A preschool director draws on decades of experience in this debut parenting guide.
Sinsheimer, who founded the First Step Nursery School in 1977, has witnessed countless scenarios of parents and teachers interacting with children. This book compiles many in an anecdotal manner, interspersing them with the author’s expert commentary. The children range in age from newborn to adolescent, though most are preschoolers. They can be shy or rambunctious, insecure or rebellious, bullies or bullied. In one example, a teacher helped a creative but short-tempered 4-year-old boy realize the consequences of his angry outbursts, and arranged for him and two other boys to practice playing nicely together. The child eventually learned to “express his feelings in an appropriate way, to listen to the ideas of others, and that it was all right to create his world and share it with others.” Sinsheimer covers an impressive number of child development topics, including the struggle for independence, sibling rivalry, and gender identity. She advises readers on appropriate discipline, developing children’s talents, coping with learning disorders, and even how to handle holidays. The book also addresses such weighty topics as divorce, abuse, and the concept of death. The author’s overall strategy is simple but brilliant: Let the stories make the points. Many other writers dispense parenting advice by talking at readers, but Sinsheimer seems to converse with them while offering realistic scenes that teach clear, vital principles. The stories are entertaining as well as instructive, and many parents will relate to specific characters and situations. Sinsheimer encourages and empowers readers to be “experts in their child’s life,” and she boldly prods them to action. The chapters are neatly organized, but the addition of section headings within them might have made it easier to scan the material.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
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)