Category: Books for Kids

A tooth fairy keepsake to help you fill in the gaps

The tooth fairy made another visit here this weekend, and while we’ve been pretty satisfied with her—she’s only been late twice with three kids—I’m not so happy with how lackadaisical I’ve been about keeping track of the moments that represent the transformation from toddler to big kid. Want to remember those tooth-fairy days with a special keepsake that your kids will probably hang onto a lot longer than the quarters under their pillow? I’ve found that very thing. {keep reading for the chance to win!} Handmade artist Kata Golda’s Tooth Fairy Keepsake: Under the Pillow Pocket and Memory Book is a...

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The Pioneer Woman turns from cookbooks to children’s books – Charlie the Ranch Dog is here.

If you’ve ever read The Pioneer Woman’s blog, then you know this woman is slated pretty much to take over the world. With cookbooks, an autobiography, and a TV sitcom in the works, now Ree Drummond has turned her world-conquering master plan to the world of children’s books, this one featuring her beloved dog Charlie. Charlie the Ranch Dog tells his own story of life on the ranch through cute art by Diane DeGroat. Ree’s ability to bring her photos of Charlie to life on her blog is seamlessly translated to simple, kid-friendly prose highlighting the challenges of life...

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Princess books for our modern-day princesses

Though they slept through most of the Royal Wedding live coverage, my girls were riveted by the images they watched in the many recaps. And while I was also transfixed by the royal pageantry of it all, I also was quick to talk about some of the qualities I hope Princess Catherine will embody as a modern-day princess: strength, charity, kindness and a strong sense of self. In other words, the same qualities I hope my girls will have.  So, with the images of yesterday’s ceremony fresh in our minds, I’ve decided to round up some of my favorite...

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Hey kids – Go play outside!

Here in Atlanta where I live, the weather has been nice since the beginning of March, which means my kids have already exhausted Hide n’ Seek, Freeze Tag, and two entire boxes of sidewalk chalk. So when I saw this book when I was at the Mom 2.0 Summit in New Orleans last week, I knew I had to pick it up. All it took was one quick flip through Jennifer Ward’s Let’s Go Outside!: Outdoor Activities and Projects to Get Your Kids Closer to Nature for me to know that I had to buy it. Packed with great...

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A world without fish? Say it isn’t so.

Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, a new book weaves together all the intricate threads –biology, climate, culture, economics, evolution, food, history, and politic — that combined, makes up the rich tapestry of our world. And it does so gorgeously. With fish. Written by Mark Kurlansky, a former commercial fisherman New York Times best-selling author, and all around cool guy, World Without Fish is a captivating (fish) tale. It explains for both adults and kids how the fish we most commonly eat may very well be gone in another 50 years, unless there is a profound shift our eating –...

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If you’re tackling tough issues at home, The Gift really is a gift

It’s a given in most of my kids’ story books: Other than the demise of a wicked witch or two, the main characters are going to live until the end of the story. But, I just discovered a timeless, beautiful tale about life–and, yes, its end–that flips the category on its head. If you have a thing for great picture books, you are going to want to have this for your collection. {keep reading for your chance to win one of two copies we are giving away!} The Gift by Carol Ann Duffy may not be the kind of...

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For a good time, Press Here

I am used to seeing my kids pushing buttons, laughing delightedly as they zoom around another wii game, or play with their father’s tablet. But, let me tell you, I wasn’t prepared to see them having the same reaction to a simple three-color picture book.  With no special effects, bright lights or fancy touch screen, this is a book that will captivate. It just took two words to suck my kids into this new release by French artist and illustrator Herve Tullet: Press Here. And who can blame them? All day long, I tell them not to touch things....

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A book about seasons as beautiful as spring

Ah spring. The birds are chirping, the buds are poking through the soil, and if you ask the sigOth, miniskirts are making appearances on the leggy 20-somethings in our neighborhood. What’s not to love? Right in time, I’ve found a delicious little book to help the kids understand and celebrate the changing of the seasons. It’s called, aptly, Seasons, and Swiss author/illustrator Anne Crausaz does a beautiful job describing the small joys and big changes that each season brings, starting with spring. This isn’t the same old “oh look–the flowers have buds” kind of book. It reads almost like...

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National Read Across America Day. Or, Oh, The Places You’ll Read!

March 2 was National Read Across America Day, which is in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, which I know because Thing 1 and Thing 2 were spotted around my town in bright blue wigs and matching t-shirts. And while I make it a point to read aloud every day–minus the blue wig– I love to see excitement for reading across our nation. The only thing better is encouraging literacy across the world, and that happens today. Nearly one billion people entered the 21st century unable to read, and World Read Aloud Day is trying to change that statistic. On...

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No ifs, and, just lots of butts

“Eyes and ears are much respected, but the butt has been neglected.” And so begins the masterful and hilarious The Butt Book, by Artie Bennett, illustrated by Mike Lester. Let’s face it, few things are funnier to a little kid (and those of us who are young at heart) than butts. [don’t miss a fun giveaway after the jump] Bennett has channeled Dr. Suess to create a picture book that sings the praises of this particular piece of anatomy in perfect bouncy rhymes. Even my 10-year-old son, who has outgrown picture books (but not butt humor) cracked up from...

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13 Words to add to your child’s bookshelf

My five year-old’s current vocabulary include words like despondent, haberdashery, and Mezzo-Soprano. Not because she’s any sort of verbal genius, but because her grandmother introduced her to one of the most wonderful books for kids I’ve seen in a long time. 13 Words by Lemony Snicket is a must-have for any early reader who likes humor verging on the totally absurd. We’re talking Ionesco-level non-linear, awesome absurdity. The aforementioned 13 words include the big ones that impress the relatives, but also words like cake, bird, and spiffy. And no they’re not random (well,okay, a little random) but they’re all...

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Your kid wants a puppy for Christmas? Get The Puppy Sister instead.

Those of us who grew up on author S.E. Hinton’s books like The Outsiders, Tex, and Rumble Fish, might be interested to know that she’s got a new book out for the next generation. Actually, a graphic novel. And if you have a middle grade reader who’s reluctant to start books without pictures, this one’s for you. Plenty of kids want a puppy for Christmas–mine included. But in The Puppy Sister, Nick would much rather have a real sister to play with. Luckily, his new puppy hears his wish on Christmas day, and the strangest–and sweetest– sibling relationship ever...

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Join the circus like you wanted to

There are a gazillion ABC books out there–plenty of which we feature here. While I believe that as long as you’re reading to your child ,you’re already doing great, once in a while a book comes along that really stands out from the others. [don’t miss a nice giveaway after the jump] ABC is for Circus, which was just released a few weeks ago, is one of those books: A chunky little board book, perfect for little hands, filled with brilliantly designed, brightly colored circus images that will make teaching your kid the alphabet a little bit more interesting....

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12 awesomely cool holiday books for kids

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, neither, or both, there’s no better gift for kids than the gift of reading. If you don’t need a fourth copy of the Velveteen Rabbit to make you cry on your toddler’s footy pajamas, try one of these awesomely cool holiday books which get my whole-hearted thumbs up. – Delilah 1. A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates If your family is as wacky as mine, you want more YARR than the calm and old-fashioned versions of the classic holiday poem can provide. This book’s got laughs, clever rhymes, and adorable illustrations for...

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Teaching kids how to dine out without kids menus or maze placemats

Manners books for children may sound a little old-fashioned, but thank goodness they aren’t. I’ve come to realize that children of a certain age love learning rules and getting to understand social construct; my own five year-old thinks it’s about the most impressive thing in the world when she remembers to put her napkin on her lap. (Woot!) Now there’s a book from none other than New York City’s own Four Seasons Restaurant that creates a perfectly lovely primer on dining etiquette for children — and it’s not preachy or annoying in the least. In fact, it’s pretty hilarious....

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Eat better, live healthier: ChopChop

I’m not going to bore you with facts and figures about childhood obesity in America, because we’ve all heard it before. What I will tell you is that there is little my kids enjoy more than receiving their own mail, and in particular, magazines addressed to them. The intersection of these two issues–on the one hand, a real problem when it comes to kids and food, and on the other, kids loving their own mags–is where the new quarterly magazine ChopChop comes into play. Research shows that one of the best ways to broaden kids’ palates and get them...

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What, me worry?

I have all sorts of tricks for when I worry too much, because I do worry — too much and too often. Worrying happens to be a family trait. Unfortunately, that means I have a pint-sized worrier in my own house, and he can’t self-medicate with Mad Men repeats and lots of chocolate (because I ate it all first). This is where handy self-help books can come in, provided they are, in fact, helpful. And I happen to have found one. What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety  is an interactive book designed for kids somewhere between...

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The baby soft book pretty enough for mom’s dresser

Plastic. Polyester. Licensed characters. Slobbered-on ribbon. The sound of a toilet flushing with one press of a button, that becomes four million presses of a button–those soft baby books that pile up after the baby shower have always been strictly utilitarian. Until now. Our friends at Wee Gallery have knocked another shower gift out of the baby ballpark with their new accordian-style soft book, that looks more like a piece of art than a learning toy. Hand-made in India of beautiful, touchable silk and hand-loomed cotton, the soft book features six sassy Wee Gallery animals drawn in an artsy...

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A Bedtime for Bear. And, hopefully, your kiddo.

I am crazy about multitasking, and that includes at kid bedtime; when we read a book together, my child and I reconnect, plus I get to lie down, plus I get to work a little Mom Psychology 101. All that is made a little more golden when we have in our reading roster a book that lets us discuss something about which one of my children is worried, by pretending we’re discussing what someone else is worried about.   Bonnie Becker’s A Bedtime For Bear fits the bill; poor Bear is slightly stuffy; needs everything just so in order to sleep, only his sleepover...

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A book to make the bedtime routine easier on both of you.

I still crack up when people find a blog post of mine about sleep and babies, and ask me for advice. Me? Me who still, five years later, can’t get my kids into a normal bedtime routine? Me, who still has to sleep with a three year-old’s feet up my nose most nights? So I am ever grateful for those bedtime stories that get my girls excited to jump into bed–early, even–and the new Tuck Me In is certainly one of them. Tuck Me In is a clever, conceptual, interactive children’s book by dad (and ad agency refugee) Dean...

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Switching On The Moon

Though I was long ago (like, on day one) over the nightly battle that was part of our bedtime routine, I never, ever tired of the snuggly part, where we wrapped up and read as much as possible before admitting it was time for lights out. And I’m never tired, either, of solid, sweet children’s books that allow me to read in a soft, calm, sleep-inducing voice. Switching On the Moon is a poetry anthology gathered by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, with sweetly fuzzy illustrations by G. Brian Karas. It includes some sixty poems, but don’t expect nursery...

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Bob Dylan, children’s author

I admit, I feel just a little bit cool when my little girls walk into a store or a friend’s house, hear the radio, and immediately say, Hey! It’s Bob Dylan! So when I learned that one of his old tunes had been made into a brand new children’s book, I of course couldn’t wait to see it.  Man Gave Names to All the Animals does not disappoint, whether you’re a Dylan fan, or just like gorgeous illustrated books that children can loose themselves in. The simple, rhyming lyrics about cows and pigs and bulls that the singer penned...

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An Awesome Book. ‘Nuff said.

Let me give you 3 reasons why An Awesome Book by artist Dallas Clayton is indeed an awesome book: 1. For every book sold, The Awesome World Foundation will donate one book to schools, hospitals, camps, and shelters. 2. The artwork and story are original and compelling, and include rocket-powered pink unicorns. 3. Justin Timberlake likes it. I think this review has just written itself, but for the sake of awesomeness, I’ll go on. Clayton’s motives for penning the book are written in his bio on the website in poem form. To paraphrase, he likes to make beautiful things,...

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There are no small parts, only small children who are super cute playing Cinderella.

One of the most all-time hilarious family moments of ours was the time my mom (the awesome elementary educator) got my kids (the hams) into handmade masks and acted out Little Rabbit Foo Foo for the whole brood. Let’s just say a kid’s crayon interpretation of a “goon” isn’t necessarily what you’d think it is. I loved how my mother helped them bring the story to life through art and dramatization. So I was so thrilled to discover  a company helping you and your kids do just that, with classic children’s stories. The Now I’m Reading Plays are smart...

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Dear diary

Childhood diaries are always depicted as the tool of brooding, angry, angst-filled goth girls; more Heathers than Clueless. Personally, my own first journal was filled with a lot lighter fare. And a whole lot of bad rhyming poetry and original song lyrics. That’s why I was totally charmed by this My Life Rocks journal by Mudpuppy. Adrian Johnson’s graphics are adorable, the message is cheery,and the colorful lock still tells the world “keep out.” I figure, might as well make the most of those years before your daughter or your favorite niece would prefer a My Life Sucks journal....

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Read, write, learn, wipe, repeat.

I was absolutely blown away when my four year-old, in a single day, suddenly mastered lowercase letters. No thanks to me, of course. This time, all the credit goes to the new Brain Quest write and erase alphabet book. Filled with 40 pages of coated, wipe on/wipe off pages and complete with one of those dry erase pens (which argh, just make sure your kids keep it away from the couch), it’s such a clever new format from the folks who make some of the best workbooks in the world. The whole thing is the perfect size to tuck...

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The perfect gift for bookworms with authority

It was a red-letter day in our household when each child was old enough to get his or her own library card. They love picking out books, handing their card over to the librarian and then skipping out with their new reads. What they don’t love is listening to me hound them to find those books under their covers, inside the couch cushions or off the floor of the car when it’s book-return time.  But, now they’ve got a cool new kit that let’s them play library whenever they want, and it’s missing just the thing that bugs them...

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A girls’ guide to middle school mojo

We’re heading into our second year of middle school, here, and it’s been… interesting. It’s definitely a whole different ballgame than elementary school, particularly for girls, who tend to morph into social piranhas pretty early. Is your little darling feeling some trepidation about this new phase? No sweat! The creators of Girls’ Life magazine teamed up with Scholastic, and their Ultimate Guide to Surviving Middle School hits just the right notes in making junior high sound like a brave new adventure. It’s positive and energetic without veering into chirpy, and discusses everything from making new friends, to keeping your...

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The secret is out on these princesses

I’ve fought the princessification of my girls valiantly, as a mama who wants her girls to admire heroes who don’t wait around for some dumb prince to find their happiness. As you may guess, it didn’t work; they love princess everything, though I try to keep all the tiaras, gowns and storybooks confined to their very-pink bedroom. So why is The Secret Lives of Princesses front and center on my coffee table? [see the giveaway after the jump] If ever a princess book was made to appeal to grown-ups as well as their offspring, this is it. Originally written...

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Mommy, where do organics come from?

This here city mama is lucky that my children have grandparents in the country who grow tomatoes and kale and sweet peas and wild strawberries, so that they can learn that no, vegetables do not come from aisle 3. I’ve always thought that learning about food, from planting to harvest, was the best way to get kids interested in it. And, hopefully, eating it. So I was delighted to discover We Grew It, Let’s Eat It, an absolutely lovely book by NPR producer Justine Kenin. It’s the kind of book you’d expect to find in the most progressive preschool or...

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