12/19 – 12/25 Children’s Book of the Week: Freckleface Strawberry; Best Friends Forever

Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever
by Julianne Moore
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick are as different as can be – which precisely why they become such good friends. Windy Pants is the biggest and Freckleface Strawberry the shortest kids in their class, so when they are both chosen the very last for games, they start to hang out. They discover they have a lot in common – both have families, love books and play pretend. They do everything together! But the kids of their class have very different ideas friendship and norms between boys and girls. Influenced by peer pressure, Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants stop hanging out together, and do all the things that their new friends tell them they missed when together. Soon though, the two discover its really much better to do what makes them happy, and learn what a true friend really is.

A smart, quirky, beautiful story about friendship. Part of the Freckleface Strawberry series. Best for ages 4 and up.

~ Susan Chodakiewitz is the author of the children’s picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House and the founder of Booksicals, Encouraging Reading Through the Arts.  Too Many Visitors is now available  as an ibook for ipad and iphones with a fun read-aloud musical narration.  http://bit.ly/ibookVisitors  ~

The Serious Need for Play

Quoting from the Scientific American Mind article by Melinda Wenner on play – “Free, imaginative play is crucial for normal social, emotional and cognitive development. It makes us better adjusted, smarter and less stressed…”
The article goes on to say that some studies show that a play deprived childhood disrupts normal social, emotional and congitive development in humans and animals.

If you have a chance to read the article in Scientific AMerican Mind February/March 2009, I highly recommend it.

As we book playdates, afterschool acitivities, karate, gymnastics, little league, piano lessons, homework, ballet, yoga class etc. lets remember to make time for our kids to just play with pots and pans, play in the yard, play dress up, play make believe, use their imaginations and simply just play.

And if we are worried about them getting into a good college? Well according to Scientific American Mind – play may just be the thing to puts our kids in the forefront of the competition!