Books for Children, Books for Parents

2016 Best Books for Kids from the American Library Association

January 12, 2016

Last Stop on Market StreetIt's awards season, with the Golden Globes taking place last Sunday and the Oscars coming up next month. But did you know it was awards season for kids' books, too? This week the American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of its annual youth media awards for 2016, including the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott medals for children's books.

Since 1922, the John Newbery Medal has been awarded to the author of the most distinguished American children's book by the Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA. This year, the medal goes to Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2015). In this book, a young boy name CJ rides the bus with his Nana, where he discovers music, nature, and the people around him. Find it at a local Marin library here.

The 2016 runner-up Newbery Honor Books include The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (one of our recent favorites!), and Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Just in Time for the Holidays: Best Kids' Books 2015 from Diesel

December 6, 2015

Diva and FleaThe holidays are here, and great books always make fantastic gifts for kids! Clare Doornbos, the children's book expert at Diesel bookstore in Larkspur, saves us all a lot of time and stress by highlighting her picks for best kids' books in 2015.

You can join Clare for storytime at the bookstore every Thursday morning at 10:30 am, where she reads classics, new kids' books, and hidden treasures. It's perfect for families with children 5 and under. Diesel is located in Marin Country Mart at 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle in Larkspur. For more information about Diesel and a complete schedule of events, visit www.dieselbookstore.com/larkspur or call the store at (415) 785-8177.

Board Books

Through the Town by Craig Shuttlewood
A sweet rhyming journey through a jolly cartoon town. There's an indented line which runs through the board book which you can trace with your finger. So, you and your little one get a really interactive experience.

Great Fall Reads for Kids from Diesel Bookstore in Larkspur

October 25, 2015

McToad Mows Tiny IslandMarin Mommies presents a guest article from Clare Doornbos, the children's book expert at DIESEL bookstore in Larkspur, who highlights some fantastic new books for fall.

Fall is here, school has been back in for a while, and choosing some great kids' books to read is a must! There are so many great books to choose from for toddlers to independent readers. You already know many of the classics, so Clare from Diesel bookstore in Larkspur has picked out some great new books that will keep your kids reading this fall and winter.

Picture Books for ages 2–4

McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger
McToad loves Thursdays, because that's the day he gets to take his ride-on lawn mower to Tiny Island. On the way to Tiny Island he takes many different forms of transportation. This is a rare thing, a truck book with some great visual jokes for parents too.

It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
A picture book about looking on the bright side of all the small misfortunes that can befall the under-fours. I particularly like the idea that when your ice cream starts to melt, it can go into a bowl and wear the cone as a hat.

Thanksgiving Books for Kids of All Ages

November 10, 2014

thanksgiving books for kidsThere are ton of terrific books out there dealing with all aspects of the Thanksgiving holiday. Whether it's about being thankful, turkeys, Pilgrims, Native Americans, or just gathering as a family, there's a book out there to help you and your children celebrate and learn more about this uniquely American holiday.

Here are some of our picks for great kids' books about Thanksgiving. The book links below take you to the online children's catalog of the Marin County Free Library.

Get Your Family to Eat Healthy With the 52 New Foods Challenge by Jennifer Tyler Lee

October 14, 2014

The 52 New Foods ChallengeIn many families—ours included—it can be a challenge to get kids to eat healthy. While our kids aren't particularly picky eaters, they do gravitate toward the kid staples like mac-and-cheese and pizza, but that all changes if we get them involved in the kitchen to try new things. That's also the premise behind the new book The 52 New Foods Challenge (336 pages, Avery, 2014; $20) by local San Francisco Bay Area author Jennifer Tyler Lee.

In this welcome addition to any parent's kitchen library, Lee offers a guide to getting kids to eat fresh, healthy, seasonal food by experiencing cooking adventures like exploring the farmers' market, growing food in the backyard, and of course making fun, delicious recipes together. This week-by-week guide features over 150 recipes and activities designed to inspire your kids' creativity and build confidence in the kitchen.

Wisdom for Fathers from "Dad's Playbook"

June 1, 2014

Dad's PlaybookSometimes even Dad needs some great parenting advice, and who better to offer that than some of the greatest sports coaches ever? That's the idea behind Bay Area parent educator and author Tom Limbert's book Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time (Chronicle Books, 2012).

Dad's Playbook gathers together more than 100 inspiring quotes from the all-time great sports coaches. This makes a lot of sense, since dads do the same things that great coaches do: motivate, mentor, discipline, lead, inspire, teach, praise, and love. Tom's book contains bits of wisdom from coaches like John Madden, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda, Phil Jackson, and many others, and applies them to all aspects of fatherhood. The book also contains a foreword by 49ers hall of fame quarterback (and dad, of course) Steve Young.

Paws to Read this Summer at the Marin County Free Library!

May 26, 2014

Paws to Read Summer Reading Program Marin County Free Library 2014It's hard to believe that it's almost the end of the school year. You can keep the learning—and fun—alive this summer by participating in the Marin County Free Library's 2014 summer reading program, Paws to Read. Paws to Read is packed with exciting free activities designed to inspire creativity, learning, and exploring. And it's not just for kids—the whole family can participate!

This year's program is built around Reader BINGO, with different cards available for children, teens (entering grades 6–12), and adults. Complete squares or rows on your bingo card and win prizes and get entered in raffle drawings. Kids can earn prizes like a Paws to Read T-shirt; teens can enter drawings for prizes like Giants tickets, gift cards, and even an iPad Mini; and adults can enter drawings for food and beverage gift cards from local businesses. Teens and adults can also choose a free gently used book when enrolling in Paws to Read, courtesy of the Book Place, the Library's used bookstore located in downtown Novato. Download your bingo cards and get started.

St. Patrick's Day Book for Kids: One Potato, Two Potato

March 11, 2014

One Potato, Two Potato One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice, illustrated by Andrea U'Ren (32 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2006) isn't strictly a book about St. Patrick's Day, but it has enough Irish charm, humor, and magic to make it a fitting choice to read on and around the holiday.

This retelling of the old "magic pot" story centers on Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady, an unbelievably scrawny (they're so skinny they can sit side-by-side in their one chair) old Irish farm couple who are dirt poor but very happy with the little they have. When Mr. O'Grady digs up a large old pot in his potato field and drops their last potato in it, he finds that the pot doubles whatever is placed into it.

The O'Gradys exploit this magical discovery, but what do they do when Mrs. O'Grady falls in and two Mrs. O'Gradys come out?

One Potato, Two Potato is a delight, from its simple funny text that begs to be read aloud to U'Ren's evocative and humorous illustrations. It's a tale with themes of magic, generosity, contentment, and above all, love. My kids just love this book—I can't even begin to think how many times they've brought this home from the library.

Enrich Your Imagination at "Why Is Mud?"

March 9, 2014

Why is Mud?Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Marin writer Elise Holland and her interactive storytelling website Why Is Mud?

Calling all young readers! Enrich your imagination, have fun, and win prizes at Why Is Mud?, the interactive storytelling website from Marin writer Elise Holland. Read online and follow the adventures of Meylyne as she journeys through the enchanted land of Glendoch where she and her friends unravel the mystery of the Thorn Queen. Why Is Mud? is perfect for young readers ages 7 to 12.

Readers will get a new chapter of The Thorn Queen each week, and can then submit answers to questions about what they read. Those who answer correctly will win prizes, and can even have their answers written into the extra chapters for the book!

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