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picture book a day

Growing Up

Collect them ALL Books

kids books and authors worthy of collect them all status

If there is anything we as a family collect, it is books.  We are all interested in words on pages (even in the age of tablets and e-readers).  For me, there is just something so soothing about a row of books, neatly lined up on a shelf.  The potential for entertainment in just one book shelf seems almost limitless.  The idea of opening a book and being transported to a new place, a new world, a new mindset is just so appealing!

Thankfully, we have passed this love of words on pages to our kids.  Our girls love books!  We are slowly working our way into a large collection of picture books for our kids.  I got to thinking about our collection and realized there are definite patterns: favorite authors, favorite subjects, and well-loved classics we just could not do without.  I thought it would be fun to share with you what I consider to be collections of books worthy of “collect them ALL” status. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Monster Must-Read Books

Our oldest daughter has been obsessed with Monsters Inc. for a few months now.  We still haven’t shown her Monsters University, but she doesn’t know any different.  She asks to watch Monsters Inc every family movie night.  We even indulged her love of Monsters Inc. by asking our talented crafty friend, Jenny, from Cooky Crochet to make us all a Monsters Inc. hat for Halloween (pictures to come!).

Our youngest daughter is getting in on the monster love too, her current favorite book is a monster book.  She just loves to “read” it! Continue Reading

Growing Up

Must Read Baby Books

This entry is part 12 of 33 in the series Baby Days

Our little one is turning one in one week.  I can’t believe how the time has flown and how much she is doing.  She just started walking this week. She still prefers crawling, but it is oh so sweet to see her toddling along eyes bright with the accomplishment!

In honor of her birthday, I thought I would share a book list just for little ones.  These are must read by the first birthday.  All introduce early concepts and all are fun for little eyes and ears. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Participation Required Picture Books

We are currently parents to two vastly different types of readers.  We have an enthusiastic reader, who will almost always pick books over toys and a reluctant reader not that interested in the written word just yet (yes, I do know she is under a year old and yes, I realize categorizing her as reluctant is a bit premature).  Mind you both of our “readers” are under the age of 3.  But these books are a hit with almost any age of kid from earliest “readers to early elementary.  These books will engage children by asking them to do something.

Note: This post includes affiliate links.  When you click on the images of each book (on the left) and make a purchase, your children will be grateful and so will I!  I will receive a small remuneration for referring you.  No pressure, the book list is free and libraries are amazing!


Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda – A new twist on a classic children’s story.  In this one, the reader is the wolf who needs to huff and puff to blow down the pigs’ houses.  And there is a twist ending, too.  There is not much prose in this book, so it is perfect even for the smallest of readers and it is attention grabbing and interactive.  Can you blow down the houses of the three little pigs?


Press Here by Herve Tuliet – I have included this book in other book lists, but it is truly a special book, deserving of a special place in every child’s library. It feels like magic as your child simply follows the instructions and turns the page to see what happens. Perfect for young ones just learning to follow instructions and preschool and early elementary ages who will marvel at their power to change the story.


Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner- We discovered the Snowmen series when we were working on a winter unit for our One Year Old Preschool.  These books will be favorites of ours for years because they are so fun! What makes them even better is they have hidden pictures on each page.  Young ones will challenge themselves to find each hidden item throughout the book and congratulate themselves on eagle-eyed vision.


Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson – I discovered this on a recent trip to the bookstore. It was sitting next to Press Here and I could just tell it had magic inside!  This book explores a tree through the seasons of the year.  Your child follows the instructions to interact with the book and this one is amazing (Check out the video on the amazon page to see what I am talking about, you have to scroll down to see it)!


Open Very Carefully, A Book with Bite by Nick Bromley.  Your little one will love to follow the crocodile found within these pages.  This is another book that requires the reader to follow some instructions to help the hijinks along.  The illustrations in this one by Nicola O’Byrne are amazing! Oh, and the publisher created some printable activity sheets as a companion to the book, get them here.


The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a Pull and Play story.  Get your little ones started early on this classic tale with an interactive story.  This is not your typical pop-up type book!  But what I love is it is sturdy in construction, basically guaranteeing you will be able to read this with your kids for years.  It is a perfect selection for little hands developing fine motor skills.


Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt.  This is a classic for a reason!  We started reading this to our girls before they were one year old and they loved it.  Each page gives the child something to do to show off their skills.  Our girls favorite is playing peek-a-boo with Paul.  We will be reading this for a long time, too!


One to Ten and back again by Betty Ann Schwartz.  We have had this in our collection for a long time and it still gets taken out and read frequently.  Each time the page is turned a ribbon appears with creatures resting on a flower.  Then when you get to the end of the book, you turn it over and read it again, counting down as the creatures go away, watching each ribbon disappear.  It is neat!


I complied this list as a companion to my work with the Picture Book of the Day bloggers.  You can find an amazing list of books on almost any topic on our Pinterest board.  Today’s Picture Book of the Day from this list is Huff & Puff, a current must read (every day) book around here.

Happy reading!

This post was shared on Pinterest  The Friday Flash Blog

Note: This post includes affiliate links.  When you click on the images of each book (on the left) and make a purchase, your children will be grateful and so will I!  I will receive a small remuneration for referring you.  No pressure, the book list is free and libraries are amazing!
Growing Up

Picture Book of the Day: But Not the Hippopotamus

I am part of a wonderful group of bloggers who share a picture book each weekday.  You can find their book selections on my facebook page.  I primarily share toddler and preschool appropriate books, but the selections run the gamut of books for kids up through elementary.

We love Sandra Boynton books around here!  They are prized for their silliness and their illustrations.  One of our recent favorites is But Not the Hippopotamus.  Even very early readers will delight in the pattern of Boynton’s prose and the cute story.

It will not take long for your little one to know the story enough to be able to recite it to you, so here are some tips for reading Boynton books for the 1,000th time:

Do a character study. Often in Boynton books, the illustrations will feature the same characters on each page.  Pick an animal and have your little one find him through out the book.  Ask, “Where is the hippopotamus?”  “What is he holding?”  What is he doing?”  This helps your little one see the details of the book and freshens up the experience each time.

Drop off at the end of the phrases and let your little one finish.  They know it so well by now, let them “read” it to you.  In But Not the Hippopotamus, try dropping off reading after, “But not the…”  and let your young reader finish with, “Hippopotamus.”

Discuss animal noises.  Boynton books feature lots of animals, so there is ample opportunity to review animal sounds with your little one.  Slow down and ask, “What sound does a dog make?”

Make up a new tune.  There are a lot of songs in the Boynton books.  Try making a new tune to the songs or change the rhythm of your speech whilst reading.  This will give the book some new life.  The songs you sing when you read can easily be taken along with you in the car to keep your little one entertained while riding around town.  This helps engage memory for your little one.

Review colors.  Boynton books are full of primary colors.  Take the opportunity to go over the colors with your child by asking them to find something red or ask, “What color is his shirt (jacket, pants, etc.)?”

What do you do to make an old favorite fresh with your young readers? I would love to hear your tips!

Growing Up

Picture Book of the Day: Harold and the Purple Crayon

One of the books we fell in love with immediately this year was Harold and the Purple Crayon!  G connected to Harold so quickly and asked to read it again and again!

The story moves along with Harold as he draws a world started because he wants to go for a walk in the moonlight.  He draws himself quite the adventure.  Parents will love the inventive word play.  At the end of the day, Harold “draws up” the bed sheets, drops his crayon and “drop[s] off to sleep.”

We loved the book so much that Harold has inspired our drawing projects for a while.  It is so simple to be like Harold: all you need is a purple crayon and some paper.

But I was walking through the dollar store a little while ago and came up with a painting project that goes along with Harold and the Purple Crayon perfectly!  And it only costs a dollar! Continue Reading