Category: Children’s books

Dasher Brings A Tale Full Of Hope, Love and Magic

“Dasher is a captivating tale that gives us all the feels of the Christmas Spirit with the story of Dasher.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life – one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh – a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Dasher¬†is a captivating tale that gives us all the feels of the Christmas Spirit with the story of Dasher. We have all heard of Rudolph but have you ever wonder about the other reindeers? I know that we have and now we get to read the tale of Dasher from this author’s perspective, Matt Tavares.

So what did we think of it? We loved it! Such an articulated tale full of hope, love and magic. A perfect combination for a Christmas story and one that should be told. We love hearing stories on other icons that may not have had any light shine on them previously. Good on Dasher for getting her spotlight! By the way, we love to know that Dasher is a female. For some odd reason, I always thought that Dasher was a male so this was great to learn. ūüėČ

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Dasher 10 stars out of 5! It is an absolutely beautiful story through words and illustrations. We truly recommend this book for children ages four to eight. However, this book is great for the child in every person who wonders how Santa’s great team of reindeers became the team who bring much joy to children around the world.

If you would like to bring this book to your collection and into your reading collection, click here.

About the Author

Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of¬†Crossing Niagara, Henry Aaron’s Dream, There Goes Ted Williams, Becoming Babe Ruth,¬†and¬†Growing Up Pedro,¬†as well as¬†Zachary’s Ball, Oliver’s Game,¬†and¬†Mudball.¬†He is the illustrator of¬†‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Over the River and Through the Wood, Lady Liberty¬†by Doreen Rappaport,¬†The Gingerbread Pirates¬†by Kristin Kladstrup, and¬†Jubilee!¬†by Alicia Potter. Most recently he wrote and illustrated the modern Christmas tale¬†Red and Lulu.¬†Matt Tavares lives in Ogunquit, Maine.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

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Just Because Is A Charming Bedtime Story

“Curious minds are rewarded with curious answers in a fantastical bedtime book by Marc Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault.”

Synopsis

Why is the ocean blue? What is the rain? What happened to the dinosaurs? It might be time for bed, but one child is too full of questions about the world to go to sleep just yet. Little ones and their parents will be charmed and delighted as a patient father offers up increasingly creative responses to his child’s nighttime wonderings. Any child who has ever asked “Why?” – and any parent who has attempted an explanation – will recognize themselves in this sweet storybook for dreamers who are looking for answers beyond “Just because.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

Just Because¬†takes creativity to a whole new level in answering the infamous “Why” and we LOVE it!

As the child tries to get the answers to some of the most common questions that we are asked, dad gives with out of this world responses. At first, Nikki would look at me and say, “Is this really true?” I had to tell her that these were responses used with imagination to make it more fun before going to sleep. Nikki loved that and started to ask me questions to get out of this world responses. In all honesty, I am not as creative as Marc is in¬†Just Because.¬†

The sweet illustrations tie everything in beautifully and it truly brings imagination to life. The whole book is just so unique in taking the standard response of, “Just Because” and makes it so much more fun. It reminded me that a big part of being a child is to have fun and that anything is possible. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give¬†Just Because¬†10 flying fishes out of 5! You will love it too!

Momma Braga: Nikki why are there clouds in the sky?

Nikki: That is where angels sleep.

This book is recommended for children ages four to eight. If you would like to purchase this lovely book, click here.

About the Author

Marc Barnett is the author of several books for children, including Caldecott Honor Books Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, both illustrated by Jon Klassen; President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen; Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Christian Robinson; and the Terrible Two series, co-written with Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Marc Barnett lives in California.

About the Illustrator

Isabelle Arsenault is the creator of¬†Alpha, Colette’s Lost Pet, Albert’s Quiet Quest and the illustrator of several other picture books, including¬†Jane, the Fox, and Me¬†by Fanny Britt, a¬†New York Times Book Review¬†Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year;¬†Captain Rosalie¬†by Timothee de Fombelle; and¬†Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois¬†by Amy Novesky. Isabelle Arsenault lives in Montreal.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz

“Authors and titles and plots, oh my!”

Synopsis

Books, books, books! Judy’s got books on the brain as she prepares for a totally RARE trivia competition. Has reading always been this exciting?

Judy Moody is in it to win it. Win the Book Quiz Blowout, that is. Judy and her brother, Stink, are two-fifths of the Virginia Dare Bookworms, and they’ve been reading up a storm to prepare for Saturday’s face-off against second- and third-grade readers from the next town. Judy’s trying out all kinds of tactics, from hanging upside down like Pippi Longstocking to teaching herself to speed read¬†The Princess in Black, and Stink has fashioned a cape of book trivia sticky notes to help him remember all the penguins in¬†Mr. Popper’s Penguins.¬†But when Judy, Stink, and their fellow teammates discover the other group has a fourth-grader (no lie!), they get a bit nervous. Are the Bookworks up to the challenge?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz is such an amazing book to read! But then again it is a Judy Moody book and they should be great! ūüėČ

Never in my wildest dreams did I think book reading would be as exciting as it was in this book. The trivia competition had me on the edge of my seat as I wondered who would take it all as I was cheering for Judy of course! This book did not disappoint! What I found neat about this one was the referencing of other books within it and at the back of the book, every single book that was mentioned is referenced. LOVE THAT! Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz is just simply great and a must read for young readers.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! Keep inspiring us Judy Moody and encouraging young minds to love reading.

We recommend this book for children ages six to nine. If you would like to purchase a copy of your own, click here.

About the Author

Megan McDonald is the creator of the popular and award-winning Judy Moody and Stink series for older readers. She is also the author of three Sisters Club stories, two books about Ant and Honey Bee, and many other books for children. Megan McDonald lives in California.

About the Illustrator

Peter H. Reynolds is the illustrator of the Judy Moody and Stink books and the author-illustrator of¬†The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, So Few of Me, The North Star, Rose’s Garden, The Smallest Gift of Christmas, and Playing from the Heart.¬†Born in Canada, he now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Fairies Vs Unicorns

Have you ever had the disagreement of which one was better: Fairies or Unicorns? Do you have a specific magical creature that you love the most?

Well, we have been presented with this very question by one of our favorite book publishers, Tundra Books. Of course there is no better way to determine our answer with two new stories that feature each character in depth. From beloved BC creators Ashley Spires and Cale Atkinson come two new picture books celebrating those most magical of creatures, fairies and unicorns!

Fairy Science

Esther the fairy doesn’t believe in magic. But fairies are all about magic, despite Esther’s best efforts to reveal the science of their world. No matter how she and her bird, Albert, explain that rainbows are refracted light rather than a path to gold, or that mist is water evaporating rather than an evil omen, or the importance of the scientific method, her fairymates would rather just do magic.

So when the other fairies’ solution to helping a dying tree is to do a mystical moonlight dance, Esther decides to take it upon herself to resuscitate the tree with the scientific method, some hypothesizing, a few experiments and the heady conclusion that trees need sunlight to live!

But while Esther manages to save the tree, she can’t quite change the minds of her misguided fairymates…or can she?

About the Author

Ashley Spires grew up in Tsawwassen, BC and after stints living in Toronto and Saskatoon, she now lives in Ladner, having made an educated decision to never move from B.C. again. She is the creator of the Binky The Space Cat series of junior graphic novels and the bestselling The Most Magnificent Thing, soon to be an animated short film. When not drawing, she is often jogging with her dog Gordon or cuddling her growing brood of cats. For more info, click here.

Unicorns 101

The unicorn is the most noble and beautiful of all the beasts. Colorful and shiny coats, luscious manes that smell of cinnamon, sparkly hooves. But not much was known about this fascinating species…until now.

Top professors working in the field of Unicorn Science have come together for the first time to create this comprehensive guide to the unicorn: Dr. Glitter Pants, Grand Unistorian; Dr. Sprinkle Steed, Doctor of Magic; Dr. Star Hoof, Rainbowmetrics Specialist; and Dr. Sugar Beard, Certified Hornologist.

These highly trained scientists will reveal all of the secrets you’ve been dying to find out: What is a unicorn’s horn made of? Why do I never see unicorns? What do unicorns like to eat? And what do unicorn homes look like? (Hint: there are guard’n gnomes, a ball pit and gummi bears growing on trees.)

This book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about unicorns — and more. But please, handle with care, or you may be seeing sparkles for weeks.

About the Author

Cale Atkinson¬†is an illustrator and animator living lakeside with his family in Kelowna, British Columbia. Believing in tea more than sleep, Cale is constantly working on numerous projects. He is the illustrator of many children’s books, including If I Had a Gryphon, and he wrote and illustrated¬†Where Oliver Fits¬†and Sir Simon: Super Scarer and many more. His work can also be found in animated shorts, television and games. He has not met a unicorn…yet. For more info, click here.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Now if you were not a fan of fairies or unicorns then you may just be after reading both of these books. Both books bring all the great traits that we love in both magical creatures and they also teach us a few new things that we can appreciate.

We absolutely loved the different perspective Fairy Science brought forth to the little readers. The use of science in the book was perfect and really gets the young minds to ask questions and wonder how things truly work. This earned some extra points in our books. Did we forget to mention how great the illustrations are in this story?! They are absolutely perfect and really bring the story to life. Therefore, for Fairy Science we give it 10 pixidust out of 5!

Unicorns 101¬†is just as amazing as it gives us the 101 all things unicorns. We definitely learned a lot about unicorns and had some giggles along the way. It was truly creative and hilarious to read. My favorite part is when we were shown what a baby unicorn looks like – too adorable! But be warned as if you stare for too long you may see only glitter for weeks! ūüėČ HeHe. The illustrations are vibrant and perfect in our education lesson on all things unicorn. Therefore, for¬†Unicorns 101¬†we give it 10 sparkles out of 5!

You can rest assured that if you decide to read Fairy Science or Unicorns 101, it will not disappoint the inner magical creature in yourself! Both books are recommended for children ages three to seven (or if you are like me, age is no limit as long as you love great children stories).

Now the BIG question has still be unanswered by us…Which side are we on? Team Fairy or Team Unicorn? You must click the video below to find out! ūüėČ

If you would like to purchase Fairy Science, click here. If you would like to purchase Unicorns 101, click here. Neither will disappoint!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*The books were provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Teaching Children Healthy Eating Through Play | Good For Kids

We love seeing ideas grow and come to life. This is why we are thrilled to do this follow up article on The World’s First Healthy Eating Doll by Good for Kids.

The doll and book were launched earlier this year and we get to review it on the #MelAndNikkiReview.

Let’s just recap a little about the concept behind this amazing toy and book.

Summer

Summer is the World’s First Healthy Eating Doll and she is adorable! She is a magnetic doll that can easily tell which foods are good for her. Summer comes with a set of 20 colorful, wooden toy foods and a cute shopping bag. Healthy foods like apples, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries and broccoli, stick to her mouth so she can “eat” them. If the doll is offered a lollipop however, she will not take it. The effect of tasting and touching the foods is accomplished through the use of hidden magnets, that are safely and inconspicuously embedded in the mouth and the hands of the doll. Summer can easily pick up healthy foods with her hands and bring them to her mouth. She really knows what’s good for her!

Healthy Foods Are Fun To Eat Book

This children’s picture book is filled with bouncy rhymes and gorgeous illustrations made entirely of fruits and veggies. It features food art created by over 10 talented artists from all around the world!

This book teaches children about healthy eating and you can combine the book with the doll in the learning experience.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We already fell in love with this product during their Kickstarter Campaign as we thought the concept was genius! Now we get to actually try it out for ourselves and our love for it has grown tremendously. It is such a great way to promote and encourage healthy eating. Nikki really got a kick out of the doll only picking up and “eating” the healthy foods. Nikki is still trying to figure out how Summer does it but we will keep that secret from her a little while longer. At the present time, we tell her that Summer is very smart and knows what’s good for her body and it works! ūüėČ

The combination of Summer with the Healthy Foods Are Fun To Eat Book is fantastic! This children’s book is unique as it uses fruits and veggies to create the illustrations. Each page is breathtaking and it simply amazes me to see the art created with fruits and veggies. I think I need to up my mom game! ūüėČ You can use both the doll and book in teaching about healthy and unhealthy foods. Plus, the doll is so adorable that it is hard not to enjoy learning about different foods through her.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this delightful duo of Summer and The Healthy Foods Are Fun To Eat, 10 strawberries out of 5! It promotes healthy eating in the most fun way and we love the combination of doll and book. We recommend this for children ages three and up. This would be great for schools to use with young children as it can be a great tool in teaching.

If you would like to purchase the combo pack which includes Summer and the book, click here. If you just want to purchase Summer or the book on its own, you have that option too. Just click here and select which one you would like. We recommend the package. ūüėČ

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* This product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Smell My Foot! | Book Review

“A silly but adorable young readers book that will have everyone laughing out loud and learn a very important lesson too!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Meet Chick and Brain. And their friend Spot. Chick likes to follow the rules. Brain might not be as smart as he looks. And Spot just wants to eat lunch. In a graphic reader loaded with verbal and visual humor, Cece Bell offers a comical primer on good manners gone awry. Simple, silly, and perfectly suited for its audience, this tale of Chick and Brain’s constant misunderstandings and miscommunications proves once again that Cece Bell knows just how to make kids laugh.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Smell My Foot!¬†was a hilarious read and my daughter truly enjoyed it. She couldn’t help giggle along the way. We just loved reading it from beginning to end. I also love the comic style layout which is probably why my daughter was so intrigued by the book.

Not only does the book offer us some good laughs but it also carries an important message which is manners and a surprising hero by the end. It is a great book for early readers to grasp reading as the words are easy to read and follow. We also love the illustrations as it fits in perfectly with the story. This book is recommended for children ages four to eight and we would have to agree. ūüėČ

It is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Smell My Foot! 10 feet out of 5! Believe me, you will be laughing out loud in no time!

If you would like to purchase a copy, please click here.

About the Author

Cece Bell is the author-illustrator of many books for young readers, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover and the Newbery Honor Book El Deafo. She is also the creator of the Sock Monkey picture books and Chuck and Woodchuck. Cece Bell lives in Virginia with her family.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Twins | Book Review

“A heartfelt celebration of twins and all the ups and a few downs that come along with it.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A boy and a giraffe may be unlikely twins, but they don’t see it that way.

These two do everything together from leapfrogging and trick-or-treating to dancing and even, sometimes, disagreeing. Each half of this perfect pair understands that being a twin may have a lot of ups and a few downs, but in the end, it’s great knowing there’s someone in your world who is just like you.

From a father of fraternal twins comes this silly and sly demonstration that the wonders of twinship have nothing to do with looking alike and everything to do with sharing an unbreakable bond – with a sibling, a friend, or even somebody from a different species.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Twins is an adorable children’s book that allows us to take a glimpse into twin life. Even though this likely pair may not look exactly the same, but they do have a bond like no other. We loved seeing that bond that they shared and how great it can be to have a twin. I always wondered what it would be like to have two of me. ūüėČ

The story flowed nicely and it was an easy read. The illustrations were adorable and complimented the story beautifully. We recommend this book for children ages two to six and if you have a twin, this is a great book to celebrate you! ūüôā

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Twins 5 stars out of 5!

If you would like to purchase a copy of our own, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Snowmen At Halloween | Book Review

“Snowmen at Halloween encompasses great imagination and breathtaking illustrations that every child will enjoy to read.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Have you ever built a snowman and discovered the next day that his grin has gotten a little crooked, or his tree-branch arms have moved? And you’ve wondered…what do snowmen do when we’re not watching?

After a Halloween snowfall, a few children build some snowmen complete with costumes of their own. And when the kids go off to bed, it’s time for the snowmen gather for their own Halloween festivities. There’s candy and apple-bobbing, fortune-telling and trick-or-treating. The next morning, the snowmen are gone…but they’ve left a very special message behind.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Snowmen at Halloween is spooktacular and just in time to gear up for Halloween! We absolutely adored this children’s book. We get a look at what would happen if snowmen where around during Halloween and all the fun activities that they could possibly do. It truly was magical to read to say the least.

The illustrations are breathtaking and the story encompasses great imagination. A great combination for an excellent book to read. This is why we give it¬†10 snowmens out of 5 and we recommend it for children ages three to seven. We just love Halloween and know that this will be our favorite as we lead into the Halloween season. We also love how there are hidden pictures on every page in this book! Makes it a very fun read as we look for the rabbit, cat and T.Rex. *I failed miserably to locate them but Nikki was able to find them all. ūüėČ

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

About the Author and Illustrator

Caralyn & Mark Buehner have created many funny and wonderful picture books together as a husband-and-wife team. Their first two “snowman” books –¬†Snowmen at Night and¬†Snowmen at Christmas – were New York Times bestsellers, and their other winning collaborations include¬†The Escape of Marvin the Ape¬†and¬†Fanny’s Dream, which was selected as a¬†Boston Globe-Horn Book¬†Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, a¬†Booklist Editors’ Choice, and a¬†School Library Journal¬†Best Book of the Year. Mark and Caralyn live with their children in Draper, Utah.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that the book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are our own.

If Animals Went To School | Book Review

“An adorable children’s book that can help with the first day of school butterflies.”

– Momma Braga

Synopsis

If animals went to school…what would they do?

Beaver would practice counting with sticks. Goat would snack on the storybooks. And at recess, Goose would glide down Giraffe’s neck slide!

Across the animal kingdom, every creature would learn, play, and make new friends.

#MelAndNikkiReview

If Animals Went To School is absolutely adorable in every way! The story is great for the little ones who may be embarking on their very first day of school.

We take a journey through a day of school through the eyes of the animal kingdom and I truly love the concept! Who doesn’t like seeing animals in the classroom?!

 

The illustrations are beautifully done with a story to match. It is creative and one that a child can relate, especially if they are nervous for school. By the end, even Beaver enjoys his day and doesn’t want to go back home. That means school was a success. It makes it a great example for little ones.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 stars out of 5! It is recommended for children ages two to six and we know your little will love it. ūüôā

If you would like to purchase a copy, please click here.

About the Author and Illustrated

Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker collaborated on¬†If Animals Kissed Good Night, which School Library Journal called “a charming bedtime book,”¬†If Animals Said I Love You, and If Animals Celebrated Christmas.¬†

Ann lives in Los Angeles, California. David lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Learn more about Ann at annwhitfordpaul.com and about David at davidwalkerstudios.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Why? | Book Review

“Why? Why? Why? asks Rabbit. Bear answers patiently…except sometimes, Bear just doesn’t know why.”

Synopsis

Bear just wants to water his flowers, but Rabbit needs to know: why? Bear is looking forward to a peaceful night of stargazing, but all Rabbit cares about is: why?

As the two friends spend time together through spring, summer, and into fall, Rabbit persistently and simply asks Bear why, encouraging the readers to figure out for themselves the reason for each question that Bear patiently answers, over and over again…until there’s a question that he has no answer for.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Why? is a beautifully illustrated story that many parents can relate as we all have gone through the Why stage with our child(ren). We currently still are in the “Why” stage as it has made a comeback. Therefore, we couldn’t help but fall in love with this children’s book.

Simply written with such an impactful message at the end. You and your child will love it from beginning to end. We know we sure did and Nikki loved saying “Why” throughout the whole book. ūüėČ If you are looking for a feel good read, then look no further.¬†Why?¬†is an adorable book that will have your child asking why all the way through and they will quickly learn that sometimes you don’t always have the answer for all the whys. I know I sure don’t and it was nice to see that I wasn’t the only one. ūüôā

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give¬†Why?¬†5 stars out of 5!¬†Why do you ask? ūüėČ The illustrations are breathtaking and the story is simple and engaging with big emotional impact. Plus, who doesn’t like bears and rabbits?! This book is recommended for children ages four to eight.

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

About the Author

Laura Vaccaro Seeger is the author and illustrator of nearly two dozen acclaimed picture books, including the popular Dog and Bear series, the first of which won the Boston Globe Horn Book Medal. She has been awarded a Caldecott Honor twice, for First the Egg and again for Green, and a Geisel Honor twice, for First the Egg and One Boy. Blue, her companion to Green, has received four starred reviews. She lives in Rockville Center, New York with her husband and two sons.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*The book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.