Ezra Jack Keats

There’s A Book For That! – How To Be An Animal Detective

A few weeks ago, we were walking through Central Park after a major snow storm. It is one of my favorite times to visit the park. The snow blankets everything and mutes sound in a beautiful way. The most noticeable sounds are the snow dropping from heavy tree branches and a few animals that dare to scurry about. If you get outside quickly enough, the snow remains mostly untouched – by humans at least. We were admiring the snow landscape from my favorite park bridge, when we were completely delighted to notice lots of different tracks going across the frozen pond. We made guesses as to what they might be from, but we really didn’t know.

That evening, I pulled a book off my shelves that I haven’t looked at very closely. I stumbled across it a few months ago in a vintage book sale and really only grabbed it because of the illustrator. (I am a bit of a snob about softcovers.) It came to mind while we were wondering about the tracks and I decided to give it a read. It is now a new (old) favorite! If you are ever wandering about and happen upon some tracks that you wish you could identify, there’s a book for that! How to be an Animal Detective by Millicent Selsam, pictures by Ezra Jack Keats, 1958. Read the full post…

Best Baby Picture Books: Great Gift Ideas for Baby Showers and More

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Spring is in full swing and often it brings baby showers and first birthdays, as well as other random celebrations for little ones. If you know me well, then you know my philosophy is that books are the best gifts. A book is a way to give again and again; something that develops the child; plants memories; and introduces joy, silliness, beauty and so much more. To quote a favorite movie, “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”

It is a big responsibility to choose a book for a child; one that too many people take lightly. If you know the family well, you can choose books that you think will fit their personality. But often, you just need some quality books to choose from. Being the kind person I am, I’m letting you in on my secret list – well, at least sixteen from it. There are lots of books that people consider a must for a baby library, many I like and some I really don’t. I have not included the most familiar ones as I find that the parents probably already have those, someone else will gift them, or I just want to give an even more unique one. Here is my top sixteen list of children’s picture books that are excellent baby shower gifts, first birthday gifts, or just because you are cute gifts. Read the full post…

Children’s Picture Books For Winter, 2013

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Post holiday season is always a little gloomy, especially with the gray weather and cold. But never fear! I have a list of 10 lovely wintery books just perfect for snuggling up and celebrating the brisk season. Read the full post…

How To Create A Children’s Book Character Costume, Part 1

Yesterday a dear friend contacted me and asked if I had any suggestions for a children’s book character costume. My mind started racing trying to think of fun and potentially easy characters that could be donned. Here are a few I’ve come up with that I think would be relatively simple to create and unique as well. (Don’t forget to check thrift stores for supplies!) Read the full post…