Exploring education through books, travel, and adventure

Recent Posts

5 Cherries is a Celebration of Imagination

5 Cherries is a Celebration of Imagination

Children have an amazing gift of imagination. Have you ever listened to your children play and been completely amazed at some of the things they think up? 5 Cherries is a celebration of that imagination!  I was immediately drawn to this book because of the […]

10 BEE-UTIFUL Picture Books about Bees

10 BEE-UTIFUL Picture Books about Bees

Spring has sprung…or in the case of Florida…spring has high-tailed it out of here and made way for summer! Spring always makes me think of gardens, flowers, and BEES! The kids and I have never done an in-depth study of bees, so I thought now […]

Celebrating Children’s Book Week with my Top 10 All Time Favorite Children’s Books!

Celebrating Children’s Book Week with my Top 10 All Time Favorite Children’s Books!

Did you know that this week is the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week? This year in honor of the 100th anniversary there will be two week-long celebrations…this week, April 29th-May 5th, 2019 and then again November 4th-10th, 2019. This is my kind of celebration. An entire week dedicated to celebrating children’s books…yeah, sign me up! Do you think they will have balloons? Cake?

Anyway, in honor of this most amazing of weeks, I have created a list of my Top 10, All Time FAVORITE Children’s Books! This was no easy task friends. This took time, may have caused a sleepless night or two, and most certainly ended up being way more difficult than anticipated. But, I did it. So, without further ado, my Top 10 Favorite Children’s Books EVER…disclaimer…there are so so so many more books that I want to add to this list…but I will behave…mostly.


So, you might be wondering, what are the criteria for choosing an all-time-favorite children’s book? Well, in a nutshell…I have no idea. Why do we choose a favorite of anything? A favorite color, a favorite animal, a favorite sports team? It is just something that feels right…it brings joy…it makes you smile…it triggers memories. There is no one reason that I have chosen each of these books. I have chosen some books that I have loved since I was a kid…and some books that are brand new favorites. There may be no rhyme or reason, but that is ok, there doesn’t need to be. Right? We will just go on assuming that you agreed with me…so, let’s get to the books!

Where the Wild Things Are

Oh, good gravy do I love this book. This has been a favorite of mine for years and years. I mean, my son is named Max…soooo. Every time I pick up this book, which is frequently, I just get lost looking through the illustrations. It isn’t a complex book with a million words, but it is so beautifully done that I think it will always be a treasure! Where the Wild Things Are is a Caldecott winning book…and with good reason! I wish I had created a Where the Wild Things are themed nursery when my son was little…how awesome would that have been? I just love this book full of imagination!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I adore Eric Carle. Truly a gift to children’s books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969 and is still as beloved today as it was back then. I chose this book because I absolutely love Eric Carle’s unique and beautiful art style. This is a book that I read again and again and again with my kiddos…but I never grew tired of it because it was so beautiful! I was very tempted to cheat and add all of my favorite Eric Carle books, but I will behave. Just incase you were wondering though, I also LOVE The Tiny Seed, Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, The Mixed-Up Chameleon…ok…all of them.


The Napping House

I have read The Napping House approximately 6, 473 times…and I still love it. The Napping House is by Audrey Wood and illustrated by Don Wood. It is an absolutely beautifully illustrated book that is so cleverly written. We love the repetition and sequencing of the story. This is a book I love not just because it is beautifully written and illustrated, but also because it is full of so many memories of reading to my kiddos!


Sigh. I love this book. Cordelia is written and illustrated by the absolutely fantastic Michelle Nelson-Schmidt. I had the pleasure of hearing Michelle read this book aloud at an Usborne Books & More National Convention in Tulsa, OK. The book wasn’t even available to purchase yet but we all received a signed copy. We knew that Michelle was going to be revealing her new book and we were so excited to be able to hear her read it aloud. Y’all, the room was silent. There were tears. Ooohs and ahhs. This book hits you right in the feels. Cordelia is all about a little girl who can fly. She loves to fly. Until one day, people question her and tell her that she can’t. Cordelia is heartbroken…until she realizes…who is anyone else to say what she can and cannot do! Such an inspiring book about believing in yourself! Cordelia is available through your Usborne Books & More Consultant…here is a link to my page if you don’t have one! We also have the SWEETEST Cordelia plush doll! https://l4353.myubam.com/p/5956/cordelia

Hello Lighthouse

Hello Lighthouse is the winner of the 2019 Caldecott Medal…and for good reason. This book is breathtaking. The illustrations make you feel like you are a part of the story. This is not only a book full of some of the most gorgeous illustrations I have ever seen, but it is a wonderful story. Author/Illustrator Sophie Blackall’s words and illustrations will make you feel like you are standing on the coast looking at the lighthouse. You can imagine the sea breezes and waves crashing. It is just a spectacular book and absolutely deserving of the Caldecott!


Ocean Meets Sky

Ocean Meets Sky has quickly become one of my very favorite books of all time. This is a newer book, just published in 2018…but it is stunning. Written and illustrated by the amazingly talented Fan Brothers, Terry and Eric, this book will be an amazing addition to your home library. This book sits on my picture ledge bookshelf so that I can always see it. It is breathtaking from cover to cover. You will join Finn as he sets sail in search of the place where the ocean meets the sky. Together, you will visit the Library Islands and see 100 bookish birds. You will take an adventure full of imagination and love. I just can’t say enough wonderful things about this book. If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend it. I also adore The Night Gardener which is also written and illustrated by The Fan Brothers.


Mary Wears What She Wants

Another new title. Mary Wears What She Wants is the story of Mary Edwards Walker who was a pioneer in womens rights…years ahead of her time! Mary is known for wearing pants…which is something that was quite unheard of at that point in history. This book is about what Mary might have been like as a child. Such bright vivid illustrations, this book encourages children (and adults) to be themselves and not to care what others or society says they should do! The message is delivered in such a wonderful way and I love that I was introduced to Mary Edwards Walker. Biographical Picture Books have become some of my very favorite books because I have been introduced to so many people that I have never heard of! This is definitely one you will want to read. Mary Wears What She Wants is written and illustrated by Keith Negley! You can read a little bit more about Mary Wears What She Wants in a previous blog post right here.

The Bluest of Blues

Another brand new release, The Bluest of Blues is one of the most gorgeous books I have ever seen. I was immediately drawn in by the incredible illustrations. In fact, I purchased this book solely based on the stunning cover. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I couldn’t help it. Let me tell you, the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. This book quickly became a favorite because not only were the illustrations intoxicating, but it is a biographical story as well. The Bluest of Blues is about the life of Anna Atkins. Anna was a botanist and the creator of one of the first books of photographs. She was also a pioneer for her time, much like Mary Edwards Walker. Anna entered the field of science when it was practically unheard of for women to do so. Anna is known for her gorgeous cyanotype prints. This book is a keeper for sure. It not only is gorgeous to look through but it serves as a great introduction to a wonderful woman! The Bluest of Blues is written and illustrated by the amazingly talented Fiona Robinson. You can read my full review of The Bluest of Blues right here.


Oh, Matilda. I have read this gem by Roald Dahl at least 20 times. When I first started my favorite book list I was only thinking in terms of picture books…but there are so many amazing chapter books for kids (ahem…and adults) that I couldn’t leave them out! Matilda is the sweet story of a little bookworm. I think that is part of the reason I love the story so much…because I relate so much to sweet Matilda! She is such a special girl but stuck with the worst couple of parents a kid could have. This story is so heartwarming, but in true Dahl fashion, is also hilarious! This is a book that I enjoyed as a child and also got to enjoy again as an adult when I read it to my kids. This is definitely one to read with your kiddos!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is pure magic. This is a chapter book but it is also filled with the most delicate and gorgeous illustrations. What an amazing storyteller Grace Lin is…it was truly a mesmerizing book for me. I read it in one sitting…and have since read it again. My oldest daughter has also read it and fallen in love. I plan to read this aloud to my kids when we learn about China next year. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is the story of Minli who sets off on a journey to find the Man on the Moon to change her families fortune. The story is woven with Chinese folktales and is absolutely beautiful. I am already looking forward to reading this one again.


There are so many amazing books that I want to add to this list…in fact, I have already thought of 5 more that I really should add, ahem…Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein. But, I promised 10, so 10 it is. I have a feeling there will be several more of these posts in the days and weeks to come!

What are your favorite children’s books of all time??

10 Beautiful Children’s Books about Birds

10 Beautiful Children’s Books about Birds

We adore birds. We love learning about them, watching them, feeding them, and reading about them! There are so many amazing books available about birds that would be fantastic additions to your homeschool lessons! I went a little rogue with this booklist and didn’t include […]

Evan-Moor Daily 6-Trait Writing Review

Evan-Moor Daily 6-Trait Writing Review

I am so excited to be sharing another amazing resource from Evan-Moor with you! At this point, you may have guessed that I adore Evan-Moor products. They are so educational, reasonably priced, and my kids LOVE them! These are all amazing things, right? So I […]

10 Amazing Books to Read to Your Kids on Earth Day!

10 Amazing Books to Read to Your Kids on Earth Day!


Earth Day is right around the corner! My kiddos are so excited to celebrate by heading to the beach to pick up some trash! In addition to helping clean up the beach, we will be reading a LOT of books! Whenever a holiday, special occasion, or celebration arises I feel the need to compile a collection of our favorite books on that subject!

Since my kiddos are so into learning about the Earth, recycling, and conservation, we have a long list of favorites already! I wanted to share the list with you! These are great books not only for Earth Day, but for any time you want to learn about how to take care of our planet and the creatures on it!

Our Top 10 Favorites for Earth Day

1.) It will probably come as no surprise that my first book is a Sleeping Bear Press Alphabet Book. I have talked at length about my love for them! To read all about how we use them in our homeschool click here.

S if for Save The Planet: A How-to-be Green Alphabet is a must have in your home library! It is written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss. Learn all about environmental issues from A to Z in this beautifully illustrated and informative book. Learn all about the 3 R’s…reduce, reuse, and recycle as well as many different ways we can help our environment! Don’t forget to head over to Sleeping Bear Press’s website to grab their free teacher guide to go along with the book. You can grab it here.

2.) Up next is  Wild World written by Angela McAllister and illustrated by Hvass and Hannibal. This is an absolutely breathtaking book that shares lovely poetry relating to 13 endangered habitats. The illustrations are stunning…you will feel like you are a part of each habitat that is mentioned. Not only is this a great book for Earth Day but it would be a wonderful addition to Poetry Teatime and a study on habitats! This is another gem from Wide Eyed Editions!


 3.) Next up is The Wonderous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and it’s Ecosystems by Rachel Ignotofsky. This is a book that you will use over and over again. It is absolutely beautifully illustrated and stuffed full of amazing information about our planet, how it works, and how we can protect it. From the ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest to the ecosystem of the Arctic Circle down to the smallest drop of water…this book covers it all!



4.) The next book that would be a perfect read for Earth day is Follow the Moon Home. Follow the Moon Home is written by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Meilo So. We originally got this book to go along with our lesson on Sea Turtles, but I quickly realized that this book was about so much more. This is the story Viv who moves to a new school on the coast and develops a passion for saving the baby turtles. This is such a powerful book that tells kids that it doesn’t matter how young they are, they can still make a difference if they work together and don’t give up.


5.) Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever is next up on my list! This book has some of the most lovely illustrations I have seen. Beautifully written by H.Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, it is the story of Katherine Olivia Sessions and how she created a movement to turn San Diego from a dry desert to a lush garden oasis. I have a not-so-secret obsession with biographical picture books…and this book is another gem! Another wonderful book that shows the power a single person can have! Definitely, a must read!

6.) Wilderness: Earth’s Amazing Habitats is brand new…Just arrived in my mailbox TODAY. I pre-ordered it so that I would have it on its book birthday. I wasn’t even thinking of Earth Day when I ordered it. I was just thinking that it looked absolutely gorgeous and that it would be an amazing resource to have. It is all of those things…plus so much more. The illustrations are absolutely insanely gorgeous. The book is all about some little known habitats around the world that are home to SO many plants and animal species. These habitats are in danger and need protecting. Kiddos will be drawn into the bold and beautiful illustrations…and will love learning about some animals and places that they may have never heard of. This is a must buy! Wilderness: Earth’s Amazing Habitats is written by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Marcos Navarro.

7.) The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families is a beautiful book that shares a message that one person can make a huge difference. The people of Hargigo in the African country of Eritrea were so hungry. They didn’t have enough food for themselves or their animals. One day, a scientist named Dr. Gordon Sato came along and with the help of mangrove trees, turned their world around. Such amazing illustrations and a powerful story! We especially love this one because in Florida we are surrounded by mangrove trees…and they truly are so special! The Mangrove Tree is by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore.


8.) Next up is Counting Birds: The Idea That Helped Save our Feathered Friends. Oh my goodness is this book beautiful. So, we are a bunch of bird nerds at my house. Absolutely LOVE them. I come from a long line of bird nerds and have proudly raised 3 of them myself. Counting Birds teaches kids the importance of watching birds and counting birds. It teaches children how they are able to help the birds just by watching and counting. The book also teaches them about self-taught ornithologist Frank Chapman and how he began this bird-count. Such beautiful illustrations with tips on how we can help! Counting Birds is written by Heidi Stemple and illustrated by Clover Robin!


9.) This next book is another newcomer. The Boy Who Grew A Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng is written by Sophia Gholz and illustrated by Kayla Harren. This gorgeous book tells the story of Jadav Payeng, a boy from India who became devastated at the deforestation and erosion that was happening in his small village in India. He began his journey to help by simply planting a small area of bamboo. That area grew and grew and helped his people and the animals around it survive. It is a lovely story of how one small person can make such a huge difference. Such a heartwarming and inspirational book.


10.) Last, but certainly not least is a long time favorite of mine. The Lorax by the incredible Dr. Seuss is a must-read on Earth Day…or any day really. Though the Lorax was published in 1971, it carries with it a message that is still so pertinent. Taking care of our Earth and the things on it, because they might not always be here. The Lorax and Dr.Seuss seemed to be ahead of their time sending messages of the dangers of clearcutting and pollution. In true Dr.Seuss fashion, The Lorax is filled with whimsical illustrations and fun flowing rhymes, but the message is crystal clear. “Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…its not”

This is just the tip of the iceberg of amazing books to read on Earth Day. There are so many beautifully written and illustrated books that would be perfect to share with your children on Earth Day, or any day! Sharing beautiful books is such a fantastic way to share an important message with our kiddos. Even though these books are geared for children, I think all people, young and old, can benefit from reading them. I hope you found some new books to share with your family.

I would love to hear from YOU! What are some of your favorite reads for Earth Day?

My Go-To Books for Homeschooling

My Go-To Books for Homeschooling

Have you ever found an amazing shirt and you love it SO much that you have to buy it in every single color? You know that it is the perfect shirt for you and you must have all of them? Well, I am about to […]

The Bluest of Blues- A Book Review

The Bluest of Blues- A Book Review

I have been completely smitten with biographical picture books lately. I have always found it fascinating to learn about someone from history, but there is something so special about reading about it in picture book form. Picture books add a certain element of magic to […]

Save Money and Sanity with TeacherFileBox

Save Money and Sanity with TeacherFileBox

Have you ever heard of Evan-Moor? If you have been in the homeschooling game for a bit you have likely heard the name or tried some of their amazing books! We have been using Evan-Moor products since we began our homeschooling journey 3 years ago! They are consistently some of our very favorite resources! We have been using History Pockets every single year…they are a favorite of mine and all 3 kids!

Last summer I was introduced to something called TeacherFileBox. TeacherFileBox is an online library of over 450 of Evan-Moor’s amazing resource books. At the time I first learned about it, I had at least 6 Evan-Moor products in my online shopping cart! I didn’t even hesitate…as soon as I checked out the website I signed up! I am SO glad that I did because TeacherFileBox has saved us a ton of money…and more importantly, lots of my sanity!

What IS TeacherFileBox

As I mentioned above, TeacherFileBox is an online library of over 450 of Evan-Moor’s resource books. This is a one-stop shop for all things Evan-Moor! TeacherFileBox is an online subscription that gives you access to a full library of lessons. You will have access to PreK-Grade 8 books across a full range of subjects!! As a homeschooling Mama of 3 kids in 3 different grades…this is AMAZING!

You can choose between a monthly and a yearly subscription. The yearly subscription cost me$99.99 TOTAL for the entire family! That works out to $8.33 a month. Such an amazing deal. You can also choose a month to month subscription which is just $12.99 a month…still an amazing value! Just to be sure that it is a great fit for your family, Evan-Moor has a 30-day free trial! You can try everything with zero risk. That was HUGE in my book…curriculum can be SO expensive, and to know that I could try it and if it wasn’t a great fit I wouldn’t lose $100 was pretty amazing. As soon as I spent a few minutes looking around the site I knew it would be $100 well spent!

WHY I Love TeacherFileBox

Ok, so why do I love TeacherFileBox so much? I have quite a long list of reasons why I think it is fantastic, so let’s chat about a few of them!

Amazing Products

Like I mentioned, I LOVE Evan-Moor products. They are such high quality and educational materials…AND the kids LOVE them. They aren’t your typical boring workbooks. They make learning fun. Products like History Pockets and Literature Pockets allow the kids to create a finished handmade project that shows their learning! If we can have fun while we are learning then we have much less whining and complaining when it is time to do schoolwork…this leads to the saving of my sanity! 🙂


Curriculum is expensive. No doubt about it! If I can find a way to save some money and still get an amazing product then I am one happy Mama! Just to give you a little idea about what I used TeacherFileBox for this year here is a list of the main components that we used:

  • 7 History Pockets (Life In Plymouth Colony, Native Americans, Moving West, Explorers of North America, Colonial America, Civil War, and the American Revolution)
  • Literature Pockets- Caldecott Winners
  • Building Spelling Skills for all 3 kids
  • Daily Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar and Punctuation
  • Language Fundamentals

Now those are just the main components. Anytime I planned a lesson I would always start by searching through TeacherFileBox to see what lessons I could add. For example, we are currently doing an Oceanschooling theme for science…I searched for ocean, dolphins, sea turtles etc and found a TON of great materials!

Resources At Your Fingertips

I LOVE having a complete library of resources at my fingertips! We are constantly creating spur of the moment lessons based on interests the kids have, so being able to log on to TeacherFileBox and print out resources is awesome. If you find yourself remembering that tomorrow is the Fourth of July and you have NOTHING planned…you can log on and find a bunch of resources! This is experience talking lol!

I typically sit down on Sunday morning and plan out our week ahead.  First, I create packets of info for each kid with their spelling words, grammar worksheets, and any other work we are doing that week. After that, I plan out which History Pockets we are doing and print copies for each kid so that I have it all ready for the week. It is helping this disorganized Mama stay organized…which is basically a miracle!

Also, you can pick and choose the pages that you print! You aren’t stuck printing every page in a chapter or section. If you only need pages 3, 7, 12, and 22…that is ALL you have to print. It is so user-friendly!

GREAT for Homeschooling Multiple Ages

I have already touched on this but want to explain a little further! As a Mama who is teaching 3 different grade levels, I like to teach as much together as I can! Obviously, there are a few topics that are more difficult to teach together, but I do try to do as much as I can together.

Something that I have LOVED about TeacherFileBox is that even though I am printing out 3 different grade levels of Language Fundamentals for example, ALL grade levels are learning the same topics at the same time! For instance, let’s say it is Week 6, when I go to print out all 3 grade levels, ALL 3 levels will be about nouns. So each child is learning about nouns, but it is geared toward their individual grade level. This is the stuff of dreams! That means I can put notes on the whiteboard about one topic and it will help all 3…good stuff!

Where to Find TeacherFileBox

If you think that TeacherFileBox would be a great fit for your home you can go right over to the website and sign up! Don’t forget that it is risk-free and you can try it to see if will work for you and your family! This is not a sponsored post at all…I just really LOVE TeacherFileBox and think it is such a great investment! If you are a fan of Evan-Moor products, this is definitely worth checking out!

For more information, you can check out the video below that gives a peek at some of the features of TeacherFileBox!



Favorite Oceanschooling Resources!

Favorite Oceanschooling Resources!

  We have joined forces with some amazing homeschooling families on Instagram to study oceans for the month of March! This was not part of our original plan for March, as we are right in the middle of a dinosaur unit…but this opportunity was too […]