Latest & Greatest

Latest & Greatest – parents’ reading list

Melissa Chianta


The A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions edited by Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr., DC, is a necessary addition to the library of anyone who uses natural therapies. (Prima Publishing, 1999)

Valerie Ann Worwood’s concise and easy-to-use Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child contains more than 300 oil blends for myriad physical complaints, from eczema to hay fever. (New World Library, 2000)

The Parent’s Toolshop by Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, is several books’ worth of good parenting material in one place. Covering the gamut from listening skills and communication to discipline and self-esteem, the author’s compassionate solutions honor the needs of everyone in the family. (Ambris Publishing, 2000)

With stories and rituals galore, Circle Round by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill, is an imaginative resource for parents who want to raise their children in Goddess traditions. (Bantam, 1998)

Ingrid Kohn and Perry-Lynn Moffitt’s A Silent Sorrow is a comprehensive guide to coping with pregnancy loss. Includes a fascinating chapter on how the grieving process differs for mothers and fathers. (Routledge, 2000)

In Paths to Becoming a Midwife, editors Jan Tritten and Joel Southern have compiled intelligent discussions on choices in midwifery education. Highly recommended, along with The Heart and Science of Homebirth, Jill Cohen, ed., for those considering becoming a midwife. (Paths to Becoming a Midwife, Midwifery Today, Inc., 1998; The Heart and Science of Homebirth, Midwifery Today, Inc., 1999)

In The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, Henci Goer presents an empowering investigation of birth, covering cesareans, midwives and obstetricians, hospitals and birth centers, and alternatives to high-tech births. If you want to get your hands on actual studies, check out the author’s strictly academic Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities. (The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, The Berkley Publishing Group, 1999; Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities, Bergin & Garvey, 1995)

Sheila Matgen Kippley’s classic Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing has been revised to include newer studies to support the author’s original assertions — made back in 1969 — about the interdependence of breastfeeding and natural parenting. (The Couple to Couple League International, Inc., 1999)

Mothering Your Nursing Toddler is another oldie but goodie. Norma Jane Bumgarner’s 1982 International La Leche League bestseller has been revised to include new mothers’ stories and the latest research and historical evidence supporting the prolonged nursing relationship. (La Leche League International, 2000)

Taking Back Our Lives in the Age of Corporate Dominance by Ellen Schwartz and Suzanne Stoddard disputes the viability of our relentlessly commercial culture and offers concrete steps for creating more meaningful lives. (Berrett-Koehler, 2000)

Teens with the Courage to Give by Jackie Waldman challenges negative perceptions of teenagers with stories of those who have overcome tragedy and contributed to their communities. (Conari Press, 2000)

A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies by Judy DeLoache and Alma Gottlieb is a fascinating account of parenting practices outside the western norm. Written in the style of a childcare manual, each chapter is authored by a fictional “expert” who presents the parenting beliefs of different societies, including Balinese, Muslim Turkish, and West and Central African. (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Will Glennon’s 200 Ways to Raise a Boy’s Emotional Intelligence offers advice on bringing up boys who can fully experience and express their feelings. (Conari Press, 1999)

With Healthy Cooking for Kids, author Shelly Null (daughter of renowned nutritionist Gary Null) offers a solid introduction to the whys and hows of a vegetarian lifestyle. (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1999)

All Round is like an old-time hippie rag, but for the younger set. Literally packed with whimsical drawings and fun facts on things like trees and night, this children’s magazine is a real pleasure to peruse. (Parkhurst Publishing Ltd.,

Mr. Rogers addresses the issue of disabilities with his classic gentle touch in Let’s Talk About It: Extraordinary Friends. His message: we are all able to love, and we are all special. (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2000)


Sara Hickman’s rich, soaring voice and devotion to her daughter make the mostly a cappella album Newborn a heartwarming offering. The song “It’s Alright” is especially gorgeous. (Sleeveless, 888-606-MUSIC;;

Welcoming Children into the World from the Public Radio International program Sound and Spirit is a delightful collectionof inventive, sweet folk tunes from around the world. There’s even a song to celebrate adoptions. (Rykodisc, 888-232-7385;

Jazz-A-Ma-Tazz by Hayes Greenfield with special guest Richie Havens reves up old children’s favorites like “Skip to My Lou” and “The Muffin Man” with really rollickin’ jazz. You will forget you are listening to nursery rhymes. (Baby Music Boom, 888-470-1667)

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