Team

Mr. Alex
Editor-in-Chief
Founder

Not everyone comes to parenthood quickly or easily. My husband and I started our journey at the ripe old ages of 46 and we were 49 before we became parents to a bouncing (and I mean bouncing) baby boy. On the upside, we had a lifetime of experience to share with him as he is growing up. On the downside, he is running us ragged!

At the time of this writing, our “baby” is almost 4 years old, and the library of children’s books we have amassed from our travels, purchases and friends is slowly being dissected. Yes, you read that right: dissected. Words are important. And, although neither of us are particularly Tiger Dads, we are particular about what we allow to remain on our Bookshelf.

So, being the Type A (not Tiger, but a bit hyper, get it?) that I am, I searched far and wide for a source of reviews that looked into children’s books not only from an educational and “messaging” perspective, but one that looked at whether or not I actually wanted to sit down and take the time to read the book with my child. Let’s face it. Some of these books (if you’re fortunate) get read over and over and over again. So, you might as well commit to them and enjoy them. You can’t commit if you’re bored out of your mind while you’re reading. Well, I didn’t find a source of reviews that fit the bill to my liking, so I decided to start one: Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf.

In this site, you’ll find some reviews for children’s books. In what I hope you’ll find to be an entertaining tone, I’ll tell you what I think of the book and why. The snark, will be free and provided with love.

You’ll also find essays on parenting–observations from life (mistakes, successes, growth, shrinkage). I hope, that at the very least, you find them interesting. If I say something is working, please know that it’s working for us. Your mileage may vary.

Alexander Fernández has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Theatre from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. His law degree is from the Georgetown University Law Center. He has practiced law for close to 30 years. In addition, he has taught law locally at colleges and universities and enjoys substitute teaching in PK-12. You can find his writings in other publications, including Red Tricycle and Fatherly

Ms. Isa
Director of Education

As far back as middle school, I wanted to be a teacher and a mom. At the time, I didn’t imagine myself as a 30-year veteran teacher, the mom of three adults ages 22-33, or grandmother of two young children, yet—here I am! Life certainly has a way of taking us down the path it wants us to follow.

My oldest son came into my life as a student in my first teaching position—while I was substituting for a teacher on maternity leave. I stepped into the role of mom unofficially in 1991, until he was adopted in 1994. His sister was born in 1995 and his brother just two years later in 1997. Ups and downs took us to a place where it was just the four of us—my youngest finishing elementary school, my middle starting middle school, my oldest serving in the Marines. My job as a mom now became more than I ever anticipated.

Teaching has always come a close second to raising my own children.  After all, in every respect, the hundreds of kids that have sat in my classroom over the years, are also “my kids.”  In the classroom, just like in life, the most important thing is connecting.  It’s not just, what I teach them, but how I make them feel. They need to know that they can count on me whenever they need to.  In establishing connections, my kids feel safe.  When they feel safe, they learn.   Where do our connections come from?  Shared experiences—and books provide some of the most wonderful experiences I have shared with all of my kids. 

Books are vehicles for sharing, for learning, for imagining, for dreaming. They are the catalysts that lead to conversations about important events, doors to explore new ideas as well as places, and foundations for building knowledge about a variety of subjects.  As you can imagine, with three kids and 30 years in a classroom I have quite a few books! The number is pretty impressive (maybe even a little insane) but, I am always looking for new books to share with my kids.

I am excited to share my insights on books, my recommendations for helping to make children lifelong readers and learners, and maybe, just maybe, some entertaining tales of life in a Kindergarten class. I look forward to chatting with you in the comments!

Isabel Suárez has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, from Florida International University. She has a Master’s in Early Childhood Education, and an Educational Specialist in Special Education with a concentration in Autism, from Nova Southeastern University.


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