Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Season of Life: a football star, a boy, a journey to manhood"

Season of Life: a football star, a boy, a journey to manhood"
This book was recommended to my husband by a close friend. Our friend said every guy should read the book. Of course, being an avid reader, I picked up a copy. I could not put down this wonderful true story.
About 25 years after Jeffrey Marks was a ball boy for the Baltimore Colts, and idolized Joe Ehrmann one of the great players, their paths cross again, as Jeffrey, a writer, follows a season of Joe coaching a group of high school boys. Jeffrey quickly realizes that he will learn a lot more about life on this personal and professional journey. At first as I read, I thought this should be a mandatory read for every father, coach and man. I continued to read and realized this is a must read for any woman who knows any man also. The book describes the myths of masculinity and how many men are raised with the wrong definition. Masculinity should be defined in how we relate to others. One of the most powerful moments from the book is an exchange with a mom after a big game. She comes up to the coaches and is very excited. She asks the coaches how successful they thought the boys were going to be. "I have no idea" Won't know for twenty years". "Huh?" "I won't really know how successful there gonna be till they come back to visit in twenty years. Then I'll be able to see what kind of husbands they are. I'll be able to see what kind of fathers they are. I'll see what they're doing in the community". This is a must own and read. I guarantee you will thank me for the recommendation.
"Season of Life: a football star, a boy, a journey to manhood" is a great gift for every coach, teacher and man in your life. (Women will love it too!)

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture was given to my husband by a man working for him with fourth stage cancer. When I heard what it was about, I thought how depressing. This book is everything, but depressing. The Last Lecture is about living life fully, appreciating all of our daily gifts. The author Randy Pausch is the most optimistic person I have ever had the privilege to read about. The true last lecture that Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Melon professor, delivers is called "Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." This lecture has been all over the internet, but this beautifully written book is the story behind the writing of the actual last lecture. I literally bought 20 copies after I finished it and have handed them out to so many different people. It touches you in ways you cannot imagine. This is a book everyone should own and reread a hundred times.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a fun, interactive book. As a kid, I remember at camp the counselors leading us in a big circle on a Bear Hunt. This book takes us on the same journey and you can still make this an active book for your own children or group. Fun illustrations and an exciting adventure make this a great book to own. The kids clap their knees as you read, "I'm Going on a Bear Hunt". They repeat each line with different movements. You can also add to the pages if you want to get creative. This is a fun book for home or a class.

Eggbert the Slightly Cracked Egg

I simply love Eggbert and guarantee you will fall in love also. This book is a must read and must own for your home library. Eggbert has EVERY message I want my children to understand in life. Eggbert is a slightly cracked egg. He is told by all the other food in the refrigerator that he must leave because he does not fit in. Through magnificent illustrations and beautiful words Eggbert begins a journey to paint himself and change in order to "fit in" somewhere. This book is so special to me because in a simple format he realizes it is OK not to fit in and just be himself. There are so many popular children's books where the main character, gives part of themselves away to be accepted. This book is a journey of self discovery. This is my must read when I do guest talks in classrooms. The message is subtle, but extraordinary.

Quick as a Cricket by Don and Audrey Wood

Quick as a Cricket is my number one must have book to own.  The book is perfect for toddlers through school age children.  The book explores all a child is through gorgeous illustrations and wonderful animal traits.
"I'm as loud as a lion", "I as gentle as a lamb", "I'm as busy as a bee".  These are a few of the beatifully written pages with vibrant alive illustrations.  The simple message lets your child know that they can feel and act so many ways and it is safe with you.  This is the book I buy for all our friends as they grow their home libraries.  It comes in paper back and hardcover.  Hardcover will last longer and it is not much more money.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan

This silly story introduces kids to the many quirky animals native to Australia.  Your kids will want to sing along with the funny song that repeats itself through out the book.

On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier

What a lovely message this book has. It speaks directly to the child-you were wanted and you were loved!  The child runs from the moon, past birds and animals and into their family's embrace.  This book can take the child deeper as they get older since there is a scientific message hidden within the pages. You can go on to explain migration, gravity and what the sun is made up with.

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

I love this story because it is centered around a summer day with a dad and his son.  A theme not used that much in books.  They go on an outdoors natural adventure while the dad explains what the area might have looked like in years past.  You and your child can spend time looking closely to find the hidden images of dinosaurs and aboriginal people in the collages.  Based in Australia, this book has a strong environmental message.

Having a Picnic by Sarah Garland

This book illustrates what Tiny Treks is all about.  Getting outside even on a blustery day!  This family has unexpected guests at their picnic lunch.  My kids and I enjoyed this book again and again.  Appropriate for the smallest in your family up through preschool.  Look for the little stuffed mouse in each painting.  Joyous!