I am Lucille Ball

"Love yourself first and everything falls in line" Lucille Ball (quoted from I am Lucille Ball) When I am Lucille Ball by Brad Meltzer arrived in the mail, I was excited to read it to my children and share the legend of Lucille Ball with them. This series of books called Ordinary People Change the World are interesting, engaging and inspiring … [Read more...]

The Thing About Yetis

In this book, The Thing about Yetis by Vin Vogel, a Yeti is a soft, lovable cuddly creature who loves winter. Yetis love waking up on snowy mornings, drinking hot chocolate and building big snow castles. These characters make the best snowball and snowmen with their friends sliding down snowy hills on their bottom. However, winter can be tough … [Read more...]

The Year of the Dog

Are you looking for an engaging chapter book that will help empower your daughter? Check out this book, The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin. I wanted to share this book as part of The Parent and Daughter Book Club for Girls Leadership.org, an organization that has a mission to empower young girls and the future women of our nation. T o learn more … [Read more...]

Temple Did It, and I Can, Too! Seven Simple Life Rules

Temple Did it, and I Can, Too! is an inspiration story of a girl named Temple who defeats all odds in spite of her disabilities. Temple Grandin is a successful woman with Autism that inspires people all over the world as an advocate for individuals with autism and their families. The book begins with an explanation of how the story is going to … [Read more...]

Max and Marla

What does the word Olympian mean for your child? An amazing athlete? Someone who reaches for the stars? Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger is about a boy named Max and his best owl friend, Marla. Max and Marla love to go on great adventures together but always seem to have some sort of obstacle. When sledding, their sled gets broken and needs … [Read more...]

Ladybug Girl: Favorites for the Fall

Are you looking for some good Fall favorites to read to your young children? Check out these two favorites of mine by David Soman and Jacky Davis....To learn more about Ladybug Girl visit their website here. Ladybug Girl and the Dress Up Dilemma is a perfect book for this upcoming Halloween. What does Ladybug Girl want to be for Halloween? Her … [Read more...]

Ladybug Girl Super Fun Edition plus Language Tips!

Are you looking for a book that can help empower your daughter? Check out the Ladybug Girl Series. This Ladybug Girl Super Fun Edition by David Soman and Jacky Davis not only includes the story but also carryover activities including a paper doll activity, 30 reusable stickers, and a poster that help bring the story life. I found the Ladybug … [Read more...]

Turbo and Scott: Raising Awareness of Tuberous Sclerosis

Do you have a child with Tuberous Sclerosis? What is Tuberous Sclerosis (TSC)? According to the website Tuberous-Sclerosis.com, "TSC presents in the form of noncancerous tumors called hamartomas. In children, these tumors can form in most of the major parts of the body, including the brain, skin, eyes, heart, and kidneys. These tumors in the … [Read more...]

Return of the Library Dragon

"A book..unlike a television program, moving picture or any other 'modern means of communication'...can wait for years, yet be available at any moment when it happens to be needed" -Joseph Wood Krutch I was happily surprised when my daughter brought home Return of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy from her school library. When I first … [Read more...]

Anxiety in Children and Teens

Do you have a child that is anxious? How about a special needs child with anxiety? I love to share important resources on my blog that can help parents, caregivers, teachers and therapists with specific issues at home. With the new school year just beginning, there can be many different types of anxiety that a parent and child can experience. A new … [Read more...]

Ava’s Adventure

Ava's Adventure by Laura Pedersen is about a young girl who overcomes her disappointment and learns an important lesson when her parents won't pay for an upcoming trip with a friend. Ava wants desperately to go with her friend Lucas on a snowboarding trip. Her parents can't let her go because it is too expensive and they were unable to pay for the … [Read more...]

Unplugged: how to live mindfully in a digital world

I wanted to share an excellent and insightful book with my readers titled Unplugged: how to live mindfully in a digital world. Given that my blog focuses on parenting and sharing resources with families, I wanted to review this book written by Orianna Fielding that helped me become more mindful about being connected with my electronic devices. It … [Read more...]

Stepping Stories..a review plus tips!

Do you want to introduce more stories at mealtime that relate directly to your child? Make your child the star of the book! I was contacted by Stepping Stories a couple of weeks ago regarding their personalized books. When I visited their website, I was able to easily create a personalized book for both of my children in less than ten … [Read more...]

The Most Magnificent Thing

Does your child get frustrated often? Many children, specifically children with ADHD get frustrated often and have a difficult time sticking with an activity due to low frustration tolerance. I came across this book titled, The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, which can be an excellent tool in helping a child who has trouble sticking with … [Read more...]

Gravitybread presents Olive Senior

I am happy to present the author of Anna Carries Water, Olive Senior. I really enjoyed the book, Anna Carries Water because it can teach our children about different cultures, customs and appreciation for the most basic things that many children and adults take for granted. To check out my review and sample questions to ask your children when … [Read more...]

Anna Carries Water

Do you want your child to learn about different cultures? How about appreciating clean water? I went to an author event a couple of months ago at a local bookshop for The Monkey Balloon and had the pleasure of meeting Laura James, the illustrator for this beautiful book, Anna Carries Water. Anna Carries Water written by Olive Senior is about a … [Read more...]

Personal Space Camp

Do you have a child that doesn't understand personal space? Many children who are both typical and have special needs struggle with giving others personal space. Many children who have ADHD or any social communication disorder may have difficulty with this concept of personal space and can struggle to learn why others are reacting negatively to him … [Read more...]

Frenemy Jane The Sometimes Friend

Does your son or daughter struggle with a friend that is sometimes nice and other times mean? In my house, we call those friends "Yo-Yo" friends, a term that I got from the book, Little Girls Can be Mean by Michelle Anthony. Frenemy Jane The Sometimes Friend written by Stephanie Sorkin is about a girl named Maddie who struggles a difficult … [Read more...]

You Are a Social Detective Beginner App

Does your child have difficulties with social skills and being socially appropriate?  I am a big fan of Michelle Garcia, Social Thinking materials and the therapeutic strategy of video modeling. This app titled You Are a Social Detective Beginner App has 3 different levels with tons of videos and various questions related to the videos. The app … [Read more...]

Gravitybread presents Tanya Lee Stone

I am excited to present Tanya Lee Stone, the author of Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? I asked Tanya some questions about Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? and how she got the inspiration to empower children through literature. I hope that you will find her responses helpful in inspiring your own children at home through children's … [Read more...]

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?

For Mother's Day this weekend, I wanted to share a powerful picture book that empowers young girls to set high goals for themselves. My daughter and I took out this book, Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Stone the other day at the library. After a couple of pages, I immediately loved the book because of … [Read more...]

Gravitybread presents Maria Dismondy

Does your child have empathy and appreciation for others? Check out my interview with Maria Dismondy and her tips on how to help your child develop a better sense of empathy through book reading with her book, The Potato Chip Champ. Maria Dismondy is an award winning children's book author who has also written many other books including Pink … [Read more...]

The Paper Bag Princess

Do you want to teach your daughter to stand up for herself? Read The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch the next time you sit down for a snack or dinner. The story begins with a beautiful princess named Elizabeth that is in love with a prince named Ronald. Everything is perfect until a dragon comes smashes the castle and burns all of the … [Read more...]

The Potato Chip Champ

Are you looking for a good book to teach your child about empathy and being kind to others? The Potato Chip Champ written by Maria Dismondy is an excellent book to teach your child many important concepts. The story begins with a boy named Champ who loves potato chips and is a very good baseball player. It is all perfect until a new boy joins the … [Read more...]

Terrific Teddy and bd Mix-Up

Do you have a child who struggles with reading and writing? Does your child have Dyslexia or a language based learning disability? Terrific Teddy and the bd Mix-Up is an excellent book written by Jim Forgan, PhD, who also wrote Terrific Teddy's Excessive Energy. I had the pleasure of interviewing him and got some excellent information that can help … [Read more...]

Tom’s Special Talent

Do you have a child with a language based learning disability that struggles with reading and writing? Does your child have a diagnosed reading disability such as Dyslexia? If so, Tom's Special Talent by Kate Gaynor at Special Stories can be an excellent book to have in your personal library. This book is also excellent for typical readers because … [Read more...]

Sid the Squid and the Search for the Perfect Job

Sid the Squid and the Search for the Perfect Job is an excellent picture book to introduce the topic of the "dream job". Have you asked your child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My family and I recently visited the Monterey Aquarium,  where I purchased this picture book. Sid the Squid and the Search for the Perfect Job by David G. … [Read more...]

Zero

Do you want to help build your child's self esteem or have a discussion about low self esteem? Reading this book, Zero with your child can help lead important discussions about self esteem and how they feel about themselves. Zero is a big round number and when she looks at herself, all she sees is a hole and feels empty inside. Why can't she be … [Read more...]

The Big Orange Splot

Do you want to encourage your child to be unique? The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an excellent book to help your child celebrate the feeling of being unique and expressing your creativity in different ways. Mr. Plumbean lives on a neat street where every house is exactly the same. Everyone enjoys this neat street and … [Read more...]

Gravitybread presents Stephanie Sorkin

I am happy to present an interview with Stephanie Sorkin, author of two children's books that are favorites of mine at home. Stephanie's first children's book Nutley, the Nut Free Squirrel is about a squirrel that has a nut allergy. Her second book, Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces is about a boy that was sent to school in chocolate shoes. What … [Read more...]

The Empty Pot…..plus teacher lesson plans and carryover activities!

The Empty Pot by Demi is a tale of a Chinese boy named Ping and his quest to be emperor. The Empty Pot contains an important lesson about patience, honesty and strength within yourself. The book begins with the emperor who wants to find a successor to his throne due his old age. How will he choose such an important position? The emperor loves … [Read more...]

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes….plus teacher lesson plans!

Do you have a child that strives to be perfect all of the time? How about a child that is hard on themselves when they make a mistake? I love this book, The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein because it teaches a child the challenges of trying to be perfect all of the time, which is impossible! Beatrice Bottomwell is a … [Read more...]

The Family Book

Do you want to teach your child all about different families? My 6 year old daughter is learning all about different families in her class and I wanted to read the appropriate book at mealtime to reinforce what she learning in class. The Family Book was the perfect book to choose! I have always been attracted to Todd Parr's books because of the … [Read more...]

Margo’s Magnificent Choice

Do you want to help your child be kind and speak to other people with respect? As parents, we all struggle to teach our children to treat others the way you want to be treated. Especially when you have a child with special needs with impulsive behavior, teaching this concept can be even more difficult. Margo's Magnificent Choice is about a monkey … [Read more...]

Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist

Do you have a child with a sensory processing disorder? Does he or she like to visit the dentist? I think bringing any child to the dentist can be a difficult experience but having a child with special needs can add an extra complexity to the experience. Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist by Marla Roth-Fisch is an excellent book about a boy named Sam … [Read more...]

Cupcake

Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper is a funny and engaging story with a valuable lesson. Cupcake is born one day as a creamy white, perfectly plain and delicious cupcake. He is thrilled to meet his new brothers and sisters and to be part of such a fun and colorful family. Cupcake feels lonely when he realizes that he will never get picked because he … [Read more...]

What Do You Do With An Idea?

What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada is one of my favorite books that I have read in a long time. This book has such a powerful message that both children and adults can appreciate. The book begins like this. "One day I had an idea. Where did it come from? Why is it here? I wondered, What Do I Do With An Idea?". The "idea" is represented as … [Read more...]

How To Cheer Up Dad

Do you have a very active child that is always getting themselves in trouble due to their mischievous ways? You will love this book, How To Cheer Up Dad by Fred Kochler. This book is a sweet and funny tale of an elephant named Little Jumbo and his dad. Little Jumbo is getting in trouble with his dad by making a big mess and telling his daddy that … [Read more...]

Jake Starts School

Has your child ever attached themselves to your leg and it felt impossible to remove them? Jake Starts School by Michael Wright is a funny and sweet tale of a boy named Jake who is anxious about leaving his parents to start school. He is so anxious he actually clings to his parents so tight they can't pry him off! He can't do anything in school … [Read more...]

Going Places

Do you want your child to be more creative? Do you or your child think "out of the box"? Going Places is about two friends who build something wonderful together. Who says you have to build everything like the directions tell you to?  In the beginning of the story, Rafael builds his go-cart just like he is supposed to until he sees his friend Maya … [Read more...]

Three Picture Books to Help Expand your Child’s Vocabulary

Do you want your child to learn more words and expand their vocabulary?  I learned some new words myself when reading The Boy Who Loved Words.  Try reading these three books! Your children will learn some new important words during reading time. With a rich vocabulary, a child can feel proud of using  "grown up" words appropriately, which can help … [Read more...]

A Boy and A Jaguar

Do you have a child that stutters? Do you stutter or know of another person that stutters? This book written by Alan Rabinowitz is a beautiful story of a young boy who struggles through life because of his stuttering until he finds his passion, saving jaguars. Stuttering can be very isolating for children and a picture book such as this one can be … [Read more...]

SCOOP

Do you want to help teach your children how to be safe? With the summer approaching and more time being spent at the park and playground, teaching your child to make the right choices about their safety is important.  I had a recent experience at a playground with my daughter, which prompted me to read this book with both of my children. SCOOP by … [Read more...]

Wemberly Worried

Does your child worry excessively or have anxiety? Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes is about a girl named Wemberly who constantly worries. She worries about everything morning, night and throughout the day. At home, she worries that the tree would fall on her house or if there is a snake in the radiator. At the playground, she worries about the … [Read more...]

Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship

Bad Apple, A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway is a sweet book about friendship with a valuable lesson. The book begins with an apple named Mac who meets a friendly worm named Will. Mac and Will have so much fun together and bond instantly. They are an unlikely pair with Mac being an apple and Will being a worm. When the other apples see … [Read more...]

The Invisible Boy

The Invisible Boy (ages K-2nd Grade) by Trudy Ludwig is a powerful story of a young boy who struggles to fit in and as a result, feels " invisible". The Invisible Boy  is powerful in many ways and can teach a child valuable lessons about treating others with kindness and respect. The symbolism in this book is beautiful and should be a part of any … [Read more...]

Wonder

Powerful and memorable. These are the best ways to describe Wonder by R.J. Ralacio. I rarely review books that are not picture books, but this book is like no other. Wonder was written for children ages 6 to 12 years old, but is also very appropriate for adults to read. I read this within 3 or 4 days and LOVED it. Wonder is about a boy named … [Read more...]

Exclamation Mark!

Does your child know what an exclamation point is? Do you want to help your child learn punctuation in a fun and meaningful way? Once you read Exclamation Mark by Amy Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld with your child, he or she will be on their way to understanding what a question mark, period and exclamation point are. Exclamation Mark (ideal for … [Read more...]

Courage

"There are many kinds of courage. Awesome kinds. And everyday kinds. Still courage is courage- whatever kind" Bernard Waber What does courage mean to you? Courage is an excellent book on defining and beginning to explain what the concept of courage means. Courage means something different to each person, which is why it may be so hard to define … [Read more...]

Shell-less Shelby

Shell-less Shelby is a story of a sea turtle named Shelby who cannot find her shell. The story begins with a mother named Sally who lays one egg and then returns back to the ocean to wait for her baby to be born. When helping out a fellow sea turtle named Gus, she realizes that she is missing her shell. Where can she find her shell? She tries on a … [Read more...]

Five Picture Books to Help Build Self Esteem

Is your young child insecure? Struggling with their individuality? Helping build self esteem is something not that not only our children can benefit from, but also ourselves. It's tough growing up and the more confidence we can instill in our children, the better. I love how many children's books help teach a child to love themselves, celebrate … [Read more...]

Ish

I have recently become a big fan of Peter Reynold's books. Ish is a story of a young boy named Ramon who gets discouraged when drawing, due to some teasing from his older brother, Leon. He strives for perfection, but no drawing is good enough and therefore gets crumpled up and ends up in the garbage can. One person's trash is another person's … [Read more...]

Willow

Willow (appropriate for ages 5 and up), by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan is a beautiful story of self expression. This book was recommended by my friend Amy, creator of Happy Day Westchester. Mrs. Hawthorn is Willow's art teacher and is neat, tidy and doesn't allow her students to express themselves. Willow is a free spirited girl … [Read more...]

The Mixed-Up Chameleon

The Mixed Up Chameleon is a wonderful book written by Eric Carle that helps children understand to accept themselves and celebrate their individuality.  This book begins with how a chameleon changes colors according to how he is feeling (great opportunity to compare this to human expressions and body language). The chameleon was sad and bored at … [Read more...]

the dot

the dot by Peter Reynolds is an inspiring story of a young girl named Vashti whose story began with one little dot. I love this story because it instills the idea that we need to empower our children to believe in themselves and give them the room to express themselves. My son picked this wonderful book out from his school library. The book … [Read more...]

When My Worries Get Too Big

Does your child ever get anxious?  For us as parents, anxiety may be getting upset by yelling, crying or talking about how stressed we are. For children, especially those with special needs, anxiety may be expressed in different ways.  As a parent and a therapist I have seen anxiety come out in different ways. For a child who has fine motor delays, … [Read more...]

Little Sweet Potato

Has your child ever felt left out? Like they don't belong?I think this is a book that both children and adults can appreciate. When I saw this book on amazon a couple of weeks ago, it sparked my interest. Of course, first because of the title since I love sweet potatoes but more importantly, the message of the book caught my attention. I love … [Read more...]

I Don’t Want To Go To School!

Does your child give you a hard time going to school? I picked up this book, I Don't Want to Go to School! (appropriate for ages 3-5) yesterday at the library after a very difficult morning trying to get my own son to preschool. Lots of kids are resistant starting school especially after time off at home over the summer and/or separation anxiety … [Read more...]

Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson in Bullying

Waffles and Pancakes A Lesson in Bullying by Cindy Springsteen tells the story of two hamsters named Waffles and Pancakes. This is Cindy's second book about these sweet and likeable hamster characters. See my review of this book here. Waffles  and Pancakes are best of friends and their owners Danny and Griffin care for them in the very best way. … [Read more...]

One

Does your child have trouble standing up for themselves?  I wanted to share an excellent book titled One (PreK - K) by Kathryn Otoshi. Having  been a doormat for many years of my school years, I am trying to find ways to help my own children deal with this issue of getting picked on through book reading. Kathyn Otoshi has also written the books, … [Read more...]