Category: Books for Kids

When Lyla Got Lost (and Found): A really helpful safety book for kids

I know that teaching my kids about personal safety is so important, but there seems to be a fine line between preparing kids for emergencies and scaring them about Things That Could Happen. Like all parents, I definitely don’t want to tell them more than they need to hear. But lately we’ve been getting our talks just right with the help of reading When Lyla Got Lost (and Found), the latest in The Mother Company’s new series of safety books for kids. Thanks to authors Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter, my kids are learning some great safety strategies that will work for them in the real world,...

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Stella Brings the Family: A Mother’s Day book that every kid should read.

Mother’s Day may be one of our favorite holidays for obvious reasons, but it’s also obvious that not all kids have a mother living in their family. For young kids in this situation, this can be a difficult time, especially in school when kids may be asked to make Mother’s Day cards or gifts — or, as in the new book, Stella Brings the Family, attend a Mother’s Day celebration in the classroom. In this brand new book by Miriam Schiffer, Stella’s teacher asks the class to each invite a special guest for a Mother’s Day party. But, Stella...

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The Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion: Sew (ahem) much fun

By the time I learned how to sew, I was already a mama of two and trying to fit what little sewing ability I had acquired into what little time I had to spare. Needless to say, my output wasn’t exactly abundant. If only I’d learned how to sew as a child I would have already been a whiz by the time my kids were born. And they might have ended up with more than just a pair of pyjama pants, or two. A brand new book, The Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion, is about to make sewists (they don’t call themselves sewers...

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RAD American Women A-Z: Required reading for our girls. And definitely our boys.

As you probably know, a good alphabet book is one of those must-haves in any child’s library. Over the years my kids have loved learning about design in Maira Kalman’s Ah Ha to Zig Zag, getting a real feel for their letters in Franceschelli and Peskimo’s Alphablock, and playing with the wild alliteration in Augie to Zebra by husband-wife duo Caspar Babypants and Kate Endle. But the new alphabet book, RAD American Women A – Z, written by Kate Schatz and accompanied by edgy, minimalist illustrations by Miriam Klein Stahl is one I’m excited to read with my ten-year-old. And just when you’d start to think he’s too old for alphabet books. The list of women...

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My Amazing Body: the best info for curious-about-their-bodies preschoolers

My five-year-old son told me he thinks girls are the coolest because, among other things, they get to lay babies. As in, lay eggs). Yep. While I feel like I may have nailed the pro-woman mindset with him, I might not have done so well in the biology department. So we’ll brush up on our basics by reading through the new Little Explorer’s My Amazing Body book book by Ruth Martin and illustrated by Allen Sanders. I guess curiosity about their bodies never really goes away, but I know my preschooler and early elementary kids are really trying to figure out how it...

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An activity book to inspire creativity. (It’s also teaching our kids geography, but shhh.)

So, a couple years ago I predicted that my kids would still be flipping through the book Maps by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński—and I was right. The pages are well-loved, and it’s still displayed prominently on our coffee table. So recently we’ve added  the MAPS Activity Book to our collection, and my kids are equally entertained by this coloring and activity book that lets them get creative about geography and world cultures. This oversized coloring book has tear-out pages about the size of a place mat. And that’s one way I use it–keeping the kids busy while I cook dinner. Or unpack the...

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7 must-have poetry books for young readers, in honor of National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, so we’re having some fun adding poetry to our bedtime reading routine. Of course, any reading out loud to my kids is good for growing brains, but kids seem to have a special love for poetry–even before they understand the words we’re saying. If you’re ready to build your library beyond The Cat in the Hat, I recommend these must-have poetry books for young readers. Related: 2014’s best books for kids: All the lists, all in one place   Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein You knew we had to go here first, right? All of Shel Silverstein’s books for kids are amazing,...

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A Nest is Noisy: A children’s book that brings spring to life beautifully

Considering the winter we’ve had (and honestly, are still kind of having) in the northeast where I am, I nearly cried when I saw the crocuses coming up in my mother’s garden last week. While spring is officially here, it never quite feels that way until I see the first flowers and hear the first chirps of the baby birds. Which is why I think the brand new A Nest is Noisy, a beautiful picture book from Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long is just perfect for children right now. The fifth in the series of titles from the same authors including An...

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A YA book subscription for the teen (or bookaholic mom) who’s read everything.

When you’ve got a precocious reader in the house, it can be hard to find books they haven’t yet discovered and devoured. I know this because I am that reader and I spawned that reader. Luckily, we found a subscription service — you know we love subscription services!– that will send you the newest, most carefully vetted books for teens, kids who read on the teen level, and adults who love the fast pace and swoony tummy-flutters that YA books can provide. It’s called Uppercase Box, and it’s a YA book subscription service for readers 13 and up that...

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Sponsored Message: I See Me! personalized books make a special gift kids will enjoy way beyond Easter

This is a sponsored message for I See! Me books If you want to cut down on sugary treats this Easter and instead grab gifts that your kids will enjoy way beyond the holiday, check out the range of the award-winning I See Me! personalized books which are wildly popular with both kids and parents. – Don’t miss an exclusive discount for Cool Mom Picks readers below –  There tons of books to choose from featuring all sorts of interests, whether it’s pirates or princesses, race cars or farm animals, or alphabet and counting basics. So you’re sure to find something for everyone’s Easter basket whether you’re shopping for a little pre-readers...

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I Wish You More: The book for kids that will make you cry without ever getting sappy

I was never a big fan of most of those ubiquitous “I love you forever and ever” style board books that we seemed to amass during the baby shower days. Especially that weird one with the mother breaking into her grown son’s home to rock him to sleep. (Apologies if that’s your favorite.) So when I saw the title, I Wish You More, I admit my first instinct was, oh no…not another. Then I noticed it was written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author of faves like Rabbit! Duck!  and more recently, I Scream for Ice Cream: A Book of Wordles and I knew I was...

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Small Thyme Cooks: The coloring and activity book for kids who don’t have to ask, who’s Eric Ripert?

Sometimes the activity books for kids that we find are as much for the parents as they are for the kids, and such is the case with the Small Thyme Cooks Activity and Coloring Book. Created by Andre Huseston Mack, former French Laundry sommelier, creative thinker, and guy I’m dying to meet, this is a clever activity book for kids. But not just any kids; more like the ones who are up for unscrambling the names of the fish on the Le Bernadin menu or working their way through a maze that takes you from a farm to, of course, table. Of course this...

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A Matisse book for kids that will create a new generation of modern art fans

Last year, just about this time, I fell in love with the Alexander Calder pop-up book by the extremely talented Patricia Geis. It introduced kids to one of my favorite childhood artists in the most perfect way. And while Matisse wasn’t known for 3-D sculptures and mobiles, the format of storytelling plus interactive pop-up visuals that’s back in the new Meet the Artist: Henri Matisse pop-up book is still a spectacular way to bring his work to life. The book is designed for kids as young as maybe six who will love the photos and interactive flaps and pop-ups (gentle, now…) and will understand the finer points of...

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Found it! The perfect search-and-find books for preschoolers.

Bright, fun, and very, very easy, the new oversized search-and-find books Animal Fun Search & Find and Fairy Tale Search & Find by Stephanie Hinton are absolutely charming me. And my preschoolers. They’re perfect for kids who are too young to find Waldo, considering the bold, bright illustrations have been with us now to the supermarket, the doctor’s office, and a trip to Grandma’s, I’d call them a hit. There’s a lot of variety in the pages of these books, which is what keeps my kids coming back to them. Animal Fun, as you might expect, features a fabulous menagerie of woodland, farm, ocean, polar, and African animals....

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A Place to Live is a picture book that charms, engages, and hopefully lulls to sleep.

Sometimes the simplest books are a parent’s best friend at bedtime. Few words, pretty pictures, calming premise. These are the elements that come together perfectly in Case Jernigan’s A Place to Live, a lovely book for a new reader–or a parent desperate to put a toddler to sleep. Either way, the results are magical. A Place to Live hails from Home Grown Books, an outstanding small press in NYC, should you be the kind of parent always looking for something special for the bookshelf. All their books are developed in collaborations between outstanding artists and educators, and produced locally or with the help of fair trade global collectives. But...

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Home by Carson Ellis beautifully celebrates the way we all live

Pick up the new illustrated children’s book Home by Carson Ellis, and you and your kids will be instantly transported to the many different places that people around the world call home. The celebrated illustrator of the fantastic Wildwood YA series has drawn me into wonderfully diverse living spaces in her new book and I can’t recommend it more highly. From city apartments and country farms to French castles and Norse temples, my kids are fascinated to see that so many people live in places beyond the kind of building we happen to call home.   The story reminds me of the classic children’s book A House is a...

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9 outstanding Black History Month books for kids of all ages

Black History Month is the perfect time for us to widen our scope on the lives of Black people in this country and their ongoing contributions to its advancement. In school, our kids typically learn about the impact that people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and George Washington Carver had and continue to have on our lives. But there are so many more people — unsung heroes, revolutionaries, artists, writers, activists, and everyday citizens — who have done remarkable things that deserve the spotlight as well. To honor them and their work, here are 10 excellent...

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Red: A Crayon’s Story. The perfect children’s book at the perfect time.

If you’re thinking red Valentine’s gifts of for kids, here’s an idea a bit off the beaten path: Red, A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall, just out this week. It’s a beautifully told, wonderfully illustrated story (in crayon, natch) about a red crayon who just isn’t very good at being red. In fact, whatever he tries to draw, at his grandparents’ or teacher’s or fellow crayon classmates’ urging, comes out blue, whether it’s an orange or a strawberry. Of course Red finally figures out his true calling, finding the joy and freedom that comes with accepting himself for what he is. It makes for more than happy...

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The 2015 Caldecott and Newbery medal winners are here. More great reading for all!

Yesterday’s big awards news had nothing to do with Bradley Cooper or the Oscars (which I can’t wait for either). The American Library Association announced the 2015 Caldecott and Newbery medal winners for young adult literature, and we were really excited to see some of the best books for kids that we’ve recommended here before rise to the top as winners. If you’re looking for your next favorite book, whether it’s a picture book for your young kids or a novel for your teens (or yourself), this is a great place to start. And if your favorite online shop is sold out,...

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Naptime with Theo and Beau: The book that could get more kids napping. Or asking for a puppy.

I can hardly imagine a parent online today who isn’t familiar with the huge viral success of Theo and Beau. This gorgeous photo series comes from our friend and fellow mom Jessica Shyba, who has lovingly documented the daily naptime ritual of her toddler son and their rescue puppy who cuddle together every day. Can you think of anything more made for Instagram than that? Well, now it’s made for the printed page too, with the launch of Naptime with Theo and Beau, the most adorable board book for kids maybe ever. Seriously, the creepy old lady whispering hush has nothing on these two. I...

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4 fantastic books for kids about MLK to help educate kids while you celebrate

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and his innumerable contributions to this nation’s history and advancement and books for kids about MLK can be a great way to help little ones understand the importance of the day. Although it’s a holiday in most states and therefore, understandably, a day to relax, I do like that many Americans instead treat it as a “day on” and seek out ways to volunteer in their communities and participate in one of the Day of Service events scheduled across the country. It’s an excellent opportunity to usher in the concept of service to...

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The Book with No Pictures. Guess what? Your kids won’t miss them.

Can I tell you how big a hit I was as the surprise reader at my son’s second grade class the other day, when I read The Book with No Pictures? It was all, “Again!” and, “More!” If you can get your hands on this book too, you’ll understand why. This hilarious book written by actor and humorist B.J. Novak (you know, from The Office) is true to its title: There are no pictures in it whatsoever. Just pages full of funny dialogue written as if the reader (that’s you) is being forced to say silly things by the writer (a kid). The idea is that the...

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Ella: The amazingly illustrated, totally hilarious, very modern parody of Eloise.

I remember being so excited to share Eloise with my little girls when they were old enough–until I read it again as an adult and realized she a little brattier than I had remembered. Not just me, right? Even so, I still have a certain nostalgia for the precocious title character who lived at the Plaza Hotel with no parents in sight, and clearly so did Mallory Kasdan, author of the brand new, hilariously wonderful Ella: A Cheeky Parody About a Little Girl Who Lives at The Local Hotel. A Brooklyn mom herself, Kasdan perfectly captures what Eloise might be like if she was...

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2014 Best Books for Kids: All the lists, in one place.

Thousands of books are published for children each year, and it seems like there are thousands of “best of” lists published too. If you’re shopping for kids books for Christmas like we are, you’ll want to check these lists out for some great book ideas you might not have heard of yet. We’ve put together the collections here with links to all the 2014 Best Books for Kids awards, and highlighting some of our own faves. We’re definitely celebrating the huge number of women writers who won prizes, the focus on diversity, the growing trend of non-princessy science-loving heroines, rabbits–lots of rabbits–and, of course,...

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Gift a year of creativity with Curious Jane Magazine

If you have a curious, crafty, smart, and creative tween, we have a cool new gift idea that isn’t a craft kit or art supplies, but a brand new magazine that will fill her head with things to make, projects to do, and fun ways to spend her time in the upcoming year. Curious Jane Magazine is the newly-launched magazine from the creators of the Curious Jane summer camps and after-school programs for girls 6-11. Like the camps, which our editor Liz’s daughter has attended and loved, the magazine is designed to give young girls their own space to create, think, and imagine. We’ve...

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Neil Gaiman’s Hansel and Gretel: Spooky amazing.

It’s the time of year to build gingerbread houses covered with candies, but I’ve been mesmerized by the new Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman (a favorite around here) and Lorenzo Mattotti, and their interpretation of the classic Grimm story of the wicked woman who lives in a real gingerbread house. Gaiman is a master storyteller, with a welcoming way of telling even the spookiest story. He draws you in with his words, the way Mattotti does with his illustrations, writing in a captivating first person narrative: Back then, we all lived on the edge of the great forest… Mattotti’s dark, lifelike illustrations have amazing depth and...

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D is for design, in the fantastic new alphabet book by Maira Kalman: Ah Ha to Zig Zag

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City houses incredible exhibits for lovers of design, including fantastic workshops for kids to help them gain an appreciation for fine design before they even hit kindergarten. And Ah Ha to Zig Zag, the new alphabet book by Maira Kalman, one of our favorite illustrators, celebrates pieces from this collection. Who knows, maybe your children will even be inspired to start their own museum one day. This isn’t your typical “A is for Apple” book. In fact, in Ah Ha to Zig Zag, A is for cAp . . . and every...

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Please judge these beautiful gift books by their covers

A glance through our archives shows that we love wonderful books for kids. If you would like to help get a child in your life as hooked on books as we are, check out this stunning four-book collection of classic children’s titles. With new cover art by Rifle Paper Co’s Anna Bond, whose stationery and gifts have been featured many times on Cool Mom Picks, the In Bloom Book Collection pulls together four well-known titles in children’s literature: Little Women, Heidi, A Little Princess, and Anne of Green Gables. Each of these storybooks could stand on its own as a gift, but these new covers make them especially impressive as...

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3 great Thanksgiving books for kids to be thankful for.

We love Thanksgiving, but we’ll admit it can get the short end of the stick, sandwiched between the Halloween sugar-fest and the merry-and-bright excitement of the holidays. While one of the nice things about Thanksgiving is that it’s about family, not gifts, we still love the idea of putting a few great Thanksgiving books for kids into our storytime rotation. Or hey, set them at the kids’ table, at least long enough to keep them entertained until homemade pie is served.   Combining the traditionally told story of Thanksgiving with the adorably cool Pete the Cat character is a great way to get...

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3 amazing new picture books for kids and parents to love

For those of us who love great illustration as much as a great story, I’ve found three new picture books that are worth making space for in your kids’ bookcase or wrapping to give to a child this holiday. What I love most about all three is that they’ll keep you talking about what you see as you go through the pages and maybe even long after the book cover is closed.   Flora and the Flamingo, one of my family’s favorite recent picture books and a 2013 Caldecott Honor book, has a sequel that is just perfect for these colder days. Flora...

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