Lansky, Vicki 1942–

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Lansky, Vicki 1942–

PERSONAL: Born January 6, 1942, in Louisville, KY; daughter of Arthur (a men's clothing industry executive) and Mary (a homemaker; maiden name, Kaplan) Rogosin; married S. Bruce Lansky (a publisher and literary agent), June 13, 1967 (divorced, 1983); children: Douglas, Dana. Education: Connecticut College, B.A., 1963. Hobbies and other interests: Tending plants, swimming, travel.

ADDRESSES: Office—Book Peddlers, 15245 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN 55345. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Sportswear buyer for Lord & Taylor and Mercantile Stores, New York City, between 1965 and 1969; freelance photographer, 1968–72; Childbirth Education Association, Minneapolis, MN, teaching assistant, 1971–74; Meadowbrook Press, Wayzata, MN, founder, treasurer and executive vice president in charge of operations, 1974–83; Book Peddlers (publisher), Minnetonka, MN, founder and owner, 1983–. Practical Parenting (newsletter), editor and publisher, 1979–88; daily radio commentator, Associated Press Broadcast Features, 1981–82; appeared on television programs, including Donahue, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Live with Regis and …, and Today. Pillsbury/Green Giant Consumer Advisory Panel, past member; spokesperson for American Plastics Council, 1993, and 3M Co., 2005, and other products; member of advisory board, Catholic Charities Office for Divorced and Separated, Parenthood Cable TV, National Parenting Center, and Children's Rights Council.

AWARDS, HONORS: Parents Choice Award, 1990, for Vicki Lansky's Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath; "best new product introduction" selection, Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, 1993, for Gambes Babies Play from Birth to 12 Months.

WRITINGS:

(With others) Feed Me! I'm Yours, Meadowbrook Press (Deephaven, MN), 1974, revised edition, illustrated by Kathy Rogers, 1994, 4th edition, 2004.

The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster: A Cookbook, Meadowbrook Press (Deephaven, MN), 1978, published with illustrations by Lynn Johnston, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1988, 3rd edition, 1999.

Dear Babysitter, edited by Kathryn Ring, Meadowbrook Press (Deephaven, MN), 1982, published as Dear Babysitter Handbook, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips, illustrated by Kathryn Ring, Meadowbrook Press (Deephaven, MN), 1982, revised edition published as Practical Parenting Tips: Over 1,500 Helpful Hints for the First Five Years, 2003.

Toilet Training, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1984, revised edition published as Toilet Training: A Practical Guide to Daytime and Nighttime Training, 1993, 3rd edition, Book Peddlers (Minnetonka, MN), 2002.

Welcoming Your Second Baby, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1984, revised edition, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 2005.

Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips for the SchoolAge Years, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1985.

Traveling with Your Baby, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1985.

Getting Your Baby to Sleep (and Back to Sleep), Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1985, published as Getting Your Child to Sleep—and Back to Sleep, with audio cassette and compact disc, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 2004.

Birthday Parties, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1986, published as Vicky Lansky's Birthday Parties, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1989, published as Birthday Parties: Best Party Tips and Ideas for Ages 1-8, 1995.

The Best of Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1987.

Fat-Proofing Your Kids, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1987, published as Fat-Proofing Your Children—So that They Never Become Diet-Addicted Adults, 1988.

101 Ways to Tell Your Child 'I Love You,' illustrated by Kaye Pomeranc White, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1988.

Vicki Lansky's Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Your Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath, New American Library (New York, NY), 1989, 3rd edition, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1996.

Baby-Proofing Basics: How to Keep Your Child Safe, 1991, 2nd edition, Book Peddlers (Minnetonka, MN), 2002.

101 Ways to Make Your Child Feel Special, illustrated by Kaye Pomeranc White, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1991.

Another Use for—101 Common Household Items, illustrated by Martha Campbell, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1991.

101 Ways to Say I Love You, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1991.

Games Babies Play: From Birth to Twelve Months, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1993.

Don't Throw That Out!: A Pennywise Parent's Guide to Creative Uses for Over 200 Household Items, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1994.

101 Ways to Be a Special Mom, illustrated by Kaye Pomeranc White, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1995.

101 Ways to Be a Special Dad, illustrated by Kaye Pomeranc White, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of, illustrated by Martha Campbell, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1995, 2nd edition, 2004.

Transparent Tape: Over 350 Super, Simple, and Surprising Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of, illustrated by Martha Campbell, Book Peddlers (Deephaven, MN), 1995.

(Coauthor) Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Babies: A Guide to Prenatal and Baby Care, Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 1995.

Trouble-Free Travel with Children: Helpful Hints for Parents on the Go, 1995.

(Coauthor) Complete Pregnancy and Baby Book: A Guide to Prenatal, Infant, and Toddler Care, Publications International (Lincolnwood, IL), 1996.

101 Ways to Spoil Your Grandchild, illustrated by Rondi Collette, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1996.

The Bag Book: Over 500 Great Uses—and Reuses—for Paper, Plastic, and Other Bags to Organize and Enhance Your Life, illustrated by Martha Campbell, Book Peddlers (Minnetonka, MN), 2000.

Best New Baby Tips, Book Peddlers (Minnetonka, MN), 2001.

Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of, illustrated by Martha Campbell, Book Peddlers (Minnetonka, MN), 2004.

Sunday newspaper columnist, Minneapolis Star and Tribune, 1985–86; columnist, Sesame Street Parents, c. 1987–97. Contributing editor, Family Circle, 1988–.

FOR CHILDREN

Koko Bear's New Potty, illustrated by Jane Prince, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1986.

Koko Bear's New Babysitter, illustrated by Jane Prince, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1987.

A New Baby at Koko Bear's House, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1987.

Vicki Lansky's Kids Cooking, Scholastic, Inc. (New York, NY), 1987.

Koko Bear's Big Earache, illustrated by Jane Prince, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1988.

Sing Along as You Ride Along, with audio cassette, Scholastic, Inc. (New York, NY), 1988.

Sing Along Birthday Fun, with audio cassette, Scholastic, Inc. (New York, NY), 1988.

Vicki Lansky's Microwave Cooking for Kids, Scholastic, Inc. (New York, NY), 1991.

It's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear: A Read-Together Book for Parents and Young Children during Divorce, illustrated by Jane Prince, Book Peddlers (Minnetonka, MN), 1998.

SIDELIGHTS: In 1974 Vicki Lansky and several other mothers from a local Childbirth Education Association chapter wrote a baby food cookbook for new mothers.

Although she believed the book to have commercial appeal, no publisher was interested in it. Undaunted, Lansky and her husband turned their back porch into their own publishing company and began producing Feed Me! I'm Yours for distribution. Their creative promotional efforts and appearances on television talk shows made the book America's best selling baby food and toddler cookbook at the time.

As her children grew older, Lansky found the struggle to maintain good nutritional habits intensifying. Saturday morning television commercials for junk food permeated her children's minds along with their fare of cartoons, and she perceived the need to counter this offensive with tasty alternative recipes for young children. In The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster: A Cookbook she sought to provide parents with practical ideas to improve their children's eating habits. The book rose quickly to the number one spot on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list.

In 1979, Lansky began publishing Practical Parenting, a bimonthly newsletter consisting of articles and tips on different issues of childrearing. The newsletter grew into a nationally syndicated radio feature and a series of practical parenting books. Lansky designed each book to cover a single topic, providing a quick and easy source of information for inexperienced parents. As Sue MacDonald reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer: Lansky said "'a lot of these books [are] a replacement for the support group,'… pointing out that many new parents have no family or close friends in whom to confide—or feel too stupid to ask their own mothers for advice."

On more than one occasion, Lansky has paired a book for parents with a children's book on the same topic. Welcoming Your Second Baby is intended to prepare parents for the issues that arise when a baby arrives in a household that already has a child in it. Her chapters are in the form of questions that could be troubling expectant parents: questions about caring for a new child without neglecting an older sibling; handling special issues like adoption, blended families, and even newborn deaths. A New Baby at Koko's House is intended to help that older sibling, if the sibling is of picture-book age. It also provides support to the reader/parent, according to Special Delivery contributor Kamal Bridge, in the form of parent tips that accompany each page of the story.

Lansky once told CA: "I continue to be fascinated by the world of household trivia, the challenges of book publishing, my young adult children's entry into the world of responsibility, the changing world of divorce social services, computer on-line services as well as desktop publishing and, of course, the ever evolving nature of the human condition and relationships.

"I feel very lucky to be around at this point in time. I doubt that I could have made a living with this type of material seventy-five years ago and I am not sure of the need for it seventy-five years hence. Despite the fact that my titles have probably sold over 6-million copies, I have no illusions about the literary value of my work. There is none. But I have touched many people's lives and hopefully made it a little better or easier for them."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 1978, review of The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster: A Cookbook, p. 11; July, 1983, review of Toilet Training and Welcoming Your Second Baby, p. 1503; March 1, 1985, review of Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips for the School-Age Years, p. 915; September 1, 1985, review of Getting Your Baby to Sleep (and Back to Sleep), p. 13; December 15, 1985, review of Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips, p. 635; April 1, 1988, review of The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster, p. 1298; September 15, 1990, review of Welcoming Your Second Baby, p. 126; June 1, 1991, review of Baby-Proofing Basics: How to Keep Your Child Safe, p. 1846; June 1, 1991, review of Getting Your Child to Sleep—and Back to Sleep, p. 1850; February 15, 1994, Jo Peer-Haas, review of Don't Throw That Out!: A Pennywise Parent's Guide to Creative Uses for Over 200 Household Items, p. 1045; February 15, 1995, Mike Tribby, review of Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You've Probably Never Thought Of, p. 1046; February 15, 1999, Barbara Jacobs, review of The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster, p. 1022.

Bookwatch, January, 1993, review of Practical Parenting Tips: Over 1,500 Helpful Hints for the First Five Years, p. 12; April, 1993, review of Games Babies Play: From Birth to Twelve Months, p. 12.

Children's Bookwatch, June, 1993, review of 101 Ways to Be a Special Dad, p. 8; January, 1998, review of It's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear, p. 1.

Cincinnati Enquirer, article by Sue McDonald, August 3, 1984.

Horn Book Guide, fall, 1998, review of It's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear: A Read-Together Book for Parents and Young Children during Divorce, p. 353.

Library Journal, July, 1978, review of The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster, p. 1408; March 15, 1985, Kari D. Anderson, review of Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips for the School-Age Years, p. 58; May 15, 1989, Marcia G. Fuchs, review of Vicki Lansky's Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Your Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath, p. 80; May 15, 1991, Linda Beck, review of Baby-Proofing Basics, p. 103.

Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1982, review of Dear Babysitter, p. 12.

New York Times, November 12, 1995, Laurel Graeber, review of Trouble-Free Travel with Children: Helpful Hints for Parents on the Go.

New York Times Book Review, April 2, 1978, review of Feed Me! I'm Yours, p. 41;; November 26, 1989, review of Vicki Lansky's Divorce Book for Parents, p. 26.

Parents Magazine, May, 1990, reviews of Toilet Training, p. 226, and Koko Bear's New Potty, p. 228.

Party and Paper Retailer, February, 1996, "Birthday Parties: Best Party Tips and Ideas," p. 44.

Publishers Weekly, January 16, 1978, review of The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster, p. 98; October 10, 1980, Sally A. Lodge, review of Best Practical Parenting Tips, p. 72; June 29, 1984, review of Welcoming Your Second Baby, p. 103; April 2, 2001, Sally A. Lodge, "Growing-Up Books Come of Age," p. 23.

Reading Teacher, February, 1981, review of The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster, p. 585.

School Library Journal, June, 1998, Kathy Piehl, review of It's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear, p. 130.

Small Press, summer, 1991, review of A New Baby at Koko Bear's House, p. 57.

Special Delivery, fall, 1999, Kamal Bridge, reviews of A New Baby at Koko Bear's House and Welcoming Your Second Baby, p. 25.

Us, June 27, 1978.

Washington Post Book World, March 5, 1978, review of Feed Me! I'm Yours and The Taming of the C.A.N. D.Y. (Continuously Advertised, Nutritionally Deficient Yummies!) Monster, p. F4.

Whole Earth, spring, 1995, review of Trouble-Free Travel with Children, p. 111.

ONLINE

Book Peddlers Web site, http://www.bookpeddlers.com/ (January 27, 2006).

Practical Parenting Home Page, http://www.practicalparenting.com/ (January 27, 2006).

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Lansky, Vicki 1942–

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