Thursday, January 31, 2013

Phoenix read Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg

Phoenix, who's half Texan, recently read Pecos Bill by Steven Kellogg, about a mega-hero from Texas who was raised by coyotes and became the first cattle rancher but first had to tame a rattlesnake and fight down a "critter that was part grizzly, part puma, part gorilla, and part tatantula" and then after roping a long horn with the rattlesnakle turned the Hells Gulch Gang into respectable ranchers. Then he meets the love of his life...Slewfoot Sue. Yeeeehaw!

The very detailed, high energy, fantastic illustrations are also done by Steven Kellogg. I want them to become prints! Check out Steven Kelloggs other books here:


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An artful afternoon at the MOMA

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine's Day Phoenix Baby Book Giveway: Guess How Much I Love You + a signed copy of Careful

To celebrate Valentine's Day we are holding a giveaway of the board book Guess How Much I Love You, this is a precious book to read to your baby and as you do stretch your arms like the characters, and reach to the moon, to express how much you love each other.

For this Valentine's Day giveaway I'm including a signed copy of my YA novel Careful, the first book of the Careful, Quiet, Invisible series.  Submit below or email me at your name with V-Day Giveaway in subject.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Be sure to include your first name AFTER you hit submit! Read on!

Isobella & Phoenix

Giveaways are not pre-owned books, they are purchased by the Phoenix Baby Book Club for the giveaway.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Phoenix read Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky

Round and round, open and shut, wahh wahh wahh, swish, swish, swish, bumpety-bump! Phoenix recently read Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky. The parts of the bus move along with the song we all know, turn the wheels, open the windows up and down, the windsheild wipers go swish and swish, back and forth and much more! We've read it in the mornings to start the day right! And at the end of the day with our other bed time books for a fun sing-a-long before bed. :)

Find this fun pop up book on, , IndieBound, and Target.

Check out Paul Zelinsky's other books here:

~Isobella & Phoenix

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For babies every day is about discovery and growth...and for parents too!

Good morning! Time to discover new things and grow the mind!  Discovery and growth is ageless! :) 


Friday, January 25, 2013

Put your little one in a boppy pillow when you read together

During our reading sessions I place Phoenix on a boppy pillow, Phoenix fits perfect in the curved horse-shoe-C-opening of the pillow and when he was younger he was secure and comfy while we read and now that he is sitting up better the pillow is helpful since he can sit up while we read together and I snuggle up next to him or put my arm around his neck.

I put a blanket over the pillow often and roll up a swaddle blanket and put it behind him, it gives Phoenix a little more support for his back. Keeping your baby comfy when you read is one of my tips for having a good reading session with your baby. Read on!

Isobella & Phoenix



Phoenix read The Snowy Day today

There are bears like Pooh, Peter Rabbit, penguins, racoons, Little Critters, Cat in the Hat and many books with different animal characters, but also there are picture books with ethnically diverse main characters. Where are the Asian, Hispanic and African American children's book characters, you may wonder? Mmm. Well, they are out there, and I plan to feature more books that involve characters of many backgrounds.

Phoenix read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats today!

I will be honest, I picked it up because I remembered reading it as a kid and also the character is African American and I want our at home library and Phoenix's warm, observant, perceptive eyes and bright mind to know and appreciate stories of all types that involve faces of all types. Although he's very little, it starts now, it already has begun: the understanding of human beings as being the same inside even if they look different than you on the outside. I want to introduce him to the diversity out there, I want him to be aware that although who a person is- is formed inside their soul, the skin that covers our souls comes in an array of colors and there are all types of people out there, with all different backgrounds, and THAT is a beautiful thing and is what makes our world and existence so incredible and great!

Read on!

Want more picture books with African American characters? Then check out these:

I Like Myself! board book by
Peekaboo Morning by
Come On, Rain! by

Baby Dance by


Phoenix read The Little Engine that Could yesterday, I think I can, I think I can!

Phoenix read The Little Engine that Could yesterday, we have the board book of this classic in the shape of a train, which is cute and it's fun to say to Phoenix look the train and go choo choo and travel the train the board book on his legs. The train shaped board book story is shorter than the original version, but you can get the full story as well (see below for links).
Our readers know we love board book sized books, perfect for little hands to hold and try giving your baby the book to hold whle watching him/her carefully, they will be bound to want to chew on the book first, but show them how to turn the pages and hold the book, I betcha they will with intrigue!
I love the simple but powerful message of trying something that at first might seem challenging, believing in yourself to do it, and not giving up. The Little Blue Engine doesn't think he can make it up the mountain but he wants to help the toys.
"I'm not very big. And I've never been over the mountain. But I will try."
As he makes it up the mountain the Little Blue Engine says to himself, "I think I can I think I can," and "thinking you can" leads to taking the steps of trying to accomplish it!
This is such a great mindset to have in life.
Self-belief is an important confidence building emotion to share with your baby or toddler, your child is never to young to start learning about having inner-strength and to believe in ones self, which carries through in all they experience.

Get the board book at and other editions.
Get this board book at
and the full edition.
Get this book from


Read on! Check out other popular post involving the board books we love at the Phoenix Baby Book Club! Where inspiration soars!

Phoenix is wearing a Burberry dress shirt and cashmere sweater and jeans from Children's Place.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Phoenix with his model-Mom at his photoshoot earlier this week

Phoenix booked his first baby modeling job with a formula company and it shot earlier this week, and this is a photo of Phoenix with his "model-Mom," Jacqueline, who held him and modeled with him in the photo-shoot. They worked so well together and Phoenix was all smiles :)

Phoenix with Photographer John Stuart at John Stuart Studio.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Phoenix's Baby Book Club Photo shoot sneak peek

A little preview from today's Phoenix baby book club photo shoot with Robert Milazzo! More pics will be up soon!


Listening to President Obama's second inaugural speech as a parent

As I held Phoenix and we both watched the TV screen, Phoenix sometimes belting out a yell or zest I thought about how hearing the President speak feels different now that I'm a mother. These are some of my favorite lines of President Obama's second inaugural speech and what they made me think about as a new parent.

I took the words in with a mindset that my baby is the next generation and he's so full of life and I hope this life of his gives him as much to be thankful for and happy about as I'm sure he will give it!

...for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

The word youth made me think of how Phoenix will graduate college in the year 2033 and how different or same the world will be then, how much taking care of eachother and this world means to the future generations.

We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

I thought about how I want Phoenix to grow up driven and ambitious and a hard worker, I'll teach him how to have pride in his work and to have goals in life, long term and short term, and to believe in himself. The power of self-believe is what shapes a life.

We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm.

Life sure is unpredictable and strength and faith are what keep a person keeping on, looking forward, carrying their inner peace and hope after the pain of a loss or misfortune. Take each moment to appreciate the day, notice the world around you, look at our babies and see the light in their eyes, the energy bursting off of them, the happiness in their smile for the new day and take ahold of that happiness and spread it around too. Love can not be broken or swept away.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Phoenix reads Five Shiny Stars-We love stars! A mini intro to the celestial bodies of outer space

We recently got Five Shiny Stars, a counting and numbers book, for Phoenix at the SoHo Scholastic bookstore. We love stars and Phoenix's wall above his crib is a starburst made of stickers that I created before he was born. Here's a pic. (Instead of Marilyn Monroe, now there is a wood plaque with Phoenix's name on it and a star ornaments with a P on it.

The first day we brought Phoenix home

We go over the word 'star' daily when we look at the wall mural.

I love that the cover of this book says Baby-3 years old. The word BABY is right on the cover! So there is no doubt you should be reading this to your baby. The more words your baby knows the better his language development will be, so fill your baby's library with a diverse amount of books that all bring new words to your reading sessions.

We love the die-cut board element of Give Shiny Stars, the stars are cut out and so fun to touch. As you count down the stars with your baby and in the end they are together in the sky to wish upon.

At the end the book plays music, kind of like a birthday card that plays a tune when you open it, when you turn the last page the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star tune plays and the words are there on the page to sing and read to your baby.

I love the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, doesn't every Mom?  But my reason is a bit deeper, I love looking at the moon and stars, I'm a star and moongazer, and this book is a little introduction to  the celestial bodies of outer space, just like this Twinkle Twinkle Little Star book is. I'm planning to get a telescope in the near future, and it would be thrilling if Phoenix also enjoys thinking and learning about the universe.

~Isobella & Phoenix

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Phoenix met Secrets of New York and Eat Out NY host Kelly Choi today

Phoenix met the wonderful Secrets of New York and Eat Out NY host Kelly Choi today. He looks forward to continuing to watch her successful tv series and see what his eyes can savor from watching her next shows. Soon Phoenix will even be able to savor the foods with his palate as well.


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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sharing the words of Martin Luther King, Jr with your baby or toddler

I just downloaded the new I Have a Dream book, by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson, put out by Random House for my Nook Kids app, and I can't wait to read it to Phoenix on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and throughout the year.

I'm so glad Random House put this book out! I flipped through it at the Scholastic bookstore in SoHo last week and I loved the illustrations and that each page represents a line of Martin Luther King, Jr's famous I Have a Dream speech.

I encourage you to buy this book in hardcover or for your Kindle or Nook (apps), one of my favorite lines of the I Have a Dream speech is: " I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

I love this line because that is what I want for Phoenix, throughout his life I want him to be judged only by the content of his character, by his actions and the words he chooses to use and the way he treats people. This is something all ages should be reminded of, to judge others only by how they treat others and to position yourself to be only judged by the way we treat others and the person we are inside.

Whether you read this in print or through e-reading, it is a must-have! The words are so inspiring and meaningful and the illustrations are so well done!

And now that I have a baby, a child that I want to raise to be a caring, compassionate, independent, driven and kind human being, Martin Luther King, Jr's words mean even more to me.

Get the I Have a Dream children's book at, or IndieBound.

Dream big and be careful with others and this precious earth we all share,


P.s: Do you have a Kindle Fire? Are you using Amazon's Kindle FreeTime Unlimited for children's books? Prime Amazon members get thousands of titles for $2.99 a month, non-Prime members pay $4.99 a month and THAT is an amazing price for ALL the books and videos you can read to your baby or toddler! LOTS of learning!


Phoenix visited the Progressive International Motorcycle Show

Phoenix had a fun time at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show at the Jacob Javits Center today, and his charming little smile kind of stole the show!

It was cool to see other babies and families at the show enjoying the bikes. Giving your baby experiences is what grows the mind and shapes the personality and the soul! :) And we might have a future rider in the works!

~Isobella & Phoenix

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Babysitters from Lucky Lil' Darlings share their favorite children's books

Sometimes Mama needs a break-just a little time to herself-some pampering-a lucid thought, and as much as we love spending this precious time in our lives with our little ones when I need a babysitter that's full of energy, sweet, caring and likes to read to Phoenix I use Lucky Lil' Darlings in New York City (you can book their sitters in 8 cities too!). I booked a sitter with them right after Phoenix was born and they are great for last minute bookings too. It was adorable recently when one of their sitters was reading to Phoenix while I was working on my new YA novel in the other room.
Here are 7 of the Lucky Lil Darlings sitters with their favorite children's books and why they love them!

But Not The Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton is not only my favorite kids book, it might be my favorite book in life.- Laura

The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Don Wood was my absolute favorite book when I was a kid! I would read it over and over again. The illustrations were like candy to me! Such soft colors and beautiful fluid lines. Plus the story was so much fun to follow. Even when I had it memorized, I would still laugh when each new character came into the room!- Mary
Pomelo Begins to Grow by Ramona Badescu and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. Gorgeous illustrations and a wonderful, fun story about a little pink elephant learning about the big world outside his garden.- Shea

Animal Sleep Stories by Daria Tessler. The illustrations in this book are fascinating, I love them as much as the kids do!- Lora

I am a Bunny by Ole Risom I’ve always loved Richard Scarry’s illustrations, and Nicholas is such a sweet bunny, love sharing this book with kids just learning to read!- Alison

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow. I don't know what it is about this book- but kids love reciting the words as soon as they learn to speak. In my experience, kids look forward to reading it (especially when you read in a goofy voice!), so it is a good tool to gather and calm them before bedtime.- Shannon

(By the way, OceanHouse Media just put out a great app for Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed for the iPad! Phoenix and I are checking it out and will let you know our thoughts soon!)

I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw. I love this book because my mom used to read it to me as a child and it is so sweet- Lindsay

I Love You Forever is also one of my favorites and it will be making an appearance on this blog very soon.  I hope you check out Lucky Lil Darlings, I love that their sitters love to read to kids!

Phoenix visits the Scholastic bookstore and HousingWorks bookstore cafe

Yes, we found a new story time in the city!

We stopped by story time at the Scholastic bookstore in SoHo and it's a REAL story time!! Singing and jumping is fun but I also like a real story time. No sing-a-longs, no jumping on mommy's knee, unless your baby wants to while he/she listens to the story. This place is a true story time, all about reading and 4-5 books were read by a very enthusastic reader! There were little babies, like Phoenix, and older toddlers like 3-4 years old. And the kids DO sit through the story time, of course there are some whines and cries and all that but the story time at the Scholastic bookstore also proved: babies can sit through story time and have the ability to listen and enjoy it. Although Phoenix was sleepy and slept through most of it, I was glad we came because it proved to be a great story time to tell you about! The store is huge and colorful and there LOTS and LOTS of books, the layout is fun and festive and it's a great experience to visit with your baby.
Daily story time 11 a.m. Tuesday, Weds, Thurs.
557 Broadway (Between Prince & Spring Streets

Know someone having a baby? THIS IS A GREAT GIFT! The gift of reading with your baby with these adorable book packages.

We bought: Clifford The Big Red Dog and the Scholastic book Five Shiny Stars.

Then we went to the HousingWorks bookstore cafe over on Crosby street. I was happy to find out the store has a children's section and we picked up Waddle by Rufus Butler Seder and right on the table I saw Dr. Seuss's Foot Book too! It was cute to see a mother with her son right there in the Children's books area reading and discovering new books at a great price!

Check out HousingWorks Bookstore's storytime! Every Wednesday at 10:30AM, songs and stories for tots 0–3 & their caretakers, $5 per family

Go on a story time adventure, make a memory and discover great books!

~Isobella & Phoenix

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Phoenix reads Clifford the BIG RED DOG

We read Clifford the BIG RED DOG today! I love board size books. It's the intro book of the Clifford series and we meet Elizabeth and her big red dog. I like the way the story shows us that Clifford is different and makes mistakes sometimes, but he's helpful and caring too, it's cute how Elizabeth shares the good things Clifford does and how much she loves him.

Phoenix books his first modeling job!

Awwww. My little prince booked his first modeling job, (has to do with feeding babies)...shoots next week! Wish us luck, this will be fun and Phoenix will be bringing his personality of course :) in the mean time we are reading Clifford and we have more exciting books to share soon!