For a preteen who enjoys writing her thoughts and a mom whose relationship with her daughter is already good, this...

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THE CARE & KEEPING OF US

A SHARING COLLECTION FOR GIRLS & THEIR MOMS

A “How-to-Say-It” package about preteen physical, emotional, and social concerns for mothers and their daughters.

The period between childhood and adulthood can be challenging to navigate. This boxed set includes two 48-page paperbacks, one for mom and one for her daughter, and a much longer blank journal with writing prompts for the two to share. They follow the pediatrician/author’s highly successful titles about girls’ changing bodies and feelings and a similar but preteen-directed journal some users have chosen to share with parents. Topics covered include personal concerns (hygiene, nutrition, exercise, sleep, safety, body changes, periods, beauty, clothing, eating disorders) and relations with the outside world of family, friends, the Internet, romance, and time management. Each double-page spread addresses a separate topic and includes “how to say it” prompts. There are conversation starters, talking tips, and sensible suggestions about negotiating the social-media world, including a sample family contract. Appealing cartoon illustrations show a range of girls and mother-daughter pairs who are clearly communicating. The “completely private” journal has color-coded pages to indicate mother, daughter, and joint entries, as well as similarly coded ribbons to mark pages. The pages labeled “TOP SECRET” seem to contradict the open approach.

For a preteen who enjoys writing her thoughts and a mom whose relationship with her daughter is already good, this well-meant offering might help ease the pair through a difficult time. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60958-978-3

Page Count: 92

Publisher: American Girl

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

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Adults may have to force-feed this purposive book to those not yet committed to the important causes outlined here.

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH?

HOW SCHOOLCHILDREN EAT AROUND THE WORLD

"Organic," "sustainable" and "food miles" all appear in the comprehensive glossary of this book, whose simple title and cover photograph imply a basic approach to the international topic of food.

This very political book, biased toward food equity, explains why certain foods are eaten in certain countries and why school lunches are important. They fill various needs, from the teaching of courtesy and table manners in France and Japan to the supply of basic nutrients for Somali children in refugee-camp schools. Efforts to improve children’s eating habits, curb obesity, encourage use of local crops and provide food to students with limited economic resources are discussed. As the book is from Canada, naturally there are some references to that country in many of the comparisons. Though published in a seemingly picture-book format, the text is complex. Most two-page spreads describe school lunchtime in an individual country, with a cartoonish illustration on the left and a large photograph of a typical meal on the right with numbered arrows pointing to particular elements. Lengthy captions are keyed to each number. Small globe images in each spread point out countries, but larger maps and a bibliography would be useful. “The Message to Parents, Teachers and Students” provides project ideas.

Adults may have to force-feed this purposive book to those not yet committed to the important causes outlined here. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-88995-482-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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An upbeat, serviceable introduction to the benefits of wearing clean clothes, changing bed sheets regularly, and caring for...

WHAT'S THAT SMELL?

A KIDS' GUIDE TO KEEPING CLEAN

From the Start Smart Health series

“How can you defeat the icky germs? Fight them off by washing and brushing your teeth.”

Interspersed with bright color photos of children wincing theatrically at the bad and smiling at the good, Kreisman’s chirpy guide offers easy-to-follow advice on hygienic practices. It also supplies general information on the causes of cavities, body odor and other consequences of neglecting them. Interjections (“Gross!”), lame side jokes and simplified language such as the substitution of “As you get older,” or “When you become a teenager…” for “puberty” keep the discourse from turning clinical. Despite this, the information is accurate (aside from one photo of a child apparently sticking a cotton swab into her ear that contradicts its caption’s warning not to) and not unduly alarmist about bacteria and dirt. A labeled graphic shows what lies beneath the “epidermis,” and readers will come away understanding that “private parts” means “genitals and anus.” A summary checklist at the end, along with a true/false quiz, provides a light dose of reinforcement.

An upbeat, serviceable introduction to the benefits of wearing clean clothes, changing bed sheets regularly, and caring for skin, nails and hair. (glossary, index, print and Web resources) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-93752-967-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Red Chair Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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