Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Red Chalk By: Iris van der Heide Illustrated By: Marije Tolman

Clearly if you have children you have been in that scenario where everything they own is boring and there is nothing fun to do.  This book is the parents proof that your mind has endless power to create wonderful things all around you.  But of course it is all up to them!  

Sara who is bored of playing with her red chalk, becomes envious of her friend with the "better" toy.  She cleverly attracts him to the chalk to trade for his toy.  But after playing with it for a short while she is bored again and goes to friend after friend enticing them with the toy she is now bored of to trade for their fun toy.  Eventually she runs out of friends to trade with and sees her friend using the red chalk to play hopscotch.  Sara thinks hopscotch would be fun so she decides to trade again to get her red chalk.  But this time she sees the value in the red chalk.  She draws a large hopscotch and invites all of her friends to play along too. Sara finds an important life lesson;  imagination can be endless and nothing is as pleasing than a bunch of great friends to share it with!

The Red Chalk is a book worth picking up and reading with your little one.  Your children will be astonished to see that the toys Sara thought could provide no more amusement have provided a lot of enjoyment for her friends.   I love a book that has a valuable lesson hiding in a fun read!      Enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lulu and the Brontosaurus By: Judith Viorst Illustrated by: Lane Smith

This is a tale of a girl who can throw one wicked tantrum whenever her parents attempt to tell her "no". Her parents always give into Lulu but when she asks for a Brontosaurus as a birthday present her parents just won't say yes.  This leaves Lulu no other choice but to head out into the forest on her own to find a pet Brontosaurus herself.  (Leaving her parents sipping tea, eating cookies quite relieved to have some quiet time.)  The fact that her parents forget about her cracks me up!  Most kids think they are always the center of our universes but when they go acting a fool it is good for them to find their own way sometimes!

Go on Lulu's journey with her and see if she can find her birthday present and if she can find herself a set of good manners.  This is a clever tale that will have your kids wanting you to read it from start to finish.  It is also a great book for young readers to read solo.  The author includes several endings letting you choose which you like best.  The pencil drawings of the animals and of Lulu are alive with movement and personality.

This book is a great way to show a child how very silly they look when they go bananas (and they all do at some point).  It is also a great way to mirror to a child the power of good and bad manners and how it can make a big difference on the outcome of any situation.

You will find a lot of humor and wit spread throughout the story much like any of Judith Viorst books.   Pick up this great read and if the kids love it there is sequel to check out: Lulu Walks the Dog.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Snowy Day By: Ezra Jack Keats

The 1963 Caldecott Medal winner

The Snowy Day is a fantastic book to read anytime of year but especially in the thick of winter.  What child isn't dreaming of playing in the snow right now?  The boy in this book Peter wakes up to find his world all white as far as he can see.  You then follow him as he sets out alone to make silly tracks in the snow, smack a snow covered tree (oops), make a snowman and angels, attempt to play with the bigger boys in their snowball fight and slide down a big mound of snow.  The illustrations are simple and soft and at the right times bright and vibrant.  Ezra Jack Keats really portrays the images of the 1960's but this book is timeless and any child will love this story!

The publisher of this book Viking/Penguin declared January The Snowy Day month and their website has a lot of great activities. Why not read the book and combine it with an activity to get the kids excited about reading?  Check it out here:

If your children like this book try reading another of the six books where Keats uses Peter as a character.  My girls also like watching the Ezra Jack Keats Scholastic DVD that includes seven of his stories read aloud with all the images of the books displayed for them. 

 Don't forget many of the books are available at your local library and to utilize your library as often as possible!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm a SHARK By: Bob Shea

I'm a shark is a hilarious story that is sure to bring children and adults lots of giggles from start to finish!  

What could an awesome shark be afraid of?  According to him nothing!  But as you will see the way he sees things are drastically different than reality.  

A little crab and fish prod the Shark with questions on what he could be possibly be afraid of and when they ask him if he would be afraid of a squid he answers "A scary squid that's not really a creepy spider? Bring him on!  He'd say: I'm going to get you! Then I'd say: Good luck! You'll need it! And he'd say: Oh no, I didn't see you were a really awesome shark! I'm totally scared!  Then he'd ink himself in front of everybody.  So embarrassing!"

The Shark obviously is afraid of spiders and the shrimp and crab mention it and he responds by saying "If I saw a spider, I would swim away as fast as my fins would take me. That's not scared-that's smart."  

You will not be disappointed you picked up this great book to share with the kids!  It will brighten up every ones mood.  And who doesn't like sharks?!
The humor in this book will not be lost on anyone who reads it.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ponyella By: Laura Numeroff and Nate Evans Pictures by: Lynn Munsinger

 Ponyella is an adorable twist on the tale of Cinderella.  My girls absolutely love this book.  What little girl doesn't love a fancy pony, a princess, a fairy godmare and a happy ending?  In this version of the classic tale Ponyella gets bought by a new owner who brings along two horses Bun Bun and Plumpkin.  Bun Bun and Plumpkin are not nice to Ponyella and Ponyella is made to do all the hard labor around the farm.  One day Princess Penelope shows up and she is going to pick the winner of the "Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship".  Sounds pretty fancy right?!  Plumpkin and Bun Bun tell Ponyella she is too dirty to participate and she begins to cry.  As the story goes she is visited by a godmare who makes Ponyella spectacular and fancy not to leave out a pair of diamond horseshoes.

"Now remember, you must be home by the stroke of noon."  Ponyella ends up impressing the princess but has to retreat before the spell turns her back.  Princess Penelope doesn't give up and tries the diamond horseshoe left behind on every horse she finds until she comes across Ponyella.  She buys Ponyella with all the money in her piggy bank and treats her like a pony fit for a princess.

The book ends  "As for Plumpkin and Bun Bun, they were sold to a new owner.  But that's another story."

Any little girl will have fun with this story and want to read it again and again!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

If You Take A Mouse To The Movies By: Laura Numeroff Illustrated by: Felicia Bond

You'll see in this book if you take a mouse to the movies it will lead you on a very exciting and tiring journey. The mouse leads the boy on a sequence of activities that will have you laughing all the way!  It just so happens with everything he asks for it will in the end have him asking for the same thing he did at the beginning leading right back to where he started!

The book set around Christmas time has lots of winter fun sprinkled throughout the pages. The illustrations will capture little readers attention with all the sparkle and detail paid to every page! My girls love when the mouse makes Christmas ornaments, many, many, Christmas ornaments!  They especially love the angel mouse he makes.

This is one of three books about this adorable mouse. All written in the familiar fun way watching the little mouse going in a circle of activities to find himself back where he started!

If your children enjoy this book take a trip to your local library and bring home the series of these books :


Also check out the author here:  

She has a lot of excellent reads and also some activities for the kiddos!

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Garden By: Kevin Henkes

In this Kevin Henkes book My Garden you get a chance to see a little girl and how she imagines her very own garden would be.  Her mother has a garden that is very hard work but her garden would be one of wonder and whimsy!  Her flowers in her garden would change color by just thinking about it, and there would be no rabbits in her garden stealing lettuce instead there would be chocolate bunnies for her to eat!  "If I planted jelly beans, I'd grow a great big jelly bean bush."  "The tomatoes would be as big as beach balls, and the carrots invisible because I don't like carrots."  This little girls idea of her perfect garden lights up my child's eyes and brings such wide grins to their little round faces.  This book really sparks a child's imagination.  The illustrations are fun and adorable.  This book is definitely worth a read especially when it is winter and you are dreaming of warmer times in your garden!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Charlie Brown Christmas By: Charles M. Shulz

Merry Christmas to everyone!  And thank you to everyone who has read my blog this year!

A Charlie Brown Christmas is an iconic tradition and one that I have personally grown to love more and more each year.  Besides the fact that the book and movie are filled with all kinds of humor and make you reminisce about being a kid it is also filled with such a wonderful lesson. The peanut gang are a must at any holiday and they have wisdom beyond their years! I love how they get passed all the "commercialism" that is weighing down Charlie Brown's spirits and find the true meaning of Christmas.

Every time we hear the piano music from the movie that Schroeder plays we can't help but do the silly dances from the Peanut Gang!    

I think we all remember lines from this movie "Of all the Charlie Browns in the world you are the Charlie Browniest", "Oh, no. My own dog has gone commercial. I can't stand it", and Sally asking Charlie Brown to write a letter to Santa "How about tens and twenties?".

The best part of this great story is hearing Linus give his speech about what Christmas truly means and watching Charlie Brown thinking he has killed the little tree he rescued only to find his friends making the tree the happiest, little Christmas tree they ever saw!  And it ends with the whole gang singing Hark, the herald angels together around the tree.

It's never too early to introduce your kids to such a wonderful book that captures what is right and wrong with Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Spirit of Christmas By: Nancy Tillman

 Another beautiful story by Nancy Tillman the author of On The Night You Were Born.

Follow the Spirit of Christmas through amazing scenes and beautiful passages spoken about Christmas and all the brilliant things that arouse such a spirit in all of us!  But as we all know without our family and the special people in our lives Christmas won't feel like Christmas in your heart! Flown across many pages in this book are passages of beautiful Christmas carols.  It is so much fun to start singing each carol and see if you little ones can sing one of the beloved Christmas songs with you!

Have fun with your children finding the spirit of Christmas hidden on each page.  This book is really delightful and is a perfect way to end each night during the Christmas season.    You won't be disappointed with this great book and the happiness it will bring to you and your child!  I believe one of the best gifts you can give your kiddos is reading to them as often as you can!  And it costs practically nothing!  Here is to a Season of giving with love and nurturing what is truly important in life!

The face of the Spirit of Christmas is hidden in the snowball

"And so then, my darling, wherever you roam, may you always be safe...may you always come home.
For as long as the world still spins and still hums, wherever you are, and no matter what comes, the best part of Christmas will always beneath my Christmas tree."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Santa Claus By: Rod Green Illustrated by: Jon Lucas and Carol Wright

This is a book I bought before my daughter was born.  I knew even as an adult how much enjoyment this book would provide for my children.

The book is full of facts about the North Pole and its animals, how the elves work and play, Santa's house, the mail room, Santa's workshop, Mrs. Claus's cookies, all the reindeer including Rudolph, Santa's Magic Snowsuit, Santa's Sleigh,  how he travels and deliver the presents and much, much more!  The book has letters you can open and read and stickers to use.  It includes a spot to play peek-a-boo with an elf, and a pull out on the animals of the Arctic.  Your children will be mesmerized by this book and will spend lots of time looking over each page!  It is a great addition to Christmas time and it explains a lot of the magic behind Santa but is also very informative and factual.  I think at any age a child would appreciate this book!  Isabela as a one year old was stuck on the page with the Elves having their Christmas Day party.  Both my girls love pulling this book out each year with our holiday things and reading it over and over again!  There are secrets on every page and lots of fun to be had with this book! 

Santa's Diary and a pull out route map too!