With Halloween coming up, I did some browsing at my local library and bookstore to find some creepy books for kids. But, I wanted books that weren’t necessarily tied to Halloween so that we could read, enjoy, and be spooked by them all year long. These six books range from funny and little spooky, to downright scary. So fair warning, you might not want to read some of them at bedtime; and not just for the kids. You can find all these titles at our affiliate amazon or at your local indie bookstore. At the lighter end of the creepy book spectrum is Creepy Carrots! written by Aaron Reynolds...Read More
RJ Palacio’s Wonder is one of those rare books that simply stays with you for a long time. At least for me and for my daughters, who often bring up this phenomenal YA novel in the course of everyday conversation, and refer back to it when we have those hard talks about injustice or social dynamics or the politics of friendship. So when I saw our friends at Litographs had added a new Wonder tee to their collection of graphic tees all designed from the words of novels, I knew I had a new favorite. Big news all around for Litographs t-shirt...Read More
The Story of Diva and Flea: 2 of our favorite children’s authors/illustrators team up and the results are wonderful.
At very first glance, the cover of the upcoming The Story of Diva and Flea cues some sort of classic French picture book. And then I scanned down to the author credit: As told & shown by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi. That’s when I knew, whoa. This isn’t going to be your ordinary picture book. In fact, it’s not even a picture book at all; it’s a sweet, funny early-grade chapter book about a pampered little Parisian dog who comes to befriend a French alley cat and open one another’s worlds in surprising ways. And indeed it’s peppered with plenty of great illustrations: beaux...Read More
Every family has those terribly awkward and humiliating baby pictures capturing those off-moments you can’t escape. Lucky for you, yours likely aren’t included in a new book to be shared with the masses from the folks who brought us Awkward Family Photos. They’ve done it again, this time letting the kids take the fall in the hilarious new paperback, Born to Be Awkward: Celebrating Those Imperfect Moments of Babyhood. Seeing as how babies have pretty much no motor skills and little self-control, there are plenty of fails to be giggled at, just like on your own camera roll: funny faces, spit ups, diaper blow outs, as well as a fine...Read More
Here are our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Walk a mile in the Dark Lord’s shoes: Sign up for an alert for when the limited edition kids Darth Vader sneakers goes on preorder so you can grab one. New Pinterest board just for Halloween party recipes and treats. It’s that time! Fun Halloween crafts just for preschoolers. The costumes your kids should not be wearing this year. We hope. (Eep!) We can’t believe the coding projects these young kids came up with all by themselves. Coffee cocktails. Yes please. Change One Thing:...Read More
Helping kids practice the fine art of patience with Waiting, the new children’s book from Kevin Henkes
I don’t know about you, but my kids aren’t the most patient people I know. I’m not either, for that matter, but I’m trying. I promise. And I think my kids are too. Still, it’s hard for all of us to practice waiting in a world where almost everything is on-demand. That’s why I’ve been loving the new book Waiting by Kevin Henkes. The slow-paced, minimally written story is just beautiful. The characters in this story from one of my favorite children’s authors are all toys in a child’s bedroom, each waiting for something different. By the end of the book, everyone...Read More
Someone Special Books: Personalized books for kids with special needs of all kinds. Like making friends.
We love personalized books for kids, which always make special gifts for the kid who has everything. Also, what child doesn’t need more books in his or her library? But now we’ve discovered a publisher creating personalized books made just for kids with special needs and conditions, from Down Syndrome to Autism to food allergies and ADHD. This is simply a fantastic find for so many families and classrooms. The customizable books from authors Heather McCartney and Kate Ryan of Someone Special Books allow you to choose the appropriate title, then insert details like your child’s name, birthday, friends, or favorite activities, which are all incorporated into the rhyming text. But...Read More
Superhero Comic Kit: A BIG way for kids to write their very own BIG comics. Did we mention they’re big?
Our superhero-loving kids are going to leap over a tall building to get their hands on The Superhero Comic Kit, an activity book that gives them the chance to write and illustrate their very own comic books. No super skills required, only an active imagination, which we’re pretty sure is their super power anyway. And, wow, will their imagination have a place to play on the pages of this (very) oversized, uniquely hands-on book by British illustrator Jason Ford, also the author of The Super Book for Super Heroes which we love. In his latest release, Ford takes kids through all the...Read More
Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed! 1. It’s here! Our Back to School Tech Guide! First up, the best organizational apps for parents. 2. Our thoughts on this new phone wristwatch for kids. Could it change the way you get in touch? 3. A cool new app for kids that teaches them about STEM too. Love! 4. Need book recommendations for your kids? You’ll want to bookmark these 5 websites. 5. The phone-brella. Because of course you need to be able to use your...Read More
If you ever pick up a newspaper in front of your children, turn on the news, or even have an adult conversation about the day’s events, there’s no doubt that they are aware in some way of the tensions, divisiveness and frankly, ugliness, in our world right now. As parents, we’re always thinking about ways to explain it all, and ideally, to make our kids part of positive solutions as they learn how to live their best selves. And now our friends at Little Pickle Press have released a new book around the simple theme of kindness, that couldn’t have come at a more perfect...Read More
It’s so easy to find yourself on-the-go all the time as a parent, but having downtime is important. In fact, I think it’s vital to being a good mom or dad. Of course, a few hours alone to get a manicure or go for a walk is so nice, but I like to find ways to unwind with my kids too. That’s why I’ve been absolutely thrilled to see adult coloring books blow up, and I’m fascinated by research I’ve seen lately saying that coloring happens to be a really effective way for adults to relax. So if you need a break from crosswords or Netflix or...Read More
My ten-year-old is the kind of kid who is still reading in bed long after his siblings have fallen asleep. But it can be hard to keep up with his pace, and continue finding age-appropriate fantasy and adventure books that tweens like him will be excited about. I mean, he really tears through them. If you’re in the same boat, I’ve put together some excellent fantasy and adventure books for tweens that we’ve loved at our house, and a few our local bookstore has recommended that we can’t wait to try. And hey, even if your child isn’t tearing through longer chapter...Read More
The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by the amazing Oliver Jeffers, has been sitting on my kids’ bedside table — and getting read every night at bedtime — since the day it came home from the bookstore. It’s quickly become a classic that teaches kids to challenge the “rules” when it comes to creativity. No coloring inside the lines here. Daywalt encourages kids to think outside the (crayon) box in a really fun way. So when the sequel — The Day the Crayons Came Home — showed up in my mailbox, my kids immediately grabbed it to...Read More
This past Sunday, August 9, marked one year since the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. Despite the many months that have passed, trying to make sense of the heartbreak and horror of everything that’s happened in this country recently remains a challenge for so many us. Processing the racial injustice, the hate, the death and devastation is difficult, to say the least. And as parents trying to explain any of it to our children — so many of us don’t even have the words. This is where the children’s book Painting for Peace in Ferguson can...Read More
Fantastic tween books made into movies: 8 adventure-packed stories to help get older kids reading more.
We have no shortage of movie nights in the summer, but I would love to get my kids to crack open their books more often when school isn’t in session. And I think I’ve found a way to encourage them to read more while still keeping movie night on the calendar: I’m going to offer them great action and adventure filled tween books that were made into movies, with the caveat that we can only watch the movie afterwards. Whether you chose to read the titles aloud to your kids as a family story, or if your reader would rather finish the...Read More
It may surprise readers of Cool Mom Tech, but I am pretty much a no-screens-in-the-car kind of a parent. Back when my youngest was still a toddler and four consecutive episodes of Dora meant a needed stretch of quiet. But now, unless it’s an extra extra long car ride, we have a pretty good roster of car games that do the trick. Until I run out. Which is why I’m thrilled to have a copy of Amanda Morin’s new On-the-Go Fun for Kids: More than 250 activities to keep little ones busy and happy anytime, anywhere. 250, mamas. That’s a lot of ideas....Read More
It’s been a big few weeks for America, hasn’t it? From the heartbreak of the Charleston shootings to the landmark #LoveWins Supreme Court decision to the Girl Scouts donor dust-up, people everywhere are talking about prejudice. While I’ve seen such a beautiful swell of love, support and compassion for all kinds of people all over my social media this past month, I’ve also talked to lots of moms who are wondering how to talk to kids about prejudice and racism. Because even as my kids help me pick out wedding presents for all our friends, prejudice most definitely still exists whether it’s because of the color...Read More
When you think of a princess book, and what the lead character wants, what springs to mind? Classically, the story would be about meeting her true love or escaping her horrible life to live in a luxe castle. Then we moved onto more modern princess books including my favorite, The Well at the End of the World, in which the princess demonstrates that beauty isn’t everything, and kindness, loyalty, and good math skills matter more. Well now there’s comic artist Kate Beaton’s brand new The Princess and the Pony, just out today, which brings a fantastic new twist to the genre....Read More
It’s hard not to be completely smitten with the work of Brooklyn artist Ida Pearle as we have for ages. Her cut-paper illustrations beautifully capture the whimsy and joy of childhood. We loved her alphabet book A Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play, and now she’s out with a new book called The Moon is Going to Addy’s House, a magical and unique look at bedtime. My kids are hooked. In this book, Addy has been at a playdate in the city and she’s headed home for bed. The family drives through the city, over the Brooklyn bridge, and toward their house in the country. The whole time, Addy...Read More
Before it even hit the shelves, there was a swell of hype around Primates of Park Avenue, by Wednesday Martin. Specifically, whether this outrageous glimpse into the inner lives of über-wealthy moms on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is accurate at all. So I grabbed a copy at Amazon — and the irony of the $10 discount off the hardcover price for those of us middle-class gawkers looking to press our noses against the glass was not lost on me. I’ll get back to the accuracy point in a bit, but overall, I found the book equal parts intriguing and shocking. And I couldn’t put it down....Read More
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