Monday, March 25, 2013

Five books for the Easter Basket

The PBBC book picks that would be thoughtful and perfect to put in your baby or toddlers Easter basket, and even read throughout the year.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, it's not based on Easter but it's a delightful book baby boys and girls and I like the board book size to fit in little hands.

Clifford's Happy Easter, I'm getting into the Clifford series and love the lessons and good spirited stories about acceptance and helping for others.

Ollie's Easter Eggs, I'm also getting into the Ollie series, they are quick reads and have lessons of friendship, sharing, patience, and this one is based on dying Easter eggs.

The Runaway Bunny, not screaming Easter but it's an adorable book about love and family, which is perfect for the holiday and year round.

Duck and Goose, Here comes Easter, this is a fun Easter read to introduce the series to your baby and keep in mind there are also many other cute and colorful Duck and Goose books about friendship and kindness to share year round with your little one.


Isobella & Phoenix

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A one fish two fish kind of day

Visiting Grandma and rocking Dr.Seuss onesie :) we read lots of Dr.Seuss and love the apps too!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Phoenix and I read Pat the Bunny

Grandma gave us this classic and Phoenix and I enjoyed reading this quick read with fun interactive elements based on touch and feeling different textures and shapes. I like the page about putting your finger through mommy's ring. A perfect book to share with your little one but keep in mind the book is bound by a plastic ring and it's sort of fragile. Phoenix has already chewed off the corner of the book ;) it's all a part of the reading experience!

Isobella & Phoenix

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Enjoying your own ride and having self belief as a person and parent

Phoenix at music class at Kids at Work
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Once upon a time on a cold winter day when it was supposed to be Spring three best friends met on top of a mountain: Squirrel went down the mountain on a pair of sticks as skis, whissshhh whoooeeee, Bear went down on a big ol' wood sled, bounce, bahhbounce, and Rabbit tumbled his way down body-sliding, thump thump thud. Each went their own way and enjoyed their own ride and shared the fun of it with each other at the bottom but no one said their way was the best, it was just the best for themselves and they enjoyed their ride again and again until the sun went down. That's how I feel about each of our lifestyles and embracing your own (and parenting styles), having faith and trust in yourself and it doesn't matter how your friend or another person gets down the mountain, do it your way, what's comfortable and enjoyable for you, others might judge or have opinions but it's your ride. So during this journey called life HAVE RIDE PRIDE! There's no need to compare or judge just embrace the way, your way. Also imagine if there wasn't Google to research the answer, no, you wouldn't go to yahoo, imagine yahoo gone too and all the etc., instead you would either go to your family traditions or you'd listen to your heart, you'd debate and think about it, you'd figure it out on your own, you'd find a way, hear your inner voice and do it your way. :)

This weeks library read: A Seed is Sleepy

Spring is coming...Sleet and rain might recently be all over New York City but Spring is coming, Sun Shine ON, or at least that's our mindset! At the library yesterday we read A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long, it's a perfect read to share with your little one as Spring arrives.  The book shares seeds of all types, some I never even heard of like the Texas Barberry and the Hamburger Bean and the descriptions bring out the personality of the book, including how and why a seed is sleepy, secretive and important, etc., read so beautifully, almost like a poem.

The book is very detailed, you might not at first think this is something you'd read to a baby but you can skim it down by just sharing the type of seeds and colors with your baby and what type of seed it is, later the book will grow with your baby and the information will become inspirational as a source book for daily adventures in the backyard or at the park.

Grab the moment, our babies grow fast. Treasure it now, each little snuggle.

~Isobella & Phoenix



Monday, March 18, 2013

We read Look! Look! by Peter Linenthal

(that's one happy reader!)

One of our reads is Look! Look! by Peter Linenthal, yes sunshine is golden, and typically flowers are pinks, yellows and blues but I love the creative cut-out feel of the black and white graphics in the book. Fun to read and look at, and right now patterns are in trend! haha :)

(that brown stick thing is one of my ol' wooden spoons, turned into a teething spoon)
Read to your baby every day, at a certain time of day, on the hour, share books you love and stories that bring out your inner child and remind you to slow down and catch the little things that mean the most.
~Isobella & Phoenix

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Phoenix met fashion designer Kenneth Cole today at Bloomingdales! And I got a cute dress!

(notice his orange and blue, let's go Syracuse!)

I gave him a copy of my YA novel Careful, I thought he'd like the texting and driving awareness element in the book since Estella dies in a T&D crash. I should have asked him what his favorite children's book is. DARN!

I got this super cute Kenneth Cole dress for Spring and summer, I love the blue color, can't wait to rock it! Except because I'm short the dress goes to my knee, which I think is even cuter! ;) rock it your way petite girls!

~Isobella & Phoenix

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Easter children's book apps and bunny apps that are appealing

We will be sharing our Easter Picks for print books but if you are traveling over Easter here are some great apps to have handy for the little ones because story time travels with you. We will be reading these two:

Along with being a perfect festive read over the Easter holiday in the book your child can go on their own Easter egg hunt, there's 100 eggs, can you find them all?

I'm excited to read these two to Phoenix over the Easter holiday we also suggest checking out in the app store these fun, interactive and creative, colorful apps that involve a holiday theme:

Cuddly as a Bunny - Picture Me® , turn your child's photo into a cute bunny.

Pat the Bunny, this classic children's book ( we just got it, and will be featuring it soon) is a cute Easter egg hunt app!

Easter Egg Coloring Book by peep software. Have coloring eggs with a tap, tap, touch screen egg coloring! Not better than real thinggbut cool!

The Tale of Peter Rabbit Special Easter Edition by once upon an app, which looks like a lot of fun!

Loud Crow Interactive Inc has a PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit which is really creative and well done! Loud Crow also has beautiful apps for Goodnight Moon and the Charlie Brown series and Sandra Boynton’s touching, funny and cool books.

Happy Easter egg hunting!

~Isobella & Phoenix

Thursday, March 14, 2013

This weeks library reads for baby story time

Today I read Jack and the Beanstalk to Phoenix, was thinking the movie is coming out maybe this will be fun, but then regretted it because this book is about stealing! Sick of picking up books with a bad message, there are so many terrible books out there. It’s so annoying to read them as a parent and see a different perspective. And TV and movies. We watched Pinocchio the other day and it's about wishing on a star and not lying but also Pinocchio drinks beer and smokes a cigar! Opps forgot about that part. Well, I don’t believe fully in monkey see monkey do, especially if your kids is raised with morals and is a caring person.  For some reason I thought Jack and the Beanstalk was an inspiring tale, but I felt weird saying to Phoenix "I smell the blood of an Englishman," although luckily he seemed more amused with this vtech-walker toy but I know his ears are always listening. After we read it once it went straight back to the library.
We also borrowed from the library Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies which could be a friend of the book Nightsong by Ari Beck and it's about the night baseball adventures of bats and the beautiful illustrations caught my attention, so detailed, coverful, alive and if you are a baseball fan then youl'l like the baseball lingo thrown in and the creative bat baseball song and mothdogs.

A Good Day's Fishing by James Prosek grabbed my attention because of the beautiful pen and painted illustrations. The book goes through a boy's tackle box and what's inside as he shares with us the secret for a good day's fishing. We really liked reading it and learned a lot of fishing language and different types of fish, which was fun to share with Phoenix and I learned a lot too. If you are intriued with the fishing lifestyle you'll enjoy the lure and fly glossary at the back of the book. Check out James Prosek's other fish books! 

New Books from are on the way!

We recently bought books from, it's in the same landscape as, , and others. We got 30 % off our first order too which was great! You should check them out and you can shop all the sites for the same order.

We have on the way:

Look, Look! by Peter Linenthal, Board Book I liked the cut-out illustration element, seems stimulating and creative to read.

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman, we love Bear Snores On as a nightly ritual so this will be good for during the day time and this Spring and Summer at the park. I look forward to the Spring-like bright colors of the illustrations.

And Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I swear I read this as a kid and I remember it being good but I look forward to the refreshment when reading it again to Phoenix.

Find our reading adventures also on Twitter


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A reading session with three very different children's books

Phoenix, five and half months, with the books we read during our reading session

A diaper change at Barnes and Noble became a reading session before Mommy and Baby yoga.

I wasn't ever really interested in the book I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen and I'm still not so sure about this book, but I gave it a chance today. The cover looks unappealing, like a blah Bear, not that exciting, it's just of a Bear-like figure that wants his hat back. Okay, so the Bear asks all the animals he encounters in a polite manner if they've seen his hat, I thought it was a nice touch for the book to show manners when asking for something, asking questions about something you need or interacting with someone while searching for something you lost. The Bear runs into the only animal, a rabbit, with a hat on but the Bear doesn't distinguish it's his. Until later when he meets the deer and remembers the rabbit had his hat on. OMG?? like DUUHHH? Anyways, I was okay with the book until the end when the Bear becomes a total jerk (or asshole if kids aren't around), if you pick up the book at the bookstore you'll see how he starts telling a squirel to leave him alone and not to ask him questions and I found this to be a shitty ending.

Inside My Imagination by Marta Arteaga and illustrated by Zuzanna Celej really caught my heart today.  First I loved the cover with the fall foliage and the door in the tree. Next, the book was all about creative thoughts, based on the story a girl writes one day and she "breathed in one of the words and something magical happened" but really using your imagination isn't surreal, it's real I found it clever how we followed the girl traveling through her imagination and sharing with us all she thinks. Sounds deep right? Well it is and that's okay, you and your baby or child of any age can handle it, it's really so beautiful and I loved the dream-like illustrations and all she imagines collaged together. It can inspire your child to use their creative side and turn their right-brain on!

The Monster's Monster by Patrick McDonnell suprised me, the cover was a little dopey, halloween-ish too, I wasn't sure what to expect but quickly Phoenix really liked it or maybe it was the fun sounds I was making while reading of being BIG and BAD that caught his attention. This is a story about realizing that when you stop trying to be a sterotype (or a monster) or expecting someone else to be a certain way (like the expectations of the monster the monster's created) and you just relax you then discover the real you. Well that's what I got from it. The little rug rat monsters are set on being the Biggest Baddest Monsters Ever! But when they create their own  Big and Bad Monster, it turns out he is nice and has manners, saying thank you and being friendly. In a sweet and simple way the Monster's Monster helps the little rug rat monsters chill with trying so hard at being bad and to just appreciate the moment and let all inner aggression go, along with teaching them the words: thank you.

We liked Patrick McDonnell's Gift of Nothing too.

Create your own story time adventures anytime, we usually have a book in our stroller basket too so we can scoot into a cafe or coffee shop and have some mommy and me reading time.

Grab a book it only takes a few minutes to make a book memory and find an advenure!

~Isobella & Phoenix

More storytime adventures:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Phoenix and I read Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola

My favorite witch of all time! Strega Nona "which meant "Grandma Witch"" is a wonderful book by Tomie de Paola about a magic pasta pot, but you better know the last few words of the spell, or else the pasta won't stop!

Phoenix loved it whenever I said the words "pasta pot"  and giggled so hard, which meant I said "pasta pot" many more times than the book read because I love his giggle so much!

Tomie de Paola's charming illustrations have an italian style with lots of round shapes that welcome you in like a warm hug before a good meal and leave you hungry for more! 

Strega Nona's helper Big Anthony is told to stay away from the pasta pot, and when Strega Nona goes on a trip Big Anthony discovers the consequences of not listening to Grandma Witch!

Parts of this book reminded me of Fantasia and Micky Mouse as the apprentice of the sorcerer and the broomsticks multiplying and water overflowing!

Check out the other books of Tomie de Paola too.

Love it every time!

Isobella & Phoenix

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Our adventures at the VH1 Save the Music Family Day & we visited The American Museum of Natural History

Had a fun day at the VH1 Save the Music Family Day Phoenix had fun playing and listening to music and he even got to meet the cool 9 year old prodigy DJ Fulano aww

Citibabes music class
Playing in the music room
 banging on bongos!
Phoenix went to space!


Friday, March 8, 2013

At the Kids at Work music class babies work their musical and creative spirit!

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Yesterday we had a blast at a Kids at Work music class, this is way more than a typical just shake shakers music class. The boutique-style, friendly and warm, upbeat and positive energy we got from the Baby Jam Session yesterday was such a highlight of our day, and week!

This was the first time Phoenix had seen a guitar playing live right in front of him and he was playful and happy the whole time while listening to Julie and Gordon sing and create such a fun and creative music learning space.

We loved Julie's beautiful voice singing You are my Sunshine and it's sweet how the class starts and ends with a hello and good bye song that includes all the names of the kids in the class.We heard songs we knew and also new songs, which is extra fun. 

One of my favorite parts, and I think Phoenix's too, was the parachute! The babies could touch it and pull on it and even chew on it...there was more...they got real stimulation from the flowing, rhythmic movement of the parachute when the adults moved it (and the babies moved the parachute too!) and we loved when it went fast and then slow and flew above and then whisked away.

Phoenix got to play drums and during the jam session really was active playing with all the instruments for kids. Every baby was in tune with the class, absorbed and happy, happy!

What I especially love about Kids at Work is the Drop-In Style. There isn't a commitment to one class or one day or time, you can go when you want and I like this because life for us is unpredictable and I'm all about mixing schedule flexibility and fun!

Make sure your baby's music class involves more than a tape player playing a song and just shaking shakers, if there isn't a real piano or guitar then it isn't up to par, at Kids at Work these babies are working their musical and creative spirit, that's for sure!

We are planning for this to be a regular thing!

We are signing up!

Isobella & Phoenix

Snow Day Read: Rabbit's Gift by George Shannon and illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Rabbit's Gift by George Shannon and illustrated by Laura Dronzek is a beautiful children's book with an important message of giving to others and being compassionate.  It starts with a rabbit that has more food (a turnip) than he needs and decides to give the extra turnip to one of his animal friends who might not have enough food for the long winter, who then passes it on to another friend and that friend has enough food so the turnip gets passed on to another, and it continues.  The animals also don't know who's left the turnip on their doorstep because it has been snowing and the snow has covered the animals tracks, in the end the turnip ends up back at the rabbit's and the rabbit shares the turnip with everyone at an animal get together.

Share books with your baby that involve generosity.  Let us know what you are reading on Twitter.

~Isobella & Phoenix

Thursday, March 7, 2013

This Weeks Library Reads: it's an animal orchestra!

This week's library reads are, The Big Woods Orchestra by Guido Van Genechten and Maestro Stu Saves the Day by Denise Brennah-Nelson and illustrated by Tim Bowers.

I wish I could say I planned it because both books are about animals and music but it was ironic too me, because I only had quickly glanced through the books at the library and loved the illustrations and got the gist of the story, but i didn't know until we got home the both books involve the sounds animals make. I guess the cover should have told me, but that's just being a busy Mom.

I love the illustrations in both books, The Big Woods Orchestra has very detailed illustrations of birds and is about how the woods come alive with sounds of birds at night and in the morning and how the other animals come to listen, Maestro Stu Saves the Day is a longer story with great illustrations of zoo animals and the story about how Maestro Stu and the animals use the animals music to save the zoo from becoming a mall! Although Maetro Stu Saves the Day is a longer read for parents it's easy to make this story fun for all ages with the sounds of the animals and the great illustrations. Your child will grow with this book and the book will grow with the child.

Get your baby a library card and share with us the books you are reading on Twitter, with the hash tag #bookswelovetoread @IsobellaJade

Whenever we leave the house, I always sing to Phoenix, We're going on a Bear Hunt, and also sing Susan Boynton's book Snuggle Puppy which has become a little nick name for my handsome little man. Carry the book with you through your day, in your mind, in your heart and share it with your baby as you learn and grow each day together.

~Isobella & Phoenix


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Phoenix Baby Book Club Readings: a narration of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

We have a new series launching at the Phoenix Baby Book Club that involves children's book readings and narrations from the books we love to read. The series is meant to inspire parents and people who might not feel comfortable reading out loud to their baby or kids, or just want some inspiration on reading out loud. I'm not a super-duper know-it-all about reading to your baby, but I do know we really enjoy our reading sessions. Reading out loud does involve a certain type of enthusiasm and I hope while listening to some of our reading sessions parents that might be unsure of how to give a reading experience energy will feel inspired. You can listen to our first narration here of The Very Hungry Caterpillar or below. Also you will find tips on how to have a better reading experience with your baby.

And feel free to share your own children's book readings and narrations or photos of your baby and the book you're reading together, share them with us for a chance to be featured on the Phoenix Baby Book Club/ Tell us about your reading adventures on Twitter with the hashtag #bookswelovetoread @IsobellaJade

*While reading together remind your baby to look at the caterpillar by saying "Look, look at the caterpillar on the leaf,  or eating an apple, pear, etc."

*Practice reading the book as if you are sharing it with a friend, your voice doesn't need to be dramatic, just relaxed and casual but positive and energetic, if you mess up on a word, whatever, your baby will never know.

*It takes a certain silliness to get through parenthood and also reading to your baby. Loosen up and just like singing a song to your baby or playing peek-a-boo bring your silliness to the book and read it with curious wonder and a fun and upbeat style. You are reading with your baby, it's a new experience for both of you so approach the book like it's something to discover, the story awaits.

*Keep the story going. In the book your baby will learn about different fruits, but also there is a counting element you can also include while you read.

*Share everything on the page with your baby, the story mentions the moon so be sure to point to the moon and say "moon" again to your baby, along with leaf and the sun.

*Your baby's reading experience should involve repetition, babies love repetition and certain words will make your baby giggle also, so after you read it, repeat it, keep sharing what the caterpillar is doing.

*Bring energy and enthusiasm (but not too dramatic) to your reading, it might just be a caterpillar crawling on the dirt and eating through food, but to your baby it's a new world to discover and the colors and words are interesting. Your baby is paying attention to the emotion in your voice so bring emotion to the word or sentence!

There's a moment as a parent when it hits you that you're baby can hear you and responds to your voice. That you're not just talking to your husband in the livingroom but there's a third party in the room looking at you, taking it all in and curious. From in the womb, the tone of your voice is the first example of verbal communication of emotions for your baby. Reading is a way to share emotions, share compassion and wonder, and how big and how small this beautiful world is.

Spread the love of books around.

~Isobella & Phoenix

Want more of The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Phoenix reads The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Phoenix and I recently read The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. Such a sweet story about a curious and rebellious rabbit who causes mischief. Of course when Peter's mother warns him to stay away from the garden he hops straight to it, and after being caught in Mr. McGregor's garden he goes running for his life, and he really learns a lesson about not doing what he's told.

He's quite a stylish bunny. Check out Gap's Peter Rabbit Collection for babies. Lok at this super cute Peter Rabbit onesie.

~Isobella & Phoenix

Phoenix wears a Burberry sweater and Children's Place shirt, pants and socks

Phoenix visits the Kid Food Fest this weekend

We had fun at the Kids Food Fest this weekend! It was pretty cold out, I wish the sun had come out, and we didn't get to stay for too long :( but we still had a good time.
I took special notice of the boarch book The Creative Kitchen has published, it's a lunchbox-shaped children's book called Everybody Eat Lunch a about eating healthy and foods from different cultures too. Check out The Creative Kitchen's cooking classes for kids!

Phoenix checks out 's diapers at the diaper station at the
We also saw one of our favorite toy stores there, Piccolini, based in Little Italy, we bought books and a couple toys for Phoenix there before he was born.
We picked up their Hot Dog and Pretzel onesie for Phoenix to rock all Spring and Summer!
I love the soft organic cotton too!
*Made in the USA
* A portion of the profits will go toward Sandy Relief
We also enjoyed samples and learning more about Plum Organics and their great products for kids, tots and babies, Phoenix will be trying Plum's peas soon, and my husband and I liked sampling their Jammy Sammy's for kids which are kind of like a fig newton, on the way home my husband and I were already enjoying our Honest organic juices too.
The Kids Food Festival will be in Washington D.C Fall 2013.
 ~Isobella & Phoenix

Introducing the Phoenix Baby Book Club Narration Series

I was chatting with a friend about how for some people/parents reading outloud (reading is sort of like public speaking) and reading to their children might be not of interest because they don't think they read-out-loud well, well...I have some tips on that and a new venture on The Phoenix Baby Book Club to help :) Stay tuned! You'll like this!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Phoenix and I are watching Super Soul Sunday on OWN

We are watching Super Soul Sunday on OWN TV this morning, food for the soul :) connecting with your thoughts, controlling them, being at ease, opening your heart and getting in touch with the soul as Oprah interviews author Don Miguel Ruiz about his book Four Agreements.


See what people are saying about Four Agreements on Twitter: #fouragreements

Say, you think you have no time to read something inspirational and connect with your soul, and you have limited time for yourself and getting 'some inner peace' seems impossible, well remember you can always read inspirational books and books that inspire you to think and live deeper to your baby.

Babies are so active you have to keep an eye on them every second, especially at five months, like my little curious Phoenix, but before nap time it's a nice idea to read something soothing, thoughtful and peaceful to your baby, consider reading Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and also The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, recently featured on OWN Super Soul Sunday.

Your baby loves hearing your voice and you can always share your spiritual self with your baby and get some inner peace while you're at it too!

~Isobella & Phoenix
Stay connected to the Phoenix Baby Book Club posts on Twitter:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss: book promos and events for your baby or toddler

Are you ready to Read Across America ?!  It's time to Hop on Pop and check out that Wocket in your Pocket and take a walk down Mulberry Street and have some Green Eggs and Ham!

It's Dr. Seuss's birthday this weekend

Tomorrow, March 2nd is Dr. Seuss's birthday! We love Dr. Seuss and are always reading Hop on Pop, The Foot Book and Cat in the Hat to Phoenix. We also recently downloaded the children's book app for The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss, which is awesome (Did you check out our interview with the founder of Oceanhouse Media, they create the Dr. Seuss children's book apps!)

In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday there are a lot of promotions, events and book specials going on March 1-3. Incase you can't get out to the library or an event you can still celebrate with these awesome promos. Or just pick up a Dr.Seuss book and enjoy sharing the fun rhymes and characters with your little one.

Get a Dr. Seuss deal
Oceanhouse Media has a great promotion going on from March 1st through March 7th and there's More than 40 Dr. Seuss apps on sale ranging in price from 99 cents to $8.99 including classic books, short stories, book collections, cameras and game, check it out on the App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Barnes and Noble NOOK Store and Windows Store.

Early Moments is giving away free audio books, get 5 Dr. Seuss storybooks for $5.95 and this includes shipping!

A few storytime events in the NYC area
Check out Dr. Seuss storytime and Craft Program March 2nd at the East 23rd Library in Manhattan.
Check out Dr. Seuss storytime March 2nd at the Greenlight bookstore in Brooklyn.
Check out Dr. Seuss storytime March 2nd at the New York Public Library in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Check out the Dr. Seuss celebration March 2nd at the Jerome Park Library in the Bronx.

More Dr. Seuss events via TimeOutKids and check out

Check out the Phoenix Baby Book Club Dr. Seuss book features here

~Isobella & Phoenix

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