Posts tagged ‘gardening’

PROBLEM SOLVERS FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN

Lee and his Big Hair

Written and Illustrated by Leela Hope

This is another book in the series about a little boy named Lee who lives near a lake. Lee has a penchant for getting into trouble. He is strong-willed and obstinate. Lee refuses to comb or brush his hair. One of his favorite pastimes is playing in the mud. Lee also refuses to cut his hair. One day he rolls around in the mud. When Lee gets up, everything is stuck to him. He runs to the lake to wash the mud off, but he cannot get the mud or the debris that is stuck in his hair. A barber is summoned. Readers will be shocked at what he finds in Lee’s hair.

This book is written in rhyme with humor that children and adults alike will enjoy. Perfect for teaching children the importance of good hair grooming. Recommended for ages three through seven.

 

Lee Has To Stop Eating Candy

Written and Illustrated by Leela Hope

Lee is a young boy who decides to take advantage of the fact that his mom is busy gardening. He spies a tin full of candy and decides to finish it all. Of course, he gets really sick. Lee’s mom finds him in a sugar trance on the floor. The doctor has never seen a case as bad as this. Lee is forced to drink a concoction of healthy fruits and vegetables. A difficult lesson to learn that will not be forgotten.

This book is written to teach children the value of good nutrition and that too much of a good thing has consequences. Colorful illustrations and large font make this book a good choice as a beginning reader or picture book. Recommended for ages preschool through primary grades.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY – TRANSFORMATIONS

Weeds in Nana’s Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

Written and Illustrated by Kathryn Harrison

This well-written book is poignant and beautiful. The author tackles a difficult subject with which many families are forced to face. By using the metaphor of a garden overcome with weeds, the author introduces the subject of Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia.

The protagonist is a young girl who enjoys planting seeds in her Nana’s garden every spring. She laughs and dances as her grandmother explains the fairies are sprinkling their magic dust in the garden. They work the garden as the flowers spring to life. They observe the changes in the garden as the seasons change.

Then one summer, the little girl notices weeds growing in the garden. She inquires of her Nana whether they should pull them out, but her grandmother just nods. Confused, the little girl asks her mother why Nana does not remove the weeds and her mother tenderly explains that Nana’s brain is sick and that like the garden it is becoming tangled and confused. She reminds her daughter that like the flowers growing among the weeds, the Nana they remember is still underneath.

As time goes on, the weeds multiply and Nana’s condition worsens. The little girl has grown and she learns to deal with reality. She sings and dances in the garden once more, now taking over the responsibility for the garden while her grandmother rests sitting underneath a tree.

The author reminds us that our mothers and grandmothers are treasures, but like the cycle of the seasons, they will not be with us forever. There is a wonderful list of questions and answers that can be used to explain dementia to children. Harrison donates 20% of her sales to the Alzheimer Foundation in Canada. Recommended for parents, grandparents, teachers and children ages six and older.

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#KIDS READ CLASSICS – FOND MEMORIES OF DAYS GONE BY….The Days of Holly Hobbie: A Cricket Book

The Days of Holly Hobbie: A Cricket Book

Illustrated by Holly Hobbie

Published by Platt & Munk, NY 1977

DaysofHollyHobbie

I picked this book up for my young daughter at a tag sale near my home. My daughter and I loved the pastel watercolors, the calico clothing and the over-sized bonnet this character wore. I had toyed with the idea of naming my daughter Holly as she was due near Christmas, but changed my mind at the last minute. Maybe that is why I was originally drawn to it.

Holly traces a typical day in her simple life. Her activities might include picking flowers, watering plants, caring for pets, stomping in rain puddles, exploring the attic, baking muffins, listening to the birds or swinging beneath the trees. Echoes of a childhood past that moved much more slowly. This 9 X 12 hardcover book is still available on amazon. Mine is well worn and  bears the inscription of its original purchaser.

Who is Holly Hobbie? She is a real person. Holly Hobbie was born Holly Ulinskas in 1944. Holly is an American writer and illustrator who named the fictional character based on herself. She is also the author of the Toot and Puddle book series. In the late 1960’s this Holly Hobbie character wearing a rag dress and dressed in her huge bonnet, usually accompanied by her pet cat, sold to American Greetings.

Hollyauthor,pic

The artist, Bob Childers, insisted that she become a doll. He hand stitched a prototype and gave it to Hallmark’s Rex Connors. Conners sold the idea to Knickerbocker Toys who licensed the character in 1974; the character came to life and delighted many little girls like my daughter, Heather. Later in 2006, Hollie Hobbie and Friends became a spin-off and regained popularity. Music, lyrics and a TV movie were produced as a result. Holly remains a charming and nostalgic reminder of a favorite vintage book that I enjoyed reading with my daughter.

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FAMILY FUN VACATION PLAN

Mommy Camp (For Dads Too) Plan the Best Summer Ever

Written by Barb Asselin

MommyCamp,pic

Practical planning guide for moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers. This planning guide is really for any time of the year that a family knows they will have to share together. The key is to do the research and plan ahead including both indoor and outdoor activities. Camp does not have to be sleep away, and vacations need not be expensive with hotels and airfare. Depending on budget, there are numerous ways to have a great time.

Some of the ideas included will be familiar to readers like going to the beach, building a fort, or picnicking, or visiting with family members. Others stress finding inexpensive community resources like local theater, museums and libraries. Families may visit local fairs, farmer’s markets and yard sales. Asselin includes many recipes for cooking in the kitchen and crafts like home-made play dough. Gardening and volunteering opportunities can be found in any neighborhood. While the author does not reinvent the wheel, she does a good job of presenting suggestions and then providing a template that the reader can download free to implement their own ideas after discussing with their own families.

Recommended for moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers who don’t want to spend another summer or school vacation faced with children who say, “I’m bored, what can we do today.?”

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FOOD FASCINATION

Mission Explore Food

Written by Geography Collective and Tom Morgan Jones

MissionExploreFoodpic

This is a most unusual book targeted for children nine and older. There are almost three hundred pages divided into six sections. If you expect a conventional book on food groups and good nutrition, you are not looking at the right choice. Some adults may find parts of it distasteful. This volume does provide a lot of information written in a way that many children will enjoy and includes some very unconventional activities. .

The book is available in hardcover and kindle editions. While the kindle version has nice pop up features, you will need a paper journal to complete activities. Basic premise of the book is to change the way you view food forever. Practical information is provided on how to deal with emergencies related to food like choking, poisoning, insect bites and first aid. It teaches how to set up balanced meals, use sustainable foods, and the methods of cooking and harvesting foods. There are diagrams showing the cuts of meat, and lessons on preserving foods, and how to forage, hunt and fish. An extensive glossary explains terms that will be unfamiliar to a child exploring the many topics included here.

Probably the most unusual parts of this work are the mission or exploration sections. For example, in the balanced food section there is an activity to train yourself to eat foods you don’t like. Some suggestions are to take a given list of foods and record how they affect your breath, combine foods from several different countries, reverse the order in which you eat your daily meals, and make a graph comparing the number of calories people in different countries eat. Children are given different statements and asked whether they believe them to be fact or fiction. Some missions are rather conventional like planting herbs, flowers and bulbs. Others are truly unique like making chocolate poo and keeping a poo diary in the section on waste. The reader learns how to make a band of edible musical instruments, graph and eat his height in spaghetti and eat his words on sugar paper. Cooks in the kitchen learn how to make ginger beer monsters, bake cookies in the shape of countries and invent their own cheese by combining a few ingredients.

I think by now you have a good idea of what this book is about. The content is somewhat rambling, but the work has a lot of value in the basic knowledge that it imports. Even though some of the missions and activities may appear somewhat strange, most children will find an interest that they would like to explore. I feel that the book is most valuable as a reference tool on food nutrition, earth science, geography and environment.

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