The Teacher is Talking: Summer Break

By Leslie Lindsay

It’s SUMMER BREAK…and this “teacher” has gone fishin’. Okay, more like stumbling around the rocky ruins of Ireland.

So, this is my last post on Tuesdays till mid-late September.

If you’re interested in back-to-school ideas, routines, etc. there are plenty of archived articles on this site, as well as my sister site, http://www.leslielindsay.com. Just type in your back-to-school questions, concerns, woes, worries in the “search” field and boom-bang-wow–you’re sure to find plenty, including tips on apraxia and school.

In September, we’ll be launching some new blog categories/topics:

  • “The ADDed benefits of AD/HD” to run on Tuesdays (late October-November)
  • “Team Talk Tuesday” about the stressors and pressures of team sports, but also the benefits of a competitive team sport.

Till then…see ya in September!

[Gone Fishin’ image retrieved from og.typepad.com on 6.28.14]

 

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The Teacher is Talking: All About…cringe…Periods

By Leslie Lindsay

Just the other night, as I was tucking my little redhead in bed, I commented on the color and texture of her hair, “It looks like your hair is getting a little darker and wavier as you get older.”  (A whole 7.6 years, mind you). She shrugged a bit and said, very matter-of-factly, “Is that because of my period?”

“Your what?!” I choked out.

“My period,” her blue eyes stared back at my own. She was dead serious.

“No, no, no…you don’t have a period, silly.  You’re way too young. And your hair really has nothing to do with it.”

“Oh. Okay.”

If you recall, earlier this summer, I was shocked to find my daughters–who live a very normal, unprecocious life–putting their Barbies in compromising positions, saying they were “making sex.” Again, I about coughed up my dinner. Art, Barbie Sex, Step Dance Recital 2014 043

And promptly ordered THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU (American Girl books, Pleasant Company Publishing). We began reading and discussing this very G-rated book as a family before bedtime. Things like how to stay clean, what to eat, how to exercise…and yes, how your body will begin to change.

The word ‘puberty’ has come up. So has ‘your period.’ In all honesty, I’m thankful she’s hearing it all for the first time in her soft pink-and-green-stuffed-animal-filled bedroom with mom, dad, and big sister sitting nearby, sometimes the aforementioned basset hound.

Could she have gotten the words ‘puberty’ and ‘period’ switched? Sure. Does puberty affect hair? You bet. But, we’re so not there. Seven, remember?

Reading this book now has been a good move, parent-wise because the way I’ve always heard it, “the talk” should come in bits and pieces, not all at once. It also shouldn’t come on the very day of say, that first period. A little heads-up won’t hurt, right?

Just to illustrate further, my writing critique partner helped her daughter shave under her arms recently. It was a battle. A ticklish one, at that. Her response afterwards, “Gee, I really should have talked with her about these things sooner.”

Okay, so I’m not a freak for reading a body book to my 7-year old and her big sister. Well, the jury is still out.

She is also aware of how different kids develop at different rates. One just has to look at the population of middle school to understand that. Our response, “Everyone has a unique body, and it develops at different rates. There is no race or competition; we all get there in the end.”

Solid advice for life, right?

And then I came across this video that I find absolutely hilarious. In fact, we just may do a little something like this when the time comes. Wink, wink.

http://blog.petflow.com/this-girl-faked-her-period-and-got-what-she-deserved/

That’s it…class dismissed! Till next time.

[image source from inside THE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU retrieved from www.americangirlpublishing.com on 6.28.14]

 

 

The Teacher is Talking: Helping Kids Cope with Pet Loss

By Leslie Lindsay

We have this lovely senior basset hound. She is adorable with her perfect tri-color spots, the white-tipped tail, the droopy ears that feel just like silk, and the massive paws attached to her stubby, thick-boned legs.

We are all wild about Sally Mae. Especially well, me. And the 7 year old who says she’ll be a “doggie doctor” since she could utter the words.

But she’s not gonna last forever. The dog, that is. (And if you want to get techinical, neither is the girl…but we’re so not going there).

Sniff.

Just recently, at 12+ years, Sally Mae developed high blood pressure. Wait–how can a basset hound have high blood pressure? I mean, really–she’s slow, cute, and floppy. Just looking at her makes my BP drop. But she has it.

A year ago, she lost the sight in her right eye due to glaucoma.

And now they say she’s spilling protein in her urine which leads the vet to believe there’s some kidney involvement (hence the high blood pressure).

ACE inhibitors, blood pressure medication, and steroid eye drops. Medication three times a day.

Sniff. Sniff.

But she’s happy as a lark. She wants to be with her “pack” at all costs, even if it means lumbering her hefty little body up the stairs to the second floor to listen to bedtime stories with that seven year old and her big sister. She still begs for bones in the backyard, and scampers around the house when she “thinks” it’s time for a walk.

So, one day when I was particularly worried about Sally, on the phone with the vet…that seven year old overheard my conversation. When I finished the call, set the phone down and faced my daughter, I told her: “Sally is an old dog. She’s probably not going to  get better. It’s just what happens. We can help her, though by giving  her medication and lots of love.”

“Can we just stop talking about this?” she said.

“Of course.”

“Because when Sally dies, I’m gonna cry the whole day. I love that dog.”

“I know. Me, too.”

Sniff. Sniff. Sob. WP_20131215_004

And so what can we do when the day comes?

  • Understand the loss is very real. Even though Sally wasn’t a “person,” she was (is!) a member of the family.
  • Feel the hurt. Shrugging and dismissing the whole thing is counterprodutive. Parents–it’s okay to share/show your grief with your child, too.
  • Let kids know. Tell them something like, “Sally won’t be in our daily lives anymore, but she will be in our memory.”
  • Let kids talk. They will have feelings like anger, sadness, hurt, lonliness, maybe even confusion. What death is and what the afterlife is all about is confusing to adults, what must our kids think? Talk about it.
  • Let kids participate. Discuss what should be done about your pet’s toys, her food bowls, collar. Should we have her photo displayed? Where? Do we have a funeral ceremony?
  • Let the school know. It’s summer now, so if your child is in day camp, their counselor should know. If the death occurs during the school year, it’s worth mentioning to the classroom teacher.
  • Let kids use rituals to work through grief. Share photos, draw photos of your pet, save a special object (collar) and display it in a special place. Write a letter or play. Act one out. Plant flowers. Bake dog (cat)-shaped cookies. Write and share a poem about your pet, create a memory book/box/frame. Make or purchase a pet memorial stone or plaque. Send off a balloon.

Finally, caring adults ought to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of grief. They are typcial reactions that help normalize thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They’re perfectly normal. BUT, if they become too intense, or you worry, it may be time to seek professional advice. Here they are:

  • Crying
  • Regression
  • Withdrawl
  • Nightmares
  • AngerWP_20131204_002
  • Tiredness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Isolation
  • Stomachaches/headaches
  • A need to tell and retell the story. Over and over sometimes.
  • Speaks of the loved pet in present tense
  • Excessive worry about death and dying

For now, hug your sweetie and count your blessings.

That’s it…class dismissed! cropped-9781606130612.jpg

The Teacher is Talking: About SEX!

By Leslie Lindsay

Just this past week, as I leisurely strolled past the pile of Barbies in the basement playroom, I caught a glimpse of Ken straddling Barbie, both plastic faces beaming with, what…ecstasy?  I cringed, then giggled. And then snapped this photo (see below). Maybe it was just an accident the dolls were placed this way in the fit to hurryandcleanup.

I didn’t think much more about it till we were at the pediatrician’s office a few days later. Dr. Flais neutrally asked, “Have you read THE CARE & KEEPING OF YOU?”

“Uh…no. But we’re pretty open about these things at our house. We’re answering questions in a straight-forward manner with the proper anatomical terms.”

“Well, I’d get the book anyway. Puberty is on the horizon.”

Mom in denial note: No it’s not. I just stopped changing this kid’s diapers–what–8 years ago–there’s no way she needs to read a body book.

Later, we were talking about how important sun screen is now that it’s summer. My fair-skinned redheaded girls have been victim to the sun’s strong rays since they popped out, and they know this. Reminders can’t hurt. “We know mom–skin cancer!”

“Mom? What’s breast cancer?” Giggles ensued. [Note: not a laughing matter].

I explained. We talked about breast self-exams to which my oldest promptly lifted her shirt and pressed on her “booby buttons,” looking for anything suspicious.  Trust me, the only thing suspious is she thinks she has boobs. Puberty is so not on the horizon.

But could it be?!

Better to be prepared, than not. What if something were to happen while mom was away? Would dad know what to do? Would the girls feel comfortable going to him for–uh–supplies? Back when things happened with me, my mom had recently gone through a hysterectomy and we had nothing on hand. What if I stocked the bathroom cabinets with teen pads and let the girls know they are there for “when the time comes?”

Oh wait–just this past March, the kid found some “supplies” in a linen closet and painted silver and propped up as ski poles for the aforementioned Barbies. She strung them together and created a festive garland for the Barbie Dreamhouse.Art, Barbie Sex, Step Dance Recital 2014 043

I can only imagine what she’d do with the teen Always.  Whitewater rafts? Shoulder pads?

No, puberty is so not on the horizon.  

Awhile back, she climbed a fence. Afterwards, we asked, “How did you get in there [that field]?”

“Oh…I just hopped over the fence! But dad…you would seriously hurt your va-wee-wee.”

So much for using those anatomical terms we vowed to use.

For more information, please see these resources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-bogle/the-sudden-need-for-a-4th-grade-sex-talk_b_5411530.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000020&ir=Education

  • THE CARE & KEEPING OF YOU: Body Book for Younger Girls. American Girl/Pleasant Company Publications. Available thru various vendors, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, eBay, etc.
  • MY GIRL movie starring Dan Ackroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis has several “grown-up” themes that make for a good discussion with your family, including life & death, friendship, adult/parent dating, menstration.
  • Be open and honest. Answer with straight-forward answers without giving more detail than asked. In other words, don’t offer more.

That’s it…class dismissed!

cropped-9781606130612.jpg

 

 

The Teacher is Talking Tuesday: The Value of the Swingset

By Leslie Lindsay

I don’t know about you, but I have about a million and eight memories on my childhood swingset. Juicy, sticky twin-pops running orange and cheery and grape flavored sugar water down my wrists and puddling in that little space on the other side of my elbow. Of course there was the putting the damn thing together, a project in which I heard my dad curse for the first time, the metal parts lined up a jumble that no man could disentangle.

“Don’t ever say that word,” he cautioned.

“Oh? Okay.” I didn’t even know what gosh-dang-it, or rumpy-pumpy-poo-poo-head meant, but it didn’t sound good. Note to self: don’t put together a swing set lest you’ll spew out words that make no sense.

I recall swinging back and forth on the double-sided glider thing-y and feeling like the whole swing set would pull right out of the ground and topple over because we had two kids and a fat kid on one side and just a skinny pole-like kid on the other. Balance. All things in balance.

Skipping rungs across the monkey bars did not yield me a monkey, but a cripple. Yes, I twisted down, slapped my forearm on the base of the swing set and–bam–broke my arm. These were the days of heavy plaster casts, mind you and it was the summer I was five. No more swimming or sprinkers for me, and certainly not monkey bars. And when the cast came off, my arm was atrophied, extra-white and smelly. Yes, a lovely dead smell wafted from my monkey arm.

But I got some cool signatures and drawings on that cast, most of them from my parents and Cabbage Patch dolls.

When I was little–really little–I taught myself the ABCs while pumping my little cable-knit knee-highs up and down; it was then that I learned lmnop was really one word, one really long and silly word.

Creating a water slide using a hose at the top of the metal and allowing it to rest at the top, the water pouring from the hose down the side of the slide and into the baby pool at the bottom: dumb. The rungs get wet, slick feet do not grip, wedgies ensue. And the ride down: nothing like it was at Wet-Willies.

But here’s the thing: there are a lot of lessons to be learned on the swing set:

  • Life is all about balance
  • And sweet things. Or at least looking for the sweetness as it drips from your blood, sweat, and tears (or, your twinpop)
  • Bad words are bad. They are a disturbing noise to hear from your father’s lips and they are even more disgusting from a child’s.
  • Water makes life delicate. Use with caution.
  • Don’t show off, lest you break a bone and get a smelly arm. And who wants that?!
  • The alphabet is only a series of 26 letters which allows human beings with a properly functioning prefrontal cortex to create an infinite number of words and phrases, stories and songs, and a fantastically satisfying way to express ourselves to the world. And that may be the best lesson of the swing set yet.

That’s it…class dismissed!

[This post inspired by a passage in THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green (2012). See page 124 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fault_in_Our_Stars, swing set image retrieved from www.paradisoagencies.com on 5.27.14]

 

The Teacher is Talking: Prepping for College with Special Guest Dr. Melissa Deuter

By Leslie Lindsay

Ooh! What fun–I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Melissa Deuter, an expert in emerging adults. In my opinion, this is an often under-represented subset of the population, yet these young adults need just as much direction, love, and care as our younger kiddos.

If you are parenting elementary-junior high kids, please take time to read this article–and dare I say–chat about it at dinner tonight? Get your younger children’s input and consider slipping some of their answers in a time-capsule and then re-evaluating when they are ready to go off to college.

Okay…take it away, Dr. Deuter!

5 Things To Discuss Before Your Teen Heads Off To College

Communication between college students and parents is key. Here are five important things to talk about before your teen leaves home:

 1) The Budget

One of the biggest potential sources of family conflict is the college student budget. Whether you are funding your child’s education, or expecting him to come up with the money himself, your child will need to be on the same page. If your financial assistance will be limited, it’s important to explain what help you can provide and how it will be distributed. Plan to deposit five hundred dollars a month to help out? Say so. Don’t expect your child to intuit your financial plan.

Parents often promise to pay for college in full, but may not define their expectations clearly. Maybe you have been saving since your child was a toddler, but how to you plan to disperse the funds? What if the savings won’t be enough to cover living expenses all four years? Paying for college extends well beyond tuition.

Points to consider:

  •  Who will pay living expenses? Will those be paid directly by parents, or will money be deposited in an account for the student to use to pay bills him/herself?
  •  How will food, transportation, and clothing be paid for?
  •  What about the cell phone?
  •  Will parents pay for health care?
  •  Who will pay for extras?

 2) The Timeline

College isn’t always four years of coursework. Some students extend time in college because their programs last five or more years. Some change majors. Others take it slowly for the first couple of years.

If your plan is to fund college for your child, does your strategy take these things in to account? Is there a time limit to your financial support? How about your patience? Are you prepared to pull the plug if your child is on the seven-year plan? If so, maybe she needs to hear your thoughts ahead of time, so she can find a part time job or pick up the pace.

3) Crisis Situations

Medical or mental health crisis: Record numbers of college students are seeking mental health support according to recently published studies. Common mental health related causes for leaving college include: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, excessive drinking, and drug use. Are there medical or psychiatric issues that might prevent your college student from completing school uninterrupted? If so, under what circumstances might you need to bring him home? Does he know when to ask for your help?

Academic Crisis: Do you have a plan for failing college grades? Most paying parents won’t want to continue writing checks unless kids are producing passing grades. Have you discussed your views with your soon to be college student?

4) Breaks From School

Some parents express frustration when kids arrive back home during college breaks, dump their laundry next to the washing machine, and flop down into bed for the duration of the school break. If your son or daughter is home on break, do you expect him or her to help around the house? Work a summer job? Be up and at ‘em by nine every morning and in bed before midnight? Whatever your expectations, be certain to spell them out before the first academic break begins.

5) Plan B

Recent statistics estimate that almost half of college enrollees drop out before completing a degree. No parent sends a kid to college hoping she’ll drop out, but with estimated dropout rates so high, all parents and new college students should discuss alternative strategies in case college doesn’t work out.

If you choose to discuss this article with your children, here are some great talking points from Dr. Deuter: 

  • Failure to Launch: why young people struggle during the transitional stage?
  • When to begin preparing your child (and yourself) for adulthood
  • When does adulthood truly begin? Hints from brain science and sociology
  • How parents can help vs. enable their struggling teens/young adults
  • Diagnosing mental disorders: bipolar, anxiety disorder, ADHD – and why psychiatry should be diagnosing more people with nothing at all
  • The growing prescription drug problem in the United States
  • Why many psychological problems are born into families, and why no one is to blame
Photo

Bio: Dr. Melissa Deuter is a psychiatrist in San Antonio, TX who specializes in the care of emerging adults. www.MelissaDeuter.com; @MStenDeut. Recent reports place the U.S. college drop-out rate at 46 percent—just one of the many issues that send parents flocking to the offices of Dr. Melissa Deuter, looking for a solution to their teen’s “failure to launch.” Dr. Deuter currently holds an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and is the course director for the resident training seminar on Eating Disorders. In previous years, she directed the course on Sexuality and Sexual Development. She is the former President of the Bexar County Psychiatric Society and a current member of the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians Ethics Council and the South Texas Psychiatric Physicians Research Network’s Executive Committee. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She completed psychiatry residency at UTHSCSA and served as Chief Resident in 2004. She has been recognized as a San Antonio’s “Top Doctor” and a “Best of” doctor, a Texas Super Doctor’s “Rising Star,” and has received the American Registry “Patient’s Choice Award.”

[college studnet image retrieved from www.theprospect.net on 5.20.14. M.D. image retrieved from plus.google.com on 5.20.14]

The Teacher is Talking: Who’s Your Giant with Book Give-a-Way

By Leslie Lindsay Product Details

I have a special guest with us today–Clark Burbidge, author of the Mom’s Choice Award recipient GIANTS IN THE LAND.

We all have “giants” in our lives–parents, mentors, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, and employers–these folks profoundly change and uplift us…but do we acknowledge them like we should? And what about the giant we all have within ourselves?

Perhaps the overarching question is how can we give back? What does volunteer work teach the young, and the young-at-heart?

Oh…and I have a FREE hardcover book, (Book 1: The Way of Things” Giants in the LandI’ll be giving away to a lucky reader. Leave a comment on the blog and a name will be selected at random by the end of May 2014. Good luck! 8be2d-giveawayfinalbanner

Here’s Clark in his own words:

Learning to Give Back: Children and Service (Volunteering)
Clark Burbidge, author of Giants in the Land Trilogy, giantsinthelandbook.com

A lesson often overlooked in the growth of a child is the need to volunteer to help others or give back to the community. While sharing is usually stressed at school and in the home, we can overlook talking about the value of a child sharing their time and contributing work to make something or someone’s life better. This can teach a child to pay closer attention to the world around them and consider others more deeply. It can also help them learn to work in groups and follow rules given to complete a task. Most of all it teaches a child the value of placing others’ needs before their own.

Here are a few tips to help inspire your child to volunteer and become a role-model in your community:

1) Give them choices

Allowing your child to choose the type of service helps them take title and responsibility for their decisions and follow through. There are opportunities at food banks, animal shelters, schools and with neighbors. Having choices, and counselling with them as they make the final decision will empower your child from the very start.

2) Start out with something fun

Make sure that the opportunities you pick have an element of fun, so that your child can learn to love serving others and work up to the more difficult jobs. Working at an animal shelter by playing with the pets or taking the animals for a walk or helping an elderly neighbor with simple chores are examples of starting with something manageable and fun.

3) Serve side-by-side

Have you ever noticed it’s easier to get your child to do something if you offer to work together? Make sure that they’re not doing this alone. Support your child by volunteering with them and doing the same work that they do. A friendly presence and positive words will help the first few times volunteering fly by for your child. Long after they have forgotten the nature of the service they will remember that you did it with them. If you can’t volunteer with them, have your child volunteer with a friend. Having a parent or friend as a role model for their actions will inspire your child to work harder and continue to return.

4) Emphasize the benefits

Talk about the benefits of volunteering. Make sure that your child knows why they’re doing what they’re doing and the difference it will make for those served. Show them who their work is helping and talk about what their life would be like without the volunteer work. Help them to understand the difference between self-benefits which will surely be present and the benefits that others receive from the service. This perspective will bring a better understanding of compassion in a world that sometimes only talks about passion. Compassion is a much more powerful and uplifting characteristic and worthy of effort to develop.

8be2d-giveawayfinalbanner

And remember, if you’re interested in a receiving a complimentary hardbound copy of book #1 in THE GIANTS IN THE LAND trilogy, kindly leave a comment on the blog. A name will be selected at random by May 31, 2014. Good luck!

About the Author
Clark Burbidge received an MBA degree from the University of Southern California Clark+Burbidge+Photoand a BS degree in finance from the University of Utah. His career spans 34 years in banking, project finance, investment banking, and more recently as a Chief Financial Officer. He has been actively involved in community and church service, including lay youth and adult ministry, for over 38 years. His first book, Life on the Narrow Path: A Mountain Biker’s Guide to Spiritual Growth in Troubled Times was released nationally in 2011. His works A Piece of Silver: A Story of Christ (2012) and the Giants in the Land (2012 & 2013) Young Adult Fiction trilogy Books One and Two have been recognized with several international awards including Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medals as the top books in the world in their categories. Learn more about Clark at his websites: http://www.giantsinthelandbook.com and http://www.apieceofsilver.com. [cover image retrieved from Amazon.com on 5.6.14]

The Teacher is Talking: Spring Reads

By Leslie Lindsay

Here’s hoping it’s spring–like in your neck of the woods! Here in Chicagoland we just got a dusting of snow as the temps plummeted from 77 on Saturday to 38 Monday. But not to fear, because we’re bringing a little burst of spring to you in this whimisical little book, FLIP, FLOAT, FLY by JoAnn Early Macken.Product Details

What a darling, poetic read which truly brings seeds to life for young kids–and caregivers! The text is crisp, rhymically enthralling, and a joy to read. Words like scamper, scurry, and scatter fill the pages as one sees how a tiny seed travels from point A to B and utimately becomes a flower.

FLIP, FLOAT, FLY can be used as teaching tool with kids of all ages, even the youngest kiddos with apraxia can benefit. It may be too soon in your area for the puffs of dandelions, but if by chance, you have them, by all means head outside with your little one, pluck a dandelion and blow the cottony mass. Can your child say, “puff?” Can’t find a dandelion? Have you got a cotton swab and straw at home? Lie the cotton ball on a table and have your child blow into the straw, pushing the cotton ball/dandelion head around. Puff! 

Other ideas:

  • Head to the store and allow your child to select several packets of seeds. Talk about the flowers they will grow into. Open the packets up once you’re home. Look at how different the seeds are from the plant they become. Compare and contrast seeds of different varieties. You may choose to plant the seeds, or perhaps you can make a collage or artwork out of them.
  • If you plant your seeds, you may consider starting them indoors in small Dixie cups. This will allow tiny seedlings to get stronger before they are in the earth. Maybe you’d like to invest in a small windowsill greenhouse. Watch, water, and see what happens. Have your child draw a picture of the steps involved, keep a garden journal of growth.
  • Planting outdoors is always fun! Make sure the threat of frost is gone in your area (for Chicagoland, they often say Mother’s Day is the best time), or shoot for Earth Day (April 22). Talk about the steps involved, introduce your child to new vocabularly, textures, and colors. Have him repeat them as best as he can.
  • Write your own FLIP, FLOAT, FLY. Create a small book by folding and stapling a few of paper together to create pages. You may choose to add your actual seed packets, draw your own, cut pictures of flowers/gardens, etc. from magazines and catalogs. Ask your child to say a few words about the picture(s) and then write the words down with her. Or, if she’s able, let her do it. toddler gardening

Most of all–have fun!  That’s it…class dismissed 🙂 For more infomation on kids and gardening, please see:

[Boy in garden image from http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/827275/kid-friendly-gardening-projects on 4.15.14. Book image from Amazon.com on 4.15.14. This is a book the author of this post owns. No financial gain to author of this post is made by featuring this title]

 

Fans of From Seed to Plant, a perennial seller by Gail Gibbons, will want this lushly illustrated picture book. A gust of wind lifes a maple seed, sending it spinning like a shiny green helicopter throught the sky. Where wil it land? From splashing away in a raindrop to scurrying with scampering squirrels to hitching rides on your sleeves and socks, seeds have many ingenious ways to traveling to new laces, growing roots, and beginning the cycle again.

 

The Teacher is Talking: Books about Books

By Leslie Lindsay

I read a lot. Grown-up fiction? You bet. The backs of cereal boxes? Guilty. Just about anything with written text in a language I understand? Totally.

But my absolute favorite part of the day is wrapping my arms around my girls and reading a children’s book. And I got to thinking, there are a lot of books about books. Sounds like a lovely combination, doesn’t it?

Here are a few of my favorites in children’s literature:

Product DetailsThe Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. By William Joyce.  This book, published in 2012 may very well be my favorite. The illustrations are rich, engaging, and offer a slightly vintage nostalgia everyone can appreciate. But the story itself is sweet, touching, and terribly moving. I love it. The book also inspired an academy-award winning short film that will bring the story to life for any reader. [Amazon Prime Members can see the video free, or purchase reasonably here. http://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Flying-Books-Morris-Lessmore/dp/B00EV6YJ9W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396369519&sr=8-2&keywords=Mr.+Morris+Lessmore%5D

Miss Dorothy and her Boookmobile, by Gloria Houston. When Dorothy was a little girl, she loved books and so she went to college to become a librarian. She married, left the Product Detailsbig city and lived in a rural area with little access to books. What did she do? Why she made her own bookmobile and eventually a small library. This sweet book shows the tenacity of one women’s desire to bring books to all and to share her love for the written word.

Rocket Learns to Read (2010) and Rocket Writes a Story Product Details(2012) by Tad Hillis are a complete package. First, Rocket must learn to read, which he does with the help of a sweet little bird. And then in book two, Rocket is so inspired he decides to write a book of his own. An adorable tale of learning, perseverance, and self-actualization. A winning combination!

A Story for Bear by Dennis Heasley. Oh my! This one is so sweet, thoughtful, and beautifully illustrated, one feels as if she’s right smack in the middle of the book. I absolutely adore the sentiment behind the love for books, the attention to nature and the way the author-illustrator have clearly teamed up to create this lovely story. While this is a picture book, it’s long and perhaps is best-suited for older children. My 3rd grader still loves it, and will study the illustrations for hours. Product Details

  • For more information and additional resources, please refer to the READ ALOUD Product DetailsHANDBOOK by Jim Trelease. It’s a gold-standard for parents and teachers alike who desire to share the written word with their children. In fact, research shows that continuing to read aloud to your children even after they can read on their own increases critical thinking skills, attention-span, vocabularly, and more. Select books that are just above your child’s natural reading level and make it a family tradition.
  • Just for grins and giggles, you may be intersted in taking this on-line quiz to determine which children’s book you are. I’m BAMBI. “Sweet and irresisitable and make people cry. A lot.” Not sure how true that is, but fun nonetheless!

http://www.playbuzz.com/naneah10/which-childrens-book-are-you

That’s it…Class dismissed!