Tag: MelandNikkiReview

Thomas Wildus And The Wizard Of Sumeria | Book Review

Synopsis

In Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, three months have passed since Thomas and Enrique faced off against Arius Strong and prevented an all-out apocalypse. Three long, glorious, summer months – months filled with friends, family, magic, and Thomas’s first real kiss.

Unfortunately, the good times are coming to a rapid end. With a cryptic message from a mysterious hacker, Thomas discovers that his nemesis is pursuing an object even more powerful than the crystals. Arius will stop at nothing to find the treasure and destroy his enemies, and this time he’s not alone. Dark creatures with darker powers are flocking to Arius’s cause: shapeshifters, warlocks, even a sadistic killer in a schoolgirl outfit.

The forces of good are gatherings as well, but with so much darkness at Arius’s disposal, the prospects for Thomas and his friends look increasingly grim. Will time run out before he sees through the lies and uncovers the next level of his destiny?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria is another epic adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, we do recommend to give it a read as it’s fantastic! J.M. Bergen has done it again by bringing Thomas Wildus and his friends in another action packed journey.

Full of adventure, well-thought of characters and storyline that will make anyone enjoy this book. Magical, suspenseful and more action-filled with this second installment. We are introduced to more characters both good and evil. There are also some surprising twists and unexpected turn of events that will not let you put the book down.

“Thomas closed his eyes and tried to feel a connection to the books. His thoughts swirled, shifting from the books to Peggy to school to Arius and Heinrik and Arianna. He tried harder, focusing so intensely that his brain began to ache.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria 5 out of 5! We recommend this novel for middle graders and will appeal to fans of Harry Potter; Percy Jackson, and other middle grade series with magical and/or fantastical flair.

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

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I’m Sticking With You | Book Review

“I’m Sticking With You shows us that every relationship requires love, understanding and kindness. No matter what we go through, true friendship always finds a way through.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Bear and squirrel are best friends. Wherever Squirrel goes, Bear follows. Bear vows to stick with Squirrel whether he’s grumpy or silly or mad – which is put to the test when Bear sinks Squirrel’s canoe. And catapults him from the seesaw. And breaks his favorite mug.

Finally, Squirrel has had enough. He tells Bear he needs his space – only to realize he has much more fun with his best friend around. Funny and poignant in equal measure, I’m Sticking With You shows that friendship always finds a way.

#MelAndNikkiReview

I’m Sticking With You will be stuck with us as we loved it a lot. A beautifully told and illustrated story about friendship.

Friendships are hard work even with a best friend. Sometimes there can be bumps on the road and we may feel like it’s best distance ourselves instead of working it out. Luckily, Squirrel was able to realize fairly quickly of the great friendship had with Bear. They were able to work through some friendship bumps and they realized how important they were to each other.

A great message for children as every relationship requires love, understanding and kindness.

“Sometimes you need to give your friends some space and that is ok too. You appreciate each other more.” – Nikki, Age 5

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 paws out of 5! It was bear-rific!

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

About the Author

Smriti Prasadam-Halls is the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books for children, including I Love You Night and Day. She lives in England with her husband and three sons.

About the Illustrator

Steve Small is a designer, an animator, and a BAFTA – nominated director. He lives in England, and I’m Sticking with You is his first picture book.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

A Little Space For Me | Book Review

A Little Space For Me will enlighten children and relatable to parents. Personal space is such an amazing place to find for ourselves and this story allows young minds to explore and learn of it’s importance. Perfection!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Sometimes, when it’s…too loud, too crowded, too messy, too smelly, or for no reason at all, you might just need a little bit of space to feel like yourself again.

With clever, inventive art and universally relatable themes, A Little Space For Me is about the importance of mindfulness, understanding, and finding a moment of peace within a big, busy world.

#MelAndNikkiReview

A Little Space For Me  is absolute perfection! As a mom of an almost six-year-old, personal space has been extinct for years. To have a creative and clever story to read to bring up the concept of space is exactly the story that I have been waiting for. It is beautifully illustrated and the narrative is brilliant.

By the end of the story, a lightbulb went off in my very social butterfly daughter. “OH! Mommy when you say you need space, it means you need time to just think and relax.” YES! Now we are just working on finding our own personal spaces where we can learn, focus and just be one. 😉

The best part of this story is that it is open to interpretation and allows the reader to make their own connection to the story.

“A little space is important but I still like sharing my space with you mom.” – Nikki, Age 5

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 stars out of 5! It truly exceeded our expectations and took us out of this world; space. 😉

If you would like to add A Little Space For Me to your child’s story time, click here.

About the Author

Jennifer Gray Olson is the creator of Ninja Bunny, Ninja Bunny: Sister vs. Brother, and Me and Mr. Fluffernutter. Her love of creating entertaining and unique characters and the worlds in which they live led her to writing and illustrating. She is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in art education. Jennifer lives in sunny Southern California, where she shares her sometimes crowded space with her favorite people and pets. To learn more, visit www.jennifergrayolson.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Ways To Welcome | Book Review

Ways to Welcome is a heartwarming story of different ways you can make people feel included and welcomed.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A welcome can be warm or cold. Shy and quiet, big and bold. An offering, a smiling face that lights an unfamiliar place. There are lots of ways to show we care and welcome friends from everywhere!

When everyone knows they’re welcome, the world is a better place – and you might just make a new friend. This sweet, timeless picture book about small acts of kindness in a big world is one that kids and parents are sure to reach for again and again.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Ways to Welcome is the perfect children’s story for that first day of school, when you move or when you are about to meet new people. It is a heartwarming story and with a world that seems to be drifting apart, this is a great reminder of the importance of being welcoming to others.

We love the diversity that the story portrays and we love all the beautiful gestures that is used to show kindness to others. The importance of making people feel welcomed and loved felt so genuine and honest. The way it is written in this story is engaging for young readers and the illustrations are captivating.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Ways to Welcome 5 stars out of 5!

“I loved this book. It is important for us to be kind to one another especially if someone is new.” – Nikki, Age 5

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

About the Author

Linda Ashman is the author of more than thirty-five picture books, and the creator of The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books. Her books have been included on the “best of the year” lists of the New York TimesParenting and Childmagazines, the New York Public Library, Bank Street College of Education, and the International Reading Association. She now lives in North Carolina with her family.

About the Illustrator

Joey Chou has illustrated many picture books, including Ruby’s Chinese New Year and Hello, My Name Is . . . He was born in Taiwan and moved to sunny California in his early teens. There he received his BFA from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. Joey works by day as a visual development artist on feature animated films and by night as a picture book illustrator.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

In The Book With…Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure

“Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure is an enchanting story full of magic, adventure, and best of all the main character is your child!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

In this enchanting story, your child will find out just how fun it really is to become a real unicorn as they explore the many magical setting of this rainbow-filled paradise!

Along with a special message on the opening page, this unicorn book for kids features any name on the cover and intertwined into the hand-drawn illustrations. The reader will become the spirited unicorn who sets out to find the best place for unicorns to have fun. From the beautiful meadows to the delicious Candyland, there’s no time for horsing around as the reader is transported from one page to the next, galloping through the magical places. You can even choose which edition you would like from the soft back, hardback or classic hardback

#MelAndNikkiReview

Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure is the story that our Nikki has been waiting for! “Wow! I’m finally a Unicorn,” Nikki exclaimed. It was with great delight to read this magical adventure and see what Nikki the Unicorn was all about. Instantly you are captivated by the bright illustrations that are all hand-drawn beautifully. It was a well written adventure and Nikki got excited seeing her name in each page. We loved how the publisher inserted the child’s name into each page and the child has to find it within the page. It added an extra special touch that we adored!

Personalized stories really bring a uniqueness to reading time and we loved being able to write a message for Nikki at the beginning of the book and add a special photo of her at the end of the book. It just brought the whole personalization full circle and it was heartfelt.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure gets 10 million rainbows out of 5!!! A very outstanding rating and by our expert herself, Nikki who knows children’s books. 😉 The story is well written, the illustrations are captivating and the main character (your child) finds the perfect place to call home. We can say it is the perfect unique story for your little one. It also makes the best gift for the Unicorn enthusiast in your life.

If you would like to purchase your own personalized unicorn book, click here. You can also check out the many other options that are available to be customized to make reading time a little extra special.

About In The Book With

At In The Book, we believe in the power of reading. The power that helps develop, educate, instill confidence, and most importantly, create a lasting bond between parent and child.

We recently donated over 50 personalized books to charities who work with underprivileged and sick children in the US and UK, and have produced a series of video for parents with top tips on how to read to their children.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Go! Go! Cory Carson Vrooming Into Our Hearts

“Play along with Cory Carson and friends during playtime with these amazing new toys! Your child will enjoy hours of fun!” – Momma Braga

Go! Go! Cory Carson Synopsis

Join kid car Cory Carson and his friends on epic adventures! Watch as Cory navigates the ups and downs of childhood in the winding roads of Bumperton Hills as he goes to school, makes new friends and explores with his family.

Inspired by the hit toy line Go! Go! Smart Wheels®.

This series is available on Netflix and you will be hooked as soon as you start the season! We sure did and we can not wait to Season 3! 🙂

“Beep, beep — go, go! Buckle up for fun and adventure with adorable kid car Cory Carson as he explores the winding roads of Bumperton Hills.”

Go! Go! Cory Carson® Characters & Playsets

Have some extra fun during playtime by pretending to explore Bumperton Hills with Cory and his friends! You can now collect Go! Go! Cory Carson playsets and vehicles inspired by the show’s characters.

These amazing toys are all available only at Walmart and we got to try them all out!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Go! Go! Cory Carson® Freddie’s Firehouse™

Go on a rescue mission with Freddie Firetruck and Chrissy Carson at the Go! Go! Cory Carson® Freddie’s Firehouse™ just like in the original series, Go! Go! Cory Carson® ! Freddie’s mom Carolyn Firetruck encourages exploration of all the exciting activities the firehouse has to offer with mini characters Freddie and Chrissy. Help Freddie and Chrissy rescue Phil just like in the show. Slide down the spiral ramp to safety while building motor skills, then activate the PlayZone™ location at the bottom to hear each character say unique phrases. Place any SmartPoint® character (sold separately) on the SmartPoint® location at the firehouse door to hear them talk, play msusic and see them light up. Help save the day!

#NikkiRating

We put the Firehouse to the test to see what Nikki thought of it and it didn’t disappoint. This was the very first one that Nikki played with and she recalled the episode when Cory got a tour of the firehouse. Of course Nikki played out the episode using her new toy set and she added a little extra to the scenes. 😉

We just loved Freddie’s Firehouse as it provided hours of stimulated learning and fun. Who wouldn’t want to go sliding down at the firehouse?! I knew I sure would love to!

“I give it 10 million stars out of 5! The Firehouse is one of my favorite places in the show!” – Nikki, Age 5

Go! Go! Cory Carson® DJ Train Trax & the Roll Train™

Get ready to dance with Cory, Chrissy and DJ Train Trax & the Roll Train™ just like in the original series, Go! Go! Cory Carson®! Keep on moving with Roll Train host DJ Train Trax and play mixmaster with mini characters Cory Carson and Chrissy Carson. Help Cory and Chrissy dance on stage or roll DJ Train Trax to light up his rainbow chimney while building motor skills and listening to sounds and phrases from the show. Place Cory and Chrissy on stage and watch them light up and do “The Chrissy”. Activate the PlayZone locations to hear each of them say unique phrases. Press DJ Train Trax’s hat or move him around the trigger phrases, sounds, songs and special lighting effects. Place any SmartPoint® character (sold separately) on the SmartPoint® location in the DJ booth to hear them talk, play music and see them light up. Wicky-wicky, woo-woo!

#NikkiRating

Nikki loved this one too and remembered the exact episode where DJ Train Trax was introduced. It is so great to see the pure joy a child has to play with their favorite characters from their favorite TV series! This set was a huge hit (literally) as Nikki played and danced along to the beats! 😉

“DJ Train Trax is SO awesome! I give this toy 10 million stars out of 5 and I am so happy I can play with it.” – Nikki, Age 5

Additional Go! Go! Cory Carson Characters

For more added fun, you can purchase Cory Carson and all of his friends (each sold separately)! You can hear each character talk and play sing-along songs. All you have to do is press the action button on the character’s side for movement and additional sounds.

#NikkiRating

The options are limitless when you have Cory and all his friends! Nikki was extremely excited to play with them all and create her own stories. Many times I would find her playing with the toys and watching the series together. I could even hear her repeat what the characters were saying on TV – loved that! All the toys are bright, a great size and you feel like they have come to life before your eyes. These toys are perfect for playtime! They provide all the learning and fun that you want for your child.

“I can create my own stories with Cory and his friends. I also love watching Go! Go! Cory Carson with my new toys! I give them 10 million stars out of 5!” – Nikki, Age 5

We are HUGE fans of Cory Carson and it is no surprise that the toys got a very glowing review. There are many times when you can catch the both us playing with them as we watch Cory on Netflix almost every night. If you have not yet watched the show with your little one then we do recommend for you to check it out. While you fall in love, make sure to purchase some of these fun toys for playtime! 😉

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that these products were provided in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are our own.

The Word For Friend | Book Review

“The Word For Friend is a heartwarming story of the most universal language of all: friendship. The must read story with a wealth of interesting information, language and heart.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Kemala the pangolin is sure she’s going to make friends at her new school in her new country. After all, Kemala loves to talk. The kids at school like talking, too –but their words are all different. This country speaks a language Kemala doesn’t know.

At first, no one understands Kemala either. This realization makes her curl into a little ball, like most pangolins do when they’re nervous. But a classmate helps draw her out with an art project that doubles as a vocabulary exchange. Soon, Kemala is learning the most universal language of all: friendship.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Word For Friend is such a beautiful story for children. The illustrations and story is absolutely captivating. Such an important message to convey to children on the importance of kindness and there are many ways to communicate without speaking.

The use of art as a way to connect and express was beautifully written. We loved how the book introduced readers to a new language; Esperanto. We truly enjoyed learning about this language that was created in 1887 by L. L. Zamenhof to provide the world with an easy-to-learn common language. There is more interesting info included at the back of the book and you even get some translated sentences. Happy Learning! 🙂

We also loved learning about Pangolins who are so adorable and unfortunately they are also threatened with extinction. 🙁 They are the only mammals covered in scales – how cool is that! You can’t help but fall in love with Pangolins with the main character, Kemala.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 hearts out of 5! I personally connected with this story as it reminded me of my first day of Kindergarten. I remember being terrified of school as everyone around me spoke a different language than me as the only one that I knew was Portuguese. Even though I was born in Toronto, Canada, my parents only spoke Portuguese with me. Therefore, the first day was a scary one. But the power of play helped me make many friends and eventually as the year progressed we all knew how to communicate with one another. The power of friendship and kindness is remarkable. This will be one of my favorite books as it allowed me to go back down memory lane.

“I loved how the animals can play together even if they don’t speak the same language. It is important to always be kind even if someone can’t speak like you. We can all be friends together.” – Nikki, Age 5

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

About the Author/Illustrator

Aidan Cassie is the picture book author and illustrator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever and Little Juniper Makes it Big!. She attended the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Edinburgh College of Art, where she studied animation and earned a Media Arts degree. She lives on a small artist-covered island in the Salish Sea of British Columbia.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

TinkerActive Series Brings Fun To Learning

“TinkerActive is the hands on learning that kids love. You learn all the important skills through activities that allow children to excel and grow.” – Momma Braga

About TinkerActive

With TinkerActive Workbooks, learning leaps off the page and into the real world! Each workbook covers essential math and science concepts while encouraging your child to tinker, make and engineer. All books are aligned to Common Core State Standards.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We reviewed a few books from the TinkerActive Series which were: Math Workbook Kindergarten, English Language Arts Workbook Kindergarten, and Science Workbook Kindergarten. Since Nikki is five years old, these books were great workbooks for her to try out. The one that Nikki was drawn to first was the Math one since it is her favorite subject.

It was no surprise to see Nikki emerge into the learning with glee as all three books offered different worksheets and fun exercises. Of course I can not forget the stickers and hands-on projects that was enjoyed by us all. We love how at the end of each workbook, you get a badge. Felt like a big accomplishment to get that badge so Nikki often asked if she could work on some more worksheets.

We combined these workbooks into our daily learning with our online learning through school. We felt that Nikki was grasping and learning more with the combination of both. It also truly helped me keep her entertained at home and best part is that she was learning. We haven’t completed all the workbooks yet but we are getting there! 🙂

As a parent I also loved the fact that at the end of the workbooks have the answers on the back! It came in handy a couple of times as clearly I am a little rusty on Kindergarten work. 😉

Therefore, for the TinkerActive Series we give it 5 stars out of 5! It is an unique way of learning and we love how children can learn real world skills through the exercises and hands-on projects. Each page is colorful and engaging. We couldn’t have asked for a better learning tool while we tackle online learning too.

If you would like to learn more about these series as it is available from Kindergarten to Grade 2, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this series was provided by MacMillan Children’s Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

You Matter | Book Review

“For anyone who isn’t sure if they matter. You do.”

Synopsis

In this full, bright, and beautiful picture book, many different perspective around the world are deftly and empathetically explored – from a pair of bird-watchers to the pigeons they’re feeding. Young readers will be drawn into the luminous illustrations inviting them to engage with the world in a new way and see how everyone is connected, and that everyone matters.

#MelAndNikkiReview

You Matter is exactly the children’s story that we should all be reading. The concept of the story is to engage the audience with the world in a new way and to see how everyone is connected. Most importantly it reflects the fact that everyone matters.

We felt this story was stunning and impactful. It provided us with gentle humor and warmth. It is a story that will have a child feel important as everyone in the world matters. Our feelings are so important, especially those of children who are discovering the array of them. After reading this story, check out the great activities you can do with your child(ren). You can check them out by clicking here. We absolutely loved all of them and it is a great added bonus.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give You Matter 5 stars out of 5! Young readers will be drawn and engaged in an important message that all of us should we remember; You Matter. No matter what or who you are, you do matter and that is something we should all reflect on.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here. Recommended ages are four to eight.

About the Author/Illustrator

Christian Robinson was born in Hollywood, California. He grew up in a small one-bedroom apartment with his brother, two cousins, aunt and grandmother. Drawing became a way to make space for himself and to create the kind of world he wanted to see. He studied animation at the California Institute of the Arts and would later work with the Sesame Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios before becoming an illustrator of books for children. His books include Gaston and Antoniette, written by Kelly DrPucchio, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Pena, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and the Newbery Medal. He presently lives in northern California with his rescue greyhoud Baldwin and several houseplants. He looks forward to one day seeing the aurora borealis. Visit him online at http://www.TheArtofFun.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*A virtual copy of the book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

**Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

Buckle Up: A Children’s Imaginary Journey About Self-Control

“Buckle Up is a great tool and resource for parents and teachers to have. Teaching children self-control can be difficult but this book will make it much more fun, interactive and it’s a creative way to do it.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Life can be challenging at times, and unpredictable, with ups and downs and all sorts of things we can’t control. It’s like driving a car on a bumpy road. We can’t wish the bumps away. We can’t control who travels those roads with us, or make the sun shine on our journey if it’s a rainy day. But we can control how we feel about it. We can let it make us angry or sad or scared, or we can stay calm, accept the challenges, and make good decisions.

That’s what this story is all about. With Nini the bird as your special guide, you will take a driving journey in your imagination, a road trip in your mind, with you in the driver’s seat. You’ll learn how to face life’s obstacles and disappointments with healthy, positive “green thoughts” and wait patiently for the rainbow that will surely follow the rain.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Buckle Up is a children’s story that can be used as a tool to help navigate a child’s emotions. We all know how difficult it can be to express how we are feeling and at times how to express it. This book is perfect to help children navigate their own feelings so they can better understand and cope with them. It is done in the most creative way as we take a trip to imagination land where we drive through situations and find the best solution to overcome them.  This book is also a great reminder that sometimes we are all faced with situations that are out of our control. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to take a deep breath and remember that we are in control of our own feelings. The message is perfect as we are all facing the pandemic together, but far apart.

We loved the analogy used of “driving” a car as the road we drive on can have bumps, signs and different paths to follow. At each stop we need to check-in with our feelings and pick the best option to safely arrive at our destination. It really helps the child visualize the concepts and then adapt what was learned into their own life. Of course during our imaginary journey we have the most adorable navigation system which is Nini the bird. You will be tweeting with delight with her presence.

Resource

Since this is an interactive tool, we do highly recommend for parents and teachers to review the reading prompts and resources available here. This will help readers maximize the interactive experience.

“This book serves as an educative tool, encouraging readers to acknowledge their emotions, use coping strategies, tap into their imaginations, become more self-aware and aware of situations, problem solve and make good decisions.” – Stephanie Scott

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! Buckle Up is a great tool and resource for parents and teachers to have. Teaching children self-control can be difficult but this book will make it much more fun, interactive and it’s a creative way to do it.

“I liked this book as it helps me control my emotions.” – Nikki, Age 5 (Going on 15!)

If you would like to purchase this book, click here. We personally would recommend this book for children ages 7 to 10.

About the Author

A graduate of Ryerson University’s Child and Youth Care Program, Stephanie Scott has been involved with the care and education of vulnerable children, many of whom struggle with various emotional and intellectual challenges, for years, and has found inspiration in their various journeys. With this book,  and others in the works, she hopes to provide an outlet for them to communicate their needs, gain coping tools, and learn skills and approaches that will benefit their growth and development.

When she is not working, she enjoys meditating, the outdoors, writing, and listening to music. She also loves spending time with family and friends, who bring light, love, and humor into her life, motivating her to be the best that she can be.

She currently resides in Oakville, Ontario, where she continues to pursue her goals in the child and youth care field.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

**Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.