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Chilean entrepreneur Jeannette Kaplun saw the need for a Spanish language multimedia company that would address everything imaginable before, during and after pregnancy. So she created todobebe.com, an informative website for all of the mamis and papis (the site has a section exclusively for dads) out there yearning for this type of content in their native language. Todobebe has also expanded into television, with its own show on various networks in the U.S.(Telemundo) and Mexico (Unicable), a radio program heard virtually all over the place, publishing (the book/baby manual by founder Jeannette Kaplun called, you guessed it, Todobebe) and products found in the baby aisles of Wal-Mart. Seems like this company is everywhere and Jeannette proves to be a very, very busy mami. The site is also launching a much needed new look soon, which I certainly look forward to.

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When Mum was Little

I love this nostalgic book and so do my little ones. The concept of kids telling the story of when their mum was little is just really cool. Australian author Mini Goss captures this so vividly and her trippy, ‘70’s inspired illustrations are a great foil for the narrative: remembering a night out at a favorite Chinese restaurant, or the birth of a sibling, a birthday party, grandma- mum’s mum- at the beauty parlor, painting the kitchen a new color. I have so much fun reading this to my kids in my greatest effort at an Anglo/Australian accent and they love asking me, once we finish the book, about when I was little. I, inspired, then ask them about when "they were little". We read this before bed, which I have to mention since the night stretches out with all the after talk.

At Amazon.

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Giggles Computer funtime for baby


I've always been torn about letting the toddler play with our computers even though I know she's very curious about it and really wants to. Part of it stems from trying to get her to understand and respect that the computer is for mommy's work so it's off limits, and like TV, I've been trying to limit her onscreen stimulation. It's been hard though because I'm pretty much always on the computer (especially since this laptop is practically attached to my lap) and boundaries get fuzzy when we occasionally look at family photos together onscreen.

I don't know whether it's strictly from wanting to imitate adults or whether humans have an innate interest in pushing buttons, but at times I can't get her to leave the keyboard alone. And so, I think I've made the decision that our 6 yr old Mac G4 will be hers one day and I've started letting her bang on the keyboard (unattached to screen) to her heart's content. She seems satisfied for now.

For those parents who want to introduce computer funtime for their young babies, Giggles founder, Tim Leverett, has created simple shape interactions for babies 6-24 months after being frustrated by the lack of age-appropriate software available on the market. Banging on the keyboard will set off spinning, dancing, flying shapes with more than 50 songs, but the best and most critical part? When launching the software, your files are "locked" and well protected so that you won't be hit with any unfortunate surprises later.

Giggles has been well received and more products and titles will be introduced this year. Both PC and Mac compatible, the software is $24.95 and can be purchased or downloaded from the Giggles website.

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I was always a big fan of the Everybody Poops/The Gas We Pass breed of books. There are some topics that are just always going to be appealing to kids, not to mention educational. So right up that giggle alley comes Bottoms, a simple board book for identifying the back ends of various animals. That’s right; your kids are going to learn to ID their favorite animals from the departing view (which is what most animals are doing once spotted anyway). Each page shows an animal from the rear. Make your guess before you turn the page to see if you answered correctly. Good clean fun for the whole family.

See at Pokkadots.

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06. 2.2006

Urban Babies Wear Black


How do all these urban babies get around? Well they have their own style guide in the form of "Urban Babies Wear Black". This charmingly illustrated board book describes the big city outings of Infantus urbanus. The book details the sophisticated excursions of black clad babies who have a penchant for the opera, architecture and dining on fine cuisine. This delightful book is all sophisticated silliness and the multimedia artwork appeals to both tots and parents. The author, Michelle Sinclair Coleman, an urban mom, lives in Chicago with her husband and her urban baby. This is her first book.

at Oliebollen

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First Book of Sushi

For future foodies, Tricycle Press has come out with a witty series of board books called World Snacks that comprises all of the books by engaging author/artist Amy Wilson Sanger. The First Book of Sushi is but one of the various titles that include Hola Jalapeno, Mangia Mangia, Let's Nosh and Yum Yum Dim Sum. Collect them all; what with great rhymes and visuals, these books are sure to delight and enlighten not only baby, if you know what I mean.

Look them up at Amazon.

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One World, One Kid

This kid's amazing. His name is Skyler Pia and when his friend Erik was sick with brain cancer, he decided music would be the best medicine. So with the help of his parents, who work in the recording industry, Skyler put together a compilation of his favorite world music tracks from earthy Putamayo Kids CDs and collected info on the songs to explain to his friend why these songs were so awesome. The end result: a radio show by a then six year old Skyler and soon after, a CD of portions of the show just released from Putamayo. And if that isn't enough to completely move you, proceeds from the sales of the CD will go to Make-a-Wish Foundation, benefiting other kids battling this disease.

Check it out at Amazon.

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Sounds of Baby CD for Dogs

Just when I thought I'd heard it all...from Dogmom Productions comes this CD of baby sounds to gradually help your dog adapt to a new arrival. The CD's tracks include cute baby sounds, sounds of baby playing with toys and loud, taxing baby sounds, all meant to interest, provoke and increase tolerance in your four-legged pet. Makes a great and unusual gift for dog lovers who are expecting, as the sudden appearance of a new baby, apart from being the miracle that it is, does have the ability to bring quite a bit of chaos into any household.

At Pup Life.

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Bebes a Paris

So this is the story of two young, creative French women living in Japan with their husbands looking to start a publishing company that would bring together Japan's love of books and all things French. After joining forces with a third young, creative French woman living in Japan they launched Editions de Paris in 2001. One of my favorite books to come out of their venture is Bebes a Paris, a decorating book featuring baby rooms in the coolest Parisian apartments. These are stylish kids with obviously stylish parents: writers, architects, costumers, and graphic designers. A great source of inspiration, even if I don't speak/read Japanese.

Find the book at Editions de Paris or contact Yoyamart , where they ordered me a copy while pregnant with bebe numero deux...

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Fisher-Price iTod is actually called the Kid-Tough FP3 Player

Guess the name iTod was a fake that was just a rumor going around (thank god, it's pretty terrible). I got an email from their PR Rep and the MP3 player for toddlers by Fisher Price is actually called the Kid-Tough FP3 Player.

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