Okay, maybe calling this a meditative book is overselling it, or just plain wrong, for half of the population. But for those of you who like seeing things in order, even if you aren’t like this in your personal life, The Art of Clean Up is very calming. (Then again, consider that your source finds […]

Bear juggles orange pear_int

A recent post on Motherlode posed this question: What’s your desert island picture book? Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project was decisive; she’d bring Where the Wild Things Are. KJ Dell’Antonia was more equivocal. She landed on Pooh—or maybe Kipling, if she could stretch beyond the bounds of picture books. This is, to me, an […]


I remember when our daughter was a baby, I was frustrated by the books I had to read to her. I wanted something that I could engage her with–so I could point things out, and not be constricted by the reading of words. I found these books on a trip to Italy, and bought several […]


The title sort of says it all, from the author of The Way Things Work, which is also an essential. Any question that you or your child has about the human body is clearly (and cleverly) answered by this book. Illustrations are both illuminating and beautiful. Think of it as the post-Google world World Book […]

push pull tana hoban

One of our favorite books we’ve read throughout the years is Push Pull Empty Full by Tana Hoban. Yes, we still read it to our 8 year old on very late bedtime nights when I need to get through a book in about 20 seconds flat. It’s beautifully designed, and the photography is great. It’s […]

brian wildsmith

If you don’t know the artist Brian Wildsmith, you need to. I bought three of his vintage books at a library sale, and I love them so much, I want to get every single page framed. You can find them pretty easily, like the Circus book on this link.

farm pets

I love to collect vintage kids books, but they have to be cheap—I want them, after all, to get read, not just sit on a shelf. Recently I found this book from 1935 called Farm Pets by John Beaty, at a Salvation Army. I think this would also be a sweet baby shower gift! (Here’s […]

spin opener

The technology of paper crafting in publishing seems to have undergone a revolution in recent years, with the results perhaps most evident in the realm of pop-up books. No longer the simple, somewhat cheesy little books of our generation’s childhood, these are now dazzling works of paper engineering, led by the amazing work of Matthew […]


I like words. A lot. Heck, I have to fight verbosity in my own writing. So why is it that so many of my favorite children’s books of the last few years are wordless, or nearly wordless, picture books? And why does every single one of these I come across turn out to be so […]

butterfly opener

Spring took a little longer to settle in here in the Northeast this year—at least, the aspect of spring we dreamed about all winter, the part that doesn’t involve massive amounts of rain. Now, it seems, the season of balmy but not hot and sticky weather, of flowering trees, of butterflies, is finally here, for […]

momfilter myles earth to clunk

There are only a handful of picture-book authors who are capable of making me laugh out loud as I’m reading their work to my sons. Lane Smith comes to mind, as does Mini Grey. And after Earth to Clunk, I’ll have to add Pam Smallcomb to the list, mainly thanks to the spread pictured here. […]

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