Tag: North Atlantic Books

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


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!”


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.

Juan Has The Jitters

Juan Has The Jitters is a story about inclusion, diversity, and the power of math to help one boy with autism thrive among his peers.”


Juan claps his hands to get his Jitters out. They make his tummy swoosh and swirl. His Jitters happen when there are too many people, too much noise, or too many changes to his day, Juan doesn’t like surprises.

Tomorrow there is an athletic event planned at school, which makes Juan very nervous. But his teacher has the perfect solution: math – Juan’s favorite subject! Counting, sorting, and matching help Juan calm his Jitters. By making math part of the day’s athletic games, and by appointing Juan the official judge, his teacher can make sure that Juan will have fun and feel included. The class is calling it the Mathletic Games!


Juan has the Jitters is a great children’s book and one that we would recommend for all to read as it helps teach kids about neurodiversity, inclusion and how we are all unique. We loved how the teacher came up with a creative way to empower Juan and show his amazing talent that he can offer the class.

You can’t help but cheer with the whole class at the end as Juan does an amazing job. Juan claps along with his class and this time it wasn’t for the jitters but for the joy of clapping with his classmates. Simply beautiful and it tugged at our heartstrings.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 claps out of 5! A must read and a story that will empower our young readers to be inclusive of all no matter of their super powers. 🙂

If you would like to purchase this amazing book, click here. The age recommendation would be four to eight years old. This book would make a great book for teachers as it nurtures on multiple domains of scholastic development.

About the Author

Aneta Cruz is a pre-K teacher and children’s book author. She holds a credential in early childhood special education, a BA in English literature, and an MFA in creative writing. When she’s not reading, writing, or eating Nutella by the spoonful, she teaches her class of preschoolers how to love books (and other things) as much as she does. She divides her time between the Czech Republic and Southern California, where she lives with her husband, two children, and Poe, the cutest ugly dog in the world.

About the Illustrator

Miki Yamamoto has been drawing since a very early age. Most of her childhood was spent in her room sketching, coloring, and painting to entertain herself. She studied illustration at Cal State University, Long Beach and has worked for Hallmark Cards, Disney, and Amscan Party. Miki has won numerous awards as a children’s book illustrator. She resides in Southern California with her wigglebutt Aussie, Bella.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own. We do not make commission on book sales.

Morning Sunshine!

“Morning, Sunshine! A beautiful story using haiku’s to describe nature that surrounds us as the sun rises to start a new day. A must read story with your little ones.” – Momma Braga


As we all wake up, the outside world bustles with life! Discover new facts about familiar creatures – from fluttering moths and scurrying beetles to shy foxes and humming bees – as they go about their morning activities. In the city, the countryside, and the suburbs. Nature can be found everywhere!

A series of haiku takes readers on a close-up, observational look at the amazing abundance of nature right outside our homes. Each stanza focuses on an aspect of the natural world or a creature going about their daily activities as the sun begins to rise. Alongside the haiku, informative text goes into depth about each subject – from how much honey a bee can make to the size of a hummingbird’s egg. Instructions to help kids create their own haiku poems, a unique form of poetry from Japan, as well as a glossary add value for a STEM and Core Curriculum book that can be enjoyed both in the classroom and at home.


Morning, Sunshine! made our reading time so much brighter. We truly enjoyed reading and learning as we went through the book. The book is fun to read especially with the Haiku format.

What is Haiku?

“Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry with seventeen syllables or beats, usually in three lines. The first line has five syllables, the second seven, and the third five. One way to find how many syllables a word has is to clap them out.”

We felt that the haikus used made the book that more special and we love how the author included instructions in the back on how to create your own. So I took it to the test and created my own Haiku and since I work in the construction industry, I thought I should create one of the field.

That was my fun attempt and now we will take what we have learned and apply it to our daily adventures to see what else we can come up with. Once you get the hang of it, it truly is simple to do. All you need to do is watch the world around and be inspired to write what you see following the pattern above with the syllables.


On one side of the page there is the Haiku and then on the other side you have an amazing description of the creature. I think the most interesting piece for me was learning about moths, it was absolutely fascinating to learn that they have markings that warn potential predators to stay away. Nikki’s favorite was learning about snails and how their mucus helps protect them from sharp objects they might slide over. It was just an amazing story to read and the book also provides a glossary in the back – very helpful!

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 sunshines out of 5! This book offers so much learning for children and parents. We loved reading it so much and the illustrations are absolutely perfect. If you would like to purchase a copy of Morning, Sunshine! Click here. Great children’s book for children ages four to eight as it offers so much learning opportunities.

About the Author

Keely Parrack came from the United Kingdom to the United States for fun twenty years ago, and liked it so much she’s still here doing what she loves best: writing poetry, picture books, and young adult novels and motivating kids to love reading and to be confident creative writers. Her work has been published in The Christian Science Monitor, The Contra Costa Times, Patch, Spider magazine, and Mothering.com, and her short story (written under the pen name Keely James) “Listening to the Leaves” appears in the anthology Simple Pleasures of Friendship: Celebrating the Ones We Love. She has been a science and language arts specialist and teacher at an elementary school in inner-city Nottingham, UK, a children’s center director in San Francisco, and the coregional advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, San Francisco North and East Bay. Parrack now fills her time working for her local indie bookstore, tutoring kids in creative writing, and designing haiku cards for her friends and family. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, son, and a very demanding cat.

About the Illustrator

John Bajet is currently a designer on the Cartoon Network Show Tom & Jerry; art director at Renegade Animation; and the illustrator for Baby Shark, Planting Seeds of Kindness, If We Can Do What Animals Do, and Bigger than Baseball.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Dino Does Yoga | Book Review

“Dino brings yoga to the hearts of children in this adorable children’s book.” – Momma Braga


Newly hatched T-Rex Baby Dino wants to explore his world. Taking his cues from the prehistoric landscape around him – a mountain, a pool, a swaying palm, dragonflies, and pterodactyls – he moves through 14 easy-to-do yoga poses until deciding it’s time for a rest in Relaxation Pose.


Dino Does Yoga is an adorable children’s book that uses rhyming to delight young readers on the world of yoga. The beautiful aspect of rhyming is how easy it makes it for children (and adults) to remember the poses. It promotes healthy family activities which we love and it was great to learn about the different poses. It can be very relaxing as we gave each pose a try. I have to admit that Nikki was much better at yoga than I was. 😉

We love how the book promotes healthy living and showing the calming effects of yoga. Such a positive message to have in a children’s book. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Dino Does Yoga 5 dinosaurs out of 5! Combining dinosaurs and yoga is excellent as it will intrigue many children who love both. We truly enjoyed reading and learning from beginning to end.

“Yoga is very relaxing and fun!” – Nikki, Age 5

If you would like to purchase this children’s book for the dinosaur and yoga enthusiast, click here.

About The Author

Sofie Engstrom Von Alten is an illustrator and yoga instructor. Born and raised on the beautiful West Coast in San Francisco, California, Sofie grew up bilingual. Exploring the world through art, yoga, and travel has always held her greatest fascination. After visiting more than fifty countries, Sofie studied yoga nestled in the Indian Himalayas with the masters. Upon returning to the West, she found yoga to be a wonderful tool for teaching kids – both in the classroom and under a tree. Sofie continues to create hyperkitsch illustrations and teach yoga to children and adults.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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