IN THE DEEP DARK DEEP | by Ben Joel Price

My boys are REALLY into monsters, playing in the dark with flashlights, robots, and monkeys, so when I discovered IN THE DEEP DARK DEEP the timing couldn’t have been better. Author-Illustrator Ben Joel Price takes our main characters – Deep-Sea Diver, Robot, and Monkey – into the depths of the ocean to discover what happened to all the light in the sea. Price’s artwork sets the tone for the book and is full of hidden gems. I actually looked through the book while the boys were napping just so I could examine all the finer details and subtle jokes hidden within (such as a mussel portraying a circus strongman – HA!). This is a great picture book that I highly recommend, and be sure to check out the “prequel” EARTH SPACE MOON BASE. Continue reading…

MONSTER TROUBLE | by Lane Fredrickson, Illustrated by Michael Robertson

Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson, Illustrated by Michael Robertson

I think I was destined to find this book today. This morning my 2yo told me that he had bad dreams last night. When asked what he dreamt about, he said “monsters”. Then, at the library a couple hours later, we saw MONSTER TROUBLE displayed face out on the top of the shelf. It’s the story of Winifred Schnitzel – a little girl who’s not afraid of anything, but can’t get the local monsters to leave her alone so she can get a good night’s sleep. After trying every trick in the book to get rid of these nighttime pests, she stumbles upon their secret weakness, which just might buy her some much needed shut-eye. Author Lane Fredrickson’s rhyming prose is easy to read and feels natural (unlike some Yoda-esque rhyming books we’ve all read), and the full-page illustrations by Michael Robertson bring this story to life in vivid color. Continue reading…

PLANET KINDERGARTEN | by Sue Ganz-Schmitt, Illustrated by Shane Prigmore

planet kindergarten

Follow along as our hero bravely embarks on a mission to explore Planet Kindergarten. He’ll encounter alien crew mates, space food, and the dreaded nap time in this fun book designed to help kids adjust to the new adventure that is school. When my youngest (2 years old) randomly pulled this off the shelf at the library I was immediately hooked by the art of illustrator Shane Prigmore. After reading the story by author Sue Ganz-Schmitt, I knew this was not only going to be my boys’ new favorite, but mine too. I was not wrong.

Continue reading…

How Fathers Can Shape Their Son’s Emotional Intelligence

 

How Fathers Can Shape Their Son's Emotional Intelligence

A Guest Post By Tyler Jacobson

As parents, it is our responsibility and joy to comfort our children from birth. When our babies cry, we pick them up and try to soothe them; when they start to walk and fall down every 4 seconds, we help them up; we comfort them when they get hurt, and try our best to dry their tears. While mothers usually continue to comfort their children in this regard, many times there is a switch that is flipped and fathers feel the need to “toughen up” their sons and discourage expressions of emotion. This suppression of feeling is a common occurrence and is something that fathers need to work on rectifying.

Multiple Intelligence Theory

A Harvard Professor named Howard Gardner has identified eight different types of intelligences that each individual has in varying capacities. These eight different intelligences are Continue reading…

Let There Be [Night] Light

 

illumibowlThis article is a test and review of the IllumiBowl – a motion activated night light that first gained traction on Kickstarter and was later featured on Shark Tank. I received one in the mail and immediately put it through its paces. Here’s how it went:

Getting Started

The IllumiBowl is pretty straightforward. Slide the cover off the front, install three AAA batteries (not included), and you’re ready to go. I did find out that if you install the batteries wrong, the device will not work. I’d like to tell you that was part of a rigorous testing process, but it was actually just me putting one of the batteries in backwards. You’d think after putting batteries in a gazillion toys for my kids, I would have it down by now, but apparently not. I’m going to chalk it up to a hasty install because I was excited about turning my toilet different colors, not the fact that I probably need glasses. Continue reading…

We May Have Accidentally Potty Trained Our Son

Parenting Potty

The Unexpected Outcome of “Not It”

My youngest son is, at the time of this post, 14 months old and is naturally still wearing diapers. Shortly after coming home from the hospital, My Superstar Wife and I have utilized the “Not It” rule when it comes to changing diapers. I covered this in Division of Labor, but as a refresher, the rules are: Continue reading…

Division of Labor

Dividing housework between parents with kids

Dishes: The Worst Chore Ever

Our house runs on a set of clearly defined job descriptions. There is no question who’s job is what and that is what helps us keep a handle on the daily chores that never seem to go away. Having this division of labor spelled out creates a tremendous amount of accountability – mostly in the form of My Superstar Wife reminding me of the tasks I’m not completing. Make no mistake; she is anything but a nag. It’s just that the slacker in the house is generally (read: always) me.

However, when I’m not reverting to my 14-year-old self and actually doing what I’m supposed to, things run pretty well. Here’s how we have divided things up. Continue reading…

LITTLE BOY | by Alison McGhee, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

First off, I’m probably a little biased toward this book since I have two boys of my own. With that said, author Alison McGhee and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have perfectly captured the spirit of little boys though economical prose and beautiful artwork. From bugs and puddles to books and pajamas, and of course the ever versatile cardboard box, LITTLE BOY makes for a great story that both children (especially boys) and adults will identify with. At the end of a long day, when your little boys have been less than little angels, it’s a great way for us to remind ourselves how sweet our little boys can be. Continue reading…

THAT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA | by Mo Willems

That is not a good idea Mo Willems

Chances are, if you read a lot of picture books, you’ve heard of Mo Willems or at least know of some of his books. He’s a multiple-award winning children’s book author with some very popular titles, such as the Elephant and Piggy series and the Pigeon books. Today at the library I came across this gem from a few years ago. That Is Not a Good Idea is a fun play on a traditional fairytale-type story, illustrated in the style of a silent movie. When a sweet, innocent goose crosses paths with a hungry fox, her fate appears all but sealed as they venture into the woods to the fox’s kitchen, despite the increasingly frantic warnings from the baby geese that it is “not a good idea”. Just when all seems lost, Willems inserts a twist that is fun for adults and kids alike. Continue reading…

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