Children’s Book Giveaway: a few well-loved board books.
November 16, 2010

I spent all day yesterday wondering which book to talk about today and finally I decided that I’d let Charlotte do the heavy lifting.  Left to pick out which books she’d like to read together, of course, she almost always goes for board books.  So today, it looks like I’m showing off four of her (and our) most frequently-thumbed board books.

NUMBER ONE: The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli.  Okay, so here’s the thing: Donald and I are Leslie Patricelli junkies.  If we ever wind up with another dog, I am 107% positive (give or take) that we will name it Oscar.  After the stuffed dog in this book.  That is how much we love her books.

Of all her books, though, Patricelli’s The Birthday Box, about a baby who falls in love with the box his birthday gift comes in, is our favorite.  Her illustrations of a baby are all classic, but there is something about the illustrations in this book – the way they make a child’s imagination come to life, the way they show the world just as a toddler sees it – that grabs both of us.  Also, the words make us laugh.  And if you can only remember one thing about my husband and me, let it be this: we love to laugh.


Our story-time last night, on the living room floor.

NUMBERS TWO AND THREE: In My Nest and In My Pond, written by Sara Gillingham and illustrated by Lorena Siminovich.  I realize that there are a million books in this series, but these are the only two we own, so they are the only two that I can speak for.

We have had these finger puppet board books since Charlotte was an infant and they have been two books that we can always turn to.  Each of the books is a wonderful starting point for showing children that there is more than meets the eye in the natural world: the nest, for example, has twigs…and leaves…and so on.  Charlotte loves that we can wiggle the bird and fish around with our fingers and now that she’s older, she also loves pointing at the art details in the illustrations and waiting for me to explain.  Speaking of which, Siminovich’s warm illustrations are my favorite part of these books.

NUMBER FOUR: Book! written by Kristine O’Connell George and illustrated by Maggie Smith is amazing.  If you only buy one board book from this list, buy Book!  You won’t regret it.  It’s a simple story told from the perspective of a toddler who receives a book as a gift and absolutely adores it.  There are fun details – such as a stuffed elephant and a playful kitten – that appear on every page.  The colors in the illustrations are vibrant.  And, best of all, since it’s a book about a book it lends itself quite well to talking about reading with your kids.

What to do: There are four separate books here, which means there are four separate winners.  You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail answering this: did you, do you, or would you sign with your kiddos?  (Obviously this is a repeat question, but I always love the answers!)  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winners will be announced next Tuesday morning.  You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to six entries.

To purchase these books: You can buy any of these four books by clicking the links above to Amazon.com (the links use my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org.


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  1. By on November 16, 2010

    We’re planning to start signing with Nora in the next few months.  I think it will be great to have another way to communicate with her.

  2. By on November 16, 2010

    We have just started looking into signing information - classes, books, DVDs - to begin to learn how to sign with our little one.  I can’t wait to be able to communicate with our 8 month old before he can talk.

  3. By on November 16, 2010

    We’ve been showing a few signs to our daughter for the past couple of months, but she hasn’t signed back to us yet. She just turned 9 months. We know by her reaction that she understands some signs (milk, water), but I’m anxious to see her use the signs.

  4. By Sara on November 16, 2010

    I try and try and try t sign with Maggie. More, hungry, thirsty, milk, gentle, mom, dad, uncle, read, etc. over and and over. And EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. she just giggles and babbles back to me. She’s 8 months, and I got one sign out of her once (mom). I’m beginning to think my labor is fruitless.

  5. By Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife on November 16, 2010

    YES!  I think BSL is such a great thing and I hope that I’m able to teach my little guy some signs!  He’s 8 1/2 months old and for the last… maybe 6 weeks or so I’ve been working on showing him the same handful of signs.  He doesn’t seem to have caught on yet, but I’m going to keep trying and hopefully something will click soon!

  6. By on November 16, 2010

    i did just a few signs with my daughter but they were def. helpful. We did
    ‘more’, ‘all done’, and ‘please’. She still does ‘more’ sometimes even though she can talk! It makes me wish I would have taught her a few more.

  7. By on November 16, 2010

    I would have if my child had been more receptive to it, but he actually was very clear in his non-verbal communication with us. so we never really followed through.  we will certainly try it again with number two. i think it is a wonderful way to give your non-speaking child some self-confidence and what a relief for the parent to be able to know exactly what baby needs!

  8. By on November 16, 2010

    I have been signing with my girls (just simple ones like milk, more, mom, dad, etc.) but mostly they giggle at me when I sign to them. They do understand milk and scream with delight when I make the sign.

  9. By on November 16, 2010

    I don’t have any children, but I will defintiely sign with them when the time comes.  It’s a great way for them to communicate.

  10. By on November 16, 2010

    We definitely plan on working at least a few key signs in with our baby as he gets a little older.

  11. By beyond on November 16, 2010

    no children yet… but signing is something i am definitely interested in doing when the time comes…

  12. By christy on November 16, 2010

    I want to teach my son to sign hungry, more, potty, please, and the basics.  definitely potty!  lol.  he is 4 months so i’m thinking of starting soon!

  13. By on November 16, 2010

    I am trying to teach my son a few signs right now.  So far he just thinks the whole thing is funny!!!

  14. By Valerie on November 16, 2010

    I started signing with my daughter when she was about 10 months.  At 15 months she can now sign food, drink, please, and (sometimes) thank you.  It’s great!  I think she gets a whole lot less frustrated and it lowers the instance of temper tantrums because of lack of understanding on my part.

  15. By E @ Oh! Apostrophe on November 16, 2010

    My first baby is still four months (holy cow that’s soon) away, but yes, we will definitely try signing!

  16. By on November 16, 2010

    I certainly plan to sign with mine—seems like a great way to communicate and cut down on their frustration.

    catherine(dot)alley(at)gmail(dot)com

  17. By Michelle on November 16, 2010

    Yay!  I SO want The Birthday Box!

    One of my best friends is Deaf, and I’ve taken ASL classes and lived with her, so I know a good many signs.  However, I do not think that I will sign with my daughter.  I don’t think I will because you have to be SO consistent in doing it for it to actually take hold, and I just don’t think I would be.  I have too many other things going on and I don’t think I’d remember to sign “cat” or “mama” or whatever consistently enough for it to take hold.  I’d probably just confuse her.

    All that being said, my friend who’s Deaf has a daughter, and she of course signs with her.  Her daughter started communicating whole thoughts at around a year of age, much earlier than babies who just talk begin communicating whole thoughts.  So I think signing is great, but I think you have to do it consistently.

  18. By Jenell on November 16, 2010

    I would use sign language with my baby, I saw how it helped my nephew and SIL communicate and there’s no harm in learning another language.

  19. By Kimberly o'Rosky on November 16, 2010

    Oh how funny. Just got back from the library where I picked up the sign language books you mentioned a few weeks ago by Kubler. Even though Charlotte is only 4 months old, I still sign to her. I only know a handful of them so I’m excited to learn some new ones. Thanks for some more suggestions. These board books look great!

  20. By Erin Baum on November 16, 2010

    no children yet but i do plan on signing with them!

  21. By on November 16, 2010

    We have 2 sign language books and we’ve started signing here & there.  My Uncle teaches ASL and will be helping us out!!!

  22. By Sarah on November 16, 2010

    Hi Sarah!

    I didn’t try signing with Lily, but I am definitely interested in learningsign/teaching out second child to sign- if and when that happens. Lovely blog as always.

  23. By on November 16, 2010

    We are sigining with my 11-month old.  He hasn’t sigend back to us, but I think he’s starting to catch on because when we sign “more” or “drink water” he smiles and gives a little laugh.  I’m really excited about introducing more words once he catches on more!

  24. By on November 16, 2010

    I’m signing a few words with my six month old (mama, papa, milk, more, cat and dog) and will slowly add more. My husband and I have found it interesting to learn the signs ourselves and it will be a great way to communicate with our daughter when she (hopefully) starts to sign back.

    We also have In My Nest and love it!

  25. By Crystal on November 16, 2010

    We do sign a few words with our little guy. We didn’t plan on it or gave it much thought but we do a few words and it’s helped us understand him a little more when we wouldn’t have been able to other wise.

  26. By on November 16, 2010

    We are starting to sign with my daughter and plan on doing much more as she gets older.  Right now we are working on milk and more.

  27. By Laura Stiller on November 16, 2010

    We started signing with our son when he was weeks old. He’s four months now and while he doesn’t sign yet I’m pretty he recognizes the sign for milk! :-)

  28. By on November 16, 2010

    I plan on starting to sign with my son soon.  He’s 5 months.

  29. By Megan B. on November 16, 2010

    We have In My Nest and my son loves it!  I tried to do signing, but it didn’t seem to take (at the time).  However, it’s been a few months since I made much effort and he started signing milk and more.

  30. By on November 16, 2010

    OMG YES! Arianna is only 2 months old, and Ive been signing to her since day one (eat, more, thank you, i love you) its obvious at the moment she hasnt a clue, but eventually she will associate, so i continue on. I taught my nephew thank you, the other day (he’s 1 doesnt talk) he mimics everything at the moment, but if you tell him to say thank you.. he now signs! YAY! 1 point for auntie! haha

  31. By on November 16, 2010

    We have read The Birthday Box at the library - it was so cute!

    We just starting using signs yesterday actually - the first one we are teaching him is more - I die every time I see him make the motion - I was amazed and encouraged at how quickly he caught on - how quickly do you introduce new ones?

  32. By Melissa on November 16, 2010

    Yup we just started with signs, even though she’s still pretty young.  I used signs when I was a nanny and it made communication SO much easier!!

  33. By on November 17, 2010

    I do sign with my kids on and off…  I am hearing impaired with 3 hearing children under age 7. We do speak verbally more than signing…
    I do plan to keep teaching them as long as I can. We do not sign as much as I hoped but it is there. I think they will be more interested in it as they get older than when they were younger.

  34. By Kate on November 17, 2010

    I do a few signs with my daughter. Im not sure if shes catching on.

  35. By on November 17, 2010

    I am just starting to sign to my (almost) 5-month-old. So far, I’ve introduced “Mommy,“ “Daddy,“ “More,“ and “Dog” (we have a dog that my son LOVES to watch lately!) I am excited to continue to add more signs, and I hope to watch the connection hit home one day.

  36. By Megan B. on November 17, 2010

    Here’s my comment/entry for today.

  37. By on November 17, 2010

    We are trying to sign with our 5 month old.  We have a few down that we know for sure…milk, diaper, all done and more.  I guess as he gets bigger we’ll have to add on to those!  (ps thanks for all the great book suggestions!)

  38. By on November 18, 2010

    I am trying my best at signing with Katelyn, she has yet to pick up any of it, I only have limited time with her, she goes to daycare, and they do not do siging, so hopefully my few hours on the weekends she will pick it up.

  39. By on November 19, 2010

    I wanted to sign to James but slowly and slowly we were communicating by looks and basic gestures. He understands everything I say and for some reason I’m able to guess what he’s trying to convey. Now I’m not sure it’s worth it anymore.

    If we don’t end up signing to him, and if we manage to get baby # 2, then I’ll probably sign to him/her, and maybe even get James involved.

  40. By on November 19, 2010

    We used to sign a few words with our daughter until she was 15-months old. She is 18-months old now and her vocabulary has exploded since then and now we just talk!

  41. By Megan B. on November 19, 2010

    Here’s today’s entry.  I definitely plan on trying signing harder with our 2nd baby.

  42. By on November 20, 2010

    Looking back I wish I started signing, but I never did. Perhaps with the next one!

    -Risa

  43. By on November 20, 2010

    Signing has opened doors for the little ones I look after; it remains an integral part of our days.

  44. By on November 21, 2010

    We’re planning on buying our little guy the Signing Time DVDs for Christmas this year!  Hope he catches on!

  45. By on November 21, 2010

    We signed with our son - it really helped. Before language is really solid, him signing simple things like MILK and MORE are just invaluable. :)

  46. By on November 21, 2010

    We’re taking a class on the 5th, can’t wait to start!!!

  47. By Megan B. on November 21, 2010

    Here’s Sunday’s entry.  I hope I win one! Thanks for doing these giveaways.

  48. By Desi @ Wee Share on November 22, 2010

    We did a little signing with her.  She does pretty well with it, but she talked SO fast and fluently, that it was almost irrelevant!!

  49. By on December 09, 2010

    Was the winner of this giveaway announced?

  50. By home on October 26, 2016

    cbjrinfczofswjzwhphpwhe


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