I've never done a book review on this blog. Or any review of any kind, for that matter, unless it was a product that I already use myself; like tampons, pancake mix, or various beauty products. In other words, stuff you'd find lying around my house. I've never done a review when solicited and I've had my fair share of offers over the last few months. The reason for that is two-fold [and really I just wanted to say two-fold because I like to sound important]:
- This just isn't that kind of blog. If you're looking for product reviews, there are literally thousands of blogs already dedicated to that.
- What if I accept and am disappointed in whatever it is that was to be reviewed? Do I go ahead and exercise brutal honesty? Am I obligated to write the review regardless? Or do I act as if I never received the product and then stonewall whomever it is that sent it by not answering? Or do I notify the solicitor and say, look, it kinda sucked, should I say that or should we pretend this never happened?
- It has to be worth my while: I'm not opposed to doing a review for a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas for a family of five.
A few of weeks ago I received an email from author and teacher, Phillip Done.
Congratulations on being chosen for All Top's Mom Bloggers! Three of my mommy blogging friends told me to not even bother e-mailing you because your blog is on the All Top's List. But I decided to write to you anyway. My name is Phil Done. I'm an award-winning elementary school teacher in Palo Alto, CA (www.phillipdone.org) and author of 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny: Life Lessons from Teaching. Since you are a mother of three, I thought that you might get a kick out of this glimpse into the elementary classroom. The book, which is very popular with parents, is a humorous and poignant collection of essays covering a year in third grade. May I send you a copy? Ideally, I'd love a review on Vintage Thirty. Even if you don't want a book, could you e-mail back so I can tell my three friends they were wrong. :o) Thanks so much! I look forward to hearing from you.
You see that? That's a triple dog dare! And I am a mother of three, one of whom is a third grader, and? Bonus points for incorporating the smiley face emoticon. So I answered him, he sent me a book, and his friends bought him dinner. Everybody wins.
The book is a collection of observations and experiences in the third grade classroom from a twenty year teaching veteran. I volunteer in Boy-Child#2's third grade classroom every week and this book is pretty spot on. It's 288 pages of everything your child does in class. Or doesn't do. It shows how valuable a good teacher is and how that teacher can make a difference in a child's life. Or visa versa.
The chapter that had me laughing out loud is dedicated to those parents [we all know at least one] and is the main reason I never became a teacher. That and I'm not that crazy about other people's kids which is kind of a drawback if one wishes to teach. Children. I mean, I have to visit my tremendous place of courage just to tolerate my own some days. So moderate amounts of cash thrown in my general direction to spend the day with thirty non-blood related kids does not sweeten the pot.
If you're the parent of a third grader or older, you'll appreciate this book. If your children are still too young or are approaching third grade, use it as a guide and heed the warnings. For instance, did you know that your child's teachers know way too much about you? Kids talk. About everything.
P.s. Disney, call me.