CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 13 . . . .March 3, 2006
Learning together is what Help Your Child To Succeed is all about. Subtitled The Essential Guide for Parents" it is that and so much more. Acknowledging that children spend less that 15% of their waking hours at school, the authors note that that leaves many possible moments in a day for shared learning. This book offers a cornucopia of ideas and activities to fill those moments and ultimately make an enormous difference in any child's chance of success in life.
This richly colourful and creatively designed book is a feast for the eyes. From the diverse mixture of people on the cover through to the various family groups pictured within, the book covers the spectrum of what it means to be a family in today's ever-changing world. It is also fun to find yourself in one or more of the illustrations (I'm partial to the book reader on page 44).
A creative feature of this book is colour coding. The edges of the pages in each chapter are coloured and outlined in contrasting colours so that you have an introduction in two shades of grey, then chapter 1 in two shades of blue, followed by chapter 2 in two shades of yellow, and so on through to chapter 9 and then concluding with the resource list in two shades of grey. The result is an easy to use reference guide that can be easily dipped into and is pleasurable to read.
Although the book is highly entertaining, it is also thought-provoking. Each chapter may feature a small cartoon image that summarizes its title; however, each chapter also opens with four or more thought-provoking questions that introduce the topics it covers, followed by a fun quiz. Activities and tips exploring various concepts are plentiful throughout the text, and the key points are summarized at the end of each chapter in a short checklist illustrated with an elephant to help you never forget.
Each chapter also has a scattering of facts under a large ? [question mark] and the tag "Did You Know?" Three of my favourites: "Did you know?" ... "That if your child has low self-esteem, it's like driving through life with the breaks on?" (p. 7) "That laughing can help you to remember things?" (p. 19) "That most barriers exist only inside our heads?" (p. 29)
This book is highly recommended for anyone in addition to parents, seeking simple and constructive ways to support a child's learning and make a difference in a child's life for years to come.
Gina Varty, a teacher-librarian in Edmonton, AB, currently provides library supply for Edmonton Public Schools.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.