Sometimes it’s tricky to forecast what books your children will enjoy. When we received What George Forgot , a children’s book by Kathy Wolff I didn’t think that our 5 year old would be interested in it. However, he sauntered over to my desk and grabbed that book for us to read to him. That is worth noting because he never does that and usually relies on his staple books beside his bed. Yet, that night (and many times since then) he’s chosen What George Forgot as his good-night book.

What George forgot, children’s book, the monster at the end of the book, Kathy wolff, Richard byrne

Sometimes books enter your realm that you’re not crazy about, but the kids are and What George Forgot is one that will hook kids 6 and younger

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One of the great aspects of having multiple children is seeing the next projects that their favorite authors produce. When our 7 year old was 3, Even Aliens Need Snacks was one of his favorite books. That book was the sequel to the very popular Even Aliens Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott. His new series of books is called the Mad Scientist Academy and is just as great as ‘snacks’, but completely different and aimed at slightly older children. The most recent book, The Weather Disaster is as educational as it is fun to read, which is something that a children’s books can rarely accomplish.

Mad scientist academy, the weather disaster, matthew mcelligott, weather, even aliens need snacks, even aliens need haircuts.

It’s rare that a non-chapter book blends entertainment with education as well at The Weather Disaster. For us, author Matthew McElligott continues his run as one of our children’s favorite authors

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New all age comics for June 21, 2017

June 23, 2017

Lilo & Stitch celebrate 15 years after their cinematic release this year. This week has At The Movies #2: Lilo & Stitch with all new tales about a shipwrecked alien on Hawaii in a 48 page all color comic book.
Mad Magazine is published every other month and is fun reading for kids 12 and up. Some of the language is too salty for young readers and some of the topics (like political figures or questionable pop culture icons) might be too much for some readers. Back when I was a kid it was just silly, stupid fun. However, the past couple issues I’ve read seem to concentrate too much on older readers or an agenda. Still, teens might dig Mad Magazine for its classic reputation.
If it worked for Mr. Peabody and Sherman, then why not Rocky & Bullwinkle? Pull a rabbit out of a hat, see clumsy Russian spies and a squirrel and moose make fun of it all. Rocky & Bullwinkle is an all age comics treat that will light up kids 4 and up.

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Sneak preview of the new LEGO sets for The LEGO NINJAGO Movie

June 22, 2017

Destiny’s Bounty allows you to construct Wu’s huge training base in this highly detailed set featuring 3 modular levels and a double-headed dragon, wind-up-and-release anchors, training dojo, bathroom and Wu’s bedroom in the hull – not to mention many hidden secrets.
In the Flying Jelly Sub you join Jay in battle against the shark army and protect Takuma’s boat from flying Jelly Sub attacks. Sub features minifigure cockpit, boat, rotating legs, flick-fire missiles, swinging tentacles and 4 minifigures with assorted tools to add to the battle role-play options.

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Real Friends by Shannon Hale is really wonderful for 8 and up

June 21, 2017

People have seasonal friends. My wife said that to me a couple years ago. Those friends that were by your side in elementary school rarely make it to middle, much less high school and beyond. Real Friends is the autobiographical story of Shannon Hale and the friends, clicks and family members that influenced her when she was in elementary school.
Hale’s story is one that any kid can relate to. A cool friend moves in next door, but then moves away, there are mean ‘cool kids’ and school who form arbitrary groups and siblings who might not be as nice as they could be. There are multiple allegorical instances in Real Friends where the book takes advantage of the graphic novel format perfectly.

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Cars 3: Driven to Win review and giveaway         

June 20, 2017

We played the game with a 5 and 7 year old and not surprisingly, the later took to the game like a duck to water. He was going through places I didn’t know counted as roads, firing his weapons much quicker than I and doing it all with much more panache. That’s where the road diverges between Cars 3 and Cars 3: Driven to Win. The video game is much more battle driven than the film. Whereas the film is competition on the race track, the video game is full on finding floating diamonds that allow your car to shoot, plus lots of racing.

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Boudreaux’s Butt Paste stops diaper rash cold

June 19, 2017

Our first one never really had an issue with diaper rash, but our second one was a magnet for those red-splotchy areas. Diaper rash is the nemesis to small people that can’t speak in words but instead communicate via a series of cries and yells that are only heard by dogs who are 20 counties away.
If only Boudreaux’s Butt Paste could make other things disappear. The long grass that keeps growing in our yard. The tree that died for some unknown reason in our back yard or the work that has to be done to install new dry wall in our kitchen. Poof. We just rubbed some Boudreaux’s Butt Paste on it and now we don’t have to do it. This stuff is like the Area 51 of diaper rash instances.

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Dash is a front row seat to watching your kids learn STEM-and love it

June 18, 2017

Dash is a cute, turquoise robot with three connected spheres to make up its bottom and a rotating head on top. It can say simple phrases, make a couple animal sounds and is 100% controllable via the free Apple, Kindle or Android app. Dash is as much of a toy as it is a computer and tool for learning building blocks of coding. In this sense I’m using the word ‘toy’, as something that kids will actively want to do and use. Are they learning the processes and building blocks for coding, laying curiosity seeds for advanced mathematic principles and more that will help them in the long run?
Yes-oh yes, they’re learning these things in the most sublime and covert way possible. They’re having fun. On its own, Dash works as a coding puzzle type tool. Simply turn Dash on once the app is open and start playing. You’ll see Inventor’s Log, Wonder Cloud, Controller, Free Play and Scroll Quest. These are four areas of play, plus the Inventor’s Log where you can keep track of what skills you’ve learned through Dash.

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