Category: Books for Kids

Definitely Beats a Big Sibling T-Shirt

As surprised as I was by my third pregnancy, my older daughter was downright shocked. She may have actually gotten used to the idea more quickly than I did, thanks in part to Making Me: The Pregnancy Activity Book for My Big Brother or Sister. Written by mom Julie Carr, this engaging book actively involves older siblings in learning about how the wee critter is developing. Each page includes an update on the baby’s growth, along with an activity like coloring, journaling or answering questions about themselves. (Bonus points for the page that calls for the older sibling to...

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Our Kind of Princess

With a princess-obsessed three year-old, I’m always on the lookout for pretty much any book that has absolutely nothing to do with them. And yes, I know it’s cruel to cut her off entirely from the little crowned ladies just because they drive me nuts. So if you’ve got a little girl like mine, I urge you to get your hands on The Paper Bag Princess, a book featuring one of the smartest, strongest, and most independent princess characters anywhere. What starts as a fairly typical princess story by author Robert Munsch takes a turn in the end, becoming...

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Humpty Dunce

I know I’m not the only new mom who spent sweet quiet moments alone with my newborn singing the theme song from Happy Days. What can I say, I could never quite recall an appropriate tune when I needed to. I’d have been in better shape had Jennifer Griffin’s delightful Humpty Who? been out a couple of years ago. The subtitle, A Crash Course in 80 Nursery Rhymes for Clueless Moms and Dads, pretty much sums it up. This truly terrific book and the very helpful companion CD hooks you up proper with the classics, delivers all nine verses...

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Stroking the Kid’s Ego With the Printed Word

In African folklore the aardvark is much admired for its diligence. This is a completely appropriate characteristic for the Aardvark Adventure Stories namesake, because this can-do online shop has some of the best, most on-top-of-it customer service that I’ve encountered. Oh, yeah, and they also make cool personalized books for kids These books include up to six different photos of your favorite kid, plus more specific details about him than any I’ve seen. Since my son can only count to six, he needed help to count up the 16 different "me" photos placed throughout his Zoom Zoom Zoom book...

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Pop[up] Art

Whoever (or maybe that’s just my mother-in-law) said you need batteries and talking toys to get kids interested in learning has obviously never seen How Many, Ron Van der Meer’s new pop-up art book that will have any kid over five enraptured. Van der Meer, a bona fide paper engineer, takes pop-up books to the next level by creating a series of interconnecting and intertwining Frank Ghery meets Willy Wonka 3-D figures. They’re not only visually stimulating but great for the noggin–each page asks different "how many" questions, but with an seemingly infinite number of stars or cubes or circles, there’s no...

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Possibly the Only Holiday Travel Without Delays

When I popped the Travel Time Stories CD in and a sweet woman’s voice called my daughter by name and proceeded to tell her a story, just for her, well, it was like magic. Magic spun by fairies while dancing on rainbows with shiny golden unicorns. The very nicely produced fairy tales on the three different volumes are classics: The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Three Little Pigs…pretty much your standard grade-school fare. What’s really cool however is that each track has a personalized introduction that greets the child then describes what to expect next. It’s a...

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Phooey!

Back in my younger days, I had a thing for the Tin Tin series of comics on my shelf. They were in French. I didn’t speak French. It didn’t matter. The illustrations allowed me to create my own story in my head. That’s just what I was reminded of when I got a copy of Phooey! by the wonderful author/illustrator Marc Rosenthal. It’s a simple story about a kid complaining about how "nothing ever happens around here," when all the while–you guessed it–crazy things are happening. It doesn’t matter if your kid can yet read the Batman-esque sounds of...

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Yo Ho Ho, The Reading’s Life For Me

My son has decided he wants to be a pirate. For Halloween. And for a living. This is in large part because recently he’s become the star of a wonderful personalized book called Here There Be Pirates from Flatten Me. Just seeing his cute little face immortalized in a store-quality printed pirate adventure makes him want to major in plundering and pillaging. But when I think about it, isn’t that what reading is all about? Putting yourself in different shoes and situations? Mom of four and entrepreneur Margo Redfern gets this. She knows if kids are personally invested in...

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Scribble Me This

If I have to draw one more cat or tree or apple on demand for my daughter, I think I might just lose it. Let’s just say I’m best equipped for being the guesser at Pictionary. But thanks to Taro Gomi’s amazing Scribbles: A Really Giant Coloring and Drawing Book, I’ve been totally off the hook. First of all, it is really giant. Just like the title says. And it’s chock full of drawing prompts for kids 3-99 — everything from adding noses to already-drawn funny faces or drawing hats and bows on kids, to saving fish from the...

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Say My Name, Say My Name

As a certifiable word nerd, I’m not a fan of children’s books that seem to be written by marketers and not authors. While I like a good gimmick as much as the next parent, I also want a book that’s worth reading once you get beyond the “look what a cool idea!” stage.

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“Who Effed Up The Toys???”

I can’t take credit for the headline – it’s was written by my friend Karen as the subject of an email she sent yesterday, alerting us all to yet another toy recall. I’m ready to just dump anything in the toy chest that wasn’t made by hand out from virgin pine by monks.

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Book Snob Heaven

My family and I are serious book lovers. Okay, we’re full-on snobs. I admit it. We only have eyes for the worthwhile page-turners and even my toddler has learned to resist the call of the flashy but content-lite pages in the bargain bins and head straight for the award winners. That’s my girl!

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Ooh-La-L’Alphabet

Although I’m a straight-up English speaker (with a little French thrown in on those really bad days — ahem), I’ve always thought it would be wonderful for my daughter to learn another language. Most folks say that starting early is the best way to go but the idea of toddler language classes has always seemed just a bit…much for me.

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It’s All About Me

From among the audacious number of gifts my daughter received this holiday, I was happy (and proud) that her favorite was a book. Of course it was a special book – one personalized with her name on all the pages. Who could blame her?

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If Mommy Doesn’t Know, Ask Yagyu

I have a feeling my daughter is going to be one ofthose kids. You know, the ones who ask incessant questions like "Why do we have five fingers? or "What areankle bones for?" or "Why does Daddy have one eyebrow?"And the good mom that I am, I will look it up on Google. Or more likely, just fake it.

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Independence From Pink

As anyone familiar with New York knows, tonight the FDR drive will be lined with junior firework watchers wearing–what else–black. It’s not that they don’t love America in the big city; it’s just that red white and blue screams Wayward Tourist Lost on the Way to Madame Tussaud’s.

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