Join our mailing list and get exclusive giveaways, tips, family friendly events and more.
Subscribe to our
and get exclusive giveaways!

“Strong Is The New Pretty”

Kate T. Parker is a mother, wife, former collegiate soccer player, Ironman and professional photographer. In her book, “Strong Is The New Pretty,” she celebrates the tenacious spirit inherent within every girl. Featuring Parker’s stunning photography alongside advice and wisdom from her diverse subjects, the book demonstrates that all girls – not just the athletic ones – are unstoppable. This important collection will inspire girls and women to be their best selves – to challenge and test their limits. $17.95 Available on, and at your local indie store.

“Big Buncha Buddies”

In the album, “Big Buncha Buddies,” Keith Munslow and Bridget Brewer team up for a harmonious salute to the ups and downs of friendship. With songs like, “That Was A Bad Idea,” “Why Did You Teach Me That Word?” and “It's An Adventure,” the two bring a new perspective on family life. Munslow notes, “In the end, the only thing that matters is loving someone, feeling empathy for someone, no matter how different you are.” Available on iTunes, Amazon or for $12 or for a $10 download visit

— Jenny L. Heinbaugh

Book Reviews

Celebrating National Poetry Month

By Mary Quattlebaum

babies / tots

Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3

“All aboard,” shouts the friendly bear engineer as the night train starts its journey. Through Sherri Rinker’s rollicking counting rhyme, kids learn the different parts of a train – engine, flatbed car, boxcar, caboose – as various animals and items (two giraffes, five monkeys, nine balloons) provide a chance to count and learn numbers. Tom Lichtenheld’s palette of dark blues, purples and browns, punctuated with small bursts of bright color, create a sense of cozy magic. Appropriately, the book ends with the word “goodnight,” a fine segue to the young reader’s dreamtime destination.

ages 3 – 7

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa

This rhyming story captures the conflicted feelings of youngsters who might be both excited and nervous about sleepovers. The book opens with a little llama packing for a visit to Gram and Grandpa’s house. He has a wonderful time playing and eating dinner with his beloved relatives, but then he realizes that he’s left his special stuffed toy at home. By bedtime, he’s distraught – till Grandpa fetches a substitute, his own favorite toy as a lad. Through words and pictures, the late Anna Dewdney conveyed and honored the shifts in children’s emotions. This book is a tribute to the bond between grandchild and grandparents, and to the complexity of a child’s feelings.

ages 8 and up

One Last Word

Master poet Nikki Grimes has gathered some great poems from writers of the Harlem Renaissance and offers her own verse in response to them. This shows the generations in dialogue with one another and reinforces the idea that poetry of the past can inspire new ideas and writing. Using an intricate form called the “golden shovel,” Grimes takes a line from Langston Hughes, say, or Jean Toomer, and uses the words in a different place in one of her poems. Artwork by African Americans, including R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Javaka Steptoe and Shadra Strickland, add to the emotional and visual impact of this stunning book.

Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 24 award-winning children’s books, most recently “Together Forever: True Tales of Amazing Animal Friendships,” and a popular school/conference speaker.