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Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children?!

Are Picture Books Still Popular?

Is this a sign of the recessionary times or a shift in reading?  I hope it’s just the recession because I LOVE picture books and this article from Julie Bosman at The New York Times just makes me and my Dad Friend sad!

I will do my part.  I just bought Jon Scieszka‘s Math Curse.  Now I think I will buy Robot Zot next.  Even if you are not buying picture books, please read them to your children!  Get them from the school library, the public library, a yard sale, or do book trades with mom friends.  Picture books are for any age; they are a complete story with a beginning, middle and end.  The illustrations help to tell the story.  Picture books often have rich and vivid language making it a more interesting experience than some repetitive, mindless, easy chapter books (Rainbow Fairies come to mind here but you fill in the blank with your pet peeve series). Read more…

2011 Newbery Potential Winners from Ex-Newbery Judge, Amanda Stuckmeyer

Predicting Newbery Winners 2011

I am excited about the upcoming Newbery Awards!  Amanda Struckmeyer served on the Newbery Committee that selected Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and her list, I believe, is dead on.  Here’s a link to the post that has her Mock Newbery event.  But more importantly, here’s her list!  Maybe your children will have fun reading these books trying to predict the outcome of this year’s Newbery Award?  If that is not a reasonable option, then just enjoy some newly published quality books.  Check with your library also to see if they are available yet.  If you only want one book suggestion, pundits from KidLitCon 2010 have whispered in my ear about how excellent The Keeper by Kathi Appelt is.  I wonder if Vegas lets you bet on this? Read more…

Finds in Newtonville, MA

Down Under Yoga FREE Day and Hip Stitch FREE Beading Class

UPDATE: My friend Bea Abascal no longer teaches at Down Under Yoga and I was not happy with the way this was handled so I am no longer going there. However, Coeli Marsh, who used to teach at Inner Strength Yoga in Watertown, now teaches at Down Under Yoga. She is terrific and I ‘m a huge fan but for loyalty reasons, I am not going to be attending Coeli’s classes at Down Under. HOWEVER, if you are trying to locate her (big blowout at Inner Strength, and who knew that yoga studios were so fraught with office politics?!!), you can find her here on Saturdays and Thursdays, I believe, but check the schedule. Read more…

Social Media Starts Early

92% of Children Under 2 Have Social Media Presence

I troll through lots of social media blogs and newsletters to learn more about blogging, and this article caught my eye: What You Need to Learn About Social Media from Your 2-Year-Old by Matt Carmichael from AdAge.  The AVG study is here. Read more…

Asian Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Alvin Ho

More Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

What happens when you cross a crazy popular early chapter book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with an Asian kid?  You get Alvin Ho, who is hilarious and allergic to just about everything in the world, or so he thinks, including:

  • camping
  • hiking
  • natural disasters
  • girls
  • school
  • birthday parties
  • science projects
  • man-made catastrophes
  • other scary things Read more…
Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Coleman, predictor for success,, Pragmatic Mom

Illinois Schools Teach Social and Emotional Skills

Importance of Teaching Social Emotional Skills at School

It makes sense to me that schools should teach social and emotional skills since research shows that emotional intelligence is the most accurate predictor for future success NOT IQ.  (For more on that, read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman).   The question is:  why aren’t more schools teaching it?  Oh yeah, I remember now.   It’s not on the test.  But I think this article makes a great case for why it should be on the curriculum! Read more…

Jumpstart’s Read for the Record

Read The Snowy Day to Set Record

Help set a record for Jumpstart and Pearson’s Read for the Record campaign by reading a favorite of mine, The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats on October 7.  If you pledge to read and register on their site, you are also eligible to win a gift card from American Eagle for $77 (plus they are able to count you in their campaign). Read more…

popmath, iPhone iPad iPod math app for kids, math facts fun game,, Pragmatic Mom

Top 6 Math Apps for Kids

Best Math Apps for Kids

I found this list of math apps from and I was surprised that I didn’t recognize any of these math apps!  You know me, I love math apps and I thought I hunted them all down but them seem to be coming out of the woodwork in great droves.  Perhaps this is the tip of the iceberg?  No matter!  Math apps, if your children will play them, are a match made in heaven by combining “fun” with “math.”  How great is that? When I feel like I know enough great math apps, I promise to create a Top 10:  Best Math Apps list of my own.  For now, I’m still searching. Read more…

best parenting books for raising boys

Top 10: Books for Parents of Boys

I will confess that I’ve never read a gender specific parenting book.  My older two are girls and my husband and I are dreading the pre-teen (now!) and teenage years.  The warnings abound of what is to come from parents of older girls and this might drive me to pick up a book on parenting pre-teen or teenager girls.

My little boy, on the other hand, is at the stage where he loves his mommy the most and is as sweet as can be.  I wish this phase could last forever.  Parenting a boy compared to girls seems relatively straightforward — a straight line of screen time limits and outdoor play versus the wiggly line for girls of pissy attitudes and struggles over what to wear.  Or could this just be that my son is still little?! Read more…