Picture Books for Everyone!

Christmas is exactly one week away. If you don’t have all your Christmas shopping done, fret not! There are always books! If you need some books for tots, here are a few good last-minute options (or check out my other kids’ book lists here). In need of teen or adult book gift suggestions? Contact me or comment below with the details (age or relationship, interests, etc.), and I’ll do my best to give you some suggestions!

download.jpgOver the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure
by Linda Ashman
illustrated by Kim Smith

As a biracial kid myself, I love to see mixed-race families in picture books (in case you hadn’t noticed, it doesn’t happen very often). This book, about a family converging on Grandma and Grandpa’s house (via plane, train, car, boat . . . and even hot air balloon!) for the purposely-non-specific “holidays,” features two mixed-race couples, some biracial kids, two Asian kids (another thing you don’t see in picture books too frequently) with white parents, and a gay couple. But it’s not done in a “Look at us! We’re so multi-cultural and proud!” kind of way. They are all just one big, beautiful, diverse family. [Insert all the heart emojis in every color of the rainbow here!]

Oh, and bonus: my daughter loves this book because it has fun, cartoon-y illustrations, it rhymes, and it features a horse that swoops in and saves the day again and again with a “NEEEIIIIGGGHHHHH!” Continue reading

These Are the Books You Should Read (According to My Two-Year-Old)

My daughter turned two last month. She is obsessed with puzzles, farm animals, coloring, the aquarium, Moana, stuffed pals, and, of course, books.

Like most toddlers, she has strong opinions. If polled, she will gladly tell you if a book is a “good book” or if it is “not so good.” These are the books that currently reside at the top of the “good book” list:

download.jpgPocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire
Written by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
Illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Ok, I’m gonna tell this to you straight: if you choose to get just one book on this list, this is the one to get. It’s a biography (yep, non-fiction) of Mary Blair, the artist responsible for designing the Disney ride “It’s a Small World.” (You can find out more about her and see samples of her art here.) 

My daughter LOVES this book, and so do I. Mary Blair was a creative, successful, badass woman. She knew her value and didn’t let stodgy dudes stifle her artistic vision. The book celebrates these qualities.

And, as an added bonus, it is replete with color vocabulary. Thanks to this brilliantly colorful tome, my kid can identify cerulean, sienna, celadon, and cerise. Huzzah! Continue reading