bookworms: part two + giveaway [closed]

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to entry #87!

Part Two.

Read Part One here and be sure to enter the giveaway to win all ten books below!

Bookworm Series

>> Sydney of The Daybook:

Sydney Poulton

I think one of the things that surprised me most during my first year of motherhood, is how quickly my son Everett seemed to absorb the idea of reading a book. Even when surrounded by his toy blocks, music makers and plenty of other things that I would’ve thought to be more interesting to a curious and easily distracted mind, he will sit down and look at a book. His current favorite is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle and it almost cracks me up how much he loves that thing. I’m telling you, he’ll spend ten minutes straight on it! That’s like ten years in Everett time. Sometimes he likes to help turn the pages, and sometimes he’s just content to nestle back into my lap and listen. But whenever we read it, everything stops. As he gets older, I realize all too often that my quiet, un-wiggly moments with him are a dying breed of the first year. {WAH!} But thanks to that Brown Bear and that Red Bird and that Yellow Duck over and over again, I get to keep a few of those quiet moments with him for as long as he’ll let me.

>> Jenna of Small Fry:

Jenna of Small Fry

Since I still have two littles, I love a book with beautiful illustration, straightforward text, and a happy message. Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar definitely fits the bill. He has the unique ability to ignite such imagination in little minds. I love as I’m reading this to my four year old watching his mind light up in absolute wonder as the caterpillar eats himself into a gorgeous butterfly. The giggles that come when we flip the page and see the VERY chubby caterpillar stuffed to the brim, are some of my most priceless memories.

>> Stacie of Underaged and Engaged:

Stacie Lang

I don’t think I could ever pick just one favorite children’s book, but the first one that comes to mind is For Just One Day, by Laura Leuck. It’s about a bunch of (adorably illustrated!) kids who take turns imagining what kind of animal they would like to be for just one day. It encourages little ones to use their imagination by pretending to be something else, then ends with a sweet and empowering message that they are already the most special someone out there- themselves! I love snuggling up with Ivy and reading it together, not only because of the clever words and beautiful illustrations (although that certainly helps), but because it’s just one more way to let her know she’s special and wonderful, and that I love her just the way she is.

>> Emily of Small Fry:

Emily of Small Fry

Making my boys laugh gives me, above all else, the greatest satisfaction. (Although Hayes just offered his first unprompted “I yu-you mama” the other day, so that might take the cake.) But, if making them laugh is the second best thing I can do, then our favorite book lately is going to have to be The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems. Every time we come to one of the duckling’s lines the boys erupt in giggles. Just so everyone’s on the same page, it’s got to be done with The High-Pitched Duckling Voice, or it’s no deal. The best part about the whole thing is I know how my boys both feel. I remember so vividly reading books that made me smile, laugh, cry or gasp, and those emotional responses shaped me into the person I am today. They lead me to love reading and writing: to major in it in college, to do it for a living even! If reading that high-pitched “scooty scoot scoot!” for the thousandth time today will give my boys more direction in choosing from the infinitely many paths they could take, then “scooty scoot scoot” it is!

>> Laura of Ascot Friday:

Ascot Fridayimage credit: jacey autumn photography

We hope you all have enjoyed this little series as much as we have! We’ve definitely added new books to add to our childrens’ libraries! How would you like to win all ten of the books featured in this series? Pretty amazing, right? Here’s how to enter:One of the best things about being a parent is being able to recreate special traditions from my own childhood. Reading is one of those. One of our favorite books to read is Three by the Sea by Edward Marshall. I still remember my mom and dad reading this book to my sister and me. It is the story of Lolly, Spider and Sam, three kids who have just eaten lunch and have to wait a while before they can go swimming. To pass the time, they decide to tell each other stories about rats and cats. Simple, I know, but there is just something so fun about reading this story aloud to my boys (maybe that’s why my parents enjoyed reading it too.)

1. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite children’s book.

2. Follow Small Fry on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

3. Post about this series on your blog or mention @smallfryblog in a Tweet or Facebook status.

4. Instagram a picture of you reading with your favorite tinies and mention @smallfryblog.

The lucky winner will be randomly selected and announced Thursday morning at 5:00 AM MST. Good luck and happy reading!

bookworms: part one

It seems like ages since we wrote our very first post (a real tear-jerker that makes us cry even today!) here at Small Fry and yet it was only a few weeks ago! While we’ve shared a lot of ideas in these few weeks, some elaborate, some inconsequential, it could be said that none will connect us more readily to our kids than sitting down and reading a book with them. Watching their little backsides settle into our laps, smelling their hair, feeling their soft skin on our arms and legs, watching their chubby fingers turn the pages. Feeling their chests rise and fall, or their shoulders shake with laughter.  It really is one of life’s most simple pleasures and studies show the benefits to our kids’ well-being and intellect are staggering.

What could be more important for a children’s lifestyle blog than to promote reading together? For today and tomorrow we have gathered our favorite bloggers from across the country and asked them to share their family favorites. Check back tomorrow to see the rest, and enter to win the whole series of our favorite bloggers’ favorite books!

Bookworm Series

>> Dani of Sometimes Sweet:

Danielle Hampton

Being an English Lit. major and later a high school English teacher, I’ve always considered myself a lover of books and a total bookworm. So when my husband and I found out we were expecting a son back in 2010, I had many dreams of bedtime story sessions, trips to the library, and spending hours upon hours reading with our little guy. From day one we read to Henry, and now, two years later, our sweet boy is just as big of a bookworm as his mama. Our favorites change weekly and sometimes even daily, thanks to the insanely huge vintage book collection my parents kept in tact for my sister and me. My Mom is an elementary school teacher and former librarian, so you can imagine how many books she handed down for us to enjoy. And enjoy we do! Henry’s current favorite book is Crictor by Tomi Ungerer, a story from 1958 about a very distinguished lady, Madame Bodot, and her pet Boa Constrictor. Another current favorite is Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, a book about one of Henry’s favorite things in the entire world, big trucks! Reading with Henry is one of the sweetest things in my world, and I can only imagine one thing sweeter- the day he is able to read to me!

>> Elizabeth of Dear Lizzy:

Elizabeth Kartchner

Choosing one of our favorite books to read was tricky! Mostly because there are my favorite books and there are the girls’ favorites. My favorites make me cry… like the one when the mother rocks her son to sleep until she’s too old… “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always…” (even now… sniff.)The girls’ favorites we re

ad over and over and over yet they laugh their faces off like it was the first time we’d cracked it open.
Let’s settle this with one we both like:
I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt.They enjoy it because of one obvious reason… anything close to the word “stinky” to a six and four year old is hysterical. And I don’t mind reading it for the umpteenth time because I can’t resist their cute, crinkled noses and their laugh helps me forget when I wanted to pull my hair out earlier that day.

It’s a good one. Even though the pages are wrinkled, torn and we all practically have it memorized, it is far from ordinary to us.

>> Dana of Dana Made It:

Dana Willard

When it comes to reading with my kids I’m often drawn to books with bright colorful artwork, because they enjoy it AND I enjoy it. Sometimes I’m even inspired by the illustrations to sew clothes, like the Put Me in the Zoo outfits here. But I have to say that our all-time favorite stories are classic Curious George. They’re just perfect for all of our ages!

My six year old Lucy can read the words to me or her four-year-old brother Owen. Or I can read the books to everyone. Or we just sit there oooing and ahhhing over the simple art (Lucy often asks which hot air balloon is my favorite when we get to that story). Or Lucy and Owen can flip through the books in the car. We love Curious George! I mean, who doesn’t? Just another two years till our baby Clara will love him too.

>> Liz of Say Yes to Hoboken:

Liz Stanley

One of my very favorite books is called Where You Came From by Sara O’Leary. The little boy’s name is Henry (my son’s name!) and it’s a really sweet, beautifully written, and gorgeously illustrated discussion between the mother, father and s

on as they try to remember where he came from, “Don’t you remember? Your mother grew you in her garden. She said the hardest part was waiting, be patient, stopping herself from picking you too soon”.

I’d highly recommend it for a young child or toddler whose too young for the real birds and bees talk. A friend recommended it to us a year ago and I still can’t get through it without tearing up a little bit. It’s so sweet. [Image credit: Modern Kids Photo]

>> Nicole Christensen of Small Fry:

Nicole ChristensenLittle Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal was a gift to us when my first baby was born. It is quite the coincidence because it is such a parallel to his life, in a very opposite way. Little Dash sure has a sweet tooth, and the story teaches of a pea that isn’t allowed to eat his veggies unless he’s finished all his sweets. It’s a perfectly charming way to teach kiddos about the importance of eating healthy. We never tire of this darling little story.

>> Stephanie of Modern Parents Messy Kids:
Stephanie Morgan

It’s old-school, I know, but I loved reading Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown to both my little ones when they were babies, even tiny babies. There was something so special about reading them the same words my mom once read to me.

Even when they were too small to understand the story, my kids loved to watch me point to everything we were saying goodnight to and, bonus, when they got bigger we moved on to “Goodnight Seattle”. Did you guys know there are versions available for lots of different cities? They’re fabulous.

>> We don’t know about you, but we’re all anxious to add these books to our own collections!  Check back tomorrow for 5 more blogger’s pics and a huge giveaway of each of these selections!

Have a great weekend everyone, thank you for reading Small Fry! Also, thank you to everyone who entered our Old Navy gift card giveaway! Congratulations to Megan, check your email for details!


meet a small fry: ollie

Small Fry InterviewImages by Jessica Peterson Photo

Our little friend Oliver is absolutely one of a kind. He has the most zesty personality and unrelenting imagination. Everyone loves Ollie and even just being in the same room with him can cheer you up. In the matter of a day Ollie has been five different super heroes, animals, villains, and characters. He is loving and caring and so full of life. We knew for our first Small Fry interview Ollie had to be the one.

What is your name?

I’m Ollie

How old are you?


Who is your mom?


What does your mom do?

I can’t decide. Makes hot dogs for me?

Who is your dad?

Rob. Pffffff.

What does your dad do?

He works at work.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A fireman.

What is your favorite food?

Oh! I know! chicken noodle soup!

What food do you not like?

What is your favorite animal?

Tigers. I mean elephants, ya elephants. I like tigers and elephants.

Where do you want to live when you grow up?

The firestation.

Who do you want to marry?

Madeline. Not Berkley – she farts too much!

What does dad say?

Don’t touch his stuff.

What does mom say?

I love you.

What do mom and dad do after you go to bed?

Watch shows. Like videos….

What is your favorite song?

Beat it. (Michael Jackson.) He’s dead- I just like his songs.

What is your favorite movie?

Tom and Jerry. I hate Peppa Pig now. I’m all about animals.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Pizza, at Costco- and smoothies! (Turns to mom) Let’s make smoothies!

What is your favorite book?

Little Pea (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

Where did Rune (Ollie’s brother) come from?

To mom: Your belly. He POPPED OUT OF YOUR BELLY!!

What would you buy with a million dollars?

Uh… a dinosaur.

What do you dream about?


What are you scared of?

Monsters! I’m not scared of sharks. I’m scared of monsters.

Why is the sky blue?

Because of the water, the water is blue, and that’s what Heavenly Father wanted it to be. He hates yellow.

How would the world be different if animals could talk?

It would be weird.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

I would be sneaky.
Guess what? I’m invisible right now! Look mom! I’m invisible!

What are 5 words that describe you?
Beach, I like you, I dont know.

What was a time that you felt lucky?
Uh, like I got a lucky quarter. I’m looking for my lucky quarter! Hey mom, watch me shoot this gun!

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?
Go to the beach.

If you could give a gift to every child in the world, what would it be?
A christmas present! like… a Halloween present. I would give girls a doll, boys a toy lion, and babies… baby toys!

What is your favorite place in the world?
Look at my dolphin mom! I drew a dophin. (And I guess we’re done here.)

 Imaginative Photo ShootAnd because we know that with every energetic child comes a worn out mother chasing closely behind, here’s what his mom Lindsay had to say about Oliver:

Being Ollie’s mom is one of the most daunting and exhilirating tasks ever given to me. His imagination is off the charts, and his energy runs a close second. From the moment he wakes up, until he goes to bed with a spear in hand, and remnants of war paint on his cheeks, he is in character. When Ollie was born, Rob and I had a vision of a little boy that played in the dirt, rode a skateboard, and spent every waking moment doing “boy stuff.” Although he does all of those things, he would prefer a cardboard box, a rope, and some dress-ups. I worry daily that he will be made fun of by other kids, or that the other moms at Costco will judge me for my son being shoe-less in the cart with a Peter Pan hat and four swords shoved into his cowboy belt, but I am quickly realizing, I don’t care! I am so blessed and lucky to be his mother, and I will do whatever it takes to let Ollie be “Ollie.”

Small Fry Films: Summertime

We’re so thrilled to introduce the first in our ongoing series that features children we know you’ll love and mothers who will inspire you. For our inaugural film feature, meet Ann and her two boys, Jude and August. Ann leads a beautiful life and it is evident in all she does that she is a fiercely devoted and loving mother to her boys. And when those boys look at her with stars in their eyes, you can tell they think the world of her too.

Ann owns the Etsy shop institution Lou and Lee, has the most incredible mid-century home with her husband, and always seems to find anything cool or note-worthy months before us.

Small Fry from Lumineux Films on Vimeo.

Filmed by Jenner Brown of Lumineux Films