Puff the Magic Dragon Children’s Book Review

One of my favorite things to with the kids before bedtime is to sing together.  Paired with reading, it really calms them down and is just so soothing.  I love when I find children’s books that I can sing to the kids.  They often learn the words and sing along with me. 
Let me preface this review by saying a) I have a horrible voice and b) my kids will only think this time is “soothing” until they realize how bad my voice is.  I have to cherish these moments of cuddling, sweetness and sibling cooperation while they last! 
Puff the Magic Dragon (the children’s board book by author Lenny Lipton) is by far the most beautifully illustrated children’s book we currently own.  Vibrant, colorful, soft, and flowing imagery blend together to create a captivating experience for little ones.  Filled with lots of visual details, each page has so much to see, and yet beautifully done without being too busy.  Props to illustrator Eric Puybaret.
After singing along to this book for many nights, my kids now both know the words and often sing with me.  This is often Layla’s first choice when she decides to pick a bedtime story.   My son will often smile and say “oh no…not this one”, and yet he sings right along and often asks to read it again.  He has such a sweet and sensitive side, and this book really brings that out.  Available online and at many bookstores, I can guarantee you will cherish Puff the Magic Dragon as much as we already have.

Can We Read Another Book Mom?

Some nights I am exhausted (ok – most nights), and like many moms, I often have the urge to rush through storytime (as I mentioned in this post about our children’s bedtime storytime routine.  When I feel this way I try to remember this time with them is so precious and won’t last forever.  And seriously, how can I say no when my daughter’s cute little voice says, “can we read another book mom?”.

Tonight I fed the kids dinner, gave them baths super early, and then when my husband got home I ran on the treadmill.  Lately I have been running after the kids go to bed, which stinks because the night is gone before I know it.  I finished running shortly after 8pm and came upstairs to find my husband reading The Rainbow Fish to the kids.  There is something so sweet about seeing a father read to his children.  A dad’s voice is just so soothing and you wouldn’t believe how much better they sat in the chair with him!  Then we read a few more of our favorites including one that will be reviewed soon called Wherever You Are.

There is just something so calming about storytime with the kids.  I think it’s the combination of my daughter’s peaceful room, our cozy reading chair, the stillness of the house with only the words of our favorite book, and my little ones in my lap.  It’s so nice to wind down with them as they get ready for bed.

What does your children’s storytime entail?  Please share your favorite bedtime books and storytime traditions with us!

SpongeBob SquarePants?

Tonight’s storytime included a SpongeBob SquarePants coloring book.  Yes, you heard me right.  Of all the wonderful children’s books we own, this is what my kids chose.  As a mom, I don’t like SpongeBob.  I guess I just don’t find the cartoon to be “toddler-appropriate”.  Regardless, they loved the halloween-themed coloring book my husband bought for them at the grocery store and tonight it became storytime.  Oh well…at least they enjoyed it!

Our Childrens Bedtime Story Routine

I love our bedtime routine:  bath, brush teeth, and books…and a story…oh and a song!  Probably similar to many households with young children.  They will do anything to delay going to bed.  And rightfully so -there’s just something I love about cuddling with my clean, strawberry shampoo-smelling kiddos while we read their favorite books.  No television, no iphones, no distractions – just time well spent together. 

There was a period of time when I would rush through storytime.  It think it was when my daughter was around 6 months old and my son had just turned 2.  They kept me busy, and like most moms, by 8pm I was wiped.  But then I started to realize how fast kids grow up and that someday I would think back to these days and how great they were.  I mean I already miss rocking my kids when they were babies!

So we first read books to my two-year old daughter, Layla.  Sometimes we all sit together in our big cozy white rocking chair – and sometimes my son Johnny stands to the side because he’s a “big boy”.  Right now she picks I Love You Through and Through and the Dr. Suess classic, One fish two fish red fish blue fish.  What I like about these books is they are great for many ages.  Both of my kids have loved them as infants, babies, and now toddlers.  I Love You Through and Through is a great rhyming read that isn’t a story, but rather a visual explanation of how they will be loved from top to bottom, ending with “I love you through and through, yesterday, today, and tomorrow too.”  One fish two fish red fish blue fish is perfect right now because I’m really working with her on her colors (for awhile everything was “blue”)!  This whimsicle book is full of images and sections that make no sense – which makes it perfect for the toddler who likes to skip around and turn their own pages.  I’ve read this book so much to my kids and I honestly never get tired of it.  I think that’s the true test – when both kids and parents can read the same book night after night!

After our books we turn out the light and she lets me rock her (which unlike my son she rarely did as a baby).  We sing “You Are My Sunshine” and….sometimes the song from Super-Why because she is obsessed with that doll even though she rarely watches the show!  Two kisses for Layla girl and then I lay her down in her crib with her pink blanket and her “night night”.  (Yes – I need to get rid of it soon….)
Off to bed, but in my next post I will cover my 3 year old Johnny’s bedtime story routine.