• Reading with Walnuts Archive

    When both of my girls were younger, Goodnight Moon was our go-to read. No matter whether they’d been angels all day, or if my nerves were frazzled by nightfall, this classic bedtime tale was a constant in our home, one whose repetitious verse and soothing imagery offered them as much comfort as it did me. So naturally, when we were given the opportunity to review the latest Margaret Wise Brown treasury, we jumped at the chance, and when we found out the origin of its publication, it made the experience all the more special. Goodnight Songs is a collection of previously unpublished lullabies, unearthed by a children’s book editor and fellow fan. Presented in an engaging format that includes a musical CD, each lullaby is [&hellip

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    It was a cold, but clear day in the Big Apple. With a fresh coating of snow on the ground, it was a fitting start to a trade show known for its brightness amidst the cold. We spent the day yesterday in NYC at the annual Toy Fair, checking out all the new playthings kids will be clamoring for later this year. With a comfortable pair of shoes (errr, make that snow boots), camera and trusty pad and pencil, we were ready to roll! To kick off the festivities, we attended a press conference spotlighting none other than Grammy award-winning artist Alicia Keys. (Yes, she’s as stunning in person as you might imagine, if not more). She was on hand to talk about the release [&hellip

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    Boy, the groundhog’s prediction was spot-on this year. It’s snowing for the eighth time this winter, but who’s keeping track anyway? Because our thoughts are easily turning to spring and beyond, we are looking for any means to transport us (mentally, at least) out of this snowbound spot and into a sunnier destination. How delightful that a new picture book with a familiar title landed on our desk. Octopus’s Garden is, in fact, based on the lyrics of the Beatles song we’ve come to know and love, and now has charming illustrations to go along with it. Readers need only turn the first page to be lured into this inviting world bubbling over with sea creatures of all shapes and sizes. As a young boy [&hellip

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    Do you know where you’ll be this Sunday? Whether you’re lucky enough to have coveted a ticket, or are content to happily nosh nachos from the comfort of your couch, we’re betting all eyes will be on the screen to see which team will take home the Super Bowl XLVIII trophy. (If you’re like me, and don’t quite know your tight end from your end zone, you’ll do your best to smile, devour a chicken wing or two…and wait for the commercials.) But if you happen to have a budding football fan in your house, you don’t need to feign your intelligence about the game (wait a minute, who’s on first?). Arriving just in time for the Big Game is Let’s Play Football, a story [&hellip

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    When I was a kid, Halloween rivaled Christmas as my all-time favorite holiday. The very idea that you could ring a doorbell and be given endless amounts of Snickers and Milky Ways just for wearing a fun get-up? It seemed too good to be true. Until, of course, we trekked over to Holly Tree Lane, a street that seemed to have a large barking dog behind every door. (I can’t tell you how many times I turned around to keep my eye on my dad’s lit cigar at the end of neighbor’s driveways, a beacon of safety, after waiting what seemed like forever to receive a chocolate bar or handful of pennies.) Sure, I can look back at those Halloweens past and chuckle at my [&hellip

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    “Everyone is always good at something.” It was a mantra I heard throughout my childhood, from my teachers, to my own mother…and one that I find myself echoing today with my own kids. When my 9-year-old laments that she is small for her age, I remind her that bigger isn’t always better. “Just listen how loudly you can sing,” I tell her as she belts out a number from her theater class. Because each of us is unique, we have qualities and traits that we may sometimes frown upon or even take for granted without fully realizing the beauty in their purpose. That’s the theme behind a new children’s book, Clumsy Duck, in which the title character’s self-imposed name fails to capture his true talents. [&hellip

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    My 5-year-old was so happy to have art class on her first day of kindergarten. She spends quite a bit of time drawing detailed pictures, and I can never seem to find her without a crayon or marker in hand. While I’ve yet to take her to an art museum, I suspect we’ll be spending quite some time navigating the halls of MOMA and the Guggenheim…someday. Until then, we’re relishing Arlo’s ARTrageous Adventure!, a story of what happens when a young boy spends the day in art museum and it turns out to be a rather lively show. His grandmother attempts to school him on the seriousness of art, but he soon learns that looks (and life) is not always what it seems. As readers [&hellip

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    “Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” is a fitting description for my soon-to-be kindergartner. She’s been enthusiastically picking out her backpack, new school clothes and supplies like there’s no tomorrow. Plus, we’ve been checking out nearly every first day of school picture book from our library (luckily, there’s no limit!). While I don’t fear my 5-year-old will have any separation issues, reading with her about what she can expect is my way of preparing her for the big day–and getting her into the groove for storytime. One of my favorite books so far is the just-released Rufus Goes to School, an adorable story about a precocious pig who’s determined to go to school, even if he is an animal. Prompted by the desire to read his favorite book, [&hellip

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    If you’re not quite ready for the back-to-school rush, you’re probably not up for any Halloween goodies. But because we love new kids’ books, no matter the season, we can’t resist the latest title from the literary ladies behind Click, Clack, Moo. Aptly titled Click, Clack, Boo!, this story takes us down on the farm, right before All Hallow’s Eve. Farmer Brown, however, is in no mood to celebrate. If anything, he’d rather crawl under the covers and let the holiday pass without him. But that, of course, wouldn’t have the makings of a great story, and so the drama begins. Setting out a bowl of candy on the front porch (not unlike some recent Halloweens around our neighborhood!), he draws the shades and locks [&hellip

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    Tis the season of baby showers, christenings and any other gift-giving occasion to welcome a new arrival. If you’ve been invited to a bris, baptism or first birthday bash and are coming up empty-handed on your quest for the perfect present , consider the latest trend in gift-giving: subscriptions. We’re not talking Highlights magazine here, but rather a boxed mail-order delivery. Googaro features an assortment of carefully selected baby gifts (think: your own personal baby store shopper) that are eco-friendly and BPA-free. The selections include toys, books, snacks and other items, and are tailored to specific age ranges: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-2 years and 2-3 years. Subscriptions are available on a monthly basis at $35 a pop, or you can place a one-time order. [&hellip

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