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World Kindness Day ideas for kids

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

The day after the election I was in shock, then angry and finally depressed. And the thought of facing racism made me mad and ready to fight. And it’s not like I don’t spend a few hours punching every week. I was ready to fist fight, and, it turns out,  I wasn’t the only one. Day 1 in Trump’s America is an ugly place to be.

But then I met with Valarie and Becky for Multicultural Children’s Book Day — we meet weekly via Skype for the months leading up to January 27th — and we realized that now, more than ever, we need to fight for acceptance of diversity through compassion. Believe me, this is not an easy leap to make for me!  My first response would be to throw a punch when faced with racism, so I give myself this reminder today, on World Kindness Day, November 13th.

Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)

And, as I think about kindness, I am reminded of Valerie at Inner Child Fun (different Valerie than Valarie at Jump Into a Book/Multicultural Children’s Book Day) and how she inspired me with her 35 Random Acts of Kindness Birthday Challenge. I knew I wanted to face my own upcoming 48th birthday this way. It wasn’t easy to pull it off; I needed a month, but it was the best birthday present ever!

And just like that … ripples of kindness actually spread. Read more…

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

These are art kits that my daughter and I put together when I realized that our lists might be overwhelming: 45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter, and 10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids.

p.s. More art gift posts:

Art Activity Books

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Art Kit To Encourage Creativity

 + = a book of fun art games plus washable markers makes a great art gift for on the go that the entire family can enjoy if you just add some blank paper. This DIY art kit is $17.

Tangle Art by Jeanette Nyberg Read more…

Multicultural Children's Book Day

FREE Diversity Book for Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Welcome to our upcoming Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2017! We are so excited for our fourth year that we are changing things up so that we can provide more diversity children’s books to parents, caregivers, guardians, librarians, and teachers.

Multicultural Children's Book Day

In years past, we asked for BLOGGERS to sign up to receive a free book in return for a review on their blog which they linked up on January 27th. This year, we are thrilled to expand our invitation for a FREE diversity book to parents, caregivers, guardians, librarians, teachers, and, of course, bloggers! Instead of limiting the book review and optional book extension activity to blog posts, we are expanding it to social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook and YouTube! Read more…

Books for Kids to Gift Teachers and Principals

Books for Kids to Gift Teachers and Principals

My girls are I are a little obsessed with gift giving right now. We wrack our brain to find the right gift for each person. If the present delights and amuses, we know we have a winner. It’s not about spending a lot of money per se, it’s more about finding a personal connection from that person to the gift, which means trying to remember obscure details from past conversations to nail that gift.

Teacher gifts can be hard. Principal gifts even harder. It’s not like you really hang out with your school’s principal! Did your art teacher do something amazing for your child? Ours nominated my daughter for a special arts summer camp which set her down a happy path that she’s now pursuing.

I’ve personally used many of these books to gift to my kids’ teachers. I hope you enjoy these books too; both reading them with your kids and perhaps even gifting one to a special teacher or educator in your life.

How about you? What’s a special gift that you like to give to teachers? Thanks for sharing!


Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

This is by far my favorite gift to any amazing teacher. Mr. Falker is a real person that helped Patricia Polacco to overcome her dyslexia but I’d use this book for any teacher that goes above and beyond for his or her students. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Read more…

Madame President Election Books for Kids

Madame President Election Picture Books for Kids

Are you following the U.S. presidential elections? I am and it’s turned into an embarrassing reality TV show. Even though I hate politics and avoid it like the plague typically, I watched all four debates and was elated after Hillary took the lead after the first one.

The third debate sparked a few controversies including my new purchase of this t-shirt. #ImWithHer

Nasty Woman tshirt

My new t-shirt from Google Ghost.

For today’s post, I wanted to highlight three new books that I received that the presidential debates and election into focus: the good, the bad, and the ugly. And while I like all three of these books, they each represent something about the presidential election that is good, bad and ugly.

#NeverTrump Trump as bottom feeder by Zoe Lee painting

Trump as Bottom Feeder by Zoe Lee. See her art portfolio at Flying On Miles.

Read more…

5 New Picture Book Biographies To Teach Kids Perseverance

5 New Picture Book Biographies To Teach Kids Perseverance

5 Picture Book Biographies To Teach Kids Perseverance

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov

young Louis Braille

I never knew that Louis Braille lost his vision as a little boy from an accident with an awl. By the time he was five, he was completely blind. He dreamt of reading books but even the books at the Royal School For the Blind in Paris had large raised letters and very few words. A secret code developed by a French army captain gave him an idea. Using the awl again, he spent years developing a way to simplify the captain’s code. And this code is known today as Braille! [biography picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my Arty Daughter

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my Arty Daughter

My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school in two years. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program last summer, which exposed her to many different art supplies. Her favorite birthday gift from us these past few years is an annual subscription to art supply box ArtSnacks which is how she discovered Copic Markers. These days she watches arty kids wax poetic on YouTube with their favorite art supplies. Today, she does the same here.

My Daughter's Pieces from RISD Pre-College Program

Grasshopper and Sensei at the RISD Pre-College Art Show in front of her piece.

She has tried everything on this list — and more — to hone down her favorite art supplies for serious arty kids. She thinks this list is for high school students, but I’d suggest using her suggestions for your arty kid as the situation warrants. For example, her brother, now 12 years old, started out drawing stick figure comics using pencil and spiral bound lined notebooks when he was 9 and 10. He progressed to sketch books and inexpensive Crayola markers that I bought from Target, and his art became more manga based. For his 12th birthday, he requested a small set of Copic Markers and Rendr Paper Sketchbook which does not bleed through. His manga art, self taught through YouTube videos, has now included more anatomically correct manga figures.

My Daughter's Pieces from RISD Pre-College Program

Her best work from the RISD Pre College Summer Art Program. It’s seed pods rendered in pencil.

In this list, my daughter who is very price conscious since she buys many of these materials with her own money, suggests different options: INVESTMENT, INEXPENSIVE, SPECIALTY, and MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. I hope this helps you find the right art supplies for your seriously arty kid!

p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:

Art Activity Books

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Art Supply Gift Guide for SERIOUS Arty Kids

ArtSnacks, $20/month

This is a monthly subscription kit in which you will receive 4-5 full size premium art supplies including unique items that are not available elsewhere. They are starting to make their own art supplies as well. My daughter gets really excited about the kit every month! When she was at RISD, she discovered other students who also subscribed to ArtSnacks from the stickers on their stuff and it was a bonding moment for her!

Art Snacks

Alcohol Based Markers for SERIOUS Arty Kids

Investment Refillable Markers for Arty Kids

Copic Markers, about $8 each and also come in sets.

They are really expensive but they are worth it because they are refillable and have the best brushes and nibs. The ink is also very high quality. These are alcohol based professional markers that you can use for a lifetime.

As long as you take care of your Copic Markers (store horizontally NOT vertically) and don’t press really hard on the nibs, they should last a lifetime. You can REFILL each marker and the ink is readily available. You can also start out with a small set and keep adding over your lifetime.

Here are two starter sets: the first is just basic colors, the second is skin tones. If you have both, you can draw manga figures though you might want to fill in specific colors that you use most and in several hues.

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Favorite Children’s Books Featuring an LGBTQ Character

Our theme for this month’s Diverse Children’s Books linkups is Favorite Children’s Books Featuring an LGBTQ Character(s). (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

Here are a few of mine:

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole

This is the TRUE story of zoo penguins; two males who raise a chick. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

At my kids’ school, we our LGBTQ families are overly represented by two mom families and there’s no two dad families because I think it’s more difficult and expensive for two dads to adopt a baby. And that’s why Stella Brings the Family is an important book for kids to see two dad family diversity. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Here’s a resource for more LGBTQ books: LBGT Book Lists for Kids of All Ages.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.


Read more…

10 Cozy New Winter Picture Books & GIVEAWAY

10 Cozy New Winter Picture Books & GIVEAWAY

It really depends on who you ask in my family when it comes to winter and snow. My husband hates the cold, and equates the snow with shoveling out, ice dams, and slipping on black ice. My kids take a more joyful view of snow. It’s no school snow days spent sledding down hills, snow ball fights, and hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.

PickyKidPix first snow in kindergarten

PickyKidPix and her friend Helena catch snowflakes on their tongues during their first snow in kindergarten. 

To put a happy face on the cold, my husband has opted for cozy and comforting home cooking. Our menu changes from grilling to long simmered soups and stews. For making winter cozier no matter what weather you are experience, try these cozy winter snow books with your kids. My favorite snow books are on my Top 10 Winter Books for Kids list. What are yours?

10 Cozy New Winter Picture Books

Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

It’s a lot of work to get the farm ready for winter! The strawberries need to be covered with hay. The fields need to be planted with oats and rye. The raspberry canes need to be cut back. For everything the farm gives, there’s something to be done. With the old fashioned charm of The Ox-Cart Man, this picture book captures the buzz of activity on the farm as winter approaches with calm, quiet fortitude.

Read more…