Spot Goes to the Park

In our house we have…well, a load of books. Like I say in the About section on Books for Babies, the library in the Beast’s castle is a dream.

Just outside of B’s room is a lonnnng bookshelf, and lately she’s been running to it and yanking a book (or several, since they’re being yanked,) to read before bed. Night after night, the chosen ones are the “monkey book” and Spot Goes to the Park.

How could a kid not like spunky, playful Spot?

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In this lift-the-flap, Spot, his friend Helen, and his mom go to the park to play. Spot is in a big hurry to get there. He “plays” with some pigeons, joyfully plays with his friends around the playground, and then they all play catch with their ball that goes… too… high!

“SPLASH!”

Spot and his pals get to make another friend– a sweet duck who kindly returned their ball after its surprise landing in the pond.

Your little one just might want to read this page turner over and over again… and again. 🙂

Spot Goes to the Park (1991)
Eric Hill
Ventura Publishing, Ltd.

Baby’s First Words

Baby’s First Words by Sassy is one of the first books that 4 month old L has really been able to focus on. The items in this book are made of bright, vibrant colors and designs that are noticeably outlined in black. They *pop*!

There isn’t much to say for how he reacts to me sharing this book with him. He lays there staring and looks at it really hard— soaking it all in. I just know he likes it… so, it’s a winner!img_5288In Baby’s First Words, each spread is home to a different setting filled with things that belong there: animals on a farm, food for a picnic, “things that go”, animals from the forest, and things that one might find in a child’s room– bunny, ball, blocks, etc. The illustrations throughout the book are bound to keep Baby’s attention, and everything has its name printed underneath it English and Spanish!)

Soon enough, your genius, bilingual baby will be paging through books, holding their bottle, trying new foods and demanding more pureed manzanas. 🙂

Baby’s First Words
Sassy
Grosset & Dunlap
Ages 0-2

FIVE Little MONKEYS jumping on the bed

B has a new favorite. It’s the every-single-night-til-forever book.

She has it memorized, and when she reads it to us at bedtime, it makes me want to squeeze her and never let go because I’m so proud. She looks so grown reading (the pictures) in her book.

But… I could do without reading it every. single. night. Just being honest here, folks. monkeysChances are, you know this story, so I’ll keep it short. The little monkeys, of course, are stinkers who just won’t quit jumping on the bed until there are none left to jump (due to falling off the bed and bonking their heads.)

While you’re reading this to your little pal, they can practice counting and they’ll quickly notice that every phrase is matched to its own illustration.See? Isn’t that great?

Do your smartie a favor and bring this book home for them– and you’ll see how proud they are when they memorize it and can “read” it, too.

Oh, and then go ahead and squeeze them and never let go, because they’re suddenly growing up much, much faster.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (1989)
Eileen Christelow
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.

a greyhound A GROUNDHOG

Say this out loud:

Blee-ba-la-ba-blee-ba-blu-bla-blay.

Feel that? That feeling like your tongue is discombobulated? That’s how your whole mouth will feel after you read this book aloud to your kid.

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What. a. fun. read! The animals are introduced to the reader, quite calmly, you’ll notice, and when the greyhound delightfully discovers his new little friend…

“Around, brown hog.
Around, grey dog!
Around and around and around and around.
The ground and a hog and some grey and a dog.”

Then… madness.

“A round hound,
a grey dog,
a round little hound dog.
A greyhog,
a ground dog,
a hog little hound dog.”

The illustrations perfectly match the words in this story. These two animals are fast friends and they have a great time romping around (and around) together. They’re having a wild time when suddenly they…stop. Because…

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Can’t you just hear a starry-eyed crowd (or these two little pals) saying, “Oooooh…ahhhhh…”?

You’ll find yourself reading this one slowly, quickly, and magically (I’m calling the “ooh” “ahh” astonished voice magical. It is!)

Trust me, your little one will want this one again and again (and around and around.)

a greyhound A GROUNDHOG
Emily Jenkins (Illus. Chris Appelhans)
Schwartz & Wade Books (2017)

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: First Look and Find

It has been REALLY cold, we have a brand new baby, and we. have. been. stuck. in. the. house.

Coloring or painting. Check.

Practicing letters and numbers. Check.

Playing soccer in the basement. Check.

Watching shows and doing any other indoor activity we can find to do (including potty training.) Check.

Luckily, our Minnie Mouse loving girl can’t get enough of her Christmas gift– Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: First Look and Find. 

So wonderfully time consuming! This big Look and Find is perfect for a bitterly cold, stuck inside kind of day, or a stuck in the car, starting day one of vacation kind of day. It flows from beginning to end just like the TV show.

Throughout the book, little ones are challenged to find different characters or items. The Clubhouse gang makes a mess of the Clubhouse, loses a vital part of the April Shower Maker, and tracks that part all the way up to the giant’s home in the clouds. They take a parachute back to the Clubhouse and everything is just right again– Toodles tools have been used, the April Shower Maker is fixed, and everyone is delighted!

At the end of the book, a guide gives ideas for several more things for your toddler to look for– things that start with an M, different foods & objects, things that rhyme (like ring and wing,) and they’re challenged to look for flowers with different colors and patterns. There really isn’t an end to how long your kiddo can look at this book… unless they aren’t interested in sitting still too long (like B.)

On to the next indoor activity…

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: First Look and Find (2015)
Disney
Phoenix International Publications

Duck Skates

I’m feeling inspired, awake and determined.

I’m swaying in the kitchen holding L and typing with one hand.

He just spit up on my shirt.

Still determined.

The whole month before Christmas, B was OBSESSED with a Mickey Mouse Christmas movie (the one where Daisy and Minnie aggressively compete on the ice trying to one-up each other until Minnie falls, Daisy feels bad, they make up and they’re best friends again. You know that one, too?)

It was “Ice Skate Minnie” every. single. day. (With newborn L, I wasn’t going to argue…much.) She took to sliding around the house in socks, kicking one foot up in the air for some added flair to her “routine”. Duck Skates was soooo perfect for the month of December in our house.duck skatesIn this rhyming picture book, five ducks awake to a snowy wonderland and can’t help but race outside. They have a ball slipping, sliding and gliding around on their skates at the nearby pond. The mischievous bunch ignores a warning and gleefully crashes into a giant snowbank– which leads to them having a rowdy snowball fight. How fun!

(When was the last time you were involved in a snowball fight? Adding this to my list of things to do this winter. Beware, Husband!)

After calling a duck truce, the lovable group “tramps, stamps and trudges” home (hello, perfect words!) Isn’t that how we all feel (or felt, as children) after a day playing in the snow (or after a day at work, depending on how you feel about that…) 🙂

Perfect for practicing counting, kiddos will love these 5 spunky ducks and their wintry adventure.

Duck Skates (2005)
Lynne Berry/Illus. Hiroe Nakata
Henry Holt