Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

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Each Kindness

Each Kindness
by Jacqueline Woodson (Author), E.B.Lewis (Illustrator)

Make the world a better place!

I found this wonderful book through a review on Randomly Reading.  In his review, Alex highlights how powerful this book is.. After reading the book, I agree.

This is a story about Maya and Chloe. Maya is a new girl in Chloe’s class. All children including Chloe notice the one thing odd about Maya. That Maya’s clothes are shabby and she is wearing spring shoes in winter. Maya gets a seat next to Chloe, but Chloe looks away and ignores her.

Each Kindness First day

At playtime, Maya tries to approach Chloe and other friends in order to mingle. She tries to share her toys and make conversation. But each time Chloe and her friends shun her and do not accept her because to them Maya is different. Maya always wears secondhand clothes and has none of her own. Soon they nickname Maya “Never New”.

Each Kindness Maya and Chloe playground

One day, Maya does not come to school. That day, their class teacher is talking about “Kindness” in the class. She shows the children a bowl of water. She drops a stone in the water causing ripples. The teacher asks “Each little thing goes out into the world like a ripple.” Then she asks each child to drop the stone and share one act of kindness they have done. When it is Chloe’s turn, she passes on the stone, not being able to share a single act of kindness. And all the time Chloe has one person on her mind… Maya.

Each Kindness water ripple

Few days later the teacher announces that Maya will not be returning to school. That evening when Chloe walks back home, she thinks about “Kindness” and how she had missed that one chance with Maya.. and now it was too late!

This story will move you. Unlike many stories, this story feels real. We loved the concept of “ripples” and how each act, whether kind or not, moves in waves out into the world. If only each of us thought about our actions as ripples.. the world would be a better place indeed.

Find it here: Library, Amazon

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The Empty Pot

The Empty Pot
by Demi (Author, Illustrator)

An Exquisite Book!

Once upon a time in China there lived an emperor who loved flowers very much. Everyone in his kingdom loved plants and flowers. A little boy named Ping who lived in this kingdom also loved flowers and whatever he planted burst into a brilliant bloom. Now the emperor was looking for a successor for his kingdom and decided that the child who grows the most beautiful flower will be the emperor. So he calls for all the children and gives them each 1 seed to plant and tend to for 1 year. At the end of the year, the children must showcase their blooms.

Little Ping was very excited and plants his seed right away hoping to see his seed bloom. However, strangely, his seed does not bloom. So he transfers the seed into another pot. Still no bloom. He tries everything he can to make the seed sprout. He tries changing the soil and re-potting. But nothing works!

The Empty Pot Ping pot

At last it is time to carry their pots to the Emperor. But Ping worries that all he has to show is The Empty Pot! As Ping sadly watches all the children marching with beautiful flowers in their pots, he worries about what lies in store for him when he carries his empty pot to the Emperor.

The Empty Pot Ping

Beautifully illustrated, each page of this book is a painting on its own. Each page has a round frame with traditional Chinese architecture, landscape motifs and fine line art of lively children and  colorful flowers. The book comes alive with the bright red and gold and purple colors. We enjoyed the rich illustrations as well as this simple story of Ping, his hard work and honesty.

Also, if you are looking for an activity idea for this book, Mia from PragmaticMom has a great Origami craft online. Take a look!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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The Frances Audio Collection

The Frances Audio Collection
by  Russell Hoban(Author), Glynis Johns (Narrator)

Bedtime favorites in Audio!

We have read these lovely books before, so we were excited to find this collection of Audio books to listen to. This collection includes :

Bedtime for Frances 

A Baby sister for Frances 

Bread and Jam for Frances 

A Birthday for Frances

We have been listening to these stories on a loop non-stop at home and in the car. The sequence of the stories are well laid out starting with Frances as a young girl postponing her bedtime and ending with Frances coping with her little sister Gloria’s birthday.

Frances Audio Collection

First time listeners may find it hard to follow some instances like when Frances is describing a chomp-o-bar to her dad or when she complains about younger siblings to Albert. It helps to have read the book before. Nevertheless, listeners will quickly comprehend after hearing it again.

Glynis Johns has narrated the story so wonderfully. It is such a delight listening to her as she speaks with an English accent. Her rendition of Frances songs make it worthwhile listening to again and again. This became an instant favorite audio-book in our family.

Frances Audio Collection 1

Want to know which of the Frances song has given us an earworm?

“Rainbows and happy trees are not for Alice or for me,

I will draw three-legged cats and caterpillars with ugly hats. “

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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The Secret Message

The Secret Message
by Mina Javaherbin (Author), Bruce Whatley (Illustrator)

Based on a poem by Rumi (ancient Persian philosopher)

This is a tale of a wealthy merchant who lives in Persia. He has a shop in the bazaar. And in his shop he keeps a parrot from India. The parrot who was used to flying free in the forests in India, is now living in a cage. Although the parrot is surrounded by many beautiful sights, he prefers the natural beauty of the green jungles where he once flew free. So everyday he sings songs of longing.

The Secret Message Parrot in Cage

Now the parrots singing attracts many customers to the merchant’s shop. And soon the merchant becomes very wealthy indeed. One day the merchant needs to travel to India to gather supplies for his store. He promises to get gifts for all his family members. He then asks his parrot what he would like. The parrot refuses the gifts but asks for a simple favor. “When you pass through the jungles, please call out to my parrot friends and tell them how much I miss their sweet voices and the smell of trees and how much I miss flying with them..” he says.

The Secret Message In Jungle

When the merchant reaches the forests, he remembers the parrot’s request and calls out to the parrots. What happens next is a twist that readers will find amusing and refreshing.Smile This simple tale is told with humor and wit. The gentle acrylic color illustrations highlight the exotic background of the story.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Sea of Dreams

Sea of Dreams
by Dennis Nolan (Author, Illustrator)

Enchanting and Mysterious!

On a sunny day at the beach, a little girl gets busy building a sand castle.  But soon its getting dark and she has to leave the castle and go home. As the evening turns into night, the sea tide rises and falls. And as the sea waves reach the walls of the castle,  the reader sees a strange glow of light inside the sand-castle windows! What follows is a magical, almost mystical journey of the sand-castle family as they navigate the ocean on a make shift boat with seagulls for friends.

Sea of Dreams Castle

The “Sea of Dreams” is stunning wordless picture book. We were “carried away” by enchanting art work and gorgeous double spread illustrations.

Sea of Dreams Mermaids

There are so many ways to “read” this book. Make up your own story as you follow the family through the many perils they face on the ocean waters. Or follow it through the lovely art as it unfolds the many mysteries on this ocean voyage. Will the family reach a shore in safety? And when the girl returns the next day to re-build her fallen castle, will the cycle begin again?

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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The Three Little Witches Storybook

The Three Little Witches Storybook
by  Georgie Adams (Author)

 “Hickety-pickety” “Wippety-woppet”

Welcome to the enchanted world of Magic Wood! This is the home of three little witches Zara, Ziggy and Zoe – along with Wizard Wink, a baby dragon,  a few troll children, two wizard boys and horrible Melissa( who does her best to create trouble). This is the world where letters sprout wings, signpost talks, television turn themselves on  and cookbooks read out recipes correctly (well, most of the time anyways !). We follow Zara, Ziggy and Zoe through eight delightful stories as they plan on hosting an awesome Halloween party. Their adventures are filled with magic, spells, rhymes and not to forget a whole lot of fun.

Three LIttle Witches Storybook Zoe Ziggy Zott

When I first started reading this book, my daughter was engrossed in the lively action of the three adorable witches. She couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. And right after I finished reading, all I heard was – “Again!” Smile After reading it several times, she now reads her favorite chapters and repeats her favorite spells. Our favorite trick was the “mirror-reading” trick that the witches learnt at Wizard Wink’s school. The rhymes and spells are catchy and will make you laugh out loud.

Three LIttle Witches Storybook Talking Signpost

“Tiddle-Tum Tay. Muddle Whirl Away.

Bim-Bam-Boom. Tidy Up This Room”.

The Three Little Witches Storybook is wonderful find! It is a great read for any child who loves imaginative play. There is even a map of Magic Wood to satisfy the fantasy fanatic in your home! The bright and colorful illustrations on every page makes it appealing to young listeners.

Three LIttle Witches Storybook Map

This “story book” is a short story collection especially geared for early readers. Each short story is fast paced. Readers can’t wait to find out what comes next!  I can’t say whether my daughter liked it more or I did Wink

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar!

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar!
by J.Patrick Lewis (Compiler)


If there is one Poetry Book that you MUST have in your personal bookshelf, National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry will be that book. A gorgeous collection of poems on animals coupled with some amazing wild life photography, this book is pure Genius! As usual National Geographic photography makes for a visual treat. But the beauty is further enhanced by some wonderful animal poetry. You will find verse in many styles, from haiku to typical rhymes. Poets such as Emily Dickenson and Robert Frost share space with more modern day poets such as Janet Wong and J. Patrick Lewis.

It is no wonder then that the book has received many awards..

Best Poetry Book of 2012 -Bank Street Books

Best Children’s Books of 2012 – Kirkus Reviews

Top Children’s Books of 2012 – New York Public Library

One of the 100 Magnificent Children’s Books of 2012 – Fuse 8

CYBLIS’ Poetry Finalist! and many many more..

This 192 pages, giant sized book has 200 poems on animals both well known and some lesser known animals. The book is divided into sections:

(A) Welcome to the world – From birth to young animals

(B) The big ones – On big animals like elephants, hippos, bears.

(C) The little ones – On caterpillars, insects and other little ones

(D) The winged ones – On Birds

(E) The water ones – Fishes, Dolphins, Crabs

(F) The stranger ones – Centipedes, Armadillos, Piranhas and a Baby Porcupette!

(G) The noisy ones – Lions, Hyenas

(H) The quiet ones – Rabbits, Snakes

(I) Final Thought – On the World that we share with Animals

I wish there was 1 favorite poem for me to share Here are a few to give you a sneak peek:

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry Tickle Rhyme

The Tickle Rhyme by Ian Serraillier

“Who’s that tickling my back?” aid that wall,

“Me” said a small Caterpillar.

“I’m learning To crawl.”

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry White Egret

The Parrot by Anonymous

I am the pirate’s parrot,

I sail the seven seas

And sleep inside the crow’s nest

Don’t look for me in trees!

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry Cow

The Purple Cow by Gelett Burgess

I never saw a Purple Cow,

I never hope to see one,

But I can tell you anyhow,

I’d rather see than be one.

We loved this Poetry book collection. We already have a few favorites and we have read those over and over again.  This is THE perfect book.. buy it, keep it, gift it!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Even An Ostrich Needs a Nest

Even An Ostrich Needs a Nest
by Irene Kelly (Author, Illustrator)

What do birds need to build nests?

Did you know that some birds like the Murres don’t build a nest at all! These seabirds lay eggs straight on the edges of cliffs. The Murres don’t worry about their eggs rolling off the cliff because these eggs are pointy and roll into a tight circle when nudged. Cuckoos and Cowbirds don’t build nests too. But these sneaky birds cheat! They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests!


Even OstrichesMurres


Small birds like the Hummingbird needs small nests because their eggs are the size of a ping pong balls. But gigantic and heavy birds like the Bald Eagles need  larger nests because their eggs can be quite  large!

Some birds even share nests. The Gila Woodpecker and the Elf Owl shares nests and look after each others babies.

Some birds have simple nests while others build really elaborate ones. For example, the Bowerbird spends months creating a nest in shape of a hut complete with an arched doorway! Ingenious!

Even Ostriches BowerBird

Even Ostriches Simple Nest

“Even and Ostrich needs a nest” is a great book to read to children of all ages. It covers nearly 40 different kinds of nests. The author claims that every species finds a way to create a cozy nest that is a perfect home for raising a family. The book highlights the different types of materials used by birds to build their nests and how we can help birds everywhere to build their nests. A helpful map at the end shows where to find these birds in different parts of the world.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your binoculars and begin your very own bird/nest safari!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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