children, parenting

Jilly’s Terrible Temper Tantrums and How She Outgrew Them


Author: Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D.
Illustrator: Jo Gershman
Publisher: Smart Love Press
Genre: Children / Parenting
ISBN: 978-0-9838664-1-1
Pages: 32
Price: $12.99

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Jilly is a happy kangaroo most of the time. But every once in a while she has a terrible temper tantrum. When she doesn’t get what she wants, she acts out in a big way. But mom and dad know how to talk to Jilly, as they attempt to calm her down. They offer her a hug and then reason with her demands. Jilly stops screaming and carrying on, and complies with their requests. Soon Jilly notices when she’s about to have a terrible temper tantrum, and runs to mom for a hug instead. She’s learned how to handle her frustrations on her own.

Jilly’s parents have adopted the Smart Love® approach to managing children’s behavior, which avoids both the negativity of discipline and the laxity of permissiveness. Jilly’s Terrible Temper Tantrums and How She Outgrew Them shows Jilly’s parents in action as they love her through her unacceptable behavior, serving as a model for both children and adults. This book would be a great resource for parents of young children.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, parenting

Miles is the Boss of His Body

Miles is the Boss of His Body
Authors: Samantha Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller
Illustrator: Valentina Ventimiglia
Publisher: The Mother Company
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-9894071-3-7
Pages: 32
Price: $12.95

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Miles is excited to be celebrating his 6th birthday, but he has no idea how frustrating the day will turn out to be. Grandpa pinches his cheeks as he wishes him a happy birthday. His brother, Scotty, gives him birthday noogies. Mom gives Miles an extra-tight squeeze. Dad lifts him high in the air. And baby Max grabs his shirt. But the thing that really set Miles off is getting a birthday tickle – from the birthday chicken!

Miles is really frustrated and sits his family down to listen to him. He explains that he doesn’t like being pinched, noogied, squeezed too tight, lifted up, grabbed, or tickled. Miles declares that he’s the “boss of his body” and stomps off to his room. But when mom comes to get him, she isn’t mad. Instead she tells him that she’s very proud of him for standing up for himself and not letting others touch him in ways he doesn’t like.

Kids don’t always understand that they don’t need to put up with inappropriate touching from others. Miles is the Boss of His Body shows them that they have the right to stand up for themselves, and even make a scene if necessary, to stop others from doing something they don’t like. I highly recommend this book for home and classrooms.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

art, creativity, parenting

The Artist’s Way for Parents

The Artist's Way For Parents
Author: Julia Cameron
Publisher: Tarcher
Genre: Creativity / Parenting
ISBN: 978-0-399-16372-2
Pages: 288
Price: $26.95

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The Artist’s Way is one of the best-selling and most helpful books on developing creativity. But a special book was needed to help parents teach their children to honor their own creative gifts. In The Artist’s Way for Parents, Julia Cameron shares some of the secrets she learned in being the parent of a creative daughter.

The basic structure of this volume is similar to other “Artist’s Way” books. Broken down into twelve chapters with headings such as Cultivating Curiosity, Cultivating Limits, and Cultivating Independence, Cameron explores sub-topics within this framework. An exercise for parents and/or children is included after each lesson. Familiar tools are utilized, such as morning pages and creative expeditions (artist’s dates) along with something new – sharing highlights of the day with your child.

Allowing a child to have a safe environment to create in is key to maximizing his highest potential. But this may not come naturally, and guidance from an expert can be helpful. If you want to nurture your child in exploring his creativity, The Artist’s Way for Parents would be a valuable resource. I highly recommend this book and the others in the “Artist’s Way” collection by Julia Cameron.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, health, parenting

Hugging Grandma

grandma
Author: Zina Kramer
Illustrator: Dave Messing
Publisher: Ferne Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-193391638-5
Pages: 32
Price: $12.95

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Grandma Sylvia is so much fun to play with. She cooks wonderful soup, plays Store, and always has nice things to say about her granddaughter. But now Grandma doesn’t always remember her anymore.

Grandma has Alzheimer’s Disease, and her granddaughter doesn’t understand what’s wrong. She misses the grandmother she used to know. Her mom explains this debilitating disease, and shows her what she can do to help her grandmother.

Children love their grandparents and enjoy a rare and special bond. So when a grandparent starts acting strangely, kids can feel confused and wonder why they’ve changed. Hugging Grandma demonstrates how kids can relate to their grandparent in a new way.

Zina Kramer and Dave Messing portray a warm and loving family environment, where grandma is accepted and loved just as she is. I highly recommend this sensitive and well-written story for any family suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, health, parenting

The Little Elephant With the Big Earache

elephant
Author: Charlotte Cowan, M.D.
Illustrator: Elaine Garvin
Publisher: Hippocratic Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 0-9753516-0-5
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95

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Eddie the elephant is excited that his birthday party is coming up. But a few days before the big event, his ear starts to hurt and he can’t sleep.

Eddie needs to visit Dr. Hippo, and he’s scared. But Dr. Hippo is gentle and kind, and soon determines what’s causing the pain in Eddie’s ear. Eddie receives the proper treatment, and gets well quickly enough to celebrate his birthday and participate in the mud sculpture contest.

The Little Elephant With the Big Earache is adorably illustrated by Elaine Garvin, and also includes a guide for parents in understanding ear infections and how they’re treated. I highly recommend this cute and informative story for all families with young children.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, health, parenting

Katie Caught a Cold

katie
Author: Charlotte Cowan, M.D.
Illustrator: Katy Bratun
Publisher: Hippocratic Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 0-9753516-3-X
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95

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Katie the polar bear is excited to be skating in the Ice Show. But a few days before the big event, she comes down with a cold. She doesn’t have a fever, but she’s sneezing a lot. Will she be better soon so she can skate?

In Katie Caught a Cold, Dr. Cowan shows kids and parents the best way to treat a common cold. She explains why antibiotics are almost always unnecessary and over-the-counter medications don’t help. Her advice for a quick recovery is rest and fluids.

The story is beautifully illustrated by Katy Bratun, and also includes a guide for parents in conquering the common cold. I highly recommend this cute and informative story for all families with young children.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

parenting, teen

The Lake That Stole Children

lake
Author: Douglas Glenn Clark
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Fable
ISBN: 978-1438243580
Pages: 50
Price: $6.25

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The fisherman knows only discipline and strict obedience in raising his two children. Although his son also wants to fish in the river, he is repeatedly denied his heart’s desire. Until one night he goes against his father’s wishes and faces the river by himself.

The lake claims the son, who joins other children inside a large glass fish. Their common bond is sadness, and the adults on the shore don’t want to face their part in the children’s disappearances. But the fisherman wants his son back, and he’s brave enough to face the glass fish.

Written in fable style, The Lake That Stole Children shows us many facets of our emotions and personalities. In this tale, the father recognizes his own limitations, and makes positive changes as a result of losing his son. And in seeing his father change, the boy grows up learning how to be a better father.

While the author intended this story to be a harrowing thriller for young adults, I didn’t feel there was enough action to grab the teen audience. But as a short story for adults, it packed a powerful message. Parents always need to be aware of their kids’ emotions before they disappear into their sadness, lost to us forever.

Reviewer: Alice Berger