Tag: Reading

Thomas Wildus And The Wizard Of Sumeria | Book Review

Synopsis

In Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, three months have passed since Thomas and Enrique faced off against Arius Strong and prevented an all-out apocalypse. Three long, glorious, summer months – months filled with friends, family, magic, and Thomas’s first real kiss.

Unfortunately, the good times are coming to a rapid end. With a cryptic message from a mysterious hacker, Thomas discovers that his nemesis is pursuing an object even more powerful than the crystals. Arius will stop at nothing to find the treasure and destroy his enemies, and this time he’s not alone. Dark creatures with darker powers are flocking to Arius’s cause: shapeshifters, warlocks, even a sadistic killer in a schoolgirl outfit.

The forces of good are gatherings as well, but with so much darkness at Arius’s disposal, the prospects for Thomas and his friends look increasingly grim. Will time run out before he sees through the lies and uncovers the next level of his destiny?

#MelAndNikkiReview

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria is another epic adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat! If you haven’t read the first book in the series, we do recommend to give it a read as it’s fantastic! J.M. Bergen has done it again by bringing Thomas Wildus and his friends in another action packed journey.

Full of adventure, well-thought of characters and storyline that will make anyone enjoy this book. Magical, suspenseful and more action-filled with this second installment. We are introduced to more characters both good and evil. There are also some surprising twists and unexpected turn of events that will not let you put the book down.

“Thomas closed his eyes and tried to feel a connection to the books. His thoughts swirled, shifting from the books to Peggy to school to Arius and Heinrik and Arianna. He tried harder, focusing so intensely that his brain began to ache.”

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria 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.

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

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I’m Sticking With You | Book Review

“I’m Sticking With You shows us that every relationship requires love, understanding and kindness. No matter what we go through, true friendship always finds a way through.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Bear and squirrel are best friends. Wherever Squirrel goes, Bear follows. Bear vows to stick with Squirrel whether he’s grumpy or silly or mad – which is put to the test when Bear sinks Squirrel’s canoe. And catapults him from the seesaw. And breaks his favorite mug.

Finally, Squirrel has had enough. He tells Bear he needs his space – only to realize he has much more fun with his best friend around. Funny and poignant in equal measure, I’m Sticking With You shows that friendship always finds a way.

#MelAndNikkiReview

I’m Sticking With You will be stuck with us as we loved it a lot. A beautifully told and illustrated story about friendship.

Friendships are hard work even with a best friend. Sometimes there can be bumps on the road and we may feel like it’s best distance ourselves instead of working it out. Luckily, Squirrel was able to realize fairly quickly of the great friendship had with Bear. They were able to work through some friendship bumps and they realized how important they were to each other.

A great message for children as every relationship requires love, understanding and kindness.

“Sometimes you need to give your friends some space and that is ok too. You appreciate each other more.” – Nikki, Age 5

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 paws out of 5! It was bear-rific!

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

About the Author

Smriti Prasadam-Halls is the internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books for children, including I Love You Night and Day. She lives in England with her husband and three sons.

About the Illustrator

Steve Small is a designer, an animator, and a BAFTA – nominated director. He lives in England, and I’m Sticking with You is his first picture book.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

A Little Space For Me | Book Review

A Little Space For Me will enlighten children and relatable to parents. Personal space is such an amazing place to find for ourselves and this story allows young minds to explore and learn of it’s importance. Perfection!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Sometimes, when it’s…too loud, too crowded, too messy, too smelly, or for no reason at all, you might just need a little bit of space to feel like yourself again.

With clever, inventive art and universally relatable themes, A Little Space For Me is about the importance of mindfulness, understanding, and finding a moment of peace within a big, busy world.

#MelAndNikkiReview

A Little Space For Me  is absolute perfection! As a mom of an almost six-year-old, personal space has been extinct for years. To have a creative and clever story to read to bring up the concept of space is exactly the story that I have been waiting for. It is beautifully illustrated and the narrative is brilliant.

By the end of the story, a lightbulb went off in my very social butterfly daughter. “OH! Mommy when you say you need space, it means you need time to just think and relax.” YES! Now we are just working on finding our own personal spaces where we can learn, focus and just be one. 😉

The best part of this story is that it is open to interpretation and allows the reader to make their own connection to the story.

“A little space is important but I still like sharing my space with you mom.” – Nikki, Age 5

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 stars out of 5! It truly exceeded our expectations and took us out of this world; space. 😉

If you would like to add A Little Space For Me to your child’s story time, click here.

About the Author

Jennifer Gray Olson is the creator of Ninja Bunny, Ninja Bunny: Sister vs. Brother, and Me and Mr. Fluffernutter. Her love of creating entertaining and unique characters and the worlds in which they live led her to writing and illustrating. She is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in art education. Jennifer lives in sunny Southern California, where she shares her sometimes crowded space with her favorite people and pets. To learn more, visit www.jennifergrayolson.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*Please note that an advanced copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Ways To Welcome | Book Review

Ways to Welcome is a heartwarming story of different ways you can make people feel included and welcomed.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A welcome can be warm or cold. Shy and quiet, big and bold. An offering, a smiling face that lights an unfamiliar place. There are lots of ways to show we care and welcome friends from everywhere!

When everyone knows they’re welcome, the world is a better place – and you might just make a new friend. This sweet, timeless picture book about small acts of kindness in a big world is one that kids and parents are sure to reach for again and again.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Ways to Welcome is the perfect children’s story for that first day of school, when you move or when you are about to meet new people. It is a heartwarming story and with a world that seems to be drifting apart, this is a great reminder of the importance of being welcoming to others.

We love the diversity that the story portrays and we love all the beautiful gestures that is used to show kindness to others. The importance of making people feel welcomed and loved felt so genuine and honest. The way it is written in this story is engaging for young readers and the illustrations are captivating.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Ways to Welcome 5 stars out of 5!

“I loved this book. It is important for us to be kind to one another especially if someone is new.” – Nikki, Age 5

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

About the Author

Linda Ashman is the author of more than thirty-five picture books, and the creator of The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books. Her books have been included on the “best of the year” lists of the New York TimesParenting and Childmagazines, the New York Public Library, Bank Street College of Education, and the International Reading Association. She now lives in North Carolina with her family.

About the Illustrator

Joey Chou has illustrated many picture books, including Ruby’s Chinese New Year and Hello, My Name Is . . . He was born in Taiwan and moved to sunny California in his early teens. There he received his BFA from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. Joey works by day as a visual development artist on feature animated films and by night as a picture book illustrator.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

When Pencil Met The Markers | Book Review

“Sometimes you just need to color outside the lines as it really helps us to be our most creative selves. When Pencil Met The Markers brings the out of the box thinking and we love it!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

A purple marker shows his friends that being creative means sometimes coloring outside the lines in When Pencil Met the Markers, the imaginative, inspiring, and colorful follow-up to When Pencil Met Eraser from writers Karen Kilpatrick and Luis O. Ramos, Jr., and illustrator German Blanco.

Meet the Markers! They love to color. But Purple Marker colors everywhere – even outside the lines. When the other markers call his creativity a mistake, it’s up to Pencil and Eraser to help Purple discover how making mistakes and making art go hand-in-hand.

This hilarious and clever picture book allows Pencil and Eraser to show Purple Marker – and the rest of us – how to turn our messes into successes and do what makes us happy.

#MelAndNikkiReview

When Pencil Met The Markers is an amazing children’s book! It gives the reader everything that you would want from a story: vibrant illustrations, humor, and a great message to bring out your most creative self.

We loved this story and it has become one of our favorites quickly. I must say that I love that Purple was the main marker as that is my favorite color. 😉 The idea of thinking outside of the box was perfect and it shows that you can create masterpieces when you do. We love this message especially for children to know that anything is possible if you can dream it.

“When Pencil Met the Markers brings engaging art, adorable characters, and a clever story to the everyday. The result? A funny, effective message about how the best art can come from trying something new.”

The idea was so neat that we started to create pieces of art ourselves. We took our markers and just started to create and then with a pencil we outlined it to create the finish drawing. It really got us to imagine and be inspired during art time.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give When Pencil Met The Markers 10 stars out of 5! A glowing review as it offered the creativity, humor and an out-of-the-box story line!

If you would like to purchase this children’s book for your reading line-up, click here.

About the Authors

Karen Kilpatrick has been telling and writing stories for as long as she can remember. A former attorney who left the legal industry for the toy industry, she is the author of When Pencil Met Eraser and the Pumpkinheads children’s book series and cocreator with her two daughters of the toy brand, MeBears. She lives in South Florida with her three kids.

Luis Osvaldo Ramos, Jr., was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, and graduated from University of Central Florida and University of Miami Law. He’s an attorney at law and a kid at heart who practices law during the day and writes and consumes stories in his free time. He and his wife currently live in South Florida with their very cute but very demanding orange cat.

Luis is coauthor, with Karen Kilpatrick, of When Pencil Met Eraser and When Pencil Met the Markers.

About the Illustrators

Germán Blanco has been using pencils all his life. Erasers, too. He unknowingly began his artistic career as a kid by doodling in school whenever he was bored. (Sorry, Mom!) He later became a graphic designer but he found his passion in illustration. When he’s not drawing, he enjoys watching movies and playing football (AKA soccer).

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*Please note that a copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

In The Book With…Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure

“Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure is an enchanting story full of magic, adventure, and best of all the main character is your child!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

In this enchanting story, your child will find out just how fun it really is to become a real unicorn as they explore the many magical setting of this rainbow-filled paradise!

Along with a special message on the opening page, this unicorn book for kids features any name on the cover and intertwined into the hand-drawn illustrations. The reader will become the spirited unicorn who sets out to find the best place for unicorns to have fun. From the beautiful meadows to the delicious Candyland, there’s no time for horsing around as the reader is transported from one page to the next, galloping through the magical places. You can even choose which edition you would like from the soft back, hardback or classic hardback

#MelAndNikkiReview

Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure is the story that our Nikki has been waiting for! “Wow! I’m finally a Unicorn,” Nikki exclaimed. It was with great delight to read this magical adventure and see what Nikki the Unicorn was all about. Instantly you are captivated by the bright illustrations that are all hand-drawn beautifully. It was a well written adventure and Nikki got excited seeing her name in each page. We loved how the publisher inserted the child’s name into each page and the child has to find it within the page. It added an extra special touch that we adored!

Personalized stories really bring a uniqueness to reading time and we loved being able to write a message for Nikki at the beginning of the book and add a special photo of her at the end of the book. It just brought the whole personalization full circle and it was heartfelt.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, Nikki’s Unicorn Adventure gets 10 million rainbows out of 5!!! A very outstanding rating and by our expert herself, Nikki who knows children’s books. 😉 The story is well written, the illustrations are captivating and the main character (your child) finds the perfect place to call home. We can say it is the perfect unique story for your little one. It also makes the best gift for the Unicorn enthusiast in your life.

If you would like to purchase your own personalized unicorn book, click here. You can also check out the many other options that are available to be customized to make reading time a little extra special.

About In The Book With

At In The Book, we believe in the power of reading. The power that helps develop, educate, instill confidence, and most importantly, create a lasting bond between parent and child.

We recently donated over 50 personalized books to charities who work with underprivileged and sick children in the US and UK, and have produced a series of video for parents with top tips on how to read to their children.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

The Word For Friend | Book Review

“The Word For Friend is a heartwarming story of the most universal language of all: friendship. The must read story with a wealth of interesting information, language and heart.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Kemala the pangolin is sure she’s going to make friends at her new school in her new country. After all, Kemala loves to talk. The kids at school like talking, too –but their words are all different. This country speaks a language Kemala doesn’t know.

At first, no one understands Kemala either. This realization makes her curl into a little ball, like most pangolins do when they’re nervous. But a classmate helps draw her out with an art project that doubles as a vocabulary exchange. Soon, Kemala is learning the most universal language of all: friendship.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Word For Friend is such a beautiful story for children. The illustrations and story is absolutely captivating. Such an important message to convey to children on the importance of kindness and there are many ways to communicate without speaking.

The use of art as a way to connect and express was beautifully written. We loved how the book introduced readers to a new language; Esperanto. We truly enjoyed learning about this language that was created in 1887 by L. L. Zamenhof to provide the world with an easy-to-learn common language. There is more interesting info included at the back of the book and you even get some translated sentences. Happy Learning! 🙂

We also loved learning about Pangolins who are so adorable and unfortunately they are also threatened with extinction. 🙁 They are the only mammals covered in scales – how cool is that! You can’t help but fall in love with Pangolins with the main character, Kemala.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 hearts out of 5! I personally connected with this story as it reminded me of my first day of Kindergarten. I remember being terrified of school as everyone around me spoke a different language than me as the only one that I knew was Portuguese. Even though I was born in Toronto, Canada, my parents only spoke Portuguese with me. Therefore, the first day was a scary one. But the power of play helped me make many friends and eventually as the year progressed we all knew how to communicate with one another. The power of friendship and kindness is remarkable. This will be one of my favorite books as it allowed me to go back down memory lane.

“I loved how the animals can play together even if they don’t speak the same language. It is important to always be kind even if someone can’t speak like you. We can all be friends together.” – Nikki, Age 5

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

About the Author/Illustrator

Aidan Cassie is the picture book author and illustrator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever and Little Juniper Makes it Big!. She attended the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Edinburgh College of Art, where she studied animation and earned a Media Arts degree. She lives on a small artist-covered island in the Salish Sea of British Columbia.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

TinkerActive Series Brings Fun To Learning

“TinkerActive is the hands on learning that kids love. You learn all the important skills through activities that allow children to excel and grow.” – Momma Braga

About TinkerActive

With TinkerActive Workbooks, learning leaps off the page and into the real world! Each workbook covers essential math and science concepts while encouraging your child to tinker, make and engineer. All books are aligned to Common Core State Standards.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We reviewed a few books from the TinkerActive Series which were: Math Workbook Kindergarten, English Language Arts Workbook Kindergarten, and Science Workbook Kindergarten. Since Nikki is five years old, these books were great workbooks for her to try out. The one that Nikki was drawn to first was the Math one since it is her favorite subject.

It was no surprise to see Nikki emerge into the learning with glee as all three books offered different worksheets and fun exercises. Of course I can not forget the stickers and hands-on projects that was enjoyed by us all. We love how at the end of each workbook, you get a badge. Felt like a big accomplishment to get that badge so Nikki often asked if she could work on some more worksheets.

We combined these workbooks into our daily learning with our online learning through school. We felt that Nikki was grasping and learning more with the combination of both. It also truly helped me keep her entertained at home and best part is that she was learning. We haven’t completed all the workbooks yet but we are getting there! 🙂

As a parent I also loved the fact that at the end of the workbooks have the answers on the back! It came in handy a couple of times as clearly I am a little rusty on Kindergarten work. 😉

Therefore, for the TinkerActive Series we give it 5 stars out of 5! It is an unique way of learning and we love how children can learn real world skills through the exercises and hands-on projects. Each page is colorful and engaging. We couldn’t have asked for a better learning tool while we tackle online learning too.

If you would like to learn more about these series as it is available from Kindergarten to Grade 2, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that this series was provided by MacMillan Children’s Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

You Matter | Book Review

“For anyone who isn’t sure if they matter. You do.”

Synopsis

In this full, bright, and beautiful picture book, many different perspective around the world are deftly and empathetically explored – from a pair of bird-watchers to the pigeons they’re feeding. Young readers will be drawn into the luminous illustrations inviting them to engage with the world in a new way and see how everyone is connected, and that everyone matters.

#MelAndNikkiReview

You Matter is exactly the children’s story that we should all be reading. The concept of the story is to engage the audience with the world in a new way and to see how everyone is connected. Most importantly it reflects the fact that everyone matters.

We felt this story was stunning and impactful. It provided us with gentle humor and warmth. It is a story that will have a child feel important as everyone in the world matters. Our feelings are so important, especially those of children who are discovering the array of them. After reading this story, check out the great activities you can do with your child(ren). You can check them out by clicking here. We absolutely loved all of them and it is a great added bonus.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give You Matter 5 stars out of 5! Young readers will be drawn and engaged in an important message that all of us should we remember; You Matter. No matter what or who you are, you do matter and that is something we should all reflect on.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here. Recommended ages are four to eight.

About the Author/Illustrator

Christian Robinson was born in Hollywood, California. He grew up in a small one-bedroom apartment with his brother, two cousins, aunt and grandmother. Drawing became a way to make space for himself and to create the kind of world he wanted to see. He studied animation at the California Institute of the Arts and would later work with the Sesame Workshop and Pixar Animation Studios before becoming an illustrator of books for children. His books include Gaston and Antoniette, written by Kelly DrPucchio, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Pena, which was awarded a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and the Newbery Medal. He presently lives in northern California with his rescue greyhoud Baldwin and several houseplants. He looks forward to one day seeing the aurora borealis. Visit him online at http://www.TheArtofFun.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*A virtual copy of the book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

**Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

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.