Archive for the ‘goodncrazy book review’ Category

Outside With Lil Boo

February 4, 2010
Let’s go outside to see the view!

A children’s book from A to Z with an inquisitive little boy and his delightful elephant buddy.

Outside with lil Boo
Book Review
Author: Cameron Davison (AKA Daddy Bookins)
Illustrator: Dania Piotti
Cost: $14.95 plus shipping

goodncrazy blue dots
The whole book is written in a playful prose and I’m truly smitten with the cheery illustrations! Lil Boo heads outside to see the view… and finds an alphabet of discoveries waiting for him.
From: ‘Ants to birds—have you heard?’
‘Let’s be quiet… they need their rest.’
And: ‘Eggplant to floating—these ducks are gloating!’

The best part is that the whole alphabet thing is subtle. Kids don’t realize they are working their way from O to P to Q, instead enjoying the illustrations and the Oranges, Potatoes and Quail!

Cameron Davison is also the creator of and tweets as @peasandbananas. He shares his little boy’s ‘Boo’isms‘ weekly and cracks me up daily!

PhotobucketDaddy Bookins is the pen name of Cameron Davison, the daddy blogger of Peas and Bananas. Teamed up with the Mrs. and an IV of espresso, together the duo have been learning and living life through the trials and tribulations of raising a toddler – better known as Lil Boo.

Healthy Kids = Healthy Foods

January 7, 2010

Book Review:

Green Light, Red Light, Eat Right
The Food Solution That Let’s Kids Be Kids

Author: Joanna Dolgoff, MD
254 pages (with index)
Price: $14.95 (Amazon)

I jumped at the chance to review this new book written by Dr. Joanna Dolgoff, child obesity expert. I think we all need a bit of a kick-start in the new year by eating right, especially with our kids! Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right is fabulous, not just for the parent of a child who is overweight, but for all parents. Plus there’s the added benefit of having the nutrition tips and insights help the mom and dad in the picture (and I need it for sure)!

Last summer I introduced Dr. Joanna Dolgoff during my summer series. I had run across her site: and especially was impressed with her top ten list of ways to get kids to eat healthier. I have continued a relationship with Joanna via Twitter and have even asked her questions as I’ve had concerns with my children’s eating habits.

She’s been very helpful despite her busy career with two child nutrition practices, being an active mother and her large online presence.

goodncrazy blue dots

No Calorie Counting, No Dieting, No Off-Limit Foods!

This is the promise of Dr. Dolgoff’s food solution nutrition book. The book contains 11 chapters, with titles like:

  • Coming to terms: Is your child really overweight?
  • High Performance Breakfasts
  • Dinner Destinations


  • Restaurants: Be Prepared

See? Even restaurant dining is not off limits. That was one of the first things I noticed in Dr. Dolgoff’s philosphy back last summer: Make healthy choices and still enjoy the foods and places you love.

Allow me to quote a bit from the introduction:

No parent wants his or her child to be overweight or unhealthy. … No child should have to suffer through the physical or emotional torment of being overweight. … One out of every three American children is overweight. And doctors are seeing dangerously obese children as young as age 2. … optimal health and weight loss can be achieved and maintained not by restricting food groups or counting calories but by learning how to eat nutritious foods—and having fun! … It’s so much easier for kids to lose weight and keep it off if they do so before they enter puberty, … The good news is that even if your child already has any of the health or psychological problems associated with being overweight, losing weight through good nutrition and exercise can reverse them. … it’s crucial to think of your child’s weight as a family issue. … Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right will help you encourage nutritious eating habits and regular exercise as a family.

Dr. Dolgoff claims a 96 percent success rate! That’s reason enough for me to get on board. Start driving the Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right express.

She starts off by explaining that everyone (not just a child) needs to “have a game plan for life”. Otherwise you might lose some weight only to gain it right back again, the goal is to have a game plan and to work to keep it off. Further the book helps explain nutrition values and gives you the positive belief that you can do it, and better, you can help your child become healthier while losing weight.

Some things I found extremely helpful in her book:

  • A Body Mass Index Chart, and easy instructions for how to calculate.
Easily check your child’s BMI on Dr. Dolgoff’s website.

  • A list of Dos and Don’ts when it comes to Talking with your children about their weight.


  • Do talk about your own weight struggles
  • Do talk about why certain foods are healthier than others
  • Don’t Sugarcoat or speak negatively or joke about your child’s weight
  • Don’t compare to a sibling who may have less of an issue with weight

Also there is an interesting discussion about why we should NOT put our children on any popular so-called ‘Diets’, she debunks each fad diet with facts and with examples of children from her own practice. From Low-Carb diets to the use of diet pills.

Now for the best part of the whole book! Dr. Dolgoff’s fabulous explanation and categorizing while ‘Teaching the Rules of the Road’ and how to use her system of Green Light foods (Go!) , Yellow Light foods (Slow down!) and Red Light foods (Uh Oh!). A simple game plan for understanding and itemizing the foods you already eat (while encouraging new healthy high fiber foods) into Green, Yellow and Red signals. A 100 calorie serving of a food item generally equals a green light, and if you want a Yellow light (higher calorie) item, you simply substitute it for 2 of your green light servings. And substituting 4 Greens for a Red Light item. Pretty quickly you realize, 4 egg whites (=1 Green Light) will fill you up better and longer than 1 whole fried egg (also=1 Green Light).

Are you worried about figuring out all that information? What’s a green light, what’s yellow or red? NOT to worry, I am not kidding there are 28 pages (yes I counted) of a color coded food database. Including several popular fast food restaurants (one even starts with Mc and ends with Donalds)!

Here’s how our breakfast and mid morning snack went yesterday (for a 3 year old).
2 Green Lights:

  • Whole grain Cheerios 3/4C (=1 Green Light)
  • 1 light yogurt mixed in with the Cheerios instead of milk (=1 Green Light)
  • 1/2 orange sliced (free)
  • 1/2 banana (free)

1 Green Light:

  • 1 light Cheese Stick (60 calories- I couldn’t find fat free, only light?)
  • 7 Honey Pretzel Twists (40 calories to equal 100 for the Green Light snack time)
  • 3 Celery sticks (free)

Oh my Heck! I forgot maybe the best part of the whole Game Plan! The Free Fuel Foods! Dr. Dolgoff explains that fruits and vegetables (not drinks, juices or other processed versions: The Real Deal here) are completely free foods. Have as much as you want! I also didn’t mention the snack times, the recipe ideas and a whole bunch more information contained in this book. From the Game Plan easy color coded food items, to terrific kid friendly and healthy recipes, to success stories from her own practice. Believe me you’ll be just as impressed with this book as I am.

Images from, except blueberries: D Sharon Pruitt

What Is Your Kid’s Favorite Book?

September 11, 2009
Otto Grows Down

Author: Michael Sussman
Illustrator: Scott Magoon
Children’s Storybook

Imagine a little boy who is an only child for nearly 6 years. Then WHAM! His world is turned upside down by a smelly little baby. She’s little. And she cries a lot. And dang it, everyone pays more attention to her than him… and to make it worse? Today’s his birthday and everyone seems more interested in her!

It’s time to blow out his Six birthday candles and… oh no.. she’s crying again, just when he thinks it can’t get any worse… they pull out his old rattle. HIS rattle, his very favorite rattle… and they give it to her! He can’t help it. When he blows out those candles… he wishes she was never born…

And so starts the Picture Book by Michael Sussman.

Otto Grows Down

Little Otto not only finds out what life is like without his little sister… he finds out what it’s like to live life in reverse!

From bringing the trash back IN the house, to having the barber grow his hair back ON! Plus Sliding UP the slide and other crazy stuff… {oh boy, the bathroom pages make my kids especially laugh}. TK rips the book out of my hands at that point so he can ‘read’ those pages ‘allbymyselfmommy’!

I hope I can say this clear enough. My little boy LOVES this book.
No. That was pathetic. Let me try again.

  • He sprinkles this book on his cereal for breakfast.
  • He sleeps with it.
  • His older sister likes it just as much and often BEGS to read it to him!
  • I’m not exaggerating.
    He would forgo a trip to the park, for an extra reading of Otto Grows Down.
  • It travels on vacation with us.
  • he plans to name his firstborn child otto, regardless of gender.

It’s not an option. We READ this book EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.
The end. Don’t even suggest Cat In The Hat, or you’ll end up… Mom in the Can.

If you’re thinking about scoping out Amazon for this book, please understand the commitment you’ll be getting into. If you think little league is relentless? Cub Scouts? A Puppy! Oh no. If you let Otto into your home… you too will find out what it’s like to grow down. (Night after Night after Night after…)

Otto found out: “Without words … [I can’t] make a wish?”

And now my little boy kind of gives this little boy sigh as he contemplates what Otto means when he says: “I’d rather grow up with Anna… than grow down without her.”

Really a totally sweet book. And funny. And creative. And addictive… And don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Ages? All ages of course. Honestly I maybe sorta kinda enjoy this book a teensy weensy bit more than the kids! (But don’t tell them.)

PS. My 8yrold thinks that Mr. Sussman should write a second book. (Oh please, Oh please write another one!) She asks that it be about a girl wishing she didn’t have a brother… hmmm.. where do we think THAT comes from!?

GoodNCrazy Book Review: Sex Ed Discussion

August 31, 2009
101 Questions Kids Really Ask… puberty education

And the Answers They Need To Know
Author: Mary H. Halter
Book Review

Head’s up everyone.. it’s that time in my world. Yup. Puberty.
No not mine..
My tween’s.

Have you been to the sex ed. health course put on by your kid’s school? The one where the boys sit and titter and the girls cover their mouths with their hands? I have. And quite honestly I was basically shocked at how really Terrifc it was. The nurse was funny, and put all the girls (and their mom’s) totally at ease. She had correct information and it was plentiful and helpful. I swear I even learned a few things!

What was your ‘maturation‘ class like when you were a kid?
A joke.
I left thinking… huh? They use all that… for what?
When will this happen? How? Where!? Can I just please be a BOY!

And what kind of help did you get at home?
Let me quote the Sum Total of advice I got:
“You need to get up there all the way or sometimes it hurts.”

I am not kidding. I didn’t dare ask, and therefore no one helped. I got more information from the Jr. High Volleyball bus than anywhere else. And believe me, that’s NOT where I want my daughter to get her information.

As an adult I tend to be the parent who uses anatomically correct words with my children. I tend to encourage them to ask questions, sensitive and otherwise. I tend to find quiet times to talk to them about big issues from drugs, to age appropriate body discussions, to how they behave when they see someone else who is hurting for any reason at school or church or where-ever. And yes. My daughter has already received the cervical cancer vaccine.

So I jumped when given the chance to read and review 101 Questions. I’ve never been one to shy away from the tough issues. Whether you are like me or a bit more reserved when it comes to sensitive issues, this book will help you talk to your tween.

101 Questions Kids Really Ask comes from the organization: Healthy Edudynamics. The author, Mary Halter, created this book as a companion to the whole comprehensive health education program she helped develop.

Apparently there were teachers, parents, grandparents and health professionals begging to be able to take home some of the materials from the program! I can see why. I’m loving this book too! The Author found that all children have the same basic age-appropriate questions… and she asks us to imagine our next generation:

“…where the kids move through adolescence with a holistic, healthy and respectful view of their bodies and the bodies of those around them.”-Mary H. Halter

I love how it starts out with ACTUAL questions tweens asked during Ms. Halter’s classes.
Some examples are:

  • Is there something you can eat to make sure you have smart sperm?
  • Why don’t girls stand up to pee, and why do boys have to stand up to pee?
  • Questions about boys having ‘good tummy aches’.
  • Are you sure babies don’t go to the bathroom inside the mom?
    —this answer starts with: Time for a short anatomy lesson! (I think that is brilliant, pointing out when it’s time to talk about body parts as well as the whole answer.)
  • How do you keep from having puberty?(I like the answer for this one so much I’m sharing it here)
    —”Puberty is something that happens to all of us. It is not something that a person can keep from happening. It may sound scary and seem like something a person would want to avoid, but it’s really an awesome time in your life!”
  • When should a girl start to shave?
    —After explaining some whys about a girl’s body, she answers this way: “Shaving is a personal decision and needs to be discussed with a caring adult.” (I’m totally impressed with the way they encourage kids to find a ‘caring adult’ to help them out.)

Other parts of the book include:

  • Questions asked about babies
  • Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault (including bullying)
  • Later in the book there is an area for ‘sensitive’ issues.
    Intercourse, homosexuality, Sex before marriage etc.. and there are terrific answers… (but again I’m most impressed with the parts that suggest ways parents can talk to their children and answer them with positive, physiologically correct answers and yet still insert the parent’s own values.)
  • When should I discuss puberty with my child.
  • And ends with helpful diagrams and images that will help you when your child begins asking questions

If you are a friend, cousin, aunt, grandma, or parent of a child who might chose to source you as a ‘caring adult’… then this book is for you. They also sell a puberty DVD that will help you to help your kids. And the Healthy Edudynamics Blog is also a great resource.
You can purchase both the book and the DVD for only $19.99 plus S&H directly from the website.

Here’s to my healthy tween!