Jennifer Douglas is a literary publicist who believes in the right of equality for all authors. With a vision of a world where positivity is the norm and negativity is long forgotten Jennifer works alongside authors creating a marketing and publicity plan that meets the needs of the individual.

With years of experience in publicity, public relations and the marketing industry, which includes working with Allen and Unwin and Palmer Higgs Publishing, Jennifer has become a well sort after reviewer. To work with Jennifer is to know you are working with someone who will not hold back on being open and honest about your book and its marketing possibilities.

Having undertaken many courses in writing and poetry over the years Jennifer has a vast knowledge in the field of writing and reviewing, being able to provide an efficient, effective and professional service. As a qualified Early Childhood Educator and a home educating mum with over 16 years experience, she has a passion for quality children's books and educational resources.

Having spent 6 years as the founder and managing editor of two magazines, Good Gabble and Rattling Reviews, Jennifer has an eye for marketing and sales, knowing what the consumer is looking for and how to reach them. She works individually with each client meeting their needs and the needs of their product. She has many years experience in critiquing websites, placing herself in the shoes of the consumer who is browsing. Many clients return time and time again knowing they will be receiving an honest, open and non judgmental review or critique. Jennifer prides herself on providing a friendly, non threatening and personal service. Her clients are able to contact her personally throughout the whole review process.

For further information on the services Jennifer offers please visit her website www.jenniferdouglasliterarypublicist.com. This blog is a review base only.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

ParentCraft, A practical guide to raising children well - Ken and Elizabeth Mellor

A breath of fresh air are the first thoughts that came to my mind when I had completed ParentCraft, A practical guide to raising children well by Ken and Elizabeth Mellor. Ken and Elizabeth present us with a parenting approach that acknowledges the importance of our job as parents and the challenges we face. ParentCraft empowers parents and builds 'feel good' emotions that make a job that is often not valued in society rewarding and easier to tackle.

  Full of practical information Ken and Elizabeth have high praise for parents and a bond with children and families that is highly noticeable in their writing. With more than 30 years experience the approaches within Parentcraft have been used time and time again, giving the reader confidence that these techniques are safe and easy and that they can provide the light at the end of an often dark tunnel. The scenarios used within the book not only put things into perspective but allow for clear clarity.

 As parents we never have all the answers and Ken and Elizabeth do not claim to have them either. The honesty, relaxed reading style and openness of this book leads for light but informative reading. For me, a parent of three ranging from 3 to18 years and a full time mum, the acknowledgment of parenting as an important job was one that was highly appreciated. It is far to often that comments such as “Oh, you are full time mum” or “ So you are unemployed, you just stay home and look after the kids” are generated toward us parents, leaving a feeling of lack of self worth amongst our 'working' colleagues. Not any more! ParentCraft is here, placing emphasis on the role of us parents.

“ We think parents have the most important job of anyone anywhere. Everything we do as parents influences the lives of our children and helps to shape them for the years to come. Through them, the future of the world is also shaped. So let's do a good job. Let's get it right. Let's do it together when that will help. And let's enjoy the process” write Ken and Elizabeth on page vii of the introduction.

Within ParentCraft Ken and Elizabeth acknowledges that each family as a whole, each child and each situation is unique. They do not suggest that one takes their book and uses it step by step as an answer to your parenting but instead encourage experimenting with their ideas, reshaping their suggestions in whatever way is necessary and making it work for your family.

  The parenting suggestions within ParentCraft are vast and practical, using guidance and love as the core ingredient. Ages and stages of children are included and taken into account, along with the patterns of childhood. As a parent who homeschools her children naturally and has a background in early childhood, having owned my own child care centre, I found the approach that Ken and Elizabeth use welcoming and refreshing. If we all took that little extra time that is suggested to work as a team, communicate clearly, pay active attention and balance the family dynamics then parenting and society would take on a whole different aspect.

 Another thing that impressed me about Parentcraft was the acknowledgment of the role of both parents and the importance of the biological family. In society today there are far to many children who find themselves separated from biological family for one reason or another. It is our role as the parent to find the means, when possible, to keep children in contact with those that are birth related. The affects of this may not initially be seen in our young children but can surely be seen as the child matures and grows into adulthood.

“ Our original families have profound effects on us. We are with them in our early years when our deepest foundations as people are laid. From then on, everything in our lives is either partly influenced or fully determined by our early experiences......” page 32

“......Together, biological parents provide many fundamental ingredients for their children. Separately, they each provide something unique that only a mother or a father can provide.” page 52.

In Chapter 14, Paying Active Attention, Ken and Elizabeth remind us that we have five senses that should be used to pay attention to our children. This wholistic simple approach has us tuning into our children, looking, listening, touching, tasting and smelling them. Through these senses we an truly become engaged in our children, knowing what is going on, and getting them to tell us what is going on.

“ …..We can get significantly different information and impressions from each of our senses, so we are well advised to become proficient in using all of them....” page 131.

 I love, love, love this book and highly recommend it. Refreshing, enjoyable to read, easy to navigate and full of love and praise for parents, families and children. A great resource for the parent who is just starting out to the parent who has been there for many years, ParentCraft with give you a spring in your parenting and have you looking at your children and family in a fresh light. Through ParentCraft, Ken and Elizabeth Mellor, introduce us to a wholistic approach to parenting that gives us freedom and control and a relaxed and practical guide to raising children well.

Available at: www.theawakeningnetwork.net

Reviewed by Jennifer Deaves