Tag: parenting

My Best Friend | Book Review

“My Best Friend has tickled our hearts pink with love! A beautiful story of early friendship that we felt we could relate perfectly to. A must read!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

MY BEST FRIEND, is a delightful story about first friendships by Caldecott Honoree Jillian Tamaki and New York Times bestselling author Julie Fogliano!

My Best Friend is truly a classic in the making. Julie has captured the spirit of young friendship with an incredible sensitivity to how children feel and play and speak. Jillian has brought this pitch-perfect story to life with lush, hand drawn illustrations, and a limited palette of soft warm colors bursting with energy and emotion. Together, they have created a sweetly earnest, visually stunning celebration of the magic of friendship.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Friendships are so important to build especially at a young age. We have always encouraged Nikki to build great friendships which have taught her to share, to be kind and to love others. The power of friendship is amazing.

This is why we felt that we could relate to this story as it tells the story of friendship. We thought it was so neat to be told from the child’s perspective and I felt like I was watching my own daughter making friends. I giggled at the end when the little girl says I don’t know her name. That is exactly how my daughter made friends when she was younger. Everyone was her best friend but she didn’t know any of their names.

We just loved this book from beginning to end. When I asked Nikki for her deep five-year-old thoughts, this is what she said. “This book is just like me. This is how I make friends all the time. And you know your best friends because you like playing together and you draw each other.”

In honour of her friendship with her best friend, Nikki thought it was best to give this book to her. I thought it was so sweet and we gave our book so that they can look back and say this is a book about their friendship. There is nothing more special then to have your first best friend at school. We can all use a best friend no matter what stage of our lives. This book reminded me of the amazing friendships that I cherish to this day.

Nikki’s best friend, Julia

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 stars out of 5. We highly recommend this children’s book as the story is written perfectly from the child’s perspective and the illustrations are images of art.

If you would like to purchase this book, click here. We think this would make a perfect gift to give to a best friend. We sure did! ūüôā

About the Author

Julie Fogliano is the¬†New York Times¬†bestselling author of¬†and then it’s spring¬†and¬†if you want to see a whale,¬†as well as the poetry collection when green becomes tomatoes¬†and the picture books if i was the sunshine¬†and when’s my birthday?¬†She is the recipient of the 2013 ezra jack keats book award, and her books have been translated into more than ten languages. Julie lives with her husband and three children in the hudson valley. When she is not folding laundry or wondering what to make for dinner, she is staring out the window, waiting for a book idea to fly by.

About the Illustrator

Jillian Tamaki is an illustrator, comics artist, and teacher living in Toronto, Ontario. She is the co-creator, with her cousin Mariko Tamaki, of the young adult graphic novel this one summer, which received a caldecott honor and a printz honor. She makes books and comics for people of all ages, including they say blue, a picture book about looking and thinking.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

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Friday Night Wrestle Fest

“Are you ready to wrestle?!¬†Friday Night Wrestle Fest sure brings out our inner wrestlers to centre stage as we read this adorable story. Full of love, fun and a whole lot of family time. Truly a beautiful piece in celebrating family and their particular interest in wrestling!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s Friday night, and these kids are ready to wrestle! Join Dangerous Daddoo as he dishes out some serious moves to get the kids ready for bed. But what happens when Flying Mom Bomb gets home from work? Are the kids toast?

A bedtime book inspired by WWE professional wrestling that will definitely wear kids out before they go to bed. This brightly colored picture book follows a family as they get their kids ready for bed with their signature moves — the Flying Mom Bomb, the Jumpin’ Jellyflop, and the Clear-the-room Diaper of Doom!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Friday Night Wrestle Fest is the perfect bedtime story, especially for our family. As many of our loyal readers may already know how much we love watching wrestling. Therefore, when we got this book we screamed for joy (literally!). Now since we do know wrestling, this book was put to the ultimate test to see if it will pass our expertise review. Did they make it?

We sat down together as a family to read this book together before bedtime. Usually it is only once of us taking the reading routine before bed but this time we thought it would be best if we all took part in it. As we read the story, we couldn’t help put feel the excitement that we feel when we watch WWE wrestling. It was full of action, laughs, and loads of family fun. I think that is what we loved best about the story; it brought family together. I have to admit that their bedtime routine had me very tired from just reading it and I don’t think I can pull wrestling moves before bed. But it did inspire Nikki to tackle her dad and put him in a headlock (yeah that is normal in my home). They both giggled together as my husband “pretends” he can’t get out of it and Nikki feels empowered. It was very sweet to say the least!

We absolutely loved it and it is engaging for all families; not just those who love wrestling. It is truly an entertaining book to read! The illustrations are also so creative and it does beautifully in capturing the action-filled moves of this very energetic family.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, our family gives it¬†10 cod fish kisses out of 5!¬†Entertaining book to surely help tucker out the most energetic little ones. We just can’t get enough of it. The story is told as the announcer and I love trying to change my voice to make it even more exciting like they do on TV. Just great family fun in book form!

As a special treat, we thought we should share little Nikki when she was 1.5 years old watching WWE wrestling. In the video she clearly gets upset when her favorite wrestler, Roman Reigns is doing so well in his match. It is truly one of our favorite family videos and the start of her obsession with wrestling. Enjoy! Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more of our videos.

This book is perfect for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase this book for your little one, click here.

About the Author

J.F. (Jenny) Fox has worked as a children’s book editor and freelance writer for two decades and has adapted and ghostwritten more than seventy books for children. Jenny lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two sons.

About the Illustrator

Micah Player is the picture book author-illustrator of Chloe, Instead and the Lately Lily series. He is also the creator of the bestselling Around the World Puzzle and its follow-up, the Around the World Matching Game. Born in Alaska, Micah now lives in Utah with his wife, Stephanie, and their two kids.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Facts VS Opinions VS Robots

“Facts VS Opinions VS Robots…oh my! This delightful and fun book really puts things in perspective. A creative way to have children understand the difference between a fact and an opinion. Bravo!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Do you know the difference between fact and an opinion? It can be a hard thing to understand. Some things are facts — like the number of robots in this book. Other things are opinions — like which robot would make the best friend, or which robot dances best. And sometimes to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion, you need to wait to get more information — that’s because facts can be proven true or false, and opinions are things you feel and believe — but that you can’t prove.

Mike Rex introduces young readers to the very important distinction between facts and opinions, and he reminds us that it is nice to listen to one another’s opinions, and to stand up for the facts!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots is robotastic! Who doesn’t love a book with robots giving us some life lessons?!

I know we love it! A superb way to explain the difference between fact and opinions. Such an important topic to discuss and one that we were so glad to have read with our five-year-old. We love the questions within the book that allows us as parents to ask our child the question and discuss it fully. It was an amazing exercise to do. We even used some of our own examples to see if we could tell the difference.

Momma Braga: “Purple is the best color in the world. Is that a Fact or Opinion Nikki?”

Nikki: “That is your opinion Mom! Not everyone likes purple and that is ok.”

Far to say that Nikki got the concept of facts vs. opinions and to respect others opinions. I think that is our favorite message in the book! As it is written: “You see, when we respect the opinions of others, we can all get along.” Yes we can and we just love it!

This book is great for children ages five to eight. If you would like to purchase a copy for your reading lineup, click here.

About the Author

Michael Rex has written and/or illustrated over forty’s children’s books, including¬†Eat Pete, With Any Luck, I’ll Drive a Truck¬†(by David Friend), the¬†New York Times #1¬†bestseller¬†Goodnight Goon, The Runaway Mummy, Truck Duck,¬†and the Fangbone series (which has also been turned into an animated TV series). He has a master’s degree in visual arts education (K-12) and worked as a New York City art teacher for four years. He lives in Leonia, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Surviving The Holidays (Hell-i-Daze)

“Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-Daze) is refreshing, real and a hilarious read that moms will appreciate” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

The Holidays. They follow us year round, and sometimes these cherished days can be wonderful, but let’s face it — sometimes they are just brutal! Whether it’s New Year’s or Valentine’s, Fourth of July or even birthdays, we all gotta donwhat we gotta do to survive them all!

Miss OMG walks us through the year and lightens the load with her hysterical anecdotes that are sure leaving you laughing out loud!

In this book, she celebrates the humor of life’s year-round celebrations from pointing out the madness of the holidays, to crappy gift-giving, Miss OMG shares her thoughts on surviving the holidays that will leave you laughing and turning the pages to discover what crazy story she shares next. Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i-DAZE) is a work that continues its author’s witty social commentary streak. This book is for people who like to poke fun at life’s weirdness, and those who don’t take themselves too seriously. While this book is especially perfect for moms who like to swear and drink, Miss OMG writes her books with those in mind who only have a short moments to read and are always on the go! Her hope is that you can squeeze in a quick read, put the book down with a chuckle, and look forward to picking it right back up the first second you can!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Surviving the Holidays (HELL-i- DAZE)¬†literally had me laughing out loud from beginning to end. It is very relatable to us hard working moms who always go beyond for everyone. The daily diary format was a neat touch and helped us follow Miss OMG’s year as she goes through all the wonderful holidays throughout the year. Never noticed how many there are – geez!

I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to moms everywhere. Not only is it relatable but absolutely hilarious. My favorite part is the letter that Santa left to Miss OMG (I think my neighbors heard me laughing at that part). I also loved the quotes shared at the beginning of each month they are all great quotes to inspire or to make you chuckle.

“Every time I make plans to eat better, I hear my stomach laughing.” – Author Unknown

If you want some laughing therapy especially after a long rough mothering day, then this is an awesome book for you. It is currently available on Amazon and can be purchased here.

“The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad? Alice: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Lewis Carroll

A special thank you to Miss OMG for sending us this great book that provided me with chuckles and a reminder that we need to laugh more.

About the Author

Olivia Michele “Miss OMG” Giacomini has been a published writer for decades for magazines and newspapers worldwide. In more recent years, she has begun sharing her witticisms in her Miss OMG books. Many liken her to the late great humorist, Erma Bombeck (but with a potty mouth), with a similar comedic flair & zany zingers about life’s mundane dailiness. She admits she mostly appeals to moms of all ages who like to drink and curse, but her male fans also enjoy reading her work…while sitting on the toilet. Miss OMG’s goal is to brighten people’s day with her quick-witted and often sarcastic stories based loosely on her life.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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

 

The Pink Umbrella | Book Review

“Everything is better with Pink.” – Nikki, Age 5

Synopsis

Adele loves many things: her caf√© callee The Polka-Dot Apron, her customers, flowers and sunshine on a beautiful day. There are very few things that dampen Adele’s spirit, but the worst is a rainy day. Everyone in her village knows Adele doesn’t like the rain. When it rains, she just wants to stay in bed rolled up in her quilt.

One day, after closing time in the café, Adele discovers something pretty and pink left under the coatrack. Is it a gift for her? The next week it happens again! Adele is sure someone must be leaving surprises for her. But who and why?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Pink Umbrella is a beautiful story from beginning to end. You are instantly captivated by the character, Adele, and you can’t help but fall in love with this story of love.

The mystery gifts allowed Adele to enjoy the one thing she didn’t like the most; rain. During her new appreciation for it, you can say that love bloomed. We don’t want to spoil it completely for future readers but it is the sweetest story.

The Pink Umbrella tickled our hearts pink with love and this is why we give it 10 hearts out of 5!¬†A beautiful story with the most beautiful illustrations. We recommend this book to young readers and it is a perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day festivities.

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

About the Author

Amélie Callot works as a writer, illustrator and midwife in France. She has written and illustrated several books for children in French. The Pink Umbrella is her first book translated into English.

About the Illustrator

Genevi√®ve Godbout studied traditional animation in Montreal and at the prestigious Gobelins school in Paris. She has illustrated a number of children’s books including When Santa Was a Baby, Kindergarten Luck and Joseph Fipps, and has created illustrations for The Walt Disney Company, as well as art and prints for clothing designers. She lives and works in Montreal.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Puppy Love and Just in Time For Valentine’s Day

“Puppy Love is the perfect story for Valentine’s Day as it will have you gushing with adorable love.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

ALPHAPRINTS: PUPPY LOVE by Roger Priddy:¬†Filled with cute rhymes and adorable Alphaprint characters from fluffy bears to little lovebirds, this is an enjoyable book to share together with the one you love on Valentine’s Day.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Puppy Love is absolutely delightful and adorable!

We love the rhyming in the story as it makes it so fun to read. We also love the texture on each page as it encourages your little one to feel the animal faces. It is absolutely perfect for little ones.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give Puppy Love 5 hearts out of 5! This book is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and full of love. We just love this book for all the adorable animals and all the love that it showcases.

If you would like to purchase a copy for your little one, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

We Really Do Care | Book Review

We Really Do Care¬†is a heartfelt story full of compassion and empathy. A great lesson for all on how the smallest act of kindness can mean the world.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A little boy has a ball. It’s his, and he really doesn’t care if nobody else has a ball. He’s not sharing. He’s not sharing his pets either. Or his family. Especially not his brother.

But then he realizes that both he and the new little girl he meets – the one who is alone without a ball or a pet or a family of her own – are actually quite similar. And when he sees their similarities instead of their differences, he’s happy to share. Even his little brother.

With gentle text from Tami Lewis Brown and sweet illustrations from Tania de Regil, this is a poignant and touching story that challenges each and every one of us to lend a helping hand. Because we really should care.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We Really Do Care¬†is a heartfelt story that is perfect for Valentine’s Day. It embodies the true meaning of love and about caring. An amazing message for children to learn and a reminder for us adults too. ūüėČ

The story shows us the importance of compassion, empathy, and shows us how a small act of kindness can make a world of a difference. If we all do more of it, the world would be a much better place. We also loved the illustrations as they are perfect with this story and the use of colors truly make it appealing to see.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 hearts out of 5! 

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

About the Author

Tami Lewis Brown is a former lawyer and elementary school librarian. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she has served on the Board of Trustees for over ten years. She is also the author of middle grade novels and picture book biographies, including Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded and the Future and Soar, Elinor!, which was a 2011 Top Ten Amelia Bloomer Project selection and Junior Library Guild selection. She really cares about her rescue dogs, her husband and children, and every family all over the world.

About the Illustrator

Tania De Regil creates books for children and designs costumes for films. She studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York City before moving back to her native Mexico City, where she finished her degree. She lives in Mexico City with her filmmaker husband and travels to the United States frequently. She really cares about her family, her friends, and all children everywhere.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

How To Keep Your Mind Sharp After Having A Baby

Image by Thanasis Papazacharias from Pixabay 

Did you know that baby brain is a real thing? Don’t feel stupid because you’re not as sharp as you were before, don’t think that it’s your fault because you’re so tired, because it’s not. It has been scientifically proven that pregnancy reduces grey matter in specific parts of a woman’s brain, in order to help you bond with your baby and prepare for the demands of motherhood.

According to research, scans of 25 first-time mums showed that these structural brain changes lasted for at least two years after giving birth, so while there’s not much you can do to prevent this, if you do want to keep your mind active and try and help yourself then these are the best things you can do to keep you sharp.

Brain Train

Use apps to train your brain like Fit Brains or Lumosity, which aim to improve your mental performance. They train you like you would train your body in that the games get harder as you improve, and the app keeps track of your progress and makes recommendations on how to challenge yourself and alter your training routine. If you find these a little taxing to start, then just try crossword puzzles or playing things like scrabble to get you using your brain and enjoying yourself too. If you find that a little tough at first, then luckily there is a cheeky little tool called unscramble which can help you.

Read, Read and Read Some More

Reading is one of the best and most relaxing ways to keep your brain active. Research shows that the more we read, the more our vocabulary, cognitive abilities, and our base of general knowledge increase. Make a shortlist of books you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t had the chance. There will be plenty of time while you nurse or feed a newborn! If you don’t love to read or find yourself too tired, then listen to audiobooks.

Stay In The Know

Many people get wrapped up in a little bubble of this new world of you and your baby, which is easy to do and also lovely too. But if you want to keep your mind active, then try staying connected with the rest of the outside world, make sure you read the news, listen to the radio or just have it on the TV in the background.

Hang Out With Adults

Make sure that you are talking with adults too instead of spending all your time with your baby – which again is very easy to do. While there will be plenty of new mums to hang around with too, often the conversation will be about the babies, this is great but also try to mix it up a bit and see other people so you can just be yourself. Date nights with your partner are essential too.

Economize Your Brain Use

Don’t waste brain energy on things you don’t need to; for example, remembering where you’ve put your keys needn’t be an issue. Do things like keeping your keys in the same place every day so that you don’t have to waste your time thinking about them and can save your brain energy for more important things.

Snakes on the Job | Book Review

Snakes on the Job is an adorable children’s book that gives us a¬†hisssssh look into the Construction world and we loved it!”

Synopsis

Off to work the snakes will go.

They slide into trucks and roll out slow.

Hissssssssssssh goes the sound of the brakes.

These busy snakes are back! This time, they are operating a variety of construction vehicles – bulldozers, diggers, backhoes and more – and what they are building is a surprise. It’s so much fun, new friends want to join them!

Full of sibilant sounds and other wordplay, this Sssssssweet story is sure to entertain.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Snakes on the Job gives us a quick look into the construction world as we are introduced to different machinery that is used in the field. Best part is to see the end result of what building together can build.

We loved reading this story and the illustrations are absolutely adorable! We especially loved it since it talks about construction and it is inspiring for little ones and future builders. We also love the use of sibilant sounds and wordplay which made the story so much more fun to read.

Therefore, we give this book 5 hisssss out of 5!¬†A perfect addition for your little builder’s book collection.

“I loved this book. It was so much fun to read. I loved how at the end the snakes welcomed everyone to enjoy what they built.” – Nikki, Age 5

If you would like to add this adorable book to your reading lineup, click here.

About the Author

Kathryn Dennis began her art career drawing on walls and sidewalks and painting anything that did not move. She is the author and artist of Snakes on a Train, which was her picture book debut. She lives in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Something Lost Something Found

“Something Lost Something Found¬†is a simple and yet impactful story on how grieving of a loved one became a journey to find happiness again. Full of empathy, compassion and understanding that will resonate with young readers.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Ella feels like she is stuck in a pile of gloomy mud. She misses her mom so much. So, Ella embarks on a quest to find happiness again; wishing upon a star, trying to cook it up in a magic potion, and searching for it in all the places her grieving young heart leads her. And bit by bit…Ella begins to find solace in memories of her Mom. Something Lost Something Found is a story for young readers about the profound bonds we share with our loved ones, the importance of childhood memories, and the innate yearning to endue even the most indescribable grief. This tale’s empathy and wisdom shine through every wistful, charming scene.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Something Lost Something Found¬†lightly touches on how Ella grieves and how she finds happiness again. Dealing with loss and grief is difficult for anyone and at any age. This is why it is an honour for us to introduce you all to a new children’s book who takes on expressing loss in the most beautiful way; through words of comfort.

Full of empathy, compassion and understanding, this book will touch all hearts. The gentleness on a tough topic is what I loved the most. The journey to find happiness is beautifully written and illustrated.

#NikkiThoughts

We sat down with five-year-old Nikki to get her opinion. Best way to know how good a children’s book really is; ask a child. Of course we thought it would be best to record her thoughts as she is still practicing her writing skills. ūüėČ

There you have it! Nikki’s thoughts on¬†Something Lost Something Found. Let is make it official…we give this book 10 stars out of 5. A beautifully written and illustrated story that will touch hearts for years to come. It is a much needed story for the book world and we are so honoured to share it with all of our readers.

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

About the Author

Natalia Paruzel-Gibson

Growing up in Poland, the Stefan Jaracz Theatre was Natalia’s playground, a place where she eagerly watched her Mom on stage from behind the scenes. It was her mother’s passion for the Arts that ignited Natalia’s love of storytelling, acting and photography at a young age. After immigrating to Canada in 1990, Natalia’s artwork made several appearances in Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and she was presented with the Young Talent Award from the TurzaŇĄski Foundation for writing and reciting poetry. After finishing her Double Major in Drama and Photography at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Natalia went on to complete her undergrad in English Literature and History, which later led to her completion of a Master of Arts program at the University of Toronto. While¬†Something Lost Something Found is Natalia’s debut as an author, she has been fervently writing children’s stories for the last decade. Her writing is inspired by her own experiences as a mother of two children and her quest to perceive the world through their lens.

Make sure to follow her journey through Instagram and Facebook as you don’t want to miss it.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga