Tag: Reading

If Animals Went To School | Book Review

“An adorable children’s book that can help with the first day of school butterflies.”

– Momma Braga

Synopsis

If animals went to school…what would they do?

Beaver would practice counting with sticks. Goat would snack on the storybooks. And at recess, Goose would glide down Giraffe’s neck slide!

Across the animal kingdom, every creature would learn, play, and make new friends.

#MelAndNikkiReview

If Animals Went To School is absolutely adorable in every way! The story is great for the little ones who may be embarking on their very first day of school.

We take a journey through a day of school through the eyes of the animal kingdom and I truly love the concept! Who doesn’t like seeing animals in the classroom?!

 

The illustrations are beautifully done with a story to match. It is creative and one that a child can relate, especially if they are nervous for school. By the end, even Beaver enjoys his day and doesn’t want to go back home. That means school was a success. It makes it a great example for little ones.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give this book 10 stars out of 5! It is recommended for children ages two to six and we know your little will love it. 🙂

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

About the Author and Illustrated

Ann Whitford Paul and David Walker collaborated on If Animals Kissed Good Night, which School Library Journal called “a charming bedtime book,” If Animals Said I Love You, and If Animals Celebrated Christmas. 

Ann lives in Los Angeles, California. David lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Learn more about Ann at annwhitfordpaul.com and about David at davidwalkerstudios.com.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

Advertisements

Why? | Book Review

“Why? Why? Why? asks Rabbit. Bear answers patiently…except sometimes, Bear just doesn’t know why.”

Synopsis

Bear just wants to water his flowers, but Rabbit needs to know: why? Bear is looking forward to a peaceful night of stargazing, but all Rabbit cares about is: why?

As the two friends spend time together through spring, summer, and into fall, Rabbit persistently and simply asks Bear why, encouraging the readers to figure out for themselves the reason for each question that Bear patiently answers, over and over again…until there’s a question that he has no answer for.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Why? is a beautifully illustrated story that many parents can relate as we all have gone through the Why stage with our child(ren). We currently still are in the “Why” stage as it has made a comeback. Therefore, we couldn’t help but fall in love with this children’s book.

Simply written with such an impactful message at the end. You and your child will love it from beginning to end. We know we sure did and Nikki loved saying “Why” throughout the whole book. 😉 If you are looking for a feel good read, then look no further. Why? is an adorable book that will have your child asking why all the way through and they will quickly learn that sometimes you don’t always have the answer for all the whys. I know I sure don’t and it was nice to see that I wasn’t the only one. 🙂

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Why? 5 stars out of 5! Why do you ask? 😉 The illustrations are breathtaking and the story is simple and engaging with big emotional impact. Plus, who doesn’t like bears and rabbits?! This book is recommended for children ages four to eight.

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

About the Author

Laura Vaccaro Seeger is the author and illustrator of nearly two dozen acclaimed picture books, including the popular Dog and Bear series, the first of which won the Boston Globe Horn Book Medal. She has been awarded a Caldecott Honor twice, for First the Egg and again for Green, and a Geisel Honor twice, for First the Egg and One Boy. Blue, her companion to Green, has received four starred reviews. She lives in Rockville Center, New York with her husband and two sons.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

My Grandma and Me | Book Review

“In this big universe full of many moons, I have traveled and seen many wonders, but I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love my grandma.”

Synopsis

When Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart.

This autobiographical story is at once deeply personal and genuinely universal. And it is a gorgeous celebration of the way love can be more powerful than the constraints of time and space.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Grandma and Me is the perfect ode to a grandmother’s love. This book touched my heart as it reminded me of the special bond that I had with my grandmother growing up and how much I cherished the little time we had with one another since an ocean kept us apart. It was such a great reminder through this beautiful story of one young girl and her grandmother. I also love the diversity in the book and how two different religions are so similar in so many ways. The kindness, heart and love in this children’s book is absolutely beautiful and illustrations are breathtaking.

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give this book, 5 hearts out of 5! Want to give a special thank you to the author Mina for sharing such a beautiful personal story and for touching my heart with her grandma’s love. I have mentioned it before on my blog that if you still have grandparents, cherish them as they are such special people.

If you would like to purchase My Grandma and Me, please click here.

About the Author

Mina Javaherbin has written several award-winning picture books, including Soccer Star, illustrated by Renato Alarcao, and Goal!, illustrated by A.G. Ford. She lives in Southern California.

About the Illustrator

Lindsey Yankey studied illustration at the University of Kansas and is the author-illustrator of Bluebird and Sun and Moon. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Dino Does Yoga | Book Review

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

Synopsis

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

#MelAndNikkiReview

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

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

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

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

About The Author

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

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Don’t Drink The Pink | Book Review

“Don’t Drink the Pink is a children’s book full of imagination, heart and a story that can resonate with a child and adults alike.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Madeline adores her Grandpa Gilderberry – she always has. To everyone else he might seem a bit strange – an eccentric inventor – perhaps even a little mad. Yet Madeline knows that these are his very best qualities.

One of Grandpa Gilderberry’s most secret inventions is his box of potions which he delights in giving to Madeline each year on her birthday. Each potion conveys an unexpected and magical experience for Madeline. Year after year, Madeline selects a new potion with exciting results, however each time she reaches for her enchanted birthday present, her grandfather reminds her of only one rule – ‘don’t drink the pink’.

Exploring the special relationship between a grandfather and his grandchild, the potions in Don’t Drink the Pink provide an apt metaphor for each magical moment. Yet with birthdays comes aging and this tale doesn’t stay away from what this means for both the young girl and her lovable grandpa.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We love reading books and we have come across many that we have just adored. However, we couldn’t say that we had a favorite author until now. We have read two books (The Day That A Ran Away and Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32) written by B.C.R Fegan and we loved them to bits! This is why we were delighted to have the opportunity to read his latest one, Don’t Drink the Pink. 

B.C.R. Fegan has done it again with another amazing children’s book! Since we are three for three, he has become our favorite children’s author. So why do we love it?

The story is captivating and the illustrations bring the story to life. The rhyming in the book makes it so fun to read and by the end of reading the book the first time, Nikki had a lot of the story memorized. Therefore, it was a book request every since and Nikki happily reads along which helps her practice her reading skills.

“Happy birthday Madeline,” he said with a wink.
“Take a potion, take a brew.
Just don’t drink the pink.”

I love how it touches upon the aging process and how at the end we do lose our loved ones. It is always a tough topic to discuss; however, B.C.R. Fegan beautifully touches upon it with delicacy. This is why this book will become a new family favorite of ours.

For this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Don’t Drink the Pink 10 stars out of 5! It’s a children’s book full of imagination, heart and a story that can resonate with a child and adults alike. The book recommendation is for children three to eight years of age. I am definitely not in that age range but I truly loved it and would read it again (even if my daughter doesn’t request it). 😉 

This would especially be great as a birthday gift and it came right in time as we celebrate Nikki’s 5th birthday! I know this will be a book that Nikki will treasure.

If you would like to purchase your own copy of this amazing book, click here.

About the Author

B.C.R. Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults. He is inspired by stories that resonate deeply with our desire for adventure, yearning for magic and search for meaning. When Fegan is not writing children’s books, he is forging worlds in the realm of Young Adult Fiction.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

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

 

Unstoppable Me | Book Review

“I am movement
Heat
Static electricity
Fueled by food
And powered by PLAY!”

Synopsis

Unstoppable Me is about the sort of energetic child we all know and love – full of fun and play…and a bit exhausting! In this book, we see an unstoppable little boy, run, jump, and soar through his day. He takes a little time to refuel, then he’s back at it – zooming and zipping around. From #1 New York Times bestselling author, Susan Verde, comes a poetic and joyful book about the celebration of an active child.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Unstoppable Me is a great children’s book that celebrates the active child with proactive and positive language. It resonated greatly for our family as our very own Nikki is an active child and we wouldn’t have it any other way (even if we are completely exhausted by the end of the day). 😉

We always say that we wish we had half of her energy as she does light up the world wherever she goes and we feel that this book portrays that love. This is why this book will be one of our favorites to read at bedtime. Since the story is easy to read it is a great way that we use to help teach Nikki how to read and since she feels connected to the story, it has empowered her interest in reading. We couldn’t have asked for anything better from a children’s book.

I truly loved the author’s note at the back as Susan describes how she was inspired to write the story from her own experience with an energetic son. It is true when she says, “All children have something incredible to offer, and each is amazingly unique. Unstoppable Me is meant to show all of the beautiful, special, and miraculous things about being a kid on the move!”

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Unstoppable Me 10 powers ups out of 5! This book is recommended for children ages two to six.

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

About the Author

Susan Verde grew up in Greenwich Village in New York City. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s in reading remediation and became an elementary school teacher at a private school in Bridgehampton, NY. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Am Human as well as many other picture books including I am Yoga and I am Peace. She currently lives in East Hampton, New York with her family.

About the Illustrator

Andrew Joyner is an Australian illustrator and author of children’s books. Some of his most notable books are Too Many Elephants in This House and The Pink Hat. He lives with his family in a small country town on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

Go For The Moon | Book Review

“5…4…3…2…1…Lift Off to the moon in this amazing children’s book filled with heart and wealth of the first moon landing!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

The Moon is out tonight. In the morning, three brave men will fly there and try to walk on it.”

The Apollo 11 astronauts have prepared carefully for their attempt to be the first men to land on the Moon. The young narrator of this book has prepared carefully, too: He explains the design of the spacecraft the flight from Earth to the Moon, and the drama of touching down – while shadowing the astronauts’ voyage with one of his own.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Go For The Moon (A Rocket, A Boy, And The First Moon Landing) is a children’s book that truly embodies the love of space and science. It truly sparks intrigue as the narrator details the first moon landing as like we are there ourselves. We truly loved this book and it is great literature for children to read. It offers so much knowledge and interesting facts such as the Apollo 11 mission utilized 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists. Wow!

This story is personal to the author, Chris Gall as he has a passion for rockets and he remembers seeing the first moon walk on the television set (have to admit that this is very cool!). We loved the personal touch he includes in the book on his author’s note and we recommend to give it a read too.

From start to finish, this story captivates the youngest of minds with beautiful illustrations and a passionate storyline. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give Go For The Moon 5 moons out of 5! This book would make a great addition to your reading line-up especially for the inspiring astronaut in your family. It is recommended for children ages five to eight.

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

About the Author

Chris Gall was seven years old when man first walked on the Moon, and he began building and flying model rockets at about the same time. “Some were smashed into pieces when their parachutes failed,” he says. “A few left Earth with a shattering roar. I like to think one of them made it to the Moon.”

While continuing to build rockets, Chris went on to earn a degree in fine arts from the University of Arizona and wrote and illustrated a dozen acclaimed books, including Dinotrux,Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year; The Littlest Train; and Dog vs. Cat. Go for the Moon is his first work of children’s nonfiction. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

 

Leap Ahead with Leap Frog Epic™ Academy

Summer is upon us and it means that school is out! However, it doesn’t mean that the learning has to end as we know how important continuous learning is for children. There is a great option available for kids and it comes in the technology form that children love to explore.

We are delighted to introduce our readers to LeapFrog Epic™ Academy Edition which is LeapFrog’s most advanced Android-based tablet. It is packed with content including an extended three-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy™. This tablet is perfect for children ages three to nine years old. Get your growing child excited about everything from problem solving to learning to read.

Details

Pre-loaded with LeapFrog Academy™ app

This interactive learning program for three to six years of age guides children on a variety of fun Learning Adventures they can play anywhere.

Grows with your child

LeapFrog Epic™ is safe right out of the box and parents can control when to add more features such as Android™ apps as their child is ready.

Packed with Learning Content

Already includes $175 worth of learning content and access to the LeapFrog® App Center that explore a range of subjects and skills such as math, science, reading, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking

Customizable Home Screen

Kids can get excited about a virtual world they create. Watch night fall, see the weather change, discover fun surprised and add stickers, animations and more.

Popular Android™ apps

Offers popular Android™ apps like Fruit Ninja Academy that are built exclusively for LeapFrog® to eliminate in-app purchases so they are kid-safe as soon as they are downloaded.

LeapSearch™ kid-friendly web browser

LeapSearch™ provides access only to approved, kid-appropriate content. Parents can add sites and reduce restrictions using the parental controls as their child is ready. 

Just for Me™ Learning

Exclusive to LeapFrog®, Just for Me™ learning technology personalizes select games to challenge kids as they grow.

Durable Design

Built for the way kids play, with a shatter-safe LCD screen and protective bumper for everyday bumps.

#MelAndNikkiReview

We absolutely love this tablet and Nikki has loved it so much that it hasn’t left her side since we received it.

Our reviews are authentic and real; therefore, we spent a good two weeks to get to know the tablet and see how it truly can benefit our readers. We are delighted to share our top six reasons why we love the Leap Frog Epic™ Academy.

  1. It provides hours of educational fun and all their learning apps and games are educator-approved.
  2. It is kid friendly and safe. As a parent, I want to make sure that what she is playing and viewing is appropriate for her age. Also am relieved to know that items can not be purchased online without a parent’s review.
  3. It is durable! I can’t tell you how many times items are dropped especially tablets. We love how LeapFrog has us in mind and has already equipped the tablet with a safe protective case – thank you!
  4. Travel friendly. We love how we can take the tablet wherever we go and many of the games do not need Wi-Fi. These comes in handy for long car rides especially in the summer. Entertainment and Learning on the go is what we say! 😉
  5. Battery life is phenomenal as it lasts 7+ hours! This doesn’t mean they should be on the tablet for that long but it is comforting to know that you don’t need to keep charging the tablet a few hours later.
  6. Easy set up! I don’t know about most parents but I do like easy set-ups. Ones that don’t take too long to do especially when your child is eagerly waiting to use it! 🙂

This will be our favorite technology piece to use this summer as it will keep Nikki’s mind active while school is out. It will keep the skills that she has learned in the first year of school growing with a simple touch of a screen. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give the Leap Frog Epic™ Academy 10 Leaps out of 5! We do recommend it! An added bonus is that LeapFrog offers the LeapFrog Academy FREE for three months. The Academy offers a step-by-step learning program that automatically responds to each child. A must try if you are purchasing this amazing tablet!

explore – play – imagine – create

If you would like to purchase one for a child in your life, click here for the Green and click here for the Pink.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

*Please note that the product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

Carson Crosses Canada | Book Review

“Pack your bags as we travel alongside Carson through Canada. It is a grand adventure with an even grand surprise for Carson at the end.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they’re setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson’s favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky — and grasshoppers! — in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie — and a surprise for Carson!

#MelAndNikkiReview

Carson Crosses Canada is a great children’s book and the perfect book to get into the spirit of Canada Day! We loved this book and going alongside Carson through Canada! Also loved the beginning and the end of the book where it maps out all of Annie’s and Carson’s route stops – great educational piece!

The story is fun and little ones will enjoy it from beginning to end. The illustrations were vibrant and a perfect addition to this grand adventure! We would recommend this book for children ages four to eight.

Carson is a lovable dog who brings a humorous side to many of their stops and we loved that as it made so much more fun to read. Who doesn’t like a funny dog?! Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 5 Chiens (dogs in French) out of 5! 

“I love this book. Canada is so beautiful and I love being Canadian mom!” – Nikki, Age 4

To purchase this great book and just in time to celebrate Canada Day, click here.

About the Author

Linda Bailey is an award-winning, bestselling author who has written more than thirty books for children, including If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur, When Santa Was a Baby, Seven Dead Pirates and the Stanley series. She has won the Blue Spruce Award, the California Young Reader Medal and the Georgia Storybook Award, among others. Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, she now lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. And yes, she has driven across Canada!

About the Illustrator

Kass Reich works as an artist and educator and has spent the majority of the last decade travelling around the world. She earned a degree in Art Education from Concordia University and was an early childhood educator in Beijing, which inspired her to start making picture books for very young readers. She now lives and works in Toronto, Ontario

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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

The Not-So Great Outdoors | Book Review

“What’s so great about the great outdoors? It’s not like there’s anything out there! No buildings, no electricity, no playgrounds. But could there be something…even better?”

Synopsis

A reluctant camper discovers that the (not-so) great outdoors can be just as exciting as screens and skyscrapers in this playful picture book celebration of the pleasures of unplugging and embracing nature.

What’s so great about the “great outdoors”? A grumpy urban kid begrudgingly accompanies her family on a summer camping trip, missing all the sublime sights right under her nose as she longs for lights and stimulation of the city. But as she explores forests, lakes and mountains, and encounters bears, beavers and caribou, she slowly comes to realize that the simpler things are just as sparkly, that the sky is its own majestic light show, and the symphony is all around.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Not-So Great Outdoors is the perfect summer book to get children motivated to enjoy the outdoors. Absolutely adored the concept of the story and the illustrations are beautifully done throughout. It was a nice journey to see how one person’s view of the outdoors can change if they are directly in it without any “modern” distraction. Such a positive message and one that all the kids should read (and adults too). 😉

We loved this book so much that for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 bears out of 5! The story flowed nicely and we love how it showcased how beautiful the outdoors really can be. We recommend this book for children ages three to seven.

“I hope this summer we do a lot more outdoor things mom! The girl in the book had lots of fun and I want to too.” – Nikki, Age 4

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

About the Author

Up-and-coming illustrator Madeline Kloepper, a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, brings wise-beyond-her-years illustrations fill of sweetness and curiosity to her debut picture book. Madeline grew up in the lower mainland of British Columbia amidst a sea of humans and spent a few years in Vancouver; she has since migrated northward to Prince George. Her work is influenced by childhood, nostalgia and the relationships we forge with nature, no doubt inspired by her love of exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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