Tag: Candlewick Press

Dasher Brings A Tale Full Of Hope, Love and Magic

“Dasher is a captivating tale that gives us all the feels of the Christmas Spirit with the story of Dasher.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life – one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh – a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Dasher¬†is a captivating tale that gives us all the feels of the Christmas Spirit with the story of Dasher. We have all heard of Rudolph but have you ever wonder about the other reindeers? I know that we have and now we get to read the tale of Dasher from this author’s perspective, Matt Tavares.

So what did we think of it? We loved it! Such an articulated tale full of hope, love and magic. A perfect combination for a Christmas story and one that should be told. We love hearing stories on other icons that may not have had any light shine on them previously. Good on Dasher for getting her spotlight! By the way, we love to know that Dasher is a female. For some odd reason, I always thought that Dasher was a male so this was great to learn. ūüėČ

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Dasher 10 stars out of 5! It is an absolutely beautiful story through words and illustrations. We truly recommend this book for children ages four to eight. However, this book is great for the child in every person who wonders how Santa’s great team of reindeers became the team who bring much joy to children around the world.

If you would like to bring this book to your collection and into your reading collection, click here.

About the Author

Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of¬†Crossing Niagara, Henry Aaron’s Dream, There Goes Ted Williams, Becoming Babe Ruth,¬†and¬†Growing Up Pedro,¬†as well as¬†Zachary’s Ball, Oliver’s Game,¬†and¬†Mudball.¬†He is the illustrator of¬†‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Over the River and Through the Wood, Lady Liberty¬†by Doreen Rappaport,¬†The Gingerbread Pirates¬†by Kristin Kladstrup, and¬†Jubilee!¬†by Alicia Potter. Most recently he wrote and illustrated the modern Christmas tale¬†Red and Lulu.¬†Matt Tavares lives in Ogunquit, Maine.

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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Just Because Is A Charming Bedtime Story

“Curious minds are rewarded with curious answers in a fantastical bedtime book by Marc Barnett and Isabelle Arsenault.”

Synopsis

Why is the ocean blue? What is the rain? What happened to the dinosaurs? It might be time for bed, but one child is too full of questions about the world to go to sleep just yet. Little ones and their parents will be charmed and delighted as a patient father offers up increasingly creative responses to his child’s nighttime wonderings. Any child who has ever asked “Why?” – and any parent who has attempted an explanation – will recognize themselves in this sweet storybook for dreamers who are looking for answers beyond “Just because.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

Just Because¬†takes creativity to a whole new level in answering the infamous “Why” and we LOVE it!

As the child tries to get the answers to some of the most common questions that we are asked, dad gives with out of this world responses. At first, Nikki would look at me and say, “Is this really true?” I had to tell her that these were responses used with imagination to make it more fun before going to sleep. Nikki loved that and started to ask me questions to get out of this world responses. In all honesty, I am not as creative as Marc is in¬†Just Because.¬†

The sweet illustrations tie everything in beautifully and it truly brings imagination to life. The whole book is just so unique in taking the standard response of, “Just Because” and makes it so much more fun. It reminded me that a big part of being a child is to have fun and that anything is possible. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give¬†Just Because¬†10 flying fishes out of 5! You will love it too!

Momma Braga: Nikki why are there clouds in the sky?

Nikki: That is where angels sleep.

This book is recommended for children ages four to eight. If you would like to purchase this lovely book, click here.

About the Author

Marc Barnett is the author of several books for children, including Caldecott Honor Books Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, both illustrated by Jon Klassen; President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen; Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Christian Robinson; and the Terrible Two series, co-written with Jory John and illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Marc Barnett lives in California.

About the Illustrator

Isabelle Arsenault is the creator of¬†Alpha, Colette’s Lost Pet, Albert’s Quiet Quest and the illustrator of several other picture books, including¬†Jane, the Fox, and Me¬†by Fanny Britt, a¬†New York Times Book Review¬†Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year;¬†Captain Rosalie¬†by Timothee de Fombelle; and¬†Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois¬†by Amy Novesky. Isabelle Arsenault lives in Montreal.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz

“Authors and titles and plots, oh my!”

Synopsis

Books, books, books! Judy’s got books on the brain as she prepares for a totally RARE trivia competition. Has reading always been this exciting?

Judy Moody is in it to win it. Win the Book Quiz Blowout, that is. Judy and her brother, Stink, are two-fifths of the Virginia Dare Bookworms, and they’ve been reading up a storm to prepare for Saturday’s face-off against second- and third-grade readers from the next town. Judy’s trying out all kinds of tactics, from hanging upside down like Pippi Longstocking to teaching herself to speed read¬†The Princess in Black, and Stink has fashioned a cape of book trivia sticky notes to help him remember all the penguins in¬†Mr. Popper’s Penguins.¬†But when Judy, Stink, and their fellow teammates discover the other group has a fourth-grader (no lie!), they get a bit nervous. Are the Bookworks up to the challenge?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz is such an amazing book to read! But then again it is a Judy Moody book and they should be great! ūüėČ

Never in my wildest dreams did I think book reading would be as exciting as it was in this book. The trivia competition had me on the edge of my seat as I wondered who would take it all as I was cheering for Judy of course! This book did not disappoint! What I found neat about this one was the referencing of other books within it and at the back of the book, every single book that was mentioned is referenced. LOVE THAT! Judy Moody Book Quiz Whiz is just simply great and a must read for young readers.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! Keep inspiring us Judy Moody and encouraging young minds to love reading.

We recommend this book for children ages six to nine. If you would like to purchase a copy of your own, click here.

About the Author

Megan McDonald is the creator of the popular and award-winning Judy Moody and Stink series for older readers. She is also the author of three Sisters Club stories, two books about Ant and Honey Bee, and many other books for children. Megan McDonald lives in California.

About the Illustrator

Peter H. Reynolds is the illustrator of the Judy Moody and Stink books and the author-illustrator of¬†The Dot, Ish, Sky Color, So Few of Me, The North Star, Rose’s Garden, The Smallest Gift of Christmas, and Playing from the Heart.¬†Born in Canada, he now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Smell My Foot! | Book Review

“A silly but adorable young readers book that will have everyone laughing out loud and learn a very important lesson too!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Meet Chick and Brain. And their friend Spot. Chick likes to follow the rules. Brain might not be as smart as he looks. And Spot just wants to eat lunch. In a graphic reader loaded with verbal and visual humor, Cece Bell offers a comical primer on good manners gone awry. Simple, silly, and perfectly suited for its audience, this tale of Chick and Brain’s constant misunderstandings and miscommunications proves once again that Cece Bell knows just how to make kids laugh.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Smell My Foot!¬†was a hilarious read and my daughter truly enjoyed it. She couldn’t help giggle along the way. We just loved reading it from beginning to end. I also love the comic style layout which is probably why my daughter was so intrigued by the book.

Not only does the book offer us some good laughs but it also carries an important message which is manners and a surprising hero by the end. It is a great book for early readers to grasp reading as the words are easy to read and follow. We also love the illustrations as it fits in perfectly with the story. This book is recommended for children ages four to eight and we would have to agree. ūüėČ

It is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Smell My Foot! 10 feet out of 5! Believe me, you will be laughing out loud in no time!

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

About the Author

Cece Bell is the author-illustrator of many books for young readers, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover and the Newbery Honor Book El Deafo. She is also the creator of the Sock Monkey picture books and Chuck and Woodchuck. Cece Bell lives in Virginia with her family.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

My Grandma and Me | Book Review

“In this big universe full of many moons, I have traveled and seen many wonders, but I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love my grandma.”

Synopsis

When Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart.

This autobiographical story is at once deeply personal and genuinely universal. And it is a gorgeous celebration of the way love can be more powerful than the constraints of time and space.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Grandma and Me is the perfect ode to a grandmother’s love. This book touched my heart as it reminded me of the special bond that I had with my grandmother growing up and how much I cherished the little time we had with one another since an ocean kept us apart. It was such a great reminder through this beautiful story of one young girl and her grandmother. I also love the diversity in the book and how two different religions are so similar in so many ways. The kindness, heart and love in this children’s book is absolutely beautiful and illustrations are breathtaking.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give this book, 5 hearts out of 5! Want to give a special thank you to the author Mina for sharing such a beautiful personal story and for touching my heart with her grandma’s love. I have mentioned it before on my blog that if you still have grandparents, cherish them as they are such special people.

If you would like to purchase My Grandma and Me, please click here.

About the Author

Mina Javaherbin has written several award-winning picture books, including Soccer Star, illustrated by Renato Alarcao, and Goal!, illustrated by A.G. Ford. She lives in Southern California.

About the Illustrator

Lindsey Yankey studied illustration at the University of Kansas and is the author-illustrator of Bluebird and Sun and Moon. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Babymoon | Book Review

“Shhh…we’re on our babymoon.”

Synopsis

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

About the Author and Illustrator

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

Where’s Waldo? Exciting Expeditions

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

Synopsis

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

Where is Waldo? But where is Nikki?

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

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

There she is!

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Leaf It to Dot | Book Review

“When Dot goes on a scouting trip with Dad, her tablet helps her spot incredible things – but it’s awesome to see nature with her own eyes, too.”

Synopsis

Dot and her dad are on a Rangeroo Scavenger Hunt with her best friend, Hal, and her dog, Scratch. Dad loves being outdoors with the trees, birds, and fresh air. Dot loves looking things up on her tablet. When Dad sees an owl flying by or spots moose tracks, Dot has her eyes on her screen and misses them. But she’s a wiz at using photo recognition to ID them and check them off her scavenger hunt list! Maybe old-school hunting plus tech-savvy skills make a winning team?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Leaf It to Dot is a great book for young readers learning to read. This book is classified at a level 2 and it is recommended for children ages five to eight.

Loved the storyline and how old-school was mixed in with new-school. The lesson here is that both can work together to achieve a great outcome. I loved how the book had chapters which to me is a great introduction for new readers. The story flowed nicely; it was easy to read; and the illustrations were perfect. Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and perfect for that new reader in your home.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 hoots out of 5! If you would like to purchase a copy for your young reader, click here.

About Dot

Dot. is the award-winning animated TV series produced by Industrial Brothers in association with the Jim Henson Company and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Dot. airs on Universal Kids.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Peg + Cat: Math in the Bath

The Emmy Award-Winning animated TV series, Peg + Cat, comes to us in this new children’s book called¬†Peg + Cat: Math in the Bath: A Level 1 Reader.

Synopsis

Peg and Cat are in the bath. One, two friends in the bath. Seems like a great time to do some math! Readers can join old friends Peg and Cat as they engage with the concepts of counting and weight and directional terms such as under, over, and across. How many rocks will sink their boat? Short, repetitive lines and gentle addition and subtraction will make a splash with new and early readers.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We love the Peg and Cat TV series; therefore, it was exciting to read this book and have Nikki try to read along. We loved the simple story lines, short sentences, repeated words and phrases which helped Nikki learn to read. Also loved the math concept in the story too as Nikki really enjoys math. You can say that it was the perfect book at the perfect time for us. ūüôā

This book has made a delightful splash into our reading line-up but best of all it is a book that Nikki can read on her own. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 bubbles out of 5! This book is recommended for kids ages four to six. If you would like to purchase your own copy, click here.

About Peg + Cat

Peg + Cat is the Emmy Award-winning animated TV series created by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson and produced by Fred Rogers Productions. It has been honored with five Parents’ Gold Choice Awards from 2014 – 2018.

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 Series | Book Reviews

Maisy is a beloved mouse that has many adventures and you can follow along in many of her books. We got a chance to review three from the series and are excited to share them with all our readers in our #MelAndNikkiReview!

Synopsis

Maisy’s Farm

Maisy and her friends are headed to the farm! Join her as she drives a tractor through the fields, gathers eggs from the henhouse, and milks a cow. But the farmyard fun doesn’t stop there: a pop-up play scene at the back of the book has press-out pieces of Maisy, Cyril, and their new farm animal friends, along with a red barn awaiting hours of play as little ones imagine life on the farm.

Maisy’s at Home: A First Words Book

Wondering what toys Maisy likes to play with at home? Just look for the tab that shows a puzzle piece and turn straight to the page. Who are Maisy’s favorite pets? Find the tab with a fish on it and discover some animals both expected and surprising. From Maisy’s living room (look out for the cactus!) to her bathroom, whether she’s eating or making music or dressing up, the names and pictures of things in Maisy’s house will be delightfully familiar to little readers.

Maisy’s Day Out: A First Words Book

What kinds of things does Maisy see when she goes outside? Turn the tab with a soccer ball on it to find the park, with swings and a skateboard. The tab with a chicken on it takes you to Maisy’s favorite farm, with a horse, a sheep, and more. There’s so much to explore on the beach and in the sea, on sunny days and rainy ones, on trains and in fire engines and all sorts of things that go. Naming everyday things is always more fun with Maisy leading the way!

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Maisy series is always an adorable read and a learning opportunity for your little ones. These three mentioned above are no exception as each story offers a child the chance to learn while on the latest Maisy journey.

The hard books are amazing for little ones to hold and they do not get bent or ruined (always a bonus in my books). The illustrations are adorable and the stories are just as great. We especially love the feature of the tabs – so amazing!

Therefore, we are rating the series 5 stars out of 5!

Any of these books would make a great addition to your little one’s library and reading line-up. If you would like to purchase any of the books mentioned above, please click on the links below.

Maisy’s Farm

Maisy’s at Home: A First Words Book

Maisy’s Day Out: A First Words Book

About the Author

Lucy Cousins is the creator of the beloved Maisy series. She is also the author-illustrator of the widely acclaimed¬†Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales, a New York Times Book Review¬†Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year, as well as¬†I’m the Best, Hooray for Fish!, Hooray for Birds!, and a picture book series about Little Fish.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

*These books were provided in exchange for an honest review.