Book Nook Obsessed

For years I would read magazines and clip out all of the pictures of the things I loved and put them in a binder.  Then Pinterest came along and revolutionized my binder of clippings.  Even if it did make having a child’s birthday party turn into an extreme sport.  Pinterest became a place where you might just realize you could put together cool outfits from your own closet, inspire amazing travel plans and get ideas for decorating rooms in such remarkable ways.

My daughter sleeps on a bunk bed and there is an open space underneath it, which we made into a book nook.  When we did this, I spent a ton of time on Pinterest looking at some of the incredibly amazing children’s book nooks.   What we ended up with is a really cozy and comfortable space, but I would love to do a little more with this cute space.

Z in her nook

Since it’s no secret that I love books, you won’t be surprised by my deep love of book nooks, I am thinking about changing some things around in the petites and rounded up some awesome nook inspiration.

Petite Book Nook

no. 1 / no. 2 / no. 3

no. 4 / no. 5 /no. 6

no. 7 / no. 8 / no. 9

These are all so amazing, I love how whimsical the first one is, I love the amazing light in the 5th nook.  These nooks are so inspiring.  Which one is your favorite?  Please tell me in the comments below.

 

 

A Hilarious Read: This Book Just Ate My Dog!

cover

Richard Byrne has created a book that is incredibly hilarious and engaging for readers.  This book is so silly, that my petite was giggling so hard when we were reading it that we started giggling too and couldn’t stop.

It is a story about a little girl named Bella who is walking her dog, and you guessed it, the book eats her dog.  What?!  Don’t get too close, because this is one hungry book and it has an appetite for just about anything.  Where this book gets silly…one word…BURP!  For some reason this single word has my five year old howling with laughter.

Petite

Reader engagement is so important especially for young readers, this book has it, spoiler alert, after everyone is swallowed up it is up to the reader to sort it all out.  What is so fun and engaging is that you’re asked by Bella (our protagonist) to turn the book and shake, and shake until everyone falls out of the gutter of the book.  It is so funny, the first time we read it, the petite looked at me like really, shake it?  Then she grabbed it and shook like crazy.  It was hilarious.

This book would be perfect for someone who likes to read, as this book is different from most in how you can intereact with it.  This book would also be perfect for a petite who is not too keen on reading.  This Book Just Ate My Dog is so creative and unique I love the little surprises in the details of this book, it is so well done.  I cannot wait for you to read it.

A Classic Revisited: Peter Rabbit

cover Like most people who grew up having stories read to them at some point one of those stories was Peter Rabbit.  My mom loved these stories and that love came through whenever she read them to me growing up.  I strongly believe that these books fostered my deep love of rabbits.

Erin with dressed up rabbit amanda

Me with my best bunny Amanda in 1986

When I had a petite of my own, my old Beatrix Potter books came to reside on her bookshelf – from time to time we would read the stories of those mischievous little rabbits.  When I heard that Emma Thompson was going to be writing The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, I was excited, but nervous all at the same time.  You see, I love Emma Thompson – literally everything about her, she seems like she is just the most fun.  However, I was nervous, because I had such fond memories of Peter Rabbit and I was a little scared of change you see.

Let me be the first to say, The Further Tale of Peter the Rabbit is AMAZING!  First of all the letter from Ms. Thompson in the beginning of the book is quite adorable. Not to mention this story is incredibly fun, the illustrations are lovely.

My absolute favorite is when Finlay McBurney shows up, he is a rather large Scottish rabbit, complete with kilt, dagger and thistle tucked into his coat.  Peter is challenged by Mr. McBurney to some games of the Highland variety.  Of course our pal Peter is as mischievous as ever and puts his paws where they shouldn’t be, it is a great story, with a very sweet message.

This book is engaging and charming from the very first to last page.  I am certain that if you fondly remember Peter Rabbit, you will be delighted to embark on this new adventure with him.  And fortunately there are three adventures to add to your shelves.

The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit | The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit

Kisses are Flying in Catching Kisses.

Cover

Catching Kisses, by Amy Gibson with illustrations by Maria Van Lieshout is a book that celebrates kisses and love.  This book is unique in that you go on a journey through the USA as you turn the pages.  Amy Gibson has created such beautiful language to describe the kisses and the illustrations add so much to the lovely story.

This book is really fun because you follow the kisses on their journey through the United States.  My petites loved looking at all of the different places and finding the “kisses” which are the seeds of a dandelion as they move through place to place.  Catching Kisses showcases many popular cities and yours might just be one of them – making the story all the more personal.

For the Classroom:

I think this is a beautiful story, that could be a platform for students to build on their figurative language skills using the similes and metaphors in the text.  I think this would be a really fun read aloud for the classroom and can see reading it to students at the elementary level.  I would read this to students who were in 2nd -4th who were working on bolstering their figurative language as well as for the different locations that are featured, it would be a fun book to have them guess where the places are.  Another fun place to share this book would be during an art lesson/class.  The illustrations have a lot of movement as well as which would be fun to share with a group of students.

Library Wall – Lovely Addition to the Nursery

When petites are little it is so important for them to be exposed to all sorts of books, basically anything that interests them.  One way to support this for your petites to have the books facing out so that they can see the covers.  When they face out the petite can interact with the cover – which is essentially how our little ones choose what books they want to read or have read to them.  It is a lot more engaging for petites to see the vibrant covers of the books than just the spines.  A library wall is a really easy project you can complete in a weekend.  It is also a stunning addition to a nursery or playroom.

RIBBA Picture Ledges from IKEA

Ribba

no.1 / no. 2 / no. 3

no. 4 / no.5 / no. 6

no. 7 / no. 8 / no. 9

What I personally love about these IKEA ledges is that they are a fantastic price and look gorgeous on the wall with books.  They come in two sizes, 21 3/4 and 45 1/4 and the price-point is $10 – $15.  Even better, you just screw them into the wall and add your favorite titles.  How easy is that?

We personally use the ribba frames in my girls room and love them.   I adore the way we can rotate different titles in and out based on the petite’s current interest.

Ribba 1

Gutter Bookshelves

Gutters are another great way to decorate and showcase all of your lovely books.  Two things make the gutter shelves so handy; first is that they can hold a lot more weight than the ribba – meaning a lot more books.  Probably the most handy aspect of all is the gutters can be cut to any length you desire, making a custom look quite easy to attain.   gutter 3no. 1 / no. 2 / no. 3

no. 4 / no. 5 / no. 6

 My dear friend added some of these gutter bookshelves to her daughters stunning nursery and I love how they turned out.  There is something so fun about using books as art, but in a way that it is functional.  I love when beauty meets function.  Don’t these gutters look amazing?  All done for around $40.

Gutter 1

 There are so many lovely ways to display your petites favorite books it really is just a matter of how much space you want to devote to the book wall and whether you prefer gutters or ledges.

Happy decorating.

Erin

The Princess in Black

I’ve mentioned before my petites love of all things princess (here).  A few weeks ago I was doing some research on early chapter books for her and one title keep popping up – The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale with illustrations from the amazing LeUyen Pham.

The Princess in Black

This book is all about Princess Magnolia, who is a perfectly charming pink frilly dress wearing princess.  However, when her monster alarm sounds she is ready to change into her alter-ego The Princess in Black.  The Princess in Black is fearless and knows just what to do to save the goats from dangerous monster who is threatening to eat them.  She does this all while sneaking out of a tea party with Duchess Wigtower.  The only real problem is that the Duchess is sneaky – will she find out what Princess Magnolia is hiding?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

What I love about this book, where to start.  I’ve read a huge amount of princess stories and this one is by far my favorite.  I thought I may need to sell the petite on it, since she is so used to her Disney princesses, however, this book needs no arm twisting – that is what happens when you read a truly wonderful story about a strong willed heroine.  It is a perfect early chapter book – the chapters are shorter and really engaging.  It is a real page turner, numerous times in reading the story my petite begged me to read just one more chapter.  She was just dying to know what would happen and to be honest, so was I.

I also love the illustrations, they are vibrant and really fun.  The book itself is high quality, the pages are thick and glossy and really sturdy for little hands.  Another aspect that is by far my favorite, this book is not just for girls.  This book is for any petite that likes adventure, if you like a strong will protagonist who saves the day, then this book is for you.  The Princess in Black is awesome!

I am thrilled that book #2 is slated to come out sometime in the fall, which will be a welcome addition to our shelves.  This is a great book, I am sure your petites will enjoy it as much as mine did.  Here is a bit more about this fabulous book.  Enjoy!

Source: Candlewick Press

Source: Candlewick Press

Illustrator Love: Naoko Stoop & Red Knit Cap Girl

Cover

This is book, Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree, is simply lovely.  It literally jumped off the shelves at us, okay, it didn’t quite jump, but look at the stunning cover art, the book draws you in!  This book is darling, but it’s greatness doesn’t end there.  This is a book all about the love of reading and sharing that love with others.

Red Knit Cap Girl and her woodland friends follow squirrel as he shows them an amazing place that he has discovered – a hollowed out tree.  The animals all work together to fill the nook with books.  Even animals who don’t have books contribute something amazing to this project; beaver makes a shelf, the sheep bring blankets to snuggle with to make the nook even cozier.

This is a fabulous story about books, reading and the love of libraries for all.  This book is lovely and demonstrates how wonderful a community library can be; it made me think of all of the Little Free Libraries that are around my town.  I love this story and am sure you will too.

Other titles from Naoko Stoop:

Red KNit Cap To the Rescue

Etsy shop

Check out Naoko Stoop’s Etsy Shop – if you are looking for lovely prints to brighten the walls of your petites room you will find a huge selection of gorgeous prints.  They are charming and feature Red Knit Cap Girl being adorable and many of them show her reading – I’m gushing at the cuteness.

Friday Five: Oldies but Goodies

Oldies but Goodies

I share a lot of books that have been published within the last few years, but there books that my girls adore that we read all the time that are classics.  These same books were read to me as a child.  I wanted to share six (I had to have six, I couldn’t possible cut one out) of our favorites that are oldies but definitely goodies.

ferdinand

Ferdinand (1936) this was a favorite of mine when I was little and now I get to share it with my own petites.  A fabulous story by Munro Leaf with illustrations by Robert Lawson about a bull who just wants to sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers.

Kermit the Hermit

Kermit the Hermit (1965) by Bill Peet was one of my very favorites as a child, I loved this greedy little crab, his treasure trove of things.  My favorite part of the story is when his friend the pelican helps him to learn the value of sharing.  An excellent story.

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are (1963) Maurice Sendak’s book has sold over 19 million copies worldwide.  This book is a must for your petites library.  A story of a little boy who is having a terrible day and is sent to his room and that is when the wild rumpus begins.

Blueberries_for_Sal

Blueberries for Sal (1948) written by Robert McCloskey is a darling story about a mother and her daughter Sal who are picking blueberries and happen upon a bear and her cub who are eating blueberries on the very same hill.  I also love that the mother and child are written with his own wife and daughter Sally in mind.

Madeline

Madeline (1939) by Ludwig Bemelmans, I love a story with a little redhead who is brave and outgoing don’t you?

Strega_Nona

Strega Nona (1975) by Tomie dePaola is a favorite in our house.  Strega Nonas helper uses her magic pot and creates so much pasta that it is all over the town, she returns and stops the pasta, but there are consequences for Anthony, he must eat all of the pasta.

These books are timeless and truly belong in your petites library.  What are some of the timeless tales that you read with your petites on a regular basis?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Giving the Gift of Literacy

First Book

Source: First Book

 

First Book

The other day I happened to hear the end of a story on NPR’s Morning Edition about this really amazing organization called First Book.  The story struck a serious chord with me when research into the prevalence of books in different communities was shared.  Dr. Susan Newman did a study 15 years ago, although this is a long time period, I believe that it is still relevant.

“We found a total of 33 books for children in a community of 10,000 children…Thirty-three books in all of the neighborhood,” she says. By comparison, there were 300 books per child in the city’s affluent communities.

To say that my jaw dropped when I heard this is an understatement.  Let that sink in for a minute.

“On average, a premium picture book is about $18 at retail,” she says. “And you imagine who the customer base is that can afford an $18 picture book for their family. What you’re talking about is probably the upper 5 to maybe 10 percent of the socio-economic ladder.”

Here is why First Book is amazing; they are working together with publishers to get the cost of high quality books to a price point that will allow for those books to get into the hands of the children who need them the most and into their homes.  What is amazing is that now different organizations can contact First Book and choose a book for $2.85.

Since 1992 over 120 million books have been distributed.  That is amazing.  This non-profit organization is doing amazing things for children and literacy.

Here is their website if you would like more information or to know more about what a donation can do for a child in need.

 

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Kids say the darndest things.  When I was teaching I would love all of the silly things kids would tell me about their families.  I would quietly giggle at how honest and truthful they were if sometimes a bit disparaging.  When my oldest starting talking I was sure I would remember all of the really funny things she said, but as time when by I realized I needed to write these wonderful little statements down.  This way when she is older I can share with her just how incredibly cute, charming and funny the things she said as a petite were.

My quotable kid

Source: Chronicle Books

I came across this book a few years ago at a local store and fell in love with it.  It is small and beautifully bound.  There is a page in the front where you can add a photo of your petite, this is the perfect keepsake and place to jot down all the silly things the little ones say.

If you order if from Chronicle Books you can have it personalized with your petites name, making it all the more unique and special.

Source: Chronicle Books

Source: Chronicle Books

I love that there is just enough space to write quotes, in some of the books that I have seen there is a really large amount of space to write down quotes which seems wasteful – this book is perfect.

I feel compelled to share some of the things my petite has said that have made it into the pages of the book:

When she was 3

Petite: Mom, what’s a wombie?

Mom: A what?

Petite: a wom-bee

Mom: oh…a zombie

Petite: Yeah, a wombie.

When I was very pregnant with her little sister and she saw my bare belly:

Petite: Oh no Mommy you’ve broken your belly.

Mom: What do you mean?

Petite: Well, look at all those cracks in your tummy

When she was 4

Mom: You can do anything you put your mind to, you have to believe in yourself.

Petite: Yeah, like if I see a brown bear I can kill it with a big sword and it will have blood down its back.

Just the other day

Petite: Hey Mommy, how did you put your germs all over daddy and make him sick?

Mom: I don’t know, I guess I just breathed on him

Petite: But, why did you put your germs on him?