Books, Books, and More Books

Goose is a major bookworm, something that pleases me to no end. I was an early and quick reader and tore through books almost faster than my parents and library could provide them (always made a killing on free pizzas thanks to Book It!) and I knew before Goose was born that I wanted to instill in her a huge love for books. My husband and I started reading to Goose when she was just a few weeks old, although she didn’t show major interest until closer to her first birthday. From that point on, she hardly played with her toys, preferring to shove a book at me instead. These days she will show a passing interest in her play food, Duplos, or musical instruments, but it’s never long before I hear her squeaky little demanding “WEAD!” and I must oblige.

Baby Goose reads That's Not My Kitten

Goose’s early favorites were the That’s Not My… series by Usborne Books. She really enjoyed the different textures on the pages, meant to represent things like fur, rough paw pads, dinosaur scales, or bumpy teeth. Sometimes she would touch her toes to the material, or even lick it! I appreciated how the books felt sturdy, were nice and bright, and could hold up to copious amounts of drool from a teething baby. Goose’s all-time top two books from the infant days were Baby Boo and All About Me (the latter still being one of her favorites – I guess my kid is vain), both of which have a cute rhythm that make them fun to read even 100 times a day.

Lately we are really enjoying Karen Katz’s books like Counting Kisses, Ten Tiny Tickles, and Daddy Hugs. Goose always makes us kiss or tickle the corresponding body parts, and Counting Kisses is a good bedtime book, starting with “my tired little baby, do you need a kiss?” and ending with “now it’s time for baby’s bed”. Katz also has board books with thin wood pages that can really take a beating from the toddler set. We have Baby’s Shapes and Baby’s Colors and both are in great condition even though they have been very well loved. Our latest acquisition is a pocket-sized board book version of The Monster at the End of This Book, which truth be told, hasn’t really captured Goose’s interest yet, but I love it purely for nostalgic reasons since I had a copy when I was a kid.

Toddler Goose

Our collection is rounded out with classics like Goodnight Moon, a handful of Eric Carle books, a few pocket-sized Dr. Seuss books (The Foot Book is a favorite), and almost the entire Sandra Boynton oeuvre, which I can recite in my sleep. Goose doesn’t yet have the attention span to sit for my personal favorite series, Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink, all of which are adorably illustrated and use a little reverse psychology to get the message across. Little Pea has to eat nothing but candy for dinner, and he hates it. He struggles through a few bites at his parents’ request in order to earn his dessert – spinach! Similarly, Little Hoot hates having to stay up all night, and Little Oink hates having to be dirty all the time. I wholeheartedly recommend this series to anyone with an older toddler or preschooler.

Stuck under the jumperoo with a good book

With Goose closing in on 20 months old, we are in the market for some new books. At this point, she isn’t quite ready for paper pages, as evidenced by her immediate destruction of Once Upon a Potty the second we handed it to her. Flap books are generally a no-no too unless they are rather sturdy. GenXmoms readers, what are your favorite books from birth to preschool?

Disclosure: The Cooking Mama purchased all mentioned books herself and received no incentive or compensation for reviewing them. Booksfromatoz.com, an Usborne Books & More site, is owned by the Legal Eagle. All other links point to Amazon copies. Gen X Moms Blog is not an Amazon affiliate and receives no compensation for clicking or purchasing through these links.

At-Home Businesses for Busy Moms: Usborne Books and More

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So many moms want to run an at-home business. Whether it’s to pay a few extra bills, have more money to splurge on lip gloss that goes unappreciated by everyone except our other mommy friends, or just continue a hobby and use our brains, starting an at-home business can be scary but exciting. In this feature, Gen X Moms interviews a variety of moms who run at-home businesses. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom where you’ll find exclusive offers just for Gen X Mom readers!

Today’s Mom: Melissa with Usborne Books and More

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I am a full-time SAHM with 2 daughters under the age of 3.  I used to have a very steressful job that was very demanding and a lot of hours, so I was happy to leave it behind when I had the chance.  But, I was looking for something to do to provide some balance and that would provide some intellectual engagement that’s above a preschool level.

Tell us about your business
Usborne Books and More is a direct sales business at home parties and to schools and libraries.

How did you get started in this business?
I was toying with working at a bookstore part time because I harbor thoughts of one day opening a children’s bookstore.  Then, my friend told me about a business I could do at home that would allow me to learn about kid’s books and still be at home.

Did you have any kind of special education or training?
Nope!  Just a great supervisor who trained me over the phone (we live 2 time zones apart)

How do you juggle motherhood and the business?
I hold home shows in the evenings or on weekends when my husband is home with the kids.  I also have been able to take my kids with me to weekday book shows and to storytimes I conduct at businesses that double as playdates for the kids.  Otherwise, I do my work during naptime and after bedtime.

What would you say to other moms interested in opening a similar business?
You can work as little or as much as you’d like, and you can make as little or as much as you like.  Usborne Books are awesome, and, without any prompting from me, many of them have become my girls’ favorites.  Selling them has allowed me to fill our bookshelves with really great books for a very small fraction of the price.

Do you have any special offers for Gen X Mom readers?
Any blog reader who hosts a party before the end of June will get an extra free book in addition to the amazing hostess rewards we offer.
Any blog reader who orders books will receive a 10% discount if the place the order within the next 2 weeks.  However, to get this discount, you must email me the order directly at: booksfromatoz@gmail.com.  Any, if the order is over $100, you will get FREE SHIPPING!

Stop by Melissa’s Usborne Books and More site today!