Tag: reading

If you’re tackling tough issues at home, The Gift really is a gift

It’s a given in most of my kids’ story books: Other than the demise of a wicked witch or two, the main characters are going to live until the end of the story. But, I just discovered a timeless, beautiful tale about life–and, yes, its end–that flips the category on its head. If you have a thing for great picture books, you are going to want to have this for your collection. {keep reading for your chance to win one of two copies we are giving away!} The Gift by Carol Ann Duffy may not be the kind of...

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Web Coolness – pretty eggs, new Seuss, tiny Muppets and a blue bear

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web the week. We hope you will too. Did you see our Editor Liz on The CBS Early Show? Fun Easter egg dyeing instructions on Not Martha (via DesignMom, shown)  A series of “lost” Dr Seuss stories will be published later this year! It’s your last day to enter to win a free family trip to San Antonio from Cool Mom Picks. We’re loving this fun, colorful kids video for Blue Bear by Lucky Diaz. Get ready to replay it a few times. Love how folding paper cranes can help the...

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For a good time, Press Here

I am used to seeing my kids pushing buttons, laughing delightedly as they zoom around another wii game, or play with their father’s tablet. But, let me tell you, I wasn’t prepared to see them having the same reaction to a simple three-color picture book.  With no special effects, bright lights or fancy touch screen, this is a book that will captivate. It just took two words to suck my kids into this new release by French artist and illustrator Herve Tullet: Press Here. And who can blame them? All day long, I tell them not to touch things....

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The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood. (Which are no longer secrets.)

I’ve been a long time reader of Meagan Francis’ blog The Happiest Mom, not only because any mom of five who can string together coherent sentences has my utter respect, but because her straightforward, friendly, and non-judgmental approach to motherhood is refreshing. So when I heard that her blog was the inspiration for a new book, you can bet I wanted to get my hands on it. [See why you need a copy of this awesome book after the jump] The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood is the book I wish I had read instead of all...

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Undecorate my house, please!

My heart skips a beat when a new shelter magazine arrives in the mail, but ten minutes of flipping through the pages usually leaves me wanting more. The houses are too perfect, too expected and too completely out of touch with my life and my very imperfect house. Christiane Lemieux, founder of DwellStudio, gets it with her new book, Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design. Undecorate features twenty houses from around the country that, although very different from each other, share a common thread of being chic, personal and exciting. Each house looks lived in by real people....

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A book about seasons as beautiful as spring

Ah spring. The birds are chirping, the buds are poking through the soil, and if you ask the sigOth, miniskirts are making appearances on the leggy 20-somethings in our neighborhood. What’s not to love? Right in time, I’ve found a delicious little book to help the kids understand and celebrate the changing of the seasons. It’s called, aptly, Seasons, and Swiss author/illustrator Anne Crausaz does a beautiful job describing the small joys and big changes that each season brings, starting with spring. This isn’t the same old “oh look–the flowers have buds” kind of book. It reads almost like...

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It’s Dr Seuss’s birthday! Put a candle in those green eggs and ham

Though my sleep-addled brain may never forgive him for Fox in Socks, that tongue-twister of a story my son requested night after night, there is no question that Dr. Seuss’ collection of fanciful stories include some of our very favorite characters and verse. In honor of Dr. Seuss’ 107th birthday, we’ve pulled together some of our very favorite items for those of us who can’t get enough of those magical, Seussical creations. –Christina It’s all about the books, isn’t it, which is why I especially love The Retro Baby’s Cat in the Hat tee (above) which has that classic...

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The Happiness Project: The book that changed my life

I first got to know Gretchen Rubin when she was kind enough to include me in one of her Happiness Project interviews on her popular blog. At the time, I had no idea that she was about to come out with the #1 New York Times best-selling book that would absolutely change my life and the way I see the world. I’m not much of a self-help book kind of gal. I’m really more of a make-fun-of-self-help-books gal. But The Happiness Project, or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right,...

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Field notes from a journey of unexpected grace

Kyran Pittman’s subtitle for her memoir Planting Dandelions is “Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life.” I hope she’ll forgive me for repurposing it here to tell you why this is the mothering memoir you would be foolish to skip because you think they’re all the same. If you read Kyran’s blog, Notes To Self, or if you’ve caught her work in Good Housekeeping, you already know that she excels at weaving words into imagery and painting every detail of a scene until you feel like you’re standing right there with her, or maybe right inside her head. Even having...

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One Year to an Organized Life with Baby

Even if I had known about One Year to an Organized Life with Baby when I was first pregnant, I probably would have been too disorganized to read it. We had recently moved to a new house and to say we were unprepared is an understatement. We were fools. No, we were crazy fools. This book would have rocked my world. One Year to an Organized Life with Baby, by best-selling author Regina Leeds with Meagan Francis (one our favorite bloggers) is a week-to-week guide that helps parents prioritize what they need to know and what they can do...

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A parenting book you might be surprised to love

My dad died when I was 22 — long before I met my husband, or had my son — and my mom is very much alive. So you wouldn’t necessarily think that the book Parentless Parents, by my friend Allison Gilbert, would resonate with someone like me. And yet it is one of the most inspiring parenting books I’ve ever read. [don’t miss a giveaway after the jump – extended thru 2/16] Lots of moms rely on Grandma or Grandpa to watch their kids when they desperately need a night out, to get parenting advice, or to remember how...

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Warning: Reading this book during pregnancy will make you pee yourself. Even more.

We have eagerly been awaiting the Let’s Panic About Babies book every since we first became pregnant with our own babies. And that’s saying something. Because back then, we didn’t even know anything about authors Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy, how funny they are, or that they were even considering writing a book together. That’s just how awesome this book is: It transcends the impossible! If you’ve ever seen the Let’s Panic About Babies Website, you might have an inkling of what to expect–new babies referred to as “recently freed fetal captives,” and the suggestion that your first...

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Consider It Done. No, really.

On any given day, I might have to drop off a neighbor’s kid at his piano teacher’s house although he doesn’t know her last name or the name of the street on which she lives, clip a finch’s toenails, and negotiate with an international credit agency for an elderly relative — I know you know what I’m talking about. We moms are usually expected to just figure out how to do some wacky stuff all on our own. And then I was handed Consider it Done: Accomplish 228 of Life’s Trickiest Tasks. Written by Julie Subotky, a lifestyle manager and CEO of...

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Spit That Out!

I’m not the Most Neurotic Mom in the World, but some days I feel I’d make it to First Runner Up, ready to step in, should she be unable to fulfill her duties. I work hard to give my children a healthy, positive, eco-friendly environment, and that means worrying — a lot — about  my choices.  Spit That Out!: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt by Paige Wolf, is a helpful book for worrier mommas like me — and you perhaps? — and all of our sisters in worry. Wolf has...

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Maternity style tips from author and maternity stylista Amy Tara Koch

I only had one pregnancy that required winter clothes and boy, was that a challenge. Pants never seemed to fit me and sweaters always made me hot, so I found myself wearing the same few outfits over and over again. Too bad I didn’t have author and style expert Amy Tara Koch’s book Bump It Up back then. The book is chock full of amazing maternity style tips plus advice from some of the world’s most famous fashion designers and stylists. It’s definitely a must-have manual for any pregnant chica, regardless of what number kid you’re on. I recently...

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12 delicious design blogs to read, stat

If you were following the Cool Mom Picks Twitter stream this past week, you might have caught some of the wit and wisdom we were reaping from the Altitude Design Summit, an amazingly inspirational weekend with more than 300 bloggers and small biz owners in the worlds of design, photography, crafting, printing, party planning and more. While I could pretty much gush all day long about the incredible women (and a few men) that I met, instead, I thought I’d point you to a few new favorite websites and blogs that you’ll want to add to your feed reader,...

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No ifs, and, just lots of butts

“Eyes and ears are much respected, but the butt has been neglected.” And so begins the masterful and hilarious The Butt Book, by Artie Bennett, illustrated by Mike Lester. Let’s face it, few things are funnier to a little kid (and those of us who are young at heart) than butts. [don’t miss a fun giveaway after the jump] Bennett has channeled Dr. Suess to create a picture book that sings the praises of this particular piece of anatomy in perfect bouncy rhymes. Even my 10-year-old son, who has outgrown picture books (but not butt humor) cracked up from...

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I heart I LEGO NY

After many months of buzz, hoopla, and general fanfare, I finally got around to checking out Christoph Niemann’s I LEGO N.Y., and as a native New Yawka, I know can’t imagine what I had been waiting for. This board book is everything I love in a book–it’s artful, it’s super clever, and it works on levels that will make it a favorite of toddlers, big kids, and even their parents. Every page features a series of simple LEGO constructions–we’re talking a few pieces, max–designed to recreate Manhattan buildings, places, and tongue-in-cheek concepts. While it helps to know New York...

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13 Words to add to your child’s bookshelf

My five year-old’s current vocabulary include words like despondent, haberdashery, and Mezzo-Soprano. Not because she’s any sort of verbal genius, but because her grandmother introduced her to one of the most wonderful books for kids I’ve seen in a long time. 13 Words by Lemony Snicket is a must-have for any early reader who likes humor verging on the totally absurd. We’re talking Ionesco-level non-linear, awesome absurdity. The aforementioned 13 words include the big ones that impress the relatives, but also words like cake, bird, and spiffy. And no they’re not random (well,okay, a little random) but they’re all...

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Resolution in 2011: Making sure real books don’t disappear

My husband loves to joke around with my son about “those old-fashioned paper whatchamacallits.” We’re all avid readers, but my husband and I converted to e-readers a long time ago. We’ve actually discussed whether or not we should bother getting large bookshelves when we redo our son’s room since a lot of what he reads is now available on the Kindle. But the reality is that nothing can replace a shelf filled with colorful spines, the tactile experience of turning a page and knowing that each book can be enjoyed over and over. And then left for your mother...

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