Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm featured on the Lovin' the Giveaways blog hop! Thanks!

Hi everyone! I'm featured this weekend on the Lovin' the Weekend blog hops. Now come on, we all know you LOVE 'em too! Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom of the post with your blog info if you'd like to be followed back. You can follow me via GFC (right sidebar), Networked Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc - you can just click here and all my gadgets are listed in one handy spot to make it easier on you. =D  

Also, you can LINK UP any giveaways on my Ongoing Giveaway Linky on GivingNSharing - Click Here

Thanks again! ~ Tina 'the book lady'

Welcome to the fifty-sixth weekend of Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hops. We are officially in the second year!

To celebrate this wonderful occasion, we are adding a second permanent co-host! Thank you to all who took an interest and filled out the form. We will be going through the responses and contacting one of you shortly. 

Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant!

First things first:
Please don't forget to check out my co-host's blog:
Adventures of the Mommy Homemaker

 We also randomly choose a Featured host each week from the Lovin' The Readers linky. This week we are featuring Tina from Giving N Sharing and Classic Children's Books.

Here's what she has to say:
"Classic Children's Books is dedicated to encouraging strong family relationships through reading and playing together. We are PR friendly and love doing blog reviews & giveaways on Books, toys, games, educational products for families with kids from 0-15'ish.

CCB has been active for the last 4 years and I have worked with publishers & authors from around the world - Africa, Australia, Europe, Britain, America & Canada. 

GivingNSharing is focused on Adult & Teen reading, Cooking and Life in General. You'll find we focus on reviews, services and more for everyone 16+ including items like Doctor Services, health care, reading, cookbooks & items that help people with Chronic Health Issues like Fibromyalgia, MS, Chronic Pain and more. GivingNSharing has been running for the last 3 1/2 years. I started it due to the interest in Adult Literacy from Myself & my Readers and also because I wanted to bring Fibromyalgia out more so people could learn about it and how they can help friends & family that fight their way through it on a daily basis.

2012 Holiday Preview button

Be sure to join me on BOTH of my blogs this Winter for several Mega Giveaway Hops & also for my annual Christmas Preview which will focus on Christmas Stocking & Gift ideas. November 5 - December 15. "

Please take the time to check out her blogs, let her know you are visiting from the Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops. 

Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.

Here's how this blog hop works. I would appreciate it if you would follow myself, my co-host and my Featured Host via GFC. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkys you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on my sidebar). I'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. I'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  

I have noticed that some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, I decided to create two separate linkys. The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.

If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. I will follow you back if you follow me (just note which one you are linking to):

Tots and Me

If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:

Tots and Me

If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.

Tots and Me

I am so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and I will be sure to stop by and follow back.

Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great weekend blog hops!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill! Giveaway

The holidays are just a short 2 months away! It's time to figure out what you (or Santa) are doing for the kids this year and the crew from BloggerResources are here to get you started with a Giveaway that your little girls or grandkids will LOVE!

Please, if asked which blog referred you or which blog you're entering on.... put Classic Children's Books in the blank. Thanks! Tina 'the book lady'

Welcome to the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill Giveaway!

Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts: 

The Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill features an attached dining area, and encourages multi-child play inside and out. The kitchen has three realistic electronic features: grill, stovetop and phone. The custom appliances feature a grill and electronic stovetop with a burner. It has a large sink has a swivel faucet with a push button. In addition, the "stainless steel" refrigerator enhances role-play and provides valuable storage.

Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill Features:

  • Attached dining area
  • 3 realistic electronic features: grill, stovetop and phone
  • Grill and electronic stovetop with a burner
  • Large sink has a swivel faucet with a push button
  • "Stainless steel" refrigerator enhances role-play
  • Lots of storage space
  • Includes 104 play accessories

One lucky reader will receive the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill!

Giveaway ends November 5th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blog Hoppin' w/ Friends!

This weekend I have a little time to do some blog hoppin' - would love some new friends and visits anytime! Here are the blog hops I'm participating in this weekend ~ feel free to join in. Just click on the button and you'll go to the linky:

.BlogButton  Tots and Me

2012 Holiday Preview buttonBe sure to stay tuned for the Christmas Preview coming up. It will be a combined effort between both of my blogs: Classic Children's Books & GivingNSharing. You'll find great ideas for Stocking Stuffers and Christmas (or any holiday) gifts.

If you'd like to know about Usborne Books' Black Friday Sale coming up the day after Thanksgiving ~ sign up for my newsletter here: (scroll down and link is on the left) and you'll get advance notice of the sale, new titles, freebies like little craft activities and contests and more. You can unsubscribe at any time - just scroll to the bottom of the newsletter and click "unsubscribe". Thanks!

Are you wondering WHERE in the world my Follow Gadgets are? Well, in an effort to clean up my sidebars and make it easier for people to follow me I set up a page dedicated to Linky Followers, Blog Followers, Facebook & Twitter Followers, and so on.... If you decide you'd like to follow ~ be sure to leave a comment below this post so I can follow you back!

Thanks ~ Tina 'the book lady'

(Both of these events are looking for Bloggers - click the pic to sign up!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Life with Lily Blog Tour ~ October 1 to 15

Life with Lily

Life with Lily

by Suzanne Woods Fisher
ISBN:  978-0800721329
$9.35 (paperback)
$8.88 (kindle)
Age: 6-10, reading level 8+

Book 1 in the ‘Adventures of Lily Lapp’ series.

Lily is six in this story, just starting first grade in a one-room schoolhouse in upstate New York. Her parents are busy building a farm, and soon animals join the family—Jenny the cow and Chubby the miniature horse. A baby brother arrives, too, which Lily has mixed feelings about. (She wanted a sister!) Aside from a mischievous friend like Mandy Mast, Lily is happy at school and even happier at home. Trouble is brewing at the schoolhouse and change is on the horizon for Lily and her family.

My Thoughts:
Life with Lily is a welcome addition to children's books. Joining the Amish genre the writing and book itself is very similar to the Little House books with each chapter being a story all in itself. The book is about Lily who is a cute little 6 year old who in the first chapter welcomes a new little brother, another chapter is about a barn raising, her brother decides he wants to learn to fly - right off the chicken coop, and so on. 

I personally think it's wonderful to have a new series of books for kids. It's always nice for kids to learn about new customs and the way others live. That it takes place in modern day America makes it even more interesting and that Lily is a kid just like them will peak your kid's interest.  

This is a great book to read aloud at bedtime, in the car and if you have kids around 8 who are ready to read on their owns this would be a great book to start with. The Adventures of Lily is going to be a series, Lily has her own website (click here) complete with games, coloring pages, recipes, crafts, contests & giveaways & your kids can even write Lily & ask her about growing up Amish.

This would make a great Stocking Stuffer!
Life With Lily, Book 1 is available now. Order Here
A New Home for Lily, Book 2 will be released February 2013. PreOrder Here

About the authors:
Suzanne Woods Fisher lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has one husband, four children, one son-in-law, a brand new grand-baby, and a couple of dogs. She graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.

Mary Ann lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania, in the same area where Lily grew up. Like Lily, she was raised in an Amish home and 5 little brothers and 2 wonderful parents. The Adventures of Lily Lapp is inspired by Mary Ann's childhood. Most of the stories, although not all, actually happened pretty close to the way it's in the books.

Celebrate with Suzanne and Mary Ann by entering their contest and RSVPing to the “Life with Lily” Facebook Author Chat Party on 10/16!

Two fortunate winners will receive:
  • Either the new Kindle Fire or new Nook HD
  • Signed copy of Life with Lily for you and a young reader in your life.  
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 15th. Winner will be announced at the Life with Lily Author Chat Facebook Party on 10/16. Connect with authors Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger for an evening of book chat, Q&A about Mary Ann’s Amish childhood, trivia, and fun! There will also be gift certificates, books, and other fun prizes!

So grab your copy of Life with Lily and join Suzanne and Mary Ann on the evening of the October 16th for a chance to connect with the authors and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books – don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 16th!

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Life With Lily to read & review on CCB. I was not required to write a positive review and no money exchanged hands.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Shirtful of Frogs

A Shirtful of FrogsA Shirtful of Frogs
A World War II Timeslip Adventure
by Shalini Boland
ISBN: 978-0956998545
$9.99 (paperback)
$2.99 (kindle)

About the Book:
The life of a WWII evacuee collides with the world of a boy from the present day, in this timeslip adventure. As WWII breaks out, six-year-old Jimmy Sweeney is evacuated from London to the country. He is now an outcast, bullied by the local kids and mistreated by the awful Mrs Cribbins. One night a stranger appears in his room. A tall clean boy who brings him wonderful food and other amazing things. They become friends which is good because pretty soon Jimmy is going to need a friend. His life may depend upon it . . . 

My Thoughts:
Based on true events A Shirtful of Frogs takes place in the early 1940's during the beginning of World War II. It opens by introducing Jimmy a mischievous 6 year old and his twin brother Patrick. The next scene has a realistic view of Jimmy's family's London neighborhood being bombed and from there the adventure begins with a train ride for the brothers to the countryside where they are split up and Jimmy ends up with a cruel woman who only took him in for the money. 

I loved how easy it was to read this book. It moves fast and the switch between decades is easy to maneuver. Jimmy seems to be a bit "old" mentally for a 6 year old but he grew up on the streets running wild, getting into trouble and has very little guidance from a mother who is overwhelmed with 11 kids and husband off to war. After he gets shipped off to the country we meet Nathan a modern day 12 year old who is moving to a new house, a new school and who ends up waking up in the middle of the night and follows the sounds of crying up to the 3rd story of their new house and discovers Jimmy a child from the 1940's. He's neglected, hungry and lonely & Nathan feeds him.

I loved how sympathetic Nathan was toward what he feels is his responsibility - this is a character trait that I'd love to see in more books for the preteen crowd.

This story is great for kids about 8 to 12/13 years old. It would be a great family read aloud. Some of the subjects are a little heavy for younger kids but they are handled lightly and there isn't any part of the book that would be scary. You may need to talk with your kids about some of the events of the 1940's (kids being shipped out of London, siblings being separated, bombs dropping and killing people in the houses across the street) and it's disturbing that Jimmy is slowly starving to death in the book thanks to Mrs Cribbins the woman who took him in. What's sad is that I'm sure many of the children being sent out from London were neglected and mistreated. 

About the author:
Shalini Boland lives in Dorset with her husband and two noisy boys where she grabs every spare second to write novels. She has written several books: Outside, a post-apocalyptic novel and Books 1 & 2 in the Marchwood Vampire Series: Hidden and Thicker than blood. Book 2 of the Outside Series and Book 3 of the Marchwood Vampire Series will be released soon.

You can learn more about Shalini on her blog "A Person Wot Writes"  and get updates on new releases and other events in this new authors career on her Facebook page. I guess I can't really say she's new since she has several other books including 2 series. It seems her books are mostly in the Vampire genre and you won't see those on CCB so I must say I'm thrilled that she has written A Shirtful of Frogs. I'm really hoping she does this as a series also. It would be really neat to have Nathan (our hero) meet other people in different decades or even centuries that lived in the area or region in the book.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of one or more of these items. I was not required to write a positive review and no money exchanged hands. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

RockNLearn: Colors, Shapes & Counting

Today I have a FUN review for everyone. The RockNLearn Award-Winning DVD's are for all ages from 2/3 years old on up. They meet Common Core Standards and are filled with the kinds of music kids love listening, singing and dancing to.

I received a copy of their Colors, Shapes & Counting DVD about a month ago and tried to have Sierra (age 3) watch it and she didn't show any interest in it so I put it away to try again later. Yesterday she pulled it out and had so much fun. It's amazing the difference a month or two makes in the life of a very young preschooler.

The Colors, Shapes & Counting DVD is DJ'd by Rollie Roundman, Trollie Triangle and Rockford Rectangle and it's full of songs and games. Sierra got really into the DVD to the extent of holding her hands up and counting the fingers and stripping off her socks to count her toes. She is learning to count from 1 to 10. What I really loved was how she would count along with the characters and even though she isn't really singing along yet I have a feeling that will be happening sooner than later.

She asked for the DVD yesterday and then again today. When Connor (age 5) got home he had to watch it and he was glued to the animation and the music.
Early Learning Collection 
You can find all kinds of DVD's covering a wide range of subjects - the preschool & kindergarten DVD's include DVD's for phonics, sight words, colors/numbers and shapes, dancing with the animals (I want this one). As your kids get older you'll be able to find DVD's that help with learning multiplication (with tricks and tips on making math easy & fun), reading & writing, life science and more. I'd personally like to see one on beginning and intermediate algebra, geometry and other higher maths - it would help parents & kids figure it out together.

Many of their Math DVD's include APPS for multiplication. It looks like this is a new product and will be coming very soon so please check back to see when they've become available.

Be sure to also check out their other APPS & ibooks for ipad & mobile devices that are now available.

Test-Taking Collection

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Colors, Shapes & Counting to read and review on CCB. I was not required to have a positive review nor did any money exchange hands. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Grand Scream of Things ~ Review & Giveaway

The Grand Scream of Things
Halloween Hijinks for Tweens and Other Spooky Things …
by AndyZ

Purchase $8.99 MP3 Album
The album isn't available right now on Amazon - but you might check Walmart, etc to see if they have it.

About the CD (this is from the release sent to me):
A Hallow “tween” audio play packed with engaging songs and captivating characters that portray a Halloween adventure about a witch who’s lost her way and a boy who discovers his.

This Halloween fantasy begins with young Andy Z emerging from a dream state where he has been exhorted to “Find the Witch.”  The narrative employs colorful characters like Andy’s high-energy pet Chihuahua, Reggie, who not only barks but has learned to speak with a “south of the border” accent.  Reggie discovers a magic wand that confirms the veracity of Andy’s nocturnal visions and sets him on a path to find the owner of the wand – Sandy Witch.  Very much in the mode of an “old time radio show,” Andy’s day is a series of surreal adventures, which are mysteriously under the spell of his romantic interest, Pleadia, a teenage alien.  The Grand Scream of Things is like Fibber Magee and Molly meets Sponge Bob on a Halloween Day packed with more stream of consciousness adventure than even James Joyce could “conjure up.”

My Thoughts:
What an interesting CD! I wasn't really sure what to expect and I had to listen closely to really hear the story. There is a strong mix of hip-hop, swing, jazz and the vocals are wonderful. The story? Well, it wasn't quite what I expected but it did grow on me after I heard it the first couple of times. Pre-Teens should love it - in fact, Hailey my 7 year old did. 

Check out AndyZ's website and learn about this dream for the album, listen to parts of the tracks, and more:

Would you like to WIN a copy for your family? It's sure to become a classic in your home for several years to come. Even younger teens should love it - especially since there is so much hip-hop. punk and pop in it.

About the composer:
Driven by Andy Z’s quest to introduce a new art form to the landscape of entertainment for the 8 to 12 year old set, The Grand Scream of Things gives kids a chance to use their imaginations to create their own visual images for this hip bit of aural theater that incorporates a mixed bag of pop musical styles. Andy’s buddy, “Danger Dude,” being a teen punk rocker from England, right away breaks into a song about “The Punkin Patch.” Pleadia introduces the boys and Reggie to the Lizards of the Lounge, who do some scat singing and other swinging to the driving sounds of a hot horn line and a cool rhythm section. Other encounters of a musical kind include Jam Master Z and the Baking Fools, whose recipe for pumpkin bread is offered up in hip hop fashion, and a skateboarding punk rodent, Blue the Rat, the Andyland school mascot. Andy Z contributes his own bit of punk, a song about his “Alien Girlfriend,” and he later laments the way things are turning out with a power pop tune, “The Right Thing.” The show concludes with a couple of big production numbers, “The Grand Scream of Things” and the grand finale “Friends.”   

Produced by Grammy® nominee Tor Hyams, The Grand Scream of Things features ten Andy Z originals that range in style from Brit and American punk to hip-hop and even Big Band swing.  Listeners will hear echoes of Green Day, The Ramones, Jimmy Eat World, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, and ‘70s funk band Brick.  (Andy’s song, “Pumpkin Patch,” which has been featured on NBC’s Today Show in multiple Halloween segments, is heard here in a Brit punk version titled “Punkin Patch.”) Guest vocalists include popular kids’ musicians Paula Messner (Candy Band) and RhymeZwell.  The top-notch San Francisco based instrumentalists heard on The Grand Scream of Things include Michael Olmos (trumpet), Bobby Strickland (saxophones), and Michael Rinta (trombone), who, collectively, have played with everyone from Santana, The Grateful Dead, Sly & The Family Stone and Todd Rundgren to Etta James, Herbie Hancock and Taj Mahal. 

Notes Andy Z, “Throughout my years of entertaining kids and families, I’ve noticed an unfortunate lack of music that’s appropriate for ‘tweens,’ particularly with regard to song lyrics. I wanted to come up with something that has the sound and energy of the music their older siblings and friends are “in to,” but with lyrics that work for 8 to 12 year olds. I feel that the quirky nature of this project goes straight to a very happy part of their brains. In many ways, creating this album has been like starting a new school.  The kids who were with me in the Andyland kindergarten are now moving on up in the grades, so of course I want to provide music for them that has ‘grown up’ a bit, and The Grand Scream of Things is a part of that natural evolution. The last two years have been a thrilling adventure, allowing me to create an art form just right for ‘tweens’ that reflects the world of my imagination in story and song.”

Andy Z’s previous albums include Summer in Andyland (2007), Return to Andyland (2005), Welcome to Andyland (2004), and Pockets (2002).  In 2009 Andy released a DVD, Sing & Dance with Andy Z, and the following year his book-with-CD Scarecrow, Where Do You Go? was published. Andy’s work has been honored with two iParenting Media Awards, two Parents’ Choice® Awards, and Creative Child Magazine’s Seal Of Excellence. 

As always - you can purchase a copy for your family on Amazon. The actual CD is Out of Stock but you can request it and they'll let you know when it comes in. OR you can purchase the MP3 for $8.99 OR you can Enter to WIN a copy for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of The Grand Scream of Things to listen and review on CCB. I was not required to write a positive review and no money exchanged hands. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! =D

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Frankenweenie - FUN activities for the whole family!

Frankenweenie premiers this weekend ~ October 5th to be exact. I saw the previews this summer and I hate to admit it really looks cute. It's a new take on the old Frankenstein movie only about a Boy and His Dog and the boy's last name just happens to be..... you guessed it! Frankenstein! LOL

After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

Normally I wouldn't have something like this on Classic Children's Books but I love the activities that they are providing FREE for families and classrooms to enjoy. There are Hidden Objects Pictures, Science Experiments, Crafts, Recipes, Puzzles and a lot more!

Click here to download: You can pick & choose which ones you want. =D

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Monsters' Monster ~ A Book Review

The Monsters' Monster
by Patrick McDonnell
ISBN: 978-0316045476
$11.55 (hardcover)
Age 3-6

Grouch, Grump, and little Gloom 'n' Doom
thought they were monsters…

Once upon a time, there were three little rascals who thought they were the biggest, baddest monsters around. To settle the argument of who was the baddest, they decide to build a monster of their own, one that will be the BIGGEST, BADDEST monster ever! But when their creation comes to life, he isn't exactly what the creatures were expecting. Instead of smashing and crashing, he’s polite. He's happy. He's just grateful to be alive!

My Thoughts:
This easily has to be my favorite of the books I've read this fall. The illustrations are cute, the language is cute and the characters are wonderful & memorable. What happens when 3 monsters (or so they call themselves) who live in a castle can't agree on which of them is the BEST monster? Why they make a monster!

What happens when said monster comes out all sugar sweet and with the cutest little lisp and the horrified monster trio thinks they've failed until their monster escapes from the castle and heads toward town? Well, you'll just have to read the book!

My 3 kids (age 3, 5 and 7) love this book. We read it in the car while waiting for Hailey and it's definitely one that will be staying on my shelves! It's a perfect lead into to Halloween, overnighters, birthday parties, and just for fun.

 for reading this review & keep reading if you'd like to know more about the author. =D 

You can purchase this book on Amazon - just click here and add it to your shelf today!

Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the beloved internationally syndicated comic strip MUTTS, and The Monsters’ Monster is filled with his trademark gentle humor and exuberant, witty artwork. Perfect for reading aloud, both kids and adults will delight in this mischievous and heart-warming tale of one BIG monster showing three tiny monsters the unexpected power of boundless gratitude. “Make time to share with young monsters everywhere,” Kirkus advises in their starred review.

Patrick McDonnell is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Honor book Me . . . Jane, which also received the 2012 Charlotte Zolotow Award and was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book. He is also the creator of the beloved internationally syndicated comic strip MUTTS, which features the characters that star in five of his previous picture books: The Gift of NothingHug TimeJust Like HeavenWag!, and South. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, their two formerly feral cats, and their adopted terrier. You can visit Patrick online at

The Monsters’ Monster is available as an interactive e-book on iTunes and NOOK. The book is lightly animated with engaging elements for little monsters to touch and explore the story. At the end of the book, readers can complete a coloring activity to enjoy The Monsters’ Monster adventure even further. Note: we have a limited quantity of promotional codes if you'd like to review The Monsters’ Monster as an e-book. 

I was given a copy of The Monsters' Monster to read and review on Classic Children's Books. No money exchanged hands and I was not required to write a positive review.