Tag: books

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. This new camera is so small you could eat it. But don’t. You know, because it’s a camera. 2. Cool interactive storybooks starring your child that actually look like your child. Wow! 3. A safe outlet that’s a must for parents. 4. Here’s a cool idea for all those Instagram photos you want to get off your phone. 5. And we’d be remiss not to mention our sadness about the passing of Robin Williams....

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We’re nuts for Eric Litwin’s Bedtime at the Nut House. (Yeah, we went there.)

I don’t know about you, but the books that get my reluctant reader the most excited are the ones that drive me nuts. You know, the ones that include a catchy little song that he can shout at bedtime, when he’s supposed to be relaxing? His most recent favorite is Bedtime at the Nut House, with just that very sort of catchy chorus. And you might recognize the style considering it was written by Eric Litwin, author of our own bookshelf staple, Pete the Cat.   What happens when Wally and Hazel Nut refuse to go to bed? Let’s just say that...

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Lovely literary pencils for your favorite young writer

Why settle for #2 pencils when these literary pencils are bound to be #1 on any bookish kid’s school supply list? Whether you’ve got a tween into Harry Potter and Ramona Quimby or a teen with a soft spot for Alice or a hankering to be Divergent, those plain yellow wood pencils on the school supply list are  yesterday’s news. Bouncing Ball Creation on Etsy hand-rolls #2 pencils with book pages to create pencils that will please the most persnickety teacher and amuse the writer. Each set includes five standard pencils, pre-sharped and ready for the first day of school,...

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Mix It Up! A wonderful, interactive book for kids. No not an e-book, an actual book.

I was instantly captivated by Hervé Tullet’s 2011 best-selling Press Here, with it’s “interactive” pages that remind us you don’t need a screen to engage a child. Now he’s back with a wonderful follow-up in Mix It Up! which is similarly playful and engaging, only this time with a focus on painting and color mixing. Each page beckons the reader to do something simple–tap a fingerprint, press down a hand and count to five, “mix” two dabs of colored paint together–and the next page shows the results with charming messages of encouragement. What’s particularly clever is the way he asks you to close...

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Wear your book on your sleeve with these awesome literary temporary tattoos from Litograph.

“Let life be merry” with gorgeous literary temporary tattoos that let you flaunt your favorite books without needles or accidental misspellings. We’re big fans of Litograph, since we first discovered their awesome literary tees. And now they’ve launched Litograph literary tattoos via a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. There are some great classics on the list, each quote made even more powerful and pretty through hip design and modern typography. Shakespeare, Jack London, Jane Austen, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (for you Sherlock fans) are all represented. The Litograph creators have even perfected their designs and technique by working with a Hollywood FX studio...

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Quest by Aaron Becker: A first look at this gorgeous new children’s book

Summer’s dragging on at our house, and my kids are ready for an adventure. I haven’t booked us a family expedition to, well, anywhere, so they’re turning to books to satisfy their cravings. For my youngest, who still prefers picture books to chapter books, that mystery and excitement is coming from the pages of Quest by Aaron Becker. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because you may have seen his first wordless picture book, the Caldecott honoree, Journey.  I’m not quite sure how he’s able to tell such a vivid story in pictures alone, but my kids are mesmerized. In Quest, a king surprises...

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The Big Book of Symptoms: How to figure out whether to panic about your kid’s rash, or go back to bed.

3 a.m. was scariest when I couldn’t tell if my child’s diarrhea or ear ache were serious or just things to wait and see about. And one of the hardest parts of being a new mom was calling the pediatrician and ending up feeling like I’d overreacted to a minor concern But we can rest a little easier now, because the new release, The Big Book of Symptoms outlines all the different kinds of issues kids can have and the right action to take, whether it’s a home remedy or the emergency room. You know how you can look up a symptom online and the results are...

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The Bear’s Song: A new bedtime book for kids that I don’t mind reading over and over.

I have a few non-negotiable criteria when I’m looking for a new bedtime book to read with my kids and The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud exceeds my expectations on all counts. This book is my kids’ and my own current favorite bedtime story. The art is reminiscent of Richard Scarry’s busy world–only more artful than cartoony–making it fascinating for the kids. They quietly listen as I read because they’re so mesmerized by the images. Plus, the book isn’t too wordy which means it’s absolutely re-readable; one of my essential requirements.  Plus the plot is adventuresome, and our favorite part is to try...

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12 favorite sloth picks to kick off Sloth Week. Yes, that’s a thing now.

They aren’t as sly as a fox, as wise as an owl, or as puffy as a hedgehog, but the unassuming sloth is poised to be the next big thing for kids, as Liz and I noticed as we toured Toy Fair earlier this year. These slow-moving, surprisingly adorable creatures even have their own week dedicated to them, with Sloth Week 2014 beginning today, June 20 so you and the kids can view online videos and sloth-related TV programming on Animal Planet all week long. (Kind of the kinder, gentler alternative to Shark Week.) If you too want to surround yourself or your kids with all things sloth,...

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It’s World Cup time, and this new soccer book for kids is a winner.

Everyone’s eyes are on World Cup soccer for the next month, and The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner, a thought-provoking and hope-filled soccer book for kids set in the waning days of South African Apartheid, is perfect for reading breaks between games. The book tells the story of Hector, a soccer-loving young Black child living in a Johannesburg township. When he travels to the wealthier “whites only” sections with his mother, he notices the stark difference between his neighborhood’s dirt-and-gravel makeshift soccer fields and the white kids’ lush green lawns. He also sadly notices how he is ignored and not invited to play by...

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Web Coolness: Last-minute Father’s Day DIY, the country’s best indie coffee shops, and hilarious kid letters from camp

Here’s what we’ve been reading around the Web this week. Hope you like them too.   A bunch of free Father’s Day printables that dad will love, from cards to gift wrap and lots more. Hurry! Our huge $900 Father’s Day giveaway ends soon!  A comment on each post = an entry! Good luck. Great read over on How to Be a Dad: 13 dads reveal their struggle. We’re so laughing at the “I’m So Pregnant” spoof. Did your favorite home away from home make this list of the best coffee shops in the country? Here’s why adults should read YA. Hilarious. Last...

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Best books for dads: 2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide

We are always fans of giving books as gifts, so we put together some of the best books for dads of all kinds as part of our 2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide. Whether the dad of the house is a book junkie like mine is, or would simply appreciate some funny bathroom reading (you know what I mean), we’ve got plenty of ideas for you. Plus, because we all adore the dads, granddads and stepdads in our lives so much, be sure to check out our massive Father’s Day giveaway below, valued at over $900, that we’ve put together from some of our very...

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Get dirty this summer with 52 cool gardening project for kids

We’ve featured some really great micro-gardening tools here over the years, like the cool Foodie Garden Kits and the Click & Grow smart herb garden which help to create gardening projects for those of you with kids, but not a lot of space for traditional sowing and planting. However if you’re ready to take it outside, be sure to take a look at Gardening Lab for Kids by Renata Fossen Brown. This fun collection of DIY activities–or gardening “experiments,” as the author calls them–ranges from building rain barrels and gardening tool boxes to making a desert terrarium or growing a tropical porch container. My kids were immediately drawn...

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The Maker Dad book: A Father’s Day gift for the DIY dad in your life

I love the idea of a father’s day gift that’s actually an experience rather than, you know, another tie (not that there aren’t some cool ties out there), and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects, a new book from Boing Boing co-founder Mark Frauenfelder. A big DIY-er himself, Mark scoured books for cool projects that he could create with his daughters, but couldn’t find just the right fit. (Maybe he hasn’t seen our Pinterest boards?) So he complied his own ideas in Maker Dad,...

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What to do about picky eaters: 4 parenting books to help you call a truce on mealtime battles

Wondering what to do about picky eaters and how to feed them can be one of the most exhausting parenting challenges. We’re responsible for feeding our kids at least three times every day (or so we’d hope), and three daily battles is three too many. When you’re ready to stop the madness, these 4 parenting books can be amazingly helpful, and hopefully one is right for you. My hope is that they help you get your child to eat what’s on the table–or at least end the power struggles when he won’t.  All are available through our affiliate Amazon, or local indie booksellers...

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The Baby Tree: May we never ever talk about storks again.

I admit, the folk tales and stork mythology stories that seek to answer “where do babies come from?” don’t appeal to me a bit. I want my kids to understand the actual facts in age appropriate ways and the right book can be perfect for that very thing. Especially if you’re feeling awkward about it yourself. So was thrilled to find just what I have been looking for–and probably a lot of you too–in the absolutely charming, wonderful, relatable The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall whose title belies the informative lesson about reproduction for young kids. A child  about to have a baby sibling sets out to...

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Beyond Baby by Meagan Francis. Your BFF for the next stages of parenthood.

We’re longtime fans of Meagan Francis of The Happiest Home here at Cool Mom Picks. Beyond Baby, her latest guide and accompanying workbook, makes another wonderful resource for parents, offering productive and calming exercises to help them make the transition from all-consuming babyhood to the next ages and stages in parenting. The lessons in Beyond Baby are geared toward small, easily digested challenges, spread out over 40 weeks and organized into five sections. Each week tackles a scenario–from the state of your home to the state of your mind–and gives you a challenge to complete. Some are fairly straightforward, like...

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The new Project Kid craft book offers ideas beyond pasta necklaces. Hallelujah.

We are starting to get really excited about summer break around my house, but I know the inevitable chorus of We’re booorrred will start up before too long. Luckily, I am armed and ready with a copy of Project Kid, the new kid craft book by Amanda Kingloff, former lifestyle director at Parents magazine. If my crew stays focused, we can probably tackle all 100 crafts in this terrific, well-curated collection of fun DIY projects. I’m debating between starting with the photo tree made from twigs and Play-Doh lids, or the rock garden made with rocks, tissue paper, and Mod Podge. Because what...

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Cool Moms agree: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

#WeNeedDiverseBooks is currently the #1 trending topic on Twitter and is taking over tumblr with user photos of people from all walks of life holding up handmade signs about why we need more diversity in literature–especially for kids. It was created as a response to a national literary convention that put together a panel of “luminaries of children’s literature” and only included white male authors. The uproar demanded more diversity in books, in authors, and in the attention given to books by and about people of color, LGBTQ, and the otherly abled. Today through May 3 (and beyond!) it’s easy...

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One Simple Change: a book of healthy living tips that actually work.

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions, but every spring you’ll find me looking to clean up in more ways than one. There’s something about the budding plants, fresh green veggies, and warming weather that inspires me to recommit to healthier living. And still riding the momentum of Earth Day this week, I’m turning to One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life, a new book of healthy living tips by naturopath Winnie Abramson, for inspiration. I’ve followed Winnie for years through her blog Healthy Green Kitchen where she shares fabulously healthy recipes, as well as...

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