Book Review: Alpha By Isabelle Arsenault

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This book is one of my prized treasures from last year. I spied an early version of it coming to the US at a book sellers convention and it literally made me halt and gasp. It is a breathtakingly beautiful abecedarian. In a market where alphabet books abound in every manner of cleverness, this book stands out – not only in its physical characteristics with a cloth spine and uncoated paper – but also in its use of the NATO phonetic alphabet combined with unique visuals. Prepare to be captivated by an alphabet book. Here is Alpha by Isabelle Arsenault, 2015. Read the full post…

Book Review: Bloom By Cronin & Small

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I am drowning in awesome books over here. As if I cannot manage to find enough amazing books on my own, we had a school reading list for the summer of even more excellent finds from the school librarian. We are loving it! And my hopeful review pile is toppling. I hope to highlight as many as possible and – though I am terrible at keeping posts short – I’m going to try to edit my writing in order to highlight many more.

First up, this new book from a favorite illustrator of mine, David Small. My girls were enamoured with this book and I loved every part of it, especially the powerful message about girls and to everyone. But I’m getting ahead of myself in the excitement. Let’s take a look at Bloom by Doreen Cronin and David Small, 2016. Read the full post…

Wordless Wednesday: The Girl And The Bicycle & Interview With Mark Pett

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It’s Wordless Wednesday once again! Somehow I managed to sit on this awesome interview for months now! I’m not exactly sure what happened. I contacted Mark Pett and he readily agreed to do the interview, and then I never got it up. So sorry about that Mark! It wasn’t lack of interest in your answers, I promise. Let’s just blame it on life and the amount of reviews and books that I get buried under weekly.

So join me this late Wednesday evening for a beautiful story about a girl, a wished for bicycle, persistence, and true generosity. Here is The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett, 2014. And stay tuned for a Q&A with him too!

Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Picture Books About Death

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I really struggled with what to call this book grouping, debating between using the word “death” or “loss.” And two of these books could actually be questionable about if the missing character actually died or just left, which potentially makes them even more useful. But when speaking to children about tough topics, semantics can cause more issues because of the literal nature and word associations due to age. Saying someone is “lost” or “gone away” or any of those terms just didn’t cut it for me and always confuses my daughter when the topic of death has come up. So, Picture Books About Death it is.

This is a sad group, I agree, but I hope you’ll stick with me because these books are beautiful, and necessary. You will most likely need one of these at some point in your or a child you know’s life. Two of these are new, joining an interesting flow of children’s literature about death more recently. The other book is one of my favorites from Oliver Jeffers that has just the right amount of mystery and heart to it. Grab a few tissues, just in case, and let’s read three picture books about the death of a loved one. Read the full post…

Book Review: No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah OHora

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One of my favorite things about picture books and my kids, is observing which books become favorites. Sometimes the new favorite is a book I purposefully chose, strategically kept out in sight, and then felt contentedly smug when it easily won their hearts just like I thought it would. Other times, I feel shocked and a little perplexed at why certain books become a reigning favorite. And I’m maybe even a little relieved when they fade into the distance depending on how much I enjoyed the book myself or strained under the repetition and reader requirements (I’m looking at you Sandra Boynton’s Doggies). Then there are others that I myself admired, had on my own shelves for months or years even (this is the problem with owning too many books), and for some random reason I finally pull it down to share it with the kids. Bingo! They are hooked.

This is such a book. If I allowed stickers on books, my girls would have covered this one in gold stars of love. I cannot even remember what made me pull this down in the first place, but it has been the resounding favorite for over a month now – with both kids. My oldest has even changed her hair style to wear two barrettes on each side just like Amelia, every day. It doesn’t matter what my girls are doing, if I pick this book up and even crack the spine, suddenly they have landed in a spot by my side and silently wait for the reading to begin. This book is no longer mine alone. So of course, I must share it here too. Just in case you haven’t yet discovered Nilson for yourself yet. Allow me to present No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah OHora, 2013. Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Summer Fruit Books!

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One of the many things that I love about living in NYC is that summer actually lasts through August. So even though my social media feeds are flooded with friends’ back-to-school pictures and posts, we still have a month of summer left. Hurrah! And I was even more delighted when we recently arrived back from vacation and discovered that our favorite summer fruit was still in season and well-priced. Double hurrah! This calls for a post. A Let’s Read Three post about summer fruit books, of course.

These three are some of our favorite books, that include fruit too. Jamberry would definitely be a friend to this group. Two of them are vintage and most likely classics in some houses. The third is a book that I have meant to post for a couple years now. It’s time. Let’s read some fruit books! Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Summer Books!

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Happy summer everyone! Well, Western Hemisphere friends that is. I was hoping to post these summer books on the actual first day of summer two days ago; but alas, summer came bounding in with a summer cold for me. Nevertheless, I am excited about the warm months and the many lovely things it holds. We started our summer bucket list and are definitely looking for lots of summery literature to fill our thoughts and dreams. These three are all vintage, simply because they came to mind first and are just lovely favorites. Let’s read three books about summer! Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Unique Father’s Day Books

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Happy Father’s Day! In thinking about this holiday, I got to thinking about some of the more unique dad books that we have floating around. Seemed only right to follow up the classic father books group with some fun, slightly different, and more unique books about dads. Let’s read three more books about fathers! Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Father’s Day books!

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This week has felt very focused on dads, even more so than usual thanks to Father’s Day this Sunday, and my husband being out of town all week. I’m starting to think he planned it that way as my girls have been talking about Daddy non-stop and we all cannot wait for his arrival. Unfortunately though, single parenting for the week has made any hopes of fun Father’s Day gifts go completely out the window. Survival first; celebration planning second. But, I did what I always tend to do when celebrating or thinking about something specific… we read Dad-themed books. And of course reading several books in succession made me think, I need to post those as a Let’s Read Three series! So, lucky you, I’ve got not one – but two posts forthcoming all about dads.

Now, my favorite Dad picture book of all time will always be The Daddy Book which you can see in all of its glory on my review post a couple of years back. And we also love any Little Bear story about Father Bear. But for this grouping I grabbed some classics. These are most likely on a lot of people’s favorite lists considering the Golden Book legacy and the illustrators involved, so I’m calling them great classics. Let’s Read Three (classic) books about fathers! Read the full post…