When is a board book not a board book? It’s not that all counting books are board books mind you; it’s just that most of them are. One Lonely Fish has board book thick pages, as well as content that’s OK for them, but is in a big format rectangular book. It’s also fabulous, teaches young kids how to count, is fresh, original and may nudge your young child to a graphic design career.

One Lonely Fish, counting book, graphic design, board book, early reader, counting

Counting books for young kids can be a by-the-numbers routine. One Lonely Fish is not one of them.


Our 5YO loves Slinky. Every time he gets the chance to enter a ‘prize bag’ where he gets to choose something he’ll always go for the Slinky. Of course, this isn’t the real metal Slinky that works, these are the cheap plastic versions that don’t really work but allow him to lasso other toys. The Marvelous Thing That Came From A Spring is the true story of how inventor Richard James’ accidental idea sprang into a toy that would last for generations.

The Marvelous Thing That Came From a spring, slinky, Betty James, Richard James, toy, artwork, gilbert ford

  Every ‘thing’ has a story and the story of Slinky is fascinating. It also makes for a great children’s book


Agnes and Clarabelle, early chapter books for young readers

January 11, 2017

Agnes and Clarabelle is co-authored by Adele Griffin and Courtney Sheinmel, with the illustrations done by Sara Palacios. This is a cute series of early chapter books for young readers that will mainly appeal to girls. Our 7YO loves animals and does many of the things that the characters do in the books, but wasn’t keen on reading the books a second time. For girls the experience will be vastly different as they’ll laugh, point at the illustrations and talk about their friends doing the things that Agnes and Clarabelle do in the books.

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Dracula Vs. Hitler, a taut, fun page-turner that defies expectations

January 10, 2017

Think of Dracula Vs. Hitler as Force 10 From Navarone with a vampire. This is a fun read that will have you genre hopping in your head to imagine other classic monsters in different times. Now, after you realize how difficult it is to make such a book enjoyable-much less believable (due to the author’s research in WW II terminology, speech patterns and so forth) then will find yourself rewarded with a great beach book. This is one that you’ll find difficult to put down. Its rich, detailed language gives readers the feel that they’re in the Romanian mountains at the intersection of absurd history and loving every moment of it.

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Best all age comics for January 11

January 9, 2017

Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSIt’s technically not the first week of the year. However, with the kids back in school it feels like a new day and the new comic books this week reflect that. After last week’s very few new releases this week presents some gangbuster options […]

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Wonder Woman, Rumble in the Rainforest-great reading for 7 and up

January 8, 2017

Wonder Woman, Sword of the Dragon and Rumble in the Rainforest are original books complete with pages of big, vibrant comic book art. Each chapter is approximately nine pages with big font and vocabulary that the average second grader will be able to navigate without assistance.
Some of the pages are full panels of art. There are some cool images of fighting various baddies, flying her invisible jet, using the lasso of truth and hanging out with monsters. The end of the books also have Invisible Plane Secret Files, two pages that detail the back history of the big bad that she just fought in the book.

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Build It! books, simple steps to get kids past the ‘kit’ stage of LEGO

January 4, 2017

Volume 3 builds even more complicated things and Volume 4 is suited for advanced LEGO builders as it recreates world landmarks. Our seven year old is just starting to break out of the ‘kit mentality’ for LEGO. He absolutely loves playing with them and I’m convinced that it is the perfect toy. Over the years he’s received a couple of kits and one classic set. The main problem of LEGO kits is that once the thing is put together they don’t get played with much.
He tends to like his classic set better, but he wants to build something finite. He wants there to be a building goal or thing that he can be proud of and play with. That is what Volume 1 of Build It! does so well. They’re simple things that start out using 15 bricks to create little animals. By the end of the book it builds to an almost 60 piece building façade that he can then put together some trees to make his neighborhood look more suburban.

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The best all age comic books for January 4

January 2, 2017

The tenth, eleventh and twelfth doctor start their new season of comic books. These comic books have too much reading for younger kids to enjoy. However, if they’re 10 or older; or just love Doctor Who then this will be OK for them. The violence is on par with the show and will feature some life/death situations, but also has the humor and heart to go along with it.
Marvel has a corner on the superhero all age comic books this week. Marvel Universe Avengers Ultron Revolution #7 and Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man vs. Sinister Six, digest vol. 1 are out. Ultron Revolution is economically priced at $2.99, while the Spider-Man digest collects four issues of the comic book for $9.99.

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