Tag: books

This new board book for kids is a breath of fresh Air

My younger kids usually need a little one-on-one time to decompress after school, and one of our favorite ways to do this is reading together. After a few minutes in my lap, they’re ready to go play again. But, I have to admit, I’d much rather read a cool indie book like Carson Ellis’ Home than anything Dora or Clifford or, heaven help us, Caillou. I think it’s hard to find artfully designed board books for preschoolers — although we do love Cozy Classics and BabyLit — but the new board book for kids, Air by Kyla Ryman with beautiful cut-paper illustrations by Nathalie Trovato, is now right up...

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11 of our favorite childhood books that we can’t wait for our kids to read

There’s something so special about sharing our very favorite childhood books with our kids. When we see our kids falling in love with Anne of Green Gables, or imaging themselves racing through Narnia to defeat the White Witch, there’s a certain jolt of nostalgia that just makes you want to be a kid again, discovering these books for the very first time. So we are so happy to welcome our newest sponsor Epic!, whose affordable e-book subscription service lives right on our kids tablets and gives them access to more than 15,000 books they can read anytime. (And yes, the exclamation point...

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8 outstanding books that teach empathy for kids with special needs

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. ―Henry James   You stocked up on school supplies, bought your kid a cool new lunch box and backpack, and purchased that first day of school outfit, but you may be missing one important item I like to have on my own kids’ back to school lists — books that teach empathy. Especially for those kids with special needs who may be new to a classroom, playgroup, or just the neighborhood this year. Besides feeling...

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The ultimate girls in STEM book of kick-butt Women in Science

True fact: This book is so cool that I had to go steal it back from my fifth grade daughter to review it. It’s called Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, and it’s geared toward celebrating the contributions women have made to science and the hurdles they’ve faced doing it. Whoo. These ladies were doing STEM before it was STEM. From Hypatia in ancient Egypt to Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the first-ever woman to win the Fields Medal in 2014, this book perfectly balances well-researched facts with gorgeous, whimsical illustrations making it a...

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They All Saw a Cat: A charming new children’s book by illustrator Brendan Wenzel

One of my preschooler’s very favorite books of last year was Beastly Babies by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. An animal lover at heart, he couldn’t get enough of its playful illustrations. So when we saw that Brendan Wenzel has a new book out, we were excited to get a copy. And after reading it, we’re certain that if They All Saw a Cat isn’t a contender for the Caldecott Award, we’ll be very, very surprised. The story is simple: a cat with his paws, whiskers and all, goes for a walk. The illustrations show the different animals (and people) whom he encounters...

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How to talk to your kids about politics? Ken Burns has a book for that.

This election cycle has been pretty brutal, leaving a lot of us wondering how to talk to our kids about politics. Well, I just got a copy of Grover Cleveland, Again! by the celebrated documentarian Ken Burns and illustrator Gerald Kelley, and I’m convinced that reading this with my kids is going to help them understand what being presidential is all about. Related: Turning kids into readers – 3 tips from LeVar Burton to help get your kids excited about books Related: 3 inspiring new picture books for kids that should be on every wish list This big, oversized book fills up my kid’s...

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Girl power! Our 10 new favorite empowering books for girls

My kids and I have encountered some very memorable girls with very memorable experiences in their children’s books over the years — Madeline’s midnight appendectomy, Freckleface Strawberry (a favorite among my brood of redheads) wearing a ski mask on the playground to hide her freckles, and of course, bossy big-sister Olivia the pig — our favorite non-conformist. And lately, I’ve been seeing an increasing number of empowering books for girls, all non-fiction stories written by women in the last 12 months or so, of girls busting stereotypes and fulfilling their dreams. These books teach our kids anything is possible if you work hard enough and...

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Lisa Frank adult coloring books! Because who can’t use more rainbows?

When I was a kid, one of the most exciting things about going back to school was getting to pick out a new Lisa Frank notebook. What would it be this year? A unicorn with wings and a flowing, rainbow mane? A dolphin family swimming in an exotic cove while a neon pink sun sets above them? It was a highlight. So the fact that a new line of Lisa Frank adult coloring books is just out, as the illustrator herself announced on her Instagram feed recently, gives me all kinds of happy feels. Related: 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults We...

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7 fantastic children’s books to pick up before they hit theaters this year.

My kids love to read. But they also love to go to the movies. Luckily, that makes our summer reading easy this year, since I’m going to encourage them to pick up some of the great children’s books that are being adapted into movies this summer and fall. From classics like The Little Prince and The BFG to new favorites like The Queen of Katwe, there are a handful of movies based on kids’ books coming out soon that I know they won’t want to miss. So my rule is, you’ve got to read the book first. Smart, right? Here, 7 terrific children’s books turned movies that we...

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5 free summer reading challenges for kids. Prizes included!

Even though I’ve got a couple of avid readers in my house, I’m always looking for ways to continue to encourage them to pick up a book. Thankfully, there are no shortage of summer reading challenges that offer kids a little incentive for their participation. Whether you’re trying to give your reluctant reader a little motivation summer, or just want something to reward your voracious book lover, here are 5 free summer reading challenges for kids that you’ll want to check out, all of which offer participants prizes. Related: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to get your kids...

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The clever Bring Your Own Book game is our new favorite for family game night.

Now that my kids are old enough to play “real” games — you know, the ones where I don’t have to let them win — I love finding new clever and fun options for when we all gather around the table to play. So I was really excited to learn about Bring Your Own Book, a truly unique activity for our family game night. Created first by Matthew Moore and Luke Nalker, who launched it successfully via Kickstarter, it has been newly released by Gamewright, one of our favorite game companies, for people ages 12+. Since each game only lasts about 20 minutes, it’s perfect for families who might...

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3 of our favorite board books for new dads that make awesome Father’s Day gifts

We all know chewable, sturdy board books are a great choice for babies and toddlers who are still in the oral fixation phase of development, but these books aren’t always known for being the most stimulating for adult minds. Especially when kids demand the same book be read over and over. And over. So for this Father’s Day, we’ve rounded up just a few sweet and hilarious board books for new dads — some of which you might even recognize from our 2016 Baby Shower Gift Guide. They’re perfect for a first Father’s Day, a second Father’s Day, an almost dad-to-be, or just for...

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Beyond Oh The Places You’ll Go: 8 inspirational books for graduation gifts that become keepsakes

While there are so many graduation gift ideas that we could give to our accomplished kids, friends and relatives, we especially love the idea of giving a special, inspirational book for graduation gifts. Especially when it delivers messages of empowerment, adventure, and pursuing one’s dreams. Whether you’re feeling wildly sentimental about your babies embarking on the Kindergarten journey or your grown-too-sooners headed off to college, believe us when we say, we know the feeling all too well. So we’ve put together 8 really lovely options that we hope will remain on their bookshelves for life. And yes, we do think those 18-year-olds who are heading...

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Taro Gomi delights again with this new book series for preschoolers

We could not be more excited that famed Japanese author-illustrator, Taro Gomi (you know him, the author behind the widely popular Everyone Poops), recently released a new boxed set called Growing Together. We think it’s the perfect gift for a graduating preschooler who is “all grown up,” and ready to take on the world. The set is intended for children ages 2–4 and includes four small books, each titled after a central task of childhood: Growing, Sharing, Imagining, and Exploring. Related: Amazing Water: The educational book + CD about classical music that actually is amazing. Of course these developmental hurdles can be a challenge, especially...

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6 clever ways to get your reluctant reader to love reading

Not too long ago, I realized my 8-year-old son was a reluctant reader. He’s a perfectly good reader, but would rather do just about anything but read. And that’s a particular sore spot for me, because there are few things I’d rather do more than sit down with a good book. In fact, I often lament how little time I do have to read. My son is fortunate enough to have an incredibly intuitive teacher who noticed, like I had, that he was a very capable reader, just not an interested one. So when she called me one day to...

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5 inspiring new picture books for National Readathon Day that make kids want to get out and play

As someone who grew up with her nose in a book, I sure spent a lot of time hearing my parents tell me to put down that book and go outside to play! So in honor of today’s National Readathon Day, I’ve rounded up five wonderful new picture books for kids that not only make great stories but also inspire kids to get outdoors and explore this big, beautiful world. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that books do a darn good job of expanding our world views way beyond the walls and comfort of our homes. Related: 3 brand...

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10 really cool activity books for kids. For summer travel, or for regular boredom, which knows no season.

From books full of creative DIY projects to endless coloring pages, I have tracked down some of the absolute coolest activity books for kids, that I think your kids are sure to love as much as mine this summer. After all, I adore the warm weather and the break from routines, but I am admittedly not ready for summer vacation. With just 3 weeks left until school lets, I’m hoping these kids’ activity books will keep my brood entertained — and off screens — from the minute they wake up. Which is well before I’m able to crawl out of bed, because what is it about...

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5 terrific book recommendations for summer reading, from 5 of our favorite people, like Ellie Kemper and David Sedaris

Celebrities! They’re just like us! They get coffee at Starbucks, they wear sweats to the grocery store, and… they read books. Of course, it’s not like we can just give every one of our favorite movie stars, authors, and television personalities a phone call and ask them what’s on their nightstand (our rolodexes aren’t that good) which is why we’re pretty excited to share our newest sponsor, Book of the Month Club  which pretty much does that very thing for you. – Don’t miss a huge limited time discount just for Cool Mom Picks readers below!  –  Instead of using algorithms, Book of the Month...

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What I Told My Daughter: The perfect gift for feminist Moms (and Dads).

In my opinion, a good book is a great gift. And since you’re probably shopping for Mom this week (but hurry!), I’d recommend you stop by your local bookstore to take a peek at What I Told My Daughter by Nina Tassler. This collection of essays about raising empowered girls will leave your mom feeling inspired, whether she’s a new mom whose girls are still young or a mom whose girls are already grown. Related: 12 wonderfully empowering Mother’s Day gifts for progressive moms These essays are written by a powerful group of women leaders — Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Laura Bush, and Gloria Allred, plus Blythe...

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There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith is pure wonder

I fell in love with this book the moment I opened it, thanks to its luminous illustrations. I shouldn’t be surprised that Lane Smith was behind them, the artist known for kids’ classics like The Stinky Cheese Man, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and so many others. But it’s not just the gorgeous art that makes the brand new There is a Tribe of Kids so moving. Lane Smith’s latest is a story about the search for belonging, a theme so universal and so beautifully portrayed in this story, I pretty much think everyone should read it. Related: Best children’s books of the year:...

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