Posts Tagged ‘ children’s books ’

Happy 108th Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. SeussThere’s no one like you who

can do the things that you do

so Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss,

Happy Birthday to you!

As you tell from the above poem I wrote (inspired by Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and Happy Birthday to You!), today is the birthday of every child’s beloved rhymer.  Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, but better known as Dr. Seuss, the author started his career as a children’s book editor at Random House.  In fact, he helped guide Jan and Stan Berenstain, the creators behind The Berenstain Bears series, in publishing their first few books.

Just in time for his birthday, one of his most popular books, The Lorax, was recently released as an animated film.  And PBS KIDS will be running a two-hour The Cat-in-The-Hat-A-Thon event featuring two new episodes of “The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!”  series. Check for local listings at

Make sure to read our Tech Savvy Parents blog by Leticia Barr — she has some family- and budget-friendly ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday with fun online activities. March is also National Reading Month, so get your kids hooked on books with classic Seuss favorites such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and Horton Hears a Who!  Or plan a trip to the colorful Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure in Universal Orlando — where  favorite characters, scenes, and places from the books come to life.

Update: Play a matching game online, The Many Languages of Dr. Seuss, to see if you can match the English versions of his book titles with the translations in other languages.  You may need to print the image out and use a pen or pencil to draw lines between the titles.  After you’re done, find the answers at

What are your favorite Dr. Seuss books? Which ones do your kids love?

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‘Goodnight, iPad’ — A Parody of ‘Goodnight, Moon’

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Over the weekend, I popped into a bookstore and spotted the familiar-looking “Goodnight, Moon” cover with its classic blue, green, and orange, colors…but on close inspection, I realized that it was a parody called, “Goodnight, iPad.”

Written by Ann Droyd, the book mimics the rhyming style of Margaret Wise’s book but focuses on a a family of floppy rabbits being driven a little crazy by modern technology. The hilarious book is a reminder to say goodnight to all our mobile devices and gadgets in the evening. (“In a bright buzzing room, in the glow of the moon–and iPhones and Androids and Blackberries too–it is time to say goodnight…”)

There are even parodies of “The Giving Tree” (“The Taking Tree“) and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” (“If You Give a Kid a Cookie, Will He Shut the F— Up?”), which are clearly meant for adults.  But if you are a fan of the adults-only “Go the F— to Sleep” book released last year, a child-friendly version (“Seriously, Just Go to Sleep“) is coming out in April.

Watch a book trailer for “Goodnight, iPad” below.


What are your favorite parodies of classic children’s books?

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Jan Berenstain, Co-Creator of the Berenstain Bears Series, Dies at 88

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Jan Berenstain, who inspired Mama Bear and co-created the beloved Berenstain Bears book series, passed away from a stroke on February 24 at her home in Solebury, PA.  She was 88 years old.

Along with her husband, Stan, who passed away in 2005, the husband-and-wife team collaborated on writing and illustrating simple and sweet stories, with good family values and strong morals, for preschoolers.  Each book focused on a specific lesson, as experienced by human-like Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear.  Their first book, “The Big Honey Hunt,” was published in 1962 by Random House under the guidance of children’s book editor Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), who encouraged them to rhyme each story’s text.

There are now over 300 titles in the Berenstain Bears series, published by HarperCollins, that have sold more than 260 million copies worldwide, in 23 different languages.  In addition to books, the Berenstain Bears have been featured on TV cartoons and movies, toys, clothes, video games, and mobile apps.  There is even a show touring around the country, The Berenstain Bears Live! in Family Matters the Musical.

The Berenstain’s two sons, Leo and Mike (who helps illustrate the books), will continue the family business and 19 new titles will be released this year.

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Children’s Books About Pets for Responsible Pet Owners Month

Friday, February 10th, 2012

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, so if your kid is begging for a pet or has shirked his responsibilities of caring for one, these picture books are great reminders about the joy of owning pets and having four-legged friends.

Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly – Prudence imagines having a pet, but her parents object to the expense and noise.  Laugh along as she decides to adopt unusual objects as her best friends — until her dream for a real pet finally comes true!

Melvin and the Boy by Lauren Castillo - Living in a city, a boy yearns for pet.  One day, he discovers a turtle with a yellow spot in the park, brings him home, and names him Melvin. But slowly the boy discovers some animals need to stay in their natural habitats.

Not Inside This House! by Kevin Lewis – Told in fun rhymes, this story follows a little boy with a big name, Livingstone Columbus Magellan Crouse, who loves to explore like his famous namesakes.  Along the way, he brings home some unexpected animals as house pets, to his mother’s exasperation.

Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown – When a female bear finds a little boy in the woods, she immediately becomes his caretaker and discovers kids don’t make very obedient pets.  Brown, known for his hilarious and colorful books, gives a unique twist to a popular theme.

The Lost and Found Pony by Tracy Dockray – Fans of “Warhouse” will be touched by this story of how a little girl and her pony are reunited after years of separation.

A Cat Like That by Wendy Wahman – “What does a cat want in a best friend?” Find out the answers and discover if you would make the perfect cat owner!

More about family pets on

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2012 Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

If you’re looking to add new reads to your child’s bookshelf, consider these two distinguished winners of this year’s Newbery and Caldecott awards. The books were announced by the American Library Association (ALA) this week.

John Newbery Medal (outstanding contribution to children’s literature): “Dead End in Norvelt” by Jack Gantos, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.  In this YA novel, a boy named Jack Gantos (same name as the author) is grounded but his life then changes over two months when a neighbor offers him a job of typewriting obituaries.

Randolph Caldecott Medal (distinguished American picture book for children):  “A Ball for Daisy,” illustrated and written by Chris Raschka, published by Schwartz & Wade Books (imprint of Random House Children’s Books). A story told without words, the book follows a playful dog named Daisy as her favorite ball is ”lost” but then “returned” to her.

Find out the honorary mentions and the winners of other awards.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

After Hardship and Homelessness, National Science Fair Honors
Samantha Garvey, an 18-year-old senior in Long Island, was named a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search for her work with mussels.

Brain Scans Spot Early Signs of Dyslexia
Instead of waiting for a child to experience reading delays, scientists now say they can identify the reading problem even before children start school, long before they become labeled as poor students and begin to lose confidence in themselves.

Parents May Hold Key to Treating Kids’ Obesity
Parents and caregivers should be involved in treatment programs for obese children and should lead by example, praise children’s progress and use setbacks as learning opportunities, experts say.

Children’s Book Award Winners Named
The American Library Association named the winners of the country’s most prestigious children’s book awards on Monday.

Allergic to Cold? It’s a Real Condition, Experts Say
Grant Schlager sounds like a typical Minnesota kid: He loves to play outside, no matter how cold it gets, and he’s pretty excited that a slow-to-start snow season is finally underway. But Grant, who turns 12 this week, has a problem: He is literally allergic to cold. It makes him break out in hives and could cause more serious reactions if he’s not careful.

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Chat with Taye Diggs on Our Facebook Page

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Have you ever wanted to chat with actor Taye Diggs? Yes? Well, we have great news! On Monday, November 14 fans of our Facebook page can talk with Diggs from 1PM to 2PM EST. 

During the chat, Diggs will answer questions about parenting (his son Walker with wife Idina Menzel is two) and topics touched on in Chocolate Me, his new children’s book about a boy who grows up looking different from everyone around him. In the book, the young boy’s mother helps him learn to love his sweet, chocolate self; and during the chat, Diggs wants to answer your questions about raising a child who might be different.

For more on Diggs’ work-life balance and what he’s learned from his son, read his interview with Allison Winn Scotch on The Balance Sheet.

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Read All About It!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

When your preschooler asks you where babies come from, what do you say? If you’ve picked up the November issue of Parents, you may have seen our blurb on books that can help deal with this and other questions that make you say, “Uhhh…,” such as Who Has What? by Robie E. Harris, which gives kids the scoop on how boys and girls’ bodies are different. Librarians say that a kid-friendly story can make talking about hard-to-explain topics easier for both of you.

Have you ever used books to help answer your child’s tougher questions? Which are your favorite?

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