Who doesn’t love Sandra Boynton? (If you raised your hand, it’s all right: I’m sure you have many other wonderful features we will grow to love. With time. After we forget that you don’t enjoy hilarious pictures of dancing hippos.)

Most new parents will get some Boynton books at their baby shower and Astrid has intermittently liked the ones she received. The ones she loves though are from Boynton’s Little Pookie series. Don’t ask me why she’s latched onto the little piggie over all the rest in her collection, but there it is. Maybe it’s because Pookie and his family are a steady cast in all of them and the story lines are recognizable. Dunno. Whatever it is, they’re a big hit and will probably be a winner with parents and little ones on your gift list too.

There are five board books in the series so far and a boxed set of four of them (which is missing our favorite, Happy Birthday Little Pookie) so you can pick up a single for a drive-by gifting or as a fun add-on, or get the set + the birthday book for a first or second birthday party present.

Little Pookie. An introduction to the wonderful Pookie.

What’s Wrong, Little Pookie? Silly conclusion to a piggy’s bad day.

Happy Birthday, Little Pookie. A pretty funny run through the big day.

Night-Night, Little Pookie. Bedtime prompts and hide and seek.

Let’s Dance, Little Pookie. Dance party with Mom!

Little Pookie Books, by Sandra Boynton, $5.99 each for the board books or $16 for four-book set at Amazon

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H&M Baby

May 9, 2012

I do not understand how H&M can make such adorable baby clothes. I mean, I’m Swedish like them, and, you know, all we Swedes have excellent taste, etc., but H&M is are not generally where I would shop for a gift I would be proud to deliver. Their baby department is a fantastic trove of gifts however.

Astrid in her H&M flowered top

Here’s what: their prices (low) and their adorable-ness (high), make one of their pieces the perfect, “Isn’t this cute? And, btw, don’t I have great taste?” add-on to a shower gift (which you got off the registry, right???) Or a not-too-expensive new baby present.

And when I say, “cute,” I don’t mean big appliques of puppies cute. I mean classy cute. And soft. Like puppies.

Oh – and their baby boy clothes are great, which is not generally a given. Cardigans and understated patterns and actual little pants, not just the usual jeans and cargos deal.

In short, great presents.

The stock rotates too quickly for me to recommend any particular item without disappointing you that it’s already out of stock, but trust me: they always have something worth getting for a little one you know (or are about to know).

(H&M also has a toddlers and kids section, but the collections aren’t nearly as unique and adorable as the baby clothes.)

H&M Store Locator, infant and baby clothes from $4.95

Angel Dear Jacket

April 20, 2012


Soft is the name of the baby game. They’re soft. Their toys are soft. And their clothes should definitely be soft. Enter the Angel Dear chenille hoodie jacket. I love this thing. If you can’t think of someone in your life whose baby needs one, look harder: you have to pass along this fluffiness to someone small and deserving!

A friend of ours got one as a gift and, after touching it’s ultra-softness, I ordered one for Astrid. When she outgrew that one, we got the next size up.

It’s not a rocket science jacket: it’s not waterproof or even windproof. It’s just pure, fluffy fleece that keeps most of that fluff even after repeated washings. We’re not talking flat, functional REI fleece (which we also have and like) but a little cloud to wrap up baby in the car seat, on errand runs or a chilly afternoon at the playground. I take ours with us on pretty much every outing here in San Francisco.

The hoodies come in a range of soft colors as well as stripes and sizes from 0-6 months up to 4T: an appropriate gift for pretty much any child and any occasion. And at $25, you won’t break the bank but people will think you did.

Note: the zippers aren’t the best out there and can be a tiny bit tricky to thread, but they work just fine with an extra jiggle.

Angel Dear Chenille Hoodies, $38 at Angel Dear or from $25 at Diapers.com

I came across Taro Gomi’s beautiful board book My Friends at the Academy of Sciences playroom one day last year and immediately went home and ordered a copy for Astrid.

The illustrations are gorgeous and not at all the usual toddler fare: bright and detailed but lovely and calming too. Now we read Spring Is Here over breakfast every day. This boxed set, which also includes Bus Stops, is a perfect first or second birthday gift for the toddler in your life. (Or it makes a great new baby gift if you want to get started early!)

With Taro Gomi, you can be certain you’re giving little Aloyscious something unique and visually inspiring. We all love our Dr. Seuss but you don’t want your Green Eggs and Ham to be the fifth one he receives!

Taro Gomi Board Book Boxed Set, $19.99 at Chronicle Books.com$14 at Amazon or offline at Chronicle’s gorgeous new store in the Metreon