Sunday, November 1, 2015

Three 2015 Christmas Books to Excite Kids’ Holiday Cheer

Maybe the title is a bit wrong because I have never, ever met a youngster who needed a nudge into getting excited about Christmas. However, I have met quite a few who need a reason to stay excited, especially when the anxiety of Santa Claus and his impending arrival is looming ever closer. This is where bedtime stories and holiday cheer come in.

This year, holiday stories have taken on new spins with new characters and new scenarios, but seasonal excitement and holiday cheer have always been the two story-time constants.

The following three among the best 2015 Christmas books for kids have been handpicked to excite and delight both kiddos and adults.

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Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

Bear has been having a hard time this Christmas because he really, really wants to stay up for all the usual holiday activities, like baking Christmas cakes…and of course, eating Christmas cakes. He tries and tries to fight his natural instincts to hibernate, but he instead falls right to sleep on Christmas Eve. Oh no!

Fortunately for Bear, his forest friends want him to experience the greatness of Christmas too, which means poking and prodding Bear to wake him up. When they succeed, this grumpy, fur-covered cutie helps ring in the holiday with his favorite woodland friends.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (20th Anniversary Edition) by Tim Burton

The Nightmare Before Christmas has been around for 2 decades. Can you believe it? We were first introduced to this amazing Tim Burton concept in movie format and it has BOOMED, becoming one of the must-watches every Halloween and Christmas.

The book is a bit different than the movie in terms of shorter dialogue and not as much character explanation, but it is an instant classic in its own right. We are still introduced to Jack Skellington—the pumpkin-headed king of Halloweenland who longs for something more, something better. To make his life a little more interesting, Jack concocts a plan to steal Santa Claus and take over Christmas for himself.

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The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

Pout-Pout Fish has a perpetual pout—it is just how his face looks. However, just because he is always pouting does not mean he is always unhappy. On the contrary, Pout-Pout Fish is full of love and has tons of friends, most of whom he is have trouble shopping for in this book.

To turn his internal frown upside down, Pout-Pout Fish enlists the help of his friend Miss Shimmer to assist with finding the perfect presents for his list of sea-dwelling buddies.

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If you're on the hunt for some great kids' Christmas books - here is a video short with some tips:


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Interactive Books for Babies in 2015

The top picks in baby books for 2015 are interactive and beautiful with a boldness and brightness that captures the imagination and attention of your youngster.

Despite being unable to read, babies can learn through pictures, and they can feel through illustrations. Give a kiddo a book about love between two polar bears, and they will coo and awe all day. Give them a book about loss of a teddy bear, and they will sympathize with the toddler in the story. This innate gift of understanding helps kids learn and flourish.

I have hand-picked a triple threat among the best baby books this year. These books are easy-grasp, easy-read, and have plenty of bold, colorful pictures with amazing meaning.

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Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

This little book has been around for ages! The pictures are elaborate and bright with a touch of decades-old details that give each page a vintage feel. The book itself is sturdy for easy-grasp and consistent bedtime reading throughout a kiddo’s childhood.

What is this book about? Well – a young bunny is trying to delay going to sleep. He is very tired, you see – but like all youngsters, he thinks he will miss something if he shuts his eyes. SO, in a very matter-of-fact voice, he says goodnight to absolutely everything in sight. As the night goes on, his voice gets lighter and sleepier, until finally, the moon is his last goodnight before dozing.

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I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak

Very few things have a stronger bond than a toddler and their stuffed bears (or animals, in general).

This book is about a little boy who loves his teddy bear more than anything in the whole world. He totes it with him everywhere!

Told through his words, he tells his teddy how much he loves him with laugh-out-loud rhymes, and overall very heartfelt message.


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The World of Eric Carle: Around the Farm

Eric Carle has been a favorite of mine since I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This book pays tribute to his unique, colorful, bold world!

Kids can discover the sounds and sights of life on a farm. On the side of the book, there are press-buttons that make sounds to correspond with each of the awesome animals on the farm.

Sunshine never sets on this beautiful layout, and the animals are detailed with vivid, vibrant color.

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Find more great picks in baby books - here is a bit of a short list on YouTube - video:


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Three Books that 2 Year Olds Will Love in 2015

Some kids pick up hobbies like you would pick up groceries – effortlessly. Others need a little persuasion to really get into something magical, such as reading.

A long-term love of reading begins with the perfect book. Bedtime stories are essential in my house, because reading, and even listening to stories, can teach you so much.

I have hand-picked what I believe to be the best books for 2 year olds this year. These books are colorful, bold, and engaging, striving to capture and hold a child’s attention throughout the story. Plus, some of them feature laugh-out-loud moments that elicit everything from gentle giggles to roaring belly laughs.

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Disney Frozen (Little Golden Book) by RH Disney

Anna and Elsa are two beloved Disney characters that your Disney-loving toddler is sure to recognize. This book features the tale of these two sisters, retold in compact fashion. Plus, a little golden book is designed to be cherished and treasured throughout childhood.

The story goes like this (although I am sure you already know) – Elsa has magic powers that cause snow, frost, and everything chilly to erupt from her imagination. Anna, kept in the dark about her sister’s powers, is a na├»ve dreamer and hopeless romantic. Apart, these sisters are lonely and prone to craziness. Together, their bond overcomes anything, and they can achieve everything.

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Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Have you ever played the ‘I love you,’ ‘I love you more,’ ‘I love you most’ game with your youngster? You will…and it will be awesome. This book might start it!

An engaging tale about a parent bunny and his little baby bunny, bonding over their love for one another. Silly rhymes and whimsy take little readers through colorful illustrations, and baby bunny is a relatable character that kids can really connect with.

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

This book is one of those aforementioned reads that will cause an eruption of giggles.

One day, an exhausted bus driver decides he needs a break from driving the bus for a day. Who volunteers to take his place? A pigeon! This little pigeon is an oddball – no driver’s license, no hands to steer, and he seems too determined to get his way. He wheedles, begs, pleads, and tries to persuade.

This story is interactive, so in the end, your kiddo gets to decide whether or not to let the pigeon drive the bus.
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More fun picks - a short mini-video with a top 5 list of books for kids two years of age: