Children’s Book Giveaway: How Big is a Pig?
February 23, 2010

This contest is now closed.  The comments will remain open, but comments made after 10:00 P.M. Pacific Time will not be considered for the giveaway.  Thank you.

Anyone who has shopped in the baby section of a bookstore knows how difficult it can be to find a board book that is not: a) Goodnight Moon, or b) something really hideous.  So imagine my delight when I first opened the box from Barefoot Books, an award-winning independent publisher, and saw How Big is a Pig? by Stella Blackstone sitting on top.

    a)  Not Goodnight Moon
    b)  Not hideous AT ALL.

How Big is a Pig? is a lesson in opposites: fat and thin, quick and slow, dirty and clean, high and low.  Moreover, it rhymes.  I love books that rhyme because Charlotte is calmer when I read them to her.  Every time I pick up familiar rhyming books, she nestles in and listens to the natural rise and fall of my voice.

Hands-down, though, what sets How Big is a Pig? apart from other books about opposites are the unique and artistic illustrations.  Clare Beaton illustrated it with felt, vintage beads, and a phenomenal amount of stitchery.  Every page is an obvious labor of love.

Pros:  This could easily become a comfortable go-to bedtime book.  The rhyme is simple, the illustrations are lovely, and a young child will enjoy learning the names of the animals and opposites.  School-age children may be less impressed with the rhyme, but they will likely still enjoy the illustrations.

Cons:  None.

Buy or Borrow:  Buy!

Reading tip of the week:  If you have a young baby, try singing the rhymes from the book.  When a librarian suggested this to me, I thought she was off her rocker, but it turns out that she knew what she was talking about.  Singing is like baby crack.  Books always hold Charlotte’s attention longer if there is singing involved.

About the publisher:  Barefoot Books focuses on publishing children’s books that are creative, fun, and beautifully illustrated.  Many of the book-s celebrate diversity and culture, something that I have found particularly refreshing.  You can find the publisher on Facebook by clicking here and on Twitter by clicking here.

Disclosure:  I contacted this publisher about participating in this project.  I am part of their ambassador program; any purchases you make on their website by clicking from mine result in a profit, a percentage of which will be donated to children’s literacy organizations.  Every quarter, I will publish total earnings.

What to do?  To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below with your own reading tip or story.  You do not need to have a blog or kids of your own, but you do need an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends on Thursday at 10 P.M. Pacific Time and the winner will be randomly selected on Friday morning.  You can leave one comment each day of the giveaway, for a total of up to three entries.

Spread the word!  The more traffic these book reviews receive, the more we can do together to promote pediatric literacy.  Please consider publicizing it through e-mail links, a blog post, or your social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.  You can also add a button in support of my literacy project by clicking here.  Although there are no extra entries for this, I encourage you to advertise these reviews and giveaways as best you can.  We can make a difference and we can get more books into more homes, but it will take all of us.

UPDATE:

This week’s book giveaway (How Big is a Pig, illustrated by Clare Beaton) winner is KATE!  Congratulations!

Important note: If you did not win this round, but you really REALLY liked the book?  Consider purchasing it from Barefoot Books by clicking here.  Or consider using Indie Bound to find a local retailer.  Or consider adding it to your next Amazon.com order.  You can read it to children in your life, gift it to someone else’s children, or donate it to a local library.


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  1. By Megan at FASS on February 23, 2010

    My biggest reading tip is make it a family affair!  My husband loves to listen in on storytime, and asks funny questions about the story’s plot.  This way Shiloh hears conversation about reading as well as the words on the page.  It’s our favorite time of day!

    (1)

  2. By Lindsey on February 23, 2010

    Every day we have “family reading time”.  During this time we all look at/read books independently for a little while.  Then….at the end we enjoy a few books together.  I’ve learned that keeping the tv off is a big plus when you want to get your kids interested in books.  Keep the tv off and have books readily available - on their level - that they have free reign of.  Love this idea.

    (2)

  3. By on February 23, 2010

    Hm. I had never thought of singing the books. I will give that a try.

    (3)

  4. By on February 23, 2010

    My husband and I are expecting our first child in October. We are so excited and I can’t wait to read to the baby! My husband and I always end the day by reading in bed until we fall asleep. We love to read so much and I hope our child loves it as much as we do! By the way- my husband’s favorite book when he was a baby is called Ma nDa La by Arnold Adoff. It is pretty amazing. I think it is out of print, but you can buy used copies on Amazon.

    (4)

  5. By Cynthia on February 23, 2010

    I like to take my daughter to any local reading times (for example, at the library).  Also when reading, use your voice(s) to make the story life like and keep young ones interest.  My daughter is very young, it is never too early to introduce books!!  Thanks Sarah for this wonderful idea!!

    (5)

  6. By Gracia Fraile Donet on February 23, 2010

    I agree with Cynthia, my little cousins seem to be hypnotized when I read to them because I can pull off a ton of voices!

    (6)

  7. By C @ Kid Things on February 23, 2010

    My kids usually try to eat or rip the pages from the books before we’re halfway through, so you know. I don’t have many tips, except don’t do that.

    (7)

  8. By on February 23, 2010

    My daughter (nearly 3) is a voracious reader, devouring books as quickly as I can provide them.  My 3-month-old son, however, seems uninterested thus far, which has sent me in search of the perfect book that will hook him.  “How Big is a Pig” looks super cute.
    My tip would be to continue searching for the perfect book that captures a child’s interest.

    (8)

  9. By beyond on February 23, 2010

    you’re so right about rhymes being soothing and tranquil for babies, and older kids. that’s why nursery rhymes will never go out of fashion.

    (9)

  10. By on February 23, 2010

    Hm, I don’t think I’ve got a tip yet, baby’s due any day! But my mom swore that reading to baby in utero makes them smarter. So until baby really understands anything, I guess get books that don’t drive you nuts, since you’re the one who gets the meaning.

    (10)

  11. By on February 23, 2010

    I always loved when my dad would put on different voices for the characters in the books.  It really made reading lively!

    (11)

  12. By Katelyn on February 23, 2010

    I teach first grade, so I’m somewhat of a “reading specialist.“  I just want to point out a website that I use that is a wonderful weath of reading skills, strategies and resources.  http://www.readinga-z.com and their sister site http://www.raz-kids.com!

    (12)

  13. By DMH on February 23, 2010

    We have always encouraged reading with our children, and they have very limited time watching television. We choose to not have a television in our main living area, but there is a huge bookshelf of children’s books readily accessible in the play area. We read for at least a half an hour every night before bedtime, and also throughout the day. Our children love traditional nursery rhymes, and also Usborne books (very educational). Literacy is something very near and dear to me, as it is something we work very hard to promote in my profession as a public health nurse.

    Good for you Sarah for taking on such a wonderful initiative!

    (13)

  14. By Kimberly O'Rosky on February 23, 2010

    I’m 17w3d today, so I don’t have any tips yet, but thank you for sharing the singing idea. I will keep that in mind! This book looks super cute. I love that the illustrations were done with felt!

    (14)

  15. By on February 23, 2010

    I don’t have kids… but I always give books as gifts to everyone.  Love them!  This book looks very cute!

    (15)

  16. By SarahGamble@crazylovegamblestyle on February 23, 2010

    One of the coolest book finds I have found is at my local library.  They make these bags of books with a theme like Potty Training or New Sibling & many others to help your child learn something or deal with change.  they are really cool, they come with 7 books and a movie on the subject.  My daughter loves these, she really digs the bag they come in too.  She LOVES “shopping for her books.“

    (16)

  17. By Marla on February 23, 2010

    My number one tip would be to just read to your kids EVERY single day. Fit it into their routine and they will grow to love it.

    (17)

  18. By on February 23, 2010

    My daughter is just a few weeks younger than Charlotte :) We have been reading to Nia from the time she was born. Now she sits in my lap and turns the pages! I have two tips… one may sound strange, but my daughter was content to sit in my lap (when she was younger) while I read my adult books. Now, she will sit in my lap at the table with her book, while I read my book, and flips through the pages. It makes me smile everytime! I think that by watching me, she learned that books were interesting, and developed a natural curiosity about them.
      The other tip that I would share, is something that my parents did. They found adult paperback novels that were appropriate for children, (Piers Anthonys Xanth novels uses cute ways to avoid cursing, and sexual scenarios) and read a chapter to us every night before bed. (We were around 3-4 when they started this.) Soon, we were reading the chapters to them… and by the time I was in 4th grade, I read on a 12th grade level. It is amazing what a family reading time can do for a child! It not only encourages education, and knowledge… but leads to strong family bonds. Those times are still some of my fondest memories!

    (Way to go, Sarah, for working towards such an important goal!)

    (18)

  19. By on February 23, 2010

    Natalie - my mom did the same thing for me and I was at a 12th grade reading level very early on as well! i used to LOVE listening to the sound of my mom’s voice as i drifted off.

    we travel a lot with our almost 7 month old son, and occasionally the 3 or 4 hour car trip gets him ticked off, so i like to save a new book or toy to combat extreme meltdowns. works like a charm everytime! (that and acrobatic breastfeeding)

    (19)

  20. By Natballs on February 23, 2010

    I want to enter the giveaway!
    My reading tip: there are these books called INDESTRUCTABLES meant for babies. They are perfect because they are chew proof, tear proof, non-toxic, 100%washable, and can’t give papercuts! Finally- Jonah has a book to nom away on and hear the crinkly noise without my worry he’s going to take a chomp out of the page and choke!

    (20)

  21. By on February 23, 2010

    Books are great for tummy time. I stand the book up in front of my little guy to encourage him to push up. He loves any books with animal characters (not hard to come by) because we make all of the animal sounds as we read.

    (21)

  22. By Sarah on February 23, 2010

    My mother used to have to read to me pretty much 24/7. I apologize to her for this now, but I’m glad she did it. My favorite was always “Are you my mother?“

    (22)

  23. By on February 23, 2010

    If you’re looking for board books that are neither Goodnight Moon nor lame try anything by Sandra Boynton, The Monster at the End of this Book, Is Your Mama a Llama?, or Counting Kisses.

    (23)

  24. By on February 23, 2010

    I guess my best tip for reading to Children is to not hold back.  Go all out with making voices for the characters and really belting the onomatopoeia.  It makes the experience fun and memorable for you and the child.

    (24)

  25. By on February 23, 2010

    I love reading your blog, and I’m so excited to have a baby soon! My wife and I can’t wait read and sing to the baby. This looks like a great book!

    (25)

  26. By on February 23, 2010

    My parents always read to my sister and I, and we enjoyed listening to them read well into our adolecence.  I remember laying in my mother’s bed while she read “Ramona Quimby: Age 8”, and others aloud.  It’s just such a terrific learning opportunity!  We were always asking about words we didn’t understand, and our vocabularies grew with every book!

    (26)

  27. By erin on February 23, 2010

    That book is too stinking cute.

    I don’t have a tip, but a cute story (I guess).  (I think it is cute because Hannah does it.)  (And I am her mom, so I think everything she does is cute.)  We read stories before bed, of course, and we always end with the same one.  “Good Night, Spot!“  It is like 4 sentences long, which is good, because I know it all by heart.  Which is also good, because when we get to the second page, Hannah always grabs the book so she can eat it, turn the pages, wave it around, bonk Daddy in the face with it, whatever.  But, I can still finish the story, because I know it by heart.

    (27)

  28. By on February 23, 2010

    My dad taught each of us to read before we went to kindergarten with the same teaching book.  I think it’s why we all loved to read so much.  My parents still have it and maybe my brothers and I will get to teach our kids from it one day! I have two friends who are expecting and would love to give this book to one of them.

    (28)

  29. By mommica on February 23, 2010

    I’ve found that Lillia learns a lot from the books I read to her, not only from the actual story but from the things I point out in the illustrations or by talking about what’s going on in the story. For example, in ‘Hop on Pop,‘ when we get to the part in which Pop is being hopped on, I’ll say “Oh no! Pop is angry. The kids hurt him when they hopped on him.“ My husband makes fun of me, but I think it’s taught Lillia how to be more observant and to pick up on things that she’s not necessarily being told.

  30. By Beth on February 23, 2010

    The book looks adorable!  We’ve been reading to Emmy since she before she was born. When she was about 5 or 6 months old my mom was here and reading her a story and she said “you can really tell y’all have been reading to her, the way she pays attention.“ I told her that was the best compliment she could have paid me!

    (29)

  31. By on February 23, 2010

    My husband and I are expecting our first baby (a boy!) in July, so to prepare the little one we have beenreading to him everynight. This way he will know what reading is so I can continue and read to him after he is born.

    (30)

  32. By Kerry on February 23, 2010

    What a cute book! I blogged about my fav book moment thus far just yesterday actually! My fiance isn’t too much of a reader, so I always love when he opens up a book for our daughter.  But! I found him and my 9 month old side by side, on their tummies reading one of her books.  Cutest sight to see ever!!

    (31)

  33. By Jenny | The Balow Bunch on February 23, 2010

    When my nieces were little, I used to have them participate in reading books by asking them what things were in the pictures. They always liked answering my questions and it seemed to help keep their attention.

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  34. By Megan R. on February 23, 2010

    Babies love being read to.  They love the different tones a voice can take during a story.  It really doesn’t matter WHAT you read to them, just as long as you DO read to them.  My daughter loves when my husband reads her Sports Illustrated articles as if they were a children’s story.  See…doesn’t matter too much!  We do love a “good” book, though!

    And, Finnley mostly loves to eat books right now.  Wouldn’t it be great if they made board books in different flavors?  Just sayin’...

    (33)

  35. By Monica on February 23, 2010

    My husband and I are HUGE readers.  To the point that we made the conscious decision not to own a television- we need the wall space for bookshelves!  Our kids watch no tv, and so when we want a story, we read a book!  Eliot *read* (he’s memorized it form the pictures) me his first book two days ago- Boynton’s Blue Hat Green Hat… I was so excited!

    (34)

  36. By on February 23, 2010

    I love to read to Madeline while I nurse her in the daytime, when it’s just the two of us. She is really responsive to it, and usually chatters along with me the whole time I’m reading, practicing using her voice. She really seems to enjoy the rhythm of the books. Sometimes when I stop reading, she’ll fuss and sort of yell, and I know that’s my cue to keep going, which immediately calms her and often helps her drift into naptime. The combination of nursing and reading a story to her is one of my favorite ways to bond.

    (35)

  37. By Lori on February 23, 2010

    That is a brilliant tip: sing the book to your baby.  I’m so going to try that. 

    Here’s my tip.  To keep our library books from getting lost throughout the house, they are only allowed to stay in my daughter’s room.  I also keep our library bag on a hook on the back on her door so that it’s easily accessible on library day.

    (36)

  38. By on February 23, 2010

    my charlie loves to read books. my tip is to make the books come alive with motions. for example, if the bunny is bouncing up and down i bounce charlie up and down on my knee/legs, if the wheels are going around and around i swing charlie’s arm around and around. he loves it and gets all giddy when i pull out books like i do motions with.

    (37)

  39. By on February 23, 2010

    Read with different voices for the different characters.  Acting out parts helps too.  My dad did that during our nightly reeding sessions when I was a kid and I loved it.  I do it now for my friends kids (don’t have any yet, hopefully some time soon) and the looks on their faces are priceless.

    (38)

  40. By Lauren on February 23, 2010

    That book looks adorable.  And I love the singing idea.  I too find that rhyming books go down better.  Eloise also seems more interested when I read a few pages of the Eloise book that repeats her name quite a bit (the part where she mimics her French teacher).  I wonder if swapping the characters name for your child’s name when they’re younger would help keep their attention.

    (39)

  41. By Kate on February 23, 2010

    My reading tip would be to lead by example, so your child can see the enjoyment that you get by reading. I am a BIG reader. There are books all over our home - I always read when I’m nursing my daughter (she loves to touch the pages while she’s eating) and I always read in the evenings (we don’t have cable). I also read to my daughter before her naps.

    I hope that my daughter will see my love of books and share it. I hope that she’ll learn from me that reading books isn’t something we HAVE to do, but something we LOVE to do.

    I will definitely try the singing though. I can sing ANYTHING and Annika is transfixed!

    (40)

  42. By on February 23, 2010

    My son is just 5 weeks old and I read to him everytime he nurses.  He eats and looks up and me and even though he can’t see the pages yet, my face, my voice and my expressions seem to entertain him!  Yestrday, while reading “The little engine that could, I got a big milky smile after “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!“

    (41)

  43. By on February 23, 2010

    Well I’m not a mom yet so I don’t have any reading tips really, but I can say that my parents and grandma read to me from the time I was a baby.  I learned to read early and have loved reading ever since.  You are helping Charlotte so much!

    (42)

  44. By Lyndsay on February 23, 2010

    My baby girl, born 07-08-09, LOVES books. Good thing because her mommy and daddy do too. We read her at least one story each night before she goes to bed. I’m thinking it might just be her favorite part of the day. Thanks for the entry!

    (43)

  45. By on February 23, 2010

    No need to enter me in the drawing as my daughter already has How Big is a Pig!  But, check out her other books!  My daughter loves Elusive Moose, Secret Seahorse, and One Moose, Twenty Mice.  We found Secret Seahorse first and fell in love!

  46. By Heidi on February 23, 2010

    Such great ideas everyone has!  I love the singing idea, Sarah.  I have a horrible voice, but we found out quickly that Molly doesn’t mind.  That girl loves her some singing…

    As a teacher, I have lots of tips.  (And since they’re mine, of course I think they’re great.)  Something that young kiddos like is to have a puppet or stuffed animal from the book, or one that is _like_ the character in the book.  And exposure, exposure, exposure…books everywhere.  Things to read all over the place.  You can read a menu to a baby if that’s all there is - your tone and excitement make it a learning, loving moment.

    (44)

  47. By on February 23, 2010

    I love this idea, hope it is very successful.  Good luck!  This does look like a cute book.  When my kids were little, and we would be at the store, they would always want a treat….and I always figured a book was a good compromise.  Of course, then you could buy a book for $1!

    (45)

  48. By on February 23, 2010

    I LOVE pigs! Even if I don’t win, I’m bookmarking this post for a few years from now when I DO have kids.

    (46)

  49. By Christy on February 23, 2010

    This book looks adorable.  I think my reading tip is to just be patient and persistent.  Lily loves for me to read to her but she usually only wants to sit through the first couple of pages.  I just keep at it.

    I added your just read owl to my sidebar.  I think reading is so important and love what you’re doing here.

    (47)

  50. By Clare on February 23, 2010

    My tip, even though we don’t yet have kids of our own (soon people, soon) is voices and sounds.  If there is a car it should been, or a dog it should bark. Speaking of dogs, my dog likes when I read out loud with voices or make random sounds. I can’t imagine a kid that wouldn’t too.

    (48)

  51. By on February 23, 2010

    I’m not entering because I want someone who has kids/kids in their lives right now to get the book but I do have a tip!

    My tip; don’t be shy! My dad isn’t the strongest reader but he read to my brother and I every night and the books he read to us are still some of my favourites. I also cherish those memories! As an adult, knowing that reading is difficult for him makes me appreciate his efforts so much more!

  52. By on February 23, 2010

    I love reading to Bekah. She is 10 months and loves to snuggle and “read” with me. My biggest tip is to go with however long the attention span is. You can always go back to the book later.

    (49)

  53. By Charity on February 23, 2010

    This is such a great endeavor.  Worthy enough to come out of lurkdome.  I have a seven month old boy (and two olders too).  With the babies, I like to get them books with pictures of babies.  They really respond to seeing images of other babies and we point of the parts of their faces and if they are happy, sad, etc.

    (50)

  54. By Jen on February 23, 2010

    I love to read, and have already started a stockpile of books for Arlo. It makes me sad that books are so expensive, and not everybody can afford them. Thank goodness for the library. But it is always nice to own some too!

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  55. By DMH on February 23, 2010

    Oh my - Jen from previous post - I just can’t believe you have a child named Arlo. We also have an Arlo - my husband’s choice and honestly, not my first pick, though I do like it now. We have NEVER heard of another until today. :)

  56. By on February 23, 2010

    What an awesome thing you are doing!  I grew up reading anything and everything I could get my hands on.  I was totally that kid that got busted for reading under the covers with a flashlight when I should’ve been asleep.  I know this is because my parents read to me from as early as I can remember.  The best tip (that some others have posted) is voices and sound effects.  My nieces and nephews love when I read to them because I always give each character their own voice (it can be hard to keep track of them sometimes.)  What a cute book by the way!

    (52)

  57. By Gena @ WeAreGeis on February 23, 2010

    Super cute first book! My only tip, for the 6 monthish babies is to introduce the books at a calm time as part of a routine. Then they know it’s coming and are less likely to try and devour it. That worked for us and now we can read just about anywhere and anytime without E getting all grabby and drooly. She was very uninterested in books until about 5 months old.

    Man, Sarah, excellent job! A superhero using their powers for good! How refreshing :)

    (53)

  58. By on February 23, 2010

    I don’t have any reading tips - baby is due in a month.  But thanks to everyone else for all the good ideas!

    (54)

  59. By on February 23, 2010

    The barefoot books are awesome. I have read a couple of them to my daughter recently, a few times each, and we listen to the CDs that accompany some of them. Today she brought me one of the books and started “reading” it to me and she was pretty accurate! The songs supplement the reading in a fantastic way. We love them!

    (55)

  60. By on February 23, 2010

    I’m expecting my first child in August. I love your blog, and I’m thrilled to see your advocacy for pediatric literacy.

    My reading story: my dad always used to draw mustaches on the “daddies” in our books so they’d look like him. He made reading so fun for us, literally putting himself into the stories.

    (56)

  61. By Courtney on February 23, 2010

    What a gorgeous looking book! 

    My best tip, one that always worked when I was a nanny, is to read the book at the kid’s pace.  Kids love to spend time touching everything on the page and pointing out all the different parts of the illustrations. 

    I think as adults, it’s too easy to get caught up in just the words and want to push on to the next page in a rush!

    (57)

  62. By on February 23, 2010

    After a while, the boys get tired with the same story over and over from the same book. Instead of sticking to reading what’s written, we usually improvise, make up our own stories, or just make the animal sounds of the animal in the picture.

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  63. By My First Kitchen on February 23, 2010

    LOVE the idea of singing the books. My three month old isn’t too interested for very long (he’s quite squirmy), but he loves it when I sing to him. Combining the two is genius. You might have already mentioned this somewhere, but children’s consignment sales are a great place to buy great books for super cheap. And library closeouts. Good good stuff.

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  64. By the domestic fringe on February 23, 2010

    I’ll tweet this give-away for you!  I believe the basis of all education begins with a book.

    -FringeGirl

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  65. By on February 23, 2010

    My reading tip is to use your local LIBRARY! Librarians are a wealth of information and kids LOVE libraries. I am now a teacher and STILL can spend hours in the kids section of my tiny local library. I worked as a nanny before I was a teacher and our favourite thing to do was spend an hour or more at the library. Kids love to be read to and browse the shelves. It’s a really enjoyable way to spend time with children.

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  66. By Allison on February 23, 2010

    This book looks adorable, and it would be perfect for me to use for my job. I would recommend not just reading what’s written on the pages, but also label the pictures, comment on the story, and ask questions. Even if your child is too young to respond, it is good to model those language forms.

    (62)

  67. By on February 23, 2010

    My reading tip:  DO IT!  Also, as your child grows, if you are one to make up different voices for characters and the book lasts more than one reading session, your child will let you know if you use the wrong voice for any given character.  They’re on to us!

    (63)

  68. By Jax on February 23, 2010

    thanks for visiting my blog and commenting :)

    A couple of reading tips - don’t forget non fiction. Some kids don’t really enjoy stories but will lap up factual stuff. And number two don’t worry if they are reading things that seem too young/ easy. What’s important is for them to enjoy it :)

    (64)

  69. By on February 23, 2010

    It is never too early to start!  My twins are now 5 months old and I started reading to them when they were 2.5 months.  In the beginning I was surprised that they even paid any attention.  Now they like to touch the books, sit calmly, and watch the pages turn.  I love reading to them, but we could definitely use some new additions to our library!

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  70. By on February 23, 2010

    I have a 9-mth old daughter. We’ve been reading from books I love but most of these books are way too advanced for her age because (i) I can’t find books that catches my eye in the public library nearest my home, (ii) being a working mum, I don’t have much time to shop at book stores, (iii) the few NICE books I do find at book stores are expensive. I’m glad to read about your efforts and book reviews.

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  71. By Katie Towers on February 23, 2010

    I love Barefoot Books!

    (67)

  72. By Emily on February 23, 2010

    In my opinion, I have the best job ever. I get to share books with over 500 children each week at local preschools.

    Today with one of my group (2.5 year olds) I took a book out of my bag about dinosaurs(Dinosaur Roar by Henrietta and Paul Stickland). An adorable little boy looks at the cover of the book and hops up and starts jumping up and down and cheering. Then he pops down to the floor and starts acting like a dinosaur. Adorable! I love when children get excited about books!

    My reading tip is to let the kids “catch” you reading.Be a role model for your children!

    I love ‘How Big is Pig?“ ! It was a favorite of my toddler groups last year! Barefoot has really wonderful books. I am a BIG fan on the Bear Books. “Bear About Town” is my favorite!

    Thanks for talking about children’s books!

    PS: I second the tip to go to the library. So many libraries have seen their budgets cut due to the economy. Its critical to let our local lawmakers know about the importance of libraries in our communities.

    (68)

  73. By on February 23, 2010

    Looks like a great book!  My tip would be to read early and often!  I read to my 16-month-old from the time she was born, and she loves to read now.  We read all day every day, so a new book would be a great thing!!

    (69)

  74. By Jen on February 23, 2010

    I always sing in our books - our son is 19 months old and he LOVES singing. I also give him the book sometimes and say “tell mommy the story”. HE LOVES pointing out things and telling me the story in his own babbling way. And sometimes he does a better job than myself!

    (70)

  75. By Jolene on February 23, 2010

    This looks like a mezmorizing book! I am a nanny of a 3 month old, 2 year old and 3 year old. I find rhyming books are the best suited for all 3! It calms everyone down right around dinner time, while we wait for it to cook.
    I’m so happy your talking about children’s books. I read your blog daily, and this is something I can relate to so easily. THANKS! :)

    (71)

  76. By on February 23, 2010

    I love the idea of singing the book. Maybe then my daughter won’t try and eat the books I read to her.

    (72)

  77. By Elizabeth on February 23, 2010

    Awesomely cute.  My reading tip is while you are reading to your big kids, give your baby on your lap a fabric book they can chew on so that your big kids don’t freak out when the baby grabs the pages and thus blocking the pictures from their view.  Just sayin’... someone might have that situation arise *ahem* me *ahem*.

    (73)

  78. By Stephanie on February 24, 2010

    My reading tip is to have a lot of variety! Children change so much from day to day that it’s great to have a lot of variety to suit any mood or situation. Another would be that it’s never too early to stock up.

    That book is cute! Me hearts piggy’s.

    (74)

  79. By Kate on February 24, 2010

    As an avid reader, I am already collecting books for the children I hope to have one day and have been doing for years. I pick them up all over the place in passing at various book stores, at Church sales, jumble sales etc. The stories/books are generally a mix of French, English and African given that these are the cultures I am most connected with and hope to share passionately with my babies from the very beginning. The characters and tales are all so different, so beautiful and so colourful and I am desperate to read them aloud to little ears! I’ve also kept all my books from childhood and one of my favourite things to do, especially when I most need comforting, is to read them tucked up in my bed!

    (75)

  80. By MamaHen on February 24, 2010

    Please enter me!  I guess my tip would be just to “read”  Let the kids see you reading and read a lot to them.  From babyhood on provide them with books they can hold and chew on and play with.  Talk about the pictures with them.

    (76)

  81. By Megan at FASS on February 24, 2010

    I also try to read Shiloh book sI grew up reading.  I tend to tell her all about why I loved the book- adding more depth to the reading time.  I love just talking to her, and it’s more than a narrative of what I am doing at the moment (how I usually converse with her). 
    As she grows, she is more apt to love the book if she knows her Mommy loved it, too.  I saved al my books so it’s the original copies- more authentic!!

    (77)

  82. By on February 24, 2010

    Another tip, is that I leave books on the floor, or in her pack-n-play where she is playing. That way they are within her reach, and always in mind! Of course, the good books, my favorites, I tend to keep for when I am with her. Target almost always has board books in their dollar section. I love to raid their bins everytime I go! They may not be mind blowing books, but they are affordable, and give her books to plays with that I don’t have to worry about! Just the other day, they had Elmo board books, touch and feel board books, and even a few pop-up books!

    (78)

  83. By on February 24, 2010

    I have a very active, (spastic maybe) 18 month old son and another baby due in August. We took away all books that are not board books becuase after about 5 months old, the pages became his new snack!!

    He has many board books now that he loves. His favorite seem to be the interactive one. Like the hand puppet attached to the book, or the mirror on the last page for him to stare at himself.

    The cutest thing is now he brings me a book (always the same one - it’s called Baby’s First Words). It has a picture on each page with a word. He looks at the pages and tries to tell me what it is. Like “be” for baby and “gie” for doggie. It’s so much fun to know that he is learning the words!

    (79)

  84. By Blain on February 24, 2010

    I do not have kids but my twin sister is expecting a little girl in May and I can not wait to get her a book collection started and the books you mention on here is where I plan to begin!
    When my sister and I were little, my mom would put us in the same bed and sing along to our books.  My sister and I would lay in bed and out of habit, rub each others arms while mom was reading and we were falling asleep.  To this day, if I am in bed reading and my boyfriend leans over and rubs my arm, it takes me back to being a kid and my mom singing the book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch!  Always one of my favorites!

    Blain

    (80)

  85. By Sarah Mudder on February 24, 2010

    As a former pre-school teacher, I can totally vouch for the benefits of singing everything. The unfortunate downside is that you find yourself singing everything to everyone all the time. Ah well, at least the kids are learning!

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  86. By Emily on February 24, 2010

    Keep a book in your purse! You never know when you’ll have a few minutes to read.

    (82)

  87. By Lindsey on February 24, 2010

    Our 3 year old loves books.  Recently he has gotten in to CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia…3 years old!  He loves to listen to the book on cd.

    He also enjoys listening to other books on cds while following along with the pages in the book.

    (83)

  88. By Heidi on February 24, 2010

    As a shower gift, we got books for the bathtub…they are soft, waterproof books Rainbow Fish books, which the beautiful, bright illustrations.  So now Peaches can read in the bathtub like her mommy!  ;)

    (84)

  89. By Steph Bucher on February 24, 2010

    I love the idea of singing the books!!! My tip is too makr reading fun!! Voices, motions, acting out the story, anything to make it fun and a great experiance!!

    (85)

  90. By on February 24, 2010

    nice board books are SO hard to find! And we really need the board books, because I just spent a good 20 minutes trying to preform surgery with a roll of tape on on of my son’s (non-board) books. I don’t think I’ve figured out any tips for little ones, since my son is my first and I’m still trying to figure it out. But I taught kindergarten and 1st grade for three years, so I would say that it is so important for parents not to force the sounding out letters and words part of reading. Keep it enjoyable. If the kids isn’t ready to sound out words yet, still read and have fun with books. If you force them to read they will start hating it. And with all of my students, if I kept reading fun, then eventually something would pop in their heads and just like that they were ready to sound out words.

    (86)

  91. By on February 24, 2010

    read a lot! my son likes to read all day long. i am amazed at how excited he gets when i ask him if he would like to read certain books. they really do understand way more than we give them credit for!

    (87)

  92. By Beth on February 24, 2010

    We keep books in the car and the diaper bag…you never know when you’ll need a distraction!

    (88)

  93. By on February 24, 2010

    For the littles board books are best because they can usually chew them or do anything else to them without causing much damage.

    (89)

  94. By on February 24, 2010

    Pick me please! Haha. I have a 10 month old who loves it when I read his bed time stories. He grabs his blankie and sucks on his thumb the whole time. My reading tip would be to just love every minute of it.

    (90)

  95. By on February 24, 2010

    Reading tip: have someone else read your child’s favorite books to them and listen to the difference. I love to listen to my husband read to our children - we read differently, we put inflection and emphasis in different areas. It makes older books more exciting - it teaches kids there is more than one way to read a book. I love the singing idea - it reminds me of Sandra Boynton - We sang her Pajama Time book each night for several months.

    (91)

  96. By on February 24, 2010

    I’m back for my daily entry! :)

    (92)

  97. By on February 24, 2010

    I often have my teenage daughter read to my son.  He loves her voice and it’s a great way for them to bond (as she “doesn’t do” diapers or clean up!).  She reads books she loves to him, not just kids books!  He is only five weeks old but stares at her face, even better than pictures!

    (93)

  98. By Kirsten on February 24, 2010

    This looks like an adorable book.  I’d love it for my nieces…or when I talk my husband into babies!

    (94)

  99. By on February 24, 2010

    I LOVE LOVE Barefoot Books. I discovered them at our local library about two years ago. The illustrations are beautiful - I stare at the page after I’m done reading it and my kids look at me oddly, “Mom! Keep reading!“ :)

    (95)

  100. By andrea on February 24, 2010

    Such a great way to promote literacy with the added bonus of helping your readers add to their libraries. Even better, we don’t have this board book which seems impossible since I swear I’ve bought them all by now.

    (96)

  101. By on February 24, 2010

    I love the early board books but I have to say now that my daughter is 5 we are LOVING reading Gail Levine’s chapter books. My younger son would love the board books still. Barfoot books are a favorite.

    (97)

  102. By Allison on February 24, 2010

    I really want this book, so I’m entering again. =) Reading tidbit: Creating a print-rich environment in your home can help your child develop emergent literacy skills. Here’s a resource that discusses how to do it: http://aplaceofourown.org/workshop2.php

    (98)

  103. By on February 24, 2010

    Board books are great! Thanks for this contest!  Having them accessible at the child’s level is always great so they always see it as an option.

    (99)

  104. By Gena @ WeAreGeis on February 24, 2010

    Wow! Nice Turn Out!

    2nd entry FTW.

    (100)

  105. By on February 24, 2010

    We love Reading!!! I always read the book twice. The second time I improvise the whole thing “ wow look at goldy locks run” “papa bear looks very angry” “Tell baby bear it’s ok that he can more porridge!“  My little man loves to talk back to me as improvise the second time! :)

    (101)

  106. By on February 24, 2010

    I think waterproof books are the best! My daughter loves to take baths with her babies. First she washes them and then she reads them a book…cutest thing you ever saw!

    (102)

  107. By Andrea on February 24, 2010

    My tip is:

    Find the kid’s “gateway drug” to reading. My son HATED books and storytime, but then we discovered books about trains :)

    (103)

  108. By Krista on February 24, 2010

    I love the reading time, especially right before naps (ha! right before when I think she should nap) and bed.  She’s a little sleepy so she’s still and cuddly and bats at that books and my face while I read to her.  Some of the best moment ever.

    (104)

  109. By Mary @ Parenthood on February 24, 2010

    Reading tip:  Read over and over and over.  The sheer familiarity is very comforting.  We use books to point out colours, action words and animal sounds.  “Do you see the lion?  What sound does a lion make? RAWR!“  Makes my child giggle every time. 

    Has anyone recommended “Time for Bed” by Mem Fox yet?  It might be my all-time favourite bedtime story book, although Sandra Boynton has a couple that are pretty cute…

    (105)

  110. By beyond on February 24, 2010

    entering again!

    (106)

  111. By on February 24, 2010

    I read to my 7 mth old daughter before all naps and bedtime. IT helps her relax and she mostly can concentrate well on it. And when she sees her favorite books she squeals with joy. its great!

    (107)

  112. By erin on February 24, 2010

    Hannah loves to pull her books down from the bookshelf.  I put her board books on the bottom shelf, so they are easy for her to get to.  She always make a giggly beeline for the bookcase when I put her on the floor, and looks back at me as if she is doing something that is Oh So Bad But Oh So Good.  She is starting to pull herself up on the bookcase (it is screwed in to the wall, thankfully) (I think the books usually distract her from pulling up on the bookcase) and I am dreading thinking what is going to happen to the “good” books on the second shelf with REAL pages.

    (108)

  113. By Mailis on February 24, 2010

    What a cute book! I love the unique illustrations.

    When Jude and I read, I linger for a long time on each page and point every. single. thing out to him. I let him explore the texture of the paper, the weight of the book…let him soak in the colors and imagery. He hates it if I go to fast and kicks his displeasure.

    I never thought to sing a book to him. I will try that in the morning…he loves being sung to. :)

    (109)

  114. By Elizabeth on February 24, 2010

    Oh, I’m going to enter again!  Today, my tip is to make sure that your kids see you reading, too.

    (110)

  115. By on February 25, 2010

    We love books at our house too..  what a great idea!

    (111)

  116. By on February 25, 2010

    We are not so much into the reading phase yet, but the chewing the book phase! :)

    (112)

  117. By Laura on February 25, 2010

    My daughter responds the most to voices when I use a lot of expression, so when I read to her, I exaggerate this even more.  Even though she’s only 4 months old, she seems to look more intently at the pictures in the books when I read with expression and change my voice a lot.  She also loves it when she can grab the book and bash me in the face with it, so there’s that too….!

    (113)

  118. By on February 25, 2010

    Mazie..hands down and where is baby’s bellybutton..playing peek-a-boo wtith the flaps with my grandchild, Cody.

    (114)

  119. By Lindsey on February 25, 2010

    my husband makes up voices for the characters when he reads.  our little guy likes it.  i’m no good at voices.  the same one always comes out!

    (115)

  120. By Monica on February 25, 2010

    When I was growing up my parents always gave us at least 30 minutes of reading time before bedtime and I always looked forward to it.  I have started doing that with my kids and we all love it :)

    (116)

  121. By on February 25, 2010

    that is an adorable looking book! I don’t know if this is a tip or not, but instead of always reading the stories to my kids in the beginning, especially 9-15months old, I would point out colours and shapes and animals etc - one theme for each read through type of thing… and after reading it a hundred times, hiding it under the couch! we have hundreds of books so 10 or so hidden didn’t make a difference. Anyway, my kids had huge vocabularies aroud a year old - like a hundred words - but maybe that’s normal and just seemed huge to me :) Mostly I think it is a nice change for parental boredom of the same book for hours on end!

    (117)

  122. By on February 25, 2010

    Hope this book idea is a success.

    (118)

  123. By Jenny | The Balow Bunch on February 25, 2010

    I forgot to enter yesterday!! Look at all these comments! Awesome!

    (119)

  124. By on February 25, 2010

    My tip would be to fit reading time in whenever it works. We always tried to do reading time before bedtime but he would get way to cranky and we would end up missing it. We had to switch it to a different time of the day - be flexible!

    (120)

  125. By on February 25, 2010

    Oh too late to enter! Oh Well!
    Thought I would still pop in and say great idea!
    Love your blog!! :)

    (121)

  126. By Beth on February 25, 2010

    Not my tip but that of a friend…when it’s time to potty train, read on the potty while waiting for things to happen!

    I sent the info. to a couple of friends and posted it on my blog. Hope you have lots of participants in this great project!

    (122)

  127. By on February 25, 2010

    i love discussing the events on each page instead of always reading the story.

    (123)

  128. By on February 25, 2010

    My son is 8 months old and he loves books but they have to be read quickly. If you linger on the page, he only wants to eat it. haha

    (124)

  129. By Gena @ WeAreGeis on February 25, 2010

    No, but really….

    HOW BIG IS A PIG?!?

    (125)

  130. By on February 25, 2010

    Thanks for this program! We’re expecting our first baby this June and I’m eager to build up her library.  I read books for a living (as a historian) and I can’t wait to pass that along to my kids.

    (126)

  131. By on February 25, 2010

    We’re still loving GoodNight Moon—my little boy can’t get enough of the brush/mush/hush sounds. My favorite tip is to improvise. At this age (he’s 6 mos) the story isn’t as important to him as to us parents, who need to stay enthused. I like to ad lib a little, and I also translate pages into German, which we speak with him at home.

    (127)

  132. By erin on February 25, 2010

    Oh!  Oh!  I want to enter again, but I don’t have another cute story or tip.  Wait, yes, I guess I can contribute this: tonight Hannah grabbed her bedtime book and threw it on the floor as I was reading it.  I picked it up and she grsabbed it again and threw it on the floor.  Brian and I decided that was her way of tellng us to SCREW THE STORY, she did NOT want to go to bed. :)

    (128)

  133. By Jessika Kaiser on February 25, 2010

    Oh, I know many a kidlet I could read this to! It would be great when I’m the default, pitch-in babysitter. That is, until I stop making my ovaries cry and have a kid of my own…

    (129)

  134. By on February 25, 2010

    I don’t have much of a tip other than read everything! I read the labels on packages to my son, the more words he hears the better!

    (130)


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