If you have had the pleasure of making a small human at some point over the past 45 years, then you are probably acquainted with Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins, the fantastic and poetic, beat-inspired book.
My son Henry has definitely chosen it as his favourite of the hundred or so books that we’ve read to him since he was born. We are currently on our third copy — the first two having been destroyed by adoration, drool and tiny fingers.
Naively, I thought we were the only ones who loved this book so much.
Did you know that the biggest full moon of the year could be seen this past weekend? On Saturday, May 5th, the moon was extra big and extra bright. A “supermoon” happens due to a fluke of orbital mechanics that bring it closer to the earth. Between the supermoon and the upcoming solar eclipse (!!) we’re on a bit of a space kick. Here are five books to read if you are too:
Your kid’s personal guide to being an astronaut will school them on eating in space, being a team player aboard ship, and training for weightlessness on the vomit comet. There are lots of fun facts (a space suit has 12 layers, and weighs 280 pounds!) and other resources. Also: the author’s site tells you how to make a rocket. Read more...
What’s that about? They are a divine series introducing children to art and artists through fun— portraying the artists as REAL people with delightful illustrations, cartoons and famous artworks.
Age recommendation: 4- 104
Why it rules: These books open up the world of art to kids through imagination, color and fun facts. (We are HUGE fans of museum-going. If we aren’t onstage we are likely to be found wandering through galleries absorbing and chatting about what is inspiring us). These books makes it all accessible. Read more...
Pile yourself and all your kids into a big bed and read a story together
It’s World Book Night! It’s a night where we celebrate our love of reading, and hope to foster that same love in other people too. In some cities, people will be going out distributing paperbacks in hope that these books will find good homes and their new owners will seek out more and more reading material.
While we don’t expect you to canvas the neighbourhood passing around old copies of Catcher in the Rye, you and the kids could go through their old pictures books and see if there are any that the kids could spare. Consider donating a few to a local women’s shelter.
Carly Stasko investigates the quandaries of new parents
FROM ROUTINES TO RITUALS:
Having a consistent and fun bedtime ritual for your baby keeps everyone happy. It gives your little one important cues to help them transition from a busy day to a restful night. It’s a chance to wind down, to reconnect, to imagine, and take comfort in a predictable routine.
Mere months ago, my husband and I both fancied ourselves to be wild spirits free from the restraints of what we saw as oppressive routines. Being predictable seemed like a fate to avoid at all cost, dare we risk being sentenced to a life of boredom.
Since we’ve become parents an interesting shift has occurred. With the birth of our son we’ve enjoyed the introduction of an additional wild spirit into our lives and our days are filled with chaos, hilarity, relentless learning, play, poop and crazy, crazy love. As we surrender to the improv-act-that-is-parenthood we have found that a bit of routine can be a very welcome sanctuary. Read more...
How often do National Chocolate Cake Day and Family Literacy Day coincide? Not too often, we would guess. What better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than getting together with some loved ones after dinner, digging into a nice slice of chocolate cake and reading a book together? There just simply is no better way. And if you don’t have carpets or light-coloured furniture to worry about, we suggest that this activity is best when done on the floor in some sort of makeshift reading nook, or piled into a big, comfy chair.
Without further ado, your chocolate cake book selections:
1. Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael Kaplan (2011)
Set aside some time to veg out with a good page-turner
Your first chapter book is a big deal. It’s a milestone for independence and brains. When your kids are ready to eschew picture books and dive into the brave new world of novels, you want to introduce them to the reads that will exhilarate them to the max. Something with an exciting story, relatable characters, a few lively illustrations, and just the right amount of other-worldliness. Here are some suggestions.
The Moomintroll Series by Trove Jansson (1945 – 1970)
Ages 8 and over. These cuddly-looking, round-snouted family of trolls were brought to life in Finland between 1945 – 1993. They were based loosely on the authors own bohemian, nature-loving family. Adventures take the moomins out to sea, through dark and scary forests, and under giant fish attacks. Recommended by Cynthia Crumb.
The Adventure Series by Enid Blyton (1944 – 1955) Read more...
Flavorwire takes a look at some classics children’s tales
Are we ever glad Maurice Sendak couldn’t really draw horses! We knew the Winnie-the-Pooh inspiration from the intro to the old (old) Pooh videos we used to own, as well as the Cat in the Hat thing from previous Seuss-related Bunch research. London kids being shuttled out of London to stay in the country, or elsewhere, during the Second World War is practically its own genre so the Narnia inspiration comes as no surprise, but that doesn’t make it any less magical. But that Little Prince one, wow.
Our January Dare to Draw project presents an opportunity for you to talk to you kids about the issues that kids living in Africa face on a daily basis. From different cultural traditions to the Rights of a Child to dealing with HIV/AIDS, here are a few picks from the Stephen Lewis Foundation that’ll teach kids a bit more about their brothers and sisters in Africa:
Eyewitness Books: Africa by Yvonne Ayo (1995)
Packed full of interesting pictures and facts, Eyewitness books are known for being sort of like mini museums on paper. This is a visual guide to African culture that touches on ancient crafts, secret societies, and the journey’s of slaves from Africa to North America. For grade 3 and up.
Jamari’s Drum by Eboni Bynum and Jackson Roland (2004) Read more...