Archive for the ‘
Children’s Books ’ Category
Friday, June 28th, 2013
If you see these two new books at your local store, check them out. My three children gave them both a big thumbs up.
by Ginger Foglesong Gibson, illustrated by Laura Rankin
This book for preschoolers also delighted my kindergartener and twin first graders. Tiptoe Joe and his very loud friends frolic through the woods. But of course, when a bear runs with a rabbit, turkey, donkey, moose, beaver and owl, it’s difficult to stay quiet. The book has a fun rhythm and cadence, and includes beginning words that are perfect for early readers. The sweet ending makes my kids ask for this book again and again.
Giant Dance Party
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by Betsy Bird, illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Lexy loves to dance–but oh no, she doesn’t want to go to her recital. When her parents figure out she just has major stage fright, they suggest she loosen up by giving lessons. The problem is, no one shows up to take them except for a bunch of big, blue, furry giants. Boy, they need Lexy badly. With lively words, characters and pictures, this book will especially appeal to ballerinas. But it’s also great for all kids who sometimes get scared.
Friday, June 7th, 2013
Spring is in the air along with loads of birds. The kids and I love watching these creatures and listening to them sing. Two recent children’s picture books celebrate birds, and my kids loved both of them.
Let’s Go Hugo
by Angela Dominguez
Hugo is an affable little bird guy who lives in Paris and loves to play in the park. One day he meets a cute yellow feathered friend named Lulu. She happily hangs out with him all day and then wants to go to the Eiffel Tower. The only problem–which Hugo tries to hide at first–is that he’s afraid to fly. If you have a child who’s apprehensive about anything right now, this little picture book just might make him feel better. My kids rooted for Hugo and especially loved his little French mustache.
The Eagles are Back
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by Jean Craighead George
This book covers a lot of ground. It opens with a pair of eagles who lost their baby eaglet eggs before they hatched. A little boy watches them in the field every day, and he’s very worried about the endangered American bald eagles. The story kept my kids interested even though it delivers a heady message about our nation’s great bird and protecting its environment. What reeled my readers in was the sweet story about the boy, the park ranger and the dad. The paintings–rich, emotional and timeless–expertly wrap children into this story written by the talented Jean Craighead George, a Newberry Award and Honor winner, who sadly passed away recently.
Angela Dominguez, birds, eagles, Jean Craighead George, Let's Go Hugo, Paris, The Eagles are Back, Wendell Minor | Categories:
Children's Books, Fiction, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Picture Books
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Love reading? (You must if you’re checking out my blog!) Love your baby? Combine these two joys quickly and easily tonight. In today’s Part One of two stories, I asked the authors of Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos three questions about how to get started with your little one.
KK: At what age is it important to start reading?
It’s never too soon to start and never too late to begin. You can show a tiny baby illustrations and contrasting images and read a cheerful rhyme, or prop books by the changing table, or tie them to the stroller. Share a book every chance you get.
KK: By they time they’re toddlers, how many minutes should we be reading to them?
Don’t stress about “how many minutes” you’re reading daily. If the books are around, and you’re seizing opportunities, you’re sharing good book time. There’s no magic number. What’s important is making reading something you both enjoy.
KK: How does starting a healthy reading habit when they’re young help them as they hit elementary and middle schools?
A child who starts reading early is a child who has never known life without books. This child develops a trust in the stories and information and adventures within a book. Expecting pleasure from reading makes so much of school easier. A fluent vocabulary—the kind that comes from sharing a wide variety of books—comes naturally to a reader. Continue reading with your child once she can read to herself. Bring out chapter books and old favorites and keep going as long as she’s listening. You’ll both be glad you did.
About the authors:
KJ Dell’Antonia is the lead writer and editor of the New York Times Motherlode parenting blog. Also as a children’s book reviewer and a mother of four children, she knows which books work best and why. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two young children.
Susan Straub founded the READ TO ME program more than 20 years ago, a national workshop encouraging young families to read to their babies that is still thriving. Ms. Straub’s work with READ TO ME has been celebrated on NY1 television and in Oprah’s O magazine. She lives in New York City.
Rachel Payne is the coordinator of early childhood services at the Brooklyn Public Library. She knows why some books are carried around, colored on, taken to meals, and slept with, while others are pushed away after a single
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KJ Dell’Antonia, Reading, Reading with Babies, Susan Straub, Toddlers and Twos | Categories:
Children's Books, Mom Must Read, Mommy Bloggers, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Picture Books, Popular Books, Q&A With Authors
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
This week is the I Read YA campaign by Scholastic–promoting all things young adult. And just yesterday, one of my favorite authors, Susane Colasanti, released a new YA love story called All I Need.
Here’s what Susane had to say about her new book, true love (which she finally found!) and her home state of New Jersey.
“You know that feeling you had in high school on the first day of summer vacation? When summer was shiny and new and filled with possibility and your romantic fantasies seemed like they would all come true? When meeting the boy of your dreams at the beach or roller rink or that Italian ice stand felt like an entirely realistic scenario? And you would fall so crazy in love that your long-distance relationship would totally work out?
Yeah. Never happened to me, either.
But that didn’t stop me from believing I’d eventually meet the love of my life. Every summer would begin with an overwhelming sense of longing. Like anything was possible. Forget that I’m from Middle of Nowhere, NJ, where the chances of running into a boy who hadn’t known me since second grade were approximately zero. I kept the hope of meeting the boy of my dreams alive in my heart. And I never let it go.
Two major life events happened for me this year:
1. I turned 40.
2. I met my soul mate. He is the love of my life. He is the boy I was dreaming about all those years ago. And guess what? He lived ten miles away from me in Middle of Nowhere, NJ. We went to different high schools. We didn’t meet back then. But he was there all along. What if we had met as teens?
Writing All I Need was my way of bringing that fantasy to life. Skye and Seth are soul mates. Their instant connection and chemistry are undeniable. When they meet at the last beach party of the summer, they both know they’ve found something real. But their plans to exchange contact information are disrupted. Skye goes home to her junior year of high school and Seth starts college with no way of connecting. They can’t stop thinking about each other. And they won’t stop believing that they’ll find their way back to each other one day.
Choosing to set All I Need in New Jersey was inspired by my own background. Skye is from Newfoundland, a town nestled in the middle of the woods much like my hometown of Peapack-Gladstone. Her family has a beach house in Sea Bright. Although my own Jersey shore experiences largely took place in Asbury Park, Toms River and Wildwood, the name Sea Bright evokes such a sweet, happy tone that I decided to incorporate it. Sea Bright is one of the towns that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The landscape of the New Jersey coast has changed, but memories of summers down the shore will forever live on in my heart. And now those memories can live on in All I Need.
Readers often ask me if soul mates are real. They ask if boys like the boys I write about actually exist. I’m here to tell you that soul mates are real and boys like these do exist. I know what it’s like to meet a soul mate. What it’s like to feel that instant connection. To feel like you’ve already known someone your whole life even though you just met. I want readers to be inspired by All I Need. My hope is that by the time readers finish the last sentence, they will believe in the possibility of true love. The kind of love Skye and Seth have is not easy to find. But it’s possible. ”
That’s the thing about life. Anything is possible.”
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All I Need, I Read YA, IreadYA, Jersey Shore, Scholastic, summer romance, Susane Colasanti, teen books | Categories:
Children's Books, Guest Blogs, Mom Must Read, Must Read, Popular Books
Friday, May 10th, 2013
The children’s book, It All Started with a Turtle, is a fun read for the kids. It was written by Lisa Holthouse to illustrate a bigger story: the power of children’s lemonade stands. (Click to the bottom of the story for a delicious Homemade Mint Lemonade recipe.)
Lemonade Day, a community-wide event that teaches kids how to start, own and operate their own businesses, was founded by Lisa and Michael Holthouse in 2007. The program has grown from 2,600 stands the first year in Houston to an expected 250,000 youth in 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada. It is unique. It’s all about empowering and educating our youth through experiential learning. It offers a free, engaging way to create and run a business – a lemonade stand.
Once children sign up to participate, they receive a backpack that includes an Entrepreneur’s Workbook which walks them through a 14-step process, along with a “Caring Adult Guide” which offers tips for their mentors to utilize throughout the curriculum. The lessons not only teach youth how to be entrepreneurs, but they also teach valuable life lessons such as financial literacy and how to take ownership of their own lives.
Once completed, every registered child sets up their lemonade stand on Lemonade Day, the 1st Sunday in May in most participating cities. At the end of the day, participants are asked to do three things with their profits – spend some on something for themselves, save some in a youth savings account and share some with a local charity of their choice. The Lemonade Day program also offers youth so many additional advantages including higher self-esteem and empowerment through the sense of accomplishment and perhaps most importantly, to dream big and work hard to make those dreams come true.
By partnering with youth-based organizations such as youth organizations, faith-based organizations, local businesses, business leaders, after-school programs and the community at large, Lemonade Day hopes to reach 1 million youth in 100 cities and beyond.
To continue raising awareness about Lemonade Day and to help reach that goal, Lisa has published a new children’s book which reveals the true story of how Lemonade Day began. Through colorful illustrations, it shares how their daughter’s desire for a pet turtle, a lemonade stand and a daddy/daughter day full of “lemonade lessons” eventually launched a nationwide movement. Originally written as a gift for her husband Michael, It All Started with a Turtle is a primer to teach younger children the fundamental lessons of Lemonade Day, which is how to set and achieve goals in a fun and understandable format.
Lisa’s Homemade Mint Lemonade
5 Large Lemons (yields 2 1/2 cups of juice)
5 Cups of Water
1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
2/3 cup of White Granulated Sugar
Chopped fresh mint for flavor and to garnish
Instructions: Juice lemons. Add lemon juice to water. Stir in the sugars. Refrigerate. Just before serving, add mint to taste.
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