Dec 28, 2009

Happy Happy Holidays!

Sorry that there will not be a post this week. 
 (I'm having too much fun with all the new toys my kids got for Christmas :)!)
All will resume as normal (hopefully) after January 1st.  Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and have a safe and happy NEW YEAR!

Dec 21, 2009

Olive, The Other Reindeer

Vivian Walsh is the author of this adorable story about a confused little doggy.  The little dog reminded me of a Jack Russell that my grandparents used to have and then I found out it was based on an actual Jack Russell that the author once had.  This book is perfect for this holiday season!  There's even a song about Olive on Vivian's website! 

My two year old got this read to him first and now has refused to share it with my older children because he likes it so much.  (Plus he is really good at saying "Olive" now and asks for it daily by name!)  Luckily it is a book I enjoy reading so I don't mind that he asks for it so often. 

J. Otto Seibold has done an incredible job of making the pictures completely fit the story!  The pictures are lively and fun just like the book. 

So as you are getting ready to celebrate Christmas don't forget to grab a few of these great Christmas books to read them with the fam before the big day is over!  Merry Christmas!

Dec 16, 2009

Merry Christmas, Stinky Face

I have to admit that I loved this book from the first time I read it but the ending confused me.  I read the last page that said, "Merry Christmas, Stinky Face" and thought, hmmm what did I miss?  Did she get something smelly on her face?  Did I skip a page?  So I read it through again, and another time just for good measure and was still baffled about the whole Stinky Face comment.  I loved the book enough though that I was willing to overlook this baffling title and ending.  Silly me!  I got online to look up this author and found out that she has a whole slew of Stinky Face books (you can listen to some of them on Lisa McCourt's site) and the best part is they have the same illustrator so they are bound to be as charming visually as they are literarily (is that a word?).

Cyd Moore is so talented.  I am so infatuated with the pictures in this book.  My favorite is by far the Christmasaurus.  The colors and the details in the pictures are so fun for me and I know my kids love it because they are QUIET and STILL the whole time I'm reading.  I love books that have that effect on my children.  Again, I'm thrilled that she is also the illustrator of the other Stinky Face books and I can't wait to read them and see the pictures that she has come up with for all the others.  On her fun, fun sight you can find coloring pages for your kids along with an interview with Cyd & Lisa.

Lisa McCourt does a great job of capturing the "what if's" that kids come up with.  I love the premise of this book too.  I always think it is so easy being a kid but after reading this book I've realized that it is really STRESSFUL when you have to prepare your parents for the worse possible know...just in case!  Like what if Santa loses his boots while flying in his sleigh?!  I mean what then?  It made me start to think and I wonder what would happen if my roof was too steep and Santa couldn't land on it...or if Santa developed an allergy to his beloved reindeer and had to find an all night medical clinic that could give him an allergy shot...but then what if that allergy shot made him sleepy and he flew the reindeer into a house?  It is really scary when you think about all the possibilities.

Just for fun...what is the worst possible Christmas Eve scenario you can think up?  Or what is the worst fear your little ones have about Christmas night?  I'd love to hear 'em so please leave them in the comment box!

Dec 13, 2009

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Yes, you've all read or heard this story before so there is nothing I'm going to say that will be original or new to you.  I just have to say though, these "Animotion" books are so fascinating.  Even for the adults they are fun. 

I've never enjoyed reading the line, "His belly shook like a bowl full of jelly" as much as I enjoy reading it in this book.  It wasn't the first time or even the second time through that I figured this out, but if you move the page just right, you can make his belly move perfectly up and down when you read "Ho, ho, ho, ho!"  I have had so much fun with that. 

Another one of our favorite pages is the one where "visions of sugar plums danced in their heads" because it is so fun to see the dancing plums in their dreams.

This is a delightful twist on one of my all time favorite books ever!

Dec 7, 2009

The Gingerbread Pirates

Well here is another fun Christmas book for you to enjoy this holiday season.  It reminds me of the Nutcracker for some reason.  Maybe it is the artwork and the fact that the cookies come to life.  Either way, I love The Nutcracker (after all I was an excellent Bon-Bon in the ballet when I was nine) and this has that same magical, anything can happen on Christmas Eve, type feeling!  At first I thought it looked a little long and was worried that maybe the kids wouldn't sit all the way through it.  My youngest one is two but he even sat through it just fine. 

Kristin Kladstrup does an excellent job with writing this book.  I love the Captains personality and his brave little cookie ways!  My oldest two really love this book and even though there are no Gingerbread Princesses, my daughter still loves it. 

Matt Tavares did an excellent job with the illustrations!  I've always thought of Gingerbread Men as sort of plain but not in this book!  They are fun and full of expression.  You can see more of his work in his blog if you are interested.

Only 17 days left until Christmas!!

Dec 3, 2009

Merry Christmas Splat!

I ADORE this book!  First of all, let me say that I have been a fan of Rob Scotton's since my daughter was nine months old (she is now 5).  When she was nine months old my mom got Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton for her.  She would make me read that book three consecutive times before she would let me even think about putting her down for a nap or bed.  She was one of those children that screamed for the majority of her life for the whole first year.  So I was overjoyed when I found that Russell the Sheep made her quit screaming.  One particular grueling trip from Hailey, Idaho to McCall, Idaho (approximately four hours) she screamed and screamed and screamed until I starting reciting Russell the Sheep to her (which by this point I had OF COURSE memorized!) and she finally went silent...ahhh!  Until I fell quiet and then it started all over again.

There is a point to the above story though and that is...I never thought I would be able to love another one of Rob Scotton's characters as much as I loved Russell.  I am greatly pleased to announce though, that I love Splat the Cat and his christmas story!  Splat is so much like a real child that I can't help laughing at the dynamic between him and his sister and the reactions his mother has to all his "helping"!  It is such a fun story and the pictures are incredible!  There has never been a more loveable looking cat in my opinion. 

So in short, your holiday season will not be complete until you have read Merry Christmas Splat!  Please check out Rob Scotton's site and your kids are guaranteed to love the Fun Splat Christmas Activites also on his site.  I was especially excited to find that there is a Russell the Sheep Christmas story too!  You can be sure that is the next on my list to read!