An entertaining and educational analysis of how toddlers learn and why specific TV shows are actually useful for...




A children’s TV programming creator shares her insights into how toddlers learn.

The co-creator of Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and other educational programs, Santomero explains the methods and approaches behind the shows that she and her colleagues have created. Early on, she acknowledges the significant influence of Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and how that show prompted her to create her own engaging, entertaining, and educational storylines for children. She breaks down episodes of Blue’s Clues so parents can understand the dynamics of the show and how toddlers learn from it. “The single most important factor in ensuring children become successful, productive, happy adults isn’t the quality of their education or how high they score on an IQ or achievement test—it’s what happens during a child’s preschool years…hands down. This is a high-stakes game. Luckily, preschoolers are also the cutest and funniest human beings on the planet.” Researchers believe that 90 percent of a child’s brain development occurs by age 5, so Santomero explains why play, repetition, and pausing long enough for a child to formulate answers are so important. She incorporates numerous examples of day-to-day interactions with toddlers as well as handy charts and bulleted lists that get to the heart of each chapter, condensing the important information into bite-size bits for the busy parent. Resolving conflicts, showing respect for others, convincing toddlers to help around the house, and modeling good behavior are just a few of the topics Santomero and her team cover through the creative use of a puppy named Blue and a tiger named Daniel. The author alleviates the fear of oversaturation by helping parents understand that these specific shows are actually beneficial to the child, not just mindless fluff that sucks up time.

An entertaining and educational analysis of how toddlers learn and why specific TV shows are actually useful for preschoolers.

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7433-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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A vivid sequel that strains credulity.


Fremont (After Long Silence, 1999) continues—and alters—her story of how memories of the Holocaust affected her family.

At the age of 44, the author learned that her father had disowned her, declaring her “predeceased”—or dead in his eyes—in his will. It was his final insult: Her parents had stopped speaking to her after she’d published After Long Silence, which exposed them as Jewish Holocaust survivors who had posed as Catholics in Europe and America in order to hide multilayered secrets. Here, Fremont delves further into her tortured family dynamics and shows how the rift developed. One thread centers on her life after her harrowing childhood: her education at Wellesley and Boston University, the loss of her virginity to a college boyfriend before accepting her lesbianism, her stint with the Peace Corps in Lesotho, and her decades of work as a lawyer in Boston. Another strand involves her fraught relationship with her sister, Lara, and how their difficulties relate to their father, a doctor embittered after years in the Siberian gulag; and their mother, deeply enmeshed with her own sister, Zosia, who had married an Italian count and stayed in Rome to raise a child. Fremont tells these stories with novelistic flair, ending with a surprising theory about why her parents hid their Judaism. Yet she often appears insensitive to the serious problems she says Lara once faced, including suicidal depression. “The whole point of suicide, I thought, was to succeed at it,” she writes. “My sister’s completion rate was pathetic.” Key facts also differ from those in her earlier work. After Long Silence says, for example, that the author grew up “in a small city in the Midwest” while she writes here that she grew up in “upstate New York,” changes Fremont says she made for “consistency” in the new book but that muddy its narrative waters. The discrepancies may not bother readers seeking psychological insights rather than factual accuracy, but others will wonder if this book should have been labeled a fictionalized autobiography rather than a memoir.

A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982113-60-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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