Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Reader's Journal - The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish Part 2

The Opposite of Everything by author David Kalish, made its debut in March 2014, and DB-R Designs received a copy for review. We chose The Opposite of Everything as our next Reader's Journal book and the first part of this review was written by The Books Magazine, May|June 2014 issue.

The Opposite of Everything, has recently been awarded 1st Place in the Literary Category of the Somerset Awards for Literary & Mainstream Fiction! A great start don't you think?

Picking up where we left off in Daniel Plotnick's radical decision to do the opposite of everything that was natural for him, in David Kalish new book The Opposite of Everything, Plotnick plunged ahead in his decision without restraint or regret.

After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Plotnick decided that his life should be lived by his terms. Therefore, going against his very nature as the doting husband, Plotnick changed the locks to his apt and served his wife (of just a year) separation papers. But if that wasn't crazy enough, true to his word Plotnick did the opposite of his opposite! And so, under his wife's encouragement, gained for himself a mutual separation, kept his apartment, and returned to a life of bachelorhood!

The layers of complexity that writer Kalish has created here is worth mentioning. In a two dimensional world, the opposite of light is darkness. In Plotnick's world of negative-positive and ying-yang, the opposites take on their own opposites; thereby creating a three dimensional outlook on the circumstance, where readers can assess the length, breadth, and height of the situation. This dimensional element of the story, gives the reader the freedom to choose whether or not to stand back and survey the circumstance or be engaged in it as Plotnick bounces back and forth between the ying and yang of his decision.

However, one can't help but to be caught up in the story as Plotnick toddles back and forth between decisions as he organize, agonize, and rationalize his thoughts. In this successful yet very subtle approach by author Kalish to bring his readers closer to the main character, readers can feel Plotnick's struggle in that quick flash of decision making. You want to empathize and at the same time you want to pat Plotnick on the back for a job well done!

If you haven't gotten this book as yet, we suggest you get your copy as soon as possible and follow along with us as we read! Don't forget to read PART 1 of this book review in May|June's issue of The Books Magazine .

Connect with author David Kalish on his website:

Happy Reading!

The Reader's Journal - The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish Part 1

The Opposite of Everything  by author David Kalish, made its debut in March 2014, and DB-R Designs received a copy for review. We chose The Opposite of Everything  as our next Reader's Journal book and the first part of the review is written by The Books Magazine, May|June 2014 issue.

Book Description:
When Brooklyn journalist Daniel Plotnick learns he has cancer, his fortunes fall faster than you can say Ten Plagues of Egypt. His wife can't cope, his marriage ends in a showdown with police, and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge.

Plotnick miraculously survives his terrifying plunge, and comes up with a zany plan to turn his life around: by doing the opposite of everything he did before.

In the darkly comedic tradition of Philip Roth and Lorrie Moore comes a new novel from author David Kalish, who draws us into a hilarious, off-kilter world where cancer tears apart relationships...and builds new ones.

Don't forget to also read our Book Review PART 2 on this blog site!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review | Cool Kind Kid Handbook #1

The following book review was originally written for The Books Magazine edition May/June 2014 . This is an updated version with new hyperlinks for purchasing the Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 and its CD.

While reading through Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 by creator of "Cool Kind Kid" Barbara Gilmour, we saw an area in the book activity in which an alien from outer space asked "Why are you doing that?". It got us thinking, if aliens were to visit the planet Earth, what would they think of our world today? Would they find a people of a generous nature, with mannerable social skills, caring, respectful, and practicing the Golden Rule with others?

In the Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1, Barbara Gilmour, Sydelle Mason, Ed.D, and Wendy McDermott, Ph.D, help parents and caregivers, eductors and counselors, to effectively assist young children in developing adequate social skills and successfully reject bullying within their peers.

The handbook is an activity book designed to help the parent/instructor introduce social etiquette in a fun way through Q & A exercises and catchy-fun songs and lyrics. The message? It's okay to be a "cool kind kid". The handbook demonstrates various circumstances in which kids can be kind to others - at home, at school, with their neighbors, in their community etc. This book is very practical and down-to-earth, and encourages kids to look for opportunities to be kind.

When we think of the Golden Rule -"do unto others as you would have others do unto you" - we see that it requires action. Just as Love is an action word, not just something you feel; the Golden Rule requires action too for it to be a practical, tangible experience. Cool Kind Kid fully explores the real meaning of this principle, and gives sound practical advice in areas in which the Golden Rule can be applied. The book encourages children to be "cool" at home, at school, at play, in their neighborhood and community. Then it goes into detail, giving parents/instructors/counselors wonderful tips and objectives on accomplishing this task.

One commendable aspect of the book is that it is interactive. Parents/instructors are not just simply regurgitating suggestions from the book; but they are required to ask the kids various questions on topics addressed, and then discuss the answers together. Also, kids and parents are encouraged to put into practice what they have learned from these 'training' sessions within various social settings and environments.

We liked that it wasn't the cookie-cutter format of creating good citizenship, but that the authors explored the avenues that have long gone neglected in our society. The issue of proper manners and respect for others are resounding key factors in the book.

Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 is a guide book that should be kept by parents and caregivers as an instruction manual and activity book in which adults can refer to from time to time. For example, you may want to choose the objective 'character building' as a project for your kids. Parents are encouraged to read and involve their kids in the corresponding activities for the project. Remember to make it fun! What better way to learn and grow!

The book highlights a lot of role playing. This is important because children learn by emulating what they have seen and heard. For instance, acting out the polite and rude ways of using the magic words is a profound teaching tool that will definitely leave a more lasting impression in the minds of young children.

Cool Kind Kid is timely and appropriate for our society today in which bullying seems to have taken over as the "new norm". The book is refreshing and it reinforces those lessons that sets us high above the animal kingdom and makes us who we are, humans.

Which takes us right back to the beginning of this article. If aliens were to visit our planet, what kind of people would they find? Well, we hope, amongst the harsh realities of our world, they'd find honorable, upright citizens in our children and young adults; after all, they are our future. A future with honest, kind, and honorable citizens, is the kind of future we should all strive for.

For more details view the website:

[This book review of Cool Kind Kid, Handbook #1 is written for The Books Magazine - May/June 2014 edition]

The Cool Kind Kid CD (Single)

There are 17 original songs that can be used as teaching tools in providing young children with the proper social skills necessary for our society today. Each song (single), sold separately, costs $0.99 and can be downloaded on a MP3 player. Here are some of the titles:

  • Magic Word Mambo
  • When the Telephone Rings
  • Polite to Me
  • Rude Rudy
  • The Best Friend I Can Be
  • School Rules
  • Manners Matter Everywhere