Archive for July, 2010

Little Rabbit Foo Foo is a page turner!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010


Little Rabbit Foo Foo, a storybook by Michael Rosen, charmed my  three and four-year old grandchildren. No matter how many times we read it, they couldn’t wait to turn the page and see Little Rabbit Foo Foo bop yet another creature on the head despite Good Fairy’s warnings!


Within one afternoon, they had memorized the book and knew when to turn the page. My daughter grew up with the song/game so it was fun to see her children enjoy it so. The illustrations by Arthur Robins of Rabbit Foo Foo riding through a forest on a motorbike, red mallet poised in the air are delightful as is the put-upon Good Fairy. For the children, it was thrilling to see naughty Rabbit Foo Foo defy the Good Fairy but there were consequences.  Your little ones will love it!


Be sure to also teach your children the game.  Children sit in a circle and recite the verses as a child in the role of naughty Little Rabbit Foo Foo circles the group and then lightly taps one of the children on the head who in turn becomes Rabbit Foo Foo.








Does Your Attitude Towards Math Influence Your Child?

Friday, July 16th, 2010




At book fairs, some parents tell me they weren’t particularly good at math.  Some will go even further and say they hated math. Some go even further than that and say, “My daughter’s a dummie in math like me.”  What’s shocking to me is they tell me this with their child standing at their side.  STOP and think what this message conveys to your child:


·     Mom/dad wasn’t good in math so maybe I won’t be either.

·     Mom/dad wasn’t good in math and doesn’t expect me to be good in math either.

·     I’ll show up mom/dad by if I do well in math.  They won’t like it if I’m smarter.


If you say YOU hate math, be aware you are shaping your child’s attitude toward math, particularly if you’re a mom speaking to a daughter.  Your daughter loves you and seeks to be just like you.  She may pick up the false message math isn’t for girls.  Now most moms would never say, “I hate reading.  I hate books. I haven’t read a book since high school.”  Yet somehow it’s okay for parents to disparage their math skills. 


If YOU say your child is a dummie in math like you, you are setting your child up for failure.  Your child may choose not to disappoint you.  Like mother, like daughter?  Like father, like son?


My recommendation:  do not to share your negative math experience with your children but encourage them.  If you feel you must share this experience, frame it this way:


·      I had trouble with math but you won’t because you have a parent who really cares about your success in math and will help you.

·      Your teacher also cares about your success in math and will help you. 

·      You have resources I didn’t have such as fun workbooks, video tutorials, multiplication CDs and math video games.


My point is:  your negative experience should not influence your child.  Although you had a negative experience, you expect your child to have a positive experience.  You expect your child to succeed in math.  Your child will fulfill these expectations.  There are few parents who do not have the basic skills to make sure their third grader succeeds in math.   Do not project your negative experience onto your child but rather give him or her the extra help and reassurance your child needs to succeed. 


                      Image by Robert Hunt/

Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

                                                                                                                                                        4th-of-july-5I imagine all of you celebrating the Fourth with friends and family today.  Watching our wed by some impressive homemade floats, I thought of years past with my two children.

Now it’s my five grandchildren who dress up like prairie  girls, Pilgrims and Statues of Liberty.4th-of-july-21

This evening I will picnic on the lake with my family and watch the fireworks.  It’s a wonderful day to celebrate with family. 

I wish you and your family a Happy Fourth!   4th-of-july-34




 Images from,,