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ThereMightBeGiants "ThereMightBeGiants" (Tasmania, Australia)

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The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Sixth Revised Edition
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Sixth Revised Edition
by La Leche League International
Edition: Paperback
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.27

2.0 out of 5 stars Strong philosophy, little advice on less common problems, Nov. 22 2001
I was disappointed with this book. While it contained a wealth of information on the benefits of breastfeeding, I was expecting more extensive and broadranging advice to help with breastfeeding problems. The common problems like poor positioning, mastitis and low supply were covered, but even here did not seem to cover much more than is readily found in the pamphletts handed out by pharmacies, hospitals and child health clinics. I was already a convert, but needed advice about specific problems I was having feeding my 4 month old. I expected that a book of this size would contain information on problems which were somewhat less common, but still very real issues for many breastfeeding mums. I wanted advice about feeding positions suitable for very large breasted women, how to manage a very fast supply and what to do about infant allergic reactions to breastmilk. The book was unhelpful for me on the first 2, and more alarmingly, pretty much dismissed the issue of infant allergies to breastmilk, basically advising mums to keep breastfeeding affected infants as breastmilk was the best source of nutition and least allergenic option. It failed to discuss the severe weight loss experienced by breastfeeding mothers on long term no-allergen diets or the implications for infant health when even a very restricted diet fails to eliminate the allergen. The "breast is best" advice was poor advice in our case and ultimately, crash weaning onto very expensive prescription-only hypo-allergenic formula proved the only answer to stop our son's continued weight loss, illness and bloody nappies. I still feel betrayed by the advice I read here (and elsewhere from similar philisophical sources), knowing it influenced my decision not to wean my son earlier and that this decision caused him unnecessary weeks of pain and suffering.

The benefits of breastfeeding are covered well in this book and commmon problems are covered too. It falls down badly, however, in failing to acknowledge that for some mums and babies breastfeeding remains problematic to a degree that it impacts negatively on the parent/child relationship or on the parent/child's health. It indicates that breastfeeding will be viable, positive and healthy experience for mother and child, if only the mother is willing to invest the effort. This is an false picture which causes real psychological pain for the small minority of women who cannot breastfeed and nourish, and the larger minority who cannot breastfeed without negative consequences for their own health.
This book is a very effective motivator and well champions the breastfeeding cause for infants. However, the seemingly "at all costs" approach detracts from it's appeal.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers
The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers
by Vicki Iovine
Edition: Paperback
105 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A loving and humourous approach, Nov. 22 2001
Thank you Vicki! It was so refreshing to read this guide which contains NO clinical "milestone X at age Y" tables but instead provides some practical insights into the mysterious thoughts of our cherisehed small people. I almost cheered to read her asking parents to seriously weigh the cost to the child (and the parent's sanity) of trying to meet public expectations about trifles - whether weaning from bottles, losing the dummy, stopping nose picking, toilet training by 2 or getting your toddler to wear clothes that match. Iovine does actually reveal lots of information on how she or her friends have achieved these things, but I liked her "live and let live" reminder a lot. It matched my philisophy to see someone looking at these issues from the toddler's perspective and encouraging parent's to be more sensitive to their toddler's need to do/not do something and less sensitive to other people's possible rating on their parenting skills.
You read her guide and are left feeling pretty certain that by the fourth trip down the toddler taming trail, Iovine has learned which stuff is worth sweating about and which is not. Despite the humourous format, I found a lot of practical information in this book. Her format is to share the (sometimes bitter, sometimes joyful) experiences of her and her Girlfriends and much of the resulting advice is so sensible and appealing e.g. her tips for playdate success are just excellent. I really enjoyed this book, loved the intimate chatty style and got almost teary with heartfelt recognition at her "Top 10 things we'll miss most about toddlers". She may be criticised for being so obviously white and affluent, and will this can influence your feeling of "sameness" with the author, it doesn;t reduce the sense and practicality of the tips offered in the guide. Toddlers who won't give up their binkies, eat vegetables or potty by 2 appear across all social, racial and financial boundaries, and the suggestions for dealing with this do too. Give this book a try for a more intimate and less rigid insight into the joys and trials of toddlers.

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
by Vicki Iovine
Edition: Paperback
176 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh a lot, learn surprising things and love women, Nov. 22 2001
I bought this book as a congratulatory present for the first girlfriend of mine to become pregnant, peeped at it and then had to read it cover to cover. I thought it was an absolutely magical hoot and I wasn't even pregnant! THIS is the book that made me look forward to pregnancy more than any of the serious tomes I bought later. It made baby-growing seem real and human and wonderfully flawed in a way that other books miss. There is none of the dry, detached and sometimes dictatorial stance that is common in the highly rated specialist pregnancy books. I read this book again and again when I finally was pregnant - it was a wonderful lightener on those days when pregnancy seemed less than appealing. Iovine's humour is wicked, but never at the expense of the magic of pregnancy. She seemed to have a window into my pregnant mind. It was so reassuring to know that thousands of pregnant women before me had also sobbed uncontrollably over the children's aid appeal ads on TV. That my husband was not an alien and bad-Dad-to-be because he couldn't feign believable interest in feeling the baby kick or choosing a baby name. And I'd MUCH rather find out about the prospect of "piles", what they are, why you might get them and what to do about them from a mother of four's horror-humour revelation of her own experience, than from reading it as a one liner under "What you may be experiencing: haemmoroids". The first description was one you couldn't ignore; the latter one you readily skip over confident that nothing so appalling could ever happen to YOU! I found remarkable information in this book that I found nowhere else, it made me relish my pregnancies and it made me laugh. As Iovine describes in her book, it made me feel like a part of the circle of mothers. This book is not "What to expect......" but then it doesn't pretend to be. It offers it's own invaluable contribution towards surviving and enjoying pregnancy and the "friends sharing secrets" style of the book really appealed to me. Pregnancy is so intimate and the great pregnancy bibles seemed so detached from what I was experiencing. The Girlfriend's Guide seemed like a girlfriend. It is a wonderful counter balance to other more medical sources.
P.S. I DID buy my pregnant friend a fresh copy!

The Toddler's Busy Book: Toddler's Busy Book
The Toddler's Busy Book: Toddler's Busy Book
by Trish Kuffner
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.20
166 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the toddler activity books, Nov. 22 2001
Well structured and chock-a-block with ideas. I have bought and borrowed over 10 similar books and I think that this book is the stand-out of the genre. The ideas for busy little people range from the "can do it on the spur of the moment" to those that require preparation and advance planning. For the latter, a wonderful list of "what to save" is included to help parents start their own resource centre for toddler activities. The rainy day ideas, busy box concept and travel bag have been sanity savers. Most activities teach toddlers something interesting while they have fun. Quite a few of the activities are also suitable for (or can be modified to suit)older babies. This has been a wonderful resource for our family. We dip into it regularly and it has helped us plan some great party and playdate afternoons too. Very highly recommended.

Luna's Night (Bear in the Big Blue House) (Night Glow Board Books)
Luna's Night (Bear in the Big Blue House) (Night Glow Board Books)
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A novelty that hasn't worn off, Nov. 22 2001
We bought this, assuming it would be a gimicky book that would give our toddler son a lot of pleasure for a short time and then be discarded. The pleasure has turned out to be extended beyond what we thought possible. This little book has quite charming text but hasn't been a read aloud hit with our son. He has been enthralled with the glow in the dark pages, however. We used to just turn them and talk about what he could see. Now that he is almost 2, we no longer "charge" the book. We just turn off the lights and let him loose with the torch. He loves making the "magic pictures" come alive piece by piece with well aimed whisks of his magic torch. It is a lovely activity for winding down before sleep. While our toddler isn't afraid of the dark yet, I can imagine that this book might make the issue of "turning down the lights" a bit more fun and a bit less threatening. A surprising hit!

Baby's First Library (rpkg)
Baby's First Library (rpkg)
27 used & new from CDN$ 18.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Three wonderful toddler books you'll enjoy reading too, Nov. 22 2001
I bought this set when my baby was 3 months old. We started reading him Goodnight Moon every night as part of his settling routine - we thought it was just a nice, short, repetitive little bedtime book that could be read in about 4 minutes. Well, it's turned out to be so much more than that. Our son is now almost 2 and he still has Goodnight Moon as the last story of the night, every night. He loves hearing the little bunny saying Goodnight to everything in his room, a routine we also perform as part of our bedtime wind down. He still laughs at "Goodnight Nobody" and we still enjoy reading it. Thats a tough call for a book we've read about 1500 times. He has a second copy for his bookcase because he loves this story so much that he pulls it out to read most days (and we are more than a little afraid of the precious bedtime book being lost!) It is such an integral part of his sleep routine that it is the first thing we pack to take on holidays. This book has given us a lot of pleasure, and has played a big part in a wonderful sleep routine.
He began a love affair with Big Red Barn at about 14 months and it remains a strong favourite - often on his bedtime reading choices. The wonderful poetry is a joy to read aloud and we all know it by heart. He loves the animal noises (espescially the rooster), counting the eggs under the hen and whispering so as not to wake the animals who are sound asleep in the bed red barn. I love reading him this book. My favourite.
The Runaway Bunny was a hit for a short while when he was about 12 months old - probably because I did a funny voice for the little bunny. It fell out of favour as the text was too long for a younger baby. For the last few weeks though, this has re-emerged as THE book. The one he hunts for in his bookcase. The one he runs up the hall and thrusts into my hands before plopping into my lap, bright eyed and waiting. He loves to point out the baby bunny hiding in the crocus, help the mother blow her sailboat bunny across the water and to swing his arms like he's flying on a flying trapeze. He waits gleefully for the mother (and me) to catch her little bunny in her arms and give him a big hug - surely a big cuddle must be the best ending for any toddler reading session?
This set has been a real trasure. I read Goodnight Moon as a child but has not encountered the other 2. Discovering them has given us all a lot of pleasure. Each has become a real and lasting favourite - these books never inspire the "PLEASE not again. I'll go quite MAD" response. A wonderful new baby gift, or present for grandparents who love to share the joy of reading with their grandchildren.

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