Dec 2, 2010

Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp

I love books that have a rhythm to them.  The flow of this book almost makes you want to get up and stomp around...actually my kids literally get up and stomp around when I read this.  I then have to warn them that if they don't want to become extinct like the dinosaurs they should sit down and listen to the rest of the story.

Carol Diggory Shields has thrown in a lot of fun phrases that kids like to repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and well, you get the point.  I like reading it because it is a quick fun story that my kids haven't gotten sick of yet.

Scott Nash has created awesome pictures full of color and movement!  If you check out his website you'll see that his illustrations just scream "FUN!".

So if the weather is cruddy where you're at and you feel like partying it up indoors, just throw a Dinosaur Stomp party!

Nov 23, 2010

Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie

I don't know if my daughter picks this every night because she loves it or because she knows how much I love it.  We finished reading this tonight and I said, "I just love this book!"
My kids replied in bored unison, "WE KNOW."
I guess I have said that once or twice. 

Joel Stewart has created such an absolutely endearing book that there is no chance you won't like it.  If after reading it at least twice, you tell me you don't like it, I'm sending you a copy to read until your mood improves and you see what a wonderful book it is!  (However, if everyone says they hate it, I'll know you all are just trying to get a free copy of what you agree is an incredible book!)

I love the illustrations, I love the characters, I love the suspense...and you will to!

Nov 17, 2010

Dog Breath

This book is a riot! 
It is all about how sometimes the worst thing turns into the best thing.  A dog with the worst breath for miles ends up saving his family with his deadly breath.

There is a part in the book where some guys say, "Come here Poochie, Poochie."  Oddly, this is my kids' favorite part and they each have to take a turn saying it in their own way.  (It is my favorite part too and I also got to say it everytime we read it!)

There are a ton of play-on-words that are extremely funny and the illustrations are just as entertaining. Dav Pilkey does an excellent job entertaining the whole family with this book!

Oct 19, 2010

Pumpkin Eye

Have you been waiting for the perfect Halloween story for your little ones?  May I present, Pumpkin Eye!

I don't mind that my children fight over who gets to have this read to them at night.  Once I get them to calm down I lovingly explain that I will read it to each of them once.  That means that story time for me will be over in record time since it is such a short fun read and they will all be HAPPY because they got their favorite book.  It's a win all the way around.

This fun, fast, rhyming story with its colorful and spooky illustrastions is by Denise Fleming who has written countless amazing books.  This is perfect for Halloween and all the children that you know.  It is short enough that my three year old will sit through it but lively enough to keep my six year olds attention as well.

Don't be scared...just get enough copies to go around!

Oct 11, 2010

Skeleton Bones & Goblin Groans

I love fun short poems and this book is FULL of them!  It is perfect for getting into the holiday spirit!

Karen Dismukes has done a fantastic job with the illustrations.  They are very unique and make me stop after reading each page so I can get a better look.

Amy E. Sklansky has put together a bunch of quick fun poems.  You can read as many or as few as you want, but I recommend MANY!

What better way to end a day with a quick spooky poem?

Oct 1, 2010

Skeleton Hiccups

Woo-hoo!  It is finally the month of OCTOBER which means I can promote my favorite holiday, HALLOWEEN!  I waited all week to post so that it wouldn't seem weird that I was recommending a Halloween book in September.

In all honesty this was not my favorite book for the first three nights I had to read it.  In fact I actually told my kids that they had to pick a different book on the fourth night!  Can you believe that?!  I also was wondering to myself why it was that they loved this book SO much!  I felt like by the end of the book I was developing a case of hiccups from saying "hic, hic, hic" so many times and I could not get enthused about it. 

Then...something amazing happened!  I had all the kids in pajamas, teeth brushed, no screaming involved and I felt like I could conquer the world.  So when my youngest grabbed Skeleton Hiccups I agreed to read it.  I found out that magical night of all nights that there is a bit of a song in this book if you say it right.  I even got the kids joining in on the chorus for the "hic, hic, hic's"!  Now it is my favorite book to read and we read it every night.  Me reading the words and the kids yelling...yep, you guessed it..."HIC, HIC, HIC!"

I am not looking forward to having to take this one back to the library.  Margery Cuyler is my hero now for writing such a fun book.  She has several other books out as well.  Check out her site to see her other books and pictures of her "haunted house".  S.D. Schindler did a great job with the illustrations.  I especially like this one...
So go grab Skeleton Hiccups and a glass of water (just in case)!

Sep 21, 2010

Please, Malese!


We were driving away from the library the other day and my son asks, "Mom!  Did you give back the book with the fuzzy green shoes and the cat?"
I asked back, "Which book?"
"The one! The book with the two shoes and the cake?"
"O-o-oh, you mean Please, Malese?"
"Ya, that one!"
I informed my four year old that we had to take turns with books from the library so yes I had returned it.  I was then informed that we had to get it again soon because it was his FAVORITE book EVER!

My kids' "favorites"  change with the days but the fact that my son loved this book so much thrilled me because I really do love it too!  The main character uses his wits to get a lot of things for nothing.  Malese, is so entertaining about it though you love him and hate him all at once!  Truth be told, I don't know if I dislike Malese because he gets stuff for nothing or if I dislike that I am just not that clever.  It is extremely entertaining to read though!

Amy MacDonald does an excellent job of turning this Haitian tale into an amazing bedtime story.  It is meant for children ages four to eight but it was usually the two year old in my family that was grabbing it off the shelf first at story time.  The way Amy writes the ending I think every mother can relate to.  Would that we could all go to jail for a day and trick our captors into putting our houses in order just so we would leave!

Emily Lisker paints such bright and lively pictures that it is hard not to feel energized by them.  There is a cool cat in the pictures too and my kids loved finding/pointing him out on each page.  According to my son, the shoes are even drawn so well they appear to be "fuzzy"!

Show how clever you are and go check this one out!

Sep 13, 2010

Tatty Ratty


My name is Mattie and I am a stuffed animal addict.

There...I said it!  Phew!  I have unfortunately passed on my addictions to my children.  I thought maybe they were the only children with this disadvantage until my twenty-four year old nephew and his grey pound puppy came to stay with us.  Apparently this is not an uncommon addiction to suffer from. 

Tatty Ratty, by Helen Cooper, is a book about a little girl who loses her stuffed bunny.  She is sad and lonely imagining all the dangers and adventures her little bunny is surely getting into while she is away from him.  Finally her parents come up with an inventive solution that will make you laugh while your kids sigh in relief that Tatty Ratty is finally found!

This is a cute book with a funny twist.  The illustrations are amazing!  It makes me want to find a Tatty Ratty of my own to add to my collection.

Sep 7, 2010

BLOOM

Bloom!
A Little Book About Finding Love

No this is not a new book.  It came out in 2008 but I came across it in a book store a couple weekends ago.  My daughter's birthday was coming up and it looked like just the kind of book she would read, make me read, make her brothers read, take to the bathroom, and sleep with, until the binding fell apart.  Turns out, not only does it fill all of the above roles but I secretly wanna steal it as well!

This book is so cute.  It is simple enough that little kids are fascinated with it.  They see the obvious story line and they love the pictures.  (My son did get upset because on one of the pages there is a crayon scribble above one of the characters heads and he thought his younger brother had done that and gave him a "talking to".)  For adults though, you can read so much more into the story line if you want to or if you are as tired as I was tonight you can just enjoy it as is!

Maria Van Lieshout has two other books called PEEP! and SPLASH! that I can't wait to get!  She has done a fantastic job making this book apply to every age of life.  It would be ideal for a birthday gift or Valentine's Day. (Yes, that is almost half a year away, but you can never be too prepared right?)

So go enjoy this with the little loves of your life!

Aug 9, 2010

Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken

This is no ordinary chicken adventure (chickens crossing the road don't count) this is a chicken's adventures on the high seas, the high wire, and victim of high crimes.  There are four chapters and we read one a night and my kids couldn't wait until the next night so they could hear more about Louise!

Kate DiCamillo is the well known author of the Tale of Desperaux and many others.  She even has a new book coming out this fall.  These chapters are short and action packed!  Everything you need to survive and even enjoy a children's book.

Harry Bliss is an extremely talented artist and these pictures are outstanding!  I love the colors and the details.  My kids are pointing at so many things that they love on each page I have a hard time reading around their little fingers.

Join Louise on her adventures and you too will have the deep and dreamless sleep of a true adventurer!

Aug 5, 2010

Super Duck

This was my recent favorite from our pile of books that we brought home from the library.  I know you've all heard about the Duck books and it is all good!  This one is as fun to read as the rest.  Plus my two year old has developed a bad habit of dancing and jumping around the room while I read bedtime stories lately and this one he ACTUALLY SAT THROUGH!  (Sorry for the caps lock but it was an exciting moment for me!)

Jez Alborough has a kagillion books out there and you can find a list of them on his website.  I love the illustrations and the stories are short and they rhyme...I really can't think of a single reason you won't like these books.

I'm going to put on my Super Duck cape and try to unpack atleast three more boxes before I go to bed!  Goodnight and enjoy!

Jul 26, 2010

Robot Zot


I apologize for my lack of posts lately.  We were moving and between finding my laptop, getting internet hooked up again, and my lack of energy I haven't been keeping up on this like I should.  I didn't forget about y'all and I want to prove it by telling you about one of the funniest books I've read in awhile! 

My boys have been fighting over this one every night! 
Ryan: "I want Robot Zot-Wham Bot!"
Josh: "No Wham Bot My Bot!!"
Ryan: "No MY Bot!"
Josh: "MY BOT!"
Mom: "No fighting or NO ZOT!"

Jon Scieszka has a great sense of humor that shows through his writing.  David Shannon does his usual fantastic job of illustrating with this book.  Check out the link for some video interviews with him.

I can't say too much about this cute little robot without ruining the story for you.  I will say that I love the spunk and determination that Zot has. I'm glad he is not loose in my house(although I don't know if it would make a difference right now)  but it still makes for a really funny story!

Go grab your own copy of Zot and enjoy! 


Jul 6, 2010

SUPERDOG The Heart of a Hero


Reading this book makes me believe that even I could be a superhero.  I LOVE reading this book to my kids.  It is one of those books that makes you feel a little warm and gooey inside and believe for just a fraction of a second that everything in the world is right with a dog like Dexter out there.

Dex is an ordinary, if not a little less than ordinary, weiner dog that aspires to being able to help himself and others.  There are a ton of great lessons in this book like, patience, kindness, doing good to others even if they do bad to you, and friendship.

This awesome story was written by Caralyn Buehner.  The pictures were done by her husband, Mark Buehner, and they are so much fun to look at. 

If you are looking for a perfect bedtime story for your superhero addicts or just one that teaches great values then this is the one for you!

After all this talk about superdogs and rescue I'm off to do some rescuing of my own.  I think I'll start by rescuing some ice cream from the freezer!

Jun 27, 2010

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed


Why read this book?  Well, in the words of one wise little mole rat, "WHY NOT?"

This is the funnest, cutest book ever!  I've always like Mo Willems books but I have to say that I think this may be one of my favorites.  I'm a fan of the cartoon Kim Possible which has a naked mole rat in it.  I've always wondered if there really is such a thing as a naked mole rat.  I saw this book a few months ago and have recently gotten around to reading it.  I decided I needed to find out if naked mole rats really existed.  I did a search on the internet...(sorry I am fighting back a shudder of revulsion)...they do exist and let me give you some truley wonderful advice: NEVER TRY TO FIND THE REAL THING!

Mo Willems does such a great job of creating smart, cute, loveable mole rats that you would be doing yourself a great disservice to try to find the real thing.  His mole rats have a huge dilemna on their hands.  One of their own decides to start wearing clothes.  When they tell him that NAKED mole rats don't wear clothes he asks, "Why not?".  This is a quick and enjoyable bedtime story that your kids are bound to ask for over and over and you will most likely be more than happy to comply! 

To find out more about Mo Willems watch this video.

DISCLAIMER:I know that after all of the mention of how repulsive naked mole rats are in real life you are bound to want to see for yourself.  In any case Mattie Wadsworth and Madness by Mattie are in no way responsible for any permanent damage that viewing a real nake mole rat causes to you. 

Jun 19, 2010

THOSE DARN SQUIRRELS!

So first I would like to apologize for being MIA the last week and a half.  A series of unexpected events occurred and then I found myself at a Family Reunion in Jackson, WY for a week.  It was an odd sensation having fifty percent of my body sunburned and watching it snow the next day.  Glad to be back and I have a ton of books I can't wait to tell you about!

Those Darn Squirrels is a comical story about an old man who loves birds and goes to great measure to keep the squirrels from stealing the bird's food.  Finally, the squirrels, aka:  furry little geniuses, decide that they need to get on Old Man Fookwire's good side.  They try a couple techniques before they succeed.  It is an extremely enjoyable story and my kids love looking at the pictures.

Adam Rubin incorporates his great sense of humor into writing a book that not only gets my kids laughing but keeps me laughing as well.  I think it is amazing that even after you know the outcome (NO I'm not going to tell you what it is!)  you still want to read this book over and over!

Daniel Salmieri just adds to the humor of the story with these hilarious illustrations.  I was trying to figure out which picture was my favorite and I can't pick just ONE!  There are several that make me giggle.

I guarantee that you'll enjoy every second of it, no matter how many times you read it!

May 30, 2010

Theodore Mouse Goes to Sea

Summer is almost here and so let the fun of summer reading begin!
This week I'm going to tell you about two of my favorite childhood books, you know, the ones I asked to read atleast three times a day when  I was just knee high to a grasshopper! 
BUT...I have a special request...I'm always telling you what my favorite stories are but I would love to hear what YOUR favorite stories are!  So feel free to add a note in the comment section telling me what book/books you requested most as a kid.

Without further ado...I'd love to tell you about Theodore Mouse Goes to Sea.

This brave little mouse was tired of the same thing day after day.  Sleeping in the same bed, waking up every morning and getting ready and then sitting on the roof of his house.  The only thing that changed every day was the sea.  So Theodore makes a ship from his bed and goes sailing around the sea.  He meets tropical mice and eskimo mice and runs into Pirate Rats and Cats.  A perfect bedtime story full of adventure.  This little book is short and sweet just like Theodore.


May 25, 2010

Goodnight, Sweet Pig

Linda Bailey is one of my favorite authors.  She wrote the Stanley books that are a huge hit around my house.  Goodnight Sweet Pig is just as fun as the Stanley books.  It is a great bedtime counting book!  I especially love the spanish dancers and I still need to find out what a bangle lancer is.

Josee Masse is an incredible illustrator and the pictures are full of color and life! 

I love reading this at bedtime because it is the perfect balance of calm and crazy.  Bedtime at our house is about like the first half of this book!  The rhymes and pictures in this book make it perfect for my little ones and I get a laugh out of it every time I read it!  Definitely a must have if you have lively toddlers or children learning to count.

May 19, 2010

The Daddy Longlegs Blues

So I have to admit that since the age of ten when I was living in Moscow, Idaho I have not been a fan of Daddy Longlegs.  There is this myth that they can't bite you but I beg to differ.  I had three of them that crawled into my shoes while I was running around barefoot in the grass.  I went to slip my shoes back on and felt painful pinching over and over.  I took my shoe off to find two smashed Daddy Longlegs and oddly the third crawled out.  I had little red welts all over my foot...did I say welts...I meant BITES!

So despite the colorful and inviting illustrations I have been putting off reading this book for some months now.  I will be the first to admit, it was a mistake to have done so!  This book is fun to read or sing!  I personally have a different tune I sing it to every time.
 
Mike Ornstein's rhymes are fun and witty.  Lisa Kopelke does an amazing job putting together entertaining illustrations that fit perfectly with the story.

So conquer your phobia's whether it be blues or daddy longlegs and grab The Daddy Longlegs Blues for your next bedtime story!

May 16, 2010

Mary Had A Little Lamp

I chuckle every time I read this book.  When I first saw it at my daughter's book fair she said, "Oh Mom!  It's Mary Had A Little Lamp!"  She said this in that tone of voice that tells you it is ultra-cool and if you ask "What is that?" you are NOT cool!  So of course I just said, "Oh...COOL!" as she forced it into my hand.  I didn't complain since it was a half-price book fair.  I thumbed through it as I stood in line to pay for my little stack of books.  The pictures were fun and the words seemed sparse enough that even if I didn't like it I figured I could endure reading it multiple times. 

Well it turns out...I love it and tonight I used my Parent Powers.  My kids were all trying to pick out books and I could tell that none of them noticed Mary Had A Little Lamp sitting there.  I gently said, "Since I'm the Mom I say we have to read Mary Had A Little Lamp tonight.  Who wants to sit on my lap while I read it?"  Hehehe.  Then they fought over who GOT to sit on my lap to read it.  I love it when "Mom" tricks work in my favor!

Bob Staake is an incredible illustrator and the pictures are a joy to look at.  Jack Lechner did such an awesome job of turning this boring worn out children's song/rhyme into a comical journey of a girl and her lamp!  I love this so much I want to see a sequel...perhaps one where the lamp and toaster duke it out over Mary! (If you don't know what I'm talking about...go read it!)

May 9, 2010

The Best Pet of All

Soon becoming my newest favorite book is The Best Pet of All.  I found this little gem at a half price book fair and I love it!

David LaRochelle and Hanako Wakiyama have put together a very entertaining book.  It is such a cleverly written book that both kids and parents will enjoy this story.  The illustrations give this book a classic feeling and I love how the mom is shown doing a workout in the living room in the first picture.  It totally cracks me up.

If you want a little preview of the book here is a YouTube video of Reese Witherspoon reading the book.  If hearing it read doesn't convince you nothing will.  Enjoy!  Have a great week!

May 4, 2010

A Book of Sleep

The front cover is plenty eye catching but I didn't know if the rest of the book would be as cute.  Turns out, each page gets better from there.  My youngest is two and this is his favorite book.  There has been many an instance when one of his older siblings tried to choose this for their bedtime story and he had a real tantrum (the tantrum may be part of the terrible two's).  I love reading this to my kids because it is short and I really really love the pictures!  They are very unique.

Il Sung Na has put together an amazing book!  If you like this book as much as I do you'll be excited to know that she has another book coming out in September called BRRR A Book of Winter.  She will have some more images of this on her website soon.  Currently I'd rather read a book called HOT A Book of Summer seeing how it seems like we are still in winter where I'm at.  However, I'm sure by July I'll be counting down days for this next book.

I promise, you can't go wrong with this fantastic little bedtime story!  Enjoy!

Apr 29, 2010

The Duchess of Whimsy

This is a story about a girl after my own heart!  She fell for a grilled cheese sandwich.  Not really but I have to say that anyone who can make a great grilled cheese sandwich is a winner in my book!  This is an adorable book about a fancy, lively princess and a plain, normal prince.

My kids love this story and I don't know if it is because the story is original and fun or if it is because the pictures are colorful and enchanting.  I do know their favorite page is when the princess is staring down the grilled cheese sandwich!  They won't let me turn the page until they have memorized every detail of it.  I caught my daughter out of the corner of my eye trying to make the same faces as the princess the other day.  It was hilarious!

Randall de Seve is the author of this and other cute children's books.  In an interview she said that she wanted to write stories that kids and their parents would want to read over and over again.  I think she mastered this perfectly!

This book is illustrated by her husband Peter de Seve.  He has done a lot of great illustrations over the years.  These two make a fantastic team!

I'm gonna go make grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch but you should go find yourself a copy of this book.  Toodle-loo!


Apr 26, 2010

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Am I as easy going as Pete the Cat?  Goodness, No!  Would I like to be?  Most definitely!
This book is just splendid and a lot of fun to read!
My favorite part is the lessons that it is teaching my children:

Lesson #1
They are learning colors.

Lesson #2
Learning to RELAX and enjoy the ride.

Lesson #3
They are learning that their mom CAN'T sing.
(This lesson may only apply to my kids)

Eric Litwin and James Dean have made a very fun book for all ages.  It is the perfect length for bedtime and I have caught my kids singing "I love my white shoes" multiple times this last week.  Click on Eric's name and watch the video on his site of two adorable little girls reading this book!

So put on your shoes and go grab yourself a copy of Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes.

Apr 21, 2010

Bedtime for Mommy

Bedtime for Mommy?  Does that ever happen? 
At my house when Mommy goes to bed the following takes place.  One by one my three children take turns coming down to my room, stalking up to my side of the bed in the dark, in complete silence, then sit there...STARING.
On some level I can feel I'm being watched and slowly I brace myself for an attacker and roll over to find little tiny eyeballs boring a hole in me.
"Uh, Mo-uhm, I need to go potty."
"Mommy, I had a bad dream about a really fast spider, and it was chasing me!"
"Mom, I can't find my blanket and I think the monster under my bed took it...Can you come check?"
"Um, Mom?" I lay in silence hoping it is a bad dream but then, "Mom? Can I have more water please?"
The last request, as I'm sure you all know, leads back around to the first request to go potty.

So when I saw this title I HAD to get it.  To my horror, my kids laughed when we read it.  I informed them that this is how it was going to go from here on out and they should take this seriously, again to my horror,  they laughed!  To be fair, it is hard not to laugh while reading this book.  It is very comical to see the bedtime roles reversed!

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a magnificent author who has written a ton of books including It's Not Fair (one of my alltime FAVORITE stories). I know it can be scary looking for decent children's books but I dare say any of the books written by Amy will be fun for you and your kids.  Maybe a little more fun for you but what your kids don't know won't kill them, right?!

LeUyen Pham sounds like a really fun person, in fact she sounds a little bit like my mom (who is the coolest!).  LeUyen is pronounced Le Win and her illustrations are light and comical and make this story even more fun!

There is even a Bedtime For Mommy Contest on the books website.  Click the link to view the details!

Until next time, goodnight!

Apr 15, 2010

My Heart Is Like A Zoo

My Heart Is Like A Zoo has stolen my heart!  I really don't know how else to describe how amazing this book is.  Michael Hall has an amazing talent.  He made animals solely out of hearts!  I can't tell you how great I think this book is and you may have noticed that when I have too many things running through my small little head I have to make a list to get it all down. 
So here's my list of things I love about this book.

1.  I love the bright bold pictures.

2.  I love looking and counting how many hearts each picture has.
(Don't mock me...you'll wanna do it too!)

3.  I love the simple fun phrases on every page that totally describe everyday emotions.

4.  Josh (2 yrs old) said one word, "Again!" when I finished reading it.

5.  Sydney (5 yrs old) said "That book is a real zoo Mom!"

6.  Ryan (3 yrs old) said, "Okay, just one more time and then one more time again."

7.  Kirkus Reviews(really critical and hard to please) and a bazillion other people
said they LOVED this book!
(His own mother even said it was "Brilliant" and mom's never lie about how great their kids are :)!)

Come on, with all those hearts, was anyone not going to feel LOVE after reading this book?  Go to the website for this book (there's a beaver moonwalking on it, need I say more?).  Click on the link that says "Trailer".  It will give you a glimpse into what is so special about My Heart Is Like A Zoo.  So go spread the love and tell all your friends about this amazing book! 

Apr 12, 2010

Cupcake

A few months ago I mentioned that Cupcake would be coming out so you might have already read this one.  If not, there is no better time to read Charise Mericle Harper's book than now.  What's not to love about a plain 'nilla cupcake whose friend the Candle is trying to find her the perfect topping.  As with life, sometimes what you really need has been right there in front of you all along.  (My favorite part is the squirrel...you'll have to read it to see what I mean!)

Charise does an excellent job with fun colorful pictures and an adorable story line.  She is an extremely talented lady, not only did she write and illustrate this book, she sewed a little cupcake for her nepehew Henry.  This book would have been adorable no matter what the main character was but being a cupcake makes it all the more delicious in my book!  My kids are glued to the pages because for some reason they think that if we read this enough times I will actually MAKE THEM CUPCAKES.  Dear sweet kids, so full of youthful hope!

Just like this little vanilla cupcake, this book is perfect for any occasion!

Apr 8, 2010

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Tikki Tikki Tembo is a story about how the Chinese used to name their first born sons l  o  n  g names that held great meaning and why that tradition ended.  The story behind it is pretty funny however you may not have enough breath left to laugh after you read Tikki tikki tembo's name multiply times.

I was so EXCITED that I found this book.  I was in the second grade when I first heard this book and we had it read to us enough times that I still have Tikki Tikki Tembo's full name memorized.  I loved this book and for years have looked for it.  All I had to go off of was the name I remembered but I didn't know the spelling and so I had tried to sound it out.  I was wrong on the spelling by A LOT and so never found it until...a walk through Barnes and Noble and I caught this out of the corner of my eye!  At long last I have found this book!

Just because I had this read to me in the second grade does not mean that younger kids won't like it.  My kids are ages two to five and they all like it as well.  The two year old routinely falls asleep while I'm reading it while the other two sit there quietly and listen.  Either reaction is a good reaction in my book.

Arlene Mosel is the woman responsible for this great book!  I am not sure which is more special to me, the book or the memories it brings back.  Regardless, I hope to read this to my kids enough times that they can recite the whole name back when they are my age and that it brings them good memories too. 

For those of you who are planning to read this for the first time I'm going to give you a little help.  Here is how I learned to pronounce Tikki Tikki's name :
Tick-y tick-y tem bow   no sa rem bow   cherry berry ru chee   pip perry pem bow

Enjoy and don't forget about the contest!


Apr 5, 2010

Dinosaurs Love Underpants

Really?  I need to do more than just show you the cover of this book to make you want to read it?  Okay then, this book is beyond comical.  It is rhyming, humorous, and a guaranteed winner with your kids!

I have a son that is two and has been potty trained, however, now that he is not wearing diapers he thinks he doesn't have to wear anything.  I think the root of the problem is that he wants his undies off so all the other clothes have to come off for him to get to the cause of his discomfort.  My oldest two children suffer from MSMD Syndrome (monkey see monkey do) and so once the youngest is declothed, I have a little nudist colony on my hands.  I got this book because they love dinosaurs and I was hoping once they saw that dinosaurs loved undies they would start loving theirs. 

I am sorry to inform you that if you stop by to visit you will most likely see a naked child but they DO love this book! 

 Claire Freedman and Ben Cort do an incredible job with this book and for those of you who may suffer in silence over your own little nudist colony but are afraid Dinosaurs wouldn't entice your kids enough, try Aliens Love Underpants.  Claire and Ben's most recent release is Aliens in Underpants Save the World

I gotta run, my son just ran outside and is jumping on the trampoline...
naked!
Claire and Ben can you write a book called Joshua Loves Underpants?

Apr 2, 2010

JUST A REMINDER...

Don't forget about our little contest!

For those of you who missed the contest post, here is a recap:

30 (or more) Followers

by April 15th, 2010

and

New Followers will receive one entry

Already Loyal Followers (the original 15) will receive three entries

into a drawing for:

One of the books reviewed during the month of March

and a bunch of Easter Candy
(because my husband bought enough for three families)

So...keep spreading the word!

The Jellybeans and the Big Dance

With a cover like this, there was no way my daughter was going to let us out of the library without it.  Not to mention, what kind of MOM would I be if I didn't allow my daughter to check out a book with ballerinas on the front and the word JELLYBEAN written boldly across the front of it this close to Easter?  Not a very COOL one, that's for sure!  Thankfully I lucked out.  It is a great book about persistence and jellybeans!

Nate Evans and Laura Numeroff co-authored this energetic, tutu clad book.  Most of you already know Laura Numeroff from my other favorite book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and that means you also know that you can't really go wrong with one of her books!  (phew!)  It is nice having some constants in this crazy world.  Nate Evans has done this book as well as lots of other books and if you click on his name you'll find all of them.  They look awesome and are going on my list of books to check out very, very soon! 

Lynn Munsinger did a splendid job with all the little dancers and their costumes!  They are so cute you wish they were real! 

Finally, it's time for the most exciting news of all (can you hear the drumroll?).  The Jellybeans don't stop here!  There is another Jellybean book called The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonanza

Have a wonderful Easter weekend, and don't forget the Jellybeans!

Apr 1, 2010

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way

This is a fantastic book for all the children in your life.  Not only will your little boys (and little girls) love it, nay...CRAVE it, but you can feel good about reading it over and over and over and over and over when they beg you for it without ceasing because it teaches a very important lesson.  I find myself constantly hollering over the hollering, "Take turns!  Share!  Take Turns!"  This book teaches both.  In fact, instead of yelling, "Take Turns Dang IT!"  I have adopted a calmer, almost Zen-like approach where I say in my sweetest mom voice, "What Would Blue Do?"  (Okay, I know I'm not fooling anyone when I say I'm now calm and sweet but it HAS helped even my attitude a tid bit!)

Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry are a great team.  I was thrilled when I was looking up this book and saw that not only is there Little Blue Truck Leads the Way but there is also the book that started it all, Little Blue Truck.  I can guarantee that you will enjoy reading this book to your kids the 800th time just as much as you did the first time, and isn't that what reading children's books is all about?


Mar 31, 2010

Waiting Out the Storm

I have to admit that my favorite thing in the world is a really good lightning and thunder storm!  When I first got married I made my husband hop in the car and drive with me to a better location to watch a lightning storm at ten o'clock at night.  I think he seriously questioned who he had married after that night.

This book makes storms seem so harmless and magical that is perfect for little ones who may be scared of storms or just not like them all that much.  The pictures are INCREDIBLE!  They make me feel like I'm actually splashing around in the storm myself.  Susan Gaber did an incredible job creating just the right feel with her art.

JoAnn Early Macken did an excellent job with the rhyme and the feel of this book.  I saw it at Barnes and Noble and skimmed through it briefly.  It wasn't until I got home that I truely got to enjoy the words and the flow of the book.

Reading this book is the perfect way to wait out the storm!

Mar 30, 2010

Rhyming Dust Bunnies

Since Easter is coming up I think it is only fair for us to acknowledge ALL types of bunnies!  That is why my newest recommendation is for the Rhyming Dust Bunnies.  These silly little dirt balls are so cute and so funny you'll actually want MORE dust bunnies when you are finished reading this!

My kids fight over who gets this book for story time.  Last night, despite the fact that we have a pile of books from the library that we read every day, they all wanted this one.  You see, we have a bedtime ritual where they get to pick a book and sit on my lap while I read it before they climb into their little beds and go to sleep for the night.  So last night I got to read this colorful little book three times IN  A  ROW.  I'm not complaining though....Jan Thomas did such a great job with this book and it's short enough that it was still enjoyable on the third time IN  A  ROW through.

Also, if you are trying to help your kids improve their rhyming skills, grab a copy of this book.  It is wonderful and my daughter who is doing much better with rhyming as of late, loves showing off her rhyming prowess as we read this book.  The only drawback to reading this is it may bring on some guilt at the fact that you still have not vacuumed up your OWN dust bunny colony. 
Speaking of which, I gotta run...

Mar 28, 2010

SPRING BREAK BABY!

IT'S SPRING BREAK!  WOO-HOO!
Do you know what that means?  (No I will absolutely NOT be wearing a bikini!)
It means that I am in a really good mood so I'm going to pour out recommendations upon you this week!

Every day I will tell you about a book that I LOVE!  Which means you will too, right?

Also, since I am going to be traveling and enjoying visiting with family and friends, I thought I would share some of the love by hosting a little contest.

I have been feeling for some time now that I would really like to have atleast 30 followers on my blog.  Yes, I know that means double the number I have now, but I feel deep down that this is attainable.  So if by April 15th, that dreaded tax day, I have 30 followers, I will be tossing everyone's names in an empty Easter Basket and drawing a winner who will receive a bunch of overbought Easter candy that I won't be able to even look at anymore and one of the books that I have recommended this month.  Plus, for all of my already loyal followers, I will toss in your name twice, no make that three times, since I'm sure you'll be the ones responsible for me getting to 30 followers.

To Recap:
30 Followers

Deadline:
April 15th, 2010

Prize:
Fairly fresh Easter candy & a brand spankin' new book that you're guaranteed to love

Happy Spring Break and a Merry Easter to all!

Mar 25, 2010

So Many Days

"So many doors in all your days,
so much to wonder about.
Who will you be and where will you go?"

Well there are SO MANY books that I am dying to tell y'all about right now.  I just couldn't wait any longer to tell you about So Many Days so it got bumped to the top of my list!  I can't think of a better book to read with your kids.  Reading this to my kids helps me express to them how amazing I think they really are! 

Any of you who know me personally know that I am not much of a crier.  This book however, made me experience a funny sensation...there was this stinging feeling in my eyes and nose and my throat started to feel really thick...if I didn't know better I would say I was about to cry!  This is such a warm fuzzy book it will become a permanent fixture in your house.  It is applicable for ages 2-100 (after 100 I would recommend you just write a book of your own on how you managed to live so long!).

I have been throwing an extended Pity Party for myself lately and as I read this I marvelled at how much this sounded like a pep talk I received recently from my mom.  Then as I read this a second, third, and fourth time I realized that it said all the things I wished I said to my kids on a daily basis.  Each time I read this book I fall more in love with it.  Not that I had any doubts that I would like it to begin with. 

Alison McGhee and Taeeun Yoo have put together another fabulous book.  They make a wonderful team when it comes to children's books!  There is a depth that adults can identify with and enjoy and a fun carefree feel that the little kids go crazy for.  I had the book sitting next to me while I was writing this.  My two year old actually put down his "shooter" (nerf gun) when he saw what I had and tried to climb into my lap with the book(this was a bit of a challenge since my laptop was already in my lap).  So I had to take a quick break to read it to him and then my three year old announced it was his turn.  So I apologize if this post didn't flow very well, I had an interruption or two :)!

"Who will you be and where will you go?
And how will you know?"

Mar 21, 2010

CHICK

I'm egg-static about recommending this egg-celent book!

Ed Vere has done a great job with this WAY TOO CUTE little pop-up book.  Some pop-up books are fun but this was even fun enough that I read it twice in a row!  It is great for Easter baskets for your little ones.  It is small and compact with lots of adorable little egg-popping pages to look through! 

It is simple and sweet just like the cover!  Hurry to your nearest book store to chick out Check...um...I mean check out Chick!

Mar 15, 2010

Sheep in a Jeep

There are certain animals that are synonymous with Easter. Rabbits, Sheep, and Chicks! So in preparation for this Easter I thought I would introduce you to the wild world of Nancy Shaw's Sheep.

Thank you Nancy Shaw for writing a book that is quick, fun, and addictive!  I read this book atleast three times in a row to my two year old before he is ready to move on to the next book and about twice to my three and five year old who just about have it memorized.

Here is the best part though.  Some might feel a twinge of sadness as they get to the end of Sheep in a Jeep for the umpteenth time, and think what will I do now?  Never fear, there are SEVEN sheep books including the most recent one, SHEEP BLAST OFF!  Also on Nancy's website you will find games and all sorts of fun sheepy stuff.

It's off to count sheep for me!

Mar 10, 2010

Race You To Bed

Oh!  Look at that adorable bunny face!  How could you possibly say NO to that?  Even if Easter wasn't right around the corner this would still be THE PERFECT bedtime story for your little ones.

Here are SOME of the reasons I think this is the PERFECT book:
1.  The words rhyme (I mean honestly, what is more fun than Dr. Suess-ish rhymes? "Bring a Bring-Brang-Brung to bed")

2.  The pictures are colorful and busy and everything little kids crave in their art.

3.  There is that loveable little bunny on every page.  (My three year old son, Ryan, said, "Mom hold the book still I want to poke the bunny's eye."  And this is why we don't have real live pets currently!)

4.  You have a bunny challenging your kiddos to beat him to sleep.  This solves the threatening and the ranting and the swift kicks to the fannies when they are trying to race this cute little puff ball to sleep.

I could go on like this forever but wouldn't it be more fun to read Race you to Bed by Bob Shea for yourself?  Yes, I think so.  If you choose to race off to find this book then you should also look for Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea as well.  (My husband and I survived a painful month where we had to read that story about two times per bedtime/naptime to my youngest son.  It was painful because the human voice can only ROAR so many times before it starts getting dry and hoarse.)

And now since it is almost 10pm I'm off to the races as well :)!

Mar 8, 2010

Every Cowgirl Needs A Horse

Just looking at the cover makes you want to read this book!  I lu-lu-love Every Cowgirl Needs a Horse!  Partly because I get to practice my "Cowgirl" accent and partly because it is so much fun to read.

One of my favorite artists, Lynne Avril, has done another wonderful job.  Lots of pretty pink colors for your own little girls and plenty of fun for everyone else.

Rebecca Janni did a fantastic job with the words and story line.  What little girl doesn't want a pony for her birthday at some point or another?  (I actually knew a little girl that got that wish...her parents got the trampled yard full of pony poop at the end of the birthday party too.  Fun stuff!) 

You will love the exciting fast pace of this book!  It is perfect for bedtime or anytime!

Mar 1, 2010

Periwinkle Smith and theTwirly, Whirly Tutu


It is so fun to whirl and twirl and pirouette with Periwinkle Smith!   Have you ever had a tiny iny spot that got on your clothes?  You know the stray drop of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a white shirt, the permanent dot of a pen on the leg of a pair of khaki pants, or that spot of paint on your pretty white tutu?  It can be so frustrating that it throws everything out of balance.  This doesn't stop little Periwinkle Smith...for long!
My kids all love this book and usually spend a significant amount of time after reading it twirling and whirling (flopping and jumping) around the room.  I love that it is short enough that we can read it and still have time for them to whirl and twirl before bedtime.  I also enjoy the story and the illustrations so much that I haven't minded reading it over and over and over.

John & Wendy did an excellent job with this book!  Whirl and twirl to your nearest bookstore for you own copy!

Feb 25, 2010

Hot Rod Hamster

What more could you ask for from a children's book?!  A cute fuzzy hamster (who reminds me of my childhood hamster Nuzzy), lots and lots of car stuff (including flames!), rhyming, and choices for your own little turbo charged rugrats!
So I already told you how wonderful Derek Anderson is as an illustrator and in Hot Rod Hamster he does another amazing job!
Cynthia Lord, a very talented author, has created a sensationally fun book.  I love reading this book with my kids.  It is really quick paced and interactive.  As the little hamster is going through the junkyard picking parts for his race car, the book continually asks "What would you choose?".  I love seeing what my daughter would choose and whatever she chooses, my son chooses because big sissy's are so "COOL" that she must have picked the right thing.  The only thing that they don't agree on is what kinds of FLAMES are the best!
On your mark, get set, GO grab this book! 

Feb 19, 2010

Gladys Goes Out to Lunch & Blue Burt and Wiggles


So I noticed a trend recently among books that I was drawn to.  They all had Derek Anderson as the illustrator.  Then I found out that he WRITES and ILLUSTRATES books as well.  Believe me, he writes as well as he illustrates!
Gladys Goes Out to Lunch is about a Gorilla that loves bananas more than Pesto, Pineapple, or Pepperoni Pizza.  She loves bananas more than Fancy French Food like Frozen Mousse.  The real question is....does Gladys love bananas more than Banana Bread?  It is really cute and lively.  My kids laugh every time we get to the end of the book.  (You'll see why if you read it.)  Plus the pictures are so enthralling there really is nothing to hate about this book.  Please read the last page regarding the Banana Bread recipe, it is really funny.  You know I usually don't put books on here that I don't love but there is one thing that I really don't agree with and I feel obligated to impart that...my Banana Bread Recipe is BETTER. (Technically it is not mine, but when my mother-in-law borrows one of my recipes, you KNOW it is good.)

Blue Burt and Wiggles is just as fun.  A creative bird and worm decide they are going to stop winter from coming.  I'm sure you can figure out how that attempt goes but even knowing the ending ahead of time it is still really cute.  It has a great theme of friendship whether you are near or far from the ones you love.  On the last page of the book I was surprised to see Etowah, Tennessee stamped on the suitcase.  My husband has a lot of family in Etowah and it is really small.  I'd NEVER heard of it until I went there.  However, there are a lot of Blue Jays there in the spring so maybe that is why little Blue Burt went there on his travels.  Maybe he was visiting family too!

You can't go wrong with either of these books and your kids will LOVE the pictures.

Feb 14, 2010

Marc Just Couldn't Sleep

...and neither could his mother!

I have to say that I really love this book.  Gabriella Kesselman and Noemi Villamuza did a fabulous job putting this book together.  It is not a newer book but you will want to get a new copy of it, because I guarentee you will wear it out.  I grabbed this book out of the library for a silly reason.  You see, my brother's name is spelled MarC and it is rare that you see it spelled that way.  Usually it is spelled MarK so I grabbed the book thinking it would be fun.  Little did I know, I stumbled across an AWESOME book!

So this little boy named Marc can't get to sleep because there are so many things that he is afraid of.  His mom does everything imagineable to help him.  (In my opinion, his mother is the most patient and energetic woman in the universe.)  Until finally, she is sitting atop their roof "keeping watch" when she hears "Mom, I'm still afraid."  In the process of wearing his mom out, little Marc wears himself out as well.

This is a great book for really young readers because there aren't a ton of words on each page.  My kids all seem to stay really captivated by the pictures and the story and I thoroughly enjoy reading it!  So it is great fun for the whole family and perfect for right before bed.

Feb 11, 2010

Perfectly Arugula

Anyone out there trying to plan the PERFECT Valentine's Date or Party should read Perfectly Arugula first!

Sarah Dillard is the illustrator for several children's books but this is her debut as a writer and illustrator.  Sarah did an incredible job with the illustrations and the lay out. I just love this book and it makes me long for Springtime because of all the cheery colors.


In a way, this book reminds me of every get together I've ever had.  I'm a bit of a control freak (it's a trait that has been passed down for generations) and I always visualize in my mind just how I want a party to go.  So I plan and I primp and I hypothesize that it is going to go a certain way and people will have a great time and without fail...IT NEVER DOES.  There is always something that seems to go wrong despite my best laid plans.  It is all in how well you can go with the flow, or in Arugula's case (and mine) how great your friends are, that makes it go even BETTER!

Arugula is a character that is hard not to love.  She has her faults, but who doesn't.  My kids were fighting over who got to be Arugula when we read the story (they are into "being" one of the characters in every movie and book we read lately).  My daughter and son tied calling Arugula.  Trying to calm the situation I suggested my son be the squirrel (he looked pretty cool on his skateboard with his hat on backwards).  My son agreed but when we got near the end of the story where the Squirrel showed up at the party, I was in big trouble.
Sydney: Ryan, see, you just ruin everything! 
Ryan:  No I didn't, 'Rugla!
Sydney:  Yes you did, you annoying squirrel!

We finally calmed things down when it was clear that everything would turn out okay.  Except when we read the last little bit about Arugula wanting to try a dinner party my daughter once again added, "But you're not invited SQUIR-rel!"

I guess we'll have to wait and see if there even will be a dinner party.  If so it would be a shame if Fidget, the squirrel, didn't make an appearance.


P.S. Don't miss Arugula's blog!