Tag: reading

Turning kids into readers: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to help your kids get excited about books

As avid readers ourselves, it’s probably no surprise we try to get our kids excited about reading every chance we get. But, some kids are harder than others (funny how that works), and finding creative ways to motivate less eager readers can be tough. And that’s where LeVar Burton comes in. Yes  that LeVar Burton! He happens to be our very special guest on this week’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz. (Is it so wrong if we insert toddler-decibel squealing here?) We’re beyond thrilled that he took time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about how he got...

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A whale reading chair that really rocks

Sometimes it’s the little things. The totally unnecessary but love-it-want-it-now little things. Like this adorable whale reading chair from Sprout. It’s a sweet and modern rocking chair for toddlers to climb in, sit and chill, read a book, or just hang out while you’re cooking dinner (or, uh, checking email). Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Yes.   All of Sprout’s kids furniture has cool, minimalist design. You do have to build it yourself at home (no tools needed!) but the instructions are so simple you’re likely to have it together in no time (they say 5 minutes). The hardest part for me in...

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4 Valentine’s Day books for kids that you’re going to love too

It’s no secret that a good book is one of our favorite ways to celebrate holidays and important milestones of pretty much any kind, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. So, we’ve collected a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day books for kids this year so you can share the love with your kids too. I find them all to be sweet but not-too-sappy books that you’ll want to read again too. Which is a good thing, because our kids have been requesting them non-stop. CMP is an Amazon and rstyle affiliate.   Related: 21 cool Valentine’s Day gift ideas for...

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One of David Bowie’s greatest hits, reissued

There’s no question that David Bowie had a huge impact on the world of music, which is partly why we can’t stop talking about him. So today we are so happy to discover that the iconic 1987 David Bowie READ poster has been reissued by the American Library Association. As part of an entire series of ALA celebrity posters started in the 80’s, David Bowie, an avid reader, was one of the first celebrities to agree to pose for the campaign. He looks pretty spry for 40 in his letterman jacket, doesn’t he? A far cry from his look in Labryinth. At 22″ x 34″,...

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The 2016 Coretta Scott King book award winners: Great reads for MLK Day and beyond

I don’t want to let holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day slip by with my kids thinking it’s just an extra day off of school. So if you’re like me and are looking for some ways to honor the spirit of MLK while you’re home today, we highly recommend you check out last week’s winners and honorees of the 2016 Coretta Scott King book awards which we briefly mentioned in our roundup of all the best book lists and award-winners of the past year. This is a list of winners we share each year because it’s important for us to seek out diverse stories from diverse authors, that aren’t always...

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Friendships and middle school collide in Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

The other night my ten-year-old son was looking for something to read at bedtime. I handed him my review copy of Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, not sure what to expect. When I checked on him an hour later, he was just a few pages away from the end of this 250-page graphic novel. And the next night, he snagged it to read a second time. That’s saying something. So, when I saw that the book became a Newbery honor recipient this week — the award for great writing, not illustration — I knew I had to take a look too. Related: The ultimate list of the best kids’ books...

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Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

It’ll be a beautiful day in the neighborhood for someone who gets a set of these awesome Mister Rogers sticky notes I just found. Featuring the iconic images of Mister Rogers and his comfy cardigan, as well as Lady Elaine Fairchild, X the Owl, King Friday XIII, and Daniel Striped Tiger, you or your kids can tab pages in a book you are reading or leave little notes around the house. For best results, tab all the smartest pages with X the Owl and save Lady Elaine for anything that makes you feel kind of cranky. Daniel Striped Tiger would only go on my very...

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The ultimate list of the best kids’ books of 2015: All the annual best-of lists and award winners all in one place.

We’ve loved our annual new year tradition of compiling the best kids’ books of the year, thanks to all the major (and not entirely major) best-of lists and big children’s book awards of 2015 from publications, experts, and organizations we respect. We’re talking everyone from the New York Times and the ALA to NPR, and smaller but beautifully curated lists from the likes of Brainpickings and Brightly. While we recently put together our own list of the best children’s’ books of 2015 that we’re quite proud of, there’s no way we could get through every new book released. So we hope you take a look...

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The best children’s books of 2015 : Editors’ Best of 2015

What a treat it is to put together our list of the best children’s books of 2015. Not that it’s easy; we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year — from cute, sweet board books, to excellent picture books for early readers, to heart wrenching YA chapter books — and it’s always a job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we went with the picture books that we’re gladly picking up to read out loud to our younger kids for the hundredth time and the chapter books that are sparking great conversations with our tweens and teens....

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The Only Child by Guojing: A beautiful new wordless book your child will love, whether they have siblings or not

Every once in a while, a children’s picture book will capture me in a way that I just don’t expect it to. The Only Child by Guojing is one that has got me right now. This beautiful story, told only through illustrations, includes a little child and snow and a reindeer, which makes it a nice read for this time of year, but it’s so much more than that. This is a beautiful story about realizing you’re lost, making new friends, and finding your way back home again. Chinese illustrator Guojing grew up a very lonely only child in China, and this book is loosely based on an...

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Sponsored message: GiftLit curated book-a-month subscriptions let you give the gift of reading this holiday

This is a sponsored message from GiftLit. You really can’t go wrong when you give books over the holidays, but a special way to make your gift keep on giving all year long is a personalized subscription to GiftLit. GiftLit offers more than 100 different collections in their book-a-month subscriptions — from board books that encourage a love of reading in toddlers, to teen and adult book collections on topics as specific as fantasy and magic, American History, or just the best new releases of the month. And now there’s a special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers, just in time for a perfect Hanukkah or Christmas gift. – Don’t...

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Books about manners for kids: 6 excellent options, just in time for the holidays

We figured this was a pretty good time to start looking around at some great — and effective — books about manners for kids. I’m sure you feel me; my family calendar is already so booked over the next couple months, which means lots of opportunities for my kids to show off their best manners. Or, their worst manners when they get really tired. Which they will. So, books! That’s always a good way to help me better talk to my kids about any subjects without them feeling like I’m nagging them. These six books about manners for kids cover the do’s and don’ts of polite...

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14 of the best educational toys for kids of every age: 2015 Holiday Toy Gift Guide

If you could use a little help picking out toys for the kids on your list this holiday, we’re about to make things a lot easier for you with a mini holiday toy gift guide, starting with the best educational toys for kids. This is the first in a three-part series dedicated to great toy gifts for kids, brought to you by the amazing folks at Fat Brain Toys. If you’re a long time reader of our site, you know how thrilled we are about this, because we’ve been recommending the carefully curated collection of toys from this family-owned business for years...

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6 delightfully creepy books for kids for Halloween and long, long after. If you dare.

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...

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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...

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Our favorite cool tech picks this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. The big Apple announcement news that you’ll actually care about. 2. 21 of the best math apps for kids of all ages. 3. We rounded-up up 7 of the best YouTube channels to help get kids excited about math. 4. We’re pretty sure this little robot is going to be the hottest tech toy this holiday season. 5. Don’t miss our picks for best reading apps for big kids!...

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Smart tees for kids that will make teachers happy in more ways than one

We imagine that nothing makes a teacher happier than seeing their students light up about a subject, ready to learn more. Whether you’ve got a number lover, a big reader, a mini scientist, or an artist-in-residence — or maybe a mix of all of the above — you need to check out these adorable, brand new smart tees for kids from CMP favorite Brooklyn Makers. Not only do they feature messages we can get behind, but a significant portion of the sales will help disadvantaged school districts so that all kids get the chance to discover their favorite subjects. Related:  11 cool career t-shirts for...

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Our favorite cool tech picks this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. We rounded-up 7 of the best YouTube channels to help get kids excited about math. 2. Teach your kids coding through a board game. Cool! 3. Next up in our Back to School tech guide: The best reading apps for young kids and early readers. 4. A helpful comparison of 6 different pairs of kids’ volume-limiting headphones all under $30. 5. We’re calling this app a game-changer in educational apps for kids. Yep, it’s just that good....

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13 great fantasy and adventure books for tweens. Get ready to buy the sequels!

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...

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The Day the Crayons Came Home: The must-have sequel to one of our favorite hilarious kids’ books

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...

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