Category: Kidlit with my Kidlet

Dec 05

Holly Jolly Toddler Books

Kidlit with my Kidlet 2

Greetings, Bookworms!

One of my favorite humans just asked me for book recommendations for her Toddler Godson and I could NOT have been more excited. I sent her about 20 disjointed Twitter DMs, but I thought pooling some of that knowledge into an actual blog post might help someone else out. Sam’s library is so extensive, thanks in large part to family members with elementary education backgrounds, that I sometimes take for granted that I rarely have to hunt these treasures down myself. I thought I’d share a few Christmas-specific books that Sammers has been enjoying lately. If I can help one bookish Auntie with her holiday shopping, I’m happy to do it!

  1. Penguin’s Christmas Wish by Salina Yoon: I love this book. Truly, I love all Salina Yoon’s books, but the Penguin series has a special place in my heart. This book has adorable illustrations and a very sweet message. It encourages imagination and overcoming adversity, as well as the importance of spending time with the people you love. I’d recommend getting Penguin and Pinecone to go along with this book, in case you’re wondering why a penguin and a pine tree are long lost buddies. I’d recommend the entire Penguin series, actually, and the Bear series too. They’re all wonderful stories with heartfelt sentiments.
  2. 10 Trim-the-Tree’ers by Janet Schulman, Illustrated by Linda Davick: I made a list of Halloween books Sammers really liked last year, and the Halloween version of this book was included. What can I say? Countdown books with fun illustrations and clever rhymes are a joy in all seasons. I’d highly recommend this one.
  3. Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner, Illustrated by Mark Buehner: I’m a sucker for good rhyming book, but I think what takes this one over the top for me is the illustrations. I love the misty quality of the snowmen celebrating Christmas. It hits that perfectly magical Christmas note for me, and Sammy seems to dig it too.
  4. Elmo’s Christmas Snowman by Naomi Kleinberg, Illustrated by Tom Brannon: I cannot express just how thrilled I am that Sam took an interest in Sesame Street early on. Reliving something from your own childhood with your kid is such a great feeling. In this book, Elmo is desperate to build a giant snowman, but there isn’t enough snow on the ground, so he recruits his pals to help. Elmo, dude, I’ve never felt so seen. I remember rolling larger and larger snowballs for a snowman as a kid only to decide that it wasn’t big enough and that the enormous roll I’d made simply had to be the head. I rarely finished constructing a snowman, so I feel an intense kinship with this story. Sam is more of a Cookie Monster guy these days than an Elmo guy, but he still enjoys this book.
  5. How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace, Illustrated by Andy Elkerton: I’m not going to lie, I’ve got mixed feelings about this book. The rhymes are clever and the illustrations are funny, but I think it’s kind of creepy that these kids are setting elaborate traps to catch an elf. Creepiness doesn’t seem to translate when you’re 2, though, and Sam thinks this book is the bee’s knees. He laughs and laughs and demands that I read it multiple times in rapid succession. It’s hard to argue with that kind of adoration. Sam hasn’t yet shown any interest in setting traps, so I think it’ll all be okay.

Maybe I should be more worried about mischief…

Happy Holidays to all the tiny readers on your shopping list! The links within this post will take you to Amazon, but if you’d prefer to shop through your local independent bookstore, check out the links below:
Penguin’s Christmas Wish
10 Trim the Tree’ers
Snowmen at Christmas
Elmo’s Christmas Snowman
How to Catch an Elf

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*


Oct 19

Kid Lit with My Kidlet: Halloween 2018

Kidlit with my Kidlet 5

Greetings, Bookworms!

‘Tis the season for pumpkins and candy, so I thought I’d share a few of the seasonally appropriate books I’ve been reading with Sammy lately. My son has a very impressive library, and, like his very impressive wardrobe, it has little to do with my own shopping. We’ve got some very astute children’s literature aficionados in our orbit who like to spoil the young sir. As a result, Sammers literally has entire stacks of books dedicated to different holidays, and Halloween is one of the best represented.

I LOVE Halloween. Always have. Of course, my love for it never evolved past a child-like infatuation with costumes and trick-or-treating. I abhor haunted houses (jump scares are the actual worst), and don’t much care for horror movies or literature (though there are some exceptions). I just want to hand out lots of candy while wearing a giant pajama onesie that doubles as a costume while I watch Hocus Pocus for the fafillionth time. Thus, books aimed toward young children hit the sweet spot of everything I love about Halloween. It makes for magical bedtime reading. Here are some of my (and Sam’s!) current favorites:

ONE: 10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman, illustrated by Linda Davick. This one is Sammy’s favorite. It’s an adorable rhyming countdown book in which Trick-or-Treaters are frightened off one by one (that sounds like it might be scary, but it isn’t at all. It’s just cute. It’s very clear to the reader that all the things startling the children are either benign or just people in costumes.) When they get down to 2 Trick-or-Treaters, there’s a scene with a person in a mummy costume coming out of an elevator that makes Sammy giggle. Why that particular illustration appeals to him, I do not know. But who can argue with a delighted 1 year old? And why would you want to?

TWO: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. This one is MY favorite. It isn’t strictly Halloween related, which is good because I’ll be reading it year-round. A witch on her broom keeps adopting animals to adorable effect. The rhymes are such fun, and the illustrations are so cute. I actually saw a cartoon version of this before we got the book- it must have been on PBS Kids because where else would that sort of thing happen? Anyway, it’s delightful for parents and kids. Fabulous to read aloud!

THREE: Little Vampire’s Big Smile by Rose Von Feder: In this super cute little book, a young vampire looses his tooth while bobbing for apples at a Halloween party (let’s just ignore how unhygienic that activity is. I’m not even super skeeved by germs and ew.) It all ends well of course, when the Tooth Fairy (who is a bat, duh) delivers a gold coin and a new tooth to our dear Bertie. This book is exceptionally appropriate at the moment for my child whose canine teeth have just erupted. (It’s a bit ridiculous, really. Of all the things my child could have developed early, it’s teeth. He’s got 16 teeth at not quite 14 months. Probably why he’s not walking yet. Teething is distracting, yo.)

FOUR: Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon: OK, this isn’t strictly a Halloween book, it’s more fall, but I absolutely ADORE Salina Yoon’s Penguin books. They’re so sweet, and, obviously, PENGUINS. We actually do have a Halloween specific Salina Yoon title, Where’s Boo?, and while it’s adorable, it doesn’t have much of a story. That’s a thing with baby books. It’s important for babies to have access to simple books full of pictures and just a few words that they can get handsy with- bonus if there are sensory aspects, like in Where’s Boo? It’s just that they’re not as much fun for ME to read at bedtime, whereas Penguin has the most delightful adventures. I’d recommend ANYTHING by Salina Yoon for your little one, but Penguin will always hold a special place in my heart.

This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of our Halloween book stack, but since a lot of them fall into the sensory/flap lifting/not so much story category, I’ll keep it short. I may tackle those another day. I’m going to leave you with this pic of Sammers (and me) that was taken just after his first hair cut (cue Mom sobbing.) His hair was growing into a weird rat tail situation, and since it’s not 1991, I thought we should nip that in the bud. He’s wearing some sweet Halloween duds, though!

Photo credit goes to my husband, who, while he hates having his own photo taken, is an excellent documentarian of important moments. Also, I’m really not that blonde. There was some weird lighting or filter action going on here. And yes, that is Sam’s middle finger. That’s how he points at things. And pushes buttons. Social graces may not be his strong suit.

What are some of your favorite kid friendly Halloween reads, Bookworms?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I may receive a commission.*


Apr 24

Kidlit with my Kidlet

Children's Fiction, Family, Kidlit with my Kidlet 22

Howdy Bookworms!

I’ve been reading and listening to oodles of books lately, but oddly, all I want to write about are my favorite books to read with Sam. Since I rarely write anything these days, I thought I’d just run with it. Sammers is 8 months old (already?! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN???) but since he’s still, you know, a baby who can’t actually say intelligible words, I get to choose our bedtime stories every night. Thanks to our extremely generous friends and family (and occasionally Mom’s impulse shopping) Sammers has a very impressive book collection. Still, there are a few that I choose to read over and over again simply because I happen to love them. (Don’t worry, I’ll do another post specifically featuring our large collection penguin books one of these days, but today we’re penguin free.)

Soon we’re going to have to move the toys off the top shelf to give the books more space.

The The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, pictures by Dan Hanna: This is the MOST fun to read out loud. Remember when Ludacris rapped Llama Llama Red Pajama? (If not, check it out HERE) That’s an amazing book and a super fun rap, but I’d love to see what a rapper would do with The Pout-Pout Fish (specifically, I’d like to hear what Lin-Manuel Miranda would do with The Pout-Pout Fish) – it’s got creative vocabulary and great rhythm. “Kaleidoscope of mope” is practically a Shakespearean insult. I’ve seen all kinds of statistics that say kids should be exposed to a certain number of words by a certain age, and I can’t help but think The Pout-Pout Fishshould be on every kid’s book shelf simply because the vocab is such a treat.

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, Illustrated by Cyd Moore: If you’re familiar with the old standards, this book’s structure is very similar to the classic The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (of Goodnight Moon fame, natch). A little kid being tucked into bed asks his mother if she’d still love him under a number of rather outlandish circumstances, namely if he were a skunk so stinky that his name was “Stinky Face.” I’m rather prone to using such nicknames as terms of endearment (my poor son is often called “Stinky Pete” or “Grumpy Gus” depending on his mood or the state of his diaper) so I found the book’s title especially appealing. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to do different voices for the mother and son. It’s just plain fun to read.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin: This book will hit you right in the parenting/aunting/caregiving feels, a la Oh, the Places You’ll Go! The illustrations are beautiful and the message is so, so sweet. “When you were too small/ To tell me hello,/ I knew you were someone/ I wanted to know.” Just pass me the box of tissues, okay? This book is an awesome choice for a baby shower gift or a graduation present. Our copy came from one of our showers, and I’m going to have to go back and check the inscription to see who sent it so I can send another thank you note.  Because reasons.

This is just a tiny sample of the many excellent books on our shelves, but they’ve been in heavy rotation for bedtime stories of late. What are some of your favorite children’s books, Bookworms? This dude is always interested in new recommendations!

One of Sam’s daycare teachers took this picture and I can’t get over it. HOW DID I PRODUCE THIS PERFECT CREATURE?!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*