Tag: books for kids

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Family road trip tips: Tons of sanity-savers, tricks, and essential products to keep the back seat under control and save your vacation.

A lot of us are heading out for family vacations this month, and while a lot of parents consider a long car road trip with the kids the seventh circle of hell, I like to think of it as…a character building experience. But as tired as I get of hearing, “How much longer?” I’m sure it’s less fun for my kids, who are squished together in the back seat on a seemingly endless journey. When we took a 16-hour road trip (each way) with a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old, I had plenty of time to discover what works and what doesn’t. And after talking...

Read More

2 cool new coloring books to inspire creativity in older kids

I never think we can have enough coloring books around the house–or stashed in the travel bags for road trips and plane rides. As much as I love handing my kids plain sheets of paper for open-ended creativity, there’s something about coloring in the lines and having a jumping-off point for coloring that’s still really engaging for them. So I love that there are two new coloring books out for older kids too, that make really thoughtful, affordable gifts under $10. Especially because both were written by independent artists we know and love.   Coloring Animal Mandalas, by Wendy Piersall is a pretty awesome take on...

Read More

The best teacher gift ideas from people who know: actual teachers.

We are always on the lookout for the best teacher gift ideas every year, and it may in fact be one of the top gift questions we get from readers every year about this time. (Then again in May.) And hey, I get it; if there are any people on my holiday shopping list that I’m most grateful for, it’s my kids’ teachers. They’re with my kids all day every day, and go above and beyond the job description, from purchasing supplies for the classroom from their own wallets to sending personal emails and notes home to let me know how my kids are doing....

Read More

8 fun Hanukkah gift ideas for kids, one for every night. Shopping done!

Compared to last year (holy Thanksgivukkah!), it may seem like we have tons of time to prep for Hanukkah, but I have a feeling that the time will fly. Quickly. Before we know it, we’ll be on the hook for eight crazy nights of festivities and, probably Hanukkah gifts for your kids, too. Of course, all of the toys and gifts in this year’s Cool Mom Picks gift guide make great options, especially our ideas for Baby’s First Hanukkah if you have a new baby or toddler. But for older kids, I’ve tracked down these great Hanukkah gifts for kids...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

10 tips to make reading fun for young kids: Turn your preschooler into a serious book lover.

There’s nothing quite like seeing your child pick up a book and read it to himself for the first time. And even though we’ve been known to tell our kids to putdownthatbookrightnow! when we’re trying to get them out the door for school, we secretly love that kind of reading obsession. Even if your kid isn’t paging through Moby Dick—or even Mo Willems—yet, you can foster that love of learning early. So on behalf of our newest partner P’kolino, a company we’ve loved and supported for ages, we’ve put together some of our top tips to help make reading fun, so your pre-reader will be on her...

Read More

Trend alert: Snow Leopards. They’re everywhere.

This time last year, our kids were all about foxes, probably because The Song That Will Not Be Mentioned was playing on repeat in our homes. While woodland animals are still a favorite with my kids, I’m noticing one animal obsession rising above the rest—snow leopards. My kids see them as cuddly cats with cool fur, so I don’t blame them for ooh-ing at some of the fun snow leopard fashion we’re seeing around our local boutiques.     You’ll find the Schneelepoard Graphic Tee from Tea Collection in their boys department, but that’s not going to stop our girls from pairing it with black leggings and...

Read More

Mo Willems wall decals are here! (A.K.A. Don’t let the pigeon get his hands on the dry erase markers.)

Beloved children’s author and illustrator, Mo Willems, has been providing my kids and me with bedtime guffaws (seriously, it’s way beyond just a little tittering) since, well, since forever. So I can only imagine the kind of silliness that would ensue if we got one of the five new sets of  Mo Willems wall decals he’s created for Blik. Everyone’s favorite dejected pigeon is ready to up the bedtime ante with these hilarious wall decals that smartly include a few blank dry-erase speech bubbles so that kids (and parents, don’t forget the parents) can create wall-sized Pigeon stories of their own....

Read More

Sponsored post: Personalized books starring your child. And another favorite star.

This is a sponsored message from Peppa Pig and Me As any kid can tell you, the only thing better than reading a book about one of their favorite cartoon characters is being in a book with one of their favorite cartoon characters. Now, there’s a cool new way to make that happen. Personalized Peppa Pig books allow you to put your favorite child in a Peppa Pig story–not just their names, but their actual image. Can you think of  anything more likely to make a kid want to read a book over and over? – Don’t miss a special discount for Cool Mom Picks readers below – Choose from a selection...

Read More

A Halloween story so spooky it might even give mom and dad the creeps.

As a kid who saw creatures in my bedroom shadows at night, I always identified with the protagonist of Bedtime for Frances, who saw monsters in her bathrobe and had all kinds of other excuses for not going to bed. The new scary story for Halloween that’s sending shivers up my spine, even as an adult, is What There Is Before There Is Anything There by Argentinian author/illustrator Liniers. It’s bedtime, and the young boy in the story sees strange creatures descending into his bedroom when he turns out the light. Unlike some other kids’ books, you actually see the creatures–not just dark imaginings. Spooky. Then, in a seriously creepy...

Read More

A creative activity book that could make a future Duchamps or Dali out of your kid.

A few years ago, we fell in love with artist Marion Deuchars’ smart, fun activity book Let’s Make Some Great Art, which teaches kids about twelve great masters and encourages them to imitate their styles all over the pages. I’m thrilled to find a follow-up book for kids, Draw Paint Print Like the Great Artists, with more than 200 pages of creative inspiration for kids to absorb–and, best of all, draw, paint, or print all over. What makes this Marion Deuchars book so inviting is that it doesn’t look like a stuffy art manual, a boring composition book, or even an art workbook. In...

Read More

Little Humans: The photography book about little kids doing big things.

Whenever I’m scrolling through Facebook updates, I can’t help but stop and read photographer Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York photo feed. He has an incredible talent for capturing interesting portraits and poignant quotes about life from his subjects. You’ve got to check him out if you haven’t already. So I nearly jumped out of my seat at the chance to share his work with my kids when I saw he was releasing a book on his tiniest subjects, Little Humans.  This photographic book is more than just a coffee table book; it features those street photos we love, but this time the...

Read More

5 of our favorite cool tech picks you don’t want to miss this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular cool tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this past week. Enjoy!   1. Our review of the new Minecraft books you might be seeing at your kids’ Scholastic book fairs. 2. 10 cool things Siri can do for you, including making your life a whole lot easier. 3. We rounded up 30 of the coolest iPhone 6 and 6 plus cases. And we want them all. 4. You’ve got to see the amazing digital art from these design students. 5. A hot tablet clutch purse to add...

Read More

Need a Hunger Games alternative for your tweens to read? Find an unlikely heroine in The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee

The lead character in Barry Jonsberg’s excellent new book for tweens, The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee, isn’t as strong as Katniss in The Hunger Games or as fearless as Divergent’s Tris, but Candice Phee is still my new favorite literary heroine. And the quest she goes on to save her family is as noble and enjoyable to read as those more action-packed books that have captured so many girls’ imaginations lately. If your tweens aren’t quite ready for the intensity of those other books, but are looking for something new to read before bed, that will make them scream “just one more chapter, Mom?” from their rooms, then this is...

Read More

Web Coolness: The Portlandia cookbook, how to get the most for your old iPhone, and tips for taming after-school clutter

Here’s what we found on the Internet this week. Hope you like them too.   We can’t wait to get our hands on the upcoming Portlandia cookbook! (via Laughing Squid) This travel guide for chocolate lovers has us drooling. We can’t believe our friend, fellow blogger and former Cool Mom Picks contributor Rebecca Woolf’s twins have turned three. Her birthday post to them is lovely. 9 questions moms are tired of answering, from our own Nicole Blades. Get the very most money for your old iPhone (as in $200 for an iPhone 4!). How fun are these DIY headboards for kids? A helpful...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest