Tag: books

RAD American Women A-Z: Required reading for our girls. And definitely our boys.

As you probably know, a good alphabet book is one of those must-haves in any child’s library. Over the years my kids have loved learning about design in Maira Kalman’s Ah Ha to Zig Zag, getting a real feel for their letters in Franceschelli and Peskimo’s Alphablock, and playing with the wild alliteration in Augie to Zebra by husband-wife duo Caspar Babypants and Kate Endle. But the new alphabet book, RAD American Women A – Z, written by Kate Schatz and accompanied by edgy, minimalist illustrations by Miriam Klein Stahl is one I’m excited to read with my ten-year-old. And just when you’d start to think he’s too old for alphabet books. The list of women...

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My Amazing Body: the best info for curious-about-their-bodies preschoolers

My five-year-old son told me he thinks girls are the coolest because, among other things, they get to lay babies. As in, lay eggs). Yep. While I feel like I may have nailed the pro-woman mindset with him, I might not have done so well in the biology department. So we’ll brush up on our basics by reading through the new Little Explorer’s My Amazing Body book book by Ruth Martin and illustrated by Allen Sanders. I guess curiosity about their bodies never really goes away, but I know my preschooler and early elementary kids are really trying to figure out how it...

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An activity book to inspire creativity. (It’s also teaching our kids geography, but shhh.)

So, a couple years ago I predicted that my kids would still be flipping through the book Maps by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński—and I was right. The pages are well-loved, and it’s still displayed prominently on our coffee table. So recently we’ve added  the MAPS Activity Book to our collection, and my kids are equally entertained by this coloring and activity book that lets them get creative about geography and world cultures. This oversized coloring book has tear-out pages about the size of a place mat. And that’s one way I use it–keeping the kids busy while I cook dinner. Or unpack the...

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7 must-have poetry books for young readers, in honor of National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, so we’re having some fun adding poetry to our bedtime reading routine. Of course, any reading out loud to my kids is good for growing brains, but kids seem to have a special love for poetry–even before they understand the words we’re saying. If you’re ready to build your library beyond The Cat in the Hat, I recommend these must-have poetry books for young readers. Related: 2014’s best books for kids: All the lists, all in one place   Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein You knew we had to go here first, right? All of Shel Silverstein’s books for kids are amazing,...

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A Nest is Noisy: A children’s book that brings spring to life beautifully

Considering the winter we’ve had (and honestly, are still kind of having) in the northeast where I am, I nearly cried when I saw the crocuses coming up in my mother’s garden last week. While spring is officially here, it never quite feels that way until I see the first flowers and hear the first chirps of the baby birds. Which is why I think the brand new A Nest is Noisy, a beautiful picture book from Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long is just perfect for children right now. The fifth in the series of titles from the same authors including An...

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The Book of Life is one fascinating website. Or is it a book.

So, there’s this really interesting website called The Book of Life. And I’m trying to figure out how to describe it, but I keep coming up empty. Is it an encyclopedic resource? An online self-help book? A place to turn for philosophical discourse? It’s kind of all of that and more and it’s unlike any website I’ve ever seen. Brought to you by London’s The School of Life, they’re calling it a book, which it mostly is and a little bit isn’t, because that’s how we’re to use it; by navigating chapters written by multiple contributing authors. The chapters focus on what...

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The Design Mom book: How to live with kids and still love your home. Wow, I need this.

When I first learned that long-time friend, mom of (how many now?) six amazing kids, and blogger extraordinaire Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom was coming out with a book, my first thought was, finally! I imagined it would be as beautifully produced, thoughtful, and inspirational as every single post she’s ever written. Let’s just say my imagination has not failed me, because the brand new Design Mom: How to Live With Kids: A Room by Room Guide is a keeper, whether you’re a fan of her blog or just want to make your space a little — or a lot — more...

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A YA book subscription for the teen (or bookaholic mom) who’s read everything.

When you’ve got a precocious reader in the house, it can be hard to find books they haven’t yet discovered and devoured. I know this because I am that reader and I spawned that reader. Luckily, we found a subscription service — you know we love subscription services!– that will send you the newest, most carefully vetted books for teens, kids who read on the teen level, and adults who love the fast pace and swoony tummy-flutters that YA books can provide. It’s called Uppercase Box, and it’s a YA book subscription service for readers 13 and up that...

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Sponsored Message: I See Me! personalized books make a special gift kids will enjoy way beyond Easter

This is a sponsored message for I See! Me books If you want to cut down on sugary treats this Easter and instead grab gifts that your kids will enjoy way beyond the holiday, check out the range of the award-winning I See Me! personalized books which are wildly popular with both kids and parents. – Don’t miss an exclusive discount for Cool Mom Picks readers below –  There tons of books to choose from featuring all sorts of interests, whether it’s pirates or princesses, race cars or farm animals, or alphabet and counting basics. So you’re sure to find something for everyone’s Easter basket whether you’re shopping for a little pre-readers...

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The Konmari Method: Does it work for families?

With daylight savings coming up, I know I’m not the only one itching to open up windows and start spring cleaning the house from top to bottom. So I decided to try out the popular Konmari method of organization from the book by Japanese sensation Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, if a little reluctantly as a parent. All I can say is, this book has rocked my world. And soon will rock my entire house. However there are some aspects that parents should be aware of. Related: The best of the eco-friendly cleaning...

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Small Thyme Cooks: The coloring and activity book for kids who don’t have to ask, who’s Eric Ripert?

Sometimes the activity books for kids that we find are as much for the parents as they are for the kids, and such is the case with the Small Thyme Cooks Activity and Coloring Book. Created by Andre Huseston Mack, former French Laundry sommelier, creative thinker, and guy I’m dying to meet, this is a clever activity book for kids. But not just any kids; more like the ones who are up for unscrambling the names of the fish on the Le Bernadin menu or working their way through a maze that takes you from a farm to, of course, table. Of course this...

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A Matisse book for kids that will create a new generation of modern art fans

Last year, just about this time, I fell in love with the Alexander Calder pop-up book by the extremely talented Patricia Geis. It introduced kids to one of my favorite childhood artists in the most perfect way. And while Matisse wasn’t known for 3-D sculptures and mobiles, the format of storytelling plus interactive pop-up visuals that’s back in the new Meet the Artist: Henri Matisse pop-up book is still a spectacular way to bring his work to life. The book is designed for kids as young as maybe six who will love the photos and interactive flaps and pop-ups (gentle, now…) and will understand the finer points of...

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Found it! The perfect search-and-find books for preschoolers.

Bright, fun, and very, very easy, the new oversized search-and-find books Animal Fun Search & Find and Fairy Tale Search & Find by Stephanie Hinton are absolutely charming me. And my preschoolers. They’re perfect for kids who are too young to find Waldo, considering the bold, bright illustrations have been with us now to the supermarket, the doctor’s office, and a trip to Grandma’s, I’d call them a hit. There’s a lot of variety in the pages of these books, which is what keeps my kids coming back to them. Animal Fun, as you might expect, features a fabulous menagerie of woodland, farm, ocean, polar, and African animals....

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A Place to Live is a picture book that charms, engages, and hopefully lulls to sleep.

Sometimes the simplest books are a parent’s best friend at bedtime. Few words, pretty pictures, calming premise. These are the elements that come together perfectly in Case Jernigan’s A Place to Live, a lovely book for a new reader–or a parent desperate to put a toddler to sleep. Either way, the results are magical. A Place to Live hails from Home Grown Books, an outstanding small press in NYC, should you be the kind of parent always looking for something special for the bookshelf. All their books are developed in collaborations between outstanding artists and educators, and produced locally or with the help of fair trade global collectives. But...

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Home by Carson Ellis beautifully celebrates the way we all live

Pick up the new illustrated children’s book Home by Carson Ellis, and you and your kids will be instantly transported to the many different places that people around the world call home. The celebrated illustrator of the fantastic Wildwood YA series has drawn me into wonderfully diverse living spaces in her new book and I can’t recommend it more highly. From city apartments and country farms to French castles and Norse temples, my kids are fascinated to see that so many people live in places beyond the kind of building we happen to call home.   The story reminds me of the classic children’s book A House is a...

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12 ideas for fabulous last minute Valentines gifts you can still get in time. Procrastinators, this one’s for you.

So yes, of course you can brave the crowds, hit the store, and track down something perfectly lovely as a last minute Valentines gift this week. But should you have actual kids to wrangle, or you know, job responsibilities or Netflix to catch up on, I could see where you might want to stay home and shop online. So here are a few last minute gift ideas for Valentine’s Day that you can still order in time, plus drop-dead shipping deadlines from lots of stores that are keeping FedEx in business this week. Just be sure to confirm them before you...

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9 outstanding Black History Month books for kids of all ages

Black History Month is the perfect time for us to widen our scope on the lives of Black people in this country and their ongoing contributions to its advancement. In school, our kids typically learn about the impact that people like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and George Washington Carver had and continue to have on our lives. But there are so many more people — unsung heroes, revolutionaries, artists, writers, activists, and everyday citizens — who have done remarkable things that deserve the spotlight as well. To honor them and their work, here are 10 excellent...

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Red: A Crayon’s Story. The perfect children’s book at the perfect time.

If you’re thinking red Valentine’s gifts of for kids, here’s an idea a bit off the beaten path: Red, A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall, just out this week. It’s a beautifully told, wonderfully illustrated story (in crayon, natch) about a red crayon who just isn’t very good at being red. In fact, whatever he tries to draw, at his grandparents’ or teacher’s or fellow crayon classmates’ urging, comes out blue, whether it’s an orange or a strawberry. Of course Red finally figures out his true calling, finding the joy and freedom that comes with accepting himself for what he is. It makes for more than happy...

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The 2015 Caldecott and Newbery medal winners are here. More great reading for all!

Yesterday’s big awards news had nothing to do with Bradley Cooper or the Oscars (which I can’t wait for either). The American Library Association announced the 2015 Caldecott and Newbery medal winners for young adult literature, and we were really excited to see some of the best books for kids that we’ve recommended here before rise to the top as winners. If you’re looking for your next favorite book, whether it’s a picture book for your young kids or a novel for your teens (or yourself), this is a great place to start. And if your favorite online shop is sold out,...

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Happy Handmade: The super-fun, super doable new craft e-book for kids.

Sometimes I see the same crafts in crafting books for kids over and over again, but the ideas in the new e-book Happy Handmade, are fresh and fun, with diverse perspectives from 17 creative contributors. We’re talking respected craft and DIY bloggers like Mari Richards at Small for Big, Eva Monleón at Misako Mimoko, and Ana at Babble Dabble Do. From scented orange-peel candles to a braided belt to sock puppets and doll houses made from shoe boxes, there’s something for every crafty kid here.  And fear not crafting newbies; these are mostly simple, 101-level craft projects you can make with materials you likely already have at home, like toilet...

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