January 25, 2016

A lot to love: Usborne Books

So, I'm getting ready for Valentine's Day. When I was growing up-particularly in high school-while I never had any "romantic" love to speak of...Papa would often surprise us with a little treat. One year I got the Titanic Soundtrack ( awwww...the late 90s!) and sour cherry candies, and another year I got earrings! Papa never fails to make me feel loved and I kind of like the thought of steering clear of the "romantic" aspect of Valentine's Day for my kids.... So I've landed on one of my favorite things as the perfect Valentine's tradition! BOOKS!

And I'm here today to tell you about one of my newest obsessions. Have YOU heard of Usborne books!? I hadn't until my cousin-in-law messaged me about them the same week I was invited to an Usborne party...and then after some research it turns out I already KNEW about Usborne books I just didn't realize it! They are a great company that publish some incredible quality interactive books for kids. While they don't major on the "plot" aspect like a lot of my favorite picture books- many of which I talked about recently, instead they are heavy on the interactive elements of a hands-on book experience and they add a certain diversity to our library that I love. And sure, sure, I've made it clear how I feel about "house party" type companies in the past...but this is different! This is BOOKS! ;-)

Tabitha is obsessed with the Thousand Things to Spot books- They are PERFECT for nonreaders because they show you what you need to look for, but the great part?! It is really developing her counting skills because usually it also shows that she has to find 5 pirates or 3 shoes or 7 backpacks. The pictures are fascinating all on their own and Tabitha will sit in the car for HOURS ( car trips to prove this) looking at just ONE of these books ( Tabitha Trott gave us the Pirate one) ! *side note* they are also kind of the perfect potty training book because a little one can sit and look at one of these books by themselves for ages while they "work things out" on the potty. haha!

The very first Osborne Books that I had, are these amazing "Not my ____" board books. They have now gone through two kids and are still in PERFECT condition for Justice's future use- and they are hands down some of our favorite board books. The touch and feel aspect is wonderful, and each of the pages holds something eye catching for the tiny tots. ( Tabitha loved with touching all the birds and mice on each page in the train book). We have three of these books ( the puppy, the train and the bunny) and you really can't go wrong with any of them!

Lastly, as we've headed into Homeschooling land this year, I've found that while I tend to major on the "fiction" books-its important to throw in some good nonfiction. Here is where Usborne has REALLY shown brightly for us! Ransom got this Rainforest book for Christmas, and while it tells you about the Rainforest and the creatures that live there, it ALSO has a hidden creature on each page that you can only see when you shine a flashlight on the page! How cool is THAT!?!  ( and there are a  BUNCH of these in the series: secrets of the seashore, secrets of an apple tree, secrets of a vegetable garden...the homeschool themes are just WRITING THEMSELVES)

So, I bet you're curious what I'm planning on getting my kids for Valentine's Day, aren't you?!!

For Ransom I'm looking at this super cool Encyclopedia for Children that has direct links that you can scan to take you to videos and websites set up for kids with even more information.

For Tabitha, I absolutely HAVE TO have this "All Better" book in our lives! It has reusable bandaids that you put on the different animals "boo-boos"-considering her ongoing obsession with bandaids-this book will probably save me money. ;-)

For Justice, probably "Panda in the park" or another one of the look-through books. You know-where you slide the slider and it reveals something hidden on each page. We're lacking in these types of books-even though my kids arguably have loved them, because they just don't LAST-inevitibly someone pulls the little slider too hard and the books get broken. However, I have a feeling with the Usborne quality-this one will last longer.

So, the problem? I can't order these books on Amazon like I do everything else ( I mean, you CAN, but it takes forever to reach you because it goes through individual sellers etc.)-instead you can find some at your local book store ( though, I sadly rarely have time to make it to those any more *tears from heaven*) OR at a house party...or today, for a limited time only you can buy them here! I'm having a virtual Usborne Sale! HOORAY!  I contacted my cousin-in-law and told her I wanted to blog about these awesome books, but that I wanted my readers to be able to have EASY access to purchasing them and BOOM! Just like that she whipped up a link for me! So, you're in luck! If you'd like to discover some of these books for yourself than you can easily buy them online! ( *it should be noted, I'll probably get some sort of kick back for throwing this party-though, being the person that I am, I have NO IDEA how all that works...but just wanted you to know*)

So, let me know, do you already know about Usborne books?!  I want to know your favorites! Just browsing the website is fun but also kind of overwhelming ( and I end up wanting one of everything!) and I love a good recommendation!

P.S. My "virtual Usborne Party" will be going on until Jan. 30 so that you can get your books by Valentine's Day xoxo

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