Category: Books for Kids

Roy Lichtenstein meets Dick and Jane

I’m always a sucker for books for toddlers and early readers that make use of modern art. We’ve covered Where’s Warhol (a Where’s Waldo parody) most recently, Henri Matisse and Alexander Calder pop-up books, and now there’s a cool new one — Roy’s House, by Susan Goldman Rubin with art by Roy Lichtenstein. Rubin’s simple, playful text welcomes readers, then takes us on a tour through Lichtenstein’s iconic pop art, which combine to make up quite the house when viewed all together. His infamous paintings of interiors introduce us to a great big couch for entertaining many friends, a kitchen for snacking, and the studio where “Roy paints pictures.”...

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16 terrifically creepy YA novels for kids (and adults!) who dig dark themes. Boo!

As we turn the corner into All Things Pumpkin Spice, let us not forget that being up all night with a scary book can be truly delicious. These YA reads for teens (and adults!) who dig dark themes range from silly vampires to magical devils to absolute terror — and they all happen to be written by women. Several of them carry my personal Seal of Scareproval, and the rest were recommended by other YA authors and editors I trust, being a fantasy author myself, so you know we know our stuff. Hope one of these 16 novels is just...

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Let’s talk puberty: 3 books for girls that help you have the talk

I love having a daughter. Her bright, energetic, and (yes) sometimes emotional personality is such a treat to have in our home. We’ve had a very open relationship so far, which I am very grateful for, and now she’s creeping up on the age where we’re going to start talking about how her body is changing. Let’s face it, she’ll be a (gulp) teenager soon. Even though I know she’s comfortable asking me pretty much anything, there’s only so much my words can communicate to her. She’s going to need pictures, and for that I’m turning to some of...

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Sponsored Message: Celebrating a brand new Rosemary Wells book with a $250 giveaway

This is a sponsored message from MacMillan In honor of the launch of Hand in Hand, the beautiful new book from popular kids’ author Rosemary Wells of Max and Ruby fame, you could win a special $250 literary prize pack, plus everyone who enters wins a special magnet with art from this new book. Perfect gift for a baby shower, new baby, or first birthday, Hand in Hand celebrates the sweet joys of being your child’s first teacher, and all the moments you share, whether walking together, playing, dreaming, and of course, reading together. And oh the reading you’ll be able to do with...

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Pablo and His Chair by Delphine Perret: A story about being the best version of you

I have a soft spot for quirky children’s books with captivating illustrations, which is why I keep picking up the brand new Pablo and His Chair by the French artist and author Delphine Perret to read to my kids. The story is simple — a fidgety boy receives a chair for his birthday (“so he’ll sit down for once”). Just what a kid wants, right? But the way this imaginative little boy makes the most of his gift — and his talents — is what makes this book so memorable. Related: Home by Carson Ellis beautifully celebrates the way we all live Related: They...

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9 fantastic beginner chapter book series to help create avid readers

My youngest child started Kindergarten this week — sniff — and he’s learning to read so quickly. I’m thrilled to find out he loves books, and I’ve been scouring our bookshelves and grilling our librarian for some great beginner chapter book series. Of course, there are the classic favorites like Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, Ruby and the Booker Boys, and Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo. But I was excited to find a few new options too, and all of these series have just added new volumes to their collection over the last few months. So, whether you’re trying to find age-appropriate books for your young...

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This new board book for kids is a breath of fresh Air

My younger kids usually need a little one-on-one time to decompress after school, and one of our favorite ways to do this is reading together. After a few minutes in my lap, they’re ready to go play again. But, I have to admit, I’d much rather read a cool indie book like Carson Ellis’ Home than anything Dora or Clifford or, heaven help us, Caillou. I think it’s hard to find artfully designed board books for preschoolers — although we do love Cozy Classics and BabyLit — but the new board book for kids, Air by Kyla Ryman with beautiful cut-paper illustrations by Nathalie Trovato, is now right up...

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11 of our favorite childhood books that we can’t wait for our kids to read

There’s something so special about sharing our very favorite childhood books with our kids. When we see our kids falling in love with Anne of Green Gables, or imaging themselves racing through Narnia to defeat the White Witch, there’s a certain jolt of nostalgia that just makes you want to be a kid again, discovering these books for the very first time. So we are so happy to welcome our newest sponsor Epic!, whose affordable e-book subscription service lives right on our kids tablets and gives them access to more than 15,000 books they can read anytime. (And yes, the exclamation point...

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8 outstanding books that teach empathy for kids with special needs

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. ―Henry James   You stocked up on school supplies, bought your kid a cool new lunch box and backpack, and purchased that first day of school outfit, but you may be missing one important item I like to have on my own kids’ back to school lists — books that teach empathy. Especially for those kids with special needs who may be new to a classroom, playgroup, or just the neighborhood this year. Besides feeling...

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The ultimate girls in STEM book of kick-butt Women in Science

True fact: This book is so cool that I had to go steal it back from my fifth grade daughter to review it. It’s called Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, and it’s geared toward celebrating the contributions women have made to science and the hurdles they’ve faced doing it. Whoo. These ladies were doing STEM before it was STEM. From Hypatia in ancient Egypt to Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the first-ever woman to win the Fields Medal in 2014, this book perfectly balances well-researched facts with gorgeous, whimsical illustrations making it a...

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They All Saw a Cat: A charming new children’s book by illustrator Brendan Wenzel

One of my preschooler’s very favorite books of last year was Beastly Babies by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. An animal lover at heart, he couldn’t get enough of its playful illustrations. So when we saw that Brendan Wenzel has a new book out, we were excited to get a copy. And after reading it, we’re certain that if They All Saw a Cat isn’t a contender for the Caldecott Award, we’ll be very, very surprised. The story is simple: a cat with his paws, whiskers and all, goes for a walk. The illustrations show the different animals (and people) whom he encounters...

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A Harry Potter crafts book that renews your faith in magic and hot glue guns

With all the buzz about the brand new Harry Potter and the Cursed Book and JK Rowling’s recent birthday this past weekend, our kids are starting to catch Harry Potter fever all over again. And whether or not they’re ready to imagine him as a full-grown Ministry of Magic employee and dad (gulp!), get them doing more than zoning out to the first eight movies, with the brand new The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter. Jamie Harrington has put together 30 clever crafts for kids of all ages into a beautifully produced book, that help reinforce a belief in the...

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How to talk to your kids about politics? Ken Burns has a book for that.

This election cycle has been pretty brutal, leaving a lot of us wondering how to talk to our kids about politics. Well, I just got a copy of Grover Cleveland, Again! by the celebrated documentarian Ken Burns and illustrator Gerald Kelley, and I’m convinced that reading this with my kids is going to help them understand what being presidential is all about. Related: Turning kids into readers – 3 tips from LeVar Burton to help get your kids excited about books Related: 3 inspiring new picture books for kids that should be on every wish list This big, oversized book fills up my kid’s...

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A super simple tip to help your kids with their summer reading right now

It’s probably one of my kids’ least favorite things to talk about these days: Summer reading. Which is odd, because they really do love to read. They just don’t like someone else telling them what they have to read — and when to read it. Recently, though, a friend recommended this very easy tip: Invest in a summer reading journal to make the required reading a bit more exciting. I decided it was worth a try, and so, I picked up this Reading Journal for Kids (available from our affiliate Amazon, in different versions for kids’ ages and reading levels) to help my...

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Girl power! Our 10 new favorite empowering books for girls

My kids and I have encountered some very memorable girls with very memorable experiences in their children’s books over the years — Madeline’s midnight appendectomy, Freckleface Strawberry (a favorite among my brood of redheads) wearing a ski mask on the playground to hide her freckles, and of course, bossy big-sister Olivia the pig — our favorite non-conformist. And lately, I’ve been seeing an increasing number of empowering books for girls, all non-fiction stories written by women in the last 12 months or so, of girls busting stereotypes and fulfilling their dreams. These books teach our kids anything is possible if you work hard enough and...

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7 fantastic children’s books to pick up before they hit theaters this year.

My kids love to read. But they also love to go to the movies. Luckily, that makes our summer reading easy this year, since I’m going to encourage them to pick up some of the great children’s books that are being adapted into movies this summer and fall. From classics like The Little Prince and The BFG to new favorites like The Queen of Katwe, there are a handful of movies based on kids’ books coming out soon that I know they won’t want to miss. So my rule is, you’ve got to read the book first. Smart, right? Here, 7 terrific children’s books turned movies that we...

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3 of our favorite board books for new dads that make awesome Father’s Day gifts

We all know chewable, sturdy board books are a great choice for babies and toddlers who are still in the oral fixation phase of development, but these books aren’t always known for being the most stimulating for adult minds. Especially when kids demand the same book be read over and over. And over. So for this Father’s Day, we’ve rounded up just a few sweet and hilarious board books for new dads — some of which you might even recognize from our 2016 Baby Shower Gift Guide. They’re perfect for a first Father’s Day, a second Father’s Day, an almost dad-to-be, or just for...

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Beyond Oh The Places You’ll Go: 8 inspirational books for graduation gifts that become keepsakes

While there are so many graduation gift ideas that we could give to our accomplished kids, friends and relatives, we especially love the idea of giving a special, inspirational book for graduation gifts. Especially when it delivers messages of empowerment, adventure, and pursuing one’s dreams. Whether you’re feeling wildly sentimental about your babies embarking on the Kindergarten journey or your grown-too-sooners headed off to college, believe us when we say, we know the feeling all too well. So we’ve put together 8 really lovely options that we hope will remain on their bookshelves for life. And yes, we do think those 18-year-olds who are heading...

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Taro Gomi delights again with this new book series for preschoolers

We could not be more excited that famed Japanese author-illustrator, Taro Gomi (you know him, the author behind the widely popular Everyone Poops), recently released a new boxed set called Growing Together. We think it’s the perfect gift for a graduating preschooler who is “all grown up,” and ready to take on the world. The set is intended for children ages 2–4 and includes four small books, each titled after a central task of childhood: Growing, Sharing, Imagining, and Exploring. Related: Amazing Water: The educational book + CD about classical music that actually is amazing. Of course these developmental hurdles can be a challenge, especially...

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Amazing Water: The educational book + CD about classical music that actually is amazing.

I must admit, I was very intrigued when I first heard the idea for Amazing Water, a new book with accompanying CD that introduces kids to classical music and the way that water — namely, rivers, oceans, the canals of Venice — has inspired composers since, well, forever. We’ve all heard by now how classical music is good for little brains (whether it actually makes them smarter, by the way, is debatable). But I wondered if this book could really hold the attention of kids who aren’t crib-bound, and can wander off when they get bored with Bach or Beethoven. But, to my...

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6 clever ways to get your reluctant reader to love reading

Not too long ago, I realized my 8-year-old son was a reluctant reader. He’s a perfectly good reader, but would rather do just about anything but read. And that’s a particular sore spot for me, because there are few things I’d rather do more than sit down with a good book. In fact, I often lament how little time I do have to read. My son is fortunate enough to have an incredibly intuitive teacher who noticed, like I had, that he was a very capable reader, just not an interested one. So when she called me one day to...

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5 inspiring new picture books for National Readathon Day that make kids want to get out and play

As someone who grew up with her nose in a book, I sure spent a lot of time hearing my parents tell me to put down that book and go outside to play! So in honor of today’s National Readathon Day, I’ve rounded up five wonderful new picture books for kids that not only make great stories but also inspire kids to get outdoors and explore this big, beautiful world. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that books do a darn good job of expanding our world views way beyond the walls and comfort of our homes. Related: 3 brand...

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10 really cool activity books for kids. For summer travel, or for regular boredom, which knows no season.

From books full of creative DIY projects to endless coloring pages, I have tracked down some of the absolute coolest activity books for kids, that I think your kids are sure to love as much as mine this summer. After all, I adore the warm weather and the break from routines, but I am admittedly not ready for summer vacation. With just 3 weeks left until school lets, I’m hoping these kids’ activity books will keep my brood entertained — and off screens — from the minute they wake up. Which is well before I’m able to crawl out of bed, because what is it about...

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D is for Dress-Up: Not the alphabet book you’d think it is

When I receive a book with the subtitle, The ABC’s of What We Wear I admit I’m thinking oh great, another “boys like transportation, girls like fashion” book. But it turns out I am utterly charmed by Maria Carluccio’s D is for Dress-Up, which uses her texturally rich illustrations to take early readers through the alphabet, from Apron and Bow Tie to Yoga Pants and Zippers. (No judgment here about yoga pants, by the way. It’s just kids doing yoga in them.) I absolutely love the authentic diversity of the children depicted throughout the book by artist and textile designer Carluccio. She’s...

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There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith is pure wonder

I fell in love with this book the moment I opened it, thanks to its luminous illustrations. I shouldn’t be surprised that Lane Smith was behind them, the artist known for kids’ classics like The Stinky Cheese Man, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and so many others. But it’s not just the gorgeous art that makes the brand new There is a Tribe of Kids so moving. Lane Smith’s latest is a story about the search for belonging, a theme so universal and so beautifully portrayed in this story, I pretty much think everyone should read it. Related: Best children’s books of the year:...

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Mo Willems’ new Thank You Book: Why you’ll be grateful for it too.

I was super excited to hear about Mo Willems latest, The Thank You Book, a new adventure in friendship between Gerald and Piggie that’s launching today. The one downside: this is the 25th and final book in the Elephant & Piggie series (say it ain’t so, Mo!) so this is one you Willems fans will definitely want to get your hands on. I mean, for your kids. Related: How Mo Willems can help decorate your child’s room The book is really a lesson in gratitude, something all kids can stand to learn over and over. In the story, Piggie feels so overwhelmed with gratitude that he plans a “Thank-o-rama” to tell...

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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: The best bedtime book you’ll ever read.

I’m on bedtime duty when I visit my nieces, which means snuggling up and diving into really good stories — tales of women beating the odds and achieving great things. Well, sorta. When we’re done poo-pooing at the lions with Madeline, I often find myself scouring the girls’ bookshelves for something a bit more real-to-life to share with them. Which is why I’m so excited about the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls Kickstarter project, fundraising now. (Update: You can now order the book at RebelGirls.co) Related: My First Book of Girl Power. Lasso of Truth not included.  This book will feature 100 stories of diverse, inspiring...

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Flora and the Peacocks: A simply glorious picture book

If you’re already a fan of Molly Idle’s other popular children’s picture books, Flora and the Penguin and Flora and the Flamingo, then you’re in for a treat with the brand new Flora and the Peacocks. It’s part wordless picture book, part lift-the-flap interactive book, and all parts wonderful. Here, Flora is back with a pair of marvelous peacocks, as you may have guessed from the title. She tries to dance with them, mimic them, play with them…but it’s not quite as easy as she thinks. Three can be a crowd, as we’ve learned — and I’d imagine even young children...

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3 brand new nature-themed activity books will keep kids busy…without screens.

Though it’s certainly easy to hand our kids a screen when we want to keep them busy at the doctor’s office, on a long road trip, or when work needs to get done (and I am as guilty as anyone), I’ve found there is one alternative to handhelds that keep my kids focused, occupied, and truly content: A great sticker book. So I’m thrilled to have discovered the new My Nature Sticker Activity Books series by Olivia Cosneau. Related: Stickers for boys. Or girls. Cool how that works. In the Age of Dinosaurs is ideal for a dino-loving child who is eager to learn all about the peaceful Stegaosaurus and funny...

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A can-do magazine for girls who wanna run the world, featuring some impressive women who already do.

My five brilliant nieces are marching their way toward adolescence (well, one of them is technically crawling her way there at this time), and while I do my best to introduce them to the joys of science, Star Wars, sports, and all the possibilities for women in general, I recognize there are still a lot of forces working against them in those arenas. So I was thrilled when I learned about Erin Bried’s new Kickstarter project for KAZOO magazine, a publication for girls ages 5–10 that is designed, with the help of some very impressive names, to promote creativity, curiosity, exploration, and fun, across topics like science, technology, art, sports,...

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