Based in New York City, Monk's Trunk sells high quality, gently used children's clothing (sizes 0 to 8), as well as books and toys. Got things you want to sell? We pay in cash, up to 40% for clothing and up to 60% for toys/gear after an item sells. Or, for those who don't want to wait, we pay 25% for items we buy outright. Details here.
My kid Sid's new favorite thing is this picture book collection of Knock Knock jokes by a "who's who" list of children's book illustrators: Sophie Blackall, Tomie dePaola, Jon Muth, Chris raschka, Peter Reynolds and more.
Let's be clear: knock knock jokes are, as a rule, terrible. These oldies are no exception. But what *I* love about this book is how it has engaged my son in both learning a format for joke-telling and in memorizing a few jokes (which isn't to say that he necessarily understands them). Parents all too often see skills like this as trivial but they are anything but: they help kids build social skills and discover new ways of conversing . (In fact, if anyone out there has recommendations for more illustrated joke books, please let me know.) Recommended for ages 4 to 8. Hardback bargain book. $2.99 our price / $16.99 list
The following is not a book you'll catch me recommending to every shopper, for, as it says on the back cover, it is "not for those of a nervous disposition." It is, however, awesome. And hilarious, if you're inclined (as is my crew), toward black humor.
It is a brief, pointed account of a little boy who ignores the advice of his parents and "nurse" (nanny), runs off during a visit to the zoo, and is promptly eaten by a lion. In addition to launching fits of belly laughs in our household, it has given my kid a new understanding of why he needs to stay close when we go out in busy public places. Instilling fear isn't a particularly great parenting technique but this has worked quite well for us, thank you. (Oh, and it has pop-up and lift-flap features, too!) $4.99 / List: $19.99
If you think of Shrek as the giant Disney cash cow, you would do well to check out the original: a darkly funny book by legendary New Yorker cartoonist (and, duh, children's book author) William Steig. This was the first narrative book that my kid took to: it's about a foul-mouthed, unredeemable ogre who steals, breathes fire, and hates children... and bears absolutely no resemblance to anyone who lives at 23 Hawthorne.
We've got a bunch of paperbacks in the store. All new, for the ridiculous cost of $3.
I've been filtering though our used books today in order to make room for new stuff. Nestled among them I found some of my son's favorite first books:
Where is Maisy? by Lucy Cousins I don't know what it is about Maisy but babies love these lift-the-flap board books. This particular one was the first book I noticed Sid asking for, around 12 months. $2.50
Jamberry, by Bruce Degen Rhyming and berries: what more could a toddler ask for? Paperback, $2
We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Rosen and Oxenbury I read this to Sid for the first time around 18 months, I think. I drum on my thighs while chanting the text and he goes bananas (in a good way). Small hardback, $3
Continuing on with our "tricks to keep the kid quiet" theme, here are my little monk's favorite music videos*. At the risk of being a killjoy, I feel obliged to point out that the American Academic of Pediatrics recommends no video/television for children under 2, so this is for the over-2 crowd. Everyone else: avert your eyes!
FEIST, "1, 2, 3, 4" ON SESAME STREET (YouTube) I first saw this video a few weeks post-partum and, inexplicably, burst into tears. It's pretty hard not to love.
PARRY GRIPP, YOUTUBE WUNDERKIND Parry Gripp's body of work includes such hits as Baby Monkey (Riding Backwards On a Pig), Cat Flushing a Toilet, Nom Nom Nom Nom, and Fuzzy Fuzzy Cute Cute. The music and video so perfectly compliment each other than it would be difficult to separate them. Watching and listening is like eating your way through a crate of cotton candy and not being able to stop. Which is to say: these are hard to get out of your head. You lose 2 IQ points every time you play one but don't really miss them because the clips are so damn entertaining.
You know what another snow day means: time to post more Sid's picks!
Below are my toddler's favorite songs from 2010, along with a few downloadable mp3's. In another post, I'll list favorite music videos.
CLARE & JEREMY, "SUBWAYS ALWAYS" and "FIVE BOROUGHS" (sample clip here) Jeremy Zmeda lives in Lefferts Gardens but we'd highly recommend his Songs in the Key of New York EP (2009) even if he wasn't so local because it has magical powers: it makes my son play quietly just so he can listen. A couple of times, Sid even stood by through the entire record (!), dancing and listening. I'm going to be getting some of these, and probably Jeremy's new album, in the store any day now.
"OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM" Charles and I sing this (badly) at bedtime. One month, it was all Sid wanted to hear.
MALVINA REYNOLDS "LITTLE BOXES" (mp3 - right click to download) This 1960s folk classic was revived and used as the theme for Weeds. It's awesome. Malvina Reynold's other work is worth checking out as well. I used to play a collection of hers in the store but decided against it after her occasional F-bomb surprised a few shoppers. I still play her (explicative-free) "It Isn't Nice," though, 'cos it's great.
"THE PERFECT NANNY" / FROM MARY POPPINS (mp3 - right click to download) I can't believe I know all the words to this.
"DA DOO RUN RUN" I sang this once (having memorized Shaun Cassidy's version in fourth grade) when we ran out of ideas at bedtime and it quickly became a favorite. Sid has never heard the recording but you can hear the Crystals' version on Amazon.
TWO TON BAKER, "I LIKE STINKY CHEESE" (mp3 - right click to download) Finally, I have found a use for my extensive collection of 40s-60s novelty music! I play it in the store and make my kid listen to it. This recording, from 1949, is one of many fun singles in the Two Ton Baker archive, available free online. Sid does a little dance whenever this comes on and then begs for some stinky cheese, which he promptly licks and throws on the floor.
ROGER MILLER, "OO-DE-LALLY" (mp3 - right click to download) This is the only Roger Miller song Sid has heard so far but there will be more in 2011, once I dig out my "greatest hits" box set (that's right: box set). This is from Disney's version of Robin Hood.