Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cleaning House by Kay Wyma

Kay Wyma is the mother of five children and one SUV with a lot of carpool miles.  Driving her son to school one day Kay has an epiphany:  her children don’t appreciate what they have and don’t understand where possessions truly come from.

Dismayed at the attitude of entitlement and the “it’s all about me” syndrome that had crept into her home, Kay gets an attitude of her own.  Cleaning House is her account of a year-long campaign to introduce her kids to basic life skills to become responsible independent adults.  She explains that with the greatest intentions and in the name of love, parents have developed the tendency to hover, race in to save, manipulate, over protect, and enable our kids.  She writes that the message kids are getting is “I love you so let me make life easy for you.”  She decided her message needed to rather be “I love you, I believe in you and I know what you are capable of.”

She begins a 12 month long quest to teach her kids independence and also to teach herself to let them figure things out on their own.  With humor and refreshing insight Kay chronicles the ups and downs of equipping her kids for real life.  This book offers some fresh insight into parenting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Great things to do outside: 365 awesome outdoor activities by Jamie Ambrose

Turn off the TV, unplug, and explore, create and discover the many wonders of the great outdoors with the book, Great things to do outside: 365 awesome outdoor activities, by Jamie Ambrose.

This book is filled with practical projects to do outside, ranging from simple observation activities like forecasting the weather, bird watching, or fossil hunting to more ambitious projects such as erupting a volcano, making your own wrapping paper, or creating a pirate ship.  Each activity uses readily available materials and includes easy step-by-step instructions with bright photographs.  The book is geared for ages 5 and up, however many activities are suitable for younger children as well.  The book’s small size makes it easy to pack on a weekend getaway, camping trips, or to carry along on a nature walk.  There are projects in the book suitable for any type of weather or climate.

Let’s drag our kids away from technology long enough to make, play and create, and get hands on with nature.  Breathe in the fresh air and discover a whole new world, just a step out your front door.  The book would also make a great stocking stuffer for someone special on your Christmas list.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Bromeliad by Terry Pratchett

One of our staff enjoyed The Bromeliad by Terry Pratchett and says that this is an enjoyable and humorous book that can be read on many levels and should appeal to almost all ages. On the surface, younger readers will find it is a fun adventure about tiny people trying to find a way home. Older readers will see the deeper themes touching on religion and science, class struggles, duty, and finding your place in the world.  The Bromeliad is actually three separate books now published under one title; originally Truckers, Diggers, and Wings. 

Book one introduces us to Nomes. Nomes are only 4 inches high and have always "lived in the corners of the world". To them humans are huge, slow moving creatures that have voices similar to cows or foghorns.  It has been a tough year for the Nomes, the tribe has shrunk from hundreds down to only ten.  When their home is destroyed, the tribe realizes they have to move. The only item the Nomes take with them is "The Thing", a shiny black box that has been handed down for generations. When the Thing accidently recharges itself, the Nomes discover their own origins and perhaps the quest begins to find their way home.