Category: Books for Kids

Your kids will be speaking three languages before you can say one, dos, trois

How often do you find yourself struggling to come up with a special holiday gift for the trilingual baby in your life? Heh. Well, look no further than the two new books from Little Pim, makers of the wonderful foreign language learning videos. And if baby isn’t trilingual yet, she will be soon. These sweet little books teach both Spanish and French in a fun, lift-the-flap-and-pull-the-tab kind of way. There are two in the series so far: Feelings and Colors. All three of my kids enjoy reading them, though I think they’re most suited to my preschooler as the...

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A new holiday tradition, and it involves cake!

I love teaching my children about different cultures and how to appreciate the beauty of family traditions. This lesson is most important around the holidays. There is a Christmas tree on every corner, sometimes with a Hanukkah menorah making its presence known. Kwanzaa is being taught in many school children nationwide. But it’s the lesser known holidays that seem to get lost in the shuffle. One perfect example is a Greek tradition on New Year’s Day that I honestly never heard of. Thankfully, The Lucky Cake to the rescue! The illustrations are so fun. They remind me of the...

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The paper book that’s as interactive as a digital one

With all the cool apps and e-books on my iPad, I sometimes worry that my kids will have a hard time appreciating real books. But then I find ones that remind me that children’s books can be just as engaging, if not more, than the ones with all the technological bells and whistles. Just wait until your kids get their hands on Razzle Dazzle Ruby, the beautiful new book by Masha D’yans that comes to life with pop-ups, pull-outs, and all sorts of actions that can give ibooks a run for their money. The story features an adventurous, imaginative...

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Why you should look for The Man in the Moon

When I was little, I used to stare at the moon looking for a tiny dot moving around, going about his business. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that the “man in the moon” was a shadowy face on a full-moon’s facade—I liked my idea a lot better. Apparently, so does author/illustrator William Joyce who has created such a gorgeously illustrated, fanciful story about the man in the moon legend that it has become an instant classic in my household. The first in a planned fifteen-book-series called The Guardians of Childhood, The Man in the Moon reads...

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A children’s book worth a thousand words

The Conductor is the kind of children’s book I’ve always adored having in our collection; it’s richly illustrated, with a story that kids can appreciate in different ways at different ages. It’s got another aspect I happen to like a lot too: there’s not a single word in it. French illustrator/artist Laetita Devernay’s beautiful skyscraper of a book tells the simple, illustrated story of a conductor who climbs into a grove of trees and orchestrates a symphony of flight when leaves turn into birds. (Or do they?) My youngest daughter likes the environmental cues, while my six year-old is...

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Audio books for toddler? Reader Q&A

My daughter is turning 3 next month and is starting to outgrow her naps! I am trying to enforce quiet time on the days she won’t nap, and someone gave me the idea of letting her listen to audio books as her quiet time activity. I was hoping you had some ideas or could point me in the right direction of somewhere to start. Many thanks in advance for your help! -Rebecca   I agree that audio books are a great way to get her to hold still for a little bit and relax, and we’ve pulled together a...

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A Zeal of Zebras for your kid’s zeal for animals

When I explained to my daughter that every group of animals has its own name, she was absolutely entranced. “You know, like a gaggle of geese. Or a flock of seagulls,” said me, Mrs. Smartypants. Just before realizing that I couldn’t name a third. D’oh. Just in time, the brilliantly colorful new book from WOOP Studios: A Zeal of Zebras: An Alphabet of Collective Nouns. As you might expect, the book takes us through the alphabet from an Aurora of Polar Bears to those zebras, all with big bold type that early readers will love, and playful, vibrant illustrations...

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A Street Through Time : Timeless

It is rare to find a book that all three of my boys can enjoy together. With such varied interests, I long for something captivating (and non-electronic) that has the ability to sustain their attention long enough for me to take a shower. DK Publishing has answered my prayers. A Street Through Time is a beautiful book, and educational to boot. The premise is simple; each page follows the same street through thousands of years of history using hyper-detailed illustrations. The book begins with stone age hunters, and each page that you flip takes you to another era in...

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Butt Art that isn’t raunchy, promise

As all parents know, kids laugh at the word “butt.” There is something very funny about a word that is used constantly as a conjunction, a sometime preposition and also as a word for your behind. What could be funnier than that to a five year old? The answer? Nothing. Now combine the humor of a butt with a bona fide art book. It doesn’t get any cooler than Everything Butt Art at the Zoo. The premise is awesome: all of the animals that you see at the zoo can be drawn with the fabulous gluteus maximus as the...

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The cow says moo. That you know of.

Recently, my daughter asked why a friend’s two year-old brother couldn’t “act like a cow” without saying moo. I explained that animal sounds are the first way that children start to understand how to define animals. And that’s why every baby’s first library isn’t complete without at least 17 books on animal sounds. (She bought it, but she still asserted he was cheating at charades.) Well now there’s an all new book about animal sounds worth adding to the bookshelf, written by a very cool mom herself. In her past life, Angela DiTerlizzi was a makeup artist responsible for...

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Personalized books for kids that are better than those other personalized books for kids

I’ve never been a big fan of personalized books. Books on their own can be so magical – why would I need my child worked into the plot somehow? There are a few personalized books for kids that we’ve reviewed that do the job beautifully, but in most that we’ve seen (and not recommended) the added-on details always look like they were, at best, rubber stamped in. Well here’s another one in the former category. Following Featherbottom is a personalized book that is actually done in a nifty fashion. The hardcover child’s book is customized with the child’s name...

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Keep on reading, baby

My oldest daughter’s Kindergarten graduation is coming up (flapping hand frantically at my watery eyes…what? It’s allergies.) and I’ve been wondering what to get her. While we talked about things like a bicycle or a toy she’s been asking for, I think I want something that commemorates the idea of learning and achievement. And the fact that she’s reading. Which also makes my “allergies” act up. The silver-plate or gold-plate personalized bookmark can be ours (or yours) in two weeks or less. You’ve got 9 medium-sized letters (sorry, moms of Aegelmaere) or 3-4 larger ones if you prefer a...

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Mother Goose has gone green

Let’s be real: a lot of old-school nursery rhymes need some updating. Have you ever really listened to “Billy Boy?” (Hey, guy, she is a young thing and cannot leave her mother. Back off!) The world is simply a different place than when Mother Goose first started ruling the roost. So it makes perfect sense that new, tweaked versions of the rhymes would include lines about environmentalism–you know, a hickety-pickety free-range hen happily giving us her cage-free eggs instead of running away because she’s had enough of laying eggs for gentlemen. In The Green Mother Goose: Saving the World One...

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How Boys + Books = BFFs

 Pam Allyn knows books, and she knows boys; she also knows, as a literacy expert, that for a variety of reasons, our boys are more vulnerable to being left behind academically and succumbing to undesirable behaviors if they’re not proficient readers. That’s why she started Books for Boys a decade ago, a literacy mentoring program for at-risk youth in NYC’s foster care system. Allyn believes that engaging boys in reading can quite literally change their lives. And that goes for all of our boys–hence her new book designed to assist parents and teachers with all reluctant Y-chromosome readers from...

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Shel Silverstein, the next generation

Hi. My name is Delilah, and my preschooler is a poetry addict. From Shel Silverstein to Robert Frost, she’s as likely to drop a tome in my lap as to beg to watch Tangled for the fiftieth time this week. So when I tell you that she loves this book, I mean she sleeps with it under her pillow. It’s called His Shoes Were Far Too Tight, and it’s a loving collaboration between celebrated children’s author Daniel Pinkwater, best-selling poet/artist Calef Brown, and the poetry of a much-missed, roly poly fellow named Edward Lear who believed that a little nonsense...

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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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