• 12 Gift Guides for Your Holiday Shopping

       Related posts: Gender Bending Gifts for Kids: Day 3 of 12 Days of Shopping Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading: Day 5 of 12 Days of Shopping

  • Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading: Day 5 of 12 Days of Shopping

    Jeanette and I thought we’d search for gifts today that open young minds; gifts for kids who hate art, and books for kids who don’t like to read. What gifts have you had success in introducing your kids to something mind-expanding that they have resisted?   Wreck This Journal, $9, to bring out the inner […]

  • Gender Bending Gifts for Kids: Day 3 of 12 Days of Shopping

    For Day 3 of the 12 Days of Shopping, Jeanette and I wanted to break down gender stereotypes with gender bending gifts for kids. We want to celebrate mighty girls AND sensitive boys; crafts for boys and science kits for girls; and imaginary play can go beyond tiaras and tutus! How about you? What are your […]

  • Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College

    My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this […]

  • Today I am on the Front Page of The Boston Globe

    Today I am on the front page of The Boston Globe for the past week of posts that I wrote on my microblog, I Love Newton, about the anti-Asian racism in the local high school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. School play’s stereotypes bring outcry and apology. “Millie” touches nerve in Newton by Ellen Ishkanian, Globe […]

  • Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

    I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports! I started my blog after my oldest […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

    I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my  Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie). Colby Sharp, one of […]

  • Best Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Top 10: Best Dragon Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

    The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog has a great post on dragons that preempted this post but I actually had been working on this for several weeks. There is something magical about dragons and I’m glad that some kids can keep the magic alive. I’ve gathered my favorite dragon books that range in age from picture books to young adult. What is your favorite dragon book? Please share!

International Book Giving Day February 14

International Book Giving Day Coming Soon!

I’m delighted to join the crew behind International Book Giving Day coming up February 14th! It’s another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Instead (or in addition to) …

We invite individuals to …

1) gift a book to a friend or family member,

2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read

3) donate a gently used book to a local library, hospital or shelter or to an organisation that distributes used books to children in need internationally.

In addition, we encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organisations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children.

Read more…

My son's cyst surgery at Boston Children's Hospital

My Son’s Evil Unborn Twin Surgery

It turns out that my husband was thinking the same thing this past summer. Our pediatrician is only about 7 miles away but it usually takes us an hour to get there because the traffic is always in a snarl around Longwood Medical Center in Boston. Maybe it was time to get a new doctor closer to home?

But our doctor is really awesome and he’s also affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital. If anything ever happened, I’d want my kids to be treated there, especially if it’s something unusual.

In August, my daughter brought home a virus that was running rampant at her sleepaway camp. She was sick with fever, persistent cough and achy limbs for about 5 weeks. My husband was even sicker. PickyKidPix couldn’t play soccer for two weeks, a first for her. I was in bed for a week but my son was only sick for about a weekend. It turned out that his virus seemed to go into his neck where a strange swelling occurred.

Read more…

Great Biographies for Kids From Paula Yoo

Great Biographies for Kids From Paula Yoo

Please welcome my guest post author today, Paula Yoo! She is the author of Twenty-Two Cents, a picture book biography of micro loan creator and Nobel Peace Price Laureate Muhammad Yunnus.

Paula Yoo 22 cents

Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Jamal Akib

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Best Fun and Educational Videos for Kids

Best Fun and Educational Videos for Kids

I went through ten weeks of curated videos from The Kid Should See This to select these four for my 10-year-old son and chose a book to accompany each video. I hope you and your kids enjoy it!

What educational videos are you watching with your kids? Please share!

Read more…

How Old Should Your Kid Be To Visit A Big Amusement Park?

Taking your kid to an amusement park sounds like a natural idea. It certainly can be fun for the whole family, but you don’t want to bring your kids to any amusement park too early. Regardless of the specific amusement park, if it’s one of the big ones, you’re going to want to exercise some caution. Read more…

Healthy Essentials for the Holidays from Johnson & Johnson

Coupons to Save on Healthy Essentials

It’s the holiday season which means two things for almost all of us: baking and spending lots of money on loved ones. So today, I am sharing coupons to save money at the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®website! You can save up to $35 on Johnson & Johnson products including these that you might already be using.

Healthy Essentials for the Holidays from Johnson & Johnson Read more…

Volunteering at Special Surfer Night in Kennebunk

Special Surfer Night in Maine

When we were first went on a vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine, we stumbled upon a surf shop called Aquaholics. I’m from a little beach town in Southern California, so finding a surf shop in New England is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. They offered surfing lessons and Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix wanted to give it a try. Thus began their great love of surfing five years ago.

speciall surf night maineRead more…

CWIST Holiday Giving Lets Kids Give Back

CWIST Holiday Giving Lets Kids Give Back

There are precious few giving back opportunities for kids that don’t require someone like a parent to stroke a check. I love how CWIST is allowing kids to give toys to less fortunate children and thus learning how great it feels to give back! It only takes one experience of giving back for kids to realize that it truly is better to give than to receive and in the process, kids learn gratitude and an appreciation for what they have. Read more…

Green Earth Book Award and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Green Earth Book Award and Kid Lit Blog Hop

2014 winners for the Green Earth Book Award, which is a national recognition of authors and illustrators whose books best inspire young readers to appreciate and care for the environment. AIn its 10thyear, the Green Earth Book Award has five categories.

Green Earth Book Award

The 2014 winners are … Read more…