Children’s Book Author Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

French author Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”

Mr. Modiano writes in a variety of genres, including detective mysteries, short, 100-page novels and screenplays. His first novel, “La place de l’étoile,” about Jewish collaborator during WWI, was published in France in 1968.

101414_CRTPost_CatherineCertitude_CoverA Mom and Her Memories. This Nobel Prize winner also writes children’s books! Catherine Certitude, written with collaborator William Rodarmor and illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempe, was published in 2001, and tells the story of a mom and her memories.

While Catherine watches her own daughter practice dance, she reminiscences about her own childhood. Living in the tenth arrondissement of Paris, Catherine and her father Georges share the simple pleasures of daily life: sitting in the church square, walking to school, going to her ballet class every Thursday afternoon. A happy time in the City of Light.

However, the charming walk down memory lane brings up a lot of mystery:

  • Why did Catherine’s change his name to Certitude?
  • What kind of trouble with the law did his business partner Casterade rescue him from?
  • Exactly what does Georges do, and what kind of deals is he always discussing with men in worn raincoats?
  • Why did Catherine’s mother, herself a ballerina, leave Georges to return to New York?

These are just some of the mysteries Catherine remembers … and hopes to resolve as the story unfolds.

GoldieBlox Float

GoldieBlox Joins the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Happy news for turkey day!

Award-winning toy company GoldieBlox is bringing the magic of design and engineering to life at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® with “The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine,” a new GoldieBlox float that will make its way down the streets of New York.

“Our dream at GoldieBlox is to inspire every girl to reach her full potential, and we definitely like to dream big. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an iconic celebration and we’re thrilled to join the line-up this November with the first-ever float that is specifically designed to showcase the principles of engineering. Macy’s Parade floats are the ultimate engineering spectacle, and relatable to kids everywhere. We can’t wait!”

-GoldieBlox Founder & CEO Debbie Sterling

Designed and built by the engineers and craftspeople at Macy’s Parade Studio working closely with the GoldieBlox team, The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine will transform GoldieBlox toys into larger-than-life form, in an elaborate, creative and brightly colored machine. The float uses kid power to spin, pull and rotate giant pinwheels, parachutes, jogging wheels and more. Goldie herself is at the helm of the action, joined by Goldie’s dog Nacho, her cat Benjamin Cranklin and a host of her friends on three distinct stages.

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has always been about sparking the imagination through creativity, magic and fun. The new GoldieBlox float is an aspiring engineer’s dream, perfectly combining Macy’s Parade’s signature creativity and artistry, with real-world engineering practices that will inspire girls and boys to learn more about engineering and technology.”

-Amy Kule, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

GoldieBlox hopes to spread the message that while girls may love princesses, they can build their own castles too, or their own parade floats! Determined to level the playing field for girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), GoldieBlox is on a mission to disrupt pink toy aisles everywhere and get girls building.

Gearing up for the holiday season, GoldieBlox recently doubled their product offering, adding three new sets and expanding their piece library from six to more than 40, all available at GoldieBlox.com.

GoldieBlox’s Girl-Powered Spinning Machine float débuts in the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which can be seen nationwide on NBC-TV, on Thursday, November 27, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in all time zones.


Sock It To Me

Funky, fashionable socks for the whole family.

100714_CRTPost_SockItToMe_ChatNoirPortland, OR-based Sock It to Me makes over 200 different sock designs, with something for every personality, whether you’re a man, woman or child. From punk rock to peacock,  PB&J, cats, super heroes, rainbows, lady bugs, butterflies, ninjas, unicorns, monkeys, tacos, mustaches and other things magical – retailing from $9 – $18, the socks are available at more than 2,000 stores worldwide, as well as online at  http://sockittome.com/.

100714_CRTPost_SockItToMe_01Sock It to Me has been making fun, funky sock designs since 2004, striving to make unique, quality products that provide value and top-notch “sock-ness” to sock fans everywhere.

Vote NOW! Sock It To Me’s Very Special 10th Anniversary International Design a Sock of Awesomeness Contest is underway. It’s the contest where anyone, anywhere in the world can submit a sock design for a chance to see their dream sock become a reality.

100714_CRTPost_SockItToMe_LogoThe Grand Prize Winner receives a cash prize of $5,000, their design manufactured on real socks and 15 pairs of awesome Sock It to Me socks from the current line. The second place winner receives $1,000 and 10 pairs of socks and the third place winner will get $500 and five pairs of socks.

Voting for your favorite design has already begun! VOTE NOW!

100214_CRTPost_The Day We Danced in Underpants by Sarah Wilson_Jim

The Day We Danced in Underpants

This picture of the book cover makes me smile. Happy October!

The Day We Danced in Underpants is the kind of book I keep on my own book shelf, along with children’s classics Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi and The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts by Shinta Cho. And here’s a good reason why: “This lesson in kindness and grace changes an embarrassing situation into an adventure,” a very astute review from Tidewater Parent.

100214_CRTPost_DayWeDanced_IllustrationTalk About Joie de Vivre! Written by California-based writer Sarah Wilson, the story is inspired by her grandmother, who taught her an early appreciation for French culture. Indeed! Sarah’s silly descriptions of a cast of characters –including “three wild aunts” – who dance their way across the French countryside to a picnic with the King of France makes for a perfect read-aloud, not to mention a dance-a-thon of your own.

And to do it all in underpants?

Award-winning illustrator Catherine Stock‘s hilarious watercolors literally paint the picture of “a wild party that finds even the stuffiest nobles getting down in their unmentionables,” as the book’s synopsis tells us.

When one of my friends posted a picture of the book on Facebook, I couldn’t resist starting out a new month by telling you about it. As he says, “Oh, I do that all the time!”


ShoSho Bella

093014_CRTPost_ShoShoBella_05 Couture collection launches in the United States.

Dreamy, dramatic and demure, UAE-based ShoSho Bella is designed by founder Sarah Khamis, mother of two, who seamlessly blends couture touches with timeless silhouettes for girls ages two to 14 years. Her designs use twisting, tucking, draping and other techniques, rendering the high quality, soft textured, imported fabrics, feathers and materials into dresses that tell a story whenever they are worn.

093014_CRTPost_ShoShoBella_04ShoSho Bella is a high-end luxury couture brand for children and one of UAE’s most sought-after fashion labels. Sarah oversees all aspects of sourcing, design and production in the cosmopolitan city of Dubai. Now, these heirloom-quality dresses are available at www.shoshobella.com and select boutiques in the United States.

From pageants to princess parties, ShoSho Bella’s designs are ideal for special occasions. The spring/summer collection is a delightful mix of garden florals, a show-stopping ’20s Great Gatsby-inspired style complete with a feathered skirt, chic Parisian-influenced frocks and classic gowns with unexpected details. The autumn/winter collection features dreamy winter whites, understated silver and golds, tiered tulle, ruffles and classic babydoll silhouettes.



Award-winning 3-in-1 baby bag line makes U.S. début.

portland detailU.K.-based PacaPod Ltd. manufactures stylish, high quality diaper bags with a unique and award-winning 3-in-1 baby organization system. The one-of-a-kind PacaPod is now available in the U.S., online and in select buybuy BABY stores nationwide.

PacaPod’s ingenious “three bags for the price of one” concept – a stylish outer bag containing two detachable “Pods,” one for feeding and one for changing- is super versatile. The pods can be quickly removed from the main bag and clipped to a stroller/luggage cart/car seat, used as mini cool bags and even function as a backpack for older children. All features and compartments are picture-labeled for simplicity.

092514_CRTPost_PacaPod_03The Changer Pod and Feeder Pod keeps baby’s food and bottles separate, hygienically and cleverly packed away from diapers and wipes in their own individual pods. The Feeder Pod contains an insulated bottle cover and space for four bottles and the Changer Pod neatly stores diapering essentials and includes a change mat to enable convenient one-hand changing.  PacaPod allows parents freedom, versatility and a stress free solution for time away from home, whether it’s a stroll in the city or a hike up a mountain.  For use beyond the baby years, all Pacapod bags can also function as laptop bags.

“As a mom when I needed something, I wanted to reach it quickly and easily,” founder/designer Jacqueline Waggett says. “Life is hectic enough with kids and knowing that I’m organized is one less thing to worry about. I design each and every PacaPod bag to help make the experience of being out and about as a parent a little easier. For me, PacaPod is about a sense of liberation. When I’m organized, I’m happy.”


Jacqueline founded PacaPod in 2008. Before launching her own brand, she was a designer for the Animal and Ellesse outdoor clothing brands.  An experienced world traveler, she adapted her bicycle panniers while cycling in New Zealand into separate compartments to make travel gear easy to pack and retrieve. Her eye for design, combined with the tips she learned for travelling light and being organized, came in handy when she realized that there was a gap in the market for great-looking and practical baby bags.  She found that most of the available baby bags were lacking in space and features and styles too were not appealing to dads.

092514_CRTPost_PacaPod_05PacaPod has received numerous international industry accolades and awards from media and organizations including Practical Parenting & Pregnancy, Junior Design, Mumpreneur and Loved by Parents.  PacaPod bags can be found in Europe at major retailers including John Lewis, Mothercare, El Corte inglés and Jojo Maman Bebe.

In the U.S., PacaPod débuts a total of 13 shoulder bags, satchels and unisex design style bags offered in three collections -Luxury, Classic and Pattern.

092314_CRTPost_FW LIFESTYLE_Group

eden & zoe

092314_CRTPost_FW LIFESTYLE_GirlBeautiful cotton and cashmere knitwear for children.

When new lifestyle children’s brand eden & zoe launched its Fall/Winter 2014 collection in early September, fans were treated to an Art Deco-inspired array of comfortable knits in modern designs using classic art deco design elements, including a striking intarsia chevron pattern and delicate floral pointelle and lace knits. Founder/designer Melissa Wang presents her designs in shades of gray, blue, brown and light pink –ideal for mix, match and layering. Each piece in this collection is named after a prominent art deco artist or designer.

My aim is to design cashmere knitwear for children that is sophisticated and understated. I believe in classic styling with a modern twist. I like to think about the details that make a garment unique yet timeless. Most importantly, it is about your child feeling comfortable and confident in what she/he is wearing.

092314_CRTPost_FW LIFESTYLE_BoyIn addition to a cool, collected boys collection, eden & zoe also introduces gorgeous new cashmere and cotton baby blankets to the entire line of accessories, cardigans, dresses, outerwear, hats, hand and leg warmers.

Melissa explains why cashmere is ideal for children’s clothing, because it’s breathable form allows the clothes made from it to be worn in all climates. Cashmere also gets softer with age and more comfortable – perfect for hand-me-downs. It’s also a renewable resource from goats native to the Mongolian highlands (and we all know how much I like goats!). The goats produce long fibers that are harvested by hand, then washed before being spun into yarn. Timeless, ageless and luxurious!

092314_CRTPost_EDENZOEBABY_01_01View the entire F/W 2014 collection here: edenandzoe.com/pages/collection. eden & zoe is currently available for purchase at www.edenandzoe.com. Worldwide shipping available.