1000 Books Before Kindergarten

Our local library recently started a program entitled 1000 Books Before Kindergarten as a way of encouraging parents to read to their young children.


In our house, we read all the time.  I homeschool my kids, and our homeschooling largely consists of sitting down with stacks of books and reading them together.


When one of the children’s librarians told us about the program, my older son immediately announced, “Mama, we should sign up [my 3-year-old].”  He paused briefly, “You want to do it, right Kyle?”  Of course, my 3-year-old said yes. … Continue reading

Chapter Books with Strong Female Characters

A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of my family’s favorite picture books with strong female characters.  Today, I am posting a list of our favorite chapter books containing strong girls or women.


The list contains everything from books accessible to early readers to chapter books that are appropriate for young adults.  I’ve read most of the books geared at younger readers with my 8-year-old, though none of the young adult books (those are waiting on our bookshelves for future reading).… Continue reading

Picture Books with Strong Female Characters

A few days ago, a friend’s post on Facebook lead to a discussion about books with strong female characters.  I started to put together a list to send to her, and realized that other people might be interested in this list.  So now I’m posting it here.  The following are picture books that my boys and I have enjoyed over the years. … Continue reading

Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney

Miss Rumphius, by Barbara CooneyMiss Rumphius is a sweet, gentle, heartwarming tale of a life well lived.  The inspiring message at this story’s core is a wise perspective on what it means to live a meaningful life.


Narrated by Miss Rumphius’ young niece, this book begins by introducing us to the “little and old” Lupine Lady who lives by the sea, but reminds us that she was not always little and old. … Continue reading

Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson

Bear Snores On by Karma WilsonBear snores on was Karma Wilson’s first picture book, and this playful tale of friendship is our favorite of the bunch. Her lyrical rhymes tell a cute story of how an assortment of woodland creatures end up having a party as they one-by-one gather in a sleeping bear’s den while a raging winter storm “howl[s]” outside.


The inviting tale is told in a wonderful, flowing cadence that makes it easy to read.… Continue reading

Barnyard Dance, by Sandra Boynton

Barnyard Dance by Sandra BoyntonSandra Boynton has written and illustrated a lot of fun books for kids, but while we enjoy many of them, this one is hands-down our favorite. In this book, Boynton combines her whimsical animal illustrations with words written to a rollicking, square-dance style beat. Every time we read it, my boys get up and dance.


This wonderfully silly book is a hit with everyone in our family, even after reading it frequently for over six years.… Continue reading

My 6 Favorite Books for One-Year-Olds

Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton Time for Bed by Mem Fox Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton Is Your Mama a LLama by Deborah Guarino


Yesterday there was a conversation on my local mom’s listserv about the best birthday gift for a 1-year-old. I chimed in, saying I would skip the toys as my boys enjoyed my wooden spoons, nesting measuring cups and spoons, empty toilet paper rolls and egg cartons, and other such household items far more than toys at that age. Instead, I would buy a stack of good books.… Continue reading

The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo, by Julia DonaldsonWe have several children’s books written by Julia Donaldson, and we enjoy them all. However, there are two that get read over and over and over in our house, and The Gruffalo is one of them (I’ll post a review of the other one in the future).


The Gruffalo is a fun book about a mouse who shrewdly outsmarts all of the animals who want to eat him.… Continue reading

Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise BrownLast night as I lay down with my 2-year-old to fall asleep, I whispered to him, as I always do, “Good night. I love you.” Instead of the simple, “G’night” he normally whispers in reply, he launched into a string of good nights, “G’night, Mama. G’night, Daddy. G’night, Brother [he calls his brother “Brother” as he has trouble pronouncing his name].… Continue reading

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova

Still AliceStill Alice is at once heart-breaking, riveting, and terrifying. This book hit home for me. Hard. I’ve watched a great-grandfather, a grandmother, and now my mother-in-law slowly lose their minds to this currently incurable disease. As I read, I cried, and I cried, and I cried.

You need to read this book. Everyone needs to read this book. Alzheimer’s is becoming increasingly prevalent in this country, and if you don’t currently know someone with this disease, at some point you will.… Continue reading