As a mom, I’m always on the hunt for good books to read with my kids – particularly books that have a message. As an author, I’m always happy to help promote fellow authors. As someone trying to live green, I’m always excited to connect with like minded greenies.
So, you can probably guess I was excited to be asked to review and promote the latest offering from Rana DiOrio of Little Pickle Press – What Does It Mean To Be Pesent. Rana is a mom, a former attorney, a “greenie”, and an author. When I was asked to interview her to kick off her blog book tour byDani Greer of Blog Book Tours , I was thrilled.
Of course, given our similarities, from kids to law to green, our interview went more like two old friends chatting and laughing together than a formal interview. We talked about the difficulties of being female in law. We talked about some of our favorite “green” companies, including CleanWell. We talked about trying to write and raise kids.
Rana is a mom making it happen. Her warmth and passion shone through the phone. Rana is the founder and chief Pickle of Little Pickle Press. Little Pickle Press publishes high quality, high impact media for children. Little Pickle Press’ mission is to inspire children to protect the environment, celebrate diversity and live richly and fully.
What Does It Mean To Be Present is the third in a series. The first book, What Does It Mean To Be Green, explores how children can help protect the earth’s natural resources. The second book, What Does It Mean To Be Global, helps educate children about the diversity of our world.
What Does It Mean To Be Present is a vibrant picture book authored by Rana and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler. With its lush illustrations and rich language, the book demonstrates how a child can seize the moment. Rana believes that the message is important for kids (and parents!) today. Think about it. Our kids have busy, hectic days plugged into all sorts of media. Rana emphasizes that we teach our kids our bad habits of always looking towards the future and not enjoying the present. She commented that most parents are constantly saying “hurry up, we’ve got to go” or “we’re running late” or some iteration. And out kids learn always to look to the future.
In her comments, I saw myself reflected. As much as have wanted to live more in the moment, I can tell you most days I’m urging my kids to get going or hurry up because we are always running late to school, to karate practice, to soccer, and for dinner. We run from one activity or appointment to the next, without really stopping to enjoy any activity or appointment.
Reviewing the book, I was struck not only how much I want my kids to live in the present and enjoy the richness of life but that I want that too. That I need to remember to be present. That life is lived in the moments. I asked Rana how busy parents can try to teach their kid be present when they are just trying to get on with life, and her advice was simple. She said, “Just take 15 minutes a day. Start by reading a book each evening.” She had other ideas – from unplugging completely one night a week to simply having a meal together.
So, we are definitely trying to be more present. Last night, at dinner, we ate together and spent the entire time talking about the food – where it came from, how it was grown, how it was cooked, what it tasted like, etc. It was a little odd, but we focused on dinner – not what was happening the next day or at the end of the week.
I highly recommend What Does It Mean To Be Present as well as the other books in the series. The book is available from Amazon and other retailers. But, just for The Smart Mama readers, Little Pickle Press is offering 2 books plus one TerraSkin environmentally-friendly poster for the discounted price of $29.95. Just enter the code “SMARTMAMA” at check out.
Don’t forget to enter to win the Grand Prize Giveaway from Little Pickle Press- all three books in the series, all four of Little Pickle Press’ TerraSkin posters and a Dabba Walla backpack. Just go an enter here at the Little Pickle Press Blog.
And head over to the next blog in this book tour on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at The Blood-Red Pencil. Wednesday is Be Well Together and EcoMom.com, Thursday is The Hippy Mom and Friday is Country Fried Mama.