Lewis Carroll, beloved author of Alice in Wonderland once wrote that, "words mean more than we mean to express when we use them; so a whole book ought to mean a great deal more than the writer means." A highly appropriate quote from a man whose work has been interpreted as everything from an LSD-laden parable to an homage to mathematical logic. Like beauty, meaning is often found in the eye of the beholder, and this is certainly true when it comes to deciphering the hidden meanings — if any — found in some of the most wildly popular kids' books. Morality tales have always been a major cannon in children's literature, but plenty of tomes for tots take a more subtle approach to tackling the social and political issues of the day, leaving them wide open to interpretation. Keep reading for the real stories lurking between the lines of some of your favorite bedtime classics.
Carry the Valentine's Day celebration into the bedtime routine by reading your kids a book about love. From classic stories of giving to the latest in love-themed kids literature, these 10 heartwarming reads are sure to spread the love on Feb. 14.
Award season doesn't only exist in Hollywood these days. The American Library Association just announced the winners of the most prestigious children's book honors, naming the 2013 John Newbery Medal and the Randolph Caldecott Medal Award winners, as well as the recipients of several other distinguished awards — making your next visit to the library a bit more exciting. The honorees represent the best books — both written and illustrated — for younger tots. So go ahead and start reserving these medal-winners today, and your well-worn version of Where the Wild Things Are (the 1964 Caldecott Medal winner) will thank you for the break!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this weekend, and it's the perfect opportunity to teach tots a bit about the great man and what he was struggling for — and against. There's nothing simple about his life, struggle, or the civil rights movement, but click through for several kid-friendly tomes written on the powerful subject.
From everyday objects to the wonders of nature, shapes are found all around. Hone your tot's shape-recognition skills during story time with one of these fun and educational books. Reading together encourages language skills and is also a great opportunity for a nice snuggle, making these age-appropriate books a fun way to bond as well as educate. Click through this collection of 10 shape-filled books perfect for little ones.
Thanksgiving's not all about football and turkey. In the days leading up to the feast, take some time to snuggle up with your tots for a Thanksgiving viewing party. Then, once family's in town and filled up on all of the Turkey Day fixings, relax and digest postfeast with classic Thanksgiving movies that most parents will remember from their own childhood.
Keep reading for five Thanksgiving flicks that everyone will love — whether it's their first viewing or their 20th.
For many of us, Babar was a childhood staple that we've passed down to our own kids. This year, the iconic elephant is celebrating his 80th birthday here in the US (he's a year older in his native France), and we've found three fun ways to celebrate. Gather the family for some elephant-sized fun, and toast the mighty King Babar!
- Visit the Babar Boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue: Throughout November, 22 Saks Fifth Avenue locations across the country will open special Babar Boutiques. These locations will feature exclusive Babar products, including a life-sized plush doll of the elephant of honor. If you're in the NYC area, be sure to visit Saks's famous holiday windows, where King Babar will play a starring role!
- Visit Babar Central at Books of Wonder: Also in NYC, Books of Wonder, the city's largest independent bookseller, will be transformed to "Babar Central." This Saturday, Nov. 10, author and illustrator Laurent de Brunhoff will be at the store signing books, and an auction of rare Babar silk-screened prints will benefit Reading Is Fundamental.
- Shop Your Elephant Ears Off: In honor of Babar's birthday, his famous face will grace a whole new range of toys, board books, games, pajamas, puzzles, and more. Sneak a peek online at Yottoy and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Come Nov. 6, lots of tiny tots will be accompanying their parents to the polls. While it may be several election cycles before the little ones can participate themselves, it's never too early to instill inquiring minds with a bit of knowledge. We've found six great books for igniting conversation about politics, elections, and the presidency itself. Whether your own political preferences are left- or right-leaning, we're sure that educating kids on how our democracy works is something we can all agree on!
The world can seem like an overwhelming place for children. To help familiarize them with some of the globe's best-known cities, we've gathered books that range from classics to ones you might have never heard of, all rich with illustrations. Whether it's for an upcoming trip or just to learn about a new place, these eight books will help get them on their globe-trotting ways.
Sharing a cuddle and a good book is the best way to end the day with your toddler, making these books must haves for your bedtime routine. Some of these classics may already be in your collection, but we've also included a few that may be unfamiliar. Reading to your child encourages language development, stimulates your tot's imagination, and gives mom and little one a chance to unwind together. Click through for a collection of bedtime books for toddlers. Did we miss your favorite? Leave a comment with yours below.