Dad of Divas' Reviews: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Review - Easy Christmas Cut-Up Cakes

About the Book
Easy Christmas Cut-Up Cakes for Kids proves that you don’t have to spend lots of money to get something special! A follow-up to the popular Easy Cut-Up Cakes for Kids, this book teaches children and parents to make fabulous Christmas creations from regular square, round, and 9 x 13-inch cake pans.

Complete with instructions and patterns for cutting the cakes and fitting the pieces together into such shapes as Smiley Snowman, a gingerbread man, polar bear, Christmas tree, toy train, drum, penguin, fuzzy mitten, gingerbread house, and much more. With a few simple decorations and frosting tips, kids and parents can create cakes that are a hit with everyone!

Melissa Barlow is a writer and editor who lives in Bountiful, Utah. She loves cooking and family gatherings and is the author of Easy Cut-Up Cakes for Kids and the co-author of 101 Things To Do With a Salad and 101 Things to Do with Gelatin.

Create 25 easy Christmas cakes without using hard-to-find, expensive pans or molds

Table Of Contents: 

Introduction ......................................6
Candy Cane ....................................10
Smiley Snowman ............................13
Sweet Angel....................................15
Peppermint Candy ..........................18
Gingerbread Man ............................20
Toy Train ........................................23
O Christmas Tree ............................25
Toy Drum ......................................26
Santa's Hat ....................................28
Snowflake Stocking ........................31
Star................................................32
Fuzzy Mitten ..................................34
Wreath ..........................................37
Red-Nosed Reindeer ........................38
Penguin ..........................................41
Ornament ......................................43
Little Gift........................................47
Elf Socks ........................................48
The North Pole ................................49
Old-Fashioned Christmas Lightbulb ..52
Holly Berry ....................................55
Gingerbread House..........................56
Polar Bear ......................................59
Santa ............................................62
About the Author ............................64


My Take on the Book

I enjoy cooking and baking, but have to say that I have never been very creative when it comes to cakes. Give me a 9x13 pan and a tub of frosting and I am there. This book though has opened my eyes to the possibilities that are out there that are not too difficult that will make your cakes simply stand out in a crowd. A few of the recipes that I particularly liked was the candy cane cake as well as the wreath and Rudolph cake. Now granted, some of the cakes have a few more steps than others, but they are definitely not as time intensive than what I would have expected in the past.

I now see what I will be practicing this holiday season. What will you be doing?

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Disney Beauty and the Beast Sing-A-Long Event

NCM Fathom and Walt Disney Studios invite fans young and old to “be our guest” as Belle, the Beast and their friends return to the big screen for a very special two-day Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. local time and Saturday, Oct. 2 at Noon local time. After nearly two decades, “Beauty and the Beast” will be released on the big screen to treat audiences to the magic, music and spectacle of this treasured story in more than 500 theaters across the country. The special in-theater Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event will feature an audience sing-along to songs like “Be Our Guest,” “Beauty and The Beast,” “Belle,” “Gaston” and all the film favorites.

This enchanting event will also feature pop singer Jordin Sparks who will take audiences on a unique adventure with behind-the-scenes looks at the newly restored high definition animated classic and give a sneak peek at her new music video, “Beauty and the Beast.” Guests will also be treated to surprise guest introductions, deleted scenes from the cutting room floor and lost characters, as well as commentary from producer Don Hahn.

Tickets for Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event are available at participating box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, please visit the website (theaters and participants may be subject to change).

“This is a very exciting release for the company as one of America’s most cherished animated musicals is diligently restored and re-released to all new heights in high definition,” commented Lori MacPherson, executive vice president/general manager of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. “Most noted for its award-winning scores, we’re excited to celebrate its success in true Disney style with a nationwide musical sing-along event so new and old generations alike can fall in love with this magical story all over again.”

Beauty and the Beast features a cast of top vocal talent. Veteran stage actress and singer Paige O’Hara is the voice of Belle, one of Disney’s most beloved and independent heroines, and Robby Benson (TV’s “American Dreams”) delivers a powerful portrayal of the Beast. Three-time Oscar®-nominated screen star (The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, The Picture of Dorian Grey in 1946, and Gaslight in 1945) and six-time Golden Globe® award winner (four wins as Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama for “Murder, She Wrote” in 1992, 1990, 1987 and two wins as Best Supporting Actress for The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, and The Picture of Dorian Grey in 1946) Angela Lansbury gives a bubbly performance as Mrs. Potts. The late Jerry Orbach (TV’s “Law and Order,” “House of Mouse”) shines as the voice of Lumiere, the passionate candelabra, and David Ogden-Stiers (TV’s “M*A*S*H,” Lilo & Stitch) is Cogsworth, the tightly-wound mantel clock who functions as the head of the household.

Released in 1991, Beauty and the Beast” captured hearts across the globe with an unforgettable blend of fairy-tale story, enchanting music and a never-before-seen combination of artistic mastery and technical prowess. It was the first animated work to ever be nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture; earning six nominations and winning two Oscars® in 1992 for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Original Score. Widely considered one of Disney's greatest animated features, Beauty and the Beast” reached $403 million in global box office earnings and won three Golden Globe Awards in addition to its Oscars®.

“For every generation, there is an iconic Disney experience and for millions of fans across America, Beauty and the Beast’ is theirs,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. “Children of all ages will delight in being a part of this classic fairy-tale while singing along with Belle, the Beast, Gaston, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere and Cogsworth once again at their local movie theater.”

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event will appear in 504 select U.S. movie theaters, including AMC Entertainment Inc., Celebration! Cinema, Cinemark Holdings, Inc., Clearview Cinemas, Cobb Theatres, Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, Malco Theatres, Marcus Theatres, National Amusements, Rave Motion Pictures and Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters, as well as Arlington Theatre (Santa Barbara, CA), The Carolina (Asheville, NC), The Majestic 10 (Williston, VT), Penn Cinema (Lititz, PA) and Visulite Cinemas (Staunton, VA).

“Beauty and the Beast” will be released from the Disney vault for a limited time only, arriving on a Blu-ray Diamond Edition Combo Pack (2-Disc Blu-ray + 1-DVD in a single package) on October 5.







-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Beauty and the Beast Blu-Ray/DVD

About the Movie
On October 5th, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment releases BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Diamond Edition on Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack! The first animated film to ever be nominated for an Oscar, it features a cast of top vocal talent. Veteran stage actress and singer Paige O’Hara is the voice of Belle, one of Disney’s most beloved and independent heroines, and Robby Benson (TV’s “American Dreams”) delivers a powerful portrayal of the Beast.

Disney’s most requested film, Beauty and the Beast, arrives for the first time on Blu-ray Hi-Def as the second installment to the company’s new Diamond Collection. The Blu-ray transformation reveals the magic, music and majesty of the film as never before experienced with state-of-the-art picture restoration, pristine 7.1 Digital Surround Sound and hours of additional viewing experiences that include behind the scenes features, deleted scenes, enhanced music tracks, immersive games and more.

The first of only two animated films ever to be nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture
(the second is 2009’s Up), Beauty and the Beast earned six Academy Award® nominations and won two Oscars® in 1992 for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Original Score.



Unavailable in any form since 2003, Beauty and the Beast will be released from the Disney vault
for a limited time only, arriving on a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack (2 Blu-ray Discs + DVD) October
5, followed seven weeks later with the release of a 2-Disc standard definition DVD on November
23.


The
Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack has a U.S. suggested retail price of
$39.99 and the 2-Disc DVD set has a U.S. suggested retail price of $29.99.

Film Synopsis:
Set in and around a quaint French village during the late 18th century, Beauty and the Beast follows the fantastic adventures of Belle, a bright and beautiful young woman who finds escape from her ordinary life, and the advances of a boorish suitor, Gaston, by reading books. Meanwhile, off in a castle in the distance, a cruel young prince is cast under the spell of an enchantress who turns him into a tormented beast, while transforming his servants into animated household objects. In order to remove the curse, the Beast must discover a true love who will return his affection before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose. When Belle’s inventor father stumbles upon the Beast’s castle and is taken prisoner, Belle comes to the rescue and agrees to take her father’s place. With the help of the castle’s enchanted staff, she sees beneath the Beast’s exterior and discovers the heart and soul of a human prince.
 
Film Accolades:
Beauty and the Beast received two Academy Awards® for music in 1992, three Golden Globes® for Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score and Best Original Song in 1992, and two Grammy Awards in 1993. Listed as number seven on the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Animated Films, Beauty and the Beast helped define Disney animation for a new generation as the second film in the “Disney Animation Renaissance” (1989-1999) which launched with The Little Mermaid and revitalized animated features by captivating mature audiences while still delighting young viewers.

Beauty and the Beast features a cast of top vocal talent. Veteran stage actress and singer Paige O’Hara is the voice of Belle, one of Disney’s most beloved and independent heroines, and Robby Benson (TV’s “American Dreams”) delivers a powerful portrayal of the Beast. Three-time Oscar®- nominated screen star (The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, The Picture of Dorian Grey in 1946, and Gaslight in 1945) and six-time Golden Globe® award winner (TV’s “Murder, She Wrote” in 1992, 1990, 1987 and 1985, The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, and The Picture of Dorian Grey in 1946), Angela Lansbury gives a bubbly performance as Mrs. Potts. The late Jerry Orbach (TV’s “Law and Order,” “House of Mouse”) shines as the voice of Lumiere, the passionate candelabra, and David Ogden-Stiers (TV’s “M*A*S*H,” Lilo & Stitch) is Cogsworth, the tightly-wound mantel clock who functions as the head of the household.




Beauty and the Beast was also the first Disney animated film to inspire a Broadway stage production by the same name. Highlighting the film’s music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, seven new songs were written for the stage musical. Beauty… was nominated for nine Tony Awards in 1994 and ran on Broadway for 5,464 performances until 2007, becoming Broadway's sixth-longest running production in history. 




My Take on the DVD
Our family loves Disney! I can still vividly remember when Beauty and the Beast came out and the day I went to see it on stage in downtown Detroit. This new release is beautifully mastered and the images and extras included on the blu-ray are simply amazing! My girls love the plot and storyline and have watched this movie more times than I can remember, so when we brought home a new blu-ray version of this, you can imagine their excitement!



I will say that after watching this new version, I am impressed and you will be also, it is worth picking up before they put it back in the vault!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Book Review - No Bake Gingerbread Houses for Kids

About the Book
No more complex store-bought kits. No more lopsided barn that was supposed to be Prince Charming's castle. Just fun with the family while constructing fanciful gingerbread houses with graham crackers, frosting, cookies, and candies of all varieties

With graham cracker building blocks and straightforward instructions, families can create everything from a Fire House to a Tiki Hut and a Swiss Chalet to a Mermaid Palace.


My Take on the Book


Being a father of two I am drawn into many projects, especially around the holidays! I have even been drawn into gingerbread house making. This (in the past) was always a messy task that was something that was fun to do, but tedious, due to the amount of steps that you have to do to make the house actually happen. This book makes building a house simple, and best of all, the recipes that are shared within are all no-bake options!

If you have kids, or work with kids, this book is a must have. I love the fact that this book does not take the ordinary approach and rely on gingerbread, but instead on the things you have in your own home. Through the use of things like graham crackers and oreos, you begin your journey into building a masterpiece with your family!
If this book sounds like something you would like for your own family, you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Book Review - The Wishing Trees


About the BookThe Wishing Trees, is a story of honor, commitment, and love of that special person we hold dear in our hearts and for whom we grieve long after they have left our lives.
It is almost a year after the death of his beloved wife, Kate, when Ian, a former high-tech executive, finds a letter that will forever change his life.  It is a final wish from Kate; a plea for him to take their ten year-old daughter, Mattie, on a trip across Asia – a trip they had planned to take to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary but were never able to do.


Eager to honor the wife and mother they adored, Ian and Mattie set out on an epic journey that retraces the early days of Ian’s relationship with Kate.  Along the way, the two of them leave paper ‘wishes’ in ancient trees as symbols of their connection to Kate and their dreams for the future.  Through incredible landscapes and inspiring people, Ian and Mattie are greeted with miracles large and small.  As they each celebrate what Kate meant to them, they not only begin to find their way back to each other but they discover that healing is possible and that love endures – which is exactly what Kate hoped to show them all along.


The Wishing Trees is an affecting and sensitivity rendered study of grief and loss, the healing power of artistic expression, and the life-altering rewards of travel to distant lands.  I was deeply moved by this poignant and life-affirming novel.” -- Wally Lamb, #1 New York Times best-selling author of She’s Come Undone.


A story that will both inspire and comfort the reader with its beautiful messages, The Wishing Trees seems destined to become another book club hit.  Fueled by his desire to “give back” to readers, Shors had always included in the back of his best-selling novels an invitation for readers to contact him for one-on-one discussions with their book clubs.  His idea has blossomed into over 2,500 book club meetings to date and resulted in his books being translated into twenty-five languages. This one-of-a-kind national book club program has been featured on CBS News, and in Newsweek Magazine, and The Denver Post.


Shors lived and taught English for several years in Kyoto, Japan, and later trekked across Asia and climbed the Himalayas.  His personal, travelling experiences are reflected in The Wishing Trees, adding even more authenticity to his vibrant story.  For more information, please visit his website at: www.johnshors.com.

My Take on the Book
This book is heartwarming and speaks of the relationship between a father and daughter as they travel around the world. Within the book, the author has shared all of the issues that this father and daughter go through as they deal with the death of their wife/mother. As a reader you are introduced to the people they meet, the little miracles that they encounter and the things that bind them together.

As a father of two girls, this book warmed my own heart and let me see the possibilities to the relationship that is possible between a father and daughter.

If this book sounds like one that you would like in your own library you can find it on Amazon!



All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Book Review - The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics

About the Book
James Kakalios, the author of The Physics of Superheroes returns with an accessible and math-free primer on quantum mechanics. Most of us are unaware of how much we depend on quantum mechanics on a day-to-day basis. Using examples from science fiction pulp magazines and comic books, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics explains the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics that underlie the world we live in.

In the pulp magazines and comics of the 1950s, it was predicted that the future would be one of gleaming utopias, with flying cars, jetpacks, and robotic personal assistants. Obviously, things didn’t turn out that way. But the world we do have is actually more fantastic than the most outlandish predictions of the science fiction of the mid-twentieth century. The World Wide Web, pocket-sized computers, mobile phones, and MRI machines have changed the world in unimagined ways.

The book begins with an overview of speculative science fiction, beginning with Jules Verne and progressing through the space adventure comic books of the 1950s. Using the example of Dr. Manhattan from the graphic novel and film Watchmen, Kakalios explains the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and describes nuclear energy via the hilarious portrayals of radioactivity and its effects in the movies and comic books of the 1950s.




My Take on the Book
While I am not a physics guru, this book did a great job at letter me get a better understanding about what Quantum Mechanics is and what it does for our society. The author does an amazing job at making this complex topic easy to understand. The author also opens the readers' eyes to the future and what it could still have in store for us. He finally allows us to understand how our present technology is connected to physics and quantum mechanics.

I have to say that I was completely amazed at how intertwined Physics is to our world. This book is a great addition to physics literature. It is a book that will help both the knowledgeable and layman to better understand these complex science principles.

If this book sounds like something you would like in your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Book Review - Althea's Window Box and the Land of Slumber

About the Book

Jason Leon Britsas sensitively conveys this lesson in his debut children's book, Althea's Window Box and the Land of Slumber. Althea, a young city girl, dreams that she journeys into the wilderness. Along the way, she encounters opportunities and challenges that require her to adapt to her new surroundings. "In this adventure of discovery," says Britsas, "Althea builds strength, courage, appreciation, character, and heart."
She also learns that while she is indeed part of the universe, there is so much more to discover that, until now, she had literally never dreamed of. Dreaming, as Britsas convincingly demonstrates, is one way Althea can access the many realities existing beyond her - and our own - daily reality.

"My story book celebrates the vast beauty that is available to us every single day.", comments Britsas.



About the Author
 Jason Britsas, a native of San Diego, California, is inspired by the areas diverse geographical surroundings and the fact that, in a single day, he can swim in the ocean, hike the mountains, and explore the unique desert wilderness.

My Take on the Book
A city girl dreams that she journeys into the wilderness. Along the way she encounters opportunities and challenges that require her to adapt to her new surroundings. In this adventure of discovery she builds strength, courage, appreciation, character and heart. Bring your imagination as you join Althea on a journey in her dream world.

How wonderful to read a book where a child is using their imagination to explore their world. An imagination is such a precious thing, and we should cultivate a child's mind and encourage them to use their imagination.You imagination can help take you to a world with endless possibilities of things to do, jobs you can have ,or people you can meet.

Althea used a book and her imagination to visit a beautiful world of sun, stars, and a moon . This world had mountains, rivers and trees. So walk into this make believe world and feel the cold water of the stream on your feet. Become the fish and explore the bottom of the river bank. Why not follow the mountain lion to the highest mountain and see what you can see at the top of the world. Have you flown like a bird and saw a "bird's eye view" of the city or valley below? Althea did all those things until her grandmother woke her for dinner. She shared her dream with her grandmother and think about how happy that grandmother was to hear of her granddaughter using her imagination.

Our great inventors used their imaginations to create the products we use today. Just think of Thomas Edison and all the inventions he created in his lifetime and all because he had a dream and followed his imagination to the completion of his project.

Your child has an imagination that you can encourage. Turn off the TV and the video games and have some fun. This book is a great springboard into the world of a child's imagination. Enjoy!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NEW Technology To Watch

ADT Pulse allows you to connect with your home, and everything in it, from almost anywhere in the world, via your iPhone or lap top. Aside from remote access to turn on and off lights and control the temperature, other life simplifying applications include:
  • Remotely turn appliances on and off, from the coffee pot to your DVR via your iPhone.
  • Receive email or text alerts, along with real-time video, of packages being delivered or when your children are coming home from school.
  • Control the times when your television can be on so from 3 - 5pm, you can turn off the TV to make sure your children are doing their home work!
  • Use video monitoring to check in on what your children are doing while you are enjoying date night with your wife.
  • Put sensors on your liquor cabinet and receive a text message when the cabinet is opened (without permission!)
The best part, ADT Pulse can be added to your existing ADT security system and the monthly costs are comparable!

To learn more, visit ADTPulse.com


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Book Review: Science Fair Winners: Experiments to Do On Your Family

About the Book
Young investigators discover for themselves how humans learn as they delve into the mysteries of their shared DNA. Figure out a little brother or sister by analyzing what a very young child can see. Learn about relationships through activities that analyze birth order and how siblings resolve conflict. As with all the books in our Science Fair Winners series, this refreshing volume promises creative and irresistible experiments that will awaken the scientist in every student.


My Take on the Book
This book contains 20 projects and experiments about sisters, brothers, pets and the rest of the gang. The projects are science fair projects that grow out of your own interests, passions and goals. Some of these workshops involve experiments but many are observations and surveys due to the type of workshop. These workshops specifically deal with family relationships.

Lets take a look at some of the workshops in the book.

Workshop #1
Meet My Big Brother Determine Whether Birth Order is Linked to Height)

This workshop has an interesting element of research and internet usage. You will need to produce a survey in order to receive the information on height, age, gender, number of siblings, and place in birth order.Make sure those questioned know that their survey answers will be anonymous. Karen gives many suggestions on how to use graphs and even your family doctor's charts to present the information you collect.

Workshop #6
What Does a Baby Like?

This workshop takes observation and analyzing at close range to babies. You will need several babies so you can collect the data.
Using drawings and photographs, you will observe what interests a baby . How are the baby's choices like another baby's or different?
Make sure you have plenty of photographs of faces : smiling, frowning, babies, children, older people , etc. to use with this study.

Workshop #19
Tracking a Virus

With the cold and flu season upon us again, this will be one that could help you , your family, and your classroom friends to stay healthy.How do germs spread? How can you make sure the germs do not spread? Once again the author guides you into step by step procedures so you can collect information and then present it.

I would say this book would be best used by upper elementary to middle school students. These are all presented in a workshop format so that there is not only knowledge obtained but the journey to the final presentation is fun too. The topics will interest all age levels and you can be sure the listeners will actively participate as the data is presented.


If you are interested in having this book as a part of your own library you can find it on Amazon!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

Get Creative: Episode 3







-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

WII Family Fitness Fun

About the Game
Family Party: Fitness Fun is the fitness game specifically created with kids in mind exclusively for Wii. The game features 4-player simultaneous multiplayer games including boxing, roller derby, dodge ball, and more. For the first time in the Family Party series, Fitness Fun includes the Wii Balance Board providing even more active challenges. Players can choose from over a dozen cute characters dressed head-to-toe in customizable workout outfits, break a sweat as they compete and unlock new games, and achieve high scores and win medals!


My Take on the Game
I loved this game! It had a great variety of different sports that included the regular standby sports, but also sports you do not usually find on regular games (as they call them playground sports). Some of the sports include things like: trampolines, skydiving, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, and even mental exercises.

When I tried out these games with my family, by the end I was wiped out. This game gets your heart moving (on most of the games) and makes you think about fitness in a completely different way.

I really liked that you could have up to 4 players using this game at a time. We currently do not have 4 controllers, but I could see this as a great bonding experience for the whole family if we did, once our youngest gets a bit older.

While you do not need the WII balance board, you could easily use the Wii Balance Board in a special mode that the game has available. You can even use Balance Board multiplayer mode!

This is a great game for the whole family!

If you think this game would be a great addition to your WII experience, you can find it on Amazon!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Book Review - National Geographic Kids: Wild Animal Atlas

About the BookCaptivating critters, eye-grabbing pictures, weird and freaky facts—what better way for kids to learn geography! In this child-friendly atlas, stunning animal photos combine with colorful, easily accessible maps to teach young readers about geography through the wild creatures that fascinate them. Each world region includes a "spotlight" on animals in the area. Thematic spreads deliver the facts about habitats, endangered species, and more. Careful research and all-around kid appeal make this a must-have children’s atlas for home and school.

My Take on the Book
This book if full of gorgeous photographs introduces young readers to the world of amazing wild creatures that roam, soar, and swim in our world. You will travel to each continent and learn about the animals of that region. There are easy to read maps for our young readers. Some highlights will be their habitat, diet, survival skills, and more.

As you read and look at the photographs , you may ask , as I did, "how did they capture that photo?"

Just a few amazing shots were: a Grizzly bear trying to catch a mid air salmon, buffaloes on the run, a small Golden poison dart frog, an Eagle owl in flight, a Bengal tiger thrashing through the water, a mother and child panda bear cuddling, cute Koalas, mom and pouched baby kangaroo in the wild , and more.

The photos of the animals of each continent shows the specific information about their habitats. When you look at the corresponding map, the animal icons are placed in the specific locations where these animals can be found

I am confident you and your child will read this book often. Enjoy!

If this book sounds like something you would like for your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Book Review - Science Fair Winners: Junkyard Science

About the Book
Pull on your gloves and experience the science of trashology! It's all about the stuff that’s thrown away: analyzing the waste produced by your school's cafeteria, understanding the decomposition rates of garbage bags, comparing the cost effectiveness of one-use batteries versus rechargeables. This book is peppered with enlightening extras and humorous asides, such as background stories from expert "trashologists." Plus, kids get tips on how to rock the science fair.

My Take on the Book
This book is a unique and wonderful science fair resource.Karen Romano Young has written a "cook book" of science fair projects for young readers. She presents projects in a "kid friendly " way. Karen helps the young reader through a journey of deeply satisfying projects. You will find so many ways to learn in this book. Be aware that these projects focus on junk, garbage, waste, recycling, and reusing.

So let's take a look at the contents of this book.
There are twenty sections so it will be easy for your child to locate a project that will interest her/him.
The introduction takes you through the basic vocabulary and how to go about organizing the project you want to do.

Here two examples of the workshops included in this book.

Workshop #1
This workshop asks students to observe and analyze school lunches. What kind of food is eaten? What kind of food is thrown away? How much does the garbage weigh at the end of lunch time? Through analyzing the food discarded, ways can be found to decrease the amount of food thrown away. For an example: if the peaches are being thrown away, why do they keep serving peaches?

Workshop #7
This workshop parallels #1 in many respects. The student will look into waste reduction. How much trash is produced each day? How much does the trash alone weigh? What is the trash made of? Could any of the trash be recycled or reused? Finally , how do we reduce the trash?

The very end of the book helps the student to plan the best way to present the project they have chosen. There are specific examples showing presentations made with drawings, graphs, using a power point presentation,dramatizing the information, using photographs,and more. This section also includes web sites for further assistance.

I see this book a great resource for parents and children of all ages. Students could work in teams on the collection of the data and the presentation of the information. Teachers will also find this an excellent resource for assisting students with ideas and the necessary steps from the beginning to the completing of the project(s) they choose.



If you are interested in having this book as a part of your own library you can find it on Amazon!


All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Review - How the Sphinx Got to the Museum

About the Book
Within New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the sphinx of the Pharaoh Hatshepsut holds court. But how did this ancient artifact get to the museum? Acclaimed author and illustrator Jessie Hartland beautifully presents this informative and fascinating history of the Hatshepsut sphinx, from its carving in ancient Egypt to its arrival in the hallowed halls of this world-famous museum. This is essential reading for junior Egyptologists!

My Take on the Book
In New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art there is a spectacular sphinx of Hatshepsut.This sphinx took an amazing journey from Egypt to the halls of this famous museum.The illustrations, facts, and story will take you through the journey of the sphinx of Hatshepsut.

Hatshepsut was a woman who lived in about 1470 B.C., but she was also a pharoah who ruled Egypt. A large temple was built to honor her but after she died the temple and all the art work was broken into bits and tossed into a pit. So you can see why this sphinx is an amazing find for the museum.

As you continue to read the story , the author writes and illustrates the details of building a sphinx which was transported by boat on the Nile River to Thebes where the temple was built.

When Hatshepsut died, her stepson (the new pharoah) wanted to erase all trace of her so they tried to destroy the entire temple.

Then in the 1920's archeologists found many statues and the sphinx buried in the desert. The Egyptians tried to put together the sphinx so it could be shipped to the United States.

Jessie Hartland tells of the journey of the sphinx on the land and sea to New York. When the sphinx arrived in New York, the curator finished putting broken fragments on the sphinx and filled in the spaces with plaster.

An artist and photographer finished the coloration and recorded the sphinx before it was ready for the public. Finally it was opened as an exhibit to the public.

Jessie uses the specific names for each of the individuals involved in the life of the sphinx. The words are repeated on each page . So the vocabulary is one the young reader will learn with the reading.This book is a great teaching tool but also an enjoyable book to read. Check out the back of the book for more history and facts.

Enjoy!



If this book sounds like something you would like for your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Review - Summer's Bloodiest Days - The Battle of Gettysbug as Told From All Sides

About the Book
Written to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, this book powerfully illustrates a true turning point in American history. Gettysburg expert Jennifer Weber tells the story of the momentous battle through the voices of those who were there, a unique approach that makes this title stand out from all others.

Gripping eyewitness accounts, archival photographs, and dramatic artwork combine with the latest research to portray the Battle of Gettysburg from all sides—Yankees and Rebels, officers and foot soldiers, men and women, townspeople and outside observers. Through their eyes, today's students get a real sense of how a chance meeting on a dusty road exploded into three days of intense combat. Maps specially created by National Geographic cartographers help us follow all the action of the vicious and complex battle, during which more than 50,000 people were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner. Names such as Little Round Top, the Peach Orchard, and Pickett's Charge take on new meaning as young readers learn about the incredible sacrifices made—often by people still in their teens.

My Take on the Book
In June of 1863, General Robert E. Lee marched into Gettysburg to attack the Union army. He believed he would defeat them. However on July 1, Lee's dream died. The Battle of Gettysburg became the bloodiest battle ever to take place on the North American continent.

Jennifer Weber uses eyewitness accounts and excellent artwork in this informational book. You will be riveted to the story as you hear about the sacrifices made by these young American soldiers. Be aware that in this battle 11,000 men died and 30,000 were injured.

The story begins with facts about Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The author goes into detail about the two armies and the difficulties they encountered. She then takes us into the battle that waged on July 1,2,and 3, 1863. Details about the number of men in regiments and armies and maps of the approaches the armies made are described and drawn. She paints a very visualized account of the battle as it unfolded.

Jennifer gives the reader information about the guns, uniforms, equipment, ammunition, and introduces the nurses who were there under the direction of Clara Barton. She often supplies photographs such as the surgeon's knife used in amputations and the kinds of guns the men carried.

There is so much information in this book. As you complete your reading of the major text, don't forget to read the time line of the Civil War at the end of the book.

I know you will enjoy this book and learn so much about the history of our nation as it was divided in two. Share this with a young person in your life.

If this book sounds like something you would like for your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review - The Classic Treasury of Childhood Wonders

About the Book
This rich and nostalgic book of wonders is a collection of art, literature, and activities custom-made for the family bookshelf. It is broken into five sections that illuminate a child's world and interests—Magic and Make-Believe, Outdoor Exploring, Crafts and Construction, Yummy for the Tummy, and Bedtime, Bathtime, and Dreamtime. Children and parents will share together as they read poetry selections and nursery rhymes at bedtime, pull out the book on a rainy day for instantly accessible activities, or simply browse and savor the lovely art at any time. Childhood Wonders is a unique and lasting gift for kids, families, and new parents and grandparents.





My Take on the Book

Susan H. Magsamen is an award winning writer, educator and advocate on family and children's issues. Her books and programs have been called " a beautiful celebration of family life." She wants children and their parents to connect with the world around them. she wants them to play, create, and grow as individuals, families and communities.

Susan wrote a book that is not one you read though and shelve into you bookcase. This book is the type that can be used for many years.

The book has everything: songs, nursery rhymes, and activities. It is based on the six C's: collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence. There are beautifully drawn illustrations, photography, paintings and 3D art.

The book is divided into sections: Outdoor Exploring, Dream it, Make it, Magic and Make Believe, Yummy in the Tummy, and Bath time, Bedtime, and Dream time.

I'd like to give you some examples from each section:
  • Outdoor Exploring: This section has poetry, directions for planting seeds, making a snow family, making a hideout, and more.
  • Dream It, Make It: There is a beautiful poem my Robert Louis Stevenson, plus an activity to make a shadow print, how to make finger puppets using an old glove, and more.
  • Magic and Make Believe: Anything is possible when you use your imagination to create a play and make costumes, and what about making a fairy house or becoming a super hero?
  • Yummy in my Tummy: Do you know the story of Stone Soup and what about making your own for dinner one night? How about inventing a sandwich too.
  • Bath time , Bed time, and Dream time: Create bath art with the recipe in this book on page 119, great poetry to share, and what is your bedtime ritual?

Your children are only young once and the time goes quickly by. Take the time to play, laugh, make silly faces,and enjoy all those precious moments. I know that is what I am doing with my two precious granddaughters. We are making memories. Make some of your own today!!!

If you are interested in having this book be a part of your own library you can find it on Amazon!
 
All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Halloween "Hangover" Cures

After the candy binge, RADIUS knows you’ll need a tool to deal with the Halloween “hangover” on your children’s teeth. This year, RADIUS recommends a more responsible way to trick-or-treat and avoid the Halloween hangover by treating your trick-or-treaters to a Radius toothbrush instead of the clich├ęd chocolate, gummies and crunchy candies that rot teeth.

RADIUS knows that fighting with your children to brush their teeth is not fun, especially when they are in a candy coma. However, RADIUS’ selection of colorful, fun and more comfortable brushes means they will be actually looking forward to brushing their teeth, instead of dreading it.

To support responsible trick-or-treating and help ease the pain of the Halloween hangover, RADIUS is offering a special online deal during the month of October – with the purchase of four six packs of RADIUS Pure Baby, Totz, Kidz or Scuba brushes, receive a fifth six pack for free. RADIUS six packs cost $16.75 for Pure Baby, $17.71 for Kidz, $16.75 for Totz and $38.16 for the Scuba.

RADIUS’ recommended brushes include:

  • RADIUS Pure Baby: For ages 6-18 months old, RADIUS Pure Baby is a perfect way for parents to care for their baby’s sensitive mouth.  With a tapered handle to provide maximum control and guidance, the oval head is designed without corners for babies’ soft mouths and is the world’s first completely dye-free, BPA-free toothbrush
  • RADIUS Totz: For children ages 18 months and up. With its tapered handle for parents and young tots, the FDA approved and Bisphenol-A Free brush is safe for young children’s teeth and sensitive gums. Its oval head is designed without corners for delicate gums and teeth
  • RADIUS Kidz: A mini-sized version of the Original RADIUS, the RADIUS Kidz offers even softer bristles for children’s sensitive teeth, a wide head, thumb grip and comfortable handle to makes brushing teeth fun and easy for all kids.  Children are no longer fighting. The RADIUS Kidz, designed for children 6 years old and up, has become the fun, cool and effective way for kids to brush teeth. The Kidz is accepted by the ADA.

  • RADIUS Scuba:  Ideal for harder brushers and for those who wear braces, the RADIUS Scuba’s flexible rubber neck and non-slip handle reduces pressure, while the wide oval head and 300% more bristles than ordinary toothbrushes leaves the mouth clean and healthy.  Available in a variety of fun colors, the Scuba is also ADA accepted and available for both right- or left-handed users and children 12 and up.

RADIUS also offers parents additional tips for having a healthy Halloween:
  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • In addition to a fun toothbrush, consider purchasing other non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Ration treats for the days following Halloween.
For additional information on RADIUS, please visit www.radiustoothbrush.com

ABOUT RADIUS
RADIUS is a 26 year-old family-owned consumer products company. It is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty toothbrushes and complimentary products, including toiletries’ travel cases and floss. RADIUS is a leader in the natural products industry in personal care and is renowned for its combination of innovative designs, premium materials, and eco-conscious manufacturing that redefines ordinary personal care products with the goal of enhancing the quality and enjoyment of everyday routines. The company is vertically integrated, designing and manufacturing all of its products in-house, with parallel goals of promoting energy-efficient manufacturing and a focus on a clean and cutting-edge design presence.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beauty & the Beast Sing-Along Events Nationwide!



NCM Fathom and Walt Disney Studios invite fans young and old to “be our guest” as Belle, the Beast and their friends return to the big screen for a very special two-day Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. local time and Saturday, Oct. 2 at Noon local time. After nearly two decades, “Beauty and the Beast” will be released on the big screen to treat audiences to the magic, music and spectacle of this treasured story in more than 500 theaters across the country. The special in-theater Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event will feature an audience sing-along to songs like “Be Our Guest,” “Beauty and The Beast,” “Belle,” “Gaston” and all the film favorites.

This enchanting event will also feature pop singer Jordin Sparks who will take audiences on a unique adventure with behind-the-scenes looks at the newly restored high definition animated classic and give a sneak peek at her new music video, “Beauty and the Beast.” Guests will also be treated to surprise guest introductions, deleted scenes from the cutting room floor and lost characters, as well as commentary from producer Don Hahn.

Tickets for Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event are available at participating box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, please visit the website (theaters and participants may be subject to change).

“This is a very exciting release for the company as one of America’s most cherished animated musicals is diligently restored and re-released to all new heights in high definition,” commented Lori MacPherson, executive vice president/general manager of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. “Most noted for its award-winning scores, we’re excited to celebrate its success in true Disney style with a nationwide musical sing-along event so new and old generations alike can fall in love with this magical story all over again.”

Beauty and the Beast features a cast of top vocal talent. Veteran stage actress and singer Paige O’Hara is the voice of Belle, one of Disney’s most beloved and independent heroines, and Robby Benson (TV’s “American Dreams”) delivers a powerful portrayal of the Beast. Three-time Oscar®-nominated screen star (The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, The Picture of Dorian Grey in 1946, and Gaslight in 1945) and six-time Golden Globe® award winner (four wins as Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama for “Murder, She Wrote” in 1992, 1990, 1987 and two wins as Best Supporting Actress for The Manchurian Candidate in 1963, and The Picture of Dorian Grey in 1946) Angela Lansbury gives a bubbly performance as Mrs. Potts. The late Jerry Orbach (TV’s “Law and Order,” “House of Mouse”) shines as the voice of Lumiere, the passionate candelabra, and David Ogden-Stiers (TV’s “M*A*S*H,” Lilo & Stitch) is Cogsworth, the tightly-wound mantel clock who functions as the head of the household.

Released in 1991, Beauty and the Beast” captured hearts across the globe with an unforgettable blend of fairy-tale story, enchanting music and a never-before-seen combination of artistic mastery and technical prowess. It was the first animated work to ever be nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture; earning six nominations and winning two Oscars® in 1992 for Best Original Song (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Best Original Score. Widely considered one of Disney's greatest animated features, Beauty and the Beast” reached $403 million in global box office earnings and won three Golden Globe Awards in addition to its Oscars®.

“For every generation, there is an iconic Disney experience and for millions of fans across America, Beauty and the Beast’ is theirs,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. “Children of all ages will delight in being a part of this classic fairy-tale while singing along with Belle, the Beast, Gaston, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere and Cogsworth once again at their local movie theater.”
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along Event will appear in 504 select U.S. movie theaters, including AMC Entertainment Inc., Celebration! Cinema, Cinemark Holdings, Inc., Clearview Cinemas, Cobb Theatres, Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, Malco Theatres, Marcus Theatres, National Amusements, Rave Motion Pictures and Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters, as well as Arlington Theatre (Santa Barbara, CA), The Carolina (Asheville, NC), The Majestic 10 (Williston, VT), Penn Cinema (Lititz, PA) and Visulite Cinemas (Staunton, VA).

“Beauty and the Beast” will be released from the Disney vault for a limited time only, arriving on a Blu-ray Diamond Edition Combo Pack (2-Disc Blu-ray + 1-DVD in a single package) on October 5.

About National CineMedia (NCM)
NCM
operates NCM Media Networks, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology. The NCM Cinema Network and NCM Fathom present cinema advertising and events across the nation’s largest digital in-theater network, comprised of theaters owned by AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) and other leading regional theater circuits. NCM’s theater network covers 172 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50) and includes approximately 17,100 screens (15,600 digital). During 2009, over 680 million patrons attended movies shown in theaters currently included in NCM’s network (excluding Consolidated Theatres). The NCM Fathom Events broadcast network is comprised of approximately 550 locations in 154 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50). The NCM Interactive NetworK offers 360-degree integrated marketing opportunities in combination with cinema, encompassing over 40 entertainment-related web sites, online widgets and mobile applications. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 48.2% interest in and is the managing member of National CineMedia LLC. For more information, visit www.ncm.com or www.fathomevents.com.

About Walt Disney Studios
For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (DIS: NYSE) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under four banners: Walt Disney Pictures, which includes Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Touchstone Pictures and Marvel. Through the Home Entertainment division, innovative distribution methods provide access to creative content across multiple platforms. Original music and motion picture soundtracks are produced under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records, while Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Broadway theatrical productions, Disney on Ice and Disney LIVE!.  For more information, please visit www.disney.com.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New to the Divadom?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com