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Love, Magic & Mudpies    by Bernie Siegel order for
Love, Magic & Mudpies
by Bernie Siegel
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Dr. Bernie Siegel writes: 'We are required to obtain a license to fish, hunt, or drive, to practice medicine or law, or to open a business. However, we are not required to be licensed prior to becoming a parent'. In his most recent book, this bestselling author, father of five, and grandfather of eight, endeavours to give tips that would help parents qualify for just such a license. Love, Magic & Mudpies: Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be Kind, and Make a Difference offers advice, from the basic to the inspired. Sprinkled throughout the book are Siegel's humorous anecdotes about his own children - whether they are making each other eat grass in the backyard or being proud of their father for collecting trash while out running.

Siegel divides his book up into sections about values, love, humor, creativity, rules and responsibilities, rocky roads, and soul. At the end he stresses that parents need to care for themselves too. Each section is broken down into easily digested mini segments that end with a suggestion on How to Make the Magic for that topic. While in the midst of harried days of rushing out the door to school, making lunch, helping with homework, and running to activities, one might think this is just one more task. However, Siegel's suggestions are simple and easily accomplished. They range from leaving crayons and paper out and really looking at what your children draw, to asking everyone in the family to suggest a few family activities.

Siegel addresses big issues, such as birth and death and moving, but also is able to focus on little issues that may be just as important to a child. His experience as a well-seasoned parent, a pediatric surgeon, and a counselor give him the ideal background for writing just this type of book. Despite his knowledge, Siegel is easy for any parent to relate to in his moments of frustration with his children and his moments of joy. His commonsense advice is doled out gently, but he stresses its utter underlying importance. In raising children, parents are shaping the world of the future. It's an important lesson to remember.

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