve from the moment it hit bookstore shelves in 1964, and even though he comes across as a crotchety old curmudgeon in interviews (we’re talking Colbert Report), let’s be serious: the Little Bear illustrations show someone with a deep, sensory memory of a mother’s love. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 17 2012

From Sesame Street to Say Yes to the Dress

By at 9:56 am
sesame street characters

Hello, old friends.

I love to read and I average three literary novels a month. But I also admit, without shame, to loving TV. And except for Modern Family, now that Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire are off the air for the season, there is just not that much to watch.

Except the really dumb shows. Which I love. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 22 2010

Shalom, Sesame!

By at 2:43 pm

After having a kid, there’s so much that comes back to you from your own childhood. The books you read, the outfits you wore (some of which are amazingly back in style), the recipes you made, the television you watched.  Perhaps that’s why I kind of love my daughter’s Sesame Street obsession.

Somehow addiction to Sesame Street feels okay because I grew up watching Sesame Street too. And, of course, because it’s educational.

So when I heard that Sesame Street was making a new version of Shalom Sesame, which is basically Sesame Street taking a trip to Israel, I was beyond excited.

Last week I got invited to a sneak peek screening of Shalom Sesame. (Ah, the perks of working for a Jewish website.)

First, you should know that when you get off of the elevator at Sesame Workshop, you actually feel like you’re on Sesame Street. The elevators are painted red, yellow, green, and blue. The sconces have the faces of Bert and Ernie on them. When you get to reception, there’s two life-size Muppets to greet you: Oscar the Grouch and Telly. Now, this was exciting for 31 year-old me. But this was beyond exciting to 16 month-old Abigail. She was saying the names of every character over and over and over. And then they took us to an Oscar the Grouch ride…heaven. The kid was in heaven. All of this before we even got to the screening!

As for Shalom Sesame? I really liked it. So did Abigail—she danced to the opening credits, and when she saw that her friend Grover was visiting his friends in Israel, she just had a look of wonder on her face, as if thinking, “Wow, Grover is everywhere!”

There was one segment where the letters of the Hebrew alphabet dance around to a jazz beat, and I looked over and saw another little boy who was totally grooving in his seat. The kids were enraptured.

Personally, I liked when Debra Messing told me about her Hebrew name, and as an educator, I was impressed with how they told the story of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s work to make Hebrew the national language of Israel. (In fact, this show could be used at home or in the classroom). The segments flowed together to connect back to the episode’s theme (Grover learning Hebrew) and it felt like Sesame Street, just with some Israeli flair.

So do I recommend it? Yes. Do I think it would make an awesome Hanukkah gift? Yes. Do I wish they were releasing the whole thing all at once so I could convince Grandma and Grandpa to buy the series for Abigail (read: for me) so she could watch the whole thing at once? Yes. But unfortunately the DVDs will roll out two at a time for about the next eight months, at $14.99 each. Sigh. (Buy ‘em here).

But in the meantime, we’ll get ourselves a mini mensch t-shirt and call it a day.

Oct 26 2010

Adam Sandler Kvelling with Elmo

By at 12:13 pm

My 16 month-old daughter has recently become utterly obsessed with Sesame Street characters. Her grandparents got her a few puppets and turned on the TV one day and now I’m stuck with a toddler who can say Elmo, Cookie, Big Bird, Bert, and Ernie (though somehow that one comes out Noo-Noo). And asks for them daily. Almost hourly.

Luckily for me (and all of you), Sesame Street is really smart. Their website not only has an incredible amount of videos, but they even divide these videos by character. So when Abigail wants to watch Elmo, I head over to the section of the site where Elmo interviews celebrities so that I can be entertained too. Which is where I discovered this clip—Adam Sandler sings a song to Elmo, but he can’t find much to rhyme with “Elmo.” So he makes up words—and at minute 1:49, one of those words is–well, you’ll just have to watch and see.

Let’s just say, I’m kvelling-mo right now.

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