Little Beaver and the Echo – Amy MacDonald

My daughter and I recently visited our favorite book store – a local, independent retailer that has wonderful books and  a terrific staff that knows children’s literature.  We walked away with a new favorite that shares a lovely store and includes breathtakingly beautiful illustrations.  Little Beaver and the Echo is a really a winner!

Beaver is lonely and cries out across the pond.  His cries echos back to him, and he decides to travel across the pond to the poor creature who is crying in an effort to make a  friend.  On his journey he is befriended by a myriad of forest animals, and he ultimately learns the story of the echo.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough ~ simply outstanding!

Rhyming Dust Bunnies – Jan Thomas

I just had to giggle when I found this title as my daughter and I were searching the shelves for new books at the library….Rhyming Dust Bunnies sounded like something we needed to read!   As the story begins, the reader is introduced to four dust bunnies – Ed, Ned, Ted, and Bob and told that they like to rhyme all the time.  In reality, Bob names does not rhyme with the others nor do the words he shares when it is his turn to contribute.  Instead, Bob uses words like “Look” and “Look Out” as he tries to warn the other dust bunnies of impending doom by way of a broom and then a vacuum.  The story is cute and provides a great introduction to rhyming for young children.  I think this also could be used with older children as well as a fun way to begin a discussion about rhyming.  The pictures are simple, bright, colorful, and fun and truly enhance the text.


God Gave Us Christmas – Lisa Tawn Bergen

God Gave Us Christmas begins with Little Cub asking his Mama about who “invented” Christmas.  The Little Cub wonders if it might be Santa.  Mama Bear explains that God invented Christmas and ultimately takes a journey with Little Cub in order to let him see that God is everywhere and how He gave us Christmas.

I really appreciate how this book directly addresses why we celebrate Christmas but also includes an explanation about Santa:

“Did God give us Santa?”

“Santa Claus reminds us about many good things like generosity and care.  But it is God and Jesus that we celebrate most come Christmas.”

God Gave Us Christmas is a sweet and wonderful Christmas book which includes beautiful illustrations.

A Magical Christmas – Claire Freedman

A Magical Christmas is a lovely story written in rhyme.  Little Mouse wants to know what exactly is the magic of Christmas.  In order to find the answer he goes and asks each member of his family, but each family member has a different answer.  Finally on Christmas Day Mommy Mouse shares with Little Mouse that all the answers were correct because…”The magic is love, Little Mouse.”

The illustrations in this book are particularly noteworthy.  They are simply beautiful.  Each page includes sections that are gently enhanced with glitter which truly bring the illustration to life.

Froggy’s Best Christmas – Jonathon London

Froggy’s Best Christmas is a cute tale that highlights the Christmas celebration Froggy has with his friends and family all of whom awaken from hibernation in order to enjoy the festivities.  In usual “Froggy style”, things don’t go quite as planned, but in the end everyone enjoys a Merry Christmas.

A Merry Little Christmas – Mary Engelbreit

A Merry Little Christmas highlights Gregory Mouse’s preparations for Christmas with his family and friends.   An added treat regarding this book is the fact that it is an ABC book.  The reader learns about everything from angels to the zillion ways Christmas brings cheer and every holiday delight in between.  As one might expect from Mary Engelbreit,  the joy of season in captured beautifully in the lovely illustrations.  A lovely Christmas book which is a family favorite at our home!

Winter in the Warmest Season – Lauren Stringer

Winter is the Warmest Season does a terrific job of highlighting all of the special cozy elements of winter from jackets filled with feathers and warm sweaters to hot chocolate and beds piled high with blankets and quilts.  The use of a child narrator enhances the description of the comparison between summer and winter and why winter really is the warmest season.  Additionally, the pictures in this book are beautiful and truly enhance the story.  This is a delightful tale that would make a great read aloud.

The Elf on the Shelf – Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell

The Elf on the Shelf  shares a family tradition that was created to answer the question of how Santa knew if the children of the home belonged on the “nice list” or the “naughty list”.   The answer is that a little scout elf comes to your home to watch and listen and then report to Santa each night.  When the elf returns he finds a new spot to observe and ultimately leaves with Santa on Christmas Eve to return again the following year during the holiday season.  Finding our elf (Edward) is the number one priority each morning for our daughter.  It is a delight to watch her excitement.

If you have little ones in your home this is a must have!

Motivated Moms

The 2012 Motivated Moms Planner is now available!  I have added a tab to the left if you need to get your 2012 planner.  For those of you who are not familiar with Motivated Moms, it helps one to develop a daily routine to keep your home spiffy as well as providing specific tasks to attend to each day in order to keep your home clean without having to have a weekly “cleaning day” where you end up scrubbing, dusting, mopping, and vacuuming the entire day.  I have tried other cleaning systems and ideas, but this is the only one that has really worked for me.  I love it!