New Picture Books to Treasure

new picture books fall 2013 lg

As you know, I adore reading new picture books and sharing the best with you. Here are some new titles for your family to enjoy.   The Bear's Song by Benjamin Chaud We adore this oversized picture book for the fun follow-the-baby bear story and for the gorgeous and detailed illustrations. Little Bear wanders off and it's up to Papa Bear to find him. Can you find … [Read more...]

New Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

board books

I don't often review board books but I found some unique treasures I just had to share with you. When you're looking for a good book for your baby or toddler, consider interest, interactivity, and readability (not too many words). Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli A wonderful work of art art - this is also literally an alphabet book block. Each thick page is … [Read more...]

Learning to Read: Word Attack Strategies Beyond Sound It Out

word attack strategies and printable

Learning to read individual words is a tricky business. Some words kids memorize - those are the sight words. (*Sight word printables here.) But most words require kids to decode, or figure out, the word. When your child comes to a non-sight word, a word he doesn't know, he needs strategies to attack that unknown word. Most of us parents automatically say, "Sound it … [Read more...]

Why I Dislike Homework and How the Research Backs Me Up


Do your kids spend hours a night doing homework? Mine do. And I hate it- maybe even more than they do. Seriously, I'd much rather that my kids get much needed down-time to: play, nap, read, run, swing, dance, twirl, build, create, draw, invent, or design. Yet I sit inside with them, trying to pretend that I'm enthusiastic and supportive, helping them to stay … [Read more...]

Self Censorship Better Than Book Banning

banned book week

My parents let me read any book I wanted. No they weren't without religious belief or strong opinions, they just firmly believed in growing a reader, an individual, who could make decisions for herself. Me! Yes, any book I wanted to read. With one condition -- I had to discuss it with my mom after I read it. (Much to my dismay sometimes! You try discussing sex and incest in … [Read more...]

DIY a Cryoow! Doll for Play and Stories

Cryoow! doll story and giveaway

Cryoow! dolls start with a child’s 2D drawing, transforming it into a jaw-dropping, super-awesome hand-crafted 3D doll. It's so cool. Make a Cryoow! Doll To make a doll, your child draws a picture more than 4 inches tall. We recommend using the game Pick and Draw which taught us so many fun ways to draw faces. Draw your person -- my eight year old daughter drew herself. … [Read more...]

Early Signs of Dyslexia

early signs of dyslexia

Blog post written by Lenka Vodicka, mother, teacher, writer, and photographer.  A Dyslexia Story I looked forward to reading with my daughter. We would cuddle together with a stack of books and she would say, “again, again” and we would lose ourselves in favorite stories. I was shocked when that never happened. What is it about reading to children, I thought, that’s so … [Read more...]

Book Character Halloween Costumes for Kids and Teens

book costumes

Ready for more book character Halloween costumes? Today I want to give you ideas for kids from 7 to 17. Book Character Costumes for Older Kids Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon make a dragon costume buy dragon costume Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis buy Prince Caspian costume Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling buy Harry Potter costume buy Slytherin Robe buy … [Read more...]