Wednesday, May 31, 2017

New Books from Simon and Schuster Kids to Add to Your Child's Growing Library (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Simon & Schuster

Before we say goodbye to May, check out these recent children's book releases from the folks at Simon and Schuster Kids.  I had the opportunity to share some of the following recent releases with my girls and they loved the books.  These books sure have made bedtime reading much more fun.  And, the new Ready-to-Go reading level books for beginner readers were just what my five year old daughter needed to feel more confident when it came to learning how to read.  Many of the words that fill the pages of these Pre-Level one books are basic sight words many early readers know or can sound out easily.  I can't wait to pick up more of these books to share with Bella and use with our homeschooling to get her ready for the Level One Ready-to-Read books.

Both of my girls are huge Olivia fans, and were excited to get the "Best Sister Ever" book in the mail to read together.  As I started to read the story, the girls both smiled as this is one of their favorite episodes which has already aired on television.  They have it on the DVR and have watched it countless times.  As soon as we were done reading this story, they quickly ran to the living room and put the episode on to see how it related to the book, and what parts were included in the book.  As the episode played, the girls had so much fun ruffling through the pages to find the page that went along with each part of the show.  This book has definitely become a favorite for the girls, and is one we read during the day, and if we don't fit it in, it is read at bedtime.  If your little one is a fan of Olivia, then you will want to make a point to pick up this new paperback to surprise your child with. 

Another popular book from the selection of new children's books we sent by the kind folks at Simon and Schuster Kids is "PJ Masks Save Headquarters."  This is a really fun interactive book that will have fans of the PBS Kids animated series, pulling tabs and lifting flaps to bring the adventure to life.  My girls both had a blast taking turns either lifting flaps or pulling tabs as they helped their favorite PJ Masks characters save the day from the evil Romeo.   This is one book I see the girls pulling from the bookcase at least once a day -- usually when they sit down to watch an episode of PJ Masks or shortly thereafter.  Little ones who can't read, will be able to follow along with the story read to them, or will simply love pulling and lifting tabs and flaps as they admire the colorful illustrations depicting scenes from this popular preschool animated series

My oldest daughter, Savannah, is able to read Ready-to-Read Level 1 and some Level 2 books, so she had fun reading the Strega Nona books we were sent.  Back in February we did a whole lesson on author Tomie dePaola and read a handful of Strega Nona books, followed up by arts and crafts, games and more.  Savannah was so excited to read this new releases, which we hadn't read before.  And, when she was done with the Strega Nona and Her Tomatoes book we made a point to plant more tomatoes in our garden for fun.  If your child is a fan of author Tomie dePaola or you grew up reading Strega Nona books and want to share these wonderful books with your child, then you will definitely want to check out these two new Ready-to-Read books for beginner readers.

School will be letting out soon, and most kids will be sent home with a summer reading list.  In addition to these required books, why not consider picking up a few of these recent releases that feature your child's favorite movie and television characters including Batman, Snoopy, Daniel Tiger, Olivia, Miffy and even PJ Masks.  

Batman and robins training day 9781481496308 hr

Batman and Robin's Training Day
(Adapted by R.J. Cregg, ISBN 9781481496308, 05/23/17)
 Batman: Mechs vs. Mutants!

Batman Battles Mr. Freeze

Batman Battles Mr. Freeze
(Adapted by Laurie S. Sutton; ISBN 9781481491792,05/23/17)
 Mechs vs. Mutants that comes with full-color images from the film throughout!
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481491785

Mechs vs Mutants

Mechs vs Mutants
(Adapted by Steve Korte, ISBN 9781481492232; 05/23/17)
The Penguin has teamed up with Mr. Freeze and it’s up to Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, and all of their friends to stop them in this action-packed novelization that includes an eight-page full-color insert with stills from the Batman animated film, Mechs vs. Mutants!
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481492225

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Won't You Be My Neighbor
(Adapted by Rachel Kalban; ISBN 9781481478045; 05/02/17)
Come along with Daniel Tiger as he learns what it means to be a good neighbor in this grr-ific padded board book based on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Daniel Goes to the Carnival

Daniel Goes to the Carnival
(Adapted by Angela C. Santomero ; ISBN 9781481478083; 05/02/17)
 Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood!

Daniel Tiger's 5-Minute Stories

Daniel Tiger's 5-Minute Stories
(ISBN 9781481492201; 05/16/17)
Twelve of Daniel Tiger’s most grr-ific adventures are now available in one dazzling edition!

Miffy Jumps for Joy

Miffy Jumps for Joy
(Adapted by Natalie Shaw; ISBN 9781481491723; 05/02/17)
Miffy’s dad surprises Miffy with a bouncy castle in this 8x8 storybook based on a popular episode of Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small.

Hide and Seek, Miffy!

Hide and Seek, Miffy!
(Adapted by Cala Spinner; ISBN 9781481492256; 05/02/17)
Miffy plays hide and seek in this sweet lift-the-flap board book based on an episode of the TV show Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small.

Best Sister Ever

Best Sister Ever
(Adapted by R.J. Cregg, ISBN 9781481488952, 05/23/17)
Olivia teams up with Ian to discover what their baby brother, William, loves the most in this adorable 8x8 storybook based on a popular episode!

Hugs for Snoopy

Hugs for Snoopy
(By Charles M. Schulz, ISBN 9781481495455, 05/02/17)
Peanuts fans of all ages will love this novelty board book about hugs with a touchable, lovable plush Snoopy face on the cover!

PJ Masks and the Dinosaur!

PJ Masks and the Dinosaur!
(Adapted by R.J. Cregg, ISBN 9781481491822, 05/02/17)

PJ Masks Save Headquarters!

PJ Masks Save Headquarters!
(Adapted by Daphne Pendergrass; ISBN 9781481495523, 05/02/17)
Take a tour of the PJ Masks’ top-secret headquarters—and help the heroes catch Romeo—in this sweet novelty board book based on the hit preschool series PJ Masks airing on Disney Junior!

Miffy Rides a Bike

Miffy Rides a Bike
(Adapted by Maggie Testa; ISBN 9781481495639; 05/02/17)
Miffy learns to ride a bike in this Pre-level 1 Ready-to-Read story based on a popular episode of Miffy’s Adventures Big and Small.
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481495622

My Friend Lucky
(By David Milgrim; ISBN 9781481489027; 05/09/17)
Find a new friend in Lucky with this Pre-Level 1 Ready-to-Read version of the beloved “gentle concept book about opposites” (School Library Journal).
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481489010

Strega Nona and the Twins
(By Tomie dePaola; ISBN 9781481481380; 05/09/170
In this brand-new story from acclaimed author and illustrator Tomie dePaola, Strega Nona babysits twins in a Level 1 Ready-to-Read book that’s perfect for beginning readers!
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481481373

Strega Nona and Her Tomatoes

Strega Nona and Her Tomatoes
(By Tomie dePaola; ISBN 9781481481359; 05/09/17)
Discover brand-new stories about Strega Nona, by acclaimed author and illustrator Tomie dePaola, in this Level 1 Ready-to-Read series that’s perfect for beginning readers!
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481481342

The Great American Story of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts Gang!

The Great American Story of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts Gang!
(By Chloe Perkins; ISBN 9781481495547; 05/16/17)
Now beginning readers can learn all about Charles M. Schulz’s iconic comic strips, beloved characters, and the cartoons and movies in this nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read about the history of the Peanuts Gang!
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481495530

Duke Kahanamoku

Duke Kahanamoku
(By Laurie Calkhoven; ISBN 9781481497015; 05/16/17)
Get to know the father of modern surfing in this fascinating, nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a new series of biographies about people “you should meet.”
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481497008

Who Can? Daniel Can!

Who Can? Daniel Can!
(By Maggie Testa; ISBN 9781481495196; 05/02/17)
Now very new readers can reach for the stars with Daniel Tiger in this book that’s part of an all-new Ready-to-Read level, Ready-to-Go!
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481495189            

Batman Is Fast!

Batman is Fast!
(By Maggie Testa; ISBN 9781481495349; 05/23/17)
Now very new readers can reach for the stars with Batman in this book that’s part of an all-new Ready-to-Read level, Ready-to-Go!
Also available in paperback: ISBN 9781481495332

Don't forget to follow Simon and Schuster on their social media channels to stay up-to-date on new monthly releases, special offers and more...

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
Read more »

Monday, May 29, 2017

Attention New and Current DISH Subscribers...DISH Now on Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Alexa for Hopper

Preview image

Did you hear the recent news about DISH debuting on Amazon Alexa for Hopper and DISH on Fire TV? If not and you are current or new DISH subscriber here is what you need know...

  • DISH Anywhere app to provide 10-foot viewing experience on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Delivers 100 percent of live and recorded content, plus thousands of on-demand titles, to any TV with an HDMI input, at home or on the go
  • Available today at no additional cost to new and current DISH customers


More about this announcement...

"DISH extended its DISH Anywhere app experience to customers’ big screen televisions through Amazon Fire TV products. This marks the first time customers can use a media player to seamlessly access DISH Anywhere on any TV with an HDMI input, either at home or on the go.
DISH Anywhere gives Hopper customers the ability to watch 100 percent of their live and recorded content, plus thousands of on-demand titles, from any location on Internet-connected mobile devices, including smart phones, tablets and computers, and now televisions.
“While DISH Anywhere has historically been embraced on mobile devices, users are now getting even more of what they want – their DISH subscription on any TV at no extra cost,” said Niraj Desai, DISH vice president of product management. “DISH Anywhere on Fire TV is an excellent value that further brings choice and flexibility to our customers’ television experience.”
Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are the first media players to offer DISH Anywhere. DISH customers with an Internet-connected Hopper 3, Hopper 2 or a first-generation Hopper connected to a Sling Adapter have access to live, recorded and on-demand content on DISH Anywhere. Customers with VIP receivers may use DISH Anywhere to watch on-demand titles."
About DISH
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), through its subsidiaries, provides approximately 13.528 million pay-TV subscribers, as of March 31, 2017, with the highest-quality programming and technology with the most choices at the best value. DISH offers a high definition line-up with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international channels and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit
Subscribe to DISH email alerts: 
Follow @DISHNews on Twitter:
Read more »

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Don't Let Rain Dampen Your S'mores Party with the New Sterno S'mores Maker #tryazon #SmoresAnytime

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the folks at in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Hopefully this upcoming Memorial Day weekend is not going to be a wash out.  If you live in New England like I do, then  you are probably done with all these April showers in May.  This whole week here in CT has been cold, gloomy and wet.  My poor garden looks like a swimming pool now with all the water we have had.  And, to think last week we were enjoying a heat wave with temperatures reaching 90 degrees on two days.  That is the way it is here in New England.  we get spoiled with early summer temperatures and the next week we get soaking rain that never seems like it wants to end.  And, based on the upcoming holiday weekend forecast it is going to be more of the same.  But, if you live in New England, you know not to trust the weather people as they can be wrong, and we just have to wait it out and hope for bright skies and no rain.

But, if the weather doesn't improve, all is not wasted when it comes to having family and friends over to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, and early start to summer.  Bring the cookout indoors by cooking hot dogs in a crockpot, putting on a pot on baked beans, and throw a bunch of corn in a cooler filled with hot water to steam it for guests.  And, when it comes to dessert, don't forget the s'mores.  Yes, you read that right...s'mores indoors...and, no I am not talking about using the microwave to make them.  Instead, set up your own S'mores stations for guests to make their own s'mores at your dining room table or kitchen counter.  Have you seen the s'mores maker from Sterno?  

This is the coolest thing, and a must have for families who love making s'mores and entertaining family and friends especially during the summer months.  With the unpredictable weather here in New England our Sterno s'mores maker is going to come in handy this summer when the rain prevents us from sitting around the fire pit roasting marshmallows.  Instead, we will bring the fun of roasting marshmallows and crafting our own s'mores indoors where it is warmer (or cooler on those hot muggy night and the AC is cranked up) and there are no mosquitos or black flies to swat at. :-)

Last weekend I had invited family and friends over for a backyard BBQ.  After being spoiled with the heat wave, I thought what better way to enjoy this marvelous weather than with a cookout and time spent around the fire pit.  But, my luck, I summoned the rain gods and it started to pour buckets and as I write this post, it is still raining outside.  So, I had all these people coming over and it decides to rain.  I moved the party indoors and the Sterno s'mores maker was the hit of the party and had everyone putting their phones down and gathering around the table to create their s'mores masterpieces.  I had the basics -- chocolate (both milk and dark), different flavored graham crackers (honey, plain and cinnamon) and marshmallows (medium and jumbo sized).  

Earlier in the day I also made pizzelle  cookies to make ice cream sandwiches with. I put out the leftovers at the s'mores table and everyone had a blast trying out this favorite Italian cookie with melted chocolate and ooey gooey marshmallow.  

Yum! I am getting hungry just thinking about it.  Oh, how I wish I had another pizzelle s'more to snack on.  Well, I know what I will be doing this weekend...baking more pizzelle  and gathering the family around the dining room table after dinne for another fun s'mores night.  Everyone will be saying "can I have some more."  See what I did there -- some more...s'more!  Hahaha! :-)

So, don't let this rain and gloomy weather put a damper on your upcoming holiday weekend plans.  Instead, add the Sterno s'mores maker to your shopping list, as well as all your s'mores ingredients and head to your local Walmart store to pick us this must have item that will be used time and again this summer and for years to come.  

Each Sterno S'mores Maker kit includes the following:

Sterno 70227 Family Fun S'mores Maker

  • An easy to clean serving/display tray
  • 2 built-in s'mores making stations for tidy s'mores construction
  • 1 can of Sterno s'mores heat for the perfect custom roasted marshmallow (safe for indoor or outdoor use)
  • A protective roasting screen
  • 2 stainless steel roasting forks

This is one of those items you try out and wonder how you ever lived without it.  And, you and your family and friends will be talking about it and saying how it makes those family gatherings and cookouts and outdoor/indoor parties that much more fun. 

Everyone loves s'mores and this s'mores maker is not only affordable, but will make you the party host of the year when you introduce family and friends to this ingenious product.  

All your guests will be making a point to head to their local Walmart to pick up a Sterno s'mores maker for themselves, so that they can make s'mores anytime, anywhere!  

Have I made your mouth water just thinking about s'mores and have you craving one?  Then, head on over to or to your local Walmart store and pick up a Sterno S'mores maker today. The Sterno S'mores Maker is also available at Amazon with Prime Shipping for 2-day delivery.  

And, be sure to pick up extra s'mores heat so you aren't without heat to roast your marshmallows.  

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the folks at in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Read more »

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fans of Peppa Pig Will Love Celebrating Spring with New Gardening Toys, Watches, Chalk and More... (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

I'm a Peppa Pig Parent!

What better way to welcome in spring than with the help of Peppa Pig and her friends?  As you know, I am a Peppa Pig Parent, and on occasion are sent fun packages for the girls to open and enjoy from Peppa Pig...well, not really, but when I tell them it is Peppa Pig related, they think Peppa sent the goodies especially for them. :-)

Last week, after a crazy week of doctors visit for a UTI and stitches for a torn earlobe -- yes, this Mama is ready for a vacation -- the girls arrived home to a big box in the garage.  They knew instantly that a box this size was sent from none other than Peppa Pig and they were right.  I couldn't get the box into the house fast enough for them. But, eventually it made its way to our living room floor and the girls assumed the position of posing with the box before they could tear into the box and see what Peppa Pig goodies were inside.  Here are the photos I snapped of the madness... :-)

We just started our garden outside so the adorable gardening toys from BB Designs that we were sent, which included a Peppa Pig rake and shovel, along with the pink bucket and watering can will definitely come in handy.   

Toys "R" Us even has this cute Peppa Pig Flower Garden Set - 8 Piece, which is only $17.99.  I plan to pick it up and give to Savannah in July as part of her birthday gift. She loves gardening and will love having her own tools and gardening belt like me. :-)  Isn't this the cutest thing you have seen...

The girls were quick to take to the driveway to try out their new chalk and a Peppa Pig chalk holder from Pamson and thought it was the coolest thing.  

They loved how the chalk holder kept their little hands clean and the chalk on the pavement and not on them or their clothes.  This was a win win for both them and me. as I didn't have to worry about soaking their clothes after play, and they weren't running to the sink to wash the chalk off as it felt yucky. :-)

Savannah is the oldest at almost 7 years old, so she called first dibs on the an oinktastic watch from Accutime.  But, I was quick to pick up another at Target, as you can't go wrong for only $9.99.  

Even though I am teaching the girls how to tell time with big and little hand clocks, they both loved how quick it was to look down at their wrists like a big person and be able to tell the time.  

Thanks to these fashionable Peppa Pig watches from Accutime, I don't have to worry about looking at my phone for the time as the girls are quick to tell me...."Hey, Mom it is 2:15" Hey, Mom it is 2:16." :-)

As for the Peppa Pig and the Backyard Circus” book, this was the first book we read at bedtime and had been a staple at bedtime ever since.  

Peppa Pig and the Backyard Circus

About this recent release:

"Step right up to Peppa’s circus — just the ticket for little fans!

Grandpa Pig is busy setting up a big tent in the backyard for Granny Pig’s garden party, but Peppa thinks it looks more like a circus tent. What could be better than to put on a circus show during the party? Danny Dog can be the strong man, Suzy Sheep the juggler, and George can wow the crowd as one of the cyclists. And it’s Peppa’s job to make sure the amazing feats go according to plan — she’s the ringmaster, of course!"

We ended up bringing the new DVD, “Peppa Pig: Around the World DVD in the car to watch on our way to a homeschool class the other day. 

Peppa Pig: Around The World

Even though the girls have already seen the special 15 minute episode and the 9 other episodes that make up this new DVD release, they were laughing and talking all about how much fun it was to watch.  And, on the way back home, they watched the entire DVD again, only to talk my ear off at dinner about their favorite parts and asking when they could watch it again.

I love being a Peppa Pig Parent and being able to share wonderful products like the ones we were sent with my readers, as I know many of you are parents and grandparents to little ones who can't get enough of Peppa Pig.  This is one of the few shows that I will sit and watch with the girls, and find myself enjoying the show.  Peppa and her friends take your little ones on fun adventures, while also teaching important lessons about friendship, working together and never giving up.  Peppa Pig really does a great job in sparking my girls' imagination and makes them want to act out the episodes they watch.  So, it is also a treat when we are sent books and DVDs about Peppa Pig as I know the girls will put them to good use and watch the DVDs and have me read the books time and time again.  

Why not welcome in spring (and summer) with your Peppa Pig fan and surprise them with some of the goodies now available at most retailers featuring everyone's favorite talking pig, Peppa.  Kid will love getting outdoors and tending to their gardens with their cute Peppa Pig gardening tools.  And, the pink Peppa Pig bucket is definitely going to make a splash at the beach when little ones take it to help make castles and collect seashells.  

And, if these Peppa Pig goodies weren't enough, I wanted to make sure you were aware of the brand-new app, Peppa Pig: Happy Mrs Chicken, which is now available to download – and it’s sure to provide snorts of laughter for Peppa Pig fans! 

Inspired by the “Happy Mrs Chicken” game from the series, the app encourages preschoolers to explore the wonderful world of Peppa through five fun-filled games. 

iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 4
iPhone Screenshot 5

Young players can see how many eggs they can lay with Happy Mrs Chicken, leave a seed trail to guide chicks through a maze and much more! 

iPhone Screenshot 1

You can purchase and download this new Peppa Pig app through these three links for only $1.99 now:

So, what are you waiting for?  Welcome in spring and summer with these wonderful Peppa Pig inspired toys and goodies, and put a huge smile on the face of that special Peppa Pig fan in your life today. My girls are still smiling when I ask them about their new Peppa Pig goodies.  They love them, and I know your kids will, too! :-)

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
Read more »