Summer is here! Lots of summer book reading is happening with our nanny charges with book clubs and school summer reading lists. Have you found some summer book reads yet? If not today three nannies share with you numerous books that nannies have enjoyed and thought you might as well.
Nanny Jen recommends Matched by Allie Condie I know it sounds funny but this is a Young Adult (YA) book. Actually they are finding that many adults are reading YA. Like Twilight, Hunger Games etc. Matched is a book set in a time where everything is controlled by the government, the “society” as they call it. It is set so everyone lives perfectly healthy, no cancer illness etc. This includes getting your perfect life Match at your 16th birthday. But Cassia begins to fall in love with someone who is not her match. I loved this book. It is a trilogy and I can’t wait for the next book, Crossed, to come out. I listened on CD the reader was wonderful! I really think it’s a great read.
Nanny Amanda recommends the following Author & Books: Do you love the classic childhood books like Cinderella, Snow White and a Christmas Carol? Then you will enjoy Gregory Macguire’s twist on these fairy tales in: Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister, Mirror Mirror, and Lost. The most notarized book is Wicked, the first book of the Wicked Years series. Is someone born wicked or is it thrust upon them? Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West will have you asking yourself this question throughout the book. Wicked takes a look at Elphaba, Galinda, Munchkins, Animals and the whole world of Oz! Following Elphaba as she grows up, goes to college and the struggles she faces. Eventually we also come to know how Elphaba’s life spins out of her control. Her ideals and beliefs lead her to be caught up in events larger than herself, of the kind she is incapable of dealing with. Elphaba’s nature and actions ultimately challenge our notions about the nature of good and evil. Is she truly wicked or just misunderstood?
Son of a Witch is the second book. This book is about a boy, Liir, who is believed to be Elphaba’s secret son. Wearing his mothers black cape and her flying broom in hand he searches for an imprisoned Princess Nor and a long stint in the Munchkinland Army. Eventually Liir takes on a secret mission for the birds of Oz to eliminate the new flying weapon of the Emperor Apostle, the new yet familiar leader of Oz. This is the journey Liir takes to find himself and save the people of Oz.
A Lion Among Men is the third book. While civil war looms in Oz, Brrr—the Cowardly Lion—arrives searching for information about Elphaba. As payment, Yackle, demands some answers of her own. Brrr surrenders his story: Abandoned as a cub, his earliest memories are gluey hazes, and his path from infancy in the Great Gillikin Forest is no Yellow Brick Road. Seeking to redress an early mistake, he trudges through a swamp of ghosts, becomes implicated in a massacre of trolls, and falls in love with a forbidding Cat princess. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the war-mongering Emperor of Oz. Out of Oz is the final book. It comes out Nov. 1, 2011. It starts out with Glinda under house arrest. That’s all we know so far. If you loved Wicked you’ll fall in love with the rest of the Wicked Years!
Stephanie Felzenberg, Editor of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter, recommends the following books:
1. Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong (Fourth of July Reading for Children) A Chinese-American girl helps her parents open their small neighborhood grocery store every day of the year. However, on the Fourth of July her parents just don’t understand that customers won’t be ordering chow mien and sweet-and-sour pork on this very American holiday. As she spends the day working in the store and watching the local parade, she can’t shake her anxiety about her parents’ naivety. When evening arrives along with hungry customers looking “for some Chinese food to go,” she is surprised but obviously proud that her parents were right after all: Americans do eat Chinese food on the Fourth of July. Nighttime finds the family atop their roof enjoying fireworks and sharing a neighbor’s apple pie. For more children’s books about the Fourth of July http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2009/07/childrens-books-about-4th-of-july.html and http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2010/07/childrens-books-for-4th-of-july.html
2. A Domestic Worker Culture Hidden in Plain Sight: Review of The True Nanny Diaries by Nandi At a time when the California Assembly has approved the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (CDWBR) I suggest nannies read the The True Nanny Diaries by Bianca Jacobs, aka Nandi. Nandi, as she prefers to be called, is a Caribbean American migrant and former babysitter that gives us an intimate look inside the lives of Caribbean nannies across the U.S. who are helping to raise the children of many Caucasian Americans. Nandi, told the Daily Caribbean Diaspora News that was inspired to write the novel, because of “the complexity and diversity of the experiences of the women I met…since when other African-Americans, Caribbean immigrants, other people of color see these women, we see nothing beyond those black hands on the stroller handles!” The New Yorker, whose parents were born in Trinidad and Tobago, said she too had that perception until she too “found myself pushing a stroller.” “Actually, I was embarrassed,” said Nandi of the experience. “Not because the work wasn’t honest, but I figured I was ‘better’ than this. But it was what I had to do.” Reflecting on her experiences, she reminisced that, “The first family I worked for was very nurturing, but I was struck by how guilty my boss felt that she had a black nanny caring for her little blond son.” “She told me once she felt that she was perpetuating slavery, I had to tell her to get over it. I really need the money.” The True Nanny Diaries encompasses life through the eyes and culture of illegal nannies from the Caribbean. Beyond the obvious, there was a subtly woven story of goals and dreams, and positive attitudes. It represents a lifestyle that many have heard about, yet few talk about. She tackles some deep, dark topics, but will inspire you with hope as well. I highly recommend The True Nanny Diariesby Nandi and can’t wait to read more from the author soon!
3. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell What the Dog Saw is a collection of stories reported by The New Yorker journalist Malcolm Gladwell. The author specializes in taking ordinary or overlooked subjects and writing about them in entertaining and insightful ways. Nannies will appreciate the chapters specifically discussing child development, intellectual growth, and human behavior. The story most interesting for nannies is the chapter also titled “What the Dog Saw.” Here, Gladwell tells the story of Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.” Gladwell imagines looking through the eyes of the dogs Millan trains and explains why Cesar is so successful in modifying the behavior of the pets and of the owners. Millan’s philosophy is that the dog’s master must be a calm and balanced leader of the pack. A nanny might follow the same advice with her charges and her own children and thereby be an admirable role model. This book is an ideal summer read: each chapter is captivating, self-contained, simple, yet profound. If you enjoy good storytelling from a different perspective, you will enjoy this book.
4. 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do with Your Child By Steven J. Bennet and Ruth Bennett This compact book is a must have that easily fits in any nanny’s purse, back pack, or carpet bag. 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do with Your Child will help take the kids away from the tube and stimulate their minds. You’ll promote better health, improved mental abilities, a stronger caregiver-child bond by doing these simple activities. The best part is you’ll never hear “I’m bored” again! Best of all, the 415 activities require little or nothing in the way of props — usually anything around the house will do-or set-up time. Extensive indexing makes it easy to choose the best activity for any day according to: *Age group *Exhaustion factor *Indoor vs. outdoor *Materials required *Skills learned Make the most of your time with your charges — whether it’s five minutes or a whole afternoon — with simple, fun activities from arts and crafts to to math and number games, Now featuring 50 bonus activities, 365 TV-Free Activities You Can Do with Your Child is a great book for nannies to use instead of allowing their charges to watch TV each day.
5. 365 Ways to Raise Great Kids: Activities for Raising Bright, Caring, Honest, Respectful and Creative Children By Sheila Ellison and Barbara A. Barnett Although this book is written for parents it is a great fun resource for nannies. It is small in size (fits easily into a nanny’s carpet bag), and is easy to follow. Use the “Table of Contents” as an index to find an issue you need to address with your charges. Most likely there will be an activity in the book to use to help teach your charges to develop self-esteem, self-motivation, respect, cooperation, manners, patience, tolerance, humor, forgiveness, and so much more. For example some activities she recommends to help teach children to respect valuables and earn an attitude of helpfulness include:
FIRST TEACH NEW RESPONSIBILITIES: Children need to be taught new responsibilities when ready and able. A two-year-old may not be able to make her bed, but a 10-year-old certainly can be expected to make his bed. Be willing to be patient and commit time each day to help teach children the new task. Then reward with the allowance agreed upon by the parents remembering that praise is the best reward.
CHORE CHART: Rather than telling the children each day what chores you would like them to do, make a chore chart. Click here http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2009/07/teaching-children-to-help.htmlto see how to make the chart and best way to use it.
HELP WANTED: A fun way to make children feel they are choosing their chores is to put up a “Help Wanted” bulletin board in the house. Click here http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2009/07/teaching-children-to-help.html to learn more about making a Help Wanted sign at your nanny job. Each page is dedicated to one activity to do with your charges to help develop bright, caring, honest, respectful, and creative children. I highly recommend this great, easy-to-use, resource for in-home childcare providers.
6. If the Job Gets Tough, Use Child’s Play Review of “The Healing Power of Humor” by Allen Klein Below is an excerpt of a book review by Stephanie Felzenberg, Editor of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter. To read the entire article please click here.http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-for-nannies-of-healing-power-of.html Allen Klein, the author of The Healing Power of Humor shows us how to find humor in our jobs, even when we feel like crying, screaming, or quitting. Allen Klein contends not only can you laugh at adversity, but it is essential to do so if you are to deal with setbacks without defeat. He explains, “A childlike view of the world can frequently put adult life in perspective.” Children are the essence of spontaneity. You’re never sure what they’re going to say or do and looking at the world through their eyes can give you a completely different and more positive perspective on life. The Healing Power of Humor relays convincing evidence as to the psychological and physiological benefits of humor. The author gives concrete and helpful techniques and suggestions as to how we can begin to bring more joy and laughter into our lives. Allen Klein explains that when you do find humor in trying times, one of the first and most important changes you experience is that you see your perplexing problems in a new way — you suddenly have a new perspective on them. As a result of this new vantage point, you may also see new ways to deal with the problems. We recommend this quick read if you are feeling negative about your job. It can give you a fresh new perspective. Click here to see how two nannies found reading The Healing Power of Humor has positively affected their lives and to see the entire article.http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-for-nannies-of-healing-power-of.html
7. Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky For over a decade, noted author and researcher Ellen Galinsky set forth to research how children learn. But, when she asked children about learning she found that many students were expressionless and had lost the fire-in-their-eyes with a passion to learn. Since passion to learn is instinctual in young children, Galinksy questions, “What happened to these kids?” In Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky has grouped research into seven critical areas that children need most: (1) focus and self control; (2) perspective taking; (3) communicating; (4) making connections; (5) critical thinking; (6) taking on challenges; and (7) self-directed, engaged learning. For each of these skills, Galinsky shows caregivers what the studies have proven, and she provides numerous concrete things that you can do to strengthen these skills in children. These are the skills that prepare children for the pressures of modern life, skills that they will draw on now and for years to come What is most special about her achievements is that she has also published a vook Mind in the Making. A vook is a video book you can watch. You can download the video book to your i-phone, i-pad, i-pod, or online. When I was a psychology major in College I remember learning about many of the experiments included in the book, but to see them video taped in the vook (rather than just reading about them in black and white print) really brings the research to life. Click here http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2010/06/marshmallow-test.html to see how nannies can teach children focus and control. Click herehttp://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2010/06/helping-children-make-connections.html to learn how to help children make connections. This experiment shows how infants crave social interaction http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2010/06/infants-crave-social-interaction.html. Click here http://bestnannynewsletter.blogspot.com/2010/06/are-you-calm-or-hysterical-caregiver.html to see the importance of being a calm, rather than hysterical, caregiver.
8. Colic Solved by Dr. Bryan Vartabedian It’s estimated that about one of five babies cry inexplicably. Fifty-years ago, when colic was first described, doctors had few means of knowing what was going on inside a baby. In his book Colic Solved pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, describes why unexplained fussiness may often be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease. Doctor Vartabedian explains that “colic” is an old-fashioned term to describe the behavior of uncomfortable babies. Colic is not a medical diagnosis anymore than “crying” is and fortunately the underlying cause of colic has been discovered so that it can also be treated. In most cases, colic is caused by milk protein allergy or infant reflux. Dr. Vartabedian carefully explains how to tell the difference, and what to do about it. He explains why claims not based on scientific evidence don’t work. For example, infant formula and baby bottles do not treat the root cause of the problem of colic. So, don’t just listen to “wives-tales” on how to treat colic. Instead, pick up a copy of Colic Solved” by Dr. Bryan Vartabedian and share it with your employers immediately.
9. The Professional Housekeeper by Marta Perrone While some in-home child care providers strictly won’t do housekeeping, in The Professional Housekeeper by Marta Perrone we learn that being a professional housekeeper can be very rewarding. She says, “The ability to create an environment of cleanliness, order, charm, and beauty is but one of the many talents of a wonderful homemaker and housekeeper.” She continues, “Becoming a… professional housekeeper can be rewarding. It makes you an important part of a family’s every day life. Often, households require someone else to do the homemaking for them. To be a good household employer, you must know what is needed to get the job done right.” Marta Perrone also offers a Professional Housekeeper Certification. Household workers can take the certification exam that comes with the career and training guides to receive a course completion certification. Information for housekeepers to learn includes: – How to put together the necessary resume and qualifications. – How to interview properly to better your chances of being hired. – How to negotiate a job offer before accepting the position as it relates to: benefits, labor laws, salary and payroll, and more. – How to maintain your job by staying professional at all times. – How to handle problems on the job to avoid unnecessary terminations. For those willing to pitch-in and help clean the home they work in, they will have a better understanding of how to have an efficient, stress-free, clean, and organized environment. Anyone completing this training will be empowered and proud to illustrate all skills and professionalism with confidence.
10. How to Say it To Your Kids by Dr. Paul Coleman As a nanny, I often reference the book, How to Say it To Your Kids by Dr. Paul Coleman and highly recommend other nannies do the same. Dr. Coleman is a family therapist and father, reveals the six fundamental approaches to talking with children. Forming the mnemonic TENDER — Teach, Empathize, Negotiate, Do’s & Don’ts, Encourage, and Report — these six basic ways of communicating cover every conceivable issue of concern. Each short chapter opens with a story, followed by related factual information, a section on how to respond to a child on the subject, and a warning section on how not to respond on topics such as how to speak to a child about dawdling, bullying, or self -confidence. Each chapter consists of practical, how-to advice based on various scenarios, sidebars with new insights to the issues important to caregivers. Some of the short and sweet tips included include: the best reward for a child is a responsive parent, don’t respond with a tone of voice more intense than the child’s, and if anxiety is high it is not a time to lecture or give advice This is a reference manual for nannies to turn to again and again as the children age and new problems, and tougher questions emerge. Loaded with ready-to-use-information, this is a great reference for nannies can come to for a new idea or strategy that can be instantly applied.
11. Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children by Jo Frost Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children is authored by Jo Frost, once the host of the ABC television series Supernanny. Although the book is written for parents, it is useful for nannies since we work in the home with children. The book is easy to read and well organized into nine sections. Jo discusses basic techniques for ages and stages, routines and rules, and setting boundaries. Then she tackles what to do if you have trouble getting kids dressed, toilet training, eating, social skills, bedtime, and quality time. The book is brief and to the point with no long lectures. The book focuses on child development and working with the skills and abilities a child has and helping them to grow in a positive manner. The author feels that all children can be well-behaved when given the appropriate direction, authority, and skills to do so. Jo’s methods are straightforward. She sums up each topic of the book with her top ten rules approach to caring for children which include: 1. Praise and rewards 2. Consistency 3. Routine 4. Boundaries 5. Discipline 6. Warnings 7. Explanations 8. Restraint 9. Responsibility 10. Relaxation She explains that setting a regular routine with defined boundaries and consistency, backed up with plenty of love and attention works for everyone caring for children inside their home.
12. Touchpoints by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. Touchpoints is easy to understand and the author’s approach to childcare is very gentle. Based on over three decades of continuous practice and internationally recognized research, his book, Touchpoints is the only childcare reference by a pediatrician who has both medical and psychoanalytic training, and who offers parents a complete understanding of child development from a physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral point of view. No other childcare guide offers supportive, empathetic insights into the parents’ own emotions, and no other guide includes both chronological chapters and alphabetical topics on all issues faced by families from conception through age six. Part one of the book discusses the “Touchpoints of Development.” This section covers the chronological account of the basic stages of early childhood. Part two covers the “Challenges to Development.” The challenges of development section is a complete alphabetical reference. Each entry shows how to understand, defuse, and prevent potential problems. Part three discusses “Allies in Development.” This section explains the important role of each person in a child’s life: fathers; mothers; friends; caregivers; grandparents; and doctors. Touchpoints is an essential reference is a great resource for nannies, parents, and all in-home caregivers.
13. MegaSkills for Babies, Toddlers, and Beyond By Dorothy Rich and Beverly Mattox. MegaSkills are the attitudes, the behaviors, and the habits that determine achievement in school and beyond. The work of the MegaSkills is to build success for children, parents, and teachers (nannies and au pairs) through books, trainings, conference presentations, and partnerships with schools and communities nationally and internationally. I love using this book as a nanny. It provides simple activities to do with children to help them develop confidence, motivation, effort, responsibility, initiative, perseverance, caring, teamwork, common sense, problem solving, focus, and respect. It is specially designed for school-aged children, this cornerstone guide provides you with hands-on techniques and kid-friendly activities to teach children the MegaSkills that are essential to success in school and life. Along with the specific activities, this guide contains academic objectives for each MegaSkill, tips for getting the best from technology, MegaSkills report cards for parents and children, research notes, and a wealth of additional resources. Dorothy Rich, Ed.D, was an acclaimed educator and expert in how families can help children succeed in school and in life. Dr. Rich, the author of MegaSkills, now in its fifth edition, which has been used by more than four thousand schools and thousands of families across the United States and abroad. She was founder and president of the nonprofit Home and School Institute, based in Washington, D.C.
14. Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else By Geoff Colvin. Geoff Colvin is a Senior Editor and columnist for Fortune Magazine. In Talent is Overrated, Colvin discusses scientific studies and stories to show that a person is not just born with superior talent. Those who achieve great things in life are nurtured. They must learn to achieve great things.Using examples such as Tiger Woods and Mozart, the author examines what helped these achievers exceed the accomplishments of others, in the same fields. Old joke: Q: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” A: “Practice, practice, practice.” Colvin agrees that practice is the way to become a superstar. But not mindless, automatic repetition of previous practices. To become the very best, we must engage in deliberate and thoughtful practice designed to be physically and/or mentally demanding and increasingly challenging. Those striving to be the very best must be prepared to practice thoughtfully, always reaching a little further to get closer to the desired goal. Essential to this process is a discerning teacher: whether a parent, instructor, or nanny. In the cases of Amadeus Mozart and Tiger Woods, that teacher was a demanding father. This book is targeted to a business audience but, if you care for a child, it teaches you to provide a nurturing environment for them. What I learn from this book is that nannies should track the cause and effect of their actions to children, and be ready to change their behavior when necessary. Nannies must be thoughtful and ready to adapt to get the desired behavior of the children in their care. Nannies must practice their facial expressions, their tone of voice, and body language. A nanny’s loving manner, kindness, and maternal instinct is great — but it is not enough. You must evaluate and practice your skills if you want to be the best nanny.
15. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby by Annabell Karmel Making your own baby food is not only more economical than buying commercial brands, it also assures that your charge consumes only the freshest, top-quality ingredients. Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Baby by Annabell Karmel has beautiful photographs and the recipes are user-friendly. Annabell Karmel clearly shows the ingredients and the time it will take to make the recipe. The baby puree book, in particular, describes appropriate ages for particular foods. In addition to easy and delicious recipes, Top 100 Baby Purees also includes information on: weaning a baby and transitioning to solid foods, food allergies, time-saving food preparation tips, freezing and reheating your homemade baby food, and tricks on finding the hidden nutrition in everyday foods. The book does not stress the importance of organic foods and it’s not written for vegetarian families.
16. The Baby Bistro Cookbook by Joohee Muromcew If you care for a child that is a finicky eater you need to read The Baby Bistro Cookbook by Joohee Muromcew. The author urges us not to cook a separate meal for kids. Instead, she suggest giving them a “dumbed down” version – for instance, a less spicy one – of what the parents are eating. Packed with 150 kid-tested recipes, The Baby Bistro Cookbook offers directions for preparing an entire week’s supply of dishes and pediatrician-approved information on adapting recipes to suit any child’s age and tastes. Teaching children at an early age to appreciate and enjoy the same fresh, delicious meals you find so delectable is easy. Once you experience the simple pleasures of knowing that children are eating happily and healthfully, you’ll never want to touch, or feed a baby, another jar of bland baby food again!
17. Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy by Craig Anderson There are many books on the topic of violent video games and their effect on children (and even more articles), we review one book today. After reading this book any nanny or parent will delay children’s exposure to violent video games. Violent video games are successfully marketed to and easily obtained by children and adolescents. Craig Anderson, a leading investigator of the consequences of violence in the mass media, and his colleagues Douglas Gentile and Katherine Buckley, write extremely scholarly and highly sophisticated explanation of the topic. It is not an easy read but they describe both why participation in violent games promote violence by the players and why the public at large find it difficult to accept the great amount of collected evidence that now exists documenting these ill effects. They focus on both developmental processes and how media-violence exposure can increase the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both short- and long-term contexts. Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents also reviews the history of these games’ growth, and explores the public policy options for controlling their distribution. They state that society should begin a more productive debate about whether to reduce the high rates of exposure to media violence, and delineate the public policy options that are likely be most effective. If you work as a nanny and your charges play many violent video games I highly urge you (and your parent employers) to read the disturbing effects of violence in the media on children.
18. Little Lemon Using Little Lemon (Activities for Developing Motivation and Memory Skills)to help motivate children. Little Lemon (Activities for Developing Motivation and Memory Skills)is more than just a book. Little Lemon (Activities for Developing Motivation and Memory Skills)has lesson plans, music, a fictional story, discussion questions, activities and a lemon puppet to purchase from the publisher. A lemon puppet chooses to “make lemonade” when he has the chore of helping a discouraged child who has poor memory skills. The author talks about the secrets for doing better in school. The secrets are presented by adorable puppets, an entertaining story, music, and lesson plans. The lessons help with learning left from right, improving vocabulary, correcting reversals, and more. The secrets for doing better in school can be applied to any subject. This is very appealing to children.