Unwavering Self-Worth Inside and Outside the Box

April 26th, 2007

Odd VelvetSoup du Jour:

Today we look at a “clump” of four books about independent thinkers who, without fanfare or animosity, disregard the judgements of others and are simply happy being who they are.

Ingredients (books discussed):

Jump into Today’s Soup (feedback):

Join the conversation by clicking the Comments link below or sending an email to justonemorebook@gmail.com.

Second Helpings (transcript of podcast):

In a society where the media, schools and, sadly, even parents often expect us to conform to prescribed, Suki's Kimonocookie-cutter ways of being, a common challenge for adults and children alike is to understand and appreciate out-of-the-box thinking or behavior in ourselves and others. With so much emphasis on conforming, being or even befriending a person who is viewed as different can be a scary and isolating experience.It’s not surprising, then, that we sometimes go to great lengths to reject or hide our unique selves — and to avoid those who don’t.

Many children’s books and, to a greater extent, movies attempt to reduce the social stigma against being different through boisterous victory-of-the-underdog themed stories in which the independent thinker saves the day and, to the rousing cheers of once-distant peers, instantly becomes the poster child of popularity. There is no denying that such victories feel great but I (more…)

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Welcome to Swimming in Literary Soup

April 21st, 2007

The role of childhood reading is often described in terms of a two dimensional plane. It’s thought to provide a foundation or, perhaps, a system of roots — something to build upon.

I’ve always pictured the impact of childhood reading as having at least three dimensions — as something that fills us, surrounds us and through which we perceive and relate to our world.

In a recent interview for the Just One More Book! childrens’ book podcast, Margaret Shannon, author of the darkly magical fairy tale, The Red Wolf, shared her view that everything we read becomes part of our own personal “Literary Soup”. I realized then that that’s just the way I’ve pictured the 3dimensional impact of childhood reading — as “Literary Soup”.

I believe that we each draw from our own personal literary soup when we create the stories we tell ourselves about our selves, our world and our lives. And, if the soup is hearty and warm and if there is plenty of it, I believe we can jump right in and swim around, viewing and relating to our world through the experiences and images acquired through our childhood reading.

In this segment for G.N.M. Parents, I’ll share with you my thoughts on the quality and quantity of possible ingredients for brewing up delicious, nutritious, leave-them-begging-for-second-helpings-style Literary Soup. I will suggest combinations of books which I hope will inspire, engage, educate and entertain and practices that may nurture strong reading skills and a love of reading in our young swimmers so they’ll not only stay afloat but will enjoy the experience so much that they’ll eagerly continue to add wisely to their own soup as our window of influence diminishes.

Welcome to Swimming in Literary Soup. I’m your host, Andrea Ross. I’m pleased to meet you.

Many thanks to:

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