Tag: Fatherhood

Facts VS Opinions VS Robots

“Facts VS Opinions VS Robots…oh my! This delightful and fun book really puts things in perspective. A creative way to have children understand the difference between a fact and an opinion. Bravo!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Do you know the difference between fact and an opinion? It can be a hard thing to understand. Some things are facts — like the number of robots in this book. Other things are opinions — like which robot would make the best friend, or which robot dances best. And sometimes to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion, you need to wait to get more information — that’s because facts can be proven true or false, and opinions are things you feel and believe — but that you can’t prove.

Mike Rex introduces young readers to the very important distinction between facts and opinions, and he reminds us that it is nice to listen to one another’s opinions, and to stand up for the facts!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots is robotastic! Who doesn’t love a book with robots giving us some life lessons?!

I know we love it! A superb way to explain the difference between fact and opinions. Such an important topic to discuss and one that we were so glad to have read with our five-year-old. We love the questions within the book that allows us as parents to ask our child the question and discuss it fully. It was an amazing exercise to do. We even used some of our own examples to see if we could tell the difference.

Momma Braga: “Purple is the best color in the world. Is that a Fact or Opinion Nikki?”

Nikki: “That is your opinion Mom! Not everyone likes purple and that is ok.”

Far to say that Nikki got the concept of facts vs. opinions and to respect others opinions. I think that is our favorite message in the book! As it is written: “You see, when we respect the opinions of others, we can all get along.” Yes we can and we just love it!

This book is great for children ages five to eight. If you would like to purchase a copy for your reading lineup, click here.

About the Author

Michael Rex has written and/or illustrated over forty’s children’s books, including Eat Pete, With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck (by David Friend), the New York Times #1 bestseller Goodnight Goon, The Runaway Mummy, Truck Duck, and the Fangbone series (which has also been turned into an animated TV series). He has a master’s degree in visual arts education (K-12) and worked as a New York City art teacher for four years. He lives in Leonia, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons.

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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Surviving The Holidays (Hell-i-Daze)

“Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-Daze) is refreshing, real and a hilarious read that moms will appreciate” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

The Holidays. They follow us year round, and sometimes these cherished days can be wonderful, but let’s face it — sometimes they are just brutal! Whether it’s New Year’s or Valentine’s, Fourth of July or even birthdays, we all gotta donwhat we gotta do to survive them all!

Miss OMG walks us through the year and lightens the load with her hysterical anecdotes that are sure leaving you laughing out loud!

In this book, she celebrates the humor of life’s year-round celebrations from pointing out the madness of the holidays, to crappy gift-giving, Miss OMG shares her thoughts on surviving the holidays that will leave you laughing and turning the pages to discover what crazy story she shares next. Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-DAZE) is a work that continues its author’s witty social commentary streak. This book is for people who like to poke fun at life’s weirdness, and those who don’t take themselves too seriously. While this book is especially perfect for moms who like to swear and drink, Miss OMG writes her books with those in mind who only have a short moments to read and are always on the go! Her hope is that you can squeeze in a quick read, put the book down with a chuckle, and look forward to picking it right back up the first second you can!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i- DAZE) literally had me laughing out loud from beginning to end. It is very relatable to us hard working moms who always go beyond for everyone. The daily diary format was a neat touch and helped us follow Miss OMG’s year as she goes through all the wonderful holidays throughout the year. Never noticed how many there are – geez!

I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to moms everywhere. Not only is it relatable but absolutely hilarious. My favorite part is the letter that Santa left to Miss OMG (I think my neighbors heard me laughing at that part). I also loved the quotes shared at the beginning of each month they are all great quotes to inspire or to make you chuckle.

“Every time I make plans to eat better, I hear my stomach laughing.” – Author Unknown

If you want some laughing therapy especially after a long rough mothering day, then this is an awesome book for you. It is currently available on Amazon and can be purchased here.

“The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad? Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Lewis Carroll

A special thank you to Miss OMG for sending us this great book that provided me with chuckles and a reminder that we need to laugh more.

About the Author

Olivia Michele “Miss OMG” Giacomini has been a published writer for decades for magazines and newspapers worldwide. In more recent years, she has begun sharing her witticisms in her Miss OMG books. Many liken her to the late great humorist, Erma Bombeck (but with a potty mouth), with a similar comedic flair & zany zingers about life’s mundane dailiness. She admits she mostly appeals to moms of all ages who like to drink and curse, but her male fans also enjoy reading her work…while sitting on the toilet. Miss OMG’s goal is to brighten people’s day with her quick-witted and often sarcastic stories based loosely on her life.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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

 

The Pink Umbrella | Book Review

“Everything is better with Pink.” – Nikki, Age 5

Synopsis

Adele loves many things: her café callee The Polka-Dot Apron, her customers, flowers and sunshine on a beautiful day. There are very few things that dampen Adele’s spirit, but the worst is a rainy day. Everyone in her village knows Adele doesn’t like the rain. When it rains, she just wants to stay in bed rolled up in her quilt.

One day, after closing time in the café, Adele discovers something pretty and pink left under the coatrack. Is it a gift for her? The next week it happens again! Adele is sure someone must be leaving surprises for her. But who and why?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Pink Umbrella is a beautiful story from beginning to end. You are instantly captivated by the character, Adele, and you can’t help but fall in love with this story of love.

The mystery gifts allowed Adele to enjoy the one thing she didn’t like the most; rain. During her new appreciation for it, you can say that love bloomed. We don’t want to spoil it completely for future readers but it is the sweetest story.

The Pink Umbrella tickled our hearts pink with love and this is why we give it 10 hearts out of 5! A beautiful story with the most beautiful illustrations. We recommend this book to young readers and it is a perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day festivities.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this beautiful book, click here.

About the Author

Amélie Callot works as a writer, illustrator and midwife in France. She has written and illustrated several books for children in French. The Pink Umbrella is her first book translated into English.

About the Illustrator

Geneviève Godbout studied traditional animation in Montreal and at the prestigious Gobelins school in Paris. She has illustrated a number of children’s books including When Santa Was a Baby, Kindergarten Luck and Joseph Fipps, and has created illustrations for The Walt Disney Company, as well as art and prints for clothing designers. She lives and works in Montreal.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Puppy Love and Just in Time For Valentine’s Day

“Puppy Love is the perfect story for Valentine’s Day as it will have you gushing with adorable love.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

ALPHAPRINTS: PUPPY LOVE by Roger Priddy: Filled with cute rhymes and adorable Alphaprint characters from fluffy bears to little lovebirds, this is an enjoyable book to share together with the one you love on Valentine’s Day.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Puppy Love is absolutely delightful and adorable!

We love the rhyming in the story as it makes it so fun to read. We also love the texture on each page as it encourages your little one to feel the animal faces. It is absolutely perfect for little ones.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Puppy Love 5 hearts out of 5! This book is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and full of love. We just love this book for all the adorable animals and all the love that it showcases.

If you would like to purchase a copy for your little 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.

We Really Do Care | Book Review

We Really Do Care is a heartfelt story full of compassion and empathy. A great lesson for all on how the smallest act of kindness can mean the world.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A little boy has a ball. It’s his, and he really doesn’t care if nobody else has a ball. He’s not sharing. He’s not sharing his pets either. Or his family. Especially not his brother.

But then he realizes that both he and the new little girl he meets – the one who is alone without a ball or a pet or a family of her own – are actually quite similar. And when he sees their similarities instead of their differences, he’s happy to share. Even his little brother.

With gentle text from Tami Lewis Brown and sweet illustrations from Tania de Regil, this is a poignant and touching story that challenges each and every one of us to lend a helping hand. Because we really should care.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We Really Do Care is a heartfelt story that is perfect for Valentine’s Day. It embodies the true meaning of love and about caring. An amazing message for children to learn and a reminder for us adults too. 😉

The story shows us the importance of compassion, empathy, and shows us how a small act of kindness can make a world of a difference. If we all do more of it, the world would be a much better place. We also loved the illustrations as they are perfect with this story and the use of colors truly make it appealing to see.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 hearts out of 5! 

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

About the Author

Tami Lewis Brown is a former lawyer and elementary school librarian. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she has served on the Board of Trustees for over ten years. She is also the author of middle grade novels and picture book biographies, including Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded and the Future and Soar, Elinor!, which was a 2011 Top Ten Amelia Bloomer Project selection and Junior Library Guild selection. She really cares about her rescue dogs, her husband and children, and every family all over the world.

About the Illustrator

Tania De Regil creates books for children and designs costumes for films. She studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York City before moving back to her native Mexico City, where she finished her degree. She lives in Mexico City with her filmmaker husband and travels to the United States frequently. She really cares about her family, her friends, and all children everywhere.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

How To Keep Your Mind Sharp After Having A Baby

Image by Thanasis Papazacharias from Pixabay 

Did you know that baby brain is a real thing? Don’t feel stupid because you’re not as sharp as you were before, don’t think that it’s your fault because you’re so tired, because it’s not. It has been scientifically proven that pregnancy reduces grey matter in specific parts of a woman’s brain, in order to help you bond with your baby and prepare for the demands of motherhood.

According to research, scans of 25 first-time mums showed that these structural brain changes lasted for at least two years after giving birth, so while there’s not much you can do to prevent this, if you do want to keep your mind active and try and help yourself then these are the best things you can do to keep you sharp.

Brain Train

Use apps to train your brain like Fit Brains or Lumosity, which aim to improve your mental performance. They train you like you would train your body in that the games get harder as you improve, and the app keeps track of your progress and makes recommendations on how to challenge yourself and alter your training routine. If you find these a little taxing to start, then just try crossword puzzles or playing things like scrabble to get you using your brain and enjoying yourself too. If you find that a little tough at first, then luckily there is a cheeky little tool called unscramble which can help you.

Read, Read and Read Some More

Reading is one of the best and most relaxing ways to keep your brain active. Research shows that the more we read, the more our vocabulary, cognitive abilities, and our base of general knowledge increase. Make a shortlist of books you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the chance. There will be plenty of time while you nurse or feed a newborn! If you don’t love to read or find yourself too tired, then listen to audiobooks.

Stay In The Know

Many people get wrapped up in a little bubble of this new world of you and your baby, which is easy to do and also lovely too. But if you want to keep your mind active, then try staying connected with the rest of the outside world, make sure you read the news, listen to the radio or just have it on the TV in the background.

Hang Out With Adults

Make sure that you are talking with adults too instead of spending all your time with your baby – which again is very easy to do. While there will be plenty of new mums to hang around with too, often the conversation will be about the babies, this is great but also try to mix it up a bit and see other people so you can just be yourself. Date nights with your partner are essential too.

Economize Your Brain Use

Don’t waste brain energy on things you don’t need to; for example, remembering where you’ve put your keys needn’t be an issue. Do things like keeping your keys in the same place every day so that you don’t have to waste your time thinking about them and can save your brain energy for more important things.

Snakes on the Job | Book Review

Snakes on the Job is an adorable children’s book that gives us a hisssssh look into the Construction world and we loved it!”

Synopsis

Off to work the snakes will go.

They slide into trucks and roll out slow.

Hissssssssssssh goes the sound of the brakes.

These busy snakes are back! This time, they are operating a variety of construction vehicles – bulldozers, diggers, backhoes and more – and what they are building is a surprise. It’s so much fun, new friends want to join them!

Full of sibilant sounds and other wordplay, this Sssssssweet story is sure to entertain.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Snakes on the Job gives us a quick look into the construction world as we are introduced to different machinery that is used in the field. Best part is to see the end result of what building together can build.

We loved reading this story and the illustrations are absolutely adorable! We especially loved it since it talks about construction and it is inspiring for little ones and future builders. We also love the use of sibilant sounds and wordplay which made the story so much more fun to read.

Therefore, we give this book 5 hisssss out of 5! A perfect addition for your little builder’s book collection.

“I loved this book. It was so much fun to read. I loved how at the end the snakes welcomed everyone to enjoy what they built.” – Nikki, Age 5

If you would like to add this adorable book to your reading lineup, click here.

About the Author

Kathryn Dennis began her art career drawing on walls and sidewalks and painting anything that did not move. She is the author and artist of Snakes on a Train, which was her picture book debut. She lives in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Something Lost Something Found

“Something Lost Something Found is a simple and yet impactful story on how grieving of a loved one became a journey to find happiness again. Full of empathy, compassion and understanding that will resonate with young readers.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Ella feels like she is stuck in a pile of gloomy mud. She misses her mom so much. So, Ella embarks on a quest to find happiness again; wishing upon a star, trying to cook it up in a magic potion, and searching for it in all the places her grieving young heart leads her. And bit by bit…Ella begins to find solace in memories of her Mom. Something Lost Something Found is a story for young readers about the profound bonds we share with our loved ones, the importance of childhood memories, and the innate yearning to endue even the most indescribable grief. This tale’s empathy and wisdom shine through every wistful, charming scene.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Something Lost Something Found lightly touches on how Ella grieves and how she finds happiness again. Dealing with loss and grief is difficult for anyone and at any age. This is why it is an honour for us to introduce you all to a new children’s book who takes on expressing loss in the most beautiful way; through words of comfort.

Full of empathy, compassion and understanding, this book will touch all hearts. The gentleness on a tough topic is what I loved the most. The journey to find happiness is beautifully written and illustrated.

#NikkiThoughts

We sat down with five-year-old Nikki to get her opinion. Best way to know how good a children’s book really is; ask a child. Of course we thought it would be best to record her thoughts as she is still practicing her writing skills. 😉

There you have it! Nikki’s thoughts on Something Lost Something Found. Let is make it official…we give this book 10 stars out of 5. A beautifully written and illustrated story that will touch hearts for years to come. It is a much needed story for the book world and we are so honoured to share it with all of our readers.

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

About the Author

Natalia Paruzel-Gibson

Growing up in Poland, the Stefan Jaracz Theatre was Natalia’s playground, a place where she eagerly watched her Mom on stage from behind the scenes. It was her mother’s passion for the Arts that ignited Natalia’s love of storytelling, acting and photography at a young age. After immigrating to Canada in 1990, Natalia’s artwork made several appearances in Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and she was presented with the Young Talent Award from the Turzański Foundation for writing and reciting poetry. After finishing her Double Major in Drama and Photography at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Natalia went on to complete her undergrad in English Literature and History, which later led to her completion of a Master of Arts program at the University of Toronto. While Something Lost Something Found is Natalia’s debut as an author, she has been fervently writing children’s stories for the last decade. Her writing is inspired by her own experiences as a mother of two children and her quest to perceive the world through their lens.

Make sure to follow her journey through Instagram and Facebook as you don’t want to miss it.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

 

It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn Embraces Uniqueness

“The key to happiness is accepting your Unicorniness.”

Synopsis

Cornelius J. Sparklesteed is known among all the other horses in Hoofington for his beautiful and creative handmade hats. But Cornelius is hiding a secret under his own tall, point hat: He’s really a unicorn.

Hoofington is a friendly place, but its horses spread lots of mean rumors about unicorns. When Cornelius is chosen to perform at this year’s Hoofapalooza, will he find the courage to reveal to his friends his true unicorniness?

Special thank you to the author Jason Tharp and Cornelius for sending us a personalized package and autograph!

#MelAndNikkiReview

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn has tickled our hearts pink with love. We haven’t used that term in a really long time in our reviews and we felt that this book definitely deserved it. We loved it from beginning to end and we especially loved the message of embracing your uniqueness!

Such a positive book to read with your child(ren) or if your child can read, have them read it to you. It will be a great one to share with your family. It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn also exemplifies kindness throughout the story and who couldn’t use more kindness in their lives?! I know that I sure love to see and feel it.

We also love the main character who is a unicorn named Cornelius. Now as you all may know we love books and we have featured many on the #MelAndNikkiReview. However, I don’t recall every reading a main character’s complete name in a story (Cornelius J. Sparklesteed) and it’s perfect! You can’t help but fall in love with Cornelius in this story.

This is why for the very first time we created a quick breakdown of what we thought of this book by using Cornelius’ name. Check out the image below! 😉

Since this book is unique we felt that we needed to put in a little extra uniqueness with that piece. 🙂

Not only is the story captivating but so are the vibrant illustrations. It is very appealing to the reader’s eyes and it truly brings everything together.

Nikki’s Thoughts

Nikki wanted to make sure we knew her thoughts on this book and requested a video interview with her. So I sat down with the star of our blog and asked her for her thoughts.

There you have it! Nikki’s thoughts in a nutshell. Remember to subscribe, like and share our video!

As you heard from Nikki, we give it 10 unicorns out of 10! Why? Because it is HAW-SOME! 

This book is perfect for children ages three to six; however, I am way above that age bracket and I loved it!

If you would like to purchase this HAW-SOME book, click here. You won’t regret it as it truly is a great book!

About the Author

Jason Tharp has dreamed of being an author and creating wacky worlds with fun characters since he was a kid. Now as a grown-up kid, Jason is driven to help others embrace the magic of their story. Hason has been promoting kindness initiatives in schools throughout Ohio and on yourdreamslivehere.com, where he sells kindness-related products with a portion of proceeds going to charity. Jason has also been securing speaking gigs for himself at adult conferences, talking about kindness, inclusion, empathy, and how to build creativity and confidence. This past November his home city of Powell, OH, held the first annual KindFest, a free festival with a charitable donation focus.

Make sure to follow Jason on his Facebook and Instagram pages as they are great accounts to follow – we do! 🙂

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*An advance copy was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

 

Baby Shark! Hits Storytime

“Baby Shark! Doo doo doo doo doo doo!”

Now that we have got the song in your head (I am sure again). 😉 We can introduce you to the children’s book, Baby Shark! Based on the world’s catchiest song.

This book takes you on a trip to the Aquarium to meet a family of sharks. While you see them, you can sing-a-long to every child’s favorite song, Baby Shark!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Baby Shark is now available for storytime with an adorable picture book to please your little one. It is a fun and engaging book that will have everyone dancing and singing along. How can you not?! I know that I went into full dance mode as soon as we started to read the book. I think that is what makes this book so great as we can all sing-a-long, even if you don’t have children in your life (hehe).

Nikki sure did love this book as she got to read the words in it and since she knew the song, it helped her learn what the words look like. To us, this was a great learning experience for her and that is always a bonus for us. Nikki also loved being able to read the book to her younger cousin, Adriana, who also loved singing along. You can’t go wrong with a catchy story to get everyone engaged in storytime.

By the third time reading it (in a row), we were all dancing and signing along…including the grandparents. 😉

This is why it is no surprise that for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 sharks out of 5! Not only is it fun to read but the illustrations by Stevie Lewis are absolutely adorable! We just love this book!

If you would like to purchase one of your own, click here. This would be a perfect addition to any Baby Shark fan.

About the Illustrator

Stevie Lewis has been living on the road, furthering her passion for climbing arts, and the outdoors. Striving to live simple and tread lightly on the earth, she gathers inspiration from a variety of places, be it climbing in the high desert in central Oregon, hiking in the wilderness of Alaska, or sharing laughs with fellow travelers around a campfire. After working for four years in animation, she now illustrates children’s books and creates art based on her travels.

Stevie’s books include A Week without Tuesday, Finding Serendipity, and Lost in the Library.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.