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Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis

Ladybug Girl Showcases the Natural Wonder of Childhood

My daughter, age 3 1/2, is a big fan of Ladybug Girl. She seems to identify with Ladybug Girl.

I am a big fan of Ladybug Girl because it showcases the natural wonders of childhood. Lulu "finds her own fun" outdoors - in this story, she doesn't need friends or toys or even a bicycle. She notices what is happening in nature, like the ants that are walking over a rock. She splashes in a puddle (she pretends it's a lake with a shark!) and she is very proud of herself for balancing on the downed tree in her backyard (by the way, I am totally jealous of Lulu's backyard).

This story unfolds in a very organic way - where Lulu is able to find her own fun using her imagination and her natural surroundings, and prove to herself that she's not a little kid, which is what her brother says she is.

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We went to the Curious George Exhibit at the Children's Museum today. It was a hit.

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Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey

Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey

Disappointing, Mature Themes

This movie is a direct sequel to the Curious George movie and has some of the same characters, such as Ivan the Doorman and Mr. Bloomsbury, the owner of the museum. The Man With The Yellow Hat is voiced by the same person who voices the character in the PBS series.

As a parent, I am extremely disappointed in this sequel. What kind of kids' movie mentions *murder* and has a *kidnapping* theme??? There isn't an actual murder, but why bring it up so little kids can ask about that word? (It's brought up by the security guy character, voiced by Jamie Kennedy, who is investigating the disappearance of a circus elephant)

Unlike the PBS series, The Man With The Yellow Hat does not keep his cool or patience. He yells at George and freaks out several times.

There is not nearly enough George and way too much of The Man freaking out and of Matt Lauer reporting on an elephant kidnapping. The character the kids love in this series is George, yet you'd think he was a supporting character with how little we see of him and his antics.

We loved the original movie and adore the PBS series, but I do not recommend this movie.

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Vollrath Co. Cookie Sheet

Best cookie sheet on the market!

The Vollrath is a fantastic cookie sheet. I received this one and a Chicago Metallic cookie sheet for a gift and this one is definitely the best (the other one is quite good, too). This cookie sheet is heavy and very thick. It bakes cookies evenly and DOES NOT BURN. It washes clean with soap, warm water and a cloth.

I just finished baking sugar cookies for a neighborhood BBQ and they all turned out perfectly, thanks to this great pan. I even forgot to use any cooking spray or parchment paper (that's what happens when you're cooking with a toddler) and I had zero problems with sticking.

One note - because the pan is very thick, it holds heat for a very long time so get your cookies off the pan about 2 minutes after you pull them out of the oven. And don't even try to reach for the pan with a bare hand unless it's been out of the oven for a long time!

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White Rabbit's Color Book

White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker

Lovely book.

I brought this book home from the library for my daughter, who is almost 3, and we probably read it 7 times the first day it was at our house. (I immediately ordered our own copy)

This is a very lovely, simple story about a white rabbit who dips herself in tubs of paint. The rabbit is adorable and has a very innocent/inquisitive look about her. The tale includes a wonderful lesson on mixing paint colors. It is written simply so a preschooler can understand.

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Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad
Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by Jacky Davis

Another great Ladybug Girl book!

My daughter, age 3, is a very big fan of Ladybug Girl. She identifies with a lot of Lulu's predicaments - such as finding her own fun, playing pretend games with others (not just telling them what to do), and understanding that things don't always go as planned. We bought this on a Spring Break road trip and I have read it to her multiple times each day, at her request. She understands that Lulu can't make her friends do everything she wants them to do. I am giving the book 4 out of 5 stars because I find myself summarizing one page in particular where Lulu decides to apologize for blowing out her friend's candle. That page is just too wordy and doesn't read aloud very well. However, I do not find a contradiction in the lesson and the last bug squad mission to spy on Lulu's brother.

What I really *LOVE* about this book - and the entire series - is the way the kids play pretend outdoors. They create an imaginary scenario about the Bug Squad outdoors in nature. The authors clearly have a good understanding of the need for children to play outdoors and I feel that is always an undertone with Ladybug Girl stories.

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