Posts from the ‘Parenting’ Category

#Reality Check

Unicorn for Christmas: Teach Kids About Giving

Written by Sigal Adler

Illustrated by Abira Das

Christmas is nearly upon the castle. Princess Lily already possesses every material object she could want or need. When she decides to request a unicorn for a Christmas gift, the king and queen scour the kingdom to fulfill her request. Up to now, her demands have been met.

To their chagrin, the royal couple cannot fulfill her request. The king commissions the royal seamstress to make a unicorn costume. He places the costume on various animals to deceive the princess. She is not pleased. After many days pass, Lily realizes how hard her parents tried to please her. She hugs them and gives thanks to them for being wonderful parents.

The illustrations are vivid and expressive. They communicate the underlying message. My one criticism is that I would have liked to see her change in point of view explained more clearly in the text.

Parents of preschoolers and primary grade children who are exasperated with children who expect too much will love this holiday book. Suggested as a read-aloud or bedtime story.

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#Building Bridges

Aspergers Books for Kids: Joey the Weather Boy – A Story About Asperger Syndrome

Written by Dr. Sam Caron, PhD

Illustrated by Jeremy Caron

The author of this boy is a psychologist/ventriloquist who has been working with children and their families for thirty years. As a special educator, I applaud his approach. Dr. Caron has used this fictional short story to address the child and parents and then provided an interactive guide to implementing its lessons.

Joey is an eight-year-old boy who does not look at people and is obsessed with the weather. He has an uncanny talent to predict all aspects of the weather. Joey could talk about nothing else. His parents, teachers, and classmates could not understand him. That was okay with Joey because he preferred to be alone.

Joey’s parents took him to Dr. Caron who introduced Joey to Elwood, his puppet. Joey was able to relate to Elwood. With Dr. Caron’s help, Joey introduced a kids’ weather program and began speech therapy. Joey became more comfortable communicating with others. Children and adults recognized his talents.

This book goes a long way in helping parents, teachers, and children to understand Asperger Syndrome. Children who are bored easily, hyperactive or impulsive are not behavior problems. Books like these go a long way to eliminate preconceived notions. I highly recommend this series of books as a good start to building bridges with families who deal with the problem and members of the general population who misunderstand its symptoms.

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#HAPPY THANKSGIVING

A KEY QUESTION

Relay

Written and Illustrated by Roy Lieberman

The author has written and illustrated a charming picture book that will have primary grade children laughing and wondering about dad’s missing keys.

When their father asks if Ben and Russ have seen his keys, they appear to be familiar with dad’s problem of misplacing things. But Russ asks as if he knows exactly what happened. He spins a yarn about a blimp and airplane landing at the house. A cadre of tiny machines and little people have conspired to hide the keys.

Charming illustrations and simple text explain just how these clever creatures carry out their plot. Russ keeps his brother and dad going until he delivers the punch line to reveal the location of the missing keys.

Highly recommended as a read-aloud or beginning reader.

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PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…

Kids Meal Ideas: 50 Kid-Friendly Recipes

Written by Debbie Madsen

The author places emphasis on ways to produce kid-pleasing meals that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Madsen doesn’t take the approach of cooking separate meals for finicky eaters. Rather, she uses ingredients that kids will recognize as pleasing choices and combines them with healthy options.

The book is divided into sections: chicken, rice and pasta, soups, pork, seafood, eggs, beef, vegetarian, salads, and gluten-free. Within each area, Madsen chooses combinations like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy turned into volcano meatloaf. Pasta becomes much healthier when combined with spinach and bacon. For the child who loves only peanut butter sandwiches, try peanut chicken with rice. Salad recipes include a variety of textures and extras like pumpkin and chia seeds. French fries are elevated to new heights in a skillet dish in which beef and French fries are baked with ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

The recipes are different and just might attract your picky eater as well as introduce the adults in the family to unique combinations.

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COMMUNITY COALITION

Nobody’s Cats: How One Little Black Kitty Came in from the Cold

Written by Valerie Ingram and Alistair Schroff


The authors wrote this book based on a true story and contribute the proceeds of sales to animal welfare.

One day a little boy finds a hungry black kitten in the snow next to an old shed. He notices that there are many other cats there. Children passing the cats throw rocks at them. The boy asks neighbors in the area who owns the cats. They tell him that these cats are feral cats that belong to no one.

A few months pass by before a visitor to the boy’s schools comes to teach them about animal rescue. The boy learns he can become a superhero. He can spearhead a community effort to care for these abandoned animals. What will happen to the black kitty? How can the community solve the problem of overpopulation and animal neglect?

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Mind over Matter

Hello Brain: A Book about Talking to Your Brain

Written by Clarissa Johnson

This book discusses mindfulness for children. It contains six stories about students in a classroom who experience different troubling situations. It begins with Sam, who is terribly shy and afraid to talk with anyone at school. Eve is frustrated because she views herself not smart enough to learn. Jane talks too much in class and can’t concentrate. Nick is grumpy, unhappy and cannot focus. Kate excels in school and sports, but cannot see the worth of other students. Will is a shy boy, who is often the victim of others who take advantage of him with unkind words and acts. In each situation, one of the other students approaches the child with a problem and reminds him that he can talk to his brain and take control of the situation to remedy the problem.

This book can be used by parents or teachers to guide discussions with individual children or a classroom group. It could be an effective resource for elementary and middle school students who are struggling with individual emotions and peer relationships. It is particularly recommended for students in the six to twelve age range.

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WHAT TO DO?

Hermione Granger’s Unofficial Life Lessons and Words of Wisdom: What would Hermione (from the Harry Potter series) Say?

Written by Euphemia Pinkerton Noble

This is an interesting read for fans of the Harry Potter series of all ages. The author presents questions written in a journal format. Noble chooses situations that pop up in our everyday lives and then poses the question of how Hermione would answer.

Hermione Granger is the smartest witch at Hogwarts. She is a hard worker, who places a high value on loyalty, friendship and love. Hermione often chooses the more difficult path because she knows it is the right, if not easy, thing to do. At first, the boys ignore or resist her, but eventually come to know she is the one who holds things together.

Noble urges her readers to first read through the book quickly and make a few notes about the questions they find most relevant to themselves. I particularly enjoyed the section on facing challenges and chasing dreams in which so many middle-grade and teen readers will find much to think about. The last section on believing in yourself probably sums up Hermione’s philosophy on life best.

This book could become an asset for preteens and teens who are struggling to develop their own views. Parents, grandparents, and teachers might find this book a good way to open family discussions.

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