Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kimchi and Pregnancy

With this pregnancy, I have been craving kimchi and apparently I am not alone! My best friend Merry from Jr. High School (also prego) told me that she dearly misses her mom's Korean cooking. Mmmmm spicy is right!

When I found Babies Can't Eat Kimchee by Nancy Patz, I had to get it. It's so much fun to read and the collaborative illustrations/collages with Susan Roth are loose, colorful, wild and wonderful. No rules here.

When a baby sister comes along, there's not too much a big sister can do but wait and wait and wait.... and dream about what's to come. This is a super book to read to the older sibling/siblings who are expecting a new baby brother or sister. It starts out negative with all the things babies can't do and switches to positive with all the fun things older siblings can teach and share with the baby as it grows.

Here's my favorite kimchi recipe find by Maangchi: Making Kimchi

If you are vegan, here's another great kimchi recipe by Julie Hasson sans the oysters and fish sauce.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's Potty Time

Finally the weather is warm, which means less clothes to wash and wear and potty training time for little C has begun. Just look at this adorable and unique handpainted throne I found!
Since this is not my first time around the block with potty training, I've gathered some of my son's books and with a trip to the library, I've come up with this list of:
Favorite Potty Training Books
1. Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi- All creatures great and small need to eat...and poop.
2. I Want My Potty by Tony Ross- Through trial and error, a little princess finally learns to use the potty.
3. My Big Girl Potty by Joanna Cole- A girl learns to use the toilet with some help from her favorite stuffed bunny. (also available as a boy's version with a stuffed bear). I must add that Joanna Cole is the grandmother of one of my son's Kindergarten peers. She came in to his class and Personally autographed I'm A Big Brother for him. She has written so many wonderful and helpful books for children. Thanks Joanna!
4. Once Upon A Potty by Alona Frankel- Straight talk about taking the big step from diapers to potty. This one's a TRUE classic.
5. Tinkle, Tinkle, Little Tot by Bruce Lansky- Fun songs and rhymes for toilet training ( a cd version is also available).
6. The Potty Train by David Hochman and Ruth Kennison- Time to say goodbye to diapers and take the journey to underpants station. Because all little ones are so fascinated with trains.
7. Have You Seen My Potty? by Mij Kelly- Suzy Sue has something important to do but someone has snatched her potty away. Can you help her find her potty?
There are so many great potty training books out there. For a good dose of humor, instruction and inspiration, I recommend these for introducing potty training to the whole family. Please let me know in the comments if I've missed any of your favorites.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Event Pics!

Our debut book, Maybelle, Bunny of the North is sailing the seas of post pub land and here are few pics from our launch events.

Keith Patterson signing books at Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe. Nancy reading Maybelle at Ink Spell Books, and Kim at the Norfolk Library's preschool storytime. We'll keep you updated with more Maybelle events. Please contact us if you are in Northern CA, near Norfolk, VA or Asheville, NC and would like to set up an event. BTW Keith is working on a new story with Maybelle and her friends. I'll see if I can get an illustration as a sneak peek.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's About Daughters

After a beautiful Easter weekend, the girls are on spring break and my regular work hours are shot. So, instead of fighting them for a little me time, here's to loftier sentiments and the poetry of Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl . I thought I would include this video of Neil reading the poem he wrote for Tori Amos when she was pregnant with baby Tash. The luscious, magical illustrations by Charles Vess paired with Gaiman's lyrical poetry make a truly splendid picture book. "It's just really about daughters."-N.G.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ready, Set.................Go!

Every year our wonderful neighbors host a giant Easter Egg Hunt for family and kids in the neighborhood.

When the bell rings, they're off!

C found tons of eggs this year and D counted all the quarters he found in his plastic eggs and is already planning on which lego set to buy next.

Then we had a visit with the Easter Bunny...............

and C brought along her Maybelle bunny for a grand garden tour. Maybelle, Bunny of the North is out and available now, just in time for Spring, so don't forget to get yourself a copy and a bunny too!
Happy Egg Hunting!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


We just moved to a new home. Everything is still in boxes and bags. I have no idea what's in those boxes or bags and where C found that flag! Moving can be a bit hectic and confusing for young children. No matter how much you try to prepare them and make it as smooth a transition as possible, there will be changes. Luckily, we only moved a few blocks least for now. The big move out west comes in 5 months after the new arrival.

It's almost ironic that Sarah (the childrens librarian at the Pretlow Library) handed me a stack of new books that just arrived today and I picked out Bandit. Turns out, this is a picture book all about moving to a new home.
The first page spread (image on the right) is hilarious. Bandit is a character of a cat who reminds me of Archie Bunker!
I knew my son would love this one, especially with the comic book style bubbles, plus little C is really into cats right now.........and I was right, they ate it up at bedtime.

Karen Rostoker-Gruber is the author and its brilliantly illustrated pop art style is the work of artist Vincent Nguyen.

It's a fun read for any child facing the transitions of moving to a new home.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Maybelle, Bunny of the North Releases Today!!!!

It's True!

Maybelle, Bunny of the North by Keith Patterson, published by Bees Knees Books releases today!!! We were thrilled to get a review in Publishers Weekly to share with you. Here's the best bit:

Patterson's unassuming watercolor vignettes manage to be both winsome and reportorial, which gives them an intriguing staying power - this is one of those books capable of quietly working its way into a child's imagination and staying there.

More about the book:
The Alaskan outdoors is the majestic playground that serves as the backdrop for Maybelle, Bunny of the North. A whimsical study of the seasons, this tale follows the high-spirited Maybelle as she experiences the soothing aspects of nature. Whether she's scampering in the fireweed, sloshing through the melting snow and ice or visiting the Two Sisters Bakery, she always has time to say "hi" to her neighbors. Her adventures wind down as she eases into sleep with the help of a goodnight song and a book. is our book website. Thank you to Elena for creating such a clever little site that fits the style of this sweet book so well. We'll be celebrating the release Saturday. Keith will be signing books at Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, NC and I'll be at Inskspell Books in Half Moon Bay, CA. Maybelle Bunny of the North is available here on our site, through your local bookstore, at our distributor IPG or online booksellers. Cheers!