Monday, December 29, 2008

Colors, Kisses, Wheels, and Tools to Use!

This week, four favorites are: Red Is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, The Wheels on The Bus by Raffi, and a tool-book for parents; Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort. Red Is a Dragon is beautifully and vibrantly illustrated by Grace Lin, and introduces colors with fun and interesting examples all in the introduction of Chinese New Year. The story also rhymes beautifully.

The Kissing Hand is a sweet story of a young racoon going off to school for the first time, and how his Mama helps him with his anxieties about leaving her and home each day for this new experience. After reading it once, Madeline starting kissing my hand every so often, and it seems to be helping with the idea of starting preschool.

The Wheels on The Bus by Raffi is a fun little board book to sing, and one of Erik's favorite songs right now (we sang "The Wheels on The Truck All Through The Snow" on our Christmas Tree hunt a few weeks ago). I couldn't resist this at the library today and E loves it already.

And, last but not least, my favorite "new" parenting book; Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves focuses on what our children (and how we react to their challenging moments especially) can teach us about ourselves... I really love it. I was 54 pages in before I could set it down, and kept reading examples to Joel. I've used a good many tools from the book, and they work. It's full of wonderful examples of real-world situations, great tools for defusing (and avoiding) tantrums, and treating children with respect while teaching them why they should be kind, respectful, thoughtful, honest, etc. (instead of ruling them by fear and authority). Aldort also strongly advocates parenting your own way, and staying true to yourself and your children. A useful and practical read for any parent!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

The kids are loving Lawrence David's Peter Claus and the Naughty List. They want to hear it every time we read books — in the morning, during the day, and at bedtime. And, that's fine by me. We actually own this book, and I like the message: basically, everyone is naughty sometimes, what matters is that you are more often nice than naughty, and when you do something naughty you say sorry.

And, Delphine Durand's illustrations are lively and engaging. Madeline has as many questions about the story that the pictures tell as she does about the story. It's a keeper, and luckily it's already ours! Maybe Santa should bring you a copy too!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Is Coming...

I had The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry when I was a kid, and it was one of my favorite books. It's a scratch and sniff book, with pine, apple pie, orange, gingerbread, candy cane and hot cocoa... I might be missing one, but that's from memory. The scents are perfect and delectable.

When I saw this book at Barnes & Noble in December '05, I snapped it up! Madeline was only 4 months old, but I had to get this book for me! And, I knew she'd love it some day. It's one of the kids' favorite holiday books, and I've also given it as gifts to several kids.

The story is of Little Bear waiting for Christmas, and that he knows it's coming and it's "... almost here" by the scents of the holiday that surround him. It's a classic that will become a favorite. Trust me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What Erik Might Ask Santa For...

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett is Erik's very favorite new book, and since I sing the book, it's also his favorite new song (and we make it longer by adding our own animals that we'd like to see at the zoo). Since we've got it from the library right now, I'll probably wait for sometime in the future to make this a purchase, but since he also adores his Monkey, I suspect this one will become a personal favorite. He may even ask Santa for it, instead of a "teeny tiny knife" (he loves Joel's pocket knives).

Monkey and me,
Monkey and me,
Monkey and me,
We went to see
, we went to see... some Echidnas! (The echidna is his fave animal - next to monkeys and ducks - because of another great book: Platypus and the Birthday Party by Chris Riddell.) Gravett's animals, are all less unusual (but kids favorites): elephants, kangaroos, penguins, and more...

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