Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Top 3 Cheerful Christmas Books to Excite & Delight Kids

Christmas is coming! I know – it snuck up on me, too. And with Christmas comes to usual holiday stuff – parties, lists, decorations, and kids waiting on the much-anticipated annual approach of Santa Claus. Awesome!

However, until the actual night before or day of Christmas, kiddos can get frustrated or exhaustingly excited because their favorite holiday is moving too slow for their liking. But you can help keep them delighted and excited without getting too overwhelmed by questions of, “is it here yet?”

I have compiled a short list of the top 3 best Christmas books for kids.

These books are cheery, seasonal, and great for instilling a sense of wonder and magic in their readers.


Disney Christmas Storybook Collection by Elle D. Risco and Calliope Glass

Disney is as much loved as Christmas – and that is TONS! Which is why this storybook is oh-so popular. There are dozens of tales that revolve around Disney favorites – both new and old. They are decorating their Christmas trees, singing carols to neighbors, baking holiday treats, and retelling their stories about the best Christmases ever. Kids will love having this as their go-to holiday bedtime book – and parents are sure to enjoy it, too.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

I have never, ever met someone over the age of 10 who did not know who The Grinch was. However, I’m sure there are a few out there, and if you’re one of them, then it’s time to wise up and read one of the greatest Christmas stories of all time.

What is this book about? Well, The Grinch is a hairy, small-hearted, green creature who lives on a mountain near Who-ville. The Whos of Who-ville are cheery, chipper, and always happy to see Christmas come back around, but The Grinch HATES Christmas.

As the story unravels, The Grinch steals Christmas, but a twist ending brings him running to give the holiday back.


The Nightmare Before Christmas: 20th Anniversary Edition by Tim Burton

I cannot possibly express how much I LOVE The Nightmare before Christmas. Admittedly, I watch it tons of times over the course of the year, but Christmas and Halloween give me an excuse to binge-watch over and over again. This book is that story!

Tim Burton wrote and illustrated every page, and readers get to see where Jack Skellington, Sally, and the rest of the Halloween Town crew came from.


Here is a delightful video "short" of 2014's top 5 picks among children's Christmas books...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Best Sticker Books for Rainy Days - 2014 Picks for Kids

Image Credit: Stickers @
When I was a kiddo and the weather outside was cold and pouring down rain – my siblings and I would spend hours on the living room floor with craft paper and watercolor paints. However – I much would have preferred the awesomeness of the following sticker books. These are PERFECT for those rainy days when there’s nothing to do but stare out the window.

With the aforementioned inclement weather in mind – I have picked a trio of amazing sticker books that kiddos of every age would love. Each of these 3 is loaded with stickers and offers hours of indoor entertainment to otherwise bored babes on an oh-so-grey day.

And my 3 mood-boosting picks from the best sticker books for kids are:


1000 Stickers by Roger Priddy

In all of my research – I discovered that Roger Priddy seems to be the KING of the sticker books. He has had so much success with these – and this is one of his most expansive and well-loved creations.

These aren’t simply stickers though – there are 120 pages of awesome activities with colorful stickers to match and finish each task. Which means this book is not only highly entertaining – but educational, as well. Too cool!


The LEGO Movie Ultimate Sticker Book by DK Publishing

If you have not been to see the LEGO Movie – stop everything you are doing and go see it NOW! If you have – then you know that this film is packed full of amazing moments and hilarious characters from the wonderful world of LEGO. And the book with the same name is no different!

There are over 1000 colorful stickers in this book - all distributed across 96 awesome LEGO movie-themed pages. Each character is represented, and kiddos get a few action-packed extras for added fun.


Petting Zoo Sticker Activity Book by Cathy Beylon

I remember the petting zoos when I was younger – there were mostly a few chickens, a goat or two, and maybe a mule. But now – kiddos have the opportunity to view hundreds of others amazing animals up-close and personal. And then they can go home and reminisce with this sticker book!

There are dozens of cool animals that you would see on the usual farm in this book. And each sticker is colorful and reusable! Plus, the pages have scenarios that kids can complete to make one awesome scene after another of their own super-cool petting zoos.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Three Fairytales Classics That Never Fail

In my humble opinion, the best fairytale books for kids are the same ones I loved as a child. And the same ones that my parents, their parents, AND their parents loved as children. These stories are timeless – never failing as the perfect bedtime must-haves for dreamy-eyed cuties with their imaginations in the clouds. Plus, most fairytales double as fables with important morals and life lessons hidden between the lines.

Magical realms where castles tower over peaceful lands – fairies who dance in the moonlight and make friends with passing kiddos – princesses with a knack for feeling peas like pebbles beneath their mattresses. These are concepts that keeps antique tales spinning for each new generation.

Three of the best fairytale books are:


The Complete Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson

Hans Christian Anderson was one of the most renowned storytellers in history. His fairytales were always brilliant with an element of sadness and subtle beauty – it gave each story a human quality that alluded to Anderson’s own emotions.

This book gathers his classics, such as: “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “The Little Match Girl” – and over 200 other tales. Each story is accompanied by a beautiful illustration with suggested links to full-length audio recordings online – perfect for kiddos to read along.


The Fairy Tale Book: Classic Tales from Childhood by Liz Scoggins

Dubbed a “terrific compendium” by Amazon, this book of vintage stories features the most timeless tales. The “Twelve Dancing Princesses” make their waltzing debut – “Rumpelstiltskin” tries to outsmart a protective mother – and “The Little Mermaid” begs a mischievous sea-witch for legs to impress her beach-bound beloved.

These originals give miraculous meaning to the fairytales your children have seen reenacted on their favorite television shows.


A First Book of Fairy Tales by Mary Hoffman

There are 14 classic tales in this version of an antiquated collection! Each story has been told over-and-over again, changing slightly with every retelling. There are tried-and-true favorites like “Jack in the Beanstalk,” “Cinderella,” and “Sleeping Beauty.” As well as twice-told tales that are less known but just as amazing, such as – “The Selfish Giant,” “The Snow Queen,” and “Diamonds and Toads.”

But the fairy tales only add to the overall brilliance of this collection. The real beauty is in each lovely illustration – Godmothers are depicted in watercolors, slippers are adorned with engraved swirls, and princes have feathers that look realistic enough to touch.


Here is a fun resource to check out - this year's "best list" of fairytales - slideshow:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pop-Up Books are 3D-Style Awesome | 2014 Picks in Kids' Pop-Up Books

Pop-ups are books that bring stories to life – literally IN YOUR FACE fun. These are books that your kiddos can open up and go WOW because the pictures are not only vivid and beautiful, but right there in a completely touchable way. Add to the fact that the story is probably amazing – and Voila! A totally awesome interactive method to getting youngsters interested in reading.

For those reasons – I have hand-picked a trio among the best pop-up books for 2014 that are best for experiencing 3D-style awesomeness. These tales range from classic to modern – each incorporating fantastic characters and too-cool pictures that pop from their pages.

And those 3 are:


The Wide-Mouthed Frog Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner

In this tale – a bigmouthed bullfrog is a little too curious and he wonders what the rest of the animals eat in his swampy home. He knows that he loves a few good flies for dinner – but there are dozens of other creatures to ask.

And he questions all of them with success – until one (a frog-eating alligator) gets a little too close for comfort. This inevitably leads the bullfrog on a hopping-good adventure to escape the pop-up jaws of the hilarious gator.


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-up Adaptation by Lewis Carroll

We all know the tale of Alice in Wonderland – but this book has a unique spin with pop-up pictures. Alice takes her tumble down a hole while chasing the elusive White Rabbit. She strolls through Wonderland - encountering dozens of curious characters along the way.

However – her luck seems to run out when she meets the Queen of Hearts. And that Queen wants nothing more than to end Alice. This leads the curious girl on a whirlwind of hilarious antics to escape the horrid woman.


A Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up by Matthew Reinhart

Classic and cute – these stories are old-time rhymes that have been passed down for generations. And each one of them has been converted to an amazing pop-up!

Kiddos will explore the town with Wee Willy Winkie – learn about the Old Woman who Lived in the Shoe – and discover the origin of the Patty Cake song. They will also take a tumbling trip off a brick wall with Humpty Dumpty – sing about a short and stout Little Teapot – and catch a wily tiger by his tail. All in the name of pop-up fun!


Find current favorites among pop-up books for children:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Picture Books That are Best for Bedtime - 2014 Favorites

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Bedtime stories in my house are a must! These are little rituals and routines that I have instilled in my book-loving children from a young age, and they love every minute of it. With the hope that bedtime is other families’ bonding time in mind, I have compiled a short-list of the must-read picture books for kids 2014.

These stories will help youngsters drift to dreamland on waves of positive vibes, good feelings, and a few giggles. Each one is beautifully illustrated and thoughtful, giving parents a children a pause to contemplate the meaning, humor, and morals across every page.

And my 3 picture book suggestions are:


Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Apparently, dragons love tacos so much that they gobble them up constantly. They will eat absolutely anything taco-related, especially chicken, beef, or vegetarian. Unfortunately, because dragons love tacos on a whole new level, they often do not think about what they’re eating before they eat it – resulting in fiery indigestion and bad tummy troubles.

This book is all about the dragons who have eaten a hundred-or-so really bad tacos. And what the townspeople have to say about it. Beautiful illustrations and outrageous humor have made an instant classic out of this one.


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Mr. Morris Lessmore loves books! He has a library brimming with beautiful books on every subject in the world, and he cherishes each one on a daily basis. However – he loses everything when his beloved books are scattered to the winds in a horrific, natural disaster.

Depressed and desperate, Mr. Lessmore feels his life has also been scattered. Because who is a book-lover without the books he loves so much? This story is one of light humor and compassion as the protagonist finds a new way to regain his hobby.


The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Duncan is a little boy with a love for constantly drawing – which is evidenced by his worn-and-torn crayons. And one day, Duncan goes to do his usual coloring, but finds the crayons have gone on a protest. They simply refuse to draw a scribble more until their demands are met! And each crayon has something they want.

With hilarious outcomes, Duncan strives to give his crayons a better life by meeting their demands. After all, it seems to be the only way to get his crayons to begin coloring again.


Take a look at some more great picks in picture books for 2014 here:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Building Imagination with LEGO Books - Great Books for LEGO Lovers in 2014

Admittedly, you can set down a big box of LEGO bricks in front of me and I will spend hours trying to put together something amazing – even as a grown-up.

LEGO is definitely an obsession that never ceases – one that is actually oh-so-good for your creativity, but sometimes, those young-at-heart and their kiddies might run out of creative concepts. There’s good news though! Building imagination for both youngsters and adults is as easy as cracking open one of 2014's best LEGO books

I have outlined 3 awesome LEGO books for your pleasure and perusal. Each one is equipped with pages of know-how to get your kiddo (and yourself) building something awesome in no time at all:


The LEGO Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz

The author of this book made a classic edition and then this revised edition which is 10 times better than the first. There are HUNDREDS of creative ideas to get your imagination moving in the right direction.

Have a bin brimming with knights, kings, and princesses of all mini-figurine shapes and sizes? Build them a thriving kingdom, complete with dragons, castles, and farmlands.

Or, perhaps you’re interested in something alien, kind-of weird, and outer-space oriented? Find the instructions for another planet where anything can happen!


LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life by Daniel Lipkowitz

Lipkowitz did it again! This LEGO book is only more of his amazing ideas with the apt tagline of “bring your bricks to life.” Only this edition is slightly smaller with only around 200 ideas packed into nearly as many pages. You and your kiddos can spend hours – even months – implementing all the ideas you find here. Let your inner building genius fly free!

Oh! One more thing – each idea is accompanied by a colorful picture to give your muse a run for its money.


LEGO Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual History by Gregory Farshtey

Over the past few decades, LEGO has introduced several new characters per year, accumulating over 2,000 mini-figurines – each with an individual personality. Some of these characters were inspired by moves and stories, but for the most part, LEGO has realized the mini-figurine dreams of many a happy block-builder.

This book features around 256 pages of every single character in current LEGO history. And while direct building instructions are elsewhere (in the aforementioned books), this edition gives kids the characters to build their bricks around.


There are some additional selections for 2014 in terms of LEGO books - both for kids and adults - you can check out a "top 10" list of them for this year here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

3 Kiddo Kindle Picture Books to Inspire Imaginations

Admittedly, I never thought electronic reading would be as successful as it has been. And I always believed that books with actual pages would be better than any e-reader – for both kiddos and adults; however, after seeing the amazing ways e-readers have revolutionized reading, I have done a complete 180 on my point-of-view.

With the benefits of an e-reader and my new-found appreciation in mind, I have compiled 3 of the best Kindle picture books for kids. Each e-book is beautifully illustrated and written with an amusing flair – perfect for enticing and inspiring the imaginations of young’uns.


The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Duncan loves coloring! He colors every day for hours on end with crayons that seem to never break. But Duncan is in for a surprise when his overworked crayons go on strike. With signs expressing their protests, each crayon explains what will make them happy.

For example, blue has colored too many lakes and oceans, and needs a break. Beige wants to be used more over Brown. And orange and yellow are in a war over who is the truest color of the sun. To get his coloring tools back, Duncan must solve each crayon’s dilemma and make them all happy again.


The Red Book by Barbara Lehman

A curious little girl has opened the window of her imagination, diving into the deep seas of her creativity – all with a red book.

Without words, this story weaves a beautiful tale of pictures and actions. Each illustration is vivid and bold with one thing in common for every page – an amazing, gorgeous, bright red book.

Traveling across the world on an adventure of exploration and imaginative discovery, the book collects a never-ending story of pictures – each a part of the curious little girl’s imagination.


Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Did you know dragons love tacos? Me neither! But apparently, they are huge fanatics of everything taco. Chicken, beef, vegetarian – all tacos are accounted for when it comes to the tastes of hungry dragons. However, fiery hilarity ensues when dragons get hold of super-spicy tacos with extra hot sauce. When the massive, winged reptiles eat too many Salsa Tacos, no one is safe from their flaming belches and upset tummies.

Inspired by the author’s super-cool imagination, this book tells a story in vibrant pictures about dragons and their obsession with crunchy, delicious, sometimes too-toasty cuisine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Best Kids' Magazines for Curious Little Learners - 2014

Image credit:
Youngsters have an innate sense of adventure that (in my opinion) parents should nurture and encourage.

Instead of making up reasons why the sky is blue and where the biggest mountain in the world is, the following best kids’ magazines offer scientific fact on anything your kiddos will have a question for. Their imaginations will flourish, and their thirst for knowledge will be quenched with recurring subscriptions to child-oriented magazines, arriving in the mail every month with your young’un’s name on the address label. Exciting!

I have picked a trio of inspiring magazines – each brimming with amazing, full-color photographs, dozens of kid-friendly, learning activities, and stories galore. 


National Geographic Little Kids

With their sponge-like minds, children will love learning and grasping new concepts about their favorite animals. Every month is a different animal-themed focus, detailing the cool behaviors, markings, and habitats of each creature – all in ways youngsters can comprehend.

Don’t be surprised if your kiddo suddenly wants a tiger one month, then a monkey the next!

Not only are there pages that overflow with information and fun facts, there are also beautiful photographs and games to keep your kiddie entertained and engaged.



Ask is the perfect name for this magazine because each page encourages your children to do exactly what the name suggests… ask! Natural curiosity is something that thrives in youngsters, and there are hundreds of facts, poems, stories, illustrations, and contests in this magazine that satisfies the aforementioned curiosities. Every avenue of learning is covered – arts, animals, science, music, and so much more.

Described as oh-so-much-fun and super-cool by magazine-loving kiddos, Ask gives kids something to look forward to, striving to ignite an early passion for learning and exploring.

And how many issues can your youngster expect over a 12-month period? 9!



There are dozens of explorers in every profession, and the meaning of exploration can mean almost anything – which is why I’m including Cricket in this top 3 list. For aspiring writers and young’uns who love storytelling, each issue of this magazine is packed completely with amazing stories told by professional authors and like-minded tykes. There are opportunities to send in custom poems and stories, as well as games and activities associated with each tale.

9 issues are spread across 12 months, and each publication is filled with child-friendly literature and intriguing puzzles. This is the kind of magazine I would have LOVED as a kid.


There are more magazines for kids for this year that are pretty amazing to expand on kids' imaginations - find them here:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

3 Disney Books about Friendship & Family in 2014

The best Disney books for kids this year focus on friendship and family – two of the most important things that assist in the amazing, intelligent development of a healthy, happy child.

And friendship and family don’t have to be separate. You can be best friends with your sometimes-annoying siblings, or consider all close friends your family. It can be anyone – no matter size, shape, color, or gender – because you can love and cherish anyone. This is the message that Disney strives to send to youngsters, eliminating the prejudice of today’s society and accentuating the positivity of having people you care for who care for you.

3 of the best Disney books 2014 to convey this message are:


Disney Bedtime Favorites Storybook Collection

In my humble opinion, bedtime is the best time for Disney! Kiddos can drift to dreamland with awesome life lessons and sweet stories on their mind, making for the best dreams. This collection has 19 original Disney stories in one book, complete with beautifully gilded pages and over 250 brilliant illustrations. Characters range from the noble Mufasa to the curious Nemo and everyone in between.

Plus, each story says something about friendship and the power of family.


Disney’s Frozen (Little Golden Book)

Anna is a young dreamer with a penchant for flights of imaginative fancy. She’s a fantastical beauty and hopeless romantic who has grown up with visions of the proverbial sugarplums and happiness dancing in her head. Whereas, her sister Elsa is the polar opposite. She has a wintry gift – a magical ability that allows her to turn everything around her into an icy realm of chills and snowflakes. And she despises it.

This tale is one of the best from Disney – EVER. The songs have stilled the world, and the movie is amazing. The story embellishes the bond between sisters, and how love can overcome the coldest heart.


Disney Cars Storybook Collection

Direct from the Pixar studios, Cars was an instant favorite amidst adorable fans the world over. This storybook puts the speedy friends in over a dozen tales of fast-blooming friendship. There are movie retellings, silly shorts, and a few bedtime stories, featuring the always goofy and loveable Tow-Mater. I suggest trying to read Tow’s stories in his voice. Youngsters will love it!

As with all the Disney collections, this book has amazing gilded pages, each brimming with beautiful illustrations in lustrous colors.


Find the complete top 10 list for the current year - Disney children's books:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Encouraging Kids to Read with Chapter Books in 2014

I began reading at a very young age, and as a result, I still love reading everything I can get my hands on. Yes, this includes cereal boxes and shampoo bottles. I also strive to instill a love of reading and learning in youngsters. I want them to have the love of adventure and curiosity for education that can only be fulfilled through learning from through reading. Because that is an amazing feeling!

With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 3 of the best chapter books for kids 2014. These can be read to children as bedtime stories, during classroom time, or any time in between. Get your kid excited about reading!

These books are unique, innovative, and satisfying for thrill-seekers and little explorers alike.
And those 3 are:


Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Grown-ups will certainly remember this one! Pippi Longstocking is a quirky, amazing, red-headed little girl with adventure brimming in her heart and hope in her eyes. She’s intelligent and savvy about everything – from sailing the seven seas, to tending to exotic animals, and exploring the whole world.

This book has several different focuses, as Pippi Longstocking takes the reader on weeks through her life. She makes friends (and a few enemies), and impresses everyone with her sense of exploration and ability to overcome any obstacle.


Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book #2: Amelia Bedelia Unleashed by Herman Parrish

You might recognize this one, as well! However, Amelia Bedelia has been revamped for modern youngsters. She’s still a thriving, imaginative beauty who takes everything literally. And her parents have just agreed to a pet!

Amelia wants a puppy – but not any puppy. She wants the best pup in the world. And this tale follows her from one adventure to another until she finds her ideal doggy.


Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson

James Patterson is a name that grown-ups will certainly remember (especially if you’re a reader of thrillers and suspense). He’s well-known in the adult world, but this story is his way of trying out youth fiction. And he nails it!

The “about” portion of this tale is all in the title. A young boy is headed to Middle School, and he documents every day of misadventure. With laugh-out-loud moments, he makes friends, finds crushes, does tons of homework, and discovers that Middle School might not be so bad.


Here is a cool slideshow - giving the top 5 picks based on popular demand, for the "best of" chapter books for kids in 2014:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Educational Books for 10-Year Olds That Love History

Reading is awesome! And History is one of the greatest subjects ever! When combined, these 2 make an excellent hobby for young bookworms.

The following best books for ten year olds in 2014 are all about historic events (usually told from the point-of-view of other kiddos). There are biographies and true-to-history stories that are super-education and ultra-entertaining for miniature reading buffs.

Some are blatantly historical, and others document personal actions that have been done by youngsters in the past – such as kids who have overcome adversities to find hope, happiness, and uniqueness.


Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

This book is actually on several classroom readings lists in both homeschools and public schools. Set in 1943 during Nazi-held Denmark, this story follows a little girl named Annemarie Johannesen.

Her best friend, Ellen Rosen, is hiding from the Nazis, and on the eve of the Jewish round-up, Annemarie’s family helps Ellen and her parents escape the country.

Told from the point-of-view of a 10-year old little girl, this story is both tragic and riveting, as Annemarie doesn’t understand the actions of politics – only the feelings she has to protect her best friend.


Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Melody is an 11-year old with an extremely photographic memory. She remembers everything in alarming detail! However, no one else knows. Melody has an ailment that makes it impossible for her to communicate, both verbally and with body language. She’s an absolute genius, but no one knows because she cannot tell them. Until she discovers a way to communicate her thoughts and feelings.

This story is based on an actual invention in history! Over time, it has helped people, like Stephen Hawking, speak without actually saying anything. And Melody is this tale’s beacon of hope!


Locomotive by Brian Floca

“A new road of rails – made for people to ride.” – This sentence began the Transcontinental Railway in 1869; a transportation idea that flourished and has since spawned hundreds of advancements in railroad travel.

In well-paced rhythms, this poem explores the concepts of train stations and vintage transportation in prose. Beginning with how the road was built, and ending with the upgrades in modern times, the story provides train buffs and history fans with an outlet for their imaginations. The illustrations are amazing and realistic, matching the greatness of each melodic verse.


Following is a video presenting the author of "Number the Stars," Lois Lowry (a fascinating woman):

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Board Books to Inspire Imaginations in 2014

The best board books this year are inspiring to the imagination of each reader. They’re evoking of fantastic mental imagery, and grown-ups (those secret kids-at-heart) will absolutely love every telling and retelling of the stories because they are guaranteed to make youngsters giggle. And that laughter is worth all the gold in the world to a parent!

I’ve pinpointed a trio of amazing board books that are best for curious toddlers and their doting caregivers. Each of these books are unique in their own way, teaching kids life lessons that assist with their brain development and early sense of self-confidence.

And those 3 are:


First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

Some words are need-to-knows – commonly referred to as sight-words. These are compilations of letters designed to give your toddler a mental image each time the word is uttered. This book has 100 of those – all simple and easy to read and learn.

They’re combined in a tough board-book that is soft enough for baby to grasp and hold on their own. And it can easily withstand the years of wear-and-tear that comes from being man-handled by an excited toddler.


Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden

Colorful and beautiful, this book combines simple rhyming words and amazing illustrations. The format of this story is straightforward and effortless to grasp. Die-cut holes show what lurks in zoos, farms, and rainforests – from owls, to cows, to cheetahs, and tons of other awesome animals. There’s also a creepy (but not-so-scary) green, grinning ghost hiding amidst the pages.

MOO! BOO! ZOO! These are words that your child will learn to read and mimic over-and-over again. It’s sure to become a tried-and-true bedtime favorite for your kiddos, their future youngsters, and generations to come.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This story is timeless, scientific, and beautiful! A very hungry caterpillar is hatched at the beginning of a week. And as that week progresses, the caterpillar eats holes through the days, growing fatter and fatter as his hunger grows. He finally becomes so large and full that he has to wrap up in his cocoon for a much-needed nap to digest.

However, when he wakes up, he discovers that he has transformed into a gorgeous butterfly with impressive, colorful wings that take up an entire 2 pages. He flutters away with a satisfied feeling in his heart – no longer hunger and completely fulfilled.


Get more info on the top selling board books (updated each year to provide current info):

Best Board Books 2014


Video reading of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Best Reads for 8-Year Old Bookworms in 2014

It warms my heart when kiddos are self-proclaimed bookworms! And for those reading-loving cuties the world-over, I’ve compiled an awesome short-list of 3 books for 8-year olds in 2014.

These stories make memories by being fascinating, captivating, and overall great reads. They’re told from different points-of-view with unique themes and attention-grabbing storylines. Plus, there are riveting illustrations in vivid, vibrant colors!

Each of the following books was picked because they evoke strong emotion, creating imagery that unveils a fantastic story within your child’s mind. And they’re all personal favorites that are must-haves in my home.


Wonder by R. J. Palacio

August Pullman (Auggie to his friends) was born with a deformity on his face – one that kept him out of public school until 5th grade. But entering mainstream education and social interaction isn’t that easy. Instead of making best buddies right away, Auggie finds himself the subject of cruel conversations, pranks, and insensitive questions.

However, persevering through the pain of being bullied, Auggie finds a group of close friends – ones that teach him acceptance, loyalty, and kindness.

This story is unique because the points-of-view constantly change from Auggie, to his sister and her boyfriend, to classroom peers, teachers, and tons of others that are seeing the situation differently.


The Giver by Lois Lowry

There are two editions to this book – one is the original released in 2002. The other is completely illustrated, described as a “gift” edition, and it’s totally awesome.

Both editions feature the same amazing story about 12-year old Jonas and his perfect world. His community is fragile and literally perfect – there’s no crime, war, or pain, and everyone has their job to do. However, every-so-often, life assignments choose who will learn of the world’s past, and Jonas is next in line to keep his community’s darkest secrets.


Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Seuss has a way with words – obviously – and this book is his tribute to growing up. With rhymes and prose that kiddos can understand, Seuss tells his readers that they can do everything and be anything. The story’s little boy spreads his proverbial wings, traveling anywhere he wants to go to explore and discover brand-new things.

This book would be the perfect gift for graduates and 20-somethings who have decided to leave home. And it’s also a great present for youngsters with big dreams and high hopes.


More info - books for 8 year olds 2014 (updated yearly for future years too)


Vid - what should an 8 year old be able to read?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Laugh-Out-Loud Books for Giggly 9-Year Olds 2014

My kiddos are prone to random fits of giggles, as I assume most children are. And the majority of their laughs come from stories about hilarious situations. The following 3 reads have been dubbed the best books for 9-year old kids that love to laugh, often. There are funny animals in silly scenarios with kooky moments galore. And there are crazy-cool youngsters that turn into everyday heroes by documenting their school-busy lives. When you combine these 2 (cute kids and awesome animals), the stories incite riotous eruptions of nothing but giggles and good times.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Book 8 by Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley has begun Middle School with no friends. Tragic, I know! His group of buddies have abandoned him to seek their personal popularities amidst clusters of “cool kids.” And Greg feels completely down on his luck.

Deciding to change his destiny, he starts relying on the (literal) throw of the dice to make his major decisions. Packed with laughs from the point-of-view of a 6th grade outcast, this book is a relatable coming-of-age story that kids (and adults) will love to read.


The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book by Tom Robinson

“Challenge the world around you!” As far as taglines go, this one is the best EVER! Encouraging children to discover, explore, and be inspired, this book has a few science experiments that are guaranteed to begin a few giggles. It’s also extremely educational, with projects like – boiling ice, floating water, and measuring gravity.

Kiddos will learn the answer to perplexing scientific questions, such as “what is inside coins?” or “can magnets ever be turned off?” and “can medicine be effective AND tasteless?” Your youngsters are sure to be science-savvy geniuses by the end!


Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

Comic-obsessed Flora and superhero squirrel Ulysses are an unlikely pair of super-cynic friends who, together, learn the meanings of optimism and hope. Did I mention our hero-squirrel can type poetry? Flora is his best friend, and they travel on a mental journey to learn all of the world’s wonders.

This story has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments with hilarious situations around every corner. But it’s also a heartwarming tale, as Flora and Ulysses share friendship and love with a bond as strong as family. The characters are so real, making every scenario relatable – minus the realistic option of a high-flying, poetry-writing squirrel.


To get a fun, up-to-date list of the best books for 9 year old children this year, visit:

Best Books for 9 Year Old Kids


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