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Jenny Brown Abstract Impressionist Artist My Creative Friends PragmaticMom Pragmatic Mom

My Creative Artistic Friends

Local Artists and Photographers

I am surprised that I know so many talented artists and photographers because I did not think that I hung with an artsy crowd ’cause I’m not that cool. It turns out that the mom circle is a wide one, indeed, and I have met these guys through exercise classes, work, antiquing excursions, and one is even a relative! They are all incredibly talented and many have discovered their talent later in life. Read more…

Top 25: Children’s Fantasy Picture and Chapter Books

Best Fantasy Books for Kids: Picture Books and Chapter Books

I need this list for my oldest who loves adventure fantasy books like the Harry Potter series. I can’t keep up, so I was glad to find this list  of best fantasy chapter books and picture books from The Telegraph in the United Kingdom for her summer reading. I’ll keep you posted on which of these books she liked. Is it me, or am I the only one who thinks that the Brits read and write more and, frankly better than Americans? Could it be the weather that keeps them indoors more and cozy by the fire with a book? I’m not sure but I do find that they are a nation of readers. Read more…

Annie and the Wild Animals, picture book, picture books that build vocabulary

SAT Vocabulary Words from Annie and the Wild Animals

Picture Books that Build Vocabulary: Annie and the Wild Animals

The words for Week 11 are from the picture book, Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett. I noticed that in my son’s Kindergarten room, the teacher or maybe literacy specialist, mounts a special poster with the cover of book and the list of vocabulary words from the book. Read more…

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Warm Weather Safety Tips for Pets from My Vet

Keeping Dogs and Other Pets Safe in Hot Weather

My vet sent me these warm weather safety tips for my dog and other pets. This is my first dog, so like a new parent, I am trying to educate myself to make sure I keep my dog alive and safe. Some of these hot weather tips were new to me and it gets hot here in New England so I am glad he sent them to me.  Oops on the dog shaving. I did do this a month ago to help with the ticks but the shave was a little too close. Next time I will ask for the “long shave” which just learned about. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks after all! Read more…

Best vintage easy readers, best early readers

Top 10: Best Old Fashioned Easy Readers

While not all these books are from when I was young, they all have an old fashioned, innocent feel.  In fact, my number one pick, Ling and Ting:  Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin reminds me so much of my favorite Little Bear early chapter book series in that it has a tight story line that is both silly and sweet.  Easy readers are a rite of passage for both kids and parents.  I remember searching for easy readers that were not mind numbingly boring as both parent and child are reading together during this period of literacy.

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Tori caught in the act of reading pragmatic mom pragmaticmom child reading in reading basket cute girl

Kids Caught in the Act … of READING!

Kids Caught Reading!

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos. I love seeing kids caught in the act of reading and hope that it inspires you to keep your kids reading this summer! I will be posting a slew of reading lists for anyone who needs inspiration while at the library. Thank you again everyone for your support for this feature! I can’t do it without you! What are your reading strategies for your kids to keep them reading? Please share! Read more…

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Humor for Moms: The Next Survivor Series

Six married men on an island with 1 car and 3 kids for 6 weeks

THE NEXT SURVIVOR SERIES

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and take either music or dance classes.

There is no fast food. Read more…

Best Books for Tweens by Middle School Boy

Book Reviews by Middle School Boy

Capability:Mom gave me her summer camp newsletter because there is a boy there who all the kids go to when they need a good chapter book recommendation.  The kids think he is a kind of genius boy wonder that knows pretty much everything on the planet.  I believe he is in middle school.  He was kind enough to write up his chapter book recommendations for the newsletter and I have retyped it for you.  I love peer-to-peer book recommendations.  Who better to know what you will like than a kid your age??! Read more…

Maurice Sendak's birthday today Where the Wild Things Are PragmaticMOM Pragmatic Mom best education mom blog children's literature kidlit best books for kids children picture books classic Caldecott winners

Top 5: Maurice Sendak Picture Books

Celebrating Maurice Sendak on His Birthday!

Happy birthday to Maurice Sendak today, beloved author and Caldecott winning illustrator. To be honest, I am not sure why I remembered that today is Maurice Sendak’s birthday. I am normally bad at remembering most people’s birthdays, but particularly bad at authors (note how I keep forgetting Dr. Seuss’!). Thankfully, I read about his birthday somewhere and stuck in a blog place holder. He is one of our favorite picture book authors and I noticed that both my girls and little boy love it — a tough feat to pull off! Read more…