PBS KIDS Resources for Discussing the News with Young Children

The tumultuous events events at our nation’s Capitol, the ongoing global pandemic, and discussions of impeachment while preparing for Inauguration Day, leave us facing a chaotic news cycle that is not only tough for parents to digest, but also difficult for kids to ignore. 

We can’t prevent kids from seeing scary things in the news – even if parents don’t feel ready to have conversations about them. Curious kids have questions as they inevitably overhear bits and pieces of what is going on in the world around them. PBS KIDS has created the following resources to help parents steer these tough discussions:

  • A step-by-step guide on helping kids navigate scary news stories: Listen, clarify, look for the helpers, and reassure your child. Parents might not have all the answers, but this step-by-step guide will make tackling difficult subjects something parents can handle. 
  • A lesson on resilience with Arthur: What can you say to kids when upsetting events occur? Can empathy build social skills? This list of resources, activities and videos from Arthur will not only help kids build resilience, but will help parents cope as well!
  • Tips to expand your child’s circle of concern: While children are hard-wired for empathy, it is important to help them to be empathetic to people outside of their immediate circle. This effort is critical to your child’s development, and this list of tips is a useful place to start when tackling tough news stories.  

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

I believe every fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, whether that person is a fan of the books, the TV shows and movies, or both, has a Laura story: the moment when she discovered Laura, connected with her, and how it changed her life. Wendy McClure shares her story with readers in The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie.

A senior editor for Albert Whitman & Company, McClure brings the reader through her journey as an adult of rediscovering these beloved classics from her childhood.

A year after the death of her mother, McClure’s eye catches the yellow spine of Little House in the Big Woods in her apartment. She picks the book off the shelf and begins reading. Her boyfriend, Chris, brings home a new set of the Little House books and together they read, explore “Laura World,” and embark on a trip by car to visit the many Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites across America.

The Wilder Life is both touching and irreverent. The author’s lifelong obsession leads her on this terrific journey into a world that is familiar, yet, altogether new. From tracking down a “crock and dash” churn so she can make butter like Caroline Ingalls, to wading in Plum Creek; from purchasing numerous sunbonnets, to meeting girls competing in the Laura-Nellie Look Alike Contest at the Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove, MN; and from a surprise during her trip to De Smet, SD, to the meaning found in a visit to the Wilder farm in New York, readers will enjoy following McClure’s travels.

This is the kind of book that you have to consider as a whole. There are moments when it feels like McClure is poking fun at the whole “bonnethead” obsession and some of the people she meets along the way. She occasionally uses words that were not made for family TV back in the 70’s. She also has her own vision of what faith meant to the Ingalls family versus how it was portrayed on television in Little House on the Prairie and the 2005 mini-series of the same name.

But when you take those moments and blend them into the entire narrative, you come up with a funny, engaging, and moving look into the impact Wilder’s books had on McClure’s life, and how Wilder’s legacy continues to touch the lives of people everywhere. I am thrilled to have The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure as part of my Laura Ingalls Wilder book collection.

Title:  The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie
Author:  Wendy McClure
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (April 14, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1594487804
ISBN-13: 978-1594487804
SRP:  $25.95 (Hardcover)

Will also be available in a Kindle edition and as an audio book.

This review first appeared at my Laura Ingalls Wilder blog, Laura’s Little Houses.  Though this book is not geared toward children, I occasionally post reviews here of books I feel will be of interest to parents.

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The Power of Your Child’s Imagination by Charlotte Reznick, PhD.

Kids seem to be dealing with more and more stress these days. Problems crop up that I never had to think about during my childhood. Thankfully there are helpful books like The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success by Charlotte Reznick.

A nationally recognized child educational psychologist and associate professor of psychology at UCLA, Reznick has created Imagery for Kids, which she has used for more than twenty-five years to help children reach their full potential.

The Power of Your Child’s Imagination will help your child thrive in an ever-changing and challenging world. Using the Nine Core Tools, parents are now able to apply Reznick’s principles in their own homes. Broken down into two sections, this book will explain what the Nine Core Tools are, the benefits of using them, and how you can harness your child’s imagination to transform her life.

The second part of this amazing book shows you how to put the tools to work, using examples from the author’s own practice to help guide you along. Reznick discusses how you can use the tools to tackle problems such as:

* Stress-induced headaches and stomachaches
* Phobias, panic attacks, and social anxiety
* Bed-wetting and sleepless nights
* Hurt, frustration, and anger

And so much more!

The author also provides tips for less stress and better parenting too. This is something that I truly appreciated, because I need to reduce my own stress levels before I can help my kids.

While I haven’t put these tools into practice yet, I am eager to, and hope that my daughters’ natural love of art will make this successful for our family.

If you’re looking for how you can better prepare your children to handle life’s daily struggles, then see how The Power of Your Child’s Imagination can help.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Perigee Trade
  • ISBN-10: 0399535071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535079
  • SRP:  $14.95
  • To download a free e-book with more information on The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success and Dr. Reznick , visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/reznick/. For a limited time Dr. Reznick is offering a very special gift to each person who purchases a copy of her book, including over 80 free gifts, please visit http://www.imageryforkids.com/book/ for all details.

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    41 Things to Know About Autism by Chantal Sicile-Kira

     Has your child recently been diagnosed with autism? Are you the grandparent of a child who has autism? Are you a friend who wants to know how to help someone whose child has autism?

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should consider purchasing 41 Things to Know About Autism by Chantal Sicile-Kira.

    In this informative and helpful book from the Good Things to Know line from Turner Publishing, readers will learn what autism is, what does and doesn’t cause autism, what to do after your child is diagnosed with autism, and so much more.

    Autism advocate and award-winning author Chantal Sicile-Kira, uses her over 20 years of experience as the parent of an autisic child and a professional in the field, to create a book that will help you, your loved ones, and your friends learn more about autism and how to create a better environment for your child.

    The book discusses how to determine your child’s educational needs; how to gain a better picture of your child; emotional and financial effects of autism on the family; why holidays are difficult for families with autism, and many other topics that will be invaluable to families with members who have been diagnosed.

    The author’s passion for this subject is obvious from the beginning. She truly wants people to understand what autism is and what it isn’t. With this one tiny book, Sicile-Kira has provided parents with the basic tools they will need before and after the diagnosis.

    To learn more about this book and its author, please visit the author’s website. This book will be released on March 25th.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • ISBN-10: 1596525835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596525832
  • SRP:  $9.99

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    Guardian Angel Kids Launch!


    Guardian Angel Publishing has announced the launch of Guardian Angel Kids, an online interactive ezine for kids! This new ezine is designed for “healthy and safe entertainment for 2-12 year old children, featuring games and activities” from Guardian Angel books and characters.

    Everyone at Guardian Angel is excited about this new endeavor, including me! When I first wrote Obed’s story, which will be released by Guardian Angel this fall under the title of Little Shepherd, I only had Guardian Angel in mind as a potential publisher. I had read several of their books and knew I wanted them to be involved in bringing Obed and his story to young readers. I was thrilled when I heard they wanted to put it under contract.

    Please visit the Guardian Angel Kids website, where you and your children can listen to an introduction from our Angel Geko named Gak, and browse through the games, stories, and free downloads available in our January 2010 issue.  Meet our Creative Crew and review our Submission Guidelines.

    We hope you enjoy the debut issue of Guardian Angel Kids and bookmark our site so that you can come back often.