Nov 16, 2011

Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark

I'm not gonna lie...I LOVE the Pout-Pout Fish regardless of what adventure he is on.
Whenever my kids are grumpy and I want to make them laugh (or scream at me more) I ask them if they are being a Pout-Pout Fish.  If they insist that they aren't but are still pouting then I simply start to smooch, smooch, smooch them into giggles.  Lots of fun and a great torture tactic! 

Deborah Diesen has gone and done it again with this new Pout-Pout book!  I am usually wary of sequels but I was hooked by the time I reached the last page!  If you have a little one that's afraid of the dark then this is a must have.  I wish the Pout-Pout Fish would be the next Berenstain Bears series.  Little life lessons are just so much more fun through fish eyes!  (That's saying a lot 'cause I kinda HATE fish usually.)

Dan Hanna did these adorable illustrations.  My favorite page is with all the fish advertising fun things in their mouth (you'll know which page I'm referring to when you read it).  Dan Hanna's page has some fun activities and other fun Pout-Pout stuff so go check it out.

Speaking of things you HAVE to check out, I found this incredible YouTube video of the first Pout-Pout Fish book.  Whether you have or haven't read it you will enjoy this video, and I dare say your kids will make you play it, replay it, put it on repeat, until you never wanna see it or hear it again.

Blub, Bluuub, Bluuuuuub!

Oct 27, 2011

Zombie in Love

The ghosts of Halloween would haunt me for sure if I failed to share this awesome book with you during the season of all spookiness.  I was openly laughing in Barnes and Noble today as I was reading this.  All the little kids that walked by were laughing at the crazy laughing lady (ME!).

So this is totally unheard of for me to post a book that I haven't tried out on my kids first.  I have come to peace with this fact and I think you should too.  Here is why, how many STUPID books do we sit through because our kids are allowed to pick out whatever they want at their local or school libraries?  So if we randomly read a children's book for no other reason than it is fun for us, than I say it is our priveledge, nay RIGHT, to do so!

(Climbing off my soap box) I think this book should be to Halloween what Twas the Night Before Christmas is to Christmas.  Okay maybe that is going a little overboard but it is awesome!  I dare you not to crack a smile when you read his singles ad in the newspaper!

Kelly Dipucchio is an incredible author!  She also writes one of my other favorite books, Alfred Zector Book Collector, which if it is not on here already, it will be soon.  Scott Campbell does an excellent job with the illustrations!  He makes zombies comical and only a little gross instead of the true terrors that they are.

Since Halloween is more about the treats than the tricks I'm adding a little treat from the book below.  Enjoy! 

Oct 26, 2011

Spooky Hour

A few weeks ago my mother-in-law sent the kids a Halloween gift.  There was a Halloween activity book for each kid and then this fun book!  We of course read it that night and have been reading it every night since.  My youngest who is four has the funnest time with it.  He is just learning to count so he always tries say the number that comes next before I turn the page.  There is page after page of creepy, fun, halloween monsters.

Tony Mitton is a fantastic author and has so many books I decided to quit counting. Guy Parker-Rees is an excellent illustrator!  He is also the illustrator of one of my other favorite books, Giraffes Can't Dance.

So make story time a spooky time tonight!

Oct 19, 2011

The Foggy Foggy Forest

Some days I wish I could relax enough that I could enjoy my kids again.  For example, stop worrying about how well they ate dinner or whether dinner covered all of the eighty nutritional food groups, whether they got their homework done or if they did, was it even done right, whether they got a bath or if they smell and look clean enough that maybe I could put it off until tomorrow?  All the while, I'm begging them to quit fighting, quit touching each other, quit touching my stuff, and screaming for them to stop screaming! I start to feel as if I am walking through a foggy foggy mine field of parental DON'Ts!

Well if you every catch yourself feeling this same way, then DO grab this book.  You'll be reminded that laughter is the best medicine, and your kids, no matter how malnourished, are miniature comedians.  I can't tell you how comical it was listening to my kids guess what was on the next page.  I LOVED reading and rereading this book.  Even once you know what awaits you it is fun to have contests to see who can come up with the funniest or craziest idea!

Nick Sharratt, you are a genius!  This is one of my favorite books and it doesn't necessarily have to be a Halloween book but it is definitely fitting for this time of year!  So get comfy with your kids and trust me, by the end of this book you will feel love and admiration for your little goblins flowing back into your heart.

Oct 9, 2011

Frankie Stein Starts School

I would like to start off my favorite month of the year with this book!
I love witches, vampires, ghosts, and goblins.  I love Halloween!  My kids ask me every day, "How many more days until Halloween?"  I think it is more for the dressing up than the candy...I think.

Speaking of thinking, I think returning this library book was one of the hardest things I've had to do in awhile.  I loved reading it and my kids loved fighting over it. Kevan Atteberry's illustrations are so much fun!  Lola M. Schaefer did an excellent job writing this book!  Frankie Stein may scare his class mates and teachers but I think he is adorable. 

Think spooky and I will be back next week with another ghoulish gem for ya!

Sep 28, 2011

The Night Pirates

This summer my son had a Pirate Birthday Bash.  It was big and "piratey" and we read A LOT of pirate books all month to become pirate sauvy enough for the big day.  The Night Pirates was one of the many awesome books that helped us get our "ARRRGH!" on.

I have to say the thing I loved best about this book was that the pirates were girls, cute girls, SMART girls that out-smarted the adult men pirates.  Coolest twist on a pirate story ever!

I pretty much had it memorized after two short weeks due to my kids non stop requests for it.  I actually grounded my kids from this book for a day because they were acting so poorly.  What do you want from me, this book was the only thing that would serve as a good punishment for all of them.  I swore I would never ground my kids from something that was "good" for them but being a parent is all about doing those things you swore you'd never do (i.e. I will never say, "You're the oldest and you should've known better".  I say it EVERY day.)

Enough about me...let's talk about Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright.  Check them both out via the links.  They have many other books that look like a load of fun as well. 

Sep 23, 2011

Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth

It's nice to know that Little Rabbits have mean moms too!  I was beginning to think my kids were the only ones cursed with a mean mom.  "Mom, you're SOOOOOO mean!" is their battle cry.

I can only aspire to be as cool as Mother Rabbit someday.  I wish I could pull off her tricks!  Little Rabbit is cursed with a mom mean enough to be a circus act, but man can she clear a messy room faster than most moms.

Kate and Sarah Klise (who I'm sure are NOT mean) are the masterminds behind this fun and clever story.  The pictures are entertaining and the story line is quite inventive with a little twist at the end.  So if you are looking to prove that you are not the only mean mom alive, grab this book!  Your kids may appreciate you and their toys more by the end.

Sep 14, 2011

The Monster Princess

Who doesn't love a good princess story that doesn't involve prince charming or a fairy godmother?!  ME!  (I love a children's book that reminds me of what is really important in life.)  Sometimes after the unmagical life I've lived, I find it hard to read stories to my daughter of girls that twitch their noses and life takes a turn for the best.  Come on, I just want what every realist wants, a story that is entertaining, filled with woodland creatures, princesses, castles, royal balls, and honest to goodness life lessons.

This book was quite refreshing and I was totally enchanted with the illustrations by Alexandra Boiger.  D.J. MacHale, the author, is amazing!  You won't want to miss the Monster Princess activities on the website either.  Just in case any of you will be vacationing in Southern California (Oceanside to be exact) around October 2nd...drop by Barnes and Noble to see the author. 

Hmmm, do you think my husband would approve a trip to California for my birthday (Oct. 4th)?  I mean technically, since I share my birthday with my three year old son who also loved this book, I could say it is what Josh asked for!  Run and check out this book while I go check out Travelocity!

Sep 7, 2011

Dragon Stew

It has been awhile since I've....laughed this hard, loved a book THIS much, or updated my blog.  The first time I read this book I was laughing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Upon finishing it I asked my kids, "So what did you think?"  My middle child answered, "Ugh! Mom, you don't laugh like that 'cause it's not funny!  It's really long and you were laughing in my ear."  Can you imagine my disappointment?  A book I wanted to read over and over and over wasn't my kids' favorite!

Fast forward two weeks later, my previously mentioned son, using his own free will, picked this story for bedtime.  I was trying to hurry through because I had gotten a late start on bedtimes.  My son stops me and turns the page back, "Mom, you forgot to say the 'OKAY!' part!" as he points to a small word bubble.  He can't read, so I am pretty sure he has just memorized the book and that's how he knows I missed that spot.

Steve Smallman and Lee Wildish did a fantastic job with not only an amazingly fun rhyming story but incredibly fun pictures to go along with it!  The flow of rhyming in this book is just outstanding, I marvel at it every time I read it.  I love the illustrations of the vikings and the proper dragon!  I think one of my new school year goals will be to memorize this book so that whenever I'm in a bad mood (like tonight after helping kids with two hours of homework) I can recite it to myself and be all chipper, cheery again.

Jun 16, 2011

If I Built a Car

My prayers have finally been answered!  I went through such a rough patch with books that I wasn't sure if I would find a book in time to write my next post.  This last week, however, I must have meandered out of the "Parental Torture" section in our local library and into the "Hallelujah!" section.  I have such a huge stack of awesome books to share and this is at the top of them.

If I Built A Car is by Chris Van Dusen, author of the Mr. Magee and Mercy Watson books.  So needless to say I knew I would love the illustrations and I was expecting to like the book.  "Like" is such a feeble word when describing how I feel about this incredibly funny and entertaining book!  I adore this car and wish it really existed, not that I could afford it but the dents in my front and back bumper can attest to the fact that I, NEED this car!  Plus, can I tell you how many times I have been driving in town and the warm sun mixed with my usual sleep deprivation and an added unusual silence coming from kids in the back seat have had me all but falling asleep at the wheel?  I could totally use a robot to take over while I snoozed on the couch (most likely a standard feature on all models)! 

I will admit that there are drawbacks to this book.  There has been fighting and massive shedding of tears over who got to have this book for bedtime, a minor inconvenience really considering what follows the temper tantrums is silent, content children...sniffling away....while I read this brilliant book!

Jun 8, 2011

When I Grow Up

Okay, could you go wrong with a book written by Al Yankovic
This is honestly one of my favorite books ever!

Did you know that I have only worked at a mere fourteen different jobs and only switched my major when I was in college six times before deciding on what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Guess what? Since finally deciding to become a massage therapist I have dabbled in children's book writing, learned to successfully trade stock, taken up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu all while cultivating patience in my most important job, commonly referred to as MOM!  I thought maybe I was decisionally challenged or flighty but according to this book I'm normal!  Yep, you heard me right, NORMAL!

Reading this book is like winning a prize for having sat through all the less than superior books that my kids grab off the shelf at the library.  It is definitely one of those diamonds in the rough.  There is rhyming (my favorite), witty humor, hilarious pictures by Wes Hargis, and best of all a wonderful lesson to share with your kids.  I love that this book tells kids it is okay to do and be a million things as long as you are happy!

Well that's enough praise for one night...go find a copy...NOW! 

(Oh and in case you ever read this post Mr. Yankovic, I would love to have the recipe for Twinkies Au Gratin!  That's my kinda meal!)

May 25, 2011

Bug and Bear

A Story of True Friendship
This book is so adorable you are just gonna wanna hug it!

Several years ago my brothers and I were playing a game and they had to pick the saying that best described me and they chose, "Grumpy as a Bear!".  Maybe they were right because I could really relate to Bear in this story.  This story reminds me of a mom and her child.  Bug wants so desperately to play and Bear wants so desperately to nap!

My kids love the pictures in this book and I think they are spectacular as well.  They are very animated and yet soothing.  Seems impossible that they could be both, right?  Yet Layn Marlow manages to pull it off! 

Like I said before, this book is beyond precious!  Ann Bonwill teaches the value of friendship while keeping little ones entertained.  Plus every time we turn to the last page my kids all go, "Aaaah."  What can I say?  It's that cute!

Please don't just take my word for it...go get it and decide for yourself!

May 18, 2011


***Oops, I thought that I had posted this first book last week.  However, my "smart" phone let me down.  So you lucky people get TWO books this week!***

So I will tell you right now that this book may not apply to everyone's family.  However, I can't resist telling you all about it.  Hopefully you'll never need a book like this but maybe you will or maybe you have a dear friend who will.  Even if it helps even one person from me posting this it will be worth it.  

It is about a mom who is being treated for cancer.  Julie Aigner Clark (think Baby Einstein) has written how despite all the pain and sickness that goes along with cancer there are bright beautiful moments too.  I am often called "cold hearted" in my home because unlike my husband I don't cry during most movies or touching commercials.  That being said, I had to pause while I was reading this so I could regain my composure and I'm getting misty just writing this post and thinking about this amazing book.

Jana Christy's illustrations are so incredible!  They are as soothing and comforting as the words that are written next to them.

So the most important thing to remember is, make sure you have a box of Kleenex close when you read this!

I love Carolyn Crimi, I mean who doesn't!  Rhyming, wild, silly stories that kids and parents just cannot resist!  Principal Fred Won't Go To Bed is really no different.  Poor Fred can't find his teddy bear and so he can't go to sleep.  My kids loved finding the bear hiding out in the book and I felt relieved to know that it is okay to sleep with a stuffed animal even when you're the adult!

Donald Wu is an excellent artist and I loved the pictures.

Plus my favorite comment of the night, courtesy of my cute little first grader:
"Mom, do you think my teacher has a teddy bear?"
"Probably not sweety, it's just a story."
"But her boss does huh?  Cause Principal's are the boss!"

Sweet Dreams!!

Apr 28, 2011

Brewster The Rooster

Did any of you struggle with poor eye site as a child?  I did and I remember hiding my glasses in my desk and only pulling them out for brief moments so I could quickly look at the chalk board and then slide them back into my desk.  I was embarrassed by them to such an extent that my parents got me contacts by sixth grade.

Brewster is a rooster with an award winning Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!  Only problem is he's having a hard time discerning when the sun is coming up!  Luckily there is a smart little girl and a Rooster Optician that find a way to help him out!

Devin Scillian has written a bunch of books and I'm sure if you visit his page you'll find some that you've already read.  His writing is superb and you all know what a sucker I am for great rhyming books!   Lee White has done illustrations for this and other books that I've loved like Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe and The House Takes a Vacation.

So clear your throat and get ready to crow with your kiddos!

Apr 20, 2011

Say Hello to Zorro!

I was having trouble figuring out how to describe this book to all of you.  I was finally able to sum it all up in one sentence!  Are you ready for it?  Here it is...

Carter Goodrich, you owe me BIG!

Every stinkin' night I tell my three beautiful, little cherubs, "Go pick out your story." (translation: Ready, Set, Go FIGHT!)

Every stinkin' night within seconds of me uttering the above sentence, I tell those same three little cherubs, "Okay, okay!  Calm down!" (translation: Who ever is the loudest will win!)

Every stinkin' night, my three cherubs are FIRMLY told, "Now, you three get along!" (translation: I'm cracking please don't stop until I agree to read Say Hello To Zorro three times tonight!)

Every stinkin' night, I tell my three, "Would you guys knock it off?!" (translation: You did it!  I cracked! Say Hello To Zorro, three times in a row, here we come!)

Mister Bud has his very own schedule too!  His is sane and calm and wonderful until, like us, his schedule becomes quite more chaotic when Zorro comes along.
I'd urge you not to even bring this one home to your kids but you'd do it anyway!  The curiousity that is already building inside you will eventually win!  As you sit there reading, you are already wondering, Are the illustrations awesome? (YES!)  Her kids are crazy, I don't think mine would act that way with this book.(Oh they WILL!)  Easter's just around the corner, I need one more Easter Bunny treat for my youngest. (Buy one for all of them or you'll regret it!)  
In the end we all have to admit that if it is a good enough book for three children of different ages to all fight over, it's a keeper!

Until next time,well, just pray that my kids will let me read them another book so there will be a next time!

Apr 13, 2011

Dirty Joe the Pirate

Ahoy thar!  I be havin' a sea dog tale to share wi' ye today!  One that makes me yo ho ho from hade t' toe!  Ere wi' a big lassie will surely enjoy th' hilarity o' this an' ere who BE a big lassie will love th' truth o' 't!  I be th' latter o' these two squadrons an' can' tell ye that when I saw "A True Story" written on th' co'er I didna b'lieve 't at first.  I be havin' read this ten times in th' past two days an' I can promise that th' moral o' this story be as trues as 't gets! Ya Scurvy Dogs!
(I had a little help with my Pirate Language from Pirate Speak) 

Bill Harley and Jack E. Davis did an excellent job putting together this incredible pirate story!!  The rhyme and flow of Bill Harley's story is so much fun!  The illustrations by Jack E. Davis are hilarious and bright!! 

I honestly can't help but laugh every time I read the moral of the story on the last page.  I'm sure that is how my little brothers used to/still do feel.  I wold tell you what I'm talking about but it will ruin the fun and surprise of it for ya!

Well, back to scrubbin' the poop deck, AAARGH!

Apr 7, 2011


(Not sure if this is an apology or an announcement!)

So I realize that I haven't blogged in a while.  I knew that I'd have to pick a really amazing book to share in order to gain your forgiveness for my extended absence.  This is the proverbial white flag...that doesn't sound right.  Hmmm, is it fig leaf? olive branch? my daughter's book fair a few weeks ago, I grabbed this book.  It gets read EVERY night!  The way the author, Ned Young, writes is so familiar...almost as if he has listened in on my conversations with my kids for the past couple years!

This is the section where I tell you what my favorite part is.  My favorite part is when they no, it is where Zoomer has a contest to see...wait,'s when Zoomer builds a, it's actually when he launches a...oh crud...I really can't pick a favorite part.  I LOVE IT ALL! 

It appears that Zoomer is on to bigger and better adventures as well because you can also get Zoomer's Summer Snowstorm.  Yes, I am gonna use my Barnes and Noble gift card on it!  So worth it!