Max and Ely are two little boys working hard to get the moon to stay in place. They send a rocket up to try to lasso it, they even try to scold it into submission. Each night the moon comes and goes, bringing closer the day that Ely must leave for the hospital.
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.
In these uncertain times, this book felt so grounding to me. The book is probably more suited towards the 3-8 year old crowd, but the words and illustrations were soothing enough and a great reminder to anyone, regardless of age that living in the moment, breathing, feeling, and finding your calm is not only a faint possibility, but within all of our grasp in one way or another.
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.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a picture book paint such an honest and straightforward treatment of a mental disorder in a parent, and I can imagine what a relief it would provide for young readers to see that parts of their story are shared with others.
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.
It’s easy to read Paola Santiago and the River of Tears as the spellbinding story of the supernatural that it is, but just as Pao learns that there’s more going on beneath the surface of the Gila River, the reader discovers there’s more depth in the book too. Themes of place and belonging are brought into sharp relief as Pao chafes at what she sees as her mother’s backwards beliefs.
At the center of the novel is the relationship between Beetle and Kat, caught in a will-they or won’t-they scenario. These are funny, assertive, girls who, like most kids their age, engage their feelings before their minds–resulting in avoidable, but true-to-life situations.
Isa is a dancer, but her mother doesn’t approve of ballet as a career. Alex is a pitching prospect who wants to be a poet.