What Do I Say About That? Coping With an Incarcerated Parent By Julia Cook

In 2015, 2.7 million children in the United States had a parent in prison. That means that 1 in every 14 children. Almost everyone is aware that our prison population has alarmingly increased throughout the years, but the youngsters of these parents are often overlooked. Their tender hearts and minds find it difficult to deal with these changes in their families. Confusion, shame, anger, grief, feeling unloved and hurt bombards them. Many of these are in school and feel they have no one to talk to. The lack of support can lead to having emotional, behavioral, and mental problems that can affect their futures.
Ms. Cook does a remarkable job of putting into words what they are facing and feeling. This is comforting because they know someone understands. She also equips them with ways to face the crisis. Gently she encourages the child to understand the parents need for their love and forgiveness. These 2 things are ultimately healing for the child. I loved the way the book was written from the child’s perspective and allows the coping skills presented to be discovered by the boy in the story, not just told to the reader.
Ms. Cooks’ books are usually light and fun, with humorous illustrations. This book has her usual high quality writing and art, but handles the subject with the sensitivity and seriousness it deserves.
I asked my 13 year old grandson, J., to read the book and his responses were surprising. He recently befriended a boy at school who shared with him that his father was serving time. The boys didn’t want others to know. J. said he understood why the boy acted so sad and quite, usually avoiding other classmates. He didn’t know the boy might feel anger toward his Dad. J. felt glad he read the book, because he now realized how much his classmate needed a friend and how he could better support him. At the end of the book are 7 tips for the parent left behind to help their children.
This is a must read book for all children, teachers, parents, and grandparents. It may be a children’s book but has a powerful message or everyone! Go to http://www.juliacookonline.com to see more of the author’s books!

I Want to BE the Only Dog By Julia Cook

Ahh sibling rivalry, the scourge of every home with more than one child. The cause is unknown but the repercussions are most strongly felt. Growing up as an only child, I could not understand my friends’ discontent with their siblings. I would love to have a brother or sister. . . . Or so I thought. In a lighthearted and amusing way Ms. Cook helps children see the blessing of having their brothers and sisters. I know I didn’t like being the “only dog”.
Three dogs are the “siblings” in the story. Angus is the oldest, Chihuahua, followed by Jake a dachshund and Kirby, the baby girl and also a Chihuahua. Each fur family member shares their frustrations about the others and tells why it would be better if they were the only one. All the complaints are what are commonly heard from human counterparts. The fussing and fighting reaches a peak and the “skin” mommy (owner) calls a halt to it. She begins to share the important points children usually overlook as to the blessings of not being alone. The illustrations are super cute. I read the book to a 4 year old and she wanted to linger over each page discussing every detail in the pictures.
At the end of the book the author shares 5 tips on dealing with this familiar family matter. An excellent book for children and parents! Go to http://www.juliacookonline.com to see more of the author’s books!

I Can’t Find My Whatchamacallit! By Julia Cook

I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard my children or grandchildren cry out in a panicked voice, “I can’t find my . . . “, expecting me to find what they need. One of a moms’ biggest headaches and battles is motivating children keep their rooms clean and orderly. With her wonderful gift to get straight to the heart of the matter, Julia Cook engagingly deals with this challenge.
The story centers around Cletus and Bocephus (love the names!), two very devoted cousins. While their relationship is close, they are polar opposites in other ways!
Bocephus is neat and tidy to the extreme, while poor Cletus is disaster in the neatness department. His chaos and confusion affect the entire household!
His mother declares an ultimatum. “No clean room, no playing with Boephus!” Mom’s know the sensitive spots don’t’ they? Bocephus shows his cousin not only the benefits of being organized but also guides him step by step how to accomplish the goal.
My 10 year old granddaughter suffers from this issue; she is a female Cletus! I asked her to read the book and share their thoughts. She immediately acknowledged that her room was much like his. Here is what she said she learned.
Her being organized would make it easier on the entire family.
She wouldn’t have as many disagreements and problems with Dad and Mom.
The idea of having a place for everything was new to her, and labeling boxes to sort.
She liked that the important words were super big and colorful. She said they popped out and helped her see the main point. She also enjoyed the “weird” words “whatchmacalit, Bocephus, and Cletus.”
At the end are 12 tips to teach a child organizational skills. This is the perfect organizing book for kids! And as always with Ms. Cook’s books, adults can benefit from the basic ideas.
Go to http://www.juliacookonline.com to see more of Julia Cook’s amazing books!