Guest Post :: Patti Wheeler of Travels with Gannon & Wyatt

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  Where We Find Our Inspiration By Patti Wheeler, coauthor of Travels with Gannon & Wyatt This past year I have had the pleasure of speaking to thousands of elementary school children about my middle-grade adventure book series. Meeting with parents and teachers along the way, one of the first questions I’m always asked is what inspired me to write these books. The answer is similar, I think, to what a lot of writers would say if asked the same question: my life. I grew up in a small town in North Florida that most people have never heard of. My father was a truck driver. He drove routes all over the southeastern United States. Sometimes I got to ride along. I remember the first time I saw the Smokey Mountains. Those high, misty mountains seemed like a different world to me, and yet it was only a car ride away. It was those early trips that opened my mind to the … [Read more...]

Review and Giveaway for Thunder and the House of Magic

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  THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC Directed by Renowned 3D Filmmakers Ben Stassen and Jeremie Degruson, With Original Music by Ramin Djawadi   Featuring the Music of Selena Gomez   This fall, venture inside an intriguing mansion full of endearing animals and a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos, and spellbound by the exciting animated adventure of THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC. Already a great box-office success in much of the world, this highly entertaining family movie is directed by renowned 3D filmmakers Ben Stassen (Fly Me to the Moon, Sammy's Adventures: Escape from Paradise) and Jeremie Degruson (A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventure), with original music by Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones). The film also features the music by Selena Gomez.  My daughter loves Selena Gomez and her music in this movie fits wonderfully!  Plus, we have an orange tabby who looks just … [Read more...]

Book of the Week :: What’s the Big Idea, Charlie Brown?

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Peanuts: Creative Inventors, Daring Explorers, Champions of Change. The Peanuts gang embarks on brand-new adventures highlighting the exceptional people who make America great!   American history is filled with heroes from every walk of life, and we want our kids to learn about them!  Who better to teach kids about American history and its heroes than the beloved Peanuts characters who have captured the hearts of generations? Little Patriot Press’s (a Regnery imprint) newest series of children’s books uses familiar storylines from the Peanuts canon to bring alive American history. Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang will teach children about what makes America strong and the lessons we have learned over the past 250 years.  What’s the Big Idea, Charlie Brown?, Where Are You Going, Charlie Brown?, and Who Cares, Charlie Brown? focus on inventors, … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Count Dracu1 Meet My Friends

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  When App Developer Popcorn Grenade asked me to review their new app CountDrac1 I couldn't wait to check out this Halloween app!  This is my favorite time of year as many of you know (and some even share my favorite holiday - yep, Halloween) so this was a real treat.  We are greeted by CountDrac and he tells us to look around his house.  Among other things we see is a coffin that when touched opens and we fin Rasta "who is sad because he is missing his teddy bear, which is to bad." But don't worry, the skeleton teddy bear is on the ground and when Count Drac hands it to this Rasta hat wearing skeleton (I mean his name is Rasta after all) he thanks his friend.       Okay, so this is going to be a funny and silly app - can't wait!  When you touch the skull that is sitting on what looks like a monsters feet table it giggles while opening his mouth.  … [Read more...]

Review & Giveaway: JACK AND THE CUCKOO-CLOCK HEART

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“The greatest animated romance since Tim Burton’s stop-motion masterpiece Corpse Bride” -James Verniere, Boston Herald JACK AND THE CUCKOO-CLOCK HEART A Film Directed by Mathias Malzieu and Stéphane Berla Produced by Virginie Besson-Silla, EuropaCorp                             INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED MOTION PICTURE FINALLY ARRIVES ON DVD AND TWO-DISC BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK (BLU-RAY+DVD+DIGITAL) IN STORES EVERYWHERE ON OCTOBER 7, 2014 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY   This fall, step inside the imaginative story book world of the highly popular French novel La Mécanique du Cœur (The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart) and beguiled by  the wildly inventive adventures of Jack and Miss Acacia as they leap from page to the screen. On October 7, 2014, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with EuropaCorp, is proud to present JACK AND THE CUCKOO-CLOCK HEART on DVD, two-disc Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD … [Read more...]

First Day of Fall ::­ Amazon Appstore’s Got You Covered

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Photo courtesy of Flickr   Today marks the first official day of fall. This means cooler weather, football games, the kick-off of holiday gatherings and an abundance of pumpkin and apple spice.  I just love this time of year and can't wait to take my first bite of pumpkin pie! To help you get in the mood for the new season, Amazon Appstore has you covered on everything from shopping apps for your new fall wardrobe, cooking and recipe apps for those who love to entertain, family fun holiday apps, fall TV programing  and even a few fun Oktoberfest apps in case you enjoy celebrating the Bavarian tradition. Regardless of what puts you in the mood for fall, you can find some inspiration in Amazon Appstore, just in time for the leaves to start changing.     Check out some of our favorite apps for fall below - many of which are … [Read more...]

Come Meet The Boo Hoo Crew and Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day!

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        This is my favorite time of year - not only do we have Halloween and Christmas but also Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19th!  This year we are celebrating with a Talk Like A Pirate Facebook Party on September 19th from 5:30 pm PST to 6:30 pm PST!  We will be handing out some pirate booty including codes from some of your favorite developers and authors such as Blue Sandpiper Imprints Axe's Monster Fest, SoGaBee's Math Facts Fun and The Human Body Detectives.  We will also have some codes from PicPocket Books and Twinkle Twinkle Nighty Night, Treasure Kai, Purple Carrot Books and some from PBS Kids. And guess what?! Both versions of Penelope the Purple Pirate (iPhone version) and Penelope HD will be FREE on September 19th for one day only! We don't put our apps for free often (we need to eat too =) so make sure to grab it and tell ye … [Read more...]

September 8th is International Literacy Day

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  Image courtesy of Jump Into A Book   Promoting a love of reading and writing has been at the forefront of my goals as a mom and children's book author.  I help where I can by donating books to libraries and schools, dp school readings and offer Author Skype Readings around the U.S. to encourage children to pick up a book and start reading!  We are also in our 3rd year of sponsoring the Mrs. P Be-A-Famous Writer Contest that encourages schoolchildren to write and create! But there are people worldwide who don't have access to books or even schooling and that is where International Literacy Day comes in to help provide access to books and lifelong learning in developing countries. September 8th is International Literacy Day and the theme this year is "Literacy and Sustainable Development". It is celebrated worldwide and a main global celebration will take place in … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Crayola’s Nail Party Delivers Fun

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        Budge Studios™, the world’s leading ‘freemium’ kids app company, and Crayola, the brand that powers children’s creativity, announced recently the release of their first app together, Crayola Nail Party. The app encourages kids to use their imagination to create the ultimate manicure, using a variety of fab polishes, patterns, glitters, stickers and designs. Budge Studios partners with Crayola to launch Crayola Nail Party, the trendiest ‘hands-on’ after school app-tivity of the year.  When Budge Studios asked me to review their latest app, Crayola Nail Party, I was happy to try it out!  What a fun way to style your little girls nails without the smell or toxins!  I have been trying to get my eight year old into painting her nails and this app did the trick.  Especially because you can do just about any design you want - your nails can be pink … [Read more...]

Review & Giveaway :: Disneynature’s Bears

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    Image courtesy of Disney   We had a chance to review Disney's Bears a few months back as part of the Disney Social Media Moms event and absolutely loved it.  I have always been a big fan of nature movies, and Disneynature does a really wonderful job of educating people about wildlife and Planet Earth.  In Bears we are taken on a journey following a mom and her two cubs through the beautiful landscape of Alaska.  The movie starts off with us in the cave with the newborns.  Adorable!  It is amazing what these photographers and filmmakers can do with wildlife.  The bears were not disturbed at all with the cameras (I am assuming the ones they used in the cave are small?) and just go about their life without any concern for us.   Image courtesy of Disneynature   The movie has just the right mix of adventure, beautiful scenery, and play … [Read more...]