Category: Books for Kids

A book with illustrations worthy of Dr. King’s most famous speech

Yes, having a day off from school is exciting for the kids, but on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I’d also like for them to reflect upon the reason they are getting a day away from lessons. And even though they are old enough to have heard Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech a few times, there is a new book that brings it to life with such compelling illustrations, I don’t think they’ll mind cracking a book today. The recently released I Have a Dream book and CD take the unforgettable words of Martin Luther King Jr. and make...

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What Does the President Look Like? A book to help make history cool.

With the Inauguration coming up, a lot of us will be watching and following the day’s events on TV. That also means a lot of questions from curious kids about…well, all kinds of things. There are a lot of books that talk about politics for kids, but my own girls have been enjoying What Does the President Look Like?, an original book that describes presidential history through the lens (no pun intended) of media and technology through the years. Author and political historian Jane Hampton Cook’s premise is that while we’re all familiar with President Obama’s face from TV...

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Baby board books that show love from all parents, not just mommies.

Illustrator Lorena Siminovich of Petit Collage is one of those artists who just keeps producing lovely things. From her line of nursery decor to flash cards to adorable dolls, count us as ongoing fans. And now she’s giving us two more reasons, with two new baby board books that will be terrific additions to that starter library. You Are My Baby: Farm and You Are My Baby: Safari are as great for manipulation and motor skills as they are for those little eyes and ears. The prose is a simple, repetitive story that matches parent to child; things like You swim in the...

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Delightful dinosaur board books for budding paleontologists

Perfect prezzie alert: At some point (usually during the Late Toddler/Early Preschool Era), most kids go through a fascination with the creatures of the Mesozoic Era, otherwise known as dinosaurs. If you have a toddler who adores all things Large, Scaly, and Extinct, you’ve got to check out this set of board books that bring dinosaurs back to teach kiddos a thing or two. These four bright and colorful board books feature a wide range of rainbow-hued dinosaurs covering everything from the alphabet to numbers. Sure, their colors may not be historically accurate, but it makes for great visuals...

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Great gift books for every little reader on your holiday list, because we still think they make the best gifts of all

Even in the sea of toys piled high under our Christmas tree, my kids are always excited to receive books as holiday gifts. Always. And I admit, I’m pretty happy too. They’re gifts that all my kids will enjoy at one time or another, and perhaps even their kids too. We’ve loved the mom-founded publisher Barefoot Books ever since we first featured them on Cool Mom Picks many, many years ago, so how exciting that they’re our newest sponsor! We’ve gone through their catalog to pick out some of our favorite gift book sets that you can still get...

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A Santa-approved personalized book: The Mouse Who Saved Christmas

Ready or not, mamas, the holiday season is on us. Here’s a good way to get a jump on Christmas morning: an adorably customized book with your kid as a main character–and a major part of the plotline. ‘Twas the Mouse who Saved Christmas  is a sweet and welcome entry into the your-kid’s-name-here category of gifts. Occasionally, personalized kids’ books seem to have pretty random placements of your child’s name in the text. But the creators of this book incorporate your child’s name in a thoughtful and unique way, making your little one a truly central character in the...

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Custom books for kids from Chronicle Books. We like it when they get personal.

Search our archives and past gift guides for the publisher Chronicle Books, and it’s pretty obvious we’ve been big fans of many of their printed products, from the helpful Chore Board chore chart, to the sweetest tooth fairy keepsake book, and loads of other titles in between. Now, just in time for the holidays, they have added personalization to some of their titles, which makes them an even more special book to gift or receive. {Keep reading for a big limited time discount AND a chance to win a free personalized book!} Of the new books in Chronicle’s personalized section, my...

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Brand-new inspiration for your LEGO lovers

Chances are, if there is a new LEGO anything, my kiddos have heard about it. But buying a new LEGO set every time they want one (read: always) can get expensive. So how do you inspire your kids to keep building with the pieces that they already own? Fortunately, that’s where an excellent new book comes in, with novel step-by-step ideas–and big-time inspiration–for the kids’ old LEGO stash. Nice. Meet The LEGO Adventure Book, a brick-by-brick guide to building cars, castles and more–with pieces you already own. I’m a visual learner, and written directions usually intimidate me. But this guide...

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Why your little one should see this book before a trip to the eye doctor

My daughter was a bit nervous before her first trip to the eye doctor, especially since she knew there was a good chance she’d need reading glasses. Fortunately it wasn’t a scary visit, and she loves her cool new fuchsia frames, but I wish Arlo had been around back then to demystify the entire process a bit. In the adorable pop-up, interactive board book Arlo Needs Glasses, Arlo the pooch finds he can’t see his beloved ball very well anymore. And while the story is fairly predictable–Arlo goes to the eye doctor, gets glasses, and gets his vision back–the...

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Ghost stories. Ooooooooo!

My tween is finally beyond the check-under-the-bed-for-monsters stage, and is now onto reading scary stories “for fun.” So once she hangs up her Halloween trick-or-treat bag for the night, I know she’ll enjoy digging into this smart and spooky guide that deals with all of those things that go bump in the night.  The Girls’ Ghost Hunting Guide may look sweet and light—that ghost has eyelashes!—but don’t let the cover fool you. The content in this little guide is packed with loads of information for those interested in the paranormal. And some of it is spooky enough that I...

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Book log for kids? Reader Q&A

Do you have a recommendation for a good “Books I’ve Read” journal or notebook for kids? -Suzanne, via Facebook Book logs or journals are a great way to give kids tangible pride in all the reading they’ve done, as well as a place to look back to remember some of their favorite titles. Keep reading for some of my favorite options for helping kids keep track of the books they’ve read. –Christina I love The Bookworm Journal for younger kids because it offers a nice, simple format to record the books they’ve read. Kids are also encouraged to tear...

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Count us in: BabyLit scores with a spooky number book

Jennifer Adams and Allison Oliver hooked us with their beautiful BabyLit counting and color board books based on classic literature like Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre. They’ve done it again–this time, with a counting Count Dracula. Little Master Stoker’s Dracula is a very different counting count, spookier than the snuggly number-maestro of Sesame Street, and perfect for Halloween. Just a little bit dark (think semisweet chocolate), and just as modern and pretty as the other books in the BabyLit family, Dracula uses imagery from Bram Stoker’s original Dracula tale to teach counting from one to ten. The illustrations are atmospheric and...

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The terrible tale of a trick-or-treater’s worst nightmare: no candy!

Of all the scary things my kids might face on Halloween night, one thing looms most terrifying in their minds: the prospect of trick-or-treating at homes with no candy left to give. (Yes, First World Problems, I know.) Which is why this little Halloween tale is a true horror story to their young minds.  The Trick or Freaks is a clever, independently printed little rhyming story with a mystery built into it: Who has taken all the Halloween candy?  No, it’s not exactly Hitchcock, but hey, it’s just about as dark a story as I dare to read to...

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A creative approach to help kids coping with childhood asthma

I developed asthma as an adult. So I can only imagine how scary it is for a young child to have to deal with the coughing, wheezing, and breathlessness that comes with the disease. Not to mention the fear of being “different” from all your friends when you’re reaching for an inhaler in class or before soccer practice.  The good news? Kids can breathe easier now, thanks to one Australian company that’s taking a creative, colorful approach to helping kids with asthma to stay medicated–and healthy. Asthma Peeps’ unique line of asthma-management products were developed by one family who wanted...

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Give your kids a passport to faraway lands with Hartlyn Kids’ new series of books

Though my kids are mildly amused by the stories of my youth (what do you mean, there was no internet?), they are much more fascinated by stories about kids from faraway lands. So I’m excited to find a new series of globe-trotting books that offers my kids a glimpse of life outside of our suburban town. With two books published so far by two-mom team Christine and Aisha, Hartlyn Kids is on its way to creating an entire series about kids from all over the world. What I especially love about The Bamboo Dance and Adventures that Lead to...

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The Little Book of Hindu Deities: a beautifully illustrated guide

These days, there’s so much intolerance in the world, it’s dismaying. As a mom, I try to counteract the negative messages out there by teaching my kids to celebrate diversity, and by taking time as a family to learn about cultures and religions different from ours. So I’m smitten with this beautiful, gentle, and respectful introduction to Hindu beliefs. The Little Book of Hindu Deities is a labor of love by Pixar illustrator Sanjay Patel, who was inspired by the art of Japanese animation and the rich tales of Hindu gods and goddesses. Each lively illustration is accompanied by a...

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Ding, dong, the witch is read: nifty 3D bookmarks

Book lovers, we’ve come across some major cuteness for you. We think you and your Munchkins are going to go (winged) ape for these adorable 3D bookmarks. And if you’re not into The Wizard of Oz, they come in several other shapes, including pirates, zombies, and Louboutins…oh my! From the Wicked Witch’s stripey socks to Dorothy’s demurely folded socks and famous ruby slippers, MyBOOKmark on Etsy offers dozens of unique and clever three-dimensional bookmarks for bibliophiles with a sense of humor. Each pair of legs pokes two inches or so out of your book. They’re hand-crafted of polymer clay, painted,...

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Don’t you worry about a thing

While we’re big supporters of all the cool kids’ music out there, there’s so much great adult music that kids love too. And no, not just the Beatles. So I’m really happy to see one of my kids’ favorite “grown-up” songs has been turned into a joyful, colorful, exuberant children’s book that brings the timeless lyrics to life. Admit it: you sang Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds to your kids when they were babies like I did, right? If so, you’ll instantly fall for the children’s book Every Little Thing, which has been adapted by his daughter Cedella Marley...

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Wumbers is gr8 for beginner readers

I still remember how much hard work it was for my kids to learn to read, with all the painfully slow sounding-out of words one-by-one. It sometimes seems that kids are so busy trying to figure out what the letters say that they can’t even concentrate on the story. Want to spice up their learning-to-read time and make things a lot more fun? Check out this latest book from Amy Krouse Rosenthal that is part book, part game, and totally clever. Wumbers, by the author of our favorite Duck! Rabbit!, among others, uses words cre8ed by numbers, making it a brain-teaser...

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Augie to Zebra: a fab alphabet book from a favorite duo

It makes perfect sense that Caspar Babypants, the kindie music favorite whose song titles include My Flea Has Dogs and Stompy the Bear, would create an alphabet book with prose way beyond A is for Apple. But what really makes this picture book a must-have for any beginning reader in your life is the unusual creative collaboration of the author and the popular artist he convinced to create the gorgeous illustrations in Augie to Zebra. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that hard to convince the excellent Kate Endle to illustrate the book, considering she and Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants) are a husband-wife...

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This book belongs to…

With school starting soon–or for some it’s already started–books are being bought and soon, books will be lost. There’s nothing like a “this book belongs to…” label to make sure that the rightful owner remains the rightful owner. Especially when that rightful owner is your own child. You can find the cutest (and I mean cutest) personalized book labels at TinyMe.com, the same website with those great Olympics printables we loved.  With more than 50 different styles and lots of colors to choose from for each style, the possibilities are endless. And fun.                                This vintage style, also seen...

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Satisfy your Olympic longing for London with 4 great children’s books

One of my very favorite things about the just-finished London Olympics was seeing all the gorgeous footage of the city itself. It’s made me even more determined to get my kids over to see Big Ben, London Bridge and their picturesque city-mates in person.  So while the Olympics have left town, I’ve rounded up a few children’s books about the city of London that will keep the sights alive in our minds. –Christina  Sure to elicit plenty of oooo’s and ahhhhh’s, Jennie Maizels’ stunning Pop-Up London combines plenty of amazingly detailed 3D designs with information about the city’s landmarks. My...

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In tribute to Sally Ride and all the brave women of tomorrow

Sally Ride was the first woman in space, and saying that the space she’s left behind is hard to fill is an understatement. But we’ve found a beautiful kids’ book to help your little girl dream big, just like Sally. My Name Is Not Isabella, written by Jennifer Fosberry and illustrated by Mike Litwin, tells the story of a little girl named Isabella imaging herself as great women of history. From Sally Ride to Rosa Parks and Marie Curie to…Mommy, Isabella discovers that she possesses the same strength of spirit as the women who changed the world.  When we opened...

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Read your veggies.

It seems a lot of baby toys are awfully loud these days. They light up, crinkle, beep and blast music, so sometimes its nice to just have some low-key playthings to appease our easily overstimulated little ones. These quiet handmade soft books from Cutiful Baby and artist Vanessa Giguere are a perfect example of what I am talking about. Vanessa, a fashion industry gal, started making fabric toys for her daughter while on maternity leave and soon found herself taking orders from friends and family, and we can see why. For a household dabbling in vegetarian living, I especially adore these handmade fruit and...

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Mermaids are alive, well, and living in Coney Island

This past month, New York celebrated the 30th annual Mermaid Parade. For those of you not familiar, hoo boy . . . where to start. Well, maybe this gorgeous children’s book that will charm all mermaid wannabes, regardless of age. Or sex. Once a year when vacation starts I march in a parade to celebrate the opening of the ocean during the summer solstice… Thus begins Melanie Hope Greenberg’s Mermaids on Parade, a wonderful tribute to the most lively, most exuberant, most exciting parade of joy and craziness probably anywhere. It tells the story through the eyes of a...

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4 awesome kids’ books about food, with recipes that make them even better

Pairing food and wine is an art. Pairing food and music is a new trend. Pairing food with a good food book: It’s one of the best ways to get kids excited about eating–even foods that they’re not normally excited about eating. In honor of the bounty of summer, I’ve gathered a collection of books about farm-fresh fruits and veggies for my kids. Check out four of my favorite picks and, if you really want to rev up your little one’s appetite, pair your summer reading with a fresh and easy recipe. Suggested pairings included, of course! -Stacie Blueberries...

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An alphabet book for your little road warrior

The very first word my son ever spelled was S-T-O-P, which is not surprising given how many hours he spent accompanying his older sisters to their many activities. If you also have a little road warrior who’s more interested in street signs than a DVD player, you’ll want to take this unique new alphabet book out for a spin.< Backseat A-B-See is a simple ABC book for beginner readers or kids who just like looking at the bold graphics, and then exclaiming when they see the same signs whizzing by the windows. Street sign graphics really pop as they...

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Two adorable Kokeshi dolls that are made to be read

As much as my kids and I love Japanese Kokeshi dolls, I can’t bring myself to let another collection into the house, what with all the stuffed animals and favorite rocks already displayed around my girls’ room.  But, I’ve found a way to combine Kokeshi cute with another collection I can totally get behind: Books! And, trust me, these adorable stories are just as sweet as a shelf full of dolls. Chronicle Books’ two new stories, Yumi and Aoki, follow the “day in the life” of two Kokeshi–little Japanese wooden dolls. What I love about the titles is that...

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123’s with Orla Kiely

London designer Orla Kiely has had me under her spell for a few years now. I have always found her patterns and designs bursting with life, color, energy and a wonderful sense of playfulness. Orla has shown her love to mommies before with her gorgeous line of diaper bags. Now, she has gone even further catering to our little ones with her two new baby books. Orla Kiely’s Colors and Orla Kiely’s Numbers are board books featuring Orla’s signature shapes and patterns–stems, flowers, cars, pears and beyond.  The books are rewarding to fans and are delight to the child’s...

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The perfect book for a new big sister (lucky thing)

We get a lot of requests for books for kids about to welcome a new sibling into the family. Some of the better known titles are pretty sappy, which isn’t such a bad thing, but I never really liked the stories about how perfect it is to have a baby around. I’d imagine that if your kid is older than about two, they see right through that. Instead, take a look at the new Chloe, Instead, written and illustrated by Micah Player. It’s a vibrantly colorful, gorgeously illustrated story; not surprising considering his past as a designer at Paul...

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