The Gift Inside the Box by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant

The Gift Inside the Box by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant

Though we try to avoid all things Christmas until after Thanksgiving in our house, our girls are definitely already feeling the Christmas fever… They’ve even already written letters to Santa Claus! I feel like no matter how hard parents might try to keep the focus of the holiday season on the holidays themselves and on kindness and giving to others, children work really hard to divert that focus towards the gifts they’re hoping to receive. So, I was thrilled to receive The Gift Inside the Box by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant, illustrated by Diana Schoenbrun, from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House). Because it’s not a Christmas book, we’ve been reading it already, and I’m loving the emphasis on giving and thinking of others. Continue reading “The Gift Inside the Box by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant”

Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship by Marie Kondo and Salina Yoon

Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship by Marie Kondo and Salina Yoon

So, I need to start this review by saying that I’ve never read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. But, I am a pretty frequent purger around our house, which allows me to keep things *fairly* clutter- and mess-free… My children, however… not so much! We’ve got one who is just plain messy, and another who is a collector. So, I’m excited to read her Kiki and Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship, co-written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, with them (I’m sure we’ll revisit it a few times over the years) as I work to teach them about cleaning, tidying, and purging. It’ll be a long process, I know, but I’m always glad to have a book to go with something I’m attempting to teach! Continue reading “Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship by Marie Kondo and Salina Yoon”

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards

So, you know I love a good themed bookshelf… But I love even more books that can be used for one theme, but might also be used for another theme or read throughout the year, regardless of season, holiday, or lesson. A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, is one of those books! Read on to see why this book is so wonderful and applicable for many themes and seasons. Continue reading “A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards”

The Lola and Leo series by Anna McQuinn

The Lola and Leo series by Anna McQuinn

Do you know the Lola books by Anna McQuinn? Or her newer series about Lola’s little brother, Leo? We first discovered Lola a handful of years ago, when I was trying to diversify our bookshelves. She’s such a delight that over the years, we’ve added 4 Lola books to our permanent home library and often check others out from our local public library. I must admit, though, that I didn’t even know McQuinn had done a few books featuring Leo until I was prepping for this post and noticed them in our library catalogue! Read on to hear all about Lola, Leo, and their charming books. Continue reading “The Lola and Leo series by Anna McQuinn”

Señorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer (and Mister G’s songs, too!)

Señorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer (and Mister G’s songs, too!)

I don’t know about you all, but my husband and I always get really excited when we find children’s music that doesn’t quite sound like, well, children’s music… Anyone else feel the same way? Some of our old favorites have been Elizabeth Mitchell and Hullabaloo, and I was thrilled when Mister G (Ben Gundersheimer) sent me two of his cds along with his new bilingual book, Señorita Mariposa, this summer. Read on for a little bit about both his music and his book! Continue reading “Señorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer (and Mister G’s songs, too!)”

Christianne Jones Social-Emotional Learning Books from Capstone

Christianne Jones Social-Emotional Learning Books from Capstone

When I was a teacher, one of my favorite social-emotional units we did was “Superflex: A Social Thinking Curriculum.” Superflex helped our students gain an awareness of their behaviors, their impacts on others, and how they can recognize and regulate when they need to change course somehow. Over the summer, I wanted to work with our girls on their awareness of personal space and looked into getting some Superflex materials to use at home… Alas, I just couldn’t justify the cost. But, while looking for things to read with the girls, I found Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader by Christianne Jones, and though I usually try to read a book before I buy it, I bought this one sight-unseen, hoping it would be useful… And it was! Then, a few weeks later, I won a copy of Miles McHale, Tattletale from a giveaway Capstone did on Instagram, and we loved it just as much, if not more. I’ve since collected two other titles in the series. Read on to see why we love each one. Continue reading “Christianne Jones Social-Emotional Learning Books from Capstone”

Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)

Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)

One of the questions that I often get asked is how and when to transition from reading only picture books with your children to reading some chapter books as well. While no one child will transition the same way, I’ll share some tips and tricks here for you, as well as recommend a delightfully sweet chapter book series to share with your children! Continue reading “Tips for Transitioning to Chapter Book Read-Alouds (and a Delightful Series to Try)”