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October 2015

    children's books, holiday books, read aloud

    What the Kids are Reading (for Thanksgiving)

    Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year.  Yes, I am a true foodie at heart, but that’s not the only reason why I love Thanksgiving.  (Really, it’s not!)  To me, everything about the day provides a sense of comfort.  Stuffing your face and eating until you’re comatose…well, that’s just an added bonus.

    16 Board & Picture Books for Thanksgiving (1)

    This will be my third time enjoying Thanksgiving as a parent with the kids.  I’m looking forward to enjoying family, good food, and of course reading some great books with the kids before the holiday arrives.  There are so many Thanksgiving-themed books available you may end up having a hard time deciding which ones to read.  To make it a little easier I’ve rounded up a collection of board and picture books that will teach your kids the importance of gratitude, thankfulness, and kindness mixed in with a little fun and food…yum!  Enjoy!

    Board Books
    Who’s Coming for Dinner, Little Hoo? by Brenda Ponnay
    whoscomingtodinner
    Whooo’s Ready for Thanksgiving? Little Hoo is hosting all of his friends for a Thanksgiving feast, but first they have to arrive. Toddlers will love guessing who will be at the door in this “Knock, Knock” book featuring a little owl and his friends and family.

    My Thanksgiving Prayer by Crystal Bowman
    thanksgivingprayer
    This oversized board book features a child thanking and praising God for the big and small joys of life. Children will delight in the colorful illustrations and the catchy rhyming text.

    Thanksgiving Parade by Kelly Asbury
    thanksgivingparade
    Through rhyming text, this shaped board book captures some of the best features of the parade, as seen through the eyes of a child.

    Turkey Time! by Price Stern Sloan
    turketyime
    Through rhyming text, this adorable book walks through Thanksgiving Day in the lead-up to the big meal.

    Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon
    fivesillyturkeys
    Toddlers will love the silly Thanksgiving turkeys in this fun counting book full of silly turkeys doing very silly things!  From twirling on a dance floor to being chased by a bee to tanning in the sun, these are no ordinary Thanksgiving turkeys. This shiny fabric–tabbed book is a holiday treat that is sure to be gobbled up quickly.

    10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
    10fatturkeys
    Little readers will gobble up this silly story about ten goofy turkeys and their antics: swinging from a vine, strutting on a boar, doing a noodle dance, and more.

    Picture Books
    Turkey and Mr. Bear by Jessika Daly
    turkeybear
    When Turkey shares his enthusiasm for Thanksgiving with Mr. Bear, he learns that he has no idea what that holiday really means. With wild ideas about birthday cake, fireworks and stockings hung by Santa, he soon finds out what Thanksgiving is all about. What does that mean for Turkey?

    The Very Stuffed Turkey by Katharine Kenah and Binny Talib
    stuffedturkey

    A Thanksgiving story featuring a large turkey with a big problem.  He’s been invited to EVERYONE’S home for dinner!  With five homes to visit — Horse’s, Pig’s, Sheep and Goat’s, Cow’s, and Mouse’s –Turkey knows there’ll be a ton of food to eat. But there will also be friends and their families who can’t wait to celebrate the holiday with Turkey! Can this very plump bird make it through every meal without bursting?

    The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing
    thanksgivingescape
    It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it – out of the kids’ room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), a hallway full of overly affectionate aunts, and worse yet, the great wall of butts! Will they manage to avoid the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time? Or will they be captured before they’ve had a taste of freedom?

    Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy by Lisa Wheeler
    turkandrunt
    A Thanksgiving comedy story about two brother turkeys and how they save each other from being someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.  I’d recommend this one for kids ages 5 – 8.

    Thanksgiving for Emily Ann by Teresa Johnston
    thanksgivingforemilyann

    Celebrate Thanksgiving in this sweet, rhyming story all about family and togetherness!
    Emily Ann doesn’t like Thanksgiving, not one bit. With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday, she feels a little ignored…and just a little bit sad. But just as Emily Ann prepares to do her worst, her family comes together to show her what matters most about Thanksgiving: family.

    Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
    thanksforthanksgiving

    From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what is most important is being able to share them with family.  This book reminds kids and adults alike about the little details that make each day enjoyable and the illustrations bring the thoughtful words to life.

    Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano and Lee Harper
    turkeytrouble
    Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving . . . and you’re the main
    course. But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?
    After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever that puts a nice twist on the story’s ending. Vegetarians rejoice! (No, I’m not a vegetarian, but I think they will enjoy the alternative ending.) This is a fun read aloud book to read with the kids.

    Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
    bearsaysthanks
    Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What is he to do?

    T is for Turkey: A True Thanksgiving Story by Tanya Lee Stone
    tisforturkey
    An ABC Thanksgiving book.  A group of children puts on a play using rhyming couplets, featuring each letter of the alphabet, to provide the facts about Thanksgiving Day.

    The Little Kids’ Table by Mary Ann McCabe

    thelittlekidstable
    Everyone knows that the little kids table is the place to be for any holiday or family gathering. They just know how to have fun! This silly, rhyming story follows a group of rambunctious cousins from table setting to dessert.

    But wait…there’s more!  I also included these three bonus books.

    Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table by Vanessa Newton
    auntiemabel

    Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller
    sharingthebread

    Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell
    feastfor10

    Your turn:  What books will you and your little ones be reading for Thanksgiving?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    children's books, our latest obsession, read aloud

    Our Latest Obsession: Dinosaur Books!

    The kids and I are counting down the days until the movie The Good Dinosaur opens on November 25th.  Have you seen the movie trailer yet?  We’re currently obsessed with all things dinosaur, especially books!  Check out some of the kids’ favorite dinosaur books below that we’ve been reading.

    Brontorina by James Howe
    brontorina
    Book Synopsis:  This book is a sweet tale about fulfilling your heart’s desire no matter what shape or size you may be.  Brontorina is a rather large orange dinosaur who desperately longs to dance. Although she meets many obstacles along her path, she knows in her heart she is to be a ballerina.  Ultimately, her size is only outmatched by her sweet determination and the affection of some kind-hearted people.  A lovely book for any and all who feel unsuited for something they long to be.

    Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
    goldilocksanddinosaurs
    Book Synopsis:  Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is a new take on the fairy-tale classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so funny and so original—it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.

    Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.

    One day—for no particular reason—they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then—for no particular reason—they decided to go . . . someplace else. They were definitely not setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl.  Definitely not!

    Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson

    TyrannosaurusDrip
    Julia Donaldson is my favorite children’s book author.  I believe she has an amazing gift of delivering high quality books with easy-to-read rhythm and rhymes that appeal to a range of ages.  I enjoy reading Julia’s books as much as my kids love to hear them so I am always happy when one of them is requested.

    Book Synopsis: Everyone knows that tyrannosauruses are big and scary, so when a placid duckbill dinosaur’s egg ends up in the wrong nest confusion is sure to ensue! When the baby dinosaur hatches out, he’s so out of place that his grisly big sisters call him Tyrannosaurus Drip. Poor little Drip: all he wants is a quiet life munching on water weed.

    Dinoblock by Christopher Franceschelli
    dinoblock
    If you’ve read the books Alphablock and Countablock then you may also enjoy Dinoblock.

    Book Synopsis:  This book features thick pages cut into the shapes of dinosaurs!  Readers will be introduced to more than 20 different kinds of dinosaurs via die-cuts of their unique silhouettes and the illuminating comparisons to familiar things from a young child’s world. I stretch high like the ladder on a fire truck. I am a Brachiosaurus. As children touch the pages, they have a chance to guess the dinosaur and appreciate the uniqueness of its silhouette.

    If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur by Linda Bailey
    ifyouhappentohaveadinosaur
    Book Synopsis:  If you happen to have a dinosaur, lying around your living room, and you don’t know what to do with it … why don’t you use it as a can opener? It will make a terrific nutcracker too! There are oodles of uses for a dinosaur — from a fine umbrella to an excellent kite and a dandy pillow, not to mention a reliable burglar alarm and the perfect excuse to forget your homework. This delightfully absurd exploration of the domestic uses of dinosaurs — and the things dinos just aren’t good for at all — is guaranteed to tickle funny bones and spark imaginations. If you read carefully, you’ll learn how to make your dinosaur last a very long time.

    How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends? by Jane Yolen

    howdodinosaursplaywiththeirfriends
    Book Synopsis:  This brilliantly illustrated board book is packed with rhymes that will teach children how. Mark Teague’s laugh-aloud illustrations, along with Jane Yolen’s playful text, will show children that “playing nice” can be easy and fun. Perfect for parents to read aloud with their children, this book is as humorous as it is instructive.

    The Mine-O-Saur by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
    themineosaur
    Book Synopsis:  Do you have a little one who doesn’t like to share?  The Mine-O-Saur is a selfish dinosaur who constantly takes everything away from the other dinosaurs at school.  Eventually, the Mine-O-Saur realizes that having everything for himself is not fun if the result is having no one to play with.

    Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems
    edwinathedinosaur
    Book Synopsis:  Edwina is one of the most helpful dinosaurs around who also happens to make really good chocolate chip cookies.  Everyone loves Edwina—except for a know-it-all little boy named Reginald. He is determined to convince everyone, including Edwina, that dinosaurs are extinct. If you love Willems, you’ll really like this one.  Before you read this book with the little ones, bake some chocolate chip cookies to go along with it for story time.  The kids will love it!

    Just for fun:  Pixar has been so gracious as to create The Good Dinosaur Coloring Pages that are free for you to print and use.  You can download the coloring pages PDF file here.

    I’ve also included a fun Laurie Berkner video that has constantly been on replay in our house.  So fun!

    Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with Disney or Laurie Berkner nor was I compensated to write this blog post.

    Your turn:  Are you and your little ones looking forward to seeing The Good Dinosaur during the Thanksgiving holiday?  What are some of your favorite dinosaur books?

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    adult books, currently reading

    What I’m Reading (in November 2015)

    I noticed I haven’t written a post to update you all on the books I’m reading.  It’s not that I’ve forgotten to write the posts, instead you can find my current reads of the month listed over on the right hand side.  However, it dawned on me that many people read blogs and websites on their phones nowadays, therefore you won’t see the books listed if using a handheld device.

    Usually I like to read at least 2-3 books per month, but for the month of November I’m only going to read one book.  I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book so I really want to sink my teeth into it and focus on it.  I’m sure many of you have already heard of it as it’s been receiving rave reviews all over the Internet and social media.

    The book I’ve chosen is none other than Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  She’s the same author who wrote the book Eat, Pray, Love.  I never read that book, but I absolutely adore the movie!

    bigmagic
    Synopsis (from Amazon)
    Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

    After reading this book I also plan to write a review so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks.  If you’re so inclined, read this book next month on your own and join me!

    P.S. I’m currently obsessed with this video of Marie Forleo and Elizabeth Gilbert discussing the book.  Check it out if you have about 45 minutes to spare.  So worth listening to!

    Your turn:  Have you read this book yet or is it on your “to read” list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    read aloud, reading tips

    HELP…My Kids Won’t Sit Still During Story Time

    Today I’ll be addressing a question sent in by a reader.  She wanted to know how she could get her children to sit and listen attentively during story time.  I’m sure some of you may be wondering the same thing too.  Or perhaps you’ve thought about it before in the past or read about it on other blogs or in books.

    Rest assured that many parents and caregivers have experienced this before – myself included.  During the first few months of my daughter’s life before she learned to crawl and move around on her own, I was in story time heaven so to speak.  Meaning, I could read as many books to her as I wanted and she wouldn’t move.

    Then, once she became more mobile, all hell broke loose!  I often found myself getting frustrated because she wouldn’t sit still and listen during story time anymore.  I nearly threw in the read aloud towel until I finally understood it’s perfectly normal for kids not to sit still…they should be moving.  In fact, they need to move.  It’s good for their developing bodies and brains.  Once I realized that I took a different approach to story time and it made all the difference.  Below are a few things to consider that have helped me.
    Help! My Kids Won't Sit Still During Story Time

    1. Just keep on reading.
    Even if you don’t think your kids are listening, just continue reading because chances are they are in fact listening.  Last night during story time the kids started out listening attentively as we all sat on the bed, but then daddy came into the room.  They started jumping on the bed and wanted to play with him.  I just kept on reading until I finished all of the remaining books.  Every now and then one of the kids would come over and listen for a minute or two and then go right back to playing and jumping.

    One of the things I like to do to test if the kids are really listening is to make dramatic pauses every now and then between words or sentences.  This works especially well if it’s a book the kids are really familiar with and know word-for-word.  When I take a brief pause and stop reading 9 times out of 10 the kids will jump in right on cue with the next word or phrase.  That’s how I know they’re listening and paying attention.  Try it and see if it works for you.

     

    2. Paraphrase when needed.
    Let’s face it, sometimes you have those days when you just want to get through a book so you can go to bed or get on with something else you need to do (like finish a last-minute blog post).  On days like those paraphrasing is your best friend.  That means don’t be afraid to skip some words or sentences every now and then.  Or, if there is an interesting illustration on the page just talk about the picture.  For example, if you see a horse on the page say, “Look at the horse!  What sound does a horse make?  What is the horse doing?”  Then move on to the next page.  Don’t worry, you’re still building language and literacy skills.

    3. Give them ownership over choosing which books to read.
    Although my kids don’t currently select their own books from the store or the library, I do allow them to pick which books we’ll read at story time.  That automatically gives them a sense of ownership like they’re in control.  It also increases their chances of actually wanting to sit and listen to the book as it’s being read.

    4. Don’t force your kids to sit still.
    In our adult minds, we expect kids to sit down like perfect little angels and pay attention during circle time and story time.  Especially if we’re out in public at a play group or library story time event.  Remember when I said kids need to move?  Yes, it’s true.  So don’t be that mom constantly chasing after your kids if they don’t want to sit down and conform to your agenda or the agenda at hand.  If they want to explore the environment or play quietly then I say let them.  They’re still benefiting from hearing the words being read aloud.  Now if they’re acting out, having a tantrum or being disruptive to others then stop reading until they’ve calmed down (if you’re reading at home).  If you’re out in public, it may be best to go out into the hall or restroom until they’re settled.

    Bottom line is don’t expect your toddlers or preschoolers to sit still for an entire 30-minute read aloud session.  Yes, even if you’re out in public and all the other kids are sitting down quietly in a cross-legged position with their hands on their laps.  Don’t beat yourself over it.

    5. Read during mealtimes or bath time.
    Sometimes I read to the kids during dinnertime (now that they can both feed themselves) or at bath time.  Since they are either strapped into their high chairs or sitting in the tub there is no where else for them to go.  They have no choice but to sit (or stand in the tub) and listen.

    6. Keep their hands occupied.
    This is one of the best tips I learned from reading books and listening to podcasts.  Keeping their hands busy during story time works wonders.  You can give kids things like paper and crayons, Playdoh, yarn, blocks, Legos, pom poms, or anything that will keep their little hands occupied while you read.

    7. Ask your children questions as you read.
    Whether they are jumping around you or fidgeting on your lap, point to pages of the book and ask questions. For older children ask questions about the plot or characters.  For smaller ones you can ask what they think will happen next, what color something is, what sound an animal makes or whats their favorite part of the page.

    8. Listen to books online or try audio books.
    This is one area we haven’t had too much experience in, but I’ve heard listening to books online and audio books are rather effective.  These could be great alternatives on days when you just don’t feel like reading or have too much on your plate, but don’t want to skip your read aloud session with the kids.

    Don’t let your read aloud sessions become cumbersome and frustrating.  Even if your little ones act disinterested that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually become interested.  Just keep pushing through even when you feel like quitting.  And don’t worry if you get off to a rocky start with your reading time.  Keep going and work together with your children to introduce them to the joys of reading.  Most of all remember to have fun! Be silly and enjoy this time of exploring the world with your children through books.

    P.S. If you have a question related to reading or literacy feel free to contact me.  I love hearing from people who read this blog!  I’m no self-proclaimed literacy or reading expert, but I will do my best to answer any questions asked.

    Your turn:  Help our reader friend who submitted this question out.  Do your kids sit still during story time?  What additional tips would you let her know?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    book reviews, children's books

    Poems for the Smart, Spunky, and Sensational Black Girl: A Book Review

    One night while browsing on Instagram, I spotted the book Poems for the Smart, Spunky, and Sensational Black Girl and my daughter happened to be sitting next to me.  She saw the picture and said, “Mommy, what’s that?”  When I told her it was a book she said, “I want to read it.”  I had already made up my mind I was going to purchase it as soon as it came out because it looked amazing, but my daughter re-affirmed it for me.

    I love reading stories with my daughter that she can relate to (and my son too).  That means stories about kids—or, more specifically, stories where girls take the lead.  (Yay, girlpower!)  And the spunkier the heroine, the better.  That’s why Rachel Garlinghouse’s latest book is the perfect choice for my smart, spunky, and sensational little Black girl.

    Poems for the Smart, Spunky, and Sensational Black Girl
    by Rachel Garlinghouse, illustrated by Sharee Miller 
    poemsforthesmartspunky

    Synopsis
    Today’s girl has a lot going on! From beads, bullies, and birthdays, to school, sunglasses, and siblings, Poems for the Smart, Spunky, and Sensational Black Girl resonates and inspires! From Rachel Garlinghouse (author and mom) and Sharee Miller (owner of Coily and Cute) comes this one-of-a-kind poetry collection that will certainly bring a smile to your little lady’s face and heart.

    Reflection
    The first day this book arrived in the mail I read it on my own before reading it to the kids.  When I read it to the kids I read half of the poems in the afternoon before nap time, then read the other half later that night at bed time.  They both listened and were attentive and engaged throughout each reading session.  There are a total of 23 short poems contained in this book so I think breaking it up and reading a few at a time may work best, especially if you have little ones who tend to get fidgety.  Older kids should have no problems reading this book in one sitting though.

    One of the poems is entitled The Things I Like.  I adore this poem because people are so quick to ‘box your children in’ these days.  Meaning, they try to label your child as shy, aggressive, tomboys, or a girlie girls.  I think you should allow your kids to be exactly who God created them to be whether that be a beauty queen or a brainiac, an athlete or a quirky, creative type, or a lovely mixture of all of the above.  This poem does a great job of expressing that through the text as well as the illustration.

    There is also a short thought-provoking poem called What If.  It’s a series of questions like, ‘What if Oprah Winfrey never would have spoken?’  ‘What if Rosa Parks never would have refused?’  Not only did this poem cause me to reflect on all of these wonderful women, but it also inspired me to leave behind my own legacy to make people ponder their own ‘what if’ question about me.  Hopefully, this poem will resonate with my daughter throughout the years as she gets older.

    Another favorite poem called Between Mama’s Knees is simply beautiful.  It’s about a little girl sitting between her mama’s knees to get her hair done.  Something I remember all to well as a child.  The last line in that poem is “Between mamas’ knees beauty is born.”  How perfect is that?

    The illustrations in this book are so bright, vibrant, and beautiful!  I love the representation of girls, boys, men, and women of different races featured throughout.  Oh, and because I am also a natural hair enthusiast, I must mention the hairstyles are adorable!  You’ll see little girls rocking afro puffs, beads, ponytails, braids, and twist outs.

    It’s also worth mentioning this is a paperback book.  Therefore, if you have little ones who are still in the phase of putting everything in their mouths keep this in mind as the pages may rip easily.  The glossy cover of the book seems more durable than the actual pages.

    The childish viewpoints in the poems feel bright, unforced, and happily spontaneous.   There are short and funny selections mixed with slightly longer, more thoughtful verse.  Some of the poems may even help to build up a girl’s self-esteem so she can walk and breathe with pride accepting herself for who she is.  This book may also inspire girls to start writing some poetry of their own.

    Overall, I think this is an excellent book to add to a girls’ book collection!  Especially if she’s a smart, spunky, and sensational Black girl.

    Disclaimer:  I purchased this book with my own money and was not compensated to write this review.  All opinions and views expressed are my own.

    Your turn:  Did you enjoy this post?  Are you looking forward to reading it with your little ones?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    children's books, read aloud

    Read it and Weep: 3 Tear-Jerking Picture Books

    One thing I’ve learned on my read aloud journey with the kids is to never underestimate the effect a children’s picture books can have on me.  I firmly believe children’s books teach some very valuable life lessons for both children and adults.  I think picture books are made for two different audiences – the prime audience, young children, but also the adult who shares it with them.  In order for picture books (and board books) to be effective, they have to work for both the adult and the child.

    On my most recent library haul for the kids, I picked up three amazing picture books that inspired me to write this blog post.  All three of these books moved me so deeply, so I had to share.

    This is not something I am proud of, but sometimes while reading a bedtime story with my kids, I find myself choking back the tears. Has that ever happened to you?  I find this happens even more now since I’ve become a parent.

    You can find the most recent culprits that either made me cry or choked me up listed below.  I think all of these books are so beautifully told and illustrated.  When I read them aloud or even silently on my own they move me deeply, every time.  So grab a box of tissues, curl up (with or without your kids) and enjoy this brief selection of three recent children’s books that made me cry.

    Wish by Matthew Cordell
    wish
    This book didn’t just choke me up, but it actually made me cry.  I think is the perfect book to give to an expectant mom.  Especially if you want to see her do the “ugly cry” if she’s finally pregnant after months/years of trying to conceive.  It’s about two elephants who wanted to start a family together, and then one day they get their wish.

    Bluebird by Bob Staake
    bluebird
    This is one of the best wordless books I’ve seen this year.  A boy and a bluebird become friends, but then tragedy strikes.  Don’t worry, it ends on a high note.  This one may be a bit heavy for really small children as it does deal with death and loss.  I’d recommend it for children ages 4 – 9 (although I did show it to my children).

    You’re Here For a Reason by Nancy Tillman
    yourehereforareason
    I love Nancy Tillman’s books!  Every one that I’ve read is amazing and very touching.  This book is certainly no exception and makes a great bedtime story.  So nice to be able to tell your kids how much you love them and appreciate them at the end of each day.  Also, a great reminder to let them know they’re here for a reason.

    Your turn:  Anyone want to own up to crying at a picture book? Any recommendations for the tear-jerker list? Or just ones that move you deeply?  I’d love to read a few more.

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    book reviews, children's books, holiday books

    Monster Trouble: A Book Review

    Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson
    monstertrouble

    Synopsis
    Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel—but she DOES need her sleep, and the neighborhood monsters WON’T let her be! Every night they sneak in, growling and belching and making a ruckus. Winifred constructs clever traps, but nothing stops these crafty creatures. What’s a girl to do?

    Reflection
    Both of my kids really enjoyed this book – it was a big hit last month and this month.  Little Winifred Schnitzel is too cute with her two afro puff ponytails!  Oh, and she’s very brave too.

    In this book, she tries several different tactics to keep monsters at bay so she can get some much needed beauty sleep.  Winifred sets traps using string, she uses some stinky Limburger cheese, and even a pokey chair.  Unfortunaley, she is unsuccessful at trying to trap or trick the monsters and she eventually falls into a deep sleep.  When she is awakened by one of the monsters, she kisses him.  Well, the monster is totally disgusted by the kiss and he starts freaking out.  Wise little Winifred takes notice of how grossed out the monster is, so she starts kissing all of them and they finally leave her alone at night to sleep.  So if you’ve ever wondered how to get monsters to leave you alone now you know the secret…kiss them!

    I think this is a great book for children who are afraid of the dark when the lights go out at night.  It can also be used to teach kids how to deal with their fears and being strong and brave.  I would recommend this book for children ages 3 – 8 (even though I read it with my little guy who’s almost two years old).

    Parents, caregivers, and teachers don’t have to worry about scary or spooky looking monster illustrations in this book. The pictures are colorful and entertaining. The story is written in a fun rhyming way that’s perfect for story telling and keeping little readers and listeners captivated.  A great Halloween read aloud book for both girls and boys!

    Looking for more Halloween-themed books for kids?  Check out one of my previous posts here.

    Your Turn:  Did you enjoy this book review?  Have you read this book yet?  If so, feel free to let me know if you and your little ones enjoyed it.

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