Sit still before Mommy screams!

Back in October, Max and I received and reviewed two books in the Mini Myths series by Joan Holub, illustrated by Leslie Patricelli (and gave them both 5 snacks!). One was about Hercules and being gentle, especially with little kids, which is an excellent lesson for a new big brother like Max. The other was about Pandora and being patient, which is an excellent lesson for … pretty much any preschooler, including Max!

We were lucky to recently receive the two new additions to the Mini Myths series from the author in exchange for an honest review: Brush Your Hair, Medusa! and Make a Wish, Midas!

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.10.23 AMMake a Wish, Midas! equates the king of myth with a little boy who can’t get enough of the color yellow. When Mommy picks out a blue shirt and jeans, he finds his own yellow t-shirt and pants. He draws a yellow sun, a yellow house, and even a yellow Mommy! Midas’ best friend is a green dinosaur, which is a problem. He wants to be surrounded by yellow! He figures out a way to turn Dinoboo yellow, but it doesn’t work out how he thought it would, and Midas is sad.

Luckily, Mommy is able to fix Dinoboo, and Midas learns to appreciate what he has rather than wishing for something else. Great lesson in our world full of materialism!

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.10.09 AMIn Holub’s other tale, Brush Your Hair, Medusa!, Medusa is a little girl with crazy hair. Her curls stick out in a wild wave around her head, and she puts off using her hairbrush anyway she can. (Can’t really blame her: I wouldn’t want to try to get a brush through those tangles either.)

I struggled with finding a lesson out of this story. I would say that Medusa learned to listen to grownups, but at the end you can tell from her mischievous grin (which is super adorable) that she didn’t plan on letting Dad brush her teeth anymore than she allowed him to brush her hair. What I finally landed on was using Medusa’s experience to explain consequences for not doing what parents ask you to do:

Because Medusa wouldn’t let her daddy brush her hair, they had to cut it off!

Make a Wish, Midas! deserves 5 snacks for the beautiful illustrations that elicit so much emotion from the characters and the lesson to appreciate what you have.

Snacks for Max 5 snacks

Brush Your Hair, Medusa! deserves 4 snacks for the cute depiction of a well-known myth.

Snacks, Gerber

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A cupcake a day keeps the whining at bay

Some lessons you just HAVE to teach your kids. Being gentle with babies and small children, waiting for turns quietly rather than screaming and throwing fits, and learning to love reading are three top ones, to me.

Mini-Myths-Holub-1024x789Knowing Max needs to work on these things, I was thrilled to receive for review two board books from Joan Holub’s Mini Myths series, “Be Patient, Pandora!” and “Play Nice, Hercules!”

We started off with Hercules, first because it featured a boy, second because Max loves the Hercules Disney movie, and third because I’ve found myself saying “play nice” quite a bit since May. Luckily my five-month-old is laid-back because his brother likes to play rough. The board book format is perfect because I can read it to both boys at the same time and not worry about the baby ripping or drooling all over the pages; rather, the only problem is the possibility of Max throwing the books at nap time or bedtime because he’s “NOT TIRED” – yeah right – but I digress.

In “Play Nice, Hercules!” the character, just like my toddler, plays a little too rough with his little sibling. Hercules’ father has eyes in the back of his head (or just knows the nature of toddlers) and asks when he walks by, “Are you being nice, Hercules?” This is enough of a reminder to Hercules that he starts to play nicely with his sister without threats from Dad. Perhaps rereading this book a few thousand times will teach Max that lesson!

Next we moved on to “Be Patient, Pandora!” which also fit in well with our household experiences. Little man doesn’t wait well. I’ve been trying to teach him with the mantra “What is being patient? Waiting without whining!”

In the book, the little girl finds a wrapped present that her mom tells her to leave alone. While Pandora keeps herself from straight out opening the box, she gets a little closer to it, nudges it, stands on it, and jumps on it. When she jumps on it, the box opens by itself, and ruined cupcakes fly out. Pandora is worried that her mom won’t love her anymore, but of course Mom banishes that thought quickly. Great lesson, though. Next time Max starts to whine, I just have to remind him that he might ruin the cupcakes!

At the end of each story is a page that summarizes the myth. While it’s a lot of text on one page for my boys right now, I do love the introduction to Greek mythology. It was one of my favorite concepts to learn in elementary school!

Joan Holub’s Mini Myths earn five snacks:

Snacks for Max 5 snacks