Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review: The Adventures of Lisbeth: Book #1

The Adventures of Lisbeth: Book #1, Remember to Say Thank You
By: Liesel F. Daisley
Published by:  AuthorHouse; Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4634-4147-0
Price: $13.54
Ages: 4-8
Rating:  5 stars
Reviewed by: Wayne S. Walker

Synopsis: Do you think that an outing on a warm, sunny Caribbean beach would be a lot of fun?  Lisbeth is a young girl who was born in a Spanish-speaking country of South America but moves with her family to an English-speaking island in the Caribbean.  One Saturday morning, her mum and dad take her to the beach.  After swimming for a while, she meets a school friend of hers named Mark and his puppy Chilly.  They decide to explore the beach together.  Lisbeth begins finding rocks that look like letters, including “T,” “H,” “N,” “K,” “Y,” “O,” and “U,” which she puts in her blue bucket.  When they get back and eat, what will she be able to spell with the rocks?

Overall thoughts:   Lisbeth is a bilingual girl, so the story, which won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, is written in both English and Spanish.  This is a wonderful benefit for children who are English speakers learning Spanish or who are Spanish speakers learning English.  In addition, there is an important lesson about expressing gratitude when one has had a fun time.  Author Liesel Daisley was born on the exotic island of Barbados in the West Indies.  After her niece Lisbeth was born, Liesel decided to write books for children based on Lisbeth’s life.  Remember to Say Thank You is the first in a series of books about the adventures of Lisbeth.  Children will enjoy this tale which will also encourage them both to appreciate the beauty of nature and to be polite.

     Links: www.theadventuresoflisbeth.com (series), www.authorhouse.com (publisher)

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Story Time Gather 'Round

Join author and illustrator, JD Holiday on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10AM est, 9AM cst, 8AM mst & 7AM pst ~ for two stories:
Curly Top by Michelle Nelson ~ "Curly" really dislikes her bouncy curls. They always get in her way when she plays. Will she convince her Nana to get rid of her curls once and for all or will she learn to love her beautiful head of curls as her Nana does? Come see what happens with Curly, Nana and those beautiful bouncy curls!
Listen to the show at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2013/02/23/its-story-time-with-jd-holiday-2-23-13

Michelle Nelson's site: http://hwpublishing.com/
Buy Curly Top at: http://www.amazon.com/Curly-Top-Michelle-Walker/dp/0981865232/ref=tmm_pap_title_0/192-1593543-9336114
& The Pea In Peanut Butter by Allyn Stotz ~
Kailee loves peanut butter. But a bedtime snack turns into a dance party with all of the foods in the kitchen pantry when they come to life. This story teaches young children 3 - 6 yrs.about the various healthy foods.
Buy The Pea In Peanut Butter at: http://www.amazon.com/Pea-Peanut-Butter-Allyn-Stotz/dp/0984589058/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308849800&sr=8-1

More about Allyn Stotz at: http://www.allynstotz.blogspot.com Show's site: http://itsstorytimeforkids.blogspot.com/

JD Holiday: http://www.thebookgarden.net

Book Review: A Map and a Mule

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A Map and a Mule: A Peace Story of Queen Isabel of Portugal
By: Eric Timar
Published by:  Pannonius Books; Date: 2012
ISBN: 978-1480290907
Price: $9.25
Ages: Ages 5-8
Rating:  5 stars
Reviewed by: Wayne S. Walker

 Synopsis:  If two countries are planning to fight each other over a piece of disputed territory, what can be done to stop them?  Queen Isabel of Portugal lived from 1271 to 1336.  Her husband was King Dennis.  There was a town called Serpa which was between Portugal and its neighbor Spain.  Each country claimed it.  This was during the days of knights, so the knights of Spain got ready to fight the knights of Portugal.  What did Queen Isabel do to help solve the problem?  And later, what did she do to keep two sons of King Dennis who were arguing over who would get to rule which parts of Portugal from going to battle with each other?

 Overall thoughts:   Author Eric Timar, who also wrote Seven Lambs: Stories of Peace from the Old Testament, gives us two fascinating episodes from the life of Queen Isabel of Portugal, a peacemaker of the Middle Ages.  Of course, everyone can benefit from the interesting historical information related in the book.  Not many people would know of Isabel’s involvement in the Treaty of Alcanices of 1297 which established the boundary between Spain and Portugal.  And kids who like to read about knights and all things medieval will enjoy the stories.  

Illustrations from various sources include the cover watercolor, portraits of Isabel, a period painting of knights, and the detail of a vintage map.  But most important is the idea of seeking peaceful solutions to disagreements.  A Map and a Mule is a great little book with a great big message.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Signs Your Child May Be the Victim of Bullying

According to a May 2011 survey published by the United States Department of Education, approximately 8,166,000 students between the ages of 12 and 18 reported that they were being bullied in school; this number translates to about 31.7% of American students in that age group. The effects of bullying have been emphasized to parents, educators and childcare providers as media coverage of teen suicides resulting from unchecked bullying increases. In today’s world, children require protection from each other, as well as reprehensible adult influence. Fortunately, there are a few warning signs that could indicate that your child is the victim of schoolyard bullies.
  • Unexplained Injuries or Damages to Property – When items go missing or turn up broken, clothing and other property is torn or damaged, or your child shows clear signs of physical injury but lacks a plausible explanation for these occurrences, there’s a very strong chance that he’s being bullied and trying to hide it from you. Because seeking help for bullying is often considered a sign of weakness, some kids will go to great lengths to keep their plight under wraps.
  • Displays an Aversion to School – A child that was once happy and eager to attend classes but suddenly exhibits a strong aversion to school, attempts to fake illnesses as a means of staying home, or puts up a fight every morning may be trying to avoid school because he’s trying to avoid being bullied there. Most kids show at least a mild aversion to school from time to time; however, should your child seem genuinely afraid or angry about going to his classes each morning, there may be more to the story than a typical childhood distaste for school.
  • Difficulty Sleeping or Nightmares – One of the most common signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is not uncommon in children that are severely bullied, is difficulty sleeping. Sleep disruptions and nightmares should be viewed as a cause for concern when they become a regular occurrence; the occasional bad dream is simply par for the childhood course, but recurring nightmares could indicate a serious problem.
  • Lowered Academic Performance – Kids that are the victims of bullying may experience a drop in grades or show other indications of a lowered academic performance, either as a result of being actively distracted from their studies by bullies or because they’re experiencing symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder that makes it difficult for them to focus. When grades rapidly plummet, parents should always address the situation; however, if there are other indicators of bullying, kids should certainly not be punished if their studies are suffering.
  • Loss of Interest in Hobbies or Activities – When a child that was once eager to join in activities, extra-curricular sports or after school programs abruptly shows a lack of interest or even a distaste for those hobbies, it could indicate that he’s being bullied by other participants and wants to distance himself from the situation as much as possible.
  • Isolation – It’s not unheard of for tweens and teens to barricade themselves in their rooms, eschewing the company of their parents in favor of talking to their friends; it’s so common, in fact, that it’s become something of a societal cliché. That being said, if your child is isolating himself from everyone, and doesn’t seem to have many friends that he’s interacting with, that isolation could be an indicator of bullying or harassment.
  • Self-Harming Behavior – The most drastic, and perhaps the most upsetting, indicator of bullying is self-harming behavior in your child. Cutting, eating disorders and risky behavior, like running away from home, are all classic signs of bullying or abuse; though they may seem extreme and overwhelming, they’re not an indicator that all hope is lost. A child exhibiting these signs is likely to require some treatment, and may need to be removed from their current school as a protective measure.
Fear of retribution, a reluctance to appear helpless, and humiliation at their plight may leave kids reluctant to notify an authority figure, or even to admit to being bullied in many cases. The 2008 to 2009 School Crime Supplement indicates that roughly two-thirds of bullying cases go unreported by the victims or their peers, so uncovering the truth may require a bit of finesse. Aggressive questioning can feel like an interrogation to an already victimized child, so parents should keep their tone open, calm and non-judgmental during conversations about the subject.

First published on Babysitting Jobs

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tips for Dealing with a Child Threatening to Run Away

The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that up to 2.8 million children and teens run away from home each year. Many return home within the first 24 hours, but there are still a staggering number that never make it home. If your child is threatening to run away, here are 10 things to consider.
  1. Assess the Actual Risk – An older child with serious behavioral problems is significantly more likely to run away than an angry elementary school student. Try to determine if there’s an actual risk, or if your child is simply making threats out of an inability to properly express themselves.
  2. Create an Environment Conducive to Talking – Kids that don’t feel as if they can be honest and open with their parents often feel as if there’s no one at home who can help them. Creating an environment that helps your child feel comfortable and respected is one of the best ways to get to the root of and to prevent problems.
  3. Ask Them How They Can Make Their Situation Better – When your child calms down enough to speak rationally, ask them what other steps they could take to improve the situation they’d like to run away from. Often, verbalizing their problems and actively looking for alternative solutions will ease the powerlessness that they feel and help them think more clearly.
  4. Focus On Causes, Not Threats – Though threats of running away should never be treated lightly, it’s best to focus on finding out the cause of your child’s distress before tackling the resulting threats.
  5. Speak to Your Pediatrician – If you genuinely feel that your child is at risk of running away, your pediatrician or family doctor can refer you to a therapist or counselor who can help you monitor your child and uncover the underlying issue.
  6. Stay Calm – Though threats of running away are very upsetting to any parent, it’s important not to let anger or hysterical emotion come to the surface during a conversation with your child, especially a teenager. Teens are often uncomfortable with these displays and may feel an even stronger urge to escape the pressure.
  7. Never Call Their Bluff – Offering to help your child pack or calling their bluff only serves to make them feel unwanted, which could elevate what was an idle threat to a point where they feel obligated to leave.
  8. Acknowledge That You Can’t Stop Them – A sense of powerlessness and an idea that living on their own will help them regain that lost power is often a large part of the appeal of running away. By acknowledging that you can’t stop your child from running away if they’re determined to, but that you desperately want them to stay, can help them feel as if a bit of power has been restored.
  9. Explore Other Options – Kids that want to run away because of bullying or harassment at school may be so desperate to escape the torment that they’ll go to any lengths. If this is the case with your child, it might be a good idea to seriously discuss options like homeschooling or even moving to another school district.
  10. Understand That Threats Are a Plea For Help – When kids threaten to run away, they’re doing so because they want to be stopped. Cluing parents in on plans to flee opens the door for serious preventative measures, and kids know that. Without marginalizing your child’s threats to leave, focus on the help they’re seeking.
Children that run away from home and never return are often victims of sex trafficking, drug abuse and other dangers. Letting your child know that they are loved and wanted, and that you will do everything in your power to help them through a difficult time, can keep them from this dangerous fate.

First published on NannyCare

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review: Night Buddies (Book 2) Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine

Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine, the second book in the Night Buddies series, has a ton of mischief going on all over the Borough, done by a red crocodile and causing confusion and hard feelings everywhere.

For young John Degraffenreidt, lying awake at night is no reason to fret when it brings a bright red crocodile named Crosley out from under his bed. Night Buddies like Crosley promise a big adventure to any kid not sleepy yet--and tonight is no different! Out of bed, and into the city, John starts on a very special Program (Night-Buddies-speak for adventure) with his crocodile friend. Crosley is a unique, wacky character, the only red crocodile in the world for sure, but look-alikes have started popping up all over town, committing crimes, causing confusion, and making Crosley crazy at the sight of them. The impostors must be stopped, and Night Buddies John and Crosley are just the ones to stop them! Stakeouts and wild chases in a fantastic flying machine, far-out schemes to snare the impostors with the help of old friends and new ones, and a never-ending supply of Crusted Crème Fro-Madge frozen yogurt make for one totally super night.

Overall Thoughts:
Sands Hetherington has done it again with another wacky after lights-out adventure story in the Night Buddies series and Jessica Love's illustrations throughout the book give old and new characters even more depth for young readers.The zany context keeps readers engaged while the fun-filled adventure spirals out of control until our lovable main characters solve the program.

If you have a child who loves the Captain Underpants series, they are sure to enjoy these wonderful books too.

Note to parents and teachers: There is a glossary at the beginning of the book to explain there are unusual words some of the characters say. Crosley also explains not to use these words in school or on tests. 

The first book in the Night Buddies series, Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare is available anywhere books are sold. 

Juvenile Fiction/Chapter Books for Ages 7 and up.
Places where available for sale:
Amazon.com; BN.com; wherever books are sold.
(Dune Buggy Press titles are distributed by Delphi Distribution and are set up with wholesalers like Ingram and Baker & Taylor.

ISBN Numbers
Book 2: 978-0-9847417-2-4
Book 1: 978-0-9847417-1-7

The World of Ink Network is touring author Sands Hetherington and illustrator Jessica Love’s nighttime adventure children’s chapter book, Night Buddies, Impostors, and One Far-Out Flying Machine the second book in the Night Buddies series published by Dune Buggy Press throughout January and February 2013.

You can find out more about Sands Hetherington, Jessica Love and the Night Buddies series World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/bysdkbv

Follow the Night Buddies at
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/nightbuddies
Twitter: @Night_Buddies

Publisher Website: www.dunebuggypress.com

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com  


*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.