October 31, 2014

Get rid of nightmares

Nightmare Help
by Anne Sayre Wiseman

In her introduction, Anne Sayre Wiseman posits that recurring dreams and nightmares are metaphoric messages that alert us to unresolved feelings and traumas. These nightmares can exist for years, continuing right into adulthood. But by following Wiseman's dream therapy methods, they can be banished. She accomplishes this by having children draw their dreams and talk with their dream monsters. Using questions and conversation, parent guides can help their children explore their feelings, create safe havens, and figure out how to find a solution. Most importantly, Wiseman urges parents not to let their own feelings and assumptions get in the way and to resist the desire to ferret out hidden meanings. It may be hard to hear, but adults are often part of the problem. Letting children take the lead and arrive at their own solutions foster empowerment, independence, and security.

An excellent book.

October 29, 2014

Scary dreams

The Book of Nightmares: A Fiendish Guide to Your Scary Dreams
by Phyllis Raybin Emert

This is an interesting book about nightmares and their possible meanings. Besides describing common nightmares, Emert also discusses precognitive nightmares, how other cultures deal with nightmares, and how nightmares can even inspire creativity. She ends with a brief chapter on how to take control of your nightmares and lessen the fear.

A lively, entertaining read.

October 27, 2014

A kid's guide to nightmares

Every Kid's Guide to Understanding Nightmares
by Joy Berry

Every child has good dreams and bad dreams. If a bad dream or nightmare becomes hard to handle, it helps to find out more about them. Using simple language and colourful cartoons, Joy Berry teaches children about nightmares and how they may react to them. She shows them how the events in their lives may lead to nightmares and what they can do to prevent or deal with them. 

An easy, useful book for kids afraid to go to sleep.

October 24, 2014

Understanding dreams

The Dream Book: A Young Person's Guide to Understanding Dreams
by Patricia Garfield

Garfield's book describes common dreams such as falling, flying, or being chased, and shows how they are influenced by events in the dreamer's waking life. She explains how to control a nightmare and how to better remember your dreams.

The Jewish Dream Book: The Key to Opening the Inner Meaning of Your Dreams
by Vanessa Lochs

For teens who are interested in spirituality, this book will guide them in aspects of Jewish dream rituals and interpretations according to the Talmud and the Torah. Other chapters describe how dreams can be used to answer questions and to receive healing.

October 22, 2014

Simple dream analysis

Your Guide to Dreams
by Lori Reid

This book begins with a couple of brief chapters about common dreams and how to analyze them before giving way to a dictionary of dream images. These recurring images supposedly represent various aspects of our emotions and waking lives. The dictionary makes dream analysis sound simple; I think it's probably a bit more complicated. It's easy to read, but may not be helpful.

October 20, 2014

Sleep and Dreams

101 Questions About Sleep and Dreams that Kept You Awake Nights... Until Now
by Faith Hickman Brynie

Why do we sleep? And why do we dream? Brynie answers these questions and many more in this informative text. The question-and-answer format cover topics such as how and why we sleep, how much we sleep, sleep and the brain, sleep disorders, and why we dream. Each chapter is followed by short essays on the science of sleep research. Some of her answers are very scientific; the words and acronyms can make for slightly impenetrable reading. However, the book may be useful for high school research.

October 17, 2014

Canadian heroines

She Dared: True Stories of Heroines, Scoundrels, and Renegades
by Ed Butts
illustrated by Heather Collins

From the introduction:  

This volume presents the stories of 15 women of Canada who dared in some way to challenge their societies. They ventured into areas previously considered off-limits to females - medicine, publishing, the military. They survived harrowing ordeals and courted forbidden romance. Some were Canadian born; others came to Canada from elsewhere. They emerged from different backgrounds, but their common bond was daring to step off the narrow path of custom. They did so at the risk of stirring up public anger, creating scandal, estranging their families, even breaking the law. Some did it for personal, even self-centred reasons. Others were motivated by ideals of social justice. All are part of history.

 The women profiled are:

  • Marguerite de la Roque de Roberval: marooned 2 yrs 5 mos on an uninhabited island 
  • Thanadelthur: Chipewyan woman who brokered peace between Chipewyans and Crees
  • Molly Brant: Mohawk woman who successfully straddled both Native and British worlds
  • Dr. James Miranda Barry (aka Margaret Bulkley): army surgeon
  • Mary Ann Shadd: Freedom Fighter and newspaper publisher
  • Sarah Emma Edmonds: Civil War nurse, soldier, and spy
  • Pearl Hart: Ontario's Bandit Queen, last person and only woman to have robbed a stagecoach 
  • Cassie Chadwick: con woman
  • Martha Black: first lady of the Yukon
  • Mina Hubbard: explorer of uncharted Labrador
  • Florence Lassandro: mobster princess during prohibition
  • Women Pilots of World War II (Marion Orr, Violet Milstead, Helen Harrison, Elspeth Russell)

October 15, 2014

Daring women

No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure
by Susan Hughes
illustrated by Willow Dawson

Hatshepsut, Mu Lan, Alfhild, Esther Brandeau, James Barry, Ellen Craft, Sarah Rosetta Wakeman - these seven women changed their names, their appearances, and their identities and suddenly felt safer, smarter, and more ambitious. But they had to do it while living a lie. Thankfully, times have changed, but there are still oppressed women around the world.

Told in graphic novel format, No Girls Allowed educates in a modern, zippy way. It is suitable for audiences as young as five, or those who prefer comic books. 

October 13, 2014

Women in history

Women have been overlooked throughout history, mainly due to lack of opportunity and the moral and social codes of her time. This book introduces and celebrates women who dared to change the world - for themselves and others.

Her Story: Women from Canada's Past
by Susan E. Merritt

Sixteen biographies of women born before 1900, of First Nations, black, or European ancestry. They went on to become leaders, doctors, artists and writers. They include Madeleine Tarieu, saviour of Fort Verchรจres; Shawnadithit, last of the Beothuks; Mary Shadd Cary, Freedom Fighter and newspaper publisher; and Emily Murphy, the first female judge in the British Empire.

Also read Her Story II and Her Story III.

October 10, 2014

Ode to Newfoundland

Ode to Newfoundland
by Geoff Butler
lyrics by Sir Cavendish Boyle

When blinding storm gusts fret thy shore,
And wild waves lash thy strand;
Though spindrift swirl and tempest roar
We love thee, wind-swept land.

Wind-swept Newfoundland certainly is, especially on Fogo Island, where merely opening a door turns into a perilous adventure. Sir Cavendish Boyle, governor of Newfoundland (1901-1904), loved the province anyway. He wrote this anthem to pay tribute to the land in all four seasons. 

Geoff Butler accompanies Boyle's lyrics with lushly colourful paintings of people, places, sea and sky. Notes about some of the images depicted in the paintings provide more information about the province.

A memorable celebration of beautiful Newfoundland and Labrador.

October 8, 2014

Newfoundland war hero

Sergeant Gander: A Canadian Hero
by Robyn Walker

Gander was a large Newfoundland dog who served as mascot for The Royal Rifles army regiment. The regiment was sent on a futile mission to protect Hong Kong from Japanese attack during the Second World War. It was there that Gander sacrificed himself to save the lives of seven Canadian soldiers. 

Though Sergeant Gander is a book about a canine hero, it is really about the Battle of Hong Kong. It describes the defenses on the island, the commanders in charge, the movement of the troops and the ultimate surrender. The book ends with the fight for Gander's recognition - he was ultimately awarded the Dickin Medal - and a chapter about other animals who served in war.

Extensive notes, appendices, and bibliography round out a well-researched novel.

Working Like a Dog: The Story of Working Dogs through History
by Gena K. Gorrell

A chapter devoted to dogs in war will interest all those who were touched by Gander's story. As well, this book describes all manner of working dogs who help catch criminals, sniff out drugs, find lost people, and act in movies.

October 6, 2014

Newfoundland A to Z

P is for Puffin: A Newfoundland and Labrador Alphabet
by Janet Skirving
illustrated by Odell Archibald

Skirving and Archibald take readers on a tour of Newfoundland and Labrador through simple verse and expository text. It's a good, easy introduction to the province, but there are a few minor problems. Rhyming alphabet books don't always work and these four-line poems are good examples of that. Their often clunky rhythms don't trip off the tongue very easily. Much better is the informational text, contained in sidebars, that is clearly geared to older readers. 

The book's publisher, Sleeping Bear Press, has a whole series of these dual-audience alphabet books, which can cause problems, depending on your point-of-view. Very young readers (ages 4-6) may bypass the unremarkable verse (and the harder words) in favor of the pictures, while older readers (ages 7-10) will enjoy the nonfiction text but may find the "baby" words distracting. However, these books are very popular, with seemingly no end in sight, so choose carefully.

Incidentally, while I was in Newfoundland recently, I found a similar book called A Puffin Playing by the Sea: The Twelve Days of Christmas in Newfoundland and Labrador by Gina Noordhof. It has informational text as well, but paired with a poem that is more palatable. I thought the pictures could have been funnier, but it definitely has its charms (and a very cute puffin!). You can purchase it at http://www.shopdownhome.com/item.php?id=3400.