HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Finding new ways to connect with our kids

Finding new ways to connect with our kids

By Luisa LaFleur, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 3, 2009

I think all parents have a moment when we wonder what happened to the little baby we used to cradle in our arms? I know I’ve had many of these and my kids are still preschoolers. Yet, time flies and those little defenseless babies now have minds of their own, with their own wants and needs–and boy do they let me know exactly what it is they want/need. But not all kids are the same and sometimes it takes work to figure them out and to reconnect with them. Two new books give us just such a chance–one book does so in form and the other in function.

A Talent For QuietA Talent for Quiet

by Kim Chatel (Author/Photographer)

Reading level: Ages 7-12

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing (February 5, 2009)

Source of book: Author

What to expect: Difficulty forming relationships, shared experiences, photography

A Talent for Quiet by Kim Chatel tells the story of a shy girl who’s a little scared of disappointing her new step dad, Bill. Despite Bill’s attempts to build a connection, little Reanie remains wary. Bill tries several tactics but eventually finds success when he invites Reanie on a “photo safari.” He is a skilled photographer who teaches Reanie how to handle a camera and by inspiring her confidence forges a strong bond with his new daughter. Ms. Chatel’s book is filled with beautiful photographs of wildlife that accompany the text and help the reader visualize the bond that is being built between father and daughter. There is also a handy manual at the end of the book with pointers for budding photographers. The book gives us a great idea for reconnecting with our older children: building a connection is as simple as sharing the things we’re passionate about.

Sheviarnold Dan Quixote: Boy of Nuevo Jersey

by Shevi Arnold (Author/producer)

Reading level: Ages 8-12

Audio book available on Kindle, CD and MP3, approximately 3 hours long

Publisher: Play Along Media (upcoming January 2010)

Source of book: Author

What to expect: Tween issues, not fitting in, bullies

In Dan Quixote: Boy of Nuevo Jersey by Shevi Arnold, we’re given a chance to reconnect with our kids by way of function. This is an audio book and what better way to pass the time during a long car ride but by sharing an entertaining “listen”. The story is a fun tale about a 13-year-old boy and his best friend and the adventures they share in New Jersey. The story takes on some difficult issues, such as bullying and peer pressure and the difficulties of staying true to yourself, and handles them with humor. The story also gives the listeners an opening to discuss these things in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way. The function of listening to a tale together gives us the chance to engage with our kids when we’d otherwise be absorbed in our thoughts or our iPods or any number of other things.

Leave us a comment: Which books have helped you connect with your kids?

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Luisa LaFleur reviews bilingual books for The Children’s Book Review to help parents choose the best books for their budding linguists. She was born in Argentina, attended school in NYC and speaks three foreign languages–Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Formerly an editor in NYC, Luisa is currently a stay-at-home mom to two little ones.

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