Mrs. Potato Head’s Packing Essentials

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    School's out and if you've been bitten by the travel bug and are looking for some expert travel and packing tips, look no further!  In Pixar’s timeless Toy Story movies, Mrs. Potato Head packs Mr. Potato Head with all his essential travel needs – including his angry eyes and an extra pair of shoes! In honor of Disney Movies Anywhere’s “Pixar Summer Movies To Go,” the tasteful ‘tater reveals her spud-tacular travel tips exclusively for you. The sweet potato also shares her and Mr. Potato Head's essential packing list below.  What a fun way to get the kids involved in packing for your next trip!  Tips straight from Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head! With Pixar Summer Movies To Go, a different fan favorite film is made available each week throughout the summer with exclusive bonus content like special filmmaker introductions, film trivia and the “Countdown to Pixar’s … [Read more...]

App of the Week :: Let’s Paint Dinosaurs by Dotnamestudios

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  Since I was a kid I have been fascinated by dinosaurs.  I mean really, these huge beasts walked our lands!  We do still have some dinosaurs left today but much smaller than say the T-Rex or my all-time favorite Stegosaurus.  Great white sharks, alligators and sea turtles have been around for a long time.  There isn't anything quite like the black eyes of a Great White is there?!  Last year we had the chance to review Dinosaur Zoo and I was so impressed with how life-like the dinosaurs are in the app.  They make great sounds and move just like what you image these beasts would have been like back in the day.  Dotnamestudios, creator of the acclaimed Dinosaur Zoo app (Educational App of the Year 2011, 2012 and featured on Apple's 2013 "Together" commercial) now brings you more high-end CG dinosaur fun with their new release, Let’s Paint Dinosaurs. This is the perfect app for … [Read more...]

Book of the Week: Millie Fierce Sleeps Out

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    Little girls can be strong and fierce and brave—and sometimes their ferocity is just the thing they need to save the day. Jane Manning wrote one of my favorite children's books I've reviewed over the past two years called , Millie Fierce, and she doesn't disappoint with her latest adventure with this rather fun-loving and feisty character.  Millie Fierce Sleeps Out is a sweet tale of a fierce little girl who knows that being too fierce can ruin parties or even make friends cry.  So she decided to keep herself fierce-free all summer long and was rewarded by her mother with promise of a sleep out.  Yes, a sleep over in her very own backyard!  She imaged it as adventurous as the Amazon jungle or even Mars!  There was so much to see and explore! Her best friend, Maya, was coming as was her cousin Lizzie.  She worked hard at planning this fun sleepover in … [Read more...]

Jimmy Osmond of the Osmond Family and Children’s Author

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      When Regnery Kids contacted me about reviewing Jimmy Osmond's children's book Awesome Possum Family Band I jumped at the chance.  I use to watch The Osmonds on TV and loved the Donny & Marie show so much. I was so enthralled with the crew, my mother had a friend who worked with them over at ABC (remember back in the day when there were only 12 stations?) and was able to get a signed photograph of them.  I can still remember how excited I was and the autographed photo was my prized possession for years! Talk about memory lane!  Jimmy is the youngest of the Osmond Family and shares his personal story of finding his special talent to bring to the Osmond Family band. As the youngest, Jimmy reached out to his older siblings to dabble in their special talents, but with no luck in finding his own. With the help and patience of his Mother, Jimmy was able to … [Read more...]

Can a Mobile Phone Help the Development of Children?

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  Photo courtesy of Digital Information World   How Can a Mobile Phone Help the Development of Children? For many parents and non-parent adults alike, there is a belief that children either shouldn’t have or do not need a mobile phone. Sometimes this belief stems from the fact the parents themselves did not have any such luxuries when they were small, so why should their child need one? Others have a view that mobile phones are bad for children, as they are disruptive and can damage kids’ attention spans, as well as open them up to a multitude of things they may not be mentally or emotionally ready to experience. However one thing that people don’t really consider is the benefits mobile phones can have in helping with the development of children. With the advances in mobile phone technology, smartphones are now able to do most things that your average computer … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight :: Mary Kole of Kidlit

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    A few years ago I was introduced to Mary Kole at a Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators function. She had just graduated from college and was working as an Associate Agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.  Mary spoke to a room of children's writers about the children's book industry and what changes she saw within the industry and what we could do to get our work noticed and published.  She was very dynamic and you could tell she was going places!  Fast forward a couple years, and she now runs a website Kidlit.com that has inspired thousands of aspiring writers with articles on the writing craft and getting published. Writer's Digest named one of the “101 Best Websites for Writers”  every year since its inception in 2009, and her success online led to a book on the art of writing novels for teens: WRITING IRRESISTIBLE KIDLIT, out now from … [Read more...]

Movie Review & Giveaway :: Chuggington “Explorer Koko”

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      BRAND-NEW ‘CHUGGINGTON’ DVD, ‘EXPLORER KOKO,’ TO BRING PRESCHOOLERS ABOARD FOR EXCITING ADVENTURES THIS SPRING!   Latest Release in Popular ‘Chuggington’ DVD Series from Anchor Bay Entertainment Moves Full Steam Ahead into Retail Nationwide this May.   Bet you can’t catch Koko! Young trainees and families from coast-to-coast will honk their horns for Koko when she takes the spotlight in “Explorer Koko,” the latest action-packed “Chuggington™” DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Featuring six engaging episodes that help preschoolers tackle everyday challenges and learn important life lessons, the exciting all-new collection puts wheels to the rails at retail this May.   In “Explorer Koko” ($14.98), everyone’s best friend Koko is chosen to carry the King of Buffertonia and his dignitaries on a special tour of Chuggington. The new … [Read more...]

The Helpful Honda Guys Celebrate Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

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Teacher Appreciation Week was held during the week of May 5-9th.  I had my daughter bring some flowers and a card as a little token for our thanks! Both her reading teacher and First grade teacher have done a wonderful job in teaching her basic math and reading skills.  What an amazing job they have - to help mold little minds!  I appreciate the hard work teachers do and I love that Honda, specifically the Honda Guys in Blue celebrate and honor outstanding teachers! The SoCal Honda Dealer's Helpful Guys in Blue  surprised winning teachers of the 2014 Helpful Honda Teacher Appreciation Awards last week with their personal wishlist of over $25,000 worth of teaching materials, art supplies, iPads and other technology while in their classrooms or during school assemblies to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week over May 5-9th. The Helpful Honda Guys kicked off their Helpful Teacher … [Read more...]

PBS Kids Launches Super Vision That Makes The Most of Screen Time

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    PBS KIDS launched a new revolutionary app designed specifically for parents that will give them the “super power” to engage with their kids in the digital medium as never before: PBS KIDS Super Vision.  Some of the PBS Kids shows we have enjoyed over the year include Sesame Street, Word Girl and Dinosaur Train to name just a few.  We do love Wild Kratts and it is fun for me as I usually am learning right along with my daughter about sea and animal life.  Lately, my daughter has been requesting the iPad before bedtime as opposed to watching a show for a few minutes to wind down before bed.  I have a problem with this because we tend to let her play on it longer than I would like and would prefer more educational programming than Minecraft games which is what she is obsessed with at the moment.    But now, with the release of PBS Kids Super Vision, I am able to put … [Read more...]

Book of the Week :: The Golden Trophy by Bee Square

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      The first thing that came to mind when I opened up the new eBook by Barcelona-based Bee Square, The Golden Trophy, are the wonderful illustrations because they remind me of the classic Golden Books (with a modern twist) that we grew up with as kids.  You have the option to have the story read to you with or without the text. You can even choose which language you want the story read in and include English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Chinese.  When you start the story, we are told that Sheldon the Tortoise is so happy because he won the golden trophy and there is a cute image him holding the trophy and when you touch him he jumps up and yells YAY!  The storyteller says "Great Job Sheldon!"  But the poor hare is moping next to Sheldon on the winners stand in second place.  Apparently 2nd place is not the … [Read more...]