Book Review: My Purple Toes

There are many things that dads will do for their kids that they previously would never have thought of doing. At the risk of stereotyping, I doubt any guy without kids would spend a day on the couch watching a Dora the Explorer marathon. Neither would he play on the floor with plastic dinosaurs (at least, not with other grown-ups watching on). And he definitely, positively, would never paint his toenails purple. Of course, once we guys become dads, these “never ever” activities become “always” so long as they bring a smile to our kids’ faces.

In My Purple Toes by Blair Hahn, the father of the story is introduced as having purple toenails. (This is explained in the forward as having happened when a dad brought his teenage daughter to a nail salon for a pedicure.) Instead of being embarassed by his colorful toes, he revels in them. He walks barefooted, showing off his purple toes, in all seasons (though his toes get cold in the winter) and enjoys spending time with his family and their non-purple toes.


I read this book to both NHL and JSL. They both enjoyed the story as well as the little extras within it. (For example, there’s a purple-toed frog “hidden” on every page.) I also enjoyed that the book was interactive in that is asked the child questions (such as “Where are my purple toes?”). When I got to the end, JSL asked me to read it to him a second time. How could I refuse?

In addition to their website, where you can purchase My Purple Toes for $10.99, the author also has a Twitter and Facebook presence. (No word on whether he tweets with purple fingernails.) Also, a second book, titled My Purple Kisses, should be released in time for Valentine’s Day 2011. Finally, a portion of the proceeds from My Purple Toes goes to the nonprofit organization Soles4Souls which collects and distributes shoes free of charge to people in need.

Disclaimer: I did this review as part of a campaign on Family Review Network for My Purple Toes. I received a complimentary copy of My Purple Toes to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own and no other compensation was received.

GeekDad Book Giveaway Winner

The GeekDad Book Giveaway has ended.  I used to pick a winner among the 25 entries.

The winner is comment #8 made by Kevin(The DADvocate).  I’ve e-mailed him and he has 48 hours to accept his prize.  Congrats to Kevin and thanks to everyone who entered.  For everyone who didn’t win, you can purchase the book for under $10 on  It is even eligible for free shipping if you spend $25 or more.

Geek Dad Book Review and Giveaway

Thanks to winning a contest over at Dad of Divas, I was able to check out the new book Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share by Ken Denmead. I was instantly overwhelmed, but in a very good way.


The book recognizes that not every dad is your stereotypical sports-loving, beer-drinking man. Some of us like Star Wars, role playing games, and other things of a geeky inclination. Since dads love sharing their favorite activities with their kids, the question becomes: How do we share our love of science, technology and other geeky subjects with our kids? Sharing some items might be easy. You can sit down with your kid and have a Star Wars marathon, but others might not be as easy to share. Chances are, a 7 year old won’t quite understand or have the patience for an adult-level role playing game.

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Review: The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue

NHL used to be such a good eater. He would eat just about anything we gave him. Then, around when he turned two and a half, his culinary adventureness shut down. Suddenly, he developed a list of “approved” foods and vegetables were definitely *NOT* on the list.

When I first heard about Missy Chase Lapine, The Sneaky Chef, I’ll admit I was skeptical. The idea of sneaking the veggies into him just didn’t sound right. I wanted him growing up knowing that carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, and cauliflower were tasty as well as good for you.

Missy explained in her book, however, that sneaking the veggies wasn’t a substitute for giving kids stand alone vegetables. However, you won’t need to turn broccoli into a battle. You will know that the rest of the meal has some hidden goodness so your child will be getting good nutrients whether or not they eat their veggies. Without a ton of pressure, kids might actually be more likely to eat some of their overt veggies.

I purchased her first book and tried out a few of the recipes. I found that, sure enough, my kids couldn’t tell what was in them. So when I heard that Missy had a new book out, I just had to try it. Missy’s new book is called The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue: 101 All-New Recipes and “Sneaky” Tricks for Creating Healthy Meals Kids Will Love.

“To The Rescue” contains some improvements from the original Sneaky Chef. For example, recipes include nutritional information now. We took it out from the library and I tried a few of the recipes. As with the first book, my children didn’t realize what was hidden in their food. Whether it was wheat germ, yams and carrots in the chocolate chip bon bons or cauliflower and zucchini in the eggs, they were none the wiser. And lest you think that you need to make everything from scratch, Missy showed how to take box mixes for everything from pancakes to cake and add additional hidden goodness.

There were so many good recipes, in fact, that I decided to buy the book. It turns out that being sneaky can be good for your kids, and quite delicious to boot. I look forward to making many more sneaky meals for my children. In fact, I would recommend it for families with picky eaters of any age.

Disclaimer: This review consists of entirely my own opinion. I didn’t receive anything in compensation for this review, but decided to review the book (and recipes) because I honestly enjoyed it.

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