Each month, I write a book review column for a local magazine here in town. In collaboration with (and with permission from) the publisher, thought it might be fun to read here. So – here you go:
This is the story of Mr. Seahorse who is busy looking after Mrs. Seahorse’s eggs as he travels around the sea bed. His neighbors range from tilapia to trumpet fish, most of whom are also fathers to-be looking after their eggs. I loved this book for its fantastic color pictures (done using tissue paper), but also because it clearly shows that fathers can play an important role in looking after families (without any judgment). It’s not anti-mother, by any means – just very supportive of males playing a large part of looking after kids. Another fun twist was the insertion of printed plastic panels behind which various characters hide – so fun to look at (and behind!) It’s difficult to go wrong with an Eric Carle book.
A marvelously upbeat and encouraging book about young people (including kids) who have achieved huge milestones in science. With science and technology becoming more important, this quick read narrates the true stories of both girls and boys who have named planets, invented cryptic codes, and enabled people with poor vision to read and other breakthroughs – sometimes starting with only a simple sketch. The books also include lots of fun facts of further details about the kid scientists and a list of books for further reading at the end. A really good way to encourage kids into the scientific world. (And parents– it’s written so you will get it as well!)
My Stroke of Insight – Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.
A science-focused book with a personal view of how a fairly young woman deals when she has a stroke unexpectedly one day. A true story, the author is a neuroscientist who has been studying the brain, and so as she recounts the morning (and each moment) she had her stroke, she remembers details that bring the whole experience clearly to the reader. It’s a fascinating portrayal of her long recovery process – how she needed to relearn how to talk, walk, speak, eat – and also how her caretakers looked after her and what was helpful (from a patient perspective). It was tough for the author to remember that just because she had had a stroke, she wasn’t “less than…” she was before. She was different. If you know anyone who has had a stroke, I would highly recommend reading this book to get a deeper understanding of how life can be for one person with a similar situation. (My father had a stroke, and this would have been very helpful at the time.) The author is mostly very down-to-earth about things, but she can wander off on digressions sometimes. Still, overall, a very good read.
So – there you go. More next month!