Fairy tales are very popular in our house. I'm not sure why, but my 4-year-old son is really into them. Maybe it's the timeless stories, or perhaps it's the element of fantasy involved (he's an imaginative little boy), but regardless of the reason, he's very drawn to them. For that reason, The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales has been getting a lot of mileage with us.
Some of the best loved books in our house are those published by Barefoot Books.Founded by mompreneurs in the UK in the 1990s, Barefoot Books has become a successful childrens' book publisher through a winning formula of great stories accompanied by beautiful art and illustrations. Many of their books, like Whole World pictured above, come with sing-along or read-along CDs, many narrated by well known award-winning actors. Stories presented in Barefoot Books are both timeless and timely, and include tales from a variety of the world's cultures.
The New Year is here and it's not too late to get organized in your busy life. One of the tools that I have to do that, which I absolutely love, is my BusyBodyBook! The BusyBodyBook is a stylish and easy-to-use family organizer that allows you to keep track of the entire family's schedules. My BusyBodyBook is for the 2007–2008 academic year, but they also offer a traditional 2008 calendar year version which could definitely come in handy right now at the start of the year.
While dueling cookbooks Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chefhave been grabbing the headlines lately, we recently got our hands on a fantastic little book that relies not on sneaking vegetable purees into your unsuspecting kids' food, but rather making delicious and nutritious meals that children love. The Baby Bistro Cookbookby Joohee Muromcew, a Marin mom and a frequent contributor to Town & Country and San Francisco magazines. The book, which gets kudos from food world heavy hitters like Mario Batali and Alice Waters, has great recipes that are often simplified but no less delicious versions of grown-up favorites. We like the chicken and white bean chili and peanut sesame noodles, but there are many more good things from simple dishes like toasted cheese sandwiches to shepherd's pie. Highly recommended!
To get into the spirit of Halloween, my kids and I recently checked out a bunch of spooky books from the library. My kids always look forward to going to the library on Wednesday for reading time and the chance to check out some new tales and fun stories of the coming season. I have to admit that I have also been having fun myself reading all the scary and not-so-scary tales of Halloween. My 4 year old and 20 month old have really enjoyed the following books:
Being pregnant and looking hip and gorgeous never went hand-in-hand when I was expecting. I use to go in and out of dressing rooms with handfuls of jeans, trying to find a pair that were somewhat flattering and, most importantly, comfortable. I recently came across a copy of a cool and insightful book called Rock Star Momma: The Hip Guide to Looking Gorgeous Through All Nine Months and Beyond by Skye Hoppus. Boy, I wish I had this book when I was pregnant! Author Skye Hoppus is a designer and former head of the MTV West Coast music office, and founder and owner of Childish Clothing, a ultra-hip line of maternity and children’s clothing. She’s also a real-life rock-star momma, and the wife of Mark Hoppus of blink-182 and +44 fame.
Books, books, books! I have always loved to read books, especially when I was a kid. The sense of adventure and thrill of discovering a new story was always exciting. My son has also found the love of reading, so we were both excited when we discovered Barefoot Books. We instantly fell in love with their interesting and unique books. Barefoot's award-winning books capture your attention immediately, with their colorful and whimsical artwork. Some of the books include audio CDs, so your child can read and sing along with the stories. Some of the popular titles include African Playground, Alligator Alphabet, Animal Boogie, Dragon on the Doorstep, and my son’s favorite, Walking through the Jungle. To find out more about all their books and to purchase them online, go to www.barefootbooks.com.
Finally, a pregnancy book that doesn’t scare you to death! Body, Soul and Baby: A Doctors Guide to the Complete Pregnancy Experience, from Preconception to Postpartumis one of those books that is a necessity for the bookshelf of all expecting moms and dads. My friend, who is expecting, was telling me how wonderful and refreshing this book was. The book teaches you to be aware of your own body and the changes that are happening. Author Tracy W. Gaudet, M.D., Director of the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine, discusses the natural processes of pregnancy and how to tune into the cues that signal from within about what you need, what your body needs, and what is right for both you and your baby. This informative book also includes advice on eating healthy and staying active, and natural approaches to pain relief. To purchase this book, go to Amazon.com
My kids love to grab all the magazines and catalogues that come in the mail, especially the ones that include toys. I decided to look into kids’ magazines in hopes of finding one that my 3-year-old would not only like but also learn from. I came across quite a few different titles, and ended up choosing two different magazines that I thought he would enjoy. Preschool Playroomis for ages 2 to 6 years, and includes all their favorite characters from PBS Kids and Playhouse Disney, including Curious George, Bob the Builder, and Caillou, and the Wiggles. It is a learning magazine that offers activities like mazes, counting projects, letter recognition, coloring pages, and, of course, stories, with the added bonus of their favorite characters from morning TV helping them learn.
The other magazine that I choose was Your Big Backyard, which is for children aged 3 to 7. It’s a wildlife-themed publication that’s filled with fun activities, seasonal crafts, recipes, simple stories, and wild animals that my kids love. This magazine exposes preschoolers to nature and gets them ready to read. It’s published by the National Wildlife Federation, which also puts out Ranger Rick(for older kids ages 7+), as well as another publication aimed at toddlers and preschoolers called Wild Animal Baby.
I also just recently learned that the Highlights magazine—you probably remember it from every pediatrician’s office visit when you were young--now has something called Highlights Highfive magazine, intended for children ages 2 to 6. This new magazine for toddlers aims to promote children's development while letting them have fun at the same time. Based on sound educational principles and child-development theories, Highfive, like the other magazines mentioned, includes read-aloud stories as well as age-appropriate puzzles and activities.