Thursday, February 28, 2013

Protect Your Child from RSV

Our kids don't live in a bubble. They are active and inquisitive and we have field trips at least once a month, oftentimes more than once. We visit a lot of places that other children visit: museums, libraries, art centers, and more. So I do have to be aware of the risks when it comes time for flu and cold season. 

What is RSV?

I do my best to be aware of germs and viruses, like Respiratory Syncytial Virus, better known as RSV. It is a common, contagious virus that causes infections of the respiratory tract.

Younger children are especially vulnerable to this virus. In fact, it seems like our family was always getting sick when my kids attended a local preschool. It was a great preschool and they learned a lot, but they were always catching colds.
And if your child attends a local daycare or preschool, you may be wondering about how you can help protect him or her from the viruses that seem to be lurking.

How is RSV transmitted?

Part of the problem is that RSV can live on surfaces (doorknobs, counter tops, toys, and bedding) for several hours and is often spread through touching, hugging and kissing. There is no cure, which is why prevention is key.  For example, it’s always best to keep a sick child home when possible, to prevent the spread of germs and viruses. During RSV season, parents should always wash their hands and child’s hands and remember to keep toys, clothes, blankets, and sheets clean. 

Symptoms of RSV in infants and toddlers

Here are the symptoms to watch for in your baby or toddler:

  • Fever,
  • Runny nose, 
  • Cough,
  • Wheezing,
  • Short, shallow and rapid breathing, and/or
  • Struggling to breathe (chest muscles and skin pull inward with each breath),
  • Unusually tired/lethargy,
  • Difficulty eating, drinking or swallowing,
  • Poor feeding response compared to their normal behavior,
  • Irritability

Ways to prevent RSV

Here are some things I did to prevent the spread of RSV and other viruses while my kids were in preschool and still do today:

• We have a pretty strict rule in our house and the kids know that they always have to wash their hands before eating. Do they forget sometimes? Sure they do. But for the most part they're pretty good about remembering. 

• I try to wash sheets and blankets in hot water to help to kill the virus. This doesn't work well with fitted sheets that can shrink, so sometimes I add a dab of bleach to the wash.

• I also try to remember to wash their favorite toys. Some toys and dolls can't go in the washing machine or get wet, so wiping them down once in a while with antiviral wipes or a wet cloth with a dab of bleach or hydrogen peroxide is worth a shot. But I make sure to air them out and let them dry before giving them back to my kids.

• We love Berry Well. This syrup of ingredients like elderberry and honey has  natural antiviral properties to keep their immune systems strong and viruses at bay. It's not cheap, so I mainly use it during cold and flu season, when we travel, or when my kids start showing signs of illness. Since it has honey, I do not recommend giving it to young children or those with allergies! You can click on the link and read more about it and decide for yourself if this is something you're willing to try.

• I made sure my kids get lots of exercise and don't consume a lot of sugar, both of which helps to keep their immune systems strong.

• We're also careful to wipe down places like door nobs, light switches, toilet handles, telephones, remotes, and other areas that get a lot of "hand traffic" with disinfecting wipes. I don't go overboard, but once a month during cold and flu season works for us, more if someone is sick. 

To learn more about how you can protect your child from RSV and other viruses, check out the RSV Protection website.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and RSV Protection.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Barcelona cuéntanos de Gaudí

Another of the fabulous treasures I found in my annual Texas bookshop hop is this new book about the famous Spanish-Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. The story line follows four children who are out and about in the city one day and become curious about the architect of the church of the Sagrada Familia. They want to learn more about him and explore his work in Barcelona, Spain, but they need a guide. So they close their eyes and imagine what Gaudí must have looked like. When they open their eyes, there he is in front of them, and he offers to take them on a tour of the city and show them all of the buildings he designed.

This book is a must-have for bilingual or Spanish homeschoolers. It would easily supplement any Art History studies. It is best suited as a read-aloud for children 6 and older, but even kids in middle and high-school might benefit from the information contained in this book. 

I only have one copy for sale, and you can find it here.

Un abrazo!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oceans Book Set in Spanish

Last month when we traveled to Texas, I stopped by one of my favorite bookshops and was super delighted to find not just one, but several copies of Mundo Océano, a book that I had sold last year and was regretting just a wee bit because I could not find any more copies online anywhere.

The bookstore had several copies that I immediately snatched up, because I knew I might not ever find it again. And I thought wouldn't it be great if I could offer it to some readers?

Further inspection led to the discovery of another book about the oceans called, Escondidillas en la naturaleza: Océanos. While it is true that I think both books are translated from English, they are done really well. You can read my review of Mundo Océano here. And take a look at some sample pages of Océanos (it includes fabulous fold-out pages) below. 

If you are interested in buying this set, I have a few available here. (Sorry! Sold out!) With summer approaching, studies of ocean life are always a fun way to keep the kids busy and learning at the same time!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hispanics & Homeschool Survey + GIVEAWAY

Dear Readers,

There is very little information available on Hispanic families and homeschooling. So I am collecting information on the perspective of Hispanics in regards to homeschooling. If you are a Hispanic parent, are married to a Hispanic, or have children who are Hispanic, please take just a couple of minutes to complete this short 10-question survey. Most of the questions are multiple choice, so it is pretty easy.

Basically, I want to know what you think about homeschooling and if you have ever considered it for your child. You do not have to homeschool to take the survey, but if you know someone who does homeschool, please share the survey with them as we want their voices to be included.

As added incentive for taking the survey, I will select one of the respondents using to receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

ALL OF YOUR RESPONSES WILL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. Only the data will be analyzed and shared.

Thanks for participating!

Un abrazo,


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bless Me, Ultima Premieres This Weekend


The very first book by a Latino author that I read was in a high school multicultural lit class. Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima opened my eyes and blew me away. I devoured that book like a starving animal because after having attended predominantly-white schools my whole life, I was shocked to find a story that reflected even a glimpse of my own culturally-infused childhood. I had always spent my days in private school, but my evenings, weekends, and summers were full of family, culture, and food. But not long after my 'Buelita died when I was 12, we moved away from her home where my mother and I had lived, to a new city and a new school where Spanish, cultural gatherings and traditions disappeared.

So reading Bless Me, Ultima was an eye-opening experience for me. I suddenly found a piece of the world that was my childhood. Ultima herself reminded me so much of my 'Buelita. I don't know if she was a curandera, but I do remember strangers coming to our door to ask for una bendición, or for my 'Buelita to take away the susto their child had experienced. I remember moments sitting in a chair while my 'Buelita prayed to Jesus over me, swiping her hands across me. I remember cracked eggs in cups of water, feathers in a cup high on a shelf, and an abundant garden with so many different plants. But mostly, I remember how much she loved me and how much I loved her back.

When I read Bless Me, Ultima a little piece of my heart cracked and ever since then, the book has remained one of my favorite works of literature. So when I read that it was being made into a movie - AY! I was overjoyed, yet scared that it would be changed or that I would be disappointed.

I had the opportunity to watch it this week. And as I watched from my couch, I was so moved by not only the story line, but by the actors. The Bless Me, Ultima movie is a strong reflection of the issues that often affect Latino families: religion, family, parental expectations, the land, and so on.

Luke Ganalon is the young actor who does an OUTSTANDING job of playing the role of Antonio Marez, a young boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II. His father is a farmer who is waiting for his older sons to return from the war to help him move the family to California, only to be disappointed when they come back and decide to go to Santa Fe to be on their own and look for work. During all this, a curandera named Ultima (played by the oh-so elegant Miriam Colon) comes to live with Antonio's family. The two of them immediately find a friendship that leads to Ultima teaching Antonio about the land, the different plants that grow on it, and their medicinal properties. The story moves on from there and is filled with challenges that not only Antonio and Ultima struggle to meet, but ones the entire community must face.

Bless Me, Ultima premieres tomorrow, Friday, February 22nd, in select cities across the U.S. To find out if it is playing near you, visit their official website.

If you have the chance to go and see this movie, you should. Grab your husband, your mejor amiga, or your comadres and head to the theater. But please note that this is NOT a movie for young children as there is some language and adult content. Older kids in high school would really benefit from seeing it, though, as I think it is important for them to see our stories in film. Even if you are not of Mexican descent, I think you will certainly find characters and other aspects to which you can relate. I would love to see this movie be one of many more that reflect the diversity of our Latino culture.

The movie is not only a wonderful tribute to the book, but is beautiful and masterfully acted as well. Take a look...

Official Trailer of Bless Me, Ultima from Arenas Group on Vimeo.

Disclosure: I received a screener of the movie to review. All opinions expressed above are strictly my own.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Multicultural Geography Activity

by Betty Galvan

This holiday weekend, Diego and I took a trip around the world! He has been very curious about geography for some time now and even requested a globe for Christmas. Like any other interest, I like to teach him what I can at home, so I went on the hunt for a cool geography lesson on countries and found an idea on Scholastic’s resources for teachers.
Teachers have used this lesson to help students understand each others' background. Diego loves to discuss the heritage and languages of all his friends, so I decided to help him track where his friends' parents have come from. Not only did we spend time studying the world map by looking for countries by reading, but Diego also practiced spelling his friends’ names, he measured distance for the first time, and we discussed languages!
This activity became even more interesting when we realized that a few of his friends had parents from different countries, so we used a red dry erase marker to identify the mothers’ background and black for the fathers’.
The other materials needed for this geography lesson: a laminated map, poster board paper, alphabet stickers, glue, and a ruler.
Diego started off by gluing the map to the poster board.
First name on the board done!
Diego thought it was important to track our background, too!
Working very carefully! The difficult part was not getting the map smudged!
This activity would be perfect for kids of all ages. The lesson should really focus on locating countries on a map but while working on the project, Diego and I had a natural discussion of multicultural families, languages, and travel. The best part of the project was the realization, for both of us, that people from all over the world can come together so easily!

Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog,

She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Apps for Reading in Spanish

A week or two ago, a Facebook follower asked me about apps that teach children learning to read in Spanish. This question is becoming more and more common, so I decided to do a little research and compile a list of apps. Below are all the ones I've found so far. I'll try to update this list as I learn about additional apps. Click on the name of the app for the link to its app store page with more information.

I want to make it clear that I have not downloaded any of them so I am not endorsing/recommending any of them. Instead, I'm creating a comprehensive list here for you to explore on your own. If you download any of these apps, I'd love to know what you think of them and if you are interested in writing up a short review to share with all the other parents and teachers who follow MommyMaestra, I'm sure they would be truly grateful and I will be happy to publish it. Take a look here for an idea of the layout.


PLEASE NOTE: These apps are for iPads/iPhones only. I don't know if Android versions are available, so please use caution.


Name: Leo Leo
Brief Description: Leo Leo es una aplicación para niños que ya saben leer pero que lo hacen de manera silábica, y esto hace que su lectura sea lenta, debido a esto, puede verse afectada su comprensión de lectura.
Price: 0,89 €

Name: Aprender a leer
Brief Description: Este juego educativo ayudará a su hijo a prepararse mejor para ese gran paso en la vida que es aprender a leer.

Price: 2,69 €


Name: Aprende a leer
Brief Description: Permite, con resultados espectaculares, aprender las letras y mejorar en la lectura, dependiendo del estado de aprendizaje en el que se encuentre.

Price: 0,89 €

Name: Leer y Jugar
Brief Description:
Aplicación educativa que enseña a los niños de 3 a 8 años a leer de forma muy lúdica sin la ayuda de un adulto Con dos modos: un modo para la enseñanza y otro modo para el juego. También existe en inglés y en francés.
Price: 2,69 €


Name: Juegos para aprender a leer y escribir
Brief Description: 
Esta aplicación le ayudará a enseñar a su hijo a prepararse para el colegio o si ya sabe leer, le ayudarle a hacer mas fluido de su lectura y mejorará su ortografía. Ideal para niños a partir de los 3 años hasta los 8 años.
Price: 2,69 €

apps to help my child read in Spanish

Name: Aprender a leer y escribir
Brief Description: Aprender a leer y escribir es un juego fantástico para ayudar niños a leer y escribir. También sirve para aprender otros idiomas: está disponible en inglés, francés, ruso, alemán y holandés
Price: 2,69 €

Name: CI Niños
Brief Description: Usa una técnica innovadora para enseñar a tus hijos a leer y a relacionar y vincular palabras.


Name: Primeras palabras con fonemas
Brief Description: la primera aplicación educativa en enseñar español a los niños mediante los sonidos de las letras (fonemas) y los nombres de las letras, que también proporciona la elección entre la distinción o el seseo.
Price: 1,79 €


Name: Lee paso a paso
Brief Description: Help children learn the basics to start reading Spanish. Go step by step learning the sounds of vowels, identifying syllables and their sounds to form words.
Price: $1.99

Monday, February 18, 2013

Get Your Kids Excited About STEM With EEME

The following post is written in collaboration with EEME. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

For the last several months, my daughter has been saying she wants to grow up and make robots for a living. Hey! I'm okay with that as I hear that robotics are "the future." But I've been wracking my brains trying to think of ways to encourage and nurture her interest.

So when I was contacted by EEME to review one of their products, I was curious and agreed. I am so happy I did. EEME is a relatively new company that creates hands-on projects to teach kids about electronics. But it is really more than that because each kit comes with online lessons to teach your kids not only how to assemble the projects, but to walk them through the process and explain the concepts behind each step.

The first kit they've created is the Genius Light, an easy project that helps your child assemble a simple LED circuit system that does the smart thing - it lights up when it is dark and dims when it is light. The project is geared for children ages 7 to 12, but my 6- and 8-year-olds sat down at the computer and carefully (and enthusiastically!) assembled their Genius Light learning about circuits, breadboards, bus parts, resistors, and more. It was Greek to me, which is what makes this such a FABULOUS resource for parents. You don't have to know anything about electronics to help your child learn about them because the video series teaches you all about it as you watch each step. The videos last anywhere from about 30 seconds to several minutes. I love that it is broken down in this way so that your child has time to learn at their own pace. And you can pause or replay the videos as often as you want to better understand any of the concepts presented. The video segments are best described in three different ways: Activity, learning, or question based. Activity videos involve your child assembling a part of the project. Learning videos explain how things work, and the question segments (usually just one question) check to see if your child (or you!) understands what he or she was just taught.

But you don't have to take my word for it, because the best part of it all is that the video series is FREE. You can sign up to watch them even if you don't buy the kit - but you'll want to because it looks like so much fun to put together, which it is. And guess what? If you sign up, I get up to $50 credit to use toward buying future kits. And you can, too!

EEME would be a great choice for homeschooling families or parents looking for creative ways to nurture their child's interest in STEM subjects.

Here's a quick look at how our class session went and what the completed project looks like...

With so few Latinos entering STEM fields, I think it is very important for us to encourage our children if they show an interest in science and/or math. Our country needs more engineers and technology experts entering the workforce if we are to compete in a global market. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of children who would readily pursue this line of work, if we would simply support them and provide them with the tools necessary to learn about it.

I am happy to endorse this ingenious company and look forward to using it to offer my children more projects to create and opportunities to learn.

You can follow EEME on Facebook, Twitter, and they have some pretty awesome Pinterest boards, too!

Disclosure: EEME sent me a free kit to review. All opinions expressed above are completely my own.

Friday, February 15, 2013

New DINOSAUR TRAIN “Submarine Adventure” & Printables

This Monday, February 18, PBS KIDS will premiere an all-new special DINOSAUR TRAIN. Our favorite Pteranodon family will dive into an underwater adventure in “Submarine Adventure.” The one-hour program will feature four new stories about sea creatures that lived during the “Age of Dinosaurs.” I never realized that Dinosaur Train is created by The Jim Henson Company, but that's just one more reason for me to love this show. My son has already told me that he plans to grow up and become a paleontologist, which is why Dinosaur Train holds a special place in his heart. I love that he learns natural science and paleontology concepts while he watches the show on Saturday mornings.

Both full episodes and clips from “Submarine Adventure” will be available on the PBS KIDS Video Player at and on the PBS KIDS Video App beginning February 19, in case you miss it on Monday.

And to extend their learning, you can print up awesome printables like this one and this one before or after watching the show. You can also print up a sticker.

Do your kids like watching Dinosaur Train?

Disclosure: I am a PBS Ambassador. This simply means I get up-to-date information to share with all of you. And I did receive a screener of this new special to review.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

KaBOOM! It Starts With a Playground

Unstructured play is one of the best parts of my kids' day. And playing outside is at the top of the list. My kids love playing with the dogs, climbing trees, exploring nature, and riding their bikes. We have one playground in town where they love to spend their time during the spring and summer months.

But many children don't have that luxury. Many parents struggle to find safe playgrounds for their children to play in.

Which is a terribly shame, really, because as I've written before, kids who play outside reap the benefits. They get healthy exercise, stronger immune systems, and are more compassionate and concerned about environmental issues. They even do better in school.
Which is why I choose to support KaBOOM! They are one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the U. S. dedicated to saving play for children. According to their website, their mission is "to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Ultimately, we envision a place to play within walking distance of every child in America."

And this month, to emphasize the importance of an outdoor playspace, they are asking parents to send in photos of the playgrounds they love for a chance to win great outdoor toys. All you have to do is share a picture on their FB page of your favorite playground, and you'll be entered to win a set of two Buddy Bounce Balls or a copy of of the book Go Out and Play!: Favorite Outdoor Games from KaBOOM!.

The deadline is less than week away! Get your photos in by February 19th.

And if you've never visited the KaBOOM! website, now's your chance. It is so inspiring!

Does your community have a fun and safe playground for your children?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last-Minute, Bilingual Valentine's Freebie {PRINTABLE}

Is tomorrow really Valentine's Day already?!? Well, we are feeling the love over here, so I want to spread the joy and share with you this free printable I created for making your own Bilingual Valentine's Mobile and Cupcake Toppers

You can download them for free in my TpT store. They are actually a sample of a bigger Bilingual Valentine's Decorations pack, if you are looking to jazz up your holiday decorations. The pack includes a bilingual banner, napking & water bottle wrappers, and a set of Valentine's place cards.

And if you're looking for last-minute bilingual Valentine's Day Cards, be sure to check out the ones I made last year. They are still super cute AND they're on SALE!

Happiest of days to you and your familia...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

500 Artists Talk About Inspiration

Blick Art Materials recently released the results of a survey in which they asked 500 artists questions about inspiration.

For some reason, Blogger is not loading this infographic at full scale, so I had to break it up into to images which is why the scale is off just a tich. Share this infographic with your kids and encourage them to continue exploring art every day!

Un abrazo...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Teacher's Resource: Art Room Aid


"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." ~Pablo Picasso 

My children are natural artists and enjoy creating, just like all other children do. And while I frequently use art to teach other subjects, we have reached a point where they are ready to take things a step further. It's time, I think, to provide them with a real opportunity to explore the world of art and the famous artists who have so richly contributed to our world.

So I have teamed up with an art teacher and one of the other homeschooling mothers in our community to put together a month-long workshop for all the homeschooled children in our town. Exploring the Master Painters is the name of our project and it will introduce our students to five famous artists in history: Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse. At the beginning of each class, the students will learn about the life of the featured painter, discuss the style most commonly associated with that painter, and then create their own art work. They will experiment with tools and techniques to create their own unique art piece based on the painter's style.

But because we are a small community with limited access to art supplies and the funds with which to purchase them, we have decided to use Art Room Aid to help us make our project a reality. This program was created by Blick Art Materials as a resource to help educators easily fund their projects for free. There are no registration fees, and the entire process is simple and user-friendly. People may donate a cash credit that you can then use to purchase the art supplies from their online art store. Or people can just buy a specific item from your wish list and donate it directly to you! The tool works best if you do your part and promote your wish list via your own social media networks. But the great thing is that Art Room Aid has a Tool Kit with ways to customize flyers, letters, and emails that you can use to help you successfully promote your wish list.

I just published our wish list yesterday and shared it on my personal Facebook page. Already several donors have chipped in...we are SO THRILLED!  

At a time when art programs are struggling due to budget cuts, I would imagine that Art Room Aid is a fabulous tool and much needed resource. In fact, the Department of Education released a report last year saying that the percentage of elementary schools without a visual arts class rose 13 to 17 percent over the last decade. I can't help but wonder how many of these are found in low-income neighborhoods?

If you are an educator looking for ways to fund an art project for your students, y
ou can create your own free account here.
Stay tuned tomorrow and find out what 500 artists had to say about inspiration!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with the Motherhood. All opinions are strictly my own. I only work with campaigns with which I approve or agree and feel are beneficial to my readers.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

International Book Giving Day

February 14th isn't just about Valentine's Day, you know. But we have a great idea about what to give your Valentine! To learn more and download your posters visit

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Multi-Language App Reviews: My Book Full of Riddles & First Words Valentines

By Betty Galvan

I was so happy to do a couple of app reviews for Mommy Maestra this week! Both are educational, one is cute and funny, and the other a perfect game for Valentine's Day!

Name: My Book Full of Riddles: Multi-Language by Brave Tomatoes
Subject(s): reading, languages, figurative speech, problem solving
Brief Description: A funny and interactive book for kids with over 20 riddles in six different languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Russian).
Price: $2.99
Ages: 4+

What my kids like:I am not surprised that my six year-old loves the punchline page that comes after every riddle! Some answers are hilarious and he laughs aloud! He also loves the record button which is neat because it encourages him to read to me. He is very intrigued by the English, Spanish, and French options.

What I like:I kept expecting for the riddles to come to an end and start over. To my surprise, there are over 20 riddles, which means that my oldest might memorize a few answers but not all. After all, I would like him to stay interested in the app for a bit longer because of the price and because of our continuing work with bilingualism.

I loved that we are able to pick more than our two languages! I did notice that not everything translates perfectly, especially humor, but I believe only one of two riddles didn't translate well.

The option to read alone and record your voice was the big hit for me. I love that my oldest can hear himself read Spanish and he is so proud every time he plays back his recording! It is also a great benefit the babies in the house to hear more Spanish.

There are a few more apps by Brave Tomatoes and I really think I'll be checking them out. Riddles and puzzles seem to be their main focus and I love that they have added multi-languages to their books. Unfortunately, there are no free apps and they range between $1.99 to $2.99. In my opinion, the money is totally worth this Brave Tomatoes app.

Name: First Words Valentine by Learning Touch
Subject(s): Letter recognition, spelling, vocabulary, reading and matching.
Brief Description: An easy word-building game specifically for Valentine's Day.
Price: Free
Ages: 2 and up

What my kids like:My toddler loves to swipe the letters and match them to their designated boxes. He also likes the spinning images when he is correct; a celebration! My six year-old, although reading, is very familiar with Learning Touch apps and enjoys helping his little brother with the newest app as well.
What I like:I like that every letter is repeated when selected, reinforcing the alphabet over and over. I love that this Valentine's Day app has words and images appropriate for my little one.
We have a lot of Learning Touch apps. I appreciate the variety of free apps and that I have the option to upgrade for as low as $1.99. I am most impressed by the fact that Learning Touch has developed a Spanish app! They also have First Words in three other languages: Japanese, German and French! And although a bit on the pricier side ($4.99), they all have over 100 words in each app within different categories (animals, shapes, letters, etc). Learning Touch apps will be on my iPhone and iPad for a long time!

Disclosure: We were not compensated by the above companies for these reviews. All opinions expressed above are my own.


Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog,

She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Valentine's on Pinterest

Pinterest has a sea of ideas that can certainly be overwhelming. But if you are looking for kids' activities, crafts, or printables to celebrate Valentine's Day, be sure to check out my Pinterest board where I've pinned a few of my favorites!


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Xist Publishing

This week we're all about Valentine's Day and sharing resources that both you and your children will love. To kick things off, I want to introduce you to Xist Publishing. The modern publishing company specializes in children's picture ebooks for technology devices such as Kindle.

I had the chance to take a peek at two of their Valentine's Day titles, Be Mine by Brenda Ponnay and I Love You! by Calee M. Lee.

Be Mine is a vibrant and lovely book for little children. It is part of the Little Hoo series that features the adorable owl on the cover. Each page has simple, yet rich, illustrations of various animals accompanied by phrases typically associated with love and Valentine's Day. Though the target age range is probably for children 5 and under, this book is also GREAT for beginning readers. My son enjoyed reading the text and I liked the opportunity it gave him to practice reading vowel dipthongs ("ow," "ou," "oo") and vowel digraphs ("ea," "ee," "ie," "ey"). Here's a sample...

Aren't they super cute?!?

I Love You! is another adorable picture book. Tricia Tharp's child-like illustrations are sweet and engaging for little readers. The story line describes all the different ways that the narrator loves their child. This book is also fits the category of an emergent reader, as once again the words are easy enough for a beginning reader to read and is a great way for them to practice different vowel and consonant combinations.

If you are looking for some picture books to read to your child, or books that your beginning reader can read to you, I recommend both of these. The inexpensive eBooks are available for instant download on Amazon.


Disclosure: I received review copies of both these books. All opinions state above, however, are strictly my own.