Friday, April 15, 2011

Bugs with Bunny Ears, Giant Chocolate Easter Eggs, Theater for Toddlers, Books for Tween Boys, Ladybugs and Dr. Phil

We'll be away next week so I'll be shopping for some Easter Basket goods this weekend: I found  Brazilian-Style giant chocolate Easter eggs at our favorite neighborhood grocery shop Brazil Legal (2153 North Western): they have a huge selection of huge, hollow (milk, dark, white, nut-crisp) chocolate eggs wrapped up in colorful foil. The proprietor of this store also makes the best chocolate cake ever - gooey with layers of condensed milk, like the Brazilian treat Brigadeiro, sold by the slice. She also keeps a secret stash of freshly fried Brazilian empanadas (I like the ones filled with hearts of palm the best) in the back - just ask! Don't forget to grab some frozen pao de queijo to go - lighter than air, cheesy puff bread.

I'll never understand the craze for Hexx Bugs, the small vibrating bugs that wander around like amped-up roaches, but both of my kids are mesmerized by them. They've made a special one for Easter: a purple bug with bunny ears. You can find them at on of our favorite local stores - Cat and Mouse (2212 West Armitage) - which also features a wide selection of quality, educational games and toys. I've already called to place a hold on two Easter Hexx bugs and I'll likely come home with a few more basket stuffers from Cat and Mouse as well.

Theater for Toddlers? I was delighted to hear about the Chicago Children's Theatre's upcoming performance,"Dot and Ziggy," running from May 8 to June 26 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Avenue). My little toddler thoroughly enjoyed her experience at Redmoon Theater's Winter Spectacle, but since then, there haven't really been any performances on offer that would appeal to a toddler (and the mom and dad in charge of wrangling her). This show, however, is aimed at audiences ranging  from 6 months to four years. The storyline is all about the friendship between a ladybug and a skunk. With tickets costing just $16 weekdays; $18 weekends, this is the perfect theater outing for families with younger kids. Tickets also include an exclusive discount or offer at nearby family-friendly partner restaurants, including Kim and Scott's CafĂ© Twist (2218 N. Lincoln Avenue), or John's Place (1202 W. Webster Avenue). Tickets can be purchased online at chicagochildrenstheatre.org or by calling 773.871.3000.

Looking for some spring break/summer reads for your boy? I came across a good guide to books for tween boys here. I just ordered Hatchet for Fratellone; he's currently reading Hero.

Speaking of ladybugs, I just bought this book for Pupa and she is constantly pulling it off her bookshelf and bringing it to me to read to her. Here the rhyme online.

Me? I'm still reading and loving The Wilder Life by Chicago author Wendy McClure. As a reminder, you can catch Ms. McClure on her book tour, too! She's coming to Chicago on April 21, to read/speak at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square. I'll be posting a full review soon.

Finally, here's another Chicago based mom's blog - Sassy Moms in the City - written by Allison Ray. I'm excited to be having lunch with Allison and....Dr. Phil! on April 27, at the Chicago Marriot Downtown. Join us! For more info, head over here.

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