Category: Books for Kids

A fun new alphabet book that will give your kids a feel for the ABCs

Learning the alphabet is one of those huge milestones in your child’s life, so much so that you should be ready to brag she second they’ve sung the song right for the first time–and probably the millionth. If you’re looking for some variation from basic board books and TV shows in your teaching the ABCs routine, you’ll want to check out this very cool new book. There are some great alphabet books out there–check out the awesome photographs from ABC NYC for some big-city letter play–but what makes Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli stand out from the crowd is that each letter is die-cut,...

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We predict your kid’s next favorite book will be an atlas. Really.

Lately my kids and I have been snuggling up on the couch in front of the fireplace and browsing through a stunning new coffee table book featuring exquisite hand-drawn maps of countries around the world. It’s delightfully wonderful. I really, really love it. Maps, by Polish artists Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński, is a lavish collection of 52 maps of countries from every continent around the globe. But you’re not just getting topography and political markers with this book. The pages are filled with winsome illustrations of cultural icons from that region. Germany’s map, for example, shows a girl...

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Andy Warhol, Bugaboo, and so many twinkling stars. Can you think of a cooler combination?

Last week, the MoMA Design Store free author events for children continued in New York with none other than Andy Warhol. Of course he was not there himself (that would be a little weird–though very Andy) but we were excited to learn about a new board book out for children featuring some amazing new illustrations. What’s more, there’s a stroller to match. Really. So Many Stars is a beautiful board book, including never-before published images almost entirely from 1958. The collection was put together by none other than Bugaboo, as part of the Andy Warhol stroller collection we’ve recently featured. Their newest edition is the...

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Personalized books for kids that will blow their minds. And yours.

We’ve looked at many personalized books for kids over the years. Some are really lovely; others, not so much. Now there’s one more to add to the lovely column, but with an extra-special touch that makes it way more impressive than any I’ve seen. The difference between the Lost My Name Books and others that simply incorporate your child’s name or details about them is that the entire story is customized–not just a few name mentions scattered about here and there. That means every single book is completely different–what a genius gift if you have more than one child...

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Cozy Classics reinvent board books. And classics. And totally dark baby gifts.

When I think of the perfect book gift for a brand new baby, Les Miserables doesn’t exactly spring to mind. Or does it? If you’ve got a literary family–or a lit lover raising the next generation of lit lovers–the Cozy Classics board books from Holman and Jack Wang may be the perfect, vaguely irreverent, and super erudite baby gift. There are a Pride and Prejudice board book and an Emma board book should you want something a little light–and that’s as light as they go. Other titles include War and Peace, Moby Dick, and, if you dare, Les Miserables. The needle felted photography that illustrates each page is...

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A numbers book for kids who like animals. Or an animal book for kids who like numbers.

Now that my oldest is eight and reading full-on chapter books, it’s hard to find a kids’ book that will captivate her, her first-grade sister, and younger cousins who come to visit too. But that’s just what author Lola M. Schaefer manages to do in this beautifully captivating new children’s book about animals, and new ways to look at their lives.    LIFETIME: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives works as an engaging teaching tool on so many levels. Each spread describes statistics about one of 11 animals in interesting numbers, like in one lifetime, this alpaca will grow 20...

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The Day the Crayons Quit: A very cool creativity manifesto

I have a child who once angrily crumpled up any coloring page if it didn’t turn out “perfect.” Grass had to be the perfect green, sky had to be the perfect blue, and don’t even get me started on the perfect cherry red needed for superhero capes. So maybe that’s why now–a few years later–she is crazy about a book featuring crayons which plead with the reader to reconsider boring old color roles and rules. Let’s hear it for creativity. And talking crayons. The Day the Crayons Quit is a delightfully funny book about a box of crayons who...

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The only thing cooler than Hoth is this Star Wars book shelf

You can’t buy your kid a life-sized AT-AT or landspeeder. But you can give them the coolest Star Wars-themed book shelf we’ve ever seen. This AT-AT Imperial Bookcase from WhittledinWood on Etsy is a masterpiece of engineering. Handmade of birch plywood, it’s made to order in Vidor, Texas and arrives raw and unpainted.  The cool thing is that the company can make a bookcase out of almost anything your heart desires–the website currently shows this AT-AT, a Millennium Falcon, an unbelievable tree, and the Incredible Hulk. The prices aren’t as insane as they could be for bespoke geek furniture,...

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Our children’s favorite books for ages 2-12: Lots of ideas for summer reading and beyond

  With later sunsets and later bedtimes in the summer, one of the things we’ve been trying to do is spend more time reading with our kids at night before bed–or encouraging them to do it on their own. We imagine we’re not the only ones, since we’ve gotten so many letters, Tweets and comments from readers recently asking us for our favorite kids’ books for children of all ages. So we checked with some of the Cool Mom Picks contributors as to what their own kids are reading, and we’ve got them all right here for you. From...

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Xavier Deneux board books to make babies touch, think, and learn. And probably laugh.

Books make the best baby gifts, especially when you know it’s not a book that the mom has already been showered with 14 times. And now there’s a whole new kind of board book series just launched that’s aiming not only to freshen up the genre, but maybe even reinvent it. Xavier Deneux is a wonderful French illustrator who jumped into the baby book game a few years ago. Now he’s out with TouchThinkLearn: Colors and TouchThinkLearn: Opposites, the pages of which feel more like works of art or interactive sculpture, designed encourage kids to engage with the books in...

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Taro Gomi’s new board books. Not bored books.

When there is a new board book from Taro Gomi, I am always interested. Because that means a near guarantee that I’ll have fun reading it to my kids too. And hooray–the prolific writer/illustrator has not just one but three great new board books out. Wiggle by Taro Gomi is a delightful little board book which, in the spirit of Pat the Bunny and other “interactive” books, allows you to stick a finger through a hole and wiggle it, creating a cat’s tail, elephant’s trunk, crocodile’s fang and more. No plot, no surprise ending–just fun for the youngest babies...

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A fun numbers book for your happy little punks and hipsters in training

With their penchant for throwing things, screeching at high decibels, and staying up way past bedtime, toddlers are naturally great punk rockers. But since they still need their parents to tuck them in at night, here’s a great bedtime story that will fill their heads with visions of fun music and friends (not anarchy) as they drop off to sleep. They can save the anarchy for when you try to serve mashed peas again. Happy Punks 1 2 3: A Counting Story runs up the numbers from 1 to 12 in a charming story about friends getting together for...

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The best poetry books for kids: make some time for a little rhyme

What can I say? My kids just love poetry. Maybe it’s because my singing voice sounds like a goat gargling, and maybe it’s because they can always convince me to read just one more poem. There’s also the possibility that poetry is a beautiful, rhythmic exploration of story and feelings accessible by all ages? (Naw, probably just the goat gargling part.) We hope you’ll make a connection with this small collection of poetry books that Cool Mom Picks has covered, including two of my family’s all-time favorites. This colorful, nonesensical volume is my daughter’s all-time favorite poetry book, thanks...

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The prettiest coloring book in the world

First thing each morning my kids usually plop themselves down at our kitchen table and proceed to sketch, color, and print until they’re practically late for school. I love how focused they are on their little projects. I also love that it gives my husband and I some peace and quiet while we prepare for the day. Having just discovered The Secret Garden coloring book, I think I’ve found the perfect way to enrich their morning art party (and my quiet breakfast) for weeks to come. The Secret Garden is an “inky treasure hunt” filled with elaborate black and white...

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A book your kids will love when you can’t be there

I’ll never forget driving away to give birth to baby number two while my firstborn screamed from her grandmother’s arms in the doorway. Yeah, trying to leave the kids for a business trip, a hospital stay, or any other reason, can be a gut-wrenching experience for us parents. Along with little “love notes” left under pillows and frequent phone calls, I’ve found a sweet new picture book that helps young children cope with a parent who is away. And it may make it a little easier on us parents too. [Keep reading for your chance to win two copies—one...

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Maurice Sendak prints. A.K.A. Where the wild things art. (Ha.)

You can’t grab an original piece of art by kid-lit favorite and real-life wild thing Maurice Sendak unless you’ve got super deep pockets. But you can snag the next best thing: Sendak’s artwork, already framed, and hand-selected by the master himself. Oh, and it’s on sale, too. Our pals at Fab.com are currently hosting a gorgeous collection of fine art reproductions presented by 1000Museums and hand-selected by Maurice Sendak himself from his portfolio. Each 1971 piece from one of eight books (including faves Where the Wild Things Are, Little Bear, and In The Night Kitchen) comes in a black...

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Who knew the big bad wolf was really only somewhat bad?

If you like children’s books in the spirit of The Stinky Cheese Man–and I sure do-–then this funny, modern retelling of the classic Three Little Pigs story is going to be right at home on your bookshelf. Mark Teague’s The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf is true enough to the original story that the lessons about planning and hard work still come through, but updated with enough 21st century details, and a sub-theme about nutrition, that even older kids will laugh when you’re reading it to little ones. From the first page, when the farmer tells...

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Read much and dream big with Isabella: Star Of The Story

I was a crazy obsessive reader as a child (still am), and I can still remember the absolute thrill of opening a new book and entering the new world of a story. So it was pure joy to relive that feeling with my daughter as we opened a new world together: the world of Jennifer Fosberry’s Isabella. Those familiar with the award-winning Isabella series know that our girl Izzy explores the idea of herself as famous women in history (My Name Is Not Isabella) and travels the world without leaving her neighborhood (Isabella: Girl On The Go), but my favorite...

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Some of the very best baby book gift sets (just add cute wrapping paper)

I still remember, before I had kids, being so excited to get a friend’s new baby a set of classic books like Alice and Wonderland and Peter Pan–and the way she looked at me when she said her daughter would love them in 10 years or so. Hey, I still thought it was cool, but with these baby book gift sets I found, at least the mom to be can start reading them at the very first bedtime. –Liz Peter Rabbit book collection: Traditionalists will love this Beatrix Potter collection, and though what’s outside a book is never more...

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Albert Einstein for kids. Smart kids. Of course.

If you think a book about Albert Einstein for kids will be dry, think again. The new picture book On a Beam of Light: The Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne is an absolutely delightful introduction to a super cool guy. In a way, the narrative feels like any children’s storybook, with simple prose, a few manageable lines per page, and gorgeous illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky. But what will captivate kids right away is that it starts at the beginning–when Albert is a little kid who refused to talk until he was about three. His parents worried how different...

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I Scream for I Scream for Ice Cream

Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal is on a tear with her awesome children’s books, and her latest is no exception. I Scream, Ice Cream: A Book of Wordles is so much fun if you’ve got kids, like mine, obsessed with wordplay and homophones. (Not the same as homonyms as I recently realized. Oops.) In other words, phrases or words that sound the same but mean different things like…well, I Scream/ Ice Cream. Heroes/He Rows. Or Pants Knees/Pant…Sneeze. Each set of wordles comes to life with wonderful, evocative illustrations by Serge Bloch, some of which incorporate woodcut illustrations or actual photos for an extra...

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A strong girl fairy tale when you need an alternative to Cinderella

We’ve always loved going on a “literary journey” from the comfort of our couch by reading stories from other countries. Next stop? Tehran’s traditional story about a girl and a mean stepmother, though it’s definitely not the story you’ve heard before. The Girl With a Brave Heart, from Tehran-born Israeli singer Rita Jahanforuz, had me thinking “Cinderella” at the start, but rather than being “saved” by a shoe and a prince, this heroine has a much more satisfying lesson for my two girls to hear. Shiraz is a little girl who spends her days indoors cooking and cleaning without...

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Tickled pink: a wordless and wonderful picture book

Although I’m a passionate lover of words, I’m in love with this gorgeously illustrated picture book for kids that tells an entire story about friendship, acceptance, and beauty. . . without a single word. Flora and the Flamingo is pure delight for the young (and young-at-heart.) Even if your kids don’t typically adore all-things-pink, or don’t have a yearning to be a ballerina, you’ll find that this book is so much more than that. The story shows little Flora beside a tall, proud flamingo. She immediately tries to copy his poses, until the cheeky bird squawks at her, which...

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Wonderful new personalized books for kids: If it’s in print, it must be true…I love you!

Did you know that it only takes three little words to fill an entire book? At least in this case. We have long been fans of Paper Hat Press and their groovy personalized books for kids, but it’s their latest and greatest that has us head over heels. The I Love You personalized book is a very sweet love story gorgeously illustrated by the super talented Paper Hat Press designer Micha Player. The book is meant to be a declaration of love from parent/grandparent/caregiver to child, but what will really make it the new favorite read is the detail that the clever...

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Taro Gomi gets back to baby board books. Yay for your baby!

If you’re not yet smitten with Japanese illustrator and all-around genius (says us) Taro Gomi, then it’s high time. Best known for the breakout hit Everyone Poops, soon followed by his wonderful open-ended Scribbles coloring book for older kids and then, oh, about 350 other titles, he’s now starting to build a little baby board book empire, including this fun new title. Taro Gomi’s Mommy! Mommy! is a fabulous addition to a baby’s beginner library, when you can’t handle one more copy of Goodnight Moon and I Love You This Much. As with the popular Are You My Mother? here...

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Honoring Black History Month with poetry

In honor of Black History Month, I’ve started sharing a beautifully illustrated new book with my kids that introduces them to 200 years of poetry from some of the most influential African-American poets. Even more than a history book, these words will paint a picture in their minds of a time in the not-so-distant-past when their own friends would not have been allowed to share an ice cream at the restaurant or ride bikes down the street. The latest in the Poetry for Young People series, their collection African American Poetry includes over 30 poems from household names like...

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A book to help kids look at the Presidents in a whole new way

My kids can remember who was the first president, who ended slavery, and who was president during the Great Depression. But there are so many other great stories and interesting personality quirks about these leaders of our nation; the challenge is how to remember some of them.  I’m delighted to have found a unique picture book about some of our presidents by illustrator Hanoch Piven, whose Faces I Make app is among our favorites. And I think his presidential portraits will be ones your kids will be staring at for a good long time.  What Presidents Are Made Of includes 18 “portraits” of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Nixon, and Obama, among others. But unlike every other portrait I’ve ever seen, in this book, each president’s face is created of paint with three-dimensional objects affixed to fill in the features in sort of a visual mnemonic about their lives. Kids will remember not only President Carter’s past as a peanut farmer–his nose is a peanut–but the ladder for his mouth will remind them of his work for Habitat for Humanity. President Nixon’s face is created of tape recorder parts, an obvious nod to the Watergate scandal. And George Washington is shown in a fireman’s suit, racing to put out a fire, something he really did at the age of 67. With only 18 presidents represented, there are obviously far more that...

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Thumb doodling: May the Creative Force be with you and your kids

Luke has the Force and a lightsaber. Your kid has fingers and some ink. And now they can rule the universe together…or at least make some cool art. The Star Wars Thumb Doodles book from Klutz is exactly what it sounds like. The kit includes four ink pads, a black marker, and a dual-color tipped pencil that looks like a lightsaber. Kids can follow the simple step-by-step directions right on the page to produce oodles of doodles of Star Wars characters. Ewoks, Wookiees, Jedi, aliens, and Jabba are all on the list, and there’s plenty of room in the...

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The coolest gifts for Year of the Snake babies

Happy Chinese New Year, mamas! I have to admit that I’ve always loved the Chinese Zodiac and it’s not just because I’m Chinese American. There’s just such a fascinating history behind each of the animal signs and what they mean. Now if you’ve got a little Year of the Snake baby or are expecting one, here are some wonderful gifts to help celebrate. Kung Hei Fat Choi! I’ve been a long time fan of Tree by Kerri Lee, whose Chinese Zodiac gifts, like the Birth Year Blocks, are simply gorgeous. We received one of her birth year wooden music boxes for our youngest and...

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A new kids’ book that’s a real page-turner

I love the fact that my kids can carry around dozens of their favorite books on one compact tablet instead of lugging around a giant backpack. But, we still find it so satisfying to snuggle on the couch and share an actual storybook together, with pages to turn and no screen to tap for “special effects.” So check out this new picture book that is such a fun page-turner, I think it’ll make kids really appreciate how cool a paper book can be. Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier isn’t just one book, but actually a bunch of little...

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