Book Reviews

The Day Santa Believing in Harold | Book Review

I have heard many children question the belief in Santa Claus but what if Santa actually questioned the belief of your child?

Interesting concept, isn’t it?! It definitely was to me and our next book feature does just that!

I am delighted to present to all of you The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Cale Atkinson.

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Haibu Lost in New York | Book Review

Stories are a great way to get an important message to children in a creative way. This is exactly what Haibu Lost in New York written by Blake Freeman with Tara Price does.

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A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas | Book Review

A combination of Christmas and unicorns may sound like a dream come true for many children. In fact, it sounds extra magical to me.

We are delighted to introduce you all to A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas written and illustrated by Amy Young.

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Merry Christmas, Little Elliot | Book Review

Storytime this time of year is extra special when we get to read Christmas stories as we count down to the big day.

We are delighted to introduce, Merry Christmas, Little Elliot by Mike Curato. 

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Tough Cookie | Book Review

‘Tis the season for Christmas books! It is our favorite time of year and we will be introducing some great new books that you will all adore.

Our first book up for review is Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story which is written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway. This book would make a delicious part of your reading line-up!

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How Sara Josephine Baker Saved The Lives of America’s Children | Dr. Jo

Teaching history to children in book form is a magical way to tell the story.

We are excited to introduce our readers to Dr. Jo How Sara Josephine Baker Saved The Lives of America’s Children which is a new book that does just that; telling history in a child friendly way.

This book is written by Monica Kulling and illustrated by Julianna Swaney.

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The Real McCoys Series | Book Review

Mystery and comedy is what you can expect from the REAL McCoys series and they are great books for middle grade readers!

We had the pleasure of reviewing both books for this review – two for one deal!

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Eleanor Wyatt Princess And Pirate | Book Review

Empowering little girls to be who they want to be is a message that we love in our household. Especially since we are raising a little girl of our own. We believe that it is best for children to know that they can be whatever they want to be. This is why we are in LOVE with this book that we will be introducing all of you to.

Eleanor Wyatt Princess and Pirate, written by Rachael MacFarlane and illustrated by Spencer Laudiero the book you will want in your reading line-up!

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Corduroy Takes A Bow | Book Review

A beloved children’s favorite, Corduroy is back in a brand new adventure as he takes the stage.

Corduroy Takes A Bow is a bow-tiful story about Corduroy is taken to the theater for the very first time. It’s so magnificent and exciting that he just had to explore on his own. From the orchestra pit to the prop table to the dressing rooms, Corduroy sees it all. With all the action happening to get a better view, Corduroy ends up getting the best view of all – the stage!

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Unicorn Oo Brings A Personalized Touch To Your Child’s Storytime | Book Review

Having your child part of reading time is always great and it is even more special when your child is the main character in the story. Bang on Books is a web store for personalized children’s books. The books are adventure stories where children’s photographs are magically transformed into illustrated characters that go on exciting adventures. The stories are all; hand illustrated, written and printed in house at their offices based in the UK.

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Elbow Grease Brings Out A Positive Message To Children | Book Review

Words of encouragement and empowerment for many. It’s three little words that have the greatest impact. This is why we are thrilled to introduce all of you to Elbow Grease.

Elbow Grease is a children’s book written by John Cena and illustrated by Howard McWilliam. Now if the writer’s name sounds familiar, it should as he is very well known especially in the world of wrestling entertainment. John Cena is a versatile entertainer and dedicated philanthropist. Now he has taken the stage of child’s author to share the important lessons he has learned over the years, such as never giving up whether you win or lose.

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Potato Pants! | Book Review

I love potatoes! It is one of my favorite side dishes but never in my wildest dreams would I think that potatoes would need potato pants!

Well, they certainly do if you are in the new children’s book, Potato Pants! written and illustrated by Laurie Keller. Laurie Keller is the acclaimed author-illustrator of several bestselling picture books, including Do Unto Otters, Arnie, the Doughnut, The Scrambled States of America, and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, among numerous others.

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Skelly’s Halloween | Book Review

We love Halloween in our home especially when it comes to trick-or-treating! Nikki loves to dress up and of course get all the chocolates that she can get.

This is why we were so excited to receive, Skelly’s Halloweenwritten by David Martin and illustrated by Lori Richmond. It is a fitting book for us to read this season.

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Z Goes First | Book Review

Have you ever wonder if the letters like where they stand in the alphabet? I know that I have wondered that a few times in my childhood. Luckily for me there is an author who has answered my childhood question.

Z Goes Firstwritten by Sean Lamb and illustrated by Mike Perry. This new children’s book has us giggling all the way through the alphabet!

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The Day That A Ran Away | Book Review

School is back in session and we have got our hands on some great new books! We just love reading the latest and greatest books. This new children’s book is no exception and it is perfect for the school year.

The Day That A Ran Awaywritten by B.C.R. Fegan and illustrated by Lenny Wen has made its way onto the #MelAndNikkiReview!

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The Little School Bus | Book Review

A new school year is just about to start and it has parents excited (some kids not so much). With the new school year, comes some new reading and we are excited to introduce our readers to The Little School Bus. This book is written by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Bob Kolar.

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Me, Myselfie & I | Book Review

Who doesn’t like taking a good selfie?! With all the filters and options available to make them look great, it is hard to pass on taking one. I don’t usually take selfies but my daughter has become a selfie queen as she loves to take pictures (I’m to blame as I love taking photos of her!). You can selfies is part of our family portfolio to say the least.

Therefore, it was only fitting that we got an opportunity to review, Me, Myselfie & I. A Cautionary Tale, written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell.

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Neymar | A Soccer Dream Come True

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition. The championship has been awarded every four years since the tournament began in 1930 (with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War). The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world.

Therefore, it is no surprise that it’s an exciting time when the FIFA World Cup begins. You see the flags proudly displayed on cars, homes and of course team jerseys worn to support their teams.

We can’t forget the players who are playing on the field and how proud they are to represent their country on the biggest world stage.

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Fox and Raccoon | Storytime

Storytime is always an exciting time especially when new books arrive to be featured on the #MelAndNikkiReview! We love sweet and unique books as they make storytime that much special. This is why when we were introduced to the sweet and charming world of Juniper Hollow, we were in enchanted.

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Dada | First Words

The first word that is spoken is always an exciting time with your little one and the anticipation of what it would be, might have parents on the edge of their seats. I know this is how we were as we anticipated those first words from our daughter, Nikki.

I had a few friends and family who would tell me that the first word is usually momma or dada but a majority of them said it would be “Dada.” Of course, they were right as her first word was “Dada.”

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Brave Enough For Two Warms Our Hearts | Storytime

A Hoot & Olive Story has arrived in our home titled, Brave Enough for Two, written and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss and we are so glad that we did!

“Hoot loves adventures. Olive does not. But as long as they’re together, they can accomplish anything.”

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A Buzzing New Children’s Book | The HoneyBee

Honeybees are marvellous creatures who produce the pollen that we need for our food, clothing and shelter. Many of us may already know that the honeybee population is in danger. Education is key to help this population thrive again and what better way then articulating the honeybee in a children’s story.

We received a beautiful book titled, The HoneyBee, written by Kirsten Hall and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault.

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Perfect Gift For The Super Dad In Your Life

Many of us feel that our dads carry with them super powers as they seem to do things that no one else can do. Dads hold special places in the hearts of their children and it is important for us to acknowledge how important dad is. This is why we have the perfect gift idea for Father’s Day that your little one or even an older child can give to their “Super Dad.”

I See Me Books has done it again with another great personalized book to mark another great occasion, Father’s Day. We got the first look at a new book at I See Me Books called, Super Dad! 

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The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift From Your Little One

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, many start to wonder what would be the perfect Mother’s Day gift from a little one. I have often thought about that same very question myself and I have found the most perfect gift.

Let me introduce you to, Everything Is Mamma by Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy is one of the most popular entertainers in the world and NBC’s Tonight Show host. Therefore it is no surprise that he would write an adorable book just for Mama!

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Celebrate Earth Day with Earth | Children’s Book

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd worldwide. On this day, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is important to do our part to protect our beautiful Earth and Earth Day is a great way to make sure we all remember that.

Now it might be difficult to explain Earth to your little ones but we have a great solution for everyone and it is called, Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years. It is a children’s book written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield.

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Honey Nut Cheerios Launches Their Third Year Of Bring Back The Bees

Honey Nut Cheerios has launched their third year of Bring Back the Bees! If you haven’t heard the buzz about the bees then you have come to the right place!

Bees have been around for millions of years but in the last few years, their population has been on a dramatic decline. Did you know that bees are a crucial part of our agriculture? It is called pollination. In fact, one third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. They keep our plants and crops alive. So it is very important to help the bees to thrive.

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The Reality of Motherhood With A Dash Of Humor

When we are new parents we tend to read every book that has been recommended to us. I know that I read my fair share of sunshine and rainbows before I had my daughter. Then once I became a mom, I got the harsh reality of true motherhood. Therefore, when I was approached by author Jillian M. Parsons with an introduction to her upcoming book I was just thrilled!

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Brave Jane Austen An Inspiring Story Of An Empowering Woman

Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during the month of March in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8.

This is always a great time to reflect and look back in history on the women who have paved the way for us today.

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Children’s Graphic Novel Teaches Kindness Through A Jungle Adventure

We are delighted to introduce our readers to a new Children’s graphic novel called New Shoes, written by Sara Varon.

“Francis the donkey is the best shoemaker in the village. He uses only the finest materials: coconut wood for the soles, goat’s wool for the insoles, and wild tiger grass for the uppers.

One day he receives a special order from Miss. Manatee, the queen of calypso (and his own personal hero). But he’s all out of tiger grass! To make the perfect pair of shoes, Francis must journey deep into the jungle…and that means leaving his village for the first time.”

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My Mamma Wants To Eat Me Up

We truly love our books at our home as it is the most peaceful time for all of us. We especially love books done by local authors as those are extra special for us. This is why we were delighted to receive, My Mamma Wants To Eat Me Up, written by Faiza Venzant and illustrated by Patrick Girouard.

Of course as soon as we received this special book (before it hit the bookshelves) we had to read it right away. But before I go into the review of the book, I want to provide our readers with a deeper look at to how important this book is to the author, Faiza.

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My Pet Wants A Pet

Pets are great additions to families and they bring us so much joy. But what if our pet wanted a pet to care for and love like we do?

That is exactly what happens in the book, My Pet Wants A Pet written by Elise Broach and illustrated by Eric Barclay.

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The Super Life Of Ben Braver

Packed with black-and-white art and comic strips throughout makes The Super Life of Ben Braver a hilarious adventure series that is perfect for the Marvel and DC superhero lovers in your life!

So what exactly is The Super Life of Ben Braver?

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Adventures In Veggieland Takes Us On A Taste Bud Adventure

Melanie Potock is no stranger to the Momma Braga audience as we have featured her and her amazing books a few times and we just love her!

Therefore, I am delighted to say that Melanie is back but with a new and exciting book called Adventures in VeggielandThis new book is designed to help your kids learn to love vegetables with 100 easy activities and recipes.

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Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32

We love books in our home and we get very excited to read new releases or even books that have not yet hit the book shelves yet.

This is why we were thrilled to get a new children’s picture book, Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32, written by award winning author B.C.R. Fegan and illustrated by Lenny Wen. This book is available this month (March 2018).

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Legends Of The Lost Causes

Imagine being in a world where you were fighting zombie outlaws in the wild west. Seems far fetched? Well, authors, Brad McLelland and Louis Sylvester bring the idea to life in the first book of a new series that just hit the book shelves. It is a new middle-grade fantasy action-adventure series in the Old West, Legends Of The Lost Causes.

Legends of The Lost Causes follows a ragtag gang of orphans on their quest to find the powerful Char Stone before the sinister Bad Whiskey.

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I Love You For Miles And Miles

There is no denying that we love books in our home as it gives us an opportunity to explore new ideas, worlds and characters.

This is why we were thrilled to receive a new book called, I Love You For Miles And Miles by Alison Goldberg; illustrated by Mike Yamada.

Of course it became top priority on our reading list as soon as it came to our door. We excitedly got ready for bed and got the book out to read. As we read each page, we were captivated by the beautiful illustrations and the message behind the book which is all about how much a child is loved.

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My Little Lovebug And Love Notes Make The Perfect Gift

I See Me has become one of our favorites for personalized books as they always go beyond with the extra little touches to make someone feel special. This is why we were very excited to hear about a new release and just in time for Valentine’s Day! 😉

My Little Lovebug is a photo-personalized storybook featuring your loved ones’ photos and names. Every page is beautifully illustrated with a cute and cheeky saying, with illustrated text by Jeanine Murch.

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Jorie And The River Of Fire

A.H. Richardson does it again in the third installment of her series with Jorie And The River Of Fire.

The synopsis states: “Jorie and her best friend are summoned by the mysterious white cate Snowka to undertake the journey to the enchanted land of Cabrynthius beneath the Tarn to face the daunting task of finding the Great Wizard who has disappeared and feared kidnapped by the wicked Lord Fodomalk. Armed with the Magic Stones, they face a frightening land full of fiery volcanoes and unpleasant creatures, where their courage is tested. On the up-side of the Tarn, the grownups have an adventure or tow of their own. Come along with Jorie and Rufus in another unforgettable adventure as they dive back into the dark mystic waters of the Tarn.”

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“How To Cake It” Makes A Delicious Read

We at Momma Braga had the pleasure of reading, How to Cake It by Yolanda Gampp and it was a delicious read to say the least. The book reflects on Yolanda’s own experience going from a beginner baker to a cake artist. It is designed to grow your skills whether you are just starting out or perfecting your cake skills.

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I See Me Books Warms Our Hearts With A Christmas Story

There is no denying that Christmas is my favorite time of the year! To me it’s the spirit of Christmas that I enjoy the most as to me it’s the most caring time of the year. Therefore, when we got the opportunity to review a new book by I See Me Books on Christmas – I was thrilled!

Nikki got her “Very Own Christmas” from I See Me Books and she was as excited as me (in all honesty I must have been a tad more excited then she was).

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The Condo Kids: Project Haunted Condo

The Condo Kids are back and just in time for Halloween!

I was very excited to see the next book release for the Condo Kids as I loved the first one, The Condo Kids: Adventures with Bob the Barbary Sheep. I was curious to see what kind of adventure the condo kids were going to go through in this next book.

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Jorie And The Gold Key An Adventuresome Enchantment

A.H. Richardson transported us to a magically place in Jorie And The Magic Stones and she doesn’t disappoint in her second book in the series titled, Jorie And The Gold Key.

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Captivating Uniqueness in a “Very Own Fairy Tale”

Imagine being transported to a magical garden of flowers and berries surrounded by fairies. Imagine if you were the one that they were going to announce as their fairy princess. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? It surely would be for a child.

Now your child can be part of a story just like this in I See Me Books personalized book titled, My Very Own Fairy Tale.

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“If My Dog Could Talk” Warms All Our Furry Hearts

Imagine if your dog could talk! What do you think they would say? You don’t need to wonder anymore as I See Me! has created a book on exactly that!

But not just any book but a personalized book for your dog. I was very intrigued by this idea as I do love animals and have a furry nephew by the name of Theodore. This was a great gift idea for my sister-in-law to share with my daughter. What makes this perfect is that it ties in two things that they both love, reading and Theodore!

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New Children’s Book Speaks to Children with Allergies

The new school year has already started and if your child has an allergy you may be a lot more worried than most. Now there is a child friendly book available that explains allergies beautifully that can better help educators, children and even parents to understand.

Epic Ellie and the Invisible Dragon is a story that describes all aspects of allergies including where allergies come from and how they are triggered, how to prevent an allergic reaction and recruiting an Allergy Buddy. They use child-friendly analogies and illustrations which would makes it a great educational tool for everyone to help reduce the stigma that comes with allergies, especially food allergies in schools.

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Jorie And The Magic Stones

Fantasy books is a genre that can transport us to the most magically places and lets us believe that anything is possible. A. H. Richardson does this and more in her novel, Jorie And The Magic Stones.
The synopsis states: “Jorie is greeted in the magic land of Cabrynthius as the Child with Hair of Fire who will find the missing Stones of Maalog, foretold in an ancient book about dragons. She and her friend Rufus are challenged to find the Three Stones and restore them to the Great Grootmonya.

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Hey, Boy Reminds Us Of The Love Of A Pet

In this latest #MelandNikkiReview we read “Hey, Boy” which was written by Benjamin Strouse and illustrated by Jennifer Phelan.

This story is about how a boy finds a dog and they bond right away. The boy takes the dog home, dreaming of all the adventures they will have and the games they will play. But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Even thought they are not together, they never stop dreaming of the adventures. They do reunite and their friendship did not fade.

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Sea Monkey and Bob Defeat Gravity In This Heartwarming Children’s Book

A colorful and adorable book written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi has made it onto our #MelandNikkiReview and we are so delighted it did!

Our eyes were captivated by the bright colors and beautiful illustrations and as we read the story, it captured our hearts too.

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Action Packed Adventure in The Kingdom of Oceana Novel

We received a teen novel recently for our #MelandNikkiReview and even though Nikki is too young to enjoy a novel, it gave me the opportunity to read one on my own.

The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles takes us on an action-packed journey in Hawaii.

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The Condo Kids Have Arrived…Finally a Book For Modern Times

I have lived in a condo for the last eight years and was so excited to hear about a new book tailored around condo living, specifically on the adventures of The Condo Kids. Condo living has been a growing reality in today’s day with many families. Therefore, this book seems fitting with the times that we live in and I was thrilled to see it hit the book shelves.

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Olivia The Spy Pirouettes Into Our Hearts

Let me first introduce you all to Olivia who is an adorable pig and is a legend in her own time with awards (including a Caldecott Honor and two Book Sense Children’s Book of the Year awards), stars galore, and a place on bestseller lists everywhere. Olivia books have been translated into 24 languages and are sold in 40 countries worldwide, and has been adapted into an animated television series. You may have even seen her on clothing. I know that we have an Olivia winter jacket and it is beyond adorable!

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#BabyLove: My Toddler Life

We just love getting new books and when they are on unique topics we are even more intrigued. The latest autographed book added to our collection is called #BabyLove: My Toddler Life and it is written and illustrated by Corine Dehghanpisheh.

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Fist Bumps with a Twist!

When I heard that Jaime Windle, author of Blowing Kisses was releasing another children’s book, I was very excited! I was intrigued to see what she would write about next and she didn’t disappoint with her next topic. Jaime’s second book is titled, Fist Bumps and illustrated by Elisa Moriconi.

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Baby Self-Feeding Book is Empowering Parents

“Your baby’s relationship with food starts with her first bite.”

I had the recent pleasure of reading, Baby Self-Feeding, by Nancy Ripton and feeding therapist Melanie Potock (Coach Mel), MA, CCC-SLP. This book provides solutions to help empower parents to create lifelong, healthy eating habits for their children.

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Brunhilda’s Backwards Day

My daughter, Nikki and I were very excited when we got a new book to add to our story time line up called, Brunhilda’s Backwards Day. This book is written and illustrated by Shawna J. C. Tenney.

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Betty and the Loaf-of-Bread Sit

This week a new book landed on our list that introduces young readers to a lovable cat’s adventure in a new book called, Betty and the Loaf-of-Bread Sit. This book is written by Marisa Wiens and illustrated by Laura Toews. Betty and the Loaf-of-Bread Sit takes young readers on an adventure with Betty as she finds the perfect sit for her adorable and lumpy self. After many failed attempts at finding the best sit, she finds herself hungry and ends up finding the perfect sit. Betty even decides not to eat after all as the “sit” was just too comfy!

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Bringing Family Mealtimes Back Into Our Homes

“Food is love, in so many ways.”

The moment I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter, I was thrilled! Of course, like many new moms, I read many books regarding motherhood and some were good but none really stood out for me until now.

I had the recent pleasure of reading, Raising A Healthy, Happy Eater, by Pediatrician Nimali Fernando (Dr. Yum), MD, MPH and feeding therapist Melanie Potock (Coach Mel), MA, CCC-SLP. This book provides a stage-by-stage guide to setting your child on the path to Adventurous Eating.

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A Mermaid Called Marissa

This week a new book landed on our list that introduces young readers to the ocean in a new book called, A Mermaid Called Marissa. This book is written and illustrated by Georgie Cornwell.

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Blowing Kisses

Story time a couple of nights ago was a little extra special as we had a new book to read called, Blowing Kisses. This book is written by Jaime Windle and illustrated by Elisa Moriconi.

Blowing Kisses is an adorable children’s book that takes us on a kiss journey. The adventure first starts by making a kiss and not just any kiss but one with a special wish. The next part is deciding on who gets this special kiss and then off the kiss goes. After traveling it lands on mom who is greatly touched by the kiss and special wish that warms her heart. To end the journey, mom sends one back.

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One of our Favourite Books, Grace

Nikki and I love story time and one of our favourites is, Grace. The reading is easy and the beautiful illustrations are so colourful – perfect to entice a toddler’s eye.

Grace is a story about a girl who loved to dance but after trying and trying, Grace gave up. To cheer herself up, she started to draw and found out that this was her very special talent that she could even share with her dancing friends.

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