Let’s Celebrate! Penelope’s 4th Birthday Giveaway

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  Seems like a lifetime ago, sitting on my daughter's bed listening to my husband tell her a story about RedBeard and his adventures on the high seas.  In that moment, I visualized a little redheaded girl pirate and her adventures on the high seas.  It took about a year to see my dream of writing a children's book come alive, but step by step, with some ups and downs, it came to light!  The feeling of seeing the story for the first on the iPhone as a storybook app is a memory I will always treasure!  And reading the story for the first time to my daughter's preschool class, with her by my side (hand on my knee) is so precious to me.     I have told my story many times in hopes that it inspires other aspiring authors to just go for it!  If I had listened to the naysayers (yes, there were some other writers that told me self-publishing and doing an app first … [Read more...]

The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Rev Your Engines

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  The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Rev Your Engines Chuck is back with his friends: Digger, Handy, Rowdy, Biggs, Boomer and Flip with 10 new episodes in "Rev Your Engines"! It's one of those dvd episode movies that can involve the whole family and create communication about the episodes where you actually feel good about what your child just watched. You'll also feel extremely happy yourself and won't mind watching it repeatedly or allowing your child to ask for it again and again. When cartoons are this good and of such quality and entertainment along with knowing that your child learned something while watching, well, you don't and won't squirm at giving some "tv time". That's what you get from Hasbro and Shout! Kids in their newest collaboration.    Each episode, as with all of "The Adventures of Chuck & Friends", is fun for the whole family that always … [Read more...]

Review :: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER GEORGE LUCAS THE EMMY® AWARD-WINNING SERIES ‘STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS‘ STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS: THE LOST MISSIONS       Against a backdrop of ever-shifting loyalties, uneasy alliances and ancient hostilities, the conflict between the Republic and the Separatists ramps up, setting the stage for Darth Sidious’ ultimate act of treachery against the Jedi. In these uncertain times, some of the deepest mysteries of the light and dark sides of the Force are revealed as an intrepid clone trooper uncovers a shocking conspiracy, Anakin Skywalker’s closest relationship is tested to its limits, and Master Yoda makes a discovery that could forever change the balance of power in the galaxy.     The Clone Wars are really well made and the stories draw you in.  It takes me back to being a kid!  The very first movie I remember seeing is Star … [Read more...]

Movie Review & Giveaway :: The Hundred-Foot Journey

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    Our family goes to the movies quite a bit and you could say it is one of our favorite things to do together!  We usually will get a big box of popcorn and peanut m&m's (though my daughter prefers the plain ones - age wins out) and we sit back and enjoy the latest PG and under movies.  I have seen the previews for The Hundred-Foot Journey and it was on my list of movies to see so I was excited to receive a copy to check out and one to hand out in a giveaway.      From producers Steven Spielberg & Oprah Winfrey and director Lasse Hallström (“Chocolat,” “The Cider House Rules”) comes the deliciously entertaining story of “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” which will be available to own on December 2, 2014. Based on the beloved, best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais and starring Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren (“The Queen,” “Monsters University,” “The … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]