Bedtime Stories

January 15, 2009

While our kids have many toys and games, in many ways, we are not fans of kids’ stuff in our house. We don’t listen to much kids music, so our son likes Kanye West and Coldplay and our daughter hums the Backstreet Boys. We don’t buy food that’s processed for kids, preferring to have them eat what we do. But when my son was born we were lucky enough to receive many children’s books as gifts, and we read them together every night. Not only do all of the studies show all of the cognitive benefits of reading to your child, but I really do find it’s great bonding time when the grownups are forced to put their Blackberrys down and the kids stop bouncing off the walls and everyone climbs on the bed and focuses on the books chosen for that evening.

An added bonus is when the books entertain the kids and the adults.  Whether you’re buying for your own family or need a gift, here’s two of our favorites, from Sandra Boynton and Mo Willems.

193882752While Dr. Seuss’ tomes are absolute classics (There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, One Fish Two Fish, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?),  the writer-illustrator Sandra Boynton is steadily building a canon of her own. Her whimsical drawings and lyrical text delight kids from a few months on up. We like a lot of her books, but the standout is Barnyard Dance ($6.95 as a board book). From the opening call to “Stomp your feet, clap your hands…” no one can resist the urge to square dance along with the animal characters. The page featuring the cow with sunglasses and a fiddle still cracks my son up after four years.

14270265-11Another excellent writer-illustrator is the award-winning Mo Willems,  well known for his Knuffle Bunny and Don’t Let the Pigeon series, both clever in their own right. Leonardo the Terrible Monster ($16.99 in hardcover) is a story about an ineffective monster who picks on an easy target, Sam, to “scare the tuna salad out of him.” But soon Sam has Leonardo reforming his ways…The pastel colors, offbeat drawings and fun-to-read-aloud quirky text all add up to class A entertainment. And I like that it’s all presented by “Your Pal, Mo Willems.”
Super snack
For those days when you want a little something but you don’t want anything too sweet or too time consuming, check in the freezer section of your grocery store for Superpretzel’s Soft Pretzel Bites (about $3.50 per package). Put 2 or 3 on a plate, microwave for about 20 seconds, dip ‘em in a little mustard and you have a quick, easy and somewhat healthy and satisfying snack. I like the bites better than the whole soft pretzels, because I find I can better regulate how much I actually want. And kids like them too!

It is fa-reezin’ here in NYC today, and I left the house without a scarf.

If you didn’t just realize you forgot to pay $34,000 in back taxes just before your confirmation hearings, you’re probably having a great day…enjoy!

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One Response to “Bedtime Stories”

  1. eBookGuru Says:

    Thats for sharing those. My son loves books, and I have a hard time in the childrens section of the book store. I usually look for others opinions first.

    Cheers,
    Trevas


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