Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Books about TEA FOR TWO-Year Olds!

The box: I almost missed it!

But there it was - just at eye-level - haphazardly resting on a shelf in our garage.

A somewhat faded pink-striped box that encased my daughter's long forgotten Circus Tea Set.


A rainy weekend.

My two-year-old grandson loves "tea" parties. (I do too - doesn't everyone?!)

And I love books about tea parties. (He does too!)

I hope I've included some of your favorite tea party stories, as I've gathered ours for this post. (click the titles for links to my past reviews)...

by David Kirk
(Because, really, what's a tea party without a spider?!)

by Molly Idle
(Because boys and girls love dinosaurs - and dinosaurs apparently love tea!)

inspired by A.A. Milne
illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
(You'll find a recipe for Honeycake, of course!)

A colors primer by Jennifer Adams
(A fun introduction to all things Alice from "Little Master Carroll")

What to serve your little munchkin?  Click here for Book Themed Food Ideas.  And go here for my past posts on Storybook Party Ideas.

Monday, July 13, 2015

july is national blueberry month! taste the love...

"Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!" 

Sal and her mother decide to pick blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders off to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a Mama Bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile Sal's mother is being followed by a small bear who also has a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one?

Don't get left behind!  This is a perfect read for July, National Blueberry Month. If you haven't read it, run out and find this cute book, by Robert McCloskey, first published in 1948!

Oh, and about those blueberries. They aren't just good tasting, they're healthy!  According to the North American Blueberry Council, out of 40 different fruits, juices, and vegetables, the blueberry has the highest antioxidant level.  And just three and a half ounces of blueberries are equivalent to over 1700 International Units of Vitamin E!
(Find some snack recipes with blueberries for kids HERE).

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"Flashlight": An Illuminating Book (Especially for a Sick Child!)

A flashlight is great distraction for a sick child. We recently put that to a test...along with an illuminating wordless book by talented Lizi Boyd.

Our family is trading around a nasty summer cold!  My daughter has had to get creative in finding things for my two-and-a-half year old grandson to do, since he's been too sick to be running around or playing outside.


One of my grandson's best friends is "Puppy", a shadow playmate with a funny voice that my husband introduced him to a few months ago.  "Puppy" magically showed up on our ceiling one night, and it took quite a few visits before my grandson ever noticed his Grandpa's animated hand in front of the flashlight.  His little eyes were so riveted to the circle of light and the shadow puppet!

So the other afternoon my daughter got out our trusty flashlight and let my grandson have at it. "Little Puppy" was born!

And when he'd had enough of "Little Puppy", we got out his Madeline Shadow Puppets.  Then he had fun holding those up to the flashlight, while we read aloud a Madeline story.

Maybe because of all the shadow play my grandson experiences with his Grandpa, or maybe because it's just a super imaginative and detailed (wordless) book, Lizi Boyd's Flashlight has been requested over and over and over at our house since my daughter found it at the library. 

It's a perfect summer read - especially if you have a cold - because you can go camping in the woods without ever leaving your house!

You'll discover what a boy sees when he leaves his tent and ventures out into his dark backyard with his faithful flashlight.  Preschoolers will love naming all the animals illumined by the beam of light, as well as those still in the shadows.

I love the twist at the end.  Guess who ends up with the flashlight!

Stay healthy!  (But it sickness finds you and your family this summer, grab a flashlight.  Fun is sure to follow.)  
Go here for my other posts about shadow play books, and about how to make your own shadow puppet theatre.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Four Books For the Fourth!

O, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave,
o're the land of the free 
and the home of the brave...

The Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier. Due to careful research, Spier's artwork depicts "the dawn's early light" and "the rocket's red glare" with remarkable authenticity and detail in this celebratory book. Among the highlights: a brief history of the anthem, a reproduction of Francis Scott Key's original manuscript, music for guitar and piano chords and many photographs.

The Story of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Nancy Munger. This is the story of how Frances Scott Key observed the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814 and was so moved by the sight of the flag still flying at dawn that he wrote the poem that became our national anthem. Included in this little book is the first verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner" along with the admonition to stand up, remove our hats, and place our hands over our hearts when this song is played.  My 2 and 1/2 year old grandson is obsessed with this book!

F is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, illustrated by Barbara Duke. Flag Day was June 14, but with so many American flags proudly displayed, every day seems like Flag Day! Perfect for reading together with a young child, F Is for Flag shows in simple terms how one flag can mean many things: a symbol of unity, a sign of welcome, and a reminder that-in good times and in bad-everyone in our country is part of one great big family.

The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh, illustrated by Marie Nonnast.  The story opens on a stormy afternoon on July 4, 1776. Candles were lighted early in the State House in Philadelphia as the vote was taken on the Declaration of Independence. We go back, briefly, to see the need for the Declaration, and to see it written. Then there is the stirring moment when messengers leave with the first hastily printed copies of the Declaration in their saddlebags. We follow them through the country to see and hear the effect on the news on a farmer, on George Washington's soldiers, and on a congregation in church, as the minister says for the first time "God bless the United States of America". The narrative is told simply enough to bring it close to children who may be hearing it for the first time.