Sunday, May 30, 2010

These are a Few of My Favorite Things...

Taking a holiday break from book reviews to share a few of our other favorite things!

Current scripture meditation: 'With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of.' Ephesians 3:20 ICB

Current projects around the house: Our two vegetable gardens.

Planting list: Corn, leaf lettuce, green beans, limas, bell peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, broccoli, basil, rosemary and parsley. The tomatoes are better boy, roma and grape. Yum!

Current toy pick: eeBoo's Tell Me A Story card sets. We have the 'Mystery in the Forest' and 'Little Robot's Mission' sets. I'm always looking for ways to help grow a love of books and reading in my kids and these sets fit the bill. There are no words only pictures on each card and you can arrange them in numerous different ways to create stories of your own. Just today my oldest set these out and wanted to play a game of cards with them. Completely a make up the rules as you go game but I loved to see him create and invent new ways to play.

Currently listening too:, its a differnt kind of online radio station where you can create your own stations based on your listening prefrences. Hey, we've got a Laurie Berkner station that is probably the most played around here. You can add variety with a click of a button and add other favorite artists and songs to dial in pretty much the perfect radio station for you. Even better its free as long as you don't mind the occasional commercial.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Oliver Who Would Not Sleep!

Oliver Donnington Rimington-Sneep COULDN'T and DIDN't and WOULD NOT SLEEP! so starts the book Olvier Who Would not Sleep! by Mara Bergman and illustrated by Nick Maland. It became an instant favorite with us. It's reminiscent of the children's classic by Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon. Both tales of imaginative little ones that go on an adventure with beloved toys rather than off to sleep. Oliver takes the readers on an amazing journey into the world of play and imagination. It’s a fun, rhyming read that's a great way to end your day and send your little ones off to sleep filled with wonderful dreams of their own adventures.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Seasons

These next books come from my favorite Usborne series known as their "Picture Books". There are dozens of titles to choose from, all beautifully illustrated and accompanied by an engaging AND educational story of the world around us. Sunny Day, The Windy Day, The Snowy Day, and The Rainy Day, all by Anna Milbourne are four of my favorites from this series. As a Mom of two preschoolers, I love doing 'unit type studies' with my kids. You know pick a theme for the week and find interesting, engaging and educational books and activities to do with them. I love covering the seasons each year as we go from one to the next and these books can be a center to these studies year after year.

Other titles in the Picture Book Series: The Butterfly, How Deep is the Sea?, How High is the Sky?, In the Pond, In the Castle, In the Nest, On the Farm, How Big is a Million?, On the Moon, On the Seashore, Under the Ground, also including Picture Book Classics such as; The Gingerbread Man, The Railway Children, The Secret Garden and LOTS more...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who's Hiding

I love this book. It's called Who's Hiding and is by Satoru Onishi. It is a delightful book AND game of hide and seek that you, your child and these adorable animals get to play together. My two preschoolers could not put this book down. When we finally got to read through it together there were non-stop giggles with each turn of the page. Both engaged immediately and wanted to take their turn pointing out who was hiding on each page. The "hiding" is quite cleverly done; I don’t’ want to ruin the surprise of how on each page new animals hide but are not quite entirely gone. There are other questions about the animals as they vary from page to page. Your little one will delight to answer, find and point out the animals. It helps with memorization skills, is an interactive read and helps your little one practice to notice details and changes. Plus it’s just plain fun.

This is a Kane Miller book, and Usborne books now carries Kane Miller! Usborne at home consultants are the only sellers of these books. If you are not familar with Kane Miller Publishing, they carry a wonderful selection of children's books from around the world. Who's Hiding is from Japan. If you have any questions about purchasing, as I am an Usborne consultant or would like help finding a local rep near you, please contact me. Checking it out at the library is always a good way to enjoy a good book too!

Friday, May 21, 2010

God's Wisdom

I'm so excited to write about these next two books. I love to find great books that teach about God. It’s a pretty much perfect find for me in a children's book.

God’s Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs by Jim George and Elizabeth George, Illustrated by Judy Luenebrink

God’s Wisdom for Little Girls: Virtues and Fun from Proverbs 31 by Jim George and Elizabeth George, Illustrated by Judy Luenebrink

Beautiful artwork accompanies text that go through the attributes and virtues for both boys and girls from the book of Proverbs. God’s little boys and little girls are kind, thoughtful, helpful and the authors provide the scripture reference for each trait to share with your little ones.

Teachable moments: Besides reading through these books, I recommend spending a week really talking and studying about each character trait with your little one. Use the scripture verse to be your memory verse for that week. Then spend time talking about what it means to be kind or giving or cheerful. Look at other scriptures that talks about that trait, do a search at your library for other books to read that week that also discuss these attributes. Be creative with activities for example when studying what it means to be giving, spend some time selecting old clothes and toys to give to local charity and go together to give them.

If you can't get these books or your library does not have a copy to borrow you can still teach your child through the Proverbs. All you need is the Bible and a little bit of time to select verses and traits that you would like to teach your little one. I love the Proverbs, the first teaching moment is that the wise man takes instruction. I'd suggest reading through a chapter with your child and then focusing on a verse or a couple that speak to the attribute you want to focus on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Emily's Balloon

For my next review I'd like to share one of our unexpected library finds, Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai. In a word this book is charming. I get absolutly excited about children's books like this. The illustrations are sweet and simple and the same goes for the story. It's a tale of a little girl and her befriending of a balloon. It follows along through the joy of childhood play and imagination as the two spend the day togther on into bedtime.

I love when more is done with less. This is a philosphy that infiltrates most of my life. I hope you check this book out. It's beautiful simplicity.

The Birthday Book

I'm nervously giddy about writing my first blog post here! I recently attended a DaySpring Blessings Unlimited Party at non-other than The Nester's home. I met a bunch of amazing women, learned about an amazing new product line and got inspired to get busy and give blogging a try.

So I've decided to write a blog about book reviews, primarily children book reviews. How boring right? Well maybe not if you find some great books along the way. What I love about blogs is when someone writes about something they are passionate about and shares it with us. I have found so many recommendations for just about everything; new products, creative ideas, and so on. This actually saves me a lot of time and research. So hopefully I'll help shortcut you to some great reads to check out at your local library, add to your collection or use as a gift idea.

My first review is going to be on a Blessing Unlimited book that I actually got for free, yes for FREE, from Nester's party. They were more than generous hosts! Oh and the best part to kick off my blog, Nester is having a link for those of us who blog and attended the event.

It’s called The Birthday Book and I fell in love with it the instant it was presented. I'm not a scrapbooker but I wanted too and desire to keep memories of the children as they grow. Perfect solution an already pre-made book, complete with places for photos, lots of room to write down memories, funny things said, a pocket for each year for mementos, notes, cards, art work and probably my favorite an interview page for you to chat with your little one each year and record these memories. What a fun tradition and I'm looking forward to starting it! It has many more features and goes from 1st Birthday to 18th Birthday, though I do wonder how interested my 15 year olds will be in still taking their Birthday interviews. But I hope they are and that we have that kind of relationship where we enjoy talking and sharing with one another and our family has many time honored traditions such as this one that my kids always look forward too.