Bryce Conway is the author of an educational book for children meant to encourage a positive body image and the discussion of fat people using a cognitively correct manner. My Mom is Fat was born out of Bryce's own discussions with her children. This is her first children's book but she is all too familiar with cognitively correct learning and teaching as she works as VP with Cognitively Correct (R), Inc.
If you are like me you might be wondering what "cognitively correct" would be. Bryce describes the concept as a "manner of communicating with all people, but especially preschool stage children (3 1/2 to 5 1/2 yrs), through the knowledge of potential and possibilities. At the preschool stage of development when all cognitive or learning functions are identical, all things are possible. That is why it is imperative to communicate with them using a language system that has removed all negations (no, don't, can't, etc...). The Cognitively Correct (R) system of communication helps children to continue a love of learning throughout their lifetime as well as, keeping their self esteem intact.
My Mom is Fat is illustrated with images of Bryce and her children Sydney (8 years old) and Spencer (five years old). The photos show a mother and her children having fun with one another while being active and of course affectionate. Throughout the book there is text describing what a fat mom can do. Most importantly -- "My Mom Loves Me". It's described on the back cover as a "heart touching ode to mom". And, it is! It is a quick reader but I think it is something that can be brought out again and again. The images are engaging and the words flow. I personally felt a change in my mood by reading and viewing the images despite not being the target audience.
According to Bryce a child's "body image starts in the preschool stage of development." Hitting them early with positive images and dialogue of a plus size person's view of their body image will help them adjust to their own body image as they grow up. Bryce says, "a person's body image is formed at that stage of development. Children get their body image from their parents in a twofold way, by complimentary words about themselves (the child) and by observing their parents views about their (the parent) bodies. Preschool stage of development is where self esteem is cultivated or curtailed."
In my opinion the most important aspect of My Mom is Fat is it shows that being fat doesn't necessarily mean a limited ability to be a great mom. Great moms come in all shapes and sizes.
My only complaint is the cover. Mom's head is cut off. It reminds me of the "obesity epidemic" pieces in the media where they take a picture of a random fat person and cut off the top of his or her head. Although I guess this is more acceptable because it also has two cute kids. But still it bothers me. The good news is that mom has a head throughout the book.
My Mom is Fat is twenty pages (not including credits etc) and would be suitable for "pre-k through second grade, but many people of all ages can completely relate to this book." It is available in print through Amazon for $9.95.
Purchase My Mom is Fat from Amazon.com.
Disclosure: Bryce Conway provided me with a .pdf review copy of My Mom is Fat!
For more information about Cognitively Correct, Inc. visit the official website.