WOO HOO! It’s Saturday, THE WEEKEND. Grab a cuppa and chill out!
Obviously, if you’re a parent it doesn’t quite spell a day off but occasionally you get big fat treat days like today which shall henceforth be known as
Lion King Day and cocktails in town with my Besties Day!
Mr L is happy because his bro is visiting and the World Cup is on. In short, It’s all good in the hood!
I am really pleased that so many of you are enjoying this little book review feature. As I have said before, I think that encouraging a child to take an interest in books and reading is so important and, on occasion, I allow myself to daydream about future Saturdays when our little family will relax in companionable silence reading…HA HA HA!!
Anyway, for the time being we are still very much reading together and this is what’s been a hit this week…
One for You: My BIG Readalong Fairytale Book (from M&S) if I was smart, this would be an affiliate link…it isn’t!
This is yet another of our old faithfuls- a brilliant collection of 8 classic fairytales which have been abridged so they are just the correct length for toddlers. Another gift (people are so generous aren’t they? THANKS Tricia and co!) and a book which has a very long shelf life. Initially you can look at the pictures together and read the story together. In time your child will begin to remember the story, point out different parts of the pictures and perhaps recognise (or know by memory) some of the written words. Eventually this will become them wanting to read the text and that’s it, job done. Get yourselves a paper and look forward to your weekends of bliss!..perhaps!
Anyway, The pictures are big and bold and the text is large and clear. My only recommendation might be for the pages to be slightly thicker but, on the flip side, we always have sellotape and kids need to know how to treat books so it’s not a big thing M&S, don’t change it on our account.
The ‘read along’ element comes from the fact that on each of the right hand pages there is a sentence for your child to read and, at the end of each story there are some questions which enables your child to point out key characters and begin to recognise words when linked with pictures.
Marks and Sparks have a really good range of read along kids books including traditional tales, nursery rhymes etc. They’re definitely worth a look. I’m a big M&S fan across most of their ranges- not so much mens wear if I’m truthful, all seems a little cord slacks and deck shoes but- well worth a look for all things kids I reckon (and underwear…I love their underwear!)
One for Me: The Skeleton Cupboard; The making of a clinical psychologist, By Tanya Byron.
Last year, I heard Dr Tanya Byron speak at Blogfest and frankly, I developed a bit of a girl crush on her. If you read her biog from Blogfest, it shouldn’t be hard to see why:
Tanya is a consultant clinical psychologist who specialises in child and adolescent mental health. She’s written three parenting books, has a weekly column in The Times and the Saturday Times, and published the ground-breaking Byron Review into children, young people and digital media in 2008. Earlier this year she launched C4’s Bedtime Live – and she also co-writes comedy with Jennifer Saunders (including The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle, BBC2) – now, you didn’t know that, did you?
Being a Times Bird, I like to imagine that she and Caitlin Moran sometimes hang out together putting the world to rights. I’d go for a beer with them if they asked.
Anyway, when Mumsnet sent an email looking for people to review her latest book, I absolutely jumped at the chance. I am so glad I did. I LOVE THIS BOOK (and not just because of the crush thing!)
In an attempt to do a proper review, I stuck post its to pages where there was something I wanted to relay to you, quotes or scenarios or descriptions but in the end it became a total waste of sticky, luminous paper.
The book is divided into 6 chapters each of which introduces a fictional character and their individual stories and history. They also describe how Tanya felt throughout her training, how emotionally challenging it was and how woefully under prepared she felt at times. The stories are an amalgamation of the experiences Tanya had and the people she met during her training but none are based on specific individuals for obvious reasons.
Each of the chapters can be read as ‘stand alone’ stories so, if you only get snatches of time to read then this could work well for you but, be warned- they might pull you in. These not real, but real, men, women and children will engage with you and make you will them better. I thought that (whilst I obviously wish that these stories didn’t exist) it was very well written and a compelling and emotional (not in a cry on the train sort of way, more a sort of sadness that people experience some things) read.
I empathised most with chapter 2, Imogen’s story. Having worked closely with many children and young people over the years I absolutely know what she means about the responsibility you feel, the bonds you forge and the guilt you feel when something can’t be ‘fixed’. It reminded me of more than one of my kids.
Each of the chapters gives a really vivid insight into some of the stuff that goes on for people every day and the ways that they try to cope with things. Of course we all try to present our best selves when we head out of our front doors every morning. We smile and converse and do all of the day-to-day stuff because really, very few people actually want the honest answer when they ask ‘how are you’. This book gives an insight to what happens when the pretence slips away, when the mask cracks and when people need help. It is thought-provoking and beautifully done.
I don’t know if this book was of particular interest to me because I am inherently interested in psychology and the brain and the idea that some of us are a little bit ‘chicken oriental’ and others of us are regular, clever people with properly functioning brains. In the epilogue, which I particularly like, Tanya is so empathic and warm and clearly remains so very caring and committed to those with mental health issues. I am so, so very grateful that there are people like her out there that, despite their time ‘in the field’ dealing with really difficult situations, they still have the desire to inform and educate and encourage debate to try to make us a society that cares a bit more.
Verdict; If you are interested in people and want to feel reassured that there are still people in vocational roles that deeply and truly care about the people they work with, read this. It will make you think about the way you view people and society and we should all try to do a bit of that from time to time.
Happy weekend my dears.
Loads of Love
I am linking up again with MammaMummyMum so, if you like all things literary, check it out by clicking the badge.