October 1, 2014

31 Days of Book Pics: Day One - Bookshelves

Juliet's bookshelves are always a mess. But I don't really mind actually, because it makes me pretty happy when I walk in and find her turning pages and "reading" to herself. Right now her favorite is to find pictures of cows and moo at them.

I can't wait to see your bookshelves too. Don't forget to use #31bookpics on Twitter and Instagram!

Not sure what I'm talking about? Or want to link-up your own posts on Friday? Here's my post explaining all the details of my 31 Days of Book Pics Project.

I'll update this post every day with the new links, so that they're all in one place together by the end of the month. Who's joining in?!

31 Days of Book Pics

  1. Bookshelves
  2. Book + Movie
  3. Book Cover
  4. Library 
  5. Breakfast + Books
  6. Small Books
  7. Bookstack
  8. Books & Friends
  9. Bookmark
  10. Current Reads
  11. Orange Books
  12. Books & Nature
  13. Mysterious Books
  14. Books & Portraits
  15. Favorite Reading Place
  16. Red Books
  17. Favorite Books
  18. Books + Drinks
  19. Reading Accessories
  20. Old Books
  21. Pretty Books
  22. Bookish
  23. Throwback Books
  24. Choosing Books
  25. Conversation & Books
  26. Baby Books
  27. Bookstore
  28. Books in Motion
  29. Page Number
  30. Big Books
  31. Spooky Books

September 29, 2014

15 Autumn & Halloween Books Your Kids Will Love

15 Autumn and Halloween Books Your Kids Will Love: Great Picture Books, Board Books, and Easy Readers with Seasonal Themes


Can you believe we're nearing Halloween time again? Two years ago I highlighted five awesome Halloween books, last year I added to that list to make nine great Halloween books, and this year I'm adding in some fun harvest/fall themed books too. Give it another year or two, and we'll be at 25 or 30 books!


Ages 0 - 4

  • Clifford's First Halloween by Norman Bridwell. Emily Elizabeth is trying to find the perfect costume for her tiny puppy Clifford. Cute as Clifford books usually are. Rating: 3.5 out of 5
  • Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills. Bright, happy illustrations that toddlers will love and an ironic text that will make parents chuckle. Win-win. Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Spot's Halloween by Eric Hill. Spot and his friends are trying to find the best costumes to wear for Halloween. Perfect for younger toddlers. Rating: 4 out of 5
  • What Is Halloween? by Harriet Ziefert. Little Mouse goes trick-or-treating for the first time, and the lift-the-flap adventure lets toddlers participate in her excitement about the holiday. Rating: 4 out of 5 
  • Corduroy's Halloween by B.G. Hennessy. Adorable lift-the-flaps follow Corduroy and his friends as they decorate for Halloween and go trick-or-treating. There's one random moment - when the trick or treaters show up at Corduroy's door, and say "Trick or Treat for UNICEF!" I just leave the UNICEF out though, and Eleanor loves searching for the black cat hiding on every page. Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
  • It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff. Mouse (of 'give a cookie' fame), has seven pumpkins to decorate. He makes sad, funny, and silly pumpkins - and both the girls like the bright happy pictures. Rating: 4 out of 5 
  • The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin by Sonali Fry. Not that Juliet actually understands all the words, but she loves music. So she likes it when I sing her this book (to the tune of The Itsy Bitsy Spider). "The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin rolled down a spooky street. He passed a ghoulish ghost and a stinky goblin's feet." Rating: 3.5 out of 5 
  • We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger. Written in the same sing-song style as "We're Going on a Bear Hunt", this one follows a group of children through the woods, across the lake, and more, as they try to find different kinds of leaves (maple, oak, hickory). I like that it teaches the differences in the leaves (since we rarely see any of those trees here in southern Arizona!). Rating: 4 out of 5 
  • Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky. This one is beautiful. It follows a family on an outing to an apple orchard, as they pick circles (apples), gather ovals (squash and corn), and eat triangles (wedges of pie). Rating: 5 out of 5


    Ages 3 - 6


  • It's Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall. I really, really love this one. It shows pumpkins growing from seeds to jack-o-lanterns, explaining the whole growing process and then going into Halloween traditions. Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Angelina's Halloween by Katherine Holabird. Eleanor loves Angelina Ballerina anyway - but Angelina Ballerina in a firefly costume?! 3 year old bliss. Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Monster Math by Anne Miranda. This one is full of monsters arriving in increments at a birthday party; teaching addition and subtraction along the way. There are Frankensteins and skeletons among the monsters, so it feels Halloween-ish. Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Happy Halloween, Mittens by Lola M. Schaefer. Perfect for the earliest of readers, this follows the antics of a little kitten named mittens as he tries to help decorate for Halloween. Rating: 4 out of 5 
  • The Wild Leaf Ride from The Magic School Bus. The kids are learning about leaves - and then the Magic School Bus turns into a Magic School Bird flying south for the winter, letting them explore a forest. A level two reader, which will make kids giggle at Mrs. Frizzle while they learn some science about leaves. Rating: 4 out of 5 
  • Johnny Appleseed by Jodie Shepherd. A very simple biography of Johnny Appleseed, with happy pictures and easy-to-read text. Perfect for introducing the history behind many orchards before you visit one yourself! Rating: 4 out of 5



What Halloween/autumn books do YOUR kids like?

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September 26, 2014

B is for Busy

I meant to do a "what I'm reading" round-up today. But sadly I haven't really been able to do much reading! What with birthday parties and church events and sick kiddos and family things, I feel like I've barely been home. (Actually, I'm typing this post on my grandpa's laptop right now.) 

I did (finally!) finish Outlander on audio. I have mixed feelings about it; not sure if I'll go on with the series or not. I loved the first third, in the middle third I got tired of all the sex, and then the last third was rather violent. But I'm intrigued by the story enough (and people told me that the series gets less violent) that I'll probably at least read Dragonfly in Amber.

And I'm working on Empire of Sin for Shelf Awareness. It's a really good history of turn-of-the-twentieth century New Orleans. Expect a full review soon!

In my not-reading time, I've been getting ready for my first 31 party! I've loved their bags for a long time, and I just decided to give being a consultant a chance. 

And, I've been loving watching the baby toddle around the house. It's like having a tiny, adorable zombie roaming around. She puts her arms out for balance, and she makes little grunting sounds, so it's pretty priceless. Which is why I just couldn't resist embedding that video for you above!

So there you have my non-reading week in a nutshell. 

What have YOU been up to?