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Parenting Books

The world is changing rapidly, with technology advancing at breakneck speed and the constant bombardment of social media. The changes in the world are difficult to navigate as it is without the struggle of parenting. Our featured parenting books are here to offer some help. Whether it is an insight into the brave new world of technology through the eyes of a teenager, or perhaps information on the latest trends to keep you in the know. This selection hopes to offer you the information you need to help you do the best you can.

June 2021 Featured Books

Mummin' It

Mummin' It

Author: Harriet Shearsmith, Toby & Roo Ltd Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/04/2021

The book is split into five main sections: food, home, travel, body/beauty and life. The food section is particularly helpful, from meal planning and budgeting to delicious-sounding recipes and step-by-step cooking with kids (with full-colour photos). Inside, there are easy ways to make your home child-friendly, stylish and tidy(ish), followed by tips on travelling with kids (abroad, at home, camping etc), beauty and fashion tips (on a budget, with little time) and finally how to still have a life (friendships, sex life and work life). It’s written in a ‘best friend’ tone – easy to read with plenty of humour – and I found myself nodding along at the advice. You can’t get much more practical than this, with its tick-off checklists, space for meal plans and notes, and even a ‘working mum guilt’ word search. Mummin’ It is ideal for parents with children at nursery and/or primary school, and a book that you’re likely to return to again and again.

eBooks of the Month

May 2021 Featured Books

White Blood

White Blood

Author: Lawrence Trevelyan Weaver Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2021

White Blood explores the history and benefits of human milk, a natural food source that most people take for granted. Human milk nourishes babies from the moment they are born, providing them with all the nutrients they need for growth and development in their early months. Yet the debate on ‘breast versus bottle’ continues, especially in countries where breastfeeding rates continue to decline. Written by a paediatrician, nutritional scientist and gastroenterologist with an interest in history, White Blood is far more than just a reference book looking at how milk is made in the human body. Using research and quotes from leading physicians, historians and social historians, this fascinating book shows how human milk has been crucial to infant health, growth and survival over the centuries. It’s beautifully illustrated with pictures – colour artifacts, paintings and photographs – from ancient civilisations to the present day. This book explores the vital question of ‘why breastfeeding matters?’ and taught me a lot!

Those Who Can, Teach

Those Who Can, Teach

Author: Andria Zafirakou Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/04/2021

I was not too sure what to expect when picking up this book but having read the introduction and hearing the author speak on Woman’s Hour Radio 4, I was keen to start. It is an incredibly readable book. Not what I was expecting, a book to inspire teachers, but a book packed with the most fascinating, and often quite harrowing stories of her pupils at Alperton Community School.  She talks about the children in such an insightful way, telling the reader not just about their time in the classroom, but about their background and their families and the huge impact this has on their abilities and successes in school. The difficulties and challenges some of her pupils’ face are both memorable and moving. She conveys to the reader so clearly the effect that lack of language, cultural differences, cramped conditions and poverty can have on a child’s ability to learn. She looks at the whole person, beyond the bluff and bravado to the real child beneath. Her empathy with her pupils and the obvious passion for her subject really do shine through. I liked her honesty. She believes that she is ‘almost an imposter’ and there are far more worthy winners of the Global Teachers Prize, but reading the many examples she writes about, I feel she is underselling herself. She intersperses her account with insights into her own life, her upbringing and her adult life with her family.  The book teaches us all valuable life lessons: Never judging a child on first impression and the importance of mutual respect are two themes that run throughout the book. I thought initially, it was a book for teachers, but this is a book for anyone. I think on reading it, we will all wish that we had had a teacher such as her when we were at school.

NOISE: A Manifesto Modernising Motherhood

NOISE: A Manifesto Modernising Motherhood

Author: Danusia Malina-Derben Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/03/2021

‘Noise: A Manifesto Modernising Motherhood’ is a fresh look at how mothers can raise children while still maintaining their own identity outside of this role. Informed and inspired by the author’s experiences of being a single parent, teenage mum, mum to triplets and a successful academic and working parent, ‘Noise’ has been created, not as a book that holds the answers, but as a book that asks pertinent questions so you can find your own answers.  As stated constantly throughout, every mother experiences motherhood differently and the author is very clear in acknowledging this manifesto has grown from her experiences. I like the clear boundaries of how Danusia introduces a topic, an obstacle to maintaining a clear sense of identity and her own experience of the ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’ positioning of being a mother and expected by society to give everything to her children and a human, who need space time and their own desires met in order to flourish. Then the author steps back to ask more abstract questions, allowing any mother or mother-to-be reading this to work out how the “Mother Stoppers” and internalised idealised rigid structures and “noise” of motherhood has had an impact on them.  I liked the concept of this book as an opportunity for discussion. This book is a chance, not to eradicate the “noise” of internalised societal roles and structures, but to alter the noise that exists in order to make it more realistic, supportive and beneficial for future generations of mothers. I think that this is an insightful and educational book for anyone who would like to be a mother.  Charlotte Walker, A LoveReadng Ambassador

Indie Books We Love

April 2021 Featured Books

Second Thoughts On Having and Being a Second Child

Second Thoughts On Having and Being a Second Child

Author: Lynn Berger Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/04/2021

Second Thoughts by Lynn Berger is a literary and scientific insight into having and being a second child. Translated from Dutch, it is part memoir and part discussion about birth order, sibling rivalry and sibling relationships. By the time the author wrote this book, she already had two children. But here she recaps on her decision-making process to have a second child after her daughter was born. Second Thoughts is a balanced look at second-time parenthood. There’s a lot packed into its 200 or so pages – it’s written in a balanced, non-judgemental way and isn’t intended to sway readers in one direction or another. Lynn Berger explores psychological research and speaks to experts to see whether (or how) birth order may influence personality and development. She brings the science to life with personal anecdotes about growing up with a young sister and the interactions between her son and daughter as they discover each other and the world around them. Having a second child tends to be a heart-led decision, rather than a scientific one. But this will be helpful background to anyone with an interest in psychology.

Beach Explorer

Beach Explorer

Author: Heather Buttivant Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2021

Beautifully presented, packed with puns, and shot-through with an environmental ethos, Heather Buttivant’s Beach Explorer is the perfect companion for days at the beach, with fifty activities and oceans of facts that are sure to inspire and astound children and adults alike. Highlights of the practical projects include finding fossils, starfish bums and mermaid purses (yes, you read that right!), and the step-by-step instructions for pressing seaweed and making your own plankton net. What’s more, alongside all the “how to make and find” activities, Beach Explorer is packed with facts that are sure to enliven even the most dedicated of beach bums, from finding out about the world’s largest poo (which, by the way, is the “bright-orange rancid-smelling poo” of the mighty blue whale), to discovering how fish camouflage themselves. The book ends with an excellent chapter on how to “Be a Wildlife Champion” that highlights how “humans are creating environmental problems”. Importantly, the author shares lots of ways young eco-minded explorers can help combat these problems through the likes of picking litter and planning climate-friendly beach trips.

A Girl's Guide to Being Awesome

A Girl's Guide to Being Awesome

Author: Suzanne Virdee Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2020

From finding your sparkle (which the author defines as “unleashing the natural talent inside you” and "feeling and believing you can do anything”), to dealing with anti-social media, Suzanne Virdee’s A Girls’ Guide to Being Awesome is a pitch-perfect guidebook for girls navigating the confusing path to adulthood. The author, an award-winning TV journalist and radio broadcaster, contextualises her approach and advice through her experience as a tenacious, aspiring journalist who refused to give up. Sassy inspirational soundbites (“life is tough but so are you”; “success is a decision”; “don’t wish for it, work for it”) sit alongside detailed discussions of big issues, among them education, anxiety, sex and online grooming.  The book also suggests empowering practical exercises, and provides nicely-designed space for readers to jot down their own thoughts on the likes of dreams and ambitions, using one’s sparkle, social media, and feminist icons, which will surely prompt deeper thinking and help young women hone valuable life skills.

The world is changing rapidly, with technology advancing at breakneck speed and the constant bombardment of social media. The changes in the world are difficult to navigate as it is without the struggle of parenting. Our featured parenting books are here to offer some help. Whether it is an insight into the brave new world of technology through the eyes of a teenager, or perhaps information on the latest trends to keep you in the know. This selection hopes to offer you the information you need to help you do the best you can.