Exploring education through books, travel, and adventure

Tag: picture books

Ring in the New Year with Freedom Soup!

Ring in the New Year with Freedom Soup!

Can you believe we are just days away from ringing in the New Year? I say it every year, but I honestly can’t believe another year has gone by! I have a gorgeous new book to share with you that would make a perfect read […]

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn

Have I ever mentioned how much I love picture books? Once or twice? Maybe? Ok…well, I really do love them. A picture book can tell a story, it can make you laugh, it can hit you right in the feels, and it can send a […]

This Is BABY- Another Picture Book Hit From Jimmy Fallon!

This Is BABY- Another Picture Book Hit From Jimmy Fallon!

Picture books are my go-to gift for nearly every occasion! There is something so special about giving someone a book! My favorite time to give books are at baby showers or to celebrate the arrival of a new baby! Books are such an incredible gift to give to new parents…building a library for their little one of books that they can enjoy with their child is just priceless!

I have a sweet new recommendation to add to your list of go-to books to give new parents! This Is BABY is a brand new book from Jimmy Fallon! Fallon has also authored Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA and Everything is MAMA. Both books were New York Times #1 Bestsellers and I have no doubt that This Is BABY will join them!!

This Is BABY is a sweet book that illustrates all of the parts of baby. What is the most important part of baby? Is it their nose, their toes, or is it something else? This will be such a hit with little ones! Kiddos love to learn about their body and will love the rhyming words! Parents will absolutely love reading this to their little ones. The sweet illustrations are created by Miguel Ordonez who also illustrated Everything Is MAMA and Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA.

This Is BABY was gifted to us by our friends at Macmillan in exchange for our honest review! This will definitely be added to our list of favorite books to give as gifts!

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My Most Anticipated August New Releases!

My Most Anticipated August New Releases!

I have a new hobby. You might even call it a sport. It takes great skill, determination, and endurance…I stalk Amazon for upcoming new book releases. Oh, it’s a thing. So, instead of just stalking alone and creating beautifully long wishlists, I have decided to […]

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??

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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 […]

Friday Favorites- 3 Fantastic Books You Don’t Want to Miss

Friday Favorites- 3 Fantastic Books You Don’t Want to Miss

FRIDAY FAVORITES It is Friday again and that means it is time for another installment of my Friday Favorites! This week we have read some fantastic books! Featured this week are 2 picture books and 1 middle-grade novel that I read aloud to my kids. […]

Friday Favorites- Fabulous Picture Books

Friday Favorites- Fabulous Picture Books


Happy Friday! Today is the first of what I hope to be MANY “Friday Favorites”. Every Friday I am hoping to share with you some of our very favorite books from the week. I always have so many books that I want to showcase, so featuring a few at a time will be a much less daunting task!

Let’s jump right in and chat about our four favorite picture books this week. I have a slight obsession with picture books. I like to tie them in with everything I am teaching in our homeschool. They are just such relatable books…and there is just something about gorgeous illustrations that bring a story to life! We read picture books every.single.day. They don’t always tie in with our schoolwork…we often just read them because they are lovely and gorgeous and fabulous! My kiddos are on the older side…12,10, and 8…but they still sit and listen and LOVE having picture books read to them.

So, without further ado…Let’s talk picture books!


We had such an amazing book week! We had some amazing new releases arrive from Harper Collins and some long-awaited library holds arrived! Yes my friends, these are the things that excite me! So, I am going to share with you our top 4 standouts from the week. SO hard to narrow them down, but here we go!


Have you ever heard of Mary Edwards Walker? I know I hadn’t until I opened this beautiful picture book by Keith Negley! Mary Wears What She Wants is the story of young Mary Edwards Walker who is known for being one of the first women EVER to wear pants.

This is the story of young Mary, who was tired of being told she had to wear dresses. Mary gets an idea…a very daring idea. What if she didn’t wear dresses…what if she wore pants instead? Who said that boys had to wear pants and girls had to wear dresses. So Mary decided one day that she was going to wear those pants…and let’s just say it caused quite a stir! Thankfully, young Mary stood up for what she believed was right and she continued wearing those pants! The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. They are so bold and vibrant and fit the story so well.

I absolutely love how Keith Negley included a note at the end of the book all about the real Mary Edwards Walker. I am fascinated by her and can’t believe I have never heard of her before! Mary not only wore those pants…but she got arrested for it! Can you imagine? Being the first woman to wear pants isn’t the only thing Mary is known for. Mary attended medical school at a time when women just didn’t do that, she served as a surgeon in the Civil War often behind enemy lines, and she was instrumental in fighting for women’s right to vote!

This is an amazing book for teaching kids that it is ok to stand up for what they believe is right. Mary showed us that sometimes all it takes is one very brave person to spark a huge change. What an awesome message for our kiddos.


This book needs to be in every library and every home. It is just the most beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated book. I have read it countless times over the last week and just continue to love it more and more. Much like Mary Wears What She Wants, Planting Stories is based on a real-life person. I think I have a new obsession with biographical picture books!

Planting Stories- The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre is about the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. Pura arrived in New York in 1921 and began her life at the library. When she noticed that the library was lacking in the beautiful folktales from her youth, Pura began to tell the stories herself. She began to make puppets and people from all over began to come and hear her folktales in English and Spanish. But what about the library shelves that are missing stories from her homeland…well, Pura puts pen to paper and writes the tales. She is soon a published author. Though life takes Pura away from the library for a time, her heart and stories live on because of the seeds that she planted!

I can’t say enough wonderful things about this book. It was so lovingly and beautifully written by Anika Denise. The gorgeous illustrations were created by Paola Escobar. This is a story about dreams, traditions, love, and legacy. This is one that you are going to want in your home library or classroom library…truly a gem!


Julian is a Mermaid is the sweetest book with a very big message. This is the story of a little boy named Julian…and more than anything, he loves mermaids. He wants to be just like the mermaids. Julian wants to be a mermaid SO badly that he uses items around the house to dress up like one. What will his abuela think? The facial expressions tug at your heartstrings as you can see Julian wondering how his abuela will react to his mermaid costume. Without giving away all of the details of the end of the book, let me just say that I wish all children could have someone like abuela in their lives!

Author/Illustrator Jessica Love has created the most gorgeous book in both artwork and words. Each page is so beautifully illustrated…with some pages having no words and only full-page illustrations. This book has a very important message as well. A message of acceptance. To accept yourself for who you are and to not be afraid to be that person. It is a celebration of individuality and of unconditional love. Just a wonderful book!


Harold Phillip Snipperpot is about to turn 7 years old…and he has never had a birthday party. He has never had a birthday party because he has a pair of very grumpy parents. This year he hopes that things will be different. Sensing that their son is feeling down, Mr. and Mrs. Snipperpot call in the help of the fabulous Mr. Ponzio to make sure Harold has a special party. Well, Mr.Ponzio has something up his sleeve that no one expected! Mr.Ponzio arrives at the party with a menagerie of animals. That is when all sorts of mayhem ensues! The house gets trashed, there is animal poo everywhere, and his parents end up locked in a trunk. What mayhem, what chaos, what a disaster…or is it? Maybe it is kind of…funny? I will let you read the ending to see how Harold Snipperpot turns a complete disaster into the best day ever!

This book is beautifully written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna. The pages of the book are complete magic. So much detail and so beautiful. We adored this book…it was full of laughs but also full of heart. Highly recommend adding this one to your shelves as well.

Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting books with me! I have some exciting books to read to the kiddos next week, so stay tuned for next weeks “Friday Favorites”! For more favorites click here.


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