New books coming this fall.....

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June 20, 2013

Do you ever just scroll through suggested book lists on Amazon? (this post contains affiliate links, by the by.) Ever go down that rabbit hole? No? Just me? I don't believe I'm the only book zealot who will lose minutes and hours searching around for books. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT. Well anyway, I found some really enchanting looking books that are coming soon, either in late summer or early fall.

 I can't wait to see ALL of these in person!

1) 'Journey' by Aaron Becker. Just look at it! Look at that castle! Using a marker, a girl creates a magical portal into another realm, wherein she is apparently soon captured by a sinister emperor. If the cover of this book is any indication of what's inside...well sign me up. For ages 4-8.

2) 'Flora & Ulysses - The Illuminated Adventures' by Kate DiCamillo (author of 'The Tale of Despereaux') has written a new tale about a squirrel named Ulysses. A squirrel sucked into a vacuum. A squirrel saved by a young girl. A squirrel who becomes a superhero! This is a novel with comic-book style art and full page illustrations for ages 8+.

3) 'The Big Wet Balloon' by world renowned cartoonist Liniers. This picturebook for beginning readers looks just amazing! Two sisters, Clemmie and Matilda, navigate their way through a rainy day, and of course, learn a little something about being sisters in the process. For ages 4-8.

4) 'Patrick Eats His Peas' by Geoffrey Hayes. I'm most excited about this one! I wrote a post about the first Patrick book a couple of years ago. It is the sweetest book and Julia carried it around with her for two weeks straight. It was the first book she attempted to read on her own. Patrick is the cutest bear you will ever, ever see. And he has the most darling and adorable and wee adventures, which are Very Big in his mind. I LOVE PATRICK!




 5) 'The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas' by David Almond and illustrated by the genius Oliver Jeffers. This is a story about a boy with a mean uncle who has a fish canning obsession, causing the boy to run away. Strange adventures at a carnival ensue, which include swimming with piranhas. It sounds bizarre, but I have the utmost faith in anything to which Oliver Jeffers attaches his name. For ages 9+.

6) 'Dinosaur Kisses' by David Ezra Stein (of 'Interrupting Chicken' fame) has a new one coming about a little dino who has to learn who to give gentle kisses without chomping and biting. Dino crazed toddlers everywhere will probably love this! When Julia was two, she referred to herself as "Julia T-Rex."

See anything you like? Having things to look forward to is a Fine and Wonderful Thing! It keeps one going, the promise of fabulous books. I'm already excited for fall. I'm always a season or so ahead in my mind. Always. Which is weird and strange, but I think blogging makes one be on the lookout for what's ahead.




Cute/Fierce Dinos/Dragons

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June 24, 2011

Well now that we’ve spent the week canvasing the book world of Dinosaurs & Dragons, it’s time to look at some cute Dino-Dragon STUFF. Or more specifically, some great bags to put your stuff into! And some great stuff to put into bags! Are you confused yet? I am!

Let’s start with a great bookbag shall we? (And you know we love bookbags around here so much we named the blog after them!):



You can find this darling backpack (monograms available!) here.

Over at the gorgeously photographed blog, Under the Sycamore, I saw some truly precious dino apparel featured. Julia would have lost her mind over this Dino with a Lolly shirt when she was a toddler!!



Repeat: DINO WITH A LOLLY. The inventory at this Etsy shop changes fast I think, I’d get on this quick if it floats your boat. The super cute Dino dress I saw featured on Under the Sycamore was gone by the time I got over to the Etsy site to check it out. (*Looks like the dress is back in stock. Go now!)

And over at Applewoods Knoll’s adorable Etsy shop, I found this ultra charming dragon nursery art – I love that I can see this art in a child’s room no matter what the gender!







Let me tell you, both dinos and dragons are both well represented in the lunch box realm:



This Dragon’s World Lunchbox I could see as a lunch box or just as a really cool carrying case for toys or art supplies.

And I can’t decide which of these dinosaur/dragon lunchboxes I think is more fun.

The dinosaurs?





Or the dragons? Tough call!

I can personally vouch for Crocodile Creek lunchboxes and backpacks. Julia used one of their lunchboxes all through preschool and it basically looks like it did when we first bought it.

Crocodile Creek has so many fun things (many of which come in a Dinosaur theme!) – like this sketch book, water bottles, backpacks, toys and other accessories. I think their inventory is really super cute and really super well made!



Getting back to books for a minute – I didn’t even touch the surface of what’s out there in Dinosaur book land – I have some great non-fiction dino books for kids that I’ll come back to at another time!

Enjoy your weekend and please think healthy thoughts for little Julia – no more pneumonia!




D is for Dinosaur

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June 20, 2011

I hope you all had a fantastic and fun Father’s Day weekend! For those of you who missed it on Friday, I would not be a good friend if I didn’t refer you back to Andrew’s Father’s Day post, which is the most Epic Blog Post ever to hit the interwebs (Or at least jolly good entertainment. You can take your pick as to which description most accurately fits).

My friends, there are SIGNS. Signs that maybe summer might start pushing and prodding its way into our weather landscape. Of course, each time I think there are signs, (one sunny day or maybe two -- in a row) then the weather likes to yank the rug out from under me – ‘Don’t get too comfortable there missy! Do you need me to remind you about RAIN? Yes? You do? More reminding? You ask, and I’ll deliver!’

But I did manage to get some pictorial evidence of some smidges of summeriness:




Peonies are the most perfect flowers, yes indeedy they are.


I’ve made rhubarb crisp twice in the past month! I’m pretty happy with the recipe I used, you can find it here. It involves making a very easy sugar syrup to pour over the rhubarb, which makes the cooked result very creamy and gel-like.

Mr. Andrew is anti-cake (!!!!), so when I make desserts, it’s usually of the crisp, crumble, pie, or cookie variety. He does tolerate pudding. But not bread pudding. Which just stupefies me, because I still recall eating a bread pudding that was made out of BANANA BREAD and studded with chocolate chips – it’s one of the Top 5 desserts I’ve ever eaten in my life. I had it at a café in San Francisco and I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the place! It was obviously meant to be a once in a lifetime dessert eating experience.


(So happy summer is coming, singing songs to the sky is needed.)

And this isn’t really summery either, but our dinos are here to welcome you to Dinosaur and Dragon Week:


My daughter used to have a little dinosaur thing. Actually it was a big dinosaur thing. Tomorrow for Tiny Tot Tuesday, you’ll be able to see for yourself the magnitude and enormity of her great love for all things saurus-related. That kiddo looooooved her dinosaurs!

And although she’s not quite as dino-crazed as she used to be when she was a toddler, my girl still totally enjoys a good dinosaur book. ‘Dinosaur vs. The Potty’ is a super fun one we picked up from the library, the little missy laughed and laughed and laughed:


Dinosaur is determined to show the potty who’s boss! He spits in the face of too much liquids! Dinosaur thinks he is such a Master of the Bladder that he’s sure he doesn’t need to use the potty even after a THREE juice box lunch! Booyah!

But eventually, maybe, possibly . . . all that juicing and splashing and guzzling of... everything.....
....is going to lead to The Potty Dance. He makes it to the potty, just barely. Better luck defeating that potty next time Dinosaur! We LOVED this one! I can’t wait to check out ‘Dinosaur vs. Bedtime’.

And next up we have another ambitious dinosaur, ‘Brontorina’:



Brontorina longs to be the epitome of grace and beauty on the ballet stage. The problem is that the ballet stage is a leeeeeetle bit too small to handle that much grace and beauty.


Eventually, her patient and kind teacher realizes that there are no too-big-dancers, only too-small-stages. So the entire ballet class takes to the great outdoors for their performing, where Brontorina’s talent is no longer limited, restricted or bound in any way. Another great library score!

‘When Dinosaurs Came With Everything’ is one we’ve had for a couple of years now, and we still read it all the time – Julia probably laughs at it more now, she was a bit young for the humor back when we first got it -


Instead of the usual balloon or lollipop that usually accompanies a trip to the doctor or after a haircut, the hero of this book and his mom discover that a dinosaur is the prize of the day, much to his delight and his mom’s horror. This state of affairs goes on ALL DAY, EVERYWHERE THEY GO. Will the mom lose her mind? No! She discovers that dinos are great at doing chores! Everyone wins!

It’s super silly and it’s never gotten old. If you have any favorite dinosaur books, I’d love to hear about it!




Bunnies, Bunnies Everywhere

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April 18, 2011

We’ve been decorating the house for Easter! My kiddo is outraged that I had the audacity to pull some stuffed animals out and decorate the window ledge with them.

“Those are my TOYS!!”

Well yeah. And now they’re also decorations! And they have been at the bottom of the stuffed animal basket. Why are kids so . . .how kids are??





Grandma brought Mr. and Mrs. Bunny over a couple weeks ago:



Bless your heart Grandma.

Because if it’s one thing we were in short supply of around here, it’s stuffed animals! I’d really like to put a stop to the Stuffed Animal Madness, but the stuffed animals clearly are in league with Hello Kitty and her superpowers of mind control.

The bunnies I’ve shown are a very teensy sampling of what’s actually stored here, there and everywhere:



That whole crazy rabbit-breeding thing? It happens amongst the stuffed variety as well!

And apparently the books are multiplying too, because we have a WHOLE LOT O’ BUNNY BOOKS! What’s cool about these bunny books, is that many we read ALL YEAR LONG. Julia loooves bunnies and she loooooves Easter and requests the Easter books even in the middle of winter.

This one is a special favorite combining J’s dinosaur love with her love for Easter:



Peter Cottontail has a sniffle, so T-Rex decides to help him out (they are buddies, turns out). Diplodocus, Stegosaurus and Iguanadon then decide to help out T-Rex when his egg painting/delivering plans go awry.





At the end, everyone gets a chicky and is Supremely Happy. Even the Easter Bunny!

Julia enjoys naughty bunnies as well:



Did you ever think Beatrix Potter and Tyra ('show me fierce’) Banks would ever have anything in common?

This is a baaaaaaaad bunny.





Now for the more gentle of you in Blogland, there is a hunter who fires his gun and SOMEHOW (it’s very vague and unclear) the bad bunny and his puffy tail become separated. Beatrix was clearly familiar with KARMA. You go Beatrix!

So today the grand lesson is Beatrix Potter+Tyra Banks+Bunnies=EASTER FIERCENESS!




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