Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
224 pages
Feb 2006
Baker Publishing

The Wide-Eyed Wonder Years

by Lorilee Craker

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


A few days after our three-and-a-half-year-old foster daughter arrived in our home, I took her shopping with me. After a long morning, she stood in the check-out line at the grocery store, chewing on her fingernails.

I pulled her hand from her mouth. "Don't chew on your fingernails, honey."
"Why?" she asked loudly, drawing glances.
"Your hands are dirty and you could get sick."
"But I chew my toenails!" she announced for all to hear.

Every parent has stories like this one of three to five year olds. Lorilee Craker--writer, MOPS speaker, and mother of preschoolers--shares ideas and stories of these exciting, frustrating, funny years in The Wide-Eyed Wonder Years. She goes beyond the things kids say, the frustrations of trying to get Picky Pete to eat, planning birthday parties, and dealing with anxiety separation and with grandparents, to encourage mothers to accept and improve their health, spark romance, and develop themselves. Craker writes in a sparkling, vivacious style that makes you feel as if you're sharing laughs and tears with another preschool mom. She includes boxes with ideas that are related to the chapters and ends each chapter with anecdotes. Her anecdotes are funny and uplifting and leave you glad that someone else's kid committed the mayhem.

As a mother of two generations, with sons having families of their own and with a five-year-old daughter of my own, I found myself somewhat sympathetic to some of the grandparents in the grandparenting chapter. Craker points out in grandparents' defense that parenting wisdom has changed in the past thirty years. However, she doesn't seem to recognize that current advice may prove fallible too.

Craker approaches parenting in a more egalitarian fashion than this oldster. She recommends giving small children quite a bit of leeway in what they will eat or wear. One statement left me wondering about her position on the issue of spanking. She assumes small children will attend preschool.

Over all, this is a pretty good book: well-written, optimistic, encouraging, and humorous. Some of the egalitarian philosophy that Craker expresses makes me question whether I want to get a copy for my daughter-in-law, but she shares some great ideas in an upbeat style. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

When your little tyke wants to wear shorts in January . . .
Refuses to eat anything green or orange . . .
Asks questions that make your ears turn red . . .
Who ya gonna call?

Yes, preschoolers are wide-eyed and full of wonder. As their mom, you often are as well-wide-eyed at your children's embarrassing statements and full of wonder on how to survive these years with your sanity intact.

Like a phone call to a mommy friend, The Wide-Eyed Wonder Years helps you enjoy and nurture your little tyke during this incredible phase-and even find time for yourself. You'll find plenty of creative tips and hilarious stories as you discover how to

- expand your persnickety eater's menu
- banish the boogeyman for good
- handle embarrassing situations
- release your inner red-hot mama
- instill confidence in cling-on kids
- and more!

This book offers solutions to all your preschool puzzles, from birthday parties to overbearing in-laws. It's an essential tool for cheering on your wide-eyed, wonder-filled kid!