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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Rickshaw Girl

For Novembers Mother Daughter Book Club from Girls, 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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, an organization that has a mission to empower young girls and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Empty Pot… 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]