Valentine, Be Mine (With Prizes!)

While I understand that it is patently uncool to like Valentine’s Day, I LOVE IT.  Because I love love.  And I love YOU, I LOVE YOU and I don’t care who knows it!  There I said it.

What, you’re not going to say it back?

Awkward.  High School all over again.  Panic Attack.  Crap.  Hang on while I go smoke a clove and listen to the Smiths.

Ok.  That’s cool, no pressure.  Not the point of the post today anyway.  Today, I’d like to give you something.  Just a token of my affection, a “Thanks, dude” for hanging out here every so often.  And you (yes you even though we had that weird “I love you” then silence moment) may very well win one of my prizes.  Your odds are good.

You know who else I love besides you?  I love Brooklyn.  I love Mother Brooklyn because she’s an old funny woman with a salty mouth and big robust fat loving arms.  Within her arms she holds her children – all the artists and authors and illustrators and bakers and candle stick makers.  And guess what?  A few of my Brooklyn based brothers and sisters have offered up their goods to give out to my readers.  All you need to do to win them is leave a comment here.  Say what you will.  In fact, that may be the perfect opportunity to correct your earlier silence in our, “I love you” exchange.  But you can tell me anything.  Do you love this holiday?  Hate it?  Why?  Winners will be chosen randomly on Monday.  There will be three winners.  Here’s what you get:

Where’s Walrus? by Steven Savage

This wordless book illustrated by Brooklynite Steven Savage is the tale of a rebellious walrus who has escaped from the zoo and wears clever disguises to elude the zoo keeper.  I’m a huge fan of the style of illustration in this book, not too cutesy, very clean and modern and plus?  I’m a sucker for anything having to do with a walrus.  Who isn’t?  P.S. Wordless books are like gold for the younger set who can’t read but want to feel big and successful in handling a book on their own.  A different story can be told every night, from different points of view, even switching up main characters.  The cool style and palette used in this book would even, I dare say, make it an awesome coffee table book.  But then again, my coffee table has three dirty diapers on it as we speak.  Moving on…

I Am!  ¡Yo Soy! by Kelli Bettenhausen

Kelli and her sister Kendra have put together a board book which shows infants and toddlers doing simple actions, described in both English and Spanish.  Now, there are a multitude of reasons why this book is intellectually and developmentally stimulating for the children lucky enough to have it read to them.  But in the household Nelson-Call, it is favored as part of our ritual every single night for Roan to read it to his infant twin brothers.  The reasons are two-fold: Roan enjoys donning an impressive Spanish accent and believes with all his heart that he is now mostly fluent in Spanish.  And as a result of this, there is at least a little comic relief in the normal wrestling match known as “bedtime for babies” as I get to hear my brilliant seven year-old child butcher (beautifully, though) another language.  Both the content and pictures in this book are basic yet profound ways to begin the dialogue with your kids about how special they are.  (If you’re in my hood, you can buy this book at our favorite local stores: Madison Rose, Book Court, and Gumbo).

Maid Marian Muffins by Jamie & Jessica Vander Salm

Illustrated by Ana Benaroya

I’m a sucker for people doing what they love.  That’s why this story of a girl who solves the problem of procuring a proper muffin by making her own warms my dark heart.  This story is based on the real life Jessica who is a bicycler-baker and can be seen below and all throughout Brooklyn selling her wares.  Now.  Listen up gear heads and screen lovers – this part of the prize is an app.  If you win you can specify if you’d like it for iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.  So if you don’t have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (really?  You don’t?), you’ll have to give this to someone who does.  Otherwise, this cool app has 36 pages of gorgeous illustrations and storytelling.  There’s also a feature for you to record your own story and have it be told.  Roan likes this feature.  I’m not saying he stays true to the real story.  I’m not saying anything at all.  Ok, look how amazingly cute Jessica is:

I know, right?

So.  To re-cap.  Leave a comment.  Get the chance to win a set of three prizes.  They are cool and if you don’t have kids well c’mon don’t make me tell you about re-gifting, ok?  We’re clear?  Happy Valentines Day!

37 thoughts on “Valentine, Be Mine (With Prizes!)

  1. Books? And here I was hoping I’d win a chance to babysit when I came up to visit my college buddy who lives in Queens!! 🙂

  2. As a parent of two who is sick of reading “Color Trains” every single night world without end amen, please enter me in this fabulous contest to perhaps widen our reading horizons. Thank you! Gracias!

  3. i love you, jodi-odi! i love that we’re long-time friends. and that i shared that clove cigarette and weepie smith song with you many years ago.
    i too love mother brooklyn. she’s held me in her big warm arms before as well.
    and i love love. it all it’s forms and flavors.
    book or no book, i hope you’ll be mine.

  4. I’m vibin’ on the walrus book, but any ole thing looks fab.
    I would have to refuse a clove cigarette if you were offering that though. Ack!

    Well, darling…I love you back and better than ever.
    Happy to have the P&P life line keeping me connected to my ole friend, so I can feel that we’re still kickin’ least in cyberspace. God I hate that term. let’s call it magic-digi-world then.
    OK. Done.

  5. I do like Valentine’s Day, not as much as when I was a kid though. (Putting a Valentine on a door step, ringing the bell and running was always good fun – although my husband tells me he never did this and I tell him he’s really missing out.

  6. i love valentine’s day, it is such a great holiday. I really love your site and your boys are beautiful!

  7. We are huge fans of “I Am! Yo Soy!” in our house. Therefore, we LOVE Kendra and Kelli’s book and super LOVE to love Archer…the gorgeous little boy who dons the cover. Therefore, therefore, we love you for promoting love through books.

  8. LOVE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s why we’re here, no? Rock on mother brooklyn and rock on sistah jodi! Thanks for bringing us all together.

  9. I like that you are offering a bribe for people to confess their love to you – i love how manipulative, i mean generous, you are. i will love you in a post and i will love you with a ghost. there. done. did i win?

  10. Ohhhh Man!
    I LOVE this stuff. Great books! That little tater tot’s face on that book gives me butterflies of happiness.

    Love does rule.
    Love you Jodi!

  11. I do not know you and can not imagine smoking the very thing I worked diligently to flick off my grandmother’s ham dinners, but I must say I love The Smiths and the fact there are others who experienced ‘too much caffeine in their blood stream’ and found humor in a ‘girlfriend with a coma,’ thrills me. Here I thought I was a dying breed.
    Although I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day, I am a great fan of “I AM! YO SOY!” and Kelli. She is my long-lost soul sister and she is the greatest friend a girl could have, LOVE her! As for the book, it completely encompasses the heart of what engages infants. I LOVE IT! The message is simple and powerful and who doesn’t love beautiful baby faces?? For those of you burning a hole in Good Night Moon, check it out.

  12. I just found your blog and I looooooove it. I am a mommy to an almost 3-year-old and a 7 month old. Thanks for the giveaway…new books make the almost 3-year-old and his parents jump with joy!

    Wish I had found you earlier but I’m enjoying catching up on previous posts : )

  13. It seems we have something in common. I too LOVE love, always have, always will! That said, is it wierd that I said, “I love you too, Jodi” out loud??
    I also love my dear friend Kelli. We are huge fans of “I AM! YO SOY!” It is a brilliant book for children for so many reasons!
    I am thrilled to see their hard work and dedication to children pay off!

    So, “THANKS DUDE” for mentioning it and for a very clever blog!

  14. So my silence in response to your statement was due to 1) time zones, 2)teaching college students chemistry, 3)my problem of initially skipping words in your blog to look at pictures first.

    Je t’aime, mon ami even though a) we have never actually met and b) there is a whole continent between us.

    Sexy hubby buys me a single rose, which is either placed at my seat at the table for breakfast or in the car. For past several years, he has also bought one for the offspring. I think I love V’Day more for the second then the first.

  15. I love Valentines Day. I have a ritual of sending all my grandkids fun filled (and goodies) boxes to there homes. Have not been able to this holiday. Would love the muffin app.

  16. I LOVE my AMAZING DAUGHTERS, they are incredible! I never knew such wonderful little beings could exist. I also LOVE reading with them. Your site looks wicked cool, I will be back to check it out in more detail! Enjoyed the blog.

  17. Wow, how did you know my new nephew was just born this past Sunday and that he needs some lovely new books for his collection? Ti amo

  18. Ooooh, prizes! I’m totally coming out and de-lurking to put my name in the hat. I love your blog, love your writing, love your stories, love your photos. When there is a new story that pops, I clap. I know, I’m totally sucking up, too. Your boys are darling — all of them. My only boy is only 11 months and just starting to enjoy books – i.e., have the patience to sit still long enough to look at pictures. It’s a beautiful thing, and he’s making his librarian mamma proud.

    And by the way, do you not adore those swaddle blankets you have? We used them constantly when my son was tiny, and they were just perfect for so many things. I’m so nostalgic for them that they are the only item in my baby collection that I have offered any portion of to my expectant mamma friends.

    Geez, this post is full of cheesey grins. Must be valentine’s day! Happy love day to you and yours.

  19. You had me at “problem of procuring a proper muffin.” The walrus book looks super awesome! The 8 month old fetus in my belly thinks it’s super awesome too. 🙂

  20. I’m so happy that you love Valentine’ Day! I love it too! Always have….even when I didn’t have a date!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  21. Way to increase your comments! 😉 Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all of the boys and man in your life!

  22. I have two little nieces who would love to have new books at Auntie’s house. Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and keep the great pics of all your kiddos comin’!

  23. This is so much fun! And all of the prizes are really neat. And cute. And would totally be a great excuse for my niece to come over and play!

    I like Valentines Day because it’s my day to buy cheesy gifts for my boyfriend which I would otherwise be too cool to buy. BoldLoft brings out some real cheese. This year I got him a set of mugs from there so he knows how much cheese love I have for him while we drink coffee together. And then I will proceed to listen to The Smiths and smoke my cloves 🙂

    Thanks for being great!


  24. I love Valentines Day. How can I not? It’s my wedding anniversary! Going on 10 years woohoo!

    Anyway, great site! Adorable boys.

  25. Niiice books – unique and thoughtful collection of 3. Lovin’ it. Lovin’ you and your awesome posts. Happy V.D.

  26. I want those books. All those books! I will give them to my twin baby nephews and 7 year old nephew.
    Oh nevermind.
    You want bbsitting? Hi.

    Don’t let this post win.

  27. Wow! Thank you so much Jodi! I think that if I saw the Brooklyn bicycling baker Jessica I would squeal and pass out instantly. I live in a small town in the south and we just don’t have bicycling bakers. I sure wish we did though.
    You are amazing & I love how you make Brooklyn seem like this magical village you only read about in storybooks. You are an awesome mom and you remind me of how my mom was when I was growing up, and I have such fond memories of my childhood. Thanks Jodi <3

  28. Would love the books for my 6 month old daughter.
    I don’t know what to think about Valentine’s day. My husband and I stopped celebrating after our life became too crazy with our two boys. Now that we have a third it’s nearly impossible. We decided that we didn’t need a one day to tell each other or show each other how much we love each other. But still just for a few minutes I get that nagging feeling, that perhaps we should do something special…

  29. Not sure there are many better ways to show your kids you LOVE them than with a book! In that vein, you and your readers might be interested in The nursery rhyme site, created by a NY mom and designed by educators, offers lyrics, printouts, videos, songs, etc. Reading/singing/fingerplay all help you and your child bond, and meanwhile your little one is learning all about vocabulary and phonics and language. Happy rhyming!

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