Featured Top Ten Book Lists
This list is thematic, covering issues that arise at different stages of the parenting game, mindful that much of the “Parenting” section of the bookstore is dominated by infancy and toddlerhood. We can’t forget about our school-age kids and those teenagers! You will find below a mix of books—recent, classic, bestseller, academic, oft-recommended—and my hope is that at least one of them will make you think more deeply about this crazy thing we do call parenting.
Sharing books with my child helped me understand her world and opened up crucial lines of communication when she was in elementary school—lines that remained open throughout her tween and teen years, and to this very day. The benefits of connection and exploration of identity accrue to parents and children of all genders and gender identities, whether they are in a book club with other parents and children or whether they simply read books along with their kids at home.
I began collecting picture books well before I had children, not board books, but the odd-sized hardcover books with beautiful illustrations and stories that enthralled me. There are ten I have listed here that has moved me before I was a mother and long after I was a mother. Many were introduced to me by my best friend, Susan, and together we introduced them to our children, often combining a read-aloud with an associated “story” craft. My five children are past picture book stage, but these books, ever-so-worn from rereading, will never leave my shelves.
Featured Book Reviews
It has been said that the Bard’s words can be applied to any human situation. James Andrews, a British humorist, puts that to the test in Shakespeare’s Guide to Parenting, just released in the United States. In a month full of planning and parties, this short book (155 pages) is a great way to wind down, reflect, and chuckle as you head into a new year.
A few years ago, Washington Post journalist Brigid Schulte, by her own admission, would not have had time to read this book review, or pieces in Brain, Child. Like many other busy mothers, Schulte blamed herself for the frantic pace of her life—a state she calls “time confetti—one big, chaotic burst of exploding slivers, bits, and scraps.” Yet, as she began to research for her book Overwhelmed, she soon identified external forces that have changed the way almost everyone loves, works, and plays (or tries to) in twenty-first century America.