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Posts tagged ‘book review’

A Little Book About Safety: Book Review

“Nothing is more important than keeping our children safe – but how can we talk to our kids about personal safety without scaring them? How can we be sure they know what to do to keep themselves safe when we’re not around?” The Mother Company has found a way to do just so… by following the lovable Hugo the Hippo as he navigates his way through a fun day at the pool with his family.

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The Mother Company is an excellent resource for parents, especially those with preschool-aged children. Their expertise in social emotional learning makes them a trusted source when it comes to communicating with kids.

I love their Ruby’s Studio series so naturally I was thrilled when they sent me A Little Book About Safety. The book is meant to be a companion to their applauded Ruby’s Studio: The Safety Show. Both are fantastic tools for parents and caregivers to explain the importance of safety. Your child will be empowered and feel like they have the skills to be the boss of their own safety.

The storyline is adorable, as are the characters. The Mother Company touches on topics that are important but in a fun way. The points are still getting across to your child without them getting overwhelmed.

The best thing about the Mother Company is they know kids, so they use language that your child can understand and relate to. They’re able to explain safety in a non-scary way. Safety is an important topic that shouldn’t scare our children, but it is something we need to discuss with them. A Little Book About Safety makes touching on important topics easy to talk about and creates an open dialogue with your child.

One thing I always ask myself when choosing a children’s book is, is it interactive? This is the best way to keep kids engaged. The Mother Company does a great job with this. They insert “Safety Tips” throughout the book that work as breaks in the storyline where you can stop and discuss. It has the key element in a good children’s book – making it all about your child! Even from the inside cover, “This book belongs to                   ”, your child will feel like it’s a special book just for them. I also like how they use the term “Safe Adult” because you can go over who is and who isn’t a “Safe Adult” in their life. Every child’s situation is different and this book allows you to tailor it to your little one.

There is honestly nothing I would add or remove from this book. It covers a wide-range of safety topics, like: Knowing a safe adult’s name and phone number, it’s ok to be scared and it’s ok to say NO, and what to do if they get lost. I especially like Safety Tip No. 2, “the parts of your body covered by your bathing suit are private” and Safety Tip No. 5, “YOU are the boss of your own body, and it’s ok to say “Stop!” to anyone… No one should touch you in any way you don’t like.” This isn’t any easy topic to cover but they touch on it perfectly.

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My favorite part? “All his smart choices will keep him strong, happy and SAFE.” Kids understand this. It gives them the right tools to take control of things that will keep them safe. As I say in Keep Calm and Parent On, give your child some power. They need to feel in control and feel ownership of their choices.

You can purchase A Little Book About Safety here!

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Hands Off! Parenting Wisdom From Around the World: A Review of Christine Gross-Loh’s Parenting Without Borders

I originally wrote this review for the HuffPost Parents blog, to which I’m a regular contributor. I loved this book and I hope you do too!

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As parents and caregivers, we hold these truths to be self-evident: Children need quality time with us and active stimulation in order to develop properly. Being a good parent means putting our children’s needs before our own. Parents should monitor children’s TV habits to protect them from violent or inappropriate media exposure.

Most American and British parents trust in these fundamental, universal truths. But what if some of them weren’t universal at all?

That’s exactly what Dr Christine Gross-Loh asks in her excellent Parenting Without Borders. In it, she takes a comprehensive look at how parents raise children across the world, investigating what parts of parenting “common sense” are truly held in common and which are rooted in particular cultural assumptions.

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Dr Gross-Loh may be uniquely qualified for such a comparative analysis. After earning a Ph.D from Harvard in East Asian studies, the American-born daughter of Korean immigrants moved to Japan with her Jewish-American husband and their children.

While in Japan, she noticed that some choices she thought were normal were earning her strange looks from other Japanese moms. They were surprised, for example, by her close monitoring of her children’s TV watching. Japanese parents are relatively lax about their children’s TV programs and video games — yet Japan has remarkably little violence or crime.

Is it possible, Dr Gross-Loh wondered, that what “good parents” do in America is different from what they do in Japan — and that both could be equally valid approaches? Or even more intriguingly, could parenting practices have evolved to cultivate different qualities and skills in children, with priorities and methods as influenced by the culture around us as the food we eat or the music we listen to?

 

…..When compared with the rest of the world, Americans stand out by butting in. What do you think??? Do you find this to be true?

Read the full review here

Les Enfants Fantastiques!

This week, I got the chance to read Bébé Day by Day, the follow-up to Pamela Druckerman’s bestselling Bringing Up Bébé. My verdict: Vive la French parenting!

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They say that those who fight the hardest are those who are the most alike, so perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised me that when it comes to parenting, the English and the French have quite a bit in common.

It took Pamela Druckerman, an American journalist and mother, to show me as much. Druckerman’s keen observations about the differences between European and American parenting styles were spot-on, and her writing style in Bringing Up Bébé was fun, flirty and accessible, rather than preachy or judgmental.

For parents interested in the ideas behind Bringing Up Bébé who couldn’t find time to read it all the way through, Day by Day is perfect. It’s divided into short chapters based on bite-sized parenting “keys” — a less laissez-faire author would have called them “rules” — designed to be picked up and read in spare moments.

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I’ll admit: Not all of Druckerman’s keys appealed to my English sensibilities, but the majority of them did. Here’s my English take on some of her most interesting arguments:

#11: Observe Your Baby
This one is fantastic, and so important. New parents often assume that when a baby moves around, makes noise or fusses, he needs something. But a lot of the time, babies are just experimenting, not asking for help. The only way to know what a baby is trying to convey — and be sure you’re not projecting a need onto him — is to actively watch him and learn which cry means “wet diaper” and which means “I like making this interesting noise!”

One of my favorite things to do with a baby this time of year is take him outside with a blanket and a book. I can watch him spend a half hour or so rolling around, and catch up on weekend reading while he’s engrossed in playing with grass or looking at rocks. Everyone gets some calm downtime, and you get the chance to watch and listen to your baby away from the toys and TV.

In fact, I would pair #11 with #20, Do the Pause, which advises parents to wait and listen when a sleeping baby starts to fuss or cry. Just like adults, children cycle through sleep phases, and scooping her up between cycles or during a light phase can interrupt her cycle and teach her to expect you to come in rather than learn to soothe herself.

Chapter 4: Bébé Gourmet
I nearly laughed aloud at the entire food chapter, because I associate so many of these “French” recommendations with my very, very English mother and her compatriots. In fact, Druckerman arrived at many of the same conclusions I covered in my last article: serving vegetables as a first course, establishing a dinner table culture that embraces new foods, involving kids in cooking and rejecting separate “kid food.” Food and table manners may be where Americans have veered furthest from old-fashioned common sense, and where English and French parents find themselves most emphatically aligned.

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To read my full review, follow this link to the original post on the Huff Post Parents blog.

Via Huffingtonpost.com

The ‘I Love You’ book by Todd Parr

I review my first book on my newly launched YouTube channel, the I Love You book by one of my favorite children’s authors, Todd Parr.

He has published over 40 books, all of which are absolutely brilliant. His books are simple yet empowering and kids love them.

Don’t forget to subscribe if you like the video!

Em x

Book Review: Tale of A Baseball Dream

Jerry Pearlman’s young adult book, “Tale of a Baseball Dream,” is an American story of a baseball legend and an adolescent boy, who dreams that one day he will follow in his hero’s footsteps and become a major league star.

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It’s difficult to find a book that drags your sports-loving “tween” away from video games and Sports Center to read. Every boy has dreamt about becoming a world-class athlete at some point, and this book will let them live that dream.

We learn the story of two parallel lives: Bubba “The Brute” Brugosee and eight-year-old Dusty Hunter. Watching Dusty grow up is an inspirational story. Dusty and his father’s relationship is one-of-a-kind. The encouragement and love that one man alone gave to his child is inspirational to say the least. The two spent night and day practicing because his dad honestly believed in his son.

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We watch Dusty lose his biggest fan and support system, his father. It is gut wrenching to watch such a young boy live through such loss. Even through Dusty’s struggles, he manages to overcome his loss and continue following his dream.

The book also proves an excellent point that all children must learn: even a great player has weaknesses and that’s OK. Major league star “The Brute” even faces adversity from his fans when he is traded and has to leave his beloved New Jersey team.

“Tale of a Baseball Dream” is a story filled with big dreams. I would recommend it particularly to boys in middle school and up. There is the element of death so they need to be mentally ready for this. There are many life lessons to be learned from this book, especially when it comes to the importance of family.

Life is not always easy and when things aren’t going your way, Pearlman says to keep trying! If your child takes anything away from his book it will be to believe in oneself. This is just as important as having someone else believe in you!

Find “Tale of a Baseball Dream” on Facebook.

Book Review: The Bug Barians

Marty Byk’s children’s book, “The Bug Barians,” is a witty, action-packed story that follows the adventures of five brave Viking bugs. Dressed in full medieval garb, these bugs work together as superheroes… of a different sort.

Byk’s characters are well developed and each has something distinct about them. Do not let the title fool you. Although it is about bugs, your daughter will even take an interest when she sees the strong and beautiful female characters. Pig-tailed and stylish, the girl bugs prove that they can be both feminine and strong. These girls can definitely keep up with the male bugs.

There really is a character for every child to relate to, and to pick a favorite. Even a Jamaican, dreadlocked bug. I love that the bugs show flaws but make up for lacking in something with other good qualities. It’s brilliant, and sends a great message to children.

The illustrations are excellent. Their vibrancy really makes them pop and helps to truly define each bug character. Not to mention, the clever names are sure to make your child giggle.

“The Bug Barians” adventures lie in escaping from different, larger animals that they seem to always cause trouble with. Their arch nemesis, the squirrel, makes for a hilarious encounter as you follow them through a chase scene. It’s just another “totally Bug Barian day” for the rowdy crew.

I would recommend this book to children 7 years and up because the writing is pretty detailed and has some longer paragraphs. The descriptive writing encourages your child to really imagine the setting and the surroundings of the bug characters. It’s the perfect choice for a child that loves adventure!

Stay tuned for our social media giveaway to win your very own copy of The Bug Barians!

Speaking of Marriage

Winifred M. Reilly, M.A., MFT