Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Author and illustrator: Leslie Patricelli

I love books!  When Leslie Patricelli's new books arrived at my door my toddler son asked hopefully "are those for me?" We sat down to read them...and again...and again...and again.  I finally had to beg off because my throat was getting sore from reading so long!  

The books we were reading were Higher! Higher! and Baby Happy, Baby Sad, both written and illustrated by Patricelli.  My favorite of the two was Higher! Higher!  The main character daughter is swinging with her daddy, pleading to go higher - and ends up higher than you would probably expect!  

Both books were a fun read.  The best part was certainly the illustrations - colorful and cute, they are beautiful and enjoyable.  They are a bit short on story line, but the pictures tell quite a bit of story by themselves.  I enjoyed asking my toddler if he knew what was going on just by looking at the pictures.  

There are definitely books written by a real-life mom, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we are.  

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Artist: Corneille

I had heard him described as "acoustic-driven R&B." As "Motown," as similar to John Legend, Tracy Chapman, and Marvin Gaye.  That's not exactly my style, but I was intrigued enough by Corneille to give him a try.  

Because I had also heard something of his life story.  His parents and family members were killed in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.  He was the only one in his family to escape.  The more I read about his history and what he had to say, the more interested I was to hear his music.  Deep experiences often make for deep artistry.  

Genre preferences aside, the first time I listened to The Birth of Corneille I couldn't help but perk up a bit.  The second time through I was swaying and humming.  By the third time I was singing along and now I've got the songs running through my head even when the CD isn't playing.  

So...not what I thought was my style, but you learn something new everyday.  If you'd like to learn more, head on over to his website.   

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Have you ever heard of the AquaDoodle Draw 'n Doodle mat? Now this is a fun toy. All it entails is a mat (which can be easily rolled up and stored away) and a "pen" that you fill with water. When you draw on the mat with the water-pen, it appears that you're drawing in blue ink. When you draw on yourself or your furniture or the floor or the toys or the walls - your mom doesn't get mad, because its just water!

I have to say, this is about the best possible toy for my mischievous son. He loves to draw, but no matter what the consequences are he just cannot seem to keep the crayons off the walls and furniture. I've had to hide all pens and crayons (and we'd never think of allowing markers in the house!), but I hate to do so when this means his creative drawing skills aren't allowed to blossom.

The mat itself is much nicer and higher quality than I expected. We spent about an hour when we first got it, drawing pictures and writing out letters and numbers. And clean up? Just let it dry, and roll it up!
The only downside is that it comes with only one pen; I'm looking in to getting a few so we can draw together, or with friends. That shouldn't be too hard.

I love it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bath Bubbles from the Bath Blizzard

We recently received the "Bath Blizzard" by Kid Kleen - a bubble making machine that hangs over your bathtub and spills bubbles into your tub while your little one bathes.

The point, of course, is to make bath time fun. My son would think bath time was fun no matter what was or wasn't in the tub with him, but he was still excited to try it out.

Its easy to use, and it does indeed produce bubbles. It comes with a small container of bubble bath, and you can use it with whatever bubble bath you prefer. The bubbles we got disappeared quickly - I assume that's due to the quality of the bubble bath, rather than the Bubble Blizzard itself. It also requires C batteries, which happened to be the only kind we didn't have in the house.

Its a gimmick, to be sure! But sometimes with toddlers you need bath-time-gimmicks. And this one is pretty fun for everyone.