Well, our traditional Parents’ Days have passed, at least in the United States, and I thought I would take the time to write-up a short post on some books that fall into categories that are not often addressed directly in Children’s Literature; but, are essential, nonetheless.
We label sailing as a sport but as one sails the longer journey, it becomes so much more. They hear the sails and water against the hull just as the ancient mariners did thousands of years ago. The motion of the boat and the visuals connect us to something much larger. It can bring peace, tranquility and more.
I can’t teach all you need to know about to help you inoculate the children in your care against pessimism and depression in this short essay, but I can explain the foundations of Martin E.P. Seligman’s work, what optimism is, why it’s important, how you might measure it, and a little of how you might nurture it.
Mr. Alex interviews Sarah Rockett from SLEEPING BEAR PRESS and gets all the details regarding the OWN STORIES OWN VOICES Writing Contest. Sarah also shares with Mr. Alex what makes a good Picture Book Manuscript (including some Dos and Don’ts), what some of her upcoming projects.
On the right, a Christmas tree. Old fashioned bubble lights mostly working, a couple of snowball lights already out, Hallmark ornaments galore. On the left, what can only be termed an eclectic Bethlehem. The nativity scene set up in the front, with an old school New England flower shop, a gasoline station, an observatory and a lighthouse surrounding it.
It’s been well over 30 years since I experienced a Thanksgiving like that; a Thanksgiving with a large extended family, surrounded by those with whom I share a common ancestry, but really so much more. Whether through blood or marriage, those familial bonds, made often through strife laced with love (and not the other way around), are indelible. They are what put the “crazy,” in Crazy Glue. Yes, we have framily, but even those of us who roll our eyes at going home for the holidays, sometimes wish we had a home to go home to.
At aged six or so, my dreams began as I disappeared through the headboard of my bed. My headboard was made of black, shiny plastic, think patent leather, but cheaper, with a mirror like surface. I thought I could make out my reflection. Like Alice, but before I’d heard of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, I’d somehow slip from my bed into an alternate world in my headboard’s reflection.
Starting on September 15, 2020 and concluding on October 15, 2020, Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf will be holding a month long celebration featuring titles by Hispanic Authors. We’ve culled through hundreds of books; read dozens of titles, and have settled on 21 that we know merit your attention.
The tennis great Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” It is a perfect life lesson to be sure, and I wish I had that quote as motto when I was coaching soccer, both for myself and for my kids. But tennis, better than any other sport I know, reliably rewards that mindset.
In all the team sports (and most of life), kids like me struggle with the sensation of being out of place. Putting a team together, in baseball, softball football and soccer almost always results in participants who at least half the time feel inadequate. A few will revel in stardom, and now and again someone like my Romanian team member, a soccer savant, will appear in a league that offers no challenge at all.