Tag: Candlewick Press

Gold Rush Girl | Book Review

“Newbery Medalist Avi brings us mud-caked, tent-filled San Francisco in 1848 with a willful heroine who goes on an unintended – and perilous – adventure to save her brother.”

Synopsis

Victoria Blaisdell longs for independence and adventure, and she yearns to accompany her father as he sails west in search of real gold! But it is 1848, and Tory isn’t even allowed to go to school, much less travel all the way from Rhode Island to California. Determined to take control of her own destiny, she stows away on the ship. Though San Francisco is frenzied and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory finds freedom and friendship there. Until one day, when Father is in the gold fields, her younger brother, Jacob, is kidnapped. And so Tory is spurred on a treacherous search for him in Rotten Row, a part of San Francisco Bay crowded with hundreds of abandoned ships.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Gold Rush Girl is set during the Gold Rush of 1894 and is filled with adventure to draw a reader in. What captivated me as a reader was the strong female main character, Victoria (Tory). She embraces the unknown and refuses to be underestimated – love that! Tory also portrays great qualities such as being a good friend and being empathetic toward others. Furthermore, she becomes aware of her own shortcomings. Not in a way that belittles her strong character, but rather provides a depth look to who she is. You can’t help but respect it as you see her grow.

It is an interesting era to write about as the author combined real history facts into a functional story which made this book an interesting read. Make sure to read the Autor’s note in the back as there are some really cool facts he shares.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Gold Rush Girl 4 stars out of 5! Adventure awaits for readers between 10 to 14 years of age and an empowering story too.

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

About the Author

Avi is one of the most celebrated authors writing for children today, having received two Boston Globe – Horn Book Awards, a Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, a Christopher Award, a Newbery Medal, and two Newbery Honors. He is the author of more than eighty books, including The Button War, What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything? And Other Stories, and The Most Important Thing: Stories About Sons, Fathers and Grandfatherd. Avi lives in Colorado.

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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Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time is another amazing Emily Windsnap adventure awaits for young readers in this latest Liz Kessler book!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

When Emily makes a wish on a magic stone, she gets a glimpse of what the future holds – and it’s a disaster! She tries to make things right, but each trip through time takes Emily to a future where things turn out badly for either the humans of Brightport or the merpeople of Shiprock. Plastic pollutes the ocean, garbage overflows the landfills, and the two towns are no longer getting along.

Emily realizes she can’t save her hometown and the ocean alone, but with help from her best friends, Shona and Mandy, she’ll have to find a way to get humans and merpeople to work together. Will Emily be able to create a better future for everyone, including herself? This new adventure gives readers a glimpse at what Emily and her friends could be like as grown-ups, with a fresh stort that explores how uniting communities can make a future that’s bright for everyone.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time has everything you can expect from the author, Liz Kessler.

Adventure awaits as Emily wishes and travels to the future to save the day. Loved how the story flows and the vivid descriptions of the futures are amazing.

My favorite takeaway from this book is the importance of recycling and keeping our oceans clean. Great message to pass onto tweens in this latest Emily Windsnap story.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 wishes out of 5! It brings all our favorites together: adventure, love, magic, heroine and a great message. A must read for sure!

This novel is great for young readers from 8 to 12. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author

Liz Kessler is the author of the best-selling Emily Windsnap series, the Philippa Fisher series, the novels North of Nowhere and A Year Without Autumn, and a series of early readers about Poppy the Pirate Dog. She lives in Cornwall, England.

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. ūüėČ

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.

The Shortest Day | Book Review

“So the shortest day came, and the year died…”

Synopsis

As the sun sets on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again. Written for a theatrical production that has become a ritual in itself, Susan Cooper’s poem “The Shortest Day” captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before – and the hope for peace that we carry into the future. Richly illustrated by Carson Ellis with a universality that spans the centuries, this beautiful book evokes the joy and community found in the ongoing mystery of life when we celebrate light, thankfulness, and festivity at a time of rebirth. Welcome Yule!

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Shortest Day is a great book that celebrates winter solstice. It is written beautifully with illustrations to accompany it perfectly. It gives us the best explanation of solstice that can be understood by children. We also love how the poem, The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper is in its entirety on the last page.

This book is a great tool to teach children (7 years+) about the solstice. At the solstices, the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in our sky, giving us the longest or the shortest day of the year; at the equinoxes, day and night are almost equal. Spring equinox, summer solstice, autumn equinox, winter solstice; round and round they go.

We just enjoyed this story immensely and therefore, we give it 5 stars out of 5! This book is a classic and you will enjoy it too.

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

About the Author

Susan Cooper wrote “The Shortest Day” for John Langstaff’s Christmas Revels, where it is performed annually across the country. She is the author of the classic fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising, which includes the Newbery Medal winner¬†The Grey King, as well as many other books for children and adults. She lives on a salt-marsh island in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

About the Illustrator

Carson Ellis is the creator of the Caldecott Honor Book¬†Du Iz Tak?¬†and the¬†New York Times¬†bestseller¬†Home. She is also the ullustrator of¬†The Composer Is Dead¬†by Lemony Snicket and¬†Dillweed’s Revenge: A Deadly Dose of Magic¬†by Florence Parry Heide, and she collaborated with her husband, Colin Meloy, on the best-selling Wildwood series. Carson Ellis lives outside Portland, Oregon.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Gigantosaurus Series Takes A Chomp On Reading Time

If you have a little one in your home, you may have encountered The¬†Gigantosaurus TV series. If not, let us give you a little bit of the low down. ūüėČ

About the Series

The Gigantosaurus TV series is based on the best-selling book by world-renowned author Jonny Duddle and developed and produced by Cyber Group Studios, made its U.S. debut in January 2019 to rave reviews. Airing on Disney Channel and Disney Junior, the show invites young viewers on the prehistoric adventures of four curious young dinosaur friends – Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu – as they explore the mystery of Gigantosaurus, the biggest, fiercest dinosaur of all. Every imagination-inspiring episode follows the group on a quest where they face individual fears and work together to solve a problem. As the inquisitive Mazu, playful Tiny, timid Bill, and courageous Rocky aim to learn more about Gigantosaurus, they discover they each have something to learn from him, too!

Now you can take this animated series into story time as they are releasing some great books that you will adore to read. We got a chance to review three books in the series and here is what we learned.

The Story of Gigantosaurus

When Mazu, Rocky, Bill, and Tiny – four young dinosaur friends – set off on a Gigantosaurus hunt, they’re in for a wild adventure. They search far and wide, through jungles, rivers, and more, meeting all kinds of dinosaurs along the way. Eventually, unbeknownst to them, they end up inside the mouth of the very dinosaur they fear the most! With the humor, engaging text, and bright, colorful artwork, this title is the perfect introduction to the world of Gigantosaurus.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Story of Gigantosaurus is definitely the perfect introduction as it allowed us to enter the world of Gigantosaurus and get to know all the characters. We loved getting to know each character and the qualities they bring to their group of friends. The illustrations are bright and fantastic! They truly bring the story to life and the animated series to book form. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 chomps out of 5! If you would like to purchase this book, please click here.

Gigantosaurus Don’t Cave In

Who’s afraid of a dark and scary cave?

Don’t go into the cave! A Shriekosaurus, the dinosaur that Rocky, Tiny, Mazu, and Bill are afraid of (even though no one has actually seen it) lives there. That’s good advice, but with Gigantosaurus in pursuit, they have to take cover somewhere. Once inside the cave, the four friends might as well explore. There are scary shadows and a very loud roar. How will they find their way home? The adventurous dinos, and readers, are in for a real treat when the secrets of the cave are revealed.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Gigantosaurus Don’t Cave In is absolutely adorable and we love the ending when they finally find out who Shriekosaurus is (we won’t spoil it here).¬† You definitely can learn so much from these amazing four friends and they learn so much from one another. In this book, they all learn that we can all be afraid, even the bravest one. We have to mention that we love the stickers and empty pages that are included in the book. You can have a great time creating your own scenes with the stickers! Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it¬†5 Dino-mites out of 5!¬†If you would like to purchase this book (comes out on November 5, 2019; however, you can pre-order), please click here.

Gigantosaurus The Lost Egg

Careful with that egg! Who knows what might hatch from it…

When Rocky, Tiny, Mazu, and Bill find a lost egg, they’re not sure what to do with it. Play ball? Probably not. The gang, with Rocky in the lead, sets out to find the egg’s family. Turns out looking after such a delicate thing isn’t easy, and asking all the residents of the Cretaceous jungle for advice is complicated. Some want to help care for the egg – but others want to eat it! When Gigantosaurus stomps onto the scene, everyone gets a big surprise – but it’s not as surprising as what eventually hatches from the little lost egg!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Gigantosaurus The Lost Egg is another adorable book and we love the ending when the egg finally hatches (we won’t spoil it here).¬† We love how they work as a team on their quest to find the egg’s family. They truly become attach to it to make sure they succeed in their mission and you have to admire them for that.

We have to mention that stickers are included in this book too and we love it! Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 Parasaurolophus out of 5! If you would like to purchase this book (comes out on November 5, 2019; however, you can pre-order), please click here.

There you have it! Three books to start of this series in a chomping and dino-mite way! We can’t wait to see what other adventures these four friends are going to go on. Make sure to tune in to Disney Channel and Disney Junior to check them out and don’t forget to take the series home for bedtime with these books.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Suffragette: The Battle For Equality

A New York Times best-selling illustrator turns his talents to a lavish history of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.K. and the U.S. just in time for the hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Synopsis

Imprisonment, hunger strikes, suffrajitsu – the decades-long fight for women’s right to vote was at times a ferocious one. Acclaimed artist David Roberts gives these important, socially transformative times their due in a colorfully illustrated history that includes many of the important faces of the movement in portraiture and scenes that both dignify and enliven. He has created a timely and thoroughly engaging resource in his first turn as nonfiction author-illustrator.¬†Suffragette: The Battle for Equality¬†follows the trajectory of the movement in the U.K. and visits some key figures and moments in the United States as it presents the stories of Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurst, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Susan B. Anthony, and many more heroic women and men – making it a perfect gift for young readers of today. Dr. Crystal Feimster of Yale’s Department of African American Studies contributes a foreword that speaks to the relationship and differences between the British and American suffrage efforts.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Suffragette: The Battle For Equality¬†is an empowering book full of history that we should all know. To say that I learned a little is an understatement as there was so much history that I don’t even remembering in school. Like did you know that suffragists are those who campaign for the right to vote, either for themselves or for others?! I did not know that word and now it is in my vocabulary.

This book takes us all the way back to 1832 to 1928 and you will want to dive right in to learn the reach history behind the right to vote for all. This comes at a great time when elections are in full swing here in Canada as it is a great reminder that we should all exercise our right to vote. After reading this book, you will see how hard it was fought to give us that right. Above all, we can learn a great deal from reading the history that is in this book and I love the bios at the end of the world of suffrage.

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

If you would like to purchase this book full of empowering stories, click here. This book is recommended for children ages seven to ten.

About the Author

David Roberts is the illustrator of¬†The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman,¬†The Dumpster Diver¬†by Janet S. Wong, and¬†His Royal Highness, King Baby¬†by Sally Lloyd-Jones. He also illustrated the¬†New York Times¬†best-selling¬†Rosie Revere, Engineer and the other books in the Questioneers series by Andrea Beaty. David Roberts has held a lifelong interest in the women’s suffrage movement. He lives in London.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

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.

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.