Thursday, May 6, 2010's Top 4 Tough Lessons For Your 4-8 Year Old Child.

In no particular order...

"A girl and her mother deal with the father's drinking during Christmas. The father builds his daughter a beautiful handmade sled, but is then too drunk to keep his promise to go sledding with her. Mother and daughter take theri Christmas turkey to the home of an older woman who is a recovering alcoholic. This woman provides them with a safe haven of understanding and acceptance. She acknowleges the hurt, but encourages the child to find ways to be happy even while her father continues to drink.
The story could help the child of an alcoholic understand that it is not the child's fault."

"...The House That Crack Built provokes student into serious discussion of illegal drug trade, sale, and use. Through these discussions students look at the various people in the book and how the production, distribution and use of crack may affect each of the characters differently. The man who lives in the house, needs round the clock protection from police and predators. He may be wealthy and have control over the town but he must live in isolation and fear. The farmers who would rather grow plants for the people to eat work in the man's fields because of their own desperate circumstances are being forced to grow illegal crops for their own survival. The people in the ghetto have struggled against the illegal drug production and trade as well as the control of the man in the house only to succumb to the crack in an effort to ease the pain they live with on a daily basis... "

"Grade 1-3-When Annie wakes up in the morning, her mother is making pancakes and cheerily asking, "Who wants hot, golden circles?" The woman proclaims the breakfast "yummalicious" and Annie's purple dress, "Beautastic." But when the little girl returns home from school, her mother greets her by shouting, "STOP ALL THAT SCREAMING-GET IN THIS HOUSE NOW!" An author's note explains that this is how life can be for a child living with a mentally ill parent. When Annie's mother gets upset, the girl knows that she should call her grandmother, who reassures her and reminds her that her mother loves her, even when she's yelling. The child has the option of going to a neighbor's house and waiting for her grandmother to come for her. In spite of these safety valves, she deals with the situation on her own-getting a snack, snuggling with her teddy bear, and going to bed. Annie realizes that she can't stop the dark clouds inside her mother, but that she can find sunshine in her own mind. Lewis makes excellent use of light and shadow in his watercolors, evoking both the sunny glow of a happy kitchen and the foreboding gloom of a dark porch with equal skill. The multicultural cast is depicted with realistic sensitivity. The author's goal is to offer children resilience by introducing coping strategies and helping them to understand that they are not to blame for their parents' difficulties. A skillful treatment of a troubling subject."
- Anna DeWind Walls, Milwaukee Public Library

"Nine year old Jessie's words and illustrations help other sexually abused children know that they're not alone, that it's OK to talk about their feelings, and that the abuse wasn't their fault. Reaching out to other children in a way that no adult can, Jessie's words carry the message, "It's o.k. to tell; help can come when you tell." Please Tell! is an excellent tool for therapists, counselors, child protection workers, teachers, and parents dealing with children affected by sexual abuse. Jessie's story adds a sense of hope for what should be, and the knowledge that the child protection system can work for children. Simple, direct, and from the heart, Jessie gives children the permission and the courage to deal with sexual abuse. "