Skip to content

Everything Started Somewhere!

FIRSTS is reviewed by mom, artist, author and regular contributor, Debbie Glade.

45399858I simply cannot get enough information about the origins of people, places and things. And if you have a curious child who asks you a lot of questions about the first time an event took place or the first time a product was used or any other milestone in history, this is the perfect book. After you read Firsts, you won’t be surprised to learn that the author, Wilson Casey, is cited in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest running radio trivia broadcast at 30 hours.

The 220-page book is organized alphabetically, and you will find short paragraphs on every subject from Animated Cartoons to the Zipper, and everything in between. How about these fascinating firsts? High Heel shoes were first worn in Crete by the Minoans around 2100 BC. Popsicles were the result of an accident in 1905 when a boy left a fruit drink with a stirring stick in it outside at night only to freeze. And the very first x-ray dates as far back as 1895. I am partial to the facts about the first dental floss created by a dentist in 1819, since I have a slight obsessive compulsion with brushing and flossing myself. (Okay, maybe more that just slight, like after every single time I eat.)

The back of the book has a fabulous index of topics, and I imagine older kids can use this book as a reference for a variety of research papers. But the best thing about Firsts is that every member of the family will love reading it.

debbieglade24Debbie Glade, today’s guest reviewer, is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for She blogs daily at

Share this:

Nothing But a Hound Dog


Do I betray my age when I say what an exciting event this will be? Okay, I’ll admit it, I listen to K Earth 101!!

“Leiber & Stoller were those bad white boys who wrote the blackest songs this side of the Misssissippi.” – Ray Charles

hound-dog-frontJerry Leiber and Mike Stoller have been writing songs together for nearly sixty years, Their contribution to popular music is unequaled. To name a few of their songs: “Stand By Me,” “Spanish Harlem,” “Searchin’,” “Yakety Yak,” “There Goes My Baby”, “Charlie Brown,”” “Poison Ivy,”“Ruby Baby, “Is That All There Is?”, “Kansas CIty,” “Love Potion #9”, “On Broadway.” And that doesn’t even include their collaborations with Elvis –including “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

On Sunday, January 30 at 6 p.m., songwriting greats Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller will be signing their new autobiography, HOUND DOG, at the Every Picture Tells A Story gallery in Santa Monica.

s0rs_leiberstollerelvis1Following the book signing, the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre (directly across the street from Every Picture Tells A Story) will screen two of Elvis’ best films, JAILHOUSE ROCK and KING CREOLE, beginning at 7:30 PM and introduced by the songwriters. Both films feature many of Leiber and Stoller’s songs.

Every Picture Tells A Story is located at:
1333 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403.
Phone is (310) 451-2700.

Share this:

Daddy Dearest

In honor of my fantastic father and fathers ’round the world, I’ve devoted this post to a collection of my favorite new Dad-themed books. There’s one for every day of the week.

9780061730801Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea (HarperCollins Children’s Books, $16.99, ages 3-6))

Daddy is just too darn funny and goofy, too! That’s what makes him so special. Whether it’s getting dressed in the morning, eating lunch or just watering the plants, doing stuff with daddy is always better than doing it alone.

9780811869584_normHandy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids by Todd Davis (Chronicle Books with photographs by Juli Stewart and illustrations by Nik Shulz)

Kids and dads will love this book filled with projects that combine craftsmanship, fun and the right amount of DIY for just about every skill level. I know I’m getting my hubby to make the Lion-Main Tire Swing, but some dads and kids may prefer to spend together time constructing the Stunt Dummy/Abominable Snowman, The Half-Pipe or Slingshot. It’s all here and it will keep the entire family entertained for hours, first building then playing!

Directions are straightforward and there’s a list of materials and tools needed for every project included. I really liked how the projects were even broken down into Easy, Afternoon and Weekend categories so you know what you’re getting into before starting out. There’s even a section on Knots, Resources and of course an Index. See you on the swing!

catalog_coverDaddy Calls Me Doodlebug by J. D. Lester with illustrations by Hiroe Nakata (Robin Corey Books/Random House Children’s Books, $7.99 ages 1-4)

Here’s a delightful board book for youngsters that deftly mixes playtime in rhyme for daddy and baby (animals included) with silly nicknames and rich artwork so anytime becomes a good time.

Daddy calls me Shoo-Be-Doo, we sing an ocean song.

Daddy calls me Mini-Me…we’re swinging right along!

0763633798medDad and Pop: An Ode to Fathers & Stepfathers by Kelly Bennett with illustrations by Paul Meisel (Candlewick Press, $15.99, ages 4-7)

If you’re a member of a blended family or even if you’re not, no matter what you call your dad, and stepdad, be it father, pop or daddy, what counts is not the differences, but being loved. This beautiful yet simply illustrated book
celebrates what makes fathers and stepfathers unique and presents a pleasing and important new perspective for kids.

cover comp4.inddYour Daddy Was Just Like You
by Kelly Bennett with illustrations by David Walker (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/Penguin Young Readers Group, $16.99, ages 3-5)

My son loves to visit my husband’s family home and explore his father’s childhood bedroom for clues into his dad’s mysterious, long ago childhood. Did he get up to no good? Did he have hobbies or any collections? Did he avoid taking baths like the plague? Find out how one little boy explores his daddy’s past by asking lots of questions to learn more about the little boy he is today.

9780810983922_3dBecause I Am Your Daddy by Sherry North with illustrations by Marcellus Hall (Abrams Books for Young Readers, $15.95, ages 4-8 )

In gentle rhyme, North takes readers on a journey in airplanes, to baseball stadiums, on dinosaur digs, marching in parades and more to explore the breadth and depth of a dad’s love for his child. How refreshing to have a dad share his point of view. The retro-looking illustrations complement the verse and convey the upbeat spirit of this story

If I were a director, I would cast you as my star.

Your face would light up movie screens in cities near and far.

0310712157Let’s Have a Daddy Day by Karen Kingsbury with illustrations by Dan Andreasen (Zonderkidz, $15.99, ages 4-7)

Any day can be a Daddy Day as long as you’re together having fun. Build a fort in that old backyard tree or search for tadpoles in the pond, head outside to enjoy nature, play an impromptu game or just get hugs…Daddy loves to spend time with the kids he loves and the smiles on his children’s faces say WE LOVE DAD, TOO!

Share this:

Dedicated to Dads & Daughters

just-dad-meJust Dad and Me, (edited by Erin Falligant with illustrations by Stacy Peterson, $10.95,, ages 8 and up)
I love a book that encourages daddies and daughters to bond, like this interactive book, appropriately sub-titled “The fill-in, tear-out, fold-up book of fun for girls and their dads.” It boasts a page with coupons redeemable for things like “a silly face to make you smile,” a chart where daughter and dad can list their favorite season, sports team, band, etc., and a “Trading Places” section. Here’s a chance to interview Dad about the kind of boy he was growing up, and for his daughter to imagine what she will be like when she’s a grown-up. There are instructions for painting on rocks, making paper helicopters, writing poems, even a push-out backboard for a game of waste basket hoops, but my favorite has to be “Make a Pact,” which father and daughter fill in and affix to the fridge as a reminder to spend more “together” time every month.

nfldads_300NFL Dads Dedicated to Daughters: Inspiring Personal Accounts of Fatherhood from the Men of the NFL, (edited by Leslie Satchell (Triumph Books,, $24.95)
I bet when you think of an NFL football player you think of eye black, heavy padding and mouth guards, but what about the softer side of these athletes, the more sensitive daddy side?

Here’s a collection of insights on fatherhood from over 70 NFL players including Donovan McNabb, Torry Holt and Matt Hasselbeck. These “heartfelt words” will shed light on the more playful, nurturing side of these gridiron action men along with their interpretations on what it means to be a man and role model in society today.. The charming photos that accompany each essay only add to the beauty of the overall message of love and caring conveyed by these professional athletes. Players’ thoughts about preventing domestic violence and empowering women makes this a most meaningful book to share with girls .

Brian Waters, Kansas City Chiefs: Offensive Guard
“My relationship with my daughters is so special. Their tenderness awakened a different side of me.”

Tony Gonzales, Atlanta Falcons: Tight End – “Honoring commitment and demonstrating healthy love and affection between a man and a woman will be more powerful than just lecturing young people.”

Share this:
Back To Top