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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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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September 17th, 2013 at 5:01 am

Mes de la Herencia Hispana: 5 libros para niños sobre latinos destacados

El domingo comenzó el Mes de la Herencia Hispana y si le quieres enseñar a tus hijos acerca de la rica y diversa historia de los latinos en Estados Unidos, ¡aquí te tengo los libros perfectos para ellos!

1) Mi hombre es Celia por Monica Brown — Una historia biográfica de la icónica cantante de salsa Celia Cruz. Brown comienza la historia en Cuba, donde una joven Celia comienza su carrera y de ahí la sigue a Nueva York y Miami, donde la cantante se hace famosa.

2) Sonia Sotomayor: La juez que creció en el Bronx por Jonah Winter — Una inspiradora historia de una niña de ascendencia puertorriqueña que fue capaz de lograr uno de los más altos honores al convertirse en la primera latina en la Corte Suprema de Justicia.

3) Lado a Lado: La Historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez por Monica Brown — Un homenaje a dos de los más poderosos activistas latinos que todo niño debe conocer.

4) Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates por Johan Winter — Todos los niños, independientemente de su herencia, deberían saber acerca de uno de los más importantes jugadores de béisbol: el puertorriqueño Roberto Clemente, que jugaba para los Piratas de Pittsburgh. Clemente no dejó que todos sus desafíos le impidieran cumplir sus metas.

5) Tito Puente, Mambo King por Monica Brown — Tus hijos aprenderán todo sobre la vida del gran Tito Puente, ganador de  cinco Grammys. Como lo hace en las otras biografías que ha escrito sobre personajes latinos importantes, Brown introduce a los niños a la vida de este prodigio de la música de una manera divertida y sencilla.

Roxana A. Soto es cofundadora de SpanglishBaby, el sitio en línea para padres que están criando niños bilingües y biculturales. Actualmente está escribiendo su primer libro, basado en su blog, que será publicado en septiembre. Roxana también es redactora de MamásLatinas.

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May 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Book Clubs


 Take the time this summer to do something fun and interesting for you – join a book club or attend book discussions!

A book club is a great way to meet interesting people who share a love of reading with you and expose yourself to literature you might have never sought out on your own.  It also gives you the opportunity to schedule a certain amount of reading time each day so that you can properly participate in the discussion!  Carving out a block of time in the day for myself, even if it’s just 20 minutes?  Yes, please!

Go to to find the book clubs closest to your city, or visit the library to see what their schedule of book discussions looks like.  If there is nothing close by, why not start your own with a tight-knit group?  Choose a book together, find copies in the library, and agree to meet every two weeks or even once a month to discuss what was read so far.  Be sure to agree on a stopping point of the book for each meeting to avoid giving away spoilers and so that everybody stays caught up.

Be sure to also bring your child to the library this summer for story hour or other fun reading workshops scheduled during the day!  After the workshop, go to the children’s section and have them choose two books to take home for you to read to them or to practice reading to you.  They will go back to school (or off to school for the first time!) even smarter than when they left for the summer.

Happy reading!

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May 28th, 2013 at 5:01 am

5 libros para niños grandes escritos por autoras latinas

Puedo recomendar un montón de libros para niños en español porque tengo dos hijos que aman los libros y la lectura en general. Sin embargo, sólo tienen 3 y 6 años, por lo que mi lista de recomendaciones tiende a limitarse a estas edades.

Aun así, a menudo me preguntan si puedo hacer sugerencias de libros para niños un poco más grandes, vamos a decir entre 8-12 años. Es por eso que me decidí investigar un poco y preparé esta lista de cinco libros para niños más grandes escritos por autoras latinas. Estas mujeres son escritoras prolíficos y premiadas. Algunos escriben libros para niños solamente, mientras que otras comenzaron como autoras de ficción para adultos.

La casa en Mango Street por Sandra Cisneros — La conmovedora historia de Esperanza Cordero, una joven latina creciendo en Chicago. Este es un clásico que todos los niños — y adultos — deben leer.

Esperanza renace pro Pam Muñoz Ryan — Una historia de inmigración y asimilación contada a través de los ojos de una joven que se ve obligada a dejar su cómoda vida en México para ir a trabajar en los campos de California justo antes de la Gran Depresión.

Nacer bailando por Alma Flor Ada — Una hermosa historia de dos chicas jóvenes que sólo quieren ser como las demás. Una es hija de inmigrantes que quiere demostrar que es 100% americana y su prima que es una inmigrante reciente, y está teniendo un montón de dificultades para adaptarse.

De como Tía Lola vino (de visita) a quedarse por Julia Alvarez — Este libro forma parte de una serie escrita por la talentosa Julia Alvarez, a quien sólo conocía como escritora de ficción para adultos. Este libro cuenta la historia de Miguel, quien se traslada a Vermont después del divorcio de sus padres y de cómo su tía Lola se muda con ellos de la República Dominicana para ayudar a su mamá. Pero Lola no es una tía cualquiera…

La Ciudad de las Bestias por Isabel Allende — El primero libro de una trilogía que relata las aventuras del joven Alexander Cold en el Amazonas. El libro es perfecto para los niños que aman la aventura y el misterio.

Roxana A. Soto es cofundadora de SpanglishBaby, el sitio en línea para padres que están criando niños bilingües y biculturales. Actualmente está escribiendo su primer libro, basado en su blog, que será publicado en septiembre. Roxana también es redactora de MamásLatinas.

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May 28th, 2013 at 5:00 am

5 Books for Older Kids Written by Latinas

I can recommend a lot of children’s books in Spanish because I have two kids who love books and reading in general. But they’re only 3 and 6, so my list of recommendations tends to be limited to those age groups.

Even so, I often get asked if I can make suggestions for books that would appeal to kids who are a little bit older, say in the 8-12 age range. That’s why I decided to do some research and came up with a list of five books for older kids written by Latina authors. These women are all prolific and award-winning writers. Some do children’s books only, while others started out as adult fiction authors.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros — The poignant story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. This is a classic that all children — and adults — should read.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan — A story of immigration and assimilation as told through the eyes of a young girl who is forced to leave her comfortable life in Mexico to go work in the California fields right before the Great Depression.

Dancing Home by Alma Flor Ada — A beautiful story about two young girls who just want to fit in. One is the child of immigrants who wants to prove she’s 100% American and her cousin who is a recent immigrant and is having a ton of difficulties adapting.

How Tía Lola Came to (Visit) Stay by Julia Alvarez — This book is part of series written by the talented Julia Alvarez, whom I only knew as an adult fiction writer. This books tells the story of Miguel, who moves to Vermont after his parents’ divorce and how his Aunt Lola moves in with them from the Dominican Republic to help out. But Lola is no ordinary aunt…

City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende — The first one in a coming of age trilogy featuring Alexander Cold in an adventure in the Amazon. The perfect book for those kids who love adventure and mystery.

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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May 13th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Fun Children’s Books to Read

For Mother’s Day I got a poem from my oldest and one of the lines read, “I love to hear mom listen to me when I read.” Children love to read to you and listen to you read. Nothing is better than snuggling together and reading a good book.  Sometimes it feels like you are reading the same books over and over and want some fun new books to be a part of reading time. A great way to try new books is to visit your local library or do a book swap with friends!

Here are some fresh book  ideas for you:

Pinkaliscous by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann

Any Dr. Suess Books

Ducks Don’t Wear Socks by John Nedwidek

Pete the Cat by James Dean

Leo the Lightening Bug by Eric Drachman

The Ugly Pumpkin by David Horowitz

Here Comes the Big Mean Dust Bunny by Jan Thomas

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

The Dog House by Jan Thomas

The Pigeon Books by Mo Willems

Llama llama Books by Anna Dewdney

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

These are just some of the favorites I have to share. Another key is to listen to the audio version if it is available. While visiting preschool the other day, my son’s teacher was reading Pete the Cat, Rocking in my School Shoes and had the CD playing along. There was great music that went along with it that the kids danced too.

What are some fun books that you like to read with your child?

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



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