Tag: Creative

Mother, No Other Like Her Tributes To A Mother’s Love

“A Colouring Book of Loving Thoughts”

Mothers play an important and special role in the lives of their children. I know that I personally admire my mom for all that she does for her children and grandchildren. A mothers’ love is unconditional and has no bound.

At times it can be difficult to truly articulate the inspirations our mothers give to us. However, one Toronto author has done it in colouring book format that you will want to see.

We are honoured to introduce you all to, Mother, No Other Like Her, which was inspired by the author’s mother’s life.

 

Going Behind the Book

Saher is the author of Mother, No Other Like Her, and her mother, Dr. Fatima Hashamali, who passed away in early 2017 is the inspiration behind it all.

Dr. Fatima Hashamali, MBBS, DCH, MCPS, was a veteran pediatrician who lived her life serving some of the world’s poorest children in Kenya, Tanzania, and Pakistan. She viewed her profession as a medium to channel healing and love to the sick and poor children of the world. To read more on her inspiring achievements, click here.

As Dr. Hashamali grew increasingly ill, her daughter Saher started writing down thoughts about the woman who raised her. These thoughts were then recited back to her mom in which lifted her spirits until her final days.

Since these thoughts encompassed many of the great qualities of a mother, Saher knew that it needed to be told in a more permanent way. This is how this colouring book came to life.

“The illustrations and words are designed to inspire creativity and gratitude. Words are a precious gift that transcend a physical gift.” – Saher Lalani

#MelAndNikkiReview

We were instantly captivated by this book as we haven’t seen one like it before. Nor have we ever done a review on a colouring book which makes it extra exciting for us to bring something unique to our audience. Each page has a beautiful testament about mothers and it is all relatable. We just loved it!

The colouring book is diverse, unique and full of love. You can tell that a lot of thought and heart went into creating this and it doesn’t go unnoticed. We love how you can colour the pages and it is such a great bonding activity to do with your child. Nikki and I really love colouring so this made it extra special for us. We got to spend the time reading and colouring together which is the best part of all.

“This book is fun momma! We can read it and colour it too! You can’t do that with a lot of our books.” – Nikki, Age 5

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 hearts out of 5! A colouring book with so much meaning and love is what you can expect from Mother, No Other Like Her. You can’t help but relate and/or feel the empowering words written about mothers. We highly recommend this book for anyone who needs to be inspired and empowered. You will enjoy it and let me just say that colouring is a very relaxing activity to do.

“Infinite blessing upon all mothers those on earth and in eternity.”

To purchase your very own copy, please click here.

About the Author

Saher Lalani is a poet who draws inspiration from the life of her late mother, a pediatrician. As a child, Saher enjoyed creating art and writing for her mother as a token of love, respect and appreciation. She envisioned and created her first book entitled, “Mother, No Other Like Her,” as a tribute to mothers and mother figures everywhere. She is based in Toronto, Canada.

The story of Saher creating her book is featured by Toronto.com.

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.

Fairies Vs Unicorns

Have you ever had the disagreement of which one was better: Fairies or Unicorns? Do you have a specific magical creature that you love the most?

Well, we have been presented with this very question by one of our favorite book publishers, Tundra Books. Of course there is no better way to determine our answer with two new stories that feature each character in depth. From beloved BC creators Ashley Spires and Cale Atkinson come two new picture books celebrating those most magical of creatures, fairies and unicorns!

Fairy Science

Esther the fairy doesn’t believe in magic. But fairies are all about magic, despite Esther’s best efforts to reveal the science of their world. No matter how she and her bird, Albert, explain that rainbows are refracted light rather than a path to gold, or that mist is water evaporating rather than an evil omen, or the importance of the scientific method, her fairymates would rather just do magic.

So when the other fairies’ solution to helping a dying tree is to do a mystical moonlight dance, Esther decides to take it upon herself to resuscitate the tree with the scientific method, some hypothesizing, a few experiments and the heady conclusion that trees need sunlight to live!

But while Esther manages to save the tree, she can’t quite change the minds of her misguided fairymates…or can she?

About the Author

Ashley Spires grew up in Tsawwassen, BC and after stints living in Toronto and Saskatoon, she now lives in Ladner, having made an educated decision to never move from B.C. again. She is the creator of the Binky The Space Cat series of junior graphic novels and the bestselling The Most Magnificent Thing, soon to be an animated short film. When not drawing, she is often jogging with her dog Gordon or cuddling her growing brood of cats. For more info, click here.

Unicorns 101

The unicorn is the most noble and beautiful of all the beasts. Colorful and shiny coats, luscious manes that smell of cinnamon, sparkly hooves. But not much was known about this fascinating species…until now.

Top professors working in the field of Unicorn Science have come together for the first time to create this comprehensive guide to the unicorn: Dr. Glitter Pants, Grand Unistorian; Dr. Sprinkle Steed, Doctor of Magic; Dr. Star Hoof, Rainbowmetrics Specialist; and Dr. Sugar Beard, Certified Hornologist.

These highly trained scientists will reveal all of the secrets you’ve been dying to find out: What is a unicorn’s horn made of? Why do I never see unicorns? What do unicorns like to eat? And what do unicorn homes look like? (Hint: there are guard’n gnomes, a ball pit and gummi bears growing on trees.)

This book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about unicorns — and more. But please, handle with care, or you may be seeing sparkles for weeks.

About the Author

Cale Atkinson is an illustrator and animator living lakeside with his family in Kelowna, British Columbia. Believing in tea more than sleep, Cale is constantly working on numerous projects. He is the illustrator of many children’s books, including If I Had a Gryphon, and he wrote and illustrated Where Oliver Fits and Sir Simon: Super Scarer and many more. His work can also be found in animated shorts, television and games. He has not met a unicorn…yet. For more info, click here.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Now if you were not a fan of fairies or unicorns then you may just be after reading both of these books. Both books bring all the great traits that we love in both magical creatures and they also teach us a few new things that we can appreciate.

We absolutely loved the different perspective Fairy Science brought forth to the little readers. The use of science in the book was perfect and really gets the young minds to ask questions and wonder how things truly work. This earned some extra points in our books. Did we forget to mention how great the illustrations are in this story?! They are absolutely perfect and really bring the story to life. Therefore, for Fairy Science we give it 10 pixidust out of 5!

Unicorns 101 is just as amazing as it gives us the 101 all things unicorns. We definitely learned a lot about unicorns and had some giggles along the way. It was truly creative and hilarious to read. My favorite part is when we were shown what a baby unicorn looks like – too adorable! But be warned as if you stare for too long you may see only glitter for weeks! 😉 HeHe. The illustrations are vibrant and perfect in our education lesson on all things unicorn. Therefore, for Unicorns 101 we give it 10 sparkles out of 5!

You can rest assured that if you decide to read Fairy Science or Unicorns 101, it will not disappoint the inner magical creature in yourself! Both books are recommended for children ages three to seven (or if you are like me, age is no limit as long as you love great children stories).

Now the BIG question has still be unanswered by us…Which side are we on? Team Fairy or Team Unicorn? You must click the video below to find out! 😉

If you would like to purchase Fairy Science, click here. If you would like to purchase Unicorns 101, click here. Neither will disappoint!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Hair Love | Book Review

“Sometimes, love looks like braids, puffs, and twists.”

Synopsis

Zuri’s hair lets her be her. It coils and kinks to perfectly match a princess tiara or a superhero cape. But an extra-special day calls for an extra-special style!

Comb in hand, Daddy steps in to help Zuri find the perfect fit. With heartwarming text and radiant illustrations, Hair Love celebrates the curls that are uniquely yours, the bond between dads and daughters, and the joy that fills you up when you get to express yourself freely.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Perfect book for Father’s Day as Hair Love highlights the relationship between father and daughter. A children’s book full of love as a father gives his daughter the most unique hair style for a very special occasion. This book will have your heart melting as you see their adorable bond.

We just adored it from beginning to end and I have to admit that I wish my hair was that awesome! Books that reflect dads mean so much to us as we don’t see many of them out there and dads are very important people in a family. I think having dad work on his daughter’s hair is so special and sweet. We will be reading this book on Father’s Day to Nikki’s dad so that he has more confidence in his ability to do Nikki’s hair. 😉

This children’s book is a debut from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and the illustrations were done by New York Times bestselling Illustrator Vashti Harrison. They make a great duo in Hair Love. The story flowed beautifully and the illustrations are a perfect addition to this children’s book. We are sure this book will appeal to many children and dads as I know we loved it.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 kinks out of 5! We recommend this book for children ages four to eight or anyone who loves a good dad and daughter book. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy, please 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 Family Game of Wacky Vision | Googly Eyes

Googly Eyes is the hilarious family game that challenges your vision and leaves you googling for more! Put on the zany, vision-altering google eye glasses and start to draw while your team tries to guess what you’re drawing. Is that an igloo or a turtle? A birthday cake or a fortress? Players take turns drawing and guessing, so everyone gets a change to wear the glasses. The glasses come with three sets of lenses that range from mild changes to mind-blowing fun, so no one can see (or draw) straight-your vision will bounce off of the lenses.

Googly Eyes is a fun twist on classic drawing games that lets players of different ages and skill levels compete on equal terms, since the goggles make it fun and challenging for everyone. Unlike any other drawing game you don’t need to be an artist, and the rules are simple. Just roll the die and move-the space you land on tells you which color lenses to use (easy, medium, or hard). Then pick a card, set the timer, and start drawing. If your team guesses correctly you get to roll and move again; if not, then you stay where you are on the board. The first team to reach Finish wins.

This game is great for 4 to 16 players and for ages 7 and up.

Game Contents

  • Colorful Board Game
  • Spiffy Tablet
  • Timer
  • 162 Challenge Cards
  • 1 Die
  • 1 Pair of Glasses
  • 3 Changeable Lens: Easy, Medium and Difficult

How to Play

#MelAndNikkiReview

Googly Eyes had us all laughing out loud from beginning to end. This game is truly fair for everyone at any skill level. Usually I am not bad at drawing but having to use the glasses was very challenging but so much fun! Every time my husband and I would use the glasses it had Nikki giggly the whole time. That is what family game night is all about! Spending time together and laughing the night away.

Googly Eyes did exactly that and we loved it! It really exercised our minds and challenged us in a way that most games don’t even come close to. We got to conquer them together which made it so much more fun.

Therefore for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Googly Eyes 5 stars out of 5! It would make a great addition to Family Game Night and remember to stretch out your face muscles as you will be using them a lot during this game. 😉

Nikki rocking the glasses look 😉 

If you would like to purchase this game for family game night, click here. You will all be laughing the night away! 😉

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This game 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? 😉 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.

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.

My Easter Basket | Book Review

For many an Easter tradition is egg hunting and it truly is a fun activity. Imagine all that excitement in a children’s books?!

We are delighted to introduce My Easter Basket, written by Roger Priddy and illustrated by Jennie Bradley.

Synopsis

My Easter Basket is an illustrated board book basket, with colorful, foiled Easter egg tabs and search-and-find scenes of busy animals on an Easter egg hunt.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Easter Basket brings Easter fun in a book format and we love it! Nikki loved searching for the Easter eggs right along with the animals in the story. She has even promised that she will help her little cousin on Easter to find the eggs in the book at Easter time. Family bonding over a book is just perfect for this special holiday.

We absolutely love the cute basket-shape format which makes it easy for a child to carry the book around with them to enjoy. It is a colorful story of spotting all the eggs that the Easter Bunny has hidden on his rounds. It also provides learning about color, counting and matching through play. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 Eggs out of 5! 

We know this would be an egg-errific book for a child for Easter and the best part is that it is sugar free. 😉 It is recommended for children between the ages of 0 to two years of age; however, a 4-year-old can appreciate it too as our daughter did. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

“Finding Easter eggs in a book is so much fun Momma! I was very good at finding them all too.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Roger Priddy’s passion for educating children through fun, informative and engaging books has led him to create some of publishing’s most enduring and successful non-fiction early learning books. Roger lives in London and has three children, who have been the inspiration behind many of his best publishing ideas.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Stencil Revolution | Product Review

Growing up I loved to draw, trace and just being creative. It is amazing how doing something creative would bring me peace and relaxation.

This is why I am excited to introduce you all to Stencil Revolution. They offer a huge variety of reusable stencils for artists and crafters for all types. You’ll find over 750+ different stencils with up to eight different size options to chose from. From large wall stencils to a variety of different mandala stencil designs, they’ve got it all!

We got to try out three of designs recently and we had a lot of fun trying them!

Canada Flag Stencil

Since we live in Canada, Stencil Revolution was very kind in sending us the Canada Flag stencil which Nikki loved! It is an easy to follow stencil and turns out great once you have completed it.

World Map Stencil

The world map was another stencil that we got to try out and it is always great to have the world at your fingertips. This stencil was a little hard for us to do as some parts were very tiny but it was accurate and a detailed stencil.

Unicorn Head Stencil

It appears that Stencil Revolution knows us very well as they included the unicorn head stencil which had Nikki screaming for joy. It was simple to use and of course it has been used many times with the same glee each time by my 4-year-old.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Overall, we enjoyed each stencil and it added to our creative craft time. We love the material used to create the stencils. According to their website, they use a 12 mil Mylar which is the toughest, safest consumer-grade stencil material available. It’s incredibly durable (tear proof) yet flexible enough to bend around surfaces if needed. It is resistant to most solvents and can even be washed with paint thinner! The material is also food safe and can be used for cookie stencils and baking. Now as parent, I can appreciate all that!

We also love the fact that Stencil Revolution is a small family owned company based out of Florida, USA. They manufacture and ship all of their craft stencils. We appreciate this family’s passion to do what they love to do each and every single day.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Stencil Revolution 5 Unicorns out of 5! The quality, durability, professionalism, and variety of designs is what stood out the most for us. I also have to admit on how easy it is to use gets this momma’s full approval.

If you would like to purchase or just check out the amazing options available, click here. *Warning: give yourself plenty of time to check it all out as their are so many great options to get lost in. 😉

Also make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to see all that they have to offer.

“With Stencil Revolution, your creative projects will reach a whole new level!” – Momma Braga

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

*Please note that the products were provided in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are solely of Momma Braga and no compensation was provided for this piece.

 

Bad Kitty Kitten Trouble | Book Review

Who doesn’t love funny cats? I know I sure do!

The New York Times bestselling series, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel is back with a new book titled, Kitten Trouble.

Synopsis

“There’s terrible news from the neighborhood next to Kitty’s! A conflict there is growing worse and worse. It started as an argument and has now turned into a full-fledged fight. Worst of all: The cat shelter has been destroyed!

Kitty’s family decides it’s time to do something to help. Their idea: foster as many displaced kittens as possible. Kitty won’t mind, right? Well…not exactly. Kitty does seem to mind. She minds A LOT.”

#MelAndNikkiReview

A hilarious book filled with heart is what can be expected from Kitten Trouble. Kitty learns important lessons in the book about sharing, caring and forgiving. All lessons that us as readers can learn from too. We don’t want to spoil the book for others; therefore, we won’t disclose too much. 😉

We loved the flow of the book, illustrations, and the facts about cats in the book (fantastic touch!). There are even a touch of French words in the book but don’t worry as a glossary is included. 😉

We give Bad Kitty Kitten Trouble, 5 meows out of 5! We recommend this book for children ages seven to ten. This book will be available on December 31, 2018.

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga