Juanita Ramsey-Jevne, Proprieter/Teacher, Five Acre School, recommends:
I. Good books for parents:
1. Brazelton, T. Berry, MD. Touchpoints: Your Child's Emotional and Behavioral Development. Harper Collins, 1994. ISBN: 020162690X.
Review: Parenting and Families Editor's says Dr. Brazelton "provides the kindly, reassuring approach of your own family physician--a physician living in your own home, on your own bookshelf. Touchpoints provides chronological accounts of the basic stages of early childhood, presents (in alphabetical reference form) the challenges to development, and explores the important role of each person--father, mother, caregiver--in a child's life."
2. Faber, Adele, et al. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. Avon Books, 1991 (reissue). ISBN: 0380570009.
Review: Parenting and Families Editor's says this book is "an excellent communication tool kit based on a series of workshops developed by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. They provide a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house. The "Reminder" pages, helpful cartoon illustrations, and excellent exercises will improve your ability as a parent to talk and problem-solve with your children. The book can be used alone or in parenting groups, and the solid tools provided are appropriate for kids of all ages."
Note: An audio cassette of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen And Listen So Kids Will Talk is available. Simon and Schuster, 1995. ISBN: 0671520717.
3. Carlson, Richard. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family: Simple Ways to Keep Daily Responsibilities and Household Chaos from Taking Over Your Life. Hyperion, 1998. ISBN: 0786883375.
Review: Amazon.com reviewer Ericka Lutz says this collection of 98 brief essays "meditates on small, but meaningful ways to avoid being overwhelmed by life, particularly family life. From Number 8: Make Peace with Bickering, to Number 14: Encourage Boredom in Your Children, to Number 72: Stop Exaggerating Your Workload, Carlson's messages serve as reminders for truisms most readers already know but have lost sight of in the bustle of daily life."
Note: An audio cassette of Don't Sweat The Small Stuff With Your Family: Simple Ways to Keep Daily Responsibilities and Household Chaos from Taking Over Your Life is available. Simon &Schuster, 1998. ISBN: 0671582380.
4. Healy, Jane M. Endangered Minds: Why Our Children Don't Think. Touchstone Books, 1991. ISBN: 067174920X. Publisher's Review: "Dr. Healy examines the decline in schools and offers concrete advice for improving our students' endangered minds. A fascinating assessment that argues children in today's fast-paced electronic world use their brains differently than did children in past generations."
5. Kohn, Alfie. Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes. Houghton Mifflin, 1995 (reissue). ISBN: 0395710901. Publisher's Review: "Criticizing a system of motivating through reward, this acclaimed author and lecturer indicts the practice of manipulating people with external incentives. Drawing on a wealth of psychological research, he makes a persuasive argument for motivating people by working with them instead of doing things to them."
6. Gardner, Howard E. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. Basic Books, 1993. ISBN: 046501822X.
7. Gardner, Howard E. The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think & How Schools Should Teach. Basic Books, 1993 (reissue). ISBN: 0465088961.
New York Times Book Review: "The author of Frames of Mind and The Mind's New Science applies his innovative ideas on children's natural learning mechanisms to educational practice. Gardner's educational vision is in the best progressive tradition . . . an invaluable book for teachers, school administrators, parents and policymakers."
8. Clarke, Jean Illsey. Self Esteem: A Family Affair. Hazelden, 1998.
Publisher's Review: "This book helps parents and other caregivers bring out the best in their children and themselves. Based on Transactional Analysis." ISBN: 1568382871.
Juanita says "every family has to have these! Songbooks make great gifts. Have a sing along as a party. Singing is participatory, not for passive listening."
1. WeeSing Sing-Alongs by Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp. Juanita says they are "portable for car trips. Comes with tape to jog one's memory. Has a great selection of familiar songs." ISBN 0-8431-0311-6.
2. Gonna Sing My Head Off by Kathleen Krull; Illustrated by Allen Garns. Juanita says "the illustrations make this a book children will love to look at. Then they ask for the song that goes with the picture. And Ms. Krull has given a brief history of the song. Slip some history in with the singing! This is a treasure. If you can afford it get the hardback. The paperback gets loved to pieces." ISBN 0-679-87232-9.
3. Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook by Peter Blood; Illustrated by Kore L. McWhirter. Juanita calls this book "indispensable." It has words and chords to 1,200 songs. "Take it on trips, browse with sick child, use at family gatherings. Grandparents will find 'Moonlight Bay.' Parents find the Beatles and children like the silly section." ISBN 0-86571-137-2.
III. The Chinaberry Book Service - 1-800-776-2242
This mail-order company based in Spring Valley, California, carries several hundred children's and adult books, as well as audio tapes, games, puzzles and craft kits. Juanita says this quarterly catalog is an excellent resource for families, and provides a thorough review and recommended ages for each of their books. "It is wonderful!"
Some titles she recommends:
1. In the Checklist of Life by Lynn McPhelimy
2. How Your Child Is Smart by Dawna Markova
3. Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
4. My Friend's Beliefs by Hiley H. Ward
Laurie Wick, Director, The Learning Tree Montessori Childcare, recommends:
1. Nelsen, Jane. Positive Discipline. Ballantine Books, 1996 (Revised edition). Laurie says "I always recommend the Positive Discipline parenting books by Jane Nelsen. They are filled with excellent advice for parents (and teachers) on how to encourage children to be respectful, responsible and resourceful." ISBN: 0345402510.
Update: In February 1999, Prima Publishing released Positive Discipline A-Z by Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott and H. Stephen Glenn.
Publisher Review: In this newly expanded and revised edition of the groundbreaking Positive Discipline A-Z, the authors give answers to the challenges parents face every day. Arranged alphabetically, the book offers real-life solutions to more than 1,000 child-raising problems, such as bed-wetting, tattling, sex, divorce, step-families, shyness, and hundreds more. This is an invaluable reference for successfully raising children from tots to teens.
2. Crary, Elizabeth. Without Spanking or Spoiling. Parenting Press, 1993. Laurie says she really likes Elizabeth Crary's books, which "are similar to Positive Discipline in that it teaches a middle ground between harsh authoritarianism and 'marshmellowy' permissiveness. Elizabeth Crary also has a wonderful series for children with titles like 'I'm Scared,' 'I'm Mad' and 'I'm Frustrated.'"
Second Review: Dr. Alice Honig, Professor of Child Development, Syracuse University, says the book is "a treasure trove of ideas for every parent who has ever felt frustrated, bewildered, or discouraged. The book's rich use of vignettes and exercises enhances parent awareness of how kids think and feel . . . This book boosts parent power and helps parents experience pleasure and pride in their parenting skills."
Note: Elizabeth Crary is a local author. She teaches parent education at North Seattle Community College and is the author of 26 books.
Pearl Noreen, Parent Educator, Shoreline Community College, recommends:
Vaughan, Marcia. The Dancing Dragon. Illustrated by Stanley Wong Hoo Foon. MONDO Publishing. New York. ISBN: 1572551348. "This children's book is brightly illustrated, with a fold out dragon. It describes the Chinese New Year celebration and preparation. It's suitable for primary level reading, and is great for use with preschoolers."
Fries, Marcia & Lems-Tardif, Gina. China: World Neighbor Series. Creative Teaching Press, Inc. Cypress, California 90630. "This teacher curriculum book on China is filled with helpful ideas and activities for children. Although it is highlighted for Grades K-3, it can be adapted for preschoolers. There are maps, Chinese words with pronunciation, recipes, crafts, and calligraphy samples.
If you are interested in more academic reading material, Madeleine Yue Dong, Assistant Professor, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, recommends:
1. Aries,Philippe. Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life. New York: Vintage, 1962. "A classic volume that is good general reading about childhood development." ISBN: 0394702867.
2. Stephens, Sharon, ed. Children and the Politics of Culture (Princeton Studies in Culture/ Power/History). Princeton University Press, 1995. "This book provides some good comparative perspectives with other Asian countries, including Singapore, Japan and Korea." ISBN: 0691043280.
If you are interested in books about children in China, Madeleine suggests:
1. Bailey, Paul. Reform the People: Changing Attitudes Towards Popular Education in Early Twentieth-Century China. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990. ISBN: 074860281X.
2. Champagne, Susan. Producing the Intelligent Child: Intelligence and the Child Rearing Discourse in the People's Republic of China. Ph. D. Dissertation, Stanford University, 1992. (Dissertations can be ordered from University of Michigan).
3. Chan, Anita. Children of Mao: Personality Development and Political Activism in the Red Guard Generation. London: Macmillan, 1985. ASIN: 0295962127.
4. Saari, Jon L. Legacies of Childhood: Growing Up Chinese in a Time of Crisis, 1890-1920 (Harvard East Asian Monographs, 136). Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1990. ISBN: 0674521609.
5. Lau, Sing, ed. Growing Up the Chinese Way: Chinese Child and Adolescent Development. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9622016596.
6. Kinney, Anne Behnke, ed. Chinese Views of Childhood. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, c1995. ISBN: 0824816811.
7. Stafford, Charles. The Roads of Chinese Childhood : Learning and Identification in Angang (Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, No. 97). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN: 0521465745.