Archive for June, 2013

Dear Teen Me, advice to teenagers, advice to teens, parenting advice for teens

Critical Advice For Teens … What’s Yours?

I feel fortunate to have kept in touch with one of my Freshman dorm mates, Lisa Rosowsky, who is a professor at the Mass College of Arts, an artist, and mother of  two teenage daughters. As a very nurturing Prof — she is SO nice — she councils teens and twenty-somethings all day, every day. I pay special attention to her advice for teens.

Lisa Rosowsky, angel of Auchwitz

Lisa Rosowsky’s Angel of Auschwitz

She sent me this email below. Her advice is on etiquette, something that is very important to my husband. He feels that it the single most important thing to teach kids. It can open doors and, conversely,  lack of proper etiquette can also slam them shut!

I thought it would be fun to help her out by Crowdsourcing advice for teens! Read more…

Ronald Reagan books for kids, Ronald Reagan children's books, books for kids and Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan book for kids

Ronald Reagan Picture Book: I Like It Despite Myself

I should preface this by saying that I grew up with Ronald Regan as my governor of California and my parents were not big fans. You see, my father worked as a math professor at a state university and Regan reduced or froze the salaries of the teachers and professors. Everytime, Regan’s name came up, my parents would invariably complain about him.

I joined blog tour for this picture book of Ronald Regan because Jen at TLC Blog Tours explicitly said, “TLC does not require positive reviews, only honest ones. We, of course, hope you enjoy the reading experience, but we want you to feel free to express your honest thoughts on the book and not feel any obligations to anyone but yourself.”

I was convinced and was willing to have an open mind about Ronald Reagan. He seems to be the poster child for the Republicans, lost as they are in this new economy and multicultural voting population.

Ronald Reagan Picture Book

The Remarkable Ronald Reagan: Cowboy and Commander in Chief by Susan Allen, illustrated by Leslie Harrington Read more…

books like Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson Riordan, mythology books for kids, mythology adventure books,

More Books Like Percy Jackson

We might be in the same shoes. My son just finished all the Rick Riordan books which kept us happily reading for the better part of the school year. But now we are adrift, desperately seeking more books like Percy Jackson.  Riordan’s books are so exciting, we often stay up past my son’s bedtime for “just one more page.” We more of those type of books.

We also like the special powers conferred by lineage to gods. Deep down, my son and I both feel that we are Half Bloods and/or godlings just waiting to discover our latent powers. It hasn’t happened yet but we’re not discouraged.

Learning about ancient Mythology from any civilization is a welcome bonus. I like it because we feel smarter for knowing about gods and heroes and the learning is so pleasant that it doesn’t feel like work.

I think any age is the perfect age to read about mythology. I’ve gathered up our favorite Riordan-like Percy Jackson books as well as mythology picture books and easy chapter books. I also have a collection of Mythology Books for Kids on Pinterest.

 

Mythology Picture Books for Kids

Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas

Karas has carefully researched mythology on Zeus’ youth to create this wonderful picture book that stays true to its classic origins. Young kids will love the story and older kids will still get something out of it. It’s a picture book that manages to bridge a wide span of ages. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

funny daddy book,

Celebrating Dads with Happy Father’s Day Humor GIVEAWAY

I’m celebrating dads with humor today! My husband is on a once-in-a-lifetime golf trip in Ireland and will be landing back in Boston shortly. He is doing a double celebration — for a friend’s 60th birthday and for Father’s Day  returning just in time for a Father’s Day dinner. It will be low key, perhaps even take out. A week without him is a long week indeed.

And so, to celebrate Father’s Day, I have rounded up a few funny tidbits that will make my husband laugh. Here’s hoping that your Father’s Day is wonderful too, filled with laughter and fun! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, step dads, and grandfathers out there!! I hope you have a wonderful day. How are you celebrating Father’s Day today?

Father’s Day ePicture Book to Read with Kids

Every Dung Beetle Rolls Poop by Craig Fischer

This kindle book is what every dad should be reading to his child today. It has poop and a fatherly message. What’s not to love about that?

Read more…

Go Daddy Twitter Party, NoWebSitis #NoWebSitis

Small Business Website: Win One from Go Daddy!

Co-hosting a Twitter party two days ago for Go Daddy, I realized how much we all cherish our local small businesses. They are a vital part of our local community and we feel good supporting them. From Farmers’ Markets to our neighborhood bookstore, we all unanimously want them to succeed.

Not all my favorite local businesses have websites, particularly my artisan mom friends. It’s usually the cost combined with lack of expertise in the technical arena that prevents them from tackling their small business website. It’s a shame.  A website is an important marketing and sales tool. But now I can win one for them!

Go Daddy’s No WebSitis Contest

I’m excited about Go Daddy’s No WebSitis contest. They are giving away 10 domain one year registrations PLUS a one year Premium Website Builder plan. Even better, they are providing special assistance to create the site.

It’s easy to win:

1) Go here to nominate your favorite small business: 

2) Vote for your favorite small business beginning June 25th and running through July 15th. Read more…

Platypus Police Squad, Jarrett Krosoczka, author event for kids, mystery chapter book,

Crime Scene for Platypus Police Squad

It was a Friday afternoon. I got wind from Kellie at Walden Pond Publishing that something was going down in Dedham, Massachusetts at Blue Bunny Books. She warned me that similar suspicious activities had been happening there as it is owned by author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds of Ish and The Dot. Something involving Jarrett Krosoczka Playtpus Police Squad. I was intrigued. And wary. You can’t be too careful!

What do you think? Is this a crime scene?! The caution tape is certainly suspicious!

Platypus Police Squad, author event, Jarrett Krosoczka,

Why is there cake involved? And who were these two guys on the cake? Did they commit the crime?

Platypus Police Squad, author event, Jarrett Krosoczka,

No, it wasn’t the platypuses. They turned out to be the good guys. Maybe it’s this guy then! Do you know who he is?

photo

Or do you think these lunch ladies look suspicious? They did bring in milk and cookies though. Did you figure out that it’s author Jarrett Krosoczka that is holding the milk and cookies?

That isn’t a crime. Is the Lunch Lady and her sidekick Betty involved somehow? Are they in trouble? Maybe they are here incognito in the blue uniforms. I’m not sure. Read more…

win a website, Go Daddy, No Websitus contest

Help Your Favorite Small Business Win a Website Through Go Daddy

My mom friend Suzi Wilder  makes the most beautiful fused glass works of art. I buy them as presents for every wedding I am invited to. She works out of her house so I will go by when I need a gift and she will set up a display of her latest pieces on her dining room table.

A few years ago, she had a website, WilderGlassworks.com, but it’s no longer operational. It’s too bad because she does beautiful custom pieces that you could have ordered online. Here are a few examples but the photos do not do justice to her pieces!

Wilder Glassworks, Suzi Wilder, fused glass plattersRead more…

banned books for kids, YA banned books, YA challenged books, Phil Duncan's banned books

Three “Banned” Books Your Children Must Read

I’m so excited to introduce author Phil Duncan as my guest author today. His latest young adult book, Wax, is out (see bottom of post). Today, he has three banned or challenged books that he highly recommends.

By Phil Duncan

Much is made of banned and challenged books in schools, with constant debates springing up over age-appropriateness vs. freedom of expression and ideas. As a writer I am firmly on the side of fostering intellectual growth of children via challenging work, but I can also understand that some books — especially those aimed at young readers — might be too mature for certain age groups. So where is the middle ground in this politicized issue? How can we allow books to do what they’re meant to do — open up new worlds and ideas to our children — while also protecting young readers from material that may be too advanced?

The key to answering this question lies in investigating these books and finding out why they are “challenged” in the first place. Screening hundreds of books is a daunting task, so I’ve compiled a list of three books that I have read, either as a young reader, adult or both, that I believe are completely suitable for young readers (though they appear on the more conservative “challenged” books lists): Read more…

2nd grade china unit, 2nd grade china, china unit, red envelope activities

Red Envelope Crafts for 2nd Grade China Unit

My mom friend Stella who is Chinese explains the ins and outs of Chinese Red Envelope etiquette and significance to 2nd grade kids. We did a special presentation as part of their 2nd grade China Unit that included: the Chinese invention of paper money, red envelope craft and background, Chinese silk children’s clothes, and Chinese money. It was a lot of fun!

Chinese Red Envelope Facts and Trivia

Red envelopes are used to give gifts of money.  When I was a little kid, I would get red envelopes from older relatives on holidays, my birthday, or if I hadn’t seen someone for a long time.  When I got older, I also got red envelopes when I graduated from school, when I got married and even when my grandfather passed away.  

For Chinese New Year, only married people give red envelopes away to children and young single people (one of the downsides of getting married!).  The more money you give away, the more luck you will have for the new year.  

Chinese are very superstitious.  Even numbers are thought to be better luck than odd numbers so for better luck, a person would give someone two red envelopes instead of one.  4 is a bad luck number so you never want to give amounts of 4 like $4, $40, $44 and so on.  The number four in Chinese sounds like the word for die/death.  What’s another example of a bad luck amount??  

8 is the luckiest number so if you want to give someone $8 you would put $5 in one envelope and $3 in another or whatever combination you like but not $4 and $4!  The number 8 in Chinese sounds like the word for wealthy.   Read more…