All posts in Book Reviews

gods and heroes, gods and heros, mythology books, mythology pop up book, books for kids,

Wonderful Comprehensive Pop Up Mythology Book: Encyclopedia Mythologica (for ages 5-15)

Mythology Pop Up Book for Kids

I knew my going-int0-5th grader would LOVE this book even though it is not a chapter book so when she complained about not having anything to read, I quickly ordered this online. When it came, she snatched it up, disappeared for a few hours and then thanked me for it. She did love it! Read more…

surfer picture book, picture books, best picture books, multicultural picture books, pictures books

New Picture Books Reviews

New Picture Book Reviews by Mom and 3 Kids

I’m been asking for and getting a small pile of books these days and haven’t been posting on them. I was at a loss about how to present them … individual book reviews? But there are lots of bloggers who do that. Do you readers really need or want more? I had been putting them on [wacky] themed lists but not all the books fit on an existing list and creating a new list per book is crazy time-consuming. But I like the idea of putting a new book in the context of other well-known and really great books. A review by itself is difficult to decipher into “my kid likes X so he or she will love Y.” Sorry, no more math. Read more…

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan pragmatic mom

The Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan: Book Club for Kids

Lost Boys of Sudan Book Club for Kids

Who Are The Lost Boys of Sudan?

“The Lost Boys of Sudan are more than 27,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were displaced and/or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005, about 2 million killed). The survivors, about 3800 Lost Boys arrived in the United States in 2001, where they are now scattered in about 38 cities. Read more…

best travel memoirs, best travel books, best books for vacation,

Top 10: Best Travel Memoirs

Best Armchair Travel Memoirs

The list is actually The 100 Most Celebrated Travel Books of All Time and it’s here. Given that my “second act” is 12 years away, I am just going to try to read the first 10 books which I am surprised to find that I have read NONE of them!! Read more…

go the fuck to sleep, adult picture book, picture book for adults, picture book for parents

Go The F**k to Sleep: Two Takes on Parenting

Adult Picture Book for New Parents

Getting kids to sleep is such a politically charged topic for parents. There are the co-sleepers who are vehemently opposed by the Independent Sleepers. Caught in the middle? The parents who get no sleep and still have to function the next day. Read more…
books for arty kids, books for artistic children,

Top 10: Best Books for Young Artists (ages 2-18)

My oldest is a budding artist and while I have failed to support this interest with extra curricular activities to improve her skills, I have finally seen the light and enrolled her in a week of real art camp.  Not the arts and crafts variety.  She draws daily such that I tend to push activities that are opposite to art to round her out:  math, reading, music, languages, and sports.
My mom friends are more on top of things.

One mom friend suggested an excellent art book from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as a birthday present.  Hey, I did buy her the book (and it’s excellent).  And I took her to the Eric Carle Museum.  But now I am trying to be more supportive.  We bought a family pass to the Museum of Fine Arts to increase our trips from annual to quarterly.  I put her in camps that have more interesting and in depth art offerings.  And I keep these books around the house.  Most of them at least.

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

Art Activity Books

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Art Books for Kids Honorable Mention

Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans

I got this book for my 16 year old, Grasshopper and Sensei, who is arty and just completed the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program this past summer. She and I are both drooling over this book. Beautifully illustrated on every page, this book brings the artists and major paintings that they created alive! Each story covers the artist’s life but in a way that draws the reader in because it’s a story and not a straight up (boring) biography. You can flip from chapter to chapter to read about particular artists or periods of art as you choose, or read it from start to finish in historical order. The beauty of this book is that it works for a wide range of ages. It also works beautifully as a read aloud for art history, either at home or in an art class. My daughter and I have read a lot of art history books for kids and this one is by far the best one we’ve ever run across. This is worth the investment! [art history chapter book, ages 6 and up]


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Teach Me Tuesday Guatemala Pragmatic Mom PragmaticMom

Guatemala: kids books, recipes, weavings and more

Guatemala for Kids through Books, Culture and Food

I landed in Guatemala because I actually had no idea of what to post on but I keep an email folder of “books that I want to read” from all the blogs that I read and Libertad came up and that was it for me. I don’t know much about Guatemala though my oldest just did a unit on the ancient civilizations of South and Central America but I always get the Aztecs mixed up with the Mayans. I think she had the Mayans, though. Read more…

best picture books for kids, best picture books, best picture books you've never heard of

Best Picture Books You’ve Never Heard Of

Best Picture Books for Kids EVER!

I love picture books; it’s a complete story in 24ish pages with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It’s a visit to an art gallery or a museum with beautiful artwork in all kinds of media — drawings, paintings, collages, and more.  It can transport you to another time and place, a different culture, or a different person’s point of view.  Picture books are NOT just for young children; I insist they are for everyone, adult and child alike.  My 4th grader’s teacher is reading Patricia Polacco’s picture books to the class and the kids are thoroughly enjoying them.  Picture books also make bedtime stories a pleasure because one reader can satisfy a wide audience. Read more…

Top 10: Books You Were Forced to Read in School that You’d Read Again

Best Assigned Reading High School and Middle School Books

Yep, I was forced to read these books as a kid too.  Must be a rite of passage.  A few I read on my own, but many of these were assigned.  Check out this list from Time Magazine online by Gilbert Cruz to see if you had to read them too! And more importantly, will you make your kids read them too?!!  Really do check out the article; it has descriptions for all the books. Read more…