Tag: MelandNikkiReview

Mars! Earthlings Welcome

Mars! Earthlings Welcome has arrived in style and you will definitely want to include it in your party (we mean reading) line up! A creative and fun way to learn about the planet we call Mars. A must read!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Meet Mars! The red planet. Planet Marvelous. Favorite sibling of Earth (or so he claims). Sometimes they’re close (just 34.5 million miles apart). Sometimes they need space (250 million miles apart)! Earth and Mars have a lot in common—clouds, mountains, polar icecaps. And while Earth has Earthlings, Mars makes a persuasive case for why people should make the journey to spend time with him. His day is 7 minutes longer! He is home to the largest volcano in the whole solar system. He’s, well, marvelous.

With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Mars in this next celestial “autobiography” in the Our Universe series. Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully brought to life by Stevie Lewis, this is an equally charming and irresistible picture book.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Mars! Earthlings Welcome is a great children’s book as an introduction to the amazing red planet that we call Mars! You can’t help put fall in love with Mars as it’s one cool planet who likes to have fun and has given us an open invitation to visit. 😉

We love the interesting facts within the book and it is done in a fun way to really get children engaged in the learning. The story is told by Mars itself and it makes the story that much more entertaining! We loved it!

“Mars looks like a fun and funny planet! I learned so much and didn’t know it had 2 moons. Wow!” – Nikki, Age 6

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 stars out of 5! We had a blast reading this book and learned so much! For example, did you know that there is 24 hours and 37 minutes in a day?! Isn’t that the coolest thing ever?! Imagine what you could do with an extra 37 minutes in a day. I definitely would use those minutes for some extra sleep. 😉

Don’t forget to check out the back for some extra fun facts. Overall this is a must read for all!

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

About the Author

Stacy McAnulty is the author of over thirty books for children, notably the nonfiction picture book series Our Universe, which includes titles, Earth! My First 4.54 Billion YearsMars! Earthlings Welcome, and Moon! Earth’s Best Friend, Ocean! Waves for All, among others. She’s also the author of picture books A Small KindnessBeautifulBrave, and Love, and she writes books for middle grade readers including The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, and Millionaires for the Month. Stacy lives in North Carolina with her family and as many dogs as she can sneak in the house.

About the Illustrator

Stevie Lewis creates art and illustrates children’s books, including Sun! One in a Billion and Moon! Earth’s Best Friend, written by Stacy McAnulty. Stevie 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.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

 

An Engaging And Interactive Series That Is A Must Read

“A book series that is engaging and interactive for reading time! Your children will simply adore them all! There is crab, owl, and frog…oh my!” – Momma Braga

This is Crab

This Is Crab is a bright and cheerful interactive picture book with lots of flaps and accompanying actions that make it loads of fun to read together!

Meet Crab. A shy ocean dweller who, with a little encouragement, will take young readers on a journey through his underwater home. Along the way, readers meet Octopus (please forgive Crab for pinching Octopus, he can’t help his claws), discover new friends in a coral reef and see Crab finally come out of his shell . . . complete with a new shell underneath.

Recommended for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

This is Owl

This Is Owl is a bright and cheerful interactive picture book with lots of flaps and accompanying actions that make it loads of fun to read together!

Meet Owl. Oh wait, it’s daytime. Meet Owl now, at night, when he’s most active — even if he isn’t the most graceful. When the act of sneaking up on Beetle goes awry, it’s up to readers to help Owl flap his wings and right himself. But when Owl is determined to make his own way, readers are taken on a journey, first to find Owl and then meet his budding family!

Recommended for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

This is Frog

This Is Frog is a bright and cheerful interactive picture book with lots of flaps and accompanying actions that make it loads of fun to read together!

Meet Frog. A silly amphibian whose snack-time turns into an adventure when he encounters a grumpy toucan. The dynamic art and fun narrative will have readers giving Frog a hand as he bounces about the rainforest.

Recommended for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

#MelAndNikkiReview

This engaging and interactive series will have your little ones say, “Crab, Owl, and Frog…oh my!” You don’t need all three in the series to enjoy the books. Therefore, if there is one animal that your child will like best, you can start with that book.

Then, you can expand your reading with the other additions. We loved all three of them and they truly are interactive. Nikki loved being able to read the story and follow the instructions the narrator provided. Then she would giggle with delight when the character did what the narrator instructed. “This is so much fun! It’s like I am in the story mom!” – Nikki, Age 6

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 15 stars out of 5! We loved being able to interact with the story we love the different flaps within the book. It made the story very intriguing for my six-year-old. The illustrations are bright and vibrant which makes it easy for children to emerge themselves in the story. The unique storyline to have children interact is fantastic! We love all three books but if Nikki had to pick just one it would be, “This is Owl.”

“I loved Owl the best as he seemed so funny and silly. I loved tickling his tummy to wake him up!” – Nikki, Age 6

No matter if you pick one or all three, you will adore them all during reading time. Get ready for interactive fun!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that these books were provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

Trouble | Book Review

Trouble is a great children’s book that shows us that you can’t judge someone based on what you think you know about them. Everyone is different and deserves the opportunity to show you who they are. A must read.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Here comes TROUBLE…Squirrel leads a quiet life. She gardens, drinks tea, and loves her pet mouse, Chamomile. But then a new neighbor moves in and Squirrel isn’t sure she likes the look of him.

He wears strange clothes. He does strange things. And she’s certain he is TROUBLE. Then something horrible happens: Chamomile disappears! Squirrel is convinced it’s TROUBLE’S doing. But who is really to blame? And just how much trouble can one teapot-wielding squirrel cause?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Trouble is thoughtful and creative as it explores differences and prejudice in a way a child can understand. It truly helps open up conversation with your child about this topic and how we can be kinder to one another.

Celebrating differences and seeing everyone for their unique self is what we shall all strive for. We truly loved this story from beginning to end. Trouble has been read multiple times since it arrived and Nikki has really grasped the concept of not judging people without getting to know them first.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 bears out of 5! An inspiring and engaging story for children. The illustrations are vibrant and really bring the story to life. We highly recommend to give this book a read as everyone will enjoy it. It is also a great conversation starter on the topic of prejudice for children and we enjoyed opening up about it with Nikki.

Recommended for children ages three to seven. If you would like to purchase this great children’s book, click here.

About the Author

Katherine Battersby is the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of eleven picture books, including Squish Rabbit, a CBC Children’s Choice Book. She wrote Trouble after moving from Australia to Canada and discovering she was terrified of bears. But the heart of this story is shaped by her belief that everyone deserves to be seen and celebrated for who the are (even bears). Katherine lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her poet, their daughter, and a mischievous puppy.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

Sock on the Loose

Sock on the Loose has answered the timeless question on where do our loose socks go! This clever, witty and adorable children’s book will have everyone wanting an encore reading at bedtime.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Socks come in twos, snuggled up in your shoes. At night they sleep tight, matching pairs in a row. Until – wait a minute! Oh no! Where did blue sock go?

After its twin doesn’t come back from the wash, Blue Sock decides it wants to explore the great big world outside of its drawer. Just like you, there are so many things a sock can do when given the chance to try something new!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Sock on the Loose is brilliant as it is witty, clever and just too adorable! We just loved it from beginning to end. We have all been there when magically a sock goes missing. Ever wonder where they all go?

I know that we have wondered it plenty of times when only one sock returns from the great laundry world. Therefore, this story was inspiring and made us imagine all the possibilities!  We love stories who let us take the story beyond the storybook. Ones that inspire conversation and imagination. We truly had a lot of fun with this one!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 socks out of 5! If you are looking for that perfect story to read with your little ones, then this is the book. Full of adventure, imagination and giggles along the way. Sock on the Loose is the must have story of the year and has made it to the Momma Braga Recommended List!

This book is recommended for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase this adorable book, click here.

Special Extra

Sock on the Loose was such an inspiration to us that we had some extra fun! We joined the #SockOnTheLoose Campaign and created Charlotte Star with our loose sock. If you have a loose sock, you can have some fun with it and create your very own character.

Then imagine all the possible adventures your loose sock can go on. Don’t forget to take some memorable photos! Here are some of our adventures and make sure to check out our Instagram page to see our imagination come alive with Charlotte.

About the Author

Conor McGlauflin is a designer and sock enthusiast who grew up on the coast of Maine. He graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design and currently lives in Brooklyn with his family. After five years, he’s still on the lookout for a special striped sock. If you happen to see it, please let him know. This is Conor’s first book.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book and sock was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

Simon and Chester Super Detectives!

Simon and Chester Super Detectives will bring out the inner detective in us with mystery, friendship and tons of laughs along the way! This is a must read graphic novel for young readers.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Welcome to the world of Simon and Chester, ghost and boy duo extraordinaire. These best friends like to kick butt and take names. They are about to solve the MYSTERY OF A LIFETIME (Oh, and eat some snacks probably).

Join Simon and Chester in their first adventure, and fall in love with this hilarious odd couple by fan favorite author and illustrator Cale Atkinson.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Simon and Chester Super Detectives is the must have graphic novel of the year! It brought out the inner detective in us with mystery, friendship and tons of laughs along the way.

You will fall in love with this duo! Their friendship truly is unique as who can say they are best friends with a cool ghost?!

As they work together to solve the adorable mystery, you learn that Simon can be a little dramatic and Chester seems more of the logical thinker. This is an excellent combination and it adds to the humor throughout the book.

Nikki’s favorite part is when Simon says, “My legs!” You will need to read the story to understand why that comment alone had Nikki laughing for days!

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 pugs named Von Curly Tail out of 5! An amazing graphic novel that will have you laughing from beginning to end. Even though it has great humor, there is still a great story to read. Did I mention that the illustrations are fantastic?! This novel has made it to our Momma Braga recommended list of 2021!

“I loved this book! It made me laugh so much! Can we read the next book when it comes out?” – Nikki, Age 6

This book is recommended for children ages six to nine. If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

About the Author

Cale Atkinson of Sir Simon, Unicorns 101 and Where Oliver Fits fame. He lives lakeside with his family in Kelowna, British Columbia, and he is assisted in his artistic endeavors by Charlie, a wise noble floof. Cale has never met a ghost, but he would like to, if only to learn the truth about ghost toots, floating and the afterlife.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

It’s Okay To Smell Good!

It’s Okay To Smell Good brings the great message that it’s okay to love different things to light. Embrace all your qualities and likes no matter how odd others may think they are. Remember to be free to be you!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Panda Cat begins each day by brushing his teeth with garlic and onion toothpaste, combing rotten eggs through his hair and enjoying a breakfast of spoiled milk and a rotten apple. In Smellsville, it’s cool to be stinky.

But when he tries to invent the stinkiest smell ever for the science fair, it backfires – because it smells good. And Panda Cat might actually…like it? How will be tell his friends? Or his hero, Albert Einstink – the scientist behind the theory of stinkactivity?

Photo Credit: Jason Tharp

#MelAndNikkiReview

It’s Okay to Smell Good! is a must read story full of humor, fun and an important lesson of being free to be you. Jason Tharp has become one of our favorite authors since we reviewed, It’s Okay to Be A Unicorn, which taught us all to embrace our unicorness (uniqueness). 😉

This new children’s story brings new characters with a beautiful message and best of all lots of humor! As I was reading the story out loud to my daughter, my husband was laughing in the background. Clearly this story is great for some adult laughs too. Of course I absolutely love the word play in the story such as “Smellville.” Nikki’s favorite was Albert Einstink as it reminded her of Albert Einstein.

Photo Credit: Jason Tharp

For this #MelAndNikkiReview we give this book 10 stinky cheeses out of 5 (in a good way)! 😉 Another amazing Jason Tharp story to really help children see how special they are and to embrace their uniqueness and differences. This book had us all giggling with delight and we got to talk about how we all like different things and we still love one another as a family.

“Just because we like different things, we can still love each other. Maybe that is what makes us all better. It wouldn’t be fun if we all liked the same thing?!” – Nikki, Age 6

Photo Credit: Jason Tharp

Special Extra

We truly love the new character of Panda Cat and if you haven’t subscribed to Wonderville Studio’s YouTube channel, you should! We tuned into the tutorial on how to draw the main character and it was a lot of fun. It is a way to further emerge yourself with the story.

Below was my attempt at Panda Cat and I added a little more to make it into my own (which encouraged). 🙂 If you want to learn how to draw Panda Cat, click here.

This book is great for kids ages three to six but we would recommend it for all who want a great fun read! If you would like to purchase this awesome book, click here.

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 stories in books like It’s Okay to Be a Unicorn! Being an obsessive daydreamer and doodler has led him to create many licensed properties, write books, and design clothing and travel the country talking to kids and adults about embracing their “weirdness” and the power of the unicorn effect. Jason lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Jason’s work includes the Peachy & Keen and Super Monsta Friends series for Scholastic, National Geographic Kids’ Funny Fill-Ins, and the Hog Mollies for the nonprofit 2nd & 7 Foundation.

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 and we do not make commission off of book sales.

Flying High | The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles

Flying High is a captivating and empowering story on how determination and hard work truly pays off!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A lyrical picture book biography of Simone Biles, gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar.

Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard.

When she was six years old, Simone’s family took shape in a different way. Her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her sister Adria. Ron and Nellie became their parents. Simone was also introduced to gymnastics that same year, launching a lifelong passion fueled by remarkable talent, sacrifice, and the undying support of her family.

From her athletic early childhood to the height of her success as an Olympic champion, Flying High is the story of the world’s greatest gymnast from author Michelle Meadows and illustrator Ebony Glenn.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Flying High is a great children’s book to empower children to believe in themselves and know that with hard work you can accomplish your dreams.

We loved learning about Simone Biles and reading her amazing journey. There is a great bonus in the back of the book where you get more details on Simone and some fast facts. We love this added touch!

“I loved learning about Simone and I love gymnastics too. She worked hard and she made her dreams come true. That is my favorite part!” – Nikki, Age 6

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 5 gold medals out of 5! The story is inspiring and the illustrations are captivating to young readers. A beautifully captured true story of an amazing woman, Simone Bile and a must read.

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

About the Author

Michelle Meadows is the author of Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins; Hibernation Station; Piggies in Pajamas; and Super Bugs. She lives in Delaware and loves to write at the beach.

About the Illustrator

Ebony Glenn is the illustrator of many award-winning books for young readers, including Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins; Mommy’s Khimar; and Not Quite Snow White. She lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

The Secret Fawn

The Secret Fawn is a beautiful children’s book that helps little ones see the beauty around them and have them believe that they are capable of seeing even if they are the youngest. A must read.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Gorgeous cut-paper art illuminates this sweet, heartfelt picture book about how special being little can be. For fans of Finding Wild and Little Fox in the Forest.

A little girl is always missing out on the wonderful things her family gets to see and do, just because she is the youngest and smallest. She misses seeing shooting stars because she goes to bed too early; she can’t pick the first apple of autumn because she’s too short; and, this morning, everyone else got to see a deer . . . except her. She goes into her backyard in search of the deer, a sugar cube tucked in her pocket. She sees a flick of brown in the orchard — is that the deer? No, it’s just the neighbor’s friendly dog (Shhhhh, Nala!). Is that it by the pond? No, that’s just a bird, playing in the water. Just when she’s about to give up, she spots a fawn, beautiful, quiet and small . . . just like her.

The Secret Fawn beautifully captures the power of nature to inspire children and shows how connecting with animals can help kids who feel left out or overlooked.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Secret Fawn is breathtaking visually and the words are captivating to the soul. As we follow a little girl’s quest to find a deer as she feels she misses out on everything since she is the youngest.

In her quest, she sees the beauty around her and finds something even more special as she encounters a fawn. Lesson being that it doesn’t matter how young you are, you can see something even better. We just loved reading this story and connecting with it.

“The little girl thinks she misses important things but she sees something special and just for her. That was my favorite part!” – Nikki, Age 6

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 fawns out of 5! It will captivate the youngest of hearts and it is an amazing book for young readers to immerse themselves in. Remember beauty is all around us at any age, you just need to look. 😉

This lovely book is recommended for children ages three to seven. If you would like to purchase this book, click here. When you get this book, make sure to take off the paper cover to reveal a new cover! We love it!

About the Author

KALLIE GEORGE is an author, editor and creative writing teacher living in Vancouver, B.C. She has written numerous acclaimed books for children, including The Lost GiftSecrets I KnowDuck, Duck, Dinosaur and The Melancholic Mermaid, as well as the The Magical Animal Adoption Agency series and The Heartwood Hotel series. She has also taught writing workshops for children and adults across Canada, as well as in South Korea, and currently teaches at Emily Carr University.

About the Illustrator

ELLY MACKAY is an acclaimed paper artist and children’s book author and illustrator. She wrote and illustrated the picture book Red Sky at Night, as well as Waltz of the Snowflakes, If You Hold a Seed and Butterfly Park, among others. Elly’s art was also featured on the covers of Tundra’s reissues of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon series. Her distinctive pieces are made using paper and ink, and then are set into a miniature theater and photographed, giving them their unique three-dimensional quality. She frequently collaborates with author Kallie George, and their first picture book together, The Secret Fawn, will be released in Spring 21. Elly lives in Owen Sound, Ontario, with her two children.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own and we do not make commission off of book sales.

Bee My Valentine Craft

A “Bee My Valentine” craft will buzz with fun for your little ones. It is simple to make and it makes an adorable piece of art. You can hang it up as a décor piece or it can be gifted to a loved one.

Just gather your supplies and let’s get started!

Bee My Valentine

Materials Needed
  • Construction Paper (Black, Yellow, and Blue)
  • Glue
  • Black Marker
  • Googly Eyes
  • Scissors
Instructions
  • First, you can create your heart shapes to make it easier for the little ones. We did two black hearts; two blue hearts; 1 yellow heart and double yellow heart.
  • The double heart can be achieved by drawing two hearts side by side. Fold it to make it look like a card.
  • Then, you can create the antennas by cutting out a rectangle shape for the bottom in black and a small yellow heart to attach to the top.
  • Add some glue to the back tip of the (yellow card) heart and add one of the black hearts. Then add some glue to the back tip of the next yellow heart and then add the last black heart.
  • Add the blue hearts as wings by gluing the tips to the back of the bee.
  • Lastly, you can add the googly eyes by gluing them to the bee’s face and add the beautiful smile with black marker. Don’t forget to add the antennas to your bee.
  • Optional, You can have your child write a message inside the card. We added, “Bee My Valentine.”

There you have it! These bees will be buzzing with love for the whole family.

We would love to see your DIY Love Frames and share them with us! Use hashtag #MelAndNikkiCrafts.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink

Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink will remind generations of the most delightful song that brought people together. It has so much meaning to it and has been loved by many and now you can share this joy with your children. It is a must read for all!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Based on the classic folk song made famous by a beloved trio of children’s entertainers, this picture book is best sung aloud! “Skinnamarink” is a timeless anthem of love and inclusion.

What does “skinnamarink” mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly — especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together.

Through Qin Leng’s wonderfully imaginative illustrations, this delightful picture book tells the story of a community coming together. Young and old, from little mice to a big elephant, people and animals gather into a spontaneous parade as they follow the sound of music.

Sharon, Lois and Bram formed as a trio of children’s entertainers in Toronto in 1978 and went on to create two top-rated children’s television shows, most notably The Elephant Show, and to release 21 full-length albums (many of which reached gold, platinum, double platinum and triple platinum). In 2018, Sharon and Bram celebrated their 40th anniversary and they continue to entertain children and share their message of love.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink is a beloved children’s story and will be a favorite for generations to come. A true classic that everyone will love to read or sing (we loved singing it)! As an 80s baby, this book had a deeper meaning for me as I grew up watching The Elephant Show. It was one of my favorite shows to watch and my mom would sing me the song every time. It was one childhood memory that I remember so clearly and one that I cherish. Even though English was not my mom’s strength, she sang it so beautifully. Of course she had the actions down!

The song “Skinnamarink” as mentioned in the synopsis carries so much meaning. It is a song about friendship, togetherness, community, happiness and love. I have sung this song to my daughter when she was little and she was just as excited as I was to have the book now to sing-a-long with. We go all out with our books! 😉

This story brings out the message of love loud and clear. We love the beginning introduction were you find out how the song came to be and in the story they added a few new lyrics. Nikki and I loved this book so much that we made a video singing the very last part of the song which has always been my favorite part.

Rating

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 elephants out of 5! An anthem for all generations about love, compassion and community. The illustrations complete the book beautifully as it is diverse and inclusive to all. If you are looking for that perfect book for Valentine’s Day or just a book to share with someone you care, this would be the one. We highly recommend it and for the first time this year, this book has made it to our Momma Braga Most Recommended List.

This book is recommended for children ages three to seven but we recommend it for ALL ages! If you would like to purchase this beautiful story, 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 and we do not make commission off of book sales.