• Reading with Walnuts Archive

    When I was pregnant with each of my daughters, my husband presented me with a stash of gourmet sodas in unusual flavors: key lime pie, pomegranate and even Shirley Temple (a throwback to my youth when my dad treated me one whenever we went out for dinner). It couldn’t have been more thoughtful…and depressing at the same time. Did I really think I could make it through nine long months without a sip of Chardonnay? Amazingly I did, but not without developing a strong dislike for pineapple-flavored bubbly stuff. If I’d hand my hands on Momosas while I was pregnant, I would have been able to ditch those fruity sodas once and for all. This paperback book is filled with more than 130 non-alcoholic cocktail [&hellip

    Read More...

    There’s almost nothing I love more than a good book. When a new title I’ve put on reserve at the library finally comes in, my heart beats a little bit faster (hey, don’t judge). My mom tells me I’ve been surrounded my books ever since I could put a few words together, so it’s no wonder I’m a writer by trade today. But enough about me! I’m more excited about the Indestructibles line of books from Workman than any other baby book that’s crossed desk in a long time. If you know how much little ones like to chomp on anything they can get their hands on, then you’ll appreciate a book line (finally!) that’s designed to stand up to that kind of wear and [&hellip

    Read More...

    It’s the first rainy day we’ve had in weeks, and somehow, it’s oddly comforting. Staying indoors practically forces me to hunker down, brew a cup of tea and watch the raindrops fall. And yet, when you add kids to that equation, it suddenly becomes a different story. Lucky for us, my 6-year-old had a puppet-making class at our local library this morning that helped save the day. On our way out, we stopped by a table of books featuring kids’ crafts, an ideal way to extend the creative experience back at home. While we perused several noteworthy recommendations, nothing comes close to the recent book I received for review. The Complete Book of Activities, Games, Stories, Props, Recipes and Dances for Young Children is teeming [&hellip

    Read More...

    In our house, losing baby teeth means big business…and I’m talking about the Tooth Fairy making sure she has enough funds to satisfy the expectant child! Imagine how much easier life would be if a kid would rather forgo his cash reward and hang onto his lost tooth as his prize. Such is the premise of The Tooth Fairy Wars, a picture book that challenges kids to think outside the mouth, so to speak. The story revolves around a young boy named Nathan who’s determined to keep his missing teeth, no matter what the Tooth Fairy says or does. Page after page, he attempts to outsmart her with a series of seemingly clever antics…but is only met with disdain as she manages to one-up him. [&hellip

    Read More...

    My favorite thing about having young kids is witnessing their imaginations firsthand. My 6-year-old wishes she were a bunny, and sometimes draws her alter ego as herself. (I won’t get into her insatiable appetite for carrots and celery…let’s consider it a parenting perk.) If you happen to be blessed with a kid with a penchant for pretend play, then surely you must know Julius Jr., the preschool sensation with his own Nick Jr. TV series. This little monkey has the knack for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, including a basic cardboard box that turns into a wonderland of magic and fun. Bringing Julius and his gang’s excitement over to playtime is a complete line of toys and books. Fisher-Price has already launched a number [&hellip

    Read More...

    My aunt and uncle have a summer house in New Hampshire, a place I remember from my childhood as one of peace and tranquility. While nature was all around us, it was the stillness of the lake, momentarily shattered by the cry of the resident loons, that I am able to recall instantly. If you’re not familiar with this species of bird, you come to know them by their haunting call, one that lingers long after you’ve packed up and gone home for the summer. So when I received my copy of The Lake Where Loon Lives, I knew I could be transported back to New England simply by turning the pages. What I did not anticipate, however, was the sharp contrast to the sounds [&hellip

    Read More...

    In just a few short weeks, I’ll have a kindergartner graduate home for the summer. She’s learned so much this past year, and I can only imagine how much she’ll absorb once first grade starts up. Because our school district has a half-day kindergarten program, we supplemented her education with an enrichment program a few days a week: a great way of extending the learning and enabling her to grasp new concepts not covered by the Common Core. Sure, summer gives us a breather when it come to the frenetic pace of the daily grind, but I like to think my kids can still maintain an education outside of the classroom, even when they’re not hitting the books. If you find yourself looking for ways [&hellip

    Read More...

    My favorite kind of books are picture books. I could spend hours in the children’s department of a bookstore, leafing through the pages of the gorgeous illustrations and uncomplicated verse. It won’t matter if my kids eventually outgrow these books, as I keep them on my own bookshelf just to peruse when I have a moment to dream and wonder. After all, isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do: allow you to enter a new world and escape reality for the time being? It doesn’t matter if that place is familiar or foreign, but rather that the journey of getting there transcends the present. For me, my latest excursion-through-books took me back to a time when I could remember what it was [&hellip

    Read More...

    The open road is calling your name. Maybe it’s because it’s finally Friday, the weather is good and you’re itching to get out of town. Or maybe it’s just easier said than done; you still have family commitments and a list of errands a mile long. If that’s the case, it never hurts to live vicariously and that’s what we’re doing, thanks to a globe-trotting little girl. Lately Lily is a fresh new face in the world of kids’ entertainment–and a refreshing one at that. This is not a girl who dwells in the virtual world, but who joins her jet-setting parents on their various travels and records her observations about these adventures. Aside fromĀ  a doll in her likeness made by MerryMakers, Lately Lily [&hellip

    Read More...

    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

    Read More...