Book of Dinosaurs

Calling all Mommas of Dinosaur loving kids. This book is for YOU! (Well, them actually.) Book of Dinosaurs 10 Record-Breaking Prehistoric Animals by Gabrielle Balkan is a fantastic book for dino-fanatics.

This book is set up in such a way that you read a biography of the dino in question, see their skeleton, and then have to guess which dinosaur is being discussed. By the third or fourth biography, my son had the pattern down where he would say “What Dinosaur was I?” when I had finished the description. He also enjoyed feeling the texture of the dinosaur.

The biographies are short and simple. I love that there is a paragraph or two of text followed by a simple list of 3 top facts. Then the skeleton has several specific descriptions breaking down the dinosaur. Once you guessed, you turn the page to a full color spread of the dinosaur in question with more details regarding the dinosaur’s existence. The color dinosaur has a nice texture for your child to feel while you read the continued biography.

If your child is already a connoisseur of dinos, then this would be a fun book to read and “quiz” them; It could be a super fun game!

My son’s 4th birthday is just around the corner and we are doing a dinosaur theme. I am excited to have this book out for the kids to check out.

All in all, this would be a great addition to any library. Much like What a Shell Can Tell, this book is incredibly sturdy. It’s nice and large and will be great to read snuggled up with multiple kids or read aloud to a large group. The cover is solid and, barring any crazy catastrophe, I imagine this book will last for years to come!

Our Seasons

One of the many things I love about the seasons, other than the traditions and delights each one brings, is that they are tangible. You can see the seasons changing. It is such a wonderful time to talk about God’s creation with your children. One of the many ways you can engage your children in conversation about seasons is with books!

Sue Lowell Gallion has created another wonderful picture book for children. Our Seasons is an exploration into each season. What the environment looks like. What the animals or people may be doing. The illustrations are lovely and really help to give the reader a visual as to what the seasons look like. Of course, down here in the south, my winter does not look like the winter in the book, but what a great way to discuss the way the seasons are depending on your location on the globe.

Not only does Sue give bite-sized pieces of information, but she asks questions as well. These allow for great connection between reader and child. These questions will help you move beyond the text into greater conversation and connection. This book is great for reading together or just allowing your child to look through it alone and turn it into a globe!

This book will make a great addition to your home or school library. I encourage you to grab a copy for yourself and let the connections begin!

What a Shell Can Tell

We planned a trip to the beach for Memorial Day weekend. And as with most other things we do with our little man, I wanted to prepare him for things he might encounter while at the beach. Helen Scales’ What a Shell Can Tell was the perfect book for this!

Each full page spread is filled with delightful facts about the various types of shells and the creature that call those shells home. The information was not so overwhelming that my nearly 4 year-old couldn’t grasp it. In fact, the factual information was fairly succinct and allowed for the beautiful illustrations to solidify that knowledge.

We loved discussing all the images and talking about how they represented the information given. For example, one section talks about how you can tell the age of a shell. The illustrations beautifully showed that specific information so that I could point out the very lines the text had mentioned.

My son was eager to go to the beach and kept saying he hoped he would get to see creatures. Unfortunately, the beach we went to didn’t have many shells. We did find a plethora of one specific type and it was fun to talk about how we saw those clams in the book.

I also want to take a minute to talk about the quality of the book itself. The book is large, maybe a foot and a half in height. This makes for a great lap book and allows for the illustrations to be really detailed and easily seen. The paper quality was amazing too! Thick pages and a very sturdy cover. I was really impressed with the quality of the physical book as well as the information and illustrations it portrayed. If you are planning a beach trip or just want to learn more about shells and what they can tell us, then I encourage you to grab a copy of this book!

My new found love!

Over the past several weeks, I have really begun to have an interest in cultivating a morning time with my little man. Like most of us, I set out to find a podcast to listen to and discovered Pam Barnhill’s Your Morning Basket podcast. I, of course, begin to binge listen. In episode 20, she introduces Bonnie Ward Simon, founder or Maestro Classics. I was enthralled by what Bonnie was doing. Setting children’s books to classical music? Sign me up! (Did I mention my son is pretty musical and I have also been wanting to find ways to introduce him to that too? Match made in heaven!)

I went to Maestro Classic’s website* a few weeks back to find that Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel was not only one of their books, but also on sale! Double YES! I purchased it and while I waited for it to come it, I moseyed on over to the public library catalog and put Big Machines and Mike Mulligan on hold. By the time the CD arrived, we had been reading these books for several days. My little guy was so in love with the CD the first time he listened. Every day after that, when I picked him up he’d ask if I could play the CD. WIN!

Currently, they are having an Easter sale and I have my eye on a few things. If you haven’t yet, you should definitely check out their website. As well as Pam’s podcast!

*Affiliate link

The Apostles’ Creed For All God’s Children

The Apostles’ Creed for All God’s Children is an illustrated picture book of the Apostles’ Creed. The text breaks down the creed line by line. Then it adds some Biblical truths to that portion of the creed. The additions are written in different ways. Some pages include basic information about what that line means to us and others add some question answer format similar to the Catechism.

The book was published this past February. Check it out anywhere books are sold.

I liked this book for its simplicity. It easily helps to explain the basic principals of the Christian faith. I liked it, too, because it included a few of the catechism questions we are working on with my son. I think, overall, this is a great addition to the family library.

Just a caution, the crucifixion illustration is fairly graphic and may just be a tad realistic for the younger audiences. My 3 year-old did not seem to have a negative reaction to it.

If you are looking for another way to help your child understand their Christian faith, I believe this book is a great way to do just that.

The Broken Paintbrush

Everyone wants to be needed, important, seen.

Sitting among perfectly crafted paintbrushes was a little broken paintbrush. He was continually passed up by artists because he was cracked. But one day, a painter comes in and purchases this little, imperfect paintbrush. The paintbrush is excited. Finally!! Finally he was going to be an artist!

His excitement was diminished when he discovered the artist he was going to be used by was not a great, artistic master but a little girl. Feeling disappointed and confused, the paintbrush had no choice but to do what the little artist wanted. He was dipped into clay paint and roughly brushed across the canvas. He lost bristles. He was unable to breathe. He was, to say the least, very upset.

But his demeanor changed when he realized that this little girl thought he was special. He was special to her.

We can all relate to this broken paintbrush. At one time or another we have felt forgotten, but we can remember that even on days when we feel this way, God sees us and has NOT forgotten us. This powerful story is told in such a way that the littlest of readers can understand. Certainly a must-have for your child’s library.

Awesomeness:

-Art history- this is a fun little intro into Italian art and one of the most famous paintings around.

Challenge:

-Grab your child’s untouched/forgotten art supplies and encourage them to create a masterful work of art!

Little Man’s Spring Basket

My husband and I decided that we’d do a seasonal basket for our little man at the start of each season. This spring was my first chance to follow through with this.

If you follow me on instagram, then you saw my story about my Reading Warehouse book order. I ordered my son 12 books for less than $30! And that included shipping!!! Then I noticed that he was running low on paint so I bought him some new paints and some new brushes. Fast track a few weeks later, Zulily was running a deal on magnet tiles, so I purchased another small set; this one containing tires and a windmill.

As I was pondering what his spring basket would contain, I realized that I had a book about painting and a book about architecture in my Reading Warehouse order. An idea materialized: I’d put the painting book with the paints and the architecture book with the magnet tiles. Voila!

Little man LOVED this!! We immediately opened and put together the windmill car and then painted. The funny thing was that he would only use the paintbrush with the paint it matched! Therefore, the orange and purple did not get painted with! Silly boy.

All in all, these gifts were fantastic. We have added Roberto the Insect Architect to our bathroom schoolroom and Violet and the Eggplant Painting Problem has been read countless times before bed. I love that all of these items were purchased separately but worked together so nicely! I have decided that I want to give him a book with each “basket” he gets throughout the year. The best thing this momma hears is: “I want to read books.” Oh this momma heart!

So the next time your contemplating a themed basket, think about adding a book or two. Your little one will truly love it.

And yes, we are still wearing our Christmas pjs, because if they fit, why not?!?

Letter to My Child-the story of you

My goal is to write a letter to my little man every year for his birthday and then one day, when he is old enough, I’ll give them all to him. Unfortunately, I have not actually followed through with this idea… but there is still time!

In Letter to My Childthe story of you, Leanne DeLeeuw tells all children the things I want to tell my son: God made YOU! And He knew exactly what He was doing.

Leanne does such a great job of using simple language to tell children that they are special and God knows them. He created them on purpose for a purpose. Our children need to know this! I read this book aloud to little man with my husband present. When I was done, we both looked at each other and agreed that this book was really well done.

Using adorable illustrations and supporting Bible verses, this picture book is a must-have.

Dred Scott v. Sandford: The beginning of the end for slavery in America

When my dear friend sent me this book and asked if I wanted to review it, I had to say yes! Not only because it is historical, which is my first love, but the author is 12- year old Judson A. Smith. TWELVE YEARS OLD!

In this picture book, Judson explains just why Dred Scott v. Sandford was a pivotal case in American history. He explains just what the Supreme Court does and why this case was so important. Using simple text and visually appealing art (which he did himself), Judson walks you through Dred Scott’s life and the decision that helped to expose the evils of slavery.

Awesomeness:

-Did I mention Judson is 12?!?

-Uses primary sources to support his text.

-Great as an introduction to this case. Would also be a great tool for ELL students.

Available on Amazon.

Our World

Do you ever marvel at the curiosity of a toddler? They get big-eyed at everything. My son is into saying “wow” every time he discovers something new. Our World is a way to introduce your toddler to the WOWs of the world. This beautifully illustrated geographical book is a wonderful introduction to the different plants and animals our world has to offer.

The simple text helps your child understand just what is happening. The questions asked within the description allow you to engage your child in conversation and help them think about new places.

This book is not only filled with delightful information meant to teach children about the world, but it folds out into a globe! This book is sure to incite many “wows” and “aws” from your little ones. So grab a copy and jump on in to Our World!