Category Archives: Kathleen M. Bloomfield

Kathleen M. Bloomfield: Remembering Elizabeth Louise Portolan (z’l) – My Mom

From: forwordsbooks
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Forwordsbooks/~3/RincYLWFxl8/
October 11, 2012 at 07:20PM

Today is my mother’s first yahrzeit. Can a deceased Italian-Catholic woman have a yahrzeit?  Well, since her formerly Italian-Catholic daughter is now an Italian-Jew, it is my only way to honor her memory. Although I have to say, I may take some creative liberties to appease some of my family members.

My mother died on October 11, 2011. We actually believe she died on October 5, 2011, while having lunch at a local restaurant she, my dad, uncle and aunt had gone to in order to celebrate my father’s birthday. It was there that my mom went into cardiac arrest, slumping down on my dad’s shoulder and being lowered to the floor, unresponsive. Miraculously, there was a nurse in the restaurant at the same time who witnessed what was happening, rushed over and immediately began administering CPR while the paramedics were on their way.

When the paramedics arrived, they used the paddles and epinephrine on my mother THREE TIMES before they got her heart to start beating again. This is the time—according to our family mythology—where mom was in “God’s Negotiation Center” explaining the reasons why she needed a few more days, which she received. Mom came back, much to the surprise of my “former paramedic” brother, much to the relief of my “not ready to lose her” sister, and with enormous gratitude from me, “the 3,000 miles away” older sister.

Things started off well enough. Mom seemed clear about where she was. She was eager to go home (mom hated hospitals.) The doctors were optimistic. I was kept informed of her progress and was making plans to come out to California to assist with her recovery after she was released.

But the terms of “the Negotiation” clearly must have meant leaving us, not to go home to her house in Murrieta, CA, but to go to that Home with a Capital “H” up in the clouds—if you know what I mean—as I suddenly got a frantic call from my brother telling me that if I wanted to say goodbye to mom, I better get on a plane right now and head to California. That is how I found myself traveling on a red eye from Boston to LAX on Kol Nidre last year; sitting in a hospital ICU on Yom Kippur holding my mom’s hand telling her that I loved her, that she was a great mom and that whatever she needed to do was the right decision; sitting with my sobbing sister explaining that we must not be selfish and beg mom to stay if by doing so would require her to live a life of pain and suffering;  and supporting my brother, the medical power of attorney for my parents, who had to discuss the most painful decisions about DNR, medication adjustments and hospital room transfers with our dad and then sign whatever papers were required to make it happen.

All of this sounds like any family’s worse nightmare. However, my sister, brother and I had been a bit estranged for some time prior to this. Not in an “I am never going to speak to you again” way, but if my mother had died suddenly on October 5, we all agree that our relationships would have suffered. Our mother was all that was holding us together.  During those extra 6 days mom “negotiated,” my brother, sister and I, along with our father, came together as a family in a way that bonded us forever. During those 6 days, we each put it all out there, our hopes, our fears, our anger, our sadness, and trusted that the other person would hold that feeling, understand it and take care of it and us. And that is exactly what happened. We were there for each other in a way we had not been since probably when we were very small children.

It was beautiful. It was and is such a gift as that trust continues to this day. Our deepest sadness is that mom had to leave in order for it to happen. But we understand, and so treasure it all the more.

Tonight, my siblings, my father and some of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren will gather to remember mom. Because I am who I am, I needed to prepare a little “ritual,” involving a candle and some poetry. We will say the “Lord’s Prayer” , because that is what my family is comfortable with—and I can handle it. I have been saying the Mourner’s Kaddish for my mom every time I have been in a synagogue, standing up with the mourners at every opportunity. It has given me more comfort than I can say.  I believe my mom appreciates it.

This morning I went to the cemetery with my dad to visit my mom’s gravesite. He put a rose at her grave site. I, of course, placed a small stone there.  When we got back in the car, I said to my dad that I feel like the only spiritual one in the family. He said, “You got that from your mother. She was very spiritual, but she hung around me too long.” (They were married 61 years.)

Thanks, Mom. I’ll put that in my pile of gifts that I thank you for every day, along with your lasagna recipe and the ability to cook for 100 or more people and not bat an eye.

Happy reading,

Kathy B.

©2012 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review were provided by my local public library.
I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my web site and purchase it from Amazon,

I may receive a very small commission on your purchase.

You will incur no additional cost, however.

I appreciate your support.

Kathleen M. Bloomfield: Turn it and turn it again: The Study of Torah encompasses them all/Talmud Torah k’neged kulam

From: forwordsbooks
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Forwordsbooks/~3/KCokPLl0hPs/

It is hard to imagine that this month we will be ending our survey of the Eilu D’varim prayer and all the values it contains, but here we are.  As I sat in Shabbat morning services this weekend, reciting this amazing prayer, I could not help but think about how far we have journeyed together these past nine months.  Beginning with honoring our parents and right on through making peace among people, we have explored the wealth of values not only in this prayer, but in an incredible number of children’s books that support those values. The most important lesson I hope to have taught each of you is that as the Values Educators for the children in your care – and YOU the parents, grandparents  and teachers of these children are their Values Educators – there is a wealth of resources at your disposal at your local library, in your local bookstore and online.  You just have to know how to discover it.

We are ending on the most important value of all, the study of Torah encompasses them all/talmud Torah k’neged kulam. As the first century Rabbi Ben Bag Bag says about Torah in Pirke Avot /Sayings of the Fathers (5:26) “Turn it and turn it again for everything is in it.” All the values we have read about thus far and so many more can be found in the pages and stories that come from the pages of Torah. Here are a few books to get you and your family started on this important and lifelong mitzvah (commandment):


Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Illustrated by Holly Meade. Candlewick Press, ©2011. Ages 3-8. Noah’s wife, Naamah, sings the restless animals and her family to sleep during a stormy night aboard the ark. Beautiful collage and watercolor illustrations support the lyrical, rhyming lullaby.

The Seventh Day by Deborah Bodin Cohen. Illustrated by Melanie Hall. Kar-Ben Publishing, ©2005. Ages 3-8. Just like an artist, God worked hard molding, painting and singing the world into being until it was exactly as it should be. Then God rested and created Shabbat.

Abraham’s Search for God by Jacqueline Jules. Illustrated by Natascia Ugliano. Kar-Ben Publishing, © 2007. Ages 4-8. Abraham is considered the father of three great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. As a child he questioned the idol worship of his family and searched for the powerful One God.

The Coat of Many Colors by Jenny Koralek. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers., © 2004. Ages 5-10. The biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors is retold in language for the young.

Green Bible Stories for Children by Tami Lehman Wilzig. Illustrated by Durga Yael Bernard. Kar-Ben Publishing, © 2011. Ages 8-11. The  retelling of well known bible stories with “reuse-renew-recycle” lessons.

Masada: The Last Fortress by Gloria D. Miklowitz. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers., © 1998. Ages 11-14. Simon ben-Eleazar, the 17-year-old son of the leader of the Zealots on top of Masada, records the story of the battle between the Roman Army and a fierce group of Jews determined to live as free people in their homeland.

Pharaoh’s Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Julius Lester. Harcourt, Inc., © 2000. Ages 12-18. A beautifully told Midrash (story based in Torah) about the life of Moses.


As you read these beautiful stories, you may want to compare them with the JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible, an excellent, award winning resource for your family, as is of course a copy of the Tanakh for older readers.  Whichever you prefer, you will find some excellent discussion questions and activities for Torah Study in the Speak Volumes Guide for this month.

Happy Reading!

Kathy B.

©2012 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review came from my local public library.
I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my web site and purchase it from Amazon, I may receive a very small commission on your purchase. You will incur no additional cost, however.

I appreciate your support.

Kathleen M. Bloomfield: If I Had a Hammer: Ahavaat Shalom Bein Adam Lachaveiro/Making Peace Among People

From: forwordsbooks
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Forwordsbooks/~3/BKmis1SKw0U/
May 02, 2012 at 12:44AM

First let me apologize for skipping the month of April. I moved from Massachusetts to California and found myself over my head in the details of that 3,000 mile journey. I guess in some ways I was on my own Exodus. We were supposed to have looked at the value of iyun t’filah/being devoted in prayer. Since April was the month we celebrated Passover, I am hoping everyone had a wonderful, engaging and prayerful Seder.

This month our Eilu D’varim/These are the obligations journey has us looking at Ahavaat Shalom Bein Adam Lachaveiro/Making Peace Among People. I find myself  recallng the words to The Hammer Song (by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger,) which my family sings every year at our Passover Seders.

“If I had a hammer/I’d hammer in the morning/I’d hammer in the evening/All over this land/I’d hammer out /I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters/All over this land.”

What I love most about this song is how it is so focused on the individual. It does not talk about the hammering of a group, a committee, a country or the world. No, just one individual with his or her hammer, bell and song is running around hammering, ringing and singing about “love between my brothers and my sisters.” So simple, yet that is all it takes. One person, each one of us, taking our talents in hand and making our families more peaceful, our communities more peaceful, our world more peaceful. Imagine.

Oh, and that was another great song.

Here is a list of wonderful books about peace that may help you and your family find some of those hammers, bells and songs.

A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley. National Geographic Society, © 2007.  Ages 3-6. Each individual has the ability to spread “a little peace” wherever they go.

Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class by Eileen Spinelli. Illustrated by Anne Kennedy. Albert Whitman & Company, © 2009. Ages 4-8. Miss Fox’s students are constantly bickering with each other, and she is tired of listening to it. She declares “Peace Week,” a week of respect and kindness for everyone. It starts out to be very difficult, but after a few days, the class is wondering why every week isn’t Peace Week.

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace written and illustrated by James Proimos. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, © 2009. Ages 4-8. At seven years of age, Paulie Pastrami began to make the world a better place by doing small things like being kind to animals and taking care of plants. When he decided he must achieve World Peace, he got a lot of cupcakes, his dad to drive him around, and … well, you can read the rest

Cain & Abel: Finding the Fruits of Peace by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. Illustrated by Joani Keller Rothenberg. Jewish Lights Publishing., © 2001. Ages 6-9. The biblical story (Genesis 4: 1-16) of the first case of sibling rivalry is retold here in a way that explores the reasons for Cain’s anger, the cause of Abel’s death and the lasting effects of both on today’s world.

Peace One Day: The Making of World Peace Day by Jeremy Gilley. Illustrated by Karen Blessen. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, © 2005. Ages 8-11. One person can make a difference, as Jeremy Gilley proves with his persistence in writing letters and travelling the world in order to get two country’s leaders to sponsor a World Peace Day amendment at the United Nations.

The Cupcake Club: Peace, Love and Cupcakes by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk. Sourcebooks, Inc., © 2012.  Ages 9-12. How do you take on someone who is making your life miserable? By doing something delicious.

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci. Illustrated by Jim Rugg. Minx, © 2007. Ages 11-15. When her parents move her out of New York City and into the suburbs, Jane thinks her life is over. Then she meets a group of girls who meet her standards for “changing the world.”

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle. Ages 13-18. Henry Holt and Company, © 2008. Using free verse, Margarita Engle tells the story of a freed slave who becomes a healer watching her country fighting for freedom.

Please feel free to use the discussion questions and activities provided in the Speak Volumes Guide for this month to help you discuss Ahavaat Shalom Bein Adam Lachaveiro/Making Peace Among People with your children.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.

©2012 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review came from publishers as review copies, my personal collection and my local public library.
I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my web site and purchase it from Amazon, I may receive a very small commission on your purchase. You will incur no additional cost, however.

I appreciate your support.

Kathleen M. Bloomfield: “The Meaning of Life is That It Stops”* – L’vayat hameit/Assisting the Dead & the Bereaved

From: forwordsbooks
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Forwordsbooks/~3/gKOD8jXFJwo/
March 01, 2012 at 03:44PM

(*~ Franz Kafka)

What a journey we are on with the Eilu D’varim prayer. Last month, we were dancing with newlyweds. This month we are burying the dead.  In fact, this month’s mitzvah (good deed) L’vayat hameit/helping the deceased have a proper burial and comforting the mourners is one of the highest we can perform, because the dead cannot return the favor.

It has always struck me how completely right-on Judaism is when it comes to the rituals surrounding death and mourning.  From what we say when we hear the news to how intense and how long our grieving lasts, these rituals require the participants to face the reality of the situation, provide for the inevitable and necessary grief and bring us out of this difficult process healthy and whole.

I remember my first experience attending a Jewish funeral. It was many years ago, prior to my conversion to Judaism. I had attended funerals for Catholic family members and Christian friends, so the funeral part was not new to me. However, there was so much different that took place during the Jewish funeral that, I have to admit, I felt as though I had never been to a funeral before.

Even now so many years later, what stands out for me was actually participating in the burial. Since this funeral occurred not long after my grandmother had passed away, I was still feeling sad about walking away from her gravesite, leaving her casket unattended awaiting others to bury her. Now, here I was actually able to make sure this individual was secure in his final resting place, sheltered by the blanket of dirt I helped lay there. Was it difficult? Yes, I sobbed like a baby as I dropped my shovels full of dirt in and listened to them hit the casket wood. Yet the finality of it, the reality of it, was so healing.

The following books are excellent resources for discussing this important life cycle event with children and learning about the mitzvah (good deed) of L’vayat hameit/helping the deceased have a proper burial and comforting the mourners:

Lifetimes: The beautiful way to explain death to children by Bryan Mellonie. Illustrated by Robert Ingpen. © 1983. Bantam Books.  Ages 3-7.  In this simple, yet beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations, the idea that everything has a beginning and an ending and a lifetime in between is explained in a way that even a young child can comprehend.

Where is Grandpa Dennis? by Michelle Shapiro Abraham. Illustrated by Janice Fried. © 2009. URJ Press. Ages 6-10. In this highly sensitive and beautifully illustrated book, a young girl wants to know about her grandfather who died long before she was born. As her mother explains Jewish traditions such as placing a rock on the gravestone and lighting a yahrzeit (anniversary) candle for remembering a loved one who has died, she searches for the best way to explain where Grandpa Dennis is now.  Together mother and daughter discover an answer that feels right for them.

When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death by Laurie Krasny Brown. Illustrated by Marc Brown. © 1996. Little Brown and Company. Ages 5-9. This excellent book discusses the difference between alive and dead, the different religious and cultural death customs and how a person might feel about the death of a loved one or pet. A great resource for parents.

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst. Illustrated by Erik Blegvad. © 1971. Simon & Schuster. Ages 5-9. When Barney, the cat, dies his owner must think of ten good things to say about him at the back yard funeral. He can only come up with nine until his dad helps him think of a very special tenth.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances by Lenore Look. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. © 2011. Schwartz & Wade Books. Ages 8-10. Alvin Ho, who is afraid of everything, agrees to go to his GungGung’s (grandfather’s) best friend’s funeral. Even with all his preparations, he is not sure he is brave enough to look death in the face and survive.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. © 1977. HarperCollinsPublishers. Ages 9-12.  When the new kid – a girl – beats Jess in the first fifth-grade school yard race of the year, he is unspeakably angry. But then he finds himself defending her, Leslie, to the other kids and a forever friendship forms.

The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck. © 1948. Harper Trophy. Ages. 11-14. In this classic story by a Nobel Prize winning author, Kino, a farmer’s son, and Jiya, a fisherman’s son, live on a small island where everyone is afraid of something in the natural world. When tragedy strikes, they both learn an important lesson about how to appreciate everything life has to offer.

Two additional, yet out-of-print, picture books are worth looking for in your local library or online used book websites (i.e. www.abebooks.com/ , www.betterworldbooks.com/ ) A Candle for Grandpa: A Guide to the Jewish Funeral for Children and Parents by David Techner and Judith Hirt-Manheimer provides an excellent and detailed explanation of the Jewish mourning process for families with young children. Kaddish for Grandpa in Jesus’ Name Amen by James Howe can assist a family with interfaith connections in understanding and honoring both Christian and Jewish tradition after a parent’s (or other close relative’s) death.

Please feel free to use the discussion questions and activities provided in the Speak Volumes Guide for this month to help you discuss this topic with your children.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.

©2012 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review came from publishers as review copies, my personal collection and my local public library.
I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my web site and purchase it from Amazon,
I may receive a very small commission on your purchase. You will incur no additional cost, however.

I appreciate your support.

Kathleen M. Bloomfield: Happy Birthday, Trees! Tu B’Shevat 5772

From: forwordsbooks
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Forwordsbooks/~3/BvIp9hPPiMg/
February 07, 2012 at 07:29PM

The holiday of Tu B’Shevat – the New Year of the Trees – began this evening.  Tomorrow many people will be out celebrating by planting trees, cleaning up parks and doing other tasks to celebrate the earth and its resources. I did not want to overlook this special holiday in the middle of all my work exploring other Jewish values this year.

Here is my list of Tu B’Shevat Books for 2012:

Green Bible Stories for Children by Tami Lehman-Wilzig. Illustrated by Durga Yael Bernahard. ©2011. Kar-Ben Publishing. Ages 8-11. In this extraordinary book, several Torah stories are looked at for their view toward protecting the environment. The story is retold in age appropriate language and then a series of activities is provided to link the story to the world today.


Dear Tree by Doba Rivka Weber. Illustrated by Phyllis Saroff. ©2010. Hachai Publishing. In this endearing story, a young boy writes a New Year’s (Tu B’Shevat)  letter to his tree wishing it all good things for the year to come. The lovely illustrations show, in detail, exactly what the boy hopes the tree receives – sunlight, rain, birds, bees, strength, etc. The boy promises to take good care of his tree and knows, in return, the tree will provide fruit and shade.  As appropriate for Earth Day as for Tu B’Shevat.  (Ages 3-8)

Gabby & Grandma Go Green written and illustrated by Monica Wellington. ©2011. Beginning with sewing the bags they will use to go shopping, Gabby and her grandmother shop at the Farmer’s Market, walk to the park, recycle their plastic bottles and newspapers and check out Earth Day books at the library. Instructions for making cloth bags and many “Green Tips” accompany the simple text. The brightly colored pictures are a collage of cut-out photographs and gouache on paper artwork.  (Ages 3-7)

A Grand Old Tree written and illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma. ©2005. Arthur A. Levine Books. The life cycle of trees is explained in this marvelously simple yet eloquent book. The bright, colorful tissue paper collage illustrations show a tree filled with life, branching out, creating new trees and finally aging until it’s branches wither back into the earth where it gives life to another generation of trees. (ages 3-7)

Who Will Plant a Tree? By Jerry Pallotta. Illustrated by Tom Leonard. ©2010. Sleeping Bear Press. An amazing fact of nature is the different ways seeds have found to disperse themselves. Some seeds have developed burrs to stick to the fur coats of black bears, others have tough coverings to withstand being coughed up by an owl or pooped out by an elephant, and even others have developed parachutes to float in the wind. Whatever it is seeds find their way around the environment in a variety of interesting and wily ways. Using simple language and extraordinarily beautiful illustrations, this book for young readers makes it clear that from horses to humans, we all have a role in planting trees around the world. (Ages 4-8)

As you find ways to celebrate the trees around you during this Tu B’Shevat remember these beautiful words from Rabbi Shneour Zalman (1745-1813):

“All that we see — The heaven, the earth, and all that fills it — All these things are the external garments of God.”

As such, they should be respected and protected.  May you have a wonderful holiday.

Happy reading.

Kathy B.

©2012 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review were provided by the publisher, my local public library or are from my own collection.
I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my web site and purchase it from Amazon,

I may receive a very small commission on your purchase.

You will incur no additional cost, however.

I appreciate your support.

Kathleen M. Bloomfield: The Voice of Bride & Groom…the song of children at play: Hachnasat Kallah/Celebrating the Wedding Couple

From: forwordsbooks
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Forwordsbooks/~3/CmWx8NzKDP4/
January 31, 2012 at 08:53AM

Our journey of discovery HaEilu D’varim – of the obligations without measure brings us to an interesting value: Hachnasat Kallah/Celebrating the Wedding Couple. We are asked to insure that a newly married couple starts their life together with a joyous celebration and everything they need to set up their house.

The marriage of two people committed to sharing a lifetime together is cause for a celebration. Children invited to this magical event bring energy, laughter and a sense of wonder as they ask their elders questions about the meaning of every rite and ritual, the relationship of this or that person to them and for information about weddings past, present and future.  Offering children the opportunity to share blessings for the couple in the form of small drawings or written words is one way to make their presence even more meaningful.

The following books are wonderful examples of the joy children can bring to the mitzvah (good deed) of Hachnasat Kallah/Celebrating the Wedding Couple:

Grandma’s Wedding Album by Harriet Ziefert. Paintings by Karla Gudeon. © 2011. Blue Apple Books. Ages 4-7. Designed to look like a picture album, Grandma shows her grandchildren, Emily and Michael, “photos” from her wedding to Poppy describing how they met, got engaged and were married. The photo/paintings are joyful, beautiful and colorful. The back of the book lists wedding traditions from all over the world.

Nadia’s Hands by Karen English. Illustrated by Jonathan Weiner. © 1999. Boyds Mill Press. Ages 5-8. Nadia, a Pakistani-American girl, has been chosen to be the flower girl for her Aunt Laila’s wedding. This means her hands will be painted with lovely designs and flowers using dye called henna. Nadia worries that the dye will be on her hands when she returns to school following the wedding. How will she explain the red shapes and lines on her hands to her classmates?

Donovan’s Big Day by Lesléa Newman. Illustrated by Mike Dutton. © 2011. Tricycle Press. Ages 4-7.  Donovan has a BIG job to do, but he has a lot of things to remember before he can get his BIG job done. After all, he is the ring bearer at the wedding of his two moms, so he better get up on time, eat his breakfast, stay clean, greet everyone…

Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding by Lenore Look. Illustrated by Yumi Heo. © 2006 Atheneum Books for  Young Readers. Ages 4-8 years. How will Jenny be her Uncle Peter’s favorite girl if he is getting married? Jenny decides to do everything she can to stop the wedding so her Uncle will continue to love her most of all. The hilarious results may inspire playful kids, but they will learn a lot about Chinese wedding traditions in the process.

Wedding Flowers by Cynthia Rylant. Illustrated by Wendy Andeson Halperin. © 2002. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Ages 6-9 years. This is Book 6 of the Cobble Street Cousins Series, although one does not have to have read the previous books to read this one.  The cousins return to Cobble Street to help Aunt Lucy with her wedding to Michael.

Brenda Berman, Wedding Expert by Jane Breskin Zalben.   Illustrated by Victoria Chess. ©2009. Clarion Books. Ages 6-9 years. Brenda Berman knows that a flower girl in a gold lamé dress with sparkly shoes makes any wedding special. Of course, when her Uncle Harry announces his engagement, Brenda is thrilled that her flower girl dreams have arrived. Unfortunately, the bride and her niece have other plans. Can Brenda save the day and plan the perfect wedding?

The Wedding Planner’s Daughter by Coleen Murtagh Paratore. © 2005. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.   Ages 9-12 years. Twelve-year-old Willafred “Willa” Havisham  has travelled everywhere with her mother , Stella, a first-class wedding planner. All she wants is to settle down somewhere and find a father. When it appears her wish may at last come true, disaster strikes and her mother packs their bags again.

Sister of the Bride by Beverly Cleary. © 1996. HarperCollins. Ages 11-14 years. Barbara’s sister, Rosemary has announced she is getting married. At first Barbara is very excited, but once the wedding plans begin, the world seems to center around Rosemary. Barbara and her younger brother, Gordy, are shoved to the side-lines. At least that is how they feel. Barbara begins to wonder, “What is so great about getting married anyway?”

Providing children with opportunities to observe how brides and grooms are nurtured by the community allows them to understand the delights and responsibilities of marriage from many points of view. This is a lesson we are never too young to acquire.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.

©2012 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review came from publishers as review copies, my personal collection and my local public library.
I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my web site and purchase it from Amazon,
I may receive a very small commission on your purchase. You will incur no additional cost, however.

I appreciate your support.

%d bloggers like this: