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If You Love a Horse Tale

Snuggle up together after a long day at school to enjoy these two children’s classics in one elegantly illustrated book, If You Love a Horse Tale. Children ages 5 and up will enjoy turning each page of the book, as the details change in the picture as the page turns, creating another beautiful scene! The two stories chosen for this adaptation are Black Beauty and The Knight’s Mare, which spark your child’s imagination as you read them together.

Black Beauty is the well-known and beloved tale of a high spirited young colt who is passed from owner to owner during his lifetime, sometimes suffering mistreatment, but always serving his masters to the best of his ability.

The Knight’s Mare is a lesser-known tale that gets a much-deserved retelling in this handsome volume. It’s the story of an impoverished knight, his horse, and a wicked duke’s charming daughter, Charlotte, whom the knight hopes to marry.

Whether as a gift for your young reader, or just because you enjoy reading engaging stories with your little one, If You Love a Horse Tale is sure to delight the whole family! If You Love a Horse Tale was illustrated by Susanna Lockheart, with the stories adapted by Saviour PirottaIt. A copy of this fabulous read can be purchased online at BarronsEduc.com.

*Company generously provided a copy of the book and images for this review.*

Magic, adventure, and excitement await your young reader this summer (or perhaps, you!) in the Magickeeper Trilogy. For those looking to engage their child or themselves in a series of books that are irresistible, the three books in the Magickeeper Trilogy will not disappoint! Enter to win this magical history-filled series!

Nick was thirteen when he when he discovered his destiny as a Magickeeper: a member of a family of magicians who fight to keep the evil Shadowkeepers at bay. As Nick and his stage magician father settle in to life at the Winter Palace, an opulent hotel in Las Vegas filled with Russian history, polar bears, a Siberian tiger, and real magic, Nick begins to learn about his own talent for magic and his new family.

In The Eternal Hourglass (May 2009) and The Pyramid of Souls (May 2010), Nick encounters artifacts that have been in the possession of Egyptian Pharaohs, Alexander the Great, P. T. Barnum, and Edgar Allen Poe.

In The Chalice of Immortality (may 2011) Nick must race against time to find an artifact that has passed through the hands of Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in order to save his father’s life.

Want to know more? From June 24th – July 1st, you can enter to win this thrilling set daily on Tiny Green Mom!

First, leave a comment below to let us know why you would love to win the Magickeepers Trilogy Giveaway.

To obtain extra entries:

Follow Tiny Green Mom on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Leave a comment on another Tiny Green Mom post. Leave a comment below with the name of the post you commented on. This is only valid for one entry.

Follow the author Erica Kirov on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Blog about this giveaway. You must have a link to this giveaway in your blog post. Please leave a comment with the link to your blog post. This is only valid for one entry.

The Magickeeper Trilogy Giveaway ends on July 1st, 2011 and is open to the US and Canada only. Please leave your email address in each comment, and make sure to leave a separate comment for every each and every entry that you make so that they will count for you!

Thank you! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom can’t wait to announce the winner of this fabulous giveaway!

5 Reasons to Teach Your Baby to Read

By J. Richard Gentry PhD

Infant and toddler brains appear to be well-suited for reading. Thousands of parents worldwide are having success teaching their babies to read using books and other fun literacy activities, games, and even multimedia reading programs. With 4 out of 10 American eight-year-olds unable to read proficiently, Dr. Gentry encourages parents, who are children’s first reading teachers, to get their young children off to a good start before they get to kindergarten.

Here are five reasons to teach your baby or toddler to read:

Zero to age six is when language proficiency develops in the brain.

Well before your child can speak or read, she is absorbing language at a phenomenal pace. In the first year of life, her brain will triple in size; by the time she enters kindergarten, it will be almost as big as yours. It is during this critical period that many of the neural pathways establishing language proficiency are formed. This is why, as your child’s first reading teacher, it is so crucial to make the most of these early years by introducing reading as joyful play.

Early literacy engagement gives your baby an enormous advantage.

Spending just a few minutes a day engaging your baby or toddler in literacy activities that include lots of speech and positive parent/child interaction, along with traditional techniques such as reading aloud, may give your baby a 32-million-word advantage by kindergarten over children who did not get this exposure; some neuroscientists even report that early intervention with appropriate literacy activity can make your child less likely to develop learning problems such as dyslexia.

For babies and toddlers, literacy activities are fun, not work.

Learning to read is work for the six-year-old beginner, but it’s play for babies and toddlers, and it’s amazing what they can pick up. Go to YouTube and search baby reading to see toddlers who can show you how well they read, not just words, but easy books and signs they haven’t seen before. In my book, I include age-appropriate games and activities very young children love to do with their favorite reading teacher — their parent — which develop reading and writing skills while your baby is having fun.

Babies’ brains are uniquely suited to early reading.

In my experience, all babies have special capacity for perceiving patterns and connecting symbols with meaning, which can begin as early as eight months of age. All babies have good recognition memory and novelty preference, so they enjoy looking at pictures and word cards with their parents. Perceiving patterns and connecting symbols with meaning is what reading is all about. When shown contrasting word patterns five minutes a day in a joint media engagement with their parents, two and three-year-olds can intuit phonics. This is true for parents who are using multimedia technology such as “Your Baby Can Read,” in addition to reading aloud and sharing books.

Babies’ right-brain learning gives them special capacities for reading.

Childhood education experts who have only studied school-aged children incorrectly assume that babies and toddlers must learn to read like six-year-olds, who develop left-brain reading systems through formal instruction. They are wrong. Babies and toddlers likely begin as right-brain readers who pick up reading as easily as they pick up three languages if all three languages are spoken by their caregivers between birth and age three. (If one waits until age six, it’s not so easy for the child to pick up three languages simultaneously. The baby brain, not the six-year-old brain, has special language and reading capacities.)

About the Author

J. Richard Gentry PhD is a nationally acclaimed expert on childhood literacy, reading, and spelling development, and the author of Raising Confident Readers: How to Teach Your Child to Read and Write — from Baby to Age 7 (Da Capo / Perseus). Find out more at www.jrichardgentry.com.

What books are on “Mom’s” summer reading list this year? Below are this summer’s top picks for everyone in the family – perfect for rainy afternoons, long car trips, or just relaxing poolside.

To Market, To Market

by Nikki McClure

To Market, To Market is the perfect summer read to get young children excited about all the delicious fresh foods that are available this season, while offering awareness about how our food is brought from farm to table. Read this delightful tale with gorgeous, engaging illustrations by Nikki McClure the night before a trip to the farmer’s market to prepare your little one for the next day’s green shopping event!

Bindi Wildlife Adventures: Trouble at the Zoo

By Bindi Irwin

The first book in this new adventure series for kids ages 7-10 takes the reader on a wild journey through the Australian Zoo on Bindi’s 11th birthday, where Bindi, the Jungle Girl herself, celebrates with her mother, brother, best friend Rosie, and other guests. Trouble at the Zoo, a fast-paced story for young wildlife enthusiasts, teaches an appreciation for wildlife and shows children what they can do to help conserve and protect the world’s endangered animals. Based on Bindi’s own adventures and passion for animal conservation efforts, each book in the series features animal fact files at the end. The series continues, as well, with a second and third story in this adventure series for kids!

Pins on a Map: A Family’s Yearlong Journey Around the World

By David Boesch

A true page-turner and story for anyone who has traveled, wishes to travel, or has lived overseas (like “Mom!”). In May 2007, physician David Boesch and his family-five strong, with kids age 7, 10, and 13-embarked on a trip that would bring them to 6 continents and 17 countries in 345 days. Boesch depicts the adventure of parenting in constant motion in this riveting, honest, and heartwarming memoir. Definitely a fast-read – Pins on a Map makes you want to pack up your own family and start your own around the world adventure!

Dogphoria

By Jim Dratfield

For the dog lover in all of us – Dogphoria by Jim Dratfield is a 132-page collection of candid photos of dogs together with insightful quotes that illustrate the companionship and loyalty of dogs. The quotes are inspiring, and the images capture the spirit of man’s best friend in a variety of candid shots. A perfect coffee table book to have on display for guests (or for yourself!) at your summer cottage, Dogphoria is light and enjoyable.

*Companies generously provided book copies and images for this article. Top Image: Image: nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Born to be wild… It’s potty time in our crib, and guess what we are reading before bed? Rockin’ Babies, the uber-cool board book for your own wild child! With a clever storyline that both adults and children will enjoy, and colorful illustrations that make everyone want to break out an air guitar, this new children’s book is a rockin’ good time!

Written by mother-daughter duo Dr. Jenn Berman and Cynthia Weil, this engaging story is definitely a winner for the whole family. The two have re-imagined the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle in child-friendly fashion, and show us that every baby is a rock star! Fresh and hip, Rockin’ Babies is a tongue-in-cheek take on the starring role that babies play in their family, and new or seasoned parents alike will appreciate this charming, laugh-out-loud book. Whether your baby trashes his room, spits on authority figures, or goes on tour – you can relate to every situation in this page-turner!

Rockin’ Babies makes a fabulous Father’s Day gift for the new or expecting dad (no cuddly teddy bears or fluffy bunnies here!), and is a great addition to any child’s library.

Visit www.rockinbabiesbook.com to learn more about the authors or to order online.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*

 

If you focus on being the best you can be,

When you look in the mirror, you’ll like what you see.

Peer deep inside, and find the true you,

The other stuff’s easy-peasy to do.

We’re each made different, and what makes us unique,

Are our very own dreams, how we love, think and speak.

It’s what makes us special and helps us learn,

So embrace who you are. Now it’s your turn.

When you’ve had a hard day and can’t find your smile,

Remember, once in a while, we’re all crocodiles.

Believe in your heart you’re the very best you,

And you’ll be successful in all that you do.

This feel-good story written by Claire Gutschow, of Fei’d Skin Care (what can’t she do!?), and Sarah Spatz, is a great tool when teaching little ones about self-esteem! It is a gentle reminder that we are all unique and special, just the way we are. So celebrate your “you-ness” – whatever that may be!

Claire Gutschow’s skin care company, Meld Labs, is funding and publishing the distribution of this book to children’s organizations in 3rd world countries. Meld Labs is committed to building self-confidence in kids in need, and doing so with humor and a story that we can all see an aspect of ourselves in at times. Claire invites you to read this story with your own children, and tell them again that you love them just the way they are!

To order a copy of this delightful children’s tale, click here.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Your parents’ lives revolved around you from Day One: from changing diapers through helping with homework, kissing boo-boos through dishing out dating advice, they’ve helped make you who you are today. But before fanny packs became their go-to accessory and minivans their car of choice, they were people, too!

In a digital age where we can retake digital photos until they’re “perfec,” the wildly popular website My Parents Were Awesome bucks the trend by appluading the everyday heroes – parents – with vintage photos. Launched in 2009 by writer, comedian and editor Eliot Glazer, the online collection of old photos of parents before parenthood proves that parents were once young, fun, and effortlessly cool. Yes – you know you want to check it out!

Now, Glazer combines the spontaneity and nostalgia of old photographs with stories by sons and daughters in a heartwarming collection of essays: MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME: Before Fanny Packs & Minivans, They Were People Too.

With intimate memories from Jamie Deen, Christian Lander, Laurie Notaro, and other acclaimed writers, comedians, musicians, and artists – MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME celebrates the hilarious stories of real parents: the mom and dad who traveled by VW bus to see Led Zeppelin for $1, the grandmother whose halter top and shorts belied her perfect demeanor, the father whose wanderlust passed down to his equally nomadic daughter.

A perfect gift for Mother’s Day, MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME includes a special section where you can personalize the book with your favorite image of your parents and write down your own cherished memories. With stories and photos that will warm your heart and make you laugh, the paperback edition of MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME reminds you to reflect, say thanks to Mom (and Dad) – and admit that, yes, your parents ARE awesome.

To learn more, or to order in time for Mother’s Day to let your mom know how amazingly awesome she is, visit myparentswereawesome.com.

*Company generously provided a copy of the book and cover image for this review.*

To keep the kids entertained on long road trips this summer, offer up some good ole’ fashioned fun with 6 Pence Productions! This is audio children’s theater at its’ best, created by kids, for kids! Rather than tuning out to DVD’s or games in the car, 6 Pence Productions engages the whole family with lively, imaginative stories and tales. Everyone can follow along – even the youngest members of the family! “Mom’s” daughter just loves to hear the kids’ voices as the tales are told, as all of the stories are voiced by children ages 5 – 17.

The Fairytale Collection

This cute collection includes 5 classic and enchanted re-imagined children’s fairytales – Three Billy Goats Gruff, Cinderella and Friends, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Three Little Pigs Meet the Big Bad Wolves and the Princess and the Pea.

Princess Reform School

The Princess Reform School is a delightful and heartwarming tale set in a fantastical place where Princesses go when they’re not making the best “impressions” at home and where they’ll learn what it means to be a true Princess – all set against a fairytale backdrop complete with dragons, toads and castles.

For anyone who adores having a story read to them, both Princess Reform School and the Fairytale Collection are sure to delight! Not just for road trips, but for entertainment anytime, The Fairytale Collection and Princess Reform School can be found on CD at retail stores, for download at Audible.com, Amazon.com, iTunes and from the 6 Pence Players website: www.6PencePlayers.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Foster a love of reading right from the start with colorful, creative board books and soft books from Lamaze! With bright, engaging pages filled with eye-catching illustrations and some that crinkle for tiny hands to grasp and tug, these sturdy books stand up to the drool, gnawing, and other baby-isms! Your little one can sail along with Captain Calamari as he learns his colors under the sea, and snuggle with their very own plush doll while being read to by Mom or Dad.

With age-appropriate content developed by noted child development expert Dorothy Singer, Ed. D., this line of first books by Lamaze is sure to be the family’s favorite. Each book is small enough to tuck in a diaper bag or purse for entertainment and stimulation in a pinch. From Farm Sounds to the Counting Zoo, learning becomes fun and enjoyable, and the back cover of each book includes play ideas, ways to use the book, the benefits of reading to your child, and developmental stages for that specific age.

Your budding reader will love to play peek-a-boo with the lovable characters in the Peek-A-Boo Forest , and learn about knights and steeds in The Story of Sir Prance-a-lot! Funny voices and lots of extra tickles will have little ones bringing the books over to Mom or Dad to read again and again. The books make wonderful baby shower and birthday gifts, as well!

For more information about Learning Curve’s new Lamaze book line, or to locate a store near you, please visit www.learningcurve.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

The new adventure-filled, inspiring children’s book, Dream Big, Little Pig!, is making its’ debut in March 2011! Written by Olympic Gold Medalist and Dancing with the Stars Champion Kristi Yamaguchi, this delightful story reminds us all to believe in our abilities and go after our dreams. Now a mom, Kristi Yamaguchi has written an incredible story that kids (and adults) will love to read again and again, and the illustrations are just gorgeous! You will be cheering little Poppy the Pig on as she dons a pair of skates – who says pigs can’t ice skate?!

What is the premise of Dream Big, Little Pig?

Poppy the Pig has big dreams—lots of them! But following her dreams isn’t always easy, and whenever Poppy thinks it might be time to give up, her family reminds her to “Dream Big!” While on a “pig’s day out,” she has so much fun ice skating that she doesn’t even notice those around her who think pigs can’t skate…and without even knowing it, she achieves her dream while doing something she loves! In this funny and inspiring tale that’s perfect for family read-alouds, Poppy realizes she can succeed at anything as long as she believes in herself and has fun doing it!

Dream Big, Little Pig! (ISBN: 9781402252754; Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; March 2011; $16.99 U.S.; Juvenile Fiction/Picture Book; Hardcover)

About the Author

Kristi Yamaguchi is an Olympic gold medalist and world champion who knows about dreaming big. The motto “Always Dream” serves as Kristi’s personal inspiration, as well as the name of her charitable foundation for children. This philosophy has contributed to Kristi’s success on and off the ice, and she aspires to instill it in the hearts of children.

For more information, visit www.alwaysdream.org.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*