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Book Reviews

How to Achieve Joyful & Confident Parenting

by Penny Shore

This book, by Toronto adult educator Penny Shore, is one of a series of six parenting titles to be launched over the first three months of 2002.The books reflect the philosophies of internationally known child development experts Penelope Leach, William and Martha Sears, and Otto Weininger. This book gives much helpful advice, particularly in the boxed “points to remember” and “tips” sections, which would make great pamphlets. Workbook-type pages are included for parents to make notes in. The book promotes communication between parents, a loving but authoritative approach to children, and safety in and outside the home. These well-indexed books provide good basic advice for inexperienced parents.

The major drawback is how little information you get in each book. Topics such as children with special needs, multiple births, and dad’s role each get less than five paragraphs with very general information. These sections would be helpful to friends or relatives trying to understand what parents are going through. Similarly, the very short section on dad’s role would be great for relatives who think that parenting is all mom’s work. There are perhaps 50 full pages of actual text in this book, the rest being white space or lined pages for making notes.

The other titles in the series focus on childhood illnesses and medical emergencies, child learning, emotional and social development, growth, and discipline. The six books cost a hefty $90 in total. Parents wanting good value for their money might wonder, as I did, why the whole series wasn’t published as one cost-effective book of about 300 pages.