Inaugural Reading for Kids
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
If your children are anything like mine they have probably watched thousands of hours of political coverage from the beginning of the presidential election to today and have heard the countless conversations you've had about this historic election with friends, family, and, yes, even strangers.
My girls are 10 and 8 and I often wonder how much they're really soaking in. Sure, they know Barack Obama is the first black president, but do they really get it? Sometimes I quiz them to see how much they're absorbing about how unprecedented this election was and they always say the right things, but they do not feel the moment like those of us who can really understand, and how could they? They were born in a time when racism isn't as "out there" as it once was. Heck, I was born in a time when racism wasn't as "out there" as it once was.
I want my daughters to fully understand the importance of this day and Barack's presidency, that is why I am so delighted Penguin sent Barack Obama: United States President. It is an updated and expanded children's book that was originally published in 2007 and was a New York Times Best Seller. Written for children ages 6-8, Barack Obama: United States President: Updated and Expanded provides an impressive account of Barack's upbringing, his college years, his early years with Michelle, his launch into politics, his time running for president, and caps off with his astonishing presidential victory.
Barack Obama: United States President is a book that should honestly be in every child's book collection. It will help them gain a greater grasp of the importance of this day and of the brilliance of Barack Obama. Sometimes a book with illustrations and photographs can tell a story far better than any explanation on our part will ever do. Roberta Edwards' writing is on point and thorough, and very understandable for young children. Plus, I appreciate that Penguin published this book back in 2007 when *now* President Obama was just a rising star in politics, so this is one book that was not hastily thrown together to capitalize on this day.
BUY Barack Obama: United States President: Updated and Expanded ($4.99)
-- Jennifer James, Editor
Book Review: The New Mom's Guide to Your Body After Baby
Monday, January 19, 2009
It is such a treat to receive books that are real gems. You know instinctively when you read a new book that you will either skim through it and rarely, if ever, pick it up, or if you will read it time and time again. Believe us when we say: The New Mom's Guide to Your Body After Baby is a book you will read, appreciate, and recommend countless times to your girlfriends.
The New Mom's Guide to Your Body After Baby is a pocket-sized masterpiece full of real-life wisdom for moms who have just given birth. There is no sugarcoating going on in Your Body After Baby. Susan Wallace and Monica Reed, MD tell it like it is from passing blood clots after giving birth, to forgetting large portions of what went on during a C-section, to the agonizing pain of uterine contractions when your uterus is reshaping itself after birth. They don’t miss a beat. Your Body After Baby is a book that you will truly and honestly appreciate because the authors tell you exact details about how your body transitions after you have finally come home from the hospital. Susan and Monica understand that authentic, "no holds bar" information is what moms, especially new moms, need because it is sheer hell trying to figure it out on your own.
When you are going to all of those baby showers this spring, make sure to drop Your Body After Baby in a gift bag. At $8.99, it's a real steal. The expectant mom will thank you, but only after she's gotten into the swing of new motherhood.
Red: Teenage Girls Show They Have Character After All
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Young people are really inspiring when they put their minds to it. Sometimes, if you take a quick glance at their pop culture idols and fads you're literally scared to death for the future. And just when you think all is lost you're surprisingly reminded that teenagers are making their way in the world just like we did, and a great many of them do have a solid head on their shoulders, even if you can't see intelligence through their tats and skin-tight jeans.
Recently reading Red: Teenage Girls in America Write on What Fires Up Their Lives Today, I was, quite frankly, shocked at how talented these girls are. Their sentence structure is impeccable (OK, I know that's what a good editor does), but the overall themes and stories are poignant and have real depth. The writers in Red do indeed have stories to tell, real stories, and they all aren't about boyfriends and going to the mall. These young girls have strong opinions and the gumption to pen moving essays about their lives in ways only they can share.
Red is actually a great read for adults, too. Pick up a copy and you'll instantly be put at ease. You'll no longer fret that in thirty years our country will be going to hell in a hand-basket. These kids are smart and it shows through their writing.
- Jennifer James, Editor
Sleep is for the Weak: Brilliant Essays, One-Dimemsional
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Seventy-five years from now when our granddaughters are tracing the history of mom blogs, undoubtedly they will clamor to Sleep Is for the Weak: The Best of the Mommybloggers Including Amalah, Finslippy, Fussy, Woulda Coulda Shoulda, Mom-101, and More! (Blogher Book), edited by Rita Arens as their ubiquitous starting point. They will hail it as the first anthology specifically about mommyblogging and it will forever deserve its rightful place in history as one of the first instances when mom blogs became tangible.
The mom bloggers whose writing is featured in Sleep is for the Weak are without question the cream of the crop in the rapidly expanding world of mommyblogging. Their names and online handles are perpetually on the link lists of devoted fans, and when new moms join the ranks of mom bloggers they quickly realize that, yes, these moms are the ones who started it all. They are the ones who blogged before free products dazzled the socks off moms, before ad dollars could pay for vacations and months worth of daycare, and before moms turned blogging into full-time jobs. These moms are the early pioneers. And it shows.
The mom bloggers whose brilliant essays are featured in Sleep is for the Weak from Amalah to Jenny Lauck, are popular because they are, quite frankly, exceptionally talented writers who have the innate ability to string words together into powerful posts that deeply resonate with their legion of loyal readers. It's not an easy feat, to be sure. In fact, it rings difficult to be a capable writer of any sort, especially one with a baby in one arm and a screaming toddler in the other.
Despite the solid, well-written essays in Sleep is for the Weak, I couldn't help but notice how starkly one-dimensional the anthology is. Most of the essays collide into one big blur as if one mom blogger could have easily written them all. As a mom who has been blogging for five years I know that collectively mom bloggers are a diverse lot, with various backgrounds and a host of perspectives on motherhood and blogging. I just wish more colorful voices -- not necessarily based on race, but rather station in life -- were thrown into the contributors' mix to show our grandddaughters that in 2008 mommyblogging was a tightly-knit tapestry of varied maternal voices, not a cursory glance at one powerful niche within the community.
Buy Sleep Is for the Weak: The Best of the Mommybloggers Including Amalah, Finslippy, Fussy, Woulda Coulda Shoulda, Mom-101, and More! (Blogher Book)
-Jennifer James, Editor
The Hemingses of Monticello : An American Family
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I just have to say I really, really want to buy this book. I've read about The Hemingses of Monticello in Newsweek and in the New York Times and I just got finished watching the author Annette Gordon-Reid speak about it at the Library of Congress.
What's holding me back? At 800 pages I don't have time to devote to reading such a lengthy non-fiction tome. But, as a American history junkie I really want to sink my teeth into this book. What a dilemma! Knowing me I will buy it anyway and try to read it on and off for the next three months.
Anybody reading it or finished it yet? Worth buying?
- Jennifer James, Editor
I want to preface this book review by saying that neither one of my daughters has autism or autism spectrum disorder, but as I delved deeper into Hope for the Autism Spectrum I found myself surprised by how riveted I became in Sally Kirk's moving story of living with a child who does indeed have the disorder and determined immediately that this is the book that I will recommend to anyone I run across who is dealing with autism on any level.
In Hope for the Autism Spectrum: A Mother and Son Journey of Insight and Biomedical Intervention, Sally Kirk lays everything on the table about the disorder and doesn't hold back detailing her experience discovering that her child had autism spectrum disorder and describes in laymen's terms the latest medical treatments and scientific advances to help improve the lives of children like her son.
Parents who begin seeing telltale signs of autism in their toddlers will find a refuge in this deeply personal tome of a family's life living with a child with autism spectrum disorder and a mother's incessant drive to help find the necessary help desperately needed by her son.
What makes Sally Kirk's story and extensive research so essential for children affected by this disorder is she looked at the underlying physical problems of her son and figured out ways to minimize his symptoms by altering his diet, using nutritional supplements, and staying away from heavy metals. All of Kirk's recommendations in her book are easy to understand and have minimal costs.
Every part of Sally Kirk's book is easy to understand and in reading it you will hear the reassurances of a parent seasoned in this disorder. Essentially, you will feel as though Kirk is tightly holding your hand throughout your own process of coming to terms with your child who may be showing signs of autism spectrum disorder or has already been diagnosed.
Hope for the Autism Spectrum is a book that should be on every family's shelf who is going through the early trials of autism as it will save them a lot of heartache. As its title suggests Hope for the Autism Spectrum does offer limitless hope for its readers, but beyond that Kirk's writing and tone throughout assure every bleary-eyed, seemingly defeated parent who is going through this disorder that the light is indeed bright at the end of the tunnel.
Buy Hope for the Autism Spectrum: A Mother and Son Journey of Insight and Biomedical Intervention
-Jennifer James, Editor
Prince's First Authorized Book, 21 Nights
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
On the Net: www.prince21nights.com
-Jennifer James, Editor
Women's Heath: Our Bodies, Ourselves
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
While Our Bodies, Ourselves has been out for some time, we think it is such an important book for women's health that we want to introduce it to you if you haven't heard of it before, or remind you how much you need it on you shelf. Our Bodies, Ourselves is an award-winning book chock full of important advice and information for women's health and sexuality.
HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL FIND INSIDE
- The first major revision since 1984
- First-ever companion website, including original content
- Myth or Reality? quizzes throughout the book
- Extended first-person stories from women of all ages and races
- More inclusive of the voices of younger women and immigrant women
WHAT MAKES OUR BODIES, OURSELVES DIFFERENT?
- Reflects the expertise of hundreds of health care professionals, lay activists, and ordinary women
- Independent of commercial pressures; organization does not take any money from pharmaceutical companies
- Based on the best, most up-to-date scientific evidence
- Has sold more than 4 million copies and has been translated into 18 languages; also available in Braille
October Parenting Books
Monday, September 29, 2008
There are a ton of parenting books being released this month. Here are a few that might interest you:
Starting Kids Off Right: How to Raise Confident Children Who Can Make Friends and Build Healthy Relationships
The Teen Whisperer: How to Break through the Silence and Secrecy of Teenage Life
When Harry Hit Sally: Understanding Your Child's Behaviour
The Baby in the Mirror: A Child's World from Birth to Three
Happy Families: Insights into the Art of Parenting in the 21st Century
Great Expectations: Twenty-Four True Stories about Childbirth
Juggling Twins: The Best Tips, Tricks, and Strategies from Pregnancy to the Toddler Years
Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents' Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers
Secrets of the Safety Goddess: A Modern Safety Guide for Busy Parents
Harlequin Launches New Nonfiction Division
Monday, September 22, 2008
We all know about Harlequin's infamous fiction books. You have probably picked up one of their countless titles off the book store shelf yourself. We know we have! Now, Harlequin is branching out into the nonfiction realm with new titles sure to be just as fascinating as their signature fiction titles.
Upcoming Titles from Harlequin nonfiction program include:
Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond. A collection of essays edited by Andrea N. Richesin about mothers and daughters, and featuring such well-known writers as Jacquelyn Mitchard, Karen Joy Fowler, Joyce Maynard and Susan Wiggs.
113 Things to Do By 13 by Brittany and Terri Macleod. This one-of-a-kind, celebrity-driven book is packed with lists, how-to's, the hottest stars and all things tweens should do, contemplate or gossip about before they hit the age of 13.
The Sugarless Plum by Zippora Karz. An inspirational memoir by former New York City Ballet dancer Zippora Karz about her years struggling to manage her type-1 diabetes and the demanding life of a ballerina.
Source: Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Recommended Podcast: Just One More Book
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
It is so refreshing to listen to adults who have a quantifiable passion for children's books. Children's books are magical on so many levels, from the imaginative stories they tell to the amazement in children's eyes when they read or hear an amazing story for the first time.
WOMAN! A Practical Guide To Loving The Skin You're In
Friday, August 29, 2008
It's true: Most women, especially moms, have brain damage. We've been assaulted for so long about what beauty is and isn't that we spend more time thinking about our flabby thighs than the wonderful people we are and the potential we all hold in our lives.
It's nice to have a reminder of how beautiful we really are inside and out, even though our stomachs may have stretch marks and are a little jiggly from having children.
Jackie Christie has written a book (December release) to help empower women to feel good about themselves as well as to instill confidence in them and their relationships. With woman facing so many issues dealing with fashion, beauty, self esteem and more, this "how to" guide will give easy-to-follow advice on how to overcome situations by self-motivation and determination. (source)
On the Net: www.jackiechristie.com
Must-Have Book for E-Commerce Newbies
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Everywhere you look most people have their hand in some sort of Web endeavor from authoring a personal blog to manning the ship of a full-fledged, e-commerce Web site. Scott Fox, the author of Internet Riches: The Simple Money-making Secrets of Online Millionaires, is a wizard when it comes to navigating the waters of e-commerce success. Consulting on Web sites for some of the biggest media personalities like Bill O'Reilly and Larry King, Scott Fox knows a thing or two about the specifics it takes to enter and succeed on the World Wide Web.
What I particularly like about Internet Riches: The Simple Money-making Secrets of Online Millionaires is it uncovers the tricks web aficionados know, but newbies would never discover until they've spent their last penny. If you want to really make headway with an online business without spending a fortune I suggest you buy this book, take notes, and use it as a map to build your e-business. Chances are there are secrets Scott Fox mentions that you wouldn't even think of and they will save you money over the long run.
Fox also gives examples of Web entrepreneurs who have made their sites successful and interviews them to get their personal take on what worked and what didn't. The brains behind sites such as SitterCity.com and BookSlut.com give interesting insights about how they were able to drive their Web sites to the top of their industry through hard work and a lot of Web smarts.
Internet Riches: The Simple Money-making Secrets of Online Millionaires is a quick read especially for those who have at least a rudimentary understanding of the Net. If you are an advanced web entrepreneur, most of the secrets Fox mentions you will probably already know. Nevertheless it is refreshing to hear the secrets again and implement them in creative ways to your own advantage. If you are a Web newbie, most of what Scott Fox writes about may be over your head at first, but he gives clear instructions on how to implement his tasks on the Net, so the learning curve is minimal, but the lessons are invaluable.
On the Net: www.scottfox.com.