Reviewer: Dianne Bearinger

In my work, I have plenty of opportunities to recommend parenting books. By far my favorite is: Heaven on Earth, A handbook for Parents of Young Children, by Sharifa Oppenheimer. This book is beautifully laid out specifically with the busy parent in mind.
It begins with a clear description of child development in the first seven years of life, along with many good ideas for ways to enhance a young child’s growth and development. It is filled with all of the practical advice parents need to help them structure their family lives in a way that supports their young children and enhances the quality of life for the whole family.
It covers beautiful ideas for ways to celebrate special times, like holidays and birthdays, as well as the every-day world of mealtimes and bed time. There are recipes included, and clear descriptions of projects, and age-appropriate play areas, both inside and out. The importance of movement, play, and story-telling are described in vivid detail.
One of my favorite features are the notes in the margins, throughout the book. It makes it very easy to just pick the book up and look up on recipe, poem, or project without having to read through a lot of text.
If you have time for one parenting book, this one would be my recommendation. It really does have everything you need. I think you’ll find that it helps you begin this amazing and challenging journey into parenthood and establishing your own family culture.

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Dianne Bearinger is a Waldorf early childhood educator, postpartum doula, and reading and math tutor. She has been working with young children and their parents for decades here in Charlottesville
Dianne is an amazing tutor, if you live in the Charlottesville area, you can contact Dianne at or