Book Spotlight: Kindness in a Scary World: Rebecca J. Hubbard

SYNOPSIS:”How does a parent explain senseless mass violence to a child who is just old enough to be aware that the world has become an unpredictable and frightening place? Kindness In A Scary World is a story about a family that watches news coverage of a terrorist attack and the family’s reaction to the event. The child questions why the attack happened and whether their family is safe. The parents honestly answer their child’s many questions about the attack and help reduce their child’s fear by focusing on positive ways the child can contribute to society. This ground-breaking first in children’s literature is a must-have for anyone with young children in their lives, written by a therapist who has focused on healing traumatized children and families for two decades.”

MY THOUGHTS: Catastrophes of any kind present parents with a conundrum. How does one explain evil in the world? Not all events are the same and none of them have a ‘cookie cutter’ response. But, Rebecca J. Hubbard has nailed down a unique and appropriate answer to children’s questions.

With news coverage of killings and terrorist activities a daily occurrence, children are often exposed to these dramatic events without our knowledge. When we think they aren’t listening, they are. It’s a scenario that every parent has or will encounter. Many times, parents are put on the spot to answer without time to really think. This book offers a way to proactively address these issues.

All the possible questions a child could ask are presented in a story format. While your child is hearing a storybook, parents are gaining insight on handling catastrophes. Included in the book is a type of question & answer section for further advice. These situations are never ones that parents expect to have, but they will pop up from time to time. Thankfully, Rebecca J. Hubbard has written a book for children & their parents. As for the story itself, the characters are certainly believable. The parents in the book are portrayed as caring and knowledgeable and the child interacts with them in a loving, respectful way.

I’ve recommended this book several times and continue to do so. It’s innovative methods for dealing with crisis make it a good choice for your child’s bookshelf. I give it a 4 star rating.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. Pic & synopsis belong to the author/publisher ONLY.


Book Spotlight: Max and Bird: Ed Vere

Birds and kittens aren’t usually friends. In fact, most are enemies. But, Max the Kitten and Bird decide to change this stereotype. Max does view Bird as a potential, tasty snack, but when Bird needs his help, he is determined to do the right thing.

Award-winning, best-selling author/illustrator, Ed Vere brings Max and Bird to life. Having penned two prior books about Max, Vere has established his character and Max will endure. I loved everything about this book. Perfect for the Pre-K through perhaps 1st grade set, Max and Bird provide numerous lessons for children- both obvious and not so overt.

Using ‘friendship’ as it’s main moral message, we see Max and Bird grow as friends and individuals. At the beginning, Max’s mindset is to follow the history of birds vs. cats and eat bird. But, as he begins to spend quality time with Bird, he realizes that his initial assumptions were a bit off. He also finds great satisfaction in helping bird with his quest to fly. Here children witness unlikely friendships formed and about giving new friendships a chance especially when people are drastically different.

With Bird, readers see a character who realizes he needs help and isn’t afraid to ask for it. Again, Bird throws off stereotypical behavior and instead makes Max feel valued as a friend. We also witness Bird losing his temper, but rebounding quickly. He doesn’t dwell on his anger or get violent. He verbalizes and moves on. These are long-lasting messages kids need today.

As the book’s illustrator, Ed Vere has drawn Max and Bird exactly how one might mentally picture them. The illustrations keep the reader’s interest without becoming the only focal point of the book. There’s a perfect harmony between words and pictures. ‘Max and Bird’ is a great choice for bedtime/quiet time reading and I highly recommend it! I give it 5 stars!