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.
Sometimes, books arrive a little late to the bookshelf; but, we want to bring them to your attention, just in case you need to make a last minute run to the store or want to add them to (or keep them away from) your library. Here are some titles from Simon & Schuster that were published for the Christmas holiday. One, is already a perennial favorite. We’ll start with that one.
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.
So why am I so thoroughly disappointed in this book? It comes down to a few choices made to erase Anthony’s racism in the supplemental materials included in the back of the book.
While it is actively noted that Anthony and her friend/fellow activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton started the suffrage movement in conjunction with their involvement in the abolition movement, there is no mention of the subsequent rift between the two movements over Anthony’s bitterness that the Fifteenth Amendment was making greater headway than women’s suffrage. No mention of the racist speeches Anthony made, or her chosen alliances with George Train (“Woman first and negro last.”), or avowed white supremacists like Belle Kearney.
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.