Category: Children’s books

Maisy’s Series | Book Reviews

Maisy is a beloved mouse that has many adventures and you can follow along in many of her books. We got a chance to review three from the series and are excited to share them with all our readers in our #MelAndNikkiReview!

Synopsis

Maisy’s Farm

Maisy and her friends are headed to the farm! Join her as she drives a tractor through the fields, gathers eggs from the henhouse, and milks a cow. But the farmyard fun doesn’t stop there: a pop-up play scene at the back of the book has press-out pieces of Maisy, Cyril, and their new farm animal friends, along with a red barn awaiting hours of play as little ones imagine life on the farm.

Maisy’s at Home: A First Words Book

Wondering what toys Maisy likes to play with at home? Just look for the tab that shows a puzzle piece and turn straight to the page. Who are Maisy’s favorite pets? Find the tab with a fish on it and discover some animals both expected and surprising. From Maisy’s living room (look out for the cactus!) to her bathroom, whether she’s eating or making music or dressing up, the names and pictures of things in Maisy’s house will be delightfully familiar to little readers.

Maisy’s Day Out: A First Words Book

What kinds of things does Maisy see when she goes outside? Turn the tab with a soccer ball on it to find the park, with swings and a skateboard. The tab with a chicken on it takes you to Maisy’s favorite farm, with a horse, a sheep, and more. There’s so much to explore on the beach and in the sea, on sunny days and rainy ones, on trains and in fire engines and all sorts of things that go. Naming everyday things is always more fun with Maisy leading the way!

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Maisy series is always an adorable read and a learning opportunity for your little ones. These three mentioned above are no exception as each story offers a child the chance to learn while on the latest Maisy journey.

The hard books are amazing for little ones to hold and they do not get bent or ruined (always a bonus in my books). The illustrations are adorable and the stories are just as great. We especially love the feature of the tabs – so amazing!

Therefore, we are rating the series 5 stars out of 5!

Any of these books would make a great addition to your little one’s library and reading line-up. If you would like to purchase any of the books mentioned above, please click on the links below.

Maisy’s Farm

Maisy’s at Home: A First Words Book

Maisy’s Day Out: A First Words Book

About the Author

Lucy Cousins 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

 

*These books were provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Soccer School Series | Book Reviews

A perfect series for the soccer fan in your life!

Synopsis

Soccer School Season 1: Where Soccer Explains (Rules) the World

Coaches (and authors) Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton cleverly use the lens of soccer to immerse kids in math, geography, biology, and more. Loaded with awesome true stories and science, the first book in the Soccer School series is illustrated throughout with cartoons that will have young soccer fans laughing out loud. Quizzes at the end of each chapter keeps readers on their toes as they learn some truly weird trivia, like the hidden meaning behind a team’s uniform colors, how you might play soccer on Mars, or even the most opportune time for players to go to the bathroom. Entertaining and informative, this book is sure to score a goal with soccer fanatics everywhere (when they’re not on the field, of course).

Soccer School Season 2: Where Soccer Explains (Saves) the World

Soccer School is back in session and ready to defend its goal: to explain the world through soccer.

Coaches Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton return with even more proof that soccer can be used to teach kids about pretty much anything. The second book in their funny, fascinating series is full of facts about the most popular sport in the world, from history to language, design to psychology. When did women begin playing soccer? Why do lefties have an advantage on the field? Which soccer stadium was built in the shape of a crocodile? Perfect for soccer players, fans, or just plain curious kids, this series is packed with information and amusement in equal measure. Goal!

Soccer School Season 3: Where Soccer Explains (Tackles) the World

This third book in the Soccer School series poses many intriguing questions for soccer fans: What color are Cristiano Ronaldo’s pajamas? How many bones are there in the human foot? And why is that dodo alive and kicking? With funny cartoons and multiple-choice quizzes, this is the perfect way for young fans to learn how to score with their head. Coaches Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton kick off another season of Soccer School in this book packed with awesome true stories, real science, and fascinating facts. At this school, everything is about soccer!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Now I might be a little bias on this series as I use to play soccer as a kid and love the sport. Therefore, it is no surprise that I loved all three books in the series. What was most appealing in all three books is the ability to tie in the sport with other subjects and vice versa. The skills learned in sports can be applied to every day life and I love how each books reflects on that. It is really brilliantly written – bravo!

It is relatable and fun to read. The illustrations in all three books really tie everything in nicely and is a valued touch. Each book contains facts, quizzes and offers so much knowledge for a young reader. So much to learn in each book and your young reader will love each book as much as the next.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we are rating the series and we give it 5 penalty kicks out of 5! 😉

These books are ideal for children between the ages of seven and 10. If you would like to purchase any of these books click on the links below.

Soccer School Season 1

Soccer School Season 2

Soccer School Season 3

About the Author & Illustrator

Alex Bellos

Alex writes about math, science, and soccer. He is the author of Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life in addition to being the ghostwriter of soccer superstar Pele’s best selling autobiography. Alex Bellos lives in London.

Ben Lyttleton

Ben is a journalist, newscaster, and soccer consultant. He is the author of Twelve Yards: The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty Kick. He lives in London.

Spike Gerrell

Spike is an illustrator and cartoonist whose work has been published in the Guardian, New Scientist, and the Independent. He lives in London.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

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

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.

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.

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.