The Children’s Blog Daily Digest June 6

The Daily Digest (4)

1. As summer quickly approaches, be aware of the real threat of secondary drowning and know how to identify the signs “How my son nearly drowned, and what you need to know about secondary drowning.” (Jennifer Margulis)

2. Read! The Children’s Book Council has a fantastic list of books, by age range, that would be a great addition to any home library “Beat Summer Slide — Build a Home Library for Your Child!” (Children’s Book Council)

3. A fun summer recipe idea for kids, “Watermelon Sandwich” (Chop Chop Magazine)

4. A reasonable rant about the expectations surrounding “boy colors” and “girl colors” “Pink is a Color. Blue is a Color. Teach Your Kids. Please.” (Mike Reynolds, HuffPost)

5. Anyone for voluntarily extending middle school for a year? “Your Kid’s Brain Might Benefit From an Extra Year in Middle School” (Jessica Lahey, The Atlantic)

20 Great Picture Books for Every Home Library

 (Written by, this article was originally published at


How do you build a great home library for your children? The answer is simple but abstract at the same time; a great library is built, one book at a time. What happens after your child outgrows the bountiful selection of board books you received even before he or she was born? Classics such as Goodnight Moon and Pat the Bunny have made the rotation countless number of times, and now you and your child (maybe you, more than your child) are ready to delve into the realm of picture books. You want to be extra careful in choosing, because their future success hinges on these early life decisions.  All joking aside, not every book you choose for your home library will be a good book, age appropriate, or even an instant favorite. But this is really part of the process. Not every book needs to be a classic, what is more important is to offer your child a wide selection of books to choose from that stimulates their mind and heart. As their interests develop, their accessibility to those topics and characters they are interested in will foster a love for reading. Often, a book with no interest now may come back to be a favorite in a few years. Picture books, in particular, will tend to be a fixture in your home library longer than you may expect. Generally, the text in picture books will be too difficult for beginning readers and so you will find yourself reading these to your child long after they begin to read themselves. Also, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear your child’s request for a read aloud of their favorite picture book long after they have learned to be independent readers. Fewer moments are more nostalgic than reading Library Lion to your 9 year old and remembering the first time you read it to them 5 years ago. Here is a selection of 20 amazing picture books that would be a solid addition to any home library.


OnceIAteaPie1.Once I Ate a PieBy Patricia MacLachlan and   Emily MacLachlan Charest, illustrated by Katy Schneider Celebrated Newberry Medal   winner Patricia MacLachlan brings the loving, loyal and sometimes mischievous   personalities of dogs to the center stage in this heartwarming book. Perfect   for dog lovers and a great introduction to poetry for children. 
 BigRedLollipop2.Big Red LollipopBy Rukhsana Khan, illustrated   by Sophie Blackall Anyone with a sibling will   relate to this story of sibling rivalry and birth order nonsense. Further   introspection reveals the growing pains of an immigrant family as they   assimilate into their adopted land. Readers of Ivy and Bean will also   recognize Sophie Blackall’s adorable caricatured illustrations.
 theemptypot3.The Empty PotBy Demi A beautiful adaption of a   Chinese fable about inner strength and honesty. The illustrations and story   are beautifully simple but the lessons are complex.
knufflebunny4.Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary TaleBy Mo Willems Mo Willem’s classic tale of   Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny. Every parent has been there, the moment   when the most important object in your child’s short life goes missing.   Thankfully, in this story, there is a happy ending. Be sure to check out Knuffle   Bunny Too and Knuffle Bunny Free as well.
 sickdayforamos5.A Sick Day for Amos McGeeBy Philip Stead, illustrated by   Erin E. Stead A touching and beautifully   illustrated example of how one good deed deserves another and the importance   of friendships and kindness.
 georgeandmartha6.George and MarthaBy James Marshall What happens when you tell   stories about two hippos who happen to be best friends? Hilarity. James   Marshall’s stories and illustrations about George and Martha will have you   and your child rolling in laughter every time.
diaryofawombat7.Diary of a WombatBy Jackie French, illustrated   by Bruce Whatley An adorable tongue-in-cheek   account of a typical week in the life of a slow-moving, huggable Australian   wombat.
lionandthemouse8.The Lion and the MouseBy Jerry Pinkney A beautiful wordless adaption   of one of Aesop’s most well-known and beloved fables. The illustrations are   expressive and striking. 
streganona 9.Strega NonaBy Tomie dePaola A classic series by master   author and illustrator Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona (“grandma witch”) gives Big   Anthony fair warning not to touch the pasta pot but Big Anthony is determined   to make his own magic.
 whereisthegreensheep10.Where is the Green SheepBy Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy   Horacek A delightful rhyming book that   your child will memorize and enjoy for years.
 thethreequestions11.The Three QuestionsBy Jon J Muth What is the best time to do   things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?  Jon Muth adapts Tolstoy’s three most   important questions into a stunning and thought provoking book about   mindfulness and relationships, relevant for adults and children.
 scaredysquirrel12.Scaredy SquirrelBy Melanie Watt Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of   everything. Melanie Watt conveys the seriousness of anxiety and worry in a   humorous and endearing way via a charming squirrel.
 chrystanthemum13.ChrysanthemumBy Kevin Henkes What happens when the perfect   baby with a perfect name starts school and gets teased for being different?   School becomes difficult and life becomes complicated for Chrysanthemum, who   eventually realizes that being different can be celebrated.  Acclaimed author and illustrator Kevin   Henkes tells a sensitive story about the delicate topic of being different in   an especially beautiful way.
 librarylion14.Library LionBy Michelle Knudsen,   illustrated by Kevin Hawkes An all-time favorite about a   kind and sometimes misunderstood lion who is welcomed at the most welcoming   of places, the library. It is a heartwarming and gentle story about   stereotypes, friendships, and heroism.
 olivia15.OliviaBy Ian Falconer Olivia is a lovable piglet,   reminiscent of Eloise of The Plaza Hotel. She is spunky, full of energy and   never runs short on finding enthusiastic adventures.
avisitorforbear16.A Visitor for BearBy Bonnie Becker, illustrated   by Kady MacDonald Denton An enigmatic bear and a   tenacious mouse are the perfect pair in this endearing and humorous series   about friendship. 
thekissinghand17.The Kissing HandBy Audrey Penn, illustrated by   Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak The perfect book for children   starting a new adventure and suffering from separation anxiety. Audrey Penn   address the topic in a gentle, heartwarming and sensitive way through the   eyes of a nervous raccoon and his nurturing mother.
thepencil18.The PencilBy Allan Ahlberg, illustrated   by Bruce Ingman This is a clever book about the   adventures of a creative pencil that gets itself into a bit a trouble.   Children and adults will appreciate and understand the irony and will enjoy   reading it over and over again.
forjustoneday19.For Just One DayBy Laura Leuck, illustrated by   Marc Boutavant Enter this whimsically   illustrated book and your child will begin the game of imagining themselves   as variety of animals. The bright and captivating illustrations make it easy   for children to imagine the possibilities.
 themanwhowalkedbetweenthetowers20.The Man Who Walked Between the TowersBy Mordicai Gerstein An entertaining and inspiring   recount of Philippe Petit’s 1974 World Trade Center tightrope walk. Children   will be captivated by the daring and dramatic feat told through equally   dramatic and beautiful illustrations.

Suggested Reading: The World Belongs To You By Riccardo Bozzi


The World Belongs To You

By Riccardo Bozzi

Illustrated By Olimpia Zagnoli

Copyright 2013

Templar Books

The title of this book brought back vivid memories of an afternoon years ago when my daughter was learning to ride a scooter. She was 3 and slowly scooting down the sidewalk in our town. She’d go and she’d stop. She’d go and she’d stop. I heard footsteps behind us and took a glance to see who was approaching. I encouraged my daughter to move over so the woman walking behind us could pass.  The woman was within earshot and she responded “Honey, you don’t need to move over, this is your world too!” Her kind and bold sentiment has stuck with me since that afternoon.

The World Belongs To You is a simple, but beautifully written book by Italian writer Riccardo Bozzi and illustrated by Olimpia Zagnoli. Each page of this book has no more than one sentence and one eye-popping digital illustration.  However, don’t be fooled by the minimalism, it is a powerful and inspiring book.  The first few pages of the book starts with, “The world belongs to you. And you belong to the world.” These potent words immediately grab you and have you turning the page for more. The book continues with the message of our freedom to make choices in what we do, how we feel, and who we love.

As we raise and teach our children, I find that the messages in this book are timeless and can span generations.  You could read it to a 4 year old and watch the wonder in their eyes as they try to grasp the fact that the world belongs to them. You could read it to a 6 year old who is learning how to ride a bike without training wheels (“You are free to learn. Even though it might hurt sometimes.”). It could be comforting to an 8 year old who is learning how to navigate friends and conflict (“As strange as it seems, being unhappy isn’t useless.”). This book would also be a wonderful gift for a graduate ready to launch into the next phase of their life.  And, of course, for us adults who could use some reassurance once in a while.

During moments of insecurity, I have reminded my children (as the woman on the sidewalk did many afternoons ago) “This is your world too!” I’m thankful that Bozzi and Zagnoli have created a book that articulates this message so beautifully.

Mindful Reading For Kids: The Three Questions by Jon Muth



“When is the best time to do things?”

“Who is the most important one?”

“What is the right thing to do?”

The answers to these three questions have the power to keep us grounded during some of the most trying and happy times in our life.

In Jon Muth’s book The Three Questions, these questions are subtly addressed through the story of a boy’s journey to seek the answers to these questions for himself. Muth’s story is based on Leo Tolstoy’s short story,  “The Three Questions”, which itself was a parable about a king seeking the same answers. Muth adapts Tolstoy’s story into a relatable, beautifully illustrated gem of a book for children.

The story begins with Nikolai, who wants to be the best person he can be,  posing the three questions to his friends, the heron, monkey and dog. Each have their own perspective with a twist, that leaves Nikolai unsatiated. Nikolai continues his quest for enlightenment by visiting his turtle friend, Leo. Through a series of events where Nikolai lends his help, Leo teaches Nikolai that the answer to his questions lie within himself.

“When is the best time to do things?”- Now.

“Who is the most important one?”-The one you are with.

“What is the right thing to do?”- Do good for the one you are with.

This book was first published in 2002 and was in part inspired by the works of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Master. One of Hanh teachings is that “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.” As the mindfulness movement is growing and being implemented in our homes and schools, Jon Muth’s The Three Questions is a compelling but delicate book parents and educators can use as a tool to help teach children about how to be mindful.




There Is HOPE For Severe Allergies

If you or your child (ren) suffer from any life threatening allergies, you know all too well that there are indisputably more questions than answers when it comes to  food allergies.  The number of questions continue to rise as the number of children with food allergies (5.9 million in the U.S, or 1 out of 13 kids) continues to rise. Many of these children are in danger everyday, just by going to school, to a restaurant, or to a party. As parents, some of us have been lucky enough to identify our children’s allergies prior to a reaction. Many of us, however, have experienced that terrifying moment when we realize that our child has eaten something that is causing his or her body to shut down. How could their little bodies turn on themselves like that?  How are they ever to experience a normal childhood living in fear that something as harmless as a cupcake could kill them? Will there be an Epi Pen , will there be someone who knows how to use an Epi Pen? Please, let them grow out of whatever has started this allergy.

Within the ever-present cloud of questions and concerns about allergies, there seems to be progress. Melanie Thernstrom wrote and article for The NY Times Magazine that profiles the research and progressive trials of Dr. Kari Nadeau of the Stanford Alliance For Food Allergy Research. Dr. Nadeau’s radical trial of desensitizing children who suffer from multiple allergies has produced successful results and gives all children and families who suffer from life threatening allergies hope for a cure.

Read the article “The Allergy Buster.  Can a Radical New Treatment Save Children With Severe Allergies?” by clicking  here.

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