Monday, April 18, 2011


Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
Written by Amy Chua

After watching an interview with author Amy Chua on the Today show promoting her latest book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, I was immediately intrigued and appalled! I just could not understand a woman that frowns on playdates and sleepovers, who does not allow her children to choose their own extracurricular activities and who forces her children to practice a classical instrument 6 hours a day! However, I think I was most offended by her constant criticism of Westerns and their parenting styles. Therefore, when a local book club suggested that this book be the topic of discussion this month, I became a very eager participant. I bought the book with the assumption that my initial impression of this woman would be justified. In addition, I couldn’t wait to express my contempt to the fellow members of my new book club!

To my surprise, though, I found a kinship to Amy Chua. In her book, she gives a very candid account of her struggles with parenting the Chinese way in America. She discusses her loneliness in defending her values, the arborous work of preparing her children for the future and the battles that emerged between her and her family. I must say, I found her honesty quite endearing.

Also, I discovered I agreed with many things in the book! I, myself, limit the amount of TV my children watch. I have intentionally steered my children toward activities that will benefit them in the future (Although, I do not think Amy Chua would agree with the activities I chose) furthermore I do believe in hard work and expect the same from my children.

However, where we disagree is with the concept of playdates. I am a teacher and I strongly believe that social development is just as important as academics. I believe this difference of opinion is cultural, for in America, a person will not go far in their career if they do not have social skills no matter how intelligent they are.

I enjoyed this book and I applaud Amy Chua for her frankness, bravery and determination. As an American, though, I have to say I did not appreciate the constant criticisms and overgeneralizations about Westerners and their parenting styles that she expressed so strongly in every chapter. There are many hard working Americans who do not “eat junk food and spend 10 hours a day on Facebook.” Perhaps, she is just meeting the wrong people.

What do you think of the Tiger Mother? Enter to win this book in this months Giveaway and decide for yourself!

ENTER TO WIN Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

~ Simply be a follower of this blog or become one! Then leave a comment to this post to add your name to the drawing. BE SURE TO ADD YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT THE WINNER!

This giveaway will end on MaY 15, 2011 The winner will be chosen by Random drawing from all valid entries submitted. The winner will be notified via email and will have up to 48 hours to contact me with their mailing address before another winner is chosen. Open world wide! No P.O Boxes please.

Good Luck!
Michelle Berg
Little Nipper Books

Friday, April 15, 2011


Last month my children received a set of glow-in-the-dark Solar System stickers from a friend. I attached them to their ceiling and ever since our bedtime routine has been enormously fun. We spend a good 10 minutes a night finding and naming the planets. With this in mind, I embarked on a mission to find the best children’s books on space. It wasn’t easy. There isn’t much available and what is on hand is mostly dry. However, my efforts have been quite rewarding. Through this research, my children can now name all the planets and offer facts about each as well! Take a look at the following books:

Our Stars
Written and Illustrated by Anne Rockwell.

Teachers, turn your students into stargazers with the help of this book as it is a great starting point for young listeners. Told with simplicity, in a language that kids can understand, Our Stars will introduce the concepts of constellations with illustrations depicting Orion the Hunter, The Big Dipper and Leo the Lion. In addition, it briefly touches upon other parts of the universe such as the planets, comets and meteors. This book is sure to raise curiosity about the wonders of the outer space.

Can You Find a Planet?
Written by Sidney Rosen. Illustrated by Dean Lindberg.

Framed as a question and answer book, this Astronomy professor presents facts in an undeniably compelling manner. Pairing easy text, cartoon characters and actual photographs taken from NASA spacecrafts this book will inspire many discussions about our Solar System and create a true love for the universe. Answering questions like, the difference between planets and stars and what astronauts have discovered about each planet.

Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun
Written by Marianne Berkes. Illustrated by Janeen Mason.

Teacher and author of six picture books, Marianne Berkes, clearly understands how to catch the attention of young minds and make education fun! To the tune of “Over the Meadow” she writes an entertaining poem about our Solar System. “Up in outer space” it begins, “In a great galaxy/Lived an old Mother Sun/And her planet, Mercury.” As we turn the pages we take part in a conversation the Mother has with each of her planets. “Whirl’, said the Mother/ ‘I whirl’, said the One./So it whirled and it twirled/As it went around the Sun.” It ends with 6 pages of planetary facts and additional ideas for the classroom. My six year old son has become enamored with this book! It is an absolute treasure!

To view Little Nippers Top 10 list in it's entirety, click on the link in the sidebar under:
TOP 10 Space Books

Saturday, April 2, 2011


This month my pre-school class engaged in an All About Me unit and as the teacher, I needed to find books that were focused on identity, family and emotions for toddlers. What I found was an amazing amount of books available on confidence and self-esteem for all ages. The following is a list of my favorites:

A Bad Case of Stripes
Written and Illustrated by David Shannon. Ages 4-8.

Camilla Cream is so worried about what the other kids think of her that she refuses to eat her favorite food! Lima beans are apparently unpopular with the other kids at school and she’s afraid if she eats them she’ll be laughed at. However, her body clearly needs them as she discovers after contracting a very unusual disease; she is literally covered from head to toe in rainbow colored stripes! A Bad Case of Stripes is an amusing, spellbinding tale of self-respect like no other. As her stripes change to stars, polka-dots and checkerboard squares, Camilla realizes that being well liked is less important than being yourself.

I Like Myself
Written by Karen Beaumont. Illustrated by David Catrow.
Ages Pre-School-Grade 2

Energetic and fun, this is indeed a wonderful tale of a young girl who has an abundance of poise and self-confidence. No matter what someone else may think or say, she’s too busy being herself to let anyone bother her. Even if she had fleas or warts or a silly snout that snorts, she still has a sense of self-worth! I applaud the author for her witty and clever narrative, as I truly love this book!

To view Little Nippers Top 10 list in it's entirety, click on the link in the sidebar under:
TOP 10 All About Me Books


Congratulations to Chelanne Green of Forest, Virginia. She is the Winner of Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell.

Our next book giveaway is for Amy Chua's, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Stay tuned....

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