Tag Archives: fear

Book Review: Kindergarten ROCKS! – by Katie Davis

 

 

 

 


Title: Kindergarten ROCKS!
Author/Illustrator: Katie Davis
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date: June 1, 2008
Genre: picture book; age 4-7; Preschool - 3
Pages: 32
Price: hardcover: $16-$23; paperback: $8 - $10.40
My rating: enjoyable, entertaining, encouraging for children

Kindergarten ROCKS! by Katie Davis addresses the fear of many children setting off on that first day of school – the anxiety, the worry, the imagined worst-case-scenarios. Dexter has them all.

Dexter is a little boy soon to start kindergarten. Dexter knows all about kindergarten because his older sister Jessica, who is going into grade 3, told him about it. Even so, he’s nervous about it, or rather … his toy blue dog Rufus is worried about it. Jessica encourages her brother not to worry because – kindergarten rocks! Dexter keeps trying to convince himself it’ll be fine, but he takes Rufus along for moral support.

The colourful illustrations – created by the author illustrator, Katie Davis – contribute to the humour of the story. Example: “When we finally got to school, I couldn’t wait to see my classroom.” The illustrations belie what Dexter is saying because in that scene Jessica is pulling Dexter who is strongly resisting.

Much to Dexter’s relief, he discovers he has a friend from pre-school in his class and he soon forgets to be anxious. There are so many fun things to do that Dexter even forgets where he left Rufus. Then he’s worried for a totally other reason and a search ensues.

Told mostly by Dexter himself, Kindergarten ROCKS! is a story young readers and pre-readers will really enjoy. The illustrations fit well with the words to add to the humour and show the child’s angst which is quickly resolved. The images are bright, bold, uncomplicated, and look as if they were created through the use of Crayola crayons which are depicted on one page. And who doesn’t love using Crayolas?

Kindergarten ROCKS! written and illustrated by Katie Davis is a must read book for young children and the adults who read to them. It’s fun, bright, and reassuring.

You can find Kindergarten ROCKS!written and illustrated by Katie Davison my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Advertisements

Angels watching over us, our narrow escape

I have a story to tell you. Fasten your seatbelt. We’re very glad we are in the habit of using ours, which is law here in Canada.

Sunday started out innocently enough. I got home for my week off from caregiving, then a couple of hours later my daughter asked me if I would like to go to the zoo with her and my grandson. There was a lion cub born this summer that we hadn’t seen yet. I said yes, so in about an hour they arrived for me and we started out to be there for feeding time at the zoo.

About half way there our whole plan changed. 

In the front passenger seat I’d closed my eyes because of a headache for which I’d taken a capsule before leaving home, when I heard my daughter calmly say, “He’s going to hit us.” I looked up and there it was – a car in the east bound lane – heading directly at us! He had crossed over into our lane and there was nothing that could be done, nowhere for us to go to get out of the way! I had time to gasp.

There was a loud THUNK and solid jolt. Fortunately, he missed hitting us head-on, and not by much. With the force of the impact along the driver side of my daughter’s vehicle, her back wheel was ripped off and we were sent into a violent spin. We think we made two complete circles stretched over at least a quarter-mile of highway, but with the airbags deployed it was hard to know for sure. Although it happened in mere seconds everything seemed to go into slow motion. I screamed, tires screeched, I could taste the powder from the airbags, all was a blur out the front window; it seemed we were going to crash off into trees, then over an embankment. My heart seemed to settle on my daughter and my grandson seated behind her. I felt as if we were protected, enclosed, when just as suddenly as it all began … we stopped. Amazingly, we were on the side of the road and facing west – the way we had been travelling before the accident! We hadn’t plunged down the embankment, we hadn’t hit the guardrail on the other side or any of the other vehicles on the road, we didn’t flip or roll, none of our windows had broken, no one was seriously injured. Airbags had protected us, and seatbelts had held us securely in place.

People from other vehicles started running over to us – Is anyone hurt? Are you alright in there? Can you get out? One of the first was a retired police office who was helpful and calming. Another was the driver of the car ahead of us that had just missed being hit. She saw the whole thing in her rearview mirror and didn’t expect to see anyone able to get out of our vehicle after what happened. Another witness of everything was a lady behind us in a smaller car. She said if he hadn’t hit us he would have hit her head-on, which would have been a totally different end result. As it was, people collected and carried over pieces of my daughter’s Terrain – the tire, the rim, the axle, other things, and I don’t know how many people were on their cell phones calling 9-1-1 to get us help. We were told that our rear tire had been sent rolling and bouncing, hitting another car so that there were three vehicles involved at the scene, including the one who started it all and had spun in circles ending up way down the road from us and facing the ditch. 

It didn’t seem to be very long before paramedics arrived by ambulance, soon followed by a firetruck. (I’d never been that close to one when its siren is blaring – deafening!) Police officers soon appeared on the scene. I’d called my husband who, with my sweet sister-in-law who insisted on coming with him, had no trouble finding us due to the backed-up traffic.

I relearned something that day about myself and human nature in general. We don’t know what we are capable of in times of trauma. My daughter was perfectly calm, perhaps more than usual, until it was all over. Her concern was for me and especially her son. I, on the other hand, was more angry than I’ve been in a long time. In jest but likely partly in seriousness, a paramedic told my husband they just were making sure I didn’t see the driver of the other car. I’d been seated on the ground and fighting back tears, trying to calm down, when a paramedic came to see if I was okay. I told him I was furious! “That’s my family! That’s my daughter, and that’s my grandson!” I felt the other driver was irresponsible, inattentive, and had put my family at risk. It’s like my sister-in-law said to me later, “Mama Bear can come out when we feel like someone has threatened our children/grandchildren.”

There were angels in action on our behalf on Sunday. There are many things that could have been very different. I have thanked God many times and will many times more. I’ve prayed for the other guy, not wishing him more harm than the ticket I heard he got out of this, and his insurance is sure take a hit.

My grandson is fine, the welt on his neck caused by his seat belt is gone. He had a story to tell his friends at school on Monday. My daughter and I suffer now from soreness in hips and ribs, shoulders, neck, some whiplash and such. We’ve started treatment already to keep it from getting worse.

Below are most of the photos from the accident:

Photos 1-5: damage to my daughter’s Terrain, a safe family vehicle, we learned. Photo 6: back tire from her vehicle, retrieved after colliding with another car. Photo 7: driver’s side, airbags deployed, including lower one to protect her side. Photo 8: passenger side, airbags deployed. No need for front ones, fortunately. Photos 9 & 10: the other guy’s; floor’s forced up; airbags deployed in the front.

photo-1photo-2

 

 

 

 

 

photo-4photo-3

photo-5photo-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo-7-driver-sidephoto-8-passenger-side

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo-10-other-guysphoto-11-other-guys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I praise God no one was seriously hurt. It could have been so much worse.

Do you have a narrow-escape story to tell?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Fear … a Jim Carrey quote

FEAR

IS GOING TO BE A PLAYER

IN YOUR LIFE

BUT YOU

GET TO DECIDE HOW MUCH.

– Jim Carrey

 

This quote makes so much sense to me. It’s a matter of choice, as is everything else. Decisions, decisions, decisions! 

When have you felt crippled by fear and how did you [decide to] overcome it?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book trailer for An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – by Chris Hadfield

Just a quick post today…

On July 1 I posted my book review of Chris Hadfield’s book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. I should have also mentioned again the post I had written about his talk about facing one’s fear; you can watch it here.

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on EarthToday I am posting the trailer for his book, which I would have included yesterday had I thought to look for one.  (Thanks to Erik for the heads-up about this.) It is so funny and I hope you will enjoy it.  Click here to watch it.

 

Do book trailers increase your interest in a book? Do they help you make a decision about buying a book?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Facing one’s fear – a talk by Chris Hadfield

Do you have a dream? A fantastic plan? A seemingly impossible goal? but you can’t seem to move forward to achieve it? Could fear be holding you back?

Do you know who I mean by Chris Hadfield? He is the Canadian astronaut who became very well-known when he went into space in 2013. He sent images back to Earth and communicated with thousands of people through tweets from Space. You can read about him here. He is a man of many talents.

220px-Chris_Hadfield_2011

Here is a very interesting talk by Chris Hadfield, spoken in his funny and calm way. I’m sure you will enjoy it. He talks about mastering fear, and about when he went blind in space. Literally in space during a space walk!

So … what scares you?

Do you have a dream? What’s holding you back?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Does fear control your life?

FEAR.

What do you think of when you hear that word?

From the time I was a small child fear was my constant companion. It hindered me in every way. Sometimes it got pushed aside but rarely did it let go. It has taken years for me to begin living without it taking over, and even yet I struggle against its seemed power in my life. I have come to believe that when fear is not of value it is a choice to be made.

FEAR IS A CHOICE.

Without going into a lot of personal grief about things not necessary to mention at this time, I want to direct you instead to an excellent post I found. Titled “Is Fear Driving You Forward or Dragging You Under?” it was written by Kristen Lamb  <—- so please take a few minutes to go there (just click on her name) and read it. She says it so well.

E. E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

I’m still working on that. How about you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

What’s the secret in your nest?

I have a story to tell you.

About two weeks ago I bought a beautiful, new, red camera.  A couple of days later I was outside enjoying the sunny, warm weather with my daughter when she discovered a little nest in a nearby tree. Even by holding her camera/phone above it to take a photo, she wasn’t sure what was in it, maybe a dead bird? We hoped not.

My new digital camera has the handy feature of an adjustable monitor so that I could see my intended subject by angling the monitor down while holding the camera above the nest. This let me see that I had in frame what I wanted, but it wasn’t until we looked at the captured image that we could see what was there.

What do you think we found?     Take a look.

Can you see it?

Take a closer look.

Yes, that’s a peanut shell!

Although I would get a kick out of telling you that we found a new and unique way to grow peanuts, I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me anyway.  The truth is my dad has a peanut holder hanging on another tree and filled it with roasted peanuts in the shell. Obviously, either a bird – or maybe a squirrel – took its prize to a more private place and released the peanut for his own satisfying snack.

That’s got the be the ultimate in take-out, don’t you think? 🙂

And, those of you who are allergic, please note it is an empty shell.

The way my brain works, I began thinking about this peanut shell hidden in a bird’s nest. But I didn’t just think about how funny that is, but also the uniqueness of it.

Nests … homes … privacy … secrets … keeping ourselves from the world …

Just allow me this far-reaching musing, follow me awhile …

How often do we keep to ourselves the thing we most would like to do for fear of people thinking we are crazy for considering such a thing? Such as .. oh, I don’t know .. skydiving, for example. Or running a marathon, or writing a book, or teaching what we know to people who really want to learn. Why are we so afraid of living our lives to the fullest? Why do we practice singing when no one is there to hear us? Why do we dance but only when we are alone? Why do we write in secret? Why do we hide our stash of peanuts (our talents and giftedness) and enjoy them privately instead of sharing them?

I think it’s fear of rejection, or ridicule, or .. ‘not good enough” mentality.

I believe in order to overcome the fear of what others will think of us, we must first accept ourselves and the way God has gifted us. We must see ourselves honestly and then take that first step. Take a class, or join a club, or offer our abilities where there is a need. Do whatever is necessary to learn, and discover and grow. Now that we are in the age of Internet communities we have tremendous advantages and opportunities to connect in areas once not accessible. We have no excuse anymore.

So, why do we hide? I know that once we step out we’ll find many others who feel the same way, and through our efforts to grow they will be encouraged to crawl out of the nest, too. How do I know? Because I was afraid, someone encouraged me .. and still does .. and I am crawling out of my nest. It’s not so scary after all!

What’s in your nest? What unique gift do you have that you are not letting the world know about yet?

Or, what have you done to take that step and change your life?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂