Of Dads And Illness

This is a beautiful book that tells the story of Pete, a boy whose dad once used to run and swing him around like dads do. . . only now his dad is barely able to walk — much less play or rough-house with him. Pete is feeling hurt and even angry. He’s confused about why this is happening.

But Pete’s dad assures him that even though he can’t wrestle with him the way he used to, or run and throw a ball, he is and always will be Pete’s dad.

The Helping Kids Heal series by Zondervan is specifically designed to help children cope with some of the difficult issues in life by letting them know that God is with them always.

At the end of each book R. Scott Stehower, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Calvin College, and clinical psychologist, provides suggestions for parents and caregivers of hurting children. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

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A Father’s Lesson: A Taste of Banzo’s Sword

A Father’s Everlasting Gift
By N Mark Castro

This story is narrated in the book ‘Autumn Lightning’ in the context of ‘zanshin’ – constant peripheral awareness, concentration and attention at all times – ‘continuing mind.’

A glossary of some terms used in the story:

Yagyu – a family famous for sword warriors and a school to teach swordsmanship.
Bugeisha – practitioners of the bugei, the martial crafts/skills.
Dojo – a class; a teaching environment
Kenjutsu – art of sword; sword craft
Sake – an alcoholic brew made from rice.
Hakama – an overcoat

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Legend has it that Matajuro was born into the Yagyu family after their clan had already gained a reputation as talented bugeisha.

As a boy, his interest in the art of the blade was encouraged. He proved to be a promising, but lazy pupil, in danger of never realizing the limits of his potential. In an attempt to shake him from his lethargy, his father banished him from the dojo. Continue reading

Where The Sidewalk Ends

Shel Silverstein shook the staid world of children’s poetry in 1974 with the publication of this collection, and things haven’t been the same since.

More than four and a half million copies of Where the Sidewalk Ends have been sold, making it the bestselling children’s poetry book ever. It’s odd poems like “Dancing Pants” or “The Dirtiest Man in the World” approach naughtiness or are a bit disgusting to squeamish grown-ups, but that’s exactly what kids like best about Silverstein’s work, the truth about them.

Long before Sponge Bob Square Pants and Bart Simpson inserted the innocence of a child inside what may be disgusting display of behavior, Shel Silverstein already imprinted it on every child that read his work or its influence since that day.

And I’m glad, even for a brief moment, I was able to share to my own kids the possibility of the endless, that they can be whatever they want to be, that they are only limited by what they allow themselves to be, and that, most of all, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

sidewalk Continue reading