• Reading with Walnuts Archive

    Kids’ books are one of my most favorite things, especially this time of year as the holidays approach. But while there seem to be no shortage of great Christmas books, our stash of Thanksgiving titles always appears to be lacking. I think we’ve stumbled upon a new one worth adding to our library. Gollywood, Here I Come! is a spirited read that will tickle your funny bone and captivate even the most fidgety listener. It stars a young turkey starlet, Anamazie, who aspires to leave her small town and someday walk the famous red carpet. Her dreams are nearly crushed after she fails to earn the top spot in “Gobbleville’s Got Talent” until a better opportunity comes along. Readers will be whisked away along with [&hellip

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    Does your kid know his Carter from his Clinton? His Roosevelt from his Reagan? If U.S. history elicits snores and cries of boredom, then it’s time to remind your pint-sized patriot that yes, even these famous men were once kids. In honor of Election Day, we’re giving a shout-out to an awesome middle-grade book that will get kids interested in American presidents faster than you can say ‘Ulysses S. Grant.’ Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood From America’s Presidents gets our vote for entertaining education, as it profiles presidents way back to their (sometimes mischievous) youth. Who knew that Abraham Lincoln grew up with a stepmother who was anything but cruel? Or that Reagan was legally blind as a boy until a pair of glasses [&hellip

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    What’s Halloween without a good ghost story? Before my husband and I had kids, we made our yearly trek to Tarrytown, N.Y., where “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was reenacted by a local theater troop. Held within a stone’s throw of a dark cemetery through which the Headless Horseman was said to make his nightly ride, this was the ideal experience to get us into a spooky state of mind. Because my kids are still a bit too young to experience this terrifying, but terrific tale, we’ll have to settle for some other festive fables. If your own brood’s Halloween style is more Henry Hugglemonster than Headless Horseman, we’ve found a new book worth checking out with you this season. Monster Party! is the best [&hellip

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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