Willow’s Whispers: B

Unknown-1Willow’s Whispers is a rare book in that the author Lana Button puts the “message” front and center, for real kids, with real experiences.  Button stays away from hidden euphemisms and agenda pushing.  The book is about a little girl named Willow who  speaks so softly that her words come out in whispers, no one, other than her dad can hear what she says.  We see Willow constantly unheard and overlooked  in many scenarios at school. Kristabelle, the presumed “popular” girl takes advantage of Willow’s soft-spoken and shy demeanor,  but don’t worry creativity and a little light engineering of a make-shift microphone gives Willow the courage to speak up for what she wants.

Other than the character of Kristabelle I really like this book.  What I don’t like about Kristabelle is that she seems overly stereotyped into her character– blonde, aloof and so intentionally mean, “‘Excuse me?’ Sneered Kristabelle.”  While all of the other characters in the book participate in ignoring Willow, none of them are painted as doing so intentionally–who’s to say Kristabelle was intentionally taking advantage?

If you have a shy child, or if you fear your kid is acting the part of Kristabelle, read this book, give your kids something real to relate to.

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The Art of Being Born by Marcia Aldrich

I’ve been reading through The Best American Essays of 2013 for the last couple of weeks.  Yesterday, on the train, I read Marcia Aldrich’s essay The Art of Being Born” this is a beautifully written piece about “the” initiation into motherhood and childbirth.

“I thought I was the wounded party.  It never occurred to me that perhaps I wasn’t the only one who had been deprived of a birth story, or a story one would want to share.  It never occurred to me that there were no baby pictures because my mother was denied access to me in the first weeks.”