Useful ideas about dealing with bullies, wrapped in a loving hug.

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Bully Proof

THE GIFT OF SELF-ESTEEM

A debut guide advises adults who want to help children eliminate bullying.

In his book, Leigh-Smith writes that when children come to him “saying that they have a bully in their life, the first thing that I do is congratulate them.” This upbeat, brains-over-brawn approach urges children to think of getting bullied as a challenging opportunity for personal improvement and growth, rather than as a negative encounter. This manual details 28 concepts and 20 hands-on strategies for extinguishing a bully’s fire, providing tips on how to ignore or deflect taunts. Part I highlights concepts—such as the different types of bullying—and lays the foundation for helping children understand their own self-worth. Confident kids with healthy self-esteem shed the “victim mentality,” asserts the author, and are less likely to be targets. Part II offers easy activities for building a child’s self-esteem. For example, kids can draw a “Dream Board” of desired life goals to help visualize their futures. According to the author, a child with an anti-bullying team of adults and a larger circle of friends is also less likely to attract bullies. Part III explores how youngsters can develop positive relationships with others. This gentle, thoughtful, and amicable manual sometimes delivers eyebrow-raising advice: telling a small child who has been pounded by a big kid to be empathetic with the perpetrator seems more like fantasy and less like the real world. But the author does present several practical points, including how to cope with cyber-bullies and document persistent harassment. For the novice, some of the mental tips are refreshingly new; for example, Leigh-Smith recommends that a child never stand still when confronted by a bully, as even slight shifts of the body can keep the mind from “freezing.” Embellished with debut illustrator Niebler’s cute black-and-white drawings, the pleasant, readable chapters flow easily and end with key concepts. Leigh-Smith’s conversational stories and sayings are memorable; for example, kids are urged to hold friends like water in their palms, instead of becoming too clingy. When all else fails, the author recommends physical self-defense (he is partial to martial arts) to escape a foe as quickly as possible.

Useful ideas about dealing with bullies, wrapped in a loving hug.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9162-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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