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best bets when buying books + a giveaway! #aSIMPLEChristmas

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Merry Christmas from theSIMPLEmoms
What kinds of things go under your tree each year? I’ve heard this “rule” when it comes to buying gifts for your kids–something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to READ! While I don’t always follow that advice exactly, one thing that I ALWAYS have under the tree for my kids is something to read. Books have a huge place in my heart and my home. I love to read and I hope to pass on that love to my kids.
I have to admit, my older kids go through books so quickly that we often use our local library to stock up on books. Purchasing every single book they read seems a bit much. Here is my rule for buying books–if the book is a reference book that I know we will refer to time and time again, if the book can be written in, if the book includes extra items beyond the book itself, board books or books for my youngest who might bite or rip the pages, heirloom books or books I just want to be able to keep on our shelves. I was so happy to find the books for under our tree at Downtown Bookworks this year.

Downtown Bookworks is made for moms like me–those of us who like our books to work “double duty”–entertaining while educating. All of their books have major kid-appeal. They aren’t books you just read once and are finished with. These books go beyond just words on the page. There are field books, craft kits, activity books, cookbooks and a slew of great PBS Kids titles. I decided to get my kids books from the PBS Kids collection–one for my bug lover, one for my nature/craft girl and one for my little guy who is always asking about the birds we hear.  I love that these PBS kids kits have an informational book and also extra items to take your learning even further.
Let’s take a look at Super Simple Crafts :: Sticks and Stones.  In this collection, you get a fully illustrated book with ideas for 50 different nature crafts–from fairy houses to coneflower hedgehogs–and some extras to help make those crafts like paint, glue, felt and googly eyes.  Take a look at some of the sample pages in the book–so cute!
My 8-year-old son loves bugs.  We spend a huge portion of our summer catching grasshoppers and looking for other bugs in the backyard.  Look and Learn Insects comes with a 64-page book that helps identify insects and also a laminated card with common insects.  I can totally see us referring to that card a lot over the summer!  What I love best is that it comes with a magnifier jar.  So once we catch the bugs, we can take a really close look at them before we release them.
My 4-year-old always notices the world around him.  He loves to listen for birds and try to identify them.  Unfortunately I’m not really helpful at this since I really don’t know much about birds.  So this Look and Learn Birds is perfect for us! I can help him look through the guide to see what birds we see and hear.  In addition to the 64-page book, there is a laminated checklist so we can keep track of the birds we see, an activity poster and also a super cool set of binoculars (what kid doesn’t love looking for things with binoculars?!)
Also in the PBS Kids collection is this Do It Myself Cookbook.  It includes recipes safe enough for young kids to prepare, step by step illustrations and a set of measuring cups and spoons.  How fun would this be for your budding chef?


Downtown Bookworks is giving away the PBS Kids Title of your choice to one SIMPLE reader!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • ashley alderink
    December 19, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    I really like girl power and the do it yourself cook book

  • trixx
    December 19, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    The Science with Stuff: Sea-sational would be awesome for my daughter

  • Nadine
    December 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    The Superhero Cookbook would go over well with my family.

  • Kim Reid
    December 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    My favorite is the “I’m So NOT Wearing a Dress!” book, thanks!

  • Angelica Dimeo
    December 19, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    I like the Dc superheros library my son loves superheros

  • Tasha Wilkerson
    December 19, 2016 at 6:28 pm


    We would love to win this~

  • renee
    December 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I’d like the turn the key farm books for my youngest.

  • jeani b
    December 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    i think the PBS KIDS Turn the Key:
    Around the World is very cool!

    December 19, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    PBS KIDS Turn the Key on the Farm

  • Alison King
    December 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    My favorite is the PBS KIDS Turn the Key: Around the World. I think it’s important for kids to learn about other cultures and realize everyone does not live the same way they do.

  • Lisa L
    December 19, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    My kids would enjoy Science with Stuff: Space-tacular

  • kendra arellano
    December 19, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    My kiddos would really love the DC comics starter pack. They are in love with super heroes even my girls.

  • Marty C
    December 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    The “Into the Field Guide” looks fun. My daughter and I love to walk in the woods and see what’s to be seen.

  • robin s.
    December 19, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    I think my little girl would like The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook: Deluxe Edition.

  • jeremy mclaughlin
    December 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Like the super heroes books.

  • Marissa S.
    December 19, 2016 at 11:01 am

    These are so cool! I LOVE the Big Book of Girl Power. Would love to see that myself and show to my niece!

  • Diana Hatch
    December 19, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I love this cooking set

  • Fiona N
    December 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    I also love the PBS KIDS Turn the Key: Around the World
    Thank You

  • Kelly McGrew
    December 18, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    i LOVE the do-it-myself cookbook! cooking is huge in our family so that would be a great gift for my nephew!

    i also like the finger fun finger puppets!

  • Edye
    December 18, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    I like the big book of girl power!

  • Barb Miller
    December 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Shakespeare’s Seasons looks good!

  • Audra
    December 18, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    My daughter would like the Into the field guide

  • Dominique Cloutier
    December 18, 2016 at 3:19 am

    look and learn birds or insects! i have a total love of bugs that i have passed on to my kids and grandpa loves pointing out the different birds at the feeder! either one would be a hit with my kids!

  • Jamie Williams
    December 18, 2016 at 3:14 am

    My favorite book was the DC Super Heroes: My First Dictionary.

  • Staci A
    December 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Love DC Comics: The Big Book of Superpowers!

  • ColleenMarie
    December 15, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    My kids would love the craft books best!!

  • Cynthia R
    December 13, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I think he would really enjoy DC Super Heroes Little Library, I like that it is a box set.

  • LeAnn Harbert
    December 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    My granddaughter would like the look and learn Insects

  • Angela Williams
    December 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I love the DC superhero books and the How to Start Your Very First Business.

  • Cassie Eastman
    December 9, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    My son would love the Into the Field Guide!

  • phxbne
    December 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I like The Big Book of Girl Power

  • Angela Saver
    December 8, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I’d love to get PBS KIDS Do It Myself Cookbook!

  • Amanda Alvarado
    December 8, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I like the DC Comics: The Big Book of Girl Power.

  • pamela j
    December 8, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    the official super hero cookbook

  • Julie Lundstrom
    December 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I like the Do It Myself Cookbook one. My son is just starting getting interested in cooking. He says he wants to be a chef.

  • Lauren
    December 7, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    My son would like the Superheroes Little Library.

  • Cynthia Richardson
    December 7, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    My favorites are the Science with Stuff titles.

  • Patricia
    December 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I think the PBS Do It Myself Cookbook would be great.

  • Sean
    December 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Oh we’d have so much fun if we used the Do It Yourself Cookbook.

  • Samantha C.
    December 7, 2016 at 11:06 am

    My daughter would like Animals in Art.

  • Katy
    December 7, 2016 at 3:52 am

    What fun these books are! We love PBS and I know my toddler daughter would love their book, “PBS KIDS Turn the Key: Around the World”. She’s totally obsessed with keys and maps right now- so this is right up her alley.

  • Christine
    December 6, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    I like the PBS KIDS Do It Myself Cookbook by Laurie Goldrich Wolf.
    Thanks for the chance!

  • latanya
    December 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    PBS Kids Look and Learn: Birds

  • Renee Walters
    December 6, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    My son would like the look and learn birds book.

  • Kristen
    December 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    My favorite is the Big Book of GIRL POWER!

  • Natalie
    December 6, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    The girl power book looks cool

  • Laurie Walters
    December 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I would love the Do-It-Myself Cookbook for my kids

  • Kristin C
    December 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    My nephew is really into bugs – he’d be into the Look and Learn Insects.

  • Denise L
    December 6, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Wow! How did I not know about Downtown Bookworks already? So many great choices. I love them all. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d take Shakespeare’s Seasons.

  • elizabeth miller
    December 6, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I like the finger fun book. Kids love puppets and they love when the books come to life.

  • Audra O'Hara
    December 6, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I like the Into the Field Guide: A Walk in the Woods (Treasure Box). My daughter would have fun with that.

  • Nancy
    December 6, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I like this series of books – PBS KIds: Turn the Key – Around the Town, Around the Farm, and Around the World.

  • Stafford
    December 6, 2016 at 11:32 am

    My favorite is the PBS KIDS Turn the Key:
    On the Farm.

  • charlene elswick
    December 6, 2016 at 11:31 am

    My nephew would love the DC Super Heroes Little Library

    • Gina
      December 6, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Isn’t that so cute? Definitely one to keep on the shelves for a long time!

  • Alina
    December 6, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Oh my son would love the DC Super Hero Starter Kit.