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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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.


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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.


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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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February 10th, 2014 at 10:25 am

Favorite Valentine’s Day Books

ValentinebooksOne of my favorite things to do to prepare for Valentine’s Day is to share stories of love with my little ones. A tradition of ours is to snuggle on the couch with some fresh chocolate chip cookies and milk while we read some of our favorite Valentine’s Day books. I wanted to share a list of some of our favorites that we have shared through the years.

The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond

One day it rains hearts, and Cornelia Augusta catches them. Each heart is special in its own way, and Cornelia Augusta knows exactly who to send them to.

Happy Valentine’s Day Curious George! by N. Di Angelo

George and his friend celebrate Valentine’s Day with decorating, card making and the kind of mischief that only a monkey can make!

Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day by Norman Bridwell

When Clifford was a baby he got into so much trouble on Valentine’s Day, but continues to be Emily Elizabeth’s favorite year after year.

Hedgehug, A Sharp Lesson in Love by Dan Pinto

A great story that you have to find the right person to love you for who you are.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond

Our favorite mouse from If you Give a Mouse a Cookie celebrates Valentine’s Day.

Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat

The story of a prank gone wrong changes the pranksters heart in the end.

The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting

An old favorite from my childhood shows that even if you have never celebrated Valentine’s Day you can always start!

There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Rose! by Lucille Colandro

If you have read any of the books in this series you know that this book makes the classic song come alive in a different manner.

I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

This book shows that a mother’s unconditional love will never be changed.

Olive, My Love by Vivian Walsh

We love the book Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh so were excited to see this title.  This funny story is a great example that anything can happen if you follow your heart.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam Mc Bratney

My boys have heard this story since they were first born. They love the story of the endless amounts of love a father and son can have for one another.

Pete the Cat Valentines Day is Cool by Kimberly and James Dean

Pete discovers how special Valentines can be and makes Valentines for everyone.

Print this list and take it to your local library, then snuggle up and enjoy the stories of love with your little ones all this week!

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

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December 12th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Holiday Books for Storytime


For some of you, storytime is an everyday occurrence, but there is something about reading books during the holidays that gives me that “warm and fuzzy” feeling. Here are some great books you can read to or with your kids to get into the spirit…some of them are my personal favorites from my own childhood!


How The Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss


The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg


The Elf on the Shelf by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell


Santa Mouse by Michael Brown

Hersehl and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman


Olive, The Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh


Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa  by Donna L. Washington


The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan & Mike Berenstain


The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore


The Mitten by Jan Brett


What holiday books do YOU read with your children? Share your favorites with us on Facebook!

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October 4th, 2013 at 8:53 am

Childrens Books about Fall

It just can’t be said enough – reading with your child is important!  It becomes more fun when you mix up the book selections. You can only read that copy of Green Eggs and Ham so many times. A great way to mix up the book selection is by using the seasons. The colors of fall come to life in books. These are some of our favorites.

Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall

The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins

Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

How many seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis

I Spy a Pumpkin by Jean Marzollo

Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills

Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat by Dorren Cronin

The Night before Halloween by Natasha Wing

Remember, your local library would LOVE to help you find these on the shelves, along with suggesting some new ones! Does your child have a Fall favorite?

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


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September 17th, 2013 at 5:01 am

Hispanic Heritage Month: 5 Children’s Books About Prominent Latinos

Hispanic Heritage Month is underway and if you’d like to teach your kids about the rich and diverse history of Latinos in the United States, I have the perfect books for you!

1) My name is Celia by Monica Brown — A biographical tale about the iconic salsa singer Celia Cruz. Brown starts the story in Cuba, where a young Celia starts her career and then follow her to New York and Miami where she becomes famous.

2) Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter — An inspiring story of a little girl of Puerto Rican heritage who was able to achieve one of the highest honors by becoming the first Latina Supreme Court Justice.

3) Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez by Monica Brown — A tribute to the two of the most powerful Latino activists that every child should know.

4) Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates by Johan Winter — All kids, regardless of their heritage, should know about one of the greatest baseball players ever: Puerto Rican Roberto Clemente who was a right-fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite facing all kinds of challenges, Clemente had so much talent that he came to be known as “The Great One.”

5) Tito Puente, Mambo King by Monica Brown — Learn all about the life of five-time Grammy winner  Tito Puente. As she does in the other biographies she’s written about important Latino figures, Brown introduces children to the life of this musical prodigy in a fun and simple way.

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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