Category: books

The Elf on the Shelf

1: Nora gets “Elf on the Shelf” from MamaT and PapaT

2: Dell reads “Elf on the Shelf” to Nora

3: Nora Discovers that the “Elf on the Shelf” has Moved!

The Three Questions

Looking for a great kids book? The story The Three Questions is simply lovely and has a simple, wonderful message. Thanks to AnaSofia, Kiko and Lynne for giving it to Nora for her birthday last year. It has become one of our favorites…
From Publishers Weekly (via
Jon J. Muth recasts a short story by Tolstoy into picture-book format, substituting a boy (Nikolai) and his animal friends for the czar and his human companions. Yearning to be a good person, Nikolai asks, “When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?” Sonya the heron, Gogol the monkey and Pushkin the dog offer their opinions, but their answers do not satisfy Nikolai. He visits Leo, an old turtle who lives in the mountains. While there, he helps Leo with his garden and rescues an injured panda and her cub, and in so doing, finds the answers he seeks. As Leo explains, “There is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side.” Moral without being moralistic, the tale sends a simple and direct message unfreighted by pomp or pedantry. Muth’s art is as carefully distilled as his prose. A series of misty, evocative watercolors in muted tones suggests the figures and their changing relationships to the landscape. Judicious flashes of color quicken the compositions, as in the red of Nikolai’s kite (the kite, released at the end, takes on symbolic value). Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Three Cups of Tea

Dr. Greg’s School
Image courtesy Greg Mortenson, Central Asia Institute.

This wonderful book is an amazing read about charming gentle giant “Dr. Greg” entitled Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time.

Greg Mortenson’s website states: Since a 1993 climb on Pakistan’s K2, he has dedicated his life to promote community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson is also founder of Pennies For Peace.

This book truly touched my heart and soul, and has made me think about education, freedom, happiness, progress, and the power a single person has to change the world. I dare you to read it and not be moved by this man and his story.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! is an absolutely amazing, fun, musical, magical book. Nora got it in her weekly “Raising A Reader” red book bag from her preschool, Children’s Village. We read it last night… four times. Yes, it’s that good (from the adult’s perspective as well as the child’s).

A little snippet of a review: “Karen Beaumont’s zippy text and David Catrow’s zany illustrations turn an infamous childhood activity into raucous storytime fun, giving a silly twist to the fine art of self-expression.”

What is the “Raising A Reader” program, you ask? The Raising A Reader mission is to foster healthy brain development, parent-child bonding and early literacy skills critical for school success by engaging parents in a routine of daily “book cuddling” with their children from birth to age five. This mission addresses a national need for effective early literacy programs. One in three children entering kindergarten lacks basic pre-reading skills, which are proven to be a key factor in determining high-school graduation and lifelong success.