App of the Week :: WILD KRATTS World Adventure by PBS Kids

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      This week, PBS KIDS announced a brand new app called WILD KRATTS World Adventure. A must have-app for fans of the popular PBS KIDS series, WILD KRATTS, World Adventure brings animal science to life! Through 30 levels of game play, WILD KRATTS World Adventure helps build key skills and encourages science inquiry. With the app, children ages 4 to 8 can tilt and tap their way through games that help them learn how different animals live and adapt to their habitats.  My daughter liked playing the woodpecker game where she had to keep pecking at the tree to get at the bug.  Once she got the bug, she received points and moved up levels.  The whole time she is competing against an actual woodpecker on the other side of the tree and it is a race to see who will get to the bug first. Next game we played was the Dolphin Trash Collector where she played a … [Read more...]

A Dr. Seuss Birthday and Read Across America Giveaway

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Image courtesy of Oceanhouse Media   This is such a fun time of year for students and book authors!  This Sunday, March 2nd, is the 110th birthday of Dr. Seuss! Every year the National Education Association honors his birthday with Read Across America Day (RAAD)- an annual reading motivation program that calls for every child in the community to celebrate reading. I plan to combine Read Across America and LitWorld World Read Across America event on March 5th and read my new book Clarence and the Traveling Circus to a room full of first graders.  I am so excited to be participating in this fun event!  In support of Read Across America, our friends at TV Store Online are hosting a Dr. Seuss giveaway for Penelope's mates!  One lucky person will win all three items that include an Infant Onesie, Junior White Costume T-Shirt, and Men's Black Cat in the Hat T-Shirt.  Winner can choose … [Read more...]

Join LitWorld’s “World Read Aloud Day” on March 5th

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Image courtesy of LitWorld Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate. Two-thirds of them are women. I am really excited to be working with the Mrs. P Be-A-Famous Writer contest again this coming year!  This will be the third year working together and the second year that my company, Polka Dots Publishing, is sponsoring the winners professionally illustrated books that will be presented to them as a hardcover.  I heard about LitWorld's World's Read Aloud Day from the Mrs. P group and I jumped at the chance to help out and help promote a love of reading!  On March 5th,  the LitWorld group asks that people around the world take some extra time to read to their children, neighbhorhood children, and/or at your local school or library to help promote literacy.  See how you can get involved in your community!   About LitWorld: This excerpt is taken from the … [Read more...]

Review & Giveaway :: Anchor Bay Entertainment Releases “Brewster Leads The Way”

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    LATEST ‘Chugginton’ DVD, ‘brewster leads the way,’ MAKES TRACKS FOR MORE TRAINTASTIC FUN FOR FANS NATIONWIDE!  Preschoolers from Coast-to-Coast to Embark on Exciting Escapades With Latest Release from Anchor Bay Entertainment – February 11, 2014 It’s Brewster’s turn to take the spotlight! Young viewers nationwide are in for thrilling, high-speed adventures featuring one of their favorite chuggers in “Brewster Leads The Way,” the newest addition to the popular “Chuggington. ™” DVD series from Anchor Bay Entertainment. My daughter and I had a chance to review this DVD and I can definitely see the appeal for preschoolers.  Though my daughter is a first grader, she did enjoy watching Brewster in this six action-packed episodes featuring relatable storylines and positive messages for preschoolers, “Brewster Leads The Way” arrived at retailers on February 11, 2014, just … [Read more...]

Guest Post :: Michelle Anaya Talks Storybook Apps

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    Becoming a published author had always been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I wrote in journals, jotted ideas on post its, scribbled and doodled in sketch books but my partial stories and ideas never went beyond that. My blog was the first in many steps taken to becoming a more disciplined writer. About two years ago I decided to stop treating my writing as a hobby and there was no turning back.   First I did lots of research, bought books on writing and joined the online writing group CBI clubhouse. Learning best practices and getting valuable insight from published authors and industry experts was extremely helpful for laying the groundwork before get ting started. The only negative surprise was learning that my prospects of getting published were similar to those of winning the lottery. I forged ahead anyway with the writing and … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Duckie Deck Family Photo

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      App Developer Duckie Deck released a really fun app this month called Family Photo. Duckie Deck's Family Photo enables you and your child to create your own set of colorful, expressive characters and bring them together for a group photo. They designed this app with toddlers in mind and the app is easy to use and engaging for young minds. With the help of Family Photo, children can capture a personalized impression of their family and friends and show their appreciation for those special relationships.  Though my daughter is in first grade, she had fun as well creating some fun "family" portraits with me.   Family Fun: As I said my daughter and I created some pretty silly looking family members.  My dad had a moustache for as long as I can remember so we had fun creating different looks with the different moustache options available to … [Read more...]

Review & Giveaway: My Dog the Champion by Anchor Bay Entertainment

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  MY DOG THE CHAMPION BRINGS INSPIRING STORY OF A CITY GIRL AND HER FOUR-LEGGED FRIEND TO FAMILIES NATIONWIDE New Feature Film – Starring Dora Madison Burge, Lance Henriksen And Cody Linley–– Bounds onto DVD for the First Time from Anchor Bay Entertainment – February 4, 2014  Today, Anchor Bay Entertainment releases My Dog the Champion on DVD.  We had a chance to review this cute film about a coming-of-age adventure.  The inspiring story of an unlikely friendship between a born-and-bred teenage city girl and a cattle dog, the new feature film starring Dora Madison Burge ("Dexter," "Friday Night Lights," Cowgirls 'n Angels), Lance Henriksen (Aliens, The Terminator, Aliens vs. Predators) and Cody Linley ("Hannah Montana," Cheaper by the Dozen) makes its national retail debut on February 4, 2014.  We are big fans of Lance Henriksen and loved him in The Terminator!  He plays a sweet, … [Read more...]

Awesome DIY Valentines Day Cards for the Kids

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  Valentine's Day is so much fun for the kids!  I can remember how much I looked forward to handing out and receiving Valentine's Day cards at school.  But back in the day, we didn't have many choices except the cards you bought at the grocery store.  Nowadays you can find so many clever ideas!  Whether you are looking to provide a goodie or candy with the card - we have found some really fun ideas to try out this year!  Have a wonderful time creating a special day for your family!    You Are Amazing: This is such a clever idea!  I just found out my daughter's school asks that we don't hand out candy this year with a card - so we are on the look-out for some non-food card ideas.  This just might be the one!  You can find these mazes on Oriental Trading or at your local party store.  Image found on Pinterest.      A Love Bug: We made these cards … [Read more...]

Penelope the Purple Pirate Birthday Party Giveaway

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Since Penelope is celebrating her 3rd birthday this month, I figured it might be fun to throw a Penelope party for the winner of our birthday celebration giveaway! We will provide the goodies and your child can enjoy a pirate-themed party - courtesy of Penelope! Our Giveaway will include: $15 Gift Card good towards a cake at your local supermarket Balloons/Streamers Pirate Hat for the birthday boy or girl Three signed copies of Penelope the Purple Pirate. One for the birthday boy or girl and two to give out as prizes Pirate-themed game ideas Pirate Booty Party Favors - enough for 8 kids. Will include: gold coins, Penelope bookmarks, green necklace and other goodies. Pirate Mask PDF that they can make at the party. Penelope Telescope - Craft idea which just needs toilet paper rolls and tape. Good luck mates! a Rafflecopter giveaway … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Jerry’s Day Out! by Ink Robin

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  Since app developer Ink Robin came on the scene last year, I have been a big fan of theirs.  Some of my all-time favorite storybook apps were developed by Ink Robin. If you haven't checked out my review of Piccadilly's Circus or The Hippo, The Rhino, The Elephant... And Me - you really should.  Both stories are wonderful and the illustrations in Piccadilly's Circus are dreamy (and it is quite funny).  Ink Robin just released Jerry's Day Out and it is filled with photographs around New York that the developers took themselves.  There is a really cute map that shows you all the main hot spots in New York such as the East Village, Greenwich Village, Chelse and Soho.  Then of course you have Upper West and East Side where we find the picture of the boy - so that must be where he lives.  At any time, you can go back to the map to take a new adventure for in each city is picture of a … [Read more...]