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Bonding Over Beauty Review by Maggi Beardsley

Erika Katz
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869
Austin, TX 78709

Bonding Over Beauty was just the book that I needed as I was preparing myself for taking my pre-teen out for a day to talk about her "tween" years. It is a paperback book, that looks much like a novel, and has nine chapters about things that tweens need to know about. The topics include hair, skin, makeup, hands and feet, puberty, hygiene, nutrition, aromatherapy and sleeping away from home. The chapters have information for the mom, some conversation possibilities and sometimes some recipes. At the end of the chapter there is a list of "need to know" words too. It is written in a conversational form, almost like your big sister is talking to you.

Ms. Katz's objective was to facilitate "open and honest communication" between the mom and the daughter. She wanted to give moms the knowledge and tools to communicate with their daughters. Honestly, as I read her book I discovered many things that I had to learn on my own. I remember wishing that someone would take me under their wings and tutor me in beauty. Now, through Bonding Over Beauty I have my own tutor. Ms. Katz also has a website

Ms. Katz wrote that the "tween years present a golden opportunity for you (the mom) to start a dialogue and gain your daughter's confidence..." I needed it! She mentioned that sometimes moms don't help their daughters through some of these passages of life because they themselves don't have the knowledge. I found that it was true for me. I knew some things about skin care, for example, but not many forms of hair removal. I feel more equipped to lead my daughter through this next stage of life. I appreciate that she added some questions from moms, such as "My daughter wants to ____ but I think that she is too young." The way that Ms. Katz answers gave me an opportunity to really think about not only my reasoning for saying "no" but also my daughter's possible reason for asking the question. I also appreciated that there was such a focus on natural ingredients. It was fun to create a mask from scratch.

The book is not written for homeschoolers or a particularly Christian audience. Ms. Katz's opinions may not be my opinions, but I read the book and not my tween daughter. My opinions of "when" or "why" may be different but now I can answer the "how" questions. I anticipate that there will be questions that my daughter has that I have not encountered before and I feel that Bonding Over Beauty gives me the information in order to be an equipped mom. I am using the information in the book a little bit at a time with my daughter. Some families may choose to use the book together as a mother-daughter book club or give the book directly to their tween or teenager daughters. For our family we chose to filter the material through me, the mom.

Bonding Over Beauty really helped me to organize my thoughts and think about the things that my tween is thinking about, even if I don't think that she is thinking about them! Adding this to the other book about purity and relationships completed my daughter's "day out" with mom.

Product Review by Maggi Beardsley, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2011