Category: Books

“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!

To customize the book, there are a few details that we needed to submit first. We had to select our dog’s style and there are 12 to pick from. The next step was to pick a color for our dog. Then we needed to fill out the Dog Lover’s First Name, Dog’s Name and Dog Gender. Of course with I See Me Books you can make the gift extra special and add a dedication and sender name. They have really thought of all the details.

We submitted all the info and we waited for our personalized book to arrive. I must say that it arrived quickly and was neatly packaged. The package included the book, bandana and mat for the furry family member’s food. It surpassed my expectations and at this point we only had opened it up. Can’t say I have had this experience before.

Theodore proudly wearing his bandana by his new mat with his food. Talk about “Bark-Tastic!’

A personalized gift for dog-lovers that captures the hilarious mischief and pure love of your furry friend.

Now it was time for the big moment, reading time. I sat with my daughter and told her that we were going to read a very special book. She was really excited and being three of age, she gets REALLY excited quickly! I told her we were going to read a book about Theodore. “Bubba!” exclaimed Nikki which is the nickname that her Auntie calls Theodore. I told Nikki that yes it was all about Bubba and some other special people too. So I have set the stage for my very eager toddler and I have to admit I was just as excited.

We went through each page and being very detailed oriented I noticed that I See Me didn’t miss a single detail. Inside there was a photo of Theodore and it was dedicated to everyone we had listed and it included our dedication, “May you always know the pure love of a furry friend. Nikki & Family. 2017.” This piece meant a lot to me to see as our furry family members are an important part of our families.

The story takes your furry dog through his day and thoughts about why people do what they do and why they couldn’t just do what dogs do. It really is cute and funny. You can’t help but wonder how accurate this could really be. 😉 Each drawing is colorful, bright and detailed to your family. This is where I See Me separates itself from anyone else. They inserted Theodore’s name in all spots that it could go on such as his bed, collar, towel, bowl, etc. They also inserted the special people we listed into the drawings. There is one part of the book where you see everyone’s name framed along with handprints (this tickled my heart pink!). I was just amazed on the little details to really make the book feel like it was ours.

At the end of the book, we see an adorable photo of Theodore with a poem which read: “You give me hugs and hold me tight. You fluff my hair and say ‘goodnight.’ When I grow old and my face turns grey, I’ll remember the love you gave each day.” (At this point I had tears as our love is unconditional for our furry family members and I remember our dear Lily the cat).

My daughter clapped with delight once we finished and asked to read it again (four times). Each time I read it we both loved it more.

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give, If My Dog Theodore Could Talk!, 5+++ barks out of 5This book has also made it onto our Recommended List. It is an unique, very personalized and cherished book for any family especially for dog lovers. The illustrations are beautifully done and detailed. My daughter (and I) were captivated by the bright colors. We also loved the gifts that came with the book for our furry family member and it makes it that more special.

As many of you already know that I love companies who give back and I See Me Books does just that. You can save 10% and help SAVE an animal in need by entering code RESCUE (only for a limited time). It’s a win-win for everyone!

We do highly recommend this most precious book to any dog lover on your list as it would make a perfect gift or keepsake. To purchase this book, please click here.

Make sure to follow I See Me Book on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Also stay tuned as we will be releasing another #MelandNikkiReview on another book from I See Me! You don’t want to miss it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed in this review are of Momma Braga and were not influenced by the company.

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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.

The nine-year-olds face evil dragons, greedy creatures, caves of fire, rocky mountain trails, even a poisonous butterfly as they discover their own courage, stamina, and friendship. This is a tale of imagination, enchantment, and the unexplainable.”

The Great Stone lies near the Great Stone

Where a monarch may sit on a granite throne.

The Stone sleeps far from mortal eye

Where the bones of the ancient Atir lie.

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A. H. Richardson is an amazing fantasy adventure that will be enjoyed by all as there is no minimum in age to appreciate it. The pivotal character is fresh and engaging. Jorie will draw you into her world with her infectious prying ways, sense of adventure and positive energy. She is also inquisitive, brave, wise beyond her years and yet still a child at heart. The balance articulated in the story is well executed by A.H, Richardson who also effortlessly captured the atmosphere perfectly.

I always love books that teaches and provides us with messages. In Jorie and the Magic Stones, it teaches children to never give up no matter how hard the task may be and to never judge someone based on how they look. One of my favorite messages is that we all have “an inner magic that takes many forms, such as love, friendship, courage, and tolerance.”

For this #MelandNikkiReview, we give it 5 fiery dragons out of five for it’s intriguing characters, vivid descriptions, and unique story line. We would recommend this fantasy novel to anyone over the age of nine.  This is the first book of the series as there are two more books in the series. It looks like it is a great series!

Make sure to see like Jorie and the Magic Stone Facebook page and if you would like to purchase this intriguing novel, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

* Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed in this review are of Momma Braga and were not influenced by the company.

 

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.

Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

Nikki and I give this book 5 barks out of 5 as it’s such a simple book with such a beautiful message on how one’s love for their pet lasts a lifetime. We loved this book as we know how special a love can be with a furry family member as we use to have one in our lives. We know how important these bonds and friendships are. This book articulated that so beautifully through words and illustrations.

We recommend this book for 2 to 8 as it is a great read with such a great message.

To purchase this book, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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.

Sea Monkey & Bob is about Bob, the puffer fish and his best friend, Sea Monkey who came to the realization that they both have an “ocean” problem. So what problem could this two friends be having? Gravity! You read that right, gravity.

Sea Monkey is terrified that he will sink straight to the bottom since all heavy things sink and then that has Bob worried that he may puff up to the surface. He’s light, and all light things float, right?! They go back and forth on what other items sink and float. So what can these friends do to stick together when the forces of gravity are literally trying to keep them apart? By holding hands, of course!

Sea Monkey and Bob learn that sometimes the only way to overcome your fears is to just keep holding on…

Nikki and I give this book five Sea Monkey Puffs out of 5 as it offered us a dash of humor, learning and heart. We had so much fun reading the book that we have been reading it every night. Nikki who is almost turning three tells me that she wants the “Bob book” and I know exactly which one she wants.


Nikki learned all about different objects and which ones float and sink. It felt like a little taste of science for my eager to learn toddler and I loved that the most about Sea Monkey & Bob. This book is recommended for children 4 to 8 years of age and even though Nikki is almost 3 years old she still enjoyed the book immensely.

Make sure to follow Sea Monkey & Bob on Facebook as it is a fun feed to follow. You can also follow the author, Aaron Reynolds on Twitter.  Don’t forget to also follow the illustrator Debbie Ohi on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure to check out her website which includes a lot of great extras/resources such as activity sheets, fun facts and an interview with Aaron Reynolds.

If you would like to purchase this beautiful book, click here. This book is definitely on the #MommaBraga recommended list.

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga
#MelandNikkiReview

* Please note that this book was given at no cost in exchange for an honest review and no other monetary benefits were given to Momma Braga.

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.

“When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.

As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell.” (Novel Synopsis)

I give this book a 5 lilikoi (passion fruit) out of 5 as I love the way the author is descriptive on the island details, use of Hawaiian language and culture in the story. It gives the reader the opportunity to feel like they are in the beautiful island. The action-pack story is great and keeps you wondering on what is going to happen next. I recommend this novel for youth 12 and older.

I had the honor and opportunity to interview the author to get some great interesting facts for my loyal readers and fans.

1. How did you begin writing?

I began writing The Kingdom of Oceana after spending prolonged periods of time in Hawaii. I was captivated by the natural beauty and wonderful people of the Islands.

2. What motivates you as an Author?

To create great characters and stories that are woven into themes that are important to me. These themes include family, honoring and protecting the great creatures of the ocean, and respect for indigenous cultures.

3. What inspired you to write The Kingdom of Oceana?

My two teenage children.

4. Is there a message in your book that you would like your audience to know?

There is more to Hawaii than big hotels, golf courses and Mai Tais. The Hawaiian culture is wonderful.

5. What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?

I read a lot, both fictional and non-fiction. The book that has most influenced me is The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.

6. What makes you passionate about being an Author?

I love to tell stories and had so much fun creating the magical world of ancient Hawaii.

7. Do you have another book in the works? If so, what can we expect?

Yes. I’m working on a sequel to The Kingdom of Oceana, and another novel that takes place in modern day Hawaii.

8. Is there anything else you would like to add for your fans?

My favorite version of the book is the audiobook. Rayton Lamay, who was born on the Island of Lanai, does such a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. It was important to me to have a native Hawaiian do the narration so that the dialect was authentic.

Special thank you to Mitchell Charles for his time on this exclusive interview for Momma Braga fans. Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter to see what comes up next.

To purchase this great novel for a teenager in your family, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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.

The Condo Kids is written by Jackie Burns, a freelance writer and has been published in the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, The Globe and Mail, Hamilton Spectator and on MSN.ca, AOL.ca, canoe.ca and Yahoo! The Condo Kids is illustrated by Ana Patankar, a published comics and children book artist with several of her works, caricatures, characters, mascots, cartoons and stylized illustrations circulating in the digital universe.

The Condo Kids: Adventures with Bob the Barbary Sheep is the first book in an early reader chapter book series aimed at kids aged 6-9. This meant that only Momma Braga read the story since Nikki is too young to really sit down for a long period of time to listen (toddler life). So I got to get some ‘me time’ which was nice to have and what it made it even better was to read this wonderful book.

The Condo Kids: Adventures with Bob the Barbary Sheep follows the adventures of brothers Noah and Michael, and all of their best friends in the building. In this first book, the Condo Kids keep a major secret from the nosy neighbours and scary superintendent. What could this big secret be? Well, after Noah tried to convenience his mom to get a pet, he took matters into his own hands and got a Barbary Sheep from the local zoo. This when the hilarious adventure begins as the Condo Kids try hiding Bob the Barbary Sheep from everyone in the building. You will need to read the rest to see what happens on their wild adventure and if they get caught. 😉

We give this book five sshheeppss out of five. The book literally had me giggling out loud. The imagination the Condo Kids is amazing and is reflected in the adventures that they have. This book provides the message that there is a sense of community in condo living as the Condo Kids have great friendships amongst each other. It shows that kids living in a condo can have just as much fun! According to the 2011 Census, one in eight households in Canada lived in a condo or apartment building. Therefore this book represents a growing population of children and it is so amazing to see!

So what inspired this book? Simple. Burns’ two young sons and their pals who live in a 47-storey Toronto condo and have made it into their own personal playground.

“In Canada’s urban centres, more and more families are choosing to raise their kids in condos, and in major international cities like New York or Hong Kong, it’s always been the norm,” says Burns. “These high-rise children, like my boys, are hungry for stories that speak to them.”

I recommend to check out The Condo Kids especially if you have children in the 6-9 age group and they don’t need to be living in a condo to appreciate the story. Not only this book entertaining for children to read but when you purchase this book, 10% of book profits go directly to support Earth Rangers. Earth Rangers is the kids’ conservation organization, dedicated to educating children and their families about biodiversity, inspiring them to adopt sustainable behaviors and empowering them to become directly involved in protecting animals and their habitats. Talk about wins all around!

Please feel free to visit Amazon or The Condo Kids website to purchase the book directly.

Looking forward to the next book in this series! You can follow The Condo Kids on social media to keep up-to-date on what’s going on (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest).

Until next time…..Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga
#MelandNikkiReview

#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.

#BabyLove is an adorable children’s book that introduces us to a curious toddler who loves to play, especially with his mom’s smartphone. When mom finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment. Mom reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Our favorite quote in the book is, “I love you so much, too much to measure. These moments with you, I love and treasure.” We loved this part so much that it has become a saying in our home. Every time I say it, Nikki starts to smile and says “momma read book.” Then we take out the book to read it again.

The message of the story is a simple reminder to put down our phones and enjoy the moments together. Great book for the parenting digital world that we live in. For me personally I love taking photos of my daughter as I feel like I need to document every part of her growing but the book is a great reminder that sometimes we just need to play with no distractions.

Nikki and I give this book five #BabyLove out of five. The story flows really well and it is an easy read. The illustrations articulate the story beautifully with the colourful pictures and characters. This story would make a great addition to the book collection of children from 0 to 5 and we recommend it!

To purchase this lovely book visit, click here. This is Corine’s second book as her first book in the series, #BabyLove: My Social Life, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Picture Books 0-5.

Looking forward to more from Corine who really is bringing the now to the present.

– Momma Braga
#MelandNikkiReview