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...]

Being Kind: Research and a Children’s Book Review

What is kindness and how do we teach this to our children? I think it's life experiences, relationships and our environment that affect a person's ability to show their inherent kindness to others. I believe some children are born with more of a kind and compassionate nature and others need to learn that kindness as they grow older. As a parent, … [Read more...]

The Letter

Are you looking for a book to help boost your child's self esteem?  The author of this book, The Letter by N.D. Byma contacted me regarding his children's book, titled The Letter. From his email, I could tell how passionate he was about his book and the impact he wanted it to have on children when reading it. When I first read this book to my … [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...]

What Does It Mean To Be Present?

Do you ever feel like you live life just thinking about what's next? Do you find yourself rushing all the time?  If we have a hard time with this as adults, what does it mean to be "present" for our children? In this busy world of technology, we don't often have a free moment to just sit and enjoy. We usually take those moments to check email, text … [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...]

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...]

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...]

The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend

The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat is a beautiful story of friendship, courage and patience. The book begins with a scene of a faraway land where imaginary friends are created. All of the characters live and play there waiting to be imagined by a real child. Once they become imagined by a real child, they get whisked … [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...]

Peanut Butter and Cupcake! plus a free printable…….

Peanut Butter and Cupcake! by Terry Border is a funny and engaging tale about friendship. Peanut Butter ventures out to find a friend but the task is harder than he thought it would be! Will Egg be his friend? How about Cupcake? What goes the best with Peanut Butter? Jelly of course! Peanut Butter finally meet Jelly in the end, who befriends him … [Read more...]

The Pencil

Do you have a book that your children tend to gravitate towards? The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg is one of my children's favorite books. The book begins with a lonely pencil that lays there for a very long time until one day he makes a move and starts to draw. What does he draw? He begins his journey drawing a boy name Banjo and a small family. The … [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...]

Penguin and Pumpkin

Are you looking for a fun pumpkin book for the upcoming holidays? Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon is a sweet and engaging story about Penguin and his baby brother Pumpkin. Penguin decides to take a trip to a farm to visit Fall, but his baby brother can't come along because it is "too far for a fledgling". Pumpkin is very disappointed! When … [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...]

How to Heal a Broken Wing

Do you want to help teach your child empathy? How about a love and respect for living things? I received How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham from PJ Library about a month ago and loved it. The book begins with this sentence, "High above the city, no one heard the soft thud of feathers against glass. No one saw the bird fall. No one looked … [Read more...]

Books that Teach the Concept of Hard Work and Generosity

Are you looking for picture books that will help teach your child the concept of hard work and generosity? It is tough for many children to appreciate and understand the concept of hard work, especially at a young age. However, these books begin to help a child understand these very important concepts that can be valuable for many years to come. As … [Read more...]

The Little Red Racing Car

If my husband and I ever wrote a children's book together, it would be very similar to The Little Red Racing Car. The Little Red Racing Car is a memorable and emotional story of an old vintage car (the Maserati 300S) and legendary racing driver Sir Stirling Moss. This car was shiny, beautiful and very fast until it grew old and didn't drive like … [Read more...]

3 Picture Books by Katie Davis

Katie Davis is an accomplished author and illustrator of many children's books including Mabel the Tooth Fairy, Little Chicken's Big Day, and Kindergarten Rocks. Other titles include Scared Stiff, Who Hoots? and many more. For more information on other books by Katie Davis visit her website here. Katie also writes titles to authors such as myself … [Read more...]

The Monkey Balloon

Ever since I was a little girl, I always wanted to write my own children's book. As you know from my blog, I have a love and passion for children's literature, so writing this book has been extremely fulfilling and rewarding. I am very lucky to have worked on such an amazing project with Mindy Winebrenner (co-author and special educator) and our … [Read more...]

Escape from Witch Castle

Are meals with your child a struggle? Escape from Witch Castle is a story written by Sarah Gregory that will help make mealtime a fun and engaging time for you and your kids. Escape from Witch Castle is an adventurous tale of four siblings whose world is turned upside down when their sister Agnes gets taken away by an evil witch. How will they … [Read more...]

Rose’s Garden

Rose's Garden (ages 5 and up) by Peter H. Reynolds is a beautifully written and illustrated story about a girl named Rose who sets off to grow her own garden with seeds that she collects from the around the world. Rose's Garden is rich with language and has multiple meanings behind the story for both a child and the reader. The story begins with … [Read more...]

Bosley’s New Friends

Do you want to teach your child about different languages? Meet Bosley, the Language Bear! Bosley's New Friends is a book in a series of dual language books by Tim Johnson. This book is very unique in that it targets many different concepts. The book itself is about a likable bear named Bosley who wants to communicate with the other animals in the … [Read more...]

Found

Does your child have a special toy that he or she sleeps with and loves? How about a blankie? I think any child can relate to this book, Found by Salina Yoon. Every book Salina Yoon writes has a heartwarming plot which engages both the reader and child. Found is about a bear who finds a bunny lying in the forest named Floppy. Where is Floppy's … [Read more...]

Good News Bad News

Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack is one of my favorite picture books to elicit language. My daughter brought this book home from her school library the other week and we have reading it non-stop! With its engaging illustration and simple text, this book is fun for those who are just beginning to read and excellent for an older child in helping to … [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...]

My Friend Suhana

My Friend Suhana is a children’s book about a young girl’s friendship with a girl named Suhana who has Cerebral Palsy. This book written by Shaila Abdullah and her 10 year old daughter, Aanyah, is engaging and well illustrated. The pictures are colorful, and the text is simple enough to be read to a child age 5 and up. The book is written from a … [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...]

Early Bird

Early Bird by Toni Yuly is a sweet story of a bird who likes to wake up early in the morning.  Does the early bird get the worm? Not quite in this story. It has a cute and surprising ending with the bird sharing a strawberry with the worm instead of eating the worm, which both my kids enjoyed. I loved the bright and vibrant illustrations with … [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...]

Penguin in Love

Love is a great adventure!  I never thought that I could love a penguin book more than Penguin and Pinecone until I read Penguin in Love. I bought this book about 3 days ago and have already read it at least 20 times to my kids (they want me to read it to them all of the time!). They love it because it's such a sweet story and literally melts your … [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...]

Is There Really A Human Race?

Do you feel like you are your family are always moving at light speed? I know that I feel like that often with my own family. Always running around and not really stopping to smell the roses or just enjoy the moment.  Sometimes it feels like it's all about being productive, going from here to there, etc. Is There A Really A Human Race (4 to 8 years … [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...]

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...]

Hank Finds An Egg

Magical! This is the only word to accurately describe this wordless picture book.  This is a book that defines the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words". Hank Finds an Egg is an ideal book for you and your child to make up your own words to the story. The unique pictures bring this story to life. Hank Finds An Egg begins with the main … [Read more...]

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit is one of the funniest, wittiest children's book that I have ever read. This book written by Drew Daywalt is ideal for children ages 3-7 years old. The book begins with the main character Duncan finding letters written by his crayons. You and your child will never look at a box of crayons the same way! Each crayon describes … [Read more...]

No Fits for Nilson!

Does your child tantrum when you go on errands? Then you will love this book! No Fits for Nilson (3 years and up)  is a very funny book about a little girl named Amelia and her gorilla Nilson. Amelia and Nilson are inseparable and love to play with each other. However, when Nilson gets upset, he has big temper tantrums which sometimes results in a … [Read more...]

Fanny

Do you ever say "no" to your child when they ask for that popular and fancy doll at the toy store? I found Fanny by Holly Hobbie a couple of months ago at the library. I immediately loved this book because it teaches an important lesson. Fanny desperately wants a "Connie" doll like her other friends have. Her mother  simply says "No" to the doll … [Read more...]

Have You Filled A Bucket Today?

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? teaches a very important lesson to children ages 4 and up. It is an excellent book to read during mealtime or any time! This book discusses how everyone carries an invisible bucket. Buckets are filled with good thoughts and feelings. When you make someone feel good, you fill their bucket and your bucket. People who … [Read more...]

Penguin and Pinecone

When I read, "Penguin and Pinecone" my heart melted. I have read this story at snack time, mealtime and during playtime.  This well written book is about a penguin who finds a pinecone on the ice where he lives. He wonders what it is by exploring it with all of his senses. He loves his new friend but can't keep it because it doesn't belong on … [Read more...]

There’s A Big Beautiful World Out There

My daughter came home from library with this book, "There's A Big Beautiful World Out There" by Nancy Carlson (ages 3 and up). There's A Big Beautiful World Out There can be a very useful and meaningful book to read to your child during mealtime, especially now after the horrific massacre that occurred at  Sandy Hook Elementary School. This book … [Read more...]

Pretzel

Pretzel (ages 4 and up) written by Margret Rey is a very special book.  I have always been a fan of Curious George and so this book has been a favorite of mine since I could remember. Pretzel is about a dachshund named Pretzel who loves another dog, Greta. He wants to marry her but she won't marry him because she doesn't like long dogs. He tries … [Read more...]

Space Boy

Space Boy by Leo Landry (ages 4 and up) is a very special book about a boy visiting the moon. I picked this book up at the library a couple of weeks ago and we have not been able to return it yet because my son absolutely loves it. My son is currently in a very intense space shuttle phase and this book has had quite an impact! The book begins with … [Read more...]

One Lonely Sea Horse

  "One Lonely Sea Horse"  by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers (ages 3 and up) is a beautiful story about a sea horse named Bea. She is very sad that she doesn't have any friends in the sea. This book takes you through a journey in the sea where she makes underwater friends as each page turns.  It can easily be overlooked by a child that all of the … [Read more...]

How are you Peeling?

"How are you Peeling?"  (ages 4 and up) is a fun and educational book to read during mealtime. The photography is fascinating and the colors are vibrant.    The book focuses on emotions and asks many questions to the reader which helps facilitate conversation.  It discusses many emotions that are not very basic such as "worried", "wired", "grumpy", … [Read more...]

Ask Mr. Bear

There are certain books that are timeless and this is one of them. This book was originally published in 1932. This book is about about a little boy who is seeking a birthday present for his mother. He visits many animals along his way and each animal offers him something but what he winds up giving his mother at the end is a hug for her birthday. … [Read more...]

Bear’s Birthday

Stella Blackstone is one of my favorite children's authors. She writes simple and beautiful books. The illustration in her books are absolutely beautiful and bring the story to life. This book happens to be especially special because this past week was my daughter's birthday. We read this book many times over and over again. The book is about … [Read more...]