Tag Archives: children

Staff Review: Toddler Rules


Jo Frost

Toddler Rules

Ballentine Books


Available now

My daughter Lola recently turned one year old, and with that milestone came another: walking. Now considered a “toddler,” her increased mobility has made her more independent, more assertive, and more likely to protest when she doesn’t get her way. So when I saw Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules arrive at the store, I immediately added it to my TBR pile.

You may know Frost as TV’s Supernanny, a professional nanny who has worked with parents experiencing disciplinary challenges with their children. While I consider Lola to be a great kid, I recognize that the transition from infant to toddler will inevitably bring behavioral changes, and I want to do whatever I can to make this time as smooth as possible for everyone.

I came away from Toddler Rules feeling in control. I think providing parents – especially first-timers like myself – with a sense of confidence is so important, and Frost achieved that with me. She offers step-by-step instructions on how to assist your child in 5 areas of development – sleep, eating, social interactions, learning, and behavior – and offers tips for what to do when things go awry (and things will go awry).

Frost is a supporter of routine, rules, and boundaries, but she emphasizes that “discipline” should not be mistaken for “punishment,” and that having some sort of order in place during the day need not mean a lack of creativity and spontaneity. Rather, she suggests that providing children with structure allows them a greater sense of safety, because they know what’s coming next and can prepare for it, thereby lessening the likelihood of meltdowns.

I would recommend Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules to any parent or care-giver of a toddler, and I also think it could be a useful resource for babysitters.

~ Tasha


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8 by Eight: The Other Side

9780399231162The Other Side, by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis, is one of those perfect picture books. The story begins, “That summer the fence that stretched through our town seemed bigger. We lived in a yellow house on one side of it. White people lived on the other. And Mama said, ‘Don’t climb over that fence when you play’. She said it wasn’t safe”. Clover wonders about the fence. Who put it there. What it means. And why it keeps her away from Annie, on the other side. Although the fence divides them, Clover and Annie start to develop a friendship. They meet in the middle and eventually cross the divide. The ripple effect their small actions have on the community is both heartwarming and inspiring. This story has something important to say about fences, and children, and courage, but it says all of these things quietly, letting the reader slowly absorb the message, rather than forcing it. Like the narrative, the illustrations are subtle and inviting. Each image convey the sun, possibilities, and eternal fun of childhood summers. Recently celebrating its 10th anniversary, if you haven’t seen this book in a while, definitely look for it on our 8 by Eight display. It is not to be missed.

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