5 Reasons You Should Read This Book: “In My Heart” by Molly Bang

Since I work in a library and sometimes get to -gasp!- actually read books, I thought it’d be a good idea to start a new segment entitled, “5 Reasons You Should Read This Book.” I’ll be reviewing and recommending books, mostly children’s but possibly adult, too, and giving you 5 reasons I think you should read them. Pretty simple.


Okay, so my first pick is, “In My Heart” by Molly Bang


1.) This is the perfect book for working families who are separated from one another during the day. It has been the biggest help for Mags who sometimes has trouble with me going to work…at least for the five seconds it takes for me to get out the door.

The book starts with the mother going to work and reminding her child that he’s always in her heart no matter what she’s doing throughout the day. And she’s in his heart, too! I really haven’t found a book that deals with this issue so sensitively and without condescending to the reader. The writing is natural and sweet.


2.) And speaking of sensitive and perfect, as you can see from the cover, the child and parents are of different races, so this book is wonderful for adoptive or foster families, too!


3.) Which leads me to my third point: Molly Bang is one of the few children’s authors who is able to achieve diversity in her work without trying too hard. Too many authors and illustrators attempt to tackle big issues like race and adoption but make the mistake of putting out work that says, “Look at me! Did you see what I did! Look how diverse and culturally sensitive I am!!” I have no time for that jazz.

Molly Bang is kind of like the Ernest Hemingway of children’s literature… it’s the iceberg theory in perfect, glorious practice and I love her for it.


4.) The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous! The illustrations for “In My Heart” were inspired by the work of medieval monks, which is cool, so look for pictures that create beginning letters of words. Also be aware that Molly Bang has the most amazing eye for detail ever, so take your time to really absorb all of the pictures. And, AND, the more familiar you are with Bang’s work, the more you’ll get out of her illustrations because she likes to hide characters from other books in the pictures. Sneaky and fun!


5.) “In My Heart” should be the gateway book that gets you hooked on the rest of Molly Bang’s work. (Can you tell I’m sort of obsessed with her?) She’s won oodles (yes, oodles) of awards and honors for her work which include such wonderful titles as:

Depicts a little girl dealing with her anger in a healthy way…another favorite at our house!



A book of thankfulness… ‘Tis the season!


Incredible art and no words. Very fun!


I really could go on and on about how much I love Molly Bang’s books. Visit her website to find more about additional titles and subjects (lots of great science books!).








Note: Do remember that none of the authors/illustrators/publishers/book binders/publisher’s lackeys/book binder’s lackeys have any idea that I exist, nor are they affiliated with me in any way. Feel free to write them and request that they pay me a zilliondy dollars for telling my peeps about their books. Yes,   I just said “peeps” because I’m a child of the 90’s.

Gifts for the Cultured Child

My sister-in-law, Lauren, has impeccable taste. She’s that girl who pulls off the latest trends without trying too hard and gives pretty much the best gifts ever. Suffice it to say, she’s a classy gal and you should follow her on Pinterest.


Here’s what Aunt Lauren gave Mags for her birthday:

Please tell me you're squealing as much as I did when this came out of the wrapping paper!


This precious board book is a learn-to-count version of Pride and Prejudice. Jennifer Adams is the author and the book is illustrated by Alison Oliver. It’s one of a series called BabyLit books and, oh my stars, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love it! It is high time someone came up with a way to introduce children to the glories of Jane Austen at an early age.


Seriously. Get a load of this! Isn’t it great?


Other titles in the series are Alice in Wonderland, a book about colors; Romeo and Juliet, also for counting; and – be still my heart – Jane Eyre. Introduce my child to Mr. Rochester at the age of two? Don’t mind if I do!


And if Pride and Prejudice isn’t enough culture for you, check out this great gift set!

Classic art meets clever poetry...what could be better?


All of the books in the set.


These books are absolutely gorgeous! In case you can’t read them all in the photo above, the titles in the set are, A Magical Day with Mattise, In the Garden with Van Gogh, Dancing with Degas, and A Picnic with Monet. Authors Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober do a really great job of combining famous works of art with clever verses to actually create a plot that’s worth following. I am a self-proclaimed poetry snob and I have found absolutely no fault with the rhymes in these books. They’re clever and sensitive; not at all trite or contrived like some books we’ve read.


So, if you’re in the market for a great baby shower or birthday gift for an incredibly well-rounded child, definitely check these books out! We’re always looking for great new finds, too, so if anyone has any other suggestions, shout ’em out!


*Note: I have no affiliation with the above authors, illustrators, or publishing companies. I just like me some books! The BabyLit books, including Pride and Prejudice are published by Gibbs Smith and you can check out more at http://www.BabyLit.com. The Mini Masters book set was published by Roundtable Press, Inc.

Things I Can’t Get Enough Of…

Lately, there are a few things that I just can’t get enough of. One of them is naps. However, sometimes a good nap has a way of coming back to bite me. Like, last night when I couldn’t sleep at all due to the awesome nap I took earlier and the fact that Baby Lily was having some sort of dance party all up on’s my internal organs.

Here’s the deal, though. When I have trouble sleeping these days, I just count it as newborn conditioning and find something with which to amuse myself…like the book, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, one of the best “true stories” I’ve read in a long time. I need you all to know that I was on about page 30 of this book when I got out of bed to read it last night and I did not return to bed until I was completely finished. Love it when that happens!

Best cover ever, right?

I really enjoyed Seth Grahame-Smith’s other bestseller, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies  so I was pretty much stoked to start on ‘ole Honest Abe. I think what I like the most about these books is the fact that they’re sparked by such a ridiculous juxtaposition of themes/styles/ideas that you kind of just can’t resist. And once you’re in, you’re hooked. I have, legit, not been able to stop thinking about Abraham Lincoln and vampires and how amazed I am that I enjoyed a vampire book so much since that whole fad is pretty much ooooover for me. Like, stake through it’s heart over. (Bad pun. Sorry. I’ll never do it again.) Anyway, I loved the writing style, I loved the plot and the conspiracy theory, and I love, love, loved the ending. It was perfect. So. Go read this book. It’s great.

And speaking of books you should read, go get Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

So sweet!!

(Sidenote: What’s with authors and their double last names? They’re so trendy or some such!) It is a precious picture book about sharing love. You should share it with someone you love asap. Mags’ Granny got it for her for Valentine’s and we have to read it before bedtime and every nap. She calls it, “Kiss Book,” which is precious, I think.

Also, I’m obsessed with anything that is lemon flavored. Perchance my body is telling me that this kid needs more vitamin C…I hope you can get that from eating Mrs. Baird’s fried pies and lemon Girl Scout cookies, cause that’s my preferred method of vitamin intake. And I’m not sorry.

And, last, I’ve been obsessed with this song for a few months now. Seriously, can’t get enough. It pretty much sums up how our little family rolls these days…and by “rolls” I mean “body rolls” cause we dance to this all. the. time. You should, too. Press play right now and get your dance on. It’s good for the soul, I say!


PS. I tried for a long time and couldn’t really figure out how to get the actual video to be on the blog, so the link will have to do. Ok, it really wasn’t a “long” time, per se, but I need to go get my laundry on and maybe bathe. Maybe. I’m sure you understand.