Making the Most of Story Time

As this school year started (I was hired just a few days, I think three before school started) I quickly realized that one thing that could quickly get put on the back burner was story time at bedtime.  Not because we are terrible heathens, but because, well honestly – reality, exhaustion, time, you name it, life just happens and sometimes those little moments that we so preciously guarded when our petites were younger become harder to carve out as life gets busier.  When things calmed down at school for me, we made a much more concerted effort to get story time in, not the five or more book extravaganza of days past, but intentional story time.

Okay, so the books we’ve been really really, I mean my kids throw some serious shade my way when we don’t read these books at night, are all about empowerment, informing, understanding and raising petites who understand the world in which we live.  We want our girls, who are 5 and almost 9, to understand that overcoming adversity is what so many get minds, have had to do to accomplish amazing feats.  That often times ordinary people take huge risks in order to achieve their goals sometimes failing along the way.  But mainly that kindness and love are always the answer.  Always.

Here are some of the books that currently reside on my nightstand we read one page a night which covers one amazing woman:

Little LeadersLittle Leaders Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison 2017 Little Brown and Company has become quite the obsession at our house.  In fact there were a few days where we didn’t read it at night and my daughter checked it out from her school library to secretly read it on the bus that is how much she loves this book.  So let me tell you what is to love.  Basically everything.  Vashti Harrison does a fabulous job of telling you the story of the 40 women, in a way that explains who they are, delves into their lives, history and what they overcame and accomplished.  What I particularly love is that it is a good mix of well know and lesser known women in black history.  Another aspect that I love as a parent is that these biographies are inspiring my daughters to want to know more these amazing women – whether it is pulling up a YouTube video of Josephine Baker dancing or listening to Maya Angelou discuss being a rainbow in someone else’s cloud it doesn’t matter to me as long as they are learning and discovering and engaging with the text and the girls are doing just that with this book.  They love it.  We are so excited to heard that Vashti Harrison is coming out with a new book in November Visionary Women Around the World.  Basically she is my new author illustrator crush, so I am smitten, seriously her art is A-mazing!  Check it out.

Perfect for: 8-11 years old (can be read aloud to younger readers with some paraphrasing)| Lexile 1050

Women in Science

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky  2016 Ten Speed Press. This book has been waiting on our shelves for the petites to get a little bit older to fully retain all that this amazing book has to offer.  It offers us as readers a glimpse into the lives of scientists from around the world, names I’ve never heard of whose contributions clearly made and continue to make a difference.  These women are remarkable.  When we love about reading this book is that my husband and I both have wow moments where we learn something too.  This book is a little bit of a stretch for our 5-year-old, but I just read it in a more fanciful engaging tone and ask lots of questions when she gets a little squirrely.  To read a complete review, or basically, my swooning love for this book, check out this post from 2016.  Rachel Ignotofsky’s art is remarkable, so detailed, she has another book about Women in Sports as well, we’ve yet to check that one out yet, but it is in our library cue.

Perfect for: Ages 10 and up | Lexile 990

rad-women-worldwideRad Women Worldwide by Katy Schatz with art by Miriam Klein Stahl 2016 Ten Speed Press.  Are you noticing a theme here?  Short biographies, strong women, doing remarkable things, changing the world for the better, what more could you ask for in a bedtime story?  Right.  Let’s jump into Rad Women Worldwide.  This book discusses 40 women from every continent.  What I love about this book is that is highlights women who made huge contributions that have largely gone unnoticed or unknown outside of their specific countries or areas.  This book helps to change that.  As the cover states, this book discusses Grace O’Malley swashbuckler from Ireland, Venus and Serena Williams, Marta from Brazil known as the female Pele.  Maria Montessori from Italy and so many more amazing women who I feel my kids are smarter for having read this incredible book.

Perfect for: Grade 6 and up |Lexile 1040

I want to be very real about these books too.  Tough questions often come up when reading these stories, for example: Why would people enslave other people?  Why would someone abuse another person, how could someone separate families and think that is okay?Although not traditional topics in bedtime stories, these are important conversations to be having with our children.  The lives of these women give us a place to safely talk with our children about the harsh realities of the world.  What I have discovered as a parent and as a teacher, is that most of the time I am more nervous about the conversations to be had than my girls.  They are usually not traumatized by it – usually quite the opposite, they are empowered to stand up, speak out and make a difference.  I also very rarely eff it up and if I do, kids are resilient and they will see me fail and try again and that is life.  It’s messy but that doesn’t mean I am not going to try and have these conversations with my petites, after all nothing good ever comes from avoiding something uncomfortable.

So these are the books we are reading right now.  My husband and I are loving the conversations we are having with our daughters.  We are relishing in these moments where they still want to lay in our bed at night for a story and a snuggle.  Do any of you have long/sweet/ridiculous nighttime routines?  We do…I would love to hear about yours.

Happy reading,



Why hello, gorgeous!

Wow, it has been an exceptionally long amount of time that I have been away.  It seems like just yesterday I was blogging my heart out, racking up library fines and spending full days with my petites.  This past year brought about many new transitions for my petite family.

In late August, we decided it was an appropriate time to head back to the classroom full time.  For those of you who know me, personally, you know I had never intended to be a stay at home mama.  My goal was to be home with the petite for a while, standard maternity leave and then return to teaching sometime in the fall of 2013.  However, things changed quite rapidly when our eldest was diagnosed with epilepsy fortunately we were able to make it work so I could stay home with our little ladies and provide the care that they needed during this time.  Zoe eventually went on to have surgery two years into her epilepsy journey and has been seizure free for two and a half years, now.

Fast forward to 2017.  In August, I started looking at teaching jobs and what was available and happened to find a job teaching English Language Arts to 7th graders in a nearby district.  We found an amazing montessori school for our now preschooler, Vivi.  It all was working out perfectly, of course, with all of the stress, havoc, chaos, laundry piled up, dishes in the sink and unclean bathrooms.

Ugh, so here we are in 2018, with me getting ready to start at a new school, Zoe starting 3rd grade and Vivi getting ready to enter Kindergarten.  I am so excited to start to think about sharing books again, to have more time where I can engage and get back to that sweet little blog of mine and see what’s new in the bookish world.

If you’re still out there…stay tuned, I have some books lined up that are pretty amazing and I promise to do a lot more sharing.




Books about Death and Grieving

Processed with MOLDIVToday I wanted to spend some time focusing on an incredibly important topic: death and grieving.  When it comes to helping petites deal with the loss of a loved one there are so many different approaches to support and help little ones through tough and sometimes very confusing times and we have found that picture books are a perfect conduit for having discussions, learning and exploring our feelings and finding comfort when words are sometimes hard to find.

In our own experience we found that many times the books that we had googled sent us straight to more secular picture books; which are wonderful, but did not fit our needs.  So today, the books that I am going to share with you are books that we have read, have found to be comforting, beautifully written, give opportunity for families to have conversations and at times leave enough ambiguity for families to determine exactly how they want and see fit to best discuss death, dying and all the feelings that surround this incredibly complex and emotional topic.

Ida, Always by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016) is an incredibly sweet story about two real life bears who lived in New York City’s Central Park Zoo, Gus and Ida were the best of friends.  This is a beautifully told story about friendship and loss is told with a huge amount of grace.  This is a tough story, for both adults and petites.  Gus one day learns that Ida is very sick and that she isn’t going to get better.  This is a story that is so incredibly tender, the two friends work through this difficult time together, giving each other a place to share their feelings and their grief.  What is so special about this book is that Gus realizes that even when Ida is gone, that she will always be with him.  This book is intended for petites ages four to eight.

Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies (Candlewick, 2016)  Benji Davies is an amazing author and illustrator and this book is a perfect example of his expert skill.  This is the story of Syd and his granddad.  The story has a wonderful magical feel to it.  Syd loves his granddad and has a very special bond with him.  One day he goes to visit him and finds that his attic looks very different that there is a secret metal door, once this it’s opened it leads to a ship and slowly the rooftops melds into the sea and they are off.   Once they arrive on the island there is lots of work to be done.  The island starts out shaded and dark, but soon with the help of the local inhabitants Syd and his Grandad have created quite a lovely spot.  Syd and Grandad explore the island and all that it has to offer; enjoying each others company and you assume they always have.  It is the most perfect place.  As Syd is preparing to leave this magical place he has so enjoyed with his Grandad; his Grandad says, “Syd, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.  You see…I’m thinking of staying”  As you would imagine Syd worries that his Grandad will be lonely, but he assures him that he won’t.  This spread in the book is by far one of the most glorious illustrations, it is bright, it is cheerful, all of the animals are there with smiles and perfect little spots have been created a chair with tea and gramophone and of course the lovely little shack that they worked on together.

This book is a wonderful look at love and loss in a way that petites can understand – as Syd sails away you feel that sense of loss.   I love that attention is paid to the journey home and how it seemed much longer without Grandad.  This book is perfect for three to eight year olds.

The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by  Christian Robinson (Harper Collins, 2016) This is an updated version on the 1995 classic with illustrations that update this book for today’s petites.  Ms. Brown clearly employs what it is like to be a child and embraces that perspective in this book; it is completely authentic and timeless.  In this story children are playing in the park and find a dead bird, they feel very sad about it being dead and decide to burry it in the park and place flowers and other plants on top of it.  What we love about this story is that it places emphasis on the ritual of burring the bird and bringing closure that way.  It is a told in a very realistic way, describing how when the children first find the bird it is still warm, but as they hold it, it begins to get cold and stiff.  This book brings a very honest and matter of fact approach to talking about death with the descriptions of the birds body; which may help to answer some of the questions that children have about what happens when something dies.  We found The Dead Bird to be very helpful for our daughters who wanted to know what happened after death and it helped to take some of the confusion and ambiguity away.  This book is intended for petites ages four to eight.

Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved with illustrations by Charlotte Pardi and translated by Robert Moulthrop (Enchanted Lion Books, 2016) This is a story of four siblings who make a pact to keep their gravely ill grandmother from dying.  What this deeply moving story teachers readers young and old is that death is not something to be feared, that grief is just another way for us to remember.  It is so beautifully told, in the end, death does take their grandmother, but the lessons learned are so valuable.   Within this story is an incredible appreciation for life and death.  “Some people say Death’s heart is as dead and black as a piece of coal, but that is not true. Beneath his inky cloak, Death’s heart is as red as the most beautiful sunset and beats with a great love of life.”  What is so  thought provoking about this book even reading it as an adult is that Death tells a story to help the children understand. Two boys meet two girls and they fall in love, two perfectly balanced couples: Sorrow and Joy, Grief and Delight. “It is the same with life and death… What would life be worth if there were no death?”  What Ringtved does with this difficult topic honors to capacity that children have to deal with difficult subjects.  This book is suited for petites ages four through ten.

Grandma’s Gloves by Cecil Castellucci and illustrated by Julia Denos (Candlewick, 2010) is a story that is about a little girl who absolutely adores her grandmother.  The way she smells, the way she makes her tea and her incredible green thumb.  The illustrations from Julia Denos jump off of the page depicting the moments grandmother and granddaugther are together.  Then one day the grandmother is hospitalized and struggles to recognize her family, but as it is sometimes, she still remembers how to grow plants and flowers and they thrive in her hospital room.  After her grandmother passes, the little girl cherishes her grandmothers gloves and vows to carry on the tradition of gardening just like her grandmother.

What this book does so masterfully is show how death is not something to be feared, but rather a part of life.  Teaching petites that we always have memories and traditions to hold onto and to pass on.  Alzheimers is something that is incredibly difficult for petites and this book discusses this topic in such a careful and tender way.  This book is inspired by the authors own grandmother and that is abundantly apparent.  This book is intended for five to eight year olds.

The Dandelion’s Tale by Kevin Sheehan and Rob Dunlavey (Schwartz & Wade, 2014) is one of the better books for younger petites that I have seen dealing with death.  In this story, Sparrow is flying overhead and spots and lonely dandelion crying below and stops to see why she is crying.  It turns out that Dandelion doesn’t have long to live and she wants to be remembered when she is gone.  So together they come up with a plan to make sure that she will be remembered by writing her story in the dirt.  They have plans the next day to talk more about what Dandelion wants to share in her story, but a huge storm comes and blows the final seed pods away.  Sparrow is incredibly sad and vows to tell her story to everyone he meets.  But weeks pass and he finds that her memory lives on as her seed pods have blown into the field and their are little reminders of her everywhere.  What we love about this story is that it is sweet and tender, open for discussion, subtle enough to just read but with enough substance to have a great conversation.  This book is intended for ages three to seven.

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books, 2010) is a very touching story about a little girl and an older gentleman who we as readers assume is her grandfather.  I am going to brutally honest, I wept when I read this book.  This book just struck a chord with me.  The little girl in the story is as inquisitive as ever, she cannot learn or explore enough – she does all of this with her grandfather (we assume).  One day she runs to his chair to show him her drawings and the chair is empty and the room is dark.  From this moment she guards herself and her first step in doing so is to put her heart in a bottle where it will be safe.  To say that I love this story, is an understatement.  I know that this book is perfect for a petite who may have lost someone in their lives, the uncertain feelings that come from that time can be difficult to tackle.  This book is a great way to start to have a conversation about loss.  This story is perfect in every way.  What makes this book so wonderful, is that the message is subtle , allowing you as parents/guardians to determine how you want to discuss grief and death in this book.  This book is perfect for petites ages three through eight.

We hope that this list helps you and your petites find comfort, a place to share memories and a platform to have discussions.  Although these books deal in what is arguably one of the most difficult subjects they embrace the sweet and tender moments and place an importance on the grieving process and the capacity that petites have to not only love but to grieve.

Because I Had a Teacher


It seems like the last few months have just flown by and we are now on a race to the end of the school year.  As a former teacher those last few weeks edging toward summer are an incredibly special time of year, in fact I believe they are magic, there is so much energy in your classroom, the days are getting hotter and longer and the excitement for summer builds with each passing day.  As a parent, this time of year is incredibly important as well, because it is a time for our family to recognize the hard work and dedication of the teachers that serve our daughter.  Today, we are sharing a really special book with you all.

Teacher_Jacket and Case_test

I have to say I am a huge fan of Kobi Yamada and his writing, my family loves his two books What Do You Do With An Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem?  They are absolutely wonderful books that belong in every single classroom and school library.  Mr. Yamada has an incredible talent, in that he is able to connect with kids through his words and stories.  So when I heard that a new book as coming out, that was entitled Because I Had a Teacher, well I just knew it had to be swoon worthy and guess what?  It is!

Because I Had a Teacher 3

Because I Had a Teacher by Kobi Yamada and Illustrated by Natalie Russell (Compendium Inc, 2017) is am homage to great teachers everywhere.  To teachers who inspire, care, support, create spaces for learning and overall make a difference in the lives of our children on a daily basis.

Because I Had a Teacher 2

This darling little book filled with heartwarming illustrations that evoke a sense of whimsy and wonder.  This book could be told from the point of view of a child or an adult reminiscing about their favorite teacher.  Either way, it is a perfect read for little ones as well as a touching gift for a favorite teacher or mentor.

Because I Had A Teacher

Our favorite part of the entire book is the final line:

Because I had you, I learned to believe in me

If you are not familiar with Kobi Yamada and his other works you will need to get to your local library or bookseller, his books always cause you to think, to wonder, to appreciate and best of all to believe in yourself and your own abilities.  This book does just that, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Bloggers Note: We want to thank Compendium for the use of images in this post.

Curious Kids Nature Guide…is AMAZING!

Sometimes a book comes along that seems like it was written specifically for your child, and folks here we have it!  Okay, let’s just jump in, I have a feeling that this book is going to be a huge hit with my science loving readers.  So here we go…  Curious Kids Nature Guide: Exploring the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest by Fiona Cohen and illustrated by Marni Fylling (Little Bigfoot, 2017) is hitting the shelves today, and we are beyond smitten with this little book that is so packed full of fun facts, fine illustrations and science knowledge.

Curious Kids Nature Guide

This is a perfect nature guide for your Pacific Northwest naturalist.  It is filled with 100 of the most facinating  flora and fauna found here in the PNW (possibly even Northern California, too).  This little treasure of a book is broken into four categories: forest, beach, freshwater and backyards & urban parks; clearly covering all of the areas your petite might get to explore on a regular basis.

What we love about this book is that it is small (about 7×8 inches), so it fits nicely into a small bag or children’s backpack making it easy to take along with you into the field.  Dividing the book into habitats makes it really easy to use for little ones who are just learning how to use a table of contents.

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We love the introduction notes at the beginning of each section; they feel like a little reminder from a naturalist before you head out to explore.  Isn’t this the best reminder?The beautiful illustrations bring the flora and fauna to life covering just a few of the more common animals and plants you might find in the region.  Below is how each ecosystem is introduced in the book with a gorgeous full spread of the animals with the scientific names.

Curious Kids 5

We also loved the write-up of each of the plants and animals, it was so thorough, but fun and engaging to read.  It has a lot of really fun facts within the pages of this book as well.  I have lived in the PNW for almost 20 years now and learned quite a bit of new information when reading this book with my petites.  Whether you’re learning more about the salmon or its life cycle before you head to a hatchery or the fish market this book has a learning opportunity for you.

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Whether or not you live in the PNW or are planning a trip here this summer, this book would be an amazing add to your bag.  In fact, if you know anyone who is traveling to the PNW with petites this is a book I would strongly recommend, because if you spend any amount of time here you will encounter many of these amazing animals and plants even on the shortest of visits.

Curious Kids 3

Although, I am not a traditional homeschooling mama my almost 4-year-old loves doing lessons, so we make sure we spend time each day doing lessons and this book has helped to ensure she is engaged and learning about the important ecosystems right in our own backyard.  Not to mention this book will be accompanying us on all of our summer adventures to the pond, beach and of course on those amazing summer hikes in our national parks.

Curious Kids 1

This book is perfectly geared for kindergarteners (with some help reading the text) up to 5th grade because it is engaging with the fun facts.  I personally love this book and think it is fabulous, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it with my petites and know that my girls absolutely love it because they’ve been asking when we can go to the forest, beach and a freshwater habitat.

We can’t wait to get out and start exploring this summer, what’s your favorite place to go with your petites in the summer?

Bloggers Note: This book was given to my by Sasquatch Book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Thank you to Little Bigfoot for use of images in this post.


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Its National Superhero Day!

Well Happy National Superhero day to you!  We are huge fans of superhero’s especially those incredible  female superheroes.  Recently one of my petites very best friends had a superhero birthday party and it was A-Mazing!  I do have to say that my favorite part was the table filled with this petites favorite superhero books.  So today we wanted to share some of her superhero picks with you.

Superhero 1

Bedtime for Batman by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Ethan Beavers (Capstone Young Readers, 2016) is a great read all about how Batman gets all ready to go to bed at night.  This is a unique story in that it is two stories told side by side, one of batman getting ready to save the day and a petite doing his nighttime routine.  It also has a really fun pre-comic book or graphic novel feel to it.

Superhero 2

Good Morning Superman by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano (Capstone Young Readers, 2017) this is the recently published companion book to Bedtime for Batman mentioned above.  This story as you might guess follows Superman as he gets ready to suit up and save the day and a petite getting ready to do his morning routine.


Even Superheros Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker and illustrated by Eda Kaban (Sterling Children’s Books, 2016) is perfect for petites ranging from preschool to around 4th grade because it does such a masterful job of teaching petites how to calm their bodies when they are feeling  sad, mad, frustrated, lonely, or afraid.  This book gives examples of what they could do to resist giving into troublesome behaviors.  This book is filled with wonderful illustrations that are engaging along with a rhyming text that is not only engaging but really fun to read aloud.


The Big Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg (Downtown Bookworks, 2016) is just as it sounds a big book filled with all of our favorite female superheroes.  It is vibrant and filled with great little one liners for each female.  Each spread is about a new superhero and gives her back story and details about her super powers.

My first Book of Girl Power

My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg (Downtown Bookworms, 2015) is a board book that introduces petites to female superheroes.  We love that this board book uses its few words to share the traits that make these women special, whether it’s strength, kindness, bravery, wisdom and how they are able to use these powers together to help each other.  It’s a great board book to empower petites.

We hope you enjoy this amazing collection of superhero book of our Super Girl C.



Garden with Petites: Part 1

Gardening has always been a passion of mine, since I was very small.  Some of my earliest memories are gardening with my gram, planting seeds and watching them grow.  So now that I have my own petites who just so happen to love gardening (thank goodness) every spring becomes this incredibly magical time where we talk more and more about the seeds, garden planning, the science, healthy food, ecosystems and so much more.  So we’ve been reading an absolute ton of books about gardens both fiction as well as non-fiction in preparation for spring and our planting.

The Children's Garden

For this first installment of Gardening with Petites, we are sharing The Children’s Garden: Growing Food in the City by Carole Lexa Schaefer illustrated by Pierr Morgan (Little Bigfoot, 2017) which is hitting shelves on Tuesday!  This is a story that is very much a homegrown story all about a children’s garden that is an actual garden here in Seattle.  If you don’t happen to live in a larger city a community garden may be a new concept, I know that I was unaware of just what a pea patch or community garden was until I moved to Seattle.  The premise is that community members come together to grow food and then can share or donate the extra food that they grow.

The Children's Garden Inside 1

This is a story all about the joy, learning, respect, community, responsibility and teamwork.  This book tells the story of children from the neighborhood who ride their bikes, pull their wagons and walk with their friends in tow to their community garden.  This is their garden, they are allowed to listen, see, smell, touch and taste – because it is all theirs.

The Children's Garden 2

This story teaches all about what the children learn from the garden, the important role that worms play in this important ecosystem that allows their seeds to grow.  The illustrations are fantastic in that they depict the diversity of the children coming to their community garden.  The vibrant illustrations are chock-full of birds, insects, and the lush colors of summer.  This book depicts exactly what you would envision a community garden would look like; with raised beds using mixed materials and assorted pots and children everywhere planting and harvesting all that their hard work has produced.

The Children's Garden 4

There are so many elements of this book that I, as a mom, teacher and gardener find valuable – the lessons that are taught are so important (they are also taught in a very subtle way), your petite will be inspired to get out and grow things, maybe even try some new foods they have been reticent to try before, they will learn new responsibilities and that through hard work and patience that there is a reward.

The Children's Garden 3

What my petites loved about reading this book is that we are currently planting seeds and planning our garden and they loved seeing other kids planting their gardens.  The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, you will have to read it a few times to catch all of the tiny details that Pierr Morgan has included, the tiny snails or quail chicks.  This book inspires, empowers, excites, and fosters pride! Reading The Children’s Garden along with a trip to your local garden center will ensure that your petite has a summer filled with gardening fun.

Bloggers Note: This book was given to me by Little Bigfoot in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions shared in this post are my own.  Thank you to Little Bigfoot for permission to use images from The Children’s Garden in this post.





I Love This Book…


When I first saw that Pandora by Victoria Turnbull was coming out, on April 4th,  I had no idea what it was about, I simply loved the cover art and knew it was immediately being added to our library hold list.  When it arrived, it was clear as we opened the cover we were the first people to check this book out and have the privilege of reading it.

Pandora is a little fox, who lives in a world of discarded and broken things all alone.  She has made herself a handsome home (which my petites thought was quite fun and now they call their rooms handsome) she uses her time repairing and restoring items that she can mend and fix.  However, she is lonely and no one ever comes to visit her.

One day something falls from the sky, it is a tiny blue bird with a broken wing.  Pandora doesn’t know how to fix its wing, but does her best to take care of it and over time the bird regains its strength and begins to fly small distances.  Always returning with small gifts from its journeys, until one day, the bird doesn’t come back.  Pandora is alone, again.

As the days pass, slowly something lovely and beautiful starts to grow until one morning Pandora wakes to the sound of her bird friend and the stunning changes that have happened to her once broken and discarded world.

petite-stag-favoriteWhen we finished reading this story, my seven-year old picked up the book and held it to her chest and sighed and said oh mommy, I love this story so much.  How much is it?  Can we buy this book so I can always read it?  This is a story that is so much more than a story, it is about loving what you have, appreciating what you have, finding the goodness in what others may discard, taking care of others, being aware of feelings and what it means to have joy.  This is an absolutely perfect story for petites.  We have read it every single day since we have checked it out from the library.   It is quite clear that this is a new Petite Stag Favorite.

This is Victoria Turnbull’s third book, she is an author from the UK who has incredible talent – her words are so carefully chosen and her illustrations evoke such incredible feeling.  We cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.  To see more of her other two books and Pandora check out her website.

Big Science for Little People

Big Science for Little People Cover

We love science in our house, specifically our oldest petite who is obsessed with doing experiments, dissecting dead bugs and plants and learning all about how things work.  We spend a lot of time trying to find books that would be perfect for our budding scientist.  So when the opportunity arose for us to check out Big ScieBig Science -nce for Little People: 52 Activities to Help You & Your Child Discover the Wonders of Science by Lynn Brunelle (Roost Books, 2016) we jumped at the opportunity.

Recently, we started thinking about summer and what we are going to do all day long to keep the petites happy and engaged.  This book is so wonderful and filled with experiments that you will actually want to do!  What we love is that that the experiments, concoctions and activities are actually made with things you would normally have in your house.

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No seriously, there are no obscure chemicals or ingredients that will send you to the store.  Thrilling, right?!  I mean seriously, I am giddy just thinking about these experiments and how we already have all of the items needed.  There is nothing more frustrating than finally getting an activity that both kids want to do and then realizing you need to drive all over town to find some random ingredient that is insanely expensive and you only need 1/16th of a teaspoon, am I right?

The 52 activities are broken into two categories: At Home: Kitchen Concoctions, Bathtub Tests and Creative Explorations and On the Playground: Loud, Messy and Free-Range Experiments.  As a mom and teacher I love Lynn’s approach to science, in that it is all around us, right at our fingertips and we here at the Petite Stag couldn’t agree more and love the resourcefulness and creativity found in this amazing little book.

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What you will love about this book is the discussion before each activity about why you and your petites will love it, the clear instructions, as well as a very kid friendly, but scientific explanations for what is actually happening during the experiment.  Then, our favorite part, the “take if further” where you can extend your learning and your geek-ness.  Another cool component of this book is the Geek Mama Fun Fact which can be found at the end of some of the activities.  This book will be the perfect addition to your scientists collection of resources.  We will be sure to post pictures along the way on Insta as we move through the activities.

Bloggers note: I was given this book by Roost Books in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions shared in this post are my own.  Thank you to Roost Books for the use of the images in this post.

Raising Mindful Petites

As a former teacher, I spent a lot of time with petites of all ages, from kindergarten to seniors in high school.  Over the years it became clear that an entire generation of kids has been swept up into a fast paced, shorter attention span and instant gratification, screen filled world.  So many petites are bored before they even get into the meat of an activity.

Mindfulness at first glance might seem like something you learned long ago in a yoga class when you were in college.  However, teaching mindfulness to our petites, creates a whole new space for them to slow down, take in their surroundings, think about what they are seeing and process what is happening in the world around them.  This is a very good thing – taking time for yourself to relax, recenter, to be in a calm space is an excellent thing to learn how to do at an early age and can be a wonderful reminder for all of us to slow to and take a moment.  Not to mention it is a great reminder for us as adults, too.

The two books I am sharing today focus on just what we’ve been talking about – mindfulness.


petite-stag-favoriteA World of Pausabilities: an Excerice in Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo and illustrations by Jennifer Zivoin (Magination Press, 2017) is a beautifully illustrated story that places emphasis on slowing down, taking deep breathes and noticing the world around you.  This book gives concrete examples of what mindfulness can look like.


We love the encouraging words and clear ways to practice mindfulness; we love that this book places a focus on slowing down and really paying attention to what you’re doing and being intentional in your actions.


This book is so much fun to read, on each page I would hear my petites saying “I do that” and “Oh, let’s try that sometime”.  Another aspect of this book that is so much fun is that it rhymes, making it the perfect read aloud for students.


I love that Jennifer Zivoin created such gorgeous art depicting a diverse group of characters.  I think that this would be a perfect book to share with preschoolers through second graders.

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King Calm Mindful Gorilla in the City by Susan D. Sweet and Brenda S. Miles with illustrations by Bryan Langdo (Magination Press, 2016) is such a fun book about Marvin a gorilla who lives in the city, he is unlike other gorillas, he doesnt want to fight, or stomp around or be destructive.  His great-grandfather on the other hand is more known for his stomping and climbing tall buildings in the city.


His grandfather doesnt really understand  why Marvin is so calm and so mindful.   When Marvin and his grandfather are in town – Marvin doesnt get crazy with the city spinning all around him, he remains calm and centered.


Marvin offers words of encouragement to his grandfather to slow down and really taste what he is eating, to notice the world around him beyond just snapping a picture and moving on to the next thing.


In the end, Marvin and his grandfather venture to the top of a skyscraper in the city (sound familiar?) and his grandfather starts to feel calm, to slow down, to notice everything around him.  We loved that Marvin is the one teaching his grandfather how to be calm and how to take in the special moments.

Bloggers Note: I was given these books from Magination Press in exchange for an honest review.  The thoughts and opinions shared in this post are my own.  Thank you to Magination Press for use of images from A World of Pausabilities and King Calm.