Archive for the ‘Recommended Books’ Category

Children of the Sun

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Kabir wrote a poem on the Solar system and then both Kabir and Arjun created illustrations with the help of Mrs. Vicki Farmer.  Here’s a little back-cover summary of the book.

Designed to introduce children to the solar system, this book attempts to teach facts about the planets around our sun, from Saturn’s Rings to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. However, in this case the story goes a step further. What if… every planet wasn’t just a sphere of rock or gas? If they each had personalities, what would they be like? Here is one artist’s attempt to represent their unique personalities, each with his or her own distinctive qualities and behaviors, through The Children of the Sun. Follow this poem through our solar system, and read for yourself these special virtues of each of the children of the Sun. At the same time, readers can learn scientific facts about the solar system. We hope that you may enjoy this poem, written and illustrated by children.

Please buy this book at (you should be able to find coupons).  It’s a 50-page full color book.  Here’s the Facebook page for Children of The Sun.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Reading Fair 2018

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

This year at the Reading Fair, Kabir chose the book “Wonder” and Arjun presented “The Tales of Robin Hood”.  Their boards will be on display at the local library for about 2 weeks.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed reading We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.  After reading the story we ate berries and honey.  Also, I made an edible bear for Arjun using crackers, olives, raisins and fruit loops.  Kabir made his own edible bear including grass (olives), river (blue fruit loops), mud (brown mushed bread), forest (olives), snowstorm (almonds) and cave (meatballs).

I printed out printables from Homeschool Creations.  We enjoyed playing the game based on this book.

Arjun did a good job sequencing the events.


The most memorable moment was to act out the entire book using props.

Then, we went back to:

We’re not going on a bear hunt!

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

If you have never read Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina, I suggest you do.  It’s a very cute book for children.

At first, Arjun was reluctant to act as the peddler in the book.  So, I had to recruit Kabir.  His enthusiasm inspired Arjun and they together enjoyed acting out peddler and monkey from this book.

Both of them enjoyed playing the game “Monkey see, Monkey do”.  Also, we did a little math and art and craft projects to go along with this book.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Not many people are going to like this but I have to confess that I actually enjoyed reading Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.  I don’t agree with her 100% but I do agree with her on lots of points.  When I read her book, I was not judging her or analyzing her.  Also, I tried to see her point of view.  I appreciate her honesty.  It takes lots of courage to write such a book because you know you are going to be grilled for doing so.  I appreciate this book because it gives me an idea of different perspectives as far as parenting style is concerned. 

I agree with her that schoolwork must always come first.  But for me, winning a medal or getting the highest grade is not the most important goal.  I would love for my kids to win but I am absolutely fine with them losing too.  This is because I feel failure is as important as winning.  Always winning can make you very arrogant.  Failing will make you a bit humble, compassionate and it has lot of lessons.  I would prefer for my kids to learn how to deal with failure now rather than later in life.  Unlike Amy Chua, I love playdates and I want my kids to participate in different activities like plays.  My sister-in-law, Shikha, once said that it takes a village to grow up a child.  I couldn’t agree more with her.  I like my kids to be with their music teacher, art teacher, swim coach, my trusted friends, my relatives and learn from all of them.  Also, whenever I drop off my kid for a playdate, it is understood that the rules of the hosting family will override our rules.

However, I concur with Amy Chua as far as TV or computer games are concerned.  We have no TV in our living room.  TV is so restricted in our house that whenever we watch TV it’s a big deal.  We own no video games.  I and my kids have no iPad as yet.  Again, I concur with Amy Chua about the topic of kids’ choice.  I feel when kids are small they don’t necessarily know what’s good for them.  For example, Kabir wanted to learn guitar rather than piano.  We told him that he needs to first learn piano because that’s the basic of western music.  He can make a choice when he is 13.  So, piano was not his first choice and was forced upon him initially.  Now, he just absolutely loves it!  Arjun is never interested in anything for the first time.  Initially, I have to force him.  Over time, he loves it and begs for more.  There are so many things that I never wanted to do when I was little but now I wish my mother had forced me.  While I will pursue their interest with much more vigor but they do not have a choice to avoid activities or subjects that we feel is vital for them.  As kids get wiser, they are more able to make good choices and hence more freedom.  I feel my job is to be a parent even if my kids don’t appreciate me at the moment but eventually they will understand.  I am a parent and not a cheerleader.  I am not in contest of winning their approval or vote all the time.  At the same time, I do pick my battle.  If Arjun still wants to drink in a sippy cup, it’s not worth a fight.  I agree with Amy Chua that our kids are much stronger than we think.  I think our expectations from our kids needs to be always a little higher than their own expectations and it might need adjusting depending on circumstances.  Also, sometimes siblings are so different that a parent might need different parenting style with each one!

My parenting style is, I would say, hybrid – some of our family rules have Asian roots such as no sleepover other than with close cousins; and a part of my parenting style has American roots for example I do compliment my kids generously and I also do share their accomplishments on my blog (something I cannot imagine majority Asian parents to do and I don’t know if this is something I’ll regret down the road).

My parenting style is an evolving process.  Nothing is written in stone.  Every time, my husband and I try to discuss, assess and adjust.  I try to learn from each and every parent I meet.  I read this book during our surprise trip to Chicago and Kabir was in desperate need of a book.  So, I let him read this book.  He read about first 9 chapters of this book.  When I asked him what did he think of Ms. Amy, he said, “She is too strict but she is a good mother.”

So, I definitely recommend this book!