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Today we have paired up with DK Canada to bring you two parenting books both by UK based author/children’s food expert Annabel KarmelFirst Meals & Baby’s First Year and a chance to win the set!  See the post for details below!

First Meals is divided into informative sections covering everything from baby’s first tastes to meals for early childhood.  Annabel Karmel happily follows the World Health Organizations guidelines for what order to introduce solids to your baby, something I watch out for personally as the mother of a son who began life with a very sensitive gut.  

I was impressed with the introduction to each section as it talked about developmentally where babies, toddlers and children are, what there play and priorities are and how this affects their eating.  Her calm, practical reassurance to get through things like “the beige phase” was refreshing.  

The real challenge however, and the reason we review very few kids cookbooks on the blog, was trying a recipe with my small protagonist.  You see, his Mama (me) is a lifetime fussy eater and though my four year old is yards ahead of me, he still qualifies as a “picky eater”.  Our house is a no sauce, no dips, no food touching, no cheese (!) domain.  We headed to the “fun foods” section of this book and the whole family got involved making “chicken nuggets” whose filling had apples and whose coating includes crushed potato chips!  We had a blast letting our small chef add the ingredients and use fun cookie cutter shapes to make the nuggets.  There’s a lot to be said, if you have the time and patience, for letting your child participate in preparing food.  Ours happily tried (and liked!) his creation.  Thumbs up from this tough audience!

A really thorough, helpful book for navigating each phase of childhood eating.  

Baby’s First Year is a sweet, whimsically decorated milestone book to capture all the special moments in baby’s first year.  Furnished with lovely touches like envelopes to save locks of hair, we love that the it’s divided by month with room for a monthly photo of baby as they grow.  A charming gift for new parents.  

We recommend both these books a shower gifts for new parents.  A lovely set to start you off on your parenting journey with confidence and care.

Comment below on my Facebook or Instagram Post (all entries can be in one comment) :

 - Your favourite kitchen meal or treat to prepare with your small(s) (1 entry)

 - Tag an expecting friend (1 entry for you AND for them)

 - The first food your little one(s) ever tasted (1 entry)

I’ll keep this contest running until Friday, March 1st at 10pm and announce the winner (from random draw) on Monday, March 4th!  Good luck everyone!



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Today’s adorable tiny finger-puppet #boardbooks are:  Baby Orca Finger Puppet Book & Baby Piglet Finger Puppet Book from @raincoastbooks & illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang.

This sweet series includes a permanent finger puppet in each book for interactive reading and play.  Simple text follows a day in the life of these cute baby animals.  

I’m chuffed these two books are releasing together in mid-March because it let me photograph: orca & piglet super friends!  How cute do they look together?  So cute.

There is truly one of these books for everyone’s favourite animal or super friend combo!  A delightful treat in your small’s library and an irresistible gift for babies new or toddling.  Recommended newborn +up (bonus: 3 & 4 year olds love these too!)



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Todays #boardbooks are babys first Colors & babys first 123 from DK Books Canada.  This brightly coloured duo with raised textures and a mix of photographic and illustrative elements are ideally designed for baby & toddlers developing sight and touch.  High contrast and lively (we do love a good rainbow here at the blog) they are a great “grow with me” addition to your library and sweet to add to a shower gift too!  DK makes sturdy, quality books to last and these are no exception.  They are ready to endure years of little hands!

Recommended newborn +up.



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Today’s #boardbook feels perfect for a snow day:  Pigs in a Blanket by Hans Wilhelm, illustrated by Erica Salcedo, via @raincoastbooks.  This charming book of rhyme features “blanket flaps” little hands can open to help three pigs start their day.  A lively day of fun and silly antics makes for a fun read-aloud with busy illustrations chalk-full of things to spot!

Bonus blog call-out:  these pigs do everything together regardless of gender and it’s so nice to see activities like tu-tu wearing ballet normalized for everyone! 

A book requested on repeat at our house.  Recommended 2.5+up.



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Are you looking for this year’s Valentine’s Book to share with your small that will live on as a sweet, timeless classic?  This deLIGHTful board book, I Love You, Little One from DK Canada, will charm you and your babe.

Featuring a cover with a light up moon and a gorgeous colour palette of animals telling their little ones how much they love them, this sweet little book is the perfect gift to parents & smalls.  Cuddle up for a bedtime of moon gazing with animals around the world, on land and sea.

We love the animal choices, silhouette artwork and expressions of love on each page.  A book easily read to your baby, your toddler, your small child…just an excellent addition to the library.  Wonderful shower gift too!  Recommended newborn+up, for adoring parents & their smalls near and far.



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Today’s little #boardbook is Baby’s First Chinese New Year via DK Books Canada!  Tomorrow is Chinese New Year’s and we love this bright, red-and-gold board book with the basics of this exciting celebration!  Chinese New Year is a time for family feasts, red envelope exchanges, delicious treats and brightly coloured festivities!  

And of course, each year is represented by a different special animal!  This year will be year of the pig!  Do you and your smalls know what animal is the year of your birthday? 

This little book is a sweet introduction to a delightful holiday!  Recommended 3 months & up!  And Happy New Year everyone!  



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Today’s lift-the-flap counting #boardbook is Animal 123 by talented illustrator Jonny Lambert via DK Canada.
An instant hit at our house, this sturdy, colourful counting book has ALL the flaps:  side flaps, top flaps, DOUBLE FLAPS and things to find and count in every scene.  Our newly minted 4 year old small protagonist LOVES it on repeat and so I can’t say enough about a great counting book.  It starts out a fabulous, high contrast, sturdy and exciting touch & see book for your baby and grows with them through every stage until they are playing seek & find with every page and naming animals like a pro!  The DK quality really shines through on this book and Jonny Lambert’s illustrations are a delight!
Recommended 3 months & up for counters & animals lovers big & small!



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Today’s beautiful lift-the-flap #boardbooks are Peek-a-baby Farm & Peek-a-baby Ocean by Mike Orodan via @raincoastbooks​.  These adorable parent & baby peekaboo books are publishing in March and we love love LOVED them at our house.

Highlights:
 - stunning high contrast colour palettes perfect for baby’s developing eyes!

 - variety of animals (hooray for otters, octopus and donkeys!  We don’t usually see these guys!)

 - some mention of Mama & Daddy but some just animal titles allowing for a variety of parent names besides the classics!

 - each book finishing on bedtime (GLORY!) and gently illustrating some tender co-sleeping

 - chunky shaped pages and flaps great for little hands to use!

These books are as lovely for a new baby as for my inquisitive four year old who enjoyed learning baby animals names and easily turning pages and flaps himself before bed.  A gorgeous addition to any small’s library and sweet baby shower gifts!  Recommended Newborn & Up!



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Today’s enormous #nonfiction book for kids is: The Incredible Fold Out Book of Animals from DK Canada–and incredible is right!  These tri-folds are GIGANTIC and feature exciting animals in action!  A few familiar and a few unusual animals make appearances here and the pages are packed with fun, up-close facts about each amazing animal!  

This bright, bold book is an action-packed addition to your smalls library, sure to be enjoyed as they grow!  Recomended 4+up.



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Today’s little #boardbook is Hello, Love! by Japanese artist Taro Miura via @raincoastbooks.  Coming to bookstores on Christmas Eve of this year!
This sweet, simple board book illustrates adorable affection between animals with sparse, tender text and finishes with a family snuggle.  High contrast colours make it ideal for new eyes and it’s small enough in size for little hands to enjoy.  
We loved this sweet little baby book and would be thrilled to see versions with more diverse families at the end!

Recommended newborn+up, a great shower gift for a new baby.



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Today’s gorgeous non-fiction book for kids is An Anthology of Intriguing Animals from DK Canada.

This incredible anthology has more than 100 animals, each photographed AND illustrated for small eyes to enjoy.  With gold gilded pages and a ribbon bookmark to keep your place this book is wonderfully giftable.  It’s packed with story-style facts about animals PLUS fun tidbits of mythology surrounding each animal.

Arranged from the largest animal to smallest this encyclopedia had creatures neither me OR my small had seen before–making it a perfect book to enjoy as a family!  Reignite your wonder of nature with this stunning book.  Recommended ages 3+up.



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Today’s #nonfiction book for kids is an enormous flap book called Peek and Seek, illustrated by the wonderful Charlotte Milner, published via DK Canada.  

This big book is packed with facts about animals and nature and each spread has twenty-eight things to count and find!  Seriously, these flaps are so big they exceeded the limits of my tiny studio!  A lively, sturdy book for small hands filled with rich, colourful illustrations by the talented Charlotte Milner.  A great way to introduce nature through play to toddler & preschool smalls and a wonderful seek and find book for the little kid crowd!  Recommended 3+up!



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It’s HALLOWEEN!  So we’re blogging our all time favourite Halloween book:  Eek!  Halloween!  By the marvellous Sandra Boynton via @raincoastbooks.  This timeless classic is a hilarious rhyming romp through Halloween on the farm.  The chickens are nervous, strange things are happening, are you brave enough to follow these silly chickens to the end? Recommended for all Halloweener’s small & tall, near and far, spooky and silly, the end.



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Today’s #boardbook is Nita’s First Signs by Kathy MacMillan, illustrated by Sara Brezzi via @raincoastbooks.  This unique, pull-tab board book teaches basic sign language for you and your baby!  We loved reading this simple story about manners, play and then trying out all the signs for ourselves!  

This sweet book would make a lovely baby shower gift and is equally enjoyed by toddler and preschool smalls, eager to learn new things!  Recommended newborn+up!  A special book for families to share.



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Today’s book is an exciting work of non-fiction FILLED with flaps and pop-ups!  DK Canada’s How to Measure Everything!
This sturdy, colourful book is an amazing visual tour of first measurements.  We love the interactive qualities!  Rulers, scales, clocks, seasonal wheels and thermometers ALL have parts that lift, pop-up, turn or move for little hands to try.  And the grand finale is a fully realized pop-up room with things to measure!  

Even toddler smalls can get a first sense of the basics here thanks to the bright, easy-to-understand visuals!  We think this book is great for your small’s library and a great resource for a teacher classroom as well!  Recommended 3.5+up