Tag: reading

You are my cupcake, my cutie pie, and my mushy little sweet pea

After seeing Joyce Wan’s board book, We Belong Together I am so in love with her. So of course I had to check out You Are My Cupcake, in the same series. Let’s just say it’s absolutely delicious and I want to eat it up in a major way. Each page pops with vibrant colors and sweet illustrations that are textured, giving babies a sensory experience. All of the terms of endearment are covered here–starting with “cupcake”–but with a twist. We call our babe a “sweet pea,” but in Wan’s world, she’s a “mushy little sweet pea.” Your cutie...

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How do you feel?

Sometimes it’s hard for my kids to talk about their feelings. In the heat of the moment, they find it a lot easier to cry (or let’s face it, whine) than to confront their emotions. As the child of a child psychologist, I am always on the lookout for great books to help me make my job a bit easier in that respect, and I’ve found a nice solution with this smart book and accompanying journal.  A Little Book About Feelings is eye-catching in a major way. The main characters are funky, hand-made felt creatures, like little Etsy wunderkinds....

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Pictures worth at least a thousand words

I want my kids to be book lovers, as in sneak a flashlight under the covers, beg for a nighttime story, know their way around the library kind of book lovers. So along with a sturdy bookshelf packed with favorite childhood titles and their very own library card, I love these prints that turn a storybook into something as magical as the story itself: Art. Spineless Classics takes those beloved stories like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz and uses the words to form an image from the story, like Peter Pan with Tinkerbell or...

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Close like Chopsticks

We do quite a bit of reading in our house especially now that bedtime has somehow extended to an hour. The hour mostly involves the reading and re-reading of a single book over and over and over. So I know a book has gotten a major kiddo thumbs up when it makes the evening rotation. Our newest addition? Chopsticks by New York Times best seller and CMP favorite, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Overall it’s a very cute story about the importance of friendship and independence. Similar to its predecessor Spoon, Amy’s story, accompanied by Scott Magoon’s adorable illustrations, is centered on the friendship of a...

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Is that a Picasso on your fridge?

Dan Consiglio is the amazingly talented and funny author of the blog What My Kids’ Art Says. It’s a great site because Dan isn’t afraid to call it like it is. He looks at children’s artwork with the lens of an erudite art critic, not a “my child is amazing and therefore everything associated with her must be” parent. The results are absolutely hysterical, and now they are now in a clever paperback that will have you in stitches. Is That a Picasso on Your Fridge? is like taking an art history class on a roller coaster. You know...

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Cupcakes and Comics, oh my!

I love cupcakes. For me, this is no fad. They represent happiness and goodness and celebrations in every bite. But a talking cupcake? This brings my love to an entirely new level. Expect crazy fun with Sara Varon’s newest graphic novel, Bake Sale. The premise is this: Cupcake is losing his inspiration. Every new recipe he tries just doesn’t work out. When Cupcake’s friend, Eggplant, proposes a trip to Turkey, things really start to happen. I don’t want to spoil the fun, so that’s all I’m going to give you. The illustrations are super detailed and there is so...

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Meryl Streep, meet my kids’ bedtime

I love reading books out loud. They really make the stories come alive in a fun and vibrant way. But I’ll admit I’m no Meryl Streep. Know who is a Meryl Streep? Meryl Streep. And now she’s narrating one of my favorite children’s stories from one of my favorite authors in a terrific book/audio book set. Brave Irene by William Steig (of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and Shrek fame) features a seriously strong broad with major willpower. That’s kind of how I see Meryl Streep too, so her voice on the companion CD that pairs with the book...

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Editors Best of 2011: The coolest books for kids

We all have a certain fondness for our kids’ books category. Finding wonderful books for kids is one of our favorite thing to do for all of you. Here, some of the very best books for kids that we reviewed in 2011. Shel Silverstein: Everything On It Liz: A posthumous book release from Shel Silverstein? Be still my Silverstein-loving heart. My kids love this one (at top) just about as much as Where the Sidewalk Ends, and that’s truly saying something. Buy it for every kid you know. The Man in the Moon by William Joyce Kristen: In an...

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11 of our families’ favorite holiday books, with a whole lot of surprises

One of my favorite aspects of the holidays is pulling out all our holiday books and reading together with all my kids huddled under a blanket with popcorn and hot chocolate. But even though we really only read our books once a year, I’m sort of ready to retire our same version of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and add a few new books to our collection. So, we asked our editors and contributors to share their own family’s favorite holiday books and why they love them. Here’s hoping you enjoy this list as much as I will. The...

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From glitter dreidels to cinnamon birds, why are we not surprised that Martha Stewart has you covered

I have a chronic and embarrassing condition called “failure to plan ahead”, which occasionally leaves me without a hostess gift, cute wrapping paper, or party decorations. Good news! There’s a cure, and it comes in book form. Martha Stewart to the rescue! Martha Stewart’s Handmade Holiday Crafts is one of those books as beautiful as it is helpful. With projects that start with New Year’s and end with Hanukkah and Christmas, you’re sure to find something beautiful to make for every holiday and the seasons in between, including lots of fun crafts for kids. The Christmas section is especially...

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A new holiday tradition, and it involves cake!

I love teaching my children about different cultures and how to appreciate the beauty of family traditions. This lesson is most important around the holidays. There is a Christmas tree on every corner, sometimes with a Hanukkah menorah making its presence known. Kwanzaa is being taught in many school children nationwide. But it’s the lesser known holidays that seem to get lost in the shuffle. One perfect example is a Greek tradition on New Year’s Day that I honestly never heard of. Thankfully, The Lucky Cake to the rescue! The illustrations are so fun. They remind me of the...

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The paper book that’s as interactive as a digital one

With all the cool apps and e-books on my iPad, I sometimes worry that my kids will have a hard time appreciating real books. But then I find ones that remind me that children’s books can be just as engaging, if not more, than the ones with all the technological bells and whistles. Just wait until your kids get their hands on Razzle Dazzle Ruby, the beautiful new book by Masha D’yans that comes to life with pop-ups, pull-outs, and all sorts of actions that can give ibooks a run for their money. The story features an adventurous, imaginative...

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Judging a book by its cover

If you’re a bibliophile like me, then you know that nothing smells as good as an old book. Age, ink, paper, maybe a dash of cracked leather cover. But we’ve discovered a gorgeous trio of classics with a redesign so spectacularly beautiful that… well… the new books kind of take the cake. Behold the Penguin Threads series. These three book covers were specially commissioned from Brooklyn artist Jillian Tamaki to celebrate the 65th birthday of Penguin Classics. Jillian designed and painstakingly hand-embroidered the covers for The Secret Garden, Emma, and Black Beauty, and the translation from art to book...

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There was an old lady who lived in a graphic novel…

My middle son loves graphic novels. They really get him excited about reading, and I’m certainly down with that. I want him to excitedly pick out a book from the library and read it on the ride home. So he about nearly flipped when we saw Nursery Rhymes in comic form. In Nursery Rhyme Comics different artists from Roz Chast and Gahan Wilson to slightly more obscure ilustrators offer  their take on various nursery rhymes, so each strip offers its own modern take on the classics. Wait till you see the Old Lady who lives in the shoe–my son couldn’t...

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Shel Silverstein rises again

I have no idea how missed the huge fact that a new book from Shel Silverstein was released a few weeks ago, especially considering he’s my favorite modern children’s author of all time. But my mother knew. And when I opened the mysterious Amazon package that arrived from her this week, and saw the telltale Shel Silverstein line-drawing on the cover, I gasped with the excitement of a kid discovering a puppy under the tree at Christmas. Every Thing On It is a collection of unpublished poems and illustrations very much in the spirit of Where The Sidewalk Ends,...

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McSweeney’s is turning little book lovers into book writers too

After our local Border’s bookstore closed, I became a bit “woe is me” about the future of books. I’m one of those people who just can’t imagine sitting down my kids for a bedtime story with my iPad in my lap. So, I’m rejoicing over this excellent “read it and then create your own” book bundle from Dave Egger’s own McSweeney’s Books, which is doing its part to keep the genre vibrant, exciting and, most importantly to me, paper. The McMullens Bundle includes three beautifully illustrated hardcover picture books, as well as The Author-Illustrator Starter Kit of blank books....

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Leaves of grass, now on your bookshelf

Some books are like cut flowers: I get them, enjoy them, and forget about them. But some books are like lawns, like rich green grass that I want to cultivate and nurture and wiggle between my toes every Spring.  Okay, maybe just the first two. If you, too, have some books that will live on your shelf forever, you might like these adorable GreenMarker bookmarks. The package comes with 75 markers made from sticky Post-It note material that resemble a beautiful bouquet of green grass when placed at different points throughout the book. If you’re sick of dog-ears in...

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A Zeal of Zebras for your kid’s zeal for animals

When I explained to my daughter that every group of animals has its own name, she was absolutely entranced. “You know, like a gaggle of geese. Or a flock of seagulls,” said me, Mrs. Smartypants. Just before realizing that I couldn’t name a third. D’oh. Just in time, the brilliantly colorful new book from WOOP Studios: A Zeal of Zebras: An Alphabet of Collective Nouns. As you might expect, the book takes us through the alphabet from an Aurora of Polar Bears to those zebras, all with big bold type that early readers will love, and playful, vibrant illustrations...

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Happy Chaos – parenting words to live by.

As a child of the 80’s, Soliel Moon Frye and I go way back. I have a glorious memory of dressing up as Punky Brewster for Halloween one year, which involved mainly pig tails and lots of bandanas. Her character was so bold and confident and I loved everything about her. Now, 25 years later (has it been that long?) I’m falling in love with her again as the author of a brand new parenting book, Happy Chaos Soleil, if you weren’t aware, happens to be one busy mama. She’s got her own organic kids’ clothing shop in LA,...

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A Street Through Time : Timeless

It is rare to find a book that all three of my boys can enjoy together. With such varied interests, I long for something captivating (and non-electronic) that has the ability to sustain their attention long enough for me to take a shower. DK Publishing has answered my prayers. A Street Through Time is a beautiful book, and educational to boot. The premise is simple; each page follows the same street through thousands of years of history using hyper-detailed illustrations. The book begins with stone age hunters, and each page that you flip takes you to another era in...

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