Tag: Mom Blog

Maya’s Big Scene | Book Review

Maya’s Big Scene sets the stage for the biggest production that Clark Alley has ever seen. A must read story for young readers!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Maya is a playwright with lots of ideas and BIG ambition, and the kids in her Mile End neighborhood are excited to bring her newest drama to life. It’s a play about freedom, equality and respect for all. But as her friends try to express ideas of their own, Maya demands complete obedience and loyalty. This is HER queendom after all! When Maya makes a scene, will her subjects revolt?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Maya’s Big Scene sets the stage for the biggest production that Clark Alley has ever seen. Maya is a drama queen and wants the best production for the neighbourhood. However, when she makes a big scene on getting things done her way she realizes the importance of having others contribute to the production.

This children’s story is fantastic as it opens up conversations with kids on freedom, equality, respect and working together. Nikki and I spoke about how it is important for us to respect other people and the importance of working together.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 5 stars out of 5! We have loved this story so much that Nikki has said, “Encore” a few times and we had to read it again. This story has a comic style to it which made it fun to read and Nikki enjoyed trying to read this story too!

“My favorite part is when Maya realizes that she isn’t being very nice to her friends and that they should work together. It isn’t nice to be bossy!” – Nikki, Age 6

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

About the Author

Isabelle Arsenault is a Quebec illustrator whose passion for illustrated books has earned her an impressive number of awards and distinctions. She has achieved international recognition and has won Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Literacy Award for Children’s Literature three times. She received a BolognaRagazzi Award in 2017 and was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2018 and 2020. Three of her picture books have been named New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year. Isabelle lives with her family in Montreal.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

3 Valentine’s Day At-Home Party Ideas for Kids

For some, Valentine’s Day was strictly an adult holiday. The parents went out for dinner, leaving the kids at home with a babysitter. Maybe you had a card exchange at school, but not much beyond that.

For others, Valentine’s Day was another special occasion that now floods the holiday with special memories. 

Life is too short; why not do both?

Have your romantic evening, but throw a party for the kids, too. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a memorable occasion.

1. Decorate Cookies

I know, I know—not particularly original, but kids love decorating heart cookies. And eating them. And (sigh) making huge messes.

If the thought of baking makes you shudder, and no judgment here, you can drop a load of cash at Etsy or online bakeries for the real deal, but remember we said you didn’t have to spend a fortune, right?

Many local grocery stores have undecorated heart cookies, but if not you can always go with Pillsbury and their cut-out and ready-to-bake cookies at Target and other locations. A wonderful option to simplify.

If you want to make your own, you’ll save money and they’ll probably taste better. Growing up, you probably had the big soft cookies made with butter or margarine or the crisp cookies made with Crisco. If you want the best of both, make crisp cookies with butter frosting so you get the taste of butter. 

Yes, you can get fancier with fondant or royal icing, but these are kids. The cookies are not going to be that pretty, anyway. You might as well have an icing that actually tastes good.

If you do decide to make your own, make the cookies ahead of time and stick them in the freezer baked and ready to go. If you try to do everything on the same day, you will be too tired to enjoy an evening out with your partner.

Make the frosting ahead of time too. Pick the food colorings you want and have it ready to go in pastry bags or plastic baggies with tiny holes cut in the corner. Trust me, you don’t want the kids’ help when it involves food coloring.

Cover your children in aprons or garbage bags with holes cut out for their arms and heads.

Then take a lot of pictures as they decorate! These are precious memories in the making. 

2. Disney-fy Your Valentines’ Day Party

Of course, Disney has a recipe for Heart-Shaped Pizza with Mickey Mouse Pepperoni. And why not?

Have the kids help with the assembly part and make this festive meal while you watch your favorite Disney flic—or one that you think is particularly appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Lady and the Tramp? Tangled? Frozen 2? What is your go-to romance when it comes to Disney? 

OR pick one that emphasizes love, friendship, and family—like Lilo and Stitch.

Play a Disney-centric game like charades based on Disney movies, name that Disney tune, or set up a Zoom meeting with family/friends and play Disney Scavenger Hunt! You can use this online resource or make your own list of items based on the age of the children playing.

Finally, an inexpensive gift to give your children that they’ll go crazy for are these Mickey Mouse ears at Presley Couture. They’ve got every style you can possibly imagine, with a nod to your child’s favorite characters. 

We mean it. OODLES of ears that are well-made and exceptionally priced. If you end up going to the Magic Kingdom, you can take them with you and already be all Mickey-ed out before you get into the park.

3. Ding-Dong Without Ditching

Have the children make each other cards, leave them on the porch for their siblings, ring the bell, and run away.  A time-honored tradition. Even you can participate with a cute card and stickers or candy for your kids. 

Then, box up some of those cookie masterpieces you made and choose a deserving neighbor. In the end, giving makes the best memories.

No matter what you choose to do, you can start new Valentine’s Day traditions with your children to help them practice showing their love to others.

A Story of Immigration and Inspiration | Watch Me

“Watch Me is an inspiring children’s story about how immigration has made a country great. The diverse skills and cultures that we are surrounded by is what makes us all great!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Joe came to America from Africa when he was young. He worked hard in school, made friends, and embraced his new home. Like so many immigrants before and after him, Joe succeeded when many thought he would fail.

In telling the story of how his father came to America, Doyin Richards tells the story of many immigrants, and opens the experience up to readers of all backgrounds. Here is a moving and empowering story of how many different people, from different places, make us great. Acclaimed artist Joe Cepeda brings the story to life with beautiful paintings, full of heart.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Watch Me truly encompasses what many people of all backgrounds faced when immigrating to another country. As a daughter of immigrants, I saw the struggle to create new roots in a new country and to work twice as hard to succeed for your family.

My parents came to Canada with nothing and built a life here. I am incredibly proud that they did it and they never lost faith that they could. This is why this story really grasped at my heart strings as to see Joe succeed when everyone thought he couldn’t is a great message.

The author, Doyin, describes his own father’s journey in this captivating story with simple text and breathtaking illustrations. Joe came to America and worked really hard even when people doubted him. He became a doctor and creating roots that you can see his family is very proud of.

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

“This land is your land. This land is our land. There is enough for everyone.”

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

About the Author

Doyin Richards is the author of the pictures books I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work, and What’s the Difference? Being Different Is Amazing as well as a book for adults, Daddy Doin’ Work: Empowering Mothers to Evolve Fatherhood. He’s been interviewed by Today (and is a charter member of Today’s parenting team), NPR, USA Today, The New York Times, and CNN, among others. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two daughters.

About the Illustrator

Joe Cepeda is the award-winning illustrator of more than thirty books for children. Born and raised in East Los Angeles, he lives in LA, where he is also the president of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

The Last Straw | Book Review

The Last Straw is a creative and thoughtful story on the impact our actions can have on our environment. A must read for children between four and eight years of age.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Sippy, a plastic straw who was used once and then discarded, is concerned about his own existence when he realizes he can’t be recycled. As he flies, floats, and flutters around the planet, he meets animals who are struggling with the plastic problem. He chats with a raccoon with a six-pack ring around his neck, a cardinal whose nest is made entirely of junk, turtles who confuse grocery bags with food, a hermit crab forced to live in a plastic cup, and a startled duck who runs around with a chip bag on her head. Finally, Sippy is swallowed by a hungry whale who is dining on ocean trash! Just when all hope seems lost, he skyrockets to freedom and calls out “Join me – let’s clean our world! Let’s try!”

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Last Straw is a creative and thoughtful story on the impact our actions can have on our environment. Follow along with Sippy on his journey as he discovers other single-use plastics and the danger that these plastics can have on our environment and the animals that live in it too. Sippy becomes very determined that we can work together to clean our world.

“Parents and teachers of children 4 to 8 years old can use Sippy’s colorful adventure – based on real instances of plastics and animals in our environment – to raise awareness about the impacts of plastics on nature and to teach children about alternatives to single-use plastics.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this 5 stars out of 5! An amazing children’s book to help see what the single-use plastics can do and how we can do better together for our environment. We loved the end where it shows what we can do to help and alternatives to using single-use plastics.

If you would like to add this book to your reading line up, click here. You can pre-order before it goes on sale on January 5, 2021.

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. Please note that we do not make book commissions off of book sales.

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp is a magical world that offers so much imagination and one-of-a-kind creatures that will have your young readers wanting more adventure.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Auggie Pound is eight years old and has the greatest job of all time: he cares for all the animals in the Fabled Stables. The Fabled Stables house the rarest creatures in existence — all of them one-of-a-kind. Auggie’s job is to care for these creatures, as well as track down and safely capture endangered magical beasts in the wild. Some mornings, he arrives to find an empty stall with the name of a new creature to rescue. One day, the Stables rearrange themselves out of the blue, creating a new stall. The sign over the gate says, “Wisp.” But what is a wisp and where is it? All Auggie can see is a moonlight swamp stretching out before him. Then a hungry HOWLLLLLLL rings out in the darkness. It’s up to Auggie to go into the swamp to find the wisp before it’s too late.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Fabled Stables: Willa the Wisp is an amazing novel for young readers and it is just the beginning of what we are calling a magical series.

A great and whimsical adventure awaits your young reader as the immerse in the story of Auggie. There are unique and amazing creatures and of course we can not forget the Wisp. However, you will need to read the story to find out what exactly a Wisp is. 😉

Nikki truly enjoyed the story as it reminded her how much she loves animals and going on magical missions. Therefore, it is no surprise that we give this review 5 stars out of 5! 

A magical mission awaits for you…Are you ready?! 🙂

For your unique young reader, this would be the perfect chapter book. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author

Jonathan Auxier teaches creative writing and children’s literature. He is the author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. His second book, The Night Gardener, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Silver Birch Award and the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award. His third book, Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard, received four starred reviews and was shortlisted for the Sunburst Fantasy Award in Canada. Most recently, Sweep was the winner of several awards, including the 2018 Governor General’s Award. Auxier grew up near Vancouver and now lives in Pittsburgh with his family.

About the Illustrator

Olga Demidova was born and raised in Russia. She studied at the Moscow Art Institute of Applied Arts. Olga started work as an animator, but her tremendous passion for illustration changed the direction she works in. Now she works with publishers from all over the world and has published books and apps in Russia, Belarus and the USA, mostly for children.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Normal Things That No One Tells You To Expect With A Newborn

Having a baby is one of life’s best parts, it’s a truly beautiful experience, that is unique to each person. With advice from others, books, professional advice and information readily available online, it’s no wonder that parents are able to get well and truly prepared for the arrival of their new addition. But are they really prepared for absolutely everything? 

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

 

Whether it’s unexpected things at the birth, countless sleepless nights because of baby day/night confusion, or more frequent feeding than expected, it’s all normal and perfect fine to feel a little lost. Usually, you will feel as though no one can help, and you’re doing wrong but that not the case. 

There are some worrying yet normal things that come with having a newborn, all of which are completely normal. Whether you’re a new parent or even a tenth-time parent some of the most normal things can sometimes leave you scared and concern, however, you have got this!

Have a look below at some of the completely normal yet scary things about newborns that people just don’t tell you about: 

Constant Sneezing 

For a newborn, the world is an entirely new place to be. Therefore, you need to be aware that their little nose is going to be a little extra sensitive to their environment. It may seem as though your newborn is sneezing all the time, but it’s a completely normal way for them to react to their new living environment. Sneezing helps then to get rid of any tiny foreign particles that may have made their way up into their nose. 

In their first few days, you may notice they are sneezing more, this is because there is extra mucus or amniotic fluid that is still sitting in their nostrils, this is completely normal. If you see any signs of temperature or wheezing alongside the sneezing, then give your health visitor a call as they may need to be seen.  

Jerky Or Sudden Movements

If this is your first child, then you may be a little bit supposed by the way that a baby moves. It’s likely that your little one will have rather jerky movements. Flailing limbs, and jumps a lot, and on top of that, it’s happening randomly. Relax, this is entirely normal. As they grow, they go through a number of developmental changes, one of which is their reflexes. After about three months of age, it will start to settle down. Heard of swaddling? This is one of the most common reasons babies are swaddled. 

Cradle Cap

This is something that is commonly seen on newborns and even some toddlers. It usually goes away very quickly, in fact, the first few months and it’ll be gone. Doing things like rubbing baby oil on to the areas it is every other day can help. Applying some baby oil using a fine baby comb will also help it to lift away. If it doesn’t go you may need to speak to your health care professional, but only if it is irritated or infected. It can be treated at home otherwise and is nothing to concerned about

Massive Poo Explosions

OK, so this is one that you may have heard of. People can’t help but share this story when you are expecting a new baby. However, what most new parents don’t realize is that they are much bigger and messier than you can imagine. Many new parents come across this with their new baby, all to different levels of the explosion, but it’s just something that you are never going to avoid. A newborn is well-known for having a runny and explosive poo, and it just seems to be a right of passage that every new parent must face. Don’t worry though, this is one of the most normal things you will experience with a new baby

Different Shaped Head

You and your baby work very well together to bring them into the world safely through the birth canal, so you shouldn’t be too worried about their strangely shaped head afterwards. Both you and your baby go through a tremendous amount of changes through childbirth and one of them is that their head shapes changes. It flattens slightly because it is malleable and soft, however, this is normal. In fact, it’s needed so that delivery can take place. It won’t be long before it starts to go back into a more normal shape. You should still be mindful that a baby can get a flat head is they are on their back too often, so try to lay them on the front and sides too. 

A Surprising Amount Of Hair 

If your little one is hairier than you expected don’t worry. As well as having hair on their head, a baby is born with more hair on their body than most parents expect. You will notice it on their back, shoulders, and even their feet. This is known as lanugo, it’s the first type of body hair made. Lanugo plays a crucial role in regulating a babies temperature in the womb. It’s certainly nothing to stress about, it will soon come away, and you won’t even notice it happening. Babies will lose most of the hair they are born with, including the hair on their head. Don’t panic though it luckily starts to grow back. Some quicker than others, but it does return. 

Spotty Babies 

This is most commonly known as ‘baby acne’. If your newborn has spots on their face, don’t get too worried about it. It just a reaction to your annoying hormones, and it will soon clear up on its own. You may also notice that they have little white spots Milk Spots’ or ‘Milia’ that aren’t related to the acne. They are just little bumps that are linked to their consumption of milk, they’re more common in bottle-fed babies but they will also disappear within a few weeks. 

The Scary Soft Spot 

Any new parent will be warned about the soft spot by someone at some point. It’s just a small area on the top of a babies skull that stays soft for months after the birth. Its purpose is there so their head can change shape for birth and the birth canal. You have to be careful of this area, but try not to stress about it, instead just be mindful and keep an eye on it. You will notice that you can see it moving, this is because their brain pulses inside their head, it’s a little bit tummy turning, but it is normal. If you have any concerns regarding the soft spot though, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare professional. 

Hiccups That Just Won’t Go

Hiccups may seem troublesome, however, they are extremely common for newborns. It will seem like they have them at every feed, to begin with, and yes it can seem scary, but it is completely normal. Your newborn is learning to breathe in their new environment, their ability to breathe and swallow hasn’t quite synchronized. As soon as they master this, the hiccups will start to appear less and less. 

Although for any parent, some of these can seem scary, they are all completely normal. There is always going to be something new to learn, and you will also pick up your own methods as you get to know your little one. Is there anything that you have experiences that were scary but normal with your newborn? Should they be on this list? Please share some of them in the comments section. 

Three DIY Toilet Paper Roll Crafts

The era of crafts has been in full bloom in our home as we look for ways to stay creative. It also just occurred to us that with our five-year-old being homeschooled, we have plenty of toilet paper rolls to use! Who knew that the rolls could serve another purpose; however, we sure found out quickly what fun could be had.

We of course searched for some ideas on Pinterest that never seems to fail us. We found three fun DIY crafts that your kids will love to do and it will also brighten someone’s day.

Adventure Butterfly

Materials Needed
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Goggly Eyes
  • Buttons
  • Construction Paper
  • Marker
  • Scissors and Hot Glue Gun
Instructions
  • First paint the toilet paper rolls with any color that you like. Once painted, set it aside to dry.
  • Pick a color for the wings from construction paper. First fold the paper in half. With a pencil outline the wings by using the middle part of the folder paper as the middle of the wing. This way when you cut out the outline the wings will be the same on both sides. 😉
  • We highly recommend for the adult to hot glue the wings onto the toilet paper roll, Googly Eyes and the pipe cleaner antennae for the child. This way the child does not get hurt.
  •  With a marker the child can add a smiley face. On some other butterflies, we added eyelashes by the eyes as we went overboard with our creation.
  • Then add the buttons as that is the fun part. We used self-adhesive craft buttons from the Dollar Store to make it easier. If you do not have buttons, you can use paint to add the design. We painted our fingerprints and placed them on the wings. It added a special personal touch.
  • Once all your personal touches have been added, you are ready to display or give them to someone you care about.
  • Extra: We added a little message inside the butterfly that said, “We will be spreading our wings together soon and onto our next adventure.”

This is why we call this the “Adventure Butterfly” as we hope it inspires our future adventures with our families. We have delivered many butterflies to our loved ones doorsteps and they have meant so much to everyone. Even my parents held back tears when they spoke with us on the phone on how touched they were with this craft.

Rainbow Inspiration

Materials Needed
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Blue Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Tissue Paper
  • String or Yarn
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Scissors and Glue
Instructions
  • First paint the toilet paper rolls blue as we are representing the sky. However, feel free to be creative and add any color you would like. Place the roll on the side to dry.
  • Take a paper and draw a cloud and cut it out. In the cloud you can write any inspirational message. For our rainbow we wrote: “After every storm comes a rainbow.” Then place the cloud to the side.
  • The next step was cutting strips from tissue paper that we had at home. We didn’t have all the colors of the rainbow so we used a colorful one that we had. Once all cut out, place them to the side.
  • Take your string or yarn and cut a piece where you will use it to hang your rainbow.

  • Once the roll is all dry, make two holes on the side to insert your string or yarn through it.
  • Then glue your cloud to the front of your roll.
  • Add the tissue paper at the bottom by gluing it into the side of the roll.
  • Then hang it in a desired area or gift it to someone who may need a smile.

We call this the “Rainbow Inspiration” as a way to uplift us if we are feeling down. We have hung these on some of the doors in our home and I have looked at them a few times and they always make me smile.

Flowers of Joy

Materials Needed
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Green Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors and Hot Glue Gun
Instructions
  • First paint the toilet paper rolls green as we are representing the stem. However, feel free to be creative and add any color you would like. Place the roll on the side to dry.
  • Using construction paper, pick colors for the flowers. Design your flower and cut it. *Just make sure that they will be able to go in the slit in the toilet paper roll that will be created later.
  • With Green construction paper, we cut out leaf shapes and we used paint to add a dash of color. We then glued the leaves to the bottom of the toilet paper roll.
  • Then the tricky part which we recommend for the adults to do is create two slits on the top sides of toilet paper roll.
  • Taking your created flower design, insert it into the slits and now you have created your own Flower of Joy.

These flowers are easy, creative and the best part is that they will last forever. There is no watering needed or sunlight, these are the best flowers to have. We have displayed them on our front window of our home as a way to bring some joy to our neighbourhood.

There you have it! Three DIY crafts that you can do with toilet paper rolls. It is a great way to keep you and your children entertained. It also gives the famous toilet paper roll another purpose in their life.

We would love to see your creations and make sure to tag us @mommabraga or use the hashtag #MelAndNikkiCrafts. We will feature you on our page!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*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.

Tips To Help With A Newborn Baby

A newborn baby is something that can be quite challenging and likely be the most challenging thing you do in your life. As well as it being difficult, though, it presents a new chapter in your life where you are likely to have never experienced love quite like what you feel for your own child. During this time, it can be helpful to have some advice, so here are some tips to help with a newborn baby.

Image Source

Always Keep Your Hands Clean

Your baby is a lot different to a child and extremely different to an adult when it comes to their ability to fight out germs and illnesses. With a low immune system it means that they’re more susceptible to being ill, and therefore, it’s essential you’re always keeping your hands clean when handling a newborn. In the same respect, it’s essential you keep away anyone that might be ill because that can be easily passed on when it’s something like the common cold or flu. Family and friends will certainly understand, and most will also be aware that coming into contact with a newborn when you’re ill is always advised against anyway. As a parent, it’s good to make sure you keep your hands clean at all times whenever you’re handling your baby, whether it’s changing a nappy or feeding them.

Support The Baby’s Neck & Head

As a baby’s body is still growing, it’s important to support them in the right way in their early years. This means you want to provide them with as much support on the neck and head as you can. If you’ve ever held a baby before, you’ll always get told to support the head and neck. It’s important to do this because without that support, it could be harming the baby’s body in a number of ways. It can be nerve-racking as a new parent when holding your baby, but it’s definitely something you’ll become quickly used to when it comes to handling your own baby. It might seem terrifying at first, but you’ll learn how to hold it better when you’re with them 24/7!

Spend Plenty Of Time Bonding

These early times in a baby’s life are important because they’ve spent the better part of nine months or less in your body, and now they’re outside of it. Therefore, all their crying is likely due to being in this new environment where the temperature is different, and they’re not being fed as consistently as usual. Take this time to really bond with your child and get in all that skin to skin contact that they’ll be after.

You can take a look online to answer any questions that you might have on caring for your baby when they’re sick, like tips to help your congested baby breathe, and there’s also lots of information on best practices for bonding with your child.

Stock Up On Diapers & Essentials

With a newborn baby, it usually is the case that you’ll need to change their nappy on average ten times a day. And although that might seem impossible, it’s definitely accurate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to really stock up on diapers and essentials before you have your baby. Over that pregnancy period, try and get as many diapers as possible for those stages where they’ll go from newborn to toddler and until they learn to go pee themselves. Essentials like bibs are good to have because you’re going to likely go through a lot of them with all the mess they’ll make. Whether that’s through burping, feeding, or being sick. It’s better for it to go on a bib than on your clothes!

Always Place Babies On Their Back For Sleeping

One of the dangers that comes with babies is when they go to sleep. It’s essential that whenever you lay your baby down to sleep, you put them on their back. This is because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can occur in newborns. You also want to make sure that you avoid putting blankets on your baby until after a twelve month period. This is only because it’s more likely to cause suffocation if the blanket ends up on their face. This is the same for pillows so take caution.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you with dealing with a newborn for the first time. Take your time, and don’t panic. It’s a new experience and one you’ll learn more about as you go.

 

*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.

 

How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps

“How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps is a delightful and hilarious story that all cat lovers will get a giggle out of.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Step one: fill the bath
Step two: put the cat in the bath
Step three: put shampoo on the cat
Step four: rinse the cat
Step five: dry the cat

Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath — it’s the whole house!

#MelAndNikkiReview

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps made us giggle out loud. We are cat lovers and we know how much they just “love” baths so we were intrigued on how this clever girl could accomplish such a task. After following all five steps and a few more added, it was quickly learned that the best way to give a cat a bath is to actually let them to do it themselves. 😉

This story is fun, creative and illustrations are delightful. There is great detail in the illustrations and make sure to follow the cat’s path to see where he could be hiding. That was Nikki’s favourite part of the story was to see where he could be hiding.

“Mr. Flea is so funny momma! He does not like baths!” – Nikki, Age 5

We also really like this book as it allows us to work on Nikki’s reading skills. There are a lot of familiar words used that Nikki was able to pick up on which made us love this book even more. We can’t wait until she reads this book all on her own to us. We will just keep practicing. 🙂

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 meows out of 5! It was a purrfect story for our reading lineup and it can be for you and your little one too. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here. This is a great time to brush on some reading while we spend quality family time together. 😉

About the Author

Nicola Winstanley has always believed in the power of stories to bring comfort. She is the author of  The Pirate’s Bed, A Bedtime Yarn and  Cinnamon Baby, which won an honor prize for the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and was shortlisted for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Nicola lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with her family, one dog and one cat.

About the Illustrator

John Martz is an illustrator, cartoonist and designer. He is the author and illustrator of Evie and the Truth About Witches, Burt’s Way Home and A Cat Named Time and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. John is the art director for Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, and he lives in Toronto with his wife and one dog. No cats.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt

“The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt has puff, puff, chug, chug into our hearts and just in time for Easter!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Easter’s here! The Little Engine is on the hunt for eggs, and the clown has written a serie of riddles for her to follow. Will the Little Engine crack the code? She’ll have to work together with her friends and, most importantly, believe in herself!

“Happy Easter,” toots the Little Engine.
“What a great day it is,” says the toy clown.
“Are you ready to have some fun?”
The toy clown has a surprise for his friends.
“It is time for an Easter egg hunt!” he says.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt is delightful and sure to please your young reader. This story is part of the Penguin Young Readers Level 2 which we loved as Nikki got to practice her reading skills with this story. The levels determines which reader it is best suited for and a description is provided at the back to help guide parents. This is the first time we have read a book from the Penguin Young Readers and we absolutely love it! Makes me want to check out many more.

With this particular story we got to follow the amazing and classic character, The Little Engine as she is on an egg hunt with her friends. We love the clues that are given as they search as it gives the reader a chance to guess themselves. I have to say that Nikki was much better with the riddles than I was (I am definitely a little rusty). The illustrations are vibrant and they provide great clues to help the young reader read. We know with much more practice, Nikki will be reading me this story before I go to bed. 😉

We give The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt 5 eggs out of 5! It offers simple text, clever riddles, and adorable illustrations which is perfect for emerging readers. It also provides eggspiring ideas for your own Easter hunt at home. I think this year I will provide riddles for Nikki’s egg hunt so that she can practice reading and have fun at the same time. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here as it is great for children ages five to eight.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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