Friday, August 31, 2012

One Cool Friend By: Toni Buzzeo Pictures by: David Small

One Cool Friend is a funny tale of a proper boy named Elliot who gets invited to go to the aquarium with his father.  At the aquarium Elliot ends up taking home a real penguin (which reminds him of himself) and with his father's permission of course.  His dad gives him $20 dollars as he appears to be reading the stuffed penguins for sale sign.  Elliot is great to his new penguin Magellan who he lets ice skate in his room, sleep in the freezer, eat anchovy pizzas, and have nice cold baths in the bathtub.  All the while it seems the penguin goes unnoticed by his father. Until Elliot's dad goes to take a bath and discovers Magellan in there and says "Young man, where did this penguin come from?" and when Elliot replies from Argentina his dad says "That's right," and says his Captain Cook came from the Galapagos Islands.  The joke is on us at the end when you turn the page and see that like father like son his dad has a huge and real turtle!

His father says I got Captain Cook (his turtle) in the third grade.

 This book is a slyly written and more enjoyable with each read!  My girls got a big kick out of the plot and loved the illustrations!  One Cool Friend will be remind all of us how with every visit to the zoo you wished you could take home an animal for a pet!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Penny Love By: Lisa Soars Hale Illustrated by: Marilee Harrald-Pilz

Penny Love is a heartwarming book about a little girl and her Grandmother who loves her very much.  The little girl and her Grandma go for a walk and find a penny.  The Grandmother tells her that "whenever you find a penny, you will know that Grandma loves you."  After their walk the Grandma gets a jar for the girl to put her penny in and tells her to put any penny's she finds in this jar and "Soon you will see just how much Grandma loves you."  It shows the girl growing and finding more pennies and after each penny she finds she whispers "I love you too Grandma." Many years pass and the jar eventually is overflowing with pennies or Grandma's love."  It then shows that little girl as a Grandma herself passing on the tradition to her own granddaughter and looking up to heaven to whisper "I love you, too, Grandma!" 

My girls like watching the girl find pennies and seeing the little girl growing up.  I think it is a wonderful idea to actually do as a grandparent and think a child would love this little game. 

This is a very sweet book and a great read for any grandparent to their little beloved!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Super-Completely And Totally The Messiest By: Judith Viorst


This great book really showcases how different two sisters can be.  Olivia the big sister in this book is very neat and organized while her younger sister Sophie is well, just plain MESSY!  Poor Sophie, not only is her sister constantly reminding her to be neat but her parents like to tell her too.  Even when Sophie tries to be careful it makes it worse. 

 This book has Judith Viorst great sense of humor sprinkled throughout.   Viorst really understands all the stages of life we all go through and she has a great way of making things that drive us crazy really funny!

Emy then (pudding time)
 My girls are a little like this too.  Isabela more on the neat side likes to have things lined up and to color in the lines "perfectly" while her younger sister Emma has to squeeze anything she holds just to check its durability out first.  Yes of course this ends up with a lot of things broken but how else can you test if it is indestructible?  Emma was one of those babies you fed sweet potatoes to and wondered how she ended up with it all over her entire face and how could she possibly reach her toe in her Boppy to get it down there too??  I laugh picturing Emma eating a Pb&j sandwich and the peanut butter mustache that follows it.

Emy now (Smore fun)
Read this to your little ones for a great laugh!  I'm sure we all have a little Sophie or Olivia in all of us.  They will be sure to find something to relate to!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Giving Tree By: Shel Silverstein

I can remember being read this book at school as a young child.  I remember feeling sad for the tree. This book really stuck with me.  As a child I liked seeing how the boys life progressed and how what he thought he needed changed as he grew older.  I didn't fully understand the book as a child and even as an adult I don't delve too much into the meaning behind the book.  I see it simply as a love story.  One of my favorite things in life is to give and see the pleasure that comes over a person when you have done something special for them.  That feeling is such a gift.

The Giving Tree is about a tree who holds the love of a little boy and he does as well for her.  As a child he plays on her, eats her apples, sleeps in her shade and that makes her happy.  But as the boy grows he begins to need more in his life and doesn't have time for the simple pleasures.  He comes to visit the tree in different stages of his life and eventually depletes the tree of all she has to offer him.  By that time the boy is an old man and she is a stump.  "I don't need very much now," said the boy, "just a quiet place to sit and rest.  I am very tired." "Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, "well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest." And the boy did. And the tree was happy."

This book was also one of the first books I heard Isabela reading out loud.  It made me smile so big and after she finished reading it she read it again.  I asked her today why she loves this book and she said "I like that their names are on the tree in a heart."

I want to be the giving tree for my girls.  I want us to be together and have fun and love our whole lives...together.  That will make me happy.

I can't say enough about this book but I can say that it is a truly fantastic read. Share this story with your little ones because everyone who reads it will feel something for this book!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sesame Beginnings Baby's First Board Books By: Sesame Workshop Bendon Publishing International,Inc.

I have been reminiscing the past couple of days and couldn't help myself but to dive into memories of my first born Isabela as a baby. When I started remembering those times these books popped into my head.  These were the first books I picked out with Isabela.  I remember finding Baby's First Board Books as we strolled through K-Mart trying to pass a long day.  Isabela was about 6 months old and just starting to love the little, red, furry monster known to all the world as Elmo. Elmo was an instant hit!  I would read these books over and over and over and again.  She couldn't get enough of the illustrations and the rhyming of the words.  She was hooked.  I didn't even have to look at the pages anymore to any of the books they could be recited in my sleep!

This set of books includes four books.  Nighty-Night is about bedtime and the routine that ensues.  Eyes & Nose, Fingers & Toes a great introduction to body parts and basic functions.  This book I would always act out the clapping and pointing and hiding my tongue only to let little fingers try to find it.  At the Zoo is a sweet book about silly animals and great descriptions of each.  Then there is Bubbles Bubbles which Isabela loved.  "Bubbles bubbles Pop! Pop! Pop!"  I have so many fond memories of Sesame Street and still think it is a great learning tool for children.  After all in order to get kids interested in reading they need to have a passion for what you are going to read to them.  I can still picture Isabela grabbing a book and for a baby who was never content for long, books for her were different.  She still loves books and I can only hope that it lasts for her lifetime! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Name is Not Isabella By: Jennifer Fosberry

My daughter Isabela received this book for her fourth birthday.  It is such an enlightening book that is very inspiring for any little girl.  A little girl name Isabela goes throughout her day telling her mother that she is not Isabela but many other names.  The names just happen to be names of women pioneers of different eras that changed our world dramatically for women.  "I am ROSA, the greatest, bravest activists who ever was!"

Your little girl will love the illustrations and will find it an easy read with its repetitive structure.

"It's me, Isabella, the sweetest,kindest,smartest, bravest, fastest, toughest, greatest girl that ever was," and the little girl as she fell sleep and dream about who she would be....tomorrow. 

I just love how this book has the most simplest intentions to just inspire little girls to go for it all and to imagine anything for themselves because it is all possible!  What a wonderful message! At the very end of the book there is a page with all of the "women who changed the world" and it provides you with a history on each of them (they even include a paragraph for the most important woman, mommy). There is also a boy version of this book that my girls enjoyed as well called My Name is Not Alexander. 

When Emma got a hold of her sisters copy of this book I think she loved it even more than Isabela and she was only two at the time. This book will become an instant favorite!

Here is to an inspirational read!