Tag: MelandNikkiReview

Loved To Bits | Book Review

At one point or another, we may have had a special toy or even blanket that we help onto a little tight growing up. It’s natural and absolutely adorable. This is the concept behind an adorable children’s book called Loved To Bits written by Teresa Heapy and illustrated by Katie Cleminson.

Synopsis

My teddy’s special.

Stripy Ted.

We make adventures around my bed.

But he’s no longer at his best…

So will I love him more…or less?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Loved To Bits takes us on the adventures of a boy and his teddy bear. It also takes us through the emotion of love. I have to admit that this book tugged at my heart strings and I had to fight back tears towards the end as it was such a beautiful read. Of course with all the adventures, there is wear and tear on teddy where he lost a few pieces of himself along the way. However, that did not stop the boy to love him even more (cue the waterworks!).

Such a powerful story about love and one that many people can relate to. We truly loved this book from beginning to end and we know it will continue to be read for years to come. The illustrations are just as captivating as the storyline and it really brought the story to life for us.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Loved To Bits 5 “Bits” out of 5! We recommend this book for ages two to six and it is a perfect story for Valentine’s Day.

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

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World | Hitting Theatres This February

The beloved duo of Hiccup and Toothless are back on the big screen with a whole new adventure this February!

Synopsis

From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown…and how nothing can ever train you to let go. What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives. Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destines are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together – to the very ends of the Earth – to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

Check out this new adventure when How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World hits theatres this February.

We know that we will be checking it out and we can’t wait!

Special thank you to Universal Films Canada for the opportunity to promote How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and host a giveaway on our Facebook page (contest only valid on February 14, 2019).

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

Robot in Love | Book Review

Everyone deserves to find love and to be happy even if you happen to be a robot. This is exactly the concept behind the children’s book, Robot in Love written and illustrated by T.L. McBeth.

Synopsis

When a shiny, beautiful stranger catches Robot’s eye, he knows she’s the one. He thinks about her all the time. He even makes her a present. But will he be able to keep his circuits from overheating and work up the courage to talk to her?

#MelAndNikkiReview

We are in love with Robot in Love. The story is absolutely adorable and intriguing! It had us giggling along as we read the story and those are our favorite kind. The illustrations are as adorable as the story. We love the message that love is in the eye of the beholder. As Robot falls in love with a toaster and it is natural that this would happen since they both love toast. 😉

“Mommy the robot loves a toaster! That is SO funny!” – Nikki, Age 4

At the end of the day, it did not matter who the robot fell in love with but that he did. He also had the courage to express how he felt which is important for us to teach our children. Therefore, by the end of the book, I got to explain how important it us to express how we are feeling so that people around us can understand. Nikki loved that concept as she is slowly learning that she needs to express her feelings through words and this book gives us that adorable insight.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Robot in Love 5 toasts out of 5! We recommend this book for ages four to eight and it is a perfect read for bedtime.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this would be a perfect book for a child. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

 

 

Love | Book Review

Love comes in many different forms and their meaning is unique to each individual. That is the beauty about love as there are so many ways to express it.

Lovea children’s book expresses love in the simplest form to have children understand all its glory.

Synopsis

Love is the melody that follows us through each and every day of our lives. Whether it’s the sound of our lives. Whether it’s the sound of our parents’ voices lulling us to sleep, the joyful laughter of an uncle’s latest tall tale, or the warm embrace of a loved one telling us everything will be okay, it’s a feeling that takes countless forms and ultimately connects us all.

In this stirring celebration of love, Newbery Medal – winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways to experience this universal bond. With heartfelt illustrations and a soothing, lyrical text, this  tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We loved the book Love! A beautiful children’s story that takes us on a heart journey. It beams with feelings and allows us to see the many different forms that love can be expressed in. Love can be as simple loving the surrounding that you are in. This book was articulately written and the illustrations are captivating. Within each illustration an expression of love is showcased such as providing food to someone homeless. The diversity illustrated in the book is also heartwarming to see as love is diverse.

We also love the added touch on the back where you can write your child’s name where it says: “This Love Belongs To.” Our daughter is practicing writing her name so we got her to write her name out as it made her feel extra special.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Love 5 hearts out of 5! We also recommend the book for children ages four to eight. An amazing read that reflects the love that is in a child’s daily life. Also a great reminder for all that we are surrounded by love every single day.

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

“I LOVE love!” – Nikki, Age 4

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

My Heart | Book Review

Books around love are easy to spot, especially this time of year with Valentine’s Day approaching. However, a perfect children’s book that empowers young readers to listen to the heart within are hard to come by.

We are delighted to introduce our readers to a book that does just that, My Heart written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken.

Synopsis

My heart is a window.

My heart is a slide.

My heart can be closed…

or opened up wide.

From the moments of great joy and exuberance to necessary times of quiet contemplation, your heart is your guide.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Heart has captivated our hearts in the best way possible. The book is breathtaking with the illustrations and the story is told with such elegance.  We love the simplicity of the story and the impactful message that it carries. My Heart is all about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. A very important lesson that not only children need to learn but a reminder for us adults as well. I think that is what I love the best about this book as it is a lesson that I learned at a very young age. Now to be able to translate it into a book form that my 4-year-old daughter can understand tickles my heart pink. 🙂

We truly have loved reading this book and it is one that we have been reading on a daily basis since it has arrived in our home. At the end of the book, Nikki never fails to tell me exactly what she thinks of it.

“Mommy this book was so beautiful about our hearts. We need to take good care of it and make sure we use it right.” – Nikki, Age 4

A heartfelt book all about one’s heart would make a great Valentine’s Gift or any other time of the year for a little one. We highly recommend this book to everyone (Ages 4 and up). I think there is an important reminder and lesson in this book for all of us no matter our age. With lyrical text and breathtaking art by award-winning author-illustrator Corinna Luyken, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the voice within in this ode to love and self-acceptance. This is why we give My Heart 6 hearts out of 5! 

“tiny can grow and broken can mend and a heart that is closed can still open again.” – Corinna Luyken

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

Brave Ballerina | Book Review

February is Black History Month and is a time where we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and Americans.

This is why we are excited to share a book review that helps recognize the story of one inspirational woman. This children’s book is a lyrical picture book tribute to Janet Collins, the first African American principal dancer at the Metropolitan Opera House.

We are delighted to introduce you all to, Brave Ballerina written by Michelle Meadows and illustrated by Ebony Glenn.

Synopsis

Janet Collins was a graceful, talented girl. She wanted to be a ballerina in the 1930s and ’40s, a time when racial segregation was widespread in the United States. Janet pursued dance with a passion, seeking private lessons after being excluded from discriminatory dance schools. When she was accepted into the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as a teenager on the condition that she paint her skin white for performances, Janet refused. She continued to go after her dreams, never compromising her values along the way.

From her early childhood lessons to the height of her success as the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera House, this is the story of a remarkable pioneer.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The narrative is inviting and will engage young readers in thoughtful reflection about overcoming challenges and inspire them to think “big” from an early age. The story flowed beautifully and was elegantly told. The illustrations are captivating which brought the story to life. It is a perfect children’s book to celebrate Black History Month with the story of Janet Collins. We truly enjoyed reading this book and it was a great conversation piece to have with my four-year-old daughter. I find that when we have inspiring stories like Brave Ballerina it enriches a child’s education and I am thrilled that we got to read it. 

I also really adored the author’s note at the back of the book where she goes more in-depth of Janet Collins story and what she loves about it. This added that little extra special touch to the book.

We give Brave Ballerina5 pirouettes out of 5! This book is recommended for children aged four to eight. To purchase your own copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

If Animals Said I Love You | Book Review

Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day quickly approaching and we love it!

We are starting the Valentine’s Day celebration off with a book review on a children’s book called If Animals Said I Love YouIt is a board book edition; written by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by David Walker.

Synopsis

If animals said “I love you,” how would they say it? Gorilla would pound her chest, whale would sing, and cheetah would purr. The story takes us through the animal kingdom and how they each might express love.

It is the perfect and an adorable bedtime story for the youngest audience. It is also a great way to introduce them to expressing love.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We adored the book. We love the rhyming concept as it makes the reading extra fun for baby. The illustrations compliment the book beautifully and we loved take the journey through the animal kingdom. It really makes us appreciate the beautiful animals that are in our world.

It is a simple book which flowed easily throughout but we love the concept of love. Each animal expresses it differently which almost lets us know that within families we may express it differently too. We feel that this book is a great intro to babies on love and how different it can be for one another. We would recommend this book to add to your little one’s (Ages 0 to 3 years old) bedtime routine and collection. I know it sure put a smile on our face as we read the book together and Nikki’s favorite animal was the cheetah. 🙂

We give If Animals Said I Love You, 5 hugs out of 5!

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her solely belong to Momma Braga.

 

 

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Burlington Takes Swimming Lessons To The Next Level

The roads were covered with snow and the temperature was below freezing on a Sunday morning. A snowstorm had just hit our city and usually this would mean a day indoors in our PJs. However, this Sunday it was going to be different – very different. We were going to brave the wintery weather conditions and take Nikki swimming at Aqua-Tots Swim School in Burlington.

Nikki sprung out of bed excited as she has been waiting to check out the new location for months. But with battling colds and a very busy holiday schedule it was not possible until now. Therefore, we were not going to let some winter weather stop us from checking it out.

We bundled up in our winter gear and slowly made our way to Burlington. The drive was nice as we got to see a different part of Burlington that we haven’t seen before. When we arrived at the Activity Plex where Aqua-Tots Swim School is located, we did not know what to expect since we have been away from the swimming scene for months.

First Impressions

They say first impressions are everything and they truly are. As soon as we opened the doors to Aqua-Tots Swim School, we fell in love with it. It felt like home.

We walked in and were quickly greeted by the friendly staff who gave us our first tour of the new facility. Many of our favourites such as the play area, comfy seating, and dressing rooms have carried into the new location. We loved the open space and great design. Of course we couldn’t expect anything else from the Aqua-Tots Swim Schools brand.

We were amazed by how stunning everything was. From the design, layout, colours to the friendly staff – it was Aqua-Tastic!

Family Friendly Top Priority

Of course, there is no denying that Aqua-Tots Swim Schools is family-orientated, focused and friendly. Every detail in the swim school has family in mind and that is evident with the baby protection seats in their changing rooms (let the koala seat sticker on the doors in the family change area be your guide). There are also cubbies and lockers available to place your items in while your child swims.

The layout is family friendly too with the entrance to the pool on one side of the change room and the exit being right in the change room area – brilliant!

Did I mention that the facilities are very clean?! Being a family friendly environment, cleanliness is important and they deliver exceptionally.

Swimming Class

Once we absorbed the facility it was time for swimming! Nikki was anxious and couldn’t wait to try the new pool. Since the swim program is the same throughout all Aqua-Tots schools, we knew the drill. 😉

The swim instructor called out the children’s names and took them in. They took a quick shower before entering the pool and the class began. It was amazing to see that Nikki didn’t miss a beat and it appeared that no time went missing as she completed each lesson with ease.

At the end of the class a very excited Nikki greeted us at the exit and instructor informed us of how it went. Nikki did well with only a few areas that need to be worked on but above all it was a great class.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The time has come to evaluate our overall experience and it shouldn’t come to a surprise that Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in Burlington surpassed our expectation.

The facility in itself is stunning and you can tell that a lot of time, designing and love went into creating it for families to enjoy. We love how family friendly the facility is and they didn’t miss a beat to ensure that the swim lessons are top notch for children.

There are many swim schools available but none offer the feeling of family and belonging. Nikki was so excited that the staff cared to remember her name and she felt like it was home to her. She was a bit nervous at first that this was a new location but when she felt like she belonged as soon as she walked through the doors, she knew it would be great. That is something that is hard to duplicate as you can’t clone a feeling that an establishment can give you. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools recognizes that and have ensured that this feeling is given to everyone who comes through their door.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give them 6 fins out of 5! Our first rating that has surpassed our system and it is much deserved.

Enrolment is ongoing and you can register anytime. If you would like to enroll your child with Aqua-Tots Swim School in Burlington, make sure to give them a call at (905) 331-3393 or email them at burlingtoninfo@aqua-tots.com.

Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and great tips!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

– Momma Braga

 


This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.

Hands Up! | Book Review

We love reading books that are so simple but with an impactful message. With Black History month quickly approaching (February), Hands Up! would make a great addition to your child’s reading line-up.

Synopsis

A young black girl lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a book on a high shelf, and raises her hands up in praise at a church service. She stretches her hands up high like a plane’s wings and whizzes down a hill so fast on her bike with her hands way up. As she grows, she lives through everyday moments of joy, love, and sadness. And when she gets older, she joins together with her family and her community in a protest march, where they life their hands up together in resistance and strength.

Beyond the Words

Many children books, there is a message or lesson learned in them. Hands Up! is no exception. This picture book wants to reclaim the phrase “hands up” in a more positive light for young black children. By using the phrase in positive everyday activities and life occasions, it lessens the negative use of it in media in connection with police violence.

Hands Up! is a way to start conversations with children on the negative use of the word and let them know there are positive uses for it. With the final spread in the story of the peaceful protest it shows a healthy way to engage with your community and make your voice heard.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We truly love books that try to do more than just tell a story and Hands Up! gives that opportunity to parents to do just that. We love how the book has this impactful message without having it right there in front of you. This gives the parent the option to discuss it if they choose to. The book reinforces positive images and it is an adorable read for a child. The illustrations in the book compliment the story well and we love the use of colors throughout the book. These illustrations brought the book to life in our perspective.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Hands Up! 5 hands up out of 5! We are delighted to announce that this book has just been released and is now available for purchasing. If you would like to purchase your very own, click here. Recommended for children ages four to eight.

About The Author & Illustrator

Breanna J. McDaniel is an author and children’s literature scholar. She holds an MA in children’s literature from Simmons College and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Cambridge University, where her research focuses on representations of black children in contemporary picture books. She is originally from Atlanta and currently lives in the United Kingdom. This is her first book.

Shane W. Evans is the author and illustrator of more than thirty books for children, including Chocolate Me!, We March and Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, which received the Coretta Scott King Illustration Award. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space.

*The book was provided in exchange for an honest review by Momma Braga. No other compensation was provided.

 

 

Bad Kitty Kitten Trouble | Book Review

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga