Posts from the ‘Parenting’ Category

JOY RIDE

n Adventure With Anna the Virus

Written by Emma Gertony

Fun illustrated early chapter book for children to explain how viruses enter the body. Anna has been hiding in waiting while inside young Henry’s nose. Like her fellow adenoviruses, Anna has a round shape with spikes and is less than 200 nanometers in size. She and thousands of others like her wait for the perfect moment to travel through the air at 100 miles per hour and land on a surface like a park railing. Here they lie in wait for an unsuspecting child. Their leader, Captain Roger, calls out instructions. George places his hand on the railing; when he touches an itchy nose, the viruses seize the opportunity to slide down his larynx, hoping to eventually reach his lungs. In the meantime, Ted, who is positioned in George’s Thymus valiantly calls out to his troops, the white blood cells and mucus glands to fight off the viruses. Those viruses seem to be winning the battle until George’s body defenses of high fever and chills initiate a visit to the doctor, who prescribes medication and a regimen of good hygiene to defeat the invaders.

This book is richly and vividly illustrated making it a crossover between a picture and early chapter book. Parents of preschoolers might want to use it to explain what makes a child feel sick. Older children will enjoy the humor and the adventure story. Recommended especially for children ages four through ten. Good choice for libraries, doctor’s waiting rooms, and classrooms.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

PARENTAL WAR:STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

Cupcakes vs. Brownies: Zimmah Chronicles Book 1

Written by Scott King

In the prologue readers meet ten year old Karim, who is falling through pink candy cotton clouds trapped in a bubble of bubblegum. He is clutching a small glass bottle to his chest. At first glance, that does not sound like much of a predicament for a child, until you read on to the first chapter.

Karim’s parents, Malek and Christina, are arguing again. Karim overhears them discuss the possibility of divorce. The boy impulsively rushes out of the house into the streets of San Francisco with his dog in a thunderstorm. He bumps into an elderly woman named Madame Loope, who invites him into her pawn shop to escape the storm. Karim picks up a glass bottle. Steam begins hissing from the bottle as a man emerges from it once uncorked. This man is a Zimmah, a djinn. Karim asks that he be granted a wish. His first wish is to turn his Labrador into a Snow Lion. After the djinn grants that wish, Karim wishes the world was a happy place.

Karim is transported to a world filled with edible sweets. What astonished the boy is that he meets his father transformed into the king of the Cupcake World. Malek is preparing to do battle with his enemy, the Queen of the Brownies. Karim cannot believe his eyes when he discovers the Captain of the Brownie army is none other than his mother. When Karim pleads with Zimmah his wish is to fix things between his parents and return to the real world, the djinn informs him that this is the way things are and there is no magic to fix it. Will Karim ever find his way back home to San Francisco? Is Zimmah a friend or an enemy? What will happen to Malek and Christina?

This book is a creative way to approach the problem of divorce and how children may cope with it. It combines fantasy with an interesting plot that deals with an issue many children in families must face. Appropriate for children ages eight and older; this book could be useful for parents, teachers and social workers to open up many avenues of discussion.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

MONSTERS NO MORE

Christy’s win over her fear! “I’m not afraid anymore!”

Written by Emma Gertony

Eight-year-old Christy is a happy child, but when night rolls around, she has many fears. Christy imagines the monster under her bed and in her closet. Her brain works overtime reminding her of her fears. When daylight arrives, she is happy and confident once more.

One day Christy decides to admit her fears to her mother. Her mother develops a plan to dispel the monsters and fears. By using pencil, crayons, Play-doh, construction paper and dolls, Christy learns to confront and destroy the monsters in her mind.

This short three chapter book has three parts. First, Christy walks the reader through her fears of the dark, second, she explains how the brain, senses, and organs work together to protect us, and third, Christy and her mother demonstrate how to face our fears and overcome them. This book is targeted for children from kindergarten through grade five. The sentences in the text are quite long and complex making them difficult for young children to understand. On the other hand, there are some pictures to portray the emotions Christy is undergoing. In general, I would recommend the book for children over age seven who have phobias. Parents would need to elaborate on and discuss the text with younger children.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

LOVE AND LEADERSHIP

Leadership Lessons Learned from Mom

Written by Mark Villareal

An interesting book that discusses qualities of leadership by correlating them with lessons that the author learned from his mother. The author begins the book in early childhood when his mother guided him to listen to the little voice in his head whenever he needed to decide whether something was right or wrong. She taught him not to be a loner, and to push himself to become involved. Villareal explains how his mother encouraged him to dream big and reach for the top while teaching him to understand not everyone will get the trophy. As he grew older, she taught him not to exclude others, be a good example, and avoid taking shortcuts to success. The author learned to stand up for himself when he believed that he was right, but to learn the difference between having pride and being too full of pride. Life will not always be convenient and be accommodating, we must learn to accept defeat graciously at times, then pick ourselves up to try harder next time.

These are all valuable lessons in developing leadership. Rather than learning these skills by reading a leadership training manual, Villareal tells a charming story that entertains and inspires. Unfortunately, not all children grow up in an environment with parents who make the effort to teach and model these values. Recommended for young adult and adult audiences.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

HOME SCHOOLING 101

Home Schooling: Home School Education and Parenting

Written by Margaret LaRue

 

This book is a general overview on the topic of homeschooling. The author is not speaking from experience as a homeschooling parent but instead attempts to present the pluses and minuses on the topic. LaRue begins by listing some advantages of homeschooling such as educational, physical, religious, and emotional freedom, fewer arbitrary standards, no busywork, and closer family ties. Her list of disadvantages include, financial and time restraints, less opportunity to participate in sports, being branded as outside the norm, and less free time for the homeschooling parent.

The rest of the book concentrates on the basics such as how and what curriculum to choose with their advantages and disadvantages, suggestions on determining a child’s learning style, how to create lesson plans, planning field trips, and suggestions on instilling and maintaining the motivation of students. La Rue packs a lot of essential information in one book for anyone considering undertaking the home-school experience. I suggest this book as an excellent resource for those not considering the process. Those already engaged in home school might criticize it for being too general. It does not specifically address the concerns those already engaged in the process face.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

READS FOR YOUR SWEETIE

Valentine’s Day for Beginning Readers

Written by Ella May Woodman

The author has released a series of sight word readers for beginning readers centering on holiday themes. This entry focuses on Valentine’s Day, the previous two centered on Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Valentine’s Day uses words in the en family. Plot involves Ben and Jen who are childhood friends. As we meet them, they are drawing and writing Valentine’s cards to bring to school the next day. When Ben forgets his cards at home, Jen volunteers to allow him to add his name to her cards. Each page has a basic illustration that explains the simple sight word text.

May includes the Dolch and Fry sight words and provides suggestions that parents or caretakers may use before, during and after the book is shared with the child. Parents and teachers who want to use the sight word approach to reading have these references located in one place. The main objective of this book to to assist new and beginning readers to use the book as a tool to increase reading fluency. I would also recommend the book for ESL students.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

ALONE NO MORE…

Gumbo Goes Downtown

Written by Carol Talley

gumbopicA tale that is charming and sweet, yet focuses on some important issues. The obvious story line is about a guard dog named Gumbo, who lives in a shotgun house on St. Charles Street in New Orleans. He spends most of his time barking at any one who comes near the chain link fence, such as the girl in a polka dot dress and the postman. When the postman fails to close the gate one day, Gumbo seizes the opportunity to see the world. He follows the trolley tracks downtown to New Orleans. Here he meets up with a poodle named Pompon and a champion pure breed named Stella. Gumbo has the time of his life in Jackson Square with clowns, dancers, jugglers, musicians and the like. Soon his friends leave to go home and be pampered by their owners. Gumbo begins to miss his house and owner Gus, whom he never appreciated. Will Gumbo decide to remain free in the big city on his own and fend for himself or return to his former life?

The book description suggests an audience of K-2. While the simple story of Gumbo’s adventure is appropriate for that age group, the larger issues of homelessness and running away from home are better addressed to a middle grade audience. Talley provides a nice guide for parents and teachers to set up a discussion on these issues. Maeno’s illustrations are soft, colorful and appealing, but the text is small and difficult to read on some of the pages. I recommend the book especially for parents and teachers who would like to open up a discussion on homelessness, running away, and poverty. Talley also includes an interesting background section on New Orleans and the points of interest mentioned in the story.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

%d bloggers like this: