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Family Adventures in South Carolina

Resources

Parents' Choice Foundation®

Resources and Recommendations

Linking you to resources that are informative, useful, thought-provoking and fun.

We’re Here for Each Other

The LEGO® ‘Play Well Report​'

How to Travel With Children

How to Create a Family Media Plan

Reading to Your Toddler? Print Books Are Better Than Digital Ones

How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger

Check on Product Recalls

What Teachers Should Know About the Science of Reading

The Perks of a Play-in-the-Mud Educational Philosophy

Lali’s Feather

Lali finds a small feather in a field and decides to return it to its rightful owner. All the local birds, rooster and peacock through blue jay, reject it because this feather is small and plain and their feathers are not! Lali shows them all the imaginative things she can do with the feather, and the birds begin to think differently. When the wind blows her plain but precious feather away, the birds rally to help her.

Set in India, this small stylized character and her feather romp happily through a rural Indian landscape. Lali, the friendly birds, and her gentle adventure are depicted in bright colors across double-page spreads that are charming.  The ending is satisfying, yet there is also a small surprise that is appropriate and perfect for discussion.

 

Kemie Nix ©2020 Parents’ Choice

Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children’s Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents’ Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Bird Count

Kemie Nix ©2019 Parents’ Choice

Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children’s Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents’ Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

Safari Live

Ann Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice

 

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

The Great Upending

Twelve-year-old Sara, the main character and narrator of Beth Kephart’s delightful new novel, The Great Upending, is suffering from Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that has left her with unusually long legs, flat feet, and a dangerously enlarged heart. Sara and her 11-year-old brother, Hawk, live on a farm in rural Pennsylvania with their father and mother and a friendly assortment of hogs, goats, cats, and birds. As the novel begins, Sara’s parents, who don’t have near enough money to cover the cost of the surgery that Sara desperately needs to repair her damaged heart, have rented out the silo adjacent to the farm to a mysterious silver-haired stranger who spends all of his time alone. Overcome with curiosity, Sara and Hawk discover that their privacy-loving tenant is actually a famous author and illustrator of children’s books who has hidden himself away on the farm to complete the final volume of his bestselling Red Shoe trilogy. As the story unfolds, Sara and Hawk discover that they themselves are the subjects of the author’s story and that the author has a far deeper and more personal connection to their family and the farm on which they live than they had ever dreamed. In the story’s final scene, the novelist suddenly finds the inspiration to complete his story on his own terms, without the intrusion of his sales-conscious publishers and editors in New York City, and Sara and her family learn that she will receive the medical treatment that she needs. From the frequent allusions to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, which is Hawk’s favorite book, to Sara’s fascination with the fictitious Red Shoe books that she and Hawk check out of the local library, The Great Upending is a moving celebration of the power of reading to awaken children’s imaginations and sense of wonder.

 

David Shirley ©2020 Parents’ Choice

David Shirley’s recent nonfiction titles include A History of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fix It Leroy! His YA biographies, Every Day I Sing the Blues: The Story of B. B. King and Satchel Paige: Baseball Legend were honored as the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens.

EYE SPY: Wild Ways Animals See the World

Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents’ Choice

A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.

ASK Magazine

Don Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice

A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin

Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin will probably inspire a serious case of career-envy.  This biologist travels by ship to some of the most exotic ports in the world to explore the people, landmarks, food, and customs of the region.

In one episode, Corwin visits Seward, Alaska, one of the state’s oldest seaports.  He visits an aquarium to learn about conservation, meeting a giant Pacific octopus, weighing seabirds, and feeding rescued northern sea otters.  Then it’s time for a little ice climbing, followed by fishing in the Gulf of Alaska.   Back on shore, Jeff joins a chef who helps him prepare the day’s catch on an open fire pit.

In another episode, Corwin’s cruise ship lands in Zanzibar, Tanzania, where he disembarks to explore the intersection of science, culture, and conversation at several protected sites and wildlife preserves.  On safari, he tracks lions with a biologist and two members of the Maasai community who protect wildlife from poachers.

Bermuda is the destination for a cruise Corwin takes with his teen daughter, riding on horseback over the island’s famous pink sand beaches and learning about threats to seabirds. Later, they go on a dive to explore the fabled Bermuda Triangle.

While this series is sponsored by the cruise line that takes Corwin to his exciting destinations, it does not feel like a commercial.  Corwin’s expert interviews and the subject matter at each stop stay focused on informing and entertaining viewers, making them feel like they’re on the journey, too.

 

Gina Catanzarite ©2020 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 14 Emmy® awards, 37 Emmy® nominations, a Matrix award, 3 Golden Quill awards, 2 Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

The Lost Boy’s Gift

David Shirley ©2019 Parents’ Choice

David Shirley’s recent nonfiction titles include A History of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fix It Leroy! His YA biographies, Every Day I Sing the Blues: The Story of B. B. King and Satchel Paige: Baseball Legend were honored as the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens.

Top Wing 1

Top Wing 1

Gina Catanzarite ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

We Are One

Lahri Bond ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

Me and My Apple

Me and My Apple features 15 animal and nature-loving songs, including the playful pig tribute “I Do I Do Love You,” the Country pop butterfly tune “Magical Moments,” the bluegrass fun of “Mine All Mine” about turtles, and “I See You By The Sea” about a snack snatching group of seagulls. Farrell turns her attention to the plant world in the lovely, reassuring song of a weeping Willow (“Deep Roots”), the finger snapping “Green Peas in a Pod,” the apple crunching “Chomp Chomp Chew,” and the maple flavored hoedown “Sugar Shack.” Elsewhere, the wonders of the Earth are explored in “Treasure Hunting,” about finding agates, and the cave appreciating “Shine Your Light.” The album is balanced with still more charming little songs about sea otters, spiders, ducks, goats and seaweed. Farrell’s music skillfully teaches children about the world around them, through her very entertaining song structures, memorable melodies and her warm friendly singing.

Lahri Bond ©2020 Parents’ Choice

Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.