Tag: Books

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.

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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.

LeapStart 3D Awards The Gift of Reading

“LeapStart 3D is a tool that awards little ones with the gift of reading and we love it!” – Momma Braga

LeapStart® 3D is a complete learning system that magically brings books to life with audio and then enhances the learning with corresponding 3D-like animations.

There is so much to learn with this amazing tool and of course our good friends at LeapFrog are the ones bringing it to us.

Let’s leap right on in and give you some of our highlights and where it lands on the #MelAndNikkiReview.

It’s All In The Details

The fine details is what sets products apart and LeapFrog did not miss a beat with this one.

Activities Galore

It features touch-and-talk games, creative challenges, problem-solving puzzles, math mazes and more for children between the ages of two and seven. There is more than 30 activities in every book – amazing! Talk about keeping the little ones entertained and learning all at the same time.

Animation

This detail is super adorable and just enhances the learning experience. The 3D-like animations helps kids better understand the learning concepts. It is also a great way to engage the child as the animations are a great addition.

Multiple Book Levels

You have the option of selecting books that fit to your child’s level and what areas you would like them to learn. We absolutely love this option and there are more than 25 different activity books that you can pick from. You can progress from preschool to first grade. *Please note that you do need to connect the system to your computer in order to download the books onto the learning system.

Abundance of Learning

You can expect lots of learning and fun to be had with the LeapStart® 3D. Each book seamlessly blends fun with skills from problem solving to learning to read that are important to a child’s development for a comprehensive introduction to key concepts.

“With LeapStart 3D, children engage with real books packed with activities to build key skills from counting and problem solving to phonics and vocabulary. LeapStart 3D adds a new dimension to learning as children can visualize the meaning of words and learn about shapes and geometry concepts with 3D-like animations.” – Carolyn James, PhD, LeapFrog Literacy Expert

#MelAndNikkiReview

LeapStart® 3D has been an amazing tool in our household as we have been working with it for about a full month. We have seen the growth in Nikki’s reading skills and her love for reading has doubled since we started LeapStart® 3D. We always think that products provide a skill to us; however, we are saying that LeapStart is awarding us with such an amazing skill. To see your child with pure joy in their eyes when they recognize a word and read it out loud…it is priceless and so awarding to hear!

Nikki loves using the pen to go over the words to learn each one. This helped her learn and grasp the sounds of each letter. Then she was able to put all the sounds together to read the words. We still have a lot more practicing to do but she is able to do more now than she ever has before. We feel that we got the best Christmas present ever and that is the gift of reading. We love all the different book options available and with all of Nikki’s favorite characters too! She doesn’t know it yet but for Christmas there are a few more books for her to read under the tree. 😉

LeapFrog truly put in a lot of time and planning to execute LeapStart 3D as it does award children and parents with an amazing tool. It is reassuring to know as a parent that there are products so great that can offer us a helping hand in the development of our children. This is why we give the LeapStart® 3D 10 stars out of 5! It is fun, compact, operates on battery power and has loads of learning at the fingertips of your child. It is also very safe to use. We love the use of technology but it is done in a simple way. It isn’t over powering and does not take away from the basics of learning. We highly recommend it! It would make the perfect gift this holiday season or any other time of the year.

Thank you LeapFrog for making this momma feel so much better about her daughter’s learning progress! If you would like to purchase one, click here. We truly do love it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Great Children’s Books for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving around the corner in the United States, we have two great children’s books that will add to the festivities.

Be Thankful, Pout-Pout Fish

Gobble! Gobble! It’s Thanksgiving under the sea, and Mr. Fish has much to be grateful for. Toddlers will love swimming along with the pout-pout fish as he turns little pouts into big smiles in this original board book.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Be Thankful, Pout-Pout Fish is a great book for toddlers and a great introduction to Thanksgiving. The illustrations are vibrant and perfect for the wondering eyes of a toddler. You can’t help but feel grateful while reading along as it touches upon all the great points of the occasion. The rhyming helps to keep the litte ones engaged and it makes it much more fun to read too!

This would make a great addition to your family gathering. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 pout-pout out of 5!

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

Bad Kitty Does NOT Like Thanksgiving

Kitty does not like Thanksgiving. Kitty LOVES Thanksgiving. Specifically, Kitty loves turkey…and will do anything to get her paws on it. So, Kitty comes up with a plan but in perfect cantankerous cat fashion, can’t quite pull it off and ends up with the turkey (and all the fixins’) on her head. No, Kitty does not like Thanksgiving.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Oh Bad Kitty! We just love the books in the Bad Kitty series and this one is no exception. This book was a great hit in our home and we even read the book to some of Nikki’s cousins who enjoyed it from beginning to end. The storyline is so intriguing for little ones as they anticipate what is going to happen next as Bad Kitty always seems to get into a bit of trouble.

We love the important message that the book highlights which is that if you want something too much, it is best to wait for it. Good things comes to those who wait as they say. Bad Kitty learned the hard way and lost it all at the end. I guess that is what Bad Kitty gets. The bits of humor within the story is so great too.

There is an added extra with this story as it comes with stickers! It sure had the kids eyes light up when they each got a sticker at the end.

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

The Lost Christmas | Book Review

“A Christmas confection from the brilliant creator of the Lost House and The Lost Picnic!”

Synopsis

It’s time to decorate the tree for Christmas — but Grandad can’t find any of his ornaments! The hunt for the missing decorations takes the children up and down in Grandad’s bric-a-brac-filled house and out into a winter wonderland. And when every ornament is on the tree at last, Grandad has a wonderful holiday surprise in store.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Lost Christmas is a tricky seek-and-find book that embraces the beginning of the Christmas season – decorating! This book is great to get the family all geared up the festivities with the first step to start it all. 🙂

We enjoyed the storyline as decorating is one of our favorite parts of Christmas and we can relate to misplacing some décor as we go along. 😉 The story is just sweet and we love how it shows the bond between grandchild and grandparent. The illustrations are vibrant as neon colors are used to bring the story to life. However, we did find it difficult to find the items on the pages. If you have some great seek-and-find little ones, then this is a great book for them.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReciew, we give it 4 ornaments out of 5! We enjoyed it and the seek-and-find concept was neat. Even though we couldn’t find many of the items. I guess we need to practice some more. 😉 There is an added surprise at the end and it is to seek out one more ornament back in the book. Therefore, make sure to go all the way to the end!

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

About the Author

B.B. Cronin, an illustrator originally from Dublin, Ireland, is the author of The Lost House, which received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and The Lost Picnic. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and on the covers of Penguin Classics, among many other publications. He was honored by a one-person show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin in 1998. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, with the illustrator Juliette Borda and their two children. He divides his time between his kitchen, living room, and his stuido. To learn more about the author, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

 

There’s an Elf in Your Book Brings Witt and Fun

“There’s an Elf in Your Book is witty, fun and asks the biggest question on all our minds…Did we make it on the nice list?” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Ho, ho ho! There’s an elf in this Christmas picture book by bestselling children’s author, YouTube star, and musician Tom Fletcher!

Do you have what it takes to make Santa’s Nice List? An elf is here to test you in Tom Fletcher’s newest participatory read-aloud. Don’t let the elf trick you into being naughty! Just follow his instructions to sing Christmas carol, clap, burp…Hey, wait a second! Children will be delighted to participate in this satisfying holiday tale.

#MelAndNikkiReview

There’s an Elf in Your Book had us all participating in story time with this witty tale. Nikki was very excited when she saw it and needed to have it read to her right away. Since I wasn’t available at that very moment, the task was left for daddy dearest to read. 🙂 They both really loved reading it together and even my husband had a great time (that is the best compliment ever!). It became a family favorite instantly as my family was bragging all about it. Therefore, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to read it too as I needed to join in the fun.

I have to admit that my family was right and their praises of the book were true. It was witty, fun and interactive! Since Nikki was an expert by the time I read it with her, she tried tricking me along with the mischievous elf. However, never fear as Momma Braga passed the test and I did in fact make it to the Nice List. 😉 It is a wonderful and uplifting story for little ones. We loved the story, illustrations and even the tricky elf.

You will have a blast reading this book with your child and just in time to get everyone in the Christmas spirit! Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 elves out of 5! It had us jingling with laughter.

This book is recommended for children ages three to seven and if you would like to purchase your own copy, click here. You won’t regret it! 😉

About the Author

Tom Fletcher loves Christmas! He’s a successful children’s author for various age groups, a YouTube star, a proud daddy, and a McFly band member. He has also collaborated with Greg Abbott on There’s a Monster in Your Book and There’s a Dragon in Your Book, which Kirkus Reviews called “an energetic and laugh-filled read-aloud.” Tom lives in England with his wife, author Giovanna Fletcher, and their three sons.

About the Illustrator

Greg Abbott is an illustrator and designer who lives in West Sussex, England. In addition to children’s books, he has created art prints, apparel, toys, greeting cards, and other merchandise.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

The Crayons’ Christmas | Book Review

A brand new Crayons’ book from the #1 New York Times best-selling duo Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, just in time for the holidays.

Synopsis

‘Tis the season for all of us to write our holiday wish lists. But everyone – even the crayons – know the best presents are the ones that you give. In this unique book, readers get to see how Duncan, the crayons, and their families celebrate the holidays. With real, folded letters from the Crayons that you can pull from their envelopes and read, games, punch-out ornaments, a poster, and a pop-up tree, this book is the perfect gift for fans of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Crayons’ Christmas brings Christmas joy with many amazing surprises for young readers. It was one of Nikki’s ultimate favorite parts of the book! Every time we turned the page she would excitedly say, “Wow! Another surprise! I wonder what the crayons are sending this time?!” By having these surprises, it truly brought an interactive component to the story and we absolutely loved it. To us, it was like keeping the story fun going even after the story was done.

Not only does The Crayons’ Christmas bring the interaction out for your little ones but it brings that lovable humor that you can expect from The Crayons’ Series. It had me giggling all the way. 😉 Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give The Crayons’ Christmas 10 crayons out of 5! It brings humor, fun and the Christmas spirit all in one beautifully illustrated children’s book.

“This book is full of Christmas fun!” – Nikki, Age 5

If you would like to purchase your own copy and in time for Christmas, 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.

Peppa Pig and The Christmas Play

“Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play will show you the power of a promise in the most adorable way.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

It’s holiday time, and Peppa Pig and her friends are busy getting ready for the Christmas play. Everyone has a part to play – elves, snowflakes, the tree, the shining star, even the Christmas nurse! Peppa is happy to be the Christmas fairy, but what she really wants is for Santa to come to the show. He said he would when she saw him at grocery store.

With the play about to begin, there’s no sign of the special guest, but Madame Gazelle says the show must go on. Will Peppa take the stage? Will Santa keep his promise?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play brings our favorite characters from Peppa Pig for some holiday cheer and fun. We loved the addition of the jolly man himself, Santa! Best of all they learn the power of a promise and that is truly magical!

“Santa never lets anyone down.” – Nikki, Age 5

If you have a Peppa Pig enthusiast in your home, then this is the perfect book for them. You also get a bonus with this book as it includes a coloring poster inside the jacket. So the holiday fun continues with Peppa!

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

If you would like to purchase this book, 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.

Maisy’s Christmas Party | Book Review

You’ve got mail! When Maisy invites her friends to a holiday party, she receives several pull-out gifts that she’s happy to share with fans.

Synopsis

The holidays are coming, and Maisy’s friends are thrilled to receive invitations to her party. It will be fun to play games, tell stories, sing carols, and eat treats! Dotty, Eddie, Cyril, Tallulah, and Charley all send thank-you notes to Maisy, each with a little something she might enjoy. And Maisy has something to give to her readers as well! Kids will be excited to reach into the envelope pockets to find:

  • An ornament
  • A simple gingerbread recipe
  • A book of jokes
  • A.small advent calendar
  • A puzzle
  • And a Christmas card from Maisy!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Maisy’s Christmas Party is absolutely adorable and the perfect addition to a little one this Christmas.

“I love opening the envelopes in the book and see all the surprises.” – Nikki, Age 5

Nikki loved seeing the surprises in each envelope and to be honest, so did I. It reminded me how the littlr things like writing a letter can add to the Christmas spirit. Maisy also gives all the readers a special surprise at the end too! Therefore, make sure to write the child’s name at the end to make it extra special when you are reading it. 😉

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Maisy’s Christmas Party 10 Gingerbreads out of 5! It won’t disappoint your little one and remember to enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.

If you would like to purchase your own, 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’re Going on a Bear Hunt | Christmas Activity Book

“A perfect activity book for Christmas!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Inspired by the animated special based on a beloved classic, this treasure trove of activities, fun facts, and more than a hundred stickers is the perfect gift for a magical time of year.

There’s so much to make, do, and discover in the countdown to Christmas! Whether kids like staying indoors to make crafts or stepping outside to explore, they’ll find plenty of ideas in this gem of a book. Would you like to create a wreath, design your own cards, pr make a special cake for the birds? How about learning some seasonal jokes, looking for winter creatures, or completing a Christmas tree calendar with stickers? With easy-to-follow instructions, charming illustrations, and plenty of holiday spirit, this hands-on guide to making the most of the season will children entertained and inspired.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book is the perfect activity book for the holiday season. It truly does have many wonderful activities to keep your little one entertained. We have tried some of them already but are saving most of them to do during Christmas with our family. Nikki loves the option of coloring your own stickers and it made her feel extra special to say that she colored it on her own.

To pick a favorite activity for me would be very difficult as I love Christmas and all the activities are perfect and easy! The activity book comes with a Christmas Tree Calendar and we will be posting it on our door so that each day Nikki can put a sticker on the tree as our countdown. Such a simple and easy idea to do with a beautiful impact for the child. Oh did we mention there is a golden treat recipe too?! There is just so much fun to be had with this Christmas Activity Book.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! Christmas fun awaits in this book and as a parent you will have fun too!

This would make a perfect gift for a child between the ages of three and seven. If you would like to purchase 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.