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17 Great Books for Kids and Teens on the Arab World

What Do Muslims Really Want Anyway?! 17 Books on Muslim World for Kids

Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post.


Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again raised anger and confusion. Are Muslims really committed to hostility toward other religions? Or do most Muslims want to find common ground and live together with non-Muslims, without fear or threats? Read more…

Champions for Kids #SnacksforStudents

Champions for Kids #SnacksforStudents

I’m thrilled today to be helping my local Boys and Girls Club through the Champions for Kids Snacks for Students Program which matched up a local non-profit for kids in my town, John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton, with Walmart in Framingham, near where I live.

Champions for Kids #SnacksforStudents

I’m helping John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton get basic resources through in-store donations. It’s quite simple. The Framingham Walmart will have donation bins for my organization that anyone can donate to. Since the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club provides child care and activities for kids of all ages, snacks are especially helpful and kids are always hungry before and after school!

Champions for Kids Read more…

Reasons Why Every Mom Should Invest In A Baby Keepsake Box

As much as we may wish otherwise, sadly, childhood comes with an expiration date. Therefore, a baby keepsake box is a worthwhile purchase for moms who want to cherish baby-related memories. Keepsake boxes don’t have to cost much – they can be made at home from an ordinary storage or shoebox, perhaps decorated or covered in pretty wrapping paper or other cheaper alternatives like cloth bags, grocery bag, newspapers, among other things. Anything else your imagination can suggest- but almost all baby retailers carry premade baby boxes if you’re not feeling creative, or you’re simply pressed for time.

Reasons Why Every Mom Should Invest In A Baby Keepsake Box
What to Include

Items to include in your baby keepsake box can vary according to your desires: there’s no prescribed list of “essential” items. As with all things pretty, the Internet is a great source of inspiration when you’re planning one for your baby. A memory box doesn’t have to be too cutesy, though. It can hold treasured items to tell your child about their origins and their family: think about including pictures of parents and grandparents, a letter from you, old photographs of family homes, or information about the family tree.

baby keepsake box
A Time Capsule of Babyhood

If you want to create a memory box that’s essentially a time capsule collection of babyhood items, then you can start before your baby is even born. Think about including ultrasound images, and photographs of you and your partner while you’re pregnant. Once baby is born, think about little items such as hospital wrist bands, a copy of the front page of a respected national newspaper from the day your child was born, first toy, first socks or baby shoes, first photo after birth, and congratulations cards from family and friends.

baby keepsake box
Locks of hair (in ziplock bags) and first teeth are also popular souvenirs. If this doesn’t appeal to you, think about including photos of various milestones (first steps, first solid food, first haircut, first holiday). In a digital age, hard copies of personal images are increasingly rare, so think about creating an annotate photo album- some stores will do this for you, or you could simply buy an album and annotate by yourself.

Ultimately, what you’re doing is creating a record to show your child how important they are to you, and how much they’re cherished and loved by you. Because of this, memory boxes are incredibly personal, so don’t feel that you “have” to include a certain item just because others are doing so.

Best Book Blog 2014 Award

I Won Best of the Book Blogosphere Award of 2014!

THANK YOU to everyone involved for selecting my blog as Best of the Book Blogosphere 2014! It’s the very first blogging award I’ve ever won and it totally made my day!!

Here are the other fabulous bloggers that also won:

Best Book Blog 2014 Award


Full of Fiction


Too Many Books, Too Little Time


Children’s Book Heal


Chill Reviews

Reading Bud


Confessions of a Book Blogger


Thank you again to all my readers who helped me win this award! It means a lot to me!!


10 Award Winning Jewish Books for Kids

10 Award Winning Jewish Books for Kids and Kid Lit Blog Hop

The Jewish Book Council announced this week the winner of the Louis Posner Memorial Award for Illustrated Children’s Book and The Sydney Taylor Book Awards for 2015 are out!

Louis Posner Memorial Award for Illustrated Children’s Book Winner

The Patchwork Torah by Allison Ofanansky, illustrated by Elsa Oriol

Fragments of damaged and rescued Torahs from several periods of history are woven together in this touching tale of four generations of a Torah scribe and his family. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Read more…

Drawing with Jef Czekaj and Jarrett Krosoczka

Drawing with Jef Czekaj and Jarrett Krosoczka

My son and I attended a Wondermore event that raises money to bring in authors to underserved kids in the Boston area. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jarrett a few times: Skype author visit at my schoolPeanut Butter and Jellyfish picture book trailer, and Platypus Police Squad book release at the book store owned by The Dot author Peter H. Reynolds!

Jarrett Krosoczka and Jef Czejak Author VisitRead more…

Learn to Box with Learnivore

Learning to Box through Learnivore

I really love that name Learnivore. Perhaps it’s because I spent one year reading dinosaur books to my T-Rex obsessed son when he was three-years-old. We learned about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. But Learnivores? Such great branding. I think it means folks who love to learn.


I was asked if I wanted to try out Learnivore as a sponsored blog post and I thought, why not? But then, learn what exactly? I’m done with formal education after I completed my M.B.A. more than two decades ago.  But Derek, the head of Learnivore community, said:

We would basically have you use our site to request a lesson in any discipline in the Boston area (everything from skateboarding to sewing, honestly). It’s pretty simple. You’d create a basic account, which takes no more than a minute or two , and then you would click on the big, green button that says “create a request.” You would then answer a few short questions about what you’re looking for so that, when completed, your request can be sent to all of the instructors in the Learnivore community that fit the bill. Within a few days, you’ll have a number of qualified instructors reach out to you via our messaging system and you’ll be able to use factors like cost, availability, student reviews, experience, etc. to choose your favorite.

The only thing I’m obsessively trying to learn these days is boxing, specifically to improve my sparring in the ring. Read more…

Happy International Book Giving Day #GiveaBook Giveaway

Happy International Book Giving Day #GiveaBook Giveaway

Happy International Book Giving Day and Happy Valentine’s Day as well! Want to celebrate too? Just give a new or used book to a child or a place or person that will reach a person. Grab your free book plates too, 2 versions!

International Book Giving Day February 14

Today, to celebrate, I’m giving away books! I believe in giving the right book to the right person so I’m matching up books by Core Curriculum subjects they teach or if I just think it would be a good addition to their classroom library. Read more…

Black History Month Picture Book of the Day

Black History Month Picture Book of the Day

Februray is Black History Month and I’m celebrating with a round up of books that I hope teach and inspire for different reasons. I have two biographies on Sun Ra, a jazz legend and Malcolm X, the great civil rights leader. I chose Lend a Hand for the inspiring poems and inclusive illustrations that urge readers to help make the world a better place. The Hula-Hooping Queen is a picture book story not of a real person but it reminds us that we need stories that denote children of color where it’s not the main plot of the story. Read more…