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Classic Children’s Books Revisited

Felix_Schlesinger_Die_Gute-Nacht-Geschichte (191x235)

I recently moved in with my boyfriend and his daughter. He and his ex-wife each have 50% custody, so I have in effect become a part-time step-mom. There have definitely been the expected ups and downs for both of her and me during the adjustment period, but aside from the tender hugs and affection that can only come from a child who loves you, the highlight for me has definitely been reading books to her at bedtime. (more…)

Eight Grossly Inappropriate Coloring Books for Children


I like to give the children in my life coloring books.  It gives me something to do when I go visit them and it’s something I will always be better at then them. (more…)

Books That Make Kids Snicker


My son has been busy making his birthday list for days. He asked for a book that I thought, at first, was a joke. It turns out that I had a lot to learn. (more…)

Books That Will Keep Your Daughter off the Stripper Pole

off the pole

All parents want to prepare their daughters for a good life. One of the key goals of all parents is preventing their daughters from earning a living on the pole. Parents also want to prevent early grandchildren. So, with that in mind, I researched some books that will help keep your daughter on the straight and narrow: (more…)

The Oz Books: Read Them For Free

ozma of oz

Now that “Oz, the Great and Powerful” is coming out, it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood memories. My mom was a great fan of the Oz series of books by L. Frank Baum (none of which was the basis for this movie, by the way). You can read all of these books free through the Library of Congress. The books are old enough to now be in the public domain. (more…)

Parenting Resources From Focus On the Family

focus on family

I love Focus on the Family. Anytime I am looking for an over-the-top column idea, I simply have to check their website, and I quickly find an idea. I found a pleuthora of parenting resources and I thought I would share some of my favorites with you so that you can add them to your library. (more…)

Read Children’s Classics from the Library of Congress on your iPad or Tablet

kid reading ipad
Denslow's Humpty Dumpty W.W. Denslow (New York: G.W. Dillingham Co., 1903).

Denslow’s Humpty Dumpty
W.W. Denslow (New York: G.W. Dillingham Co., 1903).

Lets face it, lots of children’s books these days are lame because nobody wants to be offended about anything and nothing really that bad ever happens to any of the characters.

Don’t get me wrong, this is usually a good thing and we don’t really want to devastate and traumatize the developing young minds of our children if we can help it, right? Remember Bambi, the movie? I could probably do without the memories served up by three-year-old me and those opening scenes.

Still, I have this overall impression of many children’s books as lacking a certain vitality and as being distilled and watered down. For example, we were recently given a version of Little Red Riding Hood from a friend in which the grandma doesn’t even get eaten by the wolf! Instead she goes out for a morning walk near her cottage while the wolf creeps into her bed, waiting for riding hood. What is going on here?! (more…)

A Review of Oddly Normal by John Schwartz


John Schwartz has written an informative and honest record of his family’s struggle to raise their son Joseph. Joseph’s early childhood exhibited some classic signs and signals that he was both more sensitive than other boys and that he had a predilection for glitter and sparkle. Joseph began having troubles in school after kindergarten. The book follows Joseph all the way to high school and clearly documents how challenging it can be for children to grow up gay even in this post Will & Grace, Glee embracing age. (more…)

Creating a Children’s Library Part 2: Ages 2 to 5

kids reading

I’ve taken to blaming Sandy for all the things I’ve put off these past few weeks. I have used plenty of excuses: I’m ‘catching my breath’ or ‘dealing with all the stuff I didn’t handle’ because of the storm. Well, the storm has come and gone and it is finally time to stop procrastinating and checking things off my to-do list. So I thought I’d start with a pleasant one: part 2 of my book recommendations for young children. This age group is 2 to 5 years old. As a reminder, here is Part 1 which is focuses on Babies to Toddlers. (more…)

Preschoolers Say All Kinds of Bizarre Things

If you haven’t been around little kids in a while, you might forget that they can come up with some bizarre, yet irrefutable logic. If you have small children, I highly recommend that you write down some of the things that they say because they are hysterical. You don’t always realize it in the moment.

Fortunately, Leslie McCollom, the author of “Preschool Gems” has taken the time to record some of the brilliant musings that small minds can produce.It makes for a very entertaining read and is accompanied by a lot of fun pictures. I plan to bring this book along to family gatherings to distract people from potential arguments about politics or other topics.

Sometimes the children burst forth with the irrefutable logic that only a small person can produce: (more…)