Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Check Out These August/September Children's Book Releases from Sterling Publisher + Enter to #Win 1 of the 8 Books Features (8 Winners Will Be Chosen!) #Giveaway

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



Sterling Publishing


School is back in session for many people, and the rest of the kids are returning next week or right after Labor Day.  If your kids are back in school or getting ready, how is their bedtime routine going?  Even though I homeschool my girls year-round, during the summer months they have been staying up later than usual to enjoy late night fires, family movie nights, walks in the parks or simply enjoying the final days of summer vacation, before they go back to doing school 5-6 days a week.  So, their sleep schedule is a little off.  Thankfully with some fun new children's books, I have slowly started to get them back into a routine and in their beds by 8:30PM-8:45PM by reading to them.  Both of my girls are reading on their own, and usually will read a chapter or two before they turn their lights off at bedtime, but it is nice to be able to read to them like I used to, and getting in a few last minute snuggles and kisses before they go to sleep for the night.


Recently, the folks at Sterling Publishing, sent along eight of their recent and upcoming releases, which are perfect for Back to School time.  We have been enjoying these four books for a couple weeks now, and they became instant favorites of the girls, and are requested each night when I tell the girls to choose a few books for us to read together.  



These really are cute books, with a fun Back to School theme, and would make for great bedtime books to share with your kids.  Even if your children are reading on their own, use this as an excuse to share some wonderful new children's books with them.  As you know, kids are only little for so long, and will eventually not want to have you read to them.  So, enjoy these special moments now while you still can.  


You can learn more about these and other children's books that would make for great bedtime reads as you try to get your children back on a school bedtime schedule, or if you are starting your holiday shopping or planning early, and want to try a book advent this holiday season by visiting www.sterlingpublishing.com.  My girls really get into unwrapping a new or favorite book each day as they count down to Christmas, and they love snuggling up under blankets on the couch, with the tree lit up in the distance, as we read a good book before bed. :-)


And, be sure to read all the way to the end, so you can learn how you can enter my giveaway for a chance to win one of these eight books, to share with your child(ren).  I will choose eight winners at random, and each will get a book (randomly chosen) from the books mentioned below.  :-)  





About this book:


"Right from the start, everyone at the barnyard could tell Jasper wasn’t like his siblings.  No wallowing in the mud or rooting for grubs for Jasper – he’d rather help with the bookkeeping or conduct a meeting.  No matter how many business cards he hands out, no one wants to adopt him. Can this above-average pig find a special person to conduct business with?  BUSINESS PIG by Andrea Zuill is filled with silliness and charm!"



Pub Date: 9/4/2018
ISBN: 9781454926849
Price: $16.95 / $22.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Pages: 32 pages, all in color
Trim: 8.5 x 10.875 Inches
Territories: World
Category: Juvenile / Picture Books
Age Range: 3 to 7
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:


When I first showed this book to my girls, they giggled at the front cover.  My youngest said, "Pigs don't wear business suits, read or drink coffee."  Then, we started to read the book, and the story and illustrations made the girls giggle even more - at the birth of the pig who they named Jasper who came out wearing a suit, to the ways he didn't act like your normal pig.  The girls got a kick of his Jasper at his desk made out of hay, and then the many creative ways he tried to advertise himself in hopes of getting adopted.  When my girls saw that Jasper was having a hard time of finding his forever family, my girls felt sad.  They thought Jasper was unique and deserved to be loved.  Then, we got to the page where a little girl, who looked a little nerdy and similar to Jasper, arrived on the farm with her mother.  She took a look at Jasper's flow charts, swapped business cards and even asked for his resume.  After an interview and consult with her mom (upper management), the little girl offered Jasper the job of being her forever friend/pig.  And, they lived happily ever after.


We really enjoyed this cute book, and the illustrations by the author really made the story come to life and added to story.  This book became a hit with my girls, and we continue to read it nightly.  I have even caught the girls drawing pictures of Jasper in his little black business suit.  


If your child likes pigs, or a heartwarming story that will have them giggling too, then you will want to check out "Business Pig" arriving on book shelves Sept. 4th.






About this Book:



"Brrr! There’s a frost in the fridge—and it’s hardened Pudding Pond and frozen Yogurt Falls. Agent Asparagus is on the case, and she begs Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast to join her superspy team. But when the enemy snatches Asparagus, Pancake and French Toast have no choice but to turn to the evil Baron von Waffle! Will he help them save the fridge . . . or are they doomed to become frozen food?  Find out in MISSION DEFROSTABLE – the 3rd adventure with our foodie friends from Josh Funk!"

Pub Date: 9/25/2018
ISBN: 9781454928119
Price: $16.95 / $22.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Pages: 40 pages, all in color
Trim: 10 x 10 Inches
Territories:
Category: Juvenile / Picture Books
Age Range: 5 to 9
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:

This is the third book in the series that we have read - you can Google the previous books to see my reviews of the earlier two releases.  My girls were excited when they saw this new release as they have really enjoyed the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, and have been wondering when a new book would be released. In this new release the story takes place in the freezer, and Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have to beg Baron von Waffle to help them save their friends and the fridge, which is slowly freezing over.  

From curly fry shackles to evil frozen fruit bars capturing Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast and leading them through the Plantain gates, this new release in the popular series, will have kids on the edge of their seats, and wanting to read quickly so that they can see what happens next. My girls kept rooting for Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast to save the day, but then had no idea what would happen with it seemed like Baron von Waffle wasn't going to help and led to the freezer, only to be captured.  But, in the end Baron von Waffle helps them, and the fridge returns to normal, and they all thaw out.

My girls really enjoyed this book and said it was their favorite of the three books they have read thus far in the series.  As they wait for another book to release in the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, they will continue to enjoy this book over and over again. :-)




About this Book:

"Anyone—no matter how young—can make a difference.  As we’ve seen with the student-led March For Our Lives, the young protestors of the Black Lives Matter movement, and brave young women like Malala Yousafzai, you are never too young to change the world!  The 50 kids profiled in NEVER TOO YOUNG! will inspire and empower young readers.  They come from a variety of historical periods and backgrounds, and have made an impact in politics, sports, the arts, science, and more.  Some – like Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Stevie Wonder – are prominent figures, while others are lesser known, with achievements that are just as compelling and important!"

Pub Date: 9/4/2018
ISBN: 9781454929178
Price: $14.95 / $19.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 112 pages, all in color
Trim: 7.375 x 9.25 Inches
Territories: World
Category: Juvenile / Biography
Age Range: 8 to 12
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:




About this Book:

"With his signature breathtaking art, plus stunning gatefolds, acclaimed naturalist Jim Arnosky introduces children to the most eye-catching creatures in the animal kingdom!  LOOK AT ME! WILD ANIMAL SHOW OFFS explores a multitude of creatures from across the globe to reveal the reasons behind their attention-grabbing behavior."

Pub Date: 9/18/2018
ISBN: 9781454928096
Price: $16.95 / $22.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Pages: 40 pages, all in color
Trim: 9 x 11.5 Inches
Territories: US/Can
Category: Juvenile / Picture Books
Age Range: 6 to 10
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:

My girls love animals and books about animals, so when they saw "Look at Me!: Wild Animal Show-Offs" arrive on our doorstep last week, they were so excited and couldn't wait to read it.  As they started to flip through the pages they realized it wasn't a story, but more of an educational book that brings you up close and personal with animals like a bighorn sheep, a sockeye salmon, frilled lizard and hummingbird with a ruby throat.  They loved all the information and fold outs about each animals and the illustrations were so detailed and life-like.  

We ended up sitting down and reading this book together the first time around.  Then, I had the girls choose an animal from the book to research more about and write up a report for our schooling.  Savannah opted for the bighorn sheep and added a fun horn craft, which she used toilet paper rolls and added to her and her sisters ears.  :-)  I love when the girls creativity gets sparked by books like these.  Bella chose the wood ducks to explore further.  She ended up drawing the ducks to show how their crest feathers when raised on head show they are alarmed, excited or showing off.



This is definitely one book the girls will be pulling from the shelves to sit and flip through, and that we will be using for years to come for our schooling. If you kids love animals and learning more about them, then they will love this new book, with fun fold out pages and pages full of fun facts about each animals.




About this Book:

"As more and more children attend the growing number of marches across the country, IF YOU’RE GOING TO A MARCH (August 2018) serves as a handbook and conversation starter for youthful participants. Inspired by author Martha Freeman’s own experiences, this cheerful guide addresses many of the questions kids might have, and says focused on the fact that the right to assemble is a Constitutional part of our life as Americans . . . whatever our political point of view!"

Pub Date: 8/7/2018
ISBN: 9781454929932
Price: $16.95 / $22.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Pages: 32 pages, all in color
Trim: 8.5 x 10.875 Inches
Territories: World
Category: Juvenile / Picture Books
Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:

I wish I had this book a few months ago when I was talking to my girls about marching and why people, including children and families have been taking to the streets to march for what they believed in.  This past May, I brought the girls to a homeschool march at our state capital as they are trying to make changes and control how we homeschool our children in CT. CT is one of the few states left that don't have laws or mandates in place for homeschooling families.  But, now they are trying to make changes and using false information to give homeschooling families a bad name in CT.

In addition to the homeschool march, we also brought our girls to a march in June to show support for the immigrant children being locked up in cages and not being treated humanely.  My husband is originally from El Salvador and my girls are part Latina, so they are at the age where they understand that they are part Caucasian and part Latina.  And, when they saw the news and kids with their skin color being put in cages, they started asking questions.  So, we thought we would take them to a nearby march to show how so many people of all races and colors stand up for the rights of everyone.  The girls had so many questions, but we used this as learning experience and talked about it afterwards.  Then, when I shared this book with them the other day, it helped answer any other questions the girls may have had.  


What I liked about this book is that is focuses on the fact that we all have the right to assemble no matter our political view, thanks to the Constitution.  I highly recommend this book, especially in today's day and age, when there is a divide in government and the nation as a whole.  It is nice to see so many people come together from both sides for marches, to show that even though we have different political points of views, we can see eye to eye on some important issues that affect Americans as a whole.




About this Book:

"Matilda Macaroni loves to try new foods. It’s picky mom and dad who will only eat things like sugary cereal and chicken nuggets.  Can she whip up a plan to get her parents to open their minds (and their mouths) and try new foods? HOW TO FEED YOUR PARENTS (August 2018) by Ryan Miller is a twisted picture book perfect for reluctant eaters!"

Pub Date: 8/7/2018
ISBN: 9781454925620
Price: $16.95 / $22.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Pages: 40 pages, all in color
Trim: 8.5 x 10.875 Inches
Territories: World
Category: Juvenile / Picture Books
Age Range: 3 and up
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:

This was one of our favorite books received from Sterling Publishing, as we have two picky eaters in our house, and they don't think their meal demands or lack there of are bad.  When I read this to the girls the first time, they couldn't help but giggle all the way through.  I reminded them that like the parents in the this book, this is how they are when it comes to eating.  I feel like I run an open kitchen three times a day, as they never eat what my husband and I eat, and can never agree on having me make a meal they will both eat.

But, thanks to this book, we made a fun game out of eating and had the girls try to expand their palates by trying new things.  Over the past couple of weeks, the girls have found that they like celery, broccoli, zucchini and new pastas with sauces.  It is baby steps, but it is nice to see them opening their minds and mouths and trying new things to see if there are foods out there that they find they now enjoy.


If you have a picky eater, then this is definitely a book you will want to share with them.  There is even a tasty quiche recipe that your kids can help you cook up in the kitchen and try  My girls had so much fun helping me make this quiche dish, and even more fun eating it...and asking for seconds. :-)


About this Book:

"Hoppy pets, hairy pets, scaly pets: Bartholomew Botts loves them all, and he doesn’t want to go to school without one! Unfortunately, when Bartholomew brings his brand-new frog to class, his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, declares: No frogs in school!  How will Bartholomew keep his animal friends close at hand . . . and follow Mr. Patanoose's rules, too?  NO FROGS IN SCHOOL (August 2018) is the perfect back-to-school story, sure to be a favorite with every animal-loving kid!"

Pub Date: 8/7/2018
ISBN: 9781454926986
Price: $16.95 / $22.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Pages: 32 pages, all in color
Trim: 8.5 x 10.875 Inches
Territories: World
Category: Juvenile / Picture Books
Age Range: 4 to 7
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:

Have your kids ever wished they could bring their family pet to school, even for show and tell? Then, they will love this cute children's book about a little boy who brings his new frog to school -- where there is a "no frogs in school" policy.  How will this go over with the teacher?  Will Bartholomew have to leave or even worse, have his pet frog taken away?  You will just have to pick up this book, which will have your and your kids laughing all the way through, to find out.  My girls really enjoyed this book and wished that they were in class with Bartholomew to see his pet frog.   They have continued to pull this book from the shelf to read, and have asked me to read it to them at bedtime, as it really is a fun read.



About this Book:

"Poor Allie! She’s in a rage, throwing a tantrum, and having a fit! Her emotions have built and built and now they just burst. Is there a sweet little girl hiding somewhere under all the angry layers? ALLIE ALL ALONG (August 2018) by Sarah Lynne Reul explores simple ways kids can center themselves in the face of overwhelming emotions."

Pub Date: 8/7/2018
ISBN: 9781454928584
Price: $16.95 / $22.95 CAN
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
Pages: 40 pages, all in color
Trim: 10 x 10 Inches
Territories: WENG
Category: Juvenile / Picture Books
Age Range: 4 to 7
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books

My Thoughts:

This book has really come in handy to help with our youngest daughter's tantrums.  Even though she is six going on seven, she still gets angry when things don't go her way or something happens and makes her angry.  We have tried to tell to her to take a deep breath, count backwards, scream into a pillow, hug a stuffed animal, and other ways that are also mentioned in this story, to help calm her down and make her less angry.  But, she usually gets frustrated with us, and more angry.  

When I first heard about this book, I thought it would be a great book to share with Bella to show her that she isn't the only one who gets mad, and that the coping mechanisms we have told her to try, really to help, if she lets them.  As I sat and read this book to Bella for the first time the other day, I noticed her sitting up more and taking notice of the story.  When I got to the end, I asked her if it reminded her of anyone.  She realized that Allie, AKA the angry red monster, was just like her.  I told her this is how she looks and sounds when she has a tantrum or angry outburst. But, I also shared how Allie did things like we have Bella do, like count backwards, hold your breath and pretend to blow out candles, and snuggle a plush toy, and how this helped the little girl in the book to calm down and return to her happy (not so angry) self again.

Bella slowly started to realize that instead of letting her anger or tantrums get the best of her, that she needs to stop, and take a moment to try and calm herself down.  And, slowly the angry melts away and she is better able to handle a situation that may not be going her way in a more positive and productive way.

I am so glad I found a book that I could share with Bella, and that helped her see that tantrums can happy, but there are ways to help ease the anger and not let it get the best of you.  No one likes an angry monster, and this story does a great job in sharing with children remedies to help kids cope with their emotions, as they learn how to better manage them.


---

These are just some of the recent and upcoming children's book releases from the folks at Sterling Publishing.  I have been a fan of this publishing group for years, and always recommend their books to family and friends, and have used these book with our homeschooling, and enjoyed at bedtime with the girls.  I hope you find some great new additions to pick up and add to your child's book library, and that you enjoy reading them at bedtime, or even on a rainy day when you find yourselves stuck indoors with nothing to do -- rainy days are perfect days for catching up on your favorite book, or finding a new favorite book to enjoy time and again.

--GIVEAWAY--





And, as promised, below is a fun giveaway I am hosting thanks to the kindness of folks at Sterling Publishing.  I will be choosing eight (8) different winners for this giveaway, and each of these winners will win one of the above mentioned books (randomly chosen), for you to share with your child.

To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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Is Your Home Set Up To Meet Children's Needs?




Virtually everything about our life changes when we have children. Our social life seems to
become non-existent, or at least revolves around speaking with other parents as the babies
play. Our priorities change; what used to bother us now seems to be of no importance at all.
And this is how it’s supposed to be: our children drill their way into our hearts, and we change.
However, there are other areas of our lives that need to change but often don’t: our homes.
So if you have children, or are planning to, then it’s worthwhile looking around your property
to see if it’s a suitable space for children. Below, we take a look at a few ideas for making it
kid-friendly.


Source: Pexels.com


Outdoor Spaces


People rightly spend a lot of time focusing on the insides of their house, but when it comes to
children, the outdoors is just as important. Kids begin their lives as wild creatures, and, to them,
your yard is one big adventure land.


You can make it a fun space for your children by having grass (nothing more fun than just rolling
around on grass when you’re young), some toys, and, if you have space, a swing set or other
fun adventure activities for them to enjoy.


Play Only Rooms


Your kids are all about play! And as anyone who’s serious about play will tell you, to get the most
out of it, then it needs to be unstructured and unregulated. This, generally, can’t happen in the
whole of the home, when you’re understandably eager to maintain a semblance of order.
That’s why it’s a good idea to set up a “play only” room, in which your child can make as much
mess as they please. They’ll be able to stretch their imaginations and you’ll be able to rest knowing
there’s only so much mess they can make when they’re playing in a small room.


Freedom of the House


While their playing will be largely contained to one area, that doesn’t mean that they should
be a stranger to the other parts of the home. It’s not right to limit where a child can explore
in the home! So make sure they're encouraged to get exploring and making their presence known.


Of course, to keep them safe you’ll need to know how to kid-proof your home; you never know
what dangers lurk around the house. If you know that they’re all taken care of, your child will be
able to wander around freely.


Rainy Day Activities


All parents have been there. The kids are full of energy, but alas, it’s raining, and no-one seems
too motivated to go outdoors. In this scenario, how does your home cope? If it crumbles under
the pressure of having to entertain your children when it’s a rainy day, then it’s not a home that’s
set up for children! You can ensure that there’s always something to do by adding crafts and games
to your living room. When you can't go outside to get your fill of fun, you can stay right where you
are and have fun instead!


Limit the Tech


Technology has its place in a child’s life, but it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s possible to go to
the extra edge all too easily. Children who spend too much time with technology end up having
concentration problems and other issues. As such, it’s best to limit the tech that’s found in your
home; or, at least, have other options available, so it’s not always the easy “go to” option. If you find
that your child is staring at the television too often, it’s time to find better activities to do in the home.


Cozy Nights In


In the spring and summer, you can spend time in the outdoors. During fall and winter, you’ll mostly
be indoors. Indeed, those cozy nights in are some of the best moments we spend as a family!
So take the time to get your living room ready to handle those magical movie nights in. A big couch
for all the family to squeeze in to, pillows, throws, and popcorn in the microwave should do the trick.


Inspiring Rooms


There’s inspiration all around, but it’s difficult to find when you’re bombarded with flashing lights,
adverts, and so on. Make sure your child has a healthy dose of creativity in their life by pushing
the boat out when it comes to decorating their room. Bright colors, funky characters, and stories
on the wall should do the trick.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Superhero Gene That Children Crave So Much


Things haven’t changed much from when many parents in their 30s and 40s were growing up. Superheros are more popular than ever. Judging by the colossal successes Hollywood is having recently with endless epic movies of every superhero you can imagine, children are learning about different characters.



They’re also learning what it means to be a superhero and spotting certain character traits they might have that are similar. Parents should be doing everything they can to encourage this, as children could learn a lot by emulating the virtues of superheroes. Heroes are honest, always tell the truth no matter what, save others from harm and do all of these deeds without expecting thanks. They have a good heart and if you raise your children right, they too with be good and honorable human beings to their core. Here are ways to support them and make them believe they have what it takes.



   

Costumes for dress up 



Lots of children dress up as their heroes, which is why they are so fond of trying on your clothes
even though they don’t fit them.


Many parents will buy their children bedtime clothes that are the same as their superheroes. Although this is a great idea, it's not as far as you can and should go with it. Buy them costumes of their favorite superheroes, rather than onesies which don’t perform any other function other than sleeping in. these costumes can be worn at birthday parties, dressing up for school events, parties with other children and when they go to watch movies with you about superheroes in cinemas. The clothes we wear have a psychological impact on us, and children that dress up like their heroes are more likely to emulate them in person.



   

The study den 


As children grow up, they will begin to get more and more homework. They need a place in their bedrooms where they can study. However, if you’re a parent you know that children get easily distracted by their toys and entertainment technology. This happens especially when they have to sit down and concentrate on things like homework. They feel cut off from their imagination and characters. You can make their study a little more fun with personalized bobbleheads made from your photo.




If your kids love Star Wars, they can have their picture put on a figure that is from the franchise and bobbles when you touch it. They wear the same clothes as the Jedis, but thanks to the sculpting of each figure, the face can look identical to your child. Putting this kind of toy on their desk makes their study space a little more child-friendly and not so serious. They won’t treat it as something boring they want to avoid when you soften their desk up a bit with this kind of gift.


Superheros are characters that we all wish we could be. They’re strong, always truthful and do the
right thing to help people who are in need. They are the person we hope our child will emulate
and grow up to be honorable. But as parents, we need to encourage them to feel like their heroes
by giving them things that make them believe they can be such people.



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