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A Letter to My Mom Created by Lisa Erspamer, Review & Giveaway

A LETTER TO MY MOM
Created by Lisa Erspamer
(Crown Archetype, $22.00)

A REVIEW & GIVEAWAY
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… Featuring contributions from Kristin Chenoweth, Melissa Rivers, Josh Groban, Kelly Osbourne, Shania Twain, Dr. Phil McGraw, will.i.am, Christy Turlington Burns, Monical Lewinsky, Lisa Ling and more!

I can’t think of a more meaningful gift to give to your mom for Mother’s Day than Erspamer’s latest, A Letter to My Mom, the third title in her popular “A Letter to My” series. However I do recommend wrapping up a pack of pretty tissues along with the book because there will be tears, but wonderful tears of joy. Inspiring letters, heartfelt letters, and encouraging letters from celebrities and “everyday daughters and sons” pack the 160 pages of this touching tribute to those who’ve kissed an abundance of boo boos better, those who’ve always been there through thick and thin, and those who’ve shown compassion and resilience, setting the bar high and providing worthy examples for their progeny.

With each new letter read, I kept thinking I had found the exact words to express my feelings, but then read on and found more. However, one of my favorite quotes is from writer Tom Burns:

A good parent curates reality for their children. They up all of the good stuff –
all of the knowledge, opportunity, existential wonderfulness, and more – and they say,
“Here’s what the world has to offer – go enjoy it!” 

I cried when I read Mariel Hemingway’s letter to her late mother detailing the enduring love for her mom, and eventually the love of herself that she worked hard to find. Her newfound joy emanated in those three precious pages. I felt privileged to read the candid words of some contributors, in awe at how succinctly they could sum up their maternal relationships, sometimes to mothers still living, other times to mothers long gone. Sarah Monson’s tribute to her late mother Kim Hendricks, whom she lost in a house fire, was particularly poignant:

Your capacity to love was cosmic – you loved deeper and cared more than anyone I know.

Everyone who read s A Letter to My Mom will find letters that speak to them, stories that pull at their heartstrings, maybe even lessons to live by. The book may help you find the words you’d like to share with your mom, so read it first before presenting it and consider writing a little something in the lined space provided at the beginning of the book. There are biographies for all the contributors at the end and each letter includes photos, providing an added emotional dimension. I hope you’ll find A Letter to My Mom as beautiful and unique as I did.

– Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mother’s Day Books

This post is dedicated to moms everywhere.  I’ve selected a couple of books that celebrate the superhero qualities so many mothers possess.

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New in 2013 is My Mom is The Best Circus by Luciana Navarro Powell (Robin Corey Books, $7.99, ages 0-3) and if you think you recognize the mom, you’re right – it’s YOU!

“My mom is the best circus,
a one-woman show.
She’s the ringmaster,
a juggler,
and the band maestro.”

Read how this mom’s performance needs no admission ticket and the Big Top she calls home never goes on the road.

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A sturdy, 26-paged glossy board book narrated by a little boy and filled with fun illustrations, My Mom is The Best Circus will lift spirits and get lots of giggles. Children will identify with the kids in the story and their mom’s uncanny ability to sometimes be “a magician, other times, a clown.” While recommended for ages 0-3, parents will likely have to take the time to explain all the circus metaphors. Even so, it’s a great opportunity for some lively interaction, especially if a youngster has been to the circus or seen one in movies.

9781449409722_frontcoverMy Mom is the Best Circus will entertain kids, but this next one is for us moms! Are you a fan of Baby Blues like I am? Scribbles at an Exhibition: Scrapbook 29 (Andrews McMeel, $12.99) by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott features a collection of this King Features syndicated comic strip. Packed with 128 pages of hilarity, Scribbles at an Exhibition will cheer up even the most exhausted superhero mom. Some strips are in color and others are in black and white, but it doesn’t matter because each cartoon is better than the next and they’re all so good.

The award-winning team of Kirkman and Scott have been getting it right since the beginning of Baby Blues back in 1990. Following Daryl and Wanda’s MacPherson’s trials and tribulations at home with kids Zoe, Hammie and baby Wren have always made me feel I am not alone. And I’ve been known to cut out a strip (from the newspaper not the book) and put it on the fridge with a magnet for the whole family to see. Check out the Baby Blues website here for tons of neat facts, a blog, archives, the history of the strip, and things to purchase. And as Daryl says to Wanda:

“I’m sure you had a hard day, but I don’t think there is such a thing as a chocolate I.V.,” to which Wanda replies, “Well, there should be.”  So moms, here’s to chocolate I.V.s, a comfy couch and your very own copy of  Scribbles at an Exhibition: Scrapbook 29 to make Mother’s Day just right.

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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All About Moms

This Mother’s Day I’d like to salute moms everywhere with a roundup of new and noteworthy books on one of my favorite subjects – MOMS!

moms1A must-have for new moms is The Ultimate Organizer for Moms: Pregnancy Through Year Five ($24.95, Welcome Books, Edited by Natasha Tabori Fried & Lena Tabori). This beautiful book has elbbmoms_2010verything a mom could possibly want and more, including a place to note details of her child’s medical records, birthday parties (a personal fave for me), teachers, favorite toys and that ever popular list of “firsts.” The handy color-coded side tabs make finding all the different sections easy plus there’s also journal space and pages for photos, locks of hair, foot prints and the birth certificate. An elastic band keeps papers and keepsakes secure. Don’t forget the Tenth Anniversary Edition of The Little Big Book for Moms which is filled to its silver gilt-edged brim with Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, Songs, Games and more with adorable vintage art, and 21st century style.

9780811874908_normMom’s One Line A Day: A Five Year Memory Book ($16.95, Chronicle Books) is something I wish I’d been given to carry with me (or tuck in a nighttable drawer) to capture all those irressisitible and special one-of-a-kind fleeting moments I’ve all but forgotten during my kids’ first five years. Bound in gorgeous pink with rounded gilt edges, this special journal is one mom will keep forever.

9781402769689mA Mother’s Song ($14.95, Sterling Publishing) by Janet Lawler with illustrations by Kathleen Kemly invites readers to join a mother and her daughter as they spend time together throughout the year leaping like frogs, listening to birds, chasing after leaves and making snow angels in an enchanting story about enjoying nature, each other and some very special magical moments.

Ibedtime-for-mommy-bookn this funny and clever role-reversal tale, Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by LeUyen Pham gives children a chance to live vicariously through the lovely little girl as she gets mommy (and then her daddy) ready for bed. Classic lines like these brought a huge grin to my face : “Did you brush your teeth?” “Yep” “A nice long time?” Wow, was Rosenthal eavesdropping on my family’s bedtime routine? Bedtime for Mommy is sure to delight.

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Starring Mom

210690365Okay, so I’m still stuck on Mother’s Day, humor me. From the editors of LIFE Books comes LIFE With Mother (Time Inc. Home Entertainment, $17.95), densely packed with pictures of mothers throughout the last few decades in poignant and playful poses. Accompanying almost every photo are quotes and proverbs such as my personal favorite:

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.”

Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine

These, plus the varied selection of portraits from the past and present – from Diana, Princess of Wales to a Maryland mom of triplets – serve to celebrate moms around the world. This multi-faceted look at moms will warm any heart for Mother’s Day, a birthday, anniversary or to simply say you care.

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Mom and Me

9780887768668In this beautiful World Vision Early Reader book called Mom and Me in collaboration with Tundra Books of Canada, young children can read or be read to while admiring the touching pictures on every page.

Author Marla Stewart Konrad has captured in text what the numerous photographers have
captured in photos from around the world.  

 

mailWe see mom beaming with pride, carrying and feeding her children or simply doing what moms do best, comforting her child in a warm embrace. While the women portrayed may not dress the same or look the same as you or I, they share something in common with moms everywhere, the love of a child.  The colors are bold and vibrant as seen in a sari or a shawl, the scenes are varied from a village shop to a dirt road, but the message of a mother’s devotion to her offspring speaks volumes this Mother’s Day and every day.  Look for more new titles in this splendid series coming soon.

NOTE:  All royalties from the sale of this book go to support World Vision’s work with children.

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A Mother’s Day With Moore, Julianne That Is!

Freckles, Fun and Julianne Moore

frecklespotbLooking for something different to do with Mom or Grandma this weekend? Why not join actress and mother, Julianne Moore this Mother’s Day, May 10th from 11 am- 1 pm at the Ralph Lauren store 141 N. Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood. Moore will be reading and signing her Freckleface Strawberry books, plus there will be some neat Freckleface activities there for the kids, too! This event, a partnership between Bloomsbury, Cookie magazine and Ralph Lauren, promises to be fun for the entire family.

For my frank Freckleface confessions and book reviews, please check back next Tuesday. Right now, though, get out your PDA and make a date to meet Julianne Moore for Mother’s Day. And remember to bring your freckles!

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