Archive for January, 2021

THE TIMES ARE CHANGING

A Letter to My Fifth Grade Self (The Diary of Janie Ray Book 2)

Written by Lila Segal

Janie Ray gets a diary from her mom as a gift. She has the same problems most fifth graders experience. Janie spends most of her time with her best friend, Sheila. But fifth grade is full of social anxiety. There are snobs, bullies, teacher problems and family adjustments.

One thing about Janie is very different. When she was seven, she found a medallion. Together with Sheila. she has developed a secret language. Soon they would find a connection to the medallion that would allow them to travel back in time. Janie would learn about the perils of interfering with events and the responsibility of being the keeper of the medallion.

The book is a coming of age novel, mixed with fantasy and preteen relationships. It moves along fairly quickly and ends with a cliffhanger that will lead to the next book in the series. I did not read the series books prior to this one and did not find that a problem.

Recommended for readers ages eight through twelve.

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ON SECOND THOUGHT

Superheroes Wear Masks: A picture book to help kids with social distancing and covid anxiety

Written by Chris Stead

Illustrated by Yohan Priyankara

A young boy narrates this story. He explains why he does not like wearing a mask. He cannot recognize the faces of people, they look scary, and these masks are uncomfortable to wear.

When he has a fight with this parents about wearing a mask, they ground him. That gives him time to think about people he knows who wear masks to protect themselves at work, like a doctor, a fireman, a construction worker, and a chemist. That reassures him. Maybe protecting yourself from harm is just being careful and smart.

This book is a good choice for parents and teachers to use in explaining the necessity of masks during the pandemic and reassuring the fears of young children.

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LIFE LESSONS

Her Name Was Flower

Written by Imani Cortez

Illustrated by Alexandra Ignateva

This book is a series of short stories to encourage empathy and acceptance of differences among members of the human race. The protagonist is named Flower. She is the daughter of the Sun and Moon.

Flower struggles to find her identity. She has trouble and sometimes disrespects her parents who try to teach her. When Flower becomes a bit older, she goes off to search why others do not accept her. Along her journey, Flower discovers that the most beautiful part of our Earth is the ability to respect and accept our uniqueness.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. Cortes’ sends her readers many worthwhile lessons. However, young children may be confused and need guidance as to how to interpret them.

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MAKING HISTORY WITH YOUR FAMILY

COLLECTING MEMORIES FOR YOUR CHILDREN

There’s something special about looking back through treasures from your childhood. A long forgotten picture or story that you wrote in fourth grade brings you back to memories of you and your family today. Wouldn’t it be great to preserve memories for each of your children?

CONSIDER THESE SUGGESTIONS FOR COLLECTING AND PRESERVING WONDEFUL MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD FOR EACH MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY:

Obtain a box for each child’s memories.

If you already have a designated storage space for each child’s mementos, it will be easy to stash new items to their “treasure box.”

The box can be as large as you room to store it. Decorative boxes of different shapes and sizes are available at your local big box or craft store.

Or consider purchasing a plastic storage draw unit from a big box or stationery store. Label each drawer with your children’s names. When you have something to add, open the drawer and pop it inside.

Save school papers and projects.

Put the date, the grade when task completed, and name of child’s teacher on the back of papers and art work you want to save.

Depending on how specific you want to provide, you can include the name of the school and the address you lived at during that time.

Preserve special photo memories.

You can use computer storage for files of pictures for each child. Back up your pictures each month to a flash drive or an external hard drive.

Or you can take pictures, print the ones you like, and date them on the back of the print. Add a brief description or record one, if you prefer.

Store hard-copy pictures in the child’s memory box. Then placing them in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box at a bank will protect them from loss or natural disaster.

Document special events.

Another fun way to preserve memories is recording your observations and thoughts about your child’s experiences. Recording a one or two page summary will help you recall them later.

So many of us would love to remember our childhoods many years in the future. Take a little time now to document these occurrences for them.

Some suggestions include successful moments in the classroom, dance recitals, sports triumphs or graduations.

But do not forget about struggles. Overcoming obstacles or failures that made a child stronger are just as important to recall.

Don’t forget those funny moments. A funny situation or a silly question make lovely memories.

To sum up, recording snippets of time from your child’s experiences through writing, pictures, and video are now available to us through modern technology. They are valuable tools to make documenting our memories simple and efficient.

Ten or twenty years from now, you will be able to sit down and view these memories through the eyes of two adults who have shared so many memories.

Don’t neglect building a family history because you are too busy with everyday chores. I can personally attest to wishing that I had the technology available today to preserve more of my own children’s memories.

START CREATING YOUR FAMILY’S HISTORY TODAY!

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