Tag Archives: parenting

The Moon in the Sky: Poems Your Kids Would Have Written (If Only They Could Write) by Bruce Shutts (Book Review)

THE MOON IN THE SKY: Poems your Kids Would Have Written (if only they could write) by Bruce Shutts

 
Children have the power to turn simple everyday tasks into moments of intrigue and laughter.

When getting dressed, they might just think:

“My pants are really easy
Since both my feet will fit.
And after I put both legs in,
I pull them up. That’s it!
But shirts are very tricky;
They have three holes, not two!
And if you pick the wrong one,
Your head just won’t go through!”

 

Delight in thirteen whimsical poems that capture the simple honesty of everyday childhood activities written from the perspective of three-to-six-year-olds. From getting dressed, eating snacks, or having stinky feet, you and your child will recognize yourself in these poems. Crafted to make you laugh, smile, and build memories with your kids.
 
 
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Bruce Shutts’s poems were topics that kids and parents could absolutely relate to: getting dressed, car rides, walks outside, bathroom breaks, and much more.


We’ve all seen our children struggle with dressing themselves—head in armholes or backward attire. Most times, their first attempts are pretty humorous.


For many people, we use car seats or strollers quite regularly. Kids love the outdoors. Those poems were 100% accurate, including all the spills as well. I think my daughter dropped more crackers than what she ate.


I have sneaking suspicion that children will love “Picking My Nose” the most. While parents think it’s gross, kids think it’s hilarious. Face it, you know they have their finger up there most of their younger years. Amy Wummer’s image of the boy, looking out the corner of his eye while digging for gold, was cute and funny. I know I’ve caught my kids many times in the act. Eww!


The poems dealing with food could lead to asking your child or class what foods they like to eat for snack, lunch, or dinner.


I want to end my review by addressing “A Bug in the Bathroom.” My daughter screams at the top of her lungs when she spots a bug. That little girl, in the story, was so brave. Heck, I think she might be more courageous than some adults I know. 🙂


Bruce Shutts (author) and Amy Wummer (illustrator), you two made a great team. I loved every poem, and the drawings were spectacular too.


The author’s recommended age group is 3-7. I think that’s accurate.

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Bruce Shutts has spent countless hours reading children’s picture books to his three children and five grandchildren over the past forty years. He also loves to create humorous poems for nearly every occasion he can imagine. Coupled with the fact that he often thinks and acts like a three-to-six-year-old, it makes his entrance into the world of children’s books a natural fit. He currently is retired with his wife of forty-five years and loves to travel, play golf, and (you guessed it) read books at night to his grandkids! 
 
connect to the author: goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
 

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Ashes To Ink: A Memoir by Lisa Lucca (Book Showcase)

 
 
“Lisa Lucca weaves the past and present into a vividly written and important story with many layers: family secrets, fathers and daughters, love and sexuality, and at the core, forgiveness. What touched me most was the call to action to become the love of your own life. Read, learn, and become!” — Laura Munson, New York Times bestselling author and founder of the acclaimed Haven Writing Retreats.

“In this raw and gripping memoir, Lisa Lucca has perfectly captured the unique ripple effects of life with a gay parent. With little representation in popular media, people who grow up with (or find out about) LGBTQ+ parents/caregivers are often left to wonder if there’s anyone else who really understands. Ashes to Ink is proof we are not alone, and that love truly does win.” — Jordan Budd, Executive Director of COLAGE, National LGBTQ+ family organization


“Fresh, warm, sassy, and smart… Lisa’s voice is a delight! I was enchanted by this book.” — Alexia La Fortune, Author of Sex, Love, and Spirit


Ashes to Ink… a power punch of a book written by the glorious Lisa Lucca. Filled with rage and anger and sorrow and more unleashed anger…and much humor and love…human emotion in each chapter. Lisa’s memoir is all about LOVE, the wanting, the needing, the longing, the acceptance, the fear of love, the need for love. From a parent whose lifestyle flattens her to the seeking of love with men who challenge her (unconsciously) to finding the right one. This is a memoir about family – the down and dirty – about love, about searching… and forgiveness. This book is filled with so much truth, so many untamed feelings, so much rawness… a memoir that gives you ample time to hold your breath and exhale. Read it, devour it, allow yourself to creep into the uncomfortableness. Life is filled with discomfort and unease – Lisa gives us all the rare opportunity to see ourselves in the dazzling, and magnificent mirror she holds up for us.” — Amy Ferris, Marrying George Clooney, Confessions from a Midlife Crisis

 

 
Book Description:


Acceptance struggles to emerge from a cocoon of family secrets . . .

After her parents’ divorce in 1974, Lisa Lucca’s idyllic Midwestern childhood is shattered when she learns her father is gay. Sworn to secrecy, she begins carrying the emotions of her family like a cracked bucket, making a mess as she embarks on a life of rebellious choices.

Decades later, faced with the aftermath of her father’s death, Lisa revisits the complicated relationship she had with him, delving deeper into the stories she’s held about love, sexuality, and the family she comes from with a shimmering clarity that arises from her grief.

A story of heartache and the power of forgiveness, Ashes to Ink shines a light on the challenges of living true to who we are, especially for single parents.

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Indiebound ~ Target
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Lisa Lucca

 
Lisa Lucca’s work has been published in several publications and anthologies, most recently in Crone Rising. She is the co-author of the epistolary memoir, You Are Loved, with her partner, Mark Mathias, a love story she will continue telling in her next book.

She shares a home with Mark in the high desert of southern New Mexico where she continues her work as a life coach, and hosts a weekly public radio show, Live True, bringing insightful and engaging interviews to her listeners. The show streams globally at lccommunityradio.org where the shows are available in the archives.

connect with the author:
 website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sometimes When I’m Mad by Deborah Serani (Book Review)

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Award-winning author and psychologist Dr. Deborah Serani and illustrator Kyra Teis team up again for a companion to “Sometimes When I’m Sad” that tackles the difficult feeling of anger. “Sometimes When I’m Mad” describes a child’s experience with anger and the many ways it can surface, along with ways children – and adults who love them – can use anger management techniques.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon Walmart
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Children can and will get angry. Infants express anger through their cries because that’s the only way they know how to vocalize their emotions. 


Toddlers through tantrums. These are known as the “terrible 2’s.” Preschoolers and older children will succumb to anger and react in their own fashion. Some kids scream, throw objects, break things, cry, or get physical. Adults have been known to react in the same manner. 


It’s important to teach children how to handle their anger, so they grow up with a healthy understanding of how to cope and react when the emotion builds up inside them. 


In Sometimes When I’m Mad, Deborah Serani, Psy.D. gives “Caring Adults” tips and tools to help them “spot anger in children of various ages,” and “ways to encourage healthy anger expression.”


It’s okay to get mad, but it’s how we deal with that anger that defines us. 


Together, Deborah Serani, Psy.D (author), and Kyra Reis (illustrator) show different scenarios that might elicit an angry outburst from a child. As you read Sometimes When I’m Mad, ask your child what’s the appropriate or incorrect way to handle upsetting situations. 


For adults, I encourage you to read and use all the resources provided by Deborah Serani, Psy.D.


To Kyra Reis: Great job on your illustrations. We particularly loved the cats. We also have a cat who loves to sniff shoes. 😀

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:  

Author Deborah Serani

Deborah Serani, Psy.D. is psychologist in practice over 30 years. She is also a senior professor at Adelphi University and has been published in academic journals on many psychological subjects. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found at ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post and USA Today, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is also a TEDx speaker and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her. Dr. Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres.

 

Connect with the author: 
 ​​website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads
 
 

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Sometimes When I’m Sad by Deborah Serani (Book Review)

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“Sometimes When I’m Sad” is a sensitive and supportive story to help young children recognize and cope with sadness. Written by psychologist, Deborah Serani, Psy.D. and illustrated by Kyra Teis, this award-winning children’s book is also an invaluable resource for parents, teachers, caregivers and other mental health professionals. “Sometimes When I’m Sad” has been endorsed by Jo Frost, The Supernanny and pediatric depression expert ,Dr. Joan Luby.


Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Indiebound ~ Walmart ~
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Sadness is not an adult issue. As Deborah Serani, Psy.D. (the author) and Kyra Teis (the illustrator) depicted, sadness can strike people of all ages. The author is correct – when someone is sad, sometimes nothing helps alleviate their sadness. 


While this book was intended for children, parents can significantly benefit from the last portion of the story. Deborah Serani, Psy.D. gives insightful clues on “How To Spot Sadness In Children of Various Ages,” “Ways To Reduce Sadness In Children,” “When To Seek Professional Help,” and “Resources For More Information And Support.” In the last-mentioned section, there are websites and helpline numbers. 


When your child is feeling sad, I encourage you to share this story with them. Use the powerful images created by Kyra Teis and ask if they ever feel sad and, if so, how do they handle it. 


Sometimes When I’m Sad would be a beneficial tool for child therapists, counselors, or social workers. 


In conclusion, the story is simple to understand and read, so it’s a perfect fit for young readers — whether they are currently experiencing sadness or not. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:  

Author Deborah Serani

Deborah Serani, Psy.D. is psychologist in practice over 30 years. She is also a senior professor at Adelphi University and has been published in academic journals on many psychological subjects. Dr. Serani is a go-to expert for psychological issues. Her interviews can be found at ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post and USA Today, and affiliate radio station programs at CBS and NPR, just to name a few. She is also a TEDx speaker and has lectured nationally and internationally. Dr. Serani has worked as a technical advisor for the NBC television show, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – where a recurring character, Judge D. Serani, was named for her. Dr. Serani is an award-winning author, writing about psychological topics in many genres.

Connect with the author: 
 ​​website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads

 
 

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Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten (Book Review)

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​Maria Hopfgarten’s son Jacob was born on January 31, 2006. He was the most perfect baby boy she had ever seen. But Jacob had devastating health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, a fatal condition. In the ten short years of Jacob’s life, Maria found strength in blogging about Jacob’s life. Her raw, honest posts from the year after Jacob’s passing have been gathered into this book along with Maria’s tips for parents coping with their their own grief after losing a child. “If you have lost a child, you know you’re weathering the largest storm life can bring you. I hope that my words of loss, tears, punches, smiles, friendships, and renewed happiness can give you a sense of not being along on this journey.”​
 
Buy the Book
Amazon
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
No story has ever hit me as hard as Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten didThe “Introduction” did not just bring tears to my eyes; it had me sobbing. I had to lay the book down several times because I could not see the words through my tears. 


Each “letter” to Jacob touched my heart deeply, and I felt the family’s pain and their love during and after his departure from this world. At the end of each letter, Maria Hopfgarten (the author and mother to Jacob) gave helpful and thoughtful tips/pieces of advice in “Coping with Grief.” Since there are over 100 in all, I don’t think Maria Hopfgarten will mind if I share a few with you. 


 

  • Transform pieces of your loved one’s clothing into blankets or pillows.
  • Plant a tree or bush in memory of them.
  • “Cherish your family who is still standing by your side.”

 
Through the sadness, many touching moments will make you smile and possibly cry some more. I don’t want to divulge too much, but certain events recapped will emphasize how one little boy touched so many hearts, and his story will continue to do so for many years to come. 


After the “Epilogue,” I thought my crying time was over. I was wrong. “Mom” didn’t just make me cry a little — it caused me to sob. Throughout the story, I thought of my children, especially at this point, and the tears would not stop flowing. Even now, as I write this review, I’m wiping tears off my cheeks and stopping to blow my nose repeatedly. 


Maria Hopfgarten, thank you for sharing Jacob’s story with us. It was sad, beautifully written, and I’m forever changed for reading it. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
(deserves a million more)

 

Buy the Book
Amazon

 
 
Meet the Author
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Maria Hopfgarten began her blog Moments with Jacob in 2009, writing about Jacob’s life with mitochondrial disease. She had followers around the globe. Maria continued to write blog posts to Jacob after he passed in 2016 to make sense of the loss of her son. Jacob was 10 years old. She has now turned part of the blog into the book “Letters to Jacob,” sharing her raw, honest first-hand experience on grieving the loss of a child.

Maria is the President of the non-profit Miracles for Mito and has been supporting families living with mitochondrial disease for over a decade. She has also been an active Parent Partner at Children’s Hospital Colorado and has been a Parent voice for many chronically ill children. Maria also sits on the Patient Safety Committee of the Board at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Originally from Sweden and with a degree in Journalism from Stockholm University, Maria lives with her husband Joakim, daughter Sarah, and rescue dog Max in Colorado. Her favorite thing to do is to share a good cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend. Maria loves the outdoor and is always up for a bike ride or hike.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 
 

 

 

 

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