By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! Details below!

A cozy fire, a cup of tea and a good book are three of my favorite things on cold, winter days. My selections this month include old favorites that warm the soul, and two that will encourage you think about and evaluate life and choices. My old favorites bring back wonderful memories for me, both as books I loved as a child and then shared with my children. Sharing special books from generation to generation has been a great joy and a wonderful gift in my life. I feel fortunate that my grandmother and my mother shared books with me from their childhood, making the stories hold even more meaning as I read them. I invite you to introduce your children to some of your childhood favorites, and start a tradition that they might pass on to their children.

Preschool — Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Bedtime is a special ritual for most every child, but taking a trip to the little bunny’s green bedroom and saying goodnight to all the things and creatures in his room is extra special. This simply written classic is a must-have for the bookshelf of every baby and toddler. The brilliant use of black and white pages alternating with the full color spreads help transport the reader’s imagination to a different time and place, and prompt children look deeper into the full color pages to discover where the black and white images first appeared. The simplicity of each page adds more depth and story than might first appear. Children will love searching for the little mouse and paying attention to what the kittens are doing as the story progresses. This sweet, simple book is indeed quite rich.

Early Elementary — The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The beautiful, sparse language in the 52 pages of this Shel Silverstein book paints a deeper picture of life and emotion than many authors can accomplish in full novels. This unforgettable story is about a little boy and a tree. “Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk… and the tree was happy. But as the boy get older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.” This special story demonstrates the power of giving and the immense capacity to love. Parents, don’t be surprised if tears surface for you with each reading.

Late Elementary to Early Middle School — Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

It won’t take long for Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy to feel like the reader’s best friends in this cherished story. Originally published in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic is a favorite to pass down from generation to generation. This novel follows the story of the four March sisters as they come of age during the Civil War in a quaint New England town. The girls, all different in personality, style, and dreams, experience life, love, adventure and friendship as they grow up and embrace young adulthood. The descriptive language and attention to detail helps make this a story one that will be enjoyed time and time again.

High School — 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey

Adults may recognize the author’s last name and the familiar sounding title of this book. Written by the son of Stephen Covey, the well-known author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the younger Covey takes on the challenge of addressing teens and giving them practical advice for being highly effective and establishing the foundation for having a successful life. Sean Covey’s book has a conversational tone with graphics and examples that appeal to teens. He gets “real” with them and shares step-by-step how to be their very best in all areas of life. “A true gift for the teenage soul” — Jack Canfield and Kimberly Kirberger.

Moms — Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist

Life is messy. And busy. And full. And crazy. And wonderful. Add children to the mix, and all just multiplies. Shauna Niequist shares her stories and perspectives of being a busy, working mom that takes a step back to evaluate what is important, what can be let go, and what will add more joy and happiness to her life. Her conversational writing style gives readers the feeling that Shauna is a new, best friend that stopped by to enjoy a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. She doesn’t sugarcoat her life or challenges, but offers honest perspectives on her thoughts and feelings. Moms will easily relate to her and find nuggets of wisdom from her journey, as well as an invitation to consider a simpler, more soulful way of living.

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog!

Share your thoughts and comments below, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)


Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.

To read Ellen’s previous Book Nook blogs, click HERE!