November 8, 2016

A Mother's Strength and Bravery

If you ask any parent about their worst fears, their answers will vary. Some fear that their not raising their children right, some fear that their kids won’t fit in anywhere, others will say that they fear for their children’s safety. 

These same thoughts run rampant in my mind as my daughter grows. But as a young mother, one of my worst fears is not being able to watch my child grow. Call it irrational and slightly over-dramatic, but the thought of a parent’s borrowed time has always been a constant since my daughter was born. If I’ve learned anything about being a mother it’s that nothing is permanent; that in a blink all could change. 

Luckily, our changes have been positive. First steps, first words, first full night of sleep, even the bittersweet first day of preschool has been something we’ve celebrated—all an indication that time is moving and we’re progressing with it together. 

However, there are some moms out there who aren’t so fortunate.  Some who consider time more as an enemy because of an illness, like cancer;  who want time to stop moving so fast, and so forward. I admire these mothers and their unbelievable strength. I celebrate their brevity in times of crisis and  their willingness to fight against their disease not only for their sake but their children’s as well.  

And Aurora Whittet’s book,  Mama’s Knight encapsulates every mother’s bravery and passion as they battle with cancer. In fact, it does more than encourage families and children through such a tough fight; it gives them hope.  

So naturally, when Ms. Whittet’s book came across my desk for a book review, I jumped at the chance to share it with you.

Whittet’s book is designed to help families, especially children, cope with the challenges of cancer and treatment.  Each page explains the hows and the whys of disease, complete with fill-in-the-blank features that allow parents to explain their condition in ways that any child can understand.  For instance, there’s a page designated to explain mom’s treatment plan and another that leaves space for symptoms that the child might witness as their mom battle their illness. 

The book also manages to broach the heavy subject of cancer by having an optimistic tone.  From its illustrations to its words, Whittet manages to capture the severity of the disease without being so bleak or scary for children; Her thoughtful tale is one that balances curiosity and sensitivity in one.

Perhaps, however, what I most admire about  Mama’s Knight is the varied activities suggested within its pages.  From building a snuggle fort, to making some gag proof family recipes, to creating a simple story, or enlisting a family member to help out for the day, Mama’s Knight becomes more than just a book to a child; suddenly, it’s a means for them to commemorate his/her time together with their mom, and to ensure that even long after their battle is over, both of them will still have the memories to keep. In fact, I believe that the book is designed not only for families to cope with mom’s cancer, but also to see her through the survival of it. 

Cancer is a devastating diagnosis for any mom to experience, but even more so for her children and family, but Mama’s Knight does more than allow them to endure every facet that comes with it. It allows them to hope; it’s another source of strength they can pull from and a permanent reminder that even if all seems lost, a mom’s strength is always there to endure.  

Buy Mama's Knight  here 
Find Aurora here | Twitter | Facebook

November 3, 2016

5 Children's Book That Teach Kindness (Part 2)

Glad to have Jenn back for her second installment of these kindness books. These 5 sets gear toward the upper level grades and feature one of my favorite YA Lit authors, Jerry Spinelli. Feel free to peruse through and enjoy :) 

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin  
 This short chapter book for third through sixth graders has been in print since 1945. The timeless theme is similar to Each Kindness where students torment a girl for wearing the same blue dress each day. The girl is pulled out of school, and the students are left to regret their behavior. A newer version of this book has a letter from the author’s daughter. This book will help students think about kindness and empathy on a deeper level.

Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Upper elementary and middle school students will rethink the power in the word “loser” as they read this novel. Zinkoff, a student with some special needs who doesn’t quite fit in, proves that anyone can be a hero. This character evokes both compassion and respect from readers. Spinelli makes older students think about kindness without seeming “preachy;” some critics say this novel is the best of this award-winning writer’s works
Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen, illustrated by Daniel Mark Duffy
Even though this short chapter book is perfect for advanced first grade readers, the appeal stretches to upper elementary students. The children in Molly’s third grade class make fun of her accent, but this strong young immigrant girl shows them the true meaning of Thanksgiving and kindness. Cohen’s story is the perfect book to spark discussions about diversity in our country.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Soon to be a major motion picture, Wonder actually inspired “Choose Kind,” a kindness and compassion movement. Auggie, the main character, is a fifth grader with a facial deformity. The story begins from his point of view, but other characters soon chime in. All the characters struggle to accept Auggie and his differences. This novel gives upper elementary and middle school students a powerful forum to examine and discuss their own beliefs about compassion and kindness.

Blood on the River: Jamestown, 1607 by Elisa Carbone
Accurate and well-researched historical fiction may be an unusual genre for teaching the importance of kindness, but this novel demonstrates that kindness and compassion led to the survival of the entire colony. Primary sources document that a boy named Samuel Collier traveled to the New World from England in 1607. Carbone fills in his back story as an orphan and a thief who escapes imprisonment by accompanying John Smith to Virginia as his page. Samuel is a fighter and a bully. John Smith teaches him to channel his anger and learn compassion because his survival depends on it. By the end of the novel, Samuel demonstrates kindness and compassion in a completely selfless and heroic act bound to generate many discussions among tweens and teens alike. While this book describes some graphic, but historically accurate violence, the powerful lessons and fast-moving plot make this a true page- turner!

Shine Blog Hop: A Final Farewell

A Final Farewell to the SHINE Blog Hop
In case you missed the announcement, last week was the final SHINE Blog Hop.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for being a part of this beautiful community. SHINE has been a source of encouragement and inspiration for us and the bloggers that have come here weekly. We hope that the connections you've made here live on beyond the SHINE Blog Hop and we invite you stop by and say hi whenever you have a chance.

You can visit with us through any of our social media channels. We would love to stay connected with you and your amazing blogs.  

We would love to connect with you on social media!

Hosts for the SHINE Blog Hop

Tiffany | A Touch of Grace can be found on:

Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom can be found on:

Maria | Collecting Moments can be found on:

   {Facebook}  {Pinterest}  {Instagram}  {Google+}  {Twitter}

So without further delay, here are the top viewed posts from the last SHINE Blog Hop:

Features from SHINE Blog Hop 120
The Only Way to Parent with Confidence - Joy In My Kitchen

Thanksgiving Printable - 3 Winks Design

Congratulations to all of you! Featured posts will be shared on all of The Deliberate Mom's social media outlets!

Random featured post from SHINE Blog Hop #94

This week's bonus featured post is:

Holiday Baking Tips and Tricks- Forgetful Mama

Participants who have had a post featured on the SHINE Blog Hop, feel free to help yourselves to your badge of honor!

Featured on the SHINE Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a rel="nofollow" href="" title="The Deliberate Mom" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Featured on the SHINE Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Best wishes to all of you. Thank you for coming here to SHINE each and every week. Keep on SHINING... you are awesome!

Jennifer, Maria, Tiffany
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