Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jacob and Sam. A Friendship Story. Written by Kristi O'Callahan. Illustrated by James Corless

This is a beautiful story for anyone who would like to learn more about interaction with
Autistic children. Told from the standpoint of Jacob, the new kid at his school, and a caring one at that. Not deterred by the challenge of being the new kid, Jacob immediately takes an interest in Sam, who doesn't return the interest. Jacob then finds a way to engage Sam with the help of his teacher that truly provides a great lesson of how to involve special-needs children and help them feel a part of the group. As the story points out, using our imagination is one of the best ways to do this. The bright and colorful illustrations wonderfully compliment the story being told and the atmosphere surrounding the two main characters. This book is highly recommended for any parent, friend, or relative of someone with autism or special needs. And I look forward to many more publications on this subject from this author, who herself is a professional in this field.

Monday, January 25, 2016

#BabyLove: My Social Life. By Corine Dehghanpisheh

This book is a perfect reflection of the times we are living in with their all embracing focus on technology.  What does a baby care about technology? His or her first home was one of darkness, and now they are exposed to all the bright, unexpected lights of phones, tablets, or computer screens. The lights may draw them at first, but as this great statement of a book notes, a baby mainly wants natural attention and affection from their parents. Does a baby, who cannot read yet, care anything about how many likes his or her photo received on Instagram?  Of course not! They just want your undivided love!  While technology is fun and helpful and surely has its place, the fine message contained here can help parents and children to be balanced in their use of it.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Twigond... Written by R.R. Howroar..inspired by the art of Jessica Olip Booth

Deep in the shadows of Gerfenschwartz Spire,
There lies a chasm of mud and of fire
A cave so serene..so sleepy and still,
That all of its travelers think they are ill,
When they fall asleep so quickish and fast
And when they are woken, they are not the same.
There selves are quite different, except for their brains.
For they can still think, with thoughts like before,
But now they have bodies that look like a floor.
Now they are quite part of the floor of this cave,
The one they walked into when feeling so brave.
But Twigond had other plans for these folks..
He gives them a honey they breathe in like smoke.
When they fall asleep from his honey-like smoke,
And he puts them into his machine with it's ropes,
All of it's springs and it's sprockets and spokes.
At the bottoms a monster who will only tell jokes,
So that these sorry folks will feel better before,
They come out of this device that turns folks into floors.
Its mixes your DNA with the dirt of the cave.
And spits you right out where you always will lay,
Another poor capture of Twigond the Bear,
Who makes every sad someone who enters with dare,
Into a part of the floor of his Lair!
The above splendid painting is by Jessica Olip Booth,
And you can view her artwork at jolipbooth.com or on Pinterest
Please let me know if you would like your art featured on this blog.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Annalise's Up and Down Day...by Denise L. Jenne. Illustrated by Julie Iannone

The daily events in a happy child's life are like precious jewels that can be taken out and viewed as they grow older. This we are reminded of when reading the story under discussion. An interesting take on the words "up" and "down* that also gives us a glimpse of the activities that Annalise enjoys during a particular summer day. Instead of playing video games or watching television all day, Annalise enjoys a large variety of unique and educational things, such as bug watching, playing guitar, and gardening. This is a wonderful suggestion for parents who wish for their children to not be glued to technology or electronic media only. Annalise could be any young girl, in any neighborhood during summer, but the quality of the illustrations make her an individual person being referred to, as suggested by the author's introductory comments. Join Annalise as she experiences being "up" and "down" and everything in between!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Making Mindful Magic: mindful activities for children. Written & Illustrated by Lea McKnoulty

When we are very young our sense of time is much slower. Going to Kindergarten, Learning to drive, moving out on our own, all seem like milestones somewhere deep in the eternal future.  As we age, and especially as we experience taking care of a child or perhaps a parent, our awareness of the passage of time is increased rapidly. Time does not physically move any faster, but our familiarity with it somehow causes it to feel that way, according to my limited understanding and experience on the matter. These truths caused me to read about the subject of mindfulness found above eagerly, wondering if it would somehow present a "cure" to the speed of time issue.
This practice of mindfulness being encouraged here by Lea McKnoulty, a mother of three and early childhood professional, is indeed an aid to not only slowing down time, but of making the time we have at present more meaningful and enjoyable. Within this book are several activities that can help both child and adult to learn to soak in the present tense, without interference from the future. And the subject of learning to not be in a hurry and to embrace the unique gifts of nature and quietude are approached with exquisite development. The end of the section with verse and illustrated ideas holds thoughts on how parents can help their children to develop these practices even further, to their mutual benefit. The calm and peaceful  quality of the illustrations sets the tone for an earthy book and cooperates beautifully with the tone of the subject of mindfulness.
As Jack Kerouac put it "Let the mind beware... the circumstances of life are pretty glorious."

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Wacky World of Silly Winston...Written and Illustrated by Donna M. Maguire

This book, which is part of a series, was inspired by the writer's pet Basset Hound and by some of her friends.  In it lies the most detailed, fun education about this dog breed you will ever read. The hero of the story, Winston, takes on several important roles that mostly revolve around the incredible snout skills of this dog. When Winston isn't playing ball with the kids in his neighborhood, he is busy as a superhero, explorer, pirate, or inspector.  My personal favorite quality of Basset Hounds is also explored here, their adorable and insanely long ears! The author shares the reason why these are so useful and helpful in the everyday life of this loveable Hound. The illustrations are very detailed and quite impressive being that they are from this multi-talented writer herself.  This book is found on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.

The Dancing Flamingos of Lake Chimichanga...Written by Karl Beckstrand...Illustrated by Ashley Sanborn

Paradisiac, tropical conditions reign supreme in this Pink of a kind dance-fest. To pull a book like this off, you need a great illustrator, given the vibrant bird-life under discussion.  The charismatic art in this publication certainly holds up to the writing, which is warm and attention-grabbing prose that introduces a youngster to new phrases and vocabulary.  There is a Seuss book which describes a character that drinks pink ink.  This book takes that thought and runs with it, involving us in the notion that Flamingos get their color from a variety of pink and colorful fare.
Do you enjoy books for your children that have no other role than to insert fun into their lives? Well, you've found the wrong book, because this not only does that, but educates as well by influencing your child to enjoy diverse words and flow of thought. If that's what you look for in a book, like I do, than this one is for you. Your child won't even realize that they are being educated, because they'll have such a blast reading this or having it read to them.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sometimes... I Blurt- Written by Tracy Bryan

"Matthew, you need to think before you speak,"  What a novel concept this was to my seven year old self.  So novel that it is one of the few words from my mother's mouth that have continued to ring in my ears all of these years. How can you think before you speak?  Is this something performed with the same multi-tasking effort that rubbing your belly while patting your head requires?
To someone of tender years, this may seem so, but according to this triumphant publication on the subject, needn't be the case.  This writing not only gives the definition of a "blurt", but tells of its' healthier above mentioned alternative. Read it to your child today and help them to help themselves and avoid unnecessary trouble that comes from thoughtless speech.

Travelling SEEDS....written by Rebecca Bielawski

This is a remarkable piece of literature for young children that not only informs them about plantlife, but also about the digestive processes of cattle!
Should children be inclined to enjoy the outdoors instead of always being glued to an electronic or a video game, they will find an example to follow in the nameless girl narrator, who does the teaching in this book about seeds. She begins her narration by recounting how she was out looking for "cool things to do and see.."
If only all children would follow that course, who knows what scientific and unknown wonders they would encounter along the way!
This book also relates many ways that seeds get to various locations as the title suggests.
It is part of the Mummy Nature Series.
And yes, I do take sentence extension and comma placements to extreme levels.