Tag: Book Review

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

Brave Enough For Two Warms Our Hearts | Storytime

A Hoot & Olive Story has arrived in our home titled, Brave Enough for Two, written and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss and we are so glad that we did!

“Hoot loves adventures. Olive does not. But as long as they’re together, they can accomplish anything.”

Olive is a little girl who likes the types of adventures that exist in books. Her best friend Hoot, a stuffed-animal owl, prefers the ones that take place in the real world. Today, Hoot gets to pick the adventures. At first, Olive isn’t sure if she’s brave enough for the activities Hoot has picked: flying a makeshift hot-air balloon and navigating raging rivers. But when her dearest friend gets hurt, Olive discovers that she’s not only brave, she’s brave enough for two.

It is such a heartwarming tale of friendship, courage and adventure. The story flows beautifully and of course we can not forget about the breathtaking illustrations. With each page turn, you are taken away in the artist’s world and we loved it! This is why we give Brave Enough for Two 5+++ Hoots out of 5! A heartwarming tale for your storytime lineup is exactly what you will get with this great book.

So what did three-year old Nikki think of it? We sat down with her to get her insight.

Momma Braga: “Hi Nikki! What did you think of Brave Enough for Two?
Nikki: “It was GREAT!”
Momma Braga: “What did you like best about the book?”
Nikki: “I like the friends helping each other. It’s like me and my best friends. We help each other momma!”
Momma Braga: “That is so great to help each other.”
Nikki: “Yes momma! We have to be nice.”
Momma Braga: “What do you give this book out of 5?”
Nikki: “Ummm…..6!”

There you have Nikki’s take on Brave Enough For Two and it is an outstanding review! If you would like to purchase this lovely book, click here. We are loving our book! 🙂

About Jonathan D. Voss

Jonathan was a portrait artist and graphic designer before becoming a children’s book illustrator. Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally Walker was his first book. Brave Enough for Two is his author-illustrator debut. He lives in North Carolina with his family.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

A Buzzing New Children’s Book | The HoneyBee

Honeybees are marvellous creatures who produce the pollen that we need for our food, clothing and shelter. Many of us may already know that the honeybee population is in danger. Education is key to help this population thrive again and what better way then articulating the honeybee in a children’s story.

We received a beautiful book titled, The HoneyBee, written by Kirsten Hall and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. 

The HoneyBee takes us on a journey of the bee. It shows us what the bee does and how important their work is for our world. The story flows nicely and the illustrations articulate the story beautifully.

We love how at the end of the book there is a detailed page on how we can help the Honeybee. This is a great touch to a great children’s book as it provides us with the “Call to Action.” Not only do we learn but we also get steps on how to bee helpful.

Our favorite piece of information that we must share is:

“4. Don’t Bee Afraid of Bees! Honeybees want nectar and pollen – not to sting or harm you. When bees fly near, stay still. And stay calm, too! Bees can actually “smell” fear. If you stay still and calm, chances are the bee will quickly decide to just fly away. Also, avoid going near beehives. Bees are territorial. But as long as you stay out of yours.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 BUZZZ’s out of 5! We love the story, illustrations and learning piece of the book. It really gives us an appreciation of the Honeybee and for that alone we recommend this children’s book. This book is great for preschoolers to Grade 3.

To purchase this lovely book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Perfect Gift For The Super Dad In Your Life

Many of us feel that our dads carry with them super powers as they seem to do things that no one else can do. Dads hold special places in the hearts of their children and it is important for us to acknowledge how important dad is. This is why we have the perfect gift idea for Father’s Day that your little one or even an older child can give to their “Super Dad.”

I See Me Books has done it again with another great personalized book to mark another great occasion, Father’s Day. We got the first look at a new book at I See Me Books called, Super Dad! 

This book is fitting for our home as my daughter has been obsessed with superheroes and her daddy is her super dad. So let’s say that its the perfect gift.

In I See Me Books style, it is personalized in the most adorable way and that is what makes it so special. You get to customize dad (you can use a photo of dad or just use one of their cartoon images) for the book by picking some features and then the book is put together into a super story.

The book highlights some of dads super abilities on just about everything and it is done is super fashion. But above all it shows us that the one thing that the child loves the best is the time that they get from dad. Now that is a super power that is above all the rest!

Super Dad has made it onto our most recommended list as it makes the perfect gift for Father’s Day or even just as an “I Love You” gift for dad. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5+++ SUPER POWERS out of 5! We love the personalization of every detail (you must pay attention to all the little details in the book) and we love how it highlights dads. It really is a good feel book for dad and we know that he will love it as much as we do.

We at Momma Braga always go the extra mile and since this book is about dad, we asked dad himself on his thoughts of this book. It was an early Father’s Day gift but it was imperative that we gave our readers advance notice of a great gift idea so it was all worth it.

Here is our quick book presentation with my husband (Nikki’s dad):

Nikki: Here daddy. We have a special book for you.
Daddy: Let me see.
Nikki: You are my superhero!
Daddy: (Tears in his eyes) I LOVE IT! Wow! My face is everywhere. This is REALLY cool! 

That same night my husband read the book to Nikki with such pride in his eyes and to me that was the perfect moment for all of us.

It is amazing to think that one book, through personalization and words brought so much joy and love to our home. Thank you I See Me Books for another masterpiece to our personalization library. If you would like to purchase this lovely book for the super dad in your life, click here.

Make sure to follow I See Me Books on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube to see all the amazing books they have to offer.

If you would like to get email promos, discounts and updates on I See Me Books, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift From Your Little One

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, many start to wonder what would be the perfect Mother’s Day gift from a little one. I have often thought about that same very question myself and I have found the most perfect gift.

Let me introduce you to, Everything Is Mamma by Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy is one of the most popular entertainers in the world and NBC’s Tonight Show host. Therefore it is no surprise that he would write an adorable book just for Mama!

Now as a mom I know all to well of the “Everything Is Mamma” phase and with a three-year old daughter it is still all about Mamma (even if dad is right beside her, it is still always mamma). I have to admit that at times it is a little much but then I remember how we are their whole world so how can we blame them. 😉

This book is just that. Jimmy tells the story of animal mamas teaching their children different words; however, they only pick up on “Mama.” By the end of the book, the message is loud and clear. To our children it is all about Mama and to Mama they are our EVERYTHING! Such an important and beautiful message for our children to hear. We just loved this book so much that we are constantly reading it.

I need to mention that Nikki loved the book so much that she has memorized the momma and child parts of the book. Now she might have just memorized it but at the end of the day I was extremely proud that she was reading it! This is an amazing great start in my books so thank you Jimmy!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Everything Is Mamma, 5 Mammas out of 5! It was simple to read, flowed nicely, illustrations were beautifully done and most important the message was spot on. This is why we think this would make a perfect Mother’s Day gift for any Mamma. Besides Mother’s Day is Everything About Mamma so why not get a book about her too! 😉

To purchase this lovely book, click here. Remember to hug your mom tightly and let her know how much you love her as moms are truly the best!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

Celebrate Earth Day with Earth | Children’s Book

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd worldwide. On this day, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is important to do our part to protect our beautiful Earth and Earth Day is a great way to make sure we all remember that.

Now it might be difficult to explain Earth to your little ones but we have a great solution for everyone and it is called, Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years. It is a children’s book written by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield.

Synopsis

Hi, I’m Earth! But you can call me Plant Awesome. I’ve been around for almst 4.54 billion years. I have seven siblings in my solar system (not including Pluto, who’s more like the family pet). My favorite thing to do is spin! It takes me an entire year just to circle the sun, but I don’t mind. And that’s not all. Someone needs to give you the facts, and I’m the best planet for the job. Take a look inside and explore the world of – well,  the world!

#MelAndNikkiReview

We were so thrilled to receive this book as we have been wanting to explain Earth in the most fun way to our three year old and now we have one.

Earth is an adorable book about Earth or should I say Plant Awesome! 🙂 It is filled with interesting facts about our amazing world and it is a great introduction to young children (ages four to eight). With each page turn, the illustrations are captivating and vibrant which makes the book even more enjoyable. Not to mention the bits of humor in the story…at least we know Earth has a funny side! 😉

Read this book about Earth,
written by Earth, while you float through
space on – you guessed it – Earth!

We can’t get enough of Earth in our home and that means it is repeated every night for bedtime. This is why we give this book 5 Earth Spins Out of 5!

This book is a great way to bring some learning fun to your home as you celebrate Earth Day!

To purchase this lovely book, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

 

Honey Nut Cheerios Launches Their Third Year Of Bring Back The Bees

Honey Nut Cheerios has launched their third year of Bring Back the Bees! If you haven’t heard the buzz about the bees then you have come to the right place!

Bees have been around for millions of years but in the last few years, their population has been on a dramatic decline. Did you know that bees are a crucial part of our agriculture? It is called pollination. In fact, one third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. They keep our plants and crops alive. So it is very important to help the bees to thrive.

“Bees love to live in urban settings where there are short flight paths and a variety of different plants and flowers to sample just as much as they love the country.”

This year in honor of the #BringBackTheBees Campaign, Honey Nut Cheerios has partnered up with Canadian author, Paulette Bourgeois and illustrator Josee Bisallion. They have created an engaging new children’s book to encourage Canadian kids to do their part to help, Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees!


We got a chance to review this book and we are so glad that we did!

Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees tells the story of two kids who learn about the threats to our bee populations and are inspired to do their part to help bring back the bees.

The beauty of this book is the ability it has to teach children the importance of bees and how we need to help them. I know that as we read the book my three old was very concerned about bees and said, “We need to help Momma!”

Since we got our Wildflower seeds, I showed her how we were going to use them to help the bees. Now my three year old is very excited that she can do something to help her buzzing friends. As soon as Spring gets to our backyard, we will plant them in our garden.

We give Bella and Jack Bring Back The Bees, 5 BUZZZZZ out of 5! The great news is that Honey Nut Cheerios is giving away 100,000 free copies of the book nationally, through Indigo, Coles and Chapters and online. Just visit Bring The Bees website to see how you can get your own copy of this adorable book.

“Bees have good colour vision. That’s why flowers are so showy. They especially like blue, purple, violet, white and yellow.”

How You Can Help

Honey Nut Cheerios is making it easy to help by providing wildflower seeds across the country to help preserve and grow the natural habitat bees need for survival.

Over the past two years, the Bring Back the Bees campaign has helped Canadians plant more than 600 million wildflowers across the country, and this year they’re hoping to plant another 300 million seeds.

So how can you get wildflower seeds? You just order them online for your free packages of wildflower seeds and they are sent to you ready to be planted in the spring weather. It is that simple to help out the amazing bees!

We can’t wait to plant ours and do our part to help the bees and our agriculture. Make sure to order your seeds and remember that its FREE! Once you get your seeds and plant them, feel free to take a picture and tag @MommaBraga , @CheeriosCA and #BringBackTheBees as we would love to see your photos!

For more information on this great campaign and all things bees please visit,  https://bringbackthebees.ca/.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

 

The Reality Of Motherhood With A Dash of Humor

When we are new parents we tend to read every book that has been recommended to us. I know that I read my fair share of sunshine and rainbows before I had my daughter. Then once I became a mom, I got the harsh reality of true motherhood. Therefore, when I was approached by author Jillian M. Parsons with an introduction to her upcoming book I was just thrilled!

I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy before it hit the book shelves and I was honored to have been picked to read it!

Say No to Placenta Pics And Other Hilarious, Unsolicited Advice for Pregnant Women by Jillian M. Parsons with Allison Baerken should be on every new moms and their BFFs reading list.

The book is about how two best friends make it through a Pregnancy, with all its gut-busting hilarity and gross bits.

“Maternity isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and natural glows. It’s also elastic waistbands, hot flashes, and throbbing breasts! Prepare yourself for a nine-month roller coaster ride of emotions – for both the pregnant woman and her best friend.”

Synopsis

“Say No to Placenta Pics is the ultimate girlfriend’s uncensored, tell-all guide to the down and dirty of pregnancy for all badass moms-to-be (and their non-pregnant friends watching from the sidelines) who desperately need a joke over the next nine months. Together, BFFs Allison (pregnant) and Jillian (decidedly not) ride the learning curves from first trimester to after birth, rejecting standard pregnancy fluff in self-help books, exploring the issues about mother-to-be-hood no one else seems to have the guts to:

  • The anti-sex appeal of maternity negligees
  • Surviving the high school experience of online mommy groups
  • Resisting the urge to overshare on Facebook
  • Executing the right angles on a maternity photo shoot
  • Listening to yet another birth story from a stranger

Tongue-in-check, and fearlessly relatable, Say No to Placenta Pics is the realest girl talk between two women who mock and celebrate the wonder of pregnancy, every step of the way.”

Momma Braga Review

I absolutely LOVED this book! I loved it so much that I was able to provide a short review that can be viewed on their website, Amazon and Chapters Indigo.

Say No to Placenta Pics, offers readers unique voices of a mom and non-mom who talk about on pregnancy and the aftermath. They touch on every topic that you can imagine and they leave no stone unturned when they give you the good, the bad and the very ugly. For that alone, I applaud them as they are being real and offering different perspectives that we can all learn from. They are relevant and up-to-date with their topics as they talk about Facebook and Mom Bloggers. I have to admit that the Mom Blogger section was my favorite one. Now I do need to warn you that you that if you are a mom blogger you will need to read it with an open mind and with a sense of humor to get it! 😉

There is so much more I can write about, Say No to Placenta Pics, but I can’t spoil it for all of you! What I can say is that this book should be on everyone’s reading list and many of you will be able to relate to a lot of it. We give this book 5 sunshine and rainbows out of 5 and this is on our most recommended list!

Lastly, I will sum up my review with my quote:

“A refreshing read on the reality of pregnancy and the aftermath, which is articulated beautifully with a dash of uncensored humor. You can’t help but laugh out loud as there are so many relatable points in the book. It clearly brings up topics that most of us moms want to say but feel the need to sugar coat; the bad and ugly. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a sense of humor and wants the honest truth on embarking on the journey of motherhood and for the childless friends around them.”

Say No to Placenta Pics will be released on April 17th so make sure to reserve your copy (Amazon and Chapters Indigo) as you don’t want to miss it! This book will be BIG!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

Brave Jane Austen An Inspiring Story Of An Empowering Woman

Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during the month of March in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8.

This is always a great time to reflect and look back in history on the women who have paved the way for us today.

While we look back at history, one woman who can not be forgotten especially in the world of literature and that is Jane Austen.

This was why I was excited to receive, Brave Jane Austen written by Lisa Pilscou and  illustrated by Jen Corace. This children’s book gives us a little glimpse into the world of Jane and how it was to live in a world where girls didn’t have the same opportunities as boys. No matter the challenges that went in Jane’s way, she kept paving the way until one day one of her books were actually published. When you think about the 1700s, then you know that this was a big deal.

Jane Austen’s novels are widely taught in middle schools and high schools nationwide, and most have been adapted into major motion pictures.

Jane was brave, insightful, and fiercely creative. Her story will reinforce these essential values in young readers, particularly girls. Not only is it an inspiring story but the book also includes an author’s note, quotes from Austen’s admirers in the literary community across time, and excerpts from Austen’s own letters to her loved ones.

#MelandNikkiReview

So what do we give this book in the #MelAndNikkiReview, 5 stars out of 5! It is a lovely story about an empowering woman who did what many would have thought was impossible to do. We recommend this book for young readers between four to eight years of age and anyone who wants to read about an incredible woman. The illustrations are beautifully done and it gives us the feel that we are in the 1700s – love it!

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga