Give the Gift of Reading (and why I read to my kid)

I can wax poetic all day and night about why books make the best gifts, but that would make for one very long post. I'll try to keep it short and sweet…. But I won’t promise anything. :)

Books can make really great gifts if you think about it. They far outlast some of the more popular gifts out there, don’t require batteries and come in a one size fits all ratio. Plus they are easy to wrap! They inspire imagination and creativity not to mention a good book can transport you anywhere in the world without setting one foot outside. They really are the best gift that keeps on giving, so in honor of Christmas I would like to share some of my favorite books that would make great gifts for the little munchkins in your life… and the mamas too!

For baby:

Brown Bear, Bown Bear, What Do You See?

The Monster at the End of This Book

Goodnight Moon

The Snowy Day

I am a Bunny

All of which can be found in board book version. Perfect for little hands and almost indestructible! (almost)

For the Pre-Schooler:

Anything Curious George

Where The Wild Things Are
The Nutshell Library

There is Something There: Three Bedtime Classics

For the animal lover:

Over in the Meadow

The Magpie’s Nest

A kiss For Little Bear
The If You Give Series:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If You Give a Pig a Pancake

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

… There are tons more in the series but these are our favorites.

Mama and Baby:

The Kissing Hand

Are You My Mother?

For The little traveler:

The Red Balloon

For the budding artist:

Roy Lichtenstein’s ABC

Counting with Wayne Thiebaud
Andy Warhol’s Colors

Books about potty time:

Once Upon a Potty

Everyone Poops

Now onto the next subject. Why I love story time with The Boog.

Reading is beneficial in a lot of ways but it’s the snuggling and laughing that inevitably ensues which brings us closer together. After a day of hustle and bustle it’s nice to grab a few quiet minutes, just the two of us. I also feel a tinge of accomplishment when she grabs her favorite book and sits on the couch “reading” to herself. I read to The Boog because I treasure moments like that. Of course I read to her because of the countless educational benefits but reading for us is so much more than that. I read to her so she feels loved, safe, creative, passionate…. I want her to love books as much as I do. They are magical doors to endless possibilities. But first and foremost, reading gives me an excuse to cuddle and show her that mommy loves her, in her own words, “always and forever.” So give the gift of reading and know your giving someone so much more than just a book!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
Written by Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by Felicia Bond

"If you give a cat a cupcake, he'll ask for some sprinkles to go with it. When you give him the sprinkles, he might spill some on the floor. Cleaning up will make him hot, so you'll give him a bathing suit" . . . . . I had no idea this existed or else I would have added it to our collection by now! Decided to buy it for The BOOG for Christmas... Oh how we love our cupcakes!

Also By:
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
If You Give a Pig a Pancake

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Pumpkin Party

Hey Kiddo’s! What were you up to this weekend? Im excited for The Boog’s impending Birthday Party, which happens to be right around Halloween. The theme for this year is PUMPKIN! Pumpkin picking , pumpkin cake…. Pumpkin decorations! Everything is pumpkin. So in honor of my party planning efforts and All Hallows Eve, here are a few fun posts from around the web…… (above image: Jar o lanterns via family fun)
Pumpkin Patch Cake via Decorated Cookie

Popcorn Pops via Sugar Derby

DIY “Reese’s” Pumpkins via Miss Make

Pumpkin Balloons via Martha Stewart

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If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
By Laura Numeroff
Illustrated by Felicia Bond

Hello all! How is everyone doing…? I only ask since I have been away for a couple months enjoying time with my family and unfortunately not spending a whole lot of time treasure hunting. No treasure hunting means that I have spent even less time blogging. However, I’m so happy to be back in time for my favorite season, Fall! What excites me even more than Fall? Halloween! I have some goodies coming up for these next couple of weeks but for now allow me to introduce the new addition to Barnes and Noble’s Online Storytime, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Laura Numeroff narrates the beloved tale of a mouse with a hankering for milk and cookies and a penchant for chaos.

Do you know what happens if you give a mouse a cookie? He’ll want some milk to go with it… and then milk and cookies will turn into haircuts, nap time, story time, arts and crafts time…… if you are unfamiliar with Laura Numeroff, you just have to check out her “If You Give” Series. The illustrations are intriguing and the story always features an animal innocently wreaking havoc on unassuming young children. The Boog finds them to be funny and I myself find it amusing how the animals zip through one activity to the next exhausting their little friends as they go along.

Also by:
If You Give a Pig a Pancake

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Ernie's Work of Art

Ernie’s Work of ArtBy Valjean McLenighan
Illustrated by Joe Mathieu1979

I’m such a sucker for vintage Sesame Street that, even a ratty crummy old, Little Golden Book won’t turn me away! This one was purchased not too long ago, along with a few other bedtime stories I picked up for The Boog. (May I quickly mention that it was illustrated by one of my most favorite Sesame Street Illustrators of all time.)

I have so many of these Sesame Street LGBks to share but today I chose one that directly reflects the mood in my house since, as you can see, The Boog is feeling very artistic as of late. What can I say? Im a proud mama!

Anyhoo, let's see what Ernie creates, with a little help from the Sesame Street Gang.


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The Kissing Hand

The Kissing Hand
By Audrey Penn
Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

This month’s Barnes and Noble Online Story Time features The Kissing Hand, narrated by author Audrey Penn.(Check it out here.)In this story little Chester Raccoon is getting ready to start school for the first time, but he is bit anxious to leave his home. Chester’s Mother lets him in on a little secret, a secret that has been passed down from her mother and grandmother, that will make his nights away at school feel just as cozy as his days at home. Behold the Kissing Hand. She takes his paw in hers, fans out his tiny fingers and leaves a kiss right in the middle of his palm. She goes on to tell him that whenever he feels lonely all he has to do is press his hand to his cheek and remember, “Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.” And that the kiss will fill him with toasty warm thoughts. Ironically after Chester gets comfortable leaving for school, he gives his mother a kiss on her hand.

This story is a great way of letting your child know that your love will always be with them no matter what and is the perfect book for any little one about to head off to preschool or daycare for the first time. Plus the book comes with little heart stickers so you can make a kissing hand of your very own and if your craving some raccoon and hearts fun:

The Kissing Hand Felt Story Board
By Glitterful Felt Stories

Pocket Hand Warmers
By Worme Woole

Raccoon Mask for children
By Mahalo

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The Muppet Show Book

The Muppet Show Book
Starring Jim Henson’s Muppets
Illustrated by Tudor Banus

Happy weekend Kiddos! I have to admit that I am a Muppet fanatic and now I must also admit that I do not own The Muppet Show Book. I borrowed this beauty of a book from the local library. I actually found it by accident. The Boog had a Ballerina phase so the librarian was kind enough to write down all the ballet books her children’s section had to offer. This book was sitting on her desk during our interlude and that’s all she wrote! I checked it out immediately, along with a ton of ballerina inspired books for enough story times as there are days in a month! (Now The Boog is into insects) but I’ll save that for another post. Enjoy some of the images I managed to scan from the book. It was rather large but I did my best.

and last but not least my most favorite song of all muppet songs.... Mahna Mahna!!!!

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Once Upon a Potty

Once Upon a Potty (Girl)
Alona Frankel

Sooooo, a ton of stuff has been going on in my neck of the woods. I do try to post whenever I can these days but I have been off in potty land as of late. The Boog is graduating from diapers to pottydom! So far we have been successful going on 3 weeks. It was a rough first few days without diapers but it was so worth it because now we have an independent little Boog. Yay me!

In lieu of our potty days together, I decided to post about the book that got us diaper free by end of age 3. Now the original features a little boy, Joshua but I picked up the girl version, Pruedence, on one of my many Thrift store excursions (at .25 cents it was a steal) We read it to The Boog for a while before the potty became an issue.

The Boog's favorite part was "She sat and sat and sat and sat and sat and sat....." Which was appropriate because that is just what we did! The whole ordeal wasn’t that smooth in the beginning but now she’s a potty aficionado!

We also read Everyone Poops! Sounds a little funny but it got us in potty mode :)

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Richard Scarry's Look & Learn Library

Look and Learn Library
Richard Scarry
Golden Press NY

Hey Kiddos,I am offering an extraordinary box set, containing books from one of my all time favorite children’s book author/illustrator, Richard Scarry, over at my Etsy Shop.

Here is a recap of some of my previous posts of Scarry Classics.

Pierre Bear

The Wolf and the Kids

Country mouse and City mouse

Many of his stories appear in Little Golden Books but imagine owning the whole entire set..... and unedited at that!

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A thrifting we will go!

Hey Kiddos! Went thrifting this weekend and found 3 new books for The Boog! Some of them are vintage, some are not, just thought I’d share them with you :)

By Don Freeman

Ernie's Work of Art
ByValjean McLenighan
Illustrated by Joe Mathieu

Leonardo the Terrible Monster
By Mo Willems

Everyone Makes Mistakes
By Emily Perl Kingsley
Illustrated by A. Delaney

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?
By Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Mark Teague

Some great finds. The Boog and I have been out and about as of late, so our story times have gotten a bit shorter. She does love to read just before bed so I have been on the look out for special bedtime books. We usually read one book at night, however since our reading time has been shortened to make room for summer activities, I am reading 2 or 3. I can't say that I mind the "just one more book" routine. How can you say no to a child that loves to read? Anyhoo, have a terrific weekend!

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Happy Weekend to All!

Hey Kiddos, have any special plans for the weekend?

I am planning on rounding up all of The Boog’s books and trying to make them fresh and new. Her collection is getting quite serious and I just know there are some books in there dying to be sold at the shop or given away to younger family members. As of now, We have a haphazard system of organizing them. Even further, I am planning a leisurely Sunday of Baking for the husband. It is Father’s Day after all and my hubby loves when I keep his belly full of yummy homemade pastry. I do so love baking!

Here are a couple of fun links from around the web that have inspired my weekend ...

Im always looking for new things, well, old things that are new that is, I stumbled upon Graphic Spaces on Etsy. Their shop is full of just that! They sell a wide array of of "woodland" bookends that add just a touch of modern with a vintage flair. (the owl above is my favorite item from their shop but they allow you to mix and match the characters to your hearts content. These would inspire anyone to organize their books, no?

Since Father's Day is Sunday I decided to try out this recipe from Bakerella. These Brownie Candy Cups look divine! Although I have been following her blog for quite some time, I have never actually used any of her recipes so I am excited to make these. She is currently on hiatus due to a medical problem and I do wish her well!

....and sometime this weekend, between the baking and organizing, I would love to fit in this little craft via The Crafty Crow. She does "A book A craft" where crafts are inspired by a children's book. I am smitten and totally thinking, "Now, why didn't I think of that?" I am in love with art and although I have not read Chasing Degas yet, Im going to tackle this paper doll craft anyway becasue The Boog is in love with Ballet.

I'll let you know how everything turns out! Have a lovely weekend...

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On Line Story Time

So I stumbled upon Barnes & Noble today and came across a very awesome discovery. (well it's new to me anyway) They have a page called on-line story time! What is even better, is that most of these books are read by authors and celebrities! Every month they feature a new book. Now for the most exciting bit..... Some of the vintage books are read by some serious big names.

Here is an idea of what you may find:

Where the Wild Things Are
Read by Maurice Sendak

The Very Hungry Catepillar
Read by Eric Carle

Strega Nona
Read by Tomie DePaola

Green Eggs and Ham
Read by Rachel Ray

and that's just to name a few!

Visit: Online Story Time by Barnes & Noble

P.S- The Boog's new fave is Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann.

Happy story time Kiddos, and as always join us at Etsy, FaceBook and Tumblr


The Sesame Street 123 Story Book

The Sesame street 1,2,3 Story Book
6 Monsters in the restaurant

This happens to be one of my favorite Sesame Street books! Seeing as though I have not one, but two copies, I decided to make one available at the shop. It features stories about the numbers from 1 to 10. It’s great compendium of counting. The count is of course counting, cookie monster meets a genie and gets three wishes, Ernie finds new ways to disturb Bert (if that's even possible), Sherlock Hemlock solves a mystery(sort of), Oscar shows you how yucky number 4 can be and that’s only the beginning! Today we are going to feature the number 6…… AH! AH! AH! (Sorry, that was my Count impersonation) I’ll work on that. In the mean time, Stop me if you've heard this one!

Six monsters walk into a restaurant....
"We'd like a table for 6. 6 very hungry monsters."

The waiter leads them to a table where there is only one single chair... after improvising a little... The monsters decide it's not such a good idea. The very thought of 6 monsters in one single chair is too much to bear! So the waiter brings them another chair...... Now there are 3 monsters in each chair... 3+3=6 but thats not good either!

Finally the waiter brings 1...2...3..4..5...6 chairs. Now the monsters can eat! Hooray!!!! "O.K, what would you like to eat?"asks the waiter.

After all that running around they end up eating the Table!

Silly Monsters!

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