Book Review: Birdie’s Big Hair

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s storytellers: Miss Sharifa. You’ll find Miss Sharifa sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs. She shares her review of the picture book Birdie’s Big Hair by Sujean Rim.

birdies big hairBirdie’s Big Hair is one of my favorite books. Birdie wakes up one day and her hair has become unruly so her mom tells her she’s going to take her to the hair salon. So we follow the excitement of Birdie going to the hair salon with her mother. The book shows Birdie’s imagination as she daydreams of what her hair will look like once she goes to the hair salon with her mother.

The book has interesting pictures showcasing different patterns of fabric swatches on Birdie’s and other character’s clothes. This book is fun and lighthearted. The story will make you smile as you follow Birdie through her hair journey to find a new hair style. This is a great book for children that love to get their hair done.

Be sure to checkout this book at your local library, and let your librarian know how you liked it!

Thirty Million Words

Remember this post from two years ago (almost to the day!)? Well, talking to your child is still a trending topic. Last week, NPR posted an article based on the book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind, MD.


Read the article here. And check out Thirty Million Words the website here.

Book Review: By Mouse and Frog

Today’s blog was written by one of our very own children’s librarians: Miss Dayna. You’ll find Miss Dayna sharing stories with children of all ages as well as creating wonderful children’s programs. She shares her review of the picture book By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman.


Once upon a time Mouse was writing a story.  In jumps Frog full of ideas.  Frog adds cake and ice cream and a whole list of things to the story.  Mouse has to find a way to tell Frog this is Mouse’s story.  Together the two friends then find a way to write together.

A wonderful book about imagination and friendship.  Frog’s character is reminiscent to Tigger’s in the Winnie the Pooh stories.

Be sure to checkout this book at your local library and let your librarian know how you liked it!

Let’s Get Moving

Children are wiggly. Telling them to stand still or “stop it” doesn’t always work. (If it does, please comment below and share with us how you get your children to stop–we love tips and tricks!). In the meantime, I would like to share some of my favorite games you can play with your children when you are required to wait.


I Spy

One of my favorite games to play while standing in line, sitting in the car, or waiting for dinner to finish cooking is I Spy. It’s such a simple game, but it can be played in so many different ways depending on the age and development of your child. You can spy colors, objects that rhyme with a certain word, objects that start with a specific letter, or even objects that are a special shape. Take turns “spying for an object” with your child. Let them pick the object you have to identify, and let them find the object you spy.

Twenty Questions
Similar to I Spy, pick a person, place, or thing, and have your child ask you “twenty” questions as he tries to identify the object you chose.

Grandma’s House
Grandma’s House is a simple game that can be played in many different ways. Each person takes a turn always beginning with the phrase, “I’m going to Grandma’s house and I’m bringing…” And what he brings depends on what everyone decides is going to be the rule. It can be an object that starts with a certain letter of the alphabet (the most common version), objects that are compound words, words that start with a specific letter of the alphabet, words with two vowels together, etc.

So you’ve probably noticed these games do not require much movement. Bambini Travel has some great ideas on how to let your children get the wiggles out without being too disruptive to others. Click here for ideas on teaching comparing, number recognition, balancing, counting, gross motor development, and patterning.

What are your favorite ways to keep your children from getting too fidgety when they have to wait?

Not All Board Books are Created the Same…

Toddler Girl Reading a Picture Book, Isolated, WhiteBoard books are one of the most practical gifts you can give a child. They were created for young children (babies, toddlers, and preschoolers) with the idea that this age group can be rough with their toys: biting, stomping, throwing, sticky fingers, etc. Board books can typically stand up to this kind of treatment. But not all board books are created the same…

Board books are not cheap. They are heavy duty, glossy, multi-sensory (sometimes), and often, hefty. If you are spending the extra few dollars to give your child something that is going to last a little longer than that paperback book at the bottom of the toy chest, you want to make sure you are getting something that is beneficial to your child and something they will hopefully cherish as they grow older.

Keep in mind, board books are not marketed toward the child who is reading them; they are marketed toward the parent, grandparent, auntie, or friend who is buying them for a child. So while you may find a favorite picture book in board book form, take a peak inside and make sure it is a book your toddler will actually have the attention span to read or sit through.

Thankfully, Zero to Three has put together a great list of tips, so you can choose the right book for your child. Click here to see the list. And make sure you stop by your local library to check out board books for free before you make that big investment.

Recycle Those Cereal Boxes

The next time you finish a box of cereal, save the box. It has so much potential. Really.

puzzle-300x225It’s one of the easiest ways to make a puzzle. Just cut it up into pieces. Let your children design their own puzzles by allowing them to draw shapes on the back and cut them out.

Cut out the words or letters and glue them to index cards. Make your own matching, guessing, or identification games using these cards. Or cut out the letters and make different words out of them.

Cut out the characters from the front or back of the box and make them into puppets by gluing them on popsicle sticks.puppets2

Cut out the words from the cereal boxes and then tie a piece of string on one end to make bookmarks.

In addition to using the box at home, visiting the cereal aisle at the grocery store can be a very educational experience for your young child. Turn grocery shopping into a scavenger hunt using the colors, letters, words, and shapes printed on the boxes.

And if that’s not enough, turn cereal that is starting to get a little stale into beautiful art or sorting games. Make a rainbow or sort the colors into different cups.