Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Reading

This blog was started as an opportunity to share books that my family enjoys with others. I want to be able to share books that interest a large variety of people, and as the holidays are upon us, I find I might need a little help in this. 

My family is Christian. We celebrate Christmas and do what we can to teach not just the Santa/Gifts/Decorations side of the holiday, but also the Jesus/religious parts to our son and others in our family. I am fully aware and accept that not all people follow our beliefs, and I respect that. However, I do not know much about or own children's books about the other holidays people follow this time of year. (I used to when I was teaching, but I have sense given many of those books away to other teachers, and find myself at a loss now as to what to share with those of other faiths.) 

I would ask for your help now. If you are one who celebrates in a manner other than Christmas during the Holiday Season, please pass along some of your traditions! If you know of any good children's books that are geared towards your religion or faith, please leave a comment letting me know. I am very interested in sharing those with the readers of this blog in addition to sharing the books from my own library! 

Thank you so much for your help. I look forward to seeing what comes my way!

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Due to the Holiday season being upon us, I plan on sharing books related to the season for the next several weeks. After all, it is my favorite time of year. I have more than enough books to share with others that will cover this wonderful Holiday season! I'm really very excited. It is highly likely that there will be more than one book shared a week this month. (That is if I have time. It is also a busy time of year!)

Today I want to share a book that I discovered just last year; God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren. (Author of God Gave Us You, and other books in the God Gave Us series.) Last Christmas was a rough one for us. It was my son's first and, like many American families, we were dealing with a deployment that meant our family would be worlds apart for the holiday season. I don't mind admitting that I was having a hard time getting into the Holiday spirit, no matter the reason for the season.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

God Gave Us You by Lisa T. Bergren

Years ago I was told that I might never be able to have children. I remember the horror I felt, and the pain. I remember telling my then fiance that I would understand if he didn't want to marry me. (He turned me down on that offer, and is now my husband, God bless the man!) I remember the heartache I felt thinking I might never get to have a child when all I had wanted for years was to be a Mommy. 

I remember well the night, back in July of 2008 and well over 2 years after our original family plan was supposed to have begun, when my husband and I threw our hands in the air and gave it to God. What would be would be in his time, not ours. 

We got pregnant that month. (In fact, we strongly suspect it was that night.) While I know that God gives every child to every parent, it is partially my own history that makes me feel such a strong connection with God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren. God gave me my most amazing miracle, and I am so blessed by that!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spotlight Author: Eric Carle

Though he was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle did most of his growing up in Germany, where he moved with his parents at the age of six. While there he was educated at Akademie der bildenden K√ľnste, in Stuttgart, a prestigious art school.

He returned to America in 1952 where he found a job as a graphic designer for The New York Times. One particular advertisement designed by Mr. Carle caught the eye of author/educator, Bill Martin Jr., and he contacted him to see if he would be interested in illustrating one of his books. What was born of this collaboration was the great classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?, and the real beginning of Eric Carle's career! (Together Mr. Carle and Mr. Martin also produced Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?, and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?)

Spotlight Author: Jane Yolen

Born on February, 11, 1939 in New York City, Jane Yolen is the author of over 300 books, including children’s books, fantasy, science fiction, picture books, novels...if you can name it, she's probably written it. Some of her most popular children's work includes Own Moon and the How Do Dinosaurs series. (A favorite in our home!) She sold her first book, Pirates in Petticoats, on her 22nd birthday and hasn't stopped since!

She is also the winner of a multitude of awards including the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award among many others.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Whooo's Who Friday

If you are looking for some great new blogs and some great new readers, check there is no better place than a Friday Blog Hop! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

While I know I am a little late because of some personal issues that have been happening outside of Bloggerworld, I very much wanted to do this book in honor of the start of the school year! I have been in love with The Kissing Hand ever since I first learned of it while taking a children's literature class in college, and I think it is a book that every parent and teacher should know about!

What Do You See/Hear? Book

 One of the things I love about the What Do You See/Hear? books by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (the series includes Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?) is how easy it is to come up with projects and ideas to extend each book into your every day life or classroom!

What Do You See/Hear? Walk

One of the things I love about the What Do You See/Hear? books by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (the series includes Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?) is how many ways you can extend the books into every day teachable moments! One of the easiest ways to do this is by going on a What Do You See/Hear? walk with your child! 

Kissing Hand Art

If you're looking for a great way to commemorate your child's first day of school or for a great project to do with your classroom, might I suggest reading The Kissing Hand and then making your own kissing hand project! Every parent loves remembering the little hands that their children once had, and this art project can do that forever and also bring back memories of that first day of school! 

The Kissing Hand Cookies

After reading The Kissing Hand with your child(ren) or classroom, you might want to take the opportunity to extend the theme with some yummy Kissing Hand Cookies! What child doesn't love cooking in the kitchen with Mommy and Daddy? (Cooking time in the kitchen is a great opportunity to work on math, colors, and shapes  with your little one too!) The best part? When you're done you have a super yummy snack!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I know that I have been scarce the last week. I am very sorry for that. There is a lot going on outside of cyber-space right now. I am hoping to be back to my regular, blogging self in the next few days. Until then just know that I miss it, and could use some good vibes/prayers/wishes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Blog Hop

Welcome to Mama Bear's Book Nook. I am glad that you stopped by to take a look around. No matter if you decide to follow or not, please leave a comment letting me know you were here! I love having new visitors. Leave me your link so I can visit your blog as well!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen

I was stumped as to what book to share this week. My usual posting day, Wednesday, passed me by yesterday without my realizing that I'd missed a Nook day. Today I still couldn't decide what to share, so I asked the expert...my one year old. Not surprisingly, he went to his favorites, his How Do Dinosaurs books, and brought me this one, which was the first one he ever received. He was given it as a first birthday gift from his Grandma Hootie, Grandpa, Uncle Storm and Aunt Harmony...and thus a monster...er...dinosaur was born.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Blog Hop

Another Friday, another chance to make new friends! Thank you for visiting my blog! Feel free to follow if you'd like, but even if you don't follow, please leave a message. I love knowing who is visiting my blog! Be sure to leave me the link to your blog so I can check it out in return! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr./Eric Carle

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the first in a series of books that Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle teamed up to do together, and has been a classic with children, parents, teachers, and grandparents for over 40 years! (They also produced Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?, and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?)

Brown Bear, Brown Bear is an amazing piece of children's literature, filled not only with the beautiful and eye catching illustrations of Eric Carle, but multiple teachable moments found on each and every page!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Blog Hop

Hello and welcome! If you are visiting from a Friday blog hop, please feel free to look around!! You don't have to follow, but please leave a comment letting me know you were here! If you like what you see,  please feel free to follow, and I will follow in return if you leave me a link to your blog! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Blog Is Carbon Neutral

Since becoming a parent I admit that I give more thought to the impact I am having on the world than I used to . After all, what was done to the planet previously is what I deal with today, and what I do to the planet in my life is what my son will deal with in the future. We try to bike or walk when we can, we have changed to cloth diapers, we recycle...it never occurred to me that my blog might be leaving a carbon footprint behind.

How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends? by Jane Yolen

I can't count, even using all my fingers and toes (and probably my son's too), how many times I have read this book...today! My little man keeps walking up, book in hand, big smile on his face and insisting "Book! Again!" How is a mother to say no to that?

Besides, I don't mind reading any of the How Do Dinosaur books, no matter how many times they are requested. I have his favorite, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, memorized, and the dinosaurs even have their own voices. (Which my son happily tries to imitate!) I love how these books inspire good manners and positive behavior, so I'll read them as often as they are requested...even if it is dozens of times in a day, or back to back.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen

I can't seem to get away from the How Do Dinosaurs books by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague...and I'm glad! Not only are they a favorite of my son's, (I can now actually recite How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? without even opening the book!) but I am not ashamed to say that I absolutely love the series! In my opinion, they are right up there with Dr. Seuss as the best books ever!

As my little man seems to be fighting a stomach bug the last couple of days, it seemed only appropriate that I use this blog to talk about How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Friday Blog Hop

If you are looking for new bloggy friends, which I always am, there's not better place to do it than a blog hop. Here are some of the great blog hops I am a part of this week! Please feel free to join in the fun!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

I remember the birth of my son very well. Perhaps it was the fact that I did it without medication, despite my carefully laid plans to be numb from the neck down when I had my first child. (I vowed at the time never to have another child! My husband and I are considering trying for another child later this year, but at the time I meant it!) Perhaps it is the fact that after several years of believing it would never happen, I was finally holding a beautiful baby, my beautiful baby, in my arms! Perhaps it is just something that is forever etched in your mind as a mother, no matter the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy and birth.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson

I love books that give us a chance to spend some more time with old friends! Karma Wilson's fabulous Bear from Bear Snores On and his woodland friends are back to entertain us is Bear's New Friend!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

   In our house, we love Eric Carle! Not only are the stories amazing and entertaining, (with some really good moral lessons too!) but the pictures are beautiful and colorful and can keep even the very youngest little reader entertained! 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Follow The Nook

I love writing, both for my own pleasure and for other people to read. Whenever I add to my blog, I try to post it up on Facebook so that my friends and family know that I've been plugging away at some new thought or opinion, but sometimes I forget to share that I've added a new blog.

If you would like to avoid missing any of my blogs, please feel free to follow my blog. It's fast and easy and free! All you need is a (again, free) Google Account!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen

  I am so happy to come back from my vacation with this book! The entire How Do Dinosaurs series has become one of our favorites in this house, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night is the first in this amazing series by Jane Yolen! 

Saturday, May 1, 2010


My family will be going home to Ohio for the first time in 2.5 years! I will try to blog while I am gone, but just in case Mama Bear is officially away and the Nook is closed until I get back. Keep reading and sending in suggestions for the Nook. I have a lot more books to share when I get back!

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Eric Carle Birthday Party

Several months ago, while looking online for party ideas for my son's first birthday, I came across this cake at Coco Cake Cupcakes and our party theme was born! We love books! Parker loves books! Why not have an Eric Carle birthday party?

Coffee Filter Butterfly

This is such a fun project and can end up being so beautiful too!!! Here is a list of what you will need:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Finger Print Caterpillars

Here is another art project, this time for Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I love Eric Carle, I love this book, and I love this art project! The above picture shows the caterpillars being made on book marks, which is a wonderful idea. It can be done in many variations though, from just doing them on paper to using fabric paint and putting them on a t-shirt. Use your imagination!

Before you start you will need:

  • Green ink/finger paints/fabric paint
  • Red ink/finger paints/fabric paint
  • A marker (whatever color you want is fine)
  • Paper (Or a bookmark, or a t-shirt, or a plack...whatever you choose.)
  • Wipes (For quick cleaning of little fingers
I think that the project is pretty self explanatory just by looking at the above picture, but I will give a short description here.

First, dip your child's thumb in the red paint and have them make a thumb print on the surface you have chosen. Wipe their hand off with the wipe. Next, dip your child's finger in the green paint and use that to make the caterpillars body. You can make it as long and as wavy as you want. This is your caterpillar so be creative! Again, wipe of your child's hand with the wipe.

Let the caterpillar dry.

Once the caterpillar is dry use your marker(s) to draw the caterpillars legs, eyes, and antennas.

I hope that you and yours enjoy this project as much as I do!

Happy reading!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eric Carle's ABC

Eric Carle's ABC is currently one of my son's favorite books, if not the favorite. We read it several times a day, and at each sitting we read it several times. He got it for his birthday from Mommy and Daddy, and I am so glad that we picked it up!

 Just like many other ABCs books, each page had a big letter and the picture of something that begins with that letter. ("A" is for "ants", "B" is for "bird", etc, etc.) Unlike other ABCs books though, this one has Eric Carle's usual flair for color and eye catching art!

It is also unique in the way the pages flip up instead of just turning. For example, when you open up the first page you see the entire alphabet on the left side and on the right page you see the previously mentioned "A" with it's cheery trio of ants...but then, instead of flipping the page to see the "B", you flip the "A" page up to reveal both the "B" and "C" pages! You then flip that page back town and turn the page like you would in any other book to arrive at the "D" and "E" pages on which the "E" flips up to reveal "F" and "G"! It contunies this way throughout the book, adding a unique interest not found in many other books. My son loves flipping the pages for me as I read!

 I also like how Mr. Carle uses some animals that you might not find in any other alphabet book. (Do you know what a Narwhal  is? How about a Quetzal? Have you fed your Xolo today?) I think it is a good way for children to learn about animals they might never come into contact with otherwise. Honestly, my only complaint is that the use the slang "rhino" instead of the full "rhinoceros"...which really isn't a complaint, but more of a pet peeve of mine.

I don't know if it is because we have sang his ABCs to him since he was a baby, or because we sign them as we sing, (He has started to try to follow along, which is just adorable!) but his ABCs have always been one of my son's favorite things! Now, because of that, he has fallen in love with this book! Luckily, I love it too, so we share it together over and over again! I hope that is is one you will enjoy sharing with your own family!

If, like me, you enjoy bringing art into your every day and tying it into other things you might be watching or reading, or if you happen to be a teacher looking for an art project to go along with your daily book, try doing Eric Carle Tissue Letters with your child(ren).

Also, if you enjoy my blog, please invite your friends and family to join! I love sharing the books in my son's library, and I would love to share our experiences with as many people as possible!

Happy Reading!

Eric Carle Tissue Letters

Here is a fun craft idea to accompany the book Eric Carle's ABC. My son is still a little young for it, but I loved doing projects like this when I was teaching, and I look forward to doing things like this with him in a few years. (Right now, he would just try to eat the tissue paper.)

Before you start you will need:

  • Cut/Torn tissue paper of many colors. (As many or few as you want, but the more colors the more colorful the art project.)
  • Drawing/Construction paper (the ticker the better) cut into the shape of your favorite letters. (Possibly the letters in your child's name.)
  • Glue
  • Paint brush
  • Water
Mix equal parts of glue and water to make a diluted glue solution. You can put this in a bowl or on a paper plate. (Paper plates are sometimes easier and less likely to get knocked over.) Have your child paint the glue solution onto the letter, covering it completely. (If they don't cover it completely it's not a big deal. This is art. It is interpretive.) Then, take the torn/cut pieces of tissue paper and place them on their letter. They can use as many colors as they want. The tissue paper can overlap. The point of this is to make as colorful and interesting a letter as possible. 

Now, once your child is done adding tissue paper, paint another coating of the glue solution over the tissue paper. (Some of the tissue paper might come off, and that's OK. Just stick it right back on!) Let it dry.

Once the letters are dry, hang them on the fridge, on the walls or on the windows! (Which will create a pretty stained glass effect unless the paper is very thick!) You have made Eric Carle Tissue Letters!!! They are a great learning tool to go along with Eric Carle's ABC book! As you work on your letters you can talk about the sounds each letter makes.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


As I am sure some of you have notices, I have been on a small hiatus. This will probably last until sometime next week. Yesterday was my son's birthday, and I've spent the last week very busy with preparations and planning. His party is on Saturday, and hopefully after that I will have some more time.

I expect to be back next Wednesday with another book from the Nook for your enjoyment. Until then, keep reading, and keep your suggestions coming for books you would like to see in our Book Nook.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guess How Much I Love You by: Sam McBratney & Bunny My Honey by: Anita Jeram

With the Easter holiday right around the corner I decided to talk about two books today, one my son already has, one he will be getting in his Easter basket, and both star bunnies or hares as their main characters!

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney is about Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare and how much they love each other. Sounds pretty simple right?

Little Nutbrown Hare starts off by spreading his arms wide and telling his Daddy that he loves him "This much!" while spreading his arms out as wide as he can manage! Of course, Big Nutbrown Hare, being a big nutbrown hare, has bigger arms and can spread his arms even wider, which he does while telling his baby "But I love you this much!"...which sends Little Nutbrown Hare thinking...

There follows a competition of sorts between Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, as Little Nutbrown Hare keeps thinking of ways he loves Big Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare keeps telling him that he loves him back. As tall as he can hop, as far as he can see, as tall as he can reach...and even all the way to the moon!

I have read reviews that say it is a unhealthy, competitive book that teaches children that love is a competition and that their love for their parents is not enough. I can truly say that I can see how people would see it like that, and if that is the attitude you have while reading it to your child, how a child could feel that way while listening. I didn't see it that way the first time I read it however, instead I saw a baby and their parent playing a game that I have heard many children and parents play...the "I love you more game"...which I have never seen as competitive but more as a way of expressing something in words that can't possibly be expressed. Like most parents, in the end, Big Nutbrown Hare lets Little Nutbrown hare fall asleep thinking he has won, whispering to his sleeping son that he loves him to the moon...and back, expressing one of the great truths in life. That parents will always love their children more than anything, and that our children will never understand this until they have children of their own.

While I can see why people wouldn't like this book, I love it. The illustrations by Anita Jeram are beautiful, though not with a lot of color or contrast, which might not hold the attention of younger readers who like more color and flash. It is still a book I highly recommend, but you will have to know your child to know if they will be interested in it or if it will be better to wait until they are a little older.

If you would like to know more about author Sam McBratney please feel free to read more here or visit his page on the Harper Collins website

Bunny My Honey, which was written and illustrated by Anita Jeram (who illustrated Guess How Much I Love You) is about another long eared family, Mommy Rabbit and her baby, Bunny. Bunny, who Mommy Rabbit calls Bunny, my Honey.  

Mommy Rabbit, as mommy rabbits do, taught Bunny all the things little rabbits need to know. She taught him to hop and twitch his nose and stomp his big old feet. And sometimes, when Bunny's games with his little friends ended in tears, Mommy Rabbit was always there to wipe away his tears as mommy rabbits (and humans) do.

One day, quite without meaning to, Bunny gets lost in the woods, and no matter how hard he tries he can't seem to find his way out again. Scared and alone he starts calling for the one person who is dearest to him, the person who calls him her Honey...his Mommy. Mommy rabbit does just what a mommy rabbit should, and finds and comforts her scared little Bunny Honey.

It is a cute story with beautiful illustrations, which is why it made its way into my son's Easter basket this year. I think that it might bore older children because it really is a simple little tale without too much detail and "fluff", but it is a book I think that my son and other young children will adore. The pictures are beautiful and colorful and the story is sweet for a mother and child to share together. It is one I would recommend reading yourself before spending the money, just in case you feel it will not hold the interest of your child.

If you want to know more about Anita Jeram or her beautiful illustrations, please visit her website.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marshmallow by: Clare Turlay Newberry

Once upon a time, there was a little 5 year old girl. Every week her first grade class took a trip to the school library. Every week the little girl returned the book she had taken out the week before and returned it. After the librarian put all the returned books away, the little girl made her way over to a very special shelf and took down a very special book, the very one she had just returned in fact. (In fact, 21 years later, that little girl could find the exact same spot in that exact same shelf if the library in question had never been rearranged.)

 The book, Marshmallow, was written by Clare Turlay Newberry in 1943, and as a result was impossible to find in the stores, though the little girl above searched for it for years!!! In the Spring of 2009 the littler girl, now 25 and expecting a baby of her own, was delighted to find it in a book store, displayed with the Easter books and a new pale pink/peach cover. (It had been gray way back once upon a time.) Alas, the poor little girl, now a woman, didn't buy it right then and instead went back to get it tor her unborn child the following week, by which time it was gone! 

Now, Spring 2010, again looking through the children's Easter displays, I (for I am the little girl previously mentioned, in case you didn't know.) found it again, this time in paperback. I grabbed it up happily and immediately, proud of the prize I have now for my son's first Easter basket! I have re-read it several times, and am delighted to share that I am as enchanted by the story and illustrations as I was when I was a happy little first grader who eventually had to have it suggested to me that I should give other children a chance to check out the book.

Marshmallow is a true story about Oliver the cat, who is very used to being the center of attention in his house. That is until one day when his owner brings home a white little ball of fluff...the bunny, Marshmallow. Oliver is not happy about this new arrangement at all. At first he is scared of the trusting little unknown creature, but eventually his natural instincts start to kick in...Can little Marshmallow's natural affection overrule the ages long relationship between cats and bunnies?

Not only a wonderful storyteller, Clare Turlay Newberry was a very talented artist! Her beautiful hand drawn black and white images with gentle touches of color bring the story to life! In her life, Mrs. Newberry swore that her story and images were drawn and taken from real life, even a picture of Oliver and Marshmallow laying in each other's arms. 

I love, love, love this book and highly recommend it to any and everyone!It makes me desperately want a bunny, but since the hubby says no, I guess I'll just have to wait until I can convince him that it would be a good investment. (It will teach the kids about responsibility and taking care of other creatures...right?) *sigh* Oh well. Until that day I will just have to enjoy sharing the story of Marshmallow with my own son!

Mrs. Newberry had a life long love for cats that is apparent in not only Marshmallow, but some of her other children's books as well. Many of then, like Marshmallow, are winners of the Caldecott Honor! I suggest that you look up not only Marshmallow, but many of Mrs. Newberry's other works. 

If you are interested in Mrs. Newberry and her books, please feel free to read more about here here or here

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Green Eggs and Ham by: Dr. Seuss

Since last week was Dr. Seuss' birthday, I thought it only appropriate to talk about a Dr. Seuss book this week. Green Eggs and Ham happens to be one of my favorites. 

Seuss books are amazing for children of all ages. The manner in which he writes, his rhymes, his silly words, and his funny illustrations catch the attention of even the youngest of babies. It is almost impossible not to get into a cheery rhythm while reading, and I have yet to meet an adult that doesn't get almost as much pleasure out of the books as a child does!

And they all have a message and moral, which I love in a book! Sometimes it's hidden and sometimes not, but books with a moral are high on my list of favorites!

Green Eggs and Ham isn't one of the more preachy moral messages that Dr. Seuss wrote about, but it is one that is important for young children to learn. (For adults to learn too for that matter.) Try New Things.

In Green Eggs our friend, Sam, is trying very hard to get his friend to try Green Eggs and Ham! Despite the fact that Friend of Sam has never tried Green Eggs and Ham, he stubbornly insists "I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them, Sam I Am!". Sam pleads with his friend to try them...in a house, with a mouse, in a box, with a fox...just to try them, for he might like them. Still, Friend of Sam insists that in no place and no way and with no one will he try them because "I do not like them, Sam I Am!"

How many times in a lifetime does a person, child and adult alike, decide that they won't like something or someone far before giving them a chance? We refuse to try food because of how it looks or smells, refuse to read a book because the cover looks silly, refuse to go to a new place because we have heard bad things...How many times in a lifetime do we miss out on something possibly wonderful without even giving it a chance? I certainly know that I have been guilty of this more than once, and more than once when I have finally been convinced to give it a try, I end up liking what I was 100% sure that I would not. I am sure that I am not the only one who has committed this folly, whether anyone else will admit it or not. Certainly Friend of Sam, stubbornly digging his heels in against trying the odd looking dish, might be missing out on something that is actually very yummy!

In my opinion, Green Eggs and Ham is one of Seuss' most enjoyable works. It is certainly one that I enjoy,  (My husband even read it to me on our Honeymoon...one of my favorite memories!) and I hope my son enjoys it as much as I do one day, along with all of Seuss' other works!

I highly, highly, highly recommend not only Green Eggs, but all of the works by Dr. Seuss! Every last one of them will be a wonderful addition to your child's library! 

If you are interested in learning more about the work of Dr. Seuss, please join his characters in the wonderful world of Seussville

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by: Beatrix Potter

There is nothing I like more than a story with a lesson to it. I don't think that all books need to have some kind of deep moral message, but it is nice when they do. Even more so when you don't feel like you are being preached to...something no child, or adult for that matter, enjoys.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one such story. Little Peter, the only boy in a family of females, has a rebel streak that I for one find endearing. (Even as a child I felt that his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail were goody-two-shoes. This is terribly unfair, but I have a thing for rebel bunnies!) 

Despite being warned away from the gardens of horrible Mr. McGregor, the very gardens in which Peter's father met his untimely end as a rabbit pie, Peter runs there strait away while his mother is out at market and his sisters are off being good and picking blackberries. Apparently, Farmer McGregor's lettuce, French beans, and radishes are just too tempting to be resisted by the little rabbit!

But oh, woe for our little misbehaving Peter, he is spotted by the angry Mr. McGregor and the chase is on! He loses his shoes and he loses his jacket and he can't find his way back to the garden gate...the only way out and to avoid being made into a yummy rabbit pie! Poor, poor Peter! What kind of evil man wouldn't want such a cute bunny in his gardens?

This was always a favorite of mine as a child, and I still very fondly remember my Grandmama telling me the story over and over of my beloved little Peter! I was thrilled add the book to my son's library in both board book and a little hardback copies! he will also be getting a little Peter this year in his Easter basket! If you are unfamiliar with Peter Rabbit, or the other amazing works of Beatrix Potter, I would suggest that you find a book store immediately and become familiar! 

Beatrix Potter is arguably one of the most well known children's authors of all time. She wrote and illustrated over 20 short stories about Peter and his many friends and fellow forest animals! If you are interested in Beatrix Potter and her works, check out The World of Peter Rabbit
If you want to know what happens to Peter...well, you'll just have to find the book to share with your child. (Or yourself...I do sometimes read my son's books to myself just for a few moments of quiet respite...And I am quite unashamed of the fact too!)
Thank you for reading!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? was the very first Eric Carle book my son ever had. Before we even had children, my husband and I had made an agreement that we would never refuse our child a book they wanted, (this decision was made after we heard a child in a book store asking their mother for a book and she replied "No, you don't really want that, but if you stop asking I'll buy you a video game.") and so when Parker reached out for this book one day while we were out shopping I bought it for him happily. 

Baby Bear, Baby Bear is the last in a series of books by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle. They are all great books, but I particularly loved this one because I call my son my Baby Bear frequently. 

If you have read any of the What Do You See/Hear? books you know what they are about. They are kind of like a giant seek-and-say for young children. You get to see the beautiful illustrations of Eric Carle as you flip from page to page learning not only colors, but about animals that children might not be exposed to on a daily basis. (How many children regularly get to see mountain goats or flying squirrels?) As Baby Bear tells us that he Red Fox, we go on to Red Fox to ask him "Red Fox, Red Fox, What do YOU see?" and he sends us off to the next animal, and so on and so forth until we find Baby Bear's Mama Bear and find out what she sees.

This is yet another book with just enough repetition to  be entertaining and educational to young children without making it annoying and obnoxious for the reader. It won't be long before your child is following along with you as you seek out what each animal is seeing. (Or giving every animal from the Baby Bear to the Blue Heron to the Mommy Bear herself kisses the way that my son does.) 

Of course, if you have Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? I highly recommend that you get the other books in the series: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

If you are interested in more works by Bill Martin Jr, please check out his site here. If you are interested in the illustrations and writing of Eric Carle, please visit his official site here

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bear Snores On by: Karma Wilson

"In a cave in the woods, in his deep, dark lair, through the long, cold winter sleeps a great brown bear."

Of course, if you know me at all, you would know that anything about a bear is going to catch my attention. Sometimes the books I pick up disappoint, but that is certainly not the case with Bear Snores On. I read it first back when I was teaching, and fell in love with it then, so of course I had to have it for my son's library! 

There is a wonderful flow to the creative rhymes as Bear is joined, unknown to him, by several other forest animals seeking shelter from the storm outside. As Mouse is joined by Hare and they are joined by Badger and so on and so forth, a nice little party starts to gather in the bear's little cave..."but the Bear snores on".

The flow of the rhyme and story makes it an enjoyable book to read out loud, plus there is just enough repetition to be beneficial to little listeners (it won't be long before they are joining in on "...the bear snores on!") without driving the reader crazy like some children's books tend to do. There are wonderful opportunities to do voices for the different animals, which my son loves, and we get to make sounds like the animals do. "Chew, Chomp, Crunch!" and his favorite..."ACHOOOOOOOO!!!" when the bear is tickled by a stray fleck of pepper. 

In addition, the illustrations are beautifully done. Jane Chapman's drawings of Bear and his forest friends are warm and eye catching, and her creatures are adorable! You are left just wanting to cuddle Mouse, pat Hare on the head, and give Bear a great big bear hug! I know that many would say that it's the story that matters, but when you are reading to children who can not yet read themselves, I find that the pictures often help them understand and enjoy the story almost as much as the words do. In a day when some children's picture books are starting to look like they were drawn by someone with very little time and very little imagination, it is refreshing to see a book where the illustrator clearly has as much love for the characters as the author does.

My son adores the book, and eagerly helps me turn the pages between giving kisses to Bear and his friends! He will even sit and look through it when we aren't reading together, happily "reading" out loud to himself and pointing at his favorite pictures. At only 10 months old, this is one of his favorite books to read with me, along with the other Bear books. I highly suggest this book, and it's "siblings", also by Karma Wilson.

If you are interested in the other Bear books, or the many others written by Ms. Wilson, please visit her page: http://karmawilson.com/. If you would like to see more art and books illustrated by Jane Chapman, please visit: http://www.harpercollins.com/authors/25815/Jane_Chapman/index.aspx.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bear Of My Heart (Holiday Special)

BEAR OF MY HEART by Joanne Ryder
In honor of the holiday, I wanted to share the book that I bought to give my son on our first Valentine's Day together. Bear of My Heart caught my eye in the store because I frequently call my son my "Baby Bear". I have always had a love for bears, and it has passed over into my adulthood, and thus transferred into my relationship with my baby boy. 

As it turns out, the book was amazingly appropriate to describe my feelings for my little miracle, and I think that many mommies (and daddies) would probably share my opinion. 

"There are so many bears in the world, dear, but there's no other one that will do. You are the bear of my heart, dear, and I am the one who loves you." starts off a wonderful little story about a baby bear and their parent and the love that is shared between them. 

Mama or Papa (they are never specific as to which) Bear speaks of the promise of the future they have together, showing their baby bear the world and all the things they will teach them and take them to see. 

Then come the promises that every parent makes in their heart on the day of their child's birth...the promises to be there whenever their Baby Bear needs them. The promises to give hugs and kisses, to guide and protect, to be there every time they are needed, because "You are the bear of my heart, dear, and nothing can take that away."

I was in love with this little book and its message long before I got to the last lines. It is now safely tucked away for his first Valentine's Day tomorrow with a little message from Mommy written in the front. I hope one day, years from now, he will be looking through old boxes and packages and come across this book. Maybe he'll decide to read it to his own son or daughter, smiling fondly over the thought of his Mother picking this out so many years ago. And hopefully, holding his own precious little miracle in his arms, he will understand the full extent of the message passed on in these pink, gilded pages. 

"No matter how big you may grow, dear, or whether we're near or apart, I will love you forever and ever, for YOU are the bear of my heart." 

 If you are interested in Joanne Ryder or her books, please visit http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Joanne-Ryder/1240247.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love You Forever by: Robert Munsch

Love You Forever was a book in my brother's library when we were children. I remembered it from then, but not well, and hadn't picked it up in well over 18 years. Then, a few weeks after the birth of my own son, a battered copy caught my eye in a second hand shop and I picked it up, remembering the book from my brother's shelf.

I didn't know that people will look at you oddly if you start sobbing for no apparent reason in the middle of an isle in a second hand shop. They do. I also didn't know that I wouldn't care, but would instead start kissing my new, sleeping baby boy on his little cheeks and thanking God for the little blessing I had in my cart.

Love You Forever will bring more tears if you look into where it originated. It started as a song that a man made up after he and his wife lost two babies at birth.

I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.
From that song was born a book that will be adored and treasured by any parent who has ever suffered a loss, but also by any parent, any grandparent, any great-grandparent...Anyone who has ever loved a child can understand and appreciate the simple song that still brings a tear to my eye every time I read it to my son.

Love you Forever follows a mother and her son on their journey. From the new bundle of joy she rocks in her arms, to the rough and tumble boy tracking mud through the house, to the teenager that she doesn't quite understand...Still the words of her simple lullaby ring true. She will love him forever and like him for always and for all of her life he will be her baby. 

As the boy grows, we get to see how his mother's love has effected and influenced him as he starts his own life and family. 

I have read this book to my son since that day I found it again in that second hand shop. From that time to this, every time I get to the part where I sing:
"I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always." 
his little face lights up in the most beautiful smile! It is a book I recommend to every mother I talk to now, knowing how dear it is to my heart and how much joy I get sharing it with my son. Even on the nights we don't read the book, I always sing the song to him as I am putting him to sleep. Love You Forever is a staple in my home now. I hope it can be in yours as well.

If you are interested in more information about Love You Forever or its author, Robert Munsch and his other books, please visit his official site at http://www.robertmunsch.com/.

Thank you for reading.

Suggest a Book

Do you have a book you want to share with others? If so, please leave me a comment here. I will be sure to share your favorites with my readers!

Thanks for sharing!

Latest News

Here is where you can come to find out the latest news and updates about the Nook. Right now, the site is under construction. Please come back soon to see our progress. I am hoping to be up and running by next week.

Thanks for reading!

About The Nook

Mama Bear's Book Nook is written in the hope that I can share  new books with parents and teachers like myself who are always on the lookout for a new, great book to bring into their homes and classrooms. 

I plan on spotlighting at least one new book a week, and blogging not only about the book, but about ways that the book can be used as a stepping stone into learning. It is my belief that every book can be stretched into a lesson plan, and lesson plans aren't something that are only used in the classroom. Art projects, cooking projects, math lessons...these are all things that can be done in the home as well.

Of course, I am the mother of a young child, so there will be some weeks that there is not as much written as others. There will probably even be weeks where there is no new Book in the Nook. For that I will apologize in advance, but anyone who has been the parent of a rapidly mobile child should understand. (Or the wife of a husband for that matter!)

If there are any books you would like to share or see reviewed, please let me know in my comments. I am always looking for something new to add to our family library!

Thank you for reading!

About The Author

I want to start by saying that I am in no way affiliated with any publishing company or professional reviewer. I am simply the mother of a child who loves books and being read to who also loves to read myself. I have found that I generally have an opinion (about  almost everything.) and I figure I might as well share it with others.

I am the mother of an amazing little boy who was born in April 2009. We have always read to him. I know many babies will not sit still for books, but we were blessed with a child who seems to share his parents love for them. Now he helps us turn pages and even "reads" back to us. 

I received my degree in Early Childhood Education in 2005. I loved teaching my kids, and feel that books are an important part of any child's education. There is so much that can be taught to a child through books, and they don't even know they are learning. Styling a lesson plan around a well written children's book can be so easy and so much fun! My favorite week was always Dr. Seuss week! I could probably write a few BOOKS on Dr. Seuss lesson plans instead of a little blog!

I am blessed to be the wife of a wonderful husband! He supports me in everything I do, and I am shown every day how blessed I am. He serves his country in the United States Air Force, and I am so proud and honored to be married to my Hero.

I want to become a published author one day. I have written several children's books and am working on a novel, but getting a finished product published is not one of the easiest things I have ever done. I am hoping though, one day. One day soon if I have my way, since my beautiful son inspires me every day to write something new. :0) I have a big long list of "Books To Write" that I have been working on since I was a young teen, and the list has more than doubled since I had my son! So...if anyone knows a good, cheap way to be published...I'm all ears!

I hope you enjoy my blog. If you have a book that is your child's favorite or that you would like me to review, please let me know in my comments. I hope that I can bring some new favorites into your families library or your classroom!

Thanks for reading!


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