Book Review: Answering Your Kids’ Toughest Questions

Answering Kid's Toughest QuestionsFrom Book Description

“Mother/daughter team Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson will carefully walk you through difficult conversations, one topic at time. Speaking from personal experience, informed by child development research, these two moms offer practical insights and age-appropriate guidance. Talking about tough topics may not be as hard as you think, and, more important, you’ll see how these conversations can lead to meaningful discussions of God’s unchanging goodness.”

My comments

Answering Your Kid’s Toughest Questions is an important book, and does just what it says – giving parents suggestions and guidance in discussing difficult topics with their children. The book tackles death, sexuality, violence, and even challenging bible stories, and does so from a solid Christian basis.

I particularly like how the authors break down each topic into three different age groups (preschool, 5-10, 11 and up), giving the parents ideas on how to talk to each group of children on their level. And, it does so in a way that is respectful to  child asking the questions, and respectful of the person “committing” the sin. At the beginning of the book, and throughout the suggested dialogue, the authors remind the child (and the parents reading the book!) that sin is about loving someone/something above God as a prelude to the discussion. For example, in the part of the book where sexual sin is discussed, one of the answers begins as:

“Everybody does things they think will make them happy. Sometimes you take toys that are not yours because you want to play with them and you think they will make you happy. You know that taking toys is wrong and that God tells you not to do it…” (page 108)

Also, although I read the book from cover to cover for this review, it is not required. You can easily skip around the book reading the topics most interesting or applicable to your situation and your child’s questions. Think of the book as a handbook and have it near when you need help answering your child’s questions!

Overall, the book is well-written and very helpful. I do have to admit, coming from a Catholic Christian perspective, I missed the inclusion of Church teaching (particularly from the Catechism) and wisdom from the saints. Not that I was expecting them, mind you, knowing the book is written from a different Christian perspective; and really, the book does a wonderful job dealing with formidable topics that are hard to discuss with children without them.

I absolutely recommend the book and give it four (4) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House <http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse/bookreviewers> book review  program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Our Family’s Top 10 Children’s Books

Fav books

Books, books, books! We LOVE to read in our house! If Andrew had it his way, we’d sit and do nothing but read all day! So, inspired by Crystal’s recent read-aloud series, I thought I’d share 10 of the books Andrew loves the most. Enjoy!

1.The Children’s Book of Virtues. I’ve mentioned this before, but this is hands-down one of our favorite books. It is a conglomerate of short stories, tales and fables that teach many valuable lessons.  Andrew’s favorite story, of course, is “St. George and the Dragon!”

2. A Small Child’s book of Verse. Like the above book, this is a conglomerate of known and not-so-known rhymes and poems. Some teach a lesson and some are just plain fun! They are a great way to begin instilling a love of verse in your children.

3. A Child’s Treasury of Bible Stories. This is a large, picture-filled beginner’s bible. The bible stories are short and easy for little ones to understand and there are big, colorful pictures to reinforce the stories. As expected, David (and Goliath) and Jonah are Andrew’s favorites and I love how they easily portray the stories of Jesus.

4. Picture Book of Saints. This is the perfect book for learning about some of our great Saints. The biographies are short and include the opening prayer for the saint’s feast day mass. We often read this at breakfast time on each saint’s feast day; but, also, Andrew likes to pick up the book anytime and look through the pictures and “read” about them himself.

5. Thunder Cake. This is a sweet, true story of a young girl who was afraid of thunderstorms and how her grandmother helped her overcome her fear by making a “thunder cake.” There is even the grandmother’s recipe for the cake in the back of the book. (I’ve never made the cake yet – maybe someday!)

6. Guess How Much I Love You. This tender story is our ultimate-favorite bedtime book. Little Nutbrown Hare tries to show bid Nutbrown Hare how much he loves him. We often expand on the story ourselves trying to top each other in expressing how much we love each other. We usually get pretty silly doing this and ending up laughing up a storm!

7. McDuff and the Baby. This tells the story of a family who brings home a baby from the dog’s perspective. It is a short, very cute book. Very well illustrated.

8. Goodnight Moon. This is, I believe, a well-known classic. Need I say more. 😛

9. My Special Dinosaur Adventure. This is a personalized book that was given to Andrew a couple of Christmases ago my an Aunt. His name, address and three of his cousins are written into the book. There are several “My Adventure Books” but in this particular story, Andrew is taken back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. This is a fun book that Andrew loves me to read over and over again!

10. My Big Rescue Book. This is a large picture book with colorful images of emergency vehicles, trucks, boats and people in uniform. The perfect book for a little boy! Andrew will spend up the 45 minutes looking at each picture and talking about being a fire fighter, police officer, etc.!

11. BONUS 1! Spot Goes to the Park. Andrew is learning to read and can recognize many of the words in this simple story. The print is very large and the images are bright and big.

12. BONUS 2! Green Eggs and Ham. Andrew specifically asked me to add this in! Who doesn’t love this classic story? “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am!”

I had a real hard time picking and choosing the favorites of our favorites. I may have to do a part two post! What books do you love to read to your children? Do share in the comments! I am always on the lookout for new books to read!

(This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)