Bergers Book Reviews

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

Author’s website
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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

October 19, 2016 Posted by | children, parenting | Leave a comment

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

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

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

November 5, 2013 Posted by | art, creativity, parenting | Leave a comment

Hugging Grandma

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

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

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

September 28, 2009 Posted by | children, health, parenting | Leave a comment

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

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

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

August 3, 2009 Posted by | children, health, parenting | Leave a comment

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

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

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

July 24, 2009 Posted by | children, health, parenting | Leave a comment

The Lake That Stole Children

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

Buy it at Amazon

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

July 8, 2009 Posted by | parenting, teen | Leave a comment

Peeper Has a Fever

peeper
Author: Charlotte Cowan, M.D.
Illustrator: Susan Banta
Publisher: Hippocratic Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 0-9753516-2-1
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Peeper really wants to go with his family to the big picnic, but he’s woken up with a 104F fever. After a call to Dr. Hippo, his mom says he needs to stay home, so his dad stays with him to keep him company. Keeping cool will make him feel better, so Peeper takes a bath and eats ice cream and popsicles. And since the diving contest is postponed, he recovers in time to participate.

Peeper Has a Fever is part of the Dr. Hippo series, designed to explain illnesses to children so they understand what’s happening to their bodies. This book shows us the stages of Peeper’s illness and how he gets better by taking his medicine, resting and cooling off.

In addition to the story, a guide for parents is included, which explains what to look for when a child has a fever, and how to handle it. I highly recommend this cute and informative story for all families with young children.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

June 24, 2009 Posted by | children, health, parenting | Leave a comment

Sadie’s Sore Throat

sadie
Author: Charlotte Cowan, M.D.
Illustrator: Katy Bratun
Publisher: Hippocratic Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 0-9753516-4-8
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Sadie the giraffe doesn’t feel well. Her throat is sore and her tummy hurts. And when her mom takes her temperature, she has a fever of 102F. It’s time for Sadie to visit Dr. Hippo to see what’s the matter. Dr. Hippo takes a throat culture, diagnoses the problem, and Sadie is soon all better. She even gets to go to the fair.

Sadie’s Sore Throat is part of the Dr. Hippo series, designed to explain illnesses to children so they understand what’s happening to their bodies. This book shows us the stages of Sadie’s illness, her visit with the doctor, and how she gets well once she takes her medicine.

In addition to the story, a guide for parents is included, which explains what to look for when a child has a sore throat, and how to handle it. I highly recommend this cute and informative story for all families with young children.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 27, 2009 Posted by | children, health, parenting | Leave a comment

The Moose With Loose Poops

moose
Author: Charlotte Cowan, M.D.
Illustrator: Penelope Neal
Publisher: The Hippocratic Press
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-9753516-5-9
Pages: 32
Price: $17.95

A word from the author
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Miles Moose is excited about his upcoming camping trip with his dad. But then his tummy starts to act funny, with some very unpleasant results. Looks like he’ll be waiting a few days to take his trip so his tummy can get better.

Although the title of this book may cause a few heads to turn, The Moose With Loose Poops was written to help explain gastroenteritis to kids. The first time they experience vomiting or diarrhea, they may become worried. Dr. Cowan wanted to reassure them that this is perfectly normal but uncomfortable tummy behavior when they’re sick. Penelope Neal has created cute illustrations showing us how Miles handles his illness.

The author also includes a guide to gastroenteritis for parents, who may be even more concerned than their kids. It explains home treatment and when to call a doctor if symptoms seem to be getting worse. I highly recommend this cute and informative story for all families with young children.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 14, 2009 Posted by | children, health, parenting | Leave a comment

I Just Want My Kids To Be Happy


Author: Aaron Cooper, Ph.D. & Eric Keitel, M.Ed.
Publisher: Late August Press
Genre: Parenting
ISBN: 978-0-9797926-0-1
Pages: 173
Price: $15.95

Author’s website
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If you’re a parent, you may be curious why this book is subtitled “Why You Shouldn’t Say It, Why You Shouldn’t Think It, What You Should Embrace Instead.” You’ve always wanted your kids to be happy, and this seemed like a reasonable goal to strive for. But is it?

It is – if it’s grounded in all the right reasons. In this book, Cooper and Keitel explain why this creed embraced by parents is not always the best approach in raising their kids. Instead they offer alternative parenting methods designed to develop long-term happiness.

Many parents confuse happiness with short-term pleasure. Instead of allowing their kids to work through unhappy times, they feel it’s necessary to make sure kids never experience disappointment, sadness, and other unpleasant emotions. What parents don’t realize is that those feelings help kids grow up to be emotionally mature adults.

In order to encourage parents to strive for long-term happiness, the authors have presented ideas to help plant the seeds. These suggestions include instilling strong values, encouraging closeness, building mastery, and finding spiritual connection. While these ideas may not always bring short-term pleasure, they can lead to lasting happiness once established.

Just because your kids appear to be happy doesn’t mean they really are. Kids try to please their parents, and you might be surprised to find they’re wearing a smile because you’ve told them you just want them to be happy.

If you’re truly concerned about your child’s long-term happiness, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of this book. Both you and your kids will benefit from these suggestions.

I Just Want My Kids To Be Happy recently won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Mom’s Choice Awards.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

May 7, 2008 Posted by | parenting | Leave a comment