When my kids were little, their book collections were small and manageable. But as they grew, so did the mounds of books. It wasn’t long before their libraries turned into massive piles that made it challenging to find the one book they needed right-this-very-second. Sound familiar? But there are so many creative solutions for getting your kids’ books off the floor. I love these 5 easy DIY kids’ books organization ideas because they can easily be pulled off in less than a weekend — like, say, when you’re snowed in? Related: Storage solutions for kids’ artwork (goodbye, clutter!) 1. Repurpose kitchenware. A little sandpaper and white spray paint is all The Sweetest...Read More
Well, this isn’t something we get to share everyday: A new, never-before-published Mark Twain story will be released this fall. (Can you hear us cheering from here?) The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is a fairy tale that Twain left unfinished, but Philip Stead and Erin Stead, the brilliant Caldecott-winning duo behind A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Lenny and Lucy, have stepped in to finish the story and illustrate it beautifully. We couldn’t be more excited. Related: 9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy Related: This new book for girls has us shouting, WOW! Twain...Read More
It’s safe to say that during Black History Month in particular, our children are learning all about our nation’s great civil rights leaders, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass. But, if you’ve seen (or, heck, even heard about) the film Hidden Figures, it’s been an awakening for a lot of parents and educators that there are so many more African-American pioneers who deserve the spotlight too. Even my mother-in-law, an 83-year-old Black woman, had never heard of Katherine Goble Johnson, Mary Jackson, or Dorothy Vaughan — the brilliant women who were instrumental in helping launch the first U.S. astronaut into orbit. Thankfully, that’s...Read More
This week, I am under the impression, for some reason, that lots of folks are searching for information on Frederick Douglass: Who was Frederick Douglass? What did he do that was so important? How did he earn a place in the new Smithsonian African-American history museum? If you’re a parent or educator, this is a good opportunity to rush to your local library, Amazon, or your local bookstore. Then check out the brand new biography picture book, Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History, by the late Walter Dean Myers. Related: 10 outstanding Black History Month books for kids of all...Read More
My kids love checking in with the news to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow every year on Groundhog Day (SPOILER ALERT: there will be six more weeks of winter this year), and so the new book A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Appelhans is one we just had to check out. It’s fun for Groundhog Day, but any other day of the year too, because even though it features a groundhog, it’s most definitely not about Groundhog Day. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The best lists of the best children’s books of 2016, all in...Read More
Today marks not only the beginning of Black History Month, but the birthday of the beloved, brilliant, prescient poet Langston Hughes, who would have been 114 today. As with all essential writers throughout history, his words live on long past his death in 1967. In fact, so many Langston Hughes quotes, thoughts and lines from his poetry are as relevant today as they ever were. One of the things I like to do with my kids from time to time, is read them a quote then discuss it. It’s actually amazing how kids even as young as four or five can have some basic...Read More
9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy.
I’m a child of an immigrant. And so I jumped at the chance to put together a list of some of my favorite children’s books about the immigrant experience. I know first-hand just how difficult it is for someone to get to America for a better life and work toward citizenship, let alone having to leave their homeland, family members, and the only life they’ve known behind, sometimes forever. With immigration a big topic in our country right now, our children are hearing about these issues too. They have so many questions, whether they’re watching the news with you, discussing it in...Read More
Congrats to the 2017 Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King medal winners. They are truly award-worthy!
Today, there’s excitement about the Oscar nominations, but yesterday was the Academy Awards for book lovers. The ALA made its big announcement of the books worthy of the annual Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King medal winners, as well as many other notable awards, for children’s lit and young adult books. We are really excited to see that some of our very own recommendations have been honored. They truly deserve it. Related: 18 best children’s books of 2016 | Editors’ Best of 2016 CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate Awarded the 2017 John Newbery Medal The prize given for the most outstanding contribution to...Read More
Often, some of the very best children’s books are the ones inspired by a writer’s own child (like Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny). These books tend to be favorites among kids and parents alike because they come from a place of authenticity. Which is why I think families will love Andrea Beaty’s trio of STEM-inspired picture books, which was created from the author’s personal experience with her young son who would build things, anything, from random things. The series isn’t new; in fact, the first book published a decade ago. But she continues to add to the series every few years, which is a big...Read More
When it comes to imaginative stories and tales, my kids have always been somewhat confused by what’s real and what’s make-believe. This is especially true of anything Star Wars (“Did his hand really come off?”), Harry Potter (“Do house elves really exist?”), and fairy tales (“Can someone really have hair that long?”). But now, they’ll get the Yes-es they’ve been looking for. And it will surely blow their minds. Related: Girl power! Empowering books for girls In Queen Girls stories, the heroes don’t wait for a magical kiss from a handsome prince, or a swift flick of the wand from a fairy godmother who can quick-fix their...Read More
An excellent list of MLK books, videos and resources to help kids understand the reason for the holiday.
Over the years, we’ve put together so many fantastic ways to help honor the important, impactful work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., especially to help families be able to discuss how we might all carry on his legacy. We hope you’ll check out these books, videos, websites, craft ideas and activities, with the hope that more of our kids are inspired do their own part to create a world filled with peace, equality and justice for all. 4 Fantastic Books for Kids about Martin Luther King to Help Educate While You Celebrate Here’s his entire I Have a Dream...Read More
As we approach MLK Day, we’re thinking it’s the perfect time to get our kids learning about activism and about how one man, through his peaceful and steadfast fight for equal rights for all, made lasting changes and a huge impact on generations. Inspired by his words — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — and motivated by his actions, we’ve put together a list of 10 children’s books about activism that we think will inspire our kids, in turn. From stories our littlest readers will enjoy to non-fiction books that motivate our older kids to take action about those things they believe in, we...Read More
Yep, I’m one of those suckers who dives head-first into the self-help section every January. Not only because I actually have a few days of leisure to read as long as I wish, but also because the cold, dreary weather makes me want to hit my reset button and make a little sunshine of my own. Here are some of my favorite self-help books that focus on laughs, positive steps, good health, loving yourself, and focusing on the things you can actually control. No impossible goals, fasting, six-hour workouts, tough love, or house-wide decluttering. Promise. CMP is an rstyle affiliate...Read More
When you’ve been the littlest in your family your whole entire life, but things are about to get real because a new sibling comes along, you need the book Little Big Girl by Claire Keane. This sweet story about a little girl growing up and getting bigger and bigger (sniff) has captured the imagination and attention of my three kids, as they’re planning to welcome a new little sister very soon. If you’re looking for a sweet gift to help your child transition to having a new younger sibling, this is it. Related: The ultimate new-baby sibling gift In Little Big Girl, Matisse (the real name of author Claire...Read More
Once again, we’re happy to have compiled the best lists of all the best children’s books of the year, curated by the top publishers, reviewers, organizations, and bloggers we respect. And boy, was it a fantastic year for children’s literature and storybooks. You’ll surely find lots of great new discoveries from the New York Times to the American Library Association, from NPR to well-curated blogs like Brainpickings and Brightly and…well, us! So start with our own list of the best children’s books of 2016, then check out some other perspectives. We bet a few of your kids’ favorites will be on here, and you’ll surely find some new ones you’ll be excited to add to...Read More
My family has a tradition of reading Christmas books at bedtime every night during Advent. Some years, I wrap each holiday book in our collection, so they’ll be surprised which book we’re reading each night. Other years, we take turns choosing a favorite. But every year, I like to add new books to our collection. And this year is no exception. I was excited to find some new, beautifully illustrated traditional stories as well as some clever books that are quick, funny reads (perfect for those nights when we’ve been out to a holiday party way past bedtime). I’ll be adding a couple of...Read More
This is a sponsored message from Candlewick Press Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers and fine artist Sam Winston have teamed up to create a gorgeous children’s book that’s a tribute to the power of a great story — and just in time for holiday gifting. The 2016 New York Times #1 bestseller, A Child of Books, is an imaginative adventure through the world of storytelling. The two young main characters discover the magic found in books, as they explore forests of fairy tales, sneak past monsters in haunted castles, and climb mountains of make-believe — all presented to the reader with a genius visual...Read More
Looking for a cool holiday gift this season? Well, we do have 350 cool gift ideas in this year’s holiday gift guide, including a whole category of empowering gifts for girls who are going to grow up to run the world. And now here’s one for those same empowered, amazing, inspiring girls, once they’re already grown up. Prime: Reflections on Time and Beauty is a photo collection of extraordinary women by famed portrait photographer Peter Freed. While there are plenty of photo books of celebs and notable women on the shelves, what’s special about these 130 stunning black-and-white photos of women is that they’re all unretouched,...Read More
WOWsdom! The Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible is a new interactive book I found recently on Kickstarter that has one very important mission: to help raise our female leaders of tomorrow. And they’ve set out to do just that by sharing the intimate and life-changing experiences of other women and girls so that those who may not have a mentor in their lives can still find ways to connect, learn, and grow into smart, empowered women. Truly wow-worthy, in my opinion. Related: Epic tees for epic teens and tweens, designed by epic teens and tweens. Epic. WOWsdom! is the work of Generation WOW, an organization...Read More
Web coolness: Fall crafts, Thanksgiving survival, must-read book award winners, and a big viral grandma oops.
Here are some things we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. The turkey countdown has started! Here are 8 fun and easy Thanksgiving crafts for kids beyond tracing a hand to look like a turkey. Get the kids outside with these 6 adorable pinecone crafts, like the DIY ombre pinecones from Whimzeecal shown above. Love! A little help for surviving Thanksgiving for those of you dreading it this year. Thoughtful list of articles and posts about taking action and taking care of your feelings if you’re struggling post-election. SO many Thanksgiving recipes and...Read More