Category: Children’s books

Carson Crosses Canada | Book Review

“Pack your bags as we travel alongside Carson through Canada. It is a grand adventure with an even grand surprise for Carson at the end.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they’re setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson’s favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky — and grasshoppers! — in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie — and a surprise for Carson!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Carson Crosses Canada is a great children’s book and the perfect book to get into the spirit of Canada Day! We loved this book and going alongside Carson through Canada! Also loved the beginning and the end of the book where it maps out all of Annie’s and Carson’s route stops – great educational piece!

The story is fun and little ones will enjoy it from beginning to end. The illustrations were vibrant and a perfect addition to this grand adventure! We would recommend this book for children ages four to eight.

Carson is a lovable dog who brings a humorous side to many of their stops and we loved that as it made so much more fun to read. Who doesn’t like a funny dog?! Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 Chiens (dogs in French) out of 5! 

“I love this book. Canada is so beautiful and I love being Canadian mom!” – Nikki, Age 4

To purchase this great book and just in time to celebrate Canada Day, click here.

About the Author

Linda Bailey is an award-winning, bestselling author who has written more than thirty books for children, including If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur, When Santa Was a Baby, Seven Dead Pirates and the Stanley series. She has won the Blue Spruce Award, the California Young Reader Medal and the Georgia Storybook Award, among others. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, she now lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. And yes, she has driven across Canada!

About the Illustrator

Kass Reich works as an artist and educator and has spent the majority of the last decade travelling around the world. She earned a degree in Art Education from Concordia University and was an early childhood educator in Beijing, which inspired her to start making picture books for very young readers. She now lives and works in Toronto, Ontario

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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The Not-So Great Outdoors | Book Review

“What’s so great about the great outdoors? It’s not like there’s anything out there! No buildings, no electricity, no playgrounds. But could there be something…even better?”

Synopsis

A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature.

What’s so great about the “great outdoors”? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Not-So Great Outdoors is the perfect summer book to get children motivated to enjoy the outdoors. Absolutely adored the concept of the story and the illustrations are beautifully done throughout. It was a nice journey to see how one person’s view of the outdoors can change if they are directly in it without any “modern” distraction. Such a positive message and one that all the kids should read (and adults too). 😉

We loved this book so much that for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 bears out of 5! The story flowed nicely and we love how it showcased how beautiful the outdoors really can be. We recommend this book for children ages three to seven.

“I hope this summer we do a lot more outdoor things mom! The girl in the book had lots of fun and I want to too.” – Nikki, Age 4

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

About the Author

Up-and-coming illustrator Madeline Kloepper, a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, brings wise-beyond-her-years illustrations fill of sweetness and curiosity to her debut picture book. Madeline grew up in the lower mainland of British Columbia amidst a sea of humans and spent a few years in Vancouver; she has since migrated northward to Prince George. Her work is influenced by childhood, nostalgia and the relationships we forge with nature, no doubt inspired by her love of exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Little Senses Series

“The Little Senses series, inspired by creator Samantha Cotterill’s own life, illuminates the experience of children on the autism spectrum as they navigate life’s everyday overwhelming moments with the goal of destigmatizing and normalizing their behaviors.”

Synopsis

This Beach Is Loud!

Going to the beach is exciting. But it can also be busy. And loud. Sand can feel hot or itchy or sticky…and it gets everywhere! In This Beach Is Loud!, a sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach. Luckily, this kiddo’s dad has a trick up his sleeve to help his son face these unexpected obstacles.

Combining accessible storytelling and playful design, This Beach Is Loud! gently offers practical advice for coping with new experiences to sensitive children on and off the autism spectrum.

Nope. Never. Not for Me!

Children are often picky eaters, but for kids on the autism spectrum or with sensory issues, trying new foods can be especially challenging. In Nope! Never! Not for Me! a young child refuses to try a bite of broccoli — that is, until her mom guides her through a careful exploration of the new food. First she looks, then she sniffs, then touches, and finally takes one tiny bite. What do you know? Broccoli isn’t so overwhelming after all!

With simple, reassuring text and bold illustrations in a limited palette, Nope! Never! Not For Me! espouses a patient approach to picky eating and empowers kids to explore new experiences without stress or pressure.

#MelAndNikkiReview

What an amazing series! We loved both books as they both flowed beautifully and the illustrations compliment the story. Nikki really enjoyed both stories and after I finish reading, she tries to read this series herself. That is usually the sign that she really likes the books.

Love how both books took an everyday situation and showed a positive solution. I think we can all learn from it for every child. However, I do appreciate the fact that this series is tailored to children on the autism spectrum and love the goal of the series – destigmatizing and normalizing behaviors.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give the series 10 broccolis out of 5! 😉 We recommend the series to children ages three to seven. Also please note that this book is great for all children and not only for children on the autism spectrum. This series is a great way to have children understand how overwhelming some moments could be for some. No harm in learning to be inclusive and understanding. 🙂

To purchase This Beach Is Loud! click here. To purchase Nope. Never. Not for Me! click here.

About the Author

Samantha Cotterill is an illustrator and textile designer. She works and resides with her family in Upstate New York. This series is very near and dear to Samantha’s heart: She herself is on the autism spectrum, and is very close to others on the spectrum as well.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

The Fog | Book Review

“Warble was a devoted human watcher.”

Synopsis

Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don’t seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled Female (Juvenile) appears, Warble discovers that he’s not the only one who notices the fog. Will they be able to find others who can see it too? And is the fog here to stay?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Fog is a great children’s book that addresses the environment which is so great. It teaches children that we should be asking questions when the environment is changing quickly and to not ignore it. It is evident in this book that once we question it, things can change.

Nikki enjoyed the book too and just wondered if the little girl ever found her way back home. Nikki was relieved that Warble was able to keep asking about the fog and to finally get an answer. We both enjoyed the inside cover and back page as it lists all the different people that Warble watched. The descriptions for each are humorous and we appreciate that.

Above all, The Fog is a great children’s book especially for children ages four to eight. We loved the concept around the environment and the illustrations were beautifully done. Therefore, we give The Fog 4.5 stars out of 5!

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

About the Author

Kyo Maclear is a Blue-Hooded Word Gatherer whose sweet-whistled song has been known to attract and repel her offspring. In spring and summer, this chocolate-loving female can be found flitting about city parks and waterways. In the colder months, she is best spotted in bookshops, libraries and cafes. Common activities include restless foraging and picture-book making. Originally a migratory species, Kyo enjoys her current nesting ground of Toronto.

About the Illustrator

Kenard Pak is a Black-Coiffed Noodler whose magical scratchings consistently beguile human species far and wide. Formerly found pecking away in animation companies, he is now most often observed diving into picture books. Ken can be spotted primarily in foggy San Francisco with his nesting mate and three feline companions.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Wipe Clean Travel Books Just In Time For Summer Vacation

Summer vacation time is quickly approaching as the school year ends and summer begins for most kids. At this time many families have already or are planning summer vacation. This might mean a car trip or even an airplane ride. But how can your kids be entertained on the trip without the use of a tablet?

We are delighted to introduce you to two books that can be used on your next summer trip: Wipe Clean Vacation Time Activities and Wipe Clean Road Trip Activities.

Wipe Clean Vacation Time Activities

Wipe Clean Vacation Time Activities is packed with all kinds of fun activities to keep young children interested and entertained through summer days, rainy days, long journeys, and holidays.

The spiral-binding and attached wipe-clean pen offer a portable activity book, plus the wipe-clean pages mean the activities can be completed, wipe away, and repeated again and again. With spot the differences, mazes, games to play, doodles, stickers, and much more, kids can have hours of vacation fun!

Wipe Clean Road Trip Activities

Wipe Clean Road Trip Activities is packed with all kinds of fun things to do to keep young children interested and entertained on long car journeys and vacations.

The spiral binding and attached wipe-clean pen offer a portable activity book, plus the wipe-clean pages mean the activities can be completed, wiped away, and repeated again. With word searches, seek and finds, games to play, doodles, stickers, and much more, kids can have hours of fun on the road!

#MelAndNikkiReview

As soon as we received these activity books Nikki was very excited. She has expressed great interest in word searches and games that she can do. Best part is the ability to wipe them clean and do them again. Repeating the same activity had great benefits to Nikki as she was able to really learn what she was doing. We loved that! It also kept her really busy for awhile which is very helpful on car rides that we do.

It is truly filled with lots of great activities to do and it is relatable to the summer season. These are a must try! 😉

We give both books 5 stars out of 5! To add these to your summer vacation plans click on the title to purchase: Vacation Time and Road Trip.

About the Author

Roger Priddy’s passion for educating children through fun, informative and engaging books has led him to create some of publishing’s most enduring and successful non-fiction early learning books. Roger lives in London and has three children, who have been the inspiration behind many of his best publishing ideas.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Hair Love | Book Review

“Sometimes, love looks like braids, puffs, and twists.”

Synopsis

Zuri’s hair lets her be her. It coils and kinks to perfectly match a princess tiara or a superhero cape. But an extra-special day calls for an extra-special style!

Comb in hand, Daddy steps in to help Zuri find the perfect fit. With heartwarming text and radiant illustrations, Hair Love celebrates the curls that are uniquely yours, the bond between dads and daughters, and the joy that fills you up when you get to express yourself freely.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Perfect book for Father’s Day as Hair Love highlights the relationship between father and daughter. A children’s book full of love as a father gives his daughter the most unique hair style for a very special occasion. This book will have your heart melting as you see their adorable bond.

We just adored it from beginning to end and I have to admit that I wish my hair was that awesome! Books that reflect dads mean so much to us as we don’t see many of them out there and dads are very important people in a family. I think having dad work on his daughter’s hair is so special and sweet. We will be reading this book on Father’s Day to Nikki’s dad so that he has more confidence in his ability to do Nikki’s hair. 😉

This children’s book is a debut from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and the illustrations were done by New York Times bestselling Illustrator Vashti Harrison. They make a great duo in Hair Love. The story flowed beautifully and the illustrations are a perfect addition to this children’s book. We are sure this book will appeal to many children and dads as I know we loved it.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 kinks out of 5! We recommend this book for children ages four to eight or anyone who loves a good dad and daughter book. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy, 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.

Babymoon | Book Review

“Shhh…we’re on our babymoon.”

Synopsis

Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern. While the term “babymoon” is often used to refer to a parents’ getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Babymoon is the perfect gift for an expecting parent as it pays tribute to the wonder and emotion of a family’s first quiet days with a newborn. I loved the message in this book and love the concept of a babymoon. The first couple of days are so important to just spend it alone to really get to know each other. All new expecting parents should read this book and have it part of their story time with their little one. Time flies by and the first few days are precious days to enjoy.

Beautifully written and illustrated! It truly touched my heart to read and it is a must read in my books. Therefore, we give this book 10 babymoons out of 5! It is recommended for children ages two to five but we recommend it for everyone who is expecting! 

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

About the Author and Illustrator

Hayley Barret says that fond memories of her own days spent nesting and cocooning with her husband and each of their newborns inspired her to write Babymoon. She lives in eastern Massachusetts.

Juana Martinez-Neal is the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Honor Book Alma and How She Got Her Name and the Pura Belpre Award-winning illustrator of La Princesa and the Pea and of La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Los Ninos, both by Susan Middleton Elya. Juana Martinez-Neal was born in Lima, Peru, and now lives in Arizona.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

Count on Me | Book Review

“But there are infinite ways to see the world…”

Synopsis

Some people see the beauty of the world through art.

Some people see the beauty of the world through music.

Our heroine sees the beauty of the world through…math?

Other’s don’t understand her passion, but she doesn’t mind. There are infinite ways to see the world. And her way is through math.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Count on me is such a special children’s book that gives us a different perspective of how one little girl views the world and that is through math. It was so insightful and fantastic to read. I am sure many other children view the world through math eyes and many of them grow up to do amazing jobs that require a lot of math skills. I personally was not the strongest student in math but I truly admire those who are and this is why I loved this book. It encourages math and it lets children see the world through a different lens.

Beautifully written and illustrated! Loved that we get to take a look at the little girl’s math notebook as it really allows us to see how she sees things. Great added touch!

Therefore, we give Count on me 10 Polygons out of 5! Fantastic children’s book especially for children ages three to seven.

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

About the Author

Award-winning artist Miguel Tanco is a children’s book author and illustrator. He teaches illustration and organizes creative workshops in Spain, where he was born and raised, and in Italy. He has published over forty children’s books, including Great Dog; You and Me, Me and You; and The Story of Cyrano de Bergerac. He lives in Milan with his wife, Federica, and their two sons, Pablo and Javier.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Where’s Waldo? Exciting Expeditions

Where’s Waldo? Now in travel-size and just in time for summer vacation! – Momma Braga

Synopsis

On the road again? Planning a vacation? Be sure to pack this compact compendium full of things to spot, story games to play, and puzzles to create, featuring the elusive Waldo and his wily friends. Want a creative challenge to boot? Check out the writing prompts for making up your own stories, plus bonus journal pages inviting you to record your own travel escapades and a creative story game with twenty-four cards. Move over, Waldo – there’s more than one intrepid traveler in town!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Always loved Waldo and trying to find him in all his travel adventures. Now we can take him with us on our own summer adventures and we can write them all down. Love how this book is travel-size and it is full of puzzles, searches and prompts for writing about your own adventures.

Where is Waldo? But where is Nikki?

This book inspired us to do our own searching game as Nikki decided to hide herself and the book in some of her toys which we featured in the photo above. Can you find the book and Nikki? 😉 Waldo always brings lots of fun when we are looking for him and this book offers so much more activities for a child to do. If a long travel time is required to your summer vacation plans this year then this book would be great for the trip as it would keep your child entertained.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Where’s Waldo? Exciting Expeditions 5 Waldos out of 5! A classic character in travel-size fun full of activities and dare we say learning (shhhh!). This book is recommended for children ages five to nine and it is perfect for your summer vacation plans!

There she is!

If you would like to purchase your very own copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

It’s Not A Bed, It’s A Time Machine

“Close your eyes. Imagine your next adventure. Then it’s blastoff in 5-4-3-2-FUN!”

Synopsis

Bedtime means lights out, with dark corners and spooky sounds. But it also means…ADVENTURE!

Because it’s not a bed, it’s a time machine! And you’re about to ride it to the coolest time of all – the age of the dinosaurs. Get ready to make a tyrannosaurus-sized friend who’ll help you become the Boss of Bedtime.

So pay attention! While tonight’s sleep will span millions of years, it’ll feel like it’s over in the blink of an eye.

#MelAndNikkiReview

A bedtime journey that takes you back in time to the dinosaurs is exactly the story we love to read! Who doesn’t love adventure?! It’s Not A Bed, It’s A Time Machine is a great children’s book that will have you imagining where your “time machine” can take you next. We loved the use of imagination, adventure and illustrations which tied in perfectly to this story.

We have read this book often since it has arrived and once we finish reading the story we talk about where we would love to travel to. So far, we always end up at Disney World (hehe). Either way it is so great to talk about adventures right before bedtime as it sure helps in having some wonderful dreams (I love dreaming of Disney!).

Superb children’s book from beginning to end; therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 tyrannosaurus out of 5! We recommend this book for children ages three to seven. If you would like to purchase a copy of this book that was just released this week, click here.

About the Author

Mickey Rapkin is a journalist and screenwriter whose first book, Pitch Perfect, inspired the hit film series about a cappella singing. Previously a senior editor at GQ, he is also the author of Theatre Geek and has written for The New York Times, ELLE, Bon Appetit, and National Geographic Traveler. He lives in Los Angeles when he isn’t time traveling.

About the Illustrator

Teresa Martinez was born in Mexico. She was a very shy girl at school, and drawing helped her connect with other children. When she grew up she studied graphic design and started illustrating picture books. Now she lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, drawing for kids as she did during her school days, and that makes her happy.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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