Just being Audrey

So many lessons you can use this book for. Audrey Hepburn left a legacy and this book captures it wonderfully. I can only imagine how intimidating the illustrator must have felt to capture someone so well loved. Julia Denos did just that, elegantly and wonderfully.


Age 4+


I think this book would make a great gift to big people as well, I think it would be a great gift for someone  :


-to never give up

-to teach kindness

-to teachhistory

-If you are an Audrey Hepburn lover

-to teach being grateful for what you have

-to teach simplicity

-for someones who’s dream has changed

-for someone in transition


So, so many good things to take from this book.


Virgina Wolf

Beautiful and chalked full of truths and bad days and did I say beauty?

Great for explaining bad days and how we can get out of them. photo(5)


Ages 4-9 years



The Day The Crayons Quit

Brilliant on so many levels. This is one of the best read-aloud books I have read in a while.


I enjoy reading the colors in different voices, and I love seeing my children respond to it. Peach is one of my to read, although not my favorite color in real life. This book has humor, truths and allows your child to think creatively and out side the box. FUN!



Ages 4-9



Hold your pencil like this


(adorable pencils set source)

Did you know that in most schools you are not fit for first grade if you can’t hold a pencil properly. Holding a pencil is a kindergarten skill, a must for writing.
I find this interesting, yes, I find holding a pencil interesting because it is actually very complex. Not everyone will hold a pencil the same, right handed to left and also right brained to left brained.



Writing is a direct connection to the brain and storing what is written in the brain. Holding a pencil solidifies fine motor control so the brain can shift attention 100% to generating text, ideas and processing. We spend a lot of time in preschool and perhaps before learning to use our fingers and exercising their dexterity. Finger foods, blocks and puzzles are often a good beginning.

Before you work hard at correcting the way a child holds a pencil, you should observe and think about the child themselves. I am a big advocate that not all children learn the same, and I don’t think pencil holding needs to be uniform or will work for every child. It is a necessity, no doubt, and there must be some proper form, or the writing and pressure will not form. If the grip is too far off cramping may occur. If a child is often corrected to hold a pencil “properly” it may feel uncomfortable to them, and they may not enjoy writing and drawing.

While your child is learning to hold a pencil, crayon, marker, take a look at how they hold it. Start with just swirls, lines, and just let them be totally free and abstract, this is how they will become comfortable with the process and then step back and take a look at how they hold their pencil, with what hand, and how important will it be for them to hold it “properly” by school standards.

I know a very smart child who holds his pencil “properly” yet he writes in one full stroke, his pen never leaving the paper until the form is finished. He does this with print, so where one might lift a pen to cross your capital letter E, he does so in one full stroke. He uses this same technique for drawings. He smart and very gifted, he is both right and left brained, so while holding a pencil seems simple, you might rethink it before you conform to what is “proper”.



Illustrators we love – Isabella Arsenault

Isabella Arsenault has a beautiful and delicate style that just draws me to the covers of the books she Illustrates.

A Canadian, she studied at Université du Québec à Montréal , she is has received two Governors General awards for her works.

I love the soft greys and delicate pops of color. Some of her works remind her of Wayne Thiebaud pieces, just soft and delicious.


Our top two  favorite books:


A beautiful tale about being different. As my kids are half, I thought it would be fitting. We just adore the book.



Virginia Wolf

A tale of Virgina Wolf and her sister, enough said. A must read.


Isabella brings these books to life, her delicate hand and style make the imagination a very pretty place to visit.

Click on the photos for more information.


Illustrators We Love- Eric Carle

Who doesn’t love Eric Carle? His beautiful illustrations stand the test of time. We have so many favorites that we could never pick just one. I think what makes his works so well loved is the simplicity shape and colors and children , especially when young love textures.  Although the books are lovely with their unique simplicity, the collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images was a fine art.


(click on picture for more information)


Eric Carle first noticed by educator and author Bill Martin Jr., which he collaborated with the widely know Brown Brear, Brown Bear, What do you see? . Eric Carle soon started writing and illustration hos own books to which the beloved story The Very Hungary Caterpillar was born.




My children have grown up looking, exploring and eventually reading on their own the stories illustrated and written by Eric Carle. I think that some illustrators just all great artist will stand the test of time, Eric Carle is one of the greats.

Carle says: “With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will they be friendly?





The value of handwriting

Handwriting will become extinct some say, with the fast pace of technology. We touch and type and drag and see our children using apps following the same motion. 41 States have opted to teach typing in place of cursive writing. There is such value in handwriting although I do see the need for typing and the value for our new tech savvy world.




Handwriting works the brain in several ways the binocular teaming with focusing of the eyes, eye hand coordination and good motor skills, it also require spatial perception. The value in handwriting, even cursive writing will always be , in my opinion the best way to learn letters, numbers, reading and writing. It will be especially valuable for those with learning challenges. I also enjoy the way it looks.

When I came across this learning tool I found it really exciting. It uses both motion and sensory with the magnetic balls. Once you use the pencil/magnet to trace the letters, you can use your finger to lay them all down, now you have traced it twice. Genius!! Kids will love the feel, sound and tracing effect. It has the arrows to show haw many and what steps to take. It’s green, and great. I don’t mean the color no using paper over and over. The come in upper, lowercase ad cursive.

The only thing that could make it better for me, is I would love to see the letters just themselves, by that I mean not in order. I am a big fan of learning out of order. That is deserving of a post all it’s own.

Happy Monday.