Has it really been 50 years since Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle was released? It’s a children’s classic book whose simple rhymes, distinctive art and perfect length make it one of the first books that children will have read to them. We’re giving away an autographed copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, as well as a handful of other Brown Bear swag to celebrate its landmark 50th anniversary.

This is a giveaway for an autographed 50th anniversary edition of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle and swag.

This special edition of the book is different for some because it’s the proper, full size release, instead of the board book version that some of us are accustomed to. That was our jam for three straight years. When we had a three and one year old in the house it was one that the younger could laugh at the older one could point to the words. From there we went to Panda Bear and Polar Bear, all of which we’ve also saved for the future library, should our children need it in 25 years.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has a giveaway for a copy of  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, autographed by illustrator Eric Carle, as well as a bag of Brown Bear swag. This is a giveaway that you’ll keep forever. The new 50th anniversary copy of Brown Bear features the complete story of the book on CD that is read by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Win an autographed copy of Brown Bear to celebrate its 50th anniversary


From the moment you look at Wordplay you know that it’s different. Its landscape format makes the book stand out because it doesn’t look like many books you see. Then you open up Wordplay by Ivan Brunetti and its graphics inside stand out also. It’s trippy and fun, think of a brand new reader’s book for compound words, but presented with a twist of Alice in Wonderland and you get a feel for Wordplay.

Kindergarten through first graders might not be studying what a compound word is in a grammatical sense. However, they do know several compound words, two separate words that combine to form something new and fantastic. From a tool or DIY perspective, they’re the hammer drill of the English language.

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Quest For The Golden Arrow, big scale middle Earth style fun for middle school

May 26, 2017

Along the way they meet a talkative dragon who is the last of its kind, some older humans who just might be Annie’s relatives and many other beings who may or may not have their best interests at heart.
Older readers might lose interest at a couple of points in the book, especially when the group goes to Ireland to retrieve a relic. The first book took place in the real world, while hinting at the magical world of Aurora. Quest For The Golden Arrow takes place in Aurora for the most part, except for that foray. This second book works better in the magical realm as the side story of Annie’s back story never took off for us.

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BrandED aims for education branding, succeeds a little bit

May 25, 2017

I will give this to BrandED, it walks the walk. You’ll see that phrase on almost every page so much so that you’ll start to think of it as a process, rather than just the title to a book. And perhaps that’s the point, those in education who may not think about branding, PR or their school as a sales tool, might need to think of it as a ‘process’. Schools that are not doing it will need to evaluate their situations.
Having said that, the book would have benefited from more examples of schools that actually used social media, corporate outreach or other real world situations that schools could relate to. There are a couple, but for a book entitled BrandED I expected more stories about school improving aspects of their facility, test scores or teacher retention.

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Pirates of Hilton Head is must-visit fun for kids 10 and younger

May 24, 2017

To give you an idea of how much our 4 year old enjoyed his time on the Pirates of Hilton Head he kept his treasure from the ship’s journey, a bag of plastic ‘pirate money’, until we got home. At home, while eating at our local bagel place, he took it upon himself to pass out a coin to some of the folks eating there. “It’s pirate money”, he told them. Most of the folks gave the money back to me once he moved on to the next table. Almost a year later he found one of his pirate money coins in the garden. “Oh look, it’s one of my pirate monies”, he said. I didn’t bother to correct his grammar. I was just in awe of the fact that he remembered the trip and how his small toys can literally get everywhere.

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The Loud House, Season 1, Volume 1 review and giveaway

May 23, 2017

It is a fun show and the manic, sped-up version that we were used to seeing on YouTube makes us want to reconsider our streaming-only home status. The Loud House is appropriate for ages 5 and up. There are some scenes where the eldest sister talks about kissing a boy and it’s done in the typical way that an elementary school child would perceive it.

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New all age comics for May 24, 2017

May 22, 2017

Manga is a universe unto its own. We’re just a casual fan of manga, but librarians know the true power or manga and their ability to get middle school students reading. Manga are some of the most checked out books in any library and The Count of Monte Cristo will not be an exception. Classic literature-meh. Classic literature that is word for word produced in a manga-yes. These books from Udon Entertainment will exceed your expectations and possibly make young readers curious about reading the source material.
Similar to manga, the Science Comics series of books from :01 First Second manages to make kids legitimately interested in things that might otherwise be challenging. Previously they’ve put out books on dinosaurs, coral reefs, bats and volcanoes. These are science books that are cleverly wrapped in a story based graphic novel. There is as much science as there is enjoyment in reading them. Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared is about man’s curiosity and history of flight.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, good for ages 10 and younger

May 18, 2017

Adult audiences will find more than a couple faults with the film. The parents, played by Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott are wooden, a worst case stereotype and difficult to watch. This is especially true of Silverstone. Her onscreen presence in this film all but ground any enjoyment of this film to a halt for us.
Thankfully, this is a movie for fans of the book and the child actors work very well because they’re provided the meat of the story to work with. Jason Drucker takes the helm of Greg Huffley for this film and will remind older audiences of Malcom, from Malcom in the Middle. The brightest (and funniest) character in the film is easily Charlie Wright, who plays Rodrick, the older brother who often torments Greg.

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