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.