Foreword Reviews

Imparting Wisdom

For the Little Kid in All of Us

Family and Relationships

Ahhh, childhood. If we’re lucky, it’s full of love, laughter, maybe a dollar or two of allowance, but certainly lots of fond memories. There is also—for every sweet boy or sarcastic girl blissfully dreaming of sugar plums while tucked in to bed—an adult paying bills, sorting laundry, glued to the latest episode of Game of Thrones, or creating lesson plans for school the next day. These eight books are for moms, dads, and all manner of mentors—to inspire, to challenge, to support, and to ponder, whether the child in your life is four, forty, not yet born, or one face among many in a classroom or group.

Children are never too young to benefit from the wisdom of others, and the rest of us are never too old to learn something new. There is always time to improve the finances, pave the way for young women in science, or support the beautiful diversity found in the next generation.

So breath in. Breath out. Relax into Child’s Pose and enjoy the insights into childhood, education, and parenthood found here.

Smart Mom, Rich Mom

How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family

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Kimberly Palmer
Softcover $14.95 (256pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

For every woman who has struggled with the concept of investing or groaned at the thought of retirement funds and college tuition, Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family puts everything into perspective with action steps and strategies for working and stay-at-home moms. Bringing out the “fun” in “funds,” Kimberly Palmer, who was the senior money editor at US News & World Report for nine years, covers everything from eliminating credit card debt and maximizing online shopping experiences to commiserating over the trials of lactating at the office.

Smart moms will learn how to make the most of each paycheck while cultivating career satisfaction and passing on an appreciation for present circumstances to the next generation. Women in all walks of life will gain confidence as the purpose of the 401(k) and the 529 account suddenly makes perfect sense, and financial security is within reach rather than an abstract concept. Mixing hard facts with humor, even the thought of life insurance gains some levity when paired with the AgingBooth App that projects our future, elderly, potentially more savvy selves.


Cultivating the Genius of Black Children

Strategies to Close the Achievement Gap in the Early Years

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Debra Ren-Etta Sullivan
Redleaf Press
Softcover $29.95 (184pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

A must read for educators and parents, Cultivating the Genius of Black Children is a practical, in-depth look at the cultural relevancy and teaching methodologies best suited for the success of black children in public and private school settings. Debra Ren-Etta Sullivan uses established curriculum models, learning strategies, and approaches, combined with new concepts in organization and focus, and while black children and their particular needs are highlighted, the applied initiatives are meant for culturally diverse, mixed classrooms, communities, and teachers.

Drawing from her own dissatisfaction as a motivated black student and years of teaching and consulting experience, Sullivan’s blended knowledge of the education system and cultural anthropology creates an exciting new initiative for both black advocacy and practices needed to maximize learning experiences in early childhood education. Full of practical advice and check lists, and backed by years of collective studies and context, teachers, educators, and, most of all, students, will benefit from these insights, starting with the assumption that all black children are geniuses.


Geek Parenting

What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family

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Stephen H. Segal
Valya Dudycz Lupescu
Quirk Books
Hardcover $15.95 (208pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

Drawing inspiration and wisdom from the most treasured and iconic science fiction, as well as belovedly obscure and cult favorites in television, film, and literature, Stephen H. Segal and Valya Dudycz Lupescu reference Spock, Voltaire, and Fred Rogers with equal enthusiasm and discernment in Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us about Raising a Family.

Displaying a great deal of respect and affection for the likes of Star Trek and Neil Gaiman, Geek Parenting uses humor and imagination in a series of short essays loosely grouped into categories such as “There’s No Place Like Home: Creating a local environment conducive to the development of nascent life forms” and “Expecto Patronum! Keeping them safe.” Topics run the gamut from sibling rivalry according to Thor and Loki to the many similarities between werewolves and your typical teenage boy. Taken altogether or enjoyed piecemeal, universal themes of trust, love, communication, cultural traditions, and identity shine through to encourage parents, be they geek or otherwise, as they navigate the wonderful, terrifying, challenging realm of parenthood.


Letters to My Daughters

The Art of Being a Wife

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Barbara Rainey
Bethany House
Hardcover $19.99 (224pp)
Buy: Amazon

In Letters to My Daughters, Barbara Rainey shares a lovely collection of poems, art, scripture, questions, responses, and, yes, letters from the next generation of wives seeking guidance and advice. Newlyweds and empty nesters alike will appreciate the gentle words and stories of success and failure, all cultivating “the art of being a wife.”

More than a guide, Letters to My Daughters is a conversation and a prayer, each chapter leading with a marriage simile focusing on the various aspects and intricacies faced by Christian women intent on growing the connection between husband and wife. “Marriage Is Like Fine Cuisine” considers the ingredients and timing necessary in both recipes and relationships, while “Marriage Is a Secret Garden” looks at the beauty and troubles of sex in the current culture.

Rainey’s advice, given with over forty years of marriage and ministry experience, broaches both serious emotional landmines and frustration over laundry etiquette with heartfelt honesty, all summed up with bullet points intent on comforting and encouraging. With its soft watercolor imprints, Letters is a beautiful compilation for both mothers and daughters.


The ABCs of Yoga for Kids

A Guide for Parents and Teachers

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Teresa Anne Power
Stafford House
Softcover $9.95 (60pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

An Academics’ Choice Smart Book Award Winner, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids: A Guide for Parents and Teachers highlights the myriad benefits of utilizing yoga at home, at school, and in life in general. Children’s yoga guru Teresa Anne Power creates warm ups and routines while encouraging creativity, fun, and a sense of wonder in motion.

A companion to The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, the best-selling picture book demonstrating an alphabet of colorful poses for little yogis, the parent-teacher guide is a behind the scenes addition, referencing the original while expanding on basic principles. “Childhood Challenges” such as stress and ADHD are addressed, and yoga is introduced as a healthy alternative or supplement to treatments and lifestyle choices.

Colorful illustrations by Kathleen Rietz add an element of fun and whimsy, even while demonstrating various poses and techniques. A girl in Butterfly Pose has wings and antennae, and a bowl of fruit balances on the belly of a child practicing Table Pose. The inclusion of a free CD with songs written by Jimmy Dunne ensures that parents and teachers have everything needed to confidently introduce yoga to the young people in their lives.


The Philosophy of Childing

Unlocking Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest

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Christopher Phillips
Skyhorse Publishing
Hardcover $24.99 (244pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

Exploring the roles and expectations of childhood onward, The Philosophy of Childing: Unlocking Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest challenges conventionally accepted views of aging and age-appropriate reason, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood and old age. Christopher Phillips, creator of the original Socrates Café, poses questions and ideas by recounting personal experiences, sharing transcripts from various Socrates Cafés, and relating the wisdom of dozens of well-known (and obscure) philosophers, from Socrates himself to the Brazilian educator Paolo Freire and “moral philosopher” and Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy.

More concerned with opening communication and dialogues than drawing hard conclusions, The Philosophy of Childing is a springboard for debate, addressing everything from moral development and imagination to the idea of “ripeness” as a human being. Phillips, a self-proclaimed Monopoly enthusiast with a penchant for quoting Shakespeare, mediates and gently guides while uncovering or recovering some of the most basic and fundamental joys of being a child, at any age.


Breaking Through!

Helping Girls Succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

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Harriet S. Mosatche
Elizabeth K. Lawner
Susan Matloff-Nieves
Prufrock Press
Softcover $16.95 (296pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

Whether they are choosing toys for toddlers or colleges for young adults, Breaking Through! Helping Girls Succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math guides parents, educators, professionals, and students as they not only advocate for girls but equip them with the tools necessary to advocate for themselves. With a wealth of combined experience and knowledge in developmental and social psychology, research regarding women in STEM and social work, Harriet S. Mosatche, Elizabeth K. Lawner, and Susan Matloff-Nieves discuss current gender imbalances in STEM education and fields and offer practical advice for empowering girls at home, in classrooms, on vacation, or wherever the road to discovery takes them.

Emphasizing the importance of cultivating a sense of belonging for girls and young women in previously male dominated fields, Breaking Through! encourages daughters everywhere to note the influence of media, grow toward positivity, and form lasting relationships with dynamic role models and mentors. It enables them to facilitate change in local and federal government spending and policies, and above all else, to experience joy, success, and satisfaction in the study, pursuit, and advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math.


Dear Daycare Parent

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Jackie Rioux
Jo-Ann Parylak
Heidi Graf, illustrator
Rioux Advisory Group
Softcover $24.95 (128pp)
Buy: Amazon

Making the decision to trust someone else with the care and keeping of their precious darlings can turn even the most levelheaded moms and dads into emotional wrecks, but Jackie Rioux and Jo-Ann Parylak, authors of Dear Daycare Parent, know that nothing is more important than cultivating and maintaining partnerships between childcare workers, parents, and the children that unite them all. With combined decades of experience fielding everything from lice epidemics and projectile vomit to lovingly assisting little ones through nightmares or bitter divorces, Rioux and Parylak, along with humorous cartoon-like illustrations from Heidi Graf, offer “over 101 ways to improve your child’s [daycare] experience.”

A complete guide focusing on healthy, happy, safe, and thriving children, Dear Daycare Parent proves that positive, open communication, common sense, and the liberal use of sunscreen go a long way toward balancing the constant demands of work and family. Meanwhile, tips, facts, and real-life examples will resonate with first time daycare participants as well as old pros. This is an invaluable blueprint for navigating the land of drop-offs, snack time, and early childhood socialization.


Pallas Gates McCorquodale

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