POSTS WITH TAG: books & media

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    Every morning I turn on CNN as I get my 4-year-old daughter dressed and out the door. Which makes me wonder: Is that harrowing coverage of the Ukraine or Malaysia Airlines sinking into her brain and causing any concern? At four, perhaps not yet, but sooner or later, the time will arise for all parents where they'll want to talk about current events with their kids. Only what's the best way to do that without scaring them silly? Here are some guidelines:

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    School's out for summer, which means your teen now has the time to read purely for the pleasure of it. To that end, we've rounded up 13 page-turning teen reads that will keep them from saying, "I'm bored." At least for 200-ish pages.

    Oh, and it's been out for a while, but if he or she hasn't read The Fault in Our Stars, then add that to this list (and have them read it before they see the movie!).

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    It seems the whole world is mourning the passing of the great Maya Angelou. The Pulitzer Prize nominee was, after all, one of the greatest voices of a generation -- her books and poems touched millions of American adults. So how is it that we can explain the depth and breadth of the legendary author's influence on America to our kids?

    Although she may be best known for tomes such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which is better saved for the teen years (or older), Angelou is also the author of myriad books for kids. They're a perfect way to open the doors to a conversation about Angelou, and open your child's eyes to one of the greatest authors of our time.

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    It really goes without saying that books are good for kids. Every study on literacy and learning since the beginning of time has told us that the more books you give kids when they are little, the better off they will be, right? But a word to the wise -- you might want to check the copyright date on that children's book before you hand it over. 

    Because as the times change, so does what parents find acceptable to show their kids. Don't believe us? We unearthed a vintage children's dictionary, first printed in 1944, that's chock full of sexism, racism, and plenty more "isms" that will make your skin crawl!

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    When I signed my family up for Screen-Free Week, I knew there would be friction. I'm raising a kid in a time when 8 to 18-year-olds spend an estimated 75 percent of their time connected to some sort of gadget. Telling my 8-year-old she couldn't watch TV, play on her laptop, or touch her Kindle for an entire week was going to be a hard sell.

    But I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was caught up in the mystical promise that forcing my family to "unplug" would bring us all together and make us closer. After all, that's what the folks behind Screen-Free Week promise ... that by getting rid of gadgets for seven days, our kids will be "turning OFF digital entertainment and turning ON life."

    So, did it happen?

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    Every mom wants to raise a reader. But let's be honest for a second: every mom out there is guilty of just reading the words without really paying attention during bedtime because they really want their kid to go to sleep already. Moms, if this is you, beware! There are deep, dark, disturbing messages lurking in one of the most popular children's books of all time. Have you been reading Hop on Pop to your kids?

    Sure you have. It's a Dr. Seuss book, after all, and what mom hasn't entrusted her toddler's development to the great Theodor Geisel? 

    Mom, if this is you, it's time we have a talk. Hop on Pop is not the innocent rhyming tale of little ones playing with dad that you think it is!

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    The school year is winding down, and soon enough, the kids will be home bugging you that they have nothing to do. Oh no, is it August yet?!

    Not to worry, we've got the answer to their question: Read!

    We've put together a  book list of new releases -- and old classics -- that your kids (and you) will love.

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    On Monday, April 21, 2014, the day of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, I went to the White House to interview Michelle Obama. I was nervous and excited.

    Here's how my day went.

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    If you're looking to get your kids to put down the gadgets and get back to nature, the last place you'd expect to get that message is inside a movie theater. But if there's one thing the new animated flick, Rio 2, really has going for it, it's a message that parents can get behind.

    The follow-up to 2011's Rio, the movie that introduced kids to a blue macaw named Blue (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and his lady love, Jewel (played by Anne Hathaway), flies into theaters this weekend and brings with it a whole new cast of colorful characters. Brought together in the first film because they were the last of their species in existence, Jewel and Blue are now married with three kids, living a rather human-like existence in the city with their owners.

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    Bath time is never an easy feat. Between settling the perfect water temperature for the kids and including each and every waterproof toy, every night's bath is a production. And for the famous Pigeon, things are no different.

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and the release of the newest addition, The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, we're putting together an extra special giveaway pack.

    One lucky winner will receive the entire collection of The Pigeon books by Mo Willems, as well as a $500 Pottery Barn Kids gift card, so you can buy all of your bath-related needs and make the nightly event a little bit smoother.

    To enter for a chance to win the book prize pack and gift card, let us know:

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