Category: Books for Kids

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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BabyLit board books – Lovely little lessons with Alice and Jane

Good news, bibliophiles! Your toddlers can now enjoy Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre, and not just as teething toys. Thanks to gorgeous illustrations and clever literary touches, you might enjoy this collection of amazing board books at bedtime even more than they do. The BabyLit board books by Jennifer Adams are so fantastic that I want to keep them all for myself. Whether you’re learning colors with Alice in Wonderland or counting with Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, or Romeo & Juliet (as seen in our Baby Shower Gift Guide), the books work on a lot of levels...

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A kids’ Haggadah that’s cooler than even finding the afikomen

Last year I raved about the wonderfully creative My Haggadah, Made it Myself. This interactive coloring book meets journal meets interactive Passover Haggadah is a joy for kids about four and up, and this year, it’s been updated with professional binding and a shiny new cover. It’s not too late to grab one for your first (or second) seder if you order on Amazon, where it’s now available. I say, go for it. It’s now one of the best parts of our own Passover tradition. Find our review of of My Haggadah, Made it Myself at this link, with ordering info....

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A progressive coloring book for progressive kids

When the airport gift shop coloring book choices “for girls” range from princesses to uh, princesses (and maybe the occasional princess) I’m reminded of how easily 21st century gender stereotypes are reinforced pretty much everywhere we look. Well hooray for a coloring book that goes in the entirely opposite direction. Or more like, runs in the opposite direction, wearing sneakers and a dress, Atalanta style. The title alone, Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon, should give you a pretty good clue that this is not your ordinary coloring book. It’s all about challenging traditional gender sterotypes. Pages...

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Our favorite Dr. Seuss books – Happy birthday Theodore Geisel!

Of all the children’s books we have amassed on our collective bookshelves over the years, there are several Dr. Seuss books that my would be in the short stack of our kids’ favorite titles. We suspect the same would be true for many of us grown-ups. So in honor of both Dr. Seuss’ 108th birthday and the Read Across America campaign begun in his honor, the Cool Mom Picks contributors have each picked one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books to share. It’s interesting how a book choice says so much about the reader! We’re pretty sure you’ve got...

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A coloring book to inspire art, creativity and belly laughs

A little bit Shel Silverstein, a little bit Mo Willems, a little bit Seuss, a little bit Lemony Snicket, and a little bit Taro Gomi. If those names–especially together–sound like your idea of heaven on paper, then you’re going to love this awesome new coloring book for kids from Calef Brown. Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny (yes, Gatorbunny is one thing, not two) has the subhead Pick one, draw it, make it funny! and that should give you a good sense of why your kids will never want to put it down. This wonderfully imaginative book from the illustrator of my...

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Journey to Africa for Black History Month and beyond

Black History Month is rolling to a close, but it’s never to late to share new learning resources with your kids. Along with some great books, movies and music picks that honor African American culture and history, I have recently come upon some more terrific books and media that help expose kids of any skin color to the diversity and wonder of the continent of Africa.  –Christina We have long owned a copy of the African folk tale Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears in our home, but I love hearing James Earl Jones narrating it on the Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD version. Like...

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Honor Black History Month with We March

Every February our communities focus on a very important part of our nation’s past during Black History Month. So I’m taking a cue from our schools and continuing the discussion about civil rights at home. Our pick to get the conversations rolling with your kids: We March by Shane W. Evans. In We March, author Shane W. Evans embraces the challenge of explaining Civil Rights and the historic March on Washington to young readers. For a picture book, it is dramatic and powerful, with expressive illustrations that are so expressive that they could almost tell the story all by...

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You are my cupcake, my cutie pie, and my mushy little sweet pea

After seeing Joyce Wan’s board book, We Belong Together I am so in love with her. So of course I had to check out You Are My Cupcake, in the same series. Let’s just say it’s absolutely delicious and I want to eat it up in a major way. Each page pops with vibrant colors and sweet illustrations that are textured, giving babies a sensory experience. All of the terms of endearment are covered here–starting with “cupcake”–but with a twist. We call our babe a “sweet pea,” but in Wan’s world, she’s a “mushy little sweet pea.” Your cutie...

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How do you feel?

Sometimes it’s hard for my kids to talk about their feelings. In the heat of the moment, they find it a lot easier to cry (or let’s face it, whine) than to confront their emotions. As the child of a child psychologist, I am always on the lookout for great books to help me make my job a bit easier in that respect, and I’ve found a nice solution with this smart book and accompanying journal.  A Little Book About Feelings is eye-catching in a major way. The main characters are funky, hand-made felt creatures, like little Etsy wunderkinds....

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The perfect board book for baby’s first Valentine

If you’re looking for a ridiculously adorable Valentine for your baby too young for sweets, we’ve got just the thing. And it’s not edible. But that doesn’t mean your baby won’t try to eat it. Created by Joyce Wan, the artist behind Kiwi and Pear, We Belong Together a board book with a simple message: sometimes love is as simple as peanut butter and jelly–it’s just meant to be. It’s a soothing message that the youngest children (and their parents) will appreciate. The board book features sweetly illustrated pairs that go perfectly together like cookies and milk or marshmallows and cocoa, and...

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Pictures worth at least a thousand words

I want my kids to be book lovers, as in sneak a flashlight under the covers, beg for a nighttime story, know their way around the library kind of book lovers. So along with a sturdy bookshelf packed with favorite childhood titles and their very own library card, I love these prints that turn a storybook into something as magical as the story itself: Art. Spineless Classics takes those beloved stories like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz and uses the words to form an image from the story, like Peter Pan with Tinkerbell or...

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Close like Chopsticks

We do quite a bit of reading in our house especially now that bedtime has somehow extended to an hour. The hour mostly involves the reading and re-reading of a single book over and over and over. So I know a book has gotten a major kiddo thumbs up when it makes the evening rotation. Our newest addition? Chopsticks by New York Times best seller and CMP favorite, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Overall it’s a very cute story about the importance of friendship and independence. Similar to its predecessor Spoon, Amy’s story, accompanied by Scott Magoon’s adorable illustrations, is centered on the friendship of a...

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Cupcakes and Comics, oh my!

I love cupcakes. For me, this is no fad. They represent happiness and goodness and celebrations in every bite. But a talking cupcake? This brings my love to an entirely new level. Expect crazy fun with Sara Varon’s newest graphic novel, Bake Sale. The premise is this: Cupcake is losing his inspiration. Every new recipe he tries just doesn’t work out. When Cupcake’s friend, Eggplant, proposes a trip to Turkey, things really start to happen. I don’t want to spoil the fun, so that’s all I’m going to give you. The illustrations are super detailed and there is so...

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Meryl Streep, meet my kids’ bedtime

I love reading books out loud. They really make the stories come alive in a fun and vibrant way. But I’ll admit I’m no Meryl Streep. Know who is a Meryl Streep? Meryl Streep. And now she’s narrating one of my favorite children’s stories from one of my favorite authors in a terrific book/audio book set. Brave Irene by William Steig (of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Shrek fame) features a seriously strong broad with major willpower. That’s kind of how I see Meryl Streep too, so her voice on the companion CD that pairs with the book...

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11 of our families’ favorite holiday books, with a whole lot of surprises

One of my favorite aspects of the holidays is pulling out all our holiday books and reading together with all my kids huddled under a blanket with popcorn and hot chocolate. But even though we really only read our books once a year, I’m sort of ready to retire our same version of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and add a few new books to our collection. So, we asked our editors and contributors to share their own family’s favorite holiday books and why they love them. Here’s hoping you enjoy this list as much as I will. The...

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Your kids will be speaking three languages before you can say one, dos, trois

How often do you find yourself struggling to come up with a special holiday gift for the trilingual baby in your life? Heh. Well, look no further than the two new books from Little Pim, makers of the wonderful foreign language learning videos. And if baby isn’t trilingual yet, she will be soon. These sweet little books teach both Spanish and French in a fun, lift-the-flap-and-pull-the-tab kind of way. There are two in the series so far: Feelings and Colors. All three of my kids enjoy reading them, though I think they’re most suited to my preschooler as the...

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