A useful guide for parents who should read this all the way through once and then keep it close for reference.

READ REVIEW

EYE TO EYE

THE HANDBOOK ON LOVINGLY AND SUCCESSFULLY PARENTING YOUR THREE-TO-FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD.

Teacher Walther’s real, poignant anecdotes about her preschool students illustrate and support her advice on interacting with young children.

As the title suggests, Walther advocates the benefits of respectfully interacting with children at their level, both physically, by adjusting to face them at their eye line, and emotionally, by viewing situations in terms of their young perceptions. With testimonials included to support her methods, Walther focuses on the consistent practice of providing constant love, respect, honor and encouragement. Parents can refer to the book for guidance to constructively modify immediate behavior problems, but the lessons are designed to additionally develop lifelong social and academic behaviors. Because of the effective narrative structure, the reader typically has a decent understanding of the concepts and techniques even before getting to Walther’s research-based explanation. She first illustrates her methods by sharing actual stories from her preschool work that successfully (and often humorously) convey the undesirable behavior or emotional struggles of the child, the methodical response from the adult and the thought process that leads the children to improved behavior. The methods encourage the children to come to their own conclusions by understanding the consequences of their behaviors, both positive and negative, as opposed to simply being told to follow rules. The lessons illustrated in the stories are then concisely supported by research and science. The reference-style format of the book, with its detailed topic index and a table of contents that provides a synopsis for each chapter, allows readers to quickly flip to sections that might relate to their child’s particular behavior. Parents reading the book will spend a great deal of time reflecting on their own behavior, even beyond the parent-child dynamic, because Walther’s approaches can also be interpreted as simply a proper, caring, kind way for people to treat each other in general.

A useful guide for parents who should read this all the way through once and then keep it close for reference.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1439273494

Page Count: 214

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A vivid sequel that strains credulity.

THE ESCAPE ARTIST

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A miscellany of paternal pride (and frustration) darkened by the author’s increasing realizations of his mortality.

DAD'S MAYBE BOOK

Ruminations and reminiscences of an author—now in his 70s—about fatherhood, writing, and death.

O’Brien (July, July, 2002, etc.), who achieved considerable literary fame with both Going After Cacciato (1978) and The Things They Carried (1990), returns with an eclectic assembly of pieces that grow increasingly valedictory as the idea of mortality creeps in. (The title comes from the author’s uncertainty about his ability to assemble these pieces in a single volume.) He begins and ends with a letter: The initial one is to his first son (from 2003); the terminal one, to his two sons, both of whom are now teens (the present). Throughout the book, there are a number of recurring sections: “Home School” (lessons for his sons to accomplish), “The Magic Show” (about his long interest in magic), and “Pride” (about his feelings for his sons’ accomplishments). O’Brien also writes often about his own father. One literary figure emerges as almost a member of the family: Ernest Hemingway. The author loves Hemingway’s work (except when he doesn’t) and often gives his sons some of Papa’s most celebrated stories to read and think and write about. Near the end is a kind of stand-alone essay about Hemingway’s writings about war and death, which O’Brien realizes is Hemingway’s real subject. Other celebrated literary figures pop up in the text, including Elizabeth Bishop, Andrew Marvell, George Orwell, and Flannery O’Connor. Although O’Brien’s strong anti-war feelings are prominent throughout, his principal interest is fatherhood—specifically, at becoming a father later in his life and realizing that he will miss so much of his sons’ lives. He includes touching and amusing stories about his toddler sons, about the sadness he felt when his older son became a teen and began to distance himself, and about his anguish when his sons failed at something.

A miscellany of paternal pride (and frustration) darkened by the author’s increasing realizations of his mortality.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-618-03970-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more