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...]

App of the Week :: The Snow Queen

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    The Snow Queen by Pony Apps is a beautifully illustrated storybook app.  Snow Queen is the first story released of a series that is currently in production. These apps are storybook apps designed for parents to read to their kids. They feature interactive visuals, games and puzzles to accompany the story. The app is available in Russian and English and you have the option to turn off or on the narration and sound.  The story begins and we see a wicked goblin standing in front of a mirror.  But this was not any ordinary mirror - he created a mirror with evil powers. Whatever it touched it minimized the good in it and things that were bad became even worse.  When you touch the mirror it turns into several scary faces. I think kids who enjoy scarier stories would enjoy this storybook app. It reminds me of the stories we were told as kids - they tended to be a bit … [Read more...]

Giveaway for Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings

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      Trolley games, sing-alongs, and more! PBS KIDS announced this week a brand new app from the popular show DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, called Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings.  We are big fans of Daniel Tiger's Neighboorhood and watched it quite a bit when my daughter was in preschool. Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings is geared towards kids ages 2-5 and is available on iPad. The app is designed to empower kids to identify and express their wide and complex range of emotions. The four socio-emotional activities in the app offer kids a variety of interactive ways to accomplish this.     Features include: Trolley Game – Drive the trolley to discover more than a dozen mini-games about feelings. Sing-Along – Choose from 18 of your favorite Daniel Tiger songs, each one fully animated. Drawing Easel – Use paints, crayons, … [Read more...]

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...]