"Recess!" is celebrating the birthdays of the French composer, Maurice Ravel (and his works for about children); Hank Ketcham (creator of the Dennis the Menace cartoon strip); Mitusmasa Anno (the Japanese artist and picture book maker); and Patty Smith Hill (the progressive educator who wrote the song, "Happy Birthday to You"). We're also featuring stories to mark the arrival of perhaps the most famous monster of them all, Frankenstein; the appearance of the Barbie Doll; National Goof-Off Day (with a story from Morning Edition commentator Shelley Fraser Mickle); and the rerelease of the music and movie about the most famous nanny of all, Mary Poppins. We have poems for St. Patrick's Day; a review of a great two-girl band, "Smoosh," for Youth Art Month; and a review of two books about two extraordianary women - Elsie Kuhn-Leitz who helped save lives during World War II, and Alia Muhammad Baker, who helped rescue the books of Basra, before the recent war in Iraq.
"Recess!" is marking the beginning of Passover with some reflections on Roman Vishniac's photographs of Jewish children in the villages and small towns of Eastern Europe in the uears just before World War II that have been collected in the book Children of a Vanished World. We're also celebrating the birthdays of the Hans Christian Andersen (the 200th); the bard of bards, William Shakespeare; one of the orginators of the comic strip, Wilhelm Busch; and the founder of the Kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel. It's the anniversary of the premier of that all-American muscial, "Anne" and that all-American act of patriotism (Paul Revere's Ride). We have reviews of country takes on Raffi's music and a group of rock and roll classics sung by kids. And for National Poetry Month, we have segments about a child's first poems, the controversial tradition of Mother Goose rhymes, some classical American verse set to music, and new books of poetry from around the world and down the block.
"Recess!" is celebrating both Mothers Day and the National Day of Prayer with music, and remembering the birthdays of Pete Seeger; the Impressionist painter, Mary Cassatt; author Eleanor Estes (of The Moffats fame); and Canadian chronicler of the wilderness Farley Mowat (Never Cry Wolf). We're also bringing you pieces about a new cd from Marlo Thomas and Friends; an innovative program for making bicycle accessible to children who otherwise couldn't afford them; Jack Johnson and his signature song ("Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"); and "Little Men," a film about a group of feuding kids who learn to make peace with one another.