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The Fairy Birds Teach About Giving

Teaching children the joy of giving

Last weekend I was invited to attend an event and book signing by the authors of a new book teaching children the joy of giving called Fairy Birds.

I checked out their website, and was so taken with the cute video and storyline of the book I couldn’t wait to take my girls.

Have you ever wondered where Fairy Godmothers came from?

The story follows a group of Fairy Birds who go to school to learn the secrets of becoming a Fairy Godmother.

In the Fairy Birds series, they learn how to grow each of six different colorful feathers needed to become a Fairy Godmother.

This first book teaches them how to earn their pink “Givie” feather by giving to others.

The story is based on giving, and teaching children the joy of giving, not only in big ways, but small ways too.

The ideas alone are just priceless.  That night after we got home from going out to dinner, my 7-year-old gave us this card.

Seriously? You can’t make this stuff up. The joy almost exploded out of my heart.

fairy birds note Follow Fairy Birds on Facebook for special offers and events, and put this book in your back pocket of awesome birthday gift ideas.

Include some little balloons with Givie Notes inside of them or a set of Fairy Godmother wings and you might just have the best present EVER.

Favorite Children’s Books to Share With Early Readers

This blog is all about my favorite books for early readers. 

Reading with our babies is big deal in our house. Now my little girl is learning to read on her own, which means lots of phonics (our favorite phonics program is – and it’s free!), sight words, sounding words out and lots of proud moments for her daddy and me when she excitedly recites a page on her own.

Here are some of our favorite books, I would love to hear yours as we are always on the look out for new additions to our library.

Favorite Books for Early Readers 

The Giving Tree written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein
Love this beautiful, classic story to share with my kids.

BOB Booksby Bobby Lynn Maslen (author), John R. Maslen (illustrator)
This is an amazing series of books that my little girl loves which has books for all levels of beginning readers.

Chica Chicka Boom Boomby Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, Lois Ehlert (illustrator)
What a fun story introduced to us in kindergarten – all about lower and upper case letters.  There’s also a catchy tune that goes with the book – my kids sing it on repeat.

Hop on Pop - by Dr. Seuss
Really, anything by Dr. Seuss is classic! Easy-to-read rhyming words that teach us through silly stories and masterful concepts. Love that Dr. Seuss!

The Little Engine That Couldby Watty Piper
Both of my kids adore this classic story, and my son (who is absolutely train obsessed) wants to read it every night.  An “oldie but goodie” lesson to teach my kiddos!

“The World of Biscut” stories (a collection of Biscut books) – by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
An adorable little pup who teaches my kids reading and life lessons through his many adventures – such an adorable series!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - written and illustrated by Eric Carle
Hmmmm, this is one of my son’s favorites.  Learning to count…and food.  My daughter loves learning about butterflies.  Win-win!

The Rainbow Fish - written and drawn by Marcus Pfister (translated into English by J. Alison James
A wonderful story about sharing…with gorgeous illustrations to admire while you’re reading.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper (illustrator), Nancy M. Leak (illustrator)
I read this to my children every year on the eve before their first day of school. And yes, I cry.  If you haven’t read it, check it out…all about helping your kiddos feel more comfortable starting school.

What are your favorite children’s books?  
What helps your kids learn to read?
Share below!

Recommended Summer Reads

Good summer reads 2013

Last week I reached out to my personal and Tiny Oranges Facebook friends for recommendations on good summer reads.

So many people had good book recommendations, I had to share the list with you. I just finished Gone Girl, and it was SO GOOD. I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend if you haven’t read.

Do you have some must read books to share? Please comment below!

Good Summer Reads 

War Brides

The Last Letter from Your Lover

Orphan Train

Someone Could Get Hurt

Gone Girl

Kite Runner

The Fever Tree

What Alice Forgot

Sarah’s Key

The Storyteller

Fly Away


Defending Jacob

Executive Orders

When She Woke


Game of Thrones

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Beautiful Ruins

The Fault in Our Stars

Truth in Advertising


Punished for Purpose

Reconstructing Amelia

The Language of Flowers

The Night Circus

Never Smile at Strangers

The Pillars of the Earth

The Glass Castle

Me Before You

The Snow Child

Life of Pi

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I Know This Much Is True

The Round House

Brooklyn Girls

Someday, Someday, Maybe

The Kitchen House

Your turn! Please share some favorite books of yours!

Singing Praises for Fancy Nancy the Musical Songs

Oh Fancy Nancy, how I adore thee. Your fancy words, your spunky personality, your fun way of teaching my kiddos new vocabulary….and now your songs on our favorite new Fancy Nancy the Musical CD we were recently sent for review. The CD features the original Off-Broadway cast recording and I was pleasantly surprised to find that even I sang along and enjoyed it.

So yes, I am singing praises for Fancy Nancy the Musical songs and anyone with their own little Fancy Nancy will say, “Oh la la!” to this collection too.

My daughter is just beginning to read this adorable series, created and written by Jane O’Connor, about a girl named Nancy who makes it her mission to make everything fancy. And, my little girl LOVES being fancy (see above picture for proof).

Boas, sparkles, tutus, tea parties, and of course, practicing the use of “fancy” words are her cup of tea.

In this super cute collection of tunes, it tells the story of Nancy and her best friend Bree, who want to be fancy mermaids in their upcoming dance recital…and Nancy ends up being cast as a…wait for it…a TREE.

Nancy bemoans…what is fancy about a TREE?  And thus, the musical comes alive and takes you on a sweet little storyline of how Nancy and Bree cope with being cast as “ordinary” parts (that’s a fancy word for simple!), versus fancy, glamorous stars.

The songs are upbeat, catchy, and pretty darn cute. Even my three-year-old son doesn’t seem to mind listening. (You can check out a preview of the songs on YouTube, and see for yourself how entertaining they are).

Each morning, my little princess asks me to put on Fancy Nancy in the car.  When I asked her why she likes it, this is what she said, “I like the under the sea music.  It makes me happy.  Oh, and I like her [Nancy's] crown and fancy stuff.”  Well, folks…enough said!

And if Fancy Nancy the Musical ever visits Southern California, my little girl and I are going to have a girl date…starting with a fancy tea party, of course.

Disclosure:  I was given this CD to listen to by Danny Abosch (Composer, Arranger, Music Educator), which features his music…and I am SO excited that my little girl and I can finally sing along to Fancy Nancy songs, as well as read her books! Merci Danny!

Surf Books for Kids [Giveaway]

The Adventures of Kirra and Rincon are darling surf books for kids and living in So Cal, I am sure there are a ton of surf-loving families who would love these books!  Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a set of these cute surf books for kids!

The original book, Li’l Kids, Big Waves is a story about a girl named Kirra who leaves Australia to visit her cousin Rincon in California and the surfing adventures that follow.

My daughters love the bright pictures and melodic prose and I love the positive messages throughout like eating healthy snacks, picking up trash on the beach and appreciating friends and nature (not to mention the inspiring “girl power” when Kirra is the first to catch a perfect barrel wave!)

The newly released second book, Warm Winter Waves, is about Kirra and Rincon and their journey to Hawaii to explore different surf spots.

Warning: It will make you want to book a trip to Hawaii with your family. Like now.

Once again, this delightful book is filled with positive messages including respect for the ocean, friendship and the importance of helping a friend in need.

You can purchase the books at  The first edition is also available in both hard cover and soft cover, and also on iBook, Kindle, Kobo and Nook. These books would make a great gift for any child ages 3+.

Hooray! It’s a Tiny Giveaway! One lucky reader will win a copy of both books autographed by the author along with a special Kirra and Rincon tee-shirt.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Disclosure: I was provided a copy of these books as a gift from my friend Shelley who is one of the talented authors.]