Picture Book Sunday: My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić

My Family Tree and Me by Dušan Petričić (Kids Can Press, April 2015) has zany illustrations and a creative twist on the entire “family tree” metaphor for family history.

The colorful family tree the author has illustrated represents people back to his great-great-grandfather on both sides. One side of the book portrays his father’s family, and the back of the book (going left toward the middle) portrays his mother’s side of the family. I love how the middle of the book brings both sides of the family together. For each generation, the previous generation is lightly sketched on a picture behind them, so the reader can easily compare the child to the parent: what does the younger generation carry over from the older generation? Noses, eyes, ears, and hair color are easily recognized as similar.Continue Reading

Picture Book Sunday: The Red Bicycle

The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella and illustrated by Simone Shin (Kids Can Press, March 2015) tells the story of a red bicyle, from the day Leo earns the money to buy it until  the day it is taken apart and shipped to Africa, where it changes the life of a poor child. Big Red (as the bike is affectionately is called) has many more “lives” in Burkina Faso, including become an ambulance dragging injured people to a distant hospital. Continue Reading

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kills Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (originally published in 1980) is a classic parenting book for resolving conflicts between parents and children. The authors encourage parents to give children a scaffold with which to approach the world about them. Although it is a dated book, I still found many of the suggested conversation techniques and parenting reminders to be perfectly relevant to my day.Continue Reading

The Princess Problem by Rebecca Hains

The Princess Problem by Rebecca Hains (Sourcebooks, September 1, 2014) focuses on the issues surrounding the princess culture so rampant in our nation among the youngest of girls. Ms. Hains focuses on the problem with  an emphasis on princesses among young girls, the issues of what is portrayed in the popular princess movies, and what parents can do to help negate the negative affects of the abundance of princess culture in a young child’s life.Continue Reading