Two Traditional folktale from Bhutan

I came across these 2 traditional folktales from Bhutan, while searching for picture books showcasing original stories from around the world. The 2 picture books that I am going to showcase here are beautiful traditional folktales from Bhutan. Both are written by Kunzang Choden and expertly illustrated by Pema Tshering!

Zubaan books published these 2 stories, for their littlest audience in 2011. Too bad, I came to know about this recently. The illustrations in both the books are such calm soft watercolor landscapes, which if you are a wanderlust like me, will want you to go right across the border to this beautiful and serene place.

Folktales from Bhutan – Room in your Heart

Room in our Hearty
Free Expression Watercolor Art made by 3 year old!

“Neypo Shong gna?”  “ Is there room for me” is the question asked by a host of visitors who  come to the old lady seeking shelter and some warm soup. But how will her little hut have space for so many people in her small little hut.

 

I was so touched, so inspired and so heartened by this tale. In our busy lives, where we do not even have neighbors coming over and are stuck in this concrete jungle, this was a refreshing tale of opening our hearts and our minds to new people, experiences. I completely fell in love with the sparse but adequate text, gorgeous illustration and the beautiful message.

 So, do you have Room in your heart?

Folktales from Bhutan – Aunty Mouse

Another beautiful folktale from Bhutan, again published in 2011 and written by Bhutan’s favorite author Kunzang Choden. In this story, an orphan girl topples into a mouse hole  and is then befriended by Aunty Mouse much like how Alice goes down the rabbit hole and at end gets many riches. 

But when a rich brat tries to do the same, her experience are horrifying.

 This traditional folktales from Bhutan felt more like a fairy tale kind of story which I enjoyed a lot. The message of kindness, and honest belief is realistically told!

These were my very first set of books from The Zubaan Books Publishing House, and definitely would not be the last. Looking forward to more such beautiful tales from across the world.

 

GIVEAWAY

I loved these books so much so I am going to Giveaway both these books to 2 lucky winner! So, one of you will be winning *Room in your Heart* and some other Lucky Kid will be winning *Aunty Mouse*!

Giveaway Rules

  1. Subscribe to my blog by email. (MANDATORY)
  2. Comment – Tell me if you have enjoyed folktales from around the world, which book and from which country was it? If not, just comment and tell me which is your bubs favorite book right now. (MANDATORY)
  3. Follow me on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway! www.twitter.com/veensie (OPTIONAL)
  4. Follow me on Instagram! Share on Instagram ( post live on my feed, just repost) www.instagram.com/veenaregit (OPTIONAL)
  5. For additional points share on facebook and Tag me to the posts! ( OPTIONAL)

I hope you all love the books as much as I did!

This giveaway is NOT sponsored by Zubaan Books or WordPress. 

 I am going to be buying them and sending them to you, to support the authors!

Much love

Veensie💕

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Brand new Site – The Reading Momster

Yes, I have done it, I self hosted. After years of procrastinating and self – doubt, I did it, YAY! And it is called The Reading Momster.

The Reading Momster
The Reading Momster

I still have my old site “Our Ordinary Life”. Because I am still importing a lot of stuff from there.

Why?

I love my blog, this is one place where I just love to hang out.And  I love to write, I love to be heard, I loveee attention. And this blog is always ready to listen. I did bring ALL posts from way back. I am even attached to those, LOL!

 

Why The Reading Momster?

Because I am a Mom and a Monster. And the only thing I do apArt from keeping my bubs alive is read to them. So The Reading Momster is so apt and so me, I just had to use that. Of course I  did contemplate adding Lazy, Crazy and all that, but I am going to keep short and sweet

 

I am still working on the LOOK though, not 100 percent there. People who know me, know I love changing up the look and feel often. Change is the only Constant, eh? So I need to work on header, and some plugins/widgets. Do share which Plugins/ Widgets have worked for you.

Right now, I am working on bring in all my subscribers and followers over which is a bit tricky, other things have taken a back-seat. So show me some comment love and tell me what do you think of The Reading Momster? The good, the bad – anything and everything, share away friends.

That’s it people, keeping my post real short this one time, I hope to see you soon with more. Here, I start my new journey, with loads of love and optimism! hope to find inspiration in our everyday madness.

Adios.

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Songbird Story by Michael Rosen

Songbird Story by Michael Rosen, Illustrated by Jill Dow

  • Reading level: 4+ years
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books; New edition edition (3 March 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711212510

Summary :

Fip and Feppa are songbirds who live in two different woods, on either side of a wide river. They are happy visiting each other until first Fip and then Feppa is trapped by a bird-catcher.

Review:

Before I say anything about the story, I would love to say something about the illustrations – Gorgeous! And that’s the reason I picked this beauty up and also because my daughter absolutely loves birds / books on birds.

Fip and Feppa live in 2 different woods separated by the wide river. They are gorgeous songbirds, who sing so beautifully that it seems the whole woods has become a song and is singing along. They hear each other singing and before long they cross the rivers to be with each other and sing together. But not far away, a bird catcher hears their song, and devises a cunning way and catches Fip. Fip is sold to a man who buys him for his daughter who is delighted to have him. Next Feppa is captured and is sold too. And they both end up living in the same neighborhood.

What follows is their story on how they eventually get together in a cage, and how being in the same cage makes them realise that they really do not like each other much. And finally they end up free and happy and together in the woods forever.

You see there is a difference in the male and female songbirds look, and I pointed it out my almost-6 year old. The woods, the cities, the landscapes everything is illustrated with gorgeous greens and every spread is exquisite. The story is simple and charming. And my son asked me why people would wants birds in a cage? and well I had no answer.

4 Stars!

Recommended to all Bird-Lovers, to all looking to read a story with substance.

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10 absolutely adorable Valentine’s Day Books and Crafts

Who is your Valentine this year? The Husband or the Kiddo? Mine has been 1 kid for the last 5 years and this year I have 2! Am I lucky or what? Valentine’s day is a beautiful time to read some great books on love and snuggle up with hot chocolate. Yes, it is true that you do not need to annotate a day to define your love for your precious child, but then what is life if you do not celebrate love! Here are some of our very favorite books on the theme love, and if you have read them already – get that scissors out and celebrate with some hearts!

1. How do I love you by P.K. Hallinan

Make a heart garland for a Valentine's Day window!

Buy from Amazon

This book was written by the author as a gift to his sons. It is about how parents love there kids even when they behave badly. Through sea of bad behaviors or good ones, I love you! – this is the sweet and simple message of the book. After reading this, won’t it be just so cute to make these Heart -garlands from Hands on as we grow.

2.  The Day it rained hearts by Felicia Bond

The Day It Rained Hearts - Cloud Kid Craft & Free Printable

Buy from Amazon

I love the girls name in this book , *Cornelia Augusta*. One day, Cornelia finds that instead of water it is pouring hearts everywhere. She catches as many as she can and makes some thoughtful gifts for her dear friends and mails it to them. Once you are done with this uber-cute book, make this utterly-butterly cute craft from Glued to Crafts

3. Love you Forever by Robert Munsch

handprint & photo heart keepsake

Buy from Amazon

This is a fantastic picture book that is a metaphor for the overwhelming love one feels for their child, no matter what age. The lines from this book are easily my favorite to whisper to Aarya at night –

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

After you have cried a little, go ahead and make this Keepsake, then every year you could cry a little when you see it 🙂

4&5. Duck and Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills or Hug by Jez Alborough

Buy from Amazon ( Hug, Duck and Goose)

Goose is sad and his friends try to cheer him up with all the things they *think* he might like, but Goose really just wants a hug! I just LOVE the illustrations.

Hug has just 1 word all through and that is ‘HUG’. I love this book for its simplicity , sweetness.  Baby Chimp sees that everyone has someone of there own to hug and realizes he has no one to hug. This Hug craft from The Party Event would be an awesome gift to send to Grandparents, on this day 🙂

6. You make me Proud by Umesh Shukla

dinner conversation hearts

Buy from Amazon

This  is a really sweet book. The story involves a Papa and Kiddo leaving post-it notes for each other about what makes them proud about each other. Use this cute Conversation heart cards from No-time for Flash cards. 

7. My Heart is like a Zoo by Michael Hall

Buy from Amazon

This is such a colorful and gorgeous book with all animals made out of hearts. One of the books that’s made to be used in Crafts! Check out Storytime ABC’s post on how she re-created the animals. You could do it too, get the book, it is so adorable!

8. Guess How Much I Love you by Sam McBartney

301736Guess How Much I love you Child Made Ornament

Buy from Amazon

“I love you to the moon and back” — just the lines melt your heart. This is a must-have in your library. And make this home-made clay qrnament, how Gorgeous – right? via Emma-Owl

9. I love you, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

139656

Buy from Amazon

It is all about the undying love that a Mom feels no matter what how stinky the child gets in ths Valentine Special selection
(just kidding). You could make this adorable picture frame with stuff you have at home and decorate with hearts!

10. The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll

1553960Creating the biggest valentine ever

Buy from Amazon

This Valentine Day book teaches kids to work in groups and eventually together. One of the best books to use in a classroom or even with siblings. Create a Large Heart and do a Valentine Craft like Barefeet on the dashboard!

I hope you read some of these, or some other books on Love. Happy Valentine’s day to you and yours.

Affiliate Links for the Books are mentioned below titles, please do check them out!
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Indian Republic Day – Reads and Activity

India’s 67th Republic Day is here and like every year, we decided to do some activities to understand the meaning and the importance of this day in history for us. 17128255

For understanding Republic day and it’s significance we hunted out our copy of We the Children of India a preamble to our constitution by Leila Seth ( Buy on Amazon.in). Leila Seth, the first woman judge of the Delhi High Court and the first woman Chief Justice of a state in India – is the esteemed author of this child – friendly book geared for 5 plus kids.  Read full review of the book on Saffron Tree.

Once we read and understood that 67 years ago, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar wrote the longest Constitution (which took him 2 years 11 months to complete), we decided to write our own set of rules for Aaryanjali Mansion. He also set forth, creating his own flag.

We decided next to read Ira, the Dolphin ( Tulika Books). Ira is a River Dolphin ( which is our National Aquatic Animal ) and this beautiful book gives us a glimpse of where it lives, how it survives and what dangers it faces on a daily basis. All the images used in the book are real.

We then play the National Symbol Memory Game. I just downloaded our natinal symbol images from the internet, cut them out and stuck them on thick cardstock.

Aarya knows them all but still gets confused with a couple, and this game was a great reinforcement. Anjali, played for a while then just sat there with the Tiger. She loves Tigers. While playing, we tried to remember the various facts about our Flag. The Colors in our Flag –  saffron, white and green represent courage and sacrifice, peace and truth, and faith and chivalry respectively. And that the Chakra has 24 spokes.

Our 2nd President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan once explained our flag in the below terms ( copied from Wikipedia)

Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to (the) soil, our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends. The “Ashoka Chakra” in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principle of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change, what better read than the very popular and singular book on the


Moving on to our 3rd activity, we did a Me on the Map activity. Its basically 4 paper-plates. And I printed out :

  1. World Map ( with Asia highlighted)
  2. India Map – I asked him to color Maharashtra in this)
  3. He put a dot on Mumbai in the Maharashtra Map, I printed out.

The 1st paper which has the biggest diameter will have the world Map ( I have Asia highlighted here for Aarya to understand that we are in the Asian Continent. He identifies India on the continent ( pretty easy!!). Then we take the 2nd paper plate which is smaller than the last plate ( I cut off 1 cm from the outer edge) and glue the Indian Map. He right away tells me which one is Maharashtra ( we also point to Karnataka, where he was born and Kerala where his parents are from). He color Maharashtra. Next we take the 3rd paper plate, cut off 2 cms from the outer edge and glue the map of Maharashtra – we put a dot on Mumbai and write the spelling ( still learning). On the last paper plate, I cut off 3 cms and attach 2 small pieces of paper for him to write our locality’s name and our address. We are still learning the spellings, but he knows it verbally now.

This activity brings into our place in the world. Later he pointed out on the world map, where Mumbai was, pretty awesome – right?

For our next activity, we decided we needed to learn the names of ALL the 29 states in our country ( not focusing on Union territories this month ). And for that we created this game. PicMonkey Collage.jpg

For this game you will need :

  1. Print out of this Map from Wikipedia
  2. Print out of the Name of the states ( with corresponding numbers). Laminate it for durability
  3. Number token from 1 to 29 ( We used the number tokens from Housie game we own)

Rules :

  1. Pick out number token
  2. Identify number on the map
  3. call out the corresponding state name
  4. if it is correct, then keep the state name card, else the chance passes to the next player.
  5. whoever gets the maximum card wins!

You can take it a step forward by including the capital names. Also include the union territories. Aarya doesn’t know even 5 yet but he is learning and walks around with the map. It is fascinating to see his interests. I hope to expand and make Geography fun for him ( because i found it boring and never was good at it.)IMG_5039

For the Republic day, we hope to see the Parade on TV. Make new Rules for Aaryanjali Mansion and maybe also create a FLAG! We also intend to do some gorgeous India- themed activities, from this super – awesome post from Artsy Craftsy Mom. All in one place, and pretty much has it ALL.

50 Ideas for India Republic Day or Independence Day party

There is a republic Day Blog-hop hosted by the wonderful Artsy-Craftsy Mom, and I am part of it. Visit all the fabulous Mommies, and be inspired.

Happy Republic Day!

 

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Picture Books about Lord Ganesha!

ganesha-collageWe all celebrate Lord Ganesha’s birthday and it was a special treat to hear all the stories that Grandparents lovingly told about the naughty yet wise Elephant God! This year along with Lord Ganesha’s idol, bring home some Picture books about Lord Ganesha and enjoy them! Just like icing on the cake, nothing can be better than listening to your Granny telling you stories, but books will add to the lovely experience!

1. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Emily Haynes and Sanjay Gupta

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Sanjay Gupta’s illustrations in this adorable story about Ganesha’s sweet tooth makes it a notch irresistible! Who doesn’t like the laddoo gobbling baby Ganesha! And haven’t you called your laddoo gobbling little kid, a Ganapati lovingly? And how did little Ganesha help Vyasa in writing Mahabharata, when read and find out!

Description :

The bold, bright colors of India leap right off the page in this fresh and funny picture book retelling (with a twist) of how Ganesha came to help write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata. Ganesha is just like any other kid, except that he has the head of an elephant and rides around on a magical mouse. And he loves sweets, especially the traditional dessert laddoo. But when Ganesha insists on biting into a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo, his tusk breaks off! Ganesha is terribly upset, but with the help of the wise poet Vyasa, and his friend Mr. Mouse, he learns that what seems broken can actually be quite useful after all. With vibrant, graphic illustrations, expressive characters, and offbeat humor, this is a wonderfully inventive rendition of a classic tale.

Best Deal on Infibeam.com

2. It’s all the same by Nina Sabnani

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“Mama, why is Ganesha always worshipped first in any Puja?”

No worries! In this tale from Apno Rajasthan 2 storytellers Pappuram and Kojaram (who are kaavadiya bhaats) tell us there own version of why Lord Ganesha is always worshipped first, before any other god or goddess.

The fantastic thing is that the concept of Storytelling Boxes (kaavads)  is as old as the legend, and it is heartening to see it depicted so well in a Picture Book! These 2 story actually make us realise that at the end, all the stories are end! Does your culture ave a story about why Lord Ganesha is worshipped first! Mine has, and I will share it with you in another post 🙂

Description (from Tulikabooks.com)

Pappuram and Kojaram are kaavadiya bhaats, storytellers from Rajasthan. Each has his own favourite story about why Lord Ganesha is always worshipped first, before any other god or goddess. They open their kaavads, the beautifully painted storytelling boxes, and begin – only to realise at the end of it that the stories may be different, but are still really the same!

In this is captured the nature of myths and their telling, that there is no one story about anything, it can always be this as much as that, across cultures or within the same, as here. Typical of kaavadiyas is the flat manner of narrating even improbable situations – anything can happen, that’s how it is…

Best Deal on Tulila Books!

3. Amma, Tell Me About Ganesha by Bhakti Mathur

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Bhakti Mathur has an excellent series of books devoted to various festivals and Gods, and each one is well crafted to include just enough info for the 3 to 5s. We have bought her books on festivals and now are exploring the ones about the Deities!

Description:

Ganesha s birthday is celebrated With fun and lots of fanfare His idols are placed on the rolling seas With ardent prayer and gentle care. Ganesha, loved by all Is the son of Shiva and Parvati. This is the story of his birth and how His elephant head came to be.

Best deal on Infibeam.com

4.  The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow by Sanjay Gupta

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This book is not just about Lord Ganesha, but almost all the popular Gods, monsters demons, battles, everything! But the most attractive things about this little book are the illustrations and the fun way the story is told! This book would make a wonderful gift to any age group! Introducing our young ones to our Gods is not an easy task, but Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth author does a commendable job! Can’t wait to get our hands on his Ramayana book.

Description :

In The Little Book of Hindu Deities, Pixar animator Sanjay Patel brings to life Hinduism’s most important gods and goddesses in fun, full-color illustrations, each accompanied by a short, lively profile. The stories of Hindu mythology cover everything from love and jealousy to petty grievances and epic battles, with characters ranging from monsters and demons to noble warriors and divine divas. Find out why Ganesha has an elephant’s head (his father cut it off!) and why Kali, the Goddess of Time, is known as “The Black One” (she’s a bit goth).

Best Deal on Infibeam.com

A very Happy Vinayaka Chathurthi to you and yours from us! I hope you find a way past all the hurdles in your journey to your fulfillment.

ganesha-collage

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March is Read Aloud Month!

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Thanks to all you lovely Moms on my Facebook Page!!
Let’s make this coming month fun!!

Each day of March, I will read 1 book to my children and post about it here!

How can you participate?

You can share the picture of the book you read to your adorable monsters too.

Giveaway! !

All the people who complete this challenge will be entered to win a Rs 250 gift coupon from Amazon!!

Tag your friends, spread the word and let’s all.have fun and find more amazing reads!

Come join me on this page or on my FB page!

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Our Favorite Alphabet Picture Books!

alpphavet

 

Alphabet books are not just A is for Apple, Bis for Ball! There are very many books who teach the alphabet in a fun and interactive way! Today I list some of our very favorite books that teach the Alphabet!

Alphabets are Amazing Animals by the very talented author Anushka Ravishankar is a quirky but fun alphabet book. With verses for each letter, Anushka explores the alphabets with your beginning reader! This book from one of our favorite publishers, Tara books is perfect for the older preschoolers, and a fun addition to your library!

Baby Buffaloes Blow Big Blue Bubbles, Careless Crocodiles Catch Cold and Plump Penguins Play Ping-Pong. Combining alliteration, rhyme and images in unexpected and thrilling ways, Alphabets Are Amazing Animals is specially designed for children who have just begun to read and recognise words. With repetitive sounds that help children hone their phonetic abilities, and new words mixing with old ones, to help build a child’s vocabulary, these jolly scenes of animals engaging in hilarious situations, brought to life by joyful art, will delight young children.

Who doesn’t know Dr. Suess! This Alphabet book from Dr. Suess just like all of his other books is fun. With some non-sensical phrases this is fun for the preschooler who understands and enjoys some laughs! Aarya did not understand any of it when he was 2 or even 3. But now is slowly warming up to it. Now is the time, where he understands humor too!

BIG R, little r,
what begins with R?
Rosy’s red rhinoceros.
R…r…R

Alphabet Dress up has been a clear favorite from the time this book entered our home! I have read this so many times, that I confess I have hidden it a couple of times so that I don’t have to read it again. It also comes with a set of Alphabet dress up flash cards, which are fun to explore the Alphabets and play some games too!

I love this book because it promotes imagination, independent play and dressing -up! There is also a fun I-Spy element added in, which makes this book a winner in my son’s eyes, because he loves finding the letters that hidden cleverly in the beautiful illustrations! This is one book you should definitely own!

Hey, That’s an A! by Jerry Pinto is another Alphabet book that we have enjoyed. This book from our favorite publisher Tulika Books is also loved in our home!

With silly verse filled with fun puns and just enough tongue-in-cheek to keep readers of all ages tickled, this is a zany, never-before introduction to the English alphabet. Exuberant visuals play with letter shapes while a colourful cast dances, bounces and leaps across the pages.

ABC3D by Marion Batallie published by Tara Books is a spectacular 3D Pop- up book! It is clever, interactive and interesting, all at the same time. It is Winner of the 2010 Meggendorfer Prize, watch this short video, to get a feel of the book! One to have on your coffee table!

Isn’t it amazing? We loved this one!

A was an Apple Pie by Edward Lear is one of Aarya’s favorite sing-along Alphabet book. PreS-K. Caldecott Honor artist MacDonald has adapted and illustrated Edward Lear’s beloved 1871 nonsensical alphabet. It is fun, sing-song and nonsensical! There are differences from the original 1971 classic, but I personally love this version!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. is a classic Alphabet book that I think everyone should own.  It teaches the alphabet, their sequence in a fun and engaging way! There is a video on youtube for parents to use it with the book and it is amazing how easily kids pick up anything when you make it fun! Aarya started singing ‘A told B, B told C, I will meet you at the top of the coconut tree’ way ahead of saying A B Cs. At nearly 5, Aarya still loves this book and enjoys watching the video!

What Pete Ate from A to Z is a multi – award winner and is a must have for any dog-lover! Is there anything Pete won’t eat? Poppy’s charming yellow dog starts off by eating Rocky’s accordion. All of it. He snacks on a bouncing ball that belongs to Uncle Bennie’s dog Buster, and so on! This fun book which is for the slightly older crowd, explores the Alphabet in a fun way! There are many new words that are explored. A good addition to the little one’s library!

Which kid doesn’t like trucks, but Garbage Trucks, not so much! But I Stink! follows the whole day of a Garbage Truck telling you exactly what it does. It also discusses the type of trash we generate…and why is this an alphabet book? Well because it tells you what Garbage it carries from A to Z. Sounds yucky? yes it does but it is a great book to introduce kids to Trash, Recycling and what really happens to the stuff we throw in the dust-bins!

 “What’s that? You think I stink? WHOOOOO-WHEE! Do I ever! No skunk ever stunk this bad! Go, hold your nose, but think about it – Without Me? You’re on Mount Trash-o-rama, baby.

Alphabet Under Construction by Dennis Fleming was one of the first books we ever owned! It is simple, has amazing, bold illustrations and minimal texts. Mouse starts constructing each letter of the alphabet. He dyes the D, erases the E, and folds the F. Mouse works his way right through to Z, constructing an alphabet that surpasses even the wildest artistic imagination. This book is a GREAT book for alphabet activities! Love this book a lot!

Did your favorite Alphabet book make the list? Is there any other book you might want to add? There are a lot of other books we have on our wishlist, share yours as well!alpphavet

*The post contains affiliate links, thanks for supporting my blog!

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