Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Mud Fairy by Amy Young

My daughter just recently became obsessed with princesses and fairies. I don't know why I thought I could circumvent the inevitable. She told me she wants to be a princess when she grows up. I told her being a princess is boring because you always have to be polite and sit quietly and you can't fart really loudly. It's way cooler to be a Biologist. She was compelled by this argument. My friend took another approach. She told her daughter that princesses have to know a lot of stuff like science and math, and that her daughter would have to study really hard to earn the right to be a princess.

So, what I love about this book is that it enforces my friend's approach. The story has fairies that are pretty and can make rainbows and open flowers. But the protagonist is into frogs, that that earns her her wings too. A wonderful antidote to an inevitable obsession for little girls.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Little Bit Scary People by Emily Jenkins

Like lots of other books, this one provides a series, in this care of people who may seem scary but really aren't. It shares fun details about both why they are scary (e.g., demanding a hall pass at school) and why they are not (e.g., dancing). What I love about this book is that it teaches empathy, and that each person is dynamic and complicated. The natural temptation to see others and our interactions with them as one dimensional ("that person is mean") is significant. The sooner we teach children empathy, the better.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

This book arrived at our birthday book exchange, but my friend pulled it out and hid it for us. "This is a really good book, " she said. "You need to keep it."

The name speaks for itself. The fun part comes in when you observe that the dragons represent the child audience. Your child likely loves tacos but will have a complete meltdown if they taste anything spicy. In this case, I think it's OK for me to share this part of the story, the dragons accidentally burn down the house. Sound familiar? It does to me too, unfortunately.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Play Dough Recipe

2 cups flour
1/2 cup still water
1/3 cup salt
2 teaspoons canola oil
Add color, glitter and scented oils at desired

Friday, July 3, 2015

Lottie Paris by Angela Johnson

We got two Lottie Paris books from the library recently, and my daughter particularly loves them. They are:
Lottie Paris Lives Here, and
Lottie Paris and the Best Place.
One is about a little girl living across from the park, having fun, getting in trouble and getting time outs. The other is about making a friend at the library.  Both are honest and real, we can totally relate to them. Plus, she seems to have a single dad, and non-traditional families always get bonus points with us.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hermelin, the mouse detective as told to Mini Grey

A mouse named Hermelin can read and write. He uses these special powers to solve mysteries such as missing fish, glasses, and pearls on his dense city street. He even saves a baby! But when the people throw a party at the corner sausage shop to thank him, they are shocked that a vermin mouse shows up. This causes Hermelin to realize that he is a pest, which hurts his feelings. Fortunately, a little girl who lives on the block, a bit of a detective herself, figure out that Hermelin has been solving the neighhorhood crimes and invites him to be her friend and partner detective.

I love this book's depiction of city living and close neighborhoods. The illustrations are also fantastic, and the narrative fun.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Man in the Moon by William Joyce

We've attempted this book a couple times now. At first, my daughter said it was too scary. The part where the adoring parents die is upsetting. But the artwork is beautiful, and the story romantic. The Man in the Moon is the guardian of childhood, and the actual moon is the children's nightlight to ward off nightmares.