In a world dominated by video games, voice mail, and television, it's easy to overlook the importance of the written word. If one very important thing parents can do to help their children learn is read to them, then encouraging them to write must run a close second.Read more...
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In a world dominated by video games, voice mail, and television, it's easy to overlook the importance of the written word. If one very important thing parents can do to help their children learn is read to them, then encouraging them to write must run a close second. What better -- and more rewarding -- way to teach a child these invaluable communication skills than through letter writing?
In her warm and engaging text, Mrs. Clinton suggests ways parents can help their children initiate and enjoy the experience of writing and receiving letters, sharing her family's (and pets') experience, and explains how letters to Socks and Buddy are received, sorted, and answered at the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home. Mrs. Clinton gives a brief "pet history" of the White House, from Dolley Madison's parrot and Teddy Roosevelt's children's menagerie to the Bushes' English springer spaniel Millie. She also talks about the ways Socks and Buddy participate in White House life, such as greeting guests and visiting hospitals and nursing homes. Fans of the First Pets will be delighted by a section on their vital statistics (Socks' tail length: 1 foot; Buddy's snout length: 5 inches) and answers to the questions most asked by correspondents ("Do you have room service?").
In Dear Socks, Dear Buddy, Mrs. Clinton also shares more than fifty letters children have sent the nation's First Pets, from a simple request for a "paw-tograph" to more exacting notes of good wishes ("I want to give you a big heart, as big as the whole world") and generous advice ("Just because they went on a trip and didn't take you doesn't mean they don't love you any more"). Illustrated with more than eighty photographs of Socks and Buddy on the job and at play in the White House, this book will inspire children to share their ideas and wishes through writing.
You've shopped and shopped for the perfect birthday present for Aunt Agnes, but to no avail. You need help, my friend, and you've come to the right place. What birthday gift is always in season, never spoils, and is just the right size? Books, of course! If you are in need of a birthday gift for Aunt Agnes, or anyone else, read on.
Living in an age where information is readily available at your fingertips, old habits like letter-writing have been elevated to art form status. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken letters written to America's most political pets and compiled them in Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets (all ages). In addition to the wonderful letters (many reproduced in the original handwriting), Mrs. Clinton provides background information on her two pets and parenting advice. Funny photographs, mostly of Socks and Buddy making themselves at home in the White House, make this book enjoyable to read and "just look at the pictures."
Is Aunt Agnes (or someone else) turning 50? Then Fifty on Fifty: Wisdom, Inspiration, and Reflections on Women's Lives Well Lived (Warner, $30, 0446523690) is just the ticket. Journalist Bonnie Miller Rubin interviews 50 women who are either approaching or have passed their half-century birthday. The interviewees are varied (Gloria Allred, Nell Carter, Erica Jong, and Diane Von Furstenberg, to name a few), and Rubin provides a biographical sketch for each. Some found success at an early age, others much later, and others aren't convinced they are "there" yet. A good choice for anyone who is taking a life inventory.
Your birthday-er is a golfer, and you don't know a nine iron from a fire iron? Don't despair - any golf lover would enjoy The Greatest Biggest Golf Book (Andrews McMeel, $9.95, 0836269373). Measuring in at only 1.82 x 5.97 x 4.02 inches, it's packed with facts, statistics, tips, and even famous lies about this time-honored game. How far did Alan Shepard's golf balls travel when he played on the moon? Who wore a suit of armor when he played? A must-have for any golf addict.
What if you don't know Aunt Agnes very well, but well enough to send her a birthday gift? The solution: a book about birthdays. The Power of Birthdays, Stars, and Numbers: The Complete Personology Reference Guide (Ballantine, $24.95, 0345418190) isn't a big book of horoscopes; it offers all sorts of information about astrology, fixed stars, numerology, and specific profiles for every birthday of the year. Be sure to peek at Aunt Agnes's birthdate for insight into next year's gift; it's never too early, you know.
Our Oregon-based reviewer and outdoors expert Wes Breazeale suggests To the Summit (Black Dog & Leventhal, $39.98, 1579120415) for the outdoorsperson in your life. He writes the following: To the Summit is both a magnificent look at 50 of the world's most intriguing mountains and a fascinating exploration of the history of each mountain and the sport of climbing. With six sections representing each continent (Australia and Antarctica are combined), each chapter looks at an individual mountain and often includes profiles of famous climbers. Scattered throughout the book are anecdotal tales from people who have climbed the mountains, brief examinations of climbing gear and techniques, and bits of history from the world of mountain climbing. To the Summit would be an obvious favorite for anyone interested in climbing, but would also make a beautiful gift for any outdoor enthusiast, photography lover, or travel buff.