Is High Culture a Luxury, or a Necessity?

A brief but excellent article by thinker and writer Roger Scruton. William Shakespeare (natch!) is mentioned. The theme reminds me of what my friend Carol Hernandez is trying to accomplish as coordinator of visual and performing arts at the Murrieta Valley school district as well as what Christine Cooper Angeli is doing at St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School. Actually, it’s the reason why so many wonderful teachers I have the honor to work with choose to incorporate an appreciation of the arts into their courses. Thank you for all that you do!

My favorite bit:

“Scientific and technical knowledge may confer collective mastery over the means to our ends. But it will not bring us any nearer to the ends themselves. It will not tell us which goals to pursue or which things to value. Shakespeare portrays, in the character of King Lear, the slow crumbling of a vain old man as he discovers the difference between real and fake devotion. Shakespeare does not merely awaken our sympathy. He shows how the fault and its remedy lie deep within ourselves. He is helping us to know our own emotions, and to distinguish the ones that raise us up from those that drag us down.”

Zoo of Impossible Animals at the Author’s Festival in Huntington Beach

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been chosen as one of the featured presenters at the Authors Festival, an annual event sponsored by the Friends of the Children’s Library in Huntington Beach, CA. I was selected to speak on The Zoo of Impossible Animals (and maybe some Shakespeare!) for about 250 students at Saints Simon and Jude School on January 31. Thank you to Gail Page, the event chair, for all your help.

And just a reminder: The Zoo of Impossible Animals would make an IDEAL Christmas present for the children in your life. If you order today, there is still time to get a copy for the holiday!

SSJ school

Note about ZIA from a Happy Reader in Virginia

I received this kind email from a mother of two in Charlottesville, Virginia, about The Zoo of Impossible Animals:

Hi, Rob:
My kids loved your book. I just ordered six more copies to give as gifts and to donate to our library. I was hoping you could write a message in 2 of those: 1 for each of my kids. I’d like to give them both a copy they can keep and take with them as they grow up to read to their kids, like we did with their other favorite books,such as the BFG. They can’t wait for the second book! Thanks so much for considering and congratulations. — Erin

Thank you, Erin!

If you haven’t gotten your copy of the ZIA–or if you’d like to buy one for your local library–don’t be shy. Order your book on Amazon or at

Thanks as always for your support.