Tag: Product Review

Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows

An adventure awaits in the newly released, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrow, written by J.M. Bergen.

Synopsis

Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.

Seven years have passed, and Thomas hasn’t forgotten. Last moments together are memorable, even if you don’t know that’s what they are at the time.

Now, with his 13th birthday rapidly approaching, Thomas’s search for magic is about to take a radical and unexpected turn. At an out-of-the-way shop filled with dusty leather books, a strange little man with gold-flecked eyes offers him an ancient text called The Book of Sorrows. The price is high and the rules are strict, but there’s no way Thomas can resist the chance to look inside.

With the mysterious book guiding the way, Thomas discovers that he has a name and destiny he could never have imagined. But time is short. Even as Thomas uncovers his secret family history, enemies emerge, threatening to end his rise to power and destroy everything he holds dear.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Usually novels take me awhile to read; however, I couldn’t put this one down. Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows was an intriguing read as it offered so much. J.M. Bergen has created a new world with new adventures that will have a middle graders excited to read.

Full of adventure, well-thought of characters and storyline that will make anyone enjoy this book. We don’t want to spoil this great book but we truly enjoyed reading it. It offers a mixture of legend and modern-day problems to make it relatable to the reader.

“Fantasy and New Age? Really? Thomas’s shoulders slumped. He took a half-hearted step toward the back of the shop and paused, the knot in his gut tightening. As much as he hated getting laughed at, the idea of digging through piles of worthless books was as unexciting as the prospect of scrolling through another online ‘magic’ forum. If ever there was a place that might have what he really wanted, this was it. He sucked in a deep breath and turned around.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows 5 out of 5! We recommend this novel for middle graders and will appeal to fans of Harry Potter; Percy Jackson, and other middle grade series with magical and/or fantastical flair.

About the Author

J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five. The first book in the series, Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, has been released in February 2019. The second, Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, will be published in early 2020.

When J.M. isn’t’ working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping or dreaming up new adventures. If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).

To learn more, click here.

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

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

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

 

Bernard’s Book | Book Review

Wouldn’t it be grande to have a story written about you? But what would it be about? For Bernard the Bear, he found himself in this exact situation.

We are delighted to introduce you all to, Bernard’s Bookwritten by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Misa Saburi.

Synopsis

When Bernard gets an invitation to be in a book, it’s a dream come true! But as he reads up on what starring in a book might actually entail, he wonders if he’s not quite the right bear for the part. With the help of his friend Gertie, Bernard discovers that to shine in his story, he just needs to be himself.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Bernard’s Book is absolutely adorable and one with a very important message; be yourself. You can’t help but feel bad for Bernard as he worries that his story isn’t as exciting as he thinks a story should be. Bernard goes through exploring to see what story he could do and by the end he realizes that the best story is just to be himself.

We loved reading this book as it was full of charm and all about self-acceptance. The story even brought the conversation about what kind of story would we write about Nikki and the ideas were flowing through the gates. Nikki got really excited and starting telling me all the types of stories that could be written about herself. It was amazing to see that Bernard’s Book brought out the excitement about Nikki writing a story about her energetic self. This book is truly a wonderful read and we recommend it for children ages four to eight.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Bernard’s Book 5 Bears out of 5!

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

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

Loved To Bits | Book Review

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

Synopsis

My teddy’s special.

Stripy Ted.

We make adventures around my bed.

But he’s no longer at his best…

So will I love him more…or less?

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

-Momma Braga

 

 

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

Robot in Love | Book Review

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

Synopsis

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

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

 

 

 

Love | Book Review

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

“I LOVE love!” – Nikki, Age 4

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

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

My Heart | Book Review

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

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

Synopsis

My heart is a window.

My heart is a slide.

My heart can be closed…

or opened up wide.

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

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

 

Brave Ballerina | Book Review

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

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

 

If Animals Said I Love You | Book Review

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

First Impressions

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

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

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

Family Friendly Top Priority

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

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

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

Swimming Class

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

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

 

– Momma Braga

 


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

Bad Kitty Kitten Trouble | Book Review

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga