Hey, friends. Mama Burgher over here, big cup of coffee in hand. It is day three of summer break in Western Pennsylvania and I am already tired of telling the kids to get outside, put down the electronics. Thankfully I recently found out about a book authored by a 10-year-old who gets me. In “Legends From Mom’s Closet”, Sasha Olsen shares her summer adventure of learning about historical legends, using her imagination and not a screen.
We have been sent books below in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own.
What We’re Reading: February 13
A Couch for Llama by Leah Gilbert
What happens when a family loses their couch on their way home from a furniture store and a llama discovers it? Good thing it’s comfy…will the family get their couch back or will llama feel all the sads? You’ll have to read this one to find out!
(We love the adorable illustrations in this book by greeting card designer and author Leah Gilbert. That couch sure looks comfy!)
A Couch for Llama is available on Amazon and at other book retailers with an MSRP of $16.95.
Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night by Dee Leone, Illustrated by Bali Engel
The twins love a lullaby, so it is no surprise that they enjoyed reading a book about nature shushing us to sleep. With scenes of animal parents putting their children to sleep, they connect and find it easier to go to sleep themselves.
If you think the cover is soothing (we do!), just wait until you see the pictures on the inside!
You can also pick up Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night on Amazon and at other book retailers with an MSRP of $16.95.
Bagel in Love by Natasha Wing, Illustrated by Helen Dardik
With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, will Bagel find a partner for the Cherry Jubilee dance? It’s not looking great, then an adorable cupcake crosses Bagel’s path.
We love this story, the illustrations and the glitter texture in the book! You might recognize author Wing from “The Night Before Kindergarten” and illustrator Helen Dardik from work with American Girl and Parents Magazine. Super sweet!
You’ll have to pick this one up! Bagel in Love is available on Amazon and at other book retailers with an MSRP of $16.95.
What are you reading this week?
Three Ways to Prepare Kids for New Experiences
1. Give them the details. You’ll want to cater the amount of details you give to your child based on their age and understanding; however, if they know what is going to happen, it will make it a lot easier. When our kids go to VBS with my parents, I tell them what week of the summer it will be / show it to them on the calendar, tell them what church it will be at / do a drive-by of the location if they haven’t been there before, and remind them that Pappy will be doing the prayers and Grammie will be leading crafts. This lets them know a general idea of what is about to happen so that they aren’t just thrown into the mix of kids and can expect the number of days they’ll be away from us.
2. Set rules and expectations. Just like when you prepare a new meal, you expect that your child will give the new experience a try. Even if you ask them to just give it 30 minutes, let your child know that you want them to give it their best shot and that you’ll be proud of them while they try the new thing. Remind them that there are rules that they’ll need to follow, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun.
3. Talk about the Familiar. Perhaps you’ll want to read a book like Ally-saurus & the First Day of School to give them an example of a new experience and how it can turn out differently than they hope yet not be so bad. Or maybe talking about another time they did something new and how proud of them you were / a new friend they made / a fun craft they did will help.
Sure, these tips won’t make it absolutely 100% without tears, but should alleviate some of the struggles as your child (and you!) embark on a new experience. Good luck, and come back and tell us what worked for you.
Have I ever mentioned that I was a
PK (pastor’s kid)
When I was in high school, taking a second language was a requirement for only two years. At this point, I probably know as many words in French (my language of choice) as my kids know words in Spanish and Chinese (thanks to popular kids’ television shows). But I am never afraid to flex my language muscles when giving the kids reminders to say please and thank you by asking them to say it in French or Spanish. Recently, I took the big kids on a language adventure as we read two new books by Abigail Samoun.
The pair of books from the Little Traveler series by Samoun we were asked to read and review were “How Penguin Says Please!” and “How Tiger Says Thank You!”. Both take readers around the world teaching them how to say “please” and “thank you” in seven languages (plus English). There’s the more common French and Spanish, but also included are Russian, Arabic (another semi-familiar language in our home due to Greg’s faith), Hindi, Mandarin, and Japanese. Samoun is kind to parents in providing the pronunciation guide for each language, too. (I am so thankful for this because sometimes I guess and sound like a fool, dhanyavaad, Abigail!)
Not only do the books take children on a language adventure, but illustrator Sarah Watts has drawn scenes from the countries along the path of the animals’ travels and a map to put a geographical lesson spin on the read, too.
Both books are produced by Sterling Publishing and retail for $6.95. They are board books and I think that they would be great gifts for any child ages 0-6. “Onegaishimasu” check out How Penguin Says Please! and How Tiger Says Thank You!, “Arigato”! (Please and thank you in Japanese.)
Part of our bedtime routine is to read books with all four kids. Sometimes it is a struggle to get the big kids to do the whole “PJs, potty, and brush teeth” deal in a quick fashion. They do enjoy a asking for all.the.things right at bedtime. So, it’s no surprise that they had schema for Sleepy Kitty and =&0=&, two new bedtime story books on our shelf.
These two photo books share the story of a kitten and puppy who are trying to stay awake. Like my kids, they want “one more” ‘lil bit of attention before they shut their eyes and catch some zzz’s. The big kids (ages 6 and 4) were able to read the books to the twins (who are too young to appreciate the adorable photos of cats and dogs). Both books quickly became a favorite and we read them over and over a few times (oh, the sneaky way to extend bedtime) the past few nights.
Sleepy Kitty tells the story of mischievous kittens sneaking in requests before bedtime while Sleepy Puppy tells the story story of rascal puppies begging for more time in their day. Both are brought to us by Sterling Publishing and are available for a suggested retail price of $6.95. The fact sheet I received suggests these board books are for kids up to 3 years old; however, because my big kids still like to grab a picture book (especially ones they can read the words in), it’s on our shared shelf and not just in the nursery. Pick up this pair for your next baby shower – and tell the mama it will come in handy when their firstborn refuses to just go to sleep. (Both books are available at book retailers and through Sterling Publishing.