Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Twas The Mouse That Saved Christmas {Giveaway}

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

We have a new Christmas tradition in our house. Aside from decorating our home with christmas light display and Christmas ornaments, it involves reading an adorable book about a plucky little mouse. It also involves Mommy barely making it through the last page without sobbing quietly into her children’s heads. Because, magic. And Christmas. And amazement. And magic.

twas the mouse that saved christmas

twas the mouse that saved christmas Twas The Mouse That Saved Christmas is a personalized storybook from Marblespark. When you order a copy, you tell Marblespark your child’s name and they put it in the story in several places (on the cover, on Santa’s list, in the story itself). I thought Evan might be a little young to understand that the story is for him but he is AMAZED that HIS NAME is in a book. (Bonus side effect: he now recognizes his name in writing and can spell it out loud.)

twas the mouse that saved christmas

I wasn’t 100% sure I would love a personalized book (I remember ones from my own childhood that were very poorly done) but this one totally exceeded my expectations. The illustrations are cute and colorful and the whole story is written in rhyme – just like the original Twas The Night Before Christmas. Both Evan and Caroline request it every night at story time.

twas the mouse that saved christmas

We – E and I – are both happy to oblige. Reading about the joy and magic of Christmas to my two not-so-tiny babies in the glow of our Christmas tree is almost more than my mama heart can handle. The last page gets me almost every time, as soon as I read Santa’s letter to Evan reminding him being with those we love is the best part of the holidays. Excuse me, I have something in my eye again.

twas the mouse that saved christmas twas the mouse that saved christmas

twas the mouse that saved christmas

 Marblespark would like to send one of my readers a personalized copy of Twas The Mouse That Saved Christmas for their child. I’m told the last day to order to get the book for this Christmas is December 12th so I’ll pick a winner on Friday (contest will close Thursday night) just to be sure we make the cut off. That gives anyone who doesn’t win but still wants a copy plenty of time to get their own book ordered too.

Rafflecopter makes entering really easy. The comment question is: Who would you give the book to if you won? Your child? A niece or nephew? A grandchild?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marblespark sent me a copy of this book personalized with Evan’s name so we could read and enjoy it. I was not compensated in any way or obligated to write about it if I didn’t genuinely love the book. All opinions and photos are my own.

Hit Me With Your Best…Parenting Book

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Today I’m stuck home with a busted car and a baby trying to bust some new teeth through her poor swollen gums and I feel like busting out the vodka to go in my third cup of coffee.

(The car people just called. They think the huge electrical freakout happening to my minivan has been caused by…coins. In my radio. One guess who’s responsible. I…have no words.)

The upside to being home is I don’t have to fight with the toddler. Because the fighting? Is driving me insane. And the not listening. And the running away. And the tantrums. I spend too many hours a day with all my muscles tensed in anticipation of the fight I know is coming any second. I am exhausted before he even DOES anything wrong. My current methods of dealing with the poor behavior are time outs he doesn’t care about, making idle threats, hissing through my teeth, counting to three and then counting to three again and then counting to three again, picking him up and dragging him out of Target, ignoring while I die of shame and bribery.

I’m not even going to pretend I know what I’m doing anymore.

Since I seem to have lost my copy of How Exactly To Parent Your Child So They Always Act Perfectly But Don’t End Up Needing Therapy (I’ve heard people from certain internet message boards get a copy right after they give birth)(Or maybe the childless people are hoarding all the copies – based on their internet comments they certainly THINK they know everything), I think it’s time to put my Amazon Prime membership to use and order up a big stack of parenting books. I am open to suggestions. All suggestions. YOUR suggestions.

So far I’ve got “Unconditional Parenting” – recommended by my friend Robyn – on the crunchy, hippie, new-agey end. And I don’t plan to send Evan out back to cut his own switch, so I won’t need Grandpa’s imaginary book “This Is Going To Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You”. But I figure the more books I read the more likely I am to find something that sounds like a) I (we) can do it and b) might work on MY kid. Or maybe my brain will explode. But at this point that feeling inevitable.

Screw Reading

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Here’s today’s parenting tip: Do not read to your child, especially if you value your sanity.

I don’t know why I was in such a hurry for my kid to like books. Obviously I didn’t remember just how mind-numbingly boring most books aimed at small children are. MIND NUMBINGLY BORING. We’re not talking classics like Little House on The Prairie or Where the Wild Things Are or even Harold and the Purple Crayon He’s Probably Going To Fall On and Accidentally Stab Through His Eyeball Because He’s Not Very Smart. Those are stories. The crap aimed at the diaper-wearing crowd is just colors and noises infused with some sort of toddler-brain crack that gets them hooked and then you’re forced to read the same eight words over and over and over to avoid the horrible toddler crack brain withdrawal meltdown that ends when you give in and slowly shove bamboo splinters under your own nails while pointing out the doggie and the ball and the triangle and the cloud and the DEAR GOD PLEASE TAKE ME NOW.

Seriously, HIDE THE BOOKS.

Or if you still want to be a “Good Parent” and encourage “literacy” and “education” and all that BS, just read to them from adult books you actually enjoy – and avoid these in particular:

Trucks Go by Steve Light


I can keep going if you want. I’ve got the damn thing memorized.

Unless you want truck noises taking up valuable space in your brain for the rest of your life, never ever ever let your kid see this book. The bright colors and the random noises are immensely entertaining to small children while being seizure inducing in sane adults.

Baby Einstein Let’s Look!: First Look and Find

I did not buy this book. Obviously the “friend” who gave it to me clearly isn’t a “friend” at all, since I wouldn’t give this to my worst enemy. It’s actually a whole set of terrible books with these crazy unidentifiable animals dressed as people (anteater? REALLY? my toddler is supposed to know that?) doing ridiculous things while you read poetry even less well written than “There once was a man from Nantucket” and encourage your child to point at the red birdie and the blue drum and the…what the heck is that? A telescope? You want my baby to find a TELESCOPE? How about we work on basic body parts before we get to astronomy equipment, mmkay?

I usually just throw this one behind a chair. Somehow Baby Evan keeps finding it anyway.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Williams

Don’t let the fancy awards and accolades and reviews on Amazon fool you. Right in the middle of the rather disturbing tale of a child whose horrible, careless father LOSES her beloved stuffed animal there are three pages of NOISES. Yelling noises. Noises that will make your kid laugh hysterically and cause him to bring you this book over and over and over until you’re tempted to just “lose” it in the washing machine too.

Bee tee double you: Can someone PLEASE tell me how to say “Knuffle Bunny”???? Is it a silent K like knife? Is it “kan-uffle?” I need to KNOW these things so I don’t send my kid to preschool totally confused. WARS HAVE BEEN FOUGHT OVER LESS THAN THIS.

Monkey About with Chimp and Zee by Catherine and Laurence Anholt

There is a page in this book that says you should lick it. LICK IT. I’m even more disturbed because this too is a hand-me-down book, which means someone else has probably licked it. The rest of it’s not that bad – very short – but that’s sort of like saying “Well yes, the meal at that restaurant was lovely besides the part where I found a pubic hair in my salad.”

Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden

The whole book is just stuff that rhymes with “who”. Moo, zoo, boo, choo-choo. It takes approximately 24 seconds to read the entire thing (even including the baby kissing the mirror on the last page because he luuuurves the bebeh in the book). Which means you can read the whole thing approximately 150 times in an hour. And you will. Better get those bamboo shoots ready for your fingernails. Or at least some special Mommy-juice.

A Child’s Good Night Book by Margaret Wise Brown

Don’t let the adorable illustrations and calming words and the charming bedtime prayer at the end fool you. This book is…short…and…nice…and…OK, fine. This is pretty much my favorite kid’s book ever. We read it when we wake up. We read it at naptime. E reads it to Baby Evan before bed. And I would happily read this fourteen bazillionty times a day – no stupid rhymes, no goo-goo-ga-ga, no talking down to children, no activities. Just beautiful words and pictures and a few minutes with a peaceful baby in my lap. Damn you Margaret Wise Brown and your fantastic children’s books.

I guess maybe I’ll keep reading to my kid after all.

(Disclaimer: The links above are through my Amazon Associates account. So if for some TOTALLY INEXPLICABLE REASON you decide you actually want to purchase any of these terrible terrible books I get something like three cents commission. Which isn’t even close to enough money to pay for the shrink I need to see to get the damn garbage truck out of my brain.)