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!

The Greatest Treasure

Soolie was enjoying the Easter Play when all of a sudden a Pirate entered demanding the treasure map Old Man Carnaby had been talking about. Afraid and not sure what to do, Soolie sat with eyes glued to the scene unfolding. Old Man Carnaby calmly explained to Captain Bluebeard that he misunderstood and the treasure map he was talking about was not what the captain thought. Instead, this treasure map led to the greatest treasure. Of course the captain was intrigued and desired to know more.

Eventually Soolie understands that the captain is a part of the play and he relaxes. He is able to listen as Old Man Carnaby explains to the captain that God is the greatest treasure.

This is a fun picture book filled with great reminders that life in Christ is far better than any earthly treasure. Get ready to put on your best pirate voice and learn just how great the greatest treasure is!

Library’s Most Wanted

Imagine, walking into the library and seeing your face plastered on the bulletin board! Above it reads: WANTED. That is exactly what happens to Deputy Librarian Libby’s patrons. In an effort to save the books, she scares off her readers creating a veritable ghost town. 

There have been times in my life where I have found it hard to lend books to kids (and adults) because I knew they would not always be returned in the condition I lent them. But as I have gotten older, I, like Libby, have come to understand that books are meant to be enjoyed. And in order for them to be enjoyed, they need to be in people’s hands. Once Libby comes to this same realization, she enlists the help of a toddler to round up her readers again. 

This fun Western-themed picture book is sure to delight both children and adults. I think many of us can relate to Libby’s desire to want to protect books rather than let them loose in the hands of readers. Using fun western quips, Leiloglou has created a book that teaches the importance of putting books into the hands of even the youngest readers. 

Awesomeness:

-The illustrations in this book are so fun! 

-Emphasizes that books are meant to be read and enjoyed. 

*Carolyn Leiloglou is a homeschooling mama and writer. You can find out more about her at housefullofbookworms.com.

*I was asked to write a review for this book. I was in no way compensated and the thoughts and opinions are mine.