By Renee Pappas
As we approach the third week of social distancing to mitigate the COVID19 pandemic , I wanted to take the opportunity to pass on suggestions to those of you who have small children or grandchildren. Keeping young children occupied while they're away from their friends, school, dance and music lessons and play dates can be a challenge.
Everyone loves coloring books and Bellerophon Books has an incredible catalog featuring Greek subjects such as "The Odyssey", "Alexander the Great", "Amazons", Greek Goddesses" and "Gorgons". Other ancient cultures such as Rome and Egypt are also featured , as well as the American West, Medieval Europe and personalities such as aviatrix Amelia Earhart and composer Amadeus Mozart.
There are also coloring books on "The Nutcracker" and "Sleeping Beauty" ballets, "Peter and the Wolf", "The Little Mermaid" "Dinosaurs"and "Mother Goose Tales".
I discovered Bellerophon Books nearly twenty years ago when my niece, Catherine, and nephew, Nick, were children Last week I sent half a dozen to my niece's 3 year old daughter, Lillie. Through the years I would order a supply and give them as gifts to the children of my friends. When I was Director of Development at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, I ordered the Greek themed coloring books for the museum shop and they were best sellers and reordered constantly.
If you're running out of books to read to children I would like to suggest this source, Short Kids Stories. I learned about the site through my friend, Aris Kefalogiannis' daughter,Elena who is presently studying for her Master's Degree in Journalism at Georgetown University. Her story " Mike the Spotty Beaver", along with her illustration, was just published on the website www.shortkidstories.com .
Now for the grown-ups.... www.coursera.org and www.edx.org offer courses on numerous subjects including philosophy, photography, literature and science and are offered by institutions such as Duke University, Stamford University, Yale, and Harvard. If you don't need to get credits towards a degree the courses are free. I'm presently finishing a course in Ancient Rome from the University of Arizona and one on Renaissance painting from a Spanish University.
I believe this can be a time that we can learn and grow, so that when we emerge from our confinement, we are better equipped to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.
Stay safe and stay well.
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