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The Best Gifts Hardcover – 15 Sep 2013
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From the Author
Spending time with your children is a parent's best gift.
Spending time with the ones you love is the message of the book, and mother's milk is used as the ultimate symbol of love.
I can see this book being read to an older sibling of a new baby. Toddlers are often jealous of the new baby in the house and don't like all the extra time their mother is spending with the baby. They also have difficulty understanding the concept of breast feeding. The Best Gifts shows that while the new baby gets love in the form of mother's milk, the toddler is still getting love in other ways -- like cuddling and reading books together. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the author of sixteen books for children and young adults. The first edition of The Best Gifts was published in 1998. Marsha received the SCBWI inaugural Crystal Kite for Stolen Child, and the Order of Princess Olha, in recognition of her outstanding achievement in the development of the culture of Ukraine, in particular for her picture book, Enough (Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2001). And no, you do not have to call her Princess Marsha.
Elly MacKay works with paper arts. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax and then studied printmaking for a year at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. She lives near Owen Sound, Ontario with her family working on various illustration projects and teaching at the local art gallery.
Top customer reviews
"The Best Gifts" makes a lovely present for new mothers breastfeeding for the first time as well as for older siblings with a new baby in the house.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I loved the theme that breastfeeding is one of the best gifts that a baby can receive. The book is written in a sweet style. The illustrations are pretty, in pastel tones.
It is difficult to find picture books for children that portray breastfeeding; this is a nice book to fit that niche. The two babies in the book are nursed as newborns, there is no mention of when they stopped; it does not address nursing to a certain age or anything. There are no bottles portrayed in this book.
My complaint is that the two nursing scenes occur when the mother is in a nightgown, which reinforces some people's opinion that nursing mothers must be in their nightgowns all the time in order to nurse or that they must always stay at home to nurse. Additionally the mother chooses to button her nightgown from the top down, exposing her chest..., which perpetuates another notion that in order to breastfeed the mother must completely expose herself. Please realize that nursing can be done with real clothes on, in a discreet manner that leaves the mother covered for both her own comfort and for the comfort of others. Nursing can be done at any time of the day and anywhere, in public or private, in a more discreet manner than is portrayed in this book. (See the cover illustration for an idea of how the nursing scene is illustrated throughout this book.)
Despite my issues I still rate this as 5 stars for the quality of the writing, the quality of the illustration, and the wonderful message that this book communicates.
I agree with the previous reviewer, christinemm, who writes "My complaint is that the two nursing scenes occur when the mother is in a nightgown . . . Additionally the mother chooses to button her nightgown from the top down, exposing her chest..., which perpetuates another notion that in order to breastfeed the mother must completely expose herself." Breastfeeding can be done with regular clothes on, in a discreet manner, at any time and anywhere. Although all books that show breastfeeding are an asset, this is an important point to consider. Studies show that formula companies who promote breastfeeding (who do so according to law), portray mothers using this same strategy.
These studies found that showing a lot of skin in a breastfeeding campaign may discourage mothers into bottle feeding for fear of embarrassment.
This book has a wonderful resource at the back that lists many ways a Mom can get breastfeeding support. Support is the key to a successful breastfeeding relationship and I think this was an excellent addition to the story. I do feel that four is a little low for the suggested reading level of "ages four to eight" because it is a very wordy book.
All in all - We LOVE this book. Even though my children are too young to read it from front to back, they love to look at the beautiful pictures. I feel this book would make "The Best Gift" for a school aged big sister or brother to be!
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