Book Review

Twenty Great New Children’s Books

Monday, November 14th, 2011

I love to take my kids to the library to borrow books and also to the bookstore to look for new favorites. I’m always on the hunt for new books to add to their library or give as gifts to other children. This past weekend we visited the local bookstore which has a great children’s section. There were so many great books, we stayed for two hours!

I’m really picky when it comes to children’s books, they have to well written and wonderfully illustrated. Great pictures are a must for me, if I don’t love the illustrations I won’t buy the book! Quite a few new books caught my eye while I was at the bookstore, so I thought I’d compile a list with my quick synopsis of the tales within. 

All of these children’s books include either a heartwarming story or a fun adventure combined with great illustrations. I’ve read and love them all, and even bought a few to tuck under the Christmas tree. If you’re looking for a charming gift for boys and girls this holiday season, I highly recommend these for children ages 4 to 9.  Listed in no order of preference.

 twenty great childrens books 2011

 

#1  Kiki & Coco in Paris, Stephanie Rausser and Nina Gruener

kiki and coco in paris

Hot of the presses, and perfect for fans of the famous city of Paris.  Kiki is a girl, Coco is her handmade cloth doll, and the two are inseparable. Together they travel to the City of Lights but Coco gets lost!  This tale of friendship will delight, and is filled with gorgeous photography of Paris seen through the eyes of Kiki & Coco.

 

       #2  Fandango Stew, David Davis

fandango stew cover

Two penniless and famished cowboys ride in to Skinflint and try to convince the stingy townsfolk to help them cook up some fandango stew. Cooperation leads to a tasty concoction everyone loves in this humorous take on the folktale Stone Soup.  It’s as fun to look at as it is to read out loud, filled with all the best of the Old West slang.  

          

#3  E-mergency!  Tom Lichtenheld & Ezra Fields Meyer

e-mergency

The alphabet all lives together in harmony until one day the letter E takes a tumble down the stairs.  Chaos ensues!  How will the world function without the letter E?  While E recovers, the letter O fills in, and the jokes and puns keep readers laughing throughout.  

 

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‘No Place Like Home’ Review + Giveaway

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

The other day, I received a copy of designer Stephen Saint-Onge’s book No Place Like Home.  Many of you know, Stephen’s work appeared in a monthly ‘House Calls’ series in Better Homes & Gardens, and I always looked forward to his makeover features.  He’s been named one of the top 15 Designers by House Beautiful. 

When I first casually flipped through the pages of this book, nothing really jumped out at me so I put it down to ‘read later’.  But then I actually started reading it, and I have to say, after finishing it, I gained so much from the sense and sentiments on the pages, especially Stephen’s insight on simple, clutter free family friendly design. 

stephen book cover

My favorite thing about this book that really surprised me is that it is written in Stephen’s voice, with his influences and thought process clearly apparent on the pages.  I love in the ‘Introduction’ how he details his “very Norman Rockwell” small town upbringing, and how so often movies are his creative muse in design. 

stephen quote

I love that too.  

Inside the 170+ pages, you’ll find tips for styling bookcases, quick ways to bring personality to you home, tips for mixing fabrics and furniture styles, tricks for making rooms feel more spacious, and creating better flow in your home.  It’s filled with pages of Stephen’s ‘Creative Thoughts’ on the best ways to make all of your spaces comfortable and inviting, from family rooms to kid spaces, and also make them work for the way modern families gather and live together.  He is a father, husband, and homeowner with a fantastic sense of what families really need and want in their homes.

 

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