Do Parents Matter?

Robert A LeVine and Hannah Hiles talk about their new book Do Parents Matter?  in this week’s The Green Parent magazine. Distinguished anthropologists, Robert and Hannah have been researching parenting for almost half a century, in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Do Parents Matter? provides a wide range of parenting practices the world over with the intention that parents ‘might have a better chance of evaluating, and perhaps resisting, advice directed to them from the media, the internet, and the “experts”.’ They argue that we have exaggerated the need for total parental involvement and the negative outcomes while underestimating the resilience of children.

New parents and old will be fascinated by the range of parenting practices, from sharing the care in the Indian joint family to the universality of co-sleeping in Japan, a country they note ‘with one of the lowest rates of infant mortality in the world.’ Why not take a well-needed break, free yourself from the stress of expert advice and read this enlightening article.

If that sparks your interest, you can order a copy of the book here:

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Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate international women’s day we thought we would bring you news of our very own Jess Thom who has been appearing at the Sydney Opera House as part of the All About Women festival.

Jess has Tourettes syndrome and in 2011 she was in the audience of a show where, after complaints about disturbing other audience members because of her tics, she was asked to sit in a sound booth. Jess was stung by the incident and decided to do something about it. Last Sunday, Jess was front and centre of the Sydney Opera House, accompanied by improv actor Jess Mabel Jones in an excellent show which blends comedy, puppetry, singing and her idiosyncrasies to explore her own creativity and disability in her spontaneous and inimitable way. In Jess’s show Backstage in Biscuitland audience members are encouraged to make noise, move and tic. Jess believes that theatres must be more inclusive so that people like herself are not shut out in the way that she was. She has written more about this issue here:

Jess is also the creator of touretteshero, which celebrates the creativity and humour of people with Tourettes. Touretteshero is on Twitter ( and Facebook ( and her funny and interesting #dailyoutburst’s are an absolute joy.

Jess will also be taking her new project Adventures in Biscuitland around the UK, beginning at the Tate Modern on March 24th, 25th and 26th and it’s completely free to attend. For more information about this event see Jess’s blog at

Jess tells her inspirational story in Welcome to Biscuit Land which the Evening Standard called ‘an invaluable resource for families coping with Tourette’s’. This ‘moving, year-long diary’ (Daily Mail) is available in print and e-book with an excellent foreword by Stephen Fry here:

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Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017, happy readers! We hope you all have a lovely Christmas & that you’re so far managing to avoid the dreaded January blues. Whether you have or not, we have just the ticket to perk anyone up in this COLD, cold month… new titles for the new year – and we have something for everyone!

  • Do Parents Matter?

In Do Parents Matter? anthropologists (and grandparents) Robert & Sarah LeVine investigate the diversity of parenting practices across the world – from the USA to Africa, Japan to Mexico – and come away with a reassuring conclusion: children tend to turn out to be the same well-adjusted adults all around the world no matter the parenting style.

Japanese children sleep with their parents well into primary school, women of the Hausa tribe (largely based in Nigeria) avoid verbal and eye contact with their toddlers; Western parenting frowns on both practices but Japanese children show higher than average levels of empathy while Hausa children seem quite content. The Levines’ fascinating global investigation discovers the practices, and experiences, of parents from around the world, and comes away with profound lessons from other cultures on how to build a family.

This in-depth survey of parenting practices across the world is based on almost 50 years of research, until concluding: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, free yourself from expert advice and learn to relax.

Pre-order your copy here:


  • Aspertools

Aspertools offers advice from three perspectives, with that of a special needs education teacher, Pati Fizzano, as well as inspirational stories from Dr Reitman’s daughter, Rebecca, about her own experience, for understanding and managing life with an Aspie. It includes tips to make daily life less frustrating and more productive, focusing on the importance of positive routines, coping with social awkwardness and creating stability in daily activities.

Including tips on how to cope with social anxiety through preparation, encouragement and lists; how to effect positive changes in behaviour by utilising rules, rewards and consequences; how to decrease the frequency of meltdowns by providing an escape route to ‘a safe place’. This comprehensive and accessible work will open up the opportunity of a fulfilling life for everyone with a different brain – no matter the label.

Pre-order your copy here:


  • Modern Calligraphy

Discover how to create your own unique script. Even though the art of calligraphy is centuries old, Molly Suber Thorpe is ready to teach anyone how to find their own unique style.

All crafts, from knitting to making home decorations, have undergone a revival of popularity as they offer an escape from our increasingly digital world, as well as an opportunity to express your own creativity. Molly Suber Thorpe provides an accessible and comprehensive guide to getting started on your own calligraphic projects.

Easy-to-understand instructions for designing your own wedding invitations, greetings cards, place cards and many more!

Pre-order your copy here:


  • The Ascension Mysteries

In The Hidden Science of Lost Civilisations David Wilcock unlocked the mysteries mankind have always struggled to answer: who are we, how did we get here and where are we going?

In The Synchronicity Key he investigated how our universe works.

Now, in his third instalment of his trilogy, David Wilcock reveals that the earth is on the front lines of a battle that has been   raging between positive and negative extraterrestrials for 500,000 years and he looks ahead to what this battle means. Follow his enthralling journey through the history of the universe and explore the great Cosmic Battle surrounding the Ascension of mankind.

By unifying ancient texts from a variety of religions with scientific data and insider testimony, David Wilcock presents his stunning revelation—the Earth is on the verge of a cosmic event that will transform matter, energy, consciousness, and biological life as we now know it and will finally defeat the great villains of our time.

Pre-order your copy here:


  • I Ching

The I Ching focuses on the belief that change is always possible, the only mistake in life is to be inflexible and not open to the opportunity of growth. It can be consulted about any situation where you desire to change an aspect of your life or your relationship with another. The I Ching seeks to make the most of any situation and to overcome the disharmony in a life.

In I Ching In Plain English George Hulskramer has balanced several new translations of recently published versions of the I Ching to capture the essential spirit of this ancient classic.

It opens up the meanings of the coins to a wider range of contemporary experience than is provided by Richard Wilhelm’s traditionally accepted translation of 1923. The traditional Confucian version of the I Ching, which dominates Richard Wilhelm’s edition, emphasises correct behaviour and good manners while the Taoist and Buddhist schools stress inner development, how to make changes to the relationships you have with people around you and how to manage change in your life.

Pre-order your copy here:


The Testament

What will you be doing at 4.30pm tomorrow afternoon? That’s the time of day we all start to flag and reach for the kettle and teabags to power us through to the end of the working day. But tomorrow, our cup of tea will be accompanied by the voice of Sir Ben Kingsley, who will be speaking about the incredible life of Elie Wiesel on the Great Lives programme on BBC Radio 4.

Wiesel was at once a professor, Nobel laureate, Holocaust survivor and campaigner, and author of The Testament: the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

“A witness for truth and justice.” The Nobel Committee

The Testament follows the life of Paltiel Kossover, a “mute poet” and witness to history, travels from his Jewish childhood in pre-revolutionary Russia to Paris and Berlin in the 1930s as the Nazis take power, and Spain during its Civil War. On his journey he embraces communism only to return to Russia and be imprisoned. In his prison cell Paltiel writes his ‘testament’, a long letter to the son he will never see again, an account of his life as a man “who lived a Communist and died a Jew”.

Encompassing Europe, and the history of the twentieth-century, Elie Wiesel pays tribute to the many writers killed by Stalin and in Paltiel he has created one of the great Everyman characters of contemporary literature.


Elie Wiesel was born in Romania in 1928. As a child during World War Two he was deported to Auschwitz, where his mother and sister died, and sent on to Buchenwald where his father died. At the end of World War Two he moved to France and, eventually, to the USA.

“Words can hardly do justice to Wiesel’s life or his dignity.” The Times

Read The Testament here: and tune in for Great Lives on BBC Radio 4 at 4.30pm (GMT).

Cocktails for Christmas!

Hands up if you love cocktails? WE DO. Especially Harry’s. In case you didn’t already know, Harry MacElhone is a huge deal in the cocktail world. He was one of the very first bartenders in Europe and opened the world-famous New York Bar in Paris in 1911 – making this glamorous joint the oldest cocktail bar in Europe!

From the bar where the Bloody Mary was invented comes this bible of cocktail recipes, Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails.

Harry’s has been, and still is, the haunt of the rich and famous who have passed through Paris, from Ernest Hemingway and Marlene Dietrich to Jean-Paul Sartre, Noel Coward and Quentin Tarantino. Many of the classic cocktail recipes – White Lady, Sidecar, Blue Lagoon – were created there.

In this new, revised edition of the classic guide all the old favourites are included but accompanied by recipes for over 30 new favourites. This is a book for the cocktail lover, with its distinctive thumb index for easy use and advice on mixing cocktails it is the definitive guide for professional bartenders and the home entertainer.

“Harry wrote the recipe for every cocktail you’ll ever need to know.” Sunday Times

Get your copy here:


Kick start your Christmas!

Not to rain on this Christmas parade, but I think it’s certainly fair to say that 2016 has been one difficult year. One of those years that makes you realise that not everyone is sane and personal safety is sadly more paramount than ever. And this is where David Kahn steps/kicks in.

But of course, self-protection has always been an incredibly vital thing to know about. Krav Maga, the style of fighting David Kahn is here to teach us, has been around for almost 80 years after being developed by the Israeli army in the 1940s. Indeed, David learned Krav Maga as a Special Operative in the Israeli Army and his expertise has made him one of the most internationally respected trainers of system. He has trained Special Forces soldiers, the Royal Marines and police officer and is the Israeli Krav Maga Association’s Chief Instructor in the USA.

This fully illustrated, no-nonsense guide will teach anyone of any fitness level simple defences to use against attackers. In Krav Maga Defence David Kahn presents the basic techniques of the method, which is based on the principles of doing minimal harm and enhancing our natural instincts for self-protection.

That’s the great thing about Krav Maga: you don’t have to be a fighter-type to master this art. It focuses on prevention, avoidance, escape and evasion before looking at counter-attack and self-defence moves. It really is for absolutely anyone – even British MPs are turning to Krav Maga for protection tips:

It’s a failsafe Christmas gift, one that will be useful for anyone looking for ways to stay both fit and safe in the New Year (and let’s face it, that includes every single person on your Christmas list). Get your copy here!

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Wishing you a (non) PC Christmas

At #2 of our stocking-filler themed countdown to Christmas, we bring you James Finn Garner’s hilariously tongue-in-cheek collection of Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.

While we don’t wish for you to actually have a PC Christmas (2016 doesn’t warrant it: go post-truth mad like the rest of the world and express yourselves), we DO want you to laugh. And, from Snow White’s relationship with seven vertically challenged men, Little Red Riding Hood, her grandma and the cross-dressing wolf who set up an alternative household based on mutual respect and cooperation, to the Emperor who was not naked but was endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle, we’re pretty sure there’s something in here for everyone in the family.

We strongly suggest you buy your non-sexist, non-racist, non-sizeist and non-ethnocentrist reading matter here ( – and enjoy! We all deserve some chuckles this Christmas.

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