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Blog posts of '2014' 'March'

Learning Resources for Monkey See, Monkey Do

The User's Guide and Story Summary for Monkey See, Monkey Do are now available and include; lesson plans, story summaries, vocabulary words, background knowledge questions and reading prompts.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Story Summary (PDF 169 KB)

User's Guide (PDF 130 KB)

Be sure to check out the PictureReading page for more information on the series.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Win one of ten copies of Early Birdy Gets the Worm signed by author, Bruce Lansky before you can buy it in stores! If you're a Goodreads member you can enter with the link below. Be sure to check back for more upcoming giveaways!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Early Birdy Gets the Worm by Bruce Lansky

Early Birdy Gets the Worm

by Bruce Lansky

Giveaway ends May 06, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win
Preterm Labor Signs

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

by Penny Simkin, PT; et al

Because some women without any risk factors deliver their babies early, all pregnant women should know the signs of preterm labor. These signs are common and similar to normal pregnancy sensations, so watch for slight differences or changes. While it’s important to be aware of these signs, remember that only about 12 percent of women have preterm labor.

If you have two or more of these symptoms, call your caregiver immediately to help you decide whether you’re in preterm labor.

  • Uterine contractions that occur every ten minutes, or six contractions in one hour (Contractions come in waves as your uterus alternately tightens and softens; they don’t have to be painful. See page 136 to learn how to detect contractions.)
  • Continuous or intermittent menstrual-like cramps or pressure in your lower abdomen and thighs (pelvic heaviness)
  • Dull ache in your lower back that doesn’t go away when you change position
  • Intestinal cramping with or without diarrhea or loose stools
  • Sudden increase or change in vaginal discharge (watery, blood tinged, or with more thin mucus).
  • General feeling that something isn’t right

When checking for preterm contractions, think about your typical uterine activity and remember that contractions of irregular length and frequency are normal in pregnancy. Having persistent, fairly regular contractions for two hours (along with other signs) indicates labor.

Excerpted from: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide, Fourth Edition

© copyright 2010 by Parent Trust for Washington Children with permission from its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking on KCLive

Jerry Wyckoff and Barbara Unell, authors of Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking, appeared on Kansas City Live to talk about their book in light of a recent (now dead) spanking bill in Kansas.

Learning Resources for Polar Brrr's Big Adventure

The User's Guide and Story Summary for Polar Brrr's Big Adventure are now available and include; lesson plans, story summaries, vocabulary words, background knowledge questions and reading prompts.

Polar Brrr's Big Adventure

Story Summary (PDF 764 KB)

User's Guide (PDF 607 KB)

Be sure to check out the PictureReading page for more information on the series.

Amazon Top Ten List

Early Birdy Gets the WormPolar Brrr's Big AdventureMonkey See, Monkey Do

Bruce Lansky's Early Birdy Gets the Worm, Polar Brrr's Big Adventure and Monkey See, Monkey Do are in the top ten on Amazon's Children's eBook Top 100 Free List!

Customers are in love with the delightful illustrations and engaging stories that let children use their imaginations to tell the tale.

You can still download your copy free, but only for a limited time!  And don't forget you can purchase the hardcover edition of Early Birdy Gets the Worm direct from Meadowbrook Press.

Be sure to check out the PictureReading page for user's guides for parents and teachers with lesson plans, story summaries, vocabulary words, background knowledge questions and reading prompts.

Download Busy Books for Free

Busy Books Banner

For a limited time, The Fitness Fun, Playdate and Children's Busy Books are available for free on eBook at your favorite online store!

Picture of The Fitness Fun Busy Book

The Fitness Fun Busy Book contains 365 games and activities to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy and active. The book includes outdoor, indoor, water, rhythm/music, and holiday fitness activities for individuals and groups. All activities are designed to build large and small motor skills such as balance and hand-eye coordination and inspire a love of physical exercise by encouraging a child to move.

Click on the store to download.

The Fitness Fun Busy Book (previously titled The Wiggle & Giggle Busy Book) contains 365 games and activities to keep toddlers and preschoolers busy and active. The book includes outdoor, indoor, water, rhythm/music, and holiday fitness activities for individuals and groups. All activities are designed to build large and small motor skills such as balance and hand-eye coordination and inspire a love of physical exercise by encouraging a child to move. - See more at: http://www.meadowbrookpress.com/fitness-fun-busy-book#sthash.SL50L3IV.dpuf

Amazon iTunes Barnes&Noble Google


Picture of The Playdate Busy Book

The Playdate Busy Book contains over 200 activities that all children (from infants to nine-year-olds) can do together. Each activity describes how babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age kids can join in the fun!

Click on the store to download.

Amazon iTunes Barnes&Noble Google


Picture of The Children's Busy Book

Keep your six- to ten-year old busy with The Children's Busy Book. It contains over 365 ideas using items found around the home that engage children in activities that promote learning and physical activity. It also has ideas for rainy days, fun family-centered activities, long car trips, and celebrating holidays and other occasions with special projects.

Click on the store to download.

Amazon iTunes Barnes&Noble Google

"Mary Had a Little Jam"

Mary Had a Little Jam

©Bruce Lansky from Mary Had a Little Jam, published by Meadowbrook Press.

Free PictureReading eBooks

"What a great way to turn 3- to 6-year-old children into readers!"
-Stan Steiner, PhD, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Literacy, College of Education, Boise State University

For a limited time all three PictureReading books are available for free at your favorite online eBook retailer! Click on the titles below for the links.

Bruce Lansky's engaging PictureReading books are meant to be read to, with, and by children. How can preschoolers and children who are still learning to read possibly read stories to adults? Simple: The book contain no words, so children can "read" the pictures and use that visual information to tell the story.

Reading pictures is similar to reading words, but it's a lot easier. When children read pictures, they smile and laugh as they learn what is happening in the story, get to know the characters, imagine what the characters are thinking or feeling, and use picture-clues to predict what might happen next. PictureReading provides young children with a shortcut that enables them to read picture-stories at an early age. The books also let young children practice a wide range of verbal skills as they narrate the story in their own words.

Be sure to check out the PictureReading page for user's guides for parents and teachers with lesson plans, story summaries, vocabulary words, background knowledge questions and reading prompts.

Early Birdy Gets the WormPolar Brrr's Big AdventureMonkey See, Monkey Do

"100% adorable! Wow, I'm smiling from ear to ear.
I never knew wordless picture books could be so entertaining!"
-Nancy Kerr, President, Children's Reading Foundation

Freshen Up Those 40s, 50s, and 60s Names Before Giving One to Your Baby

by Bruce Lansky

As Baby Boomers age and eventually pass away, it’s a safe bet that parents will want to honor, celebrate or thank members of the previous generation by naming babies after them. Problem is, baby-naming trends and tastes have changed since the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Here are the most popular Baby-Boomer girls’ names from the 40s, 50s and 60s: Mary, Linda, Barbara, Patricia, Carol, Sandra, Nancy, Sharon, Judith, Susan, Deborah, Karen, Donna, Lisa, Kimberly, Michelle, Cynthia

Let’s compare them to the top-10 girls’ names in 2012: Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, Emily, Abigail, Mia, Madison, Elizabeth

By comparison, current girls’ names seem:
-more glamorous (e.g., movie-star and tie-in names like Sophia, Ava, Olivia and Madison)
-more elegant (e.g., queen’s names like Isabella, Elizabeth).

Hence Baby Boomer girls' names from the 40s, 50s, and 60s come across as more middle class and less charming.

Here are the most popular Baby Boomer boys’ names from the 40s, 50s and 60s: James, Robert, John, William, Richard, David, Charles, Thomas, Michael Ronald; Mark, Jeffrey

Let’s compare them to the top-10 boys’ names in 2012: Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah, William, Liam, Jayden, Michael, Alexander, Aiden

By comparison, boys’ names are now:
-softer: (e.g., more names use “soft consonants” like Ethan, Mason, Liam, and Noah)
-less traditional, more informal (e.g., Liam is a nickname for William; Jayden is a faddy name that became very popular)
-more ethnically varied: (e.g., Liam and Aiden are Irish names)

Hence Baby Boomer names from the 40s, 50s, and 60s come across as more traditional, formal and stronger-sounding.

So, if you want to give your baby a name that recognizes or pays tribute to a family member or family friend born in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, you may want to freshen up those names by looking at alternate forms of the same names or sound-alike names that start with the same letter and have some of the same sounds as the baby-boomer names. The goal of this post is to provide you with a number of fresh options to help you honor family and friends from the previous generation in a way that will be a pleasure for both you and your child.

Below are the most popular 40s, 50s, and 60s girls’ names followed by several options you may want to consider.

Here are the top-ten names for girls born in the 40s:

Mary (Hebrew) bitter; Bible: the mother of Jesus Options:
Marie
a French form of Mary; History: The name of a leading revolutionary figure in the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette
Marina
(Latin) sea
Marisa
(Latin) sea
Marcella
(Latin) martial

Linda (Spanish) pretty
Options:
Lin
(Chinese) beautiful jade; (English) a form of Lynn
Linden (English) linden-tree hill
Lindsey (English) linden
Linley
(English) flax meadow-tree island
Linnea
(Scandinavian) lime tree

Barbara (Latin) stranger, foreigner
Options:
Barett
(German) strong as a bear
Barrie (Irish) spear; markswoman
Bebe
a Spanish form of Barbara
Berry
(English) berry

Patricia (Latin) noblewoman
Options:
Patrice
a French form of Patricia
Payten, Payton, Peyton Irish forms of Patricia
Tricia, Trisha
short forms of Patricia

Carol (German) farmer; (French) song of joy
Options:
Carolina
an Italian form of Carol
Caroline
a French form of Carol
Carolyn a compound name: Carol + Lynn
Carrie
a familiar form of Carol

Sandra a short form of Alexandra
Options:
Alexandra
(Greek) defender of mankind
Xandra a variation of Sandra
Zandra a variation of Sandra

Nancy (English) gracious
Options:
Nanette
a French form of Nancy
Nana (Hawaiian) spring
Nani (Greek) charming; (Hawaiian) beautiful

Sharon (Hebrew) desert plain
Options:
Shari (French) beloved, dearest; a Hungarian form of Sarah
Sharrona an American variation of Sharon

Judith (Hebrew) praised
Option:
Jude
(Latin) a short form of Judah, Judas; Bible: one of the 12 apostles

Susan (Hebrew) lily
Options:
Sukey
(Hawaiian) a familiar form of Susan
Suzette a French form of Susan
Zanna
a short form of Suzanna

Popular in the 50s:

Deborah (Hebrew) bee; Bible: an Old Testament prophet
Options:
Debra
a short form of Deborah

Karen (Greek) pure
Options:
Kari
a familiar form of Karen; a Danish form of Carol
Karin a Scandinavian form of Karen
Karina a Russian form of Karen
Carina
a Swedish form of Karen; a Greek form of Cora; (Italian) dear little one

Donna (Italian) lady
Options:
Doncia
(Spanish) sweet
Donia, Donise variations of Donna
Donielle
(American) an alternate form of Danielle

Popular in the 60s:

Lisa (Hebrew) consecrated to God; (English) a short form of Elisabeth
Options:
Lissa (Greek) honey bee; a short form of Melissa
Lisette a French form of Lisa

Kimberly (English) chief, ruler
Options:
Kim
a shore form of Kimberly; (Vietnamese) needle
Kimi (Japanese) righteous
Kimiko
(Japanese) righteous child

Michelle a French form of Michaela
Options:
Michaela, Mikaela (Hebrew) who is like God?
Mica, Micah
short forms of Michael: Biblical: an Old Testament prophet
Michele
an Italian form of Michelle
Michiko
(Japanese) wise child

Cynthia (Greek) moon; Mythology: an alternate name for Artemis, the moon goddess
Options:
Cyndee, Cyndi, Cindy
familiar forms of Cynthia

Below are the most popular 40s, 50s, and 60s boys’ names followed by “fresher” options you may want to consider.

Here are the top-ten names for boys born in the 40s:

James (Hebrew) supplanter, substitute; an English form of Jacob; Bible: two of the apostles in the New Testament were named James
Options:
Jaime
a Spanish form of Jacob, James
Jamey, Jamie
familiar forms of James
Jamal, Jamil, Jamel
(Arabic) handsome
Seamus
an Irish form of James

Robert (English) famous brilliance
Options:
Robin
a short form of Robert
Roberto a Spanish, Italian, Portuguese form of Robert

John (Hebrew) God is gracious; Bible: the name honors John the Baptist and John the Evangelist of the New Testament.
Options:
Evan
an English form of John; (Irish) young warrior
Gianni an Italian form of Johnny
Giovanni
an Italian form of John
Hans, Hansel
Scandinavian forms of John
Ivan
a Russian form of John
Sean
an Irish form of John

William an English form of Wilhelm (German) determined guardian
Options:
Bill a short form of William
Liam
an Irish short form of William
Will
a short form of William(English) Will’s son

Richard an English form of Richart (German) rich and powerful ruler
Options:
Rick
a short form of Richard
Richmond
(German) powerful protector

David (Hebrew) beloved; Bible: the second king of Israel
Options:
Davis (Hebrew) David’s son
Dave
a short form of David
Davin, Davon (Scandinavian) brilliant, Finn

Charles (German) farmer; (English) strong and manly
Options:
Carlo
an Italian form of Charles
Carlos
a Spanish form of Charles
Carlton (English) Carl’s town
Charlie, Charley familiar forms of Charles
Chas, Chaz, Chazz
short forms of Charles
Chuck (American) a familiar form of Charles

Thomas (Greek, Aramaic) twin; Bible: one of the 12 apostles
Options:
Tom a short form of Thomas
Tomas
German, Irish and Spanish forms of Thomas
Tomey, Tomi
Irish forms of Thomas
Tomi
a Hungarian form of Thomas; (Japanese) rich

Michael (Hebrew) Who is like God?
Options:
Michel a French form of Michael
Micah a short form of Michael; Bible: an Old Testament prophet
Miguel a Spanish form of Michael
Mike
a short form of Michael

Ronald a Scottish form of Reginald (English) king’s advisor
Options: Reggie a short form of Reginald
Reynaldo
a Spanish form of Reynold, Reginald, Ronald
Ronan (Irish) seal

Popular in the 50s:

Mark a short form of Marcus
Options:
Marc
a French form of Marcus
Marcus (Latin) martial, warlike; Bible: author of the second gospel in the New Testament
Marco an Italian form of Marcus; History: Marco Polo was a thirteenth century Venetian who explored Asia Marcos a Spanish form of Marcus

Popular in the 60s:

Jeffrey (English) divinely peaceful
Options:
Geoffrey (Old English) an alternate form of Jeffrey; Literature: Geoffrey Chaucer wrote “Canterbury Tales”
Jeff
: A short form of Jeffrey

If the family member or family friend from the Baby-Boomer generation was not on top-ten popularity lists during the 40s, 50s and 60s, take a look at different forms of the name and name-book neighbors to come up with some fresher-sounding options for yourself.

For Bruce's latest musings on names and naming check out his blog, Baby Names in the News.

© Bruce Lansky All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without proper notice of copyright.

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