Category Archives: Childhood

“Winston Churchill” by Katie Daynes

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I loved to read the book my kid picked last week from the school library. Actually, she read it. And I re-readed with her.

The author did a very good job with explaining in plain language the life of one of the most fascinating personalities of the last century. The pages with the story of Churchil’s life from age five to his last days are filled with pictures of his life’s events.

Kids and adults alike can learn lessons of resilience from the man who hold jobs which required decisions that impacted millions of lives. Next time I would get bugged by a trivial matter at work, I’ll gently remind myself about it.

We also learned that Churchil’s hobby was painting. Another take away from the book: balance your professional/school demands with something which makes you happy. Balance your brain hyperactivity with works of hand, as my grandmother would say.

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How Haut Koenigsbourg fortress lost it to Monkeys Mountain

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Not literally, of course.

1 May. Labour Day. France. Family trip plan to one of most famous fortresses in Alsace: Haut Koenigsbourg. Incited by 1 May invitations “all – to the fortresses” which invaded Facebook, I bought the train tickets Strasbourg-Selestat on-line the evening before. They are polite, the French railway: tickets for itineraries offered on line are guaranteed strike-free.

The next morning, Labour Day lesson 1: no buses or trams. They expect you to know that. Especially, after some years one lives in France. So, we do some “kilomètres de solidarité” to the railway station. Some celebrate the Labour Day. Some have to labour it.

The train is on time and we get to Selestat. Labour Day lesson 2: read the small script. The navette driver announces that of all castles only Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today, as he heard himself this morning on radio. I open the facebook event on Alsace castles, click couple of pop-up sites to finally get to the text in small letters: Haut Koenigsbourg is closed today. Merci beaucoup!

The driver’s entrepreneurial spirit comes to rescue. He tells us about La Montagne des Singes on the same itinerary and offers not to charge the kid for the trip.

20 minutes latter we are there, meeting the loveliest creatures. Sorry, Haut Koenigsbourg you lost it to monkeys this time. Without even a battle 😉

Time spent there was lovely: we fed them with pop corn distributed by the park’s employees

watched baby monkeys playing

witnessed a love story

and learned how to stay zen even when surrounded by hoards of curios visitors

Re-post: Sharenting – why parents need to think before they post

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Sharenting is a parent’s decision. No doubt. I look at it through my kid’s eyes: would she want the digital identity my sharing would create? The child’s safety and wellbeing are any parent’s main concerns. All we need to do is: Think before posting.

Some parts of this article resonated with me:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sharenting-why-parents-need-think-before-post-steve-blakeman/ by Steve Blakeman

“The secret agent and other spy kids” by Allan Zullo

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This book made me realise that the fairytales readings are a stage we moved through. It is the true stories now that fascinate my kid. She chose from her Scholastic offer “The secret agent and other spy kids”. The book tells 10 true stories of spy kids from the times of the 1781 Revolutionary War to the two world wars and the war in Korea in 1951. It is a good introduction into certain stages of American history through the stories of real-life teenagers who “left their mark in the shadowy world of espionage” who took risks for their country.

The reading will require an adult help with understanding some of the history and military concepts new at this age. So it can be a nice book reading time spent together.

Thought of the week

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I think I discovered the Master of Resilience: Winnie the Pooh, the 1969 Russian cartoon character – Vinni Puh.

No matter what, he bounces back.

He falls from a tree, he stands up and walks towards his goal.

He gets stuck in a passage, he pulls him self out.

He wants honey, he perseveres. And he is rewarded. That’s quite a resilient guy!

The cartoon is helps explaining the resilience concept to kids. It is also a good and filled with humour reminder to adults 🙂

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“Stories of Dinosaurs” by Russel Punter

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The Usborne Young Reader collection has some good and funny books. My kid picked the “Stories of Dinosaurs” from the School library. The book has three stories. In one, a brave Kriposaurus fights a Megalosaurus. In the second, two carnivore Raptor brothers save their restaurant opening by successfully improvising with a vegetarian dinner. And the third story…..I’ll let you discover it together with your young reader.

The Giving Tree

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I was looking to upgrade our bedtime stories. With Jessica Joelle Alexander’s recommendation http://www.jessicajoellealexander.com I found “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

The book was first published more that 50 years ago.

The book teaches the value of nurturing relations in a mutually beneficial way. It helps to explain to children that a balanced give-and-take is a good foundation for friendships they begin to develop.

It is a heartfelt story of a relationship between boy and a tree. At first, their relationship is loving and mutually nurturing.

It is a story about faithfulness and borderless generosity: As the boy grows, so do his demands for entertainment and support. The tree is a constant supplier and satisfies all his needs with all it has until it becomes a stump. The tree demands nothing in return. It is just happy to be there for the boy.

A beautiful story for bedtime reading. For both children and adults.