On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. As lovely and gentle as a lullaby, this sweet bedtime story by a Portland mom is now available as a board book. “On the night you were born . . . the night wind whispered, ‘Life will never be the same,’ because there had never been anyone like you . . . ever in the world.” $16.95; Feiwel & Friends. Available Jan. 19; ages 2–4.
Gorgeous, lush fabrics in fresh, unexpected combinations — these Bothell-born blankets are first-rate gifts, or the blanket you reach for time and again. Cotton flannel on the front, cuddly minky on the back and chic satin bindings make Nonny Baby blankets our new faves. From $30; order at Nonny Baby.
Got a crunchy kid? Try the potions in these little pots, brewed by a Maple Valley mom. My Mama’s Love balms, creams and ointments are organic — no nasty stuff — and they smell heavenly, especially the lavender-infused “Lullabye Love” massage ointment. With options to ease eczema, acne — even an all-natural decongestant. Most products, about $3–$10; available at My Mom's Love.
Once I Ate a Pie by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest; illustrated by Katy Schneider. Look at the little pug on the cover. Go ahead — I’ll wait! That level of cuteness is maintained throughout this winning book of doggy happiness, newly available in paperback. Each page features a different dog’s story: “When no one is looking, I steal tubs of butter off the table . . . once I ate a pie.” HarperCollins; $6.99. Available Feb. 23; ages 4-8.
Rooting for you
Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child by Mary Gordon. You’ve read about this groundbreaking program in the pages of ParentMap; now, immerse yourself in the genius behind the project that’s fostering empathy in local classrooms. Mary Gordon’s simple yet elegant solutions for so much of what ails children and schools will leave you cheering — and may even inspire a mini empathy revolution in your own home. An important book, full of amazing stories of the resilience and essential goodness of children. The Experiment Publishing; $15.95.
—Kristen Russell Dobson
Take your tween’s tote up a notch with super-chic backpacks from Three. These well-made and roomy bags have plenty of details girls love, like rhinestones, glitter, embroidery, patchwork, and lots and lots of useful compartments. From $29; available at Three USA and Target. Win a free Three backpack! Enter by Jan. 15; email us at email@example.com and put “backpack” in the subject line.
To a Tee
Coolest. Tees. Ever. No kiddin’! Seattle stay-at-home mom Shana has been in my kids’ heads, and knows just what they want: super-soft tees with cool designs that incorporate their own names! Choose from 6 boys’ and 6 girls’ options (add crystals for $5), long or short-sleeved, in sizes from baby to adult. Buzzworthy, beautiful and locally built — Hopscotch Tees are happenin’. $22–$27; Hopscotch Tees. Win a free personalized short-sleeved tee! Enter by Jan. 15; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “hopscotch” in the subject line.