Tag: reading

We’re nuts for Eric Litwin’s Bedtime at the Nut House. (Yeah, we went there.)

I don’t know about you, but the books that get my reluctant reader the most excited are the ones that drive me nuts. You know, the ones that include a catchy little song that he can shout at bedtime, when he’s supposed to be relaxing? His most recent favorite is Bedtime at the Nut House, with just that very sort of catchy chorus. And you might recognize the style considering it was written by Eric Litwin, author of our own bookshelf staple, Pete the Cat.   What happens when Wally and Hazel Nut refuse to go to bed? Let’s just say that...

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Lovely literary pencils for your favorite young writer

Why settle for #2 pencils when these literary pencils are bound to be #1 on any bookish kid’s school supply list? Whether you’ve got a tween into Harry Potter and Ramona Quimby or a teen with a soft spot for Alice or a hankering to be Divergent, those plain yellow wood pencils on the school supply list are  yesterday’s news. Bouncing Ball Creation on Etsy hand-rolls #2 pencils with book pages to create pencils that will please the most persnickety teacher and amuse the writer. Each set includes five standard pencils, pre-sharped and ready for the first day of school,...

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It’s World Cup time, and this new soccer book for kids is a winner.

Everyone’s eyes are on World Cup soccer for the next month, and The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner, a thought-provoking and hope-filled soccer book for kids set in the waning days of South African Apartheid, is perfect for reading breaks between games. The book tells the story of Hector, a soccer-loving young Black child living in a Johannesburg township. When he travels to the wealthier “whites only” sections with his mother, he notices the stark difference between his neighborhood’s dirt-and-gravel makeshift soccer fields and the white kids’ lush green lawns. He also sadly notices how he is ignored and not invited to play by...

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The Pigeon Needs a Bath: Yay for the newest book from Mo Willems!

I am an unapologetic Mo Willems groupie, in part because I don’t think the author/illustrator has ever had a miss. Now, the .500 streak continues with his newest in the popular Pigeon Series, The Pigeon Needs a Bath. All just in time for our favorite wry, difficult, endearingly persistent urban bird’s tenth anniversary. He’s up to his same shenanigans, devising  tons of reasons why a bath would be a very bad idea, as you can imagine. (I took one last month! All these flies buzzing around me are purely coincidental!) Some of them may even sound familiar to parents. Which...

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Web coolness: LEGO rock bands, avoiding over-the-top birthday parties, great book recommendations for kids, and more

It’s Friday again, which means it’s time for our roundup of the best-of-the-best that we found on the Internet this week. Enjoy! Love: this geometric DIY photo display to show off your Instagram shots. Thinking about: This video in honor of World Down Syndrome day. Grab Kleenex. Another great video from the Red Fred Project, creatively helping 50 sick kids in 50 states. Yay for big brands supporting makers and artisans. On Cool Mom Tech: Best Sesame Street TV + movie spoofs ever. Famous bands recreated in LEGOs by Malaysian LEGO junkie Adly Syari. Fun! [h/t laughing squid] Terrific book recommendations for kids who have...

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Web Coolness: Trapeze kids, Pentatonix on Sesame Street (yay!), and snowflake photos that will leave you speechless

Happy Friday! Each week we share some of our favorite links from around the web. We hope you like them too.   Must pre-order: We can’t wait to browse Playful by Merrilee Liddiard. Don’t you love the page shown at top? Must follow: The Design Brooklyn tumblr is packed full of Brooklyn coolness. Must watch: Our kids are obsessed with this cool band that uses no instruments. Check out this video featuring Pentatonix as the musical guest on Sesame Street next Friday. Must buy: Awesome alternative to Valentine’s Day jewelry for a digital sweetheart. Must See: incredible photos of snowflakes by Alexey Kljatov. Wow. Must read: What...

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Josephine: A children’s book as complex, vibrant, and endearing as Josephine Baker herself.

It’s clear that Josephine Baker is one of those few celebrity icons who transcends generations. My parents loved her, I loved her, and now my girls love her thanks to the new book, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker. And despite it being a book for kids, if it weren’t for Christian Robinson’s wonderful illustrations, you might think it was an adult-targeted poetic ode to the legendary performer. Patricia Hruby Powell’s prose feels like jazz itself, dancing across the pages with a kind of defiant playfulness; the random line breaks, indentations, metaphors, erratic use of all-cap words are writers’ tools...

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Poems by New Yorkers: The website that will inspire you to talk to strangers

When I first heard about 365 Day Subway: Poems by New Yorkers, a project started by friend, neighbor, and prolific author Madeline Schwartzman it was like one of those instant, “d’oh! Why didn’t I think of that!” moments. Well there’s a good reason why–because she’s way cooler than I am. And evidently fearless when it comes to approaching random New Yorkers on the subway and asking them to write a poem for her on the spot. Yes, you read that correctly. She’s just launched a website featuring beautiful, poignant, funny, sassy, and incredibly profound poetry from all kinds of...

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Who are you wearing? Oh, Jane Austen.

Shirts with a book cover or favorite quote are pretty cool. But you get even more bibliophile points for wearing a shirt with the entire book’s text permanently embedded in the fabric. If you loved these book posters we covered, get ready to shop. Wordies, listen up. The Litographs site is heaven for bibliophiles. They take your favorite classic books and use 75,000 words from the text to create interesting designs that go with the story. And then you can have it hand printed (front and back) on a soft cotton/poly blend shirt, poster, or bag in a variety...

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Every mother’s path is different. Or is it?

As the Big Day approaches (and that’s Mother’s Day with a capital M), our thoughts turn to mothering: our own mothering, how we were mothered, and “holy mutha, did you see how expensive greeting cards are now?!” Of course, the internet and parenting bloggers give testament to just how important this job/calling/biological necessity is, and a new series of essays provides a sweet, multi-layered and often funny read for all you cool literary moms out there. Curated by Meagan Francis, blogger and author of The Happiest Mom, the series of essays entitled My Path to Motherhood showcase personal stories...

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Minimalist Parenting: The must-read parenting book of the year.

When we first heard that Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks and Christine Koh of Boston Mamas, two of the women I love and respect most in the world, were putting their clever heads together to write a parenting book, well there was no doubt in my mind that it would be awesome. As it turns out, it’s more than awesome–Minimalist Parenting is easily the new must-read parenting book of the year. And hopefully, every year. Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less is the right book at the right time: an antidote to the pervasive uber...

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Little Pickle Press: Children’s books that give back, especially to the children who read them.

I love children’s books with messages that support our values, but a lot of those books seem to put the messages ahead of the storytelling. In other words, I’d like to own more books that are as engaging as Eloise but maybe aren’t how-to’s in achieving bratdom status before fifth grade? So I’m thrilled to have found a small publisher that does a beautiful job with kids’ books about topics like the environment, global citizenship, health and imagination–but your kids will just think they’re just good books. Little Pickle Press is a small publisher with big ideas. I’ve recently...

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Be Happier at Home…and wherever else this book goes with you

On my nightstand, there’s a gigantic pile of self-help books stacked underneath a coffee cup. Not exactly helping much, unless you count them as an overpriced coaster. What you might notice if you peeked at my self-help lit pile is that Gretchen Rubin’s newest book, Happier at Home, is nowhere to be found. And that’s because I’ve been carrying it around in my handbag ever since I got it in the mail a few weeks ago. It’s not surprising that I’m enjoying it as much as I did her first bestseller, The Happiness Project, but in a way that surprised...

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Give your kids a passport to faraway lands with Hartlyn Kids’ new series of books

Though my kids are mildly amused by the stories of my youth (what do you mean, there was no internet?), they are much more fascinated by stories about kids from faraway lands. So I’m excited to find a new series of globe-trotting books that offers my kids a glimpse of life outside of our suburban town. With two books published so far by two-mom team Christine and Aisha, Hartlyn Kids is on its way to creating an entire series about kids from all over the world. What I especially love about The Bamboo Dance and Adventures that Lead to...

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Show Me a Story: low on tech, high on terrific

When my kids were really young, they loved to tell me long, adorably nonsensical stories about just about anything that crossed their minds. Now that they’re a bit older, I miss their elaborate tales. These days, it’s easy for tech-savvy kids to lose themselves in their electronic games and gadgets. But guess what? Armed with a new book packed with loads of interactive tips, crafts, and games, I’ve found a fun way to engage their imagination and encourage old-school play and storytelling, all over again. {Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy!} The beautifully designed magazine-style...

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6 of the best funny parenting books. Because what new moms really need is a new laugh.

Along with a housecleaner and a personal chef, what I really could’ve used when I was a new mom was a good laugh and a lot more funny parenting books. Because while I sat and rocked my newborn as she screamed, it was sometimes hard to not take it all so seriously. If your new-mom friend is not the type to devour the very serious “expert” books on parenting, instead get her one that’s guaranteed to put a smile on her face. Plus, tucked inside all the “funny” is plenty of sage advice that will give any new parent...

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Don’t you worry about a thing

While we’re big supporters of all the cool kids’ music out there, there’s so much great adult music that kids love too. And no, not just the Beatles. So I’m really happy to see one of my kids’ favorite “grown-up” songs has been turned into a joyful, colorful, exuberant children’s book that brings the timeless lyrics to life. Admit it: you sang Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds to your kids when they were babies like I did, right? If so, you’ll instantly fall for the children’s book Every Little Thing, which has been adapted by his daughter Cedella Marley...

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Decorating takes (wicker) balls, but owning the book about it is easy

I love paging through home-furnishings catalogs and feeling that combination of envy and absolute astonishment. Have you ever looked through a spread and thought: “who the heck lives like that?” Of course you have. Well get ready to laugh. The new book, Catalog Living at its Most Absurd: Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls, is every bit as hilarious as it sounds. You may already be a fan of comedienne Molly Erdman and her blog, Catalog Living. It follows the life of Gary and Elaine and their ridiculous furnishings in a mockumentary style that is such an addictive read, entry after...

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The Busy Mom’s Cookbook – isn’t that all of us?

Antonia Lofaso was absolutely captivating on Top Chef. I loved watching her seamlessly perfect results every single episode, and I appreciated her passion for being both a full time chef and full time mother. And now she’s offering wisdom to parents who want haute, mostly Italian-inspired cuisine in minutes, sans microwave, with her new cookbook. The 100 recipes in The Busy Mom’s Cookbook appease both your own sophisticated palate and your carb-loading, goldfish-loving toddler’s. Madras curry chicken, anyone? The recipes are really easy to follow, and I like that the total cooking time and serving size is found at...

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Satisfy your Olympic longing for London with 4 great children’s books

One of my very favorite things about the just-finished London Olympics was seeing all the gorgeous footage of the city itself. It’s made me even more determined to get my kids over to see Big Ben, London Bridge and their picturesque city-mates in person.  So while the Olympics have left town, I’ve rounded up a few children’s books about the city of London that will keep the sights alive in our minds. –Christina  Sure to elicit plenty of oooo’s and ahhhhh’s, Jennie Maizels’ stunning Pop-Up London combines plenty of amazingly detailed 3D designs with information about the city’s landmarks. My...

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