Each age and stage brings its challenges (I, for one, am enjoying having a bit more oxygen in my house since the kids returned to school), and advice for all of them abounds in the titles reviewed below. Cox’s book about family traditions is a real stand-out, and parenting around the globe gets some warm kudos. From party ideas to backyard games to sleepaway camp, there are books to treasure here, most of which will have staying power for libraries, which is good news in the face of shrinking budgets.
Bell, Edward A. A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Medicines. Johns Hopkins.(Johns Hopkins Press Health Books) 2012. 166p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781421406237. $45. CHILD REARING
Bell (pediatrics, Drake Univ.) gives parents an important tool in this slim guide to medication safety and usage. He covers lots of terrain, including how medicine works differently in children and adults, the best way to measure liquid medicines, choosing among different medications for fever, and antibiotics use, as well as an entire chapter on vaccines. His presentation is factual, reassuring, and based on the latest scientific studies. He also includes a librarian’s dream chapter on evaluating the accuracy of medical websites and seeking other sources of information. VERDICT With ample sidebars and illustrations, Bell’s title belongs right next to the medicine cabinet, along with last year’s My Child Is Sick: Expert Advice for Managing Common Illnesses and Injuries by Barton Schmitt.
Cox, Meg (text) & Trina Dalziel (photog). The Book of New Family Traditions: How To Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day. Running Pr. 2012. 299p. ISBN 9780762443185. pap. $16. CHILD REARING
In this revised edition of her 2003 title, Cox (The Quilter’s Catalog: A Comprehensive Resource Guide) strikes gold again with a book every family can appreciate. Defining a family ritual as “anything that is purposefully repeat[ed] together as a family …that lifts it above the ordinary ruts,” she outlines the good things that rituals do for children, including teaching values, solving problems, navigating change, and providing comfort and security. Far exceeding a list of the obvious holiday activities, her book covers everything from summer vacation ideas to traditions for pet funerals to ceremonies for giving up the binky. Cox’s new edition responds to the harried, tech-focused qualities of our modern lives and includes solid suggestions, such as “Freedom Day,” which means no lessons, obligations, outings, or appointments. VERDICTBrowseable, readable, doable, and lovable, this stellar offering belongs on the shelf of every library and every kid’s home.
Hopgood, Mei-Ling. How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and Everywhere in Between). Algonquin. 2012. 304p. bibliog. ISBN 9781565129580. pap. $15.95. CHILD REARING
Strap your kid into the stroller and enjoy a tour of parenting practices around the world. Hopgood (Lucky Girl: A Memoir) takes readers on an anthropological cruise, visiting ports of call in Lebanon, China, Polynesia, France, and Argentina, to name a few. She examines parenting practices in the context of culture, child development, and her own experiences as the mother of a young child. Americans are known to rearrange their entire lives around a child’s sleep schedule, but Buenos Aires children stay up late into the night. Why does your kid hound you for attention, but Polynesian children play independently? Have a kid who will only eat chicken nuggets? Kids in France value joie du manger, and Taiwanese children, not to be outdone, snack on fish eyes and jellyfish. VERDICT Hopgood’s explorations give readers a nonjudgmental flavor of many cultures, and her journalistic approach allows her keen curiosity to shine through. Any parent creating a scandal by skipping nap time will appreciate this worldly perspective. A delightful addition to the literature.
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The following titles are reviewed in the November 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Andrews, Susan. Stress Solutions for Pregnant Moms: How Breaking Free from Stress Can Boost Your Baby’s Potential. Twin Span. 2012. 289p. bibliog. ISBN 9780983898405. pap. $15.95. CHILD REARING
Druckerman, Pamela. Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). 2012. 284p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781594203336. $25.95. CHILD REARING
Fetter, Bette. Being Visual: Raising a Generation of Innovative Thinkers. Grape Lot Press. 2012. 195p. ISBN 9780982209493. pap. $18.95. CHILD REARING
Friedman, Lex (text) & Felix Schlater (illus). The Kid in the Crib: A Dr. Seuss Parody. Lyons: Globe Pequot. 2012. 38p. illus. ISBN 9780762783045. $14.95. CHILD REARING
Huner, Brenda and Kristen Blair. From Santa to Sexting: Helping Your Child Safely Navigate and Shape the Choices that Last a Lifetime. Leafwood. 2012. 224p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780891121305. pap. $14.99. CHILD REARING
Marsiglio, William and Kevin Roy. Nurturing Dads: Social Initiatives for Contemporary Fatherhood. Russell Sage. (Rose Series in Sociology) 2012. 290p. bibliog. index.ISBN 9780871545664. pap. $35. CHILD REARING
Rae, Connie. Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens: A Practical Guide To Getting Them Back on Track. Bethany House. 2012. 224p. ISBN 9780764209468. pap. $12.99. CHILD REARING
Reynolds, Kate E. Party Planning for Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum: How To Avoid Meltdowns and Have Fun! Jessica Kingsley. 2012. 160p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781849052771. pap. $19.95. CHILD REARING
Rotbart, Harley A. No Regrets Parenting: Turning Long Days and Short Years Into Cherished Moments with Your Kids. Andrew McMeel. 2012. 208p. illus. ISBN 9781449410940. pap. $14.99. CHILD REARING
Thompson, Michael. Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow. Ballantine. 2012. 275p. bibliog. ISBN 9780345524928. pap. $16. CHILD REARING
Tukey, Paul and Victoria Rowell. Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games. Storey. 2012. 207p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781603425605. pap. $14.95. CHILD REARING
Wilson-Miller, Wendie and Erika Napoletano. The Insider’s Guide to Egg Donation: A Compassionate and Comprehensive Guide for All Parents-To-Be. Demos. 2012. 204p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781936303304. pap. $16.95. CHILD REARING