Review: Making the Children’s Year by Marije Rowling

Making the Children's Year

This review is by Janni Nicol, the hardworking and brilliant editor of Kindling Magazine. It first appeared in Kindling issue 32 and also in the SWSF Autumn 2017 newsletter. Many thanks to both of them for this wonderful review!

I am always excited to look at a book by Marije Rowling as her illustrations are a delight, and her projects always work! This is an updated, full colour and beautifully published second edition of The Children’s Year. It includes all sorts of crafts, ideas and activities, such as making nature and seasonal tables, lanterns, moving picture cards, sewing and knitting, dolls, building dens, and paper-crafting. Each seasonal craft has simple, clear and beautifully illustrated instructions. They are mostly suitable for adults to make for children, and others can be made by children of different ages. The crafts are organised by season, and the nature table ideas are very useful and practical.

There are three books (published by Hawthorn Press), which I have always included in every booklist for anyone working in early childhood to include in their, and their parent, library. They are All Year Round;  Festivals, Family and Food, All Year Round [sic] and now this revised version of The Children’s Year. Making the Children’s Year includes crafts and illustrations by Marije Rowling.

My only gripe with this book, is the difficulty of making it lie flat – thank goodness I have a recipe book stand to put it in! I do hope that the spine does not split more than it has over the very many years it will be used!

P.S. Hawthorn Press is considering different spine options when we reprint this title – more news to come.

Buy the book here…

More about Kindling and the SWSF here…

Review: Raising Happy Healthy Children by Sally Goddard Blythe

This review of Raising Happy Healthy Children is in issue 32 of Kindling, Autumn/Winter 2017 edition. The journal included a great deal of really wonderful articles, and we’re very grateful to be included in it. Many thanks to Janni Nicol, the incredible editor, for all her hard work.

This is a fully updated second edition of What Children and Babies Really Need. It includes the latest research about pre-conception, baby and child development and explains how social changes have unleashed a crisis in the experience of childhood. It really values motherhood, and provides parents (and teachers) with the information needed to support children in these crucial years.

Sally takes the child’s perspective as she views their development over these crucial early years. She explains the shared physical environ between mother and child – that of ‘first love’, as sympathy – derived from the Greek, meaning ‘to be affected like another’. This potential relationship between baby and mother after birth, the baby;s ‘first love affair of life’, is described as ‘unconditional love for its mother’. It is interesting to go on to read how modern living, driven by economic and political agendas, interferes with the natural cycles of fertility and conception making work versus motherhood a critical social question, and how this can detach mothers from motherhood. In my own experience, the glut of information, mostly on the web, and not all of it accurate, also helps detach mothers from the more instinctive approach to parenting.

Sally Goddard Blythe’s deep research and insights into the pitfalls of modern life, and the threats to natural parenting, and her examples of what can be done to embed the ‘deep love of motherhood’ and its advantages for the growing child, are welcome in this very useful book.

I would certainly recommend it to all educators to enable them to support parents and their children. Marie Peacock’s endorsement of the book says “(this book) provides parents with the information they need to raise healthy, balanced, resilient children. Above all it demonstrates that what babies and children really need is the time, love and attention of the loving adults in their lives.”

Buy the book here…

More about Kindling here…