Tag: books

Want your kids to love reading? You need to love reading to them.

Evidently reading to your kids is more than just reading to your kids. And seriously pedigreed educational consultant Diane W. Frankenstein explores her concept of “conversational reading” in her excellent resource, Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read. The idea is simple, and probably even common sense: Instead of just droning on, make the process interactive. So this reference guide includes specific books sorted by age, along with questions to help bring each one to life. There’s also a chapter on generic conversation starters that will work for almost any book,...

Read More

Oh! what a cool book

Browsing the Picasso Museum gift shop in Barcelona last week (I know, totally rubbing it in) I came across the most wonderful little book called Oh! by Josse Goffin. I had an idea that my two year-old wouldn’t be able to put it down and indeed, that’s just how it’s played out. Each spread has a colorful, happy, quirky illustration of one thing — say, a smiling moon — but when you open a flap it reveals the moon transforming into something totally new and wonderful and weird, like a snake holding a paddle ball racket. Each page conceptually...

Read More

What your best girlfriend would say, if she was a pediatrician

To say that I was a neurotic mess with my first baby would be an understatement; every sniffle and bruise had me wondering if I’d broken her. By the second baby, I figured I was an old hand . . . except that he was convinced he could fly and often howled for seemingly no reason. If only pediatrician Dr. Lara Zibners’ If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay had been available to me back then! I probably would’ve saved myself from a lot of angst. With a background in pediatric emergency medicine, Dr. Zibners...

Read More

And then he ate the naughty children. The end.

Pat the Bunny is the essential baby gift book for about a zillion people–including me–so it’s not surprising that it’s spawned a number of parodies. Now there’s one more to add to the list: The very funny Pat the Beastie. Henrik Drescher’s outrageous “pull and poke book” is actually a cautionary tale about being nice to pets, although kids may be too busy jiggling the beastie’s eyes or pulling out his worm boogers (seriously, ew) along with Paul and Judy to get the message. This isn’t one for kids who are easily freaked out, but my two and four...

Read More

It’s Not Me, It’s You. Or wait, maybe it is me. A little.

We’re already fans of the clever, caustic writing of author and fellow parenting blogger Stephanie Wilder-Taylor, so I figured I could give her newest book, It’s Not Me, It’s You, a good skim and craft a review. As it turns out, as each short chapter came to an end, I found myself saying, “Okay…just one more.” Not surprising considering the subtitle is Subjective Recollections from a Terminally Optimistic, Chronically Sarcastic and Occasionally Inebriated WomanThe memoir is a series of short essays about Wilder-Taylor’s life in LA before children, her quest for love, and her failed attempts to start a...

Read More

A female pirate? Ahoy.

We love Oliver Chin, author of the Tales from the Chinese Zodiac Series. In his latest book, Baltazar and the Flying Pirates, Chin teams up with illustrator (and blogger!) Justin Roth in this, um, high-flying tale of adventure and fortune. The best part? The head pirate, Captain Redlocks, is a redheaded woman. Oh yes she is. And she captains the Cutlass, the fastest ship in the skies. Because not only men can be all swarthy and adventurous and brandish swords and wear cool black eye patches. (Does anyone besides me see a hat tip to My Lady’s Cutlass, the...

Read More

The gift the kids will love to ruin

With the kids heading back to school, the birthday party circuit will be starting up again. If your kid is old enough to read, you may understand my temptation to give other kids books rather than more toys. The problem is that while their parents might love you for it, not every kid is delighted to receive a book. Except that every kid will be delighted to receive this book: Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. It’s a masterpiece manual of embracing creativity and bucking the ordinary, and entirely made to be destroyed. Really! So yes, by all means, write...

Read More

Excessively motivated parents, your owners manual has arrived

After researching my proposal for my own parenting book (Ahem, Sleep Is for the Weak, shameless plug, shameless plug) I thought I’d read every baby handbook on earth. And, I admit it, I became really jaded and snooty about them. Let’s just say there’s a lot of rehashing going on in the baby humor world and it’s hard to find a fresh perspective. The Perfect Baby Handbook: A Guide for Excessively Motivated Parents is totally different. Talented ex-Radar writer and Details creative director Dale Hrabi has produced a half graphic novel, half biting satire that had me at “competitive...

Read More

Our favorite dolls get ink

We love Melissa Conroy’s Wooberry dolls. The originals are not only designed from her child’s sketches, they’re also handmade. And beyond adorable. In a move that touches my writerly heart, the dolls have gone meta and returned to their paper-based roots in pOppy’s pants, Conroy’s first (and hopefully not only) book. Featuring pOppy and pEnelope, two of Conroy’s signature dolls, this picture book combines photography and drawings and had my daughter and me wondering just how much sewing did Melissa have to do to get this book created? I especially love the postcript by the author’s father, Pat, which...

Read More

Childrearing advice for when you’ve misplaced your gay uncle

Fellow blogger and Vanity Fair contributor Brett Berk has unleashed on the world his parenting perspective with The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting: Candid Counsel From the Depths of the Daycare Trenches. Berk obviously has no uterus and no children. That said, you may be asking yourself where does he get off giving me advice? But what he does have is nearly twenty years of experience as a classroom teacher and preschool director, plus a wicked directness I find strangely endearing. Forget Supernanny — send me Brett Berk, stat. Certainly this book will offend some people. Berk believes in...

Read More

Oh, this old thing? It’s just my impossibly fashionable Sudoku book.

Whether you need a last-minute Mother’s Day gift or just want to appear more stylish than everyone else while waiting for the pediatrician, I love the Posh Puzzle books by The Puzzle Society. These are the people who bring you nationally syndicated crosswords and jumbles in papers like the Washington Post and the L.A. Times, so you know the puzzles inside aren’t an afterthought to the chic covers outside. What’s different from your run-of-the-mill Sudoku book you grab in the airport gift shop? For one thing, Posh Sudoku looks and feels good, with a black-and-white flocked cover and elegant...

Read More

DAD IS SLEEPING AS HE ENJOYED THE WHISKEY AT THE PARTY and other hilarious emails from your mother

For years, I’ve saved the emails my mom has sent me. Some are funny, some are sweet, some are nothing anyone else would appreciate besides maybe my brother. I thought I was the only person nostalgic enough to do such a thing, until I discovered Love, Mom: Poignant, Brilliant, Goofy Messages From Home from the creators of the blog Postcards From Yo Momma. Dorrie Shafir and Jessica Grose have put together this wonderful compilation of all sorts of emails, IMs and social networking messages (eek, moms on Facebook!) that will have you in stitches with warnings of computer “STDs”,...

Read More

When you need your own personal children’s librarian

What happens when you need to find a book on heroes the night before your kid needs it for kindergarten? After you’ve exhausted our favorite children’s books, you can do what I did and check out the selections in What to Read When, by LitLife founder Pam Allyn. This meta-book about books is divided into 50 themes, from bullying to spirituality to a bad day. Find your category, read the summaries and pick your winner. From Allyn’s words to my library hold — it sure beats prying the trashy cartoon books out of my daughter’s hands at 6 PM....

Read More

Books for boys, beyond baseball

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

I always knew books could save the world

I suppose they could’ve come up with a different name for Better World Books, but when you’re really making a better world for everyone through a love of books, well, the name fits. Perfectly. Next time you shop for books, consider the option that is both saving books from the landfills–more than 13 million so far–and directly funding literacy efforts worldwide. Basically it’s like shopping one of those big sites but with way better karma. Shipping is always free in the United States ( just $3.97 for the rest of the world), with every book shipped carbon-neutral thanks to...

Read More

Definitely not your grandma’s book club

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

Put some more money in the therapy fund

If How to Traumatize Your Children had been available when I remarried, I totally would’ve bought it as a wedding present for my husband. I think it would’ve been a fitting welcome to (step)parenthood for him, and I also plan to give it as a shower gift to every less-than-confident parent-to-be from now on. Sure, it’s just a little jokey gift book–it is from the Self-Hurt Series, after all. But it’s so much more; a great reminder that we survived all of our parents’ mistakes and our children will survive ours. Probably. With therapy. The 1950s-style illustrations of various...

Read More

You’re never too little to be a bibliophile. Only to know how to spell it.

Like tons of practical moms like me, my favorite gift to give or to get is a book. And if you want to get fancy about it, check out Bookworm Baskets, where the great book is just the beginning of a fantastic gift. It starts with a fabulous read like The Giving Tree, Olivia, or baby faves like Ten Little Rubber Ducks and  includes other eco-friendly, educational items all themed around it. Even the packaging is eco-friendly. But what’s really special about the service is that your book comes with an Eco-Libris sticker to show that a tree was...

Read More

No, G is Not for Guiliani

Abc_book_cover 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

Pin It on Pinterest