December 28, 2008

Mommy's Helpers

I wanted to share a few of my favorite mommy tips (books, movies, recipes) and hope some of you will do the same. Note that most of these are more appropriate for little girls than boys but I think there's some crossover.

Favorite Books

Zen Shorts – Stillwater the panda bear meets Addy, Michael and Karl and changes their lives by telling them stories. Beautifully illustrated.

Pinkalicious – A little girl eats so many pink cupcakes that she turns pink! Very cool and unusual artwork.

Are You My Mother? – A classic. Only a few colors used in the pictures but my kids love them. This was L’s favorite book for almost a year when she was 2.

The Costume Copycat – A surprising find at Pottery Barn. Fun story about a little girl who always copies her big sister’s costume from last year, until finally she finds her own style.

Dora the Explorer – I expected to hate these but a friend gave me a couple and I love how they encourage the kids to listen and respond to questions interactively.

Where is Baby? – I just love these books for babies. They have wonderful, glittery illustrations and simple words geared to attract babies. The boxed set is my go to baby present.

Room on the broom – Terrific book, even dads like it. Fun rhyming and illustrations and a good story to boot about a kindly witch and the friends she picks up while flying on her broom.

Asha and Clara – Full of creative fantasy and amazing illustrations. A little girl’s adventures with her imaginary friends.

A Fly Went By – I remember this one well from my own childhood. A little boy tries to help some animals who are all running away from something scary. Fun rhyming, great story and great illustrations.

The Little Red Hen – What a classic story about reaping what you sow!

Honorable Mention

Zen Ties – The second story in the Zen Shorts series. More beautiful illustrations and life lessons.

The Kissing Hand – This is a very nice book about Chester the raccoon, who is afraid to go to school until his mother gives him a kissing hand.

The Gruffulo/ The Gruffulo’s Child – Same author and illustrator as Room on the Broom, these stories are lots of fun.

The Cat in the Hat – Well, of course. Actually, my kids don’t like this book as much as I feel they should.

Purplicious – Part II of Pinkalicious, it didn’t get such good reviews as the first book but I liked it a lot.

Chicken Little – Not sure where the attraction of this book lies but it’s somehow addictive. Follow Chicken Little on his humorous journey to tell the king that the sky is falling.

Favorite Movies and TV Programs

I'm not going to mention the obvious ones like Blues Clues but I did want to highlight a few that are less well-known but big hits at our house.

Totoro - Satsuki and Mei meet a fantastic forest creature name Totoro. This movie is a real achievement - everything from soundtrack to animation is perfect.

Christmas with Callou - Our kids got this for Christmas this year and it turned out to be a real winner.

Bugaloos - This was one of the Sid and Marty Croft Saturday morning shows from my own childhood and my kids love it as much as I did.

HR Pufinstuf - Another Sid and Marty Croft show. Witchipoo is kind of annoying when she screeches but the kids love it. And Jimmy is any little girl's dream boat.

The Parent Trap - The original with Haley Mills, if you please! What a classic.

Recipes for Picky Eaters

Popsicles - Blend vanilla yogurt, organic berries, a banana, and some organic spinach. Add sugar to taste. Freeze. Yum!

Broccoli Brownies - Chocolate can hide almost anything. I throw a packet of frozen organic broccoli (blended, of course) into a package of brownie mix, bake and my kids yum it up.

So, what works for you? Share!


  1. We have almost worn our copy of Pinkalicious to shred. Purpleicious is cute, but not as well loved.
    Where's Teddy is actually in pieces- I need to get another copy from the States. The illos are wonderful. I know there are more but we have only the first. Piggies (a story of counting/kissing fingers and toes to sleep) has the most amazing and amusing illustrations: both my girls love it.
    In video, Piglet's Great Adventure has a Carly Simon soundtrack and I love singing along. Classis Pooh is as wonderful as ever and the first Heffalump is great, the Halloween one okay.
    And so on:)

  2. Thanks for stopping! Have you read the Kevin Henkes Books? I LOVE them. I also love Robert Munsch and Helen Lester. Check them out!

    I'll be back!

  3. First of all, I am in shock that Vodka Mom was just here. She is everywhere and I love her for it. : - ) I think all bloggers are somehow connected through Vodka Mom.

    Second - wow - Zen Shorts!! I bought that lil' collection from my kid's scholastic book fair and I thought it was one of those books that no one knows about - and it's one of your was a good one.

    Third - I found the origin of your blog name back in your archives and it really made me laugh.

    Thanks for stopping by MWOB and yes, try calling your husband 'dude.' He'll love it. :-)

    Oh, favorites?
    TV Shows - Charlie and Lola
    Books - Giraffes Can't Dance, Diary of a Worm, Fancy Nancy books

  4. I know this is an old post, but had to share, ground brocoli in marinara sauce over pasta! I am loving your blog by the way! A California (Sacramento) girl (early forties doesn't count as a girl, huh?) In a long distance relationship with a wonderful German man going on three years now. He will be living here fulltime in September. I can't wait! In a few years we will be splitting our time between countries. I'm a bit nervous about this and find your blog great reading for obvious reasons. I'm working on learning the language now :/ .....

  5. I may have married the only German man who doesn't want to live in California! Good luck to you Janet and thanks for the comment.


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