Tag: Book Review

Surviving The Holidays (Hell-i-Daze)

“Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-Daze) is refreshing, real and a hilarious read that moms will appreciate” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

The Holidays. They follow us year round, and sometimes these cherished days can be wonderful, but let’s face it — sometimes they are just brutal! Whether it’s New Year’s or Valentine’s, Fourth of July or even birthdays, we all gotta donwhat we gotta do to survive them all!

Miss OMG walks us through the year and lightens the load with her hysterical anecdotes that are sure leaving you laughing out loud!

In this book, she celebrates the humor of life’s year-round celebrations from pointing out the madness of the holidays, to crappy gift-giving, Miss OMG shares her thoughts on surviving the holidays that will leave you laughing and turning the pages to discover what crazy story she shares next. Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-DAZE) is a work that continues its author’s witty social commentary streak. This book is for people who like to poke fun at life’s weirdness, and those who don’t take themselves too seriously. While this book is especially perfect for moms who like to swear and drink, Miss OMG writes her books with those in mind who only have a short moments to read and are always on the go! Her hope is that you can squeeze in a quick read, put the book down with a chuckle, and look forward to picking it right back up the first second you can!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i- DAZE) literally had me laughing out loud from beginning to end. It is very relatable to us hard working moms who always go beyond for everyone. The daily diary format was a neat touch and helped us follow Miss OMG’s year as she goes through all the wonderful holidays throughout the year. Never noticed how many there are – geez!

I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to moms everywhere. Not only is it relatable but absolutely hilarious. My favorite part is the letter that Santa left to Miss OMG (I think my neighbors heard me laughing at that part). I also loved the quotes shared at the beginning of each month they are all great quotes to inspire or to make you chuckle.

“Every time I make plans to eat better, I hear my stomach laughing.” – Author Unknown

If you want some laughing therapy especially after a long rough mothering day, then this is an awesome book for you. It is currently available on Amazon and can be purchased here.

“The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad? Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Lewis Carroll

A special thank you to Miss OMG for sending us this great book that provided me with chuckles and a reminder that we need to laugh more.

About the Author

Olivia Michele “Miss OMG” Giacomini has been a published writer for decades for magazines and newspapers worldwide. In more recent years, she has begun sharing her witticisms in her Miss OMG books. Many liken her to the late great humorist, Erma Bombeck (but with a potty mouth), with a similar comedic flair & zany zingers about life’s mundane dailiness. She admits she mostly appeals to moms of all ages who like to drink and curse, but her male fans also enjoy reading her work…while sitting on the toilet. Miss OMG’s goal is to brighten people’s day with her quick-witted and often sarcastic stories based loosely on her life.

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 Pink Umbrella | Book Review

“Everything is better with Pink.” – Nikki, Age 5

Synopsis

Adele loves many things: her café callee The Polka-Dot Apron, her customers, flowers and sunshine on a beautiful day. There are very few things that dampen Adele’s spirit, but the worst is a rainy day. Everyone in her village knows Adele doesn’t like the rain. When it rains, she just wants to stay in bed rolled up in her quilt.

One day, after closing time in the café, Adele discovers something pretty and pink left under the coatrack. Is it a gift for her? The next week it happens again! Adele is sure someone must be leaving surprises for her. But who and why?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Pink Umbrella is a beautiful story from beginning to end. You are instantly captivated by the character, Adele, and you can’t help but fall in love with this story of love.

The mystery gifts allowed Adele to enjoy the one thing she didn’t like the most; rain. During her new appreciation for it, you can say that love bloomed. We don’t want to spoil it completely for future readers but it is the sweetest story.

The Pink Umbrella tickled our hearts pink with love and this is why we give it 10 hearts out of 5! A beautiful story with the most beautiful illustrations. We recommend this book to young readers and it is a perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day festivities.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this beautiful book, click here.

About the Author

Amélie Callot works as a writer, illustrator and midwife in France. She has written and illustrated several books for children in French. The Pink Umbrella is her first book translated into English.

About the Illustrator

Geneviève Godbout studied traditional animation in Montreal and at the prestigious Gobelins school in Paris. She has illustrated a number of children’s books including When Santa Was a Baby, Kindergarten Luck and Joseph Fipps, and has created illustrations for The Walt Disney Company, as well as art and prints for clothing designers. She lives and works in Montreal.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Puppy Love and Just in Time For Valentine’s Day

“Puppy Love is the perfect story for Valentine’s Day as it will have you gushing with adorable love.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

ALPHAPRINTS: PUPPY LOVE by Roger Priddy: Filled with cute rhymes and adorable Alphaprint characters from fluffy bears to little lovebirds, this is an enjoyable book to share together with the one you love on Valentine’s Day.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Puppy Love is absolutely delightful and adorable!

We love the rhyming in the story as it makes it so fun to read. We also love the texture on each page as it encourages your little one to feel the animal faces. It is absolutely perfect for little ones.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Puppy Love 5 hearts out of 5! This book is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and full of love. We just love this book for all the adorable animals and all the love that it showcases.

If you would like to purchase a copy for your little one, 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.

We Really Do Care | Book Review

We Really Do Care is a heartfelt story full of compassion and empathy. A great lesson for all on how the smallest act of kindness can mean the world.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A little boy has a ball. It’s his, and he really doesn’t care if nobody else has a ball. He’s not sharing. He’s not sharing his pets either. Or his family. Especially not his brother.

But then he realizes that both he and the new little girl he meets – the one who is alone without a ball or a pet or a family of her own – are actually quite similar. And when he sees their similarities instead of their differences, he’s happy to share. Even his little brother.

With gentle text from Tami Lewis Brown and sweet illustrations from Tania de Regil, this is a poignant and touching story that challenges each and every one of us to lend a helping hand. Because we really should care.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We Really Do Care is a heartfelt story that is perfect for Valentine’s Day. It embodies the true meaning of love and about caring. An amazing message for children to learn and a reminder for us adults too. 😉

The story shows us the importance of compassion, empathy, and shows us how a small act of kindness can make a world of a difference. If we all do more of it, the world would be a much better place. We also loved the illustrations as they are perfect with this story and the use of colors truly make it appealing to see.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 hearts out of 5! 

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

About the Author

Tami Lewis Brown is a former lawyer and elementary school librarian. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she has served on the Board of Trustees for over ten years. She is also the author of middle grade novels and picture book biographies, including Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded and the Future and Soar, Elinor!, which was a 2011 Top Ten Amelia Bloomer Project selection and Junior Library Guild selection. She really cares about her rescue dogs, her husband and children, and every family all over the world.

About the Illustrator

Tania De Regil creates books for children and designs costumes for films. She 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. She lives in Mexico City with her filmmaker husband and travels to the United States frequently. She really cares about her family, her friends, and all children everywhere.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Snakes on the Job | Book Review

Snakes on the Job is an adorable children’s book that gives us a hisssssh look into the Construction world and we loved it!”

Synopsis

Off to work the snakes will go.

They slide into trucks and roll out slow.

Hissssssssssssh goes the sound of the brakes.

These busy snakes are back! This time, they are operating a variety of construction vehicles – bulldozers, diggers, backhoes and more – and what they are building is a surprise. It’s so much fun, new friends want to join them!

Full of sibilant sounds and other wordplay, this Sssssssweet story is sure to entertain.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Snakes on the Job gives us a quick look into the construction world as we are introduced to different machinery that is used in the field. Best part is to see the end result of what building together can build.

We loved reading this story and the illustrations are absolutely adorable! We especially loved it since it talks about construction and it is inspiring for little ones and future builders. We also love the use of sibilant sounds and wordplay which made the story so much more fun to read.

Therefore, we give this book 5 hisssss out of 5! A perfect addition for your little builder’s book collection.

“I loved this book. It was so much fun to read. I loved how at the end the snakes welcomed everyone to enjoy what they built.” – Nikki, Age 5

If you would like to add this adorable book to your reading lineup, click here.

About the Author

Kathryn Dennis began her art career drawing on walls and sidewalks and painting anything that did not move. She is the author and artist of Snakes on a Train, which was her picture book debut. She lives in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, 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.

Something Lost Something Found

“Something Lost Something Found is a simple and yet impactful story on how grieving of a loved one became a journey to find happiness again. Full of empathy, compassion and understanding that will resonate with young readers.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Ella feels like she is stuck in a pile of gloomy mud. She misses her mom so much. So, Ella embarks on a quest to find happiness again; wishing upon a star, trying to cook it up in a magic potion, and searching for it in all the places her grieving young heart leads her. And bit by bit…Ella begins to find solace in memories of her Mom. Something Lost Something Found is a story for young readers about the profound bonds we share with our loved ones, the importance of childhood memories, and the innate yearning to endue even the most indescribable grief. This tale’s empathy and wisdom shine through every wistful, charming scene.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Something Lost Something Found lightly touches on how Ella grieves and how she finds happiness again. Dealing with loss and grief is difficult for anyone and at any age. This is why it is an honour for us to introduce you all to a new children’s book who takes on expressing loss in the most beautiful way; through words of comfort.

Full of empathy, compassion and understanding, this book will touch all hearts. The gentleness on a tough topic is what I loved the most. The journey to find happiness is beautifully written and illustrated.

#NikkiThoughts

We sat down with five-year-old Nikki to get her opinion. Best way to know how good a children’s book really is; ask a child. Of course we thought it would be best to record her thoughts as she is still practicing her writing skills. 😉

There you have it! Nikki’s thoughts on Something Lost Something Found. Let is make it official…we give this book 10 stars out of 5. A beautifully written and illustrated story that will touch hearts for years to come. It is a much needed story for the book world and we are so honoured to share it with all of our readers.

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

About the Author

Natalia Paruzel-Gibson

Growing up in Poland, the Stefan Jaracz Theatre was Natalia’s playground, a place where she eagerly watched her Mom on stage from behind the scenes. It was her mother’s passion for the Arts that ignited Natalia’s love of storytelling, acting and photography at a young age. After immigrating to Canada in 1990, Natalia’s artwork made several appearances in Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and she was presented with the Young Talent Award from the Turzański Foundation for writing and reciting poetry. After finishing her Double Major in Drama and Photography at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Natalia went on to complete her undergrad in English Literature and History, which later led to her completion of a Master of Arts program at the University of Toronto. While Something Lost Something Found is Natalia’s debut as an author, she has been fervently writing children’s stories for the last decade. Her writing is inspired by her own experiences as a mother of two children and her quest to perceive the world through their lens.

Make sure to follow her journey through Instagram and Facebook as you don’t want to miss it.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

 

It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn Embraces Uniqueness

“The key to happiness is accepting your Unicorniness.”

Synopsis

Cornelius J. Sparklesteed is known among all the other horses in Hoofington for his beautiful and creative handmade hats. But Cornelius is hiding a secret under his own tall, point hat: He’s really a unicorn.

Hoofington is a friendly place, but its horses spread lots of mean rumors about unicorns. When Cornelius is chosen to perform at this year’s Hoofapalooza, will he find the courage to reveal to his friends his true unicorniness?

Special thank you to the author Jason Tharp and Cornelius for sending us a personalized package and autograph!

#MelAndNikkiReview

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn has tickled our hearts pink with love. We haven’t used that term in a really long time in our reviews and we felt that this book definitely deserved it. We loved it from beginning to end and we especially loved the message of embracing your uniqueness!

Such a positive book to read with your child(ren) or if your child can read, have them read it to you. It will be a great one to share with your family. It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn also exemplifies kindness throughout the story and who couldn’t use more kindness in their lives?! I know that I sure love to see and feel it.

We also love the main character who is a unicorn named Cornelius. Now as you all may know we love books and we have featured many on the #MelAndNikkiReview. However, I don’t recall every reading a main character’s complete name in a story (Cornelius J. Sparklesteed) and it’s perfect! You can’t help but fall in love with Cornelius in this story.

This is why for the very first time we created a quick breakdown of what we thought of this book by using Cornelius’ name. Check out the image below! 😉

Since this book is unique we felt that we needed to put in a little extra uniqueness with that piece. 🙂

Not only is the story captivating but so are the vibrant illustrations. It is very appealing to the reader’s eyes and it truly brings everything together.

Nikki’s Thoughts

Nikki wanted to make sure we knew her thoughts on this book and requested a video interview with her. So I sat down with the star of our blog and asked her for her thoughts.

There you have it! Nikki’s thoughts in a nutshell. Remember to subscribe, like and share our video!

As you heard from Nikki, we give it 10 unicorns out of 10! Why? Because it is HAW-SOME! 

This book is perfect for children ages three to six; however, I am way above that age bracket and I loved it!

If you would like to purchase this HAW-SOME book, click here. You won’t regret it as it truly is a great book!

About the Author

Jason Tharp has dreamed of being an author and creating wacky worlds with fun characters since he was a kid. Now as a grown-up kid, Jason is driven to help others embrace the magic of their story. Hason has been promoting kindness initiatives in schools throughout Ohio and on yourdreamslivehere.com, where he sells kindness-related products with a portion of proceeds going to charity. Jason has also been securing speaking gigs for himself at adult conferences, talking about kindness, inclusion, empathy, and how to build creativity and confidence. This past November his home city of Powell, OH, held the first annual KindFest, a free festival with a charitable donation focus.

Make sure to follow Jason on his Facebook and Instagram pages as they are great accounts to follow – we do! 🙂

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*An advance copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Baby Shark! Hits Storytime

“Baby Shark! Doo doo doo doo doo doo!”

Now that we have got the song in your head (I am sure again). 😉 We can introduce you to the children’s book, Baby Shark! Based on the world’s catchiest song.

This book takes you on a trip to the Aquarium to meet a family of sharks. While you see them, you can sing-a-long to every child’s favorite song, Baby Shark!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Baby Shark is now available for storytime with an adorable picture book to please your little one. It is a fun and engaging book that will have everyone dancing and singing along. How can you not?! I know that I went into full dance mode as soon as we started to read the book. I think that is what makes this book so great as we can all sing-a-long, even if you don’t have children in your life (hehe).

Nikki sure did love this book as she got to read the words in it and since she knew the song, it helped her learn what the words look like. To us, this was a great learning experience for her and that is always a bonus for us. Nikki also loved being able to read the book to her younger cousin, Adriana, who also loved singing along. You can’t go wrong with a catchy story to get everyone engaged in storytime.

By the third time reading it (in a row), we were all dancing and signing along…including the grandparents. 😉

This is why it is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 sharks out of 5! Not only is it fun to read but the illustrations by Stevie Lewis are absolutely adorable! We just love this book!

If you would like to purchase one of your own, click here. This would be a perfect addition to any Baby Shark fan.

About the Illustrator

Stevie Lewis has been living on the road, furthering her passion for climbing arts, and the outdoors. Striving to live simple and tread lightly on the earth, she gathers inspiration from a variety of places, be it climbing in the high desert in central Oregon, hiking in the wilderness of Alaska, or sharing laughs with fellow travelers around a campfire. After working for four years in animation, she now illustrates children’s books and creates art based on her travels.

Stevie’s books include A Week without Tuesday, Finding Serendipity, and Lost in the Library.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Madame Badobedah | Book Review

“Madame Badobedah takes us on an imagination adventure and we loved it!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A hotel is a great place to live if you’re an adventurer, There are rooms to explore, guests to spy on, and secrets just waiting to be discovered.

Mabel likes to keep an eye on all the comings and goings at the Mermaid Hotel. When a mysterious old lady moves in, with a jewel-filled trunk and a beady-eyed pet tortoise, Mabel vows to watch her every move. Because this guest, Mabel decides, is a supervillan. But even supervillans have a soft side, and as an unlikely friendship grows between the pair, their fantastical exploits take them well beyond the corridors of their hotel home.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Madame Badobedah brings adventure to life in a tale like no other. It brings mystery, curiosity, adventure and reminds us of how amazing it is to imagine. It also allows us to see that the best friendships are the unexpected ones.

This book reminded me of my own childhood and how I came up with the most ravishing stories of a person or even a place. It made it so much more fun.

To live in a hotel (Mermaid Hotel, how cool is that?!) and meeting so many new people; sounds like a dream and adventures come true! Madame Badobedah brings that and so much more.

We just adored reading this book and even started imagining what type of adventures we would have. Nikki imagines a room where there is a secret door to a magical land of unicorns and lots of toys for her to play. I imagine a room where I can just sit and relax without any disruptions – ah to dream is to live! 😉

When books inspire us to imagine on our own once we have read it, then a glowing review is what we give. We give Madame Badobedah 10 stars out of 5! The story was intriguing and illustrations compliment the story perfectly. Great combination for reading time (which is all the time).

This book is recommended for children between the ages of five and eight. If you would like to pre-order this book before it goes on sale on April 7, 2020, click here.

About the Author

Sophie Dahl began her working life as a teenage fashion model, but books and words were her first love. In 2003 she published The Man with the Dancing Eyes, an illustrated novella, which she followed in 2007 with her first novel, Playing with the Grown-ups. A devoted home cook, she has also written two cookbooks, Very Fond of Food: A Year in Recipes and Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights, in addition to writing and presenting two BBC prime-time shows about food. She is contributing editor at Conde Nast Traveller, was a longtime contributing editor at British Vogue, and has written nonfiction essays for Vogue (US), Harper’s Bazaar (UK), the Observer (UK), the Guardian (UK), and the Times (London). Sophie Dahl lives in the countryside with her husband, daughters, rescue dog, cat, and tortoise. Madame Badobedah is her first book for children.

About the Illustrator

Lauren O’Hara is an illustrator from the north of England. As a child she loved reading fairy tales, painting insects, and listening to her grandmother’s stories. She studied art and illustrations at Kingston University, then designed window displays and props for films. Her career as an illustrator began when she and her sister, Natalia, worked together on a picture book, Hortense and the Shadow. This was published in 2017 and followed in 2018 by The Bandit Queen. Lauren O’Hara currently lives in a converted church in Dublin, Ireland, with her partner, their cat Ida, and assorted ghosts.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

“The story of fry bread is the story of American Indians: embracing community and culture in the face of opposition.” – Kevin Noble Maillard

Synopsis

Told in a lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.

Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Fry Bread is a unique story and one that we enjoyed reading. We love learning about different cultures and communities. Fry Bread provides us all that and so much more. At the end of the book, the author provides a very detailed note on how fry bread came to be and a bit of history on it. The author also goes into depth on each meaning to each piece such as Fry Bread Is Food which is an example of the ones you will find.

Absolutely loved reading these and it really gave us an inside look as to how this book was inspired and written. This was that extra special touch that truly made me enjoy this book more. However, this part was not as appealing to my daughter which was understandable as it was a lot of reading. I would recommend this piece for the parents to read. There is also the author’s very own Fry Bread recipe! If you love recipes, this is one that should be noted!

The story itself flowed and is worded beautifully. We also loved the illustrations as it brought the story to life. Fry Bread has a lot of heart and the author allowed us into his world in the most amazing way through a children’s book.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 stars out of 5! This book is recommended for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase this book, please click here.

About the Author

Kevin Noble Maillard is a professor and journalist who lives with his family on the thirteenth floor of a 115-year-old bank in the heart of Manhattan. He is a regular writer for the New York Times and has interviewed politicians, writers, tribal leaders, and even some movie stars. When he was thirteen years old, he won a fishing derby for catching seventy-two fish in two hours. Originally from Oklahoma, he is a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band. To learn more, click here.

About the Illustrator

Juana Martinez-Neal is an illustrator of books for children, including the Pura Belpre Award winner La Princesa and the Pea. She made her authorial debut in 2018 with Alma and How She Got Her Name, which was awarded the Caldecott Honor. Juana was born in Lima, Peru, where she grew up surrounded by amazing meals prepared by her mom and amazing paintings made by her dad and granddad. She now lives, eats, and paints in Scottsdale, Arizona, surrounded by her amazing children. To learn more, 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.