If we said 2020 was anything less than an incredible strain on all of our lives, we would be deemed as liars of the worst possible kind. Parenting in 2020 changed in what, quite literally, felt like an instant. Overnight, parents across the world were suddenly tasked with educating their children, finding ways to provide social interactions for them, and explaining to them why their world had turned upside down. Life during the pandemic of 2020 has impacted parents everywhere in ways most cannot sufficiently put into words. Despite the mania created by the Covid-19 pandemic, there are ways for families to cope and move forward with life–ways to create a new, and hopefully, temporary normal.
Liz Bayardelle, author of Parenting in a Pandemic: A Parent’s Guide to All the Roles We Have to Play in the Era of Covid-19, takes a closer look at the impact the pandemic of 2020 has had on parents with school-aged children and the multiple roles they have assumed. While providing examples along with hints for successfully addressing their children’s many needs, the author uses well-intentioned and appropriately proportioned humor to lighten an otherwise somber mood and dense subject matter.
As a teacher and parent of a 2020 high school graduate, I more than appreciate Bayardelle’s candor. From the practical advice for staying healthy and following suggested health guidelines to ideas for time management, the author covers all necessary bases and provides solid, easy-to-follow advice that can be instantly applied in the home.
Not enough can be said for Bayardelle’s use of humor. There has been very little opportunity for smiles and laughter over the last year. It has been difficult to find moments of levity when trying to balance fear with daily routines and the barrage of changes with a craving for normalcy. Bayardelle’s willingness and efficiency with lighthearted moments placed strategically throughout the text helps readers face the challenges of our new reality with a little less grimness.
Parenting in a Pandemic is the book we all needed and for which we never dreamed we would have to search. Bayardelle breaks down a tremendous amount of information in a short, well-organized, and engaging read. I highly recommend Bayardelelle’s guide to any parent looking to navigate the waters of parenting in this pandemic while waiting patiently on a return to what may be our new normal.
Pages: 148 | ISBN: 1950328813
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Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge: The sequel to A Christmas Carol (Children’s Edition) by Norman Whaler, with illustrations by Voxillustrations, is a picture book intended for children aged 4 through 10. Set in London, Tiny Tim is now grown up. He loves Becky, but her parents will not allow a marriage between the two of them. After many years pass, Tim has started to forget the lessons he learned from Ebenezer Scrooge. He forgets the hardships of his childhood–and appreciating the simple joys of life. After Mr. Scrooge passes away seven days before Christmas, Tim is visited by Scrooge’s ghost. Will Tim finally remember the true spirit of Christmas?
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a perfect story for parents to share with their children this holiday season. It has a good lesson about generosity and kindness, and a message of faith through trials and struggles. Quotes about kindness at the beginning of the book, including from scripture and literature, reinforce the message of the story. This book can be enjoyed even if a reader is not familiar with the classic Charles Dickens’ story, since there is a quick overview of A Christmas Carol in the first page of verses. The rhyming verses are fun and young children will enjoy looking at the pictures as the story is read to them. I liked the change in font to indicate strong emotion in the dialogue, and I enjoyed the happy ending. I wanted to know more about Becky and her son, Jimmy.
I loved all the vividly colored pictures with bright pinks and greens and beautiful scenery and landscapes. My two favorite pictures were the scenes of the bedroom at night and in the morning. The glow from the candle was very realistic. It actually appeared as though light was shining out of the book in this picture, and also the one where the sun was shining through the bedroom window the next day. The illustrator’s use of perspective was very good and many pictures had an impressive three dimensional look.
There are nine Christmas carols at the end of the story with lyrics and sheet music, which are a wonderful addition to this book.
Pages: 95 | ASIN: B08MKJT2YH
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During these difficult times of rampant substance abuse, all parents must be vigilant. Behavioral changes can be a big indicator of substance abuse. How do you differentiate between simply using drugs and being addicted to said drugs? How do such drugs change the physiological and neurological structures of a child? How many types of addiction are there? How do you, as a parent, get out in front of it? The Addicted Child by Richard Capriola is an excellent educational book that will be immensely beneficial to anyone seeking answers to these questions. It’s a succinct information resource on different types of drugs, the effects those drugs have on the brain and substance abuse in adolescence.
It is so much easier now for children to access drugs. With parents getting busier trying to make ends meet, it is also harder to keep track of the kids. This guide is therefore not only relevant but also written by an expert with vast experience and a world of knowledge on the subject. Richard Capriola’s knowledge on the subject is evident and I felt comfortable with the knowledge presented. It’s broken down into easily digestible bits of information, with easy to understand headings for each topic followed by a concise summarizeation of the topic. This makes the book handy as a reference guide as well as a primer on the subject.
This book hooks you right from the acknowledgment. The author tells a poignant story describing why he decided to write this book and goes on to share stories of parents who were surprised by underlying mental illnesses. This personal touch gives the book a human quality that puts the rest of the information into perspective.
The Addicted Child by Richard Capriola is a book that goes as far as touching on the common and most popular drugs available to the adolescent and teen population. This book bravely tackles such a sensitive and often swept under the rug issue. I really appreciated the impeccable presentation of the message as well as its simplicity. Any parent would benefit from this book. Curbing this scourge is a collective responsibility and being well informed is key, and The Addicted Child gives you that key.
Pages: 125 | ASIN: B08KJHJYBY
Butterball Gets Lost follows a fun-loving poodle who gets lost while looking for fun and can’t find her way home. What were some influences that guided this books development?
All of my books have a general theme about the adventurous life of dogs. My aim is to incorporate a fun and happy story with some learning opportunities.
My favorite scene from the book is when Butterball gets stuck in the rabbit hole and the lizards are watching. What is your favorite scene from the book?
My favourite scene is when Barny the Owl helps Butterball find her way home because it gives the book a happy ending.
What were some educational themes you wanted to focus on with this book?
The story gives young children information about the characteristics and behaviours of some animals. Also basic number skills.
What can readers expect in book three in your Butterball the Poodle series?
Book three in the Butterball series will be a Christmas book.
Butterball is a curious fun-loving poodle who doesn’t like being left home alone. She is looking for fun and digs her way out under a fence, but Butterball wanders too far.
How will Butterball find her way home?
Join Butterball on her adventure and meet Binky the bunny, JillaRoo the kangaroo and Barny the owl. This easy-to-read picture book features cute illustrations, supports the development of literacy and numeracy skills, and includes some fun activity pages.
Posted in Interviews
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Lamellia: The Wicked Queen takes place in a magical mushroom kingdom where a baby appears and causes suspicions to rise. What was the inspiration behind this books story line?
Lamellia: The Wicked Queen is a story continuation that was begun in Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms. Sometime in May 2012, I saw a big and ugly brown mushroom during a forest walk. Thereafter, I began paying attention to mushrooms. One day, I had an idea to write a story involving mushrooms.
In August 2015 while visiting Austria, I photographed a lot of mushrooms as well as visited a mushrooms museum for further character inspiration. The inkling to include a human baby in the story was inspired by the movie Avatar.
Nobilia is an interesting character. What were some driving ideals behind her character arc?
After publishing the first book, I was mostly in disbelief for having written a story involving mushrooms taking care of a human baby. A sequel story wasn’t in my mind because I doubted myself with the absurdity of the story which I have shared with the public.
The idea for a follow-up-story was instigated by a potential reviewer of the first book. She declined to write a review as it would be totally negative. Instead, she took time to write a long feedback and potential ideas for a sequel. She had some ideas all involving a conniving queen. I took the backbone of her suggestions–an evil queen–and created Nobilia.
The reviewer concluding words were, “…I get excited when I meet someone who can write really well. I love seeing them succeed…”
The art in this book is beautiful. What was the art collaboration like with Katerina Brunot?
Katerina Brunot was a contact through an online magazine acquaintance. We spent ten months communicating back and forth, her based in the USA and myself in Germany. It was pleasant working with her. At one point, she was unable to continue due to sickness. She offered to involve someone else and have a combination of illustrations from herself and another illustrator of my choice. I declined and agreed to wait until she recovered. I will not hesitate to work with her in the future.
What do you hope young readers take away from your story?
- Learning the importance of showing kindness, following the rules and understanding consequences.
- Enthused to go outdoors and learn from nature.
- All inhabitants of this world (living and non‐living) deserve to be respected and loved.
- If we care to listen, nature selflessly gifts us all the time with artistic inspirations such as stories and poems.
Can a human baby possibly be a mushroom?
When King Polipoli, the ruler of Lamellia, finds a human baby in his mushroom kingdom, he adopts it immediately to satisfy his wifes desire to be a mother.
But when the baby mysteriously grows weaker and weaker under the queens care, suspicions start to arise.
What is the queen doing to the baby? How did the baby get there? Will it survive and fulfil its purpose before it’s too late?
Get your copy now to find out the answers and reveal to your children the importance of showing kindness, following the rules, and understanding consequences.
Posted in Interviews
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Jai the Albino Cow: Jai Ng’Ombe Zeruzeru by Gloria D. Gonsalves (with illustrations by Nikki Ng’ombe) is a book intended for children in Grades 3-4. The story features a family of Ankole cows that live in the meadows of Kole Hills. There are two brothers, Lutalo (Bello Bello) and Tokei (Spotty), and their sister, Anjait (known as Jai). But Jai is different–she’s an albino cow. And some of the cows in Kole Hills believe that she is cursed. But others believe that she is a relative of unicorns. And it’s true. She is a magical cow whose dancing produces stars, silver glitter, and a rainbow of colors. She is the first female cow to join the dance of the cattle kings.
I really enjoyed this book, especially the fact that the story is written in two languages, with both shown on the same page. Besides English, Jai’s adventure is also told in Swahili. Which allows a larger audience to read the book, as well as helps to teach readers another language.
I liked the message in this story, that what makes a cow (or person) different is what makes them special. This book teaches children to show kindness to others, even those who are different. And it also encourages children to try new things, even things that no one else has ever tried before.
I loved the illustration that were included in the book, showing various scenes from the story. The pictures, showing Jai and her family and the Kole Hillls, featured realism rather than cartoonish qualities and were drawn using vivid colors that appeal to young readers.
I would have liked it if the story had been just a little bit longer and included Bello Bello and Spotty’s reaction to seeing their sister’s magical abilities, but otherwise this was a great book.
Pages: 30 | ASIN: B07HBZ8D5T
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MAMA SOU is the true story of a young mother who gets her son taken away. This book is pure love and emotion and nearly had me in tears several times. As the story unfolds, you see how much love Maria has for her son, and how she will do anything to get him back. She is strong, independent, and ready to fight for what is hers. Aside from the incredible story that is being told in these pages, the writing is superb and beautifully delivers a fully realized vision of the characters and the places they inhabit. It is incredible the lengths that people go to for their family, and the fact that this is someone’s real story is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
Whether you are a parent or not, you will feel the love that went into writing this story, and the emotions between the people in the story. The author, the mother herself, pours her heart into every chapter. I’ve read some books like this one, where a young mother struggles to gain her family back, but there is something special about Maria’s story. Maybe it’s the year that it happened, which was some 40 years ago, when these types of things weren’t really talked about, or maybe it’s because it happened in Greece. Either way, it holds a special place in my heart, and I will not forget this story any time soon.
As someone who has suffered from depression most of my life, seeing how Maria handled her depression was inspirational. That fact that she was able to fight for what she so desperately needed, all while dealing with mental illness, was incredible. I fully enjoyed this book, I think that whether you have kids or not, you will find some special meaning within these pages. The story is sometimes harsh, sometimes sweet, but definitely full of lessons to learn for everyone that reads it. I only wish that we could learn more about Maria and her story, and more about her son.
Pages: 118 | ASIN: B0793VJFFG
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, biography, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, depression, divorce, ebook, education, family, goodreads, greece, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, mama sou, maria griggs, memoir, mental health, metamorphosis of a mother, mom, mother, nonfiction, nook, novel, parenting, parents, publishing, read, reader, reading, relationship, self help, shelfari, smashwords, story, tyler clapp, writer, writer community, writing
A true story about a mom who decides to help her autistic daughter live a normal life, took her out of shelter and into her own home. Parents of disabled children are passionate about their love for them and their love carries into adulhood. Soon, she discovered that her daughter, after over 30 years of psychiatric treatment, 17 of them in a group home, still displayed her original symptoms only exacerbated. She started reading Thomas Zachs and Peter Breggin, and learned about the design of psychiatric drugs as instruments to get rid of undesirable populations. When her daughter refused all the drugs however she caused her symptoms to rebound, and the mom now learned about how tragic it is to even start on a psychiatric drug. Only a very slow withdrwal under an MD supervision will avoid complete deterioration of brain and body, and avoic behavior problems such as outbursts and violence.
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