January 31, 2013

Dennis Rodman Writes a Children's Book

Often we see celebrities with young children venture into writing their own children's book...but did you ever think you'd see the day when NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman authored a children's book?  Me either.

Judging the book by it's cover I'd say the bull in Dennis The Wild Bull closely resembles the crazy and wild personality of Dennis Rodman, right down to the piercings in his nose.  Not a big basketball fan it took me a minute to realize that he also played for the Chicago Bulls!  Pretty clever.

Released on Wednesday, Dennis The Wild Bull, is a story about a bull who was taken from his family and forced to live the rodeo life with other bulls.    Dennis looks different from the other bulls, but eventually they accept him and he fits in.

Rodman in an interview with USA Today stated, "Once I got to know the other bulls, I liked them," Rodman said. "I enjoyed their company and stuff like that, and they accepted me for who I am no matter how I look."

I haven't read this - but I think it probably has a good message and seems like a book adventurous little boys might like.  Your thoughts???

January 29, 2013

{Celebrity Picks} Kourtney Kardashian's Favorite Children's Books for Mason & Penelope

A children's book recently posted on Kourtney Kardashian's instagram page
I have to admit I do have a weakness for anything "Kardashian" - and watching their reality show is my guilty pleasure!  I follow the three sisters on instagram and really enjoy seeing what Kourtney Kardashian is up to...mostly because she is a mom to two toddlers just like myself.

Another children's book recommended by Kourtney Kardashian on Instagram

From time to time, Kourtney Kardashian will post instagram pictures of her favorite children's books.  Doodle Bites by Polly Dunbar and The Secret Circus by Johanna Wright are two of them.  I haven't found either in my local bookstore - so I plan to buy online.

Has anyone read these?  If so, please leave a comment...I would love to hear your reviews!

January 28, 2013

Alphabet Books: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

One of our facebook fans recently recommended Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as one of their favorite children's books. I agree- and now this bright and cheery board book resides on my children's bookshelf.  

A told B and B told C, “I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.”

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, is a fun read and a great way to introduce the alphabet to your kids.  This book is perfect for both babies as well as toddlers.  My kids enjoy shouting "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" - and they think it's pretty funny when all of the letters race up and then come tumbling out of the coconut tree.

There are many fun Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activities you can do with your children!  Check these out:

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Cookie Board Magnet Tree from Playing House
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree Snack Activity from Kiboomu Kids Recipes
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Name Art Project from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten

Even the Obama's love this book! Here is a picture of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on Easter to a group of children.  To hear the whole book, plus Sasha and Melia reading another one of their favorites, Where the Wild Things Are, watch this video.

January 25, 2013

Staircase Bookshelves Idea for the Home

I'm totally doing this!  I have the PERFECT space in our house for this staircase bookshelf project, originally featured on Design Sponge in a sneak peak of the home of designers Halligan Noris Smith & Adam Smith.

I will be posting before and after pics of this along with a "tutorial".  This area of the home is in our living room on the main level - and a perfect spot for the whole family's book collection.  It seems our favorite books always somehow make it downstairs!  Stay tuned.

January 23, 2013

{DIY} Repurpose Old Children's Books

Check out these creative ways to repurpose your old children's books.  Those vintage books may be falling apart, but it doesn't mean you have to throw them away!  With these unique ideas you can enjoy your favorite stories for years to come.

Children's Book Remix Artwork from Anne's Etsy Shop

Children's Book Banner from Collecting Feathers

Children's Books Framed as Artwork from In My Blessed Nest
Children's Book Garland from Hutch Studio

January 22, 2013

Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle Wall Decals

Images courtesy of Cozy and Birthday Express
Put the final touches on your little one's reading corner with these cute Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle wall decals!  Available at Target, they are easy to find and pretty inexpensive.

I love these rooms using the Dr. Suess giant wall decals and The Very Hungry Caterpillar wall decals!

Have you already decorated your child's reading space using these products?  If so, send us your pictures and we will feature them on Petite Literary!

January 19, 2013

Another Bookish Quote...

Image Courtesy of Thespngames
I have seen this quote in various forms before (with different things in place of "books").  If anyone knows if it comes in a poster or print I can purchase, please comment and let me know where to purchase!

January 17, 2013

Book Review: I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean

My first introduction to author Kevin Sherry was around Halloween last year, when my mom purchased I'm the Scariest Thing in the Castle for my kids (which I love and will review at another time!).  So when I saw this at the bookstore the other day, I had to pick it up.  

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry is a cute, fun read for babies and toddlers.  Babies will be drawn to the simple, colorful images of underwater creatures.  Toddlers will delight in following a big, blue boastful squid as he proceeds to brag about how he is bigger than every other creature in the ocean.   What I like most is how the squid boasts in the same way a toddler does about his or her age (we all know that 1/2 a year is so important)!  Enjoy this quick read that will definitely make you laugh!

January 15, 2013

{LOVE} this Quote!

This quote couldn't be more true!  I came across this cute bookmark on Pinterest the other day with a quote by Emilie Buchwald:

 "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."

Reading even just one book before bedtime can make such a difference in peaking your child's interest level in reading.  Not to mention the effect on vocabulary, brain development, and sparking their little imaginations!  I just LOVE this.

January 14, 2013

Book Review: The Snowy Day

Since the big snowfall right before Christmas, there has been a lot of excitement in our house around playing outside in the snow.  I remember this book from my own childhood and recently purchased this for my kids.  

A Caldecott Medal Winner, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is the story of a sweet little boy named Peter and his experience playing in the freshly fallen snow.  

A board book perfect for all ages (babies and toddlers), The Snowy Day truly portrays the innocence of childhood.  Little readers will enjoy watching Peter make tracks in the snow, build a snowman, and make snow angels.  He watches the "big kids" have a snowball fight and even puts a snowball in his pocket...which disappears when he gets inside!
The illustrations in this book are a combination of watercolors, cutouts, and collage, which come together to produce beautiful and peaceful scenes of a boy's first snowfall.  I enjoyed this book as a child, but like it even more as an adult!  

January 12, 2013

Dr. Seuss Charm Necklace

Was doing a little browsing on Etsy the other day and came across this cute little Dr.Suess Charm Necklace designed by NMD Creations.  My two year old daughter is so into jewelry right now...every morning she comes into my room wearing about five different necklaces!  I can just see her loving this.  

Each book charm is made from durable, light-weight plastic that is glazed for protection and shine, and placed on an 18 inch silver snake chain necklace.  Also available in a charm bracelet.  Would make a cute Valentine's Day gift!

January 10, 2013

Mix Things Up! Getting Creative With Reading

Every night I read 2-3 books to my four year old son Johnny and my two year old daughter Layla.  We typically sit in Layla's room (which is still the nursery because I am lucky enough that she has never tried to climb out of her crib!).  Her room has a big, white comfy chenille upholstered rocking chair that the three of us squeeze into.  It's tight and I won't lie, there are often fights between the two about arms or feet touching, or one is distracting the other by holding their favorite toy.  That all aside, it's the best, and I LOVE that special time with the kids.

Recently I have noticed they often want to play more with toys than have me read to them - not necessarily at night before bed, but during the day.  I know this probably has a lot to do with the excitement of new Christmas toys...but I love reading to them and I want to keep it fun for them as well.

I have decided to "mix things up" and surprise them with new spaces where we can read together.  I've come up with the following ideas:

  • Read in their closets with the lights off using a flashlight.
  • Drape a few blankets over our small round kitchen table and make a tent so we can read together in a "hide-out".
  • Play preschool in the basement and pretend I am Johnny's teacher reading his class a book.
  • Read to them while eating lunch.  Hey - this might even get them to eat their veggies without thinking or whining about it!
  • Read on the bed together.
  • Read in mommy and daddy's bed together.
  • Go to the library.
  • Have them read to me.  This is really fun with board books, I love hearing their interpretations of each page!
Do you have a special place that you read to your children? Leave us a comment and tell us how you "mix things up"!

January 09, 2013

Book Review: Wacky Wednesday

"It all began with a shoe on the wall. A shoe on the wall? Shouldn't be there at all!"

A good friend of mine shared this book with me - and I'm so glad she did because it's a hit with my four year old son!  If your little one likes books such as Where's Waldo or I Spy, they will definitely enjoy Wacky Wednesday, by Dr. Seuss (writing as Theo LeSieg).  Not as well-known as other popular Seuss books, but just as fun to read. 

A little girl wakes up one morning to find everything in disarray!  Nothing is where it belongs, but it doesn't seem to bother anyone around her.  Shoes on the ceiling, houses without doors, airplanes on the road, and a policeman with three legs...SO wacky! 

Not as much of a tongue twister as some of the other Suess books, Wacky Wednesday is an easy read with a good rhythm and rhyme.  The illustrations by George Booth really make the book, and your child will love searching on each page to find every wacky image.  I really enjoy my son's observations and talking and laughing together about all that is wacky.  I'm always surprised with how quickly he can find everything!  As a parent you think you should be able to spot everything before they do...maybe I am just getting old...


January 08, 2013

Original Artwork from BabyLit

Petite Literary is a huge fan of BabyLit - the coolest new way to introduce your little one to classics such as Romeo & Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and Alice In Wonderland.  One of our featured authors, Jennifer Adams and Illustrator Alison Oliver are the creative duo behind BabyLit, who keep churning out these little masterpieces of art.

Speaking of art...you will adore their line of BabyLit Original Prints! Bold, bright, and whimsicle, they make the perfect addition to any reading corner or book nook.

Which one is your favorite?

January 07, 2013

DIY Project: Crib Mattress Turned Reading Nook

Repurposing is a great new trend!  Unfortunately I don't often have the "vision" others have for certain items, which is why I am on Pinterest!

Check out this crib mattress upcycled into a reading nook.  This is a simple, easy way to not only extend the life of your crib mattress, but also create an adorable reading corner for your little one!

As I was doing a google search for the word "upcycle" (I admit I had not heard that term before )...I came across these creative uses for cribs and crib mattresses.  Love the  chalkboard desk idea!

Book Review: LOVE is You & Me

I bought this board book for my kids last year on Valentine's Day.  What I like most is that it's not specifically a book about the holiday itself, but rather a book about love. It's one you can read over and over again - and not get tired of.

Written by Monica Sheehan, LOVE is You & Me really does bring a smile to my face every time I read it to my children.  Perfect for reading right before bed to wind down, it reminds children that no matter what - they are always loved.

LOVE is You & Me is full of cute illustrations that show it's the simple things that show love:  sharing, helping, listening, and of course hugs.  My favorite line of the book is:

 "and wherever we go love will always be...because...

love is you & me."

In our house this book is usually followed by a "big family hug" and then off to bed!

January 04, 2013

Book Review: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

I can't believe it took me so long to discover Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, written and illustrated by Mo Willems.  This brilliantly written book is one of the funniest I have read in a long time.  There might be a chance I enjoy it more than my kids, but that can be our little secret!

A Caldecott Honor Winner in 2003, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, is an interactive book perfect for reading to two or more children at a time.  Why?  When the bus driver has to leave his post, he puts young readers in charge of watching the bus.  In comes a sneaky pigeon who begs and pleads to drive the bus.  The key to this book is to pause and allow your kids to respond (okay yell) at the pigeon.  My little boy and girl love being in charge and being able to tell the pigeon "NO!"...followed by giggles and smiles.

Really it's that simple - and so are the illustrations...but that's what I enjoy most about it.  So much I plan on checking out his other popular books including Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! and The Ducking Gets a Cookie!?.

January 03, 2013

{Must Have} Nurseryworks Tree Bookcase

I love decorating spaces for little girls.  Everything about this book nook is perfect, bright, cheery, funky, quirky...I could go on.  But bottom line it just makes me happy!
I'm most obsessed with this tree bookcase by Nurseryworks.  This is truly the most unique bookshelf I have come across.  Perfect for a book nook or reading corner, and a stylish focal point of any children's room.  If you like this entire look - pop on over to Rosenberry Rooms and have fun shopping!

January 02, 2013

Book Review: How I Became A Pirate

This Christmas when grandparents asked for gift suggestions - I decided to add several books to the list.  It's winter, we are inside ALL the time, and needed to spice up our bookshelves.  How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long is one of our new additions, and simply a gem!

Illustrated by David Shannon, the cover immediately intrigued my four year old son.  This book just screams "boy".  Each page is full of bright, vibrant and action-packed images that keep him engaged and asking questions.  This really is an important factor when I choose books for my toddlers, who typically have a shorter attention span!

How I Became a Pirate follows Jeremy Jacob and his glimpse into the life of a pirate. A day at the beach turns into a wild ride with Captain Braid Beard and his pirate crew.  He learns a new pirate lingo including fun words like "scurvy dog", and learns that pirates don't eat veggies or have good manners.  All seems fun until it's time for bed and "pirates don't tuck" or read bedtime stories...and he really needs to get back for soccer practice.

What do I love most about this book?  It's a fun read that will fascinate your child and prove that parents aren't so bad after all!
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