At the most basic level the terminology is not set - toilet training/potty training, poo/poop/BM, etc, e...moreToilet training books are a tricky endevour...
At the most basic level the terminology is not set - toilet training/potty training, poo/poop/BM, etc, etc. The methods vary - do you use a potty or do you go straight to the toilet? There are also fundamental differences in the acceptance of the talking about poo in public!
This book plays on the idea that parents/adults would be embarrassed by a toddler singing "Potty poo-poo wee-wee" in public. This doesn't even feature on my emarrassment radar - so really the book doesn't work for me...
This book may be good for an Olivia-obsessed child - but really it is a shocking book! I'd be going back to the actual Olivia books rather than the TV...moreThis book may be good for an Olivia-obsessed child - but really it is a shocking book! I'd be going back to the actual Olivia books rather than the TV adaptions.(less)
This book certainly will increase vocabulary! Pages of noises, textures, actions are mixed with touching 1 page insights into the lives of the feature...moreThis book certainly will increase vocabulary! Pages of noises, textures, actions are mixed with touching 1 page insights into the lives of the featured animals.(less)
Definately a book targetted at the 'girlie girl' market - with plenty of pink, dancing, tutus, and brothers! But despite the wrapping the story is universal - don't limit your goals to what seems possible.
As always Jackie provides insight into the inspiration for the story on her website.(less)
You'll want your child to be familiar with the Postman Pat characters and background prior to reading this as it doesn't even attempt to introduce any...moreYou'll want your child to be familiar with the Postman Pat characters and background prior to reading this as it doesn't even attempt to introduce anyone!(less)
A purely utilitarian book to assist parents in toilet training their kids.
The illustrations are uninspiring. The text starts off well (From head to to...moreA purely utilitarian book to assist parents in toilet training their kids.
The illustrations are uninspiring. The text starts off well (From head to toe, see how you've grown?), but quickly degrades into a pretty ordinary blow-by-blow description of how to go to the toilet. The plot attempts the "big kids use the toilet" method.
The tips (from a Doctor!) are common sense to anyone who has parented a child up to toilet training age.
You'd be doing well if this book managed to convince your child of anything (or taught you anything!)...(less)
Hmmm... The back of my version claims "A classic Australian board book"... What is a 'classic' book in the world of children's literature. I'm thinkin...moreHmmm... The back of my version claims "A classic Australian board book"... What is a 'classic' book in the world of children's literature. I'm thinking that at the very least a children's book can't be referred to as a classic until someone who grew up reading the book is now reading the same book to their kids. So books like Alice in Wonderland, The House at Pooh Corner, the Railway Series by the Awdrys (Thomas the Tank Engine) the earlier Seuss and A Bear Called Paddington would easily be classics. Books now coming into the 'classic' category would be things like: Possum Magic, Animalia, Each Peach Pear Plum, Where's Spot?.... A book first published only 3 years ago surely doesn't make it into a classic category!
Enough of that rant...
This is a relatively simple counting book with a plain page with the relevant number of Australian animals painted onto it. The paintings themselves are the key to the success of this book - and as I reviewed in the alphabet version (An Australian ABC of Animals) I'm not a huge fan. But very many people will love the illustrations. (less)
You'll spend you time comparing this book with the Awdry's Railway Series. There are obvious similarities: trains, fictional setting, Britishness, ste...moreYou'll spend you time comparing this book with the Awdry's Railway Series. There are obvious similarities: trains, fictional setting, Britishness, steam trains in the age of diesel/electric... The major difference is that the train forms a backdrop to the major characters - Duffy the driver and Jack the guard - rather than the trains themselves being the main attraction.
X-man is a train phase at the moment - so it is some relief to get away from Thomas, Gordon, James and co.
The illustrations really lend themselves to identifying items - "where's the seagull?, can you find the chair, etc"
The text itself is pretty short and not hugely inspiring.(less)
Jeannie Baker does great collages - and she has challenged herself with this book. Making water look real in many artforms is really tricky - Jeannie...moreJeannie Baker does great collages - and she has challenged herself with this book. Making water look real in many artforms is really tricky - Jeannie manages an acceptable result in this book. Once the book heads underwater the task becomes considerably easier. This world is unfamiliar to many of us, and even to those familiar it is other-worldly.(less)
Ben Elton's books are always a quick and easy read, and this is not an exception - even with a change of genre into historical fiction.
The murder myst...moreBen Elton's books are always a quick and easy read, and this is not an exception - even with a change of genre into historical fiction.
The murder mystery component of this book is pretty simplistic when compared with the best - you should have a very good idea of whodunnit by half way through. The reason for this is so much of the book is devoted to trench warfare scenes which form the backdrop to much of the investigation. (less)
It examines the grand tradition of the bloke's shed (in this case a room downstairs) and the influence of this...moreI'm not sure what to make of this book.
It examines the grand tradition of the bloke's shed (in this case a room downstairs) and the influence of this on the kids.
Too Good dispairs that her dad is always too busy to read to her - he is always tinkering with his latest project down in his room. He always seems to be moving onto the next project before the previous one is finished.
Then Too Good discovers Dad's latest project is writing a book for her tenth birthday. Will he finish it? Will he read a book to her?
So the moral seems to be that you can be an absent father as long as you love your kids? Or maybe it is a cautionary tale for absent fathers that they should spend time with their kids... Or maybe a reminder for kids that secretly their absent father really does love them...(less)
If it were up to me I'd be rating this maybe a 3. The original Railway Series are pretty good, but I'm wary of anything that has been made for TV then...moreIf it were up to me I'd be rating this maybe a 3. The original Railway Series are pretty good, but I'm wary of anything that has been made for TV then turned into a book... However I've been overruled by my son who is constantly demanding "Trains" - and this book certainly filled that requirement.(less)
A fantastically interactive story for young children. You'll love almost as much as your child playing along with Moonpie, Tiny and Andre.
The sturdine...moreA fantastically interactive story for young children. You'll love almost as much as your child playing along with Moonpie, Tiny and Andre.
The sturdiness of the construction, like so many other books, leaves a little to be desired - the warning on the back of the book that it is not suitable for those under 3 if followed would significantly reduce the audience for this book.
We are yet to get to the preschool clothes arguments...
It may be just my laissez-faire parenting style but why can't Ella Sarah wear the ensemble she...moreWe are yet to get to the preschool clothes arguments...
It may be just my laissez-faire parenting style but why can't Ella Sarah wear the ensemble she wants (as long as there is no safety risk, and it is not a dress-code event like a wedding or funeral)? Seems to me that the family needs to pick the things that really matter to have tantrums about! We'll see in a couple of years if I'm eating my words!
Having cats - the throwing the cat across the room in tantrum worries me.
This is very obviously an academic thesis turned into a book. It thus suffers the problems academic works so often suffer - a lack of a coherent narra...moreThis is very obviously an academic thesis turned into a book. It thus suffers the problems academic works so often suffer - a lack of a coherent narrative, excessive repetition and plenty of assumed knowledge. If however you go to the effort to wade through this book it rewards you.
Fasinating insights into the role of Scouts in British colonial (and briefly post-colonial) Africa. It concentrates on South Africa and Kenya, representing South and East Africa. Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia are also covered in lesser detail.
There are interesting parallels between the Boy Scouts of America and the African Scout associations in their struggles with controversial political issues. The ongoing Girls, Gays and God issues within the BSA have distinct parallels with the issues of segregation in the African assocations. Should the Scouts be a progressive organisation that lead public opinions, or should they be a conservative organisation that only moves once public opinion has? Should individual Scouts work within the organisation to bring about change, or should they create independent Scout Troops outside the official bureaucracy, or should they give up on Scouts entirely?
the struggles between the African Scout Association's
Scout associations accepting what is right and what is politically acceptable (less)
This book is about the guilt mothers feel about their parenting decisions. If they work, then they are abandoning their children, if they care for the...moreThis book is about the guilt mothers feel about their parenting decisions. If they work, then they are abandoning their children, if they care for the kids then they are abandoning their careers. If they bottle feed they should have been breastfeeding, if they breastfeed they should have weaned earlier or later. You get the idea.
This is a real problem - you just need to walk through any baby products store, read a parenting magazine, or speak to any mother! I hope this book was an honest attempt to start the conversation to try to reduce this burden of guilt associated with motherhood. However I worry that it is, like so many other products out there, is simply cashing in on parent's vunerability.
The methods the authors used are valid. Share real mother's experiences with a wider audience and discuss the author's own experiences. Show there is a wide range of what 'normal' is in parenting - and that a wide range of parental decisions are valid, and not worth feeling guilty about.
However I have some significant issues with this book.
Firstly it is claimed that fathers are immune from motherguilt. Really motherguilt is parent guilt. You just need to listen to the emotive lyrics of Cat's in the Cradle about a father's guilt and remorse about the lack of time he spent with his son growing up to learn that these issues transend gender. Father's are spared some of the key early guilt-generating decisions, we play a supporting role in ceasar/vaginal birth, drugs at the birth, breast/bottle. However they certainly are not immune from parental guilt!
The one exception to the blanket claim of no-guilt-for-fathers is when the father is the primary carer - in which case they are really the mother aren't they!!! Ahhh... No. They'd be fathers who are caring for their kids.
The next section that raised my ire was the section that blamed the media, in particular women's magazines, in promoting an unrealistic expectation of their post-baby bodies. Ita Buttrose a key role in developing, and profiting from, this celebrity-driven culture in women's and tabloid journalism since the 1970s as editor of Australian Women's Weekly, Cleo, and the Daily Telegraph and more recently on the board News Limited, as editor-at-large of OK! Magazine. The hypocrisy is astounding!
The lack of support the women interviewed in this book had is worrying - particularly from their partners.
The selection of women seems biased towards the social set of Ita and Penny (a GP in the most exclusive suburb in Australia). The way the Raising Children Network simply introduces "Russell, father of two" (ie Russell Crowe), "Jana, mother of Cornelius" (Jana Pittman) really highlights that these are just normal parents trying their best. This book on the other hand explains in great detail Wendy Harmer's waterfront mansion - and how they bought the surrounding houses so they had control of the neighbours - and dealing with their live-in nannies. It also explains how Kerry Packer paid for Ita's childcare expenses (at a time when women were being kicked out of jobs for getting married!). These details simply highlight the differences in issues between the average reader of this book, and the average person interviewed by the authors.
The medical advice provided by this book is shocking. Penny Adams is a GP, true, but she really has been concentrating on her media commitments for the last decade. She's sold her name (and medical degree) to basically anyone who'll give her money - Probiotics Yakult, Erectile Dysfunction, Dr Penny Adams’ Brain Trainer, a series of infomercials on TV, etc. The community nurse they interviewed constantly worried me with her comments - boasting that due to her knowledge and experience none of her patients had ever experienced post-natal depression was particularly worrying.
The section dealing with the influence of the media, particularly celebrity magazines on mother's body image post-birth really is disingenuous. Ita Buttrose was the editor of key Australian womens magazines (Cleo, Australian Women's Weekly) (1972-81), followed by tabloid newspapers (Daily Telegraph) and then on to the board of News Limited. Ita has thus been in a key position to influence/profit from the portrayal of celebrities in some of the key sources of tabloid gossip in Australia. (less)