Growing pains and growing parents: Recent parenting books

I came to parenting the way most of us do — knowing nothing and trying to learn everything.

Mayim Bialik, actress and neuroscientist

We’re all learning, all of the time. Here are our picks of the latest parenting books to arrive on our shelves – have a browse! First up is the latest from Pōneke parent, Emily Writes.

Needs adult supervision : lessons in growing up / Emily
Needs Adult Supervision is Emily Writes’ take on growing up and feeling like a real adult. This book looks at the growing pains of kids and their parents and their attempts to navigate a world that’s changing by the minute. Emily paints a vivid picture of all the feelings, fortunes and failures that come with trying to parent when you don’t always feel up for the task. What it feels like to be learning at the same time your kids are. What happens when we get radically honest about the challenges parents are facing. In Emily’s inimitable way it’s incredibly insightful and hilarious, and leads to the odd tear being shed along the way.” (Catalogue)

How to cope when your child can’t : comfort, help and hope for parents / Shafran, Roz
“Parenting and caring for a child who is struggling to cope can be painful and stressful, and can make it very hard to enjoy life yourself. Feelings of blame, guilt, sorrow, despair, fear and frustration may be swirling around alongside a desperate desire to cure their pain. Although parenting a child who is experiencing difficulties is a common problem, we can feel desperately alone when it is happening to us. When someone we love is struggling for whatever reason we may become unhappy too. […] This book is packed with stories from real parents, combined with information from psychological research. It will show you how you can manage to obtain comfort from knowing you are not alone, get help from resources and techniques that really work, and find hope that things can and do change for the better” (Catalogue)

Good inside : a guide to becoming the parent you want to be / Kennedy, Rebecca
“Dr. Becky Kennedy, wildly popular parenting expert and creator of @drbeckyatgoodinside, shares her groundbreaking approach to raising kids and offers practical strategies for parenting in a way that feels good. Over the past several years, Dr. Becky Kennedy — known to her followers as “Dr. Becky” — has been sparking a parenting revolution. Millions of parents, tired of following advice that either doesn’t work or simply doesn’t feel good, have embraced Dr. Becky’s empowering and effective approach, a model that prioritizes connecting with our kids over correcting them. […] In Good Inside, Dr. Becky shares her parenting philosophy, complete with actionable strategies, that will help parents move from uncertainty and self-blame to confidence and sturdy leadership.” (Catalogue)

How to raise an antiracist / Kendi, Ibram X
“How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better? These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research into the scientific literature, his experiences as a father and reflections on his own difficult experiences as a student ultimately changed his mind. In How to Raise an Antiracist he shows that we must all participate in the effort to raise young people as antiracists.” (Catalogue)

‘Mum, what’s wrong with you?’ : 101 things only mothers of teenage girls know / Candy, Lorraine
“One minute you are sniffing the top of your baby’s delicious new born head, lost in a soft velvety world of endless love and the next you are receiving the full force of a self-righteous teenage meltdown. There are 101 things you don’t know about teenage girls until you live them. We are all familiar with the hormones, the illogical rage, the awful time keeping, and the daily dramarama. However, you don’t know that they will steal your stuff (and claim you never had it in the first place), bruise your self-esteem just as you hit your melancholy midlife, and love/hate you all day long with exhausting regularity seconds after turning 13. […] Enter Lorraine Candy […] She lights the way for other mums facing life with teenage girls, other mums caught in the perfect storm of parenting tomorrow’s bright and brilliant women just as they go through their own midlife unravelling.” (Catalogue)

Outdoor kids in an inside world : getting your family out of the house and radically engaged with nature / Rinella, Steven
“Today, kids can spend up to seven hours per day looking at screens. Not only does this phenomenon have consequences for our kids’ physical and mental health, it calls into question their ability to understand and engage with anything beyond the built environment. We can talk about environmental stewardship, but until more people make meaningful contact with nature, the welfare of our planet is in jeopardy. Now, outdoors expert Steven Rinella shares the parenting wisdom he has garnered as a father whose family has lived amid the biggest cities and wildest corners of America. Throughout, he offers practical advice for getting your kids radically engaged with nature in a muddy, thrilling, hands-on way, guided by black-and-white illustrations throughout-with the ultimate goal of helping them see their own place within the natural ecosystem.” (Catalogue)

What’s New in Health in the Collection: November 2022

From physical to mental health, moving your body to filling your belly, protecting from illness or coping with mental conditions, there’s something for everyone in our new health books this month.  Take a peek at some of these new books on health that have arrived in our collection!

The power of yoga for men : a beginners guide to building strength, mental clarity and emotional fitness / Packham, Caleb Jude
“This is a guide for guys who are curious about yoga (but think it’s just for women) or for those who have done a class years ago and were intimidated by their inflexibility. Now, thanks to this book, they can learn about, and experience, the central healing tenets of yoga, without having to leave their home. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The long Covid self-help guide : practical ways to manage symptoms
“Written by the medical experts working with Long Covid patients at one of the first specialist clinics set up, it is filled with helpful case studies and was written with the involvement of real Long Covid sufferers. The focus is on self-management with a simple, consistent message about improving symptoms. Each chapter takes a different issue in turn and offers clear, friendly guidance on key areas such as breathlessness, psychological aspects, brain fog, fatigue, returning to exercise and returning to work.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The Alzheimer’s revolution : an evidence-based lifestyle program to build cognitive resilience and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease / Keon, Joseph
“A scientific and evidence-based lifestyle program designed to build cognitive resilience to help reduce the risk and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease through 7 key lifestyle factors. The book reveals that over half the Alzheimer’s cases today could be prevented by addressing just seven lifestyle factors that are within everyone’s ability to control. The Alzheimer’s Revolution offers readers a research-based program that can dramatically reduce the risk of this devastating condition.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Different, not less : a neurodivergent’s guide to embracing your true self and finding your happily ever after / Hayden, Chloe
“Growing up, Chloe Hayden felt like she’d crash-landed on an alien planet where nothing made sense. This is a moving, at times funny story of how it feels to be neurodivergent as well as a practical guide, with advice for living with meltdowns and shutdowns, tips for finding supportive communities and much more. Whether you’re neurodivergent or supporting those who are, Different, Not Less will inspire you to create a more inclusive world where everyone feels like they belong.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Taking charge of adult ADHD : proven strategies to succeed at work, at home, and in relationships / Barkley, Russell A.
“Preeminent expert Russell A. Barkley explains what ADHD looks like in adults, how to get an accurate evaluation, and how sufferers can manage symptoms and build the life they want. Featuring the latest resources and medication facts, the second edition includes new or expanded discussions of mindfulness, emotional self-control, time management, building a successful career, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and more.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The trans guide to mental health and well-being / Lees, Katy
“This empowering self-help guide provides advice and strategies for trans and/or non-binary people on a range of common mental health issues including anxiety, depression, body image, trauma, suicidal thoughts and dissociation. It provides advice on neutralising negative thoughts, coping with transphobia, coming out, dealing with imposter syndrome, and implementing achievable self-care strategies and mindfulness techniques.” (Catalogue)

Concussion / Lipman, Michael
“Concussion has become one of the biggest issues in contact sports. But with the discovery of CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in the brains of deceased footballers, it is now known that the onset of a form of dementia, caused by repeated concussions, can strike people as young as their thirties and forties. This is what happened to Michael Lipman, a former rugby international, who came out in public in 2020 as having had a diagnosis of early-onset dementia and probable CTE. In Concussion, Michael and his wife Frankie Lipman tell their story with courage and candour.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Good food made simple : healthy recipes to eat well and feel incredible / Itsines, Leah
“Leah Itsines comes from a big Greek family where food is always at the forefront of every gathering. But it’s no secret she also lives and breathes healthy eating and a lifestyle that supports wellbeing. How do you combine a love of food with a healthy lifestyle? You make Good Food Made Simple. Good Food Made Simple is your gateway to getting comfortable in the kitchen, being kind to your body and having some fun. Food wasn’t meant to be hard” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Feeding littles & beyond : 100 baby-led-weaning-friendly recipes the whole family will love / Maffucci, Ali
“As babies feed themselves, they explore a variety of aromas, shapes, and colors while developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and healthy eating habits. Maffucci, McNamee and Delaware show you how to skip spoon-feeding altogether so babies can eat what the family eats. They’ll help you navigate picky eating at all ages, so you can raise intuitive eaters who listen to their bodies and love a variety of food.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Quick + easy gluten free : over 100 fuss-free recipes for lazy cooking and 30-minutes meals / Excell, Becky
“Quick & Easy Gluten Free will show you just how simple it is to recreate all the foods you miss as well as introduce you to a few new dishes too – but best of all, nothing tastes or looks “gluten-free”. Packed with over 100 recipes for everything from 30-minute fakeouts, quick dinners, easy breakfast and lunch dishes to speedy sides, party food, 30-minute sweet treats, classic bakes and simple no-bake desserts, this book instantly brings back the thing that a gluten-free diet takes from us all: convenience.” (Addapted from catalogue)

For more new books in our collection, go to our New and Recommended pages on the catalogue.

New Books on Health This September

Take a peek at some of these new books on health that have arrived in our collection!

Healthy heart, healthy brain : the proven personalized path to protect your memory, prevent heart attacks and strokes, and avoid chronic illness / Bale, Bradley
“Every forty seconds, someone in the US suffers a heart attack or a stroke. Every sixty-five seconds someone develops dementia. The culprit is cardiovascular disease– and rates are going up in younger people. Bale and Doneen present a comprehensive program that offers a road map to lifelong arterial wellness. They will equip readers with the knowledge needed to approach your health-care as an empowered and informed patient.” (Catalogue)

Yoga with your child : 150 yoga moves to enjoy together / Lageat, Alice
“Are you ready to try the cat, koala, monkey, elephant or even the grasshopper? Written by two respected yoga professionals and featuring more than 150 moves, Yoga With Your Child provides everything you need to introduce your offspring to yoga. As well as the physical and relaxation benefit of learning and enjoying yoga together, this book, for children four and up, will help any parent show and pass on qualities such as humility, perseverance and patience. Whether you are looking to wake up your body, strengthen your concentration or relax before going to sleep, Yoga With Your Child has the practices and techniques that the whole family can enjoy.” (Catalogue)


Hear & beyond : live skillfully with hearing loss / Eberts, Shari
“…Hearing-health advocates, consultants, and speakers Shari Eberts and Gael Hannan offer a new skills-based approach to hearing loss that is centered not on hearing better, but on communicating better. With honesty and humor, they share their own hearing loss journeys, and outline invaluable insights, strategies, and workarounds to help you engage with the world and be heard. Hearing loss is just one aspect of who you are, among many others. You may have hearing loss, but it doesn’t have to have you.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Love to sleep : good nights and happy days for your child and you / Squires, Eve
“In their ground-breaking book Love to Sleep: Good Nights and Happy Days for Your Child and You, Eve and Gem reveal the pivotal role of the parent in their child’s sleep. Using their unique, love-led approach, they encourage parents to cast aside restrictive beliefs and behaviours that contribute directly to broken sleep cycles. They gently explore the impact of sleep deprivation on both parent and child and the startling physical and mental repercussions when lack of sleep continues unchallenged. This liberating, judgement-free book will be a must-read for every tired parent who wants to live a present and connected family life” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Raising body positive teens : a parent’s guide to diet-free living, exercise, and body image / Darpinian, Signe
“In a world fraught with diet-culture and weight stigma, many parents worry about their child’s relationship with their body and food. This down-to-earth guide is an invaluable resource allowing parents to take proactive actions in promoting a friendship with food, and preventative actions to minimize the risk factors for the development of eating disorders, particularly when early signs of disordered eating, excessive exercise, or body dissatisfaction have been noticed. It provides clear strategies and tools with a practical focus to gently encourage parents and teens to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise by centralizing joy and health. Coming from a therapist, a dietician, and an adolescent medicine physician, with insightful case studies from an array of young people from different backgrounds, this multidisciplinary author team delivers friendly, strategic guidance based in a wealth of expertise.” (Catalogue)

Next level : your guide to kicking ass, feeling great, and crushing goals through menopause and beyond / Sims, Stacy T
“A renowned exercise and nutrition scientist provides active women approaching or experiencing menopause with all the training and nutrition advice they need to build a strong fitness foundation to keep them strong and capable as they age.” (Catalogue)


Sit up straight : future-proof your body against chronic pain with 12 simple movements / Phạm, Vinh
“Future-proof your body and relieve chronic pain resulting from sitting, slouching, and other bad lifestyle habits with this easy-to-perform set of daily stretching and exercise routines – from an innovative physical therapist who coaches dozens of celebrity clients. Vinh Pham is a world-class physical therapist – a member of a new breed that dissects how people really move.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Stressilient : how to beat stress and build resilience / Akbar, Sam
“Manage your mind. Handle your emotions. Concentrate on what matters in life. So many of us feel stressed in our daily lives but lack the ability to respond to life’s hurdles effectively and overcome these challenges. We can build resilience to stress by taking action to live our lives in a more meaningful way. The answer is to become stressilient. Dr Sam Akbar will show you how. As a clinical psychologist with over ten years of experience, Dr Sam draws from her own professional expertise to provide sensitive and realistic guidance to feel calmer, less stressed, and more resilient to life’s challenges. From understanding how your brain works, managing your emotions and challenging your thought-processes, to opening up your perspective and having more self-compassion, Stressilient offers an indispensable, easy and effective go-to guide to help you get from surviving to thriving.” (Catalogue)

For more new books on health and other topics, go to https://www.wcl.govt.nz/whatsnew/

Subject spotlight: New parenting books

Our in-person children’s programmes are returning to our branches, and so we thought it might be a good time to showcase some of our newly acquired, parenting related non-fiction! Check out the list below for books on a wide range of topics; including LGBT+ parent experiences, raising kids to have a positive relationship with food and advice on getting enough sleep.

Supporting queer birth : a book for birth professionals and parents. / Silver, A. J
“Educating birth workers, this guide shows how to care for LGBT+ parents in a world that centres around heteronormative couples. It brings together the stories and experiences of a variety of LGBT+ parents and explains what health care professionals and birth workers can do to ensure better care and experiences for their clients.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Raising Body Positive Teens: A Parent’s Guide to Diet-Free Living, Exercise and Body Image / Darpinian, Signe
“A guide for parents on creating a weight-neutral, body positive home and supporting their teen in building a healthy relationship with food and body image, from the authors of No Weigh!” (Catalogue)

Supporting breastfeeding past the first six months and beyond : a guide for professionals and parents. / Pickett, Emma
“Packed with case studies and evidence-based research, this is an invaluable guide for healthcare professionals supporting families breastfeeding past the first six months. It is written from the perspective of a parent who has breastfed and raised children, and who also supports parents as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultants professional. It covers topics such as returning to work, communicating limits and ending breastfeeding.” (Catalogue) Babies don’t make small talk (so why should I?) : the introvert’s guide to surviving parenthood / Vick, Julie
“A baby can be a good excuse to skip a party, but . . . goodbye alone time, hello awkward new social obligations. All parents want the same things: to balance work and home life, to raise happy kids, to never attend a baby drumming class, and to build a secret room in their home where they can hide (preferably not the bathroom).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Love to Sleep: Good Nights and Happy Days for Your Child and You / Fryer, Gemma
“Calm & Bright Sleep Support was founded in 2009 with a mission; to help exhausted parents enable solid sleep in a brand-new way. Headed up by Devon sisters Eve, founder and Mum-of-four & paediatric nurse of 18 years Gem, they have supported thousands of families around the world to get the sleep they need. Now it’s your turn!” (Catalogue)

The A-Z of survival strategies for therapeutic parents. / Naish, Sarah
“Surviving therapeutic parenting can almost be as easy as A,B,C with this popular A-Z style survival guide. Covering over 70 common issues and feelings, you can learn strategies to process your feelings and experiences as a therapeutic parent. Funny and warm, this survival guide is like a hug from another parent when you need it most.” (Catalogue)

Brain-body parenting. / Delahooke, Mona
“From a leading child psychologist comes this groundbreaking new understanding of children’s behavior, offering insight and strategies to support both parents and children[…]In Brain-Body Parenting, Dr. Delahooke offers a radical new approach to parenting based on her clinical experience as well as the most recent research in neuroscience and child psychology.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Parent to parent : sharing stories

It’s tough being a care-giver at the best of times, yet this special role can provide one of life’s greatest rewards. This inspiring selection comes from the pens of parents themselves, reflecting on their own highlights and lowlights as they encourage and support their children and families to be the best they can be.

Stepmother love : ten inspiring stories about the toughest gig in the world / Collins, Sally Katherine
“Ten inspiring stories from the frontline of parenting. Stepmother Love tells the stories of ten women who have chosen to take on the challenge of making a positive contribution to the lives of their stepchildren. There are no rose-coloured glasses, but there are many enriching insights into these families’ journeys to find happiness. This reveals how these women overcame grief, hostility and even disinterest to build loving, long-term, trusting relationships with their stepchildren. An inspiring collection of stories that will uplift, help and support any woman who is doing the toughest parenting gig of all – as well as acknowledge their tough role and the courage it takes to make it work. ” (drawn from the Catalogue)

Life, animated : a story of sidekicks, heroes, and autism / Suskind, Ron
“A New York Times Bestselling Author and A Pulitzer Prize’ winning Author. This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, as told by his dad. Owen, an autistic boy who couldn’t speak for years, he memorized dozens of Disney movies, turning them into a language to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood. His mom, dad and brother communicated with Owen in Disney dialogue and song until they all emerged together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Bringing up bébé : one American mother discovers the wisdom of French parenting / Druckerman, Pamela
“When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn’t aspire to become a “French parent.” …With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman (a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal) sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don’t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.” (drawn from the publisher)

An Uncomplicated Life : A Father’s Memoir of His Exceptional Daughter / Daugherty, Paul
“Jillian Daugherty was born with Down syndrome. The day her parents, Paul and Kerry, brought her home from the hospital, they were flooded with worry and uncertainty, but also with overwhelming love, which they channelled to “the job of building the better Jillian”. They knew their daughter had special needs, but they refused to have her grow up needy. Paul tells stories about Jillian which inspired others to live better and more fully.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Raising the perfectly imperfect child / Vujicic, Boris
“Nick Vujicic, who was born with no arms or legs, has overcome steep challenges, and now Nick travels worldwide and inspires millions via speaking and media appearances, is married and a father himself. He acknowledges that overcoming his physical challenges would have been impossible without the wise and effective efforts of his parents and family. Nick’s father speaks about what it took to parent such a unique child, with practical advice for raising a child with special needs. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Mamas in lockdown : personal stories of becoming a parent during Covid-19 lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand
“Mamas in Lockdown is an emotional and inspiring collection of personal stories from 77 parents who were pregnant or gave birth during lockdown in New Zealand”. (publisher’s information)

Finding Ben : a mother’s journey through the maze of Asperger’s / LaSalle, Barbara
“Barbara LaSalle’s first son, Ben, was an extraordinarily gifted child. For the first few years of his life, he amazed his mother with his brilliance and creativity, speaking in full sentences before age one and reading competently by age two. … In this frank account, Barbara LaSalle reveals what it’s really like to parent a child with a neurological disorder, communicating her son’s unique perception of the world while describing her own struggle to love an “unpresentable” son. Burdened for many years with the fear that the world might look at Ben and somehow see her own failure, LaSalle is now able to delve deep into her own story, and Ben’s, to tell the unvarnished truth. She paints a powerfully honest portrait of how a mother’s love can turn into bitterness at having to raise a special-needs child and how, by opening herself to the wisdom of others, she can at last learn to love her child – and herself – once again.” (drawn from the book jacket).

Dyslexia-friendly books for young people

Wellington City Libraries actively collects dyslexia-friendly books for young people. Many of our branches maintain special displays to make them as easy as possible to find.

We asked our Children & Youth Services Coordinator, Stephen Clothier, for information on this collection — read on for dyslexia-friendly book information from Stephen…

Stephen Clothier There is a rapidly-growing publishing scene internationally for books published in formats friendlier to young people with dyslexia, with publishers like Barrington Stoke and DB Australia publishing exclusively in this area.

What is a dyslexia-friendly book? Dyslexia-friendly books typically have some or all of the following features:

  • Non-white paper
  • Sans-serif font (some books use specially-designed dyslexia-friendly fonts that work by reducing the symmetry between commonly mistaken letter pairs: b/d, p/q, n/u)
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • Variable line lengths
  • Uncluttered page design for maximum clarity

Many of our branches maintain special displays of dyslexia-friendly books to make them as easy as possible to find, but you can also find them for yourself on our catalogue.

Try the following searches — and remember that you can reserve these books to be collected at the library branch of your choice:

For Kids:

For Teens:

Some recent titles

Here is a selection of great dyslexia-friendly titles recently added to our collection:

A bad day for Jayden / Bradman, Tony
“Mum won’t get out of bed. His best friend has dumped him. And school work is just too difficult. Jayden wants to do the right thing – but how can he when it feels like the world is conspiring against him? Everything is going wrong, and when a supply teacher turns up to take his class, Jayden’s sure things will keep on getting worse. But Mrs Wilson is not quite the teacher Jayden expected … can she help turn his bad day around?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Anna Gain and the same sixty seconds / Bass, Guy
“Ever-punctual Anna Gain is never late, and she’s certainly never late for the school bus. Every day she catches it in perfect time. But not today. After a series of absurd events cause Anna to miss the bus, she’s transported one minute back in time – only to be stuck re-living the same sixty seconds again … and again … and again … Is fate trying to teach Anna a lesson? And will she ever escape?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Clever cakes / Rosen, Michael
“It pays to be able to think on your feet, especially if you’re about to be eaten alive or cheated out of a valuable prize! And in these hilarious comical adventures by storytelling legend Michael Rosen, two clever kids are more than a match for a hungry grizzly bear and a bored and arrogant king! Read along as two super-smart kids triumph in these perfectly packaged fairy tales with a twist…” (Catalogue)

The slippery schemes of Sushi Man / Barlow, Steve
“Take on the role of a shape-shifting MEGAHERO in this fully interactive, wacky, choose-your-own-destiny adventure story. You and your mega-computer sidekick, PAL, must save the world from Sushi Man and his own sidekick, Wasabi Boy. This evil duo has started poisoning and controlling the population. Can you possibly morph into the right shapes to take down this out-of-control pair of baddies? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Animal farm / Orwell, George
“Orwell’s powerful, unnerving and timeless allegory of oppression and rebellion, brought to life for a new age of readers in a stunning dyslexia-friendly edition.” (Catalogue)