Book Themed Holiday Gifts, Part 3 ($35 and under!)

For Parts 1 and 2 of the Picture Book Themed Holiday Gift Guide, click here and here! Without further ado, here is Part 3: the $35 and under list (and 4 out of 5 are under $25)!

Collection 11: Diggin' for Diamonds
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Girls Triangle Heart Cotton Pajama Set by Cat & Jack for Target
Total: approx. $23

Collection 12: "Yahoopy! I got a spossip!"
Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis
Total: approx. $25

Collection 13: Baking (...the biggest cake, EVER)
Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson
Total: approx. $33

Collection 14: This gift is on fire!
I'm Brave! by Kate and Jim McMullan
Green Toys Fire Truck (*there is an Amazon Deal of the Day, today only, that makes this $9.99)
Total: approx. $23

Collection 15: It's Toadally Froggy
Teeny Tiny Toady by Jill Esbaum and Keika Yamaguchi
Total: approx. $20

I have really loved putting together all of these gift ideas for some of our favorite picture books. If you have an ideas for a gift+picture book combo that you'd like to share, feel free to leave me a comment here, or on my Facebook or Instagram pages! 

Happy Reading! Happy Holidays!


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Book Themed Holiday Gifts, Part 2

Need more ideas for kiddo holiday gifts? Look no further! (and be sure to check out Book Themed Holiday Gifts, Part 1, here!)

Collection #6: Because Jet Packs Are Awesome
Fox and the Jumping Contest by Corey R. Tabor +
Fox Hoodie by Boden +
Fox Mask by BabyWhatKnots for Etsy +
2 Two Liter Bottles, Silver Spray Paint, Felt, Cardboard, Webbing, 
Hot Glue Gun and THIS tutorial by Doodlecraft
Total: approx. $75

Collection #7: Dragons...and Tacos
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
Taco and Burrito Felt Food Set by Melissa and Doug
Dragons Love Tacos Plush by Merry Makers, Inc.
Total: approx. $45

Collection #8: Let's Get Feasting!
The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear
The Forest Feast for Kids by Erin Gleeson
Birch Tree Wall Decal by RoomMates
Log Seat by Land of Nod
Total: approx. $150

Collection #9: Outer Space Exploration
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield and The Fan Bros.
Astronaut Role Play Costume by Melissa and Doug
Total: approx. $60

Collection #10: Fun in the DARK!
Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
Night Animals by Gianna Marino
Making Shadow Puppets by Catherine Heard, Jill Bryant, Laura Watson
Mini LED Headlamp by Coleman Kids
Total: approx. $65

And a bonus...
Collection #11: A Combo Gift
For the Littles:
Through the Forest by Steffie Brocoli and Catherine Bidet
And for the Bigs:
Choose Your Own Adventure T-Shirt by Out of Print Clothing

Happy Holidays! Happy Reading!

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Book Themed Holiday Gifts

Giving books is one of our favorite things to do. And since pairing books with a fun toy or item that can be enjoyed along with the books is a great way to encourage literacy and a love of reading, I've put together a few collections of great picture books, with ideas of items to include with them! Each collection could be infinitely tailored to meet different budgets (the average cost of collections below is $75 based on new books and toys), older/younger age groups, etc., but hopefully these collections get you started! 

Collection #1: A Bug's World
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis + 
Total: approx. $70

Collection #2: Art Lovers
Ages 6+
The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPre + 
Total: approx. $85

Ages 3+
Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light + 
Total: approx. $50

Collection #3: Pajama Party
Mother Goose's Pajama Party by Danna Smith and Virginia Allyn + 
Kid's DIY Pajama Set by Target + 
Turquoise Stars Sleeping Bag by Pillowfort for Target + 
Total: approx. $60

Collection #4: Science Sensations
Bright Sky, Starry City by Uma Krishnaswami and Aimee Sicuro + 
Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton + 
Follow the Moon Home by Philippe Cousteau and Meilo So + 
Total: approx. $95

Collection #5: Engineering Architects
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires + 
Sky High by Germano Zullo +
Total: approx. $85

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading, Y'all!


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It's Picture Book Month!

Picture Book Month is "an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November." Each day has a pre-determined theme, as shown on the calendar below. Much like I did this summer with my Book-a-Day posts, I'll post books related to each theme, every day, for the month of November. I'll post here on the blog, as well as on my Instagram account (are you following me yet?). Check back each day to see new additions! And if you have favorite themed picture books that aren't listed, I'd love to hear about them in the comments! Happy reading!

1. Bears  2. School  3. Monkeys  4. Dogs
5. Fractured Fairy Tales/Tall Tales  6. Food
7. Presidents/Elections  8. Pirates
9. Reading/Books  10. Dinosaurs  11. Peace
12. Cats  13. Mice  14. Music  15. Travel
16. Jungle  17. Insects  18. Birds
19. Babies/Kids  20. Weather  21. History
22. Pumpkins/Fall  23. Chocolate/Dessert
24. Holidays  25. Farm  26. Sports  27. Family 28. Under the Sea  29. Chickens  30. Bunnies

Bear Snores On (Wilson and Chapman)
Dance! Dance! Underpants! (Bob Shea)
Corduroy (Don Freeman)
Red Hat (Judge)
Horrible Bear (Dyckman and OHora)
And Then It's Spring (Fogliano and Stead)
Little Owl's Night (Srinivasan)
I Want My Hat Back (Klassen)
Children Make Terrible Pets (Brown)
Wild About Books (Sierra and Brown)
Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies (Carmen Oliver and Jean Claude)...and check out Carmen Oliver's essay on the importance of picture books, here)

Chu's First Day of School (Gaiman and Rex)
Splat the Cat (Scotton)
The Kissing Hand by (Penn)
A Squiggly Story (Larsen and Lowery)
Flight School (Judge)
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School
(Diesen and Hanna)
Rocket Writes a Story (Hills)
The Bot That Scott Built (Norman and Baruzzi)
Iggy Peck, Architect (Beaty and Roberts)


Me and Annie McPhee (Dunrea and Hillenbrand)
Curious George at the Aquarium (Rey)
Be Glad Your Dad...Is Not An Octopus (Logelin, Jensen, and Chapman)
Caps for Sale (Slobodkina)
Tokyo Digs a Garden (Lappano and Hatanaka)...a little. Look for them! :)

Smick(Cronin and Medina)
Zoomer (Young)
It's Only Stanley (Agee)
Go, Dog. Go! (Eastman)
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy (Willems)
Ladybug Girl and Bingo (Soman and Davis)
Bob the Dog (Folgueira and Bernatene)
Lenny and Lucy (Stead and Stead)
Clifford the Big Red Dog (Bridwell)

and Maisie, the lovable, book-reading pup.

The Three Ninja Pigs (Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat)
Ninja Red Riding Hood (Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat)
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs (Mo Willems)
Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion (Alex T. Smith)
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs By A. Wolf (Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith)

Chimpanzees For Tea (Jo Empson)
Dragons Love Tacos (Rubin & Salmieri)
Sophie's Squash (Miller/Wilsdorf)
The Hole Story of the Doughnut (Miller/Kirsch)
Nanette's Baguette (Willems)
If You Give a Pig a Pancake (Numeroff/Bond)
Stone Soup (Muth)
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Barrett & Barrett)
Bear Wants More (Wilson & Chapman)
The Complete Children's Cookbook (DK | Penguin Random House)

Duck for President (Cronin/Lewin)
When Penny Met POTUS (Ruiz/Manwill)

Grace For President (DiPucchio/Pham)


There are so many great choices for all of these, and several favorites that aren't pictured (as I ran out of both room and time before Pre-K pick up time). But I think this list will get you started, at least! :)

The Mouse and the Moon, Mousetronaut Goes to Mars, There's a Bear on my Chair, The Lion Inside, The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, The Monsters' Monster, All the World, The Story Book Knight, Surf's Up!, This is Sadie, Robot Zombie Frankenstein, Are Pirates Polite?, Through the Forest, Pop Up New York, Pop Up Paris, Kitten's First Full Moon, Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret, The Messy Book, How Big Were Dinosaurs?, Octopus's Garden, and The Nuts: Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants


Same as above, there are really so many great choices for all of these themes, but since I've procrastinated my posting into one giant conglomerate of 15 days, this is what we've got!

Monkey Puzzle
Finding Wild
Du Iz Tak?
Hoot and Peep
Mustache Baby
Mira Forecasts the Future
The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, Poet
Leaf Man
Those Darn Squirrels
The Night Gardener
Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory
The Hole Story of the Doughnut
Catch That Cookie!
Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type
Hop! Hop! Jump!
Rattletrap Car
Edmund Unravels
Nugget & Fang
Chickens to the Rescue
Wolfie the Bunny

The 6th Annual Halloweensie Contest 3 Word Challenge!

3 Word Challenge: Ghost, Spider, Moon

What is the Halloweensie Contest you might ask? Well, author Susanna Leonard Hill hosts an annual contest for very short Halloween stories, using 3 specific words: THE HALLOWEENSIE! Right up my alley, #amiright? For specifics, and to enter your own amazing 100 word (or less) children's Halloween story/poem, go here! Her 3 selected words are GHOST, SPIDER and MOON.

And, so you can feel even more up to the challenge, here's my entry! :)

The Frighteners

On Halloween night, a spider and ghost
wanted to see who could frighten the most.
One point to Spider for that BOO! in the tree.
One scare for Ghost, for that ghost wannabe.
Two more to Ghost for those giggling boys.
One more for Spider – that one she enjoyed!
Eight for the scary and horrible web,
that filled those tricksters with woe and with dread.
Six for the Ouija prank under the moon,
those Halloween jokers won’t be back soon.
As of right now Spider’s still in the lead…
but who scares YOU most on All Hallows’ Eve?

2017 Books I CANNOT Wait For

They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but...I mean, come on! LOOK at these covers! Don't you want to read them, too?

A River
Marc Martin
Chronicle Books | March 2017

While this one has been available outside of the US since 2016, it won't be available in the States until March 7, 2017. Named one of the best children's books of 2016 by The Telegraph, A River tells of the "imaginary journey of a child inspired by the view outside her bedroom window."

Ben Newman
Flying Eye Books | April 2017

Ben Newman, the illustrator behind this year's Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure and 2013's Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space, will be releasing his first solo picture book, Boo! about a brave little mouse who thinks he is the bravest animal around.
Don't Blink! 
Tom Booth
Feiwel & Friends | June 2017

Although Tom Booth isn't a newcomer to children's lit - he is the illustrator of Derek Jeter Presents Night at the Stadium - this is the first book he has both authored and illustrated.

From Macmillan: "Think you can win a staring contest against an elephant? What about a gorilla, a cheetah, a fox, or an alligator? What about all of them - AND a bunch of their other animal friends - at the same time? You're about to find out! Whatever you do DON'T BLINK!

Dashka Slater and Sydney Hanson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) | April 2017

Dashka Slater is the author of several books for children, including the Junior Library Guild Selection The Sea Serpent and Me as well as Dangerously Ever After. Escargot tells the tale of a snail who wants only to be your favorite animal, and to make it to the salad at the end of the book. You can read all about Escargot (and his salad) in April 2017.
Hello, Mr. Dodo
Nicholas John Frith
Arthur A. Levine Books | January 2017

Nicholas John Frith is the author-illustrator of this year's popular Hector and Hummingbird, his debut picture book, which published to starred reviews from both Kirkus Reviews and Publisher's Weekly. Hello, Mr. Dodo features Martha, a bird loving girl who might have just discovered a dodo. But what will happen when the rest of the town learns about her discovery? Will she have to say goodbye to Mr. Dodo?

Fortunately, we don't have to wait too much longer to find out...just until January!
Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines
Jeanne Walker Harvey and Dow Phumiruk
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) | May 2017

Jeanne Walker Harvey is the author of several children's books, including My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey and Astro, The Stellar Sea Lion. This will be Dow Phumiruk's first traditionally published picture book, and the art looks BEAUTIFUL. But we'll have to wait until May to see more than just snippets!

Good thing there are still loads of wonderful books out there to help us wait until these beauties come out! Are there any forthcoming books you are doing an impatient-happy dance for? Let me know in the comments! Happy reading!

Ode to an Aphid

3 Word Challenge: Purple, Bear, Ladybug
Challenge words selected by Emma
(Emma! I hope you see this - your email was returned!)

My favorite ones are green –
sweet and effervescent.
Yellows are quite yummy, too,
but some are too fluorescent.
Brown remind me of the earth,
crunchy when they’re ripe.
Pink I simply cannot bear
I don’t get all the hype.

They only serve those pink ones
under purple passion flowers,
I guess I’m just not trendy;
I think they’re kind of sour.
The white and black and gray ones
are really pretty key
in the standard daily diet
of a ladybug like me.  

If you’re looking for your dinner,
I might have a few thoughts,
Especially if you’re red,
with little black spots.
No matter how you serve them,
it’s pretty plain to see,
I really do love aphids

…but they’re not so fond of me.

Halloween by the Books

Halloween is coming! Are you ready? Need a little inspiration?

I've put together eleven kiddo costume ideas (with a couple of bonus coordinating parent costumes!) based on some of our favorite picture book characters. None of these require crafting (in case you were worried), just access to Amazon! :) If you have a little bookworm at home, one of these costumes might just be perfect for you! And, if you live in Texas, don't forget about the kid's book character costume contest at the Texas Book Festival, which is the weekend AFTER Halloween. And goodness! Who knew overalls appeared in so many picture books?

I'd love to hear if your littles (or you!) plan on going trick-or-treating as a book character! Drop me a note!

Ohh, and BONUS! I just discovered these little gems: book themed pajamas! They have some great ones: Uni the Unicorn, Dragons Love Tacos, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, Mousetronaut, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Duck and Goose, and more! Go check them out! If you've ordered from them I'd love to hear all about it! Leave me a comment!

Please note: this post (pretty obviously) contains affiliate links! :)

Ladybug Girl! (from the Ladybug Girl series by David Soman & Jacky Davis)

Chu! (from Chu's First Day of School and the rest of the Chu series by Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex)
via Boden


Trixie! (from the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems)

(*Pigeon socks for parents)

Flora! (from Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle)