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Mommy & Me

This mother-daughter book group is breaking new ground. Katonah mother/daughter book group that meets on the second Sunday of every month as six moms and their young daughters talk about a book for over an hour, in depth and detail.



Most female book discussion groups follow a similar design. Everyone convenes at someone’s sumptuous home for gossip and wine, the book discussed for at best 15 minutes before its time for a meal or snacks. Not so with a Katonah mother/daughter book group that meets on the second Sunday of every month as six moms and their young daughters talk about a book for over an hour, in depth and detail.

This past November the group read Jerry Spinelli’s Crash, a coming-of-age YA novel about a cocky, bullying young boy named John “Crash” Coogan who undergoes a powerful transition transforming him into a sensitive young man. At Celeste Potash’s home in mid December, amid cups of apple cider and coffee, as James Taylor softly crooned in the background, the youngest members of the group, most of them in fourth grade, offered a sophisticated and thoughtful dissection of the novel’s storyline, its characters, the book’s affect on them, and even the writing itself, under their mothers’ watchful eyes.

The Katonah mother/daughter book group has been meeting for a little over a year. The moms are award-winning children’s book author Judy Blundell, jewelry designer Celeste Potash, pediatrician Cynthia Braun, writer Laura Beth Gilman, psychotherapist Jackie Reilly, and poet Moira Thielking. Their daughters Cleo Watson, Annika Braun, Ruby Potash, Mikaela Marcotullio, Esther Thielking, and Sadie Gilman are all fourth graders at Katonah Elementary School. Acadia Thielking is at the John Jay Middle School in sixth grade.

After everyone had a mini bagel or a bite of cinnamon bread, Cynthia Braun got the discussion going, but after that, it really was the girls’ show. “I thought this was going to be the usual nerd-bully book, but there was a lot more to it,” Mikaela Marcotullio observed. “The family didn’t spend any meal time together, the kids ordered a lot of pizza,” Esther Thielking said. “I think it would have been good if Crash could have meditated,” Sadie Gilman suggested. Passages were read aloud to prove a point. At the end of the discussion, everyone voted thumbs up or thumbs down whether they liked the book or not.

While the girls let off steam afterward, running through the house, the moms talked about how the book group has strengthened their mother/daughter bond. “Any venue where you get to spend this kind of quality time with your child is incredibly good,” Jackie Reilly said. Braun is the group’s organizer, reserving the books at the library, getting the calendar together, and sending out the emails. Books selected to read are a collaborative effort undertaken by the next meeting’s hosting daughter and her mom. “We try to find books that none of the girls have yet read,” Judy Blundell said. “Which is hard because they all read a lot.” Some of the books the group has read and enjoyed include Dealing With Dragons, The Higher Power of Lucky, and Where the Lilies Bloom. Little Women, it turned out, was not a great success.

Jackie Reilly said one of the things she loves about the group is that it creates a time she can spend talking with her daughter where there is “no direction, no correction.” There was a sweetness of physical bonding as several of the girls sat close to each other, toying with each other’s hair, while others cuddled with their mothers, two bodies sharing one seat. Looking on from my fly on the wall vantage hidden behind a column in the Potash’s artful living room, the experience reminded me of when I read books to my young child before he went to bed; this is the extended version, and shared with good friends, no less.

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Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

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July 2016

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Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

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Where:
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134 Jay St.
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View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
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More information

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Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
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View map »


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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

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Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
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View map »

More information

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Cost: free admission

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View map »


Website »

More information

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Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
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View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
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More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

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View map »

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Katonah, NY
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Telephone: 914 232 9555
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100 East Main Street
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Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
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Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
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Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Mount Kisco Public Library
Telephone: 914-864-0130
Contact Name: Lisa Graziadei
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Varied

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Telephone: 914-666-8448
Contact Name: Ann Paul
Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Los Angeles-based artist Victoria Fu employs analogue and digital techniques to explore the impact of virtual aesthetics on the everyday human experience. While Fu typically works in...

Cost: $10, seniors and students $5 seniors and students $5

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »

More information

Art of the Northeast, Silvermine's signature juried show, now in its 66th year, creates a new map each year of the themes, explorations, and preoccupations of the contemporary art world. ...

Cost: free admission

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us over the rainbow this summer as we present this year’s production of: The Wizard of Oz! OUR MAGICAL AND MERRY INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION WILL TAKE AUDIENCES ON AN ADVENTURE...

Cost: Varied

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Telephone: 914-666-8448
Contact Name: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Website »

More information

Eight artists investigated and reimagined KMA; thus, the physical space has become, in and of itself, a platform for creativity. Opening reception will be held July 9, from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay St.
Katonah, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 232 9555
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

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400 Jay St.
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: John Jay Homestead
Telephone: 914-232-5651
Contact Name: Heather Iannucci
Website »

More information

The exhibition Robert Rauschenberg: Spreads and Related Works is a group of paintings and works on paper chosen to compliment the painting Recital (Spread), 1980 which Philip Johnson purchased...

Cost: $35 includes tour

Where:
The Glass House
199 Elm Street
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: The Glass House
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Harbor Point in Stamford
Harbor Point Road
Stamford, CT
View map »


Contact Name: Sue Brown Gordon
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
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Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Waterways IV,” a group exhibition showcasing themes and interpretations on water, its environment and our interaction with it.  On...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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