Book Review - SuperBaby (Dr. Jenn Berman)

~ Posted on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at 12:05 AM ~

Oh boy, you guys are in for a long review of mine in this post! I tend to go on and on when I discovered something I love and this book is one of them! But please stay on, this book is totally worth it!

I'm so glad I got the chance to review this wonderful parenting book called: "SUPERBABY: 12 WAYS TO GIVE YOUR CHILD A HEAD START IN THE FIRST 3 YEARS". This book was published on September 7th and I've only managed to finish reading this book (yes, all pages!) now, as I could only read it when Ben is napping or after he goes to bed at 10pm+ (plus I've also gotta continue my blogging activities).

Cute cover picture eh?

Ben loves touching the embossed 'SuperBaby' title!

Author: Dr. Jenn Berman
Publisher:  Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.
ISBN: 9781402770333
Hardcover: 432 pages, all in 2-color
Dimension: 8.9 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches

Description from the Amazon product page:

"The first three years of life are the most important for nurturing a child's full potential: that's when they start forming attachments, developing a sense of self, and learning to trust. During this time, there are critical windows of opportunity that parents can take advantage of-if they know how. In a dozen succinct yet information-packed chapters, award-winning columnist and professional therapist Dr. Jenn Berman gives parents the knowledge they need. Her enlightening sidebars, bulleted lists, and concrete, easy-to-use strategies will help parents raise happy, healthy babies…who grow to be flourishing toddlers and successful adults."

Superbaby! Who in their right mind would want to turn down the opportunity to review a parenting book? Of course, at first I was a bit skeptical when I saw the title but thank God I surfed around to get more information about the book and decided yeap, this is the one! And thank God that Emily, the representative from Sterling Publishing gladly agrees to send me a copy for review! Awesome!

Now back to the book, it is broken down into 12 chapters, which I will note down my feedback in red for your easier reading:

# 1 - Talk the Talk: Respectful Communication
My feedback: I love the section about the advantages to using narration when communicating to our child and agree with the 10 reasons why we should not spank our child. You should also read about the 10 pillars of respectful communication and the 10 rules for effective praise. Great points there!

# 2 - You Got Me! Responding to Cues
My feedback: I love the 10 points that prevents parents from responding to their child's cues and couldn't agree more (guilty too!). Am making my best effort to do away with all the interruptions stated in the book.

# 3 - Tick-Tock: Creating Security and Predictability
My feedback: In this chapter, I get to understand the reasons to putting our child on schedule and totally agree with it. We used to have irregular going to bed time for Ben few months back, he would sometimes sleep at 9pm, or 11pm or even past midnight, but after a couple of weeks of following a schedule, now Ben goes to sleep around 10.30pm or so. We will be on the lookout for signs of tiredness or sleepiness around 30 minutes prior or after his usual bed time.

And I also agreed with the beauty of keeping a log book, something which I always do as I actually logged down info on Ben's feedings (what and how much), poopings and all when he started his solids at 6 months old. All this helps when we bring Ben for his routine check-ups or when Ben has problems pooping.

# 4 - Let Your Fingers do the Walking: The Importance of Touch
My feedback: This chapter touched the 8 physical benefits of touch and the effects of touch deprivation. For example, a couple friend of mine dare not touch or carry their baby (he was about 2-3 months old then) too much as they feared their baby will get used and wants to be carried around all the time. I find this sad as they are losing out precious memories and time as children grows up very fast, I mean, if you don't touch and hold your baby now, when do you want to do that?! In this chapter also, I learned a new term called kangaroo care or K-care.

# 5 - More Than Chitchat: Promoting Language Development

One of the chapters I enjoyed!
My feedback: I enjoyed reading the 15 simple things parents can do to promote language development and I love the extra note on what to do when you have no clue what your child is saying, some of which I personally have been practising with Ben, such as asking him to repeat what he has said and also telling him mummy don't understand what he is saying but that mummy really wants to know.

# 6 -
Talk to the Hand: Sign Language
My feedback: For those of you who uses sign language with your child, do read up on this chapter on why using ASL is better than baby signs.

# 7
- Babies Without Borders: Foreign Language
My feedback: I've been trying to speak in other languages with Ben, but so far, still reverted to English most of the time. I'm a Cantonese Chinese while hubby is a Hokkien Chinese (for those of you who are confused, we're still Chinese, just that we are of different dialects in terms of speaking in Chinese) but it is interesting to read about this chapter on the benefits on getting your child to learn other languages.

# 8
- Baby Got Book: Reading
My feedback: I love it that the author includes list of recommended books for the appropriate age and the reasons why some books should just be kept away for our children. I'm glad to see that one of the book I reviewed recently which is "26 Big Things Small Hands Do" is listed in this chapter! And yes, I do want to cultivate the reading habits in Ben!

# 9
- A Different Kind of Toy Story: The Importance of Play
My feedback: I learned about the importance, developmental and emotional benefits of play in this chapter and why blocks rock! And I am very concerned when I read the sentence "The more a toy does for a child, the less the child needs to do." This statement is so true! Think of the toys available in the market nowadays... are our children engaging with the toys effectively? I also love the list of toys and games recommended from birth to age 3. Very useful!

10 - Thinking Outside the Box: Screen Time
My feedback: Let me tell you, as you read this chapter, your worries for your kids grow more and more. You read about the 14 risks for children when they watch TV (even an hour daily is bad enough!) Luckily, this chapter came with steps you can take to gain control of the remote control and get TV out of your life! Seriously, after reading this chapter, I became more wary when Ben is being exposed to TV. Prior to this, the MOST I allow him is one hour of TV time, which he spends while playing at the living room downstairs with my MIL. Nowadays, I tried not to be tempted by the TV.

11 - It’s Easy Being Green: Reducing Exposure to Toxins
My feedback: In this chapter, I read about lead poisoning, PVC and Phthalates, Parabens, flame retardants, cigarette smoke (I hate smokers!), plastic and BPA. You will get to read the 6 simple ways to reduce toxins at home.

12 - Food for Thought: Eating and Nutrition
My feedback: In this last chapter, I read on how to build a better intuitive eater, benefits of breastfeeding (hooray to breastfeeding! I'm entering 20th month soon!). You also get to read about feeding tips for the first 3 years, and what' really in our children's food (scary, scary!)

There are also a few appendixes on child care, preschool, sample schedules for your child and how to reduce risk of SIDS.

Apart from the above feedbacks for each of the chapters, I also like the fact that the book included “From the Experts” sidebars from leading experts and many others. Plus, I totally love the colors used in the book, red nice and easy on the eyes fonts. The one thing I don't like about this book is the jacketed flaps. Too flimsy and waste of paper. Other than that, this book is just perfect!

For those who are already a parent or going to be one or a friend or relative to one or considering to be one, PLEASE, PLEASE, I beg you, consider getting a copy of this book. You will not regret it!

You can purchase this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many more.

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book by Sterling Publishing in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Little One Books Review & Giveaway - Once Upon a Potty: Boy (Alona Frankel)

~ Posted on Friday, October 15, 2010 at 12:01 AM ~

I have the privilege of reviewing a children's book by Alona Frankel (illustrated by her as well) called "Once Upon a Potty: Boy".

Author & Ilustrator: Alona Frankel
Publisher: Firefly Books
ISBN: 978-1554072835
Hardcover: 40 pages
Dimension: 7.2 x 7.3 x 0.4 inches

Product description from Little One Books website:

"In 1975, Alona Frankel wrote and illustrated her first book, especially for her son Michael, on how to use the potty. Thirty-two years later, Once Upon a Potty -- Boy and its companion Once Upon a Potty -- Girl are the classic books on potty training. These children's books help parents everywhere deal successfully with an often vexing challenge for the whole family. Thanks to its timeless words and beloved images, Once Upon a Potty -- Boy is being discovered and used by a new generation of parents. "

This book is provided by Little One Books for my review. Now, a brief introduction to them:

"We specialize in quality books, music, and video, for children birth through age five, and have personally reviewed and selected each and every item in our store. You'll find detailed information on why we prefer a particular product in our "Why We Chose" section of each product page.
At Little One Books, we match each product to what we believe is the youngest appropriate age group. However, our carefully selected items can and will be used for many years to come. As children develop they often find pleasure in revisiting illustrations from old favorites, and eventually learning to read them on their own.

Honestly, we've been getting hints and well-meaning advices from people around us that Ben should be potty trained already at this age (he's 19 months old btw)! I don't know how others did it but hubby and I felt that we should let nature takes its course, I mean, Ben will be ready when he's ready.

But that doesn't mean that I can't read any information pertaining to potty training right?

So, I requested this particular book the moment I saw the cute illustrations on the cover of this book. I've always been very much geared to separated gender books, meaning if there are books that are generalised for both boys and girls, and books that are for boys only, I'll definitely go for the boys books. I find it easier for my son to relate himself to the story when it's illustrated and told from their point of view.

Check out Ben's reactions as he flips through the book...

Ben with Once Upon a Potty: Boy book

Checking out the cute cover...

Ben with Once Upon a Potty: Boy book

Looking at the main character...

Ben with Once Upon a Potty: Boy book

Studying how the boy sits on the potty

One thing I don't like about this book is how the potty is being potrayed. Honestly, it looks like a vase (with a handle) to me. I find myself subtly covering the handles when I go through the book with Ben, maybe it's just me, but I don't want him to go around seeing anything (such as a vase with handle) and think that's a potty! I also flipped through the pages where the little boy initially wonders what is the object (potty) given to him by his grandma. For example, he wears it on his head  wondering whether it's a hat (no, I don't want Ben doing that!).

As for illustrations wise, I totally love it! It's cute and doesn't seem gross at all! The paper quality of the book is good as well, thick enough for easy handling. I don't mind the terms used to represent peeing ('Wee-Wee' in the book, I used 'Pee-Pee') and pooping (both the book and I used 'Poo-Poo').

Now, I just want to highlight that the moment I received the book, I went through 1 round with Ben (just make up my own story as we go along) and I can immediately see some results, albeit a small one, but it is very exciting to see my boy approaching the potty and trying to sit on it (of course, he's still wearing his diapers and pants), but the point is he approached the potty without us coaxing him into doing that! It happened so fast that I don't have enough time to grab my camera to snap this memorable moment!

Pictures below taken 2 days after we received the book:

Ben with his potty

Ben with his potty

Picture on the left of Ben sitting on the potty (with his pants on) when I asked him to show me how the little boy sat on the potty. Please note that prior to this book, Ben never approach nor even touch the potty at all (it's in our bathroom to get him to familiar himself with) and now, he's sitting on it!

Picture on the right of Ben passing back the potty to me when I asked him how the boy gives the potty back to his mummy when he's done with his poo-poo and pee-pee.

Amazing milestones I would say! I'm still very happy and glad I chose this book! It'll definitely be used again and again until Ben is potty trained successfully. In the meantime, I'm already a very happy mummy seeing the mini milestones achieved by my boy within such a short span of time!

Overall, I give this book a 9 out of 10.

You can get this book from Little One Books and many more.

But wait!!!

I'm not going to leave you reading this long review of mine without something right? Now hear me out, ONE of my lucky awesome blog reader/visitor will be able to win a $25 gift certificate from Little One Books! Yup! You read that right!

Your awesome bloggy pal here has got the greenlight to hold a giveaway for a gift certificate worth $25! Woohoo!!

* Eligibility: OPEN WORLDWIDE!

* Giveaway expires on 15th November 2010 (Malaysia time)

* You must fulfil the mandatory entry 1st (which is to provide your valid email address & answering the question), else you will be disqualified.

* Winner will be randomly drawn using and will have 48 hours to respond to  my email notification or a new winner will be drawn.

* Winner will receive their prize sent directly by Little One Books.

To enter the giveaway, kindly click at the link shown below and the entry form will appear in a new window:

* $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway Entry Form *

(Link has been disabled as entry closed at 12midnight past 15th Nov 2010)

It'd be great if you could leave me a comment once you have submitted your entry so that I can check and ensure it's safely tracked into my database.

So what are you waiting for?!! Hurry up! You have 1 month time from now to join in the fun and try your luck!

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book by Little One Books in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Book Review - The Gourmet Cookie Book

~ Posted on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM ~

This is my 4th ebook I get to review, a gourmet cookie book by Gourmet Magazine called: "THE GOURMET COOKIE BOOK".

Author: Gourmet Magazine
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780547328164
Hardcover, Paper over boards ; 176 pages
Dimension: 8.50 x 8.50 inches

Description from the product page:
"For this stunning collection, the editors of Gourmet delved deep into their archives and selected the most delicious cookie for each year of the magazine’s sixty-eight-year existence. After marathon testing sessions and winnowing from thousands of recipes—many sent in by readers—they chose an amazing array, from the almond-scented French-style Cajun Macaroons, from the magazine’s beginnings in 1941, through Mocha Toffee Bars (1971), to the contemporary Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies. The enticing assortment includes:

* Cookies of every type and description, from the homey (Aunt Sis’s Strawberry Tart Cookies) to the exotic (Grand Marnier-Glazed Pain d’Epice Cookies), including balls, bars, refrigerator cookies, drop cookies, even deep-fried cookie confections.

* Cookies from around the world: from Dutch Jan Hagels to Irish oatmeal sandwich cookies filled with cream and Irish whiskey, to Scandinavian Rosettes.

* Dozens of Christmas cookies: Old-Fashioned Christmas Butter Cookies, star-shaped Moravian White Cookies, Chocolate Peppermint Bar Cookies.

Printed exactly as they originally appeared in the magazine, with abundant tips and recipe notes from Gourmet’s test kitchen, and with headnotes describing their cultural context, the recipes present a fascinating bite-by-bite history of how our appetites evolved. "

Cookies! Who would want to turn down the opportunity to review a cookie book? What more a compilation of the finest and best cookie recipes from 1941 to 2009?

I love the way how each recipe has a brief note at the bottom which explains in clearer terms on measurements and steps taken - especially for recipes that goes way long ago (where people normally goes by a cup of this and a pinch of that or when oven is hot). Each recipe came with the pictures of the cookies, which makes you drool even more and wanted to attempt to make each and every one of it!

I think this book is a good choice for cookie lovers and those who are interested in dabbling with cookie making (like me...) I personally note down a couple of recipes which I'll attempt when I get braver with my cookie adventure.

You can purchase The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009 book from Amazon.

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a galley proof of the book via my association with netGalley as a reviewer in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"