The task at hand

We moved into our new home two days before thanksgiving and have been busy unpacking all the boxes.

Today’s task is organizing our kids book collection, which after having packed it up and moved it, is seeming a bit monstrous and ridiculous. (In size !)
Where in the world did we keep these in our old house?
I’m trying to organize and purge a bit today. I’ll post pictures on the progress– I’m trying out color organization– we’ll see how that goes.
Hope you are all healthy and well!
You might also like:
peter mccarty
Seven Chinese sisters

Modern biology

There’s a free table at the girl’s school where parents put things that they want to get rid of. Last week, I found this gorgeous old biology book. I was mostly intrigued by the cover art–looks like a book I’d like to display front-facing somewhere in my home.
However, the inside has a great transparent frog anatomy and human anatomy section which is very intriguing to Juliet. So it’s good on the inside and outside–win/win!
I found a few copies of this book for sale on amazon if you are interested: Modern Biology
Found anything good lately?

Hello! I’m still alive!

Hi, friends!
I just wanted to jump in and explain my sporadic posting and long absences these past several months. First, you should know that we are all fine–just in a time of transition, so it’s made posting regularly hard for me.
We put our house up for sale in the spring and finally sold it in October. However, in between selling our old house and finding a new one to live in–we have been living in a friend’s basement for the past month–it is a very nice basement, but we are sort of our of our routine and without all our books and things–we just packed a suitcase and have been living out of them for a month!
It was warm when we moved and now it is cold–so that has been a challenge. But we only have one week left till we move into our new-to-us house, so we think we can hang in there without our winter coats till then!
What have we been up to? Just the usual school and library trips, but I have not had a lot of time or space to hang out on the internet.
With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and unpacking and organizing a new home, I”m not sure that I”ll be having much time in the next few months either, but I promise, I’ll be back at some point!
Sorry for the silence–if you have any requests for types of posts you’d like to see–please let me know in the comments. I’ll have lots of time to brainstorm over the next few months and hopefully have some good library lists to share in January/February.
The picture is one Juliet drew today at school–it’s her and Lucia in our new home–she is ready to get her bed and books and toys back and our lives back to “normal”!
Hope you all are well and that you are reading lots of great books!

Russia books for kids

We went to Russia last week. Here are the books that took us there:

Babushka: An Old Russian Folktale

The Little Snowgirl

AT THE WISH OF A FISH: A Russian Folktale

Russian Girl: Life in an Old Russian Town


I have the tendency to check out 15 books for these lessons, but I find that we never get to them all. This number (4) was just perfect. We read all of them and enjoyed them all. I noticed that there are so many Russian folktales out there in the children’s book world, so your library may have others that are worth reading as well.


We made honey cookies and they turned out delicious. They have cinnamon and cloves in them, so Juliet said they “smelled like Christmas.”
Baking is not my strength, but these were easy and fun for the kids.

cinderella’s carriage diy

I began work on the Cinderella’s carriage for Lucia’s upcoming birthday party….
So far, I have a pumpkin shape with a window. We’ll see if I can actually get it to stay on the wagon….
Hope you are having a good week! I”ll update more on our party as we go along!
(Notice the kitchen knife? I don’t think it will ever be the same after this….)

cinderella carriage for kids

Sorry for my recent absence around here–we are pretty busy these days!

We are having fun planning a 3rd birthday party for Lucia. She has requested a cinderella party, so I am scouring the internet for cute ideas.

Stumbled across this cute wagon from MiniWagons on Etsy. They have a lot of beautiful wagons and carriages in this Cinderella style.

We are using  a vintage disney CINDERELLA  book (the one I read as a kid) as our inspiration for the party because we love the colors and the kids are most familiar and fond of this version.

However, there are so many amazing other illustrated versions that would be fun to use as inspiration. I think  Marcia Brown’s Cinderella is also gorgeous and would be perfect for a party theme as well.

What are you up to? What are you reading?

what we’re reading this week

It’s always fun to receive a package of review books from Owl Kids Books. Last week we received some new releases and I wanted to share them with you here.

The Long, Long Line was Lucia’s favorite. She requested that we read this one over and over again. The animals are waiting in line for something REALLY fun. I won’t ruin the surprise by telling you what it is, but you are going to like it. Trust me.

You know we love birds around here, and Is This Panama?: A Migration Story was a good mix of birds and other migrating animals. This was more on Juliet’s level as there was a lot of text and some good scientific information at the back of the book.

Oddrey and the New Kid  was another of Lucia’s favorites. It’s a fun story about Oddrey and a tall-tale-telling new kid.

The sheep and wolf are always pitted against each other in children’s books, so this was a fun new take on their relationship–they work together to make a flying machine and prove that “anything is possible.” Anything Is Possible

Have you read any of these? What do you think?

Thanks again to Owl Kids Books for the review copies! All opinions expressed are my own. 

This post may contain affiliate links. See disclosure policy for more details.

first grade reading list: books for first graders part 1

It is our habit to go the library and check out about 30 books a week just for our personal reading pleasure, but this year, I thought it would be good to make a list and try to go through it. Not because we don’t read enough, but just to give us a bit of a guide.

At the end of the year, it will be fun to look back and see all that we have read together, to talk about favorites and which new authors we had discovered.

I found these books in Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers and thought they sounded fantastic. I have not read any of the ones listed here, though there were some that we have already read and loved.

There are lists for preschool, 3-4 year olds, upper elementary, middle school and high school as well. The book also gives descriptions and insights as to plot and why these are good choices for children to read on their own or together with a parent.

If you read this blog, you probably don’t need to be convinced of the importance of reading or books, but I enjoyed reading Some of My Best Friends Are Books because it just reinforces what I already knew and gave me some great ideas for more books for us to explore as a family.

Here is part one of our reading list this year. I share the second part in a later post (it’s a lot of books!)

Maybe you can read along with us or tell us about any of the books you’ve read already? I am keeping my fingers crossed that our library has most of these. It not, I’ll be scouring thrift stores and hunting them down on amazon.

Feelings by Aliki

Manners by Aliki

Anno’s Journey by Mitsumasa Anno

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker

Dawn by Molly Bang

The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery by Graeme Base

The Sign of the Seahorse: A Tale of Greed and High Adventure in Two Acts  by Graeme Gase

If at First You Do Not See by Ruth Brown

Daniel’s Duck (I Can Read Book 3) by Clyde Bulla

Dandelions by Eve Bunting

The Man Who Could Call Down Owls by Eve Bunting

Stay Away from Simon! by Carol Carrick

What Happened to Patrick’s Dinosaurs? by Carol Carrick

Everett Anderson’s Friend by Lucille Clifton

Island Boy  by Barbara Cooney

Abuela (English Edition with Spanish Phrases)  by Arthur Dorros

What Are You Figuring Now?: A Story about Benjamin Banneker  by Jeri Ferris

Bears by Helen Gilks

Iktomi and the Berries: A Plains Indian Story by Paul Goble

The Legend Of the White Buffalo Woman by Paul Goble

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden

The Man Who Lived Alone by Donald Hall

Stay tuned for part II of this list!

backyard bird Egg project for kids

We’ve been keeping a list of the birds we’ve seen in our backyard this winter and decided it would be fun to do an egg identification project.
We cut out eggs from water color paper and spent an afternoon researching the different eggs an then attempting to paint  them.
After they dried, we mounted them on some black construction paper and labeled them. These were then placed in Juliet’s bird notebook.
This is not all of the eggs, but you get the idea. I think our favorite part was painting the eggs. We used Birds, Nests and Eggs  and the internet to get images of the eggs we were looking for.

kids books about New York City

My brothers live in New York City and with Hurricane Sandy about to hit them, I thought I’d share a few New York books that we’ve been enjoying lately!

Next Stop Grand Central

The illustrations are fantastic and really give a good view of the city–to me, it just seems very New York. We loved this one.

What’s Up, Bear?: A Book About Opposites

This book combines a story with the concept of opposites in a way I haven’t seen done before. I love opposite books, but they generally don’t tell a story. This one really does. It also throws in a nice tour of  New York City with all the famous landmarks and sites. Because it does so much, it works for Juliet my kindergardener and my two year old Lucia. We’ve been enjoying this one a lot this week. It would be a perfect prep book before taking a trip to NYC.

This Is New York

I haven’t read this one yet (sadly, our library only has the Paris one in this series–which is wonderfully amazing), but it is on my wishlist! I love the art and the way these books are put together.

Do you have any favorite New York City books? Anyone in the hurricane’s path? Stay safe!

(I received What’s Up Bear? as a review copy. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.)

You might also like:
pride and prejudice baby lit
miniature garden for kids
paint chip valentines for kids