Just How Long Can A Long String Be {Book Review}

Just How Long Can A Long String Be by Keith Baker

We recently read Just How Long Can A Long String Be?! by Keith Baker.

My 2-year-old picked it out because of the bird on the cover, and both my girls liked it.

It’s a simple rhyming text about a bird and an ant discussing that they can do with a long string, such as tie up a package or make a nest.

Just How Long Can A Long String Be? By Keith Baker {Book Review}

My 4-year-old got excited about finding the ant on each page, then her sister followed suit.

So each time we read it, they point out the little bug:  “There’s the ant!”

It’s a cute book, and both girls liked it and have requested it over and over.  It was a library book, and we’ll definitely be borrowing it again.

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Children’s Picture Books by David Wiesner {Book Reviews}

Children's Picture Books by David Wiesner {a book review}

I recently sat down with my daughters and “read” some of David Wiesner’s books to them.

I put “read” in quotes because most of these books have little or no words.

But the pictures… well, the illustrations are breathtaking.

I was a little nervous when I first saw them.  I was afraid maybe the illustrations were too intricate to hold a preschooler’s and a toddler’s attention.

I was wrong.

My 4-year-old would ask me to tell her the story, and then we’d flip through the book again and she’d tell me the story.  My 2-year-old would point out all the little details as we read.  They both requested the books over and over.

I’d borrowed as many as I could find from the local library, because I didn’t know yet if they were worth the investment to purchase them.  But now I know my girls love them.

I narrowed down my daughters’ favorites to two:  Flotsam and Sector 7.

Flotsam by David WiesnerFlotsam

Flotsam is a tale of a young boy who discovers an old camera while exploring the shore.

He digs it out of the sand and develops the film.

What he finds in the photos is, quite simply, amazing.

There are sea turtles with tiny cities growing on their shells.  Sea horses watching tiny aliens play.  And so very much more.

I enjoy this book at least as much, if not more, than my girls.

Here are some images from Flotsam:

Children's Picture Books by David Wiesner:  Flotsam

Children's Picture Books by David Wiesner:  Flotsam

Sector 7 by David WiesnerSector 7

Sector 7 is the story of a young boy visiting the Empire State Building on a school field trip.

While on the observation deck, he meets a curious character:  a mischievous cloud.

They become fast friends and the cloud takes the boy to on a trip up into the sky.  They visit Sector 7, the Cloud Dispatch Center, where clouds receive their instructions about how they should be shaped and where they are to go.

The boy happens to be an artist, and the clouds happen to love his sketches.  The clouds decide to replicate these sketches, and mayhem ensues.

Here are some images from Sector 7:

Children's Picture Books by David Wiesner:  Sector 7

Children's Picture Books by David Wiesner:  Sector 7

While those two are our favorites, Wiesner has some other gems as well.  Similar books include:

Tuesday by David WiesnerTuesday

On Tuesday, strange things happen.  This Tuesday, lilypad-riding frogs take to the skies, exploring the town by air.

Free Fall by David WiesnerFree Fall

In Free Fall, a young boy falls asleep with a book in his arms and visits magical, far-away lands and the knights, castles, and dragons within.

Hurricane by David WiesnerHurricane

In Hurricane, two young brothers see a tree fall to the earth during a storm.  It becomes their playground, representing everything from a pirate ship to an exotic jungle.

June 29 1999 by David WiesnerJune 29, 1999

In June, 29, 1999, a young girl’s science project of vegetable seeds is launched into the atmosphere, has an extraterrestrial encounter, and we find out what happens when lima beans loom over Levittown and artichokes advance on Anchorage.

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Flamingo Dress {yes, I said flamingos}

Shoreline Soiree Dress in Flamingos from ModCloth

At first glance I saw a sleek and stylish dress that would be perfect for wearing to work or a nice dinner.

On second glance… flamingos???

Yes.  Flamingos.

And the Floridian in me went, “SA-weeeeeeeeeeeeeet!”

I mean, come on:  an upscale dress with such a fun design?  I’m all about that.  Plus, growing up in Florida has left me with a strange affinity for pink, plastic flamingos.  I think they’re amusingly charming.

So these flamingos rock even harder.

Want one?  Find it here: Shoreline Soiree Dress in Flamingos from ModCloth

It’s like a vacation in a dress.  That would make me smile every time I passed a mirror.  :)

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Vet Toys for Kids {Product Review}

Vet Toys for Kids {a review}

My kids love animals.  And playing doctor.

So, not surprisingly, they both got vet toys for Christmas.

And they loved them.  Both my 2-year-old and 4-year-old loved their own toys and their sister’s toys.  I’d gotten different things due to their age difference, but it didn’t seem to matter that much.

They also incorporated the Doc McStuffins Doctor Bag quite a bit.

For both girls I got on big vet toy and a smaller item to go with it.  Specifically:

For my 4-year-old, I got the B. Toys Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set:

B. Toys Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set

And the Learning Resources Tilt and View Animal X-Rays:

Learning Resources Tilt and View Animal X-Rays

And then, for my 2-year-old, I got the Plush Animal Hospital House with Animals:

Plush Animal Hospital House with Animals

And the book Biscuit Visits the Doctor:

Biscuit Visits the Doctor

As I mentioned, they were both happy with all the toys, and all of them are still getting plenty of use a couple months after Christmas.  I’m happy with all of the purchases, but wanted to elaborate a little for you.

First of all, I adore the B. Toys Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set for many reasons.  From a mom’s standpoint, my favorite part is that it’s self-contained.  That’s always a plus.  All the toys fit in the top and you can also store them behind all the little doors.  The plush cat and dog are cute and my girls both seem to like all of the vet tools that were included, like the stethoscope and syringe.  But I think the best part is the set of keys.  Each of the six doors is opened by only one of the six keys and the color of the key matches the color of the correct door.  Granted, I can also use my fingernail to turn the lock, but my girls really enjoy locking and unlocking the doors with the keys.

The Tilt and View Animal X-Rays remind me a bit of toys I used to have in the 80s.  You tilt them one way and you see one picture, and you tilt them another way to see a different picture.  In this case, one picture is of an animal and the other picture is of that animal’s skeleton.  And the back of the cards have the names of the animals and interesting facts for each species.  There are 18 cards and the animals range from Green Sea Turtle to Barred Owl to Emperor Penguin.  They’re supposed to be for slightly older kids, but both of my girls liked trying to “find” the bones.  The cards don’t get as much play as the other vet toys, but my daughter definitely likes them, and has showed an interest in comparing the animals.

The Plush Animal Hospital House was what I gave to my youngest daughter because I thought it would be more age-appropriate for a two-year-old, but I find she plays with her sister’s Critter Clinic just as often if not more.  Although this has more to do with the vet tools included in the Critter Clinic than the animals.  She loves the dog, cat, bear, bird, and moose included in Plush Animal Hospital.  She takes care of them, kissing their boo-boos and such.  Many of the bandages on the animals can be opened to reveal boo-boos in the form of stitches.  The animals are all soft and huggable, and it’s easy to put them in and take them back out of the plush house.  Another toy with self-contained benefits.  And a soft handle, which makes carrying it easy for little hands.

And then we come to Biscuit Visits the Doctor.  My girls love Biscuit.  We have many Biscuit books, and Biscuit is often requested at story time.  So we’ve read this particular book many, many times.  This is partially due to the doctor obsession brought on by Doc McStuffins, and also because Biscuit can be fun to read.  My four-year-old laughs at his antics, chiming in with “silly puppy,” as my two-year-old quotes Biscuit right along with me:  “woof, woof!”  Either way, I highly recommend all Biscuit books for young kids, and especially this one for any kids remotely interested in doctors.  I imagine it would also be good for kids that are afraid of the doctor, though I no longer have to worry about that, since my girls were cured of that through Doc McStuffins and Elmo.

Overall, I recommend all of the toys featured here, though especially the B. Toys Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set, which would be my vote if I had to choose which seemed to be the favorite out of all of them for my girls.

If you have any questions about the toys, please feel free to ask me!

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The Incredible Book Eating Boy {Book Review}

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

We loved this book.

I loved the illustrations and the words and the story, and my daughters seemed to love all of it.

As soon as our first reading of it ended, my 3-year-old said, “Can we read it again?”

That’s always a good sign.

So, The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers instantly made our list of favorites.

It’s a fun and slightly absurd story of a young boy named Henry who accidentally discovers that he likes to eat books.  All kinds of books.  And the more he eats, the smarter he gets.  Until he eats too many, and things begin to get a bit jumbled and confused.  Suddenly, it doesn’t seem like such a good idea to eat books anymore.

This makes Henry sad, until he realizes that – rather than eating them – he could read them instead!  And he finds that he enjoys reading them even more than he enjoyed eating them.  Although, when you read it yourself you’ll see that sometimes, quite by accident, Henry still takes a bite or two … as evidenced by the big chomp taken out of the back cover.

The gorgeous illustrations are so much fun.  I find them to be delightful, as do my children, who scour the pages as I read.  It’s definitely a book to be read by adults or older children, though, as it may be a bit too busy for emerging readers.  But that’s the trade-off for the charm.

It’s recommended for kids 4 and up, but my 3-year-old loves it and my 20-month-old enjoys it as well.  They are both engaged during the story.  It spurs conversations and questions with my preschooler and my toddler likes to point out different objects, like the red books that Henry favors.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

Oh – and don’t worry, on the back of the book is this “Disclaimer:  Do Not Try to Eat This Book at Home.”

I completely recommend The Incredible Book Eating Boy.

So fun to read.  Easy to devour.  :)

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Leaf Chain Fringe Earrings {Product Review}

Leaf Chain Fringe Earrings in Antique Gold

I just received these Leaf Chain Fringe Earrings and totally had to share them!

I don’t normally buy long, dangly earrings, but these intrigued me.  Especially the color.  I mean, they’re available in shiny gold and in silver, but when I saw the antique gold I was simply enchanted.

I have other jewelry in a similar color and I love how it goes with so, so many different outfits; how it can be dressed up or dressed down.  Kind of funky, kind of bohemian, kind of feminine.

Anyway, I love how they hang, playfully peaking out of my hair when it’s down and gracefully drawing the eye when it’s up, brushing against my shoulders.

They do make a slight jingle when I move quickly, but it doesn’t bother me.  It’s not annoying.  I actually find it kind of fun, but it may bother some people.

I think they’re comfortable, and, even though I can feel the weight of them enough to know they’re there, I don’t consider them heavy.

Also, for some reason the image above doesn’t show the hook, but it’s worth mentioning that they’re fish hook earrings.

And, finally, yes:  they are called “leaf chain fringe” earrings but they most definitely look like feathers.

Albeit the discrepancy in the description, they’re fun and beautiful, and I’m happy I decided to get them.  Totally my style.

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