Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hello, Bali by Giselle Shardlow- Book Review

Hello, Bali: A Kids Yoga Island Adventure Book  
Author: Giselle Shardlow 
Illustrator: Emily Gedzyk 
Paperback: 52 pages 
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 23, 2014) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1492884014 
ISBN-13: 978-1492884019

Hello, Bali: A Kids Yoga Island Adventure Book is the latest book published from Kids Yoga Stories. (We were lucky enough to receive an electronic copy of the book, which I printed and bound for my girls to read.) The story creatively guides a child into 15 different yoga poses that were inspired by the author's trip to Bali. The book includes colorful illustrations, a list of the yoga poses in the back of the book, a guide to counting in Indonesian, a guide to basic conversational speech in Indonesian, and a parent-teacher guide.

Each page in the main part of the book has a short sentence about the scene and a yoga pose inspired by the scene. The scenes are playful, with bright, vibrant colors that attract a young child's eye. The actions in the illustration are mirrored by the yoga poses, displayed by an illustration of a young girl. As an example, the child surfing is shown looking just like the warrior 2 yoga pose.

The poses in this book are significantly more challenging compared to the previous Kids Yoga Stories book I reviewed: Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story. However, this book certainly appealed more to my oldest daughter, who is seven, whereas the Good Night, Animal World book appealed more to my toddler. My seven year old enjoyed the challenge of completing each of the poses in Hello Bali, and she often would jump back and forth between pages trying the poses in series.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the additional information included at the end about Bali. My daughter had never heard of Bali and was excited to learn some of the basic language. Even though this book is recommended for ages 2-5, my seven year old was extremely engaged and excited to show her younger sister how to do each of the poses.

Both of my girls have enjoyed reading, posing, and rereading this book. It has been great watching my youngest gain balance and strength doing these exercises as we get ready for bed. Seeing her stand on one foot, considering she just turned 2 in May, really shows the benefits of consistent practice. Make sure to check out the whole series of books from Kids Yoga Stories.

About the Author: Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children’s books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the stories found at or on Amazon.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Books, Babies, and Bows (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

I fell in love with Flora and the Flamingo after watching the adorable book trailer that was made for this book.

It sat on my "to-purchase" list for a while, but we received a wonderful gift card in the mail for my daughter's birthday, and this book was the first book I purchased.
Flora and the Flamingo
By Molly Idle
Age Range: 4 - 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 1 
Hardcover: 44 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books; Ltf edition (February 5, 2013)
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1452110069 
ISBN-13: 978-1452110066

The beauty of Flora and the Flamingo is that it is a wordless picture book, which leaves the pages open to the imagination of both children and parents alike. The story plays out where a little girl,wearing huge flippers and a pink bathing suit, wants desperately to dance like the flamingo. She mirrors the flamingo's movements, but she find herself tumbling and falling. A hurt and embarrassed little girl is comforted by the coy bird, who then shows her some simple ballet moves. Before long, the two are dancing together, ending their dance with an epic cannonball into the water.

Illustrations by Molly Idle
I should start by saying that I LOVE wordless picture books, and I understand that many parents shy away from books that do not contain words to guide the story. However, I implore you to give books without words a try. This book was made for our house, which is overrunning with pink ballet slippers. My two girls giggled during the first read of the book, instinctively getting up and dancing around the room. I had to laugh at how my oldest started humming Habanera from the opera Carmen. Who knows where she heard it, probably from Looney Tunes, but the girls danced around, having a grand old time.

The next day, my girls were so in love with the book, they had to take it outside for book inspired play.
  It was so much fun to watch them mimic the poses on each page of the book.
Illustration by Molly Idle
In fact, since we have been doing yoga, my oldest turned each of the poses in the book into a yoga inspired routine.
Illustration by Molly Idle

This book is beautifully illustrated, and I cannot express how talented Molly Idle is as a storyteller. The characters effortlessly express emotions, tell a story, and grow a friendship without having to ever say a single word. This book is pure joy, and if there are little girls will ballet slippers in your house, I would recommend adding this book to your library.

FTC Required Disclosure:
This site is an Amazon affiliate, if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Books, Babies, and Bows (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support!

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Book Worm Bookstore

My co-worker has been telling me for the longest time that I should head over to Powder Springs to check out the most amazing book store- The Book Worm. However, for some reason, I had it stuck in my head that Powder Springs was just too far to drive on the busy weekends when I have to rush around doing errands with my kids.

Now, after having visited The Book Worm twice, I am full of regret and remorse that I didn't listen to my co-worker sooner because I am in love with this adorable book store that sells new, used, and those rare and hard to find books.

My first trip to the book store was with my parents and little Miss J. She found the stools made the perfect chair to peruse her selection.
But, she found a much better spot to snuggle up with a good book- on my dad's lap. It was so incredibly heartwarming to catch my dad reading to my daughter, something he used to do all the time for us as children, but usually lets my mom do all the reading to the kids now.
We left with a pretty good haul on our first trip. We picked up some classics, some harder to find children's book selections, and some wonderful children's books I had never heard of before.

Today, I made my second trip, of what I intend to be many, to The Book Worm with my oldest daughter. Miss M, being home from school, worked hard today on chores while I worked from home. At the end of the day, I handed over some cold hard cash as payment for her work, and she gleefully spent on a ridiculous amount of Captain Underpants Books. My intention was that she would pick out some great children's literature titles for us to read together as her summer reading. (I was a little dismayed that she was choosing so many Captain Underpants books; however, I caught her this evening reading them to a couple neighborhood kids up in her little tree house. Seeing three kids on summer vacation giggling over a book made it completely worth while.)

What makes The Book Worm so absolutely enchanting, beyond the shelves of books, is the owner Susan. She is warm, inviting, and will have a perfectly selected book in your hands within minutes of meeting her. She helped me find some books today that I never would of thought to have picked up. It is truly refreshing to walk into a bookstore and have someone who is completely expert on all types of literature not only be able to answer your questions, but to also engage in intellectual conversation about those topics.

So, my Marietta readers in particular, I implore you to hop in your cars and spend an afternoon pursuing the shelves of The Book Worm. I promise you won't regret it.
Go and check them out:
The Book Worm Bookstore
4451 Marietta Street
Powder Springs, GA 30127
United States
Or follow them on Facebook, where they share all the amazing deals and sales they have at the store.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Is it time to call Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle?

I am exhausted. Bedtime has dissolved from an organized routine to chaos and tears ever since my toddler learned how to propel her body out of her crib. We switched her to a toddler bed, and now her sole goal is to make it into bed with her sister. I wouldn't have a problem with this, except by the time they are done giggling they fall asleep VERY late.

This means that the morning routine of getting ready for school is now filled with tears. Which is why the other day I opted for letting my oldest eat Jello for breakfast instead of arguing over getting her to eat a cereal that contains this poison also known as "raisins."

This morning, we not only missed the bus, but we only made it to drop-off one minute before the tardy bell rang. After dropping the little one off at daycare, I sat in traffic cursing myself for not being that "perfect" mom that has bedtime and morning routines down. (I actually took a parenting style test and found out that I suffer from "perfect" parenting syndrome. I told my husband, and he just laughed and laughed and laughed.)

At this point, some of you may be thinking of very kind and helpful suggestions on things I can do to lull my kids to sleep or have them wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed (whatever that means). Well, I will be honest, whatever you have to say will be interpreted in my brain as this, "You are a bad mom, and you are doing it all wrong."
The other day I stumbled upon this TED talk about parenting and happiness shared by Bonnie Dani. Jennifer Senior's discussion about the problem about "parenting" is on point. Watch it.
This modern parenting role is daunting. I dread going to social functions because I know the conversation will be a point/counterpoint with all the parents comparing daycare philosophies, where they are zoned for school, what activities their kids do, and how they are trying a special diet for their kids. Now, don't get me wrong- I am guilty as the next person for participating in this parental fear mongering. If you don't do "this" your child will be a failure. And, I usually leave those events at an anxiety level 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.

It is funny though because this pretending to know it all in public is apparently not a new thing. Saint Augustine wrote well over a thousand years ago in his book Confessions:
"We were alike deceivers and deceived in all our different aims and ambitions, both publicly when we expounded our so-called liberal ideas, and in private through our service to what we called religion. In public we were cocksure, in private superstitious, and everywhere void and empty." 
And sadly, many of those same parents that appear completely confident in public, behind closed doors, confess that they do indeed feel void and empty, terrified that we are indeed doing it all wrong, not doing enough, or somehow causing harm.

This is where, if I lived inside a children's book, I would call Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle from the books of the same name by Betty MacDonald. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is this amazing old woman that lives in an upside-down house. She is adored by children everywhere, and she is the go-to person for any mom not knowing how to handle a parenting situation. The thing is, by today's standards, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle would have probably been arrested or at least investigated by child protective services. Her Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure left the little boy Allen weak and emaciated. However, by the end of the story he did stop being a picky, slow eater and started eating like a normal person. Her cures are cruel, swift, but oddly effective.

The magic of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is that the stories are so absurd, kids see how ridiculous certain behaviors, like talking back, being selfish, and not wanting to go to bed, can be. I found humor in reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle because each of the moms start off by calling all their mom friends before turning to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. During these phone conversations, the moms engage in that judgmental parenting banter where one mom subtly tells the other mom their child would NEVER do something that horrible.

When I read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle with my oldest daughter, I found it hysterical how she would point out how absurd the kids in the book were acting even though she has engaged in most of those behaviors at some point. Somehow, we are able to see and recognize behaviors in others that we don't even know we exhibit ourselves. This is why reading children's books with your kids is so amazing. I could easily start a conversation about how the characters in the book that talked back to their parents were being disrespectful without making my child feel targeted.

So, that brings me back to tonight....again, I couldn't get both kids in bed without theatrics. Thankfully, there are just four days left of school and after that I don't have to worry about my oldest being late. There are no tardies in summer camp.

I know that pretty soon we will get a new bedtime routine down, and once again we won't be quite so sleep deprived. However, I also know that some new concern will come along and throw me totally off kilter. The problem is there is no Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle to call for advice. Maybe instead of looking to someone for advice on how to "parent," I should instead just let myself be the parent and spend more time reading great children's books with my kids. It does seem that reading with my kids is where I gain all my parenting knowledge anyway. And, look at this excerpt from a card I found in my daughter's folder today- priceless.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Celebrating Children's Book Week!

Welcome to the Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway!!!

Are you a children's book or teen literature blogger, an author, a publisher, or a publicist looking to share copies of a fabulous book?  Mother Daughter Book Reviews  and Youth Literature Reviews  are joining forces to provide you with the opportunity to take part in the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop 2014, featuring links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen's books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes.  What better way to celebrate Children's Book Week?

I am so excited to be teaming up with Heather Bowling to participate in this Kid Lit Giveaway Hop, which is hosted by  Mother Daughter Book Reviews  and Youth Literature Reviews. Make sure you check out their fantastic book review websites:
Youth Literature Reviews:
Mother Daughter Book Reviews:

Overview From the Publisher:

Description from the publisher:   Spot the tiny shrimps hiding in the sand, see a shy crab underneath a rock and watch a jewel-like anemone open its tentacles in this beautiful book of nature's hidden habitats. Just hold the page up to a light to discover it all.

Ages: 4-8
Size: 10 1/2 x 10 1/2
Pages: 36
Series: Shine-a-Light Books
Author: Carron Brown and Alyssa Nassner
Publisher: Kane Miller
Check Out the Book Here:

My Review: 
Having grown up near the seashore, books about the beach and the ocean hold a special place in my heart. I love sharing my love of the ocean with my children and their friends. I purchased Secrets of the Seashore as a gift for a little buccaneer on his birthday because I absolutely love the Kane Miller Shine-A-Light series of books. This is the second book in the series. I previously purchased Secrets of the Apple Tree for our own home library, and my oldest told me that it was the coolest book ever when she finished reading it for the first time. 

How the shine-a-light series books work is you read the books with a flashlight.

On each page, you shine the flashlight behind the page to reveal secrets hidden in each of the small worlds described in the book.  

Then, turn the page to reveal just what was hidden underneath.
What we love about this and the other book in the series makes reading a magical game, perfect for the younger, hard-to-sit-still reader.
There are exciting surprises hidden underneath each page. 
With lots of interesting, scientific information about the ecosystems described within the books.
I cannot think of a better book to kick off the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. It is such a fun way to bring the excitement of summer trips to the shore to your nightly reading routine. If you are looking for the perfect way to get a squirmy toddler to sit still during reading time or engage a reluctant reader, this is the perfect book. We will be giving away one copy of this fantastic book as part of the Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. Make sure to enter the giveaway and then hop over to the other blogs.

  To enter to giveaway, here are the details:
1. The Blog Hop runs from May 12th, 2014 through May 18th, 2014 at 11:59 PM.
2. My giveaway includes one copy of the Kane Miller Book: Secrets of the Seashore
3. The book is graciously being donated by Heather from Usborne Books and More. She will ship the lucky winner a copy of this book.
4. To participate in the giveaway use the Rafflecopter widget below.
5. The winner will be announced on my Facebook page and on Twitter.
6. Only individuals with a US mailing address are eligible for this specific giveaway. 

Good luck! And have fun reading the other blogs!a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Starter Library Baby Shower Gift

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to attend a baby shower for one of my friends, who also happens to be a writer. I knew that the perfect gift for her daughter would be a starter library. I don't normally share gifts on my blog, but thought I would because I had so much fun putting this together.

Here is what I included in the gift:

The baby's room will be a seashore theme- so I took the book jacket from my daughter's book- Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman....
added a canvas, some glue, modpodge, and some ribbon- and voila- a painting for the baby's room.

Then, I went on a hunt for the perfect starter books for a baby's library.

We read Brown, Bear, Brown, Bear, What do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle no less than five times a day. So that book was a must. We also love Nancy Tillman, so we added On the Night You Were Born.

My young loves the textures in the Usborne touchy-feely books: That's Not My series. The little baby will be entering a house with two dogs, so we choose this one:

We added our favorite classic board books: Good Night, Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, and Hop on Pop. Because what would a world be without the perfect bedtime companions?

 And, every baby needs a cloth book to go to sleep with....

Our obsession with Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar prompted me to pick up this adorable rattle.
And all library must have Sandra Boyton books.

And, the library wouldn't be complete without a lift and flap book. My daughters love the interaction lift and flap books bring.

Looking for these books? I picked them up at a variety of stores and purchased a couple through Miss Heather, who sells Usborne Books. However, you can find most of them by clicking on the following widget. I put all the books in an adorable baby girl gift box I found a JoAnn's Fabrics.

FTC Required Disclosure:
This site is an Amazon affiliate, if you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Books, Babies, and Bows (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Perfect Children's Book for Father's Day: Mighty Dads by Joan Holub and Illustrated by James Dean

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub and James Dean

About the Book

Title: Mighty Dads | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: James Dean| Publication Date: April 29, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic | Pages: 40 | Recommended Ages: 3+ Summary: A new constructacular picture book from the New York Times bestselling creator of Pete the Cat, James Dean and bestselling author, Joan Holub.

Mighty dads, strong and tall,

help their children, young and small.

They keep them safe and bolted tight

and show them how to build things right.

Inventively told through James Dean's colorful construction vehicle characters, MIGHTY DADS is an adoring dedication to hardworking fathers and the subtle ways they teach their boys and girls to follow in their tracks. The Dump Trucks learn to get dirty. Crane keeps his little one safe from harm. The busy Cement Mixer gives his daughter a hug. The Forklift cheers his son on. A surprising and touching view of a father's love for his children, MIGHTY DADS is the perfect way to say: I'm proud of you!  

Book Trailer



Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository (free worldwide delivery)

Also available at Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble stores.

The Buzz

"Like the best 21st-century human dads, the vehicles don’t just show their kids the ropes—they also offer plenty of TLC (“Cement Mixer Busy/ gives a hug if Mixie’s dizzy”) and affirmation (“Forklift Wise/ cheers whenever Forky tries”). Dean’s decision to anthropomorphize the construction equipment solely through a highly stylized, often single, forward-facing eye takes some getting used to—imagine a cross between the Eye of Providence on the dollar bill and a Egyptian hieroglyph. But his construction sign–inspired palette and ability to convey calm, steady affection between parent and progeny quickly outweighs this visual idiosyncrasy, making this a book worthy of any young armchair foreman." ~ Publisher's Weekly

"This will make a good read aloud for those looking to update their trucks/machines storytimes." ~ Goodreads Review

"The simple rhyming text will be fun at read alouds as children can do motions (roll, roll, roll or smooth, smooth, smooth)" ~ Goodreads Review


About the Author: Joan Holub

Joan Holub author Mighty DadsJoan Holub is co-author of the best-selling Goddess Girls series, the Grimmtastic Girls series, and the Heroes in Training series. Her picture book Little Red Writing received three starred reviews and has been named to many Best-of lists. Her mighty cool dad inspired the creation of the picture book, Mighty Dads.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Facebook


About the Illustrator: James Dean

James Dean Author Pete the CatJames Dean is the creator of the best-selling Pete the Cat. Before James started painting Pete the Cat as a full-time profession in 1999, he wanted to paint cars and trucks. He loves things that go, and currently drives a 1971 VW bus camper and a 1959 Chevy truck. He worked as an electrical engineer for fifteen years before he decided to try to make a living with his paintings. James lives with his wife, five cats, and a pug named Little Emma.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Page


Want a Chance to Win a Copy of "Mighty Dads"?

Be sure to head on over to our review and giveaway of Mighty Dads for your chance to win a copy. Open US/Canada. Ends May 19, 2014. Just click on the cover below. Mighty Dads by Joan Holub and James Dean  

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: May 31, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Joan Holub and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services
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