Monday, February 1, 2016

Be the Change - Make it Happen by Bernadette Russell and David Broadbent (Ivy Press)

Here's a question to pose to you as parents - do you think your kids are nice?

"What do you mean, of course my kids are nice!" you'll instantly respond, but would your kids be able to engage with a book that is chock full of 80 ways to expand their horizons and perhaps make them even nicer? Not only nicer but wonderful well-rounded little people who think of others before themselves?

That's the idea behind Bernadette Russell's new book "Be the Change - Make it Happen" which is full to the brim with brilliant ideas and activities that really would make an amazing impact on your little ones, and their community and neighbourhood too if you embrace some of the more large-scale ideas here.

If you've ever seen the movie "Pay it Forward" you'll understand the philosophy. Performing even the smallest act of kindness or putting someone else's wishes or needs ahead of your own CAN make a huge difference. As the book's byline says, big or small, these ideas are thought-provoking and most importantly hugely fun ways to give your kids something else to focus on other than the screen of their tablet or phone, or whatever junk is on telly.

Making a difference starts here, right on the very first page with positive messages of encouragement
One of the things we've always tried to do with Charlotte is instil in her a strong sense of right and wrong, but also a strong sense of caring about others. She also builds on this in school and at Brownies, and I know it probably sounds like some middle class hippy hogwash, but it makes a difference in the person she's becoming. She has tantrums and bad days just like anyone else but there are times when you can see how empathic and caring she can be (particularly in the way she looks after Mum when I'm not around).

A great idea for a treasure hunt and a funny face competitoon, to benefit local charities or good causes!

The book contains a really good mix of stuff that's realistically achievable, and other ideas that could take quite a bit of preparation and planning. Most important though is that it sets you thinking about the sort of person you are as well as the sort of person you'd like your kids to be as they grow up.

Worth the entry fee alone purely for this page. This needs turning into a poster and tacking up around every school!
With mindfulness and well being at the top of many parents' list of things to change about 2016, here's a fantastic book to really get you off to a flying start.

Charlotte's favourite bit: Making a top ten list of her favourite things in the whole world and reading it out.

Daddy's favourite bit: A hugely admirable book full of brilliant ideas and ways to help your local community, and help your child become a bit more caring and empathic. How could we not love a book like that?

(Kindly sent to us for review by Ivy Press)

"Be The Change - Make It Happen"

Written by Bernadette Russell

Illustrated by David Broadbent

Published by Ivy Press

Publication Date (Softcover): 1st February 2016

5 comments :

  1. Have you been a fly on the wall at my house the past week?! I'm in serious need of a book like this. Did you and Charlotte read it together - it strikes me as very much a book of exchange (ideas, conversation, etc).

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  2. We did, and we had a good giggle at some of the slightly crazier ideas in this. It's definitely a subject that's come up a lot in various parenting blogs, and it's a great book for broadcasting the message loud and clear - that it needn't cost the earth to do something really nice, or to be a great help to others. Well worth investigating further!

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  3. Thanks so much for your kind words, it has encouraged me so much. I am of a nervous disposition and hardly dare read reviews! But this one made me happy and I am very grateful for your time. Send me an address and I'll write a card for you and Charlotte to say thanks xxxx Love Bernadette Russell cankindnesschangetheworld@gmail.com

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  4. PS It was illustrated by David Broadbent xxx

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  5. Thank YOU for taking the time to pop by and say hello. It's an utterly brilliant idea for a book, and we really loved the idea that a book COULD be so thought provoking and inspirational for children who might have completely lost touch with how satisfying it can be to contribute to their community, help their friends and family and maybe folk less fortunate than themselves.

    I'll drop you a note. Oh and happy to make a correction about the illustrator as we don't often get any details about illustrators for books so rely on Amazon listings to help out with that info sometimes.

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