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Posts Tagged Parenting

Ready for Fall

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

The new school year always brings with it a barrage of children’s book publications. It’s a wonderful time to fill shelves and backpacks with brand new books. Here are a few seasonal picture books that arrived just in time for falling leaves, pumpkin patches, and getting settled into another school year.

Fall Leaves“Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland, with enchanting illustrations by Elly MacKay, is the perfect book to discuss the season. Each spread is centered on a two word phrase, such as “Fall arrives” and “Leaves leave.” Further description gives meaning to the phrase and sometimes a simple scientific explanation of what happens as the season moves from September to December.

“Otis and the Scarecrow,” a new Otis the tractor book by Loren Long, will be a popular choice. Otis is a good-natured tractor who loves his farm, and he is not sure what to do with the new arrival who doesn’t “smile or say hello,” but just stands there with “a sour look on his face, staring at the cornfield.” How does one make friends with a scarecrow? Leave it to Otis to come up with a way. (more…)

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, Mercury Column, News, Parents

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Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day to all of the dads out there! The role of fathers in our country has changed over the years, and dad is often no longer the remote disciplinarian of years past, but instead has been taking on a more active role in child-rearing. Manhattan Public Library has lots of books about parenting, including several entertaining and hilarious accounts of being a modern dad and coping with all that goes along with raising children. Check out these great reviews in our catalog:

good talkGood Talk, Dad by Bill Geist and Willie Geist: Bill Geist, the beloved, award-winning, long-time special correspondent for “CBS: Sunday Morning,” and Willie Geist, the Today Show host, popular member of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and author of the best-selling American Freak Show –have begun an extended conversation between father and son on areas of mutual interest, agreement, and disagreement. Told in a unique back-and-forth banter style, the hilarious father-son team will laugh together at the shared journey of their relationship. They’ll riff on fatherhood, religion, music, sports, summer camp disasters, driving lessons gone horribly wrong, being on TV, and their wonderfully odd family life.The Geists decided to write this book so their children and grandchildren would have a record of their unusual father-son relationship. The book is remarkably funny, as well as poignant and sincere, especially in light of Bill’s announcement that he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. With its lighthearted look at the crazy things fathers and sons go through and the unique bond those experiences forge, the book is sure to be a must-have gift for Father’s Day.

 

dad is fatDad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan: Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan,  expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children–everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

 

 

roker

 

  • Don’t Make Me Stop This Car by Al Roker:  Drawing on his experiences as the father of two girls and his own childhood as the oldest of six children, the man whom the New York Post hails as the best-known and best-loved weatherman in the world presents his thoughts on parenting and on life in general.

 

 

 

dad saysSh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern:  “After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is “like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair,” has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him. More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern’s philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny’s, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns’ kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.” From publisher description

 

someoneSomeone Could Get Hurt by Drew Magary:  A sharp, funny, and heartfelt memoir about fatherhood and the ups and downs of raising a family in modern America No one writes about family quite like Drew Magary. The GQ correspondent and Deadspin columnist’s stories about trying to raise a family have attracted millions of readers online. And now he’s finally bringing that unique voice to a memoir. In Someone Could Get Hurt , he reflects on his own parenting experiences to explore the anxiety, rationalizations, compromises, and overpowering love that come with raising children in contemporary America. In brutally honest and funny stories, Magary reveals how American mothers and fathers cope with being in over their heads (getting drunk while trick-or-treating, watching helplessly as a child defiantly pees in a hotel pool, engaging in role-play with a princess-crazed daughter), and how stepping back can sometimes make all the difference (talking a toddler down from the third story of a netted-in playhouse, allowing children to make little mistakes in the kitchen to keep them from making the bigger ones in life). It’s a celebration of all the surprises–joyful and otherwise–that come with being part of a real family. In the wake of recent bestsellers that expose how every other culture raises their children better Someone Could Get Hurt offers a hilarious and heartfelt defense of American child rearing with a glimpse into the genuine love and compassion that accompany the missteps and flawed logic. It’s the story of head lice, almost-dirty words, and flat head syndrome, and a man trying to commit the ultimate act of selflessness in a selfish world.

Of course, Manhattan Public Library has more serious books on fatherhood and parenting, but take a minute to laugh at the antics of these fathers, think about the fun you’ve had over the years with your dad, and wish him a great day.

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Understanding thankfulness

It’s the season to talk about and celebrate thankfulness, but how can we help instill a grateful attitude in our young children when our culture often promotes self satisfaction and instant gratification?  The Zero to Three website is an excellent resource for knowledge and advice.  Their article on Raising a Thankful Child has some good tips, such as not giving a child too many gifts at birthday parties and holidays, and helping others within your community to encourage empathy and giving with hands on experiences.  Reading books about the topic can help children understand the concept of thankfulness beyond the usual prompting they get from parents to have good manners (“And what do we say when someone gives us something? That’s right, thank you.”)  Some from our collection that I like are The Most Thankful Thing by Lisa McCourt, The Thankful Book by Todd Parr, and Thank You, World by Alice McGinty.  Some books to spark discussion about gratefulness or generosity include A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams, Stone Soup (multiple authors), The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, A Castle on Viola Street by DyAnne DiSalvo, or All the World by Elizabeth Scanlon. 

 

 

 

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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The Way I Feel Books by Cornelia Maude Spelman

Cover image of When I Miss You by Cornelia Spelman Identifying and describing emotions can be hard even for grown-ups, but for a child without necessary vocabulary it can be really difficult. The Way-I-Feel books by Cornelia Maude Spelman feature small animals who describe their emotions and the way that it effects their behavior. In each story the character also tells the reader how they manage that particular emotion. The Way-I-Feel books have clear, simple prose that will help a child understand it is okay to feel sad, scared or to miss someone, but will also help children see there are ways to cope with unpleasant feelings.

The Way I Feel Books:

When I Feel Good About Myself

When I Feel Sad

When I Feel Scared

When I Feel Jealous

Reviewed by Grace

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics: Choosing Titles Your Children Will Love by Scott Robins & Snow Wildsmith

TCover image of a Parent's Guide to the Best Kid's Comicshe ultimate guide to kids’ comics has arrived: “A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids Comics” divides graphic novels into genres and loose grade levels. For each series or title reviewed the book includes a summary, a list of educational tie-ins, a note about content to help you make informed choices for your child,  as well as recommendations for similar titles.  Also included are lists of books about understanding, creating, and teaching graphic novels, some informational websites, and graphic novels that parents may enjoy reading themselves.

If your kids love comics and graphic novels, this book is a must-read.

Reviewed by Grace

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Kids, Parents

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