‘The Seven Day Switch,’
by Kelly Harms
Publishing July 1, 2021
In a military community, there is no one who knows more the struggle of either being a stay-at-home mother or a working one than that of a military spouse. On top of the normal day-to-day struggles, we also have to deal with deployments, constant moves, frequent lifestyle changes, and anything the military throws at us.
That was one of the reasons this book was so appealing to me. Apart from being offered a pre-download from Kindle before actual publication, a story of competing moms – one a stay-at-home, the other who has her own business, but both struggling to raise their kids – appealed to me. I’ve lived both worlds, and I know the stresses of both equally.
This story is unique in that the moms, who in the beginning of the book seem to despise one another, end up sipping some magical sangria and switch bodies, forcing them to live each other’s lives and find out what it’s like on the “other side.” Through very relatable scenarios (such as how to balance work and children for Wendy, and what school events to volunteer for with Celeste), the story is very well told and character-driven.
This novel is the ultimate exploration into “mommy wars.” Celeste feels the pressure to be a perfect mom since she doesn’t have a career, and therefore she feels responsible for signing up for all the volunteer opportunities, driving everyone’s kids where they need to be and for keeping her family happy and healthy. Wendy, on the other hand, feels responsible for the financial well-being of her family, since her husband, a sculptor who hasn’t had success lately and is only focused on his art, isn’t providing for the family. Wendy strives to be a model of a successful career for her kids and keep her family happy and healthy, while also trying to run a successful business.
Both women are moms who love their kids unconditionally, and would sacrifice their own happiness for their well-being. The fun part was watching them try to figure out how to live in each other’s bodies without anyone knowing – until they could figure out how to switch back.
This book did an excellent job of showing how preconceived notions can be very unreliable and completely ruin potential relationships. Everyone’s heard the saying, “You can’t judge someone’s life until you’ve walked in their shoes.” This story put that statement into the forefront, while infusing humor and insight to delve into how both women find themselves questioning their misconceptions and realizing how the other is truly valued. At the end of the day, they both had the same goal: raise their children in the best way they can, and ensure their health and well-being. There is no set way to do that, as this book thoroughly defines.
Available July 1 wherever books are sold, “The Seven Day Switch” is a must-read for the summer.
‘Bodies Are Cool,’
written and illustrated by Tyler Feder
Published June 1, 2021
Since my adult book review was parent-related, I felt that the children’s book I am reviewing for this month was perfect for any parent to read to their youngsters.
“Bodies Are Cool” is a great picture book celebrating body positivity that is perfect for younger kids as they start to understand there are “differences” between people, and as they start to grow up in a world where body image is pronounced everywhere on social media, television screens, and books and magazines.
This book’s illustrations include any type of body one could think of, and is even inclusive of those with handicaps, insulin pumps, etc. “Bodies Are Cool” is a terrific story to instill confidence and acceptance of all body types, no matter the size, color, hair type, etc. Feder does a fantastic job at illustrating each type of body skin tone, shape and unique qualities to make them all fun and joyful, while writing a simple message of how cool everyone’s bodies truly are.
The message this book carries is powerful and definitely something our children could use in the world they are currently growing up in. This book is a positive reminder that every type of body is unique and special; every race type, culture and gender is acceptable; and even things like glasses, birthmarks and all the things that make people unique are in fact “cool.”
Available now wherever books are sold, I would definitely recommend adding “Bodies Are Cool” to any child’s library.