Friday, February 19, 2010
A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists
As readers of this blog know, I like lists. Numbered points are easier for me to grasp. The information is delivered in neat little bite-sized pieces rather than large chunks. So despite being child-free, I was interested in reviewing Michelle LaRowe’s A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists, and requested a copy through Graf-Martin Communications.
This is going to be a mixed review.
The concept of this book is an excellent one. A mom or mother-to-be might have little time in which to read entire chapters of a book, but that doesn’t matter here – she can pick up this book, read a list in five or ten minutes and put it down until the next time. There are tables, checklists and charts as well as lists. It’s in a very user-friendly style.
Plus, many of the lists took a brisk, stripped-down, just-the-facts approach. It made me want to put together a similar book for busy writers.
There’s also plenty of good information in the book – my favorites were the sections on what to buy and what not to buy. Parents-to-be are often faced with a huge and perhaps confusing array of devices, items and supposed necessities for the baby, so a book which cut through the chaff might be helpful. I also like the comparison of costs between buying baby food and simply making one’s own from strained peas and so on.
On the other hand, I knew before requesting this that the book would be Christian-oriented. It has many, many verses from the bible, some of which are repeated, and that does narrow the book’s audience down somewhat. Until the end I thought it was one I could recommend to only a few of my friends, but what made it a book I could recommend to no one were the suggestions of teaching children to proselytize to their little friends.
Role-play how to share the gospel with kids who have different beliefs and lifestyles than you. Your children can tell others: “Jesus loves you.” (pg. 246)
I wonder why those kids’ beliefs don’t deserve as much respect as the author’s. This is defended on the grounds that love is better than tolerance. But I would hope that the author's definition of love recognizes the right of other parents to decide who’s preaching to their children.
Finally, I think the author’s position on her religion should have been at least hinted at in the book description, cover copy or even title. Why not call it A Mom’s Ultimate Book of EvangeLists?
This book is available from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications. It is a trade paperback, $13.99, 355 pages.