I love having a daughter. Her bright, energetic, and (yes) sometimes emotional personality is such a treat to have in our home. We’ve had a very open relationship so far, which I am very grateful for, and now she’s creeping up on the age where we’re going to start talking about how her body is changing. Let’s face it, she’ll be a (gulp) teenager soon. Even though I know she’s comfortable asking me pretty much anything, there’s only so much my words can communicate to her. She’s going to need pictures, and for that I’m turning to some of...Read More
I have a soft spot for quirky children’s books with captivating illustrations, which is why I keep picking up the brand new Pablo and His Chair by the French artist and author Delphine Perret to read to my kids. The story is simple — a fidgety boy receives a chair for his birthday (“so he’ll sit down for once”). Just what a kid wants, right? But the way this imaginative little boy makes the most of his gift — and his talents — is what makes this book so memorable. Related: Home by Carson Ellis beautifully celebrates the way we all live Related: They...Read More
My youngest child started Kindergarten this week — sniff — and he’s learning to read so quickly. I’m thrilled to find out he loves books, and I’ve been scouring our bookshelves and grilling our librarian for some great beginner chapter book series. Of course, there are the classic favorites like Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, Ruby and the Booker Boys, and Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo. But I was excited to find a few new options too, and all of these series have just added new volumes to their collection over the last few months. So, whether you’re trying to find age-appropriate books for your young...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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