08 January 2012

Children's Book Review

No, David!No, David! by David Shannon

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Near the copyright information, the author's own words:
A few years ago, my mother sent me a book I made when I was a little boy. It was called No, David, and it was illustrated with drawings of David doing all sorts of things he wasn't supposed to do.  The text consisted entirely of the words "no" and "David." (They were the only words I knew how to spell.)  I thought it would be fun to do a remake celebrating those familiar variations of the universal "no" that we all hear while growing up.  Of course, "yes" is a wonderful word...but "yes" doesn't keep crayon off the living room wall.

In 1998, this book received the distinction of Caldecott Honor, but as an AP parent I find its content horrible.  After learning this book had been inspired by recollections from his own childhood, I sincerely feel sorry for the young David Shannon.  As a child, he seems to have been repeatedly chastised and punished instead of being redirected and modeled "good" behavior.

It's not very often that I am inclined to give a negative children's book review.  In most cases, if a child is reading, then it's a good thing! --right?  But, No, David! sends the wrong message to kids and to the parents and caregivers who may be reading the story with them.  Even my husband was appalled when my cousin's child brought this book to him for the two to read together.

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09 September 2011

Children's Book Review

Hands Are Not for Hitting / Las manos no son para pegar (Best Behavior) (Spanish Edition)Hands Are Not for Hitting / Las manos no son para pegar (Best Behavior) by Martine Agassi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a bilingual book featuring both English and Spanish text that both embraces diversity and teaches children not to hit others.  The book features activities that are appropriate to do with our hands and reminds little ones that hands are not for hitting with each turn of the page.  The book also includes a special message to caregivers that reminds them that spanking a child is not the solution to inappropriate behavior because it can both hurt and confuse a child who is trying to learn which behaviors are socially acceptable.

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25 April 2011

Life Doesn't Happen in a Vacuum

I was asked by a fellow co-worker earlier this month what I would do if I found out that I had been doing everything wrong.  (Ahhh....  Those pesky co-workers of mine!)  

If you recall, I posted a blog not too terribly long ago about the importance of spending time with like-minded people.  I believe it is very important for people to feel comfortable with their decisions and for those decisions to be reinforced and supported, rather than a person feeling the need to justify and defend every choice he or she makes in life.  But, it is also important to spend some time outside of one's comfort zone and for one's ideas and ways of doing things to be challenged.

I am constantly evaluating and re-evaluating what's going on around me.  Right now my world tends to revolve around my daughter and her needs --whether it's introducing her to a new food or shielding her from harmful things.  I read articles and search the web about various parenting topics, continue to attend La Leche League meetings (even though I think I may have this breastfeeding thing down pat), and have started attending Attachment Parenting meetings, as well.  I also bounce ideas off of some of those mainstream parents that work with me.

Diversity is more than a collection of differing opinions, lifestyles, and histories.  Diversity creates the opportunity for an individual's belief system to be tested and provides the groundwork for self-actualization, which requires higher thinking and problem-solving skills.  Bombardment with diversity may cause a person to reject old ideas and/or adopt new ones.  This isn't bad, so to speak, but it may not always be comfortable.

I never learned from a man who agreed with me.
~Robert Heinlein

So what did I tell that co-worker?

I simply told him that I would forgive myself for any short-comings and also remind myself that I had done the best I could do with the information I had at the time.  I told him that although my parenting style and the choices I have made with respect to my daughter may not be mainstream, they hardly come from out of left field.  There is a ton of research to support the decisions that I have made.  I also told him that I welcome most anyone to bring his or her ideas to the table for me to consider.  I'm not suggesting that I will change my ways, but I will listen to you and your suggestions.  Life doesn't happen in a vacuum.

24 April 2011

Children's Book Review

Quiero a mi papa Porque (I Love My Daddy Because English / Spanish edition)Quiero a mi papa Porque by Laurel Porter-Gaylord

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great board book for children aged 2 and younger.  I like it because it not only emphasizes the unique bond between fathers and their children using animal models, but also because it is a bilingual book that allows parents to include both Spanish and English grammar, vocabulary, and style in story time! ¡Que fant├ístico!  

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31 March 2011

Children's Book Review

Tails Are Not for PullingTails Are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great board book to teach young children about being gentle with companion animals.  There is also excellent information in the back cover written especially for adults to help reinforce a child's being kind to animals.

27 March 2011

Children's Book Review

I Love My Mommy Because...I Love My Mommy Because... by Laurel Porter-Gaylord

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great board book for children aged 2 and younger!  Shows similarities between animal mother/baby relationships and human mother/baby relationships.

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14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I absolutely love Valentine's Day!  That probably has more to do with my liking the heart motif and red being my favorite color than it does cupids and arrows, but Valentine's Day is a cause for celebration nonetheless!  And, having a daughter means I get to share my excitement about exchanging little valentines with her and her classmates at school.  So, what makes an appropriate Valentine's Day favor for the infant room at daycare? Boogie Wipes®!

There are lots of ages and stages in the infant room --my daughter's classmates range from 8 weeks to 10 months old.  But, pretty much every kiddo under the age of three has their fair share of runny noses.  It's like it goes with the territory or something.  This Valentine's Day I decided to put together age appropriate, cute, and fun favor bags --all for less than $2 each.  Here's how you can do it, too --for whatever holiday your daycare class is celebrating next!

Holiday Favor Bags for Infants

Drawstring Favor Bags (available from Hobby Lobby®)
Decorative Packing Shred *or* Tissue Paper Squares ( 3" x 3" )
Individually Wrapped Boogie Wipes®
Special Holiday Message, printed and cut from plain paper

Place a small amount of packing shred into the favor bag.  Then, add two individually wrapped Boogie Wipes®.  For variety, I included one grape scented and one fresh scented wipe in each of my favor bags. Next, add your special holiday message such as, "Roses are RED! Violets are BLUE! Here are two Boogie Wipes® just for YOU!"  Top it off with a little more packing shred.  Pull the drawstring on the favor bag and tie it tight.  Voila! Easy, but oh-so-cute!  If you decide to use tissue paper, then use two or three 3" x 3" squares on bottom and one square on top.  Use the tissue paper in the same way you would add tissue to a gift bag.