Want to Survive Winter With Your Kids? Throw Out the Books

Jeanne Sager
Being a Mom

Everyone Needs a FriendUnder normal circumstances, the concept of trashing books would have me on the front lines screaming censorship. But this is winter, and you are stuck in the house with the kids. These are not "normal circumstances."

These are dire, I'm going to pull my hair out and start eating it and thinking it tastes like chicken if these kids don't give me a moment's rest, times. And so, I say this for your own sake Mom. It's time to put the old standbys out to pasture (or at least in the attic). You need to put together a new winter reading list to survive. Or at least to keep you from asking your husband what happens if you give a pig a pancake when he tries to make conversation.

Everyone Needs a Friend by Dubravka Kolanovic. I picked this one up to read during the Christmas blizzard because the wintry cover (above) seemed to fit our mood. Fortunately the charming Odd Couple inspired story of neatnik Jack and his messy pal Walter warmed us right up. Add a cup of cocoa, and this is the perfect curl up on the couch on a snowy day book for Mom and tot.

Mad at Mommy by Komako Sakai. If there was ever a perfect time to read this book, it was after an especially looooong and trying day with my daughter. The story of Little Bunny spells out your life through their eyes: from "you always tell me to hurry up ... but then you never hurry up yourself" to "you say you can't marry me, even when I get bigger." Suddenly every trying thing they've done all day doesn't look quite so bad.

Thumb LoveThumb Love by Elise Primavera. Kill two birds with one stone with this book from the author of Auntie Claus. Follow Lulu's hilarious 12-step program, and your kid will cease to be a thumb sucker by the end of the (fourth or fifth) reading of this book.

Disneystrology by Lisa Finander. It's not a storybook but a birthday book filled with the birthdays of their favorite Disney characters with coordinated kid-friendly horoscopes. With 365 different characters, this book could keep them occupied for hours looking up their birthday and Grandma's and that kid down the street ...

Chocolate Moose by Maggie Kneen. This is a new book sent to The Stir that won't hit shelves until January 20, but if your kids tend to get a fit of the giggles when you're at your most harried, this is worth a pre-order. A moose who takes a job in a chocolate shop owned by a mouse (let's just say there's a mis-read on the help wanted ad) is such a galumphing mess that he's better at making the little mice laugh than he is at anything else. It will make you feel better to know you're not alone, Mom.

How to Raise a Dinosaur by Natasha Wing. So, you're all stuck in the house for the long haul, and your kids are now begging for a pet to add to the mix? "Unconvince" them courtesy of a list of real-life pet responsibilities unveiled in subtle style. After all, raising a dinosaur is a lot of work ... kind of like raising a dog or a cat.

Pecan Pie BabyPecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson. What's worse than being stuck at home in the winter with a cranky toddler? Being stuck at home with a cranky toddler and a new baby, trying to master this new art of parenting more than one child. This honest look at siblinghood from a Newberry Honor winner is a tasty treat for a mom going through it. Sit down, read it, and enjoy the chance to spend a little one-on-one time with your toddler. I don't have to tell you how much you miss it.

Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown. Your kids don't seem to understand why you're so cranky when they tear up the house. But maybe they'll understand if even a Bear can't keep up with a little kid and all their messes. Lucy brings home a child she wants to keep ... until the child turns into a holy terror.

How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget. The house is a mess, and all your nagging is not getting them to clean it up any faster? Maybe a look at how NOT to clean your room will help? Warning: this isn't right for every family. My daughter, who "hates to clean," loved this book, and it gave our family an inroads to talk about why she abhors cleaning. However, a friend who I trust was not a fan. So maybe this is a library read rather than a purchase.

Do your eyes start to glaze over after the 15th re-read of the books on their shelves?

Disclosure: The Stir received reader copies of each of the titles mentioned.


Images via Amazon


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