How To Seal White Paint

“A children’s story that can only be
enjoyed by children is not a good
children’s story in the slightest.”
- C.S Lewis

Kevin’s a big book reader. He’s got heaps of them around the house, and he carries his trusty Nook with him wherever he goes. I find it propped against my pillow every morning because he goes to bed reading something or another on it every night. (How he falls asleep while staring (so closely) at a lit-up screen I will never know- ha!) He’s a non-fiction guy (with the exception of Andy Andrews)…

Good Books
(Outliers, Beautiful Outlaw, Tunesmith, Mastering the Seven Decisions, Linchpin, Mere Christianity)

…and I’m a storybook/gift book kinda gal:

Favorite books for kids and adults

(Someday, The GardenerThe Giving Tree, How To Live On An Island, Cloudette, The Dot)

Most of his books feel a little bit like homework to me (ha!), but I am super inspired by his passion for personal growth and I love it when he shares the highlights of what he  reads with me. It’s a fun ride-to-town ritual we have…talking about our books, I mean. They may be sold in different sections, but the heart of the matter is always very much the same. :-)

And speaking of books…

The built-in bookcase/storage unit is coming together beautifully. Remember the room before?

Kids Room | Before | The Lettered Cottage

And remember the (rough) drawing I put together for Brian the Carpenter to use as a guide?

Built In Idea

Well, here’s what he whipped up while I was under the weather last week:

Custom Built In Storage and Bookcase | Kids Room | Home Office

Isn’t that great? He’s such a talented guy! (That reminds me: Brian took a leap of faith and started his own carpentry business this year! If you’re looking to hire an exceptional guy in the Montgomery, Prattville, Wetumpka areas of Alabama, you can reach him at [email protected].)

Like I mentioned in a previous post, I would’ve used a dresser next to the bedroom door anyway, and that would’ve created some wasted space in front of the “bump out” wall, so taking the storage from floor to ceiling, and building a 20″ deep storage unit, and a 9.25″ deep bookcase seemed to be the way to go.

Today, he’s putting up a couple of walls full of planks…

Wood Plank Wall | Home Office | Kids Room

…and I’m sealing the old shutters Lucy found for us to use on the storage unit to the left of the bookcase.

Layla and Lucy

Turns out we were actually looking at the back side of the shutters in that photo above. Here’s what the front side looks like:

Old shutters | Built In Storage and Bookcase

We realized that if they were hanging on the front of a house, they would’ve been open all the time. Since we’re using them in a way that will leave them closed most of the time, we’ll see the gray/wheat-colored side of them…which I’m pretty excited about because I love the way they pop against all the white-painted wood around them.

Old Shutters

The entire front back side of both of the shutters is crackled just beautifully, and I was determined to find a sealer that would A) prevent the beautifully crackled paint from chipping off, and B) never turn yellow. Thankfully, I’ve got a friend named Jennifer who has lots of experience with old stuff covered in crackled paint. She texted me with the solution I was searching for, and assured me that whatever I slather it onto won’t ever chip, and will always stay white. Her secret: Peel Stop.

Non-yellowing sealer made to use on top of white or chipping paint

I had never heard of it, but I found it right away on Amazon. Jennifer said a little bit goes a long way, so I just ordered a quart. It was really easy to work with. I just applied it with a regular 2.5″ paint brush. The can says to use two coats, but I wanted to make sure the shutters were really good and sealed, so I applied three. I gave the shutters a nice sheen, and the paint seems to be permanently sealed into place. Thanks again, Jennifer!

Anywho- back to the built-in bookcase. Now that our kiddo’s room/future home office has almost 36 square feet of shelves in front of the bump out wall, I’m getting excited about the idea of filling them with some great books. Do you have any other good recommendations that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages? After all, a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children…well, you know.  ;-)

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  1. Kris says

    I just got back from a trip to the library to check out kid’s books! There are the classic choices which are excellent–The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Little House books, Beatrix Potter, and Winnie-the-Pooh (the original version, NOT the Walt Disney-ized ones), to name a few. My kids love Dick King-Smith’s books–they are humorous stories about animals (the movie Babe–about a pig–was based on his book by the same name) and they appeal to both boys and girls. The Redwall series by Brian Jacques are excellent (my son started reading them in fourth grade) and either of the above authors write books that are fun and engaging for parents to read. Reading with my children and watching them learn to love to read has been one of my greatest joys as a parent. I love that you are creating a bookshelf in the bedroom–consider creating a cozy, comfy seat to encourage even more reading–it truly is a gift that keeps giving!

  2. Sherry Berrett says

    Oh I love children’s books! For Christmas and Mother’s Day my boys always give me picture books. I love that it’s a gift we can share together. Here’s some favorites:

    Grandpa Green
    Brother Sun, Sister Moon
    Not a Box
    The Elephant and Piggie series
    Red Sings from Treetops
    All The World
    Amos McGee’s Sick Day

    And for Chapter read-alouds:
    Nurse Matilda Series
    Chronicles of Narnia
    Thirteen Clocks (actually, any of James Thurber’s kids books)
    Alice in Wonderland

    I’m excited to see this room come together for your little one. What an exciting journey!

  3. Kim says

    It’s looking great! We just LOVE books at our house, too – especially children’s books! Some favs through the years have been the Sandra Boynton board books (But Not the Hippopotamus is a fav!). My kids also loved this book by an Iowa author and illustrator

    And some new favorites are Steam Train Dream Train and Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, along with The Little Blue Truck books. So much good stuff out there! Enjoy!

  4. Christy Keyton says

    Hi Layla, I was an early childhood major and we have eight kids, so I have an EXTENSIVE children’s library. I give classic children’s books at baby showers! So it warms my heart to see that you love books so much and want to read to your sweet child. Some of my favorite children’s authors and illustrators are Paul Galdone, Robert McCloskey, Bernard Waber, Ezra Jack Keats, and Margaret Wise Brown. For an extensive list and an all around great book about reading to your kids, get Gladys Hunt’s book Honey for a Child’s Heart. It is an old book first published in 1969, but in its third edition. The subtitle is “Imaginative Use of Books in Family Life”. I love her perspective and her book lists!

  5. Liz says

    I have that book, “Someday”. I tried reading it to my baby girl and was completely sobbing after the first page. My 3 year old son now calls it “the book that makes Mommy cry”.

    We’re obsessed with children’s books in our house. “Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots” is a favorite this month.

  6. Pat says

    Hi Layla,
    Pretty much an Ma Lacado children’s book will be perfect. They are always interest-holding for kids, and leave a lesson learned for kids as well as adults. As a retired teacher, mom, and grandma, max Lacado books are frequently a gift I give. Your room looks lovely already and I can just tell that it is going to be filled with love and laughter!

  7. Donna says

    Love the bookshelves–especially the display area so that you can see the book covers and not just the spine! Educators love to display their picture books using rain gutters as shelves. When the gutters are hung at the children’s eye level, the books are easily accessible. I have a feeling your kiddo will love reading as much as Kevin!

  8. says

    Your bookshelves are looking beautiful! We love our library of children’s books. The first book we read to our child was Goodnight Moon—and it continues to be a favorite! A beautiful book for families blessed by adoption is Happy Adoption Day by John McCutcheon. Room for a Little One is a wonderful Christmas story for children. We’d also recommend books by Eric Carle, Mo Willems, Laura Numeroff, Jan Brett, and Gloria Houston. Have fun reading and choosing special books in anticipation of your child! This time can be so special as you pray and prepare!

  9. Trish says

    Guess How Much I Love You
    Harold and the Purple Crayon
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    :) Just to name a few!

  10. Tania Russell says

    Hi Layla! I just love your blog–it’s so inspiring! Anyway, you probably already know if this book, but “The Velveteen Rabbit” is my favorite children’s book. It has such a lovely message for both kids and adults! xo

  11. says

    Hi Layla! I’ve been reading your blog for years, loving your style and being compelled to Jesus by the beauty, desire, and hope that shine through you. I was excited today to see that Kevin’s been reading Beautiful Outlaw! I work for Ransomed Heart (the ministry started by John Eldredge) and we would love to send you and Kevin some other books by John and his wife, Stasi, as our gift to you. (In fact, I wanted to do that long ago!) If you’re interested, shoot me an email. These resources have been so helpful and life-changing to me and so many others on our journeys to restoration and intimacy with God. Let me know!

  12. Alice says

    So, so many. “This is the Turkey” Abby Levine Makes me cry…everytime…Grandpas always knows what to say.
    “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” makes me cry….The Innocent kindness of children touches a very sad mans heart.
    That will do for now….If I book makes me cry I love it. (:

  13. Trudi says

    We are book addicts around here and homeschooling for nearly 20 years just added to our addiction:) I will stay clear of the “typical” or more traditional recommendations (which are wonderful!) and throw out some that may not be mentioned in other posts.

    We had many happy hours reading Patricia Polacco – Chicken Sunday and Babushka Baba Yaga are the top two favorites. It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny, The Tooth Book, and Sesame Street’s There’s a Monster at the End of This Book each produced many giggles.

    Our oldest daughter, now 23, said to be sure and mention the Magic Tree House series, Stinky Cheese Man, and the Amelia Bedelia books. Not leaving well enough alone she added Darth Vader and Son, Ian Falconer’s Olivia series, Skippyjon Jones, I Want My Hat Back, and Somebody Stole My Hat. She concluded her personal recommendation that all children should be well stocked with Calvin and Hobbs from a young age.

    Ah….we love books. Most of these are small child recommendations. If you want older/chapter book recommendations give a shout out! We are happy to oblige.

    Happy reading,

  14. Shelley says

    Dear Layla,
    You bring great JOY to my life! It’s been such fun watching the transformation of Sweet P’s new room…Brian is a wonder! I too loved sharing the gift of reading and books with our two daughters when they were little. Here is a ‘very’ small list of a few special books and authors in our collection, some Canadian cause that’s where we’re from :)
    Love you Forever, by Robert Munsch. Except for this book, he has a quirky sense of humour that will grow with your child. The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. The Christmas Miracle of Johnathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski. Anything by Jan Brett and Deborah Turney Zagwyn.
    A cozy chair and the library will become blessed places in your lives

  15. says

    This stuff is perfect! My SIL has a pressed back chair with chippy paint in the loft of their garage. She said I could have it, and since this will work for exteriors, it will work perfectly. I want to use the chair in my flower garden…it’s not safe to sit on, so it will just be for decoration.

    Love the bookcase! It’s going to look great when you’re finished!

  16. Heather says

    I have a question for you today in regards to the planked walls that Brian is putting up in the room. It looks like he is leaving the current base/trim in place and installing the planked walls around it. Is that correct? If so, what material is he using on the walls and how is he installing it (i.e. glue/nail, leaving a space between the boards or not, etc.? Thank you for your help!

    I am a book lover too… lots of great books out there for kiddos. Some of my favorite memories with our kids are snuggling up and reading books together. Some of our favorite read aloud chapter books are The Boxcar Children series (the older ones), Little House on the Prairie series, The Secret Garden, and the Narnia series. Picture books… love too many to even try to list!


    “Dinosaur Roar” is one that my two year old and 4 year old LOVE. It’s all in how you read it. ;) (Yeah, I like to ham it up with them so I’d say that adults love it too.) Also, is a place for creating personalized children’s books. We did one each for the kids at Christmas and they are adorable. Beautiful illustrations and cute stories.

  18. Judy Anne says

    Oh my gosh, my favorite part of having kids was reading with them! I loved to do voices with some of the stories. Some favorites;

    All About Alfie, by Shirley Hughes, comforting, loving, real, very British

    James Herriot’s Treasury for Children, by the famous Vet, we always loved our animal stories…I read the adult books by Herriot with my kids when they got older, too. So great!

    Beatrix Potter, with an English Accent and different voices for different characters.

    All the Eloise books by Kay Thompson with the wonderful illustrations by Hilary Knight

    Amelia Bedelia series

    Mr. Putter and Tabby Series, so sweet

    All About Alice, by Penny Dale

    A. A. Milne and Shepard, the Winnie the Pooh books

    Astrid Lingren, the Swedish author is good, we had “Lotta’s Bike”

    Dr. Seuss, Nurse Matilda, Madeline, Babar, Caps for Sale, Miss Rumphius, Raggedy Ann…..oh my goodness, you are in for so much fun!

  19. says

    Peel Stop works great. We’ve been using it for a few years. Our house was horribly painted (when it was new!) and all the paint peels and chips off our walls easily. We can put painter’s tape on our walls and rip the paint easily off. So as I’ve slowly been repainting the house I have to do the extra step of putting Peel Stop on the walls before I paint them. Painter’s tape no longer pulls chippy paint off our walls when we use Peel Stop! We asked about it at all the local big box home improvement stores and none of them carried it. Luckily, our local True Value stocks it!

  20. Elaine says

    LOVE children’s books! Don’t miss E.J, Keats Snowy Day; also Humphrey’s First Christmas – a dear, dear story about a baby camel going to see the Baby Jesus. Also the Skippy Jon Jones books; the Cowboy and Bear books by J.W. Anglund.

    And each December 1 give your baby (or get an aunt or grandmother to start/continue the tradition) a Christmas book or two. Add to the collection each year and soon you will have the most wonderful collection (kept in a special Christmas box and only brought out each year on December 1) of Christmas books of all sorts. On Christmas Eve read the Christmas story from the Bible. The “goal” is to have (at least) 23 Christmas books + a child’s Bible and a copy of Twas the Night before Christmas. My Grands just love to get out that box and at ages 11 and 9 and as good readers, they still delight in hearing these books read or reading them themselves. So excited for all of you!

  21. Sunni says

    All of Phoebe Stone’s children’s books – “When the Wind Bears Go Dancing”, “What Night Do the Angels Wander”, “In God’s Name” are beautiful. My daughter loved them. Her illustrations are breathtaking and she has great diversity. My daughter was adopted from China and she loved finding the Asian angels in her stories! She is a Vermont writer – you can find the books on Amazon.

  22. Dina says

    I Love the Nancy Tillman books! The artistry is captivating. My daughter loved looking at them as early as a few months old. The stories are beautifully sentimental, and we both enjoy them for quiet time!

  23. Kristen says

    Thanks! I have an old door that is sooooo chippy & crackly that I cannot wait to turn into a table top with a piece of glass on top. That product will be perfect to seal it with. Book recommendation…. The Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones!!! :-)

  24. rachael says

    My FAVORITE book of all time was given to us by a neighbor when we had our daughter. It’s called “On the night you were born” by Nancy Tillman. “Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.” A must-have book for you to enjoy with your little one. It brings tears to my eyes almost every time I read it!

  25. sandy johnson says

    My kids loved “Quick As A Cricket” when they were little. The pictures are fantastic and it is fun to read it using different voices depending on the animal. My oldest had it memorized at 3 yrs and recited it in a talent contest at church! :)

  26. Melissa Dahl says

    The JESUS Storybook Bible is wonderful. Ours is held together with tape! Our family also enjoys the Seeds Family Worship cds.

  27. Tara says

    Thanks for the tip! We have an old door I wasn’t too keep all crackly and use as a headboard.
    My son and I love “The Gruffalo”, “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes”.

  28. Nancy says

    My favorite to “read” my kids was Goodnight Gorilla. Very few words–it was lots of fun to make up my own. :)

    Good luck!

  29. Amanda says

    We LOVE all of Patricia Polacco’s books! Even my husband has cried reading all of the ones we own, lol! My favorites are “Pink and Say”, “Thank You, Mr. Falker”, and “The Christmas Tapestry”. The illustrations are just stunning, too!

  30. says

    A great book for all ages is WONKY DONKEY.

    It’s got a cd with it so Kevin can play and sing along too.
    It really is fabulous! I’ve bought it for all the kids I know…lot’s of fun
    Beware though, you won’t be able to get the tune out of your head

    The bookcases look fab!

  31. says

    I just bought my kiddos a wonderful book about being the best you can be for yourself and God. It is titled, “Why am I here?” by Matthew Kelly.

    It’s fantastic!

  32. says

    Everything is looking great, Layla!


    Congratulations and best wishes on your new business. If I were anywhere in Alabama, I would be knocking on your new business door. I love seeing what you’re doing on The Lettered Cottage. I’ve no doubt that new business door is going to be swinging. Good luck!



  33. says

    Oooo I just used peel stop on the ceiling of my girls room. I was so happy to find it because the ceiling started flaking around the edges from a wallpaper steamer. So glad you found it too! It’s going to look great!

  34. says

    my all time favorite book: the little prince. well, it isn’t exactly a small child book, but whoooooooooooboy, is it a good one.
    i would love to send you a copy if you have a po box or something you could email to me (hellohahanarf at gmail).

  35. denise says

    I just love the book Otis by Loren Long. It is more of a picture book with a super cute short story. It was my book of the holiday. I pick one book that I fall in love with and buy a bunch of them for all the young children in our life.

  36. says

    A few years ago my sister gave me a book entitled “Love You Forever” which stumped me because I wondered why in the world she was giving me a children’s book…turns out its a book that can be enjoyed by all….in fact, I can’t read it without crying my eyeballs out! It would be a perfect book for you, Kevin and your “little one” once he arrives.

  37. says

    So many – my girls loved all the Eric Carle books and of course, Dr. Seuss are fun to read! As they got older they loved Magic Treehouse, Cam Janssen, They Mysterious Life of Edward Tulane, Trumpet of the Swans, Charlotte’s Web, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nihm and the Mysterious Benedict Society series.


  38. Colleen Pettit says

    Love what you are doing with the room! We love books here too! Although my kiddos are pretty much grown up (daughter, second year of college and son, senior in high school), we still love children’s books. We have saved all our favorites and get them out from time to time and laugh and enjoy them all over again!!
    My sons favs… Rattlebang: The Story of the Good Samaritan by Mark McCord, Little Critter series by Mercer Meyer, and Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw (brings me to tears every time).
    My daughters favs… Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman, Alice in Bibleland series by Alice J. Davidson, and of course anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder. :)
    These books, and many others, are all safely tucked away in hopes of someday… (at least 10 years)… LOL! I can get them out and share them again with a new generation. So excited about your sweet pea!! Praying for you and Kevin.

  39. Denise says


    I think you would love “God Found Us You” by Lisa Tawn Bergren and beautifully illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. So excited for you as you prepare for your new addition.

  40. says

    Oh, how I love children’s books! I used to teach 1st and 2nd grade, and I have quite a collection. :) Our Christmas books are still out at the moment, and my favorite one (which I think you will like too) is Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant. Other random favorites that come to mind are Going to Sleep on the Farm by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch, and Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae. Have fun filling your shelves!

  41. says

    I have some awesome ebooks that my grand kids love:

    Nighty night
    The wrong book
    Cranky bear
    Ben tractor
    The monster at the end of the book – books 1&2
    The Splat the Cat series

    They are all interactive and we have to read all of them before bed when they’re here. Nighty night is the perfect wind down book before bed and even our 9 year old grandson still loves turning off the lights in the farmyard.

    We adopted my 28 year old son from sth Korea when he was just 5 months old. He completed our family of 4 kids beautifully. His name is Samuel (gift of God) Nathan (God gave) and the joy of Gods blessing is as strong in me when I look at his face today as it was when I first met him.

    No matter what ups and downs you face with your child, the moment your eyes first meet will never leave your spirit. Enjoy your little one, Layla. You can’t begin to comprehend the days of blessing ahead of you. Xxx

  42. Marianne in Vancouver says

    I’ve always enjoyed your room transformations; you’ve got great ideas!

    Here are some of my suggestions for your and your child’s library:

    Any books by Robert Munsch. Especially good:
    Love You Forever
    The Paperbag Princess
    I Have to Go
    Murmel Murmel Murmel (is actually about adoption; he made it up just as they were adopting their first son.)

    ‘People’ written and illustrated by Peter Spier. This was one of my sons’ favourite books (they are now 27 & 30) and I still give it to new parents. It has simple text and lots of illustrations showing the differences between people, cultures, religions, etc. This is a classic work to help open up the subjects of diversity and understanding to children — topics that are sometimes hard for adults to convey.

  43. says

    This is a list of adoption books recommended by friends and parents within our adoption agency in case you don’t already have some people have told you about! Hope this is helpful!
    Chosen By Love
    On The Far Side of Poplar Pond
    Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born
    God Found Us You
    We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families
    You Are My Wish Come True
    I Wished For You: An Adoption Story
    I Love You So Much…
    Born From The Heart

  44. Gwen Carswell says

    Hi Layla………”Where the Wild Things Are”……….I still take it off the shelf to read myself and my daughter is 29! Wonderful book & it’s still fun to do the voices!

  45. says

    I didn’t read the previous comments, so these might have already been mentioned. Here are some of our favorites:

    Llama, Llama Red Pajama
    The Night Pirates
    Little Fox Goes to the End of the World
    Elephant and Piggie Books
    The Mitten
    A Bad Case of Stripes
    Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth
    Ira Sleeps Over
    Skippyjon Jones

    Starting a children’s library is so much fun! I know you will enjoy it!

  46. jennifer says

    Thanks for the Peel Stop tip. The room is going to be fantastic.

    Now for children’s books:

    Mo Willems is a winner. The Pigeon books and Piggy and Gerald books are fantastic. I help at my child’s school library and the kids from Kindergarten – 2nd love them.
    Jonathan London’s Froggy books are great.
    Ed Shankman writes fun books that rhyme.
    Audrey Penn The Kissing Hand
    Audrey and Don Wood The Napping House
    For a seasonal book Caralyn Buehner Snowmen at Night can not be beat!
    For Halloween my 7 yr old still loves Phyllis Root Who Sad Boo and Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate!

    So many books so little time.

  47. Tami B. says

    I loved reading this blog post and can “feel” your excitement over your soon to be addition. Two books that my son absolutely loved for me to read to him (almost as much as I enjoyed reading to him!) when he was a peanut was “Goodnight Moon” and “I Love You This Much.” I have the books stored away somewhere and would give you the names of each author if I could find the books, but I’m sure if you look on Amazon, you could find them. Jeremy is 24 y/o now and still fondly remembers those nights when I would read those books to him.

  48. ErinY says

    I’m a fan of Harold and the Purple Crayon, and one of my absolute favorites as a kid was Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch. Anything by Eric Carle is also great for little ones.

    For kids who are a bit older I absolutely loved Sideways Stories from Wayside School. My teacher used to read a chapter to us every day after recess and when a new character was introduced she would create an amazing chalk drawing to surprise us when we came back in. I also loved The Giver and Holes. Louis Sachar is the author of both Holes and Sideways Stories, so I’m sure he has some other great books as well.

  49. Tabs says

    I’m a librarian and it makes my heart happy to hear about parents reading to their littles! <3
    Picture Books:
    Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
    The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
    The Little House by Virgnia Lee Burton
    Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henke
    Click Clack Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
    Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
    True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
    Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe

    Chapter Books:
    Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
    From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
    The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
    Tale of Despereaux by Katie DiCamillo
    Holes by Louis Sachar
    And these links might help:

    • Kris says

      I was coming back to mention Kate DiCamillo and saw her mentioned here. She also has an easier chapter book series, the Mercy Watson books, which are quirky and fun. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments and thinking, “Oh YEAH! How could I have forgotten that one???” Clearly you have many passionate readers here!

  50. Holly says

    Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my Dad reading to me before bed so I love that you and Kevin are wanting to pass along the love of reading/books onto your little peanut.
    My favorite all time book is Le Petite Prince. My dad first read it to me when I entered kindergarten (almost took all year as I completely did not have the attention span for this book but he read it like a picture book) and then again when I entered middle school and then we read it again separately and talked about it when I entered high school. This book and it’s message is timeless. Everyone who reads this book takes away something different which is why my Dad read it to me over the years because our understanding, scope of knowledge and views changed and grew.
    The ideas and teachings from this book are ones that I try to carry in life and can only hope that you and Kevin find such happiness reading to your little one as I did having my Dad read to me.

    “The most beautiful things can not be seen or touched, they are felt by the heart” – Antoine de Saint Exupery

  51. Catherine says

    My favorite book for little ones is ‘Jamberry’ Luckily my M-I-L has kept us supplied through the years, as we love one to death she gives another. Your future little one is lucky that you both love books so much. Can’t wait to hear more him/her!

  52. Gloria says

    Ask for recommendations and you are going to get them I’m sure. Pick up a copy of the book Honey For a Child’s Heart. She gives great recommendations for every age between 0-14. Highly recommended on many homeschooling websites. That said, my boys love all the classics. Target had Junior Classics in the $1 section a while back. We’ve gone through them all: Pinnochio, Wizard of Oz, Call of the Wild, Moby Dick, Peter Pan. The real versions are SO much better than Disney. The language is rich and detailed. Narnia and The Hobbit (the book is not scary like the movie with its images and thematic music) will intrigue a 5 year old for hours. Curious George and Berenstein Bears are my favorites for toddlers. I love my collection of vintage Little Golden Books often found at thrift stores or flea markets, the older the better. The illustrations are adorable. But they are ready to listen to the classics as soon as 3 believe it or not. We underestimate what they understand too often.

  53. Arlene says

    Loved bedtime with my kids – we read books every night til they got to high school! (at that time we were involved in a major renovation of our home and it was total upheaval, or we probably would have continued) We read all kinds – all the typical kids picture books, even non-fiction books about nature – life stages and cycles of animals and insects (I was secretly thrilled they were interested). Then chapter books – Box Car Children, all the way up to James Herriott All Creatures Great and Small series. My husband and I would take turns reading to them, but it was a family event that EVERYONE sat down and listened. Miss those days! One author I didn’t see mentioned in the comments, although I didn’t read every one, is Bill Peet. My kids absolutely loved his books and I even bought his biography and they were enthralled with that also.

  54. Donna Doble-Brown says

    Dr Seuss “oh the places you’ll go” needs to be in the bookcase! My kids received that as a gift as infants and you know we have quoted it many times throughout their lives! I also think you’d love “Corduroy’s Christmas” wonderful story . . . Was a smell me -lift the patch type of book and the kids loved it for years! But honestly anything you put is going to be GREAT!!!!!! Bookcase looks FAB! That Brian does wonderful work with your direction …… Hope you’re feeling better! :)

  55. Jenn A says

    Chronicles of Narnia
    100 Cupboards Trilogy by N.D. Wilson
    Winnie-the-Pooh is essential!
    Roald Dahl – especially Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    Betsy, Tacy, Tib series by Maude Hart Lovelace (for girls)
    Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maude Montgomery
    Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McKlosky

    There are so many!! =) Have fun filling those shelves!

  56. Kim G says

    The shelving unit looks great! I love Andy Andrews! I got to briefly meet him back in 2006 when he was a speaker at a conference I went to. He was so nice and genuine. I am an avid reader as well (I like all kinds of books). My son and I read together every night before he goes to sleep.

  57. LuAnn says

    For little ones, I love “Good Night, Hattie, My Dearie, My Dove”.
    For those a little older, there are all different age levels and re-writes of Pilgrims Progress. They even come in very simple picture book form.

  58. Cindy says

    Last summer my grandson and I discovered Deputy Dan and the Bank Robbers at the library when he came for a week long visit…. read it about a dozen times out loud using our best southern accents…. laughed til we almost threw up.

    Best rhythm book back when my kids were small was “Hand Hand Fingers Thumb” – dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum

    I can almost recite the thing by heart now….

    Loving the way this cabinet is turning out!

  59. says

    You can never go wrong with Shel Silverstein. My fave is Runny Babbit. Just be prepared to be tongue tied and laugh… Little g
    girls require “Pinkalicious” and boys can’t miss out on “The Big Red Barn”

  60. Wendy says

    The “Toot & Puddle” series by Holly Hobbie is a MUST. Wonderful stories and amazing pictures (watercolors). Other favorites are the McDuff series (Rosemary Wells), the Angelina the Ballerina series (Katharine Holabird), anything by Sandra Boyton (she also has some books that have a music CD with them!). I really could go on and on and on! Have fun!!

  61. says

    I don’t have children but I got distracted in the book aisle at Target one day. I think its called ‘The day the crayons quit” so stinkin cute. It was creative and I loved the photos. It was just fun. You could always have a book themed shower if anyone was going to throw you one. Have everyone bring their favorite book as a gift!

  62. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Now you know I am slightly kooky……….
    Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Book Shower and for those of us, who want to, could send a book for Sweet Pea’s Library????
    This could be so much fun. And, if you got any duplicates, you could donate them to your church library!

    Just sayin…………

  63. Tomena says

    Hey Layla! I LOVE IT! Wish I had one too. I am a mother of 6 (soon 7) and I homeschooled for awhile. My favorite series for kids is the Mr. Putter books written by Cynthia Rylant. LUV them! Also by Cynthia Puppies and Piggies. And I love the Bubba and Beu books (can’t remember author) I also have a special place in my heart for “Out Came the Sun” by Heather Collins it’s my favorite nursery rhyme book (nothing else touches it in pictures or content), Other classic favorites of my kids are “A bad case of the Stripes”, “You’re All My Favorites”, “What are you so Grumpy About?”, and “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” …just to name a few ;) So excited for you guys (we adpoted too and it’s wonderful!)

  64. Deborah says

    The Velveteen Rabbit ( a must have)
    Old McDonald had a Farm by Child’s Play (a good board book with cut outs)
    Love you More
    Goodnight Moon
    Any of The Golden Books (new or old ones)

    I’m a grandmother and I have loved reading to my grandchildren. They each have a favorite that they always asked me to read when young.

  65. Tracy B says

    Love your blog and am so excited for you guys! A few favorite books for younger ages are:
    Owl Babies
    Big Red Barn
    Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear
    Big Green Pocketbook
    Blueberries for Sal
    Angus Lost

    When my children were a little older, we used a homeschool curriculum called Five in a Row that is based on great children’s books. All the books were wonderful, but a few of our favorites were:
    Story About Ping
    The Rag Coat
    How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
    Papa Piccolo
    Night of the Moonjellies
    Owl Moon
    A New Coat for Anna
    Miss Rumphius
    The Raft
    Mailing May

    Blessings to you!!

  66. says

    The Gardener is my all-time favorite children’s book EVER. I bought it when I was pregnant with our first (we have three now), and I tear up every single time I read it. It’s hands down the most amazing book ever, ever, ever.
    My mom bought my sister and I Someday for Mother’s Day a few years ago and I can’t read that one without crying either. :)
    The room is looking amazing!

  67. says

    Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton…it’s SO much fun to read with the rhythm…

    Junie B. Jones loves Handsome Warren by Barbara Park (but then you’ll want to read all the others!)

    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.

    Dr. Seuss’s ‘My Many Colored Days’

    Fanny’s Dream by Caralyn Buehner.

    I pinky promise that you will love those books…like, they’re terrific for kiddos, but YOU will love them.

  68. says

    I am so glad to hear Brian is starting his own business. I always thought “I wish I had a Brian!” I have a feeling he will do very well. As for the books– don’t get me started! When my girls were little I always gave books to the kids who had birthday parties. There were always so many toys and could never be enough books, right? My girls are now 11 and 14 but we have saved some special ones. I will start by saying (if your child is very young) that the board books are so great for travel/car and moving about. Dr. Suess board books along with the Susan Boynton Going to Bed book. Oh just wait, the sing-songy voice that comes with some books after you have read them over and over! Books for kids a bit older–our faves that we saved:
    The Little Engine That Could
    Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
    (both of the above were read to my girls by their great grand mother and mean alot to us)
    Make Way for Ducklings
    Blueberries for Sal
    One Morning in Maine
    All of the Jan Brett books! Her stories are wonderful and sweet and the artwork is our favorite. A must!!!
    Strega Nona
    Yes, some of these seem not your garden variety but this is what we saved. Many are Caldecott winners and just so unique.

  69. Sherri Farrell says

    Love all things “book”!!! I wish I had a way to get you all the children’s books I have in storage!!! As a former elementary teacher, I’ve got a ton, and I’m paying to keep them (as well as a multitude of other school stuff) in storage!!! Note to self: clean out storage unit!!!
    I love The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. I love how the story goes from text to drawings and back again. It truly lets your imagination run away with you!!!

  70. Isobel says

    “3 in 1″. It may be out of print but it is worth searching for. It brings the principle of the trinity into perspective for very young children using an apple as an example. My kids enjoyed it. Thankfully they are both living for the Lord today. I pray your child will also walk this path. I believe you and your husband will set a great example.

  71. Lucinda says

    My favorite books for children include:

    Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories (4 volumnes)
    Love you Forever
    Velveteen Rabbit

    Looking forward to more of your adoption story.

  72. Missi says

    Wish I’d known this two years ago! We did a white pickling stain on the trim/vanity in the bathroom and coated it w/varnish, even tho I insisted it would turn yellow and my dad insisted it wouldn’t. Well, now all the pickled wood is a horrid pink-yellow color and has to be redone. Ugly. Will definitely remember this for when we do the kitchen cabinets!

  73. says

    Didn’t have time to read all the comments to see if these were mentioned already but “Where is the Green Sheep” by Mem Fox was a huge favourite of our kids plus anything by Mo Willems. We have books all over our house so it is hard to only recommend a few. When he is older, Roald Dahl are fabulous.

  74. Mary Jane says

    My children loved “PJ Funybunny, Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman, the Dr Seuss books, and since we just passed Christmas, the Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is a wonderful book. Reading with your children from a young age gives them a love of books All of my children still love to hunker down with a good book on a rainy day.
    There are so many great books to enjoy.

  75. says

    Hi Layla!

    I have the PERFECT author to refer to you. His name is Greg Foley and he writes the sweetest, most genuine children’s books ever. Not only do my young children love his books, but I do too! I read them to myself all the time.

    Thank You Bear
    Don’t Worry Bear
    I Miss You Bear
    Whilouby And The Lion

    Just to name a few….

    You can find his books on Amazon. You will LOVE all of his books, I know!!

    All my best,

  76. says

    The Gruffalo …is a MUST and Time for Bed has beautiful illustrations (and is the best bedtime book EVER- makes me sleepy anyway :)

  77. Gillianne says

    When Sweet P is older, the Henry and Mudge books are terrific and have some subtle life lessons. But for younger Master P, a book I always enjoyed reading aloud, because it’s amazingly musical and fun to speak and hear (with great illustrations, too), is The Pattaconk Brook, by James Stevenson ( It’s a gender-neutral book, great to read with other moms in a playgroup setting. Highly recommend, along with the classics others are listing.

  78. Therese Herrema says

    I have been loving your blog for sometime now, and I have to say your a breath of fresh air to me.
    I love the built it and the plank wall, it’s all coming together nicely, and will be a beautiful room. I can’t wait to see the finish product.
    I also truly enjoy reading what you have to share about your husband and life.
    after reading so many blogs it’s a delight having one be so honest and pure.
    Best to you for 2014, keep up the good work.

  79. Rose L says

    The shelving unit is fantastic! So much extra storage in a piece that takes care of an architectural dilemma all in one great project…just perfect! And thanks for the tip on the Peel Stop too. I think I’ve inquired of at least a dozen “professionals” about how to preserve old painted antiques and they act like I have three eyes. I can now seal the old cabinet that’s in my cellar and bring it into the house and put it back to work. I’m thrilled!! Have a great evening :)

  80. says

    I love the shelves! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to really read! I have so many books I hope they love as much as I did :)

  81. jewelee says

    I love all the books by the Ahlbergs.

    The Jolly Postman
    Each Peach Pear Plum
    The Baby’s Catalogue (great for vocabulary)

  82. Geri says

    Love You Forever

    Written by Robert Munsch

    Just a little but wonderful book…I highly recommend….can’t wait for your little one to be home with you & Kevin…..

  83. Anne says

    A favorite of my grandchildren to read with me was Stellaluna, it is about a baby bat but is a great story. Love your blog and wish you all the best for your exciting family expansion!

  84. Dawn says

    I loved reading all your comments. Great suggestions with a lot of our old favorites. I have many of them memorized since we read them so many times. Couple more: Benjamin McFadden and the robot babsitter, any books by Bill Peet and when he’s older, The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (8 or 10 books that are great for teaching vocabulary and figurative language).

  85. Monique says

    One of our favourites is Who Do You Love by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Camilla Ashforth. It’s so sweet. We also loved I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak. These would be Greg additions to your budding library.

  86. Deanna says

    Our kids have all loved the “Read Aloud Bible Stories” series of books, well written and the illustrations are great!
    The “Llama, Llama” books by Anna Dewdney are lots of fun. And, you can’t go wrong with the classics like Beatrix Potter’s books, The Giving Tree, the Classic Winnie the Pooh series, the Paddington Bear books, etc. I can’t wait to see the room finished and your little sweet pea!

  87. Jeanine says

    Our whole family loves James Herriot’s books. He has a children’s picture book with several stories in it about his life as a veterinarian in Yorkshire, England. But, we love all of his books and have read them all out loud. They include “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “All Creatures Great and Small”, “All Things Wise and Wonderful”, “The Lord God Made them All”.

  88. says

    Have you filled your bucket today. By Carol Messing McCloud
    Lets get a pup! said Kate. By Bob Graham

    Hi Layla. The little angels room looks so amazing already.
    Done with love like everything you and Kevin do. You are going to be such loving, kind, caring, patient, understanding and very importNt also FUN parents. I love how you are sharing your experience with everyone.
    Lots of love to go around. My daughter Meg, found these 2 books and she has shared them with many friends. I love them and thought I would share them with you. They have such great messages and the Let’s get a pup is just so darn cute and up to date. Love and hugs, geri.

  89. Laura says

    Looks great. :)

    Layla, did Kevin do a christian radio advertisement? I was driving home from the grocery today and I heard the tail end of a sound clip. Someone was talking about how their relationship with God works both ways. It really sounded just like his voice! In the background a song was playing and then a female narrator said, “This is Behind the Music” or something like that. It was on KLUV radio station… OK, I sound like a crazy person. Forget this if I’m wrong. :D

  90. Carrie-Lee Hurzeler says

    Berenstein bear books are great for kids. When I was little I would wake up at 3am pull out all of my Berenstein bear books, climb on my bed and read them until I fell back to sleep. I can still remember the way they all began “Down the road deep in bear country…”
    Little House on the Prairie are good for when your little one gets a bit older.

  91. Naomi says

    Paddington Bear books by Michael Bond are a must. My husband and I laugh hysterically as we read these to our little ones. I collect the old fabric covered ones that you can tell someone else loved.

  92. Susan says

    Sharing books makes they twice as wonderful. In no particular order:
    Anything by Sandra Boynton – the board books and the music collections
    Animalia by Graeme Base
    The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
    The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
    The Borrowers by Mary Norton
    Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman
    The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, by Neil Gaiman
    Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman
    Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
    Yes, Winne-the-Pooh – the poems as well as the stories
    The Mitten by Jan Brett
    Aesop’s Fables, by Brad Sneed
    I’ll stop now. I hope you have lot’s of time to browse the children’s section at the library and/or bookstore – Enjoy!

  93. Jessica says

    LOVE the bookcases! Great design and what an amazing carpenter! Too bad we don’t leave near by.

    Favorite adoption children’s books
    A mother for Choco
    Mother bridge of Love
    The mulberry bird
    We’re different we’re the same

    So fun to think of those shelves filled!

    P.S. you’ve likely thought of this but just in case you hadn’t make sure there’s no lead paint in those old shutters.

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Jessica. I will definitely check those out! (And, yes, we used a product called Peel Stop on the shutters to seal in the old chipping paint. Can’t wait to hang ‘em up!) :-D

  94. Beverly says

    The Quilt Maker’s Gift, by Jeff Brumbeau. Beautiful book for young and old. Lovely illustrations. I give it to everyone I make a quilt for.

  95. Jean Magnes says

    Thank you for sharing the tip for sealing chipped pieces! I want to share our favorite childhood book (my girls are older now but this was an all time favorite): The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood. Fun to tell and they never got tired of hearing it (:

  96. Joni Kelley says

    “I’ll love you forever, I’ll love you for always.”
    I always read this to my son, and he just text this to my a few months ago…he is 21 now!!! I don’t know the author, but this book makes me cry a happy cry.
    “I’ll love you forever, I’ll love you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be!”

  97. Kristine says

    I love Eric Carle, the Very Hungry Caterpillar and also ‘My Many Colored Days” by Dr. Suess

  98. sarah says

    My daughter is 2 and her current favorites are:
    Ferdinand the Bull
    Go, Dog, Go!
    Elmer (by David McKee)

    My favorite to read to her is Nancy Tillman’s “On the Night You Were Born”

    So excited for you reading your adoption journey! We are also going through the process right now :)

  99. Liz says

    I so love books, and my kids have so many great ones. But the one that has always stuck with me, and that I buy for everyone, is Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball. It’s amazing. Enjoy!

  100. Danise says

    I have been looking for something to make painted wood “hard” and I think I will try Peel Stop. Every time I paint wood – kitchen cabinets, shelves – I do everything I am “supposed” to do – sand, prime, kilz etc. – but the paint still feels tacky or it is “soft” (I don’t know how else to describe it!). Things stick to to shelves or it scuffs easily with every day use – sometimes I can peel it off with my fingernail! Everyone says not to use varnish because it will yellow! I actually have been looking into milk paint like you suggest, too! If this Peel Stop works, I will probably use GALLONS!!!

    About a book – I don’t know if someone has suggested Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – my kids loved it and we still quote it!!

    Thanks for all your suggestions – I need all the help I can get!!!!!

  101. Marilyn says

    Hands down kid’s favorite – “Leo the Lightning Bug” by Eric Drachman. It comes with a CD. I have given it as gifts and am in the process of purchasing two more for newborns due in the next few months.

  102. Genny says

    One of mine and our 3 daughter’s favorite books is:

    Cows That Type

    by Doreen Cronin and pictures by Betsy Lewin

    Cute story and the illustrations are adorable!

  103. Martha says

    I love the Ferdinand the Bull story. Classic. My son loves the Charlie The Ranch Dog series. I love “kids” books. The message is so simple and heart felt

  104. F Simon says

    I am such a fan of Zinsser, but I have never heard of Peel Stop! Would this product work on exterior surfaces??? We have this porch which I painted on the outside…tried SO MANY different products of exterior paint (even the stretchy kind – to be able to expand with weather). I am repainting this porch every spring!! It all just peels off and becomes a mess every year. There is a lot of sun exposure on this side which I believe to be the problem as it can get really hot there. Would love to know if Peel stop would work for this? thanks!

  105. Jenn says

    If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart – not sure on the author, but it’s a great book and my little guy LOVES it!!

  106. says


    I’m not sure I’ve ever commented on the blog, but I’ve followed you and Kevin from the beginning. You’ve inspired so much of my home :)

    I couldn’t resist sharing a book I love! It’s titled, “You Are Special” by Max Lucado. Read it with tissues. It’s powerful and wonderful for children and adults.



  107. says

    Love love love the built in! Beautiful . And thanks for the tip on how to seal chippy paint! HAd so much fun at The Chapel Market…got another gig coming soon????

  108. Becky says

    you must, must, must get The Runaway Bunny. The illustrations are wonderful and the story a sweet testimony of a mother’s love. My two children, daughter now 28 and son now 26 are both adopted, so I am eagerly following your story. All best wishes to you and Kevin.

  109. Christine says

    Oh, how timely!!!!! Really. More !!!!.
    I have 3 antique doors I just put into the yard so they’d peel naturally. Well, they’re so peely I have no idea how to stop the peeling! They’re gorgeous, and I do have to glue the veneer back down — no biggie at all.

    Did you lightly sand first to get the bigger chunks off? Or just go over the lifting stuff to “glue” it down?
    Thanks. :)

  110. Rebeka says

    I have been following your story for about a year now and find myself drawn back again and again to your site. The way you share your stories and thoughts truly invites us in and makes me want to come back and get ‘updated’! I have to admit I am, not nearly as excited as you and your hubby, but VERY excited and anxious to see this room come to life!! I can almost see the toys you bring in being played with, some left on the floor that you walk over to come in…Here’s to wishing you and your good luck with this next adventure!
    ..Back to book ideas, my guys have loved Mercer Mayer, Curious George, ANYTHING superhero, and a NEVER fail, is good ol’ fashion Nursery Rhymes. Give them mother goose or other children poems and they stop and listen transfixed. I think the melody is soothing to both the reader and listener and they often sigh and ask, ‘Again, read that one again.’ Enjoy and happy hunting for filling the library – trust me it will GROW!!.

  111. Barbara says

    I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
    Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
    Blackboard Bear (set of small books) by Martha Alexander

    I Love You Forever still makes me weep… sigh. My “boys” are now all grown up and while they laugh at my crying they love that we still celebrate their Adoption Days!

    There are so many great children’s books out there, have fun:).

  112. Rebecca Young says

    Come on, Rain by Karen Hesse
    Quick as a Cricket by Don and Audrey Wood
    The Napping House also by the Woods
    Feely Bugs by David Carter…my little ones LOVED this one…so many textures for them to explore!

  113. suzanne says

    you will LOVE the book Belly Button Boy author Maloney!
    Great for young kids – you”ll love the humor!

  114. Kelley Kay says

    Thanks for the tip on the Peel Stop. I’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a product on the market that wouldn’t yellow over time – ooops, I guess there was:) Your little ones room is getting off to a fantastic start.

  115. Ryan says

    I have a 4 year old boy. Here are some of his favorite books (that I also enjoy reading).

    Little Blue Truck
    I Stink
    Pete the Cat
    Llama Llama books

    The bookcase looks great.

  116. Mindy says

    Do you have Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in you area? If so, make sure you register once you bring your new little one home. She sends a free book every month from birth to age 5. That’s 60 awesome, age appropriate books! We just adopted our foster daughter on Dec. 23, and I registered her. Now she will get books from Ms. Dolly, like her big brother!

  117. Julie says

    Many, many of the recommendations here are GREAT! I just wanted to suggest to seek out the oversized board books for the greatest classics. They’ll be more visible, especially when placed higher up, and they add wonderful pops of color. Also, make sure to get the board version for as many titles as possible. We originally ran through 3 copies of “Goodnight Gorilla” paperbacks before we caved. We ended up buying a 10×10 board book and it’s still displayed even though we do not really read from it anymore. I also found some board books for the titles geared towards older kids (“Harry the Dirty Dog”), and I was able to give those books to my children when they were babies so to expose them to all those words. My kids don’t feel intimidated by wordy books, and I think it’s because we were all matter-of-fact about the printed word.

  118. says

    We were HUGE library fans back in the day. I’d take at least 30 books out at a time so there was always something new to read.

    I also was a big fan of finding books a thrift stores but I’ll never forget this one…

    A neighbour was moving one time and had this huge bin filled with kids books they were planning to just throw out. I got my truck and filled up the back instead! I’m telling you, those books fit all ages, it was amazing and I’m guessing a life long collection. Those books lasted us for years and by the time it was time to relinquish them, I gave them away or gave to a thrift store to stock their shelves.

    Your shelves are gorgeous and you’ll have the best time filling them!

  119. Amy Fitzgerald says

    Love the bookcases! We love books at our house. My daughter’s first birthday party was a book party. Between the four of us we have acquired quite a collection. We have a “library,” but one day we would like to put in some built-ins.

  120. Netty says

    I’m a former children’s librarian & I love:
    anything Mo Willems especially Elephant and Piggie books
    Pete the Cat books
    The Rhyming Dust Bunnies
    Traction Man series

    Love the bookshelf!

  121. Robin says

    All of the Pete the Cat books by Eric Litwin are wonderful , fun and repetitive. You can’t help but smile when you read them and they all end with ,…”it’s all good!”! Go to youtube and get a taste of the types of stories.

  122. Ellen says

    I have been reading and enjoying your blog for about a year, I love your style and have learned a lot from your projects. I also have two daughters adopted from China so when you started your adoption process I was thrilled and excited for you. It’s an adventure of a lifetime and I wish you the BEST in all things as you go through the process. As for books, I have to say that we have enjoyed two books recently so much that my husband and I couldn’t stop laughing. The titles are “Count the Monkeys” and “Z is for Moose”. Heartily recommended by Julia (age 4 from Jiangxi province) and her big sis Madelyn (age 10 from Hunan province). Hoping 2014 brings your little boy HOME! Ellen from Connecticut

  123. Carolyn says

    Even if your LO is young, here are some great books to read aloud over several days (or save til he’s older): The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, Maniac McGee and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (I taught Stargirl to ms and both boys and girl loved it), Louis Sacher’s Wayside School books, the EB White classics like Stuart Little, Beverly Cleary’s Ralph Mouse books, Miss Nelson books, magic schoolbus books, a classic mother goose collection, a classic fairy tale collection, frog and toad books, little bear books, anything Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, Jerry Pinkne… I could go on for days! Better get your library card shined up too:)

    • Carolyn says

      I forgot anything Jane Yolen. She’s amazing about children’s literacy so her books can often be used as fun, educational read alouds.

  124. Kati says

    Have you ever read A Blessing From Above? It’s a Little Golden Book. We have a book that has 3 inspirational stories in it and that’s my particular favorite. I think you would enjoy it!

  125. Stephanie says

    “When Pigasso Met Mootise” is delightful. And anything by David Macaulay, particularly “Why The Chicken Crossed The Road” will be lots of fun.

  126. Debbie Moorman says

    The Babushka Baba Yaga
    Piggy Pie
    You Are Special
    Dinosaur Roar
    Sheep In a Jeep
    Of course, Harry Potter…goes without saying
    Junie B. Jones series….very funny

  127. Martha says

    Every adoptive home needs Little Miss Spider–“When finding your mother there’s one certain test. You must look for the creature that loves you the best.”

  128. Jennifer S. says

    We LOVE the Borrowers series by Mary Norton. I remember reading the first one as a child and being captivated. My 7 year old daughter and I read the whole series (5 books) last year and loved, loved, loved them.
    Right now we are going through the Narnia series – which I also loved as a child. C.S. Lewis is so talented at presenting Christian truth in a different format – and it was wonderful to discuss the parallels with my little girl – especially how Aslan’s self-sacrifice represents what Jesus did for us on the cross. It’s so cool that she can totally get that at 7 years old.

  129. Kim says

    Our kids have all loved the Llama Llama books when they are toddlers (and older). Our favorites are Red Pajama and Mad at Mama. Goodnight Moon, Go Dog Go, Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom and Harry the Dirty Dog are all current favorites of our two-year-old as well!

    • mzloolue says

      Two of my favorites are Homeplace by Crescent Dragonwagon and Piggy in the Puddle.

      Homeplace is not to be missed.
      And Piggy in the Puddle is funny and fun to read again and again and again.

  130. says

    I am replying to the painted shutters. I see where she had used Peel Stop to prevent her chippy shutters from peeling. Well I would like to know what I could use to CLEAN those chippy doors and such before I would use the Peel Stop. I do not want to take off anymore chippy pain than necessary. Do you have any ideas of how I could do this?

    Thanks so much

    • Layla says

      Hi Shannan! We just used a bucket of water and a brush from the home improvement store to scrub them several times (outdoors). We made sure to wear masks while we were doing it, too. Safety first! :-)

  131. says

    Peel Stop is most likely going to become my new best friend! Do you know how many times my husband has been frustrated by all of my chippy decor?!?! Can’t wait to try this, thanks for sharing :-)

  132. bshipp says

    How has the Peel stop held up? Has it yellowed? I’m having a really hard time finding a non-yellowing sealer for my freshly painted white side tables. Do you think it would work for them?

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