May
15
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Kids
Photo Credit: Denise Grant

Photo Credit: Denise Grant

Prince Wednesday is our favorite little prince, who despite, his royal upbringing, is quite the silly & impulsive preschooler.

Meet Nicholas Kaegi, the talented voice actor who helps bring Prince Wednesday to life! (…and did you know he played Whyatt in Super Why!?)

 

A rrrroyal hello to you! How old are you and where are you from?

I just turned 14 years old and I’m from Toronto.

 

In what ways are you similar to Prince Wednesday?Prince Wednesday

We are both very adventurous and share a good sense of humour!

 

If you had to pick one favorite episode, which would it be?

I would have to say that my favorite of them all is the episode where Teacher Harriet and the class choose their class pet.

 

If Prince Wednesday could do anything or go anywhere in the next episode, what would you want it to be?

In the next episode, I would like to see the characters go to an amusement park and see all the different exciting things they do there!

 

What’s your favorite book?

My favourite book is “Call the Shots” written by Don Calame. It’s a story about three boys with the goal of making the next big low-budget horror film!

 

When you’re not in the studio recording, what’s your favorite activity?

Outside of the studio my favorite activitie(s) would have to be all forms of athletics, especially soccer. Sports are a great way to make new friends & have fun!

 

What was the funniest moment for you while working on the show?

The funniest moment for me while working on the show would have to be the time when a foreign radio station kept playing in my headphones while we were trying to record! Luckily, we found a way to get rid of it.

 

Toronto native Nicholas Kaegi has appeared in such productions as Saw III, Camille, The Rick Mercer Report, Rookie Blue and Murdoch Mysteries. Nicholas attends a French language school and is bilingual. An avid sports fan, he enjoys skiing, soccer, volleyball & sailing, to name but a few. Nicholas can be seen around Toronto singing & playing lead guitar with his band “Volume”.

May
15
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Research Parents Should Know About!, Super Why!

SuperWhy

Reading

“Children who watched SUPER WHY! on PBS Kids scored 46% higher on standardized tests than those who did not watch the show.”

 

SUPER WHY! has been successful in supporting learning in a highly engaging environment.”

Children’s Media Lab
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania

 

May
14
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, Parenting

WinnerVal

In last week’s post (Autism & Unexpected Joy) we spoke with Priscilla Gilman, author of the acclaimed memoir The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy. As mentioned, Priscilla offered an Angela’s Clues reader a signed copy of Gilman’s text, a beautiful exploration of our hopes and expectations for our children, our families, and ourselves.

Well, our randomly selected winner is, Bonbon Break‘s own, Val Vucich Curtis!

The Anti-Romantic Child

We sincerely appreciate your time Priscilla Gilman sharing with us. Congratulations Val & much thanks to everyone who spread the word about this inspiring memoir of positivity in the face of the unexpected.

May
08
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Kids, My Projects

Don’t forget to view the “Sara Solves It” math pilot (in progress) & to leave your feedback over at Amazon Studios today, or this hour..whatever works best. So, what’cha doin’ now?

May
07
2013
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Parenting

The Anti-Romantic Child

1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (CDC). When a mother’s expecting her first child, how are her expectations & hopes affected when she learns that such statistics will rapidly affect her new life?

I recently spoke with Priscilla Gilman, author of the acclaimed memoir The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy (Harper), a beautiful exploration of our hopes and expectations for our children, our families, and ourselves, & the ways in which experiences may lead us to re-imagine them. Gilman reveals her journey through crisis to joy, illuminating the flourishing of life that occurs when we embrace the unexpected. 

I truly appreciate her time speaking with us. Priscilla also has agreed to give one of our readers a FREE signed copy of The Anti-Romantic Child: A Story of Unexpected Joy. Further details will be at the conclusion of this post.

 

Tell us about becoming a mom. How did it change you?

Oh, in so many ways!! Becoming a mother, especially a mother of 2 children with special needs (autism & dyslexia), has made me a much more patient, accepting, & compassionate person. It’s made me less fearful, judgmental, & less concerned about others’ opinions of me. I’m much less perfectionistic & much more open to experience. Having children has humbled me, surprised me, upset every expectation I had for the way my life was going to turn out, & allowed me to bloom into the person I was meant to be: a writer, a teacher, & an advocate for children, for literature and the arts..& for all people who don’t fit easily into boxes and are a little “different”.

Was there a specific experience that inspired you to write?

My book evolved organically out of talks I gave to parents, daycare providers, & teachers beginning in 2003, about a year after we discovered that our older son, Benj, had a rare disorder called hyperlexia. A few years later, I shared all these talks with my dear friend from Yale graduate school who was now a literary agent, and with her encouragement & guidance, I combined them into one cohesive article, which she submitted to numerous magazines and newspapers in 2007. When everyone passed on the article, my agent friend suggested that the material might be a book instead!

What were some of the challenges you encountered while writing the book?

Priscilla Gilman

1 big challenge was that the subject of my book was continually changing, growing, evolving, & that the story was ongoing! The other challenge was telling the truth while being kind, in particular when writing about the disintegration of my first marriage.

What have you learned since writing the book & talking to your readers?

What I thought was a very private & personal story has a universal resonance. There are so many gorgeous souls & good people in this world. That sharing, commiserating, empathizing, & connecting rather than withholding, judging, competing, & distancing are what make our lives meaningful & valuable.

I know you have reached a lot of moms with your story. What are some gratifying responses you’ve received?

Here’s an amazing letter I got about a month ago:

“I have to say that if it weren’t for your book, your beautiful writing attached to all of the personal experience I never would have made it through that 1st year. I have gone back & read the book about 10 times now. It is a book that changed my life forever…it was through reading your book that led me to take Jackson to a Developmental Pediatrician & Psychiatrist. If I would have just listened to our pediatrician & early intervention therapist who knows where he (or I) would be!

I can’t thank you enough for this book…I feel as though it could be our family you are writing about. Jackson has made me a better mother, daughter, wife and friend. I actually do stop and “smell the roses” because of Jackson. He has shown me that beautiful things reveal themselves when you take your time and have to wait patiently for them. I had to wait 3 years for him to address me as “mommy” & it was like the most beautiful symphony I had ever heard. I still love hearing his voice call me mommy.

Thank you Priscilla for your wonderful gift, you & Benj will always be like those beloved characters we never forget from our most favorite books.”

I know that you and I share a love of Fred Rogers. Can you talk about why he means so much to you?

Fred Rogers was not only a calm, caring, wise, steady presence in innumerable children’s lives; he was also a wildly inventive, funny & magical being. There’s a scene in my book that describes the overwhelming sense of grief I experienced when I learned of Mr Rogers’ death. I write: “As children, my sister & I had adored the gentle, compassionate Mr. Rogers & the whimsical imaginative world he created. Watching him again with Benj, I’d newly appreciated how ahead of his time he was in his emphasis on emotional intelligence & his respect for the uniqueness of each individual child.” He exemplified everything I think is most important in approaching, teaching, and working with children.

I also recently did an interview with the Fred Rogers Company about their new DVD to help children with autism & their caregivers. If I had to pick the greatest influence on me as far as being an advocate for children goes, it would unquestionably be Mr. Rogers.

(continue..)