Tag: Book Review

Elbow Grease Brings Out A Positive Message To Children | Book Review

“Never Give Up!”

Words of encouragement and empowerment for many. It’s three little words that have the greatest impact. This is why we are thrilled to introduce all of you to Elbow Grease

Elbow Grease is a children’s book written by John Cena and illustrated by Howard McWilliam. Now if the writer’s name sounds familiar, it should as he is very well known especially in the world of wrestling entertainment. John Cena is a versatile entertainer and dedicated philanthropist. Now he has taken the stage of child’s author to share the important lessons he has learned over the years, such as never giving up whether you win or lose.

Synopsis

Elbow Grease is a little smaller than the other monster trucks; however, he is still proud of what makes him different from the rest. Win or loss, he always tries his best. This is what John Cena calls GUMPTION.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We are so honored to be able to review and feature Elbow Grease on the #MelAndNikkiReview as we are fans of John Cena. We didn’t know what to expect from the book but we are happy to say that it did not disappoint us. The story flowed nicely with the illustrations complimented it with every page turn. The message of “Never Give Up” was beautifully incorporated through the book and easily understood for children. Now I have to admit that I loved that the mechanic in the story was a woman and named Mel. 😉

Nikki who is only 4 loved the book so much that she wanted to do one of her special vlogs to tell us how she felt about it and a little extra more. We never really know what Nikki is going to say in her videos but that is what makes it fun and real! 🙂

As you heard from Nikki, she gives it 5 out of 5! I give it You Can’t See Me’s out of 5! We have truly enjoyed reading this book and it has been on our reading line-up daily! I have read it SO much that I am now doing it in character – yes! That does not happen often but this book is SO fun to read.

If you are looking for a fun book with an empowering message for a child (ages 3 to 7) to learn, then this is the book for you. Or if you have a John Cena fan on your gift list, then this would make a perfect gift. Please click here if you would like to know where to buy it.

Special thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending us Elbow Grease to review as we LOVED it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Skelly’s Halloween | Book Review

We love Halloween in our home especially when it comes to trick-or-treating! Nikki loves to dress up and of course get all the chocolates that she can get.

This is why we were so excited to receive, Skelly’s Halloweenwritten by David Martin and illustrated by Lori Richmond. It is a fitting book for us to read this season.

“Head and shoulders, knees and toes. Trick-or-treating, here we goes!”

Skelly is a skeleton who loves Halloween since its the one day in the year that he is awake. His favorite part of Halloween is trick-or-treating of course! However, he takes a tumble leaving him in pieces, Skelly just might miss out on his favorite holiday. How will he ever get put back together again?

Skelly’s Halloween is a Spooktacular book. It provides young children a playful read aloud with a Humpty Dumpty-like hook. It is so catchy and became an instant favorite of ours as we countdown for Halloween. The book flowed nicely and the illustrations were adorable! We love how Skelly’s Halloween was on the fun-loving part of Halloween and it wasn’t a scary read which is great for young children. If you are looking for a book to ease a child into the concept of Halloween then this is a great book! Or if you have a child (like mine) who loves Halloween then this is the perfect book for them as well.

“Snap my fingers and rattle my bones – it’s Halloween!”

#MelAndNikkiReview

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Skelly’s Halloween, 5+++ Bones out of 5! We loved the story and the catchy phrases within the book which we have pointed out in quotes within this review. 😉 The illustrations compliment the book beautifully and overall it was a great book for young children. I know that we will be reading this book nightly until Halloween arrives as it is getting Nikki excited for the big day. We know this book will become a Halloween staple and you don’t want to miss it!

To purchase your own copy, please click here. It truly is a Boooo-tiful read!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

Z Goes First | Book Review

Have you ever wonder if the letters like where they stand in the alphabet? I know that I have wondered that a few times in my childhood. Luckily for me there is an author who has answered my childhood question.

Z Goes Firstwritten by Sean Lamb and illustrated by Mike Perry. This new children’s book has us giggling all the way through the alphabet!

Synopsis

“The letter Z is tired of being in last place—she wants to go first! So she and her best friend, Y, decide to move to the front of the alphabet.

There are a lot of letters in the way! D blocks the path with his belly (too many doughnuts). I is too full of himself (“I am incredible”). And L, M, N, O, and P stick together like a brick wall. They all teach Z and Y that the full alphabet is lot more complicated than just ABC.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

We simply adored this book and have been reading it often (even not at bedtime). The journey through the alphabet that Z and Y take is a lot of fun to read. Z’s determination to be first can be truly appreciated and I loved the play on words with the letters describing a word that begins with themselves. It is a great opportunity to teach while we read a really fun book. The illustrations are captivating, bright and compliment the story beautifully. A feature in the book that we need to mention is at the beginning the alphabet is listed from A to Z and at the end of the book, we see it listed from Z to A. I personally loved that feature as it was a great way to test my daughter to see if she recognizes the letters without signing the traditional ABCs.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give, Z Goes First, 5 ZZZs out of 5! We recommend to give this book a read to have some alphabet fun! To purchase a copy for your reading line-up, click here.

We are delighted to be part of the Z Goes First Blog Tour! Make sure to check them out on their publishing dates:

Z Goes First Back-to-School Blog Tour

Monday, September 10: Momma Braga

Tuesday, September 11: Babies to Bookworms

Wednesday, September 12: Blue Stocking Thinking

Thursday, September 13: Paperback Princess

Friday, September 14: The Baby Bookworm

Saturday, September 15: Sweet Southern Home

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this piece belong to Momma Braga and no other compensation or commission was offered in exchange for this review.

 

The Day That A Ran Away | Book Review

School is back in session and we have got our hands on some great new books! We just love reading the latest and greatest books. This new children’s book is no exception and it is perfect for the school year.

The Day That A Ran Awaywritten by B.C.R. Fegan and illustrated by Lenny Wen has made its way onto the #MelAndNikkiReview!

Now you may find the duo of B.C.R. Fegan and Lenny Wen familiar and you should as they have been featured on our blog before. This dynamic duo brought us, Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 that we featured earlier this year. They have become one of our favorite writing duos!

Synopsis

When Jet’s teacher questions why he has completed his work by writing out the alphabet. Jet takes us on a wild adventure on why each letter left his page. Jet tries to explain that it really isn’t his fault. After all, how can he help it, if none of his letters want to stay on the page!

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Day That A Ran Away clearly and cleverly moves through the alphabet from A to Z. Each page has a number of items to find and the simple rhyme on each page will help readers remember the letter sequence. The story also touches gently on the concept of homework and the importance of making an effort.

We just loved the book with each page turn. I am a big fan of rhyming books as it makes reading so much more fun for me as a parent and the illustrations are very captivating throughout. With each letter we are able to point out things on the page that begin with that letter of the alphabet. As a parent it helped me teach my daughter the alphabet in more depth by attaching it with recognizable words for her. For example D is for Dog. This book is recommended for children ages three to eight and it will be one of our favorites for story time.

For this #MelandNikkiReview we give it 5 A’s out of 5 as we love the rhyming, story, characters and the fun learning incorporated in the book. The book was so much fun to read and I know you will enjoy it too!

If you would like to purchase your very own copy, click here. This would be a nice addition to your children’s storytime line-up.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this piece belong to Momma Braga and no other compensation or commission was offered in exchange for this review.

 

The Little School Bus | Book Review

A new school year is just about to start and it has parents excited (some kids not so much). With the new school year, comes some new reading and we are excited to introduce our readers to The Little School BusThis book is written by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Bob Kolar.

Since this will be our daughter’s first year in school as she enters Kindergarten, she was really excited to see this book with a big yellow school bus in front. To her it is a clear sign of school and it was the only book she wanted me to read for storytime. It was also a great way for me to get comfortable with the fact that my little one was going off to school soon.

The Little School Bus is about a school bus driver by the name of Bob and his trusty little school bus. It takes us on their journey as they wake up early to pick up children and drop them off at school. Not to forget that sometimes a trip to the garage is in order to make sure it is in working order. 😉 It shows how busy their day can be as we travel with them throughout the book.

We loved this book and we recommend it for children between the ages of three to six. It was an easy read (loved the rhyming), flowed nicely and we loved the diversity in the book. The illustrations are cute and complimented the book beautifully. We believe that any child would enjoy this book and it is a great way to get to know what school bus drivers do. It is a hard but important job that is done. For all these reasons we give, The Little School Bus, 5 beep beeps out of 5 on the #MelAndNikkiReview!

If you would like to purchase this book and add it to your storytime lineup, click here. You won’t regret it and your child will love it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Me, Myselfie & I | Book Review

Who doesn’t like taking a good selfie?! With all the filters and options available to make them look great, it is hard to pass on taking one. I don’t usually take selfies but my daughter has become a selfie queen as she loves to take pictures (I’m to blame as I love taking photos of her!). You can selfies is part of our family portfolio to say the least.

Therefore, it was only fitting that we got an opportunity to review, Me, Myselfie & I. A Cautionary Tale, written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell. 

This children’s book gives us a look at one family’s mom who according to her children is “old-fashion” so they decided to buy mom a smartphone for her birthday. The kids were very excited to show mom how to use the new device and how to take selfies. Well, mom got very excited with this new skill that she learned and took selfies of every single moment.

“I’m SELFIE crazy!”

It truly got crazy until her kids realized it was way too much. They made mom stop and made her realize that not every moment needs to be captured on camera. But the time spent together enjoying each other’s company is what matter most.

“The BEST time of all, SELFLESS family love.”

We adored this book and we truly enjoyed the message about spending time together as a family. Turning off the technology and just having some quality time is a refreshing reminder for us all. We also couldn’t help but giggle throughout the book as mom really take some interesting selfies of ever single moment such as the selfie at a stranger’s wedding. But as outrageous as some of the moments are, you can’t help but know that it is true. The book flowed nicely and the messaging was perfect. The illustrations complimented the book nicely and we loved the diversity in the book as well. This is why we give this book 5 selfies out of 5! 

Now we couldn’t help but look back at some of our own selfies or better yet our daughter’s selfies which are plenty. Since the age of three she started to take my phone and take photos. The neat part about her photos was being able to see things through her perspective or her view of the world. Soon after she discovered that she could take pictures of herself and boy did she have fun with this option!

Have you ever gone on your phone and checked your photo album to see pictures that you never took? I have had this happen to me and find 100s of photos that I never took but my little one decided to play photographer for the day. The best part is seeing all her silly photos which always makes me smile and thought in honor of this new children’s book, I would share some of her silliest selfies.

Would love to see any silly selfies you or your children have taken by using #MommaBragaSillySelfie.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Learning Friends 100 Words Book Leaps In Fun For Children | Product Review

LeapFrog is a favorite in our household as we enjoy the interactive, innovative and educational toys that they offer. For more than 20 years, LeapFrog has helped children expand their knowledge and imagination through award-winning products that combine state-of-the-art educational expertise led by the LeapFrog Learning Team, innovative technology, and engaging play – turning playtime into quality time that helps children leap ahead.

This is why we were extra excited to get one of the latest and hottest toys from LeapFrog, Learning Friends 100 Words Book™. This interactive toy is a touch and learn word fun in a book type format. So what does it do?

Touch and Learn

Discover abundance of things like animal noises, colors, food, clothes and body. These words are learned through pressing the pictures on each page. The beauty is that the words that were chosen are toddler friendly and appropriate by learning experts.

Three Play Modes

There are three play modes available on the Learning Friends 100 Words Book which are: Play words, exciting sound effects and fun facts. No matter which play mode you are in, it is a guarantee fun learning experience.

12 Learning Categories

There are 100 different words in the book and each page is designed beautifully and with many colors to engage the child in learning. The categories vary and some are foods, clothes, colors and more.

Bilingual Play

With a simple slide on the language switch, your child can learn about colors, objects and animals in both English and French – c’est magnifique!

Benefits

One can only except a learning piece to LeapFrog and they have done it so well with the Learning Friends 100 Words Book. The skills that your child can learn from this product are: First Words and Phrases; Colors; Animals; English; Geometry; Food and Nutrition; Opposites; and Human Body. There is just so many great things to learn in one little book.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Learning Friends 100 Words Book™ by LeapFrog has made it onto our most recommended list for children 18 months to 48 months. It is a great toy to help a child learn in a fun and colorful way. We love the ability to press each image on the page and have the child hear the word to associate it with the image. We have to admit that even though my daughter is almost four years of age, she really enjoyed the book and was very proud that she knew all the words. Now she is even more excited to use the book to teach her baby cousin who is five months old to give her a head start. 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it, 5+++ Leaps out of 5. It’s an amazing learning tool and it makes learning so much more fun. Also I need to mention to all the parents that this toy comes with a volume button so you can control how loud you would like it to be. As parents we truly appreciate and value that little extra function. Believe me this toy will not annoy you. 😉

If you would like to purchase this product please click here to see the closest location to you.

A special thank you to LeapFrog Canada for the opportunity to review this great product for our amazing readers and followers.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Please note that the product was given in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and no monetary benefits were exchanged.

Neymar | A Soccer Dream Come True

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition. The championship has been awarded every four years since the tournament began in 1930 (with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War). The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world.

Therefore, it is no surprise that it’s an exciting time when the FIFA World Cup begins. You see the flags proudly displayed on cars, homes and of course team jerseys worn to support their teams.

We can’t forget the players who are playing on the field and how proud they are to represent their country on the biggest world stage.

One team in particular has played in every tournament and has won five times.  This team is Brazil and this year they are hoping to bring the World Cup for the sixth time. Now there is a player on Brazil that is well known and that is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.

We have definitely heard of him before and this is why we were excited to be introduced to a children’s book that is about him growing up.

Neymar A Soccer Dream Come True, is about Neymar growing up as a child in Brazil with the dream of being a professional soccer player. It is written by Mina Javaherbin and pictures are by Paul Hoppe.

The book takes you on the journey that Neymar took to get to where he is today. It shows us that if you work hard and believe in your dreams, they can come true.

We love that positive message for kids to read! The book flowed nicely and it was an easy read. The illustrations were a great compliment to the story too. For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Neymar A Soccer Dream Come True, 5 GOOAALL out of 5! A personal like of this book for me was the Portuguese that was included in the book and it was neat that they included a glossary on the words. Since I can read Portuguese it was exciting to read it to my daughter and know exactly what the words mean.

If you are a soccer fan and one of your favorite players is Neymar, then this is the perfect book for you! To purchase this book, click here.

We hope you all have been loving the FIFA World Cup so far this year and I am excited to see who wins!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Fox and Raccoon | Storytime

Storytime is always an exciting time especially when new books arrive to be featured on the #MelAndNikkiReview! We love sweet and unique books as they make storytime that much special. This is why when we were introduced to the sweet and charming world of Juniper Hollow, we were in enchanted.

Juniper Hollow is where fuzzy friends abound and that is where Fox and Raccoon live. They are the best of friends and live next door to each other. They also spend every day together with the exception of today. It appears that Fox is so busy that she doesn’t have time to play.

But never fear as Raccoon is here to help! He helps her with all the tasks that she needs to do but it seems that Fox is STILL busy. Will she ever have time to stop and play with him? As it turns out, she has a surprise up her sleeve…

After reading this book a few times (almost every night) since it arrived at our doorstep, we can’t help but feel enchanted by Fox and Raccoon. Firstly, the textile art is captivating and it allows us to feel that we have been transported to Juniper Hollow. Secondly, the friendship between Fox and Raccoon is beautiful and sincere. It was heartwarming to see how much they cared for one another as the story progressed.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Fox and Raccoon 5 juniper berries out of 5! The story of friendship and love is an important message for children and it is portrayed beautifully in Fox and Raccoon. We also loved the textile art as we personally have not read books with this type of art so it was neat for us. We would recommend this book for children ages three to seven and this would make a perfect addition to storytime.

This children’s picture book is a debut for Lesley-Anne Green who is the author and she is a textile artist who creates her adorable critters using wool, thread, fabric and love. She lives in Toronto with her family and an incorrigible pug named Lola. We hope she will continue to create more beautiful books for children.

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

Dada | First Words

The first word that is spoken is always an exciting time with your little one and the anticipation of what it would be, might have parents on the edge of their seats. I know this is how we were as we anticipated those first words from our daughter, Nikki.

I had a few friends and family who would tell me that the first word is usually momma or dada but a majority of them said it would be “Dada.” Of course, they were right as her first word was “Dada.”

So when I saw, Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, by Jimmy Fallon I knew this was the perfect gift for my husband for Father’s Day as it will take him back to that glorious day that he reminds me of every single day. 😉

“Your baby’s first word will be…Dada! Right? Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada”! But does it work?”

According to this children’s book it can definitely work with hard work and determination. The book is beautifully illustrated with different animals throughout and each animal has something in common – teaching their children to say “Dada.” Unfortunately, their attempts just have their child make their sound instead. However, fathers never give up and by the end, all the children say “Dada.” Hooray!

We just loved this book as it is so sweet. The story is simple for a young child to understand and flows nicely. Your child can learn as the story is read to them as you can teach your child the sounds that different animals make.

Nikki and I had a blast reading it. The best part is that Nikki was able to read the words as we went along and that made my heart skip a beat. She can now read the story to her Dada who will be so proud to hear her first words in a story form.

Therefore, it is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5+++ Dads out of 5! We do have a message for Mr. Jimmy Fallon, keep writing beautiful books and showing us how much love our children have for us as parents. Whether it is Mama or Dada, they are both loving parents who at the end of the day love their children with all their hearts. Thank you!

If you would like to purchase this book for the Dada in the life of your little one, then please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga