Sheila Regan
Bookshelf
People who follow Minnesota writer Bao Phi on Facebook know that his feed is like a live memoir. His anecdotes about parenting, and his musings on writing, life and the world can be a joy to follow. In fact, one of his Facebook posts — a poignant story about going shopping with his 8-year-old daughter, Sông, and losing her in the store — compelled two filmmakers, Dominic Tassencourt Howes and Joel Weber, to create a beautiful short video poem, starring local actor Randy Reyes, titled... more
Uniquely me
Variety is the spice of life, and these books celebrate that fact.Being different is hard, especially for children who are trying to fit in or just beginning to understand societal norms.These books all feature lessons about how it’s important to be true to yourself and celebrate the diversity in life.I’m a Girl!A little mouse who loves... more
Woof! Bounce! Meow!
Is there anything better than a fluffy friend? Pets can teach valuable lessons to kids, like the importance of kindness, sharing, responsibilities and even loss. They’re also darn cute. Crack these books open to explore not just the wacky adventures of adorable creatures, but also how kids should act around animals.The Best Days Are Dog... more
Action-packed pages!
Summer is here! And that means (we hope) you’ll have a little extra time for reading with the kids — at home, at the cabin or in the car.Get started with three, new super-engaging books for babies and toddlers, plus six highly visual books to keep school-aged kids busy with critical-thinking challenges and creative play! Out of the... more
Best buddies
Learning how to be a good friend isn’t easy. Sharing and saying sorry sincerely (when you’ve made a mistake) are required skills. And — as these new stories show — children must also learn empathy, patience, loyalty, inclusiveness and even the ability to look past prejudice and the intimidation of bullies.My Friend MaggieThis tale of... more
Search and find
Not all reading time must be filled with traditional, narrative stories.Each of these books tells its own kind of tale, ideal for parents and kids who like a challenge and time spent poring over beautiful printed pages. The Lost HouseThis is one of the hardest search-and-find books we’ve ever seen!Even after you’ve found everything... more
Tales for toddlers
One More Tickle!This new Guess How Much I Love You puppet board book stole our hearts! Its built-into-the-book Nutbrown Hare is super-soft and features floppy ears and little pockets that allow parents to move his head and paws around in realistic, animated ways. “Are you ticklish?” asks Big Nutbrown Hare. “Can I tickle your ears and see... more
Beyond books
Little kids don’t need anything fancy to get interested in reading. They require only a willing parent and a book or two.But sometimes literary bells and whistles — such as those included with the books here — can be just the thing to encourage kids to use their imaginations, engage in creative play and maybe even go the heck to sleep!... more
Holiday joy!
It’s almost winter and the holidays are near: What better time could there be to snuggle up and read?Check out the following titles, all new this year, that help celebrate the season.Maple & Willow’s Christmas Tree These two adorable, sometimes snarky sisters — captured, as usual, in gorgeous drawings by author-illustrator Lori... more
Building character
Ages 0–3Picture BooksGiraffes Can’t Danceby Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-ReesMeet Gerald, a giraffe who desperately wants to dance, but can’t quite get his long, wobbly legs to cooperate. With perseverance and a little encouragement from a new friend, Gerald succeeds. Gerald’s story will inspire your kids to try, try again, and make... more
School triumphs
Here we are, already in the thick of the school year.And that means watching your kid face the challenges of academics, friendships and even the pressures of Picture Day!It’s not easy.Check out how the characters (both human and animal) in these books find interesting ways to conquer their fears and emerge triumphantly. Coasting... more
Favorite first books
It’s never too early to read with your baby!In fact, early childhood development experts recommend reading to children from birth — at least 20 minutes a day, three days a week (read20.org).Here are some of our favorite books for babies. Find reading lists for all age groups (including age 0 to 12 months) at readingfoundation.org.... more
Book for tweens
Chelsea Clinton, with her book, It’s Your World, challenged tweens in 2015 to “get informed, get inspired and get going” to make positive changes in the world.Now, given the history her mother made recently — becoming the first female nominee for President of the United States — this book ($18.99), which explores the challenges of... more
The Art of Roughhousing
Drawing inspiration from martial arts, ballet, gymnastics, other sports and even animal behaviors, the authors of this 2011 book ($14.95) — gastroenterologist Anthony DeBenedet (a father of three girls) and Lawrence Cohen, a psychologist and family therapist — present dozens of illustrated rough-and-tumble activities for... more
School supplies
 The Lockdown Drill School children today don’t just take part in fire drills.Because of numerous attacks on schools in recent years, kids as young as preschool-age are required to participate in lockdown drills that involve preparing for intruders, typically by hiding.And that can be scary.That’s why Tennessee native... more
Sleepless in summer
Summer on the North Coast brings with it that mixed blessing of longer days for parents: Yes, it means more daylight for outdoor fun, but it also means putting the kids to bed well before the sun goes down. Perhaps you can lull your little one to sleep — or at least while away the hours — with one of these new-in-2016 sleep-adventure... more
Get out there!
Kids need nature play and outdoor activities. But when there are 1,000 free cool games on the iPad, you’re facing an uphill battle, even in summer — unless you get creative and get excited to try new things.Here are just a few of the latest outdoors books perfectly tailored to families in need of inspiration and motivation:M Is for... more
Road trip, anyone?
In anticipation of the summer travel season, we’re taking a look at five backseat books to keep the kids from whining the whole trip to Grand View Lodge, Grand Marais, Chicago, Milwaukee, Mount Rushmore, Wisconsin Dells, the cabin or wherever it is you’re going this year. Each of them is entertaining — and educational — in its own way.... more
Books for mamas-to-be
Whether you’re a new-mom-to-be on a quest for fresh knowledge, a friend looking for a fun baby-shower book or a grandparent in search of a perfect Mother’s Day gift for your daughter, we hope you’ll find something in this mix to pique your interest. Ma Doula: A Story Tour of BirthYou’ll hear a lot of birth stories during your... more
Board book treasures
Sundogs A to ZKay Elliott of Richfield came out with her first children’s book, Sundogs: Journey to the Great Windmill, in 2012, appealing to young readers with dogs of many vibrant colors (dedicated to all the canines she’s called her own). When Elliott learned she would become a grandmother for the first time, she decided to write a... more
Coloring books for grownups!
Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. In fact, publishers are catering to adults like never before with a bevy of adult coloring books released in the past year. The Doctor Who Coloring Book? Yep, that’s a thing. There’s also an Indie Rock Coloring Book (featuring pages dedicated to bands like Bon Iver and Iron & Wine) and The Tattoo... more
Winter's joy!
Minnesota winters can be harsh, sure. But brrrrrr is our thing: We can take pride in our resilience and the fact that we have real seasons here. Honestly, who wants to live in California where it’s 70 degrees every day? (Wait, don’t answer that.) OK, so how can we teach our kids to enjoy and embrace the crisp, clean air of winter? Check... more
Holiday books for kids!
Christmas can truly be a magical time for our kids. As parents, we get to relive the wonder of it all, while also imparting — and often inventing — family traditions. One of the rituals in my family is reading holiday books together. I don’t keep holiday books in rotation during the rest of the year, however. They get put away with the... more
Gift books!
Books make awesome holiday presents, don’t you think? These new gems are ideal for families looking for something fresh, entirely unexpected and, we think, delightful (any time of year). Enjoy! LEGO Awesome IdeasLooking to get your kids to actually reuse their LEGOs for creative free building — rather than just buying... more
Works of art
Are you looking for new and interesting kids’ books for your family (or perhaps for some early holiday gifts)? Either way, put these three great finds on your list.So much greatness is going on in the world of children’s books — including folk art, comics and more — we parents have no excuse to not read to — or with — our kids... more
Books for kindergarten and beyond
Reading to our children is fun — and can bring us hours of enjoyment and quality time together (especially if bedtime goes well)! But what happens when it’s time to get the kids to read to themselves?Fortunately, there are oodles of resources out there to foster a lifelong love of reading.  The newly published list — 50 Best... more
Books for babies
 Babies love to read books! Here are some of our top picks, all new to bookstores in the past year, including engaging animals, photos of a real infant in action and a Minnesota twist on a timeless classic. Goodnight LoonYou’ll find the same charming rhythm and rhyming of the Margaret Wise Brown original in this delightfully... more
Teen pens anti-bullying book
Aija Mayrock was bullied throughout middle school and high school. Through it all, however, she learned a lot — and, at the age of 16, she wrote a lively, fun book to help kids age 10 and older not just survive, but thrive in the face of bullying. The Survival Guide to Bullying ($9.99) features tips, personal stories and quick... more
First-day-of-school books!
Is your kid getting ready to go back to school (or maybe to school for the first time)? Ease into it either way with these delightful books that inspire confidence, imagination and, best of all, kindness to others.Ally-saurus & the First Day of SchoolWhen Ally roars off to her first day of classes, she hopes to meet lots of... more
Sisterly love
These books are thoughtful, helpful and delightful most of the time, but sisters can be tricky, too, especially if you’re trying to welcome a baby sister home (and become a Big Brother) or if you’re trying to become a Big Sister (to your new baby brother).  Even not having a sister can be hard, especially when you have triplet... more
Explore outdoors!
Little Owl’s DayIn this sequel to Little Owl’s Night, our wide-eyed little friend wakes up in broad daylight and discovers a forest he’s never seen, full of sunlight and daytime activities. He sees backward-flying dragonflies, wolf pups and his first rainbow. Then it’s his turn to show off. He keeps Bear up late, just long enough to see... more
Explore outdoors!
 Little Owl’s DayIn this sequel to Little Owl’s Night, our wide-eyed little friend wakes up in broad daylight and discovers a forest he’s never seen, full of sunlight and daytime activities. He sees backward-flying dragonflies, wolf pups and his first rainbow. Then it’s his turn to show off. He keeps Bear up late, just long enough... more
Wearable books!
Donnie Lemke, a children’s book editor who lives in St. Paul, and Bob Lentz, an art director in Bloomington, have joined forces — as Lemke & Lentz — to create a cool collection of interactive, die-cut books.Donnie Lemke with his daughter, CleoBob Lentz with his son, LincolnTheir super-sturdy Book-O-Beards, Book-O-Hats, Book-O-Teeth... more
Winter stories
Yes, winter’s cold, windy and, in Minnesota, oh-so long. But it’s also a season like no other. There’s no better time for baking, hot cocoa, skating, skiing and sledding! Embrace these last weeks — months? — of winter with some of our favorite seasonal books, plus a couple from our readers, too! You Can Do It, SamCold and snowy... more
Books tackle tough topics
Talking to kids about health, safety and sometimes even sports doesn’t necessarily come naturally to parents. Thank goodness for creative writers! This month, we’ll help you cover some tricky topics, including personal safety and strategies for starting — and even struggling with — sports (from a precocious little girl’s perspective).... more
Fun holiday books!
Are you looking for cool new books to give as holiday gifts?Check out these gems!  Margaret Wise Brown trioBrown, the prolific writer best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, is the author behind three new children’s books. Forty years after her untimely death in 1952 at age 42, dozens of Brown’s unpublished... more
Big Books of Science Experiments: A Step-by-Step Guide
Use household objects and easy-to-find materials to do more than 100 experiments. The book text is broken into small bites of material, easy to digest so that the science (from earth to life to physical and more) is easy to understand. We suggest ages 10 and up more
ONE TWO That’s My Shoe!
When a mischievous puppy runs off with his owner’s shoe, it’s a race from one to 10 to get it back again. Over the teddy bears and out the door, readers can rollick along with the canine trickster and count the scenery along the way. For ages 2 to 6 more
Dino Mazes: The Colossal Fossil Book
It’s 365 million years of fun. Each of the poster-sized mazes leads a child through intricate lines and curves of an anatomically accurate skeleton. Plus, young paleontologists will learn all about each prehistoric giant. For ages 8 and up more
Ready, Steady, Go Mr. Croc: A Flap and Pop Up Book
Croc and his friends are ready for their own Olympics. Each spread features a different sport as the friends have fun with tennis, running, cycling, swimming and canoeing. Exuberant, inventive pop-ups will keep children fascinated. We suggest ages 3 and up more
The Wheels on the Bus: A Book with Movable Parts
By Paul O. ZelinskyIntervisual Books; $20.99When The Wheels on the Bus broke onto the scene back in 1990, it created a sensation with its clever characters, sly subplots, luscious colors, and the incomparable flair of its moving parts. Almost a million young readers have enjoyed the wheels that go round, doors that open and shut,... more
Arlo Needs Glasses
One out of five school-age children need glasses, and Arlo shows kids how going from two eyes to four isn’t a bummer. Just ask him: a free-spirited dog that loves to play catch, he discovers one day he can’t see the ball anymore—he needs glasses! We love the clear to blurry eye chart especially, as within are hidden the words “dogs rule... more
Book Shelf :: Alphabet Books
From A to Z there’s a lot to learn!Backseat A-B-SeeBy Mariavan LieshoutChronicle Kids, $14.99Whether on a quick trip across town or a long haul across the country, little ones see (and learn) a lot from the back seat. This book uses familiar road signs to take kids on a journey through the alphabet. Buckle up for the reading fun ahead!... more
Book Shelf :: Kids cook
Clueless in the Kitchen: a Cookbook for TeensBy Evelyn RaabFirefly Books, $14.95If your teenager calls you at work and asks how to make Mac & Cheese from a box, this book may be the perfect solution to their plight. Evelyn Raab gives step-by-step guides to navigating the foreign territories of the grocery store and kitchen, as... more
Book Shelf :: The Great Outdoors
It’s a great big world out there: read about it!B is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science AlphabetBy Ruth Strother, Illustrated by Bob MarstallSleeping Bear Press, $16.95Discover more about our Earth, one letter at a time. Ruth Strother provides a wealth of information about everything from earthquakes to rainforests, while still keeping it... more
Book Shelf :: Pioneers, explorers, and heroes
People who affected change, or those who learned how to make a change, are seen through the eyes of children  We are America: A Tribute from the HeartBy Walter Dean Myers and Christopher MyersHarper Collins, $16.99The father-son team that created Harlem explore what it is to be an American, taking readers on a moving journey through... more
Book shelf :: Books for (and about) babies and toddlers
Indestructible books for the kids, and one for youThe World According to ToddlersBy Shannon Payette Seip and Adrienne HedgerAndrews McMeel Publishing, $12.99The best way to navigate the world of toddlers (and stay sane) is to have a sense of humor. The World According to Toddlers offers comic insight into the entertaining and often... more
Book shelf :: The creative process
Touch art, build robots, and write what’s in your heartFind King Henry’s TreasureBy Julie Appel and Amy GuglielmoSterling Publishing, $12.95Ages 4 to 6Do you abide by the “do not touch” rule at museums? Well, grab this book and touch away! With famous paintings and portraits from all around the world, including... more
Book shelf: Something spooky this way comes
Get your flashlight and hide under your blankie—these stories are sure to thrill!One Spooky Night: A Halloween AdventureBy Kate StoneAccord Publishing, $11.99Ages 3 and upCharming text accompanies one little monster as he heads down a shadowy path toward a creepy old house. Mysterious and fun, but not too scary for little ones, the... more
Book shelf :: Books for new parents
Advice for first-time moms and dadsPregnancy Planner: Essential Advice for Moms-to-Be:::::::::::::::::::By Ziba Kashef and the editors of Parenting magazineChronicle Books, $19.95This journal–information guide combination gives a mom-to-be a space to write down different feelings and experiences week to week. Each week’s... more
BOOK SHELF // Kids on the Cusp
No longer a kid, but not quite yet a teen, these books are for the tween set looking to expand world knowledge and gain a glimpse into their very near futures I, Q series by Roland SmithSleeping Bear Press, ages 10+, $8.95 eachNew stepsiblings Q (Quest) and Angela trail their rock-star parents around the country while getting to know... more
BOOK SHELF // Go Team!
This Is the Gameby Diane Z. Shore and Jessica AlexanderHarperCollins Children’s Books, ages 3–8, $16.99America’s sport is played in dirty alleys and in bright, sunny diamonds in this tribute to both baseball legends and kids playing pick-up games. Jackie Robinson, “Dizzy” Dean, and the Great Bambino make... more
BOOK SHELF // Letters From Camp
discover books for adults and children alike, touching on camp experiences and camp-related angst. P.S. I Hate It Here!: Kids’ Letters From Campby Diane FalagaAbrams Image, $12.95This collection of 150 letters home won’t help kids but will keep parents laughing the whole summer. Letters range in topic from the... more
Book Shelf // Amazing People
The Pioneers, the Explorers, the People Who Changed Our World, Celebrated This Month.My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart by Angela Farris Watkins, PhD$18.95, Abrams BooksThis debut picture book, written by the neice of Martin Luther King, Jr. offers a rare and intimate look at the personal life of King, while recalling the impact her... more
BOOK SHELF // Animals We Love
Animals captivate and bond to us in ways nothing else can. these books run the gamut of sweet to loyal to ... stinky.Shep: Our Most Loyal Dog by Sneed B. Collard III$16.95, ages 6–10This bittersweet testament to the bond between humans and dogs is particularly remarkable because it actually happened. Shep was a real sheepdog... more
PARENTS' BOOKSHELF
Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes for Your ChildBy Isolina RicciFireside, 1997After a divorce, many parents feel overwhelmed with decisions about how to manage their children. Mom's House, Dad's House offers comfort to parents who feel weighed down by choices and teaches them how to build a businesslike relationship with their... more
Parents' bookshelf
The Disappearing Girl: Learning the Language of Teenage DepressionBy Lisa MachoianDutton, 2005 (Paperback: Plume, 2006)About a quarter of teenage girls report suffering from depression. Machoian, a psychotherapist and Harvard researcher, writes about some of the hidden signs and offers guidance on how to intervene.Girls Speak OutBy... more