Oswald the Octopus is Kevin Arnold

While watching the animated cartoon Oswald on Noggin I realized that the protagonist, a blue octopus named Oswald, sounded quite familiar. The placid male voice was not one I had heard in a while, but it was kicking around somewhere in the back of my mind. I couldn't place it but didn't think too much about it.

I did not think too much about it, but when he called his side kick wiener dog "Wienie", I figure out to whom the voice belonged. "Weenie" sounded similar to "Winnie", the name of the unseen voice's counterpart in a decades old TV show. Then it clicked.

The voice of Oswald comes from none other than Fred Savage, the actor who played Kevin Arnold on the TV show The Wonder Years which aired in the late 80's and early 90's.

Interstingly, Savage notes in his bio on NickJr.com that his favorite books as a kid included Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny, favorites of my family and many of our readers.


Crocodile Creek Bibs Are Awesome!

Shortly after this picture was taken, most of the broccoli in my son's mouth left his lips and traveled down the front of him. To rinse out the taste of the newly introduced broccoli for which he clearly does not care, he reached for his little mug of water.

As you may or may not know, kids often don't really drink, they just temporarily store liquids in their mouth so that they may more easily transfer them to their own clothes, your clothes, the floor and the dog. That was the case in this instance and the water quickly came out of his mouth and chased the broccoli down the front of him.

I'm accustomed to pulling out a baby with soaked, food-encrusted clothing from his high chair at the end of meals, which is often the case. However, the new Crocodile Creek bibs our friend Tara recently gifted us prevented that from happening. The bibs have a cool little pocket at the bottom that catches errant broccoli and rivulets of drooled water. It keeps everything much cleaner than a standard bid and clean off easily after the mess making is through for the night. They're inexpensive, cute and well designed and I'm glad we got them. Check out the product carousel below or visit Amazon to pick some up.


Top 50 Parents' Favorite Kids' Books

One of the great things about parenthood is sharing treasured elements of your own childhood with your kids. Parents naturally gravitate towards traditions, toys, songs, movies for which they have fond memories. Hollywood and the toy manufacturers know this, marketing movies to us as adults that were popular cartoons when we were kids and selling next generations of our favorite childhood toys. I'll use the Transformers movie and upcoming G.I. Joe movie as prime examples.

Other media aside, books were a large part of my childhood as they are to so many. A few of my favorites were I'm Going to Run Away, Noisy Nora, Bedtime for Frances and the amazing Where the Wild Things Are. We've introduced quite a few new ones, but I still buy my childhood favorite books for my son. After getting lots of reader feedback, I've compiled the top 50 children's books that were the childhood favorites of today's parents. Some of them I've never heard of, others I have worn through, but either way this list of the best children's books is a great starting point to build your own family library. In alphabetical order, here they are:

101 Dalmations
A Little Golden Book about Grover
Are You My Mother?
Bedtime for Frances
Bernstein Bears
Blueberries for Sal
Charlotte's Web
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree
Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
Curious George
David's Silver Dollar
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Disney Cinderella
Draw Me a Star
Each Peach Pear Plum
Goodnight Moon
Green Eggs and Ham
Harry the Dirty Dog
Hop on Pop!
Hyram's Red Shirt
I am a Bunny
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
I'll Love You Forever
I'm Going to Run Away
Jim Jump
Little House on the Prairie
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Misty of Chincoteague
Mr. Pine's Purple House
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Noisy Nora
Peter Pan and Wendy
Pokey Little Puppy
Ramona Quimby
Runaway Bunny
Story of Poppyseed
Strega Nona
The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The Cat In The Hat
The Giving Tree
The Little Engine That Could
The Little Red Car
The Monster At The End of This Book
The Velveteen Rabbit
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Today I Feel Like A Warm Fuzzy
Where did the Baby Go?
Where the Wild Things Are

If you're looking to add some of these titles to your personal library, most are available on Amazon, except for one or two that are no longer in print. Check out the cool spinny widget thingy below for a few of them.


Parenting Quote - Haim Ginott

"Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have anything to do with it."

- Haim Ginott

Bloggy Giveaway Winner!

Folks, we have a winner in our Goodnight Moon Bloggy Giveaway!

We asked entrants to leave a comment about their favorite childhood books and had a ton of great entries. I will be compiling the entries into a comprehensive list in an upcoming post.

For those of you who didn't win, Goodnight Moon is available on Amazon for $8.99.

I used a random number generator to pick the winner from the appropriate qualifying posts..... and the winner is Chuck who actually left a number of childhood favorites.

Chuck wins a copy of Goodnight Moon! Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered.