It’s not often that you set down your nightly bedtime story and walk away with not only happy children, but a breadth of new knowledge and ideas! Really, how often can you pick up parenting tips and suggestions while reading an engaging story to your children? The ParentSmart / KidHappy book series from Free Spirit Publishing offers something for both you and your children. They couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate title for the series…Things click inside your head as you read…You have little “aha” moments…and your child, all the while is happily enjoying the story, and picking up a few tips along the way as well. Does a story get any better than that?!

Free Spirit Publishing graciously gave me all three books in this great series. The titles I received were, Ready for the Day, Ready for Bed, and Ready to Play! Each book is color-coded just for the parents, with each type of parenting suggestion in a different color! I loved seeing each of the tips in action within the story. In Ready for the Day and Ready for Bed, you will see how to give encouragement, validate feelings, and offer choices. In Ready to Play, you will see how to give encouragement, validate feelings, and invite children to brainstorm solutions and imagine outcomes. In the back of each book, there is a special section written just for the parent, that details each of the parenting ideas. There is practical advice for real-world situations that we as parents deal with everyday. It’s like having a parenting seminar in the back of a great children’s book! Each book was written by Stacey R. Kaye, a mother of two who is passionate about parenting! In simple language, she offers realistic ideas for parents. Her ideas are things you CAN do, and are easy to remember, even in a heated moment. The books are beautifully illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba. The pictures are warm and inviting, and very true to life in the details.

In Ready for the Day: A Tale of Teamwork and Toast, and Hardly any Foot-Dragging, you are introduced to young Maya, who has difficulty getting ready for school in the morning. How many of you have faced that situation? Most of us, right?! In the story, her father stays calm, uses kind language, and lets Maya know he understands how she feels. He offers her choices, and lets her choose something special they can do together when she gets home. (An idea I LOVED!) Maya feels validated, understood, and through positive affirmation and encouragement, she is able to get ready for the day with a happy heart.

In Ready for Bed: A Tale of Cleaning Up, Tucking In, and Hardly Any Complaining, (doesn’t that sound heavenly?!) you will meet little Marco who is not quite ready to go to bed. (Let me tell you ladies, we are in this boat all the time, so I particularly enjoyed this story!) Marco’s mom uses validation, letting Marco know it’s okay to have feelings, and she understands that it is hard to stop doing something enjoyable. Through fun choices, she guides him through the steps to get ready for bed, praising him along the way for his good choices and attitude. She stays calm and loving, and Marco goes to bed without a battle! After we read this story, I tried out a few of the ideas from the book, and my kids loved it! Bedtime CAN be fun again…read this book to see how to make the routine go more smoothly in YOUR house!

In Ready to Play: A Tale of Toys and Friends, and Barely Any Bickering, you will meet two young friends having a playdate. (Another idea, especially if you have a boy and a girl, would be to substitute THEIR names as you read the story! The techniques would work with siblings too!) The children are guided through resolving their differences, and are taught to brainstorm ways to solve the problems that come up. The children are taught to consider others’ feelings, while still validating their own (something that gets overlooked all too often!) This was a very realistic story with problems that come up amongst children all the time. It was great to see strategies employed throughout the book that felt like things I could actually do.

You can purchase all of these books from Free Spirit Publishing here: BUY THESE BOOKS! These would make a perfect addition to any home or classroom! As a former educator, I can say that I would have loved to have had these in my classroom to share with my students! The same principles discussed can easily be translated into classroom management. They are a deal at only $12.95 each.

I invite you to check out the other great books Free Spirit has to offer!  Check them out at You can also “like” them on Facebook!

Check out my other reviews for Free Spirit and all of my children’s book reviews here: Chasing Supermom’s Book Reviews

Happy Reading! Make sure to check out the ParentSmart / KidHappy Series from Free Spirit Publishing written by Stacey R. Kaye and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba