Tag: Creative

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.

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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.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for LeapFrog

Who says that ice cream is only for summer?! It definitely doesn’t need to be and that same rule can apply at playtime with the amazing toy by LeapFrog, Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart.

The must have toy of Nikki’s dreams has finally made its way into our home and she couldn’t be happier. We got a chance to review the Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart and we are excited to share our findings with all of you! 😉

Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart Introduction

Learning is sweet when pretending to run your own ice cream cart. Create imaginative and tasty-looking ice cream combinations using delicious ice cream flavors and toppings. This toy is a great way to exercise important memory and sequencing skills.

Some Features

Off/Low/High Volume Control Switch

Slide the Off/Low/High Volume Switch to turn the toy on and select the volume. This is the best feature to have on any child’s toy as a parent. After a long day at work, it can be such a relief for the opportunity to have the option of quiet playtime.

Magic Scooper

Place the Magic Scooper on the top of an Ice Cream Scoop or Topping to easily pick them up. To release the Ice Cream Scoop or Topping, press the button on the side of the Magic Scooper. The scooper will recognize the colors and flavors – that is why it is called a “Magic Scooper.” 😉

Order/Activity Cards

For guided play, insert one of the six double-sided Order/Activity Cards into the Card Reader. Follow the order card instructions to build treats for six animal customers ranging from easy to hard challenges.

Wheels

Push the card around to hear songs and music. This feature is great for role-play fun as you can pretend to run your own ice cream cart.

Syrup Pump

Slide to choose from three flavors, then press down on the pump to hear numbers as you count along.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart by LeapFrog is Nikki’s absolute favorite toy. It is also a great hit when she has playdates at home as everyone wants to play with it. We loved it so much that we had to go buy one for our 1.5 year old goddaughter who also loves playing with it too.

As with all the amazing toys from LeapFrog, we love the learning aspect of the toy as it makes it fun to learn. We love the concept of the ice cream truck and it does provide hours of playtime fun. I have ordered a few ice creams from “Nikki’s Ice Cream Cart” and the best part is that you gain no extra calories from it. 😉

You can really have fun with the Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart as a family too. However, I do need to mention that I rarely get a turn to be the ice cream cart owner as Nikki insists that it is always her turn. This means she really loves this toy and we think your little one will too. It is recommended for children ages two to five years old and it would make a perfect gift.

“This is my favorite toy in the whole entire world and I love screaming ICE CREAM!” – Nikki, Age 5

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 screams out of 5! It is fun, portable, and a whole lot of learning!

To purchase your very own as it would definitely be a great gift idea, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

 

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.

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.