Review: Making of a Psychologist

“Many other strong people came before us and they never got a chance to know what freedom was. They sacrificed their lives so that we could have a better life and we must not forget to pay homage to them in all that we do.” page 37

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The Making of a Psychologist by Dr. Earl Bracy.
RoseDog Books, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2010.
Memoir, 268 pages.
Not leveled.

The life story of Dr. Bracy, told by himself.  Technically an autobiography (told by the author in chronological order) but written with more of an anecdotal memoir style.

The Making of a Psychologist by Dr. Earl Bracy
The Making of a Psychologist by Dr. Earl Bracy (with owner’s name and label blurred off of this borrowed book cover).

I came across this book quite randomly when looking for a very different (not diverse) book.  If it wasn’t for this blog, I probably wouldn’t have finished it.  Bracy’s life is interesting, but this book needed a heavy editor’s hand.  I had to stop myself from grabbing a pencil and marking up the margins several times.  If this was a purchased book (rather than borrowed), I’d have done so simply for my own peace of mind.

The formatting is also troublesome with justified margins and a font that doesn’t do the book any services.  The book cover isn’t appealing with the tilted landscape, awkward fades, and random American flag.  All of that’s too bad, because this could have been a very readable book.

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Review: We Are Family

“Each family is different; it may be large or small. / We may look like each other – or not alike at all.” p. 21

We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft.
Tiger Tales, Caterpillar Books Ltd., Wilton, CT, 2017.
Picture book, 22 pages.
Not yet leveled.

A sweet vintage-style picture book depicting similar moments in the lives of ten very different families.

We Are Family cover

This British book is a bit off the beaten path.  I think I was looking for family books that were inclusive of foster and adoptive kids, and this certainly fits that mold.

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Review: 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew

“One of the most sacrificial acts of love adoptive parents can do is to give up their preconceptions and agendas.” page 16

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge.
Delta, Bantam Dell, Random House, New York, 1999.
Nonfiction, 224 pages including index and recommended reading.

This book of advice, information, and deep thought aims at communicating with the next generation of adoptive parents so the adoptive experience can be better.

20 Things Adoptive Kids etc

This was probably the most helpful book I read before becoming a parent.  (One was great for general parenting but not especially relevant to this blog.)  Sadly, this isn’t a book recommended by a social worker or from one of our required classes.

Some of my adopted friends reminded us to consider the child’s perspective.  At the used bookstore this was the only book by adoptees I could find.  Rereading it for this review was an unexpectedly emotional journey.

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Board Book Review: Rain Feet

Our 25th board book is a must-have for early education and preschool programs.

Rain Feet by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Rhonda Mitchell.
Orchard Books, Scholastic, 1994.
Board book, 10 pages.

A young boy dresses for and interacts with rain and puddles on his street in this simple and joyous spring board book.

Rain Feet cover resized

When I was looking specifically for #ownvoices board books about black boys, this series kept coming up.  I purchased this book because it was recommended as the first in the series, but taking a look at the author’s website, it appears that they can be read in any order (which is good, since this isn’t the first book).

This series is called the Joshua books, but in this particular book the protagonist isn’t named.  In fact, much like Peter of The Snowy Day, he is alone exploring his wet urban world and wearing distinctive (in this case yellow) seasonal gear.

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Board Book Review: Good Morning Baby

Our 26th board book sorely disappoints with unrealistic illustrations.

Good Morning Baby by Cheryl Willis Hudson, Illustrated by George Ford.
Cartwheel, Scholastic, 1992.
Board book, 10 pages.

A little girl starts her day.

Good Morning Baby cover resized
Good Morning Baby by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by George Ford.

Most of the diverse board books we’ve found have been somewhere between mediocre and excellent.  This one certainly tries, but can’t overcome unrealistic illustrations.

If you’re familiar with infants or toddlers, you might have found the cover image a bit… off.  Sadly, the interior is just as bad if not worse.  The perspective on the second page is way off, making the image look fairly creepy.  Although the little girl featured is still in a regular crib, she’s then pictured sitting alone of top of the toilet, using the towel bar to keep from falling!

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Board Book Review: Hip Hop

Our 14th board book is simple but surprisingly delightful.

The Hip Hop Board Book by Martin Ander.
Dokument Press, Arsta, Sweden, 2012.
Board book, 22 pages.

“Rap, Breakdance, Graffiti, & DJ:ing – now for the very youngest!  The Hip Hop Board Book is a different, colorful picture book about culture and everyday life with fun and clear pictures for small children.  A charming book with lots of humor and attitude.” ~Back Blurb

Hip Hop cover resized
The Hip Hop Board Book by Martin Ander.

I wish I remembered finding this board book.  It’s not brand-new, but hasn’t gotten much buzz – and it’s from Sweden, although the text is in English.  Perhaps Amazon recommended it to me when I was ordering some other hard-to-find board books.

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Review: Singin’ and Swingin’ and…

“Paris was not the place for me or my son. The French could entertain the idea of me because they were not immersed in guilt about a mutual history…” p. 165

Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou.
Bantam, New York, 1977 (originally published 1976).
Adult autobiography, 242 pages.
Not leveled.

Angelou Singin and Swingin resized
Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou.

In a funny coincidence, I gave away Angelou books (not even read yet… but better loved by someone else) and then a month later came across this in the free books.  Of course I started reading this one immediately and it was fascinating.  I’ve read quite a bit of her poetry before, but never one of her autobiographies.  Upon reading this one I realized that they are probably best read chronologically.

This title is the third, and covers the time when she lived in San Francisco after her son was born, worked a wide variety of jobs, spent a few years married to a white man, and eventually found herself with an entertainment career that took her all over the world, but sadly separated her from her son.

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