Dad of Divas' Reviews: April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reading Eggs - Let Learning Be Fun!

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.



About the Program
Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities.

And it really works!



Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning.

Your kids can start reading now – just click the ‘free trial’ button to get started!



My Take on the Program
My youngest daughter will be in Kindergarten this fall and  want to be able to help her to be able to have a great start, especially when it comes to reading. Diva-PJ has always been a reader even though she could not actually read the words. This program brings together fun lessons, music and funny characters to help children quickly learn reading concepts. I was completely in shock that after only a few lessons my daughter was putting sentences together. We are about a week in and I can already see results. She also sees this as fun and wants to do multiple lessons every day. I am so impressed with what they are doing with this, I can only hope that they continues adding more and more lessons as this will only continue to assist my daughter learn to be even stronger in reading as the years go by! On top of the lessons, the program also adds in some fun interactive components that allow the user to interact with the environment which is also fun. I highly recommend this to all!


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Pinball for Dads - It Is a Possibility!



Pinball is still one of America’s favorite pastimes and what would make a more exciting gift for Dad this Father’s Day than an arcade-quality Stern Pinball game designed exclusively to fit in his personal man cave.

The Pin, which showcased at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, was the first Stern machine to be designed specifically for the home. Stern’s Pin is stylish, affordable and entertaining, perfect for Dad. The Pin collection includes both Transformers and The Avengers games, which have quickly ascended upon Stern’s bestseller list.

Each Pin features real Stern pop bumpers and flippers, a wizard mode, high-resolution art, plus energizing music and sound effects that will transport any player to their favorite comic book franchises of yesteryear. Both pinball enthusiasts and casual players around the globe enjoy Stern Pinball games.

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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IRON MAN 3 - New Clip


Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

DVD Review - Broken City

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.




About the DVD
Seven years after being forced to resign as a New York police officer, private detective Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) takes on his toughest case yet: following the wife (Zeta-Jones) of the city's hard-nosed mayor (Crowe), who's convinced she's cheating on him. But by the time the mayor reveals his true intentions, Billy is already in too deep. Now, with his freedom - and quite possibly his life - on the line, Billy will risk it all in a desperate bid to expose the truth, and seek redemption in a city where second chances don't come cheap.

My Take on the DVD
This is a dark movie with a ton of twists and turns. Filled with great action and acting from people you definitely will know you will be drawn into both the drama and the intrigue of the movie itself. There were some parts of the story that seemed like they  did not completely fit together, but I got the overall message that was being shared. The actors within this did a great job though portraying their characters and really made the move come alive in the end. You definitely leave this movie with a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to politics! 




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Book Review - The Worldwide Adventures of Rohini Molini: A Short Trip to India

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.




About the Book
On this short trip to India you'll meet Rohini's special friend Sarita, attend a Raksha Bandhan ceremony, and find out why Bugle gets the surprise of his life!

About the Authors
Lea and Tim have both enjoyed successful careers in the advertising and marketing sector and became friends after working together on a number of projects. Their desire to continue this partnership led them to collaborate on the development of the Rohini Molini character and stories.

Their motivation stems from a desire to encourage young children to become more aware of the world we live in and to give something back to those children who are less fortunate; for every book sold, Lea & Tim will contribute a percentage of their income to the Rohini Molini Charitable Fund, which in turn will make donations to reputable children’s’ charities around the world.

My Take on the Book
Rohini Molini's grandmother comes from India , so when her grandmother talks about a Banyan tree she wants to learn more. Rohini magically transports herself to India. She discovers not only what a Banyan tree is, but also learns about bird eating spiders.

Once again Lea and Tim's story introduces young children to another country with a few simple facts and pictures to support those facts in the text.

You will note the pictorial glossary at the end of the book like the other Rohini Molini stories.
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Book Review - The Worldwide Adventures of Rohini Molini: A Short Trip To Australia

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.




About the Book
THE WORLDWIDE ADVENTURES OF ROHINI MOLINI: A Short Trip to Australia A story by Lea and Tim Original drawings by Nicola Ibbotson- Gue. Additional drawings by Helen Lang Rohini and her pals are inspired to magically travel to Australia after Rohini's dog Bugle finds a strange stick in the park. On their travels they meet up with their friend Lachlan and learn all about Nippers, boomerangs, and what Australians call a sausage!

About the Authors
Lea and Tim have both enjoyed successful careers in the advertising and marketing sector and became friends after working together on a number of projects. Their desire to continue this partnership led them to collaborate on the development of the Rohini Molini character and stories.

Their motivation stems from a desire to encourage young children to become more aware of the world we live in and to give something back to those children who are less fortunate; for every book sold, Lea & Tim will contribute a percentage of their income to the Rohini Molini Charitable Fund, which in turn will make donations to reputable children’s’ charities around the world.

My Take on the Book
Rohini Molini travels to Australia because she found a boomerang. The authors do a nice job explaining how it is different from a regular stick.

As you read the story to your child, you will also be introduced to kangaroos, marsupials, nippers, and snags. Once again there is a pictorial glossary at the end of the book. This is another educational story by Lea and Tim.


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Book Review - The Worldwide Adventures of Rohini Molini: A Short Trip To Spain

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.


About the Book
THE WORLDWIDE ADVENTURES OF ROHINI MOLINI: A Short Trip to Spain A story by Lea and Tim Original drawings by Nicola Ibbotson- Gue. Rohini and her pals are inspired to magically travel to Spain in order to find a way to stop Florence crying! On their travels they meet up with their good friend Carmen, dance the Flamenco and learn the difference between a siesta and a fiesta!

About the Authors
Lea and Tim have both enjoyed successful careers in the advertising and marketing sector and became friends after working together on a number of projects. Their desire to continue this partnership led them to collaborate on the development of the Rohini Molini character and stories.

Their motivation stems from a desire to encourage young children to become more aware of the world we live in and to give something back to those children who are less fortunate; for every book sold, Lea & Tim will contribute a percentage of their income to the Rohini Molini Charitable Fund, which in turn will make donations to reputable children’s’ charities around the world.

My Take on the Book
This is one book in a series about a little girl named Rohini who magically travels to countries in the world. She travels to the countries to learn and have questions answered about the country. In this particular story she wants to find out about a "siesta".

The authors do a nice job introducing a few words to children through the text and Rohini's visit. In this particular story they will learn about siestas, fiestas, and churros.

At the end of this book and the other Rohini books is a pictorial glossary of terms used in the story.



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Book Review - When Miles Got Mad

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.



About the Book
When his little brother breaks his favorite toy, MILES GETS MAD. As his anger swells, he suddenly catches sight of himself in the mirror - but instead of his own reflection, a furry red monster with big round eyes and funny teeth stares back at him. By encouraging Miles to use his words to express his anger, the Mad Monster helps Miles move through this big emotion to calm himself. Through this fun story and adorable illustrations, this insightful and entertaining children's book offers much-needed comfort to young children as they struggle to regulate their emotions.


My Take on the Book
WHEN MILES GOT MAD is the newest book from THE MOTHER COMPANY . The goal of this company is to assist parents and teachers in helping children navigate through challenging situations and feelings in their lives.

Miles is mad because his brother accidentally broke his airplane. Miles's learns to talk through his anger using words that express his feelings.

Often anger is overwhelming for a child because they don't know how to put their feelings into words. This book could assist an adult with helping a child deal with anger. It could open up a discussion with the child in problem solving before the actual incident so they may know how to express their feelings into words.


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Book Review - National Geographic Kids Everything Money: A wealth of facts, photos, and fun! by unknown

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.



About the Book
All you need to know about money can be found in the pages of this colorful, energetic, and accessible book. Kids will also learn about money around the world from a National Geographic expert, featured in "Explorer's Corners" throughout the book. Packed with fun facts and amazing photographs, this book gives kids an in-depth look at this fascinating and important topic.

My Take on the Book
The title EVERYTHING MONEY says it all. This informational book covers the beginning of objects used as "money" to today's currency. There are sections about saving and spending money as well as types of money that are used throughout the world.

Some interesting sections included various ways people spend their money, crimes and heists involving money, and scams involving money. There are even price comparisons using money. One price comparison I found interesting was the price of gasoline which in 1955 was 19 cents per gallon. We certainly know that has changed.

I believe you will find this book fun to read and informative.


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Book Review - Ocean Counting (National Geographic Little Kids)

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.



About the Book
Throughout our world's oceans live wild animals that swim, leap, and dive through the pages of this charming title. The photography in this book presents young readers with a foundation for learning basic counting skills while discovering some magnificent ocean animals. The marine life captured on each page portray familiar favorites along with a few lesser-known, but still amazing, animals. Lyrical text about each creature is both lively and thought-provoking. "Did You Know" facts accompany each spread to add both fun and fascinating tidbits about each creature. Fact boxes in the back of the book include information about the animals' homes, sizes, diets, predators, and babies. The book ends with an interactive map and a brief and inspirational note from National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry. A glossary helps kids expand their vocabulary, and a list of books and websites for further reading help jump-start more discovery.

About the Author
BRIAN SKERRY is an award winning photojournalist who specializes in marine wildlife and their underwater environments. Since he began shooting for National Geographic in 1998 he has covered an extensive range of subjects and stories.

JANET LAWLER is a children's book author from Connecticut. Her previous titles include: If Kisses Were Colors, A Father's Song, A Mother's Song, Tyrannoclaus, and A Mama Bug's Love.

My Take on the Book
This maybe a young child's counting book, but as an adult I found it not only interesting ,but I learned some new facts about ocean animals. The author used a variety of ocean animals from various parts of the world. She included excellent information about each animal.

The photographs by Brian Sperry brought the reader up close to each ocean animal. You will wonder how he was able to capture each picture.

The end of the book includes specific animal facts, a personal note from Brian Sperry, and a world map which shows the locations of the photographs taken by him.

If you are a parent or grandparent looking for an informative and beautifully photographed counting book, I encourage you to consider this one.


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Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Wizards Return: Alex vs Alex on DVD 6/25!!


About the Movie:
The Russo family headed to Italy, to meet their long lost relatives... but when Alex (Selena Gomez) tries to prove she's more than a seemingly carefree young Wizard, she inadvertently conjures a spell that creates a Good Alex and an Evil Alex. When Evil Alex gets roped into a charming young wizard's foreboding plan to take over the world, Good Alex must find a way to save her family and humankind, which leads to a monumental battle between the two versions of herself - all atop the Tower of Pisa.

Cast:
Selena Gomez (“Monte Carlo”)
Jake T. Austin (“Rio 2”)
Jennifer Stone (TV’s “Wizards of Waverly Place”)
Maria Canals-Barrera (TV’s “Wizards of Waverly Place”)
David DeLuise (TV’s “Wizards of Waverly Place“)
Gregg Sulkin (TV’s “Wizards of Waverly Place”)
Beau Mirchoff (TV’s “Desperate Housewives”)

Street Date: June 25, 2013
Dist. Prebook: May 14, 2013
Direct Prebook: April 30, 2013
Rating: TV-G
Feature Run Time: Approx. 60 minutes
Suggested Retail Price: US: $19.99
Canada: $24.99
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1; 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: 2.0 Dolby Digital English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

"The Wizards Return: Alex vs Alex" was written by Vince Cheung and Ben Montanio ("Wizards of Waverly Place") and Dan Berendsen (ABC Family's "Baby Daddy"). Selena Gomez, Cheung and Montanio and Dan Cross and David Hoge are the executive producers. It was directed by Victor Gonzalez ("Wizards of Waverly Place"). "Wizards of Waverly Place" was created by Todd J. Greenwald ("Hannah Montana") and is a production of It's a Laugh Productions for Disney Channel.

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Book Review - Once Upon a Gypsy Moon


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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

About the Book
Michael Hurley watched his world unravel in the wake of infidelity, divorce and failure. In August 2009, he was short of money, out of a job, and seeking to salvage a life that had foundered. Deeply in need of perspective, he took to the open seas in a 32-foot sailboat, Gypsy Moon. The story of his 2-year outward odyssey, deterred by rough weather and mechanical troubles, combines keen observation, poignant thoughts, and deeper introspection with glorious prose.

Once Upon a Gypsy Moon also presents a rare and much-needed point of view on the familiar spiritual-journey narrative. It offers a star-crossed love story wrapped inside a rollicking good sea tale, but it also has something important to say to the reader about relationships, faith and disbelief, life and death, love and marriage, and what really matters.

About the Author
A lifelong outdoor enthusiast, Michael Hurley has practiced law since 1984. He is the author of Letters from the Woods and several essays about "slices of life." He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Susan and three dogs. Together they have four children.

My Take on the Book
This book was a well written story that truly shares the depth of one man's fall and rise again. The story itself was inspiring and you can see the actual growth that the author goes through as he is aboard the Gypsy Moon. This book, while very personal to the author himself, also provides many parallels with many readers' lives as well which makes this book an even more compelling read. Through the book you see how the author dealt with HUGE issues within his life and how each of us as readers can as well. The author lays himself bare for the reader which is not always something you see in writing today. The author also uses vivid imagery and description to allow the reader to take the journey with him. This book and journey of the author is one that will stay with me for years to come. I can only hope to be able to have the ability to find clarity in my own life like the author has with his.


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Book Review - The Shape of the Eye



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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

About the Book
THE SHAPE OF THE EYE is the winner of the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. Originally published in hardcover in a limited manner by the now-suspended Southern Methodist University Press, this paperback edition includes a new afterword wherein Estreich provides an update on his family’s life and delves into the new technological advances and quandaries of the disorder.

Within the book, not only does Estreich recount his experiences raising his daughter, but he also:


  • Provides an in-depth examination of the history of the syndrome (interesting fact: John Langdon Down who originally dubbed the syndrome “Mongolian idiocy,” which he considered a regression in intelligence, ended up having a relative with Downs).
  • Discusses the possible future treatments for the disorder (a cognitive pill is currently being tested, which caused a stir last summer in papers like The Washington Post).
  • Explores the new prenatal tests and their implications on society (particularly the MaterniT21 test, which he has discussed here and here).


About the Author
George Estreich received his M.F.A. in poetry from Cornell University. His first book, a collection of poems entitled Textbook Illustrations of the Human Body, won the Gorsline Prize from Cloudbank Books. The Shape of the Eye was awarded the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. Estreich currently writes for Biopolitical Times, the blog of the Center for Genetics and Society, teaches a course in literature and medicine at Oregon State, and can also be found online at www.georgeestreich.com. He lives in Oregon with his family.

My Take on the Book
This was a beautifully written book that allows you to see the love of a father for his daughter as well as the journey that he was on to understand and to help his daughter with her disability. The book shows the pain and frustration that follows such a journey, while at the same time allows the reader to see the steps that this father takes to be able to move forward. The author is open and honest in his approach and you are definitely drawn into the story and the journey itself. The book also makes you think deeply about the things that are important in your own life and about what you would do for your own children (or at least it did for me). As you read this book you will definitely learn and grown along with the author. The story is gripping and you will be wrapped into the text until the very end!


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Book Review - Haunters


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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

About the Book
Does history have a ghost of a chance?

Eddie, Adam, David. Three boys, three generations, one gift: the ability to travel through time. Through a portal of dreams, they can appear as ghosts, wherever and whenever they want.

The first boy, Eddie, is the genius who has sworn to protect the past and carry on the dreamwalker's code.

The second, Adam, is a haunter, a dream-terrorist, dead-set on changing history for his own nefarious ends.

The third, David, is the neophyte who must fight for the future by keeping the other two apart! Can he surf the time warps, back and forth between 1940s London and today, to save the present from oblivion?

About the Author 
Thomas Taylor's first commission as an artist was for the cover of the original British edition of Harry Potter and the Philodopher's Stone. Haunters is his first work as a novelist. He lives in Hastings, England.

My Take on the Book
This was a fast paced book that engaged me from beginning to end. I loved the characters as the author did a great job at developing all of them to make a story that I will not soon forget. I really liked the premise of the book and the traveling ability that these boys had. It was a unique story line that grabs hold of your imagination and makes you wonder what will be coming next with every page that you read. I highly encourage all to read this book, it was ton of fun!



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Book Review - Wings of Fire Book Three: The Hidden Kingdom


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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

About the Book
The WINGS OF FIRE saga continues!

Deep in the rainforest, danger awaits . . .

The dragonets of destiny aren't sure what to expect in the RainWing kingdom - Glory hopes to learn more about her family, and since the RainWings aren't fighting in the war, all five dragonets think they might be able to hide safely for a while.

But something deadly is stalking the peaceful kingdom, and the dragonets soon discover that RainWings have been mysteriously disappearing from the forest. When the RainWing queen won't do anything to find her missing tribe members, Glory and her friends set off on their own rescue mission - which leads them right back into enemy territory. . . .

About the Author
Tui T. Sutherland is the author of several books for young readers, including the Menagerie trilogy, the Pet Trouble series, and three books in the bestselling Seekers series (as part of the Erin Hunter team). In 2009, she was a two-day champion on Jeopardy! She lives in Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two adorable sons, and one very patient dog. To learn more about Tui’s books, visit her online at www.tuibooks.com.

My Take on the Book
This is another great book in the Wings of Fire series. This book was action packed and filled with amazing battles, detailed description and characters that you will not soon forget. I have to say that I was again impressed with how well this book was written and how well I was drawn into the story itself. I found myself flying through the pages not wanting to stop, but instead to keep moving through these pages one by one as I was trying to see what was going to be happening next! This was a great book for anyone who loves action, adventure and of course - dragons!


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Book Review - Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic


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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

About the Book
Meet Desmond Pucket--master of mayhem! Will his monster-y special effects pranks get him kicked out of middle school before the class trip to Crab Shell Pier? Or will Desmond be able to keep his monster magic in check?

This is a compelling new character that kids will love!

Meet Desmond Pucket--professor of frightology and master of monsters.

Someday Desmond will be famous for his special effects wizardry, but for now he's just trying to make it through sixth grade at Cloverfield Memorial Junior High, which means he needs to stay one step ahead of the school's disciplinary officer, Mr. Needles.

The only problem is Desmond just can't stop pulling pranks--like the time he attached a shrieking rubber goblin to the toilet seat in the teachers' bathroom. Mrs. Rubin screamed so loudly her wig flew off! Or the time he put giant motorized worms into the mashed potatoes in the cafeteria. Or the time Desmond and his best friend, Ricky, arranged for a three-headed ghost to crash his sister's slumber party. Rachel still hasn't forgiven him.

And now Desmond has to stay prank-free for the rest of the year, or he won't be able to go on the class trip to Crab Shell Pier, home of the Mountain Full of Monsters ride! It's going to be tough, but Desmond has to try.

This book includes a section of "Desmond's Notes": instructions for making monster magic (think scary noises, or fake blood) at home!

About the Author
Mark Tatulli is an internationally syndicated cartoonist best known for his popular comic strips Heart of the City, which chronicles a fun-loving, tenacious little girl's adventures in the big city of Philadelphia, and Lio, which tells the adventures of a young boy and his pet squid. In addition to cartooning, Tatulli is an accomplished filmmaker and animator, and the recipient of three Emmy Awards. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Donna, three children, and three nefarious cats, all of whom supply endless ideas for his books.

My Take on the Book
This was a super funny book about a character that just stands out more than most. I love the premise of this characters' dreams and how he gets into so much trouble trying to perfect his monster craft. My daughter thought what he was doing was very funny (but I can say that I hope she doesn't get any ideas in her mind about doing some of these things at school or at home). One of my favorite moments was the elaborate scheme he puts into place to disrupt and scare his sister's slumber party... classic! This was a great book and I for one am hoping that there will be more of these books in the future!


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Blu-ray Review - Shanghai Noon / Shanghai Nights


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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

About the Movie
East meets West in two wildly hilarious comedies starring legendary action star Jackie Chan and funnyman Owen Wilson. Experience Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights for the first time on Blu-ray, featuring new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound.

Chinese Imperial Guard Chon Wang is in for a real kick when he travels to the rough and tumble Old West to rescue the beautiful kidnapped princess Pei Pei (Lucy Liu). Teamed with laid-back cowboy outlaw Roy O’Bannon, the two mismatched partners face jail, brawls and the vilest villains this side of the Great Wall. Then jump in the saddle for the wild and wooly sequel as the two unlikely heroes make their way to London on a daring quest for honor and revenge. These two uproarious comic adventures are even better on Blu-ray!

Cast: Shanghai Noon:
  • Jackie Chan (Rush Hour Franchise, The Karate Kid, The Spy Next Door) as Chon Wang
  • Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris, Cars, Wedding Crashers) as Roy O’Bannon
  • Lucy Lui (Kill Bill Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, Charlie's Angels, Kung Fu Panda) as Princess Pei Pei

Shanghai Knights:
  • Jackie Chan (Rush Hour Franchise, The Karate Kid, The Spy Next Door) as Chon Wang
  • Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris, Cars 1, Wedding Crashers) as Roy O’Bannon
  • Fann Wong (Dance of the Dragon, The Truth About Jane and Sam) as Chon Lin

Director:
  • Tom Dey (Marmaduke, Failure to Launch, Showtime)
  • David Dobkin (The Change-Up, Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus)

Writers: Miles Millar, Alfred Gough (Spider-Man 2, I Am Number Four)

My Take on the Movie
This is a great collection of two very funny movies with a great duo! Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson show a great chemistry in working together and you can see this in both of these movies. On top of this, the movies were hilarious and after finishing the first movie, you want to see the second to see what can happen next with the two of these characters. I also have to applaud Jackie Chan as I have seen other movies he has been in and I have to say that for me these are two of his best ones. On top of the humor, there are great action scenes where he brings out some of his best stunt work.  If you are already a fan of these actors but have never seen these movies you are definitely missing out and I highly encourage you to check this combo set today!


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Book Review - If you were me and lived in... Mexico: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.


About the Book
"If You Were Me and Lived in ...Mexico-A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World" is the first entry in an exciting new children's series that focuses on learning and appreciating the many cultures that make up our small planet. Perfect for children from Pre-K to age 8, this book is a groundbreaking new experience in elementary education. Interesting facts and colorful illustrations help children realize that although the world is large, people all over the globe are basically the same.

About the Author

Awarding winning author and former social studies teacher, Carole P. Roman has combined her love of teaching with a fun new way to learn about people and different cultures around the world. Her debut book, "Captain No Beard-An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012.

My Take on the Book
It appears that this book is one of a series of books which focuses on educating children about different cultures from around the world. It is the hope that children will learn how people around the world are basically the same or have more similarities than differences.

As you read this story with your child, you will notice the author has done an excellent job of communicating and connecting the culture of the specific country/culture (in this case Mexico) with the United States. I believe children will easily transfer the similarities. I imagine this book leading to discussions with your child about similarities and differences not only in Mexico but with other countries.

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Book Review - Where Do The Animals Go When It Rains?

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

About the Book
Where Do the Animals Go When It Rains? was conceptualized after years of imaginary story telling every night at bedtime. Picking an animal together, the author would tuck her children into bed and create a story where the animals lived and what their world was like all through a child s eye. Since most animals live outside, Janet and her kids would make up rhymes about their surroundings and what happens to the animals when it would rain. The end result is her beautifully crafted book with illustrations by Daron Rosenberg. Where Do the Animals Go When It Rains? explores the following themes: 1. The myriad of weather and the effects on animals with climate change 2. Imagination has no boundaries 3. Reading with children is the best commonality and connector for all ages 4. Learning about animals from all over the world 5. Bonding time with child/parent "The book was created with my kids as a bedtime story based on their curiosities about animals what happens to them during certain weather conditions," says Crown. "I wanted the illustrations to be comforting, fun and engaging while inviting questions and thought."

About the Author 
Janet Crown currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their 5 children. Janet founded Burn 60® Fitness Studios in Brentwood, California in 2005. Born and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, Janet is the seventh child and the aunt to 25 nieces and nephews. She is a graduate of Denison University and Northwestern University s Medill School of Journalism. Janet is involved in several leading non-profit organizations including The Painted Turtle where she is a founding member. Where Do The Animals Go When It Rains is her first title in a series of four children's books. All proceeds from this book will be donated to The Painted Turtle.

My Take on the Book
The authors have written a nice story for young children.So many children are curious about animals and especially where the animals take shelter in inclement weather. This story takes specific animals and not only tells you, but shows you through the illustrations created by Daron Rosenberg. I think children and adults will learn some new facts about animals from reading this delightful story.


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Book Review - Dad is Fat

About the Book
In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Fatherhood, Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

About the Author
Jim Gaffigan is a stand-up comedian and actor with numerous film, television, and stage credits. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Jeannie, and their five children in a two-bedroom apartment.

My Take on the Book
This was a hilarious book which is what I would have expected from Jim Gaffigan. I have been a fan of his comedy for some time so I was definitely excited to be able to read and experience his own take on parenthood. As I was reading this I found myself laughing out loud in many places, and finding myself agreeing and nodding my head in so many other places. There is so much in this book that a parent will enjoy and anyone that is even thinking of being a parent will get a kick out of the author's experiences as well. This was a well written book that will make you laugh and feel that you have someone to definitely commiserate with you in your parenting journey!

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review - The World Is Waiting For You

About the Book
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question kids get asked over and over. But very few connections are made for kids between the present and the future. This book shows kids a pathway from their current interests and talents to a future career or interest. And in so doing, it also encourages adventure, exploration, and discovery, three core principles of National Geographic's mission. It's a celebration of possibility--so simple and so profound.

Jumping in puddles can inspire scuba diving. Dirty hands can lead to dinosaur bones! Backyard star-gazing inspires future astronauts. Perfectly selected photos make the connections compelling and the future real for kids, then rich back matter brings the message home with inspirational quotes from the real-life adventurers pictured in the images. Grown-ups won't be able to resist sharing this inspirational message with kids, and kids won't be able to resist the invitation to let their imaginations run wild.

About the Author
BARBARA KERLEY is the author of National Geographic's A Cool Drink of Water, which received a starred review from School Library Journal and was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book by the NSTA/CBC, and You and Me Together, which was named an ALA Notable Book. Her third book for National Geographic, A Little Peace, was called "powerful" by School Library Journal and "stunningly beautiful," by the Boston Globe. It was named to the Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book List and a Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2008. She has written Walt Whitman: Words for America,One World, One Day, What to Do About Alice?, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins. The author lives in McKinleyville, California.

My Take on the Book
This is a National Geographic book. I would like to take a quote from the book written by John M . Farley Jr. , who is the CEO and chairman of the Board of National Geographic Society. ". . . The world is filled with incredible sights, grand adventures, and new things to learn everyday. We want to bring you around the world, showing you endless possibilities and all that your future has to offer. The explorers you've met on these pages were once kids, just like you- kids who stayed curious and followed their dreams."

To me, this quote tells the focus of the story behind this book. The photography is amazing and shows children how you can indulge in the opportunities to swim with the dolphins, discover the excitement of digging for dinosaur fossils, become an astronaut, climb mountains, visit underground caves that are actually over 100 degrees hot and more.

I loved this book. Allow your child to dream about their future. Allow them to pursue their interests. You never know where those interests may lead them in the future.

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Book Review - Flowers by Number

About the Book
Flowers by Number is a traditional number book -- with a twist! Count flowers, count petals, count stems, count staments! Flowers by Number counts to ten while introducing wild flowers to the someday botanist or flower appreciator. From skunk cabbage to lupine, this flower journey has something for everyone from the playful youngster to the nature enthusiast. Entertainingly written, each page includes the common and Latin names of the flower, as well as some attributing description. The beautiful colorful illustrations are helpful in learning to recognize and identify the flowers.

About the Author
David Shapiro is a writer and naturalist. He has worked as an animal tracker, interpretative guide, and content manager. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Hayley Vair is an artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. She has a background in animation and a love for color.

My Take on the Book
David Shapiro has written an informative counting book using different beautiful flowers for the counting theme. He relates specific information about each type of flower in addition to using the numerals to count the flowers. David includes the scientific name for the flowers also.

Haley Vain illustrated this counting book with the specific flowers. She added details so the flowers appear like a photograph. You and your child will enjoy looking at her lovely drawings as you read this book.

I think you will agree this is a very special nature counting book for a young child.


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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

IRON MAN 3 is Opening Soon!


Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.

“Iron by “Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review - Big Nate: Game On!

About the Book
Big Nate is big news! And the best news is that Big Nate: Game On! is in full color! Big Nate books have sold more than 4.5 million copies and been on the New York Times best-seller list for more than a year.

To sixth-grader Nate Wright, life is one big game. So when he suits up for any sport, he does it with an unmistakable swagger. From fine-tuning his trash-talking skills on the basketball court to his cocky ’tude in the soccer goal, Nate can be a bigger challenge to his teammates than their opponents. Enjoy Nate and his friends’ mostly hapless sports encounters through not-always-highlight-reel moments in the all-color Big Nate: Game On. Includes poster.

About the Author
Lincoln Peirce (pronounced "purse") is a New York Times bestselling author and cartoonist/writer in Portland, Maine. He lives with his wife and two children, and gives lectures to students about cartoon creating. Peirce is the creator of the comic strip Big Nate, that debuted in 1991 and appears in 250 newspapers in the US and online daily at www.comics.com, and is featured on the website Poptropica, www.poptropica.com. His is the author of Big Nate: In a Class by Himself and Big Nate: Strikes Again, the first two books in the Big Nate series, and BIG NATE FROM THE TOP, a collection of the most hilarious BIG NATE comic strips (Andrews McMeel, Fall 2010 pub). Lincoln Peirce was born in Iowa, earned a B.A. from Colby College, a Master's Degree in drawing/painting from Brooklyn College, studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and has also taught art Xavier High School in New York. A fan and collector of classic country music, Lincoln also hosts a radio show called South by Southwest, dedicated to honky tonk and western swing, from 8:30 to 10:30 every Monday morning on WMPG (a community radio station in Portland, Maine). A huge thrill of his was interviewing Willie Nelson on board his tour bus a few years ago. You can visit him online at www.bignatebooks.com, where Lincoln blogs twice a week.

My Take on the Book
I had never seen this comic before, but after reading this book, I want to read more in the future. This was a comic that will make you laugh as there were so many situations that I could relate to in my own experience growing up. As someone who played a number of sports in elementary school I love how much trouble Nate gets into and how he tries to get out of trouble is just as much fun. I shared this with my daughter as well and she too really enjoyed it too. Great artistry and story in each comic that is shared. If you have never seen this comic you should today!


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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

THOR: THE DARK WORLD - Check-Out the New Teaser Trailer

 
Marvel’s "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s "Thor" and "Marvel’s The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.


Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” is directed by Alan Taylor, produced by Kevin Feige, from a story by Don Payne (credit not final) and screenplay by Christopher Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (credit not final) and is based on Marvel’s classic Super Hero Thor, who first appeared in the comic book “Journey into Mystery “ #83 in August, 1962.

Marvel’s "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.

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 Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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