December 14, 2006
We received our copy of Goodnight Moon well before Anderson was born. I used to occasionally read it Laura's growing belly. Now, reading Goodnight Moon is almost always part of our bedtime routine.
There are a few things that make this book really great. First, its a board book, so I'm not too concerned when Andy grabs the pages made from thick paperboard. In fact, I encourage him to help me turn the pages. Second, while the story is easy enough that I could probably recite the whole thing from memory right now, the classic illustrations are captivating enough to hold my interest. I enjoy pointing out the mouse as he travels around the room. Or noticing that the rabbit turns to face the objects to which he says
good night. Or perhaps trying to read the titles of the books on the bookshelf. Or noticing that the picture of the bears on chairs has a picture of the cow jumping over the moon on the wall.
If for some reason you have a nursery without Goodnight Moon, then I implore you to get it as soon as possible. And if you know anybody expecting, it makes a wonderful shower gift!
December 7, 2006
When I was little, I was so in love with myself that my favorite doll was even named after me. My mother must have thought I was crazy. I think I would have loved this next product, a personalized book. The Change is Strange books, which won the 2006 iParenting Media Award, is a great way to help your child get through a hard time. The four stories that can be personalized are Mommy and Daddy are Going on a Trip, My First Day of School, No More Pacifier, and We're Having a Baby. What better way to help your child through an issue than for her to be able to see herself in the story? You can also buy the books not personalized as well as personalized posters and t-shirts.
November 20, 2006
We recently received a copy of a new children's book, just released in October, to review. It is called The Octonauts and the Only Lonely Monster by Meomi, and as the publisher describes it, this book is like Hello Kitty meeting Star Trek under the sea! I must say, I was intrigued.
The book, geared at ages 4-8, is a tale about a large sea creature that looks like a monster, but is really just lonely and looking for others like it. So the Octonauts search all the oceans looking for others like the monster. It's a tale about how it's okay to be unique and different as we all are in one way or another. I really like this theme as I'm sure every child feels different and strange for one reason or another at some point. I really don't want Andy to grow up feeling like a weirdo because he is a little different than everyone else, so I think a book like this would be great to read to him early on in his life so he knows it's the uniqueness that makes us all special.
The book is beautifully illustrated. The characters do remind me a bit of Hello Kitty, but they are different enough than that character and each other. The world under the sea looks fun and inviting, and it was great to see how the rest of the ocean looked. There are Russian walruses, Asian whales, and tons of other foreign sea creatures. And as they go west or south the direction of the pages flips, so you will have to flip the book to see the pictures right side up. I think children would get a kick out of that.
The author Meomi specializes in critter design. However, this means much more than just books. You can buy these cute characters on buttons, magnets, stationary, knit cozies, on t-shirts at Baby Wit (whom we wrote about recently), and tons more. With all these products you can tie into the book, your child can really immerse himself in the Octonauts if they love the characters as much as we think they might.
There are also more Octonaut adventures to come (hopefully one in October 2007), and I for one cannot wait to read them. I think these will quickly become favorites in your household as they have fun characters and show such an adventurous and stunning world under the sea that one cannot help but want to learn more about.
November 1, 2006
Although Andy doesn't really understand the concept of reading yet, we still do our best to read to him most nights. Once in a while he pays attention, but mostly he tries to get the book in his mouth instead. I'm worried that as he gets older he may find reading boring (although with Peter and I as his parents, that may not happen as we both love to read), so I want to get him books that are fun and interesting for him. So I really like Zips by Jellycat. They are cloth books that are also stuffed animals. They have many sounds and textures and can even be attaching to the crib with a velcro loop. They are available in cat, cow, and dragon versions. The dragon version is also available at Amazon.
October 30, 2006
Like every other woman pregnant for the first time, I was given a ton of advice and a ton of presents that would help me out. Nothing could really have prepared me for a newborn who was fussy all the time and only napped on my lap. The one product that would occupy Andy long enough for me to take a quick break (whether it was to write a quick email or go to the bathroom) was the Fly Away Ladybug book by Suzy McPartland and illustrated by Emily Bolam. One of my sorority sisters got it for me, telling me how much her daughter loved it and how she had been given it by a friend whose baby also loved it. I had never seen the crinkly paper books like this one is made out of, so I had no idea its affect on babies. But my sister told me that it was magic. I'm really glad I listened to her, as Andy's really loved this book for as long as he was aware of things. I always give it to him when he's sitting in his infant seat in the kitchen. First he just kicked at it a bunch. As he found his hands, he started playing with it. Later it started to go into his mouth. Now he stares at it and examines it for up to a half hour at a time. And as it's a book, I can read it to him as well. Really, this is one of my favorite products out there, and I'm definitely going to be giving it to all of my pregnant friends in the future. Hopefully it'll work for them as well as it's worked for me.