Posts from the ‘Parenting’ Category

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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TOO GOOD TO LOSE

Lola’s Fuzzy Snuggly Blanket

Written by S.D. Dillard

Many children like Lola have a warm, fuzzy blanket that they see as a comforting friend. Lola has grown beyond the toddler and preschool years, but she continues to take her blanket everywhere she goes. One day her father asks her to leave the blanket at home when they are going out to a restaurant.

When the family return home, Lola’s blanket cannot be found. Lola is extremely upset. The next day, while cleaning, Lola’s mom finds the blanket. Lola goes back to sleeping with her blanket.

I can sympathize with Lola. One of my children was very attached to her blanket. While the premise of the story is a good one, it seems strange that Lola would be comfortable bringing her blanket to school. I think it would have been better for Lola’s dad to discuss the situation rather than tell her to leave the blanket home and then hide it. Parents and teachers might want to use this book to discuss the subject of separation anxiety, particularly with preschool and kindergarten children.

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LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD

P.I.N.K. BACKPACK GENDER EQUALITY SERIES BOOK 1

Written by Trish Allison

 

P.I.N.K. stands for persistence, intelligence, necessary and kind. The author writes this book as a guide for parents to help daughters become aware of and respond to gender equality bias. She provides suggestions as to how to approach the topic. Parents will need to modify these suggestions depending on the age and individual personality of their child.

Topics discussed include how to navigate online, how to discover appropriate STEM models, how to minimize stress and become successful in science projects, how to create a STEM friendly environment for your daughter at home, how to develop and sustain interest in STEM during the tween and teen years, how to make your daughter comfortable in social settings that empower girls, and how to create a gender bias-free environment in your own household.

This book could become a valuable resource for parents who want to encourage positive self-image and self-confidence in their daughters to succeed in any type of role or career situation.

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A HANDBOOK FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS

Roadmap to Navigating Your Child’s Disability
Written by Chrissie Kahan
Illustrated by Blueberry Illustrations

I would heartily recommend this book for parents and educators who are interested in navigating the tricky world of special education. For parents who suspect that something is just not right, this book provides an introduction to the types of disabilities and treatments available. Teachers who have not been trained in the field of special education need a basic understanding of the problems and resources available to treat them.

This book is divided into three sections. The first part explores the endless jargon employed in the educational testing, developing the plan, and implementing the Individual Educational Plan that each diagnosed child is entitled to have. This is a very scary and confusing process for parents. In the second section, the author explains who are the members of the team, how long the process takes, and how a parent can successfully advocate for their child. The third section is an alphabetical listing of the most common disabilities found in children, accommodations available within the school, reference links to resources, and how to reinforce what is taught in the school setting right in the home.

The world of special education is often written in legal language fraught with difficulty to understand. The way an IEP is developed and implemented varies greatly from state to state and school district. This book gives parents and teachers a good introduction and provides a readable reference source. As an educator with forty years of experience in general and special education, I would highly recommend this handbook to those about to become familiar with the special education world.

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