Book Club – July 2016

Lifestyle / Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

our RAD Book Club

Hello HELLO, and welcome to the first official our RAD Book Club. What is it? It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a book club. Well, sort of. More like book review where I ask you suggestions for my next month books in the comments because sharing is caring.

Also, it’s really great motivation for me to ensure I read my one book a month new year resolution I made. This will be the second month I’ve managed to finish a book myself, and I feel great. Keeping myself accountable with a monthly book club post is great motivation for myself.

Check out this RAD book club, perfect for moms and toddlers to get recommendations and reviews on books to check out during the month.

Gregory’s Reading List

You know me, I love reading with Gregory. Sometimes we aren’t reading the words on the pages. We sing songs, make up our own stories or just point things out in the book; counting and naming colours. This is a great way to incorporate our sign language skills, for him and me.

While we can read books at any point in the day, Gregory and I have to specific times that we sit down and read together. During our nap time and bed time routines. It’s great leverage to get him into the bedroom. His favourite books are ever changing and I love this new list I will make each month to document him growing up.

Peek a Book Touch & Feel AND a flip the flap book. Perfect for toddlers. Check out these other RAD books here.

Playime Peekaboo! by Dawn Sirett

Gregory and I both love this book for many reasons. It’s a touch and feel book, it’s a lift the flap book, it’s got animals, it’s got a train, it’s a got a fire truck… seriously… this book has it all. Every day, twice a day, some pages multiples times a reading… this book has been on our MUST READ list all month.

We’ve also discovered that you can sing along while you read this book instead of reading the words. Check out this ‘Peek-a-boo’ song that Gregory lurves. It was easy to memorize and we can sing and say ‘boo!’ when we flip open the flap. It’s great fun. It’s the first song in this video, you don’t need to listen to all 13 minutes.

Check out this RAD list of books you need to check out and read to your toddler. bedtime approved.

In the Night Garden by BBC

Now, I just saw that there was an age recommendation on the back of this book for up to 24 months… screw that. Books and shows can be enjoyed by all. Gregory and I have only recently discovered In the Night Garden as a result of buying this cool Touch and Feel AND Flip Flap book. I found it at the thrift store and thought it was cool. Quickly after I realized it was a TV show.

If you haven’t heard, In the Night Garden is this weird looking show that takes place in a land between being awake and asleep. There are many colourful characters, Gregory’s favourite being Makka Pakka.

Oh, have I mentioned that the names of everyone is pretty easy to pronounce in toddler-ese? Yeah, you can speak perfect toddler-ese with your toddler when talking about this story. It’s perfect to feel like you can really communicate. If only in complete nonsense.

This is a great book that requires interaction and that you can also watch on the screen if you’re into reading and watching things that continue the story and let the imagination of your child have more to work with.

Anna Paul and Tommycat at on this RAD book list of July 2016. Check out the rest and come back next month for new book ideas for yourself and your toddler

Anna Paul & Tommycat by NicoeGirardand Pol Danheux

I used to read these books as a little girl, and my mom passed them on to me at some point since I’ve left her house. It brings me great joy to re-live a bit of my childhood through some good ol’ nostaglia via my son.

A Letter from the moon involves Santa Claus, fruit costumes, and a mailman running really silly like out the window. While I haven’t actually read the words in this book to Gregory yet, we quite enjoy making up our own story from the photos that is fairly similar. Santa being featured is a bonus for the Bean.

Tommycat Comes Back at Last is another book that involves Santa, but it also involves a giant bubble. We’re big fans of bubbles here at our RAD house. You can’t go wrong with this combination, even in the middle of July. #HalfWayToChristmas

Katrina’s Reading List

This month I was able to get one audiobook finished. Listening while I went for a jog with Gregory, while I was working on Christmas presents (Christmas in July, I’m tellin’ you) or while I was driving in the car, this story had me looking for activities where I can press play and keep listening.

Instant mom by Nia Vardalos is on this RAD book club reading list this month. Don't forget to check out the toddler recommendations on this list as well.

Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

Nia Vardalos is the Big Fat Greek Wedding girl… as she admits her fans often only know her by. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have ever seen MBFGW. I remember when it came out, it was all the rage. I guess I was too young and didn’t care about movies enough. BUT. Now that I have listened to the struggle Nia had to make HER movie, I want to watch it. Over and over again. To appreciate the hard work she put into getting it made.

Nia wrote My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and hasn’t written a tell-all biography about the process much to many peoples chagrin. Instead she explains details in the first part of Instant Mom. It’s a tale of inspiration, struggle, perseverance, luck and success. If the story of how this Greek girl got to star in a movie she wrote, based loosely on her own life doesn’t motivate you… I don’t know what will.


Gosh, my heart breaks whenever I hear of an infertility story. Nia’s is heartwrenching, and she hid it from the world all while she was making and promoting her movie. This is one strong woman. I applaud Nia for being so strong and able to push through life during this time of unfairness. That’s what it is. All infertility stories are unfair and it is my life goal to help at least one person in the world who struggles with infertility to make their family.

This book isn’t about infertility, so don’t let the fact that you’ve grabbed the box of tissues to wipe the tears from your eyes already deter you. Nia says, several times if I recall, this isn’t a story about infertility. It’s a story about becoming a mother.

Nia Vardalos, the Big Fat Greek Wedding Girl, it more than the BFGW girl. She's an amazing mom who had oneincredible journey to motherhood. Check out why her book got on this RAD reading list and check out the toddler recommendations on this RAD book club list.


Here’s the story, the good part. Nia plans to adopt, and tells her journey to adoption in the most wonderful way. Don’t put the tissues away, you’ll need them several times over as you progress through the book. OH man, what a journey.

Highlights, I really don’t want to give away any details that will make the book seem like you got the main parts already. But I want to give you a few teasers to entice you to read.

First off, if you’re thinking about adoption, read this book. It’s got great information and Nia wasn’t afraid to touch on the fact that families who adopt from a foreign country aren’t any less of a parent than one who adopts domestically. Stop the international adoption hate.

Nia also makes a point of saying most people don’t hesitate to take in a stray dog, or rescue an animal and bring them into their home and family. But when it comes to children, people hesitate and think this child, who only needs and deserves some love from the world, is damaged. Every child deserves love. This stuck with me, and now I also want to adopt… or perhaps foster a child or two at some point in my life. It’s true, so true, and Nia opened my eyes.

New Mom is Normal

It’s not a spoiler saying Nia adopts a child because this book is a real life story and she tells you it’s the story of how she adopts her little girl. The first tale in her journey starts off as she rescues her daughter from choking. So, you know she’s got a kid before you hear the story. No spoilers here.

New mom Nia adopts a little girl who isn’t a newborn. It was an option, but she got an angel who was a few years old. It’s fun to follow along the journey of Nia becoming a mom because her feelings, insecurities, doubts, worries and feelings of triumph are all normal. She often thinks she’s the only one, or that it isn’t normal, that she’s overreacting as an adoptive mom. But it’s entertaining because I remember having, and still have, the same thoughts, fears and feelings. New mom is definitely normal and it was so cool to relate, especially to such a successful person, let alone a celebrity.

The adoption story is beautiful, the whole thing was fate. It really is, Nia tells of a bedtime story she tells her daughter. Long story short, Nia would cry and ask God to become pregnant, or why she wasn’t able to carry a child. And there is a little angel up in heaven looking down from the clouds telling her to wait, just a bit longer. And Nia does and she gets to have this beautiful little girl… I want to tell you more, but when you hear the story in her words it’ll sound better.

Gosh, I cried so much. Happy cried, the whole book. Really, it was awesome. I want to tell you of the daycare worker, and more of how fate really did match up Nia and her daughter, but it’ll ruin the book. Giving away too much and the impact won’t be nearly as good in my few words typed through misty eyes as I remember. Nia should be the one to tell you.

Final Thoughts

If you want to adopt, are a parent, want to foster, want to be inspired, and over an overall good experience that will make you sad, happy sad and ultimately give you a positive hopeful outlook on life, this is the book for you. I’m so glad I managed to check it off my must read list. I do recommend it, along with a box of tissues. I’m always an emotional mess though, this funny little gift from God really got to me though.

Excited to have found a new #BookClub that my toddler and I can benefit from. #ourRADhouse Click To Tweet

Before you Go

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of our RAD Book Club. If you’re looking for more book recommendations, I’ve compiled a small list of Touch and Feel books you can read with you toddler, my toddler approved. Or check out these Interactive Books you can read with your Little. We love books that require Gregory to use his senses and inspire his brain to think about more than just what the words say. There are so many ways to enjoy a book, and so many books to enjoy. Come back next month for another Book Club with both Gregorys favourite books of the month, and a book review I managed to squeeze in.

If you’ve got any book recommendations, for me or my Bean, let me know in the comments! Sharing is caring, and I love getting recommendations. I’m down for any type of books really, as long as it is available at my local library. We’re big on visiting our library, and I enjoy that mine offers books and audiobooks. So if I know I won’t have time to sit and read this month, I can try and plan to listen and enjoy all the same… or similar at least.




http://www.formaclorime .com/Instant-Mom-Nia-Vardalos/dp/0062231847


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