Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kids Movie: Missy Mila Volume 2 Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. Missy Mila Volume 2 Review + Giveaway   

About the DVD:
Mila is an 8-year-old quirky, energetic tomboy who loves to tell you traditional story-tales but with her own twist. Kids will be inspired to use their imagination and to become storytellers themselves. Audience participation is triggered by Mila's direct-to-camera asides all along the episode; her questions and games bring kids right into the story. Join Mila, laugh at the zany dialogs and fresh art in this innovative series which explores the world of classic tales.
     
Traditional tales are timeless stories that everyone loves to delve back into, generation after generation. Far from old-fashioned clich├ęs, the series “Missy Mila: Twisted Tales” revamps this cultural heritage through the imagination and spontaneity of a present-day little girl. Mila’s stories are peppered with spicy anachronisms and offbeat re-interpretations. So, don’t act surprised if you see a prince applying hair gel before setting out to rescue a princess, unless the latter is a kung-fu champion, that is! As for the dreadful Minotaur, Mila prefers to picture him as the Toupouloupou, a sweetie pie with a sweet tooth. And why do the wolves always have to be depicted as the bad guys? And, in her very personal adaptation of the Three Little Pigs, Mila swaps the awfully shy big bad wolf for an affable bull that… rocks!

Volume 2 includes Toadette the Frog, Prince Gabo, Miss Lazy, Bigmess the Ogress, The Mermaid’s Secret, The Ghost Who Couldn’t Scare, Quentin and his Dragon, Tounde the Ginormous Elephant, Rodolphe and Carlo, Chantal and Noemie, Greedy Liza, Tinytiny, The Two Tinanooks.

Each DVD is available on their website Organa.com for $19.95. I also saw some fun Action Adventures for Kids which encourage kids to MOVE & Make play an adventure for the body in this  yoga instruction DVD for kids. They also are offering FREE shipping for orders over $50!

My thoughts:
I received Missy Mila Twisted Tales, Vol 2 which is a Cute New DVD Series for Kids. The cartoon characters are really cute and I found 4 year old Sierra was totally engrossed in the stories and actually wanted to watch it from start to finish. Each of the stories is about the length of a simple picture book and completely animated. They reminded me a lot of the show Peg + Cat and I think that is why she connected with it. I do have to say I did not connect with the DVD personally, but I loved that Sierra did. Each of the stories needs to be "started" by clicking on play (unless I missed the play all button???) and really it seemed like we were reading a story book with each story.

If you have a child age 2-6 this would be a great item to stick in their Easter Basket or give as a Birthday Present for one of the dozens of birthday party invites you get invited to every year! lol

Note: you might also consider the first DVD in this series -


Missy Mila Volume 1 includes the episodes: The Hidden Princess, The Toupouloupou, Baba Yaga the Witch, Djoha’s Last Lie, Piboule and the Bear, Strabiwolf the Telltale, the Donkey and the King, The Houses of the Pig Brothers, Elvis, Captain Bloody-Nose the Pirate, The Leprechaun’s Treasure, Aurel the Mocker, Pancho Pimento’s Riddle.



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Maisy and the Missing Mice book tour!

Maisy and the Missing Mice banner 7

Maisy and the Missing Mice
by Elizabeth Woodrum
ISBN: 978-1492922056
$ 5.85 (paperback)
$ 2.99 (kindle)

Maisy Sawyer is not your average fourth grade student. She is a detective with a special skill for solving mysteries. She loves black and white mystery movies, cherry lollipops, and her dog, Reesie. When a thief known as The Black Boot steals the school’s mascots and her lollipops, Maisy sets out to solve the case. Can she help return the mice to their home in the science lab? Will she ever see her beloved lollipops again? Find out in the first book in The Maisy Files series.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland

Maya & Filippo Make Friends in AucklandMaya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland 
by Alinka Rutkowska 
ISBN: 978-1493626946 
$9.63 (paperback


About the book: 
Embark on a one-of-a-kind, unprecedented, breathtaking adventure with Maya and Filippo as they travel around the globe on board the “Fun Princess” — a cruise ship full of surprises. Discover their fascinating ports of call, find out what the local customs and traditions are, join the kids in activities at sea, and explore the remarkable world they create through the power of their positive outlook.
This time Maya and Filippo discover Auckland and meet different kinds of people depending on…read the book to find out! Spoiler alert: the kids ride a big hop-on, hop-off explorer bus, where strange things happen. They stop at the famous Sky Tower, where they do something very exciting.

My thoughts: 
Maya & Filippo are two kiddos who live on a cruise ship where they have unlimited chocolate everyday and even in their cereal for breakfast! When they wake up and find there isn't any chocolate to be found - because they ate it all - they start crying and complaining and then their mother encourages to visit Auckland and learn about the city. Along the way through the experiences they have that day they discover that when they are complaining others complain and when they have a bad attitude everything seems to go wrong. 

I personally wasn't really expecting to see a book about attitude (which is mostly what this book is about) and was expecting to read a book that told me about the beautiful city of Auckland and New Zealand. So, I was a bit disappointed about that. I would of liked to see a book that showed me more than the Sky Tower and the top level of the bus. But my two kiddos Sierra (4) and Connor (6) didn't seem to mind and we had a nice chat about how our attitude affects others and even how our day goes. We were able to tie it into when one of the kids has a hard morning before they head to school that sometimes it can make their day at school harder - nothing goes right, they get into trouble, etc and how important it is that we listen, are kind to others and that sometimes we can help others with what they are struggling with and it can help that persons day improve. 

There are other books in the Maya & Filippo series:
Maya & Filippo Play Chef at Sea
Maya & Filippo Look for Happiness in Tauranga
Maya & Filippo See Impossible Things in the Garden City
Maya & Filippo Learn about Careers in Dunedin
Maya & Filippo Talk about Business in Seattle
Maya & Filippo Look for Whales in Ketchikan
Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier
Maya & Filippo See Things Differently in Skagway

Learn more about this series online at http://mayafilippo.com/ where you will also learn about Alinka Rutkowska (the author) and her experience as an author.

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of the book to read and review on CCB in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to have a positive review & no $$$ exchanged hands. Thanks for reading CCB!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

February - Heart activities

It's been a while since I did a blog review of another blog (or two) and I stumbled across one (or two) that I came across from a link on the http://livingmontessorinow.com website. I'm always looking for fun activities to do with the 2 kiddos I watch in the afternoon. They are old enough now that they like to be creative and make their own masterpieces and I love that! I love to do crafts & art and it's been so fun this fall & winter being creative with them.

I'm one of those people that doesn't mind messy activities in my tiny apartment & I try to find art & crafts that the kids aren't going to do at school. We have done everything from playdo - to playing baker with flour (yeah that was a mess!) Sierra (4) is in preschool and Connor (6) is in kindergarten. I've never had a problem getting Sierra to do fun activities like art - but Connor until this fall wasn't interested and would start a project only to lose interest after his hand was printed. This year both kids are asking me 5 minutes before their parents walk into the door.... "Can I do a project?" I hate telling them no - you're folks are almost here. In fact, I've texted their moms and asked to keep the kids later - or asked them to let me know when they are 5 minutes away so I can get them washed up and smocks off and so they don't have to stop on a dime and quit their projects. Such fun!

We have several holidays coming up - Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's & Father's Day and today I thought I'd share a few activities (some art/crafts & some learning activities) we are going to do... and where I found them:

(Sierra's going to LOVE this one - and I'm sure I'm going to hear 
"I LOVE my Mom!" over and over again from Connor)
and.... it might take us at least a week for this craft - I'm sure I'll have a lot of hands on too!

vscavengerhunt

Montessori-Oriented Pipe-Cleaner-and-Bead Valentine's Day Activity
(Invitation Crafting - tray with goodies for the kids to make their own FUN things)
Alternate: Pipe Cleaner Counting Activity

Montessori-Inspired 100 Acts of Kindness Project
I really really like the idea of incorporating lessons on Kindness and Giving to Others
and I am going to look into this project closer - click here. Pinterest Board FULL of Ideas

Week One, Week Two, Week Three


Books to read: of course! lol
Valentine's Day Chapter Books for Kids from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

Do you have Valentine's Activities that you'd like to share? I'd LOVE to see what you are doing with your kiddos! Link Up below.....


Friday, December 27, 2013

Rock Harbor Search & Rescue Series for Girls.....

Today I have a review for 2 books in the NEW Middle Grade Series by Colleen Coble. This series is a welcome one for older Middle Schoolers.
 
Search & Rescue, Rock Harbor   -     By: Colleen Coble, Robin Caroll
 NEW! #2: Lost & Found   -     By: Colleen Coble, Robin Caroll

Rock Harbor Search & Rescue
by Colleen Coble & Robin Caroll
ISBN: 9781400321063
$8.75 (paperback)
$1.99 (kindle)
 
About the book:
Emily O’Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewelry artist at Rock Harbor’s fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime, it looks like she’ll never get her puppy and be able to join the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team.
Emily isn’t willing to give up on her Search and Rescue dreams that easily, and she sets out to find the real culprit and to restore her reputation. With a few suspects in mind, Emily is determined to uncover the truth, but she isn’t prepared for the secrets she and the Search and Rescue dogs sniff out in the process. This exciting mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them pining after a Search and Rescue puppy of their own!
 
Lost & Found
by Colleen Coble
ISBN: 9781400321636
$8.69 (paperback)
$5.99 (kindle)
 
About the book:
An old photo brings a shocking revelation and it’s up to Emily and her best friend Olivia to solve the case!
Fourteen-year-old Emily O’Reilly and her best friend Olivia Webster have a knack for solving mysteries. Emily has been busily training her new puppy Sherlock to be a Search and Rescue dog so that the two can lead search-and-rescue missions someday. So when Emily stumbles across an old photo of Olivia’s adoption day—a fact that has never been revealed to Olivia—the two quickly decide to uncover the mysterious details surrounding Olivia’s birth parents.
But the two bite off more than they can chew as they dig into learning more about Olivia’s adoption without notifying her parents. And to make matters worse, Emily’s mother Marika, a convicted felon recently released on parole, will stop at nothing to contact her daughter—a fact that Emily is not happy about.
When her beloved stepmother Naomi disappears, Emily takes it upon herself to connect the dots and conduct her own snow-bound search-and-rescue mission with Sherlock. Will Emily ever find the secret behind Naomi’s disappearance? And will Olivia ever learn the truth about her adopted parents?


My thoughts:
(This review will cover books 1 & 2 of the series)

I really enjoyed this series and while I personally found it moved quite fast without a lot of indepth descriptions (which I as an adult like) it's a perfect introduction to intrigue and mystery for Middle Schoolers. Written by Christian author Colleen Coble the Rock Harbor Search & Rescue series is interesting enough to hold your kids' attention and yet it still teaches Biblical Truths without being preachy. Kids learn about honesty, respect & honor to parents and compassion for others.

I do have to say that I didn't appreciate all that Emily goes through in Book 1. Her father comes across as uncaring, over strict and untrusting of his own daughter who doesn't seem to have given him reason to feel this way. In Book 1 Emily & her friend Olivia are supposed to be watching another vendor's jewelry table and the lady's most valuable necklace ends up missing - Emily is punished by having to give her the money she has earned that day at her own jewelry table and grounded for 2 weeks. Not once did her dad listen to her side of the story and to me he comes across as very authoritative and unfeeling & Emily ends up feeling alone, frustrated and angry - angry enough that she took it into her own hands to restore & prove her own innocence.

These books brought the following verses to mind: Eph 6:4 "Fathers, do not exasperate your children...." and Col 3:21 "Fathers, do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged." (Both are NIV). I think Emily handles her father very well for a 14 year old who could of easily become bitter, angry, defeated and given up - instead she sets out to make it right and get her reputation back. She is a great example of Prov 20:11 and shows that "even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right." (NLT)

I actually read these books in the wrong order and I remember feeling the same way with Lost & Found - but I wasn't as disturbed by the actions of her father in Book 2. I'll be very interested to see what happens in Book 3 & if dear old Dad mellows out even more. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Emily.

This is a wonderful series for families - add it to your family bookshelf & if you have middle schoolers to early high school consider reading it as a family. I think even boys would enjoy them even though they are "written for girls.". The only thing missing in these books is a full list of discussion questions.

You can learn more about the author & the many books she has written @ http://colleencoble.com or on Facebook @ colleencoblebooks

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of the book to read and review on CCB in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to have a positive review and no $$$ exchanged hands.

 

Santa's Merry Band - Christmas App

I have a FUN contest and item to share with you today:


Mibblio has just released a FUN new app for iPad and it's for all little "Mibblet's" out there. Santa's Merry Little Band is an interactive children's music story book that allows kids to read and jam along with the songs. Featuring songs from KT Tunstall, Guster, Indigo Girls, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, G Love and lots more (so, yeah - no tinny sounding ear covering noises!!! Yay!)

You can enter to WIN a copy of Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler's Marshmallow World (The Art of Designing with Marshmallows) and a FREE download of the app (+10 other FREE app downloads!!!).

Here's what you do to enter:
Instagram your holiday treat ideas - use the hashtag #mibbliomarshmallows
That's It! Contest ends 1/5/14!

More details @ http://tinyurl.com/MarshmallowContest

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Christmas Kindness ~ book review

New Children’s Book for Review: ‘A Christmas Kindness’ by C. C. GevryA Christmas Kindness
by C.C. Gevry
ISBN: 978-0985266141 
$10.79 (paperback)

About the book:
Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

My thoughts:
A Christmas Kindness is a welcome introduction to giving and caring for others during the Christmas Season. Robert is a little boy who has a list of things he'd like to have for Christmas – a model train, a remote control car, a blue bike.... But when he meets Glenn and visits with him he learns there are others that face sadness and hardness during the holiday season. It opens his eyes to others and he ends up making a decision to help someone else instead of “stuff” for himself.

I read this story to my 4 year old and 6 year old and while the little one wasn't quite ready for a chapter book she was the one that was able to answer my comprehension questions that I asked throughout the story. “What is Robert going to ask Santa for?” “Why is Glenn sad?” “What is Glenn going to ask Santa for?”

This would be a great book to add to your Christmas book selections and if you do Advent in your family it might be a great introduction to a family service project. Read it at Thanksgiving and encourage your kids to think of ways they can help others and tell them you will make a decision together as a family on a service project for the holidays.

This book is ideal for kiddos 5 and up. Sierra was a little young at 4 for it and kept asking if she could go play but I really think she got what she was supposed to out of it. =D

About the author:
C.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married. Visit her online at http://ccgevry.com

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of the book to read and review on CCB in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to have a positive review and no $$$ exchanged hands.