kids books


hi guys!

I have big news to share with you all.

Super proud to welcome a new picture book I finished with Groundwood Books, written by Sara O’Leary.

“A Family is a Family is a Family”

It will be available on sept 1st on the House of Anansi/ Groundwood books site HERE

and available in your local bookstore or online September 13!

“Grand-da gots balls?”

“Wat’s tes-tees?” inquired a small voice. Jemmy had abandoned his rocks and was looking up at me in profound interest.

“Er …” I said. I glanced round the room in search of aid.

“That’s Latin for your balls, lad,” Roger said gravely, suppressing a grin.

Jemmy looked quite interested at that.

“I gots balls? W’ere I gots balls?”

“Er …” said Roger, and glanced at Jamie.

“Mmphm,” said Jamie, and looked at the ceiling.

“Well, ye do have a kilt on, Uncle Jamie,” Ian said, grinning. Jamie gave his nephew a look of gross betrayal, but before he could move, Roger had leaned forward and cupped Jemmy gently between the legs.

“Just there, a bhalaich,” he said.

Jemmy kneaded his crotch briefly, then looked at Roger, small strawberry brows knitted into a puzzled frown.

“Nots a ball. ’Sa willy!”

Jamie sighed deeply and got up. He jerked his head at Roger, then reached down and took Jemmy’s hand.

“Aye, all right. Come outside with me and your Da, we’ll show ye.”

Bree’s face was the exact shade of her hair, and her shoulders shook briefly. Roger, also suspiciously pink about the cheeks, had opened the door and stood aside for Jamie and Jem to go through.

I didn’t think Jamie paused to think about it; seized by impulse, he turned to Jemmy, rolling up his tongue into a cylinder and sticking it out.

“Can you do that, a ruaidh?” he asked, pulling it back in again.

Brianna drew in her breath with a sound like a startled duck, and froze. Roger froze, too, his eyes resting on Jemmy as though the little boy were an explosive device, primed to go off like the opal.

A second too late, Jamie realized, and his cheeks went pale.

“Damn,” he said, very quietly under his breath.

Jemmy’s eyes grew round with reproach.

“Bad, Granda! At’sa bad word. Mama?”

“Yes,” Brianna said, narrowed eyes on Jamie. “We’ll have to wash Grand-da’s mouth out with soap, won’t we?”

He looked very much as though he had already swallowed a good mouthful of soap, and lye-soap, at that.

“Aye,” he said, and cleared his throat. The flush had faded entirely from his face. “Aye, that was verra wicked of me, Jeremiah. I must beg pardon o’ the ladies.” 

He bowed, very formally, to me and Brianna. “Je suis navré, Madames. Et Monsieur,” he added softly to Roger. 

Roger nodded very slightly. His eyes were still on Jemmy, but his lids were lowered and his face carefully blank.

Jemmy’s own round face assumed the expression of beatific delight that he wore whenever French was spoken near him, and—as Jamie had clearly intended—broke immediately into his own pet contribution to that language of art and chivalry

“Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques… .”

Roger looked up at Bree, and something seemed to pass through the air between them. He reached down and took hold of Jem’s other hand, momentarily interrupting his song.“So, a bhalaich, can ye do it, then?”

“FRÈRE … do whats?”

“Look at Grand-da.” Roger nodded at Jamie, who took a deep breath and quickly put out his tongue, rolled into a cylinder.

“Can ye do that?” Roger asked.

“Chure.” Jemmy beamed and put out his tongue. Flat. “Bleah!”

A collective sigh gusted through the room. 

Jemmy, oblivious, swung his legs up, his weight suspended momentarily from Roger’s and Jamie’s hands, then stomped his feet down on the floor again, recalling his original question.

“Grand-da gots balls?” he asked, pulling on the men’s hands and tilting his head far back to look up at Jamie.

“Aye, lad, I have,” Jamie said dryly. “But your Da’s are bigger. Come on, then.”

And to the sound of Jemmy’s tuneless chanting, the men trundled him outside, hanging like a gibbon between them, his knees drawn up to his chin.

-The Fiery Cross, Diana Gabaldon

I REALLY hope Jon Favreau’s latest movie “ The jungle book” gets an Oscar nomination.  It’s a beautiful movie and I think I have seen it like 5 times since it was released in our itunes.

AND i can’t get Christopher Walken song out of my head LOL

I Wan'na Be Like You" - Christopher Walken
Page has been updated! Take a look!

Some new suggested titles have come up since our last few episodes:

So I made a poll– what should we read?  Go and vote here!

Tagging the members– but of course!

@ladyzadie, @heir-to-the-diamond-throne, @rubylevanah, @radical-rin, @the-wonderful-jinx, @luminescent-wanderings, @imthedragon, @therealbabsgordon, @icarusinstatic, @buckybabs, @probablymermaids, @underasleepysun, @dalecooperjr, @galaxy-ram

It is 1986, and aspiring actor Edward Zanni has been kicked out of drama school for being “too jazz hands for Juilliard.” Mortified, Edward heads out into the urban jungle of eighties New York City and finally lands a job as a “party motivator” who gets thirteen-year-olds to dance at bar mitzvahs and charms businesspeople as a “stealth guest” at corporate events. When he accidentally gets caught up in insider trading with a handsome stockbroker named Chad, only the help of his crew from How I Paid for College can rescue him from a stretch in Club Fed.


These were just the photos from a nostalgia thread.  There are many more books that were a part of my childhood.  Also, I can’t believe how many notes this has gotten.

Edit: I can’t believe this is still going.  It is my first and only post to ever hit 100,000, which it just did.  Not sure if I want another popular post.  It makes my Activity useless.

Let me tell you about this super adorable kids’ book

I got it for my niece for her birthday and it’s super freaking cute, I love it!

It’s called “Interstellar Cinderella” by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Meg Hunt.

So yeah, it’s a Cinderella story, but it’s also so much more.

Basically Cinderella fixes stuff around her step mom’s house, but really she wants to fix rocket ships!

There’s this spaceship parade that Cinderella’s family is invited to see, but she’s not allowed to go. So her Fairy Godrobot, yes that’s right God-Robot, gives her this super rad space suit and tools to fix up an old spaceship so she can go! Isn’t that fucking sweet? She fixes the spaceship herself!

So anyway, Cindy gets to the parade and meets the Prince, who’s ship is being a piece of shit, so Cindy freaking fixes it for him.

Prince takes her to the ball, and instead of dancing and romance and stuff, they bond over their mutual love of spaceships. THEY BOTH FREAKING LOVE SPACESHIPS, HOW CUTE IS THAT?!

Midnight comes, Cindy has to run off because her space suit is going to loose power, but she leaves behind not a glass slipper but her super rad socket wrench!

Prince tracks down Cindy’s family (of course she’s locked in the attic), but instead of the classic “Wear this article of clothing so I know you’re the girl I’m looking for” test, the Prince gives the stepsisters a real test: use the socket wrench to fix a broken spaceship. How badass is that?!

Anyway, of course Cindy arrives after the step sisters horribly fail, and the Prince is all “You are the coolest person ever marry me!”

But you know what Cindy does? She literally says, and I quote, “I’m far too young for marriage, but I’ll be your chief mechanic!” CHIEF. FUCKING. MECHANIC. Girl has serious game.

So Cindy goes and lives with the Prince and they spend their days fixing space ships together, the end!

I just- I love this book so much! It’s the classic fairy tale all little girls know, but with the message it’s okay to like fixing things and getting dirty, and you don’t need to marry the prince to get what you want.

It’s just super adorable, and if you have a little girl in your life you need to buy a present for I highly, HIGHLY, suggest this book! And my crappy phone pictures do not do justice the the adorable artwork.

Concept illustration for a kid’s book I’ll be doing soon called ‘Billy-Bob - Boy Ballerina"

It’s basically a story geared towards 6 year olds about a tough kid who wears tutus to school and likes to dance. I want to promote an abolition of gender-roles and emphasize the importance of sticking with your hobbies and the things you love just because you love them.

I believe that no child should be punished for expressing themself.


The Colors of Us (1999)

“My name is Lena and I am seven. I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up.”

Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when Lena and her mother take a walk through their neighborhood, Lena sees that there are many different shades and tones of brown. Seen from an artist’s point of view, skin colors are subtle, varied–and cause for celebration!

Karen Katz created this book for her daughter, Lena, whom she and her husband adopted from Guatemala six years ago.

By Karen Katz 

Get it now here

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Little Golden Books

I know that’s not a single title, but who could choose from the treasure trove? Poky Little Puppy, the Little Red Hen. The Friendly Book, Little LuLu and her Magic Tricks, The Three Bears, Dr. Dan the Bandage Man, Nurse Nancy, the eccentric Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather.  

In the 1950s, when I was a child, children’s literature was not as prolific or available as it is today. These simple stories, some written by now-famous authors such as Margaret Wise Brown, appealed to all children and were often illustrated by quality artists – Eloise Wilkin, Tiber Gergely, Rajankovsky.

The Golden Books were affordable even to a farm family of four children like mine – priced at twenty-five to twenty-nine cents each, available at drug stores, groceries and dime stores. On Fridays, “shopping days” at my childhood home, my mother would return with groceries, notions, AND a Little Golden Book. She read to us every evening, and instilled in all of us a love of stories and books.

Now, as an early childhood teacher, I know (there has been documentation!) that the single most important factor in raising a reader is reading to that child.

My early experiences with the bright, engaging storybooks in this series were the key to opening my heart to books forever, and sharing my love for stories with future generations. Through picture books, I hope to stir my young students’ imaginations, curiosity and creativity and help create lifelong readers.

–Sharon Dempsey has been a full-time teacher at Free To Be Child Care Center since 1986. Sharon has presented at national, state and local early childhood conferences. She is active in the Atlantic Bay Association for the Education of Young Children. Currently she resides in Laureldale with her husband and two daughters.