One of my kids' favorite books is Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems. On Saturday, this hilarious Caldecott Honor book comes to life on stage in the Bay Area Children's Theatre production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical.
In Knuffle Bunny,Dad learns that it can be tricky to do the laundry with toddler daughter Trixie and her beloved stuffed animal, the titular Knuffle Bunny. See washing machines burst into life and clothes dance up a whirlwind at the laundromat in this delightful production that's fun for the whole family.
We've seen several productions from Bay Area Children's Theatre, and they never disappoint! It's definitely worth the trip over to Berkeley, and the Freight & Salvage is a wonderful intimate venue in which to see a show like this.
The opening performance of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical takes place at the Freight & Salvage on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 2 pm. The show plays Saturdays at 2 pm and Sundays at 11 am and 2 pm through May 5.
This March, join local arts education group Youth in Arts at the Barnes & Noble store in Corte Madera for two free music and storytelling hours for preschoolers and early elementary school students.
Youth in Arts artists will be in the store at 11 am on Saturday, March 23, and Wednesday, March 27, to share music and stories from Youth in Arts productions based on beloved children's books. Enjoy excerpts from local author Elisa Kleven’s Paper Princess series and Hooray, a Piñata! and Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm’s Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth To Life. Sing along to songs in Spanish and English from Youth in Arts’ shows inspired by these wonderful books!
This program is perfect for children ages 3–6 and their families. Barnes & Noble is located at 313 Corte Madera Town Center.
Marin Mommies presents another guest article by Marin children's librarian Lisa Katz, who takes a look at the Bear series of books by author and illustrator Greg Foley.
Greg Foley, a creative author and illustrator, has created a set of books about a little bear. In these four books, the author’s theme for his stories is about the importance of friendship. Since I’m a librarian, I don’t buy a lot of books. I check them out and read them over and over again. But if ever there were books to purchase, these would be the ones to have on your child’s bookshelf—all four of them in fact. This way they can be read over and over again.
Who is Greg Foley? He is a young guy who grew up in Austin Texas. He comes from a family of educators and is also one himself. His first picture book, Thank you Bear, won the prestigious Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book. His background is art and his illustrations are done in line art, which are digitally rendered from pencil sketches. While they are so simple and there isn’t a lot on each page, they are very sweet and really tell the story.
One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice, illustrated by Andrea U'Ren (32 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2006) isn't strictly a book about St. Patrick's Day, but it has enough Irish charm, humor, and magic to make it a fitting choice to read on and around the holiday.
This retelling of the old "magic pot" story centers on Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady, an unbelievably scrawny (they're so skinny they can sit side-by-side in their one chair) old Irish farm couple who are dirt poor but very happy with the little they have. When Mr. O'Grady digs up a large old pot in his potato field and drops their last potato in it, he finds that the pot doubles whatever is placed into it.
The O'Gradys exploit this magical discovery, but what do they do when Mrs. O'Grady falls in and two Mrs. O'Gradys come out?
One Potato, Two Potato is a delight, from its simple funny text that begs to be read aloud to U'Ren's evocative and humorous illustrations. It's a tale with themes of magic, generosity, contentment, and above all, love. My kids just love this book—I can't even begin to think how many times they've brought this home from the library.
Today, March 2, 2013, is the 109th birthday of celebrated children's author Theodore Geisel, better known to everyone as Dr. Seuss. The good doctor is no longer with us, of course (he passed away in 1991), but he's left us with a nearly unprecedented body of work that includes some of the most playful and imaginative books for children ever written.
As a parent, I suppose the most obvious difference between Dr. Seuss books and a lot of other children's books—especially books for early readers and small children—is that the Seuss books are usually as fun for adults to read as they are for kids to listen to. There are some books on the kids' bookshelf that we simply dread to read (I'm not going to name names, but Dora the Explorer figures highly in a few), but the Dr. Seuss books are not among them. Furthermore, Dr. Seuss' "Beginner Books " are some of the first books for beginning readers that are really fun and exciting to read, teaching important concepts and skills while entertaining and delighting. Fun with Dick and Jane? Bah! Bring on The Cat in the Hat!
My kids always like to go to the library and check out a big stack of books that relate to the current holiday or season. Valentine's Day of course is no exception, so here are some of our choices for great kids' books to read this week. Find them at your local library or bookstore.
Day It Rained Hearts, by Felicia Bond
One day it rains hearts in a most unusual downpour! Fortunately, Cornelia Augusta is there to catch them. Each heart is special in its own way, and Cornelia Augusta knows exactly who to send them to. For ages 4 and up.
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, by Eileen Spinelli
One winter day, the postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to lonely Mr. Hatch. "Somebody loves you," the accompanying note says. Mr. Hatch wonders, who that somebody could be, and eventually discovers who his secret admirer is, much to his surprise! For ages 3 and up.
Plant a Kiss, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Little Miss plants a kiss, and her one small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than she could have ever imagined in this story about life, kindness, and giving.
The Biggest Kiss, by Joanna Walsh From tiny ants to enormous elephants, there’s a kiss for everyone in this warm and cozy feel-good book. Find out if worms kiss underground, with the soil all around, or if fish kiss with a splash and a splish. With an irresistible text that begs to be read aloud and adorable illustrations, parents and grandparents will love sharing this collection of affection with the youngest of readers. For ages 4 and up.
Marin Mommies presents another guest article by Marin children's librarian Lisa Katz. This time, she takes a look at three wonderful books about the power of original thinking.
Check out this beautifully boxed set of three hardcover picture books that celebrate the power of original thinking!
The Dot—The first book in this wonderful little series by Peter Reynolds. Meet Vashti. Vashti, isn’t an artist, she can’t draw. But her art teacher wants her to create something on a piece of paper. But Vashti insists that she can’t draw. Instead she places a dot on a piece of paper. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey into self-discovery.
Ish—The second book in the series is about a little artist, Ramon who loves to draw. It is what Ramon does best. But suddenly he loses confidence in his drawings until his sister, Marisol, shows him that value of doing something and it doesn’t always have to be just perfect!
Marin Mommies presents another guest article by Marin children's librarian Lisa Katz. This time, she takes a look at two great books about friendship.
In A Home for Bird, Vernon the toad has met a new friend, a small blue bird. Blue bird doesn't seem to be happy and Vernon isn't quite sure why. He asks little blue bird, but bird doesn't talk. He thinks that bird is lost from his home so he decides to introduce bird to his friends and try to discover where little blue bird's home really is.
As the reader, we know from the start that the little blue bird has fallen out of a moving truck where he lived in a cuckoo clock. While Vernon doesn't know this, he tries everything to discover where little bird's home is.
This is a very tender and thoughtful tale of friendship written by Caldecott winner, author/illustrator Philip Stead. The story is not only creative, but the illustrations are richly colored in mixed media and truly display the emotions of Vernon and little blue bird.
"Bird is shy," said Vernon, "but also a very good listener." Isn't that what friends are? This is a wonderful story that can be read over and over again. It is a story that can encourage discussions of what true friendship is and the importance of a home. A must for children ages 3 and up.
Marin Mommies presents a guest book review by Marin children's librarian Lisa Katz.
Have you ever wondered about the man behind the dictionary? Who was Noah Webster? Check out Noah Webster and His Words, by Jeri Chase Ferris and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch, a wonderful picture book on one of the most famous scholars of all time. Did you also know that Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language became the second most popular book ever printed?
Meet Noah. Noah was born in 1758 on a farm in West Hartford, Connecticut. He lived in a family with a history of farming. But he didn’t want to be a farmer like his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather. Noah wanted to do something different. He wanted to be a scholar. He was the first in his family to attend college at Yale University.