Beach Books !

Here are some beach books to get you geared up for summer.

“The Seaside Switch” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a book packed with information about tides and creatures in the sea. As a child I found nothing more fascinating than a tide pool and all the scurrying crabs and this book captures that. It’s main story is how the tide changes throughout the day and brings with it different animals. The book is too long for most toddlers but my son enjoyed pointing out the animals in the book.

“Just Grandma and Me” by Mercer Mayer is a sweet book. Little Critter and his grandma hit the beach and enjoy an afternoon together. There is something so sweet and touching about this book and the special bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren. Mercer Mayer really did a great job at capturing the unique relationship between grand parents and grand children in this book. It also does a good job covering all the beach bases. They swim , play in the sand and have treats. The last page is adorable with Little Critter being carried into his house asleep on his grandma’s shoulder.


“The Sandcastle Contest” by Robert Munsch. I gave this book a really bad review last year. While it still isn’t my favorite Munsch book, I am taking back some of what I said. My son grabbed it the other day and after reading it with him ( last year it was over his head) I can honestly say I have had a change of heart. The tantrum the main character has when no one believes him about really making everything from sand was a good teaching tool for my 2.5 year old. We stopped and talked about anger, and deep breaths, and wrecking things when we are mad. I think this book could be a good way for parents to talk about anger and frustration without feeling like you are giving a lecture.

“Otto Goes To The Beach” by Todd Parr was a steal of a deal at the Goodwill last week! I got a hardcover in perfect condition for 70 cents. My bargin hunting aside, I really enjoy this book as did my son. Otto is a dog who goes to the beach but no one wants to do the same things as he does, even the fish swim the other way! In the end after feeling very sad Otto finds a new friend and all his misery is forgotten. I love Todd Parr books, I love the insanely bright colors, the cute simplistic illustrations and I love the messages they send. This book followed his other books perfectly and provided a great final message about not giving up finding a friend who will like all the same things you do!

Scaredy Squirrel : at the beach” by Melanie Watt is so funny. I love books like this that have absurd humor thrown in. Before you even read the story on the inside flap you will notice a blurb that ends with “This story is not suitable for pirates” it just makes me giggle! The story follows the most anxious squirrel you’ll ever encounter as he tries to make his own beach, only to end up at a busy one! What I love about this book are the details, the small asides will have you laughing and the main story will keep even young ones totally entertained. My son loved it especially the part about the pool being the ocean and the flashlight being the sun, even at two he was trying to tell the squirrel how wrong that was. Super fun and a great message about overcoming fears as well.

“What Lives in a Shell” by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is another great book in the Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science series. This book is a little long for toddlers but really easy to break into parts. The book starts talking about snails, then moves to turtles and finally sea shells. I read it to my son in parts, and that was perfect for his 2 year old attention span. This book like the others in the series break down facts to a preschoolerslevel without loosing any substance. If you are looking for a non fiction book for your little one, you must check out this series, they are hands down my favorite non fiction for young children. 

Children’s Book Week

Favorite Books
Sent In By You
First of all thank you so much to all my readers who sent in their favorites. There were some I have never read and can’t wait to dive into. Of all the activities we can do with our children , none are more important than reading.

“In The Town All Year Round” by Rotraut Susanne Berner was sent in by Lynn @ Chronicle of and Infant Bibliophile . She said “If I had to pick one book to be stranded somewhere with him with for hours, it would be that one. It’s big and extremely detailed. The littlest readers can just stare at all of the images, slightly older can have fun finding items as you call them out (“where’s the bus?,” etc.), a little older than that can start to follow some of the story lines that weave their way through the book .”

“Goldilocks and The Three Bears” by Jan Brett was sent in by Marietta @ The Bookworms’s Booklist. She said “I picked this book as my top favorite (among many favorites) because I have many sweet memories of laying in bed reading this book to my boys when they were so young. Those are precious times and I cherish those memories.”

“But Not The Hippopotamus” by Sandra Boyton was sent in by Daniel @ Daniel The Poet , he said ” I love But Not the Hippopotamus because of the sing-songy voice my wife uses, and the very sad sound in her voice.”

“The Going To Bed Book” by Sandra Boynton was sent in by Cindy @ Aunt Cindyland she said “I love the pictures of ALL of the animals in the bath together, then as they brush their teeth standing on top of each other. The best is when they all go up on the deck of their boat to exercise as the very last thing they do before bed. It’s a book full of silliness!”

“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown was sent in by Melanie @ Life in Progress she said “It is the first book my 2-year-old requested by name. It’s a comforting, familiar book in our house now. And it’s especially sweet when the kids put their fingers to their lips and join in with the old lady whispering, “hush.”

“The Important Book” by Margaret Wise Brown was sent in by Jennifer @ ZRecommends .I love this book as well, it’s another simple but brilliant must have by this author!

“The Secret World Of Og” by Pierre Burton is one of my favorites but it was Carrie Anne @ Another day , another thought …or two that sent it in. “I still have my original copy that my parents bought me when I was, I think 12. I know read it to my kids, though my 4 year old is a little freaked out by the thought of a hand reaching up through the floor.” She said. When she emailed me I immediately emailed her back because I was so excited to see this book on my list. It is an amazing book and I have such fond memories of it as well.

“We Are All Alike… We Are All Different” by Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergarten was sent in by Annalee @ Out On A Whim and I am so glad she did. This is a great book that got a lot of use in my classrooms. Here is what she said ” It is a beautiful simple story of how everyone of us are alike in some ways and different in other ways. I love the illustrations and the reminder of this lesson on each page. I also love the great extension activities you can do after reading it. My favorite is to pair kids together (could easily adjust it to pairing siblings together or a parent and child), draw two circles on a paper and hand them mirrors to look at themselves and draw a picture of their own face in the first circle, then look at their partner and draw a picture of their face in the other circle. Afterwards, I ask each child a way they are like their partner and a way they are different (encouraging them to look deeper than just physical traits) and write these sentences on the paper.”

“I Will Never Eat A Tomato” by Lauren Child was sent in by Amy @ Let’s Explore She said ” My girls love to make up their own silly names for foods after reading this book.”

“Beezus and Ramona” by Beverly Cleary was sent in by Jeremiah @Punnybop and immediately I got excited about when my son will be old enough to read this. I loved Beverly Cleary as a child and hope I get to share her wonderful books with my son too.

“Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman was sent in by Jennifer @ Twinhappy but I liked something else she wrote in her email to me, how her girls like to write and illustrate their own. I like that too!

“How to Heal a Broken Wing” by Bob Graham was sent in by Susan @ The Book Chook This is what she said about the book” ..the reason it’s my current favourite is because it is the perfect marriage of illustrations with text. It is a gentle, heart-warming story, and one that kids will remember

“A Bargin For Frances”by Lillian Hoban was sent in by Jeremiah @ Punnybop I have always liked this story, about how to deal with a friend who isn’t being very friendly!

“Danny And The Dinosaur” by Syd Hoff was sent in my @Be A Good Dad what he said about the book was short but very sweet ” I love listening to my kids read it and it is such a cool way to show an impossible thing in a normal world.”

“Positively Mother Goose” by Diana Loomans was sent in by Sam @ it’s filled with centuries old nursery rhymes reworked to spin a positive message instead of the traditional negative one. I can’t count how many times I have wondered how we ever thought that the rhymes in traditional versions were okay to share with young kids! This takes care of that.

“The Alphabet from A-Y with bonus letter Z” by Steve Martin was sent in by Rebecca @ A little bit of Momsence she says her son ” wants this book every night before bed – awesome to teach letters and very interesting words. ” This is another book I have never seen, and have added it to my list!

“You’re All My Favorites” by Sam McBratney was suggested by Nancy @ My Parenting Source This book is about how parents can love their different children equally is so valuable. Nancy wrote “Siblings need to often be reminded that we love them all the same.” I agree!

“I Love You Stinky Face” by Lisa McCourt was sent in by April,and I couldn’t agree more with what she said about it ” This book is so much fun. It was a great way to bond with my children. It explains that a mother’s love is pure and unconditional. I will love my kids no matter what! “

“Hug Time “ by Patrick McDonell was sent in by Heather @ All The Way To Pluto And Back she said it’s ” The sweetest little children’s book in the wide world”. I think it looks adorable and can’t wait to read it!

“Open the Barn Door” by Chris Santoro was sent in by Rebecca @ A little bit of Momsence
and I love what she said in her email ” We had to buy my daughter her own copy because my son’s was very well loved!! ” That is a true recommendation !

“In The Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak was sent in my Jennifer @ ZRecommends This classic was my favorite Sendak book growing up and the illustrations always made me giggle!

“No, David!” by David Shannon is beloved at our house but Sandra @ Celebrate Every Day said “Our favorite books are the David books by David Shannon. We love the child-like illustrations, the simplicity of the stories, and of course, that my son’s name is David!”

“Tummy Girl” by Rosanne Thong was sent in by by Amanda @ Funny Days with Mommy and Maddie. She found this book at the library but loved it so much she bought a copy for her daughter. Here is what she said about it ” I love the rhyming scheme of the story and the little girl is just adorable and reminds me of myself when I was younger.”

So there it is all of em… well almost. You’ll have to wait for my favorite along with a special Sunday Spotlight tomorrow!

Whoa Mama, Books About Moms

Happy Mother’s Day !

I hope that this list will bring something special into your home. Whether this is your first Mother’s Dy or your 50th I hope your day is filled with love and joy. Thank you to my readers who suggested some of these wonderful books. Don’t forget to click on these links they will take you to both my book review on and our complete mommy book list.

“Mama Outside, Mama Inside” by Dianna Hutts Aston was a delightful read. This is a story about a mama bird and a human mama as they prepare for and care for their new babies. Each page shows how the birdy mama does something then how the human mom does. My son loved it and when I flipped the page that talked about feeding babies, my son saw our favorite part before I did. The human mama was nursing and my little man said ” Look mama, baby has boo boo! ( his word for nursing) like me!” I melted and was so happy to see a mom nursing and it being treated as simply the way babies eat. As a nursing mom I appreciated that. Great book for toddlers.

“My Mom” by Anthony Browne made me giggle. It’s a cute book narrated by a child who is listing off all the wonderful things about his or her mom. With every turn of the page a new fantastic skill or talent is revealed my favorite was the exclamation that she is “The strongest woman in the world” which was paired with a great illustration of her carrying bags and bags of groceries. The narrator tells us that his/her mom could do anything but instead she is his mom. Which no matter what we moms do is exactly how our kids will and should see us.

“Mama Do You Love Me?” by Barbara M. Joosse is a well loved book. I have read it many times but never reviewed it. There are a lot of books about children testing their mom’s unconditional love but this one stands out for me. In it the little girl seems to go out of her way to aggravate her mom and really test her love. The mother is fantastic because she isn’t gushy or sickeningly sweet, she says she would get angry , worried, sad depending on what her daughter tests her with. However after each honest answer she follows it up with how she will always love her. Kids need to know even if they make us sad or angry it doesn’t change the depth of our love for them.

“Where Is Baby’s Mommy” by Karen Katz is the perfect book for your tinest book lover. It is bright, cheery and will grow with your child from the first few months through toddlerhood. The story is simple, a baby and mom are playing hide and seek, you play along with them by lifting the flaps to reveal where mommy is !

“Someday” by Alison McGhee was suggested by a reader and I can see why. It’s a sweet story probably a little more for grown daughters and mother’s than children but they will like it too. The book opens with a mom and a baby, the baby grows into a child and then continues on with the mother’s hopes for what her daughter will experience someday. Some are good, some are sad but all are things that we all must face as we grow older. This would be a great gift for your mom!

“A Chair For My Mother” by Vera B. Williams is another classic mom book and it deserves to be called that. A sweet story that includes 3 generations of women who are all working hard to save money to replace furniture lost in a fire. The comfy chair they are planning to buy really represents the comfort and safety they are trying to rebuild in their new home after such tragedy. I love the sense of collective good in this family, in our “Me me me !” world I like seeing books like this.

“Mama Always Comes Home” by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through.

You may want some kleenex.. Books About Mothers

Mama Books
On Sunday I will devote the whole day to a huge long list of all the mommy books I have reviewed this year and last, and I hope that my readers will include their favorites as well. Tonight I am sharing some new finds with the hope that if you haven’t already discovered these gems that you will get a chance to soon.

“Mama’s Saris” by Pooja Makhijani is a simple yet rich story about a little girl and her desire to dress in her mama’s clothes. I think I would be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn’t remember watching in awe as her mom got dressed for a special event and wanting to dress just like mama. The narrator is Hindu and her mama wears a sari for special occasions and she is stubbornly trying to get her mom to let her wear one for her 7th birthday. The illustrations are beautiful, especially the jewel tones of the various saris. This book would be a great one to read before playing dress up or other pretend play. The story is touching and although it’s too long for toddlers, it’s a great book for preschoolers !

“Hair for Mama” by Kelly A. Tinkham is beautiful. The story is about a little boy who is desperate to find some hair for his mama who has lost hers to chemotherapy. Marcus wants mama to be in the family photo but she doesn’t want to be the way she looks. His mission comes to a climax when he shaves off all his own hair hoping to give it to his mama. When the barber sweeps it up with the other hair on the floor Marcus is heart broken and goes home in tears. I was sobbing reading this, I knew it was a story about a mom having cancer but the way the author wrote it , it was magical. The complex emotions this little boy felt for his mom and she for him, jumped off the page and you can’t help but cry. I wasn’t sad ,I was touched by the love and desire to fix his mom and make everything better, and his parents tenderness to his feelings. I can’t recommend this book more highly. I should note that this is not a book for toddlers, I would probably wait until a child is 4-5 before reading them this gem.

“My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins or Things.” by Judith Viorst is a lovely , touching but not saccharine book about how moms makes mistakes too. The litter boy narrating the book, continues to insist that there are monsters and such despite his mom saying there isn’t. He used the fact that he often catches his mom making little mistakes to prove that she must be wrong when she says those horrible creatures don’t exist. In the end though mama keeps him safe and is right after all.

” Piglet and Mama” by Margaret Wild is the only book in this list I would suggest for the under 3 crowd. My son loved it. Piglet is searching for his mom and even though all the other animal mommies offer for him to join them and their babies he wants his mom! The illustrations by Stephen Michael King capture the warmth between a mama and her baby beautifully . My son has the “Mama” scream perfected and quite enjoyed seeing the little piglet do the same thing for her mama. We had a nice chat after reading this about separation, something we have been struggling with for a while. Before nap today I reminded my son that just like piglet his mama will come get him when he wakes up. Even if separation anxiety isn’t something you are dealing with at your house this is a sweet book.

Read Green – Used Books!

Used bookstores and thrift shops offer fantastic books and bottom of the barrel prices. Not only are you saving your bank account , but is is also environmentally friendly to shop used ! Here are four finds from our latest shopping adventure.

“All by Myself” by Ivan Bates is a sweet book about a little elephant exerting her independence. Sound familiar? It might if you have a toddler or preschooler close by! My husband and I laughed so hard when I found this at the Goodwill , just minutes before my son had proclaimed ” I do it” very loudly for all to hear. The story is great though because although the little elephant wants to do it herself, she can’t . Like many of the tasks young children desire to do independently , she simply can’t do it without help. Her mom backs off though until her daughter is ready to use a little old fashion teamwork to get it done.

“My Little Sister Ate One Hare” by Bill Grossman is a huge hit at our house. It’s a counting book that counts all the disgusting things the narrator’s sister ate from 1-10 . The rhyming text builds and repeats as she eats and eats! My son was thoroughly entertained and I liked that he was having fun pointing out and counting the things she ate.

“Everybody Bonjours!” by Leslie Kimmelman was such a find! I adore Paris so my review of this book may be slightly biased. I love it. I love the simplicity of a little girl going to Paris and saying hearing “Bonjour” everywhere she goes. She stops at many of the major tourists attractions and at the end of the story there is a short guide for the sights she sees with her family. Also it should be noted that there are many pages that contain opposites on them so children will enjoy being able to anticipate the story. I love the illustrations by Sarah McMenemy they give a retro feel to a very cute book. My son really liked it especially since he was just learning “Bonjour” the other day and happily helped me say it with each turn of the page.

“James and The Rain” by Karla Kushkin is another great find. The story is about James who suits up when the rains comes down and goes about asking all the animals if they like the rain and what they do in it. Like “My Little Sister Ate One Hare” the story builds with numbers as it goes along. The first animal James meets is one cow, the next are 2 ducks and the numbers continue to grow. All the animals follow James and he has quite the entourage by the time he returns home. It was a little long for my son to sit through but he did come back to read more later in the day. Being that was live in a rainy part of the world, this book is a great fit for our library.