Go-to read-aloud picture books

One thing I have learned as a parent is that every family has its own sense of humor. I have also learned that some children’s books you looked forward to reading to your own children aren’t always as awesome as you remembered them. Continue reading “Go-to read-aloud picture books”

Tricky books

An amazingly wide range of questions come across our library information desks, I’m sure every librarian has their favorites. My current favorite was from an earnest young man of around seven years of age who was interested in “tricky books.” I tried to show him magic books with no satisfaction. Of course there just isn’t a clear way to find those books full of sneaky tricks that little boys need to play on their friends and families…..or is there?

While I wasn’t able to find anything right away to help my young patron (much to his mother’s relief), later after poking around, I started finding some terrific books, targeted right at the adventuresome young man (or woman) in your life: Continue reading “Tricky books”

Make Learning Fun and Keep the Mind Young

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” ~Henry Ford

With school in full swing, maybe your child is having difficulty with a subject, or perhaps you want to explore an interesting topic together. The library has a wide array of materials that will help make learning fun.

Art Up Close is a book is for all ages. Learn to appreciate art with this big colorful book of world famous art. The author takes snapshots of small details, so young ones have fun searching the images while they learn about history and culture.

Discovering the natural world is exciting with Time for Kids Science Scoops and National Geographic Kids. Learn about creatures that used to roam the earth in Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs, and natural disasters in Volcanoes! Then, watch the fascinating Disney Nature videos Migration, Predator and Prey and Oceans. Continue reading “Make Learning Fun and Keep the Mind Young”

Title Sparring

I am obsessed with book titles and how some really strange, overlong and obscure misnomers slip through the editing process. I have a bone to pick with these titles I recently found in a few minutes searching for self-help and do-it-yourself books on the library catalog. Great books with ambiguous titles can really put me off. Salut. En garde!

Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted: Boost Your Brain to Improve Your Weight, Skin, Heart, Energy and Focus, by Daniel Amen, 2010

Assaut: Brother Amen, please. If I could imagine my way into a size 6 I would!  I’ll just pop down to the UW and pick up a different brain…

                Also on health issues:

Outsmart Your Genes: How Understanding Your DNA Will Empower You to Protect Yourself Against Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Heart Diseases, Obesity and Many Other Conditions, by Brandon Colby

Coup Lancé: Many very smart PhD-types have studied DNA for years and not been able to “outsmart” genes.

The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight and Saving the Planet, by Alicia Silverstone

Coup passé: Perhaps the words “… and the Universe!” should be added to the title to make it even more emphatic.

How to Cheat at Gardening and Yard Work: Shameless Tricks for Growing Radically Simple Flowers, Veggies, Lawns, Landscaping and More, by Jeff Bredenberg

Fleché:   My kind of book, only I would rather read “How to Get Out of Gardening and Yard Work.”)

Also on working the land and living with nature:

One Magic Square: The Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3 Foot Square, by Lolo Houbein

Redoublement: I eat more than that.

The Homesteading Handbook: Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine and More, by Abibgail R. Gehring 

Croisé: Shades of the good old life; has it come around again?

Get me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank, by Randy Hutter Epstein

Coupé:  or, The Timeline of Pain?

                Also on childbirth:

                Birthing a Better Way: 12 Secrets for Natural Childbirth, by Kalena Cook

                Passé avant: I can think of lots of better ways…

                Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience, by Elizabeth Davis

Touché:  I wonder how many kids the author has.

I Brake for Meltdowns: How to Handle the Most Exasperating Behaviors of Your 2-to-5-year-old, by Michelle Nicholasen

Ballestra: See if your kids are as exasperating as the author’s!

                Also on parenting:

Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child’s Attitude, Behavior and Character in Five Days, by Kevin Leman

Changement de Rythme: Tempting, isn’t it?

Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool, by Hal Edward Runkel.

Phrases d’armes: What a concept! Do the kids get to scream?

Your Kids are Your Own Fault: A Guide for Raising Responsible, Productive Adults, by Larry Winget

Froissement: I don’t care for your tone, buster.


Books About New Sibs

If your family is expecting a new addition sometime soon, you may find yourself scrambling to help your first child cope with and understand the huge change coming their way.

When I was looking for picture books for my toddler about new babies, I was surprised how hard it was to find books that weren’t about how awful that was going to be (books about how much babies suck, for instance). There is no doubt that it is hard to be upstaged by a new baby, and the difficult feelings the older siblings undertake do need to be acknowledged and honored, but I really wanted to introduce the whole topic on a more positive note (you know, stories that didn’t involve throwing a cat in the crib). Continue reading “Books About New Sibs”