Tag: reading

Cartoons for the thinking mama

When I was in high school, an artist friend of mine and I wrote a graphic novel during biology class featuring the adventures of our teacher’s prominent nose, thus beginning my love affair with random and edgy hilarity. If you adore the absurd, you are going to love Nicole Chaison’s graphic memoir, The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood, Iluminated which is one part memoir, one part modern illuminated manuscript, and all parts brilliant. The narrative from cartoonist, writer and mom-of-two Chaison is funny enough, but the cartoons that illustrate every page take it to another level. From Chaison’s adventures...

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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...

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You say Maria, I say Mariah. Or, nah. Let’s stick with Maria.

Linda Rosenkranz and Pamela Redmond Satran raised baby naming to an art form with their original 1988 baby-naming book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason – names that practically seem pedestrian with today’s Talullahs and Artemises.  Now the authors are back with Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby and I admit there are quite a few people I know who I wish had had this book when they were pregnant. I’ve seen a lot of baby name books, but this one takes the cake for style, originality and lip synch. Some of my surprise favorites included...

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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...

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Read it again (and again and again and again)

We’ve all been there; the kid has found his Most Favorite Book Ever, and he wants to hear it over and over. Sure, you were a patient and loving model parent the first 5,000 times, but after that I think you get a pass. With One More Story, not only your kid get his book fix, he can start learning how to read on his own, too. Their online library of awesome children’s books (about 50 so far of both old classics and new favorites) allows your child to view and listen to the actual book pages on screen,...

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Comicon fans, this one’s for you. Or your kids.

From skateboard and sneaker design to children’s picture books, Australian artist Luke Feldman has created quite a cult following of his waif-like illustrated characters known as Skaffs. They hang in the Cartoon Art Museum, they delight hipster animation fans, and now they come to life in the vibrant children’s book Chaff n’ Skaffs: Mai and the Lost Moskivvy, created along with illustrator and co-author Amanda Chin. Mai (the lead Skaff in this story) heads on an outrageous adventure with her strange, large, round, gray, top hat-wearing Chaff pal and escort Moskivvy, the lost Australian mosquito, while meeting monks and...

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Rabbit season. Duck season. Rabbit season. Duck season.

The wonderful Duck! Rabbit! is the newest book from the prolific Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who you might know for children’s books like Little Pea or even her wonderful adult book, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. In this title, she’s teamed up with pirates-and-monsters artist Tom Lichtenheld to breathe new life into the classic duck/rabbit optical illusion. Are those phalanges a duck’s bill or a rabbit’s ears? Is the eye facing left or right? The (heated) discussion continues between two unseen narrators on every page. Though she has no opinion regarding whether it’s a DUCK! or RABBIT! my daughter likes it best when I change up...

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Art + poetry = more than just another alphabet book

I recently got a look at Alphabetica: Odes to the Alphabet,  Diana Spieker and Krista Skehan’s mind-blowing alphabet book filled with multisyllabic metaphors and modern, deep-inked illustrations. This book bursts with detail. Each page contains more than twenty individual pictures, and the poet in me appreciates the meter and complexity of each stand-alone verse. You could easily pull out any page and frame it. Alphabetica started as a collection of whimsical poems written by Spieker for her baby son. Spieker thought maybe she’d taken the collection down to the local copy shop and have them bound up as a...

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Smaller is big on inspiration

I love flipping through lifestyle magazines. The combination of the beautifully styled photographs, creative recipes and fresh ideas really inspire me. I guess that’s why I love Small Magazine and their new online blog, Smaller. The free downloadable e-magazine was started a few years ago by Olivia Pintos-Lopez and Christine Visneau–a kids’ clothing designer herself who has been featured here–because they realized a lot of incredibly talented kid-oriented artists and designers were being overlooked by mainstream magazines. An idea we can totally relate to here, by the way. The magazine comes out four times a year, but Smaller gives...

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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...

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