Diffuse tensions with a good book
Everyone occasionally has one of “those” days. You know what I’m talking about – high-anxiety, stressed-out, major overload. I don’t know about you, but there have been days when I just wanted to run out the door and keep going.
“Those” days aren’t the exclusive province of the adult world. Children of all ages have days that are filled with frustration, anger, anxiety and hurdles. Since children have a lot less experience in this business of life, they need help to learn how to best handle those situations.
I believe everyone has a right to be in a foul mood from time to time. The fact remains, however, that when one member of a household is miserable, it usually affects everyone else, and that’s not fair.
Life isn’t one breezy moment after another for anyone, adult or child. When things go berserk, talk about it; don’t yell about it. The instant somebody yells, the other person has to throw up a wall of self-defense, and you can guarantee when that happens, lines of communication are shut down.
We know running out the door won’t solve our problems, but we can all escape for awhile. A wonderful way to diffuse the tensions of the day is to take a break and get lost in a good book together, such as those highlighted below. Try it for yourself. It’s good medicine.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
“Fireman Small to the Rescue” written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee, Houghton Mifflin Co., 16 pages
Read aloud: age 1-3.
Read yourself: age 6-7.
Farmer Pig’s barn is on fire, and Fireman Small must hurry to put it out.
From the fire company, where he dresses quickly and gets into his fire truck, to tackling the flames amid the fears of his farmyard friends, hosing the barn and extinguishing the flames, and final exhaustion falling into his bed for a much needed rest, Fireman Small might be tiny, but he’s mighty.
Fireman Small is an adorable little character, and this board book, with its sturdy pages and vibrant color illustrations, is certain to be a hit with toddlers everywhere.
Library: Silver City Volunteer Library, Silver City Volunteer Fire Dept., High St., Silver City
Volunteer Librarian: Quest Lakes
Choices this week: “ABC Dinosaurs” by Jan Pienkowski; “The Poppy Seed Cakes” by Margery Clark; “Andrew Henry’s Meadow” by Doris Burn
Books to Buy
The following books are available at favorite bookstores.
• “Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich” written and illustrated by Adam Rex, Harcourt, 2006, 40 pages, $16 hardcover
Read aloud: age 5-10.
Read yourself: age 8-10.
Prepare to meet Frankenstein and the disgusting sandwich he makes for himself from neighbors’ trash. But he’s not the only bizarre monster you’ll meet on the pages of this hilarious book. How about The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Wolfman, Yeti, and The Phantom of the Opera, to name a few. And what these monsters are up to is as varied as their appearance!
Brimming with wild rhymes, ghoulish illustrations, and laughter on every page, this selection will appeal to any kid with a sense of humor, which includes just about every child everywhere.
• “Trollbridge: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Fairy Tale” by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple, Starscape/Tom Doherty Associates, 2006, 240 pages, $16.95 hardcover
Read aloud: age 11-12 and older.
Read yourself: age 11-12 and older.
How Moira and the 11 other Dairy Princesses wind up in an inner realm is strange enough. Then three brothers, members of a popular teen rock ‘n’ roll band, are transported to the same place – Trollholm, where giant trolls roam the land, crave human flesh, and a talking fox promises to help the teens find their way home if they can retrieve a magical fiddle that the trolls possess. But things in Trollholm are not always what they seem, and lives hang in the balance as an ancient pact is revealed that must be rewritten to survive.
Like all good fairy tales, just when you think you’ve got this story figured out, you’ll be surprised several times over. A highly creative novel, this selection will have readers on the edge of their seats.
• Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.