Little Fish and Mommy | Book Review

“Join Little Fish and Mommy Fish for a special day as they play beneath the waves.”

Synopsis

Little Fish loves Mommy Fish very much, and young readers are invited along on a special adventure with them under the sea. Bouncy rhyming text follows the two from one page to the next as Mommy Fish teaches Little Fish to swim, blow big bubbles, and say hello to all their friends.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Little Fish and Mommy is a heart warming tale of mommy and her child spending the day together. Their journey through the sea can be relatable to all of us as our adventures with our children are always special. It truly is an adorable story for toddlers and moms. The illustrations are captivating for a very young reader and we love the fish shape of the book too!

This is a perfect book to show mommy how much she means to her little one and the beauty of these books is that it can be given at any time of year. Showing mommy how much you love her can be done all year round. 🙂

“The Little Fish loves his mommy as much as I love you mom!” – Nikki, Age 4

Nikki can relate to the Little Fish as I know that every adventure we go on she loves especially if I am with her. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Little Fish and Mommy 5 fins out of 5!

If you would like to purchase this great book, click here.

About the Author

Lucy Cousin is the creator of the beloved Maisy series. She is also the author-illustrator of the widely acclaimed Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales, a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year, as well as I’m the Best, Hooray for Fish!, Hooray for Birds!, and a picture book series about Little Fish.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her belong to Momma Braga.

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Peppa Pig and the Family Reunion

“Tag along for family fun with Peppa!”

Synopsis

Everyone is gathering at Peppa Pig’s house for a family reunion!

It’s time for Peppa’s family to get together, and Grandpa and Granny Pig are the first to arrive. Once Auntie Pig, Uncle Pig, Cousin Chloe, and Baby Alexander show up, the whole family is there. Peppa wants to teach the baby how to speak, but all he says is “goo-goo.” It’s a little loud with so many people under one roof, but what matters is celebrating one another – that’s what family is all about.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We are Peppa Pig fans so it is no surprise that we loved this book! Peppa Pig and the Family Reunion has all the beloved characters from Peppa Pig and a few more from the family. We loved the importance of spending time with family that the story tells. A message that we hold dear to our hearts ourselves.

I haven’t been to many family reunions; however, Peppa Pig’s family sure knows how to do one that is super fun! Makes me want to join their party myself. 😉

Since Nikki is a huge Peppa Pig fan, I sat down with her to really get her thoughts on the book and this is what she had to say.

“I loved the book so much. You know that Peppa is my favorite. But the best part is spending time with your family. I love my family too!” – Nikki, Age 4

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Peppa Pig and the Family Reunion 10 oinks out of 5! Nikki finds that this is a fair rating for her beloved character and I would have to agree with my little one. We can’t forget to mention that the paper flap cover includes a coloring poster – talk about fun!

If you would like to purchase this great book, click here. Perfect for children ages two to five or a fan of Peppa Pig! 😉

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her belong to Momma Braga.

Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince | Book Review

“An exciting new adventure starring half-mermaid, half-girl Emily Windsnap!”

Synopsis

Traveling home by cruise ship should be a relaxing break after Emily’s last adventure, but things take a turn when the ship is overtaken by a pirate king and his crew. After the pirates collect everyone’s riches, they steal something even more valuable: Aaron, Emily’s boyfriend. The pirate king’s eldest son takes Aaron captive, forcing him to help guide the pirates to the legendary Trident’s Treasure. So Emily dives into action and joins the younger son’s crew in hopes of saving Aaron.

But while experiencing life on the waves, Emily is surprised to find herself not only enjoying the pirate life, but actually bonding with the crew – especially Sam, the pirate king’s son. Between helping Sam unravel riddles to beat his brother to the treasure and making sure that her friends are safe, Emily realizes that she needs to be true to herself. Will she cast aside her mermaid life to join her new friends, or will she find a way to follow her own path?

#MelAndNikkiReview

I am in love with this latest Emily Windsnap adventure in this charming series. Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince is such a great book! It offers young readers the perfect balance of adventure, fantasy, mystery and a dash of romance. This would be a book I would have definitely be reading in middle school.

The characters are all intriguing and the storyline is just amazing. I love how this adventure empowers Emily and it is such an important message for young girls to read (don’t want to spoil it so you will have to read it!). 😉

“From now on, I would be myself, and if anyone didn’t like it – well, that was for them to deal with, not me.” – Emily

I have become a fan of #EmilyWindsnap and am now going to try to read the other books in the series. We recommend this book for ages eight to 12 or if you just like a great fantasy book filled with mermaids, pirates, adventure and a bit of romance.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, I give Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince 5 fins out of 5! 

If you would like to purchase this great book, click here.

About the Author

Liz Kessler is the author of the best-selling Emily Windsnap series and the Philippa Fisher series; the novels North of Nowhere, A Year Without Autumn, and Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?; the young adult novel Read Me Like a Book; and a series of early readers about Poppy the Pirate Dog.

About Emily’s latest adventure, she says, “The inspiration for this story came during a book tour when I was discussing ideas for future adventures Emily might have. My publicist mentioned that I hadn’t written about pirates yet. ‘What about a pirate prince?’ she asked. I was immediately excited about the idea and spent a year having fantastic research trips on tall ships.”

Liz Kessler lives with her partner in Cornwall, England.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her belong to Momma Braga.

JUNIOR, Toronto’s International Children’s Festival Comes Back to Harbourfront Centre

“Festival brings fun and challenges kids to ask big questions about important issues.”

We are delighted to hear that Toronto’s wildly popular international children’s festival JUNIOR returns to the Harborfront Centre for a second year from May 18th to the 24th. This event is targeted to children and youth ages four to 14 and their families, and challenges young people to explore new perspectives and ask enlightening questions in a weekend filled with fun and adventure. Featuring world, North American and Canadian premieres, the festival includes an extensive lineup of free and ticketed programing encompassing theatre, live concerts, dance, puppetry, circus, storytelling, arts and crafts and more, from leading family entertainers and artists from across Canada and around the world.

What Can Be Expected From JUNIOR?

There are many programming options available and we have the breakdown.

Theatre Programming

Woogie Boogie BRUSH Theatre (South Korea) – Saturday May 18 to Monday, May 20, 11am daily ($11.25+)

North American Premiere: This theatrical foray into the delightful world of doodling follows a lonely boy, Woogie, and his friend Boogie, as they experience their first sea adventure when their troublemaking pet turtle drifts into the open water. Using a big white board and black ink markers, the duo takes audiences on a journey, creating the mysterious creatures and places the friends encounter. As they draw and erase, the adventure takes shape. Live sound effects, stunning animation and artistry, along with an abundance of imagination brings this story to life. *Relaxed performance on May 20

Two-Part Inventions (Les Inventions à deux voix), Les Deux Mondes (Montreal) – Saturday May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:30pm daily ($11.25+)

World Premiere: Performed in both English and French, Two-Part Inventions (Les Inventions à deux voix) is a play that chronicles an encounter between a girl and a boy in their apartment building that leads to a journey of personal discovery. Alone in an imaginary world far away from adults, they play-act their way through the range of emotions affecting their lives – from passion to boredom to their fear of the unknown. What if “elsewhere” was just behind the door? *Relaxed performance on May 20

A Billion Nights on Earth, Thaddeus Phillips (USA) – Saturday May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3pm daily + Saturday, May 18, 7pm (followed by Opening Night reception) ($11.25+)

Canadian Premiere: A late-night trip to the refrigerator for a glass of milk opens a door to another dimension in this theatrical epic inspired by pop-up books, Kabuki stagecraft and parent-child relationships. From visionary director Thaddeus Phillips and installation artist Steven Dufala, A Billion Nights on Earth conjures a spectacular quest through space and time, guided by sleight-of-hand, a cinematic score and the limitless possibilities of the imagination.

Potato Soup, Laika Theatre (Belgium) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 2pm daily (FREE)

Potato Soup is a contemporary show about war and loss, hunger, the virtues of delicious soup and a lesson in healthy eating. The pleasure of narration and the enjoyment of eating together are central to the show.

Music Programming

The Jerry Cans (Iqaluit) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3:30pm daily (FREE)

The Jerry Cans create music inspired by their hometown of Iqaluit, Nunavut. With their unique mix of Inuktitut alt-country, throat signing and reggae, the Jerry Cans are a distinctly northern, one-of-a-kind group. The band perform many of their songs in Inuktitut and are committed to challenging common misperceptions they have encountered, taking audiences on a stroll through the streets of Iqaluit to share a glimpse of life in Arctic.

Lemon Bucket Orkestra (Toronto) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:45pm daily (FREE)

Lemon Bucket Orkestra is Toronto’s original guerrilla-folk party-punk ensemble. The multi-award-winning ensemble’s genre-bending live shows are a truly immersive experience.

Interactive Programming

Ants, Polygot Theatre (Australia) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, various times (FREE)

Ants is an interactive and participatory roving performance which has giant Ants bringing children together in an intriguing landscaping project. Faced with hundreds of giant bread crumbs and three big insects, children are irresistibly drawn in to discover what the Ants want them to do. Gradually a world of meaning unfolds, transforming public space with wavering lines and patterns. Ants is an enchanting investigation into children’s relationship with their environment.

Fashion Machine, Theatre SKAM (Victoria) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:30pm daily (FREE)

Five professionals from the fields of theatre, photography and textiles train local children for a public performance where they totally remake select audience members’ outfits in less than one hour. This show concludes with the new outfits displayed in a fabulous fashion show.

Dance Programming

Les moutons, BoucharDanse (Toronto) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3pm and 5:30pm daily (FREE)

Reality meets fantasy in this live performance-installation by BoucharDanse. Les moutons recreates a bucolic country scene in an urban setting. Travel to a strange, poetic and baffling universe through a carefully studied overview of sheep behaviour.

Diorama, Ingri Fiksdal (Norway) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:15pm daily (FREE)

This installation-performance is a meditation in movement, reflecting on the passing of time. Open yourself up to this beautiful and mesmerizing experience set against Lake Ontario.

More JUNIOR

In addition to select ticketed performances, the majority of JUNIOR programming is free, including demonstration, circus, Anishinaabemowin bingo, art installation, films, writing workshops and so much more.

For more information about JUNIOR and a full schedule of programming, click here.

To purchase tickets to the theatre performances, click here.

Sounds like a promising long weekend of family fun with a lot of learning along the way and those are the best types of events.

We will be checking it out and hope to see you all there! Make sure to follow the Harbourfront Centre on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. If you need directions on how to get there, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

I Love Mom With The Very Hungry Caterpillar

“You help me find my feet.”

Synopsis

Celebrate Mom’s special day with The Very Hungry Caterpillar in this colorful book featuring Eric Carle’s joyful illustrations.

Show Mom just how much she means with this colorful book from the World of Eric Carle. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors Mother’s Day and celebrates incredible parents everywhere. With joyful illustrations and colorful creatures, this charming keepsake is a great way to show parents, grandparents, soon-to-be mothers, aunts, friends, or whomever you call “Mom” just how much you care.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of our favorite books in our home and we were very excited to read, I Love Mom with The Very Hungry CaterpillarWe have read it many times and it has quickly become a family favorite (I am not just saying that because its about moms). 😉

Another classic story told beautifully with illustrations to adore. As The Very Hungry Caterpillar encounters moms of all animal kinds, it is seen how truly amazing moms are. We just loved it from beginning to end and we know the mom in your life will love it too!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give I Love Mom with The Very Hungry Caterpillar 10 caterpillars out of 5! It is recommended for children between the ages of three to five. Perfect gift for mom on Mother’s Day.

“I love this book because I love you mom!” – Nikki, Age 4

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over 12 million copies. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than 60 books, many bestsellers, most of which he also wrote.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Grandma’s Purse

“What’s inside Grandma’s Purse?”

Synopsis

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there — fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might looks like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic!

#MelAndNikkiReview

To say that we liked Grandma’s Purse would be an underestimate as we LOVED it! We loved the story line of how a visit from Grandma can transform an ordinary day into something extraordinary is simply magical. The illustrations are fun, vibrant and absolutely perfect for this adorable book.

With all great books, you can feel a connection to it and this one is no exception for us. The bond shared between Grandma Mimi and her granddaughter is magical and very similar to the relationship that my daughter has with her own Grandma.

When Nikki gets a visit from Grandma she gets very excited and drives me crazy asking when Grandma is arriving. I usually can only tell her that Grandma is coming within the hour she is expected to arrive. Now what makes Nikki’s Grandma so special? She doesn’t have a big purse but she does bring adventure which lights up Nikki’s mind and heart. Grandma plays with Nikki from beginning to end and this could be hide and seek, playing with dolls, or even playing hairdresser. To Nikki it is all an adventure with Grandma and so much fun! By the end of the day, they both get tired but it was well worth it to spend that special time with each other.

This book reminded us of how special the grandparents bond is. We know that we treasure those relationships and encourage Nikki to have them. A grandparents love is so precious and special. Grandma’s Purse encompasses all that in the most adorable way.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Grandma’s Purse 10 purses out of 5! It is recommended for children between the ages of three to five. However, we believe that this book is perfect for Grandma especially for Mother’s Day. 😉

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter who studied fashion illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology and children’s book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is the author and illustrator of Let Freedom Sing and Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table and has illustrated numerous children’s books, including Mary Had A Little Glam by Tammi Sauer, Sewing Stories by Barbara Herkert, and Presenting…Tallulah by Tori Spelling. Vanessa makes her nest in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, daughter, and a rambunctious cat named Stripes.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Great Job, Mom!

“A cozy celebration of Mom’s many jobs!”

Synopsis

A contemporary felted creation celebrating Mom’s many jobs from the co-creator of Cozy Classics.

Being a mom is eleven jobs in one!

This unique picture book for very young readers celebrates the many jobs being a parent encompasses: A general who rallies the troops (or unruly kids), a curator of modern art (or finger paintings), an archeologist looking for buried treasures (or socks)…when Mom gets home from her day job as a carpenter, she never knows which job will be waiting for her, but she knows it’ll be fun!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Great Job, Mom! is going to be a classic especially for mom. The story hits home as it lists the many other “hats” that mom wears in the household. It is told so beautifully with words and the artwork in each page. Now the pictures are not ordinary pictures as there is a process to get each scene done.

We love the extra piece at the end of the book where the author explains the process to the reader as he gives us a “behind the scenes” look at his creations. Each character is created in wool through needle felting – a painstaking process of sculpting wool by repeatedly stabbing it with a specialized barbed needle. It looks like a really long process but the end result is much appreciated by us all. I know that I sure do!

The story is also heartfelt and it made me realize how many hats we wear as moms. Never really realized how much we do as it just comes as second nature to get everything done. Therefore, my love for this book tripled with the appreciation for moms in it. I also need to add that I love that mom was a skilled trade in the book, a carpenter! Bravo!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Great Job, Mom! 10 stars out of 5! It is recommended for children between the ages of three to seven. However, if you want a beautiful book about how awesome moms are then it is perfect for any age. 😉

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Holman Wang is a lawyer who also finds time to make children’s books. He and his brother, Jack, are the twin powers behind the board book series Cozy Classics and Star Wars Epic Yarns, which abridge literary and cinematic classics into just twelve words and twelve needle-felted images. Their unique artwork has been exhibited around the world, including at The Original Art exhibition in New York, the Bologna Children’s Book fair, and the National Museum of Play. Holman lives with his wife and kids in Vancouver, Canada, and is a board member of the Vancouver Writers Festival.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish

“Birthdays are fun for everyone, especially if you follow each and every rule!”

Synopsis

When it comes to birthdays, there’s no time like the present (!) to start the celebration of you.

Picture book pros Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld add Silly to a day that’s all about Happy in a book that shows that no matter who you are or how old you are, birthdays rule!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish is absolutely adorable in every way possible! We just loved it as it offered us some birthday rules and best of all offered us silliness to giggle to along the way.

We loved the use of different types of animals that was used to tell that story and the description of why a certain rule wouldn’t work for some of them. We appreciate those details as it made the book so fun to read and exciting! The illustrations are beautiful, bright and perfect for the story. Personally my favorite rule is number three which is dessert – who doesn’t love dessert at a party?! Now I had to ask Nikki which rule was her favorite and it doesn’t surprise me at all.

“I like signing the Happy Birthday song because that is right before eating cake! But mommy I think they forgot about presents. I like that part the best!” – Nikki, Age 4

Honest truth by a four-year-old is what we love the best! Thanks Nikki for your honest opinion. Now for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Ten Rule of the Birthday Wish 10 Candles out of 5! It is recommended for children between the ages of four to eight. However, I think it is great for any age as I know I truly enjoyed it and I am definitely above the recommended age but shhhhh. 😉

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Beth Ferry is the author of many picture books including the New York Times bestseller, Stick and Stone, illustrated by Tom Litchenheld. She has celebrated all but four of her birthdays in New Jersey where she lives and writes by the beach. Her favorite birthday dessert is chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but she also enjoys cannoli and cream puffs and churros. Since her birthday is in the winter, she almost always wishes for summer. You can learn more at www.bethferry.com.

About the Illustrator

Tom Lichtenheld was born on June 14, which is also Flag Day. As a child, he thought all the American flags were flying in his honor. His parents deny telling him this tall tale, but that’s okay because it may be what inspired him to make a living by making up stories and drawing silly pictures. You can learn more at tomlichtenheld.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

For All The Stars Across The Sky | Book Review

“For all the stars across the sky,
Big and little and bright,
Here’s a wish from me to you
Before we say good night.”

Synopsis

Every evening, when the sun is fading and it’s time for pajamas and climbing into bed, Luna and her mama play a game. They close their eyes and make a wish, for all the stars across the sky.

“I wish that we could fly like birds!” says Luna. And soon she and her mama are on an imaginative journey over mountains and fields, then deep beneath the sea, until they return home together to Luna’s own bed.

#MelAndNikkiReview

For All The Stars Across The Sky is now my ultimate favorite bedtime story. Filled with emotion, lyrical text and captivating art, it captured my heart. The story about mom and child taking a wish journey through their imaginations before bedtime is absolutely breathtaking. Bedtime is a precious moment between child and parent and the story truly captures it. This story is an ode to the unconditional love between parent and child.

Not many stories tug at my heart strings but this one did and I appreciate that. The ability to feel is powerful and bravo to the writer Karl Newson and illustrator Chiaki Okada for doing just that. Therefore, it is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give For All the Stars Across the Sky 10 stars out of 5! It is recommended for children between the ages of three to seven. However, if you want a beautiful bedtime story then this is perfect for any age.

 

“For all the stars across the sky,
Big and little and bright,
Here’s a wish from me to you
As we say good night.”

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Karl Newson writes for the children’s book blog The Mudwaffler and contributes to The Creative Attic, an online publication of illustrated poetry. For All the Stars Across the Sky is his debut picture book. He lives in England.

About the Illustrator

Chiaki Okada has illustrated books by authors from around the world, including her husband, Ko Okada. For All the Stars Across the Sky is her first picture book published in English. She lives in Japan.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

A New Home | Book Review

“I hope my life won’t be so different in my new city.”

Synopsis

Moving to a new city can be exciting. But what if your new home isn’t anything like your old home? Will you make friends? What will you eat? Where will you play?

In a cleverly combined voice accompanied by wonderfully detailed illustrations depicting parallel urban scenes, a young boy conveys his fears about moving from New York City to Mexico City while, at the same time, a young girl expresses trepidation about leaving Mexico City to move to New York City.

#MelAndNikkiReview

A New Home hits home with a heart warming tale of finding home which is within us. Beautifully written and illustrated, Tania does an amazing job connecting it all together in her publishing debut.

We love how both children are explaining what they love about their home and they are both the same with a sprinkle of a different culture. The comparisons are brilliantly done throughout and makes us realize that home may be found wherever life leads us.

“Home is our heart.” – Nikki, Age 4

Honest truth by a four-year-old and it is always heartfelt! We loved how the story in its simplicity, carries so much love. The bonus in the book is at the back where the Tania shares information about the two cities featured in the story – great added touch! Now for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give A New Home 5 stars out of 5! It is recommended for children between the ages of four to eight.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Tania de Regil studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York City before moving back to her native Mexico City, where she finished her degree. A New Home is her American publishing debut. She lives in Mexico City and travels to the United States frequently.

A Note From Tania de Regil

“This is a very personal story. I’ve always wanted to truly show my Mexico City, the one I grew up in, the one I’ve learned so much from, the one I love. And when I loved to New York, I fell in love with its sparkling, full-of-life energy as well. You could say that this book is a love letter dedicated to these two magnificent cities, which I’ve had the honor of calling home and seeing for what they really are. So dig a little deeper and move away from any initial perceptions and ideas that you may have of them. Although these two children are growing up in completely different cultures and circumstances, they are experiencing the same fears and emotions, which illustrates that no matter where we come from, we’re really not that different. Home is something within us.”

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.