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Friday, December 17, 2021

Book Review - Holidays with a Tail: A Tale of Winter Celebrations by Kelly Bouldin Darmofal



Young Alex is beyond excited on Christmas Eve. He knows that Christmas celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ, and he cannot wait for tomorrow to come - he wants a puppy of his own to play with and love. On Christmas Day, he opens a large box with, yes, a puppy inside. Alex names him Zipper! However, when grandparents come bearing gifts, Zipper bounds out of the open door. Mother and Alex then begin a neighborhood adventure as they search for a runaway dog and meet neighbors with different winter holiday celebrations and traditions: the Hindu Diwali, the Jewish Hanukkah, the Latinx Las Posadas and the African-American Kwanzaa. Alex then returns home for a Christmas feast, happy with his new canine companion and the knowledge that his neighborhood is filled with amazing people who are more alike than different.

"Kelly Darmofal takes her readers on an unexpected Christmas journey that leads her readers to discover the beauty of our diverse winter holidays! Holidays with a Tail: A Tale of Winter Celebrations is a book to read aloud to all!" -- Debbie McIntyre, Principal of Jefferson Elementary School 

"With warmth and cheer, Darmofal captures Christmas Day in Holidays with a Tail. A day of adventure for a boy becomes a day of learning and connecting with others for a deeper understanding of cultures and traditions that differ from his own. A great holiday read!" -- Emily M. Cagle, Media Specialist at Meadowlark Elementary School 

"With vibrant illustrations and easy-to-understand language, the author introduces us to five holiday celebrations enjoyed by families of different cultures. This book is non-judgmental and depicts appreciation for the differences among us. While it is intended for children, parents might also learn something new. Holidays with a Tail is a valuable resource if we plan to raise our children with an acceptance of diversity." -- Dr. Laurie Zelinger, Child Psychologist, Author of Please Explain Vaccines to Me Because I HATE SHOTS! Learn more at www.ImLostInMyMind.com 

Another empowering book from Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com

Available to buy from...

Enjoy these excerpts!




Our book review
This was such a cute story to read, a really good book to read over the holidays giving children the chance to explore the different festivities, cultures, and traditions enjoyed by their neighbors.

The colorful graphics compliment the tale as you chase around with Alex and his mom to find their new escapee puppy, meeting their neighbors as they go.  Definitely promotes the friendly, positive feeling of this festive time of year, encouraging the acceptance of everyone who lives differently from yourself.

I enjoyed reading about the different festivities and the history of them myself, I found the language is very easy to read and understand if a child is reading it too. With the addition of the glossary at the back, Kelly Bouldin Darmofal has ensured that the story can be fully understood by anyone who reads it.

A lovely book promoting the different holiday festivities enjoyed by everyone.

Our rating
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

More books by the author
Amanda's Fall, with charming illustrations by Bijan Samaddar, depicts an event common in schools today. Young Amanda gets a concussion after falling and hitting her head during recess. While she can hear people talking, she cannot respond. Amanda is taken to a doctor for evaluation. Wisely, her parents ask for a prognosis, which in Amanda's case, is a good one. Author Kelly Darmofal offers readers her third book on TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), encouraging parents and caretakers to alert schools and, hopefully, doctors when any child is concussed; side effects can then be ameliorated. 

Studies show that Traumatic Brain Injuries represent the leading cause of death and disability in young adults in industrialized countries. According to the CDC, at least 564,000 children are seen each year for brain injury in hospital emergency departments and released. 

Available to buy from...


Lost in My Mind: Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (Reflections of America) 
lost
Lost in My Mind is a stunning memoir describing Kelly Bouldin Darmofal's journey from adolescent girl to special education teacher, wife and mother -- despite severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Spanning three decades, Kelly's journey is unique in its focus on TBI education in America (or lack thereof). Kelly also abridges her mother's journals to describe forgotten experiences. She continues the narrative in her own humorous, poetic voice, describing a victim's relentless search for success, love, and acceptance -- while combating bureaucratic red tape, aphasia, bilateral hand impairment, and loss of memory. Readers will:

- Learn why TBI is a "silent illness" for students as well as soldiers and athletes.
- Discover coping strategies which enable TBI survivors to hope and achieve.
- Experience what it's like to be a caregiver for someone with TBI.
- Realize that the majority of teachers are sadly unprepared to teach victims of TBI.
- Find out how relearning ordinary tasks, like walking, writing, and driving require intense determination.
Available to buy from...


101 Tips for Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury: Practical Advice for TBI Survivors, Caregivers, and Teachers 
tips
Kelly Bouldin Darmofal suffered a severe TBI in 1992; currently she holds a Masters in Special Education from Salem College, NC. Her memoir Lost In My Mind: Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) tells her story of tragedy and triumph. Kelly will be teaching "TBI: An Overview for Educators" at Salem College. Kelly’s "tips" were learned during two decades of recovery and perseverance; they include:

- Ways to avoid isolation and culture shock post-TBI
- Tips for staying organized in the face of instant chaos
- Strategies for caretakers and teachers of TBI survivors
- Life philosophies that reject despair
- How to relearn that shoes must match
- Why one alarm clock is never enough, and
- A breath of humor for a growing population with a "silent illness"--TBI
Available to buy from...

About the Author
Kelly Bouldin Darmofal is currently a freelance writer, wife, educator and stay-at-home mother. Despite her 1992 severe closed head injury, she graduated cum laude in Communication from Salem College (2000), later receiving a Masters in Special Education from Salem (2006). She studied Spanish in Merida, Mexico and took courses at UCLA, UNC-CH, and Wake Forest University. Kelly was employed by the Winston-Salem, NC chapter of the American Red Cross as volunteer coordinator before working in ESL at Reynolds High School, followed by a semester in Special Education at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Kelly worked personally with Dr. Bethanie Tucker, Averett University, to be trained in Tucker Signing Strategies for Reading (2005). In 2005 Kelly joined the Forsyth Country Day School faculty in the Johnson Academic Center as an LD Specialist. In 2007 Kelly accepted a 2nd grade position at Summit School, and taught there four years until the birth of her son. She currently tutors children as a Wilson Reading Specialist and is a published writer. 

Her article on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and education was published in English Journal in 2005; "Our Teachers Are Not Prepared" won an Edwin M. Hopkins award in 2006 (NCTE). She is a feature contributor to Lost Treasure magazine, and has been a speaker on the subject of TBI at Wake Forest, Salem College, and the Summit School. With the publication of online articles related to TBI in addition to her memoir, Kelly continues to advocate for the TBI of America - especially students. "No teacher in high school or college was trained to work with students like me," says Kelly, the first TBI-certified student in her high school. She admits the American military and sports organizations are now attempting to address the TBI issue. However, IDEA, or the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, has made TBI a certifiable disability category (in 1990) without assuring appropriate teacher training. She remarks on this "black hole" in education whenever possible, and relates her early TBI experiences with hopes of affecting change. 

Kelly has found canine care and rescue to be both a rewarding and healing hobby. Currently she owns two rescue mutts - Mitzy and Buddie.

You can also follow the author here...
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