BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Story of the Snow Children

The Story of the Snow Children

The Story of the Snow Children This book is little and adorable and sweet, and will make you feel all the winter feels. The illustrations are going to take you back to another time, and it's amazing how much magic this book has packed in it's small size. Originally published in 1905 by German illustrator and author Sibylle von Olfers, it's a wonderful short and sweet and book that you will love being part of your Christmas Collection. 

The story of the snow children

I hope you enjoy this one like we have! 

Click here to purchase.

BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Night Before Christmas

This version of The Night Before Christmas has been out of print for 50 years and has finally come back to life! Illustrated by Caldecott winner Rover Duvoisin who illustrated some amazing classics in the 40's and 50's, this book is an instant Christmas treasure!  I came across this book this year, and it is such a fun and festive addition to our stash. The illustrations are brilliant, and the colors just POP out and make for such a fun read. 

But I think what I love about this book is it's shape! This book is long and narrow, which makes such a statement just from the cover...but inside, it gets really fun because Santa gets to go down long chimneys!! 

With so many Christmas books out there to choose from, it's nice to have books that stand out a bit from the crowd, and this is one of them. And especially because this book has been forgotten for a couple of generations, and is just now available again, it brings something even more special. 




There are few stories as traditionally Christmas as the Nutcracker, and with Maurice Sendak being on the top of my all time favorite illustrators, this book is a must in our house. The Nutcracker by ETA Hoffmann and Maurice Sendak is at the top of my list! 

It's a classic...the kind of book that is looking so festive on my coffee table right now. It's long...not something you'll finish in one bedtime (unless you want to take some extra time, which I don't object to!) It's the kind of story that makes for a great read aloud, or even to keep out and have the children read bits at time. 

But for me, it's the illustrations that suck you into the story, and keep your eyes happy for hours. SO much to think about and look at. Because Sendak takes some artistic liberties with the traditional style and characters you are use to seeing, this book is a feast for the eyes! 

Was this a Christmas favorite for you? And did you know that there is a movie of the ballet based off of these illustrations? It's all so lovely. 

Chapter Books for the Younger Kids

A couple years back, I created a list of chapter books that were suitable for very small children to have read to them. We are big readers in our house!  If you were to come over right now, you'd see bookshelves everywhere. And we could use more....there are books on the couch, the coffee table, the kids' beds, and even on the kitchen counter.

My husband started reading chapter books to the kids when they were as young as age 3. But we found it difficult to find advanced books that were suitable for children who weren't even in kindergarten yet!

So, we visited with our librarian, asked other parents, and put together a list.

And it was so helpful for so many! We had over 110 comments of other parents pitching in their ideas. It's been a long while, but we thought we'd put that list in a single printable PDF  for you to bring with you to the library:

It's a 5 page document full of awesome titles. It's been so helpful to have on hand!

Or, you can just view the list below! 


A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken

A Secret Zoo

Adventures of a South Pole Pig

Alice in wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 Animal Stories by Thornton Burgess

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

Because of Wynn Dixie by Kate diCamillo

Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey

Castle in the Attic

Catwings books by Ursula K. LeGuin

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Dear Hound by Jill Murphy

Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine

Elves and Fairies Annie R. Rentoul and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

Emily’s Runaway Imagination Beverly Cleary

Enid Blyton Goodnight Stories

Famous Five by Enid Blyton

Far Flung Adventures series

Freddy Anniversary Collection by Walter Brooks

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Geronimo Stilton

Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson

Grayson by Lynne Cox

Half Magic by Edward Eager
Indian in the Cupboard series by Lynn Reid Banks

Halibut Jackson by David Lucas

Hank the Cowdog series

Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary

Horrible Harry series

How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Humphrey the Hamster series

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

James Herriot Treasury for Children

Junie B Jones Series by Barbara Park

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Little Women Louisa May Alcott

Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards

Matilda Roald Dahl

Mercy Watson series by Kate diCamillo

Milly-Molly-Mandy Joyce Lankester Brisley

Mr. Poppers Penguins

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet

Nancy Drew mysteries

No Flying in the House by Betty Brock

Paddington Bear by Michael Bond

Peter Pan J.M. Barrie

Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Princess in Black

Ralph S. Mouse books by Beverly Cleary

Ramona books by Beverly Cleary

Secret Seven by Enid Blyton

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs

Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black

Swiss Family Robinson Johann D. Wyss

Tale of Despereaux by Kate diCamillo

The Adventures of Olga da Polga By Michael Bond

The Alfie Books by Shirley Hughes

The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Boxcar Children Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling

The Cricket in Times Square George Seldon

The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant) by Avi

The Fairy Rebel

The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

The Happy Hollisters

The Henry books by DB Johnson

The Light Princess, The George MacDonald Treasury

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Littles by John Peterson

The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate diCamillo

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

The Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren

The Ordinary Princess

The Ordinary Princess By M.M. Kaye

The Penderwicks

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett       

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

The Worst Witch series

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 

Trixie Belden mysteries

Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne

Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum


Thanks for all your input, and happy reading!!

GIVEAWAY 4: The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair

giveaway4 Today's giveaway is an exciting announcement.

Jake Parker, one of my kids FAVORITE illustrators (remember Awesome Man?)  just came out with another book this week.

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The Girl who wouldn't brush her hair is seriously a charmer. A must have if you have any girls in the house.


Besides the fact that the illustrations are amazing, and the story is so darling, this book will make a hair brusher out of anyone.


Take Ella. My 4 year old has the longest, most gorgeous hair, but she has refused to let me brush is for seriously the past year. It's no joke a project to get her to sit still every night and comb through it, which always resulted in the rats-nest-super-tangled-BUN-hair-do.

You know what I mean?

Enter Jake's book.


The story is about a girl who refuses to brush her hair, and mice start to make a home in her locks (rats nests), which at first is rather entertaining, but by the end she isn't a big fan, resulting in The Girl being a devout hair brusher. It's hilarious.

And works like a charm:)

Ella has brushed her hair every day for 2 weeks now after getting the book, and wears her hair in braids every night. No joke. She's a new woman, and I have this book to thank for it!

For today's giveaway, Jake is giving away 1 signed copy of the book! 


1) Leave a comment below. Maybe a funny brushing hair story? I'm sure you've got one.

2) Entries open until Sunday September 15th, 2013

3) One winner will be chosen and announced September 16th

And be sure to spread the word....good books deserve a proper shout out!

Make sure to check out the other giveaways going on right now, with one last final one coming tomorrow!

Enjoy!! I can't wait to hear how you like the book!


GIVEAWAY WEEK: Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love

giveaway1 Hey, Hey, Hey!

This week I'm hosting some amazing giveaways from some of my amazing sponsors. I'm so excited to share them with you!

Each day this week, you will have the chance to enter a new giveaway! So come back every day for a new gift! Details are at the end of this post.


Today's giveaway is also a big shout out for a new sewing book!

Do you know Kerry at Kidgiddy? She is a super star crafter, and has JUST come out with a sewing book you are going to love. With a forward by Heather Bailey, this book is full of adorable creative soft toys and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

The book releases October 18th, and so this is an early, signed by the author early copy! You can also pre-order the book here.


I am always on the look out for new soft toy and doll patterns. This is sure to hit the spot!


So fun, right?


KID GIDDY is giving away one copy of the book, and entries will be from the comments below.


1) Leave a comment below


2) Like KIDGIDDY's Facebook page and leave a comment below telling us that you did

3) Follow KIDGIDDY on Instagram with a comment below that you did

4) Entries close Sunday Sept. 15th

5) USA and International entries accepted


Launching a new book is such a big deal. It's a labor of love, and I'm so thrilled that I can be part of getting the word out. Kerry is such a talented crafter. I'm so excited to get my hands on these patterns!

And remember to come back daily for a new deal! I'll go through all the giveaways at the end of the week, and announce the winners Monday Sept. 16th.

Have fun!!




On Style.

shadowgirl When I knew I was going to be an artist, around age 6-7, I wasn't on a quest to find  my STYLE. It sounds silly. What child it on a quest to find their style? They are just interested in finding anything.

I was.

To an extent.

From an early age, I knew that if I wanted to learn how to draw a tree, first I had to sit and look at a tree. And draw it while I was looking at it.

But then I realized, that there were many ways to draw that same tree. With a painbrush. With a pen.

With short stubby lines. With long fluid ones.

Each attempt made me feel something different about that tree.

Being exposed to a lot of art as a child, I soon realized that every artist had his own voice, and I became thrilled with so many forms of art.

I get asked a lot how I found my STYLE, and while I won't mention it all here (way too long!) I will say that I did have a very strong sense of what I liked in art and why.

I started out painting because that's the education I had at a young age.


The above painting is a painting I did when I was 15, and I spent the summer copying lots of different artists. This is a painting of a painting, and in my early years, that's how I taught myself.




Here's a portrait I did of my husband when we were early married. But I realized pretty fast that I didn't want to go into painting because it was just too time consuming and frankly, wasn't what I wanted to SAY to the world. But because I had dabbled in lots of areas, I knew that about myself.

But while I had a traditional education in highschool, I knew that wasn't my style. I liked it, but it wasn't my voice. And with the hours and hours I'd spent pouring over picture book illustration, and drawing with line and wash, I really found myself drawn to a more simplistic illustration style. I marveled at how much feeling could be felt in just a few lines and a bit of color. While an oil painting could say so much, I wanted to say just as much if not more, with as little as possible. Which is so challenging. But that's what excited me!

i love you

When I started to build my artwork professionally, I spent a lot of time surrounded by my favorite illustrators. I discovered what I loved about their work, and what I had to add to that style.

take me for a

One hero of mine, Marc Simont, just died last month at the age of 97. Did you hear about that?

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He taught me that so much information could be said by just ONE line. Less is more. His artwork challenged me to really be deliberate about my line work and how much art I put on a page. I adore his work!

I have so many hero's, and I might take some time later on to go through more. And identifying the pieces that have made your voice what it is, is really lovely to identify and see. Like pieces of a puzzle. Because often, you don't know what's influenced your style until after the fact.

Finding your own personal style, in what ever it is you do, is a multi-layered journey. And I believe it should always be stretching and reaching for new places. My own style has changed over the years, and I love discovering where it's leading me.


And as a side note, my friend Monica Lee, who has the super awesome site called SMART CREATIVE WOMEN with a site full of interviews from the design world's super creative people, has just launched an online class called SMART CREATIVE STYLE. It's an interactive online course all on developing your own personal style. I have a video interview up on her site today talking about creative process and style! The course includes my input and is full of amazing council from some real style pro's. See her page here!

I'd love to know your thoughts on style, and what you've learned in your own journey. In this day and age when SO many voices are heard and seen online, knowing your own individuality is so important.

Isn't it?





Did you know that the Caldecott & Newbery Book awards were announced this morning? I wanted to post them here as soon as they were announced. Have you read these yet?








sleep like a tiger cover






So exciting! I'm super thrilled for Jon Klasson...I'm sure it feels absolutely SURREAL to win a Caldecott AND a Caldecott Honor book in the same year.

I'd rush off and get these from the library if I were you before they are stolen off the shelves:) Do you have a favorite of these? I'd love to hear!