When I go to teacher conferences, the thing I hear the most about my son– always said with great reverence– is, Wow, he sure likes to read! I come from an entire family of readers, so this doesn’t seem odd to me… but it is odd, because boys trail girls in literacy, and often it takes extra effort to get them into a book when there are video games to be played. One mother decided to take matters into her own hands, and that’s when Book Club 4 Boys was born. Not only does her blog make recommendations on...Read More
Tag: books for kids
I’m a woman without singing ability. Also, my sense of rhythm is limited to 4/4 time. But when my daughter developed an interest in scat after hearing about it on a kids’ television show, it was time for some musical research. No need for my kid to be stunted by anything other than genes, after all. When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat, a children’s book written by former elementary school teacher Muriel Harris Weinstein and illustrated by three-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award R. Gregory Christie, is a tribute to rhythm and the great man himself. Momma...Read More
Kids and dogs go together like red and Valentines Day, which is why I think the story book Mo Smells Red is such a cute gift for your little sweetheart. Not only will preschoolers love hearing about the adventures of Mo, a real life rescued stray, they’ll get a kick out of the “Press 2 Smell” feature which makes regular old scratch-and-sniff look passe. Author Margaret Hyde and illustrator Amanda Giacomini had the good sense to make the things Mo sniffs delicious and yummy like roses and strawberries. (No, no raw liver or dried blood.) To release the smell of...Read More
My daughters draw the cutest things: Stick-figure women in triangle dresses, bulgy-eyed cats and larger-than-life flowers. Nothing could improve on what they dream up which is why I love artist Carla Sonheim’s new coloring book simply called, girls. Instead of trying to reign kids in by asking them to stay within the lines, this drawing and coloring book challenges them to stretch their imagination with whimsical illustrations of girls, fairies, animals and mermaids all surrounded by plenty of white space where anything goes. Older girls can write stories beneath the pictures, turning a charming coloring book into their own...Read More
An ABC book that actually gets kids creating their own A’s, B’s and C’s. And sometimes an alien robot.
How to Build an A is about the most fun you can have with an alphabet book. Because, just as author Sara Midda’s title says, kids can actually devote their time to creating letters out of the enclosed EVA foam pieces and not just reading about them. Midda’s charming watercolor illustrations make the book worthwhile even without the “toy” aspect, but really, that’s the appeal here. While my three-year-old can already write out all the letters (brag alert, sorry) I think seeing how a B is really like an R, or how an A can become an H with...Read More
Soft books are so great for little kids, but the content generally leaves much to be desired. I’m not even kidding: we have one where the entire book is like, Good night bunny, good night puppy, good night kitty. The end. You can imagine how psyched I am to read that one every night. Recently, a friend turned me onto an amazing Counting Stories Cloth Book that takes kids’ soft books to a new level. Think a fabric book meets Colorforms, where each beautifully embroidered page is filled with detachable felt characters and shapes that velcro back on. Kids...Read More
I picked out Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson from the library after my daughter started complaining she didn’t want to go to school again. She missed us during the day. She wasn’t sure about the bigger kids. Her teacher was on vacation. So we set out on a mission to the kids’ books section to find a good buddy story for the four-year-old set. Something about the huge bear’s terrified expression in Jane Chapman’s illustrations melted my bear-loving heart, and Karma Wilson’s rolling prose begs to be set to music. I found myself singing the story — and...Read More
I grew up with a redheaded mother and sister, so I was already accustomed to the bizarre reactions of the general public to a redheaded child by the time my own coppertop daughter came along in 2004. Not so much for author Nicole Giladi, who was stunned by her boy, as well as the reaction of the outside world to his ginger locks. For those of you who think the where the heck did THAT come from? reaction to red hair can be a bit much (oh and trust me – I do not exaggerate), Nicole has come out...Read More
As you’re looking for an inexpensive one-size-fits-all baby gift for all those friends of yours having kids this year, consider The Year of the Ox, the fourth children’s book in the wonderful Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series by Oliver Chin. Since my husband was born in the year of the ox (1973 and also 2009, for those keeping score at home), I’m familiar with the sometimes-stubborn-yet-hardworking-and-admirable quality of little Olivia the Ox. She makes a mess of everything until she saves the village from a flood with her little purple tail. It’s a fun story, but the best...Read More
This was a banner year for media, including great books for parents from some of our favorite bloggers, wonderful kids’ books, and more cool music for kids than a new parent would have ever known was out there, had the remote control gotten jammed on that Disney channel. Behold, our favorites… Kristen: Baby Loves Salsa (at top) mixes Latin sounds with new and traditional kids’ songs. My kids can’t get enough of of this spicy salsa CD. Liz: They Might Be Giants, those masters of kids’ music that parents might actually be tempted to listen to willingly when the kids...Read More
We hosted 16 relatives (seven in our house) over the long Thanksgiving weekend. My job, besides cooking some stuff, was to read to the four little children in my daughter’s room each night before bed. And each night we read The Sign of the Seahorse: A Tale of Greed and High Adventure in Two Acts. By request. Begging, and requests. And more begging. Graeme Base had me at Animalia, but this Aussie children’s book writer and illustrator just keeps getting better. Base shows his lyrical side with the writing of this tome, which is epic and rhythmic and descriptive...Read More
I do recognize that some girls on my list are all into fairies and tutus and princess tiaras, but I am still having trouble just giving in and buying some crappy marabou slippers or Cinderella wand. So I am so excited to have discovered the brand new Fairy Tree House which is a book, a playhouse, a craft kit, and an imagination builder all at once. Open up the kit and you have access to Saviour Pirotta’s charming little fairy handbook. Then turn it on its side and you’ve got a whole little 3-d fairy world to play with,...Read More
Sometimes the gift of nothing is the best gift of all. I flipped when I saw these Blank Board Books at Romp, because they give kids a blank canvas in which to make their very own literary masterpieces. The square books are made of six durable boards, plus the front and back covers, which can become anything from a holiday gift for Grandma (great for bragging rights) to a beginner’s scrapbook. Kids can use stickers, photos, markers, basically whatever “medium” they’re into, so, no matter how young your prodigy is, they can create a must read that will be...Read More
As I read my own childhood picture books to my daughter, I also read the handwritten dedication penned on the first page of most of them. To Rita, on her third birthday, from Mommy and Daddy. To Rita, from Grandma and Grandpa. But of course that was long before computers. And Photoshop. Now dedications are taken to the next level with the The Kids Personalized Book Store. The first pages of dozens of books from The Pokey Pup to Little Women can be printed with your own dedication, and what’s really cool, a photo too. Kids will flip when...Read More
Giving the gift of bibliophilia just became effortless–certainly more effortless than spelling bibliophilia. Left to my own devices, I’d pick an assortment of books for a kid and wrap it up and call it good. GiftLit definitely makes it stupendous with gift series that keep on giving. Choose 3, 6 or 12 months worth of book gifts, targeted by very specific age, gender, and even genre, all of which are recommended by a very impressive panel of selection experts. You’ll find series about animals or things that go for little ones, young adult classics, and even several series of...Read More
The first day of kindergarten is tough enough, but imagine little Yoon’s horror when a bunch of kids try to get her to stand in line with the boys because of her short hair. So starts the tale of Something for School, by Hyun Young Lee, a nice break from the same old first day of school books out there. My daughter is going to kindergarten next year, and I just feel for Yoon, who cries until she devises a solution that would make Jessica Simpson proud: A headband with fake hair attached. All five year-olds should be so...Read More
Kids books Kristen: Thanks to Taro Gomi’s Scribbles book, I’ve gotten many an uninterrupted shower and bathroom break. That’s almost priceless. Liz: Joanne Dugan’s 123-NYC counting book (at top) goes all the way up to 20 for a change. You don’t even have to be from New York to appreciate the wonderful photography of kids and dogs, manholes and bagels. Kids music Kristen and Liz: Do we have to narrow it down to one? How about two? That way we can pick new kids band The Terrible Twos (Have You Ever Seen an Owl) for amazing original kid-friendly music...Read More
New York City can teach a child any number of things. Like how to distinguish a Bangladeshi cab driver accent from a Pakistani one. Or how to learn to share toys with Uma’s daughter in the sandbox of the Bleecker Street playground. Now, NYC is also teaching children their ABCs.Read More
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