Tag: Penguin Random House Canada

The Authenticity Project | Book Review

“The Authenticity Project is perfect for your “me time” when you just want to sit back and indulge in a story full of friendship, love and makes you think.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren’t really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes –in a plain, green journal– the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It’s run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the other who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves–and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica’s Café.

The Authenticity Project’s cast of characters–including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends-is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It’s a story about being brave and putting your real self forward–and finding out that it’s not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Authenticity Project is superb! It combined it all; friendship, real, love and the ability to make us think. I loved the set-up of the story with the green notebook. It lead to the creation of a group of friends that would otherwise have not gotten together. But the best part of this book, is showing how our best selves is being our honest selves.

Many times I often wonder if many of the photos I see can even be real especially from influencers online. Are they truly be honest or just posing for that one sponsor that they feel they can’t live without? During that process of being glamourous for the likes and follows, do they lose themselves? This novel allows us to see one mommy Instagrammer, Alice, and what she goes through (*this is a fiction character). This is what I found to be relatable and in this modern era, many will be able to relate to the story. Trying to differentiate between reality and fiction has always peaked my interest! 😉

From beginning to end, it truly touched my heart and it was so enjoyable that I read it twice! Huge compliment as I usually only have time to read a novel one time and that is the honest truth! If you are looking for a good-feel book to emerge yourself in when you do have some time for yourself then I do recommend this one. I know how hard it is to find that time but if you love reading then this will be great for you.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, I give it 5 stars out of 5! This story inspired me so much that for the first time I shared unfiltered and no make-up photo of myself on Instagram (featured below). It is ME and I love the me that I am. I am not perfect and am full of flaws but that is what makes me Momma Braga. I wouldn’t have it any other way! 🙂

 

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

About the Author

Clare Pooley spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mother. Pooley writes from her kitchen table in Fullham, London where she lives with her long-suffering husband, three children, dog, and an African pygmy hedgehog.

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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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.

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny

“The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny is the perfect story to treat your little ones this Easter season!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Blue is a Tooth Fairy, and he’s ready for his next mission! All he has to do is collect a lost tooth, leave a coin in exchange, and return to the Tooth Fairy Command Center. Easy! But when he gets to the house, he realizes it may not be so simple. That’s because it’s the night before Easter! The Easter Bunny is there to do his job and he makes it clear that he works alone. Can Blue convince the rude rabbit to let him stay, or will he have to hop out in a hurry?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny takes us to an epic battle between Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. A fun, creative story with illustrations to match is what you can expect from this great children’s book. It even offers that dash of humor that will have you and your little ones giggling. The battle is fierce and you wonder who will come out the winner. At the end, everyone is the winner as new friendships are formed. What better way to truly win a battle, but to rise with friends by your side.

We definitely loved this story and as a parent I have to say that I love the detail that the tooth fairy has left a coin under the pillow. It sure is much more manageable then the twenty dollars that some tooth fairies have been leaving behind. 😉 Also loved the letter with photo that Blue and the Easter Bunny left behind for Veda and her brother – perfect detail to complete the story.

“I love how the Tooth Fairy saved Easter and it was a happy ending for everyone.” – Nikki, Age 5

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 Easter eggs out of 5! It brought creativity to the magical world of tooth fairies and bunnies that will have you reading it over and over again. It certainly got us “eggcited” for Easter as we celebrate as we social distance this year. But this book sure did bring us some great joy!

This book is perfect for Easter as it will offer the giggles you need after eating all those Easter treats! If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Jasmine Green Rescues Series

“Jasmine Green Rescues is a new chapter-book series that will capture the animal lover’s hearts and just anyone who loves great stories.” – Momma Braga

Jasmine Green Rescues Series Synopsis

Meet Jasmine Green, an aspiring veterinarian who adores animals, in a heartwarming new chapter-book series.

Jasmine Green loves animals. Her mother is a veterinarian. Her father is a farmer. And her brother and sister are…well, they’re mostly annoying. But being in the Green family means seeing and taking care of animals all the time. In the first two books of the series, author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon introduce clever, caring Jasmine and some lovabale animals while capturing the beauty and bustle of a family farm. Reminiscent of James Herriot’s and Dick King-Smith’s classic stories, yet thoroughly modern, the Jasmine Green series is perfect for animal-loving readers.

“A Piglet Called Truffle” Synopsis

While helping her mom on a house call, Jasmine visits a new litter of piglets and discovers a forgotten runt hidden underneath its brothers and sisters. Poor little piglet. It’s so tiny that it can’t even drink! Its owner refuses to rescue it. So it’s up to Jasmine to save the pig…secretly. What will happen if someone finds out?

“A Duckling Called Button” Synopsis

While walking in the woods, Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, find a nest of orphaned duck eggs. The eggs need lots of care. Hatching them is hard work. Can Jasmine keep the eggs warm and safe? With a little love and luck, the Green family farm will have a fluffy duckling friend for life.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Jasmine Green Rescues has found a soft spot in my heart! These first two books in this new series, Jasmin Green Rescues, is absolutely wonderful. Both books had a great storyline and full of love for animals. Such sweet stories and I really love Jasmine Green which you can’t help but love. By the end of both books, I wanted a Duck named Button and a Pig named Truffle! 😉

To me personally the book gave us the message on the importance of rescuing animals especially those in trouble and adopting animals from the shelter. That message is so important as adopting should always be the first place to find your furever friend. Reading the books reminded me of the love we had for our late cat, Lily who we adopted and loved so much. I know when we are ready for a new one, we will be taking the adoption route.

If you are looking for a sweet series for your young readers to be immersed with, then I would recommend this one. I loved the extra touches added to the books such as the Q&A on the back with the main character Jasmine and it also gives you a sneak peak at the next upcoming books in the series. It makes me excited to see the next books in the series and I know they will be just as great especially since I loved the first two.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this series 5 stars out of 5! A must read for all young readers aged seven to nine.

To purchase a copy of A Piglet Called Truffle, click here.

To purchase a copy of A Duckling Called Button, click here.

About the Author

Helen Peters is the author of numerous books for young readers that feature heroic girls on farms saving the day. She grew up on an old-fashioned farm in England, surrounded by family, animals, and mud. Helen Peters lives in London.

About the Illustrator

Ellie Snowdon is a children’s author-illustrator from a tiny village in South Wales. She has a master’s in children’s book illustration from Cambridge School of Art. Ellie Snowdon lives in Cambridge, England.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

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

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time is another amazing Emily Windsnap adventure awaits for young readers in this latest Liz Kessler book!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

When Emily makes a wish on a magic stone, she gets a glimpse of what the future holds – and it’s a disaster! She tries to make things right, but each trip through time takes Emily to a future where things turn out badly for either the humans of Brightport or the merpeople of Shiprock. Plastic pollutes the ocean, garbage overflows the landfills, and the two towns are no longer getting along.

Emily realizes she can’t save her hometown and the ocean alone, but with help from her best friends, Shona and Mandy, she’ll have to find a way to get humans and merpeople to work together. Will Emily be able to create a better future for everyone, including herself? This new adventure gives readers a glimpse at what Emily and her friends could be like as grown-ups, with a fresh stort that explores how uniting communities can make a future that’s bright for everyone.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Emily Windsnap and the Tides of Time has everything you can expect from the author, Liz Kessler.

Adventure awaits as Emily wishes and travels to the future to save the day. Loved how the story flows and the vivid descriptions of the futures are amazing.

My favorite takeaway from this book is the importance of recycling and keeping our oceans clean. Great message to pass onto tweens in this latest Emily Windsnap story.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 wishes out of 5! It brings all our favorites together: adventure, love, magic, heroine and a great message. A must read for sure!

This novel is great for young readers from 8 to 12. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About the Author

Liz Kessler is the author of the best-selling Emily Windsnap series, the Philippa Fisher series, the novels North of Nowhere and A Year Without Autumn, and a series of early readers about Poppy the Pirate Dog. She lives in Cornwall, England.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Folktales for Fearless Girls

“Heroiness save the day in this empowering collection of folktales from around the world, perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.”

Synopsis

Curses to be broken. Riddles to be solved. Kings’ favor to be won. These are the standard stories we’ve heard in folktales and fables for as long as we can remember — challenges faced and overcome by princes and knights in shining armor. In Folktales for Fearless Girls, though, we see a different set of heroes charge across the page. In fact, we see heroines.

Wily women and clever girls, valiant queens and brave villagers — these are the people to save the day in this collection of folktales from around the world and across the ages. Long before J.K. Rowling brought us Hermione Granger, well before Katniss Everdeen entered the arena, these fierce protagonists were the role models for strong girls through the ages. Here we read the story of Jimena, who dresses like a man to go fight in a war; of Min, whose cleverness leads her family to riches; and of Nabiha, who outsmarts thieves and wins the respect of the king. With stories from China, Russia, Persia, India, Armenia, the UK, Spain, France, Southern Africa, Egypt, and Germany, this is a collection of tales that showcases the original literary feminists.

With beautiful full-color art throughout to accompany these empowering tales, this an essential book for all girls!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Folktales for Fearless Girls: The Stories We Were Never Told is absolutely amazing for all young girls! This book contains 14 simply wonderful stories of heroines at it’s finest and I loved it from beginning to end. Nikki is a little young to enjoy these stories but I am delighted that I have them at my fingertips for her as she gets a bit older to enjoy them too.

Each tale is enriched with history of culture as each story is from a different country which I thought was such a unique piece. If I had to pick my favorite tale, it would be Katherine Nutcracker which is from Scotland. The woman saved the prince in this story and even though she wasn’t the most beautiful of them all, she stole the hearts of everyone including mine as a reader. I truly loved this story the best but that does not mean I didn’t love all the other tales. They are all beautifully told with breathtaking illustrations that look like art. A truly inspiring book for all  the wonderful young ladies growing up. I know that if I had this book in my life growing up, I would have loved it.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview I give it 10 stars out of 5! A must read for sure! This book is great for children ages 8 to 12. A great gift idea to inspire our young ladies. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

About The Author

Myriam Sayalero is a journalist and the director of the multiplatform content site Adosaguas. She has had several books published in Spain and Mexico. The most recent are Los regalos de la vida (Aguilar, 2016), Diario irreverente del desamor (Planeta México, 2017), and Poderosas (Larousse México, 2017). Her latest children’s publications are ¡Vaya con el día especial! (Alfaguara, 2017) and Diario de emociones (Larousse, 2017).

About The Illustrator

Dani Torrent has a degree in art history from the University of Barcelona and studied fine arts and illustration at the Llotja Advanced School of Art and Design. He has exhibited his award-winning artwork around the world, and has been published in many countries. In addition to his work as an illustrator, he has also written several of his own books in Spanish. He has won the Young Creators prize of the Fita Foundation of Girona (Spain), the second-place prize of the international drawing festival of Zabrze (Poland) and the second-place prize of the BIISA Festival of Amarante (Portugal). Dani lives in Barcelona.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Home Base: A Mother – Daughter Story

Home Base is the perfect mother daughter story that will leave you with all the empowering feels!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A young pitcher steps up to the plate. A hardworking mom interviews for her biggest job yet.

Girls and women aren’t always welcome in the worlds of baseball and bricklaying. But with practice, the right gear, and a whole lot of determination, this intrepid mom and daughter thrive under pressure. Readers get to see their parallel narratives unfold in tandem, coming together at the end for a sweet reward: ice cream!

This heartwarming story was inspired by Barbara Moore, who retired in 2014 after more than 40 years of bricklaying. When she started in 1973, she was Baltimore’s only female bricklayer. She, along with Mo’ne Davis, the first girl to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series, were among the incredible women in history that author Nikki Tate researched for this book.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Home Base: A Mother-Daughter Story is a heartwarming, empowering and inspiring for all children.

We just love when publishers know us so well and send us the perfect book that offers so much inspiration! We love seeing women in roles that normally they do not fulfill and the little girls who break gender boundaries. To us this is a home run!

This book is fun to read with radiant illustrations. We love how the narrative is the comparison of the mom and daughter’s day which are very similar, even though the tasks are different. In the end, they accomplish their goals and get a much deserved ice cream. Who doesn’t like ice cream after a hard day’s work?!

After reading the story to Nikki, she turned to me and said that this book reminds her of me and her. I turned to Nikki and asked what she meant.

“Mom you work in construction and I love wrestling. Not many girls do but we do and we are good at it.” – Nikki, Age 5

Loved how Nikki compared this story with ours as it meant she felt it relatable. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 stars out of 5! Bravo for an amazing story to inspire current and future generations of women.

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

About the Author

Nikki Tate was born in Birmingham, England, and spent her childhood roaming the globe. She is the author of more than three dozen books for children. Over the years, she’s worked as a book reviewer, a bookseller, a professional storyteller, and a farmer. Nikki’s home base is in the Rocky Mountains, but she loves to travel, particularly if she can find a rock to climb or an ocean to sail.

“I raised my daughter on my own and learned firsthand what a challenge it can be to pursue an unorthodox career,” said Tate. “As a result, I’ve always been inspired by the stories of other single women raising strong daughters. When I first learned about Barbara Moore, the first woman bricklayer in Baltimore, I knew I wanted to write about this still-less-than-common profession.”

About the Illustrator

Katie Kath graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with an MFA in illustration. Some of the books she’s illustrated for children have been recognized by folks like the Bank Street College of Education, the New York Public Library, the Children’s Book Council, and the Junior Library Guild. Katie’s home base is North Carolina, where she plays with her dog and cat, draws cartoons, and counts the days until Christmas.

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.

The Pink Umbrella | Book Review

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

Synopsis

Adele loves many things: her café 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

Geneviève 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.