Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Great Big Birthday-ish Book List

Hey remember how last Wednesday we started talking about birthdays?? Well, what would birthday week be without a big bundle of birthday books?

It'd be just plain sad, that's what.

We don't want people sad on birthday week, so we deliver!! Jumbo sized list of birthday-ish books at your service. (You should have seen how excited Cuteness was that we were checking out birthday books and her birthday was coming. Adorable!)

It's no secret that around my (Whit's) house Birdie's Big-Girl Dress  by Sunjean Rim is a big hit! I've probably talked about it on the blog like 5 times…so lets make it 6! We love Birdie and her search for a new dress to wear to her birthday party!

Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch is a classic.  Super simple, with a sweet storyline that will definitely please the preschool crowd.

For Snail's Birthday Wish (by Fiona Rempt) he wants to be fast like his friends so he doesn't miss out on all the fun. Luckily, his friends have a great idea on how to help him out.

My (Robyn's) Go-To birthday book is Birthday Zoo by Deborah Lee Rose.  I just can't resist the rhymes paired with the zoo animals.  The twist at the end is the cherry on top.  Delightful!

A Birthday for Cow! is written by Jan Thomas. If you've read any of her other books, then you know silly fun is something you can count on in this book! Oh, and turnips, those are in here too! 

The Birthday Pet Ellen Javernick is a cute rhyming book we found at the library. Danny really wants a turtle for his birthday, but his family has other ideas…will all his birthday wishes come true? We shell see (haha!)

Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beatty.  The hats!  The rhymes!  The illustrations!  (click here for the full review)

I Am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems isn't totally a birthday book per say BUT its totally party and totally hilarious! We love it around here!!

We have a real love for pigs in this house.  If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff is the perfect book for my little pig lover.  Cause you know all kinds of crazy stuff happens if you give a pig a party…

And, if you love the characters from the "if you give a…" books then you might want to check them out as they help mouse celebrate his birthday in the board book Happy Birthday, Mouse!

Arthur's Birthday is a classic in our house! Lilac and I have read it so many times we discovered the other day that together we pretty much have it memorized!  My only compliant? I don't like the present Francine gives Arthur for his birthday…I'm pretty sure Arthur doesn't either.

Do you love cake?  Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson is the book for you!  The illustrations in the book are such fun!  And the process behind making the cake?  You don't want to miss it.

It's My Birthday by Helen Oxenbury follows a cute little tot as he attempts to make his birthday cake with the help of some animal friends. Soft and sweet artwork and sort of list style repetitive text make this a cute little book for the 5 and under crowd.

For the most part birthdays and parties in general are great!  Right?  Well, in Henry's Happy Birthday (by Holly Keller) things don't go just the way Henry had hoped.  He gets feeling kinda grumpy amidst all of his birthday celebrations.  (Who hasn't felt that way now and then?)  Find yourself a copy to find out what happens.

Mouse's Birthday by Jane Yolen is pretty darn cute!! It's sort of like The Mitten, but instead of hiding from the cold everyone is crowding in to help mouse celebrate his birthday!!

And what celebration-ish sort of birthday extravaganza would be complete with out a Fancy Nancy book? In Fancy Nancy: Puppy Party Nancy throws a huge soiree for her dog Frenchy's birthday! Delightful disaster ensues (of course). It's really cute!

There you have it kids, birthday books galore! Hope you found something new that you might enjoy when you're thinking about birthdays. Happy reading!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau

You must read Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts if you haven't yet!  It's such a wonderful book.  You are gonna LOVE it!  Whitalics here, we're tag teaming it today because we both love this book so much and guess what? It happens to fit perfectly with the birthday week theme. Yay! 

Madame Chapeau is truly the most endearing hat maker you'll ever meet.  Yes, she's kind and artistic and totally sweet.  And the hats in the book-- so wonderful!! (Which of course means the art in this book is fantastic!)

What's your favorite hat Robyn? 

Well- I have this obsession with blue... and I couldn't resist all those tassels.  So yeah, it was the blue sombrero.  

Of course, the blue one, I can't believe I didn't predict that!  I think I like the pink one with the strips of ribbon and the pom-pom pin the's tough to narrow it down though! There's even hats for pets! the dog bone hat is pretty great, you have to admit!!

I had a feeling you'd have something to say about the dog bones.  Those pom-poms on the cat hat... to DIE FOR!

Back to Madame Chapeau, though, sorry I'm easily distracted. Besides her incredible talent, she's also very shy and lonely.  But, you'll just adore the adventure that unfolds on her birthday.  Adore is right! Cuteness is a major fan of this book-- its one of those read it again immediately after you've read it kind of books in our house.

And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this adorable little girl throughout the pages of the book, she plays a pivotal role in the outcome! (And I absolutely love her hair-- oh! and her outfit! So cute!!)

 -Happy reading and happy birthday-ing!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Birthday Week and 2 ideas to make birthday's a little simpler for you...

Hey all, do you remember what March means on our blog? (Here's a hint, it has nothing to do with basketball…or St. Patricks Day apparently this year. Oops.)  It means birthday time for our little girls! Yay!!

That's right, Kitten and Cutenss both have March birthdays so we usually like to celebrate on the blog with some sort of girly birthday-ish happiness.  This year we're calling it birthday week (even if we're just starting on Wednesday) and we've got some birthday books to share. But first, how about we kick it all of with 2 birthday ideas that have been a big help around my house...

I know, a paper chain--not exactly new territory here, but have you ever made one for a birthday countdown?? That ends at a cupcake picture?? Well, it's been extremely helpful in showing Cuteness how many days are left until her birthday (without me having to get the calendar down and count them out with her every five minutes.  It's the little things people.) She can be super excited without her mom getting annoyed. I don't want her to feel like I'm annoyed about her birthday, because I'm certainly not-- the birthday is wonderful and sweet and joyous…it's the constant counting I'm not as excited about. Enter the paper chain (which we made together) and everyone is happy!

I'm not a star at writing thank you notes. At all. It's embarrassing actually, I really need to work on it. But, I do have a pretty good trick for my kiddos writing them.  And before you get all Miss Manners on me, I said these are the most easy-peasy, not the most etiquette correct.  Who am I kidding, that sentence probably isn't even etiquette correct as far as grammar is concerned. But really, this has helped me a ton!

Before each kiddo's birthday party I have them write a nice simple note (something like 'Thank you for coming to my party. I hope you had fun!') Then I just photocopy the note they wrote and stick one right in each goody bag!  Ta-da! Thank you's to all the party goers are complete!   True this is not exactly how thank you notes are usually done, but I think for little kids this is a wonderful start to writing thank you's and it makes mom's life easier…something I'm always in favor of!

Remember, stay tuned for more birthday themed fun this week. Happy reading!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal

Guess what? I found the Cinderella book I was coveting from my kids' school library! It's Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman with art by Julie Paschkis.

It's really like nothing I've seen before. Instead of taking place in one country or culture, the drawings and circumstances of the story are constantly shifting to locations all over the world--maybe I'm not explaining this well.

Let me try again. You see, at no point in the book does anyone get on a plane and fly to another country, instead the illustrations and the wording vary from page to page indicating a change in setting. It's really pretty darn cool!! (Oh, there are also little labels on each page telling you what country is being depicted.)  Here, take a look…

Cinderella sleeps in the ashes in Korea.

In Zimbabwe, the king is looking for a queen and so all unmarried women go to the palace.

Cinderella's gown is a beautiful kimono from Japan.

She dances the night away in Indonesia.

But then in Laos her stepmother tries to keep her hidden.

The stepsisters try to fit into the slipper in France.

And (what I think is the coolest part) the happily ever after takes place all over the world!  

Look, any one of them could be Cinderella.  Isn't that fantastic? I think it's really a wonderful and totally unique idea! Plus it's fun to see which girl your kiddo will pick to be Cinderella. Cuteness and I disagree which of the maidens above is really Cindrella. Which one looks like it's Cindrella to you?  Whitney

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wolf! Wolf! (Or, the time Whitney totally misdirects Robyn…)

Hey, you'll never guess what happened yesterday. (I'm about to tell you though, so...)  I emailed Robyn and told her all about how I thought it might be fun to talk about Cinderella in all the posts this week since the new movie is coming out Friday!

Cuteness is SUPER excited to go see it!! (I hope it's all good for the pre-k crowd-- don't worry, I'll do a little review reading before we go.) Anyway,  I haven't even posted a fairy tale yet this year. Something might be wrong with me!  So, I headed to my library stash to see which of the lovely versions of Cinderella I should share with you first when I happened to notice one of my 'stumble upon' selections.

Guess what?? I am some sort of genius stumbler uponer!! This book is ________!!! (Insert your favorite synonym for great in the blank. Personally, I'm thinking of making some of my own, like fan-chanting, which would be fantastic plus enchanting or delight-riffic, obviously delightful and terrific or maybe  awes-orable, that's awesome and adorable.)

The thing is, it's not Cinderella. Sorry Robyn. Don't worry, you'll love it all the same!

It's Wolf! Wolf! by Jon Rocco, which happens to be the loveliest version I've ever seen of the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf…

 I am flipping over this art!!  The cherry blossoms!!! (I hope the photos are reading well for you!) Anyway, you've got your classic portion of the tale with the boy tending the animals and then claiming to see a wolf. The town's people come and yada yada yada, not funny kid!

This time though, as you might have noticed in the last picture above, a wolf gets fooled too.  You see, he hears someone shouting 'WOLF!' from over the mountain so he walks the whole way to find out who might be calling for him. (I'm telling it kind of out of order, being confusing is my thing this week apparently.)

Now if you think the town's people were ticked, imagine how the wolf feels. First he had to get out his ear horn to even make sure he was hearing his name right (Ha! I love that part!) And then he walks all that way for nothing!!

Just when he's finally relaxing, soaking his aching feet and dreaming about goat dumplings (which would be a sliver lining to this miserable situation) he hears the kid yelling about a wolf again and thinks someone has beaten him to his own feast!

Punk'd again?! The wolf isn't taking it this time!  He confronts the kid and comes up with a completely delightful way to get himself a goat dinner without too much hard work. It's perfection! And there's even one more twist that I'm not telling! The cherry on top if you will!  I love it!

Happy reading! Oh, and sorry, I didn't mean to cry wolf about Cinderella!