Posted in Book Review

Words and Fingerprints

Alphaprints Words by Roger Priddy is a tactile treasure for a baby or toddler. This ten page board book contains colorful pictures. Each picture has a raised fingerprint design which makes the book really exciting for a baby to explore. My ten month old is obsessed with running his finger over the designs.

This book is perfect for teaching a baby or toddler new words. Each page features one word that is paired with an image. Some of the words included in this book are boy, ball, and apple.

To further increase the usefulness of this book, we actually used a pen to write in the Hungarian translations of the book. If you are also trying to raise a bilingual baby, this book is easily translated into a second language.

Even though I love this book, I do feel it is necessary to point out this book is only ten words long. It is INCREDIBLY short. I was lucky enough to pick this book up for $1.49 at Ollie’s. I think that is a reasonable price for the book given how short it is. Had I paid more for this book, I would likely have been disappointed.

If you are looking for a short word book to explore with your baby, I recommend this book.

My kiddos are all fast asleep now, so I just checked our progress. As of today, my son and I have read 405 books together!

Posted in Book Review

Baby Loves Quantum Physics!

I saw Baby Loves Quantum Physics on the shelf at the library today and INSTANTLY my inner nerd rejoiced! I thought I misread the title BUT no. There really is a board book in existence called Baby Loves Quantum Physics!

Just what is this book about? This book presents a modified twist on Schrödinger’s cat. Rather then featuring a cat that might be considered both alive and dead, the author, Ruth Spiro, makes the book more child friendly by presenting the cat as potentially being both asleep and awake.

This colorful twenty page board book was features an adorable baby girl and her cat. Candidly, the first nine pages seem like a perfectly typical story about a cat that likes to meow and play hide-and-seek. It is not until page ten that the cat hides in a box. The pages then slowly build up to the two pages that present a child friendly introduction to the idea of Schrödinger’s cat.

While this book’s title might initially scare a parent away from picking this book up from a shelf, there is no reason to be intimidated. This book is more of a cute story about a cat than it is an early science book.

Even if you and your child are not the nerdy scientific types, this is still a great board book for a child ages 0 to 4 years. This book features large colorful pages that quickly attract a child’s attention. Additionally this book is only seventy-one words long, which makes it a quick read. Besides what parent doesn’t want to brag about how their baby loves Quantum Physics? 😊

Posted in Book Review

Terrific Toucans!!!!

My kids are obsessed with animal books, so we are always on the hunt for new animal books. Lately, I have been on the prowl to find more non-fiction animal books that the girls can read on their own. Today, I found a fantastic book that was perfect for my six and eight year old to read – Toucans by Rob Ryndak.

This twenty-four page book is part of the Jungle Animals series. These early readers are perfect for children who are between ages five and eight. Specifically this book is designed to be for an early reader.

Every time the reader turns a page, they are greeted with one page containing easy to read text and an adjacent page featuring a stunning toucan photograph. Most of the pages contain four to six words, which makes this an ideal book for practicing reading.

This is a non-fiction book that introduces very basic facts, such as toucans live in groups called flocks. This book focuses more on being easy enough for an early reader to tackle, then it does on presenting a wealth of information about toucans. This book would be ideal if your child wanted to read a book about toucans on their own; however, this would not be the book you would get for a child who wanted to learn a lot about toucans.

At the end of the book, there is a section listing words the reader should know. While there were only two words in this word bank, it did provide my girls with an extra opportunity to practice their reading. I also quizzed them by asking them to define these two words.

As an added bonus, even my ten month old son was captivated by the photographs in this book. My son listened to the whole book, although it was a battle to keep him from eating the pages! Because the entire book only contains sixty-seven words, you could easily read this book to a baby or toddler. You just have to protect the book from teething and page tearing.

I would highly recommend this book to any parents searching for a non-fiction animal book for their early reader!

Posted in Book Review

Colors!!!!

Baby Touch and Feel Colors which was written by Carrie Love and designed by Rachel Hare embodies the perfect marriage of colorful imagery and fun textures. This twelve page book is a sensory delight for a baby.

This book features nine different textures. For example, on page six the orange fruit has a rough bumpy skin. An additional bonus feature are the three pages that have bold glittery images. My son was mesmerized by this book. He kept going back to the book to open it and to touch the different textures.

This book only contains thirty-seven words making it ideal for even a young infant. This book would also be perfect though for a child who was learning their colors or who is learning to read. The pages feature concise text such as “furry teddy bear” and “brown.”

My six year old read this book as part of her nightly reading homework. It had words that were easy to sound out like “skin” but it also contained words that challenged her like “silky.” Much like my son, she loved the pictures and the sparkly pages.

Overall, I give this board book a five star rating. It is definitely worth reading to your little one!

Now that my little guy is fast asleep, I also looked at our total of the day. We read 31 books today. This means we have 635 books left to read!

Posted in Book Review

Chinese New Year

Today our morning began with reading Baby’s First Chinese New Year which was published by DK Publishing. This twelve page board book is filled with vibrant colored images. The book features a mix of realistic and cartoon images. There are eighty words in this book which makes it a quick read.

My ten month old loved the bright red pages, the picture of the dragon, and the colorful picture of paper lanterns. Even though my son is high energy, he listened to this book twice this morning without crawling away. I would recommend this book for ages 0 to 3 years. This book would be a great way to introduce a toddler to diversity and cultural celebrations.

In addition to My Baby’s First Chinese New Year, we re-read several of the books featured in yesterday’s blog post. As of right now, we have read 341 books!

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Unicorns are Real

Tonight the girls and I started our newest chapter book – The Creature of the Pines. This book is the first book in the series The Unicorn Rescue Society by Adam Gidwitz. We were only able to read the letter at the beginning of the book and the first chapter because my baby was incredibly determined to eat the book.

The girls are remaining open minded about the book; however, they did state that the letter at the beginning of the book sounded far more interesting than the first chapter.

The girls are still making the transition from picture books to chapter books, so they did appreciate that this book contains some pictures. They were disappointed that the pictures were in black and white.

My kids are not yet proficient enough readers to tackle this book on their own. Several words like chupacabra and qarqacha were beyond their reading level. The book did, however, become easier to read after chapter one began.

My girls struggled with the lead female character’s name being Uchenna because they said it was hard to read and “sounded weird.”

Lastly the girls said that chapter one had nothing to do with unicorns. In the initial letter in the book, readers are asked to risk their lives to rescue unicorns. My girls were enthusiastically ready to go save the unicorns (especially my 6 year old, who still believes they are real). My girls were super engaged by the end of Professor Fauna’s letter; however, all of that enthusiasm had waned by the end of chapter one.

My girls did agree to remain optimistic that the book might improve after chapter one.

As of tonight, we have read 334 books of our 1,000 book goal!

Posted in Book Review

Monday Afternoon Story Time

I was growing weary of reading all of the same stories on our shelves at home, so we went to our wonderful local library. This afternoon we read six of our newly discovered library books. It was a close tie between two books for the storytime favorite. While it was a close vote, What is a Llama? by Ginger Swift narrowly won over Monsters Dance by Ann Hodgman.

What is a Llama? by Ginger Swift was very well-received by all three kids (ages 9 months, 6 years, and 8 years old). My kids adored the vibrant colors that were featured throughout the book. Equally well-received by my kids were the flaps throughout the book. As a parent, I particularly appreciated the fact that this book featured very durable, thick flaps as opposed to the typical flimsy flaps found in many board books.

This book is twelve pages long and has six flaps. The pages features bright colors, bold patterns, and a variety of animals. The are approximately 107 words in this book. The book tries to introduce some very basic facts about llamas which I appreciate as a mom. Courtesy of this book all three kids now know what a “cria” is.

This book is slightly on the longer side for a baby; however, my 9 month old did fine finishing this book. In fact, we have read through it three times.

The second contender for our favorite afternoon discovery was Monsters Dance by Ann Hodgman. This twelve page book contains colorful, adorable illustrations. Despite being only eighty-three words long, this book manages to tell a cute story with an important life lesson. In this story, the monsters make sure they include a shy monster who is not participating in their monster dance party. As a parent, I really appreciate books that include lessons about good values. I highly recommend this book for infants and toddlers.

In addition to our two favorites, we squeezed four other stories into our afternoon story time.

  1. Pet the Pets by Sarah Lynn Truly was a cute, interactive flap book that my son really enjoyed. All sixteen pages featured bright colors and adorable cartoon animals. Eight of the pages instructed the reader to complete different tasks such as scratching the sad puppy behind his ears. This book would be highly enjoyable for a toddler who understood more of the story. The only negative for me was the fact this book had thin flaps that my baby would readily destroy if given the opportunity.
  2. I’m Grumpy by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. This was the first board book I have seen in our reading journey that is in the comic book style. This eighteen page book features bold illustrations in the classic comic pane style. The book tells the story of a grumpy rain cloud and a cheerful sun. I appreciated the fact that after the cloud upset the sun, he made an effort to make things right. I would recommend this book for children ages 0 to 3.
  3. Oink-Oink! Moo! Cock-a-Doodle Doo! by Jennifer Sattler. This twenty-two page board book was a joy to read to my son. It featured classic animal sounds that are fun for a baby to hear. Another aspect of this book that I valued as a parent is the inclusion of questions to ask your child at the end of the book. The last two pages ask the child to match the animal sounds with the nine animals that appeared in the book. This would be a wonderful way to enrich your reading session with a toddler or young child.
  4. The Pigeon Loves Things That Go by Monday Willems. My two oldest are obsessed with anything and everything written by Mo Willems so I knew this board book would be popular in our house. The book did not go over particularly well with my 9 month old though. This ten page book features the classic more muted color palette that is characteristic of Mo Willems’ books. I would still recommend this book for anyone whose children love Mo Willems’ books.