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Favorite Reads

Press Here is the kind of children’s book I LOVE. It capitalizes beautifully on children’s interest in cause and effect as well as their willingness to suspend disbelief. Watch as one yellow dot become three, change color, size, and move all around the page – all because the reader pushed the dot, rubbed the dot, or shook or tilted the book. The pages of the hard cover edition are thick, but I would love to see it as an even sturdier board book, to further withstand my children’s enthusiasm! I found both this book and Blue Chameleon (see below) via What Do We Do All Day?


Sisters of Scituate Light came recommended by Adventures in Mommydom, and Ticia designed a cool craft to go along with this story. We haven’t done the craft (yet), but I really enjoyed this true story about the Scituate lighthouse. The sisters make excellent heroines for kids to look up to.

Between Ticia’s blog and our discovery this week of Liberty’s Kids (available on Netflix streaming!), Emma’s getting a fun introduction to US History this summer! Johnny isn’t quite ready for the blunt discussion of killing in Sisters of Scituate Light (no illustrations, although the British soldiers look a bit pirate-ish to me), or the very toned down depiction of the Boston Tea Party in Liberty’s Kids.


Follow That Map! was a huge hit with both Emma and Johnny. Johnny focused on finding the different map symbols on the page, while Emma learned some actual map reading skills from this cute story. Lily thinks the illustrations are pretty cute, too! We found this book through Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.

I love the simplicity of Blue Chameleon, the story of a chameleon in search of a friend. But the book’s true worth is found in the artwork it inspired from Johnny:

Johnny's chameleon

And Emma:

Emma's chameleon

Blue Chameleon has at least two friends waiting for him at our house!

Also sharing this post at Smiling Like Sunshine

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

13 thoughts on “Favorite Reads”

  1. I’m glad you included the kid’s drawings. It shows they liked the book and want to continue it. I don’t know how old they are, but the drawings show lots of details. Maybe you have future artists living in your home.

    1. Emma and Johnny are 5 and 3 years old, and I would love for them to continue to draw (as artists or on the side) throughout their lives!

  2. Blakie really enjoys Press Here. it’s a favourite here too.

    Emma and Johnny’s pictures are fantastic. It is wonderful that they were inspired by the book to draw such creative and detailed pictures.

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