Five Inspirational Picture Books

As a speech language pathologist and parent, I love to use storytelling as an opportunity to initiate meaningful conversations and encourage children to follow their dreams regardless of their disabilities and delays. Children with special needs face many challenges in their lives, and reading inspirational children’s literature can help improve … [Read more...]

We’re All Wonders

We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio is a powerful picture book about the beloved character, Auggie from the chapter book, Wonder. Wonder was one of my favorite books because of it's powerful and valuable lesson for all children to learn. To check out my review of Wonder, click here. When I saw We're All Wonders in my son's scholastic book, I … [Read more...]

Happy Dreamer

Do you have a child that is a dreamer? Are you a dreamer yourself? I recently attended an event with Peter Reynolds at the Jacob Burns Center. He read some of his children's books including The Dot, Ish and then read his most recent book, Happy Dreamer. Happy Dreamer brought me to tears because it describes a child that has big dreams, but is often … [Read more...]

Inside Out and Back Again

Are you looking for an inspirational and educational book to read with your elementary school child ages 8 and up? Inside Out and Back Again is an excellent book to read together with your child. I got the recommendation to read this book through the Girls Leadership Parent and Daughter Book Club, which celebrates and shares books that help … [Read more...]

Early Reader Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Growing up, I have always loved reading comic books of all different varieties. As my daughter has gotten older, her passion for reading graphic novels has intensified. She loves reading all different types of books, but the graphic novels are her favorite. Since she has such a keen interest in graphic novels, I have read many of these books myself … [Read more...]

Support Our Kickstarter! A Tale of The Monkey Balloon

  Have you ever lost a balloon? In 2014, special educator Mindy Winebrenner, illustrator Yuki Osada and I teamed up to make our life long dream of becoming authors a reality -we published our first book, The Monkey Balloon. This book was a unique story about Mimi and her adventures in finding her lost balloon. With the help of Yuki Osada, … [Read more...]

Today I Feel..An Alphabet of Feelings

Today I Feel by Madalena Moniz is a beautifully illustrated alphabet book about a range of feelings. Each page is a piece of artwork and describes feelings that are more complex in nature which can naturally elicit conversation. Although this book was intended for preschoolers, I find that it can be even more appropriate for older children because … [Read more...]

Jack’s Worry

Jack's Worry by Sam Zuppardi is an exceptional picture book about overcoming short-term anxiety and worry. A couple of weeks ago, I was in a waiting room and saw this book lying on the table. I immediately picked it up and read it to my son and instantly loved it. It was a simple story with real and complex feelings that any child could relate … [Read more...]

Anansi Folktales: Learning Valuable Lessons

For the month of February, I wanted to share two folktales that can help teach your child valuable lessons about responsibility, citizenship, fairness, respect and sharing. These folktales written by Bobby and Sherri Norfolk and illustrated by Baird Hoffmire are a great fit for Black History Month as well since the culture of both books takes place … [Read more...]

The Sundown Kid: A Southwestern Shabbat

The Sundown Kid A Southwestern Shabbat by Barbara Bietz and illustrated by John Kanzler is a story about a Jewish family living in the Wild West. The author's note states "The setting of this story, the Wild West, has historical relevance. Many Jews settled in Western states in the 1800's and early 1900's to established businesses, schools, and … [Read more...]

Owly, A Wordless Adventure!

Owly, by Andy Runton is a wonderful wordless graphic novel series about an Owl named Owly and his best friend, Wormy. This series is ideal for any age but I think most appropriate for young school age children ages 5 and up. This is also a series that be enjoyed together with a parent. Owly, The Way Home and The Bittersweet Summer tells the … [Read more...]

A Greyhound, A Groundhog

A Greyhound, A Groundhog by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Appelhans is a children's book about the playful interaction between a greyhound and groundhog. The book is beautifully illustrated and captivates the child's attention with engaging illustrations and interesting of use of text. This book is filled with tongue twisters and … [Read more...]

The Water Princess

The Water Princess written by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds is a thoughtful, poetic and beautiful book about the efforts of a young girl named Princess Gie Gie. This book is written and illustrated based on the childhood experience of Georgie Badiel. As a young girl, Georgie Badiel would have to walk for miles … [Read more...]

Get Ready for Jetty

Get Ready for Jetty written by Jeanne Kraus and illustrated by Sandra Kimbell is a book written in a diary form about a girl named Jetty. Jetty is in 4th grade and has been recently diagnosed with ADHD. Throughout the book she discusses in the first person perspective, her thoughts and feelings about her diagnosis of ADHD and how it affects her … [Read more...]

Plenty of Love to Go Around

Plenty of Love to Go Around by Emma Chichester Clark is a thoughtful and heartwarming book about sharing your love. Plum is a dog that is known as the "special one" to his owners Emma and Rupert. Their next door neighbors, Sam and Gracie love Plum and view him as their "best one and only". Plum feels loved all over and special until one day, there … [Read more...]

Toby

Toby by author and illustrator Hazel Mitchell is a heartwarming story of a boy who adopts a dog named Toby. When the boy and his father visit the shelter, he immediately gravitates towards Toby. When Toby comes home from the shelter, he doesn't want to play and appears passive and scared. The boy immediately comforts Toby by giving him his special … [Read more...]

Odd Duck

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon is a funny and engaging chapter book about a duck named Theodora and her best friend Chad. Theodora is a unique kind of duck that loves routine and structure.  She loves doing her daily exercises including balancing a teacup on her head while swimming and engaging in other activities such as wingspan and … [Read more...]

Make an Inspirational Canvas!

I was contacted by the Canvas Factory a couple of months ago about about writing a post and creating a canvas of my choice. Given my love for children's literature, I wanted to create a canvas with one of my favorite quotes that I could display in my home. One of my favorite quotes is from the children's book, I am Albert Einstein, part of the … [Read more...]

Ada Twist, Scientist

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” — Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts is about a young, interesting and inquisitive girl named Ada. Ada didn't talk until she was three and her first word was "Why?" Once she began talking, she couldn't stop … [Read more...]

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep

Does your child have trouble falling asleep? Check out this book, The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin a behavioral scientist with a bachelor's degree in psychology. This author also wrote the book, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep which has sold over 1.6 million copies. To learn more about this book, check … [Read more...]

I Don’t Want To Be Big

I Don't Want To Be Big by Dev Petty illustrated by Mike Boldt is an engaging children's book about a frog that doesn't want to grow up! The book begins with a frog refusing to eat his dinner because he doesn't want to grow big. The story takes you through the dialogue between the frog and his father and several other characters. Other characters … [Read more...]

Each Kindness

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson is a powerful book about kindness and regret. This story is told in the first person perspective by a young girl named Chloe and her friends who treat the new girl in class with unkindness. Each Kindness begins with the story of a girl named Maya, a new girl that has joined the class mid year. When Maya enters … [Read more...]

The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo

Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo written by Laura Murray and illustrated by Mike Lowery is an engaging, interactive and fun book to read to a class or at home. The author takes you on a riddle scavenger hunt with the gingerbread man to explore all of the animals at the zoo. The Gingerbread Man gets lost and could only find his class once he solves … [Read more...]

Stone Soup

Are you looking for a book to help teach your child about sharing and working together? Stone Soup by Heather Forest illustrated by Susan Gaber is a folktale about two travelers that are hungry and are seeking food in a local village. This European folktale has been told for centuries and teaches an importance lesson for both children and adults … [Read more...]

All My Treasures A Book of Joy

All My Treasures A Book of Joy by Jo Witek illustrated by Christine Roussey is a story about treasuring the day to day gifts. This enchanting book makes an ideal gift to give someone because of it's beautiful presentation. The book also has the addition of numerous flaps on each page to further engage a child in the story during reading. All My … [Read more...]

Hello, My Name is Octicorn

Are you looking for a book that celebrates being different? Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller illustrated by Justin Lowe is a story that takes you the life of Octi (as he likes to be called), a creature that is half unicorn and half octopus. Octi is looking for a friend but is constantly left out because he looks different. He is not like … [Read more...]

Milk Goes to School

Milk Goes to School is a clever and engaging story about Milk's adventures on her first day of school. With the author's clever puns and valuable lesson about treating others, Milk Goes to School is an excellent read at school and in the home environment. Milk was off to her first day of school and she was scared. What was going to happen? Who … [Read more...]

The Color Monster

The Color Monster, A Pop-Up Book about Feelings by Anna Llenas is a special and engaging book about feelings. As a speech language pathologist who works with children and adults with complex communication needs, emotions can be an abstract concept to teach. Using a multi-sensory approach, like this author does in The Color Monster, can help bring … [Read more...]

El Deafo

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a graphic novel about a girl named Cece who becomes deaf after getting sick as a young child. What was it like for Cece being deaf? Upon learning that Cece was deaf, her parents sent her to a special school for deaf children called The Fisher School. At this school she felt comfortable and secure. "George, Sabrina, Terry, … [Read more...]

The Jacket

The Jacket written by Kirsten Hall and illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova  is a creative and interesting picture book that tells the journey of a book searching for "the child who would finally notice him". One day he met the girl he always dreamed of and fit perfectly in her hands. Everything seems perfect until he came home with her and found out … [Read more...]

Diana’s White House Garden

Diana's White House Garden by Elisa Carbone is a true story about Diana Hopkins , the ten year old child who lived in the White House during the term of President Roosevelt. Back in 1943, Diana lived in the White House with her father, Harry Hopkins who was the chief adviser to President Roosevelt. During World War II, the White House was a a very … [Read more...]

Summerlost

Summerlost by Ally Condie is a novel about a young girl who recently lost her younger brother and father in an accident. The author tells the story of a girl named Cedar who returns to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. Upon settling into their house in Iron Creek, Cedar meets a boy named Leo who changes her world. Her summer is filled with a … [Read more...]

Books That Spark Imagination

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” - Albert Einstein With electronics and busy schedules, sometimes it feels like there is no time for a child to use their imagination. Children have the beautiful gift of imagination and it's our job as parents to provide opportunities to stimulate it. Below are two books that … [Read more...]

From Wolf to Woof!

From Wolf to Woof! by Hudson Talbott is a fascinating children's tale about how a wolf's relationship with a human evolved into the dogs of today. "Long, long ago...before humans and dogs were friends...in fact, long before there dogs, there were.....wolves!" The story begins with the history of how wolves roamed the earth freely and in … [Read more...]

Over-Scheduled Andrew

Is your child over-scheduled? I picked up Over-Scheduled Andrew by Ashley Spires at my local library. I am a big fan of Ashley's books. Check out my review of The Most Magnificent Thing here. Andrew loved putting on plays and decided to join the drama club so he could perform on a real stage. He loved drama club and was excited to be a part of … [Read more...]

Go, Little Green Truck!

Go, Little Green Truck! by Roni Schotter and illustrated by Julia Kuo is sweet story of Little Green Truck, a pickup that lived on a farm. Little Green Truck was a proud pickup and loved feeling clean and strong for his boss, Farmer Gray. He helped with all of the chores including carrying bundles, bales and bins. He picked up packages and … [Read more...]

Douglas, You Need Glasses and Erik the Red Sees Green

Does your child wear glasses? Is your child colorblind? I wanted to review these two children's books, Douglas, You Need Glasses and Erik the Red Sees Green this week to help give parents a resource about different vision issues. For many children, getting glasses can be exciting. For others, the process of wearing glasses can be frustrating and … [Read more...]

More Than Enough, review and author interview

More Than Enough  A Passover Story by April Halprin Wayland is a children's book about the Jewish holiday of Passover. The book focuses on the concept of Dayenu, which means "it would have been enough for us". Each page reflects the various steps in preparing and celebrate Passover such as buying the ingredients, making special recipes (such as … [Read more...]

Finding a Pet: Raybot and I Won A What?

I am excited to present two children's books titled Raybot by Adam F. Watkins and I Won a What? by Audrey Vernick about finding and taking care of the perfect pet and best friend. Being an animal lover myself, I can image having most domestic animals as pets! Both books are excellent for children from preschool age up to 2nd grade. Raybot is … [Read more...]

Is My Cup Empty? Review, research and an author interview

Is My Cup Empty? is a heartfelt children's book about being optimistic, helpful and mindful. What happens if your cup is empty? "Fill it with water, milk or juice that's chilled. If your Grandma's lap if empty and she needs love, "climb right up on it to give her kisses and a hug!" Is My Cup Empty? is the first book in the Lil Sherri series and … [Read more...]

Hoot and Peep

Help teach your child about the magic of being unique with this book, Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge. Hoot and Peep is a beautiful illustrated book about an older brother owl named Hoot who wants to impart his owly wisdom to his younger sister Peep. Owl likes to say "Hooo" on the rooftop but Peep has other ideas about what she likes to sing. She … [Read more...]

I am Abraham Lincoln

I am thrilled to participate in the month-long blog tour by Penguin Random House in February featuring the New York Times bestselling series Ordinary People Change the World series by Brad Meltzer. I love this series and have reviewed several other titles including I am Lucille Ball and I am Helen Keller. "No matter where you are from, or how … [Read more...]

Unlikely Friends: A review of 3 children’s books

Are you an animal lover? How about your child? I recently watched a documentary with my children about unlikely friendships on National Geographic. The three friendships highlighted in the show were about Suryia and Roscoe (orangutan and a dog), Owel and Mzee (hippo and tortoise) and Tarra and Bella (elephant and dog). Seeing my children's … [Read more...]

My Name is Maria Isabel

"Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance". Dale Carnegie What does your name mean to you?  Our names are important because they can help symbolize our loved ones, memories of loved ones that have passed away, our heritage, culture. etc. My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada is an excellent short chapter book about a young … [Read more...]

Wink…The Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed

Do you have a child that wants to be a ninja? Wink, The Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed is an excellent book about following your own path in life and being proud of your individuality. Wink was thrilled when he was accepted to the Summer Moon School for Young Ninjas. At the school, he met Master Zutsu who taught his students to "strong and … [Read more...]

Mouse Scouts…review and author interview

Are you looking for an engaging chapter book to read with your early elementary aged child? Try Mouse Scouts by Sarah Dillard. The series is about six young mice named Violet, Tigerlily, Junebuy, Cricket, Hyacinth and Petunja who are new members of the organization called the Acorn Scouts. Acorn Scouts in nothing like the younger group, the … [Read more...]

I am Helen Keller

"Look at me. Hear my words. I may not be able to see, but I have vision. I may not be able to hear, but I have a voice" (quote taken from I am Helen Keller) I am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer should be a permanent book in any parent's library. Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by Helen Keller and the obstacles that she overcame … [Read more...]

Rickshaw Girl

For Novembers Mother Daughter Book Club from Girls Leadership.org, my daughter and I had the pleasure of reading Rickshaw Girl. Rickshaw Girl is a story of a young Bangladeshi girl named Naima who lives with her family in a struggling village. Her father earns the money for the family by driving a rickshaw. One of Naima's greatest pleasures is … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Hank Has A Dream

Are you looking for a magical book to spark your child's imagination and language? When I first picked up the book, Hank Finds an Egg, I found something very unique about the images in the book. The pictures were captivating, pure and mystical. If you want to know more about the author and illustrator, Rebecca Dudley check out my interview with her … [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...]

Gravitybread presents Laura Pedersen

I am excited to present Laura Pedersen, author of Unplugged, Ella Gets Her Family Back. When I was recently shopping a small book shop with creaky floors (I love creaky bookstores), I found Laura's book, Unplugged Ella Gets Her Family Back. I immediately read through it and loved it. Laura brings up some real issues in her book regarding … [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...]

Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back

Do you have a hard time unplugging from your screen? How about your kids? Like most families, I struggle with technology and trying to figure out, "When is too much?". Whether it's the TV, computer, iPad, iPhone or other electronic device, they can all take time away from the present moment. As a blogger, I can admit to loving my screen and enjoy … [Read more...]