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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

July 7th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

4 Libros de tapa para tu bebé bilingüe


Mucha gente piensa que no tiene sentido leerle un libro a un bebé o un niño pequeño, pero no pueden estar más equivocados. De hecho, es una excelente idea que le comiences a leer a tus hijos ¡estando aún en el vientre! Esto es particularmente beneficioso cuando los estás criando bilingües ya que se acostumbrarán a escuchar su segundo idioma desde antes de nacer.

A través de los años, muchos libros de tapa dura para niños han pasado por mis manos, pero aquí comparto una lista corta de los favoritos en mi casa:

My Colors, My World/Mis colores, Mi mundo — Si sólo vas a comprar uno de estos libros, te recomiendo que sea este. Escrito e ilustrado por  la talentosa Maya Christina Gonzalez, este libro es colorido y está lleno de vida. A tu hijo le encantará aprender los colores tanto en inglés como en español usando este librito. ¡Lo prometo!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar/La oruga muy hambrienta — Mi hijo entra a Kínder en otoño y se podría pensar que ya no le interesan los libros de tapa dura, pero eso no es cierto ya que este sigue siendo uno de sus libros favoritos. Después de habérselo leído tantas veces, ya se lo sabe de memoria en inglés y en español, pero aún me pide que se lo lea casi todas las noches. Es perfecto para enseñarle a tus hijos a contar y vocabulario relacionado a la comida en ambos idiomas.

Your Body/Tu cuerpo — Me encanta lo sencillo que es este libro, uno de una series de dos acerca del cuerpo humano. Las ilustraciones son geniales y mantendrán a tus hijos entretenidos mientras aprenden vocabulario relacionado al cuerpo y como se mueve en los idiomas.

Colores Everywhere!: Colors in English and Spanish — Este es otro librito acerca de los colores, pero lo que lo hace totalmente distinto y único es que las ilustraciones son de artefactos que se encuentran en el Museo de Arte de San Antonio. ¡De más está decirte que es súper colorido! Este es uno de tres libros en una series que incluye números y formas. ¡Altamente recomendado!

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July 7th, 2014 at 10:15 pm

4 Board Books for Bilingual Kids


Many people think it makes no sense to read to a baby or a toddler, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is a great idea to start reading to your children while they’re in the womb! This is particularly helpful if you’ll be raising them bilingual because they’ll get used to hearing the minority language even before they’re born.

Through the years, I’ve gotten my hands on a fair share of bilingual board books, but here’s a short list of the ones we favor at home:

My Colors, My World/Mis colores, Mi mundo — This is a board book your kiddos must have in their home libraries. Written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, It’s colorful and full of life, and they will love to learn the colors in both English and Spanish. I promise!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar/La oruga muy hambrienta — My son will be going to Kindergarten this fall and you may think he’s done with board books, but this is actually one of his very favorite ones. By now, he knows it by heart in both English and Spanish, but he continues to ask me to read it to him almost every night. Perfect to teach your kids how to count and tons of food vocabulary in both languages.

Your Body/Tu cuerpo — I love the simplicity of this board book, one of two in a series about the body. The illustrations are eye-catching and will keep your kids entertained while they learn vocabulary related to the human body and how it moves in both languages.

Colores Everywhere!: Colors in English and Spanish — This is another one about colors, but what makes it totally unique is that the illustrations are from art artifacts that belong to the San Antonio Museum of Art. Talk about colorful! This is one book in a series of three. The other two are about shapes and numbers. Highly recommended!

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June 9th, 2014 at 3:24 pm

4 Libros acerca del fútbol para que tus hijos aprendan sobre el Mundial


El Mundial 2014 arranca el jueves y no veo las horas de compartir esta maravillosa experiencia con mis hijos. Como crecí en el Perú, donde el fútbol es el deporte más popular, la Copa del Mundo siempre ha tenido un lugar muy especial en mi corazón.

Mis dos hijos juegan fútbol y, aunque todavía están muy chiquitos y les falta mucho por aprender, puedo decir que tampoco no son totalmente ignorantes en lo que al deporte se refiere. Para ayudarles a aprender más sobre el tema, hemos sacado algunos libros sobre el fútbol de la biblioteca y hemos comprado al menos uno de ellos. Me parece que no hay mejor momento que este para compartirlos con ustedes.

1. ¡El primer libro de fútbol para el bebé! — Si tienes un bebé o un nene chiquito en casa, nunca es muy temprano para comenzar a enseñarle acerca de este maravilloso deporte que nos une a todos los latinos.

2. ¡Nos vamos a Brasil! — Uno de cinco libros en una serie que cuenta las aventuras deportivas de ocho niños con un solo sueño: ser los mejores jugadores de fútbol.

3. La Copa del Mundo ¡para niños! — Tus hijos podrán aprender todo acerca del la Copa del Mundo, cómo y por qué comenzó, los mejores jugadores y muchos otros datos interesantes sobre el evento deportivo más importante para nosotros los latinos.

4. Fútbol Mundial México: Explora el mundo a través del fútbol — Una excelente manera de enseñarles un poco de cultura, historia y geografía a tus hijos usando el fútbol. Este libro llevará a tus hijos a conocer México al seguir al famoso jugador Ethan Zohn mientras visita ese país.


Photo Credit: USAG – Humphreys

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June 2nd, 2014 at 11:56 am

Summer Reading Choices


We love to sit under a tree, on the patio, or lay on the grass and read a book in the summertime. The kids love logging their reading time  for summer reading programs too. Check out your local public library to see what kind of a reading programs they offer for both children and adults. You can learn all kinds of neat things just by reading and talking about what you read in books.

The Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program allows you to easily track your reading, and in the end you receive a free book! They also have a great collection of books lists for all ages. I like to check out the Amazon Summer Reading List for some fresh reading suggestions as well. More ideas can be found on Pinterest in this fantastic collection of kids books or this summer reading list for all ages.

When your child is young, reading to them promotes imagination and will help develop their own reading and listening skills. Carry eBooks on your tablet for easy summertime reading without having to bring along a pile of books. Also, find books that have to do with activities that you have going on. Going to the Zoo? Check out animal books. Traveling to another state or country? Check out some books that provide information about the place you are going.

What was a great book you recently read?

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April 14th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Celebrating Library Week



Did you know that April 13 through 19 is National Library Week? Books are so important to a  child’s development. Besides teaching them how to read, they also foster bonding, creativity, and imagination. Libraries have a lot to offer their communities, and they are a great learning resource for families. Check out your local library this week and see what kind of events and classes they offer for your little ones. In honor of National Library Week, here are some of the most popular kids books of all time that you can check out at your local library or bookstore!

  • Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
  • Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
  • Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – Judy and Ron Barrett
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst
  • Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
  • Pat the Bunny – Dorothy Kunhardt
  • Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
  • The Lorax – Dr. Seuss
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  • Corduroy – Don Freeman
  • Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
  • Strega Nona – Tomie dePaola
  • Curious George – H.A. Rey
  • Jumanji – Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Little Engine That Could – Loren Long and Watty Piper
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
  • If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales – Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
  • The Runaway Bunny – Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister and J. Alison James
  • The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats
  • Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Napping House – Audrey Wood and Don Wood
  • The Cat and the Hat – Dr. Seuss
  • The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
  • Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss

There are so many other great books, both classics and new, that kids around the world enjoy every day. Which is YOUR favorite?

Photo Credit: American Library Association,

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March 31st, 2014 at 5:47 pm

5 Libros infantiles en español perfectos para Semana Santa


Aunque todavía faltas un par de semanas para Semana Santa, nunca es demasiado temprano para comenzar ayudar a tus hijos a entender de qué se trata esta celebración. Una de las mejores maneras de hacer esto es enseñarles todo acerca de la tradición en función de su edad. Me encanta hacer esto a través de libros y como en mi casa sólo hablamos español, siempre estoy en la búsqueda de libros en mi lengua materna.

Aquí algunos que hemos leído en el pasado relacionados a Semana Santa:

1. La aventura de Dora y el Conejo de Pascua: Dora y Boots vienen al rescate después de que Swiper le arrebata la canasta de Pascua al conejito de Pascua. Lo bueno de los libros de Dora la Exloradora es que la mayoría de los niños están familiarizados con los personajes, por lo que son perfectos para la introducción a nuevos conceptos y celebraciones.

2. Pascua: Un colorido libro perfecto para niños en edad preescolar para aprender todo acerca de la Semana Santa.

3. Baile de los cascarones: Los cascarones (huevos huecos llenos de confeti de colores) son una tradición cultural que todos los niños, independientemente de si son latinos o no, deberían conocer y en la que deberían participar por lo menos una vez en sus vidas. Este libro les enseñará todo acerca de ellos. Y ojalá también los anime a hacer sus propios cascarones.

4. Clifford y el día de Pascua: Otra gran opción para enseñar a los niños pequeños acerca de la Semana Santa a través de personajes que ya conocen. En esta historia en particular, Clifford ayuda a sus amigos a encontrar los huevos de pascua ocultos.

5. Jane decora un huevo de Pascua: Los niños aprenden sobre la Pascua a través de las aventuras de un trío de amigos: una gallina, un oso y un gato.


Photo Credit:

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March 31st, 2014 at 5:39 pm

5 Easter Children’s Books in Spanish


Although Easter is still three weeks away, it’s never too early to start getting your kids excited about this celebration. One of the best ways to do this is to teach them all about it based on their age. I love to do this through books and since in my house we only speak Spanish, I’m always on the lookout for books in my native tongue.

Here are the ones that have become favorites in my household through the years:

1. La aventura de Dora y el Conejo de Pascua: Dora and Boots come to the rescue after Swiper snatches the Easter basket from the Easter Bunny. The thing about Dora the Explorer books is that most kids are familiar with the characters, so they’re perfect for introducing them to new concepts and celebrations.

2. Pascua: A colorful book perfect for preschoolers to learn all about Easter.

3. Baile de los cascarones: Cascarones (hollowed eggs filled with colorful confetti) are a cultural tradition that all kids, regardless of whether they’re Latino or not, should partake in at least once in their lives. This book will teach them all about it. And hopefully, will get them excited about making their own cascarones too!

4. Clifford y el día de Pascua: Another great option to teach little kids about Easter through characters they already know. In this particular story, Clifford helps his friends find the hidden Easter eggs.

5. Jane decora un huevo de Pascua: Kids learn about Easter through the adventures of a trio of friends: a hen, a bear and a cat.


Photo Credit:

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March 3rd, 2014 at 9:28 am

Storing all your Children’s Books

Do you struggle with where to put all your kids books? We have bookshelves filled and then another paper book order comes and we struggle with where to fit them once the order comes in. I want to share some of my favorite ways to store our kids books.


Cereal Box Holder

I love all the inexpensive paperback books that we get from the order forms at school, but they are so hard to store. Make a holder out of a cereal box to keep them contained. Just cut diagonally once you remove the top and decorate however you want. This is an extremely cheap way to tackle the book clutter.


Picture Shelf or Rain Gutter Shelving

We use a ledge type of shelf for frames to display books for my sons top bunk. You could also use several vertically to make a wall of easy to grab bookshelves. This can also be done using rain gutters from your local home improvement store.



Use all kinds of baskets and containers to hold books. I love to pick up inexpensive baskets to use on shelves to organize a little better. I also keep a basket by my sons bed so he can put his favorites there each night.



Storage Bins

Use regular totes and decorate to hold books or even use crates that you have decorated like these.

I believe you can never have enough books, but containing them is the key! How do you organize your books?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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February 25th, 2014 at 8:39 am

So Many Books, So Little Time

goodreadsRead any good books lately? There are more format and device options than ever before for getting your fix. I love listening to audiobooks while doing chores, but still love the smell and feel of a hardcover.

With so many great books out there, having options is helpful. Like when traveling, you can load up your ereader and save room in your luggage for shoes, or at least not exceed the weight limit.

Have a lot of time to read? Neither do I. But a new service, Scribd (like Netflix for books) gives you access to thousands of ebooks for less than the cost of one. Read as many as you want every month.

Got some old books hanging around and wonder if they might be valuable? Check out and see whether that old, yellowing copy of To Kill a Mockingbird might actually be worth some money.

If you like to rate, share and explore books from the comfort of your keyboard, try GoodReads. Keep your to-read list, check off ones you’ve finished, and see what others are saying about everything from the classics to the best kids books. The site also makes recommendations based on your lists. It’s fun to get lost and build up that want-to-read list to impossible levels.

Wish you could read a book in 15 minutes? Well you can’t actually, but with Blinkist, you can get a concise, well written summary of many popular non-fiction titles. It’s a subscription service with a 30 day free trial, but it’s a neat idea for checking out a book to see if you really need to read the whole thing, or can just check it off the list.

For some free read-alouds your little ones, check out this Curious George site, or visit the Barnes & Noble online storytime for some classics. And because you can never really get enough of Goodnight Moon, check out this YouTube video.

Happy Reading!

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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February 21st, 2014 at 8:35 am

Fun Apps to Encourage Reading

reading-appsMy boys are in love with their iPads, but they aren’t always being used for games; we like to use them for learning just as much. My youngest son is learning to read and loves the interactive reading apps that we have found for him. Many of these can be enjoyable for different ages.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This app!

This app lets you interact with a pigeon and create a story of your own.

The Cat in the Hat

Read along with this favorite Dr. Suess story word by word.

Little Bella’s – I Close My Eyes

This animated app is great for pre-readers and tells the story of Bella’s adventures.

Bob Books

One of our favorite book sets while learning to read are the Bob Books. These apps help to introduce new words and letter sounds to the beginning reader.

Pete the Cat

We love to jam out with Pete the Cat at our house and this app brings his story to life.

The Monster at the End of This Book…starring Grover!

This book was one of my favorites as a child and now my children enjoy it. We love to watch Grover try to stop us from getting to the end of the book. We also like the companion book with Another Monster!

Some other favorites include:

All By Myself – Little Critter

The Kissing Hand

Once Upon a Potty

Five Little Monkeys

The Berenstain Bears

Dr. Suess Books

What are your favorite reading apps?

 Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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