More Children’s Picture Books That we Can’t Get Enough of

Over the years we have collected a large number of children’s books. Many were gifts, and lots of others I chose for our girls. I’ve done a lot of reading about recommended children’s books and used these suggestions to build our own library.

If you’re looking for my master list of recommended children’s books, check out Mandy’s Running List of Top Recommended Children’s Books. For my latest additions to the list, read on!

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Elfie’s Return: Adventures of 2021

I am writing this on December 23rd, Elfie’s last evening with us. My children are at ages this year where they are incredibly excited about Christmas, and all of the activities and traditions. Their excitement makes the season truly magical. As excited as they are for Christmas morning, there’s one thing that’s making them hesitant to count down the days: the fact that Elfie will leave us after we go to sleep on December 24th.

We’ve had a wonderful month with Elfie! With everything going on in the world these days, she arrived masked, and kept her mask on for a few days. Over the past month we’ve discovered her climbing walls, reading with friends, hang gliding, and much more. Here are some of Elfie’s highlights from this year!

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Starting the School Year with a Celiac Child

backtoschool

Our eldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease over 5 years ago. If you’re not familiar with Celiac, it’s an auto immune disease in which “the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. Gluten is a group of proteins present in wheat, rye and barley and their cross bred grains. The damage to the intestine can lead to a variety of symptoms and result in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health” (Canadian Celiac Association).

When our daughter started Kindergarten, I have to admit I wasn’t totally prepared for how challenging it could be. I spoke to the teacher at the beginning of the year, and she was extremely supportive and kind. But there were things that I didn’t think to mention, that cropped up through the year! The following year, when our daughter started Grade 1, I felt much more prepared. I wrote a letter to the teacher, and gave her a few extra copies to distribute to the lunch monitor, other teachers, and to leave on file for substitute teachers. I gave it to the teacher on the first day of school, and she was very appreciative for all of the detail and information.

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Elfie’s Return: Bringing Joy to the family (and maybe just a few tears!)

Our eldest daughter started asking about Elfie’s arrival in early November. By mid-November, we had counted the days until Elfie’s arrival so many times that we decided to make a countdown calendar – for Elfie’s arrival and Christmas day!

Last night, the night of November 30th, our eldest was awake until 11:45pm. She could not stop thinking about Elfie’s return, and even came running out of her room once when she swore she heard Elfie on the roof, and later when thought she saw Elfie’s shadow move across the room!

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Bumblebee Cottage: Creating a beautiful playhouse for the kids

A few months ago, we began the process of flipping a small house. Or well, that’s what it feels like! In reality our family purchased a playhouse and we have been updating and customizing it to create a cottage for the cousins (our children and our niece).

Especially since COVID, we have been looking for fun things that the kids can do at home. My Mom and I had been on the lookout for a few months, when one day I came across a playhouse for sale online. The family it belonged to had outgrown it and they were looking to sell the playhouse and put a hot tub in its place!

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Monsters in the Making: A fun kids craft

My parents gave our daughter a craft book for Christmas last year: Art Sparks by Marion Abrams, Hilary Emerson. My daughter and I both love this book. It contains 53 projects, many of which you can do with supplies that you already have at home.

Our most recent project? Making Monsters!!!

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I would love to work in a Children’s Bookstore: More favourite picture books that I can’t stop raving about

I would love to work in a children’s bookstore. I would love reading all of the new books coming into the store, searching out new books that would soon become favourites on a family’s bookshelf, and chatting with customers to find out their interests and suggest new stories. Children’s books are, without a doubt, my favourite genre of book. I love how clever they can be, how well written they are, the beautiful illustrations, and the occasional song or rhyme! I have written a few blog posts already, about some of our favourites. If you’re interested, have a look at: Pigs, Dragons & a Superhero Princess: Chapter Books we love for our 6-year old; Reading with young children: Recommended books for babies and toddlers; and Finally branching out from indestructible cardboard to paperback.

If you’re still looking for more excellent books to check out … read on! My eldest and I have been reading some chapter books together lately, which has been really fun. I love having a story that stretches over a few nights. But we still both enjoy a good picture book (as does my youngest of course!). These are some of our current favourites:

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Turning 7 during isolation: Making our daughter’s birthday special

Like many children, our eldest daughter recently celebrated her birthday during self-isolation. I was determined to make sure that she had a memorable birthday – despite the fact that she couldn’t have the birthday party she had been dreaming of (and talking about!) for months.

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