Book review: 'I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark,' inspiring, empowering bio of Supreme Court Justice

Parents need to know that "I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark," by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley, is an informative and engaging biography of the first Jewish woman to serve on America's highest court. Born in an era when girls were expected to limit their aspirations to the domestic sphere, Ginsburg dedicated herself to fighting for the rights of women and minorities. When she encountered obstacles, she persisted. The complicated legal ideas in the text are explained clearly and simplified for the intended age group, and the art humanizes the heroine and gives the book heart. RBG's life and accomplishments are truly inspiring, a powerful model for young readers.


Game review: 'Paper Mario: Color Splash,' imaginative world tons of fun for kids, teens

Parents need to know that "Paper Mario: Color Splash" is an imaginative action-adventure game with role-playing game (RPG)-style turn-based combat. Mario can restore color to objects by hitting them with a paint-filled hammer. He can also attack cartoonish enemies by jumping on them and hitting them with his hammer, causing them to crumple up and disappear in a cloud of stars and paint. Puzzle solving elements require some lateral thinking, forcing players to look at the game world a bit differently than they might normally in order to figure out what to do.


App review: Toca TV, subscription-based video service just for kids

Parents need to know that Toca TV is a subscription-based, ad-free video streaming service that presents kids with a curated collection of videos. Kids can watch and search for arts and crafts, silly animal tricks, science experiments, funny stories, and lots more. Content is a mixture of original Toca Boca creations and videos from popular kids' YouTube channels ranging in length from a few minutes to 15 minutes or more. The developer claims that their staff previews all videos (rather than using an algorithm), so non kid-friendly content theoretically doesn't slip through the cracks. Though there's nothing out-of-bounds for kids, there's lots of potty humor and mean-spirited characters in some videos. Kids can also use silly effects and drawings to make their own videos, for which they'll need access to the device's camera roll and video camera. Since videos keep playing automatically, it can be hard to find a natural stopping point, so parents may want to discuss guidelines for how long kids can watch. Try it out for free before paying $4.99/month for a subscription. To find out what kinds of information is collected and shared, read the developers privacy policy and terms of service.


Toy Insider 'Hot List': Top toy trends for 2016 holiday season

Every year, the Toy Insider panel of experts chooses the hottest toys for the upcoming holiday season. And these typically are the most in-demand playthings for kids all year long. Twenty of the toys are the must-have items on kids of all ages' wish lists, whether they're based on favorite TV shows or movie characters or they're simply selling out in stores. Twelve of the tech-based toys incorporate the latest in digital play, creativity and innovation, while 10 are based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), from the basics of coding and circuitry to complex robotics.


Family Meals Matter: Farm to school month

October is Farm to School Month, a time for celebrating agriculture and food literacy. The recent trend in school gardens means agriculture is incorporated into learning for many children. This week we're celebrating school gardens with family meal ingredients that are easy to grow, like squash, spinach and mint.


8 ways to make devices work better for kids with special needs

One-size-fits-all might be fine for some things, but it's definitely not OK when it comes to devices. Fortunately, you can tweak most tablets, phones, and computers to make them work better for your kid. Whether your kid has vision, hearing, attention, or communication issues, different settings can reduce frustration and improve the experience.



Morningstar Youth and Family Life Center opens

Visitors marked the opening of the Morningstar Youth and Family Life Center in Kansas City on Sunday. The 13,000-square-foot center, affiliated with the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, provides tutoring, job skills training, food and clothing programs, counseling and sports.
Allison Long The Kansas City Star
Morningstar Youth and Family Life Center opens 2:00

Morningstar Youth and Family Life Center opens

Three sets of twins bring a joyous challenge to KCK mother 2:52

Three sets of twins bring a joyous challenge to KCK mother

Uzazi Village doulas provide support for expectant mothers 2:46

Uzazi Village doulas provide support for expectant mothers

I Am: Raising A Black Child 5:33

I Am: Raising A Black Child