Thursday, May 27, 2010

Graduation Quotes and Books

It's that time of year when graduates of every age are celebrating their recent accomplishments and preparing for their next endeavors. So whether you are attending a ceremony for preschool or medical school graduates, you may want to send a poignant message to that special person who is ready for a new challenge.

Here are some of the best graduation quotes we could find that will touch and inspire your graduate. Think about sending your special message along with a fabulous graduation book from The Lollipop Book Club!

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to pursue them." -Walt Disney

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go." -Dr. Seuss

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

"The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change." -Maya Angelou

"A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad." -Theodore Roosevelt

"It is clear the future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o'clock." -Woody Allen
"Hitch your wagon to a star." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." -Confucius

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Attributed to Mark Twain

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." -Judy Garland

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." -Milton Berle

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone." - Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." -Henry Ford

"To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks." -A.A. Milne

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Autism Books for Children

The number of children diagnosed with autism or otherwise falling on the autistic spectrum is staggering. And chances are very high that you know someone who has a child affected by this disorder. For adults, it can be difficult to fully comprehend the complexity of autism and the social ramifications. So you can only imagine how hard it is for kids to try and understand what is going on with their autistic siblings, schoolmates or neighbors.

A good autism book for children is a tool that adults can use to help explain the disorder. Through compelling illustrations and simple text, children can gain better insight into the behavior of their autistic peers. Reading these books about with your kids also opens the door to a conversation and invites questions that may otherwise go unanswered.

Since We're Friends: An Autism Picture Book
by Celeste Shally and David Harrington

This sweet story offers a nice message for anyone who has the opportunity to befriend a highly functioning autistic child. Two boys, one autistic and one not, form a friendship that withstands some challenges. This is a good story for normally developing children who can learn to overlook quirky behavior and develop an invaluable bond with an autistic child.

I Am Utterly Unique: Celebrating the Strengths of Children with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
By Elaine Marie Larson and Vivian Strand

Children with Asperger Syndrome and highly functioning autism are the focus of this adorable book focusing on the gifts they have to offer. This book is the perfect read-aloud to children with an autistic-spectrum disorder as it embraces their talents in a fun A-Z format.

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes

by Jennifer Elder and Marc Thomas

A little boy with Asberger’s Syndrome introduces children to amazing people who have made a significant impact in various fields of study. A common thread among all of these heroes is their autism, making it difficult for them to relate to others. This is an inspirational book for autistic children and their families.

All About My Brother: An Eight-Year-Old Sister's Introduction to Her Brother Who Has Autism

by Sarah Peralta

The sister of an autistic child provides a heartfelt viewpoint of her brother and what is really important about him. Children will learn that while autism can be a dominating characteristic, there are many other interesting things about that person as well. This book is a valuable resource for aunts who want to talk about autism with the other siblings.

Everybody is Different: A Book for Young People with Brothers or Sisters with Autism
by Fiona Bleach

This book is a perfectly inviting resource for siblings of autistic children. Everybody Is Different offers an explanation of autism in kid-friendly language. In addition to educating children about the disorder, the author provides guidance on how to make life a little bit easier with an autistic child.

Sweet Reading!
Karen Gallagher

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete

An honest and moving picture book, My Brother Charlie, captures the essence of autism from the perspective of a twin sister. The authors, Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, wrote the story based on their personal experience. This mother-daughter team offers a realistic depiction of autism, highlighting the gifts an affected child has to offer without glossing over the challenges.

Like many twins, Charlie and Callie have a lot in common, but they also are very different in some very significant ways. While Callie loves to talk, Charlie is often quiet. Also, Callie has a loving nature but Charlie’s does not display outward signs of affection. Loving words are “…locked deep inside my brother.”

Many mothers of autistic children sense that their child is different, often from the time of infancy. Such is the case with Charlie’s mom, despite the fact that a diagnosis does not follow for quite some time. Having an official name for his disorder doesn’t really change what Charlie’s sister and his mother have already come to understand about him.

Charlie is a bright, active and inquisitive child. He has many talents and interests like other little kids his age. He loves to climb, swim, and collect things. But sadly, he lacks the ability to socialize and connect with people most of the time. Laughing, making friends, communicating--these are all things Charlie wishes he could do. Often he seems disconnected and far away in his mind, and he can “ruin the best playdates.”

But then there are the times when Charlie does demonstrate love for his sister through his actions, and even conjures up the words to match. Those special moments are among the many blessings Callie counts when she thinks about her twin brother Charlie.

My Brother Charlie is a beautifully written story about life with an autistic sibling. The book is highly effective as told through the words of a young child. The story does not get lost in complex terminology, nor is there any focus on trying to “fix” Charlie. Rather, it is an endearing tale of acceptance, love, and recognition of a loving soul who has so much to give the world around him. If you have an autistic child in your life, I highly recommend that you share this book with his or her brothers, sisters, cousins, and other children who are affected by autism.

Sweet Reading!Karen Gallagher