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...]

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...]

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...]

Book of the Week :: Find Me

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  I really enjoying reviewing iBooks on the iPad because it reminds me of all the technological changes we have seen over the past five years and what a great time it is to be a writer!  The idea and design for Find Me is by Giulia Natale and the US Version is by Jenna Hollenstein. The story really engages the reader from the very beginning.  One of my favorite games as a kid and even now is when you have to find what part of the picture is different.  Well in the iBook Find Me this is part of the fun.  The story starts off by asking us to touch the screen to have the story read to us.  The story is quite cute and well written.   Here's an example of the story:     We are then told to touch and find the animal within the illustrations.  The graphics are very colorful and believe it or not, it took my daughter and I a few minutes to try to find each of the … [Read more...]

Book of the Week :: The Chicken Problem

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This past May I had a chance to attend the PBS annual meeting in Miami, Florida and meet with some of the amazing creative crew who are helping to bring such quality TV programming to our kids.  My daughter grew up watching Sesame Street, Wonder Pets!, and many other educational programs.   I was so excited to meet Jennifer Oxley, the creator of Wonder Pets! and Billy Aronson who created the soon-to-be released PBS Kids PEG+CAT television series.  Through engaging stories and physical comedy, PEG + CAT inspires preschool children to see math as exciting, accessible, and fun. The show teaches measurement, shapes and patterns, and a wide range of fundamental pre-math skills, as established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics. (Source: PBSKids.com).     The Chicken Problem is a … [Read more...]

Book of the Week :: Eggmania by Mania Tales

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  Eggmania by Mania Tales is a fun and beautifully illustrated iBook written by Sherry Maysonave and Illustrated by Denise Caliva.  The first page opens up and we have the option to Read Myself, Narration with Sound Effects or Explore Art with Fun Facts.  The story is about a young boy who has looked there and here in new frontiers  and wants to know Where is the egg in exactly?  Some of the words are underlined and represent advanced vocabulary words that when tapped will give  you the definition of the word.  For example, we touched the word frontiers and were given this definition: outer limits of land, territory, or knowledge.   The animations are simple but definitely add to the story.  Such as the blinking stars and crow nest swaying in the wind.  The main character is in search of where is the egg in exactly and takes us on a fun journey of new lands, … [Read more...]

Book of the Week :: The Remarkable Ronald Reagan by Susan Allen

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  No matter which side of the fence you are on in regards to politics - it is hard not to admire the amazing story of Ronald Reagan, who became our 40th President in 1980.  He was known as a hardworking young man by his friends and family who nicknamed him "Dutch."  Susan Allen is the author of The Remarkable Ronald Reagan: Cowboy and Commander in Chief and served as the First Lady of Virginia when her husband, George Allen, was elected as the Commonwealth's 67th governor.  She was very active as First Lady and worked on many initiatives that included tourism, breast cancer awareness, and children's issues.     Her father-in-law is a famed NFL head coach and Chairman of The President's Council on Physical Fitness and while accompanying him to a trip to the Oval Office, she had the opportunity to meet Ronald Regan.  Apparently President Regan inspired her … [Read more...]

Book of the Week: W.A.R.P Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin Review & Giveaway

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Many of you might know that I am a big fan of good Middle-Grade (MG) and Young Adult (YA) books.  In fact, on our trips to the bookstore you can usually find me in the pre-teen and teen section.  I pay no heed to my husband's raised eye-brows when I head off into that direction at the bookstore.  My argument is that good MG and YA books have fun characters, a good storyline and usually entail some adventure-taking.  And I am all about adventures!  When I was asked to read and review best-selling author Eoin Coffer's latest book W.A.R.P Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin I knew I was in for a fun ride.  I really enjoyed reading Colfer's Artemis Fowl series which some say are like Die Hard with fairies. Early this month Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, released WARP Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin with a first printing of 750,000.   Eoin Colfer will help bring the … [Read more...]

Book of the Week: President Adam’s Alligator And Other White House Pets

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    Cheryl Shaw Barnes and Peter Barnes, the creative force behind Woodrow, the White House Mouse have recently launched a new children's book called President Adams' Alligator and Other White House Pets. The book is written for students at a 3rd grade reading level, and is a fun resource for learning about our presidents while appealing to children’s love of animals.  My daughter and I enjoyed reading about the various Presidents and the pets they had while in office.  For example, did you know President John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator? He kept it in a bathtub in the East Room of the White House. But President Adams wasn't the only commander-in-chief with an unusual pet. Along with a collection of dogs, cats, horses and birds, presidents and their families also had pet snakes, raccoons, bears, cows, mice, and more. Meet Thomas Jefferson’s mockingbird, who ate from … [Read more...]

Book of the Week: The HuggaSnuggas: a Cozy Calendar

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    "This is too cute!" was the first thing I said when I read and looked at the illustrations in Pixel Mouse House new eBook The HuggaSnuggas: a Cozy Calendar.  I absolutely love the illustrations and story by Ted Enik.  The story is about Little Emma who wrote a poem about each of her snugga's (stuffed animals).  The poems are really sweet such as the one about her penguin.  "For January this Penguin chick would pick a snowfall, very thick.  Did I mention how much I love the illustrations?  They are gorgeous and just so darn cute! One of my favorite poems was the one about the monkey. "A Monkey's favorite time to play is Silly August Saturdays."  Each of her twelve special stuffed "snuggas," a wolf, monkey, butterfly, robin, and even a crab all have poems written just for and about them.  This is a great eBook to read to your toddler at nighttime.  It could turn into … [Read more...]