Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

17 Halloween Books For Kids

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we have more picture books for Halloween than we do for any other holiday. There is just something about Halloween books for kids that are so fun and delightful. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with our own children, and bringing fun books into our home has always been one of my favorite ways to prolong any holiday season.

I've had a few booklists for Halloween books for kids that I've shared over here in the past, but in an effort to clean up my blog and make things more organized, I've compiled them all into one post, and have added some new favorites that we've picked up this year as well. 

So if you're in the market for some halloween books for kids, then I've got you covered with 17 of our very favorites. 

Halloween books for kindergarten. Halloween books for 8 year olds. Halloween books for 10 year olds. Halloween picture books. Juvenile halloween books. Halloween books for babies. Favorite halloween books. Halloween themed children’s books. #books #reading #Learning #education #teacher #halloween #fall

Where's My Mummy: This is a book I recently found this year while scouring books for this post. It's the story of a sweet little mummy wanting one more game of "hide and shriek" before bed! This book is probably the most adorable of them all!

Click Clack Boo: This is the Halloween tale of one of our all time favorites, Click Clack Moo. When I found out this book existed, I knew it was definitely going to be on the top of this list!

Room On The Broom: A witch is going for a ride on her broom when she loses her hat and other things too. Luckily their are some cute forest animals to help her find her things in exchange for a ride on her broom!

Joey the Jack-o-Lantern: Last week I texted my mom and said, "What was that Halloween book we had about a Jack-o-Lantern?" totally vague and not descriptive at all, but my mom totally knew which one I was talking about! This is a super fun story about a Jack-o-Lantern who wants to be scary but doesn't think his face fits the bill until he gets a little help on Halloween night!

The Night Before Halloween: We're ridiculously big fans of every book Natasha Wing has written in this series and this one is no different! "Twas the night before Halloween when all through the house, all the creatures were stirring except for the mouse!" I really love this series!

Clifford's Halloween: This is a nostalgic one for me because I'm pretty sure my mom had every holiday Clifford book and this one definitely made it's way to our family coffee table each fall. I'm excited to be able to share this one with my kids this year!

Arthur's Halloween: Like the Clifford books, I'm pretty sure my mom had all the Arthur ones too! I think my favorite part about this book is that they go into a creepy old lady's house and get some donuts because.... donuts.

The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat: Upon researching books for this post I realized that there were approximately a million different Halloween Berenstain Bears books, but this is the one  I remembered most about brother and sister bear going trick-or-treating on their own for the first time. 

The 12 Days Of Halloween: A fun spoof off of the 12 Days of Christmas, made just for your little ghost or goblin that you have in your home. 

How to Catch a Monster: Everything you and your kids will ever need to know about monsters and how to catch them. The perfect resource for all the spooky scenes we're sure to see as Halloween approaches. 

Vampirina Ballerina: We added this to our collection a few years ago and love it. A vampire who wants to be a ballerina but has a lot of obstacles to get her there. She can't see herself in the mirror, has to find a class at night... find out how she makes her ballerina dreams a reality.

At The Old Haunted House: We added this book to our collection a few years ago and it's a really fun read. It takes you through the various rooms of a haunted house before dropping you off at the ultimate Halloween bash!

The Littlest Mummy: All Mae wants to do is boogie with her family at the Halloween bash, but everyone keeps telling her she's too little. Will she overcome her challenges and party with her family? You'll have to crack this one open to find out. 

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything: This book wams gifted to us at some point and is a super fun read about a little old lady who goes on a spooky walk home. She claims she's not afraid of anything until...

Dragon's Halloween: This was a book I loved growing up. It's a collection of short stories about a dragon and his Halloween adventures. It would be fun to break it up and read one short story before bed each night, or let your child plow through the entire thing in an afternoon. 

Pinkalicious: Pink or Treat: Kinsley is mega obsessed with Pinkalicious right now, so this Pink or Treat Halloween story has been a welcomed addition to our home library. When the mayor cancels Halloween because of a power outage, Pinkalicious saves the day. 

I Spy Halloween: Because every kid loves a good I spy book right? 

Do you have some Halloween books for kids that you love that didn't make my list? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below! 

Halloween books for kindergarten. Halloween books for 8 year olds. Halloween books for 10 year olds. Halloween picture books. Juvenile halloween books. Halloween books for babies. Favorite halloween books. Halloween themed children’s books. #books #reading #Learning #education #teacher #halloween #fall

If you liked this post, 17 Halloween Books for Kids, be sure to checkout these posts as well:

Be sure to follow along on instagram @thehappyflammily to stay up-to-date on all the latest posts and projects!

13 Easter Books For Toddlers

Easter picture books or Easter books for toddlers are one of our favorite ways to celebrate. Here are 13 Easter books for toddlers to help you celebrate!

Easter is two weeks out, so I'm trying to prepare and wrap my mind around things since shipping times may take longer, and I also want to give you all enough time to plan the things you want to do with your family as well. Picture books are one of my favorite ways to celebrate any major holiday, so today I rounded up 13 of my favorite Easter books for toddlers that you can purchase on Amazon, and will hopefully ship in time for Easter! Some of these are as little as $2, so hopefully you'll be able to add a couple to your library or Easter baskets!

Easter books for 10 year olds. Easter books for adults. Best easter stories. Traditional Easter Books. Books about easter bunny. Easter picture books for kids. Easter books ideas. Easter books. Best easter books. New release easter books 2020. #books #easter #picturebook #easterbooks #kidslit #childrensbooks

13 Easter Books for Toddlers:

God Gave Us Easter: I love fun holiday books, and also books that talk about the true meaning of the holiday. This book is a great balance of both and is a great resource for talking to young readers about Easter.

The Good Egg Presents: The Great Eggscape: This Easter The Good Egg and his friends try to have some fun around the grocery store. This looks super cute and I'm totally grabbing a copy for my kids!

How to Catch The Easter Bunny: If you need to know how to catch an Easter Bunny, I'd assume you'd need this book.

Ten Little Eggs: This is a sweet story about ten eggs hatching in their mother's nest. It looks super darling, and something I'd love to add to our home library!

Jesus Rose For Me: This book was a new release in March 2020, and I'm excited to add it to our home. It's a board book that does a great job at telling the story of Jesus and His death for young readers. If you want a great biblical book to share with your family, definitely check this one out. 

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Chick: Kyle loves this series and I think we almost have every holiday one they've written.


The Berenstain Bears and The Real Easter Eggs: Brother and Sister Bear go on an Easter egg hunt and discover the real meaning of Easter in the process.


The Biggest Easter Basket Ever: Two mice try to get ready for Easter by making the biggest basket ever, and learn a lesson about cooperation in the process.

Peppa's Easter Egg Hunt: Kinsley is a major fan of all things Peppa Pig... This might be finding it's way into her Easter Basket this year.

Clifford's Happy Easter: I'm a huge lover of all things Clifford and have since I was very little. We actually don't have this Easter story, but I want to add it to our home library. It's a fun read about a big dog trying to color lots of little eggs!

Peppa's Easter Surprise: Kinsley has this board book and we read it all year round. It's super cute and talks about Peppa and her friends going on an egg hunt and discovering baby chicks at the end.

The Night Before Easter: You should all know by now that I'm obsessed with "The Night Before..." series by Natasha Wing, and her books make it onto all of my holiday lists. This one is a super fun read about the Easter Bunny coming to your house the night before Easter, and is super fun!

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story: The Bear Cubs are obsessed about all things Easter and candy, but their Sunday School class teach them that Jesus' Resurrection is much sweeter than candy!

Are there any Easter classics that you love in your home? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

If you liked this post, 13 Easter Books for Toddlers, you might also like:


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along on instagram @thehappyflammily!

Five Books I Read in February 2020

February was a slow reading month for me. Granted, it is two days shorter than any other month, but I don't think those two days would have helped me much. I found myself super distracted with work, switching Kyle's school situation, and Kinsley starting OT that was four days a week for a hot second, that reading just slipped away from me for a bit. I did manage to read five books though, and I'm excited to share what I thought. 

Best books 2020 nonfiction, top books to read in 2019, history books to read in 2020, best books to read in 2020 self help, best books 2019. Book to look out for in 2020, most anticipated books 2020, best books 2020 fiction. #books #booklist #fiction #nonfiction #sportsbooks #runningbooks #running #reading

1) I'm Here to Win: This book is about a triathlete who spends years and years trying to win Ironman Kona (the sport's world champion event each year). It was an okay book, and I really appreciated how the author, Chris McCormack, raised a lot of money for breast cancer through his foundation after his mother's early death, but this wasn't my favorite sports book I ever read. 

2) Educated: This book was SO GOOD. Tara Westover is from a small city in Idaho where her parents were super strict, homeschooled, and thought the world was going to end and that the government was out to get their family. Tara followed her older siblings footsteps and left their small town, got a degree from BYU, and eventually a PhD from Cambridge. I felt like I could relate to her story in a lot of ways, and in even more ways, my heart broke for all the things she had to endure as a young girl, and even to this day with her family strains. 

3) The Read Aloud Family: I'm a huge believer in reading aloud to our kids, so this book was a must read for me. Some basic principals that I got from it was that reading with your kids can grow a closer parental bond with your children, can increase them to more sophisticated vocabulary than they could read on their own, and provides opportunities for you to have deep though provoking conversations with your children about books. She also gives great and extensive lists for books to read aloud with your own kids, which I really appreciated! 

4) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Not much needs to be said about this book, but Kyle read it without me in January and so I read it again with him last month. I think we might read the third one together in March, but then I think we're going to put a long pause before I let him read the fourth one. 

5) The Extra Mile: A book about ultramarathon runner Pam Reed, and the races she won and her childhood, and how she became one the more famous ultrarunners of our day. I love this book and have read it about once a year for the last 10 years. Some tidbits I love is when she says that when she runs 100 miles, she doesn't think of it as running a huge chunk of 100 miles. She runs 1 mile 100 times. I use that same mentality a lot on my training runs now, and I find it really helpful in terms of staying focused and not letting myself get stressed out about all the miles that are still ahead. 

What did you read in February? I'd love to know in the comments below!


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

Best St Patrick's Day Books

This list has some of the Best St Patrick's Day books for your younger readers who love picture books and older kids who love chapter books!

Happy Day 3 of our St Patrick's Day week! I love a good holiday themed book as much as the next parent, and over the years I've collected a few great gems for St Patrick's Day. I think our great collection of St Patty's Day books is why Kyle keeps going around the house saying this is his favorite holiday. Books are such an easy way to celebrate almost any occasion, which is why I make them a part of every holiday in our home. If you're looking for The Best St Patrick's Day Books, consider adding a couple of these to your collection.

Best St Patrick's Day Picture Books:

St Patricks day picture book recommendations. Best St Patricks day books for kids. St Patricks day chapter book ideas. Chapter books for St Patricks day. St Patricks Day book list ideas. Book lists for kids. March book recommendations for kids. Best St Patrick’s Day Chapter books. #books #Booklist #reading #stpatricksbooks #elementarybooks #picturebooks #chapterbooks #middlegrade #fiction

1. The Story of St Patrick: I love a good, fun, silly book, but I also love to have at least one book that talks about what each holiday is actually about. This book does a great job of telling the story of who St Patrick was, and why we celebrate this day in a great way for young audiences.

2. St Patrick's Day in the Morning: This story is about a boy named Jamie who will do whatever it takes to march in the St. Patrick's Parade. This is a flagship book from my own childhood.

3. The Luckiest St Patrick's Day Ever: This is a fun quick read that we got at the library. It takes you through a town's St Patrick's celebration and parade!

4. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover: Kyle is a huge fan of the, "There Was an Old Lady..." series. We bought this one last year and it's a repeat this time of year!

5. The Night Before St Patrick's Day: I love every holiday book in this series and this one is just as good as the rest! The kids try to make a leprechaun trap, but do they actually get him?

6. How to Catch a Leprechaun: Another fun and lively book about catching leprechauns. My kids love this one, and it's a super fun and quick read.

Best St. Patrick's Day Chapter Books:

These St Patrick's day chapter books are perfect if you're in the market for a St Patrick's Day read-aloud that you can share with your entire family. These chapter books are super fun and have a mix of something that will appeal to all audiences!
St Patricks day picture book recommendations. Best St Patricks day books for kids. St Patricks day chapter book ideas. Chapter books for St Patricks day. St Patricks Day book list ideas. Book lists for kids. March book recommendations for kids. Best St Patrick’s Day Chapter books. #books #Booklist #reading #stpatricksbooks #elementarybooks #picturebooks #chapterbooks #middlegrade #fiction

1. St. Patrick's Day from the Black Lagoon: This is number 19 in The Black Lagoon series and is a super great read for any 2nd-5th grader in your life. If you have kids that love The Black Lagoon series like Kyle does, this will be a no brainer to grab at your next library day!

2. Calendar Mysteries #3: March Mischief: Kyle loves anything and everything by Ron Roy. He's read both the Capital Mysteries and A to Z Mysteries so far, and we're excited to start this series next. Luckily they have a book just in time for St Patrick's!

3. Leprechaun's Don't Play Basketball: The basketball team is convinced their coach is a leprechaun, but is he really? I guess you'll have to read this to find out ;)

4. Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: This is a Fact Checker book from the Magic Treehouse series. These are fun books that give more non-fiction details into what the other books in the series talk about. We haven't read any of these yet, but it will be super fun to grab a copy of this to read with Kyle next month!

5. Merlin Missions: Leprechaun in Late Winter: Merlin Missions are the more advanced readers of The Magic Treehouse Series. Kyle has read all of these, and this one is one of his very favorites! If you have Jack and Annie lovers in your house, you'll definitely want to snag a copy of this to read soon!

6. Green Gravy (Cul-de-Sac Kids Series): This story is about a girl named Carly who becomes student of the week and makes the entire class do St Patty's traditions against their will because she's Irish. Her adopted twin brother from Korea doesn't want to join in on the fun though which causes a bit of sibling rivalry which eventually gets resolved.

Do you have books you love reading with your kid's for St Patrick's? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

If you liked this post, Best St Patrick's Day Books, you might also like:

Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along on instagram @thehappyflammily!

Five Books I read in January 2020

One of my goals this year was to read more books. I read almost zero books for leisure in 2019, and it was something that I really missed. I hit the ground running in January and finished five books. Not as many as I thought I would when I wrote my post about ways I was reading more in 2020, but five is still more than I read in all of 2019, so I'm on a good trajectory regardless. 



I read mostly non-fiction, with the exception of Harry Potter that we started with Kyle. I also found myself listening to a bunch of books that I purchased on Audible years ago, that I'd never gotten around to. It was a good way to get through things I already owned, and read more in the process. 

The Collapse of Parenting: When we brought Kyle to the pediatrician at the end of last year for his anxiety, the doctor recommended I read this book. It sounded super familiar, but when I looked it up on Amazon, it had a different cover than what I thought, so I bought it to read. I got a chapter into it before realizing I already had it on Audible. I gave the new hardcopy to Derek to read and I re-listened to the audio. 

I love this book for many reasons but mostly because I feel like Leonard Sax and I are really on the same page with parenting. Encouraging kids to work hard, letting them fail and learning from their mistakes, making them eat vegetables, limiting screen time, etc... I'm not a perfect parent, but this book reminds me that there are way worse mistakes I could be making, and that while Derek and I have room to grow, we're not doomed. 

168 Hours: This book gave me so many thoughts on things I can change in my own life as a mother, business owner, and as an overall human being. I love that it really challenged me to focus on where I spend my time, to be honest with myself about my time, and then to adjust myself as needed. You can read my full review here.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: This book does not need an introduction. We started reading the series with Kyle this month and he cannot get enough. We read this one with him each night before bed, but he quickly read to the end without us and then started on book two. He might be a little young though and I worry about the future books getting too dark for him. We're wondering where we draw the line for a seven year old.

A Life Without Limits: I bought this almost two years ago on Audible and never listened to it. I finally turned it on while I was running on my treadmill and was instantly hooked. Chrissie Wellington speaks on how she once struggled with anorexia and body dysmorphia, and eventually channeled that focus into racing Ironman races and eventually became the top in the sport. It's a super inspiring story, and reminds me that nothing is out of reach. 

The Ultra Mindset: This was another old Audible purchase that I finally decided to listened through. It's about Travis Macy, a boy who grew up watching his father compete in ultra marathon races, went on to compete in adventure races and ultras himself, and would eventually be among the top in the sport while also raising a young family and teaching high school English. I appreciated his story, and his mantra, "it's all good mental training", but I really didn't LOVE this book, and felt like I was listening to it just to keep myself busy on the treadmill. 

If you're interested in what I'm currently working through:
I'm Here to Win by Chris McCormack
Educated by Tara Westover

Are you currently reading anything, or read anything in the month of January? I'd love to know in the comments below! 


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

168 Hours Book Review

January always feels like a good month to read a book about productivity to help fast track you to where you want to go within the next year. My friend Janssen is doing an online bookclub this year, and January's book was 168 Hours: You have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. The premise of the book is that you have a 168 hours, which is a lot more time than you think, and that you can get a lot more done in that timeframe if you're honest with your time, prioritize correctly, and make room for things that matter most to you.

168 hours pdf free download. 168 hour days. Laura Vanderkam. You have more time than you think pdf. 168 hours excel worksheet. 168 planner. 168 hours ted talk. 168 hour exercise.


This book has nine chapters, that are divided into four parts. Each part gave me so many amazing thoughts, and I'm going to try share my book review, by breaking it into each section.

Your 168 Hours:
The book started off by saying how we're all a lot more busier than we appear to be. There are many people who report working 50-60 hour weeks, when in reality, they only work about 45 of those hours. I found myself resonating with this. As a blogger, and social media manager who works from home, it feels like I'm working every second of the day. It feels like I'm working 80 hours some weeks. The reality is, it feels that way because my mind is constantly thinking about my long list of to-dos. In actuality, I'm only really working maybe 30 hours a week. This helped me realize that work would feel a lot shorter if I was more streamlined in my work processes, and checked email and instagram less. Checking these things constantly feels like I'm working, but the reality is, unless I'm typing an email or posting to instagram, that's not work, and I can be spending that time focusing on other things.

The other part of this section talked about our core competencies and how we make time for the things that are important to us. For me, I want to be present with my kids, have a good marriage, blog and provide income for our family, and have time to read and run. If there are things that get in the way of me giving my all to these five things, I have to be honest and decide if that's worth my time, and if it's not, be okay with either not doing it, or outsourcing it to someone who can.

She recommends creating a time log where you keep track of what you're doing for an entire week, so that you can see where you may waste time, and how many hours per week you spend on various tasks. This was eye opening for me to see the number of hours I waste doing certain things, and how there really is plenty of time for me to do the things I love.

Work:
Part two was all about work, and particularly how to know if you're in the right job. One part I really loved is when it talked about some people's current jobs may reflect things that they did as a child. I remember I used to write fake magazines on our family computer growing up, and make these powerpoint presentations that chronologically chronologically dictated the less than fascinating moments in my life. It's funny to see now how I basically do that same thing on a much larger scale. Turns out, I love what I do, and I'm in the right job.

This section of the book also talked about how if there is a part of your job that you don't like, or that takes time away from you doing parts of your work that you enjoy, you should outsource it. A lot of bloggers hire virtual assistants, photographers, social media managers, etc... up until recently, my blog has been just Derek and I. I write all the blog posts, take 90% of the pictures (Derek takes them when I need to be in the pictures, this is his only role here), do all my own social media, keep up on emails, negotiate deals with brands, etc... One thing I needed to beef up this year was search engine optimization. I felt I didn't have time for this, and that I didn't want to be the one going through all my old 1200 posts and making them rank hire on google, so I tried hiring it out. Turns out I don't think the guy I hired to do it did a very good job, so now it's back on my list of things to-do. But it was a good exercise in me trying to outsource something, even if it only lasted a week.

Home:
The third section of the book was our homes and making them efficient for ourselves, and again, if there are things that need to be done that you either don't have time for, cut into something you'd rather do, or you just don't want to do it, you shouldn't feel guilty about outsourcing.

I actually really love cleaning my home, folding laundry, and cooking meals for my family. It is a really therapeutic activity, and I don't mind doing it. These things truly bring me joy. That being said I don't love grocery shopping, and even doing Walmart grocery pickup was becoming more of a hassle, so we now have all of our groceries delivered.

The back story is this- When we moved over the summer, the closest Walmart to us became seven miles and two towns away. I could have done grocery pickup at another store, but didn't want to pay the $5 fee, so kept doing grocery pickup at Walmart. The drive was a huge time waster, and then I'd have to bring the groceries up a flight of stairs into our home, and lug Kinsley up and down the stairs to get her in and out of the car. It was a process.

Then a few months ago we bought a new car with not-so-great gas mileage. I calculated the money I would spend in gas versus the $12 monthly fee for Walmart to deliver to my home unlimited amounts of time to my house, and it would cost me more than $12 in gas to drive to the store once a week, than it would be for Walmart to deliver my groceries whenever I wanted. It was a no-brainer, and we've been getting the groceries delivered ever since. Zero guilty.

168 Hours Day By Day:
This last section of the book mostly summarized the earlier sections, and then talked about individuals who applied these principals in their lives. This allowed them to do more of the things they prefer. It was amazing to see how small changes for these individuals had a huge impact on their lives. This provided a huge opportunity for me to evaluate my own life and see where I can make changes as well.

Have you had a chance to read this book? I'm giving away my copy on Instagram today, so keep your eyes out on my feed for a chance to win!


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

How to Read More 2020

I used to be very close minded with the way that I looked at reading in the past. I used to think that I could only read one book at a time, and that I couldn't listen to another audiobook, or touch another physical copy until I'd gotten through whatever it was that I was reading.

Read more books. 2020 reading challenge. How to read more books. How to read more often. Books to read. How to enjoy reading more. How to Rea more books reddit. Read more books jumper.

How to Read More

In 2020 I decided that I wanted to read more, and as I've gotten older I've become a lot more relaxed with things than I have in the past. I have found myself reading more books overall, reading several books at one time, and fitting more reading into more corners of my day than ever before. Now I just need to join a book club and my reading life will be complete.

Reading One Chapter Before Bed

I've made a new habit of reading one chapter in a physical book each night before bed. This not only helps me with my goal of reading more, but helps me sleep better since the last thing I'm looking at is not a screen. It also means that in a given month, I can likely get through at least two books, since most books are likely less than 15 chapters. The key is finding time that is going to work.

Listening To A Book While Exercising:

A few years ago I bought a bunch of books on Audible that were about professional endurance athletes, and I never listened to them. A few weeks ago I found myself really bored listening to the same songs on the treadmill, so I started listening to these books I'd purchased years ago. I was surprised by how much I could listen to in just a 30 minute run session, and how much more inspired I was to run faster when listening to these stories told by professional athletes.

Reading Aloud With Kyle Before Bed:

I started reading Harry Potter with Kyle before bed this year and it's been so fun. We've been reading one chapter each night, which means in a month we'll easily get through at least two books, but likely more. I've learned that I'm much more excited to read to my kids when it's a book I already know I love.

Setting A Reading Goal:

Setting reading challenges for myself really motivates me to pick up a book, read a lot more, and make a reading habit part of my everyday routine. Making reading lists of books I want to read helps me to actually finish a book, since I know there are more good books on my list waiting for me once I finish. I want to try and read 72 books in 2020, and my finding a small amount of time in my day here and there, I find I enjoy reading more, and it doesn't take me hours a day.

Monthly Books Totals:

Previously when I was only reading/listening to one book at a time, I was only reading/listening after the kids went to bed. This is such a small timeframe in my life that if I really pushed it, I could get through four books a month, maybe five. By incorporating reading into many smaller parts of my life, I've actually made it so that I can get through more books in the same one month period.

I can likely read at least two books a month if I read one chapter a night before bed. I can likely listen to at least two audiobooks a month if I listen to them the four times a week that I workout, and on my way to school pickup when kids aren't in the car. I can also get through two chapter books a month with Kyle, if not more, if I'm reading a chapter a day before bed each night.

That means that I'm getting through at least six books a month, at the minimum, when before I felt like I was super stretched for time to read, and could maybe get through four. Two extra books a month might not seem like a huge deal, but over the course of an entire year, thats 24 books that I otherwise wouldn't have read.

How are you making time for reading in your life? Are there any books you're really loving right now? I'd love to know in the comments below!

If you liked this post, How to Read More 2020, you might also like:


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along on instagram @thehappyflammily!

Books for 7 Year Old Boys

Kyle is a compulsive reader. It really blows my mind because I was not that way growing up at all. Derek grew up reading, but the amount of books that Kyle reads likely puts Derek's childhood reading to shame. Reading was slow and steady for Kyle until he was about six, and then something clicked with him and he cannot get enough. I could never tell you how many books he's read in the last year, but I do know it has to be in the 100s. He'll bring home a stack of 7-8  chapter books from the library and read through all of them in a weekend. He also owns about 30-40 chapter books that he keeps in his room and reads through again and again  It's the most astonishing thing I've ever seen.

chapter books for 1st grade boy. Best early chapter books 2020. Beginning chapter books kindergarten. Classic early chapter books. Best first chapter books to read aloud. Illustrated chapter books. Chapter books for 1st graders to read on their own. Chapter books for 2nd grade boy #books #kidslit #kidsbooks #childrensliterature

All that being said, this kid knows his books, and has found quite a few series this last year that he really loves. We need to stick with series in this house since this kid goes through books so fast, it buys me time before I have to look into different titles for him. Here are seven series of book for 7 year old boys.

Books for 7 Year Old Boys:

Nate The Great: These books are about a kid named Nate who goes around town solving various mysteries. These books are the same length of early reader chapter books, but they're not actually broken up into chapters, and have some fun illustrations in them too. These would be great for kids who are just getting started with longer books. There are 27 books in the collection. Kyle hasn't read them all yet, but gets a good stack whenever we go to the library. 

Flat Stanley: This is a fun series about a boy who spontaneous turns flat at any given moment. There are many books in the collection, although I couldn't find an exact number, but there are numerous titles on amazon. Once Stanley is flat, he goes on all these adventures like getting mailed to California to visit a friend, Being small enough to save a girl from a collapsed building, and much more! These are really fun stories! 

The Magic Tree House: This is Kyle's all time favorite series! These books are about a brother and sister named Jack and Annie who travel through time to learn about different periods of time, and help an enchanted librarian named Morgan. I love that these have a lot of historical fiction in them, so Kyle has learned all about Egypt, American History, Ancient Rome, and so much more! Kyle has read the entire series, but we're really jazzed that two new books are getting released in 2020!

Merlin Missions: These are a continuation of the Magic Tree House Series and are geared towards older readers. There are 27 books in this series, and I believe Kyle has read through all of them as well. The major difference is slightly longer chapters, and a bit harder vocabulary, but the plot and premise is pretty much the same. 

Capital Mysteries: This is a 14 book series that has a nod to American History. I don't really know that there is anything historical being taught, but the premise is two children who go around Washington DC and historical landmarks solving various mysteries. I've only read one of them with Kyle, but he's read a bunch of the other ones, and really likes them! 

A To Z Mysteries: This series is new to Kyle, but he's been loving it so far. It's a 26 book series about two kids solving mysteries, and each book is a different theme based of the letter of the alphabet, The Canery Caper, Vampire Vacation, Zombie Zone, etc... 

Jigsaw Jones: These are another mystery book set geared towards early chapter book readers. The 32 Book series is about a boy named Jigsaw Jones finding himself in precarious situations and getting himself out of them and solving the underlying mystery of how things got out of wack in the first place. We've taken a few of these out of the library and are excited to read more and dive deeper into the series!

What books are your kids loving right now? We can always use more recommendations for the little book lover in our home!

If you liked this post, Books for 7 Year Old Boys, you might also like:


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along on instagram @thehappyflammily!

45 Books to Read in 2020

2020 is the perfect year to start working through the long list of books you've been wanting to read. Here are 45 books to read in 2020.

I haven't read for fun in well over a year. When I was finishing my Bachelor's degree it was all I could do to stay on top of all my assignments, keep this blog going at very low levels, and make suer my kids had all of their needs met. Leisurely running was not a thing that was happening over here. That being said, taking over a year off from reading means that there are so many new books out that I haven't read.

Books to read in 2020. The best books to read in 2020. The best nonfiction books. Nonfiction books to read in 2020. Booklist for 2020. The best books in 2020. Adult nonfiction book list 2020. #Books #reading #nonfiction #selfhelp

My taste for books is probably really dry for some people. I don't love fiction, or romance, or anything very fluffy. I love non-fiction the most, followed by historical fiction. There is the exception of Harry Potter, which is definitely fiction, and I do want to re-read the entire series in 2020 as well. That being said, here are 45 books I want to get through in 2020. I'll keep you posted with my progress in a monthly reading report post.

Books to Read in 2020

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  2. Educated: A Memoir
  3. The Read Aloud Family: Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids
  4. Give Your Child The World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book At A Time
  5. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
  6. The Secrets of Happy Families
  7. The Self Driven Child
  8. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
  9. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don't Know
  10. Atomic Habits
  11. Girl Stop Apologizing
  12. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  13. 12 Rules for Life
  14. Girl Wash Your Face
  15. The 10x Rule
  16. Outliers
  17. Boundaries: Updated and Expanded Version
  18. Take Control of Your Life
  19. You Are A Badass
  20. Why We Sleep
  21. The Pioneers
  22. Anti-Diet
  23. The Courage to be Disliked
  24. Blink
  25. The Tipping Point
  26. David and Goliath
  27. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
  28. Being Mortal
  29. White Fragility
  30. The Giver of Stars
  31. The Things We Cannot Say
  32. Before We Were Yours
  33. Helping Your Anxious Child
  34. The Highly Sensitive Child
  35. Why Smart Kids Worry
  36. The Whole Brain Child
  37. Born Anxious
  38. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone
  39. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
  40. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Askaban
  41. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
  42. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
  43. Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince
  44. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows
  45. The Five Second Rule
  46. More Than Enough
  47. Viral Parenting

What's on your reading list for 2020? I'm always open to adding to the never ending list.

If you liked this post, 45 Books to Read in 2020, you might also like:

Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along on instagram @thehappyflammily!

20+ Children's Books for Fall 2018

With fall right around the corner, I've been thinking about which books I'm most excited to read with the kids, and which ones I want to take out from the library, and I thought it would be fun to put together a conclusive blog post for you guys of my favorite books for the entire fall season.  We're talking early fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, all wrapped up into one fall post! If there is a book that you love, that I didn't mention, be sure to let me know in the comments below! 


1. Leaves by David Ezra Stein: This board book introduces readers to a young bear who’s experiencing his first autumn.

2. The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri: This busy little squirrel is experiencing the changing seasons and hurrying through autumn while getting ready for the onset of winter.

3. Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills: This is a fun one to read before your family hits the pumpkin patch this season!

4. Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson: A fox named Fletcher learns about the changing seasons when the leaves start to fall from his favorite tree.

5. The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margaret Wise Brown: This story is all about family bonds and sharing knowledge across the generations.

6. The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin by Stan and Jan Berenstain: In this Berenstain classic, the Bear family enters the Thanksgiving Festival’s Big Pumpkin Contest.

7. It’s Fall! by Linda Glaser: Celebrate the season with this activity-filled book, which is filled with illustrations fashioned from paper collages.

8. The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger: Little Leaf learns to be brave when it’s time for the seasonal fall from the tree.

9. The Berenstain Bears' Harvest Festival by Mike Berenstain: This new installment in The Berenstain Bears series celebrates Bear Country’s first annual Harvest Festival.

10. Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean: Pete the Cat...and pumpkins galore!

11. We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger: Read this jaunty book out loud, and then go on your own family leaf hunt!

12. Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert: This little book will have you constructing your own autumnal leaf people in no time at all.

13. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert: Celebrate the changing of the colors in the trees overhead with this vibrant book.

14. Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell: The season’s harvest is front and center of this book by Anne Rockwell.

15. Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum: Your little ones will learn about how pumpkins grow—and eventually become pie—in this informative book.

16. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll: The season’s favorite produce makes for an exciting picture book in this tale of field mice and jack-o-lanterns.

17. Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington: Jamie plants his seeds and watches his pumpkins grow in this classic autumn story.

18. Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting: This book is a little spooky and a lot of good fun.

19. Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher: The magic of the harvest moon is sprinkled throughout this beautiful book, with lovely illustrations by Kate Kiesler.

20. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz: The Peanuts gang is back in time for Halloween!

21. A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting: Meet Mr. and Mrs. Moose and laugh at their Thanksgiving miscommunications in this sweet book.
 
22. Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber and Leslie Evans: Learn about the changing leaves in this book—then do some leaf jumping of your own with your little ones.

23. Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White: Too many pumpkins? See what happens when that’s the case in this charming tale.

24. How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro: Learn about autumn’s other favorite harvest in this informative book about apples.

25. Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins: Learn about 13 different types of trees and their fall leaves—a burst of science that’s informative and fun too!

26. Autumn Is Here! by Heidi Pross Gray: Autumn is here, so it’s time to cheer! Enjoy the beautiful illustrations in this great book about the arrival of fall.

Best Picture Books From The 80s & 90s

Over the last several years, my mom has gifted me some of the books that I loved reading as a child. It's been so fun to sit and read some of those books with my kids, and remember some of the other ones from my childhood that I don't currently have, but would love to add back into my life. I know that there are so many new and exciting books out there, but there is nothing like reading through some of the best books from the 80s and 90s and reliving your childhood through your children. 

When making my top list of books from the 80s and 90s I tried to pick ones that you could still purchase today. I tried to link to all of them the best I can, but if one of them happens to be $200 on Amazon, do some more due diligence and look on ebay or another site to find it cheaper. 

best picture books

Just Go To Bed: When I was searching for books on Google to trigger some memories, this one popped up and made me laugh. I remember having this on my bookshelf, but don't exactly remember the story. I feel like with the lack of sleep we get from Em though, we need this book. 

The Poky Little Puppy: I didn't read this book growing up, but it is from that era. Derek's sister bought a big book that had a bunch of Poky Little Puppy stories in it for the Grandkids at Derek's mom's house, and Jay found it and fell in love. She bought Jay this one for his birthday, and it quickly became a family favorite. 

Corduroy: This was not my bread and butter growing up, but reading it to my kids as a mother, grab the tissues. I was not prepared for the emotions that this book could bring out. A rejected broken teddy bear in department store, who gets homed by a little girl... and then the last line is, "You must be a friend, I've always wanted a friend." I'm not crying, you're crying. 

Lily's Purple Plastic Purse: I bought this book at the book fair in 3rd grade and was OBSESSED. I think I read it about a million times. The same copy is still sitting on my bookshelf. 

Popcorn: This was a book that was always kept at my grandma's house. I don't remember the plot that much, but I remember my grandma making popcorn in a pot on the stove almost every time we read it. 

Sherlock Chick's First Case: I have a feeling that the Sherlock Chick books may not be wildly popular by anyone but me, but we had two of these books (currently one of them is still living on my shelf) and it's just such a fun story. This one is about Sherlock Chick hatching and going through the entire farm to find out who took the corn from the chicken yard. It's so much fun to read! 

Sherlock Chick and the Peek A Boo Mystery: Again, all the love for Sherlock Chick. 

Snow Lion: Has ANYONE else read this book? Another one of my favorites growing up that we read to our kids all the time. Lion lives in the jungle during the hot summer and goes looking for snow. He eventually finds it but it takes ages for him to convince his jungle friends to go with him. So fun and cute! 

There's a Cow in The Road: "There's a cow in the road and it sure is a shock when I first wake up at seven o' clock." This fun farm life book takes you through a little girl getting ready for school and all her farm yard friends that she encounters along the way. I loved it then and I love it now!

Dinner at the Panda Palace: Stop what you're doing, and go order this book right now. I love it so much. Mr Panda owns the panda palace where animals from far and wide come for dinner each night. When the restaurant is full and a little mouse comes walking in looking for a spot, does Mr Panda turn him away? You'll have to read the book to find out. 

Danny and the Dinosaur: This was one of Derek's favorites growing up and then we were gifted it by my friend Haley when Jay was two, and it's been a household favorite ever since! 

Milk and Cookies: Written by the same author of Popcorn, and another book kept only at my grandma's house, I'm pretty sure this was our bedtime story for five years straight. 

What books do you remember from your childhood that you still read with your kids? I'd love to hear in the comments below! 

12 Children's Books About American Heroes

One thing I really love and remember from my childhood is the large seasonal collection of books that my mom kept in our home. I remember at the beginning of each new month or holiday season my mom would rotate the books on the coffee table in the room that my brother and I played in so that we would be exposed to learning about each holiday, season, etc... 

This is something that I really strive to do with our kids, but our collection isn't quite what I want it to be yet. I've felt inspired the last few weeks to start teaching jay about "American Heroes" or the people who really helped to make our country what it is. Whether that's President's or everyday people that stood up for what they believed in and became national icons, I want my kids to know why America is so great. In Kyle's monthly Scholastic Book order this month, there were so many fun picks (and I had to exercise strength to not buy them all), but I thought I'd share some of my favorite finds with you all as well! 


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty Review

I never thought that I would be at a point with reading books that I had an author who generally wrote books that I really like, but after reading a bit more over the last few years, I've found I really love Jody Picoult, and now Liane Moriarty as well. I read What Alice Forgot last year and found myself unable to do anything else until the book was finished, and I had similar feelings as I was listening to Big Little Lies a couple weeks ago. I also have Truly, Madly, Deeply in my Audible library right now as well. 


The story starts off in Australia in an older woman's house. There is a ton of commotion and going back and forth at first, and it's hard to tell what exactly is going on. The first few chapters jump around quite a bit between the older woman's house, a crime scene investigation, and then the back story of leading up to the present.