Category: children,

Yoga at the Zoo Book Review

Yoga at the Zoo gently imparts important lessons about friendship, dealing with new situations, and meeting new people.

About Yoga at the Zoo

Little Mouse is here to help kids use yoga to solve problems and manage emotions in Yoga at the Zoo, the first book in the Little Mouse Adventures series from international bestselling author and Kids’ Yoga Day creator, Teresa Power.

Little Mouse and his family live in a cozy burrow nestled in young Tammy McDoodle’s backyard.

Tammy and her mother love to practice yoga together, and Little Mouse loves to follow along!

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, adorable Little Mouse and the wise and lovable lazy cat, Mr. Opus, follow Tammy on a field trip to the zoo and meet new animal friends, while learning simple yet meaningful yoga poses along the way.

Our Thoughts

This beautiful story features two very unlikely friends – Little Mouse (a young, sweet mouse) and Mr. Opus (a wise and friendly cat). The two make the most unlikely pair but are the greatest of friends. This is such an important message for children – that we are not what society defines us. The best friendships develop when and where we least expect it to. In this book, they go on quite the adventure together – to a zoo!

On a typical day, in the morning Little Mouse goes to school but the afternoons are spent with Mr. Opus. He learns the power of yoga not only from young Tammy but also all the animals at the zoo when they go on their adventure with her. He learns how to calm his mind through his favourite pose (child’s pose), which is so important for children. Our youngest has been learning yoga and meditation at school, which we feel is so important for him. Children, like adults, have strong emotions but sometimes don’t have the tools they need to deal with them and learn how to quiet the stress of their minds (to be honest there are some adults who struggle with this skill too!). Yoga gives them these skills and we see this in this book when Little Mouse encounters an initially perceived scary and stressful situation. As he uses child’s pose, he is able to calm his mind and look at the situation differently. And the stressful situation that was perceived? Not so scary and stressful once we learned both sides.

This is a beautifully written and illustrated book for children that we enjoyed reading together. It was easy to read together, with characters that you couldn’t help but love. Little Mouse is just a lovely and curious character with a good heart – such a positive example for children as they begin to explore their world. This is a wonderful addition to your home library.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Teresa Power’s books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. In her roles as award-winning author, renowned yoga expert, and keynote speaker, her mission is to share strategies and tips to help children, parents and educators enrich their lives and manage stress. Teresa has been featured by Good Morning America, ParentingReader’s Digest, Fox11 LA, Telemundo, and more. She is also the founder of International Kids Yoga Day, which is celebrated globally on the first Friday in April, annually.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Strengthening Confidence and Ease: #theOriginalStretchlace

When I first heard the word Stretchlace and how it created slip ons out of any shoes, I was intrigued by the hows.

I visited their website and kept looking at the images, the laces didn’t look any different, it didn’t change the look of the shoe or how the model wore the shoes, so how did these actually work?

The creator of Strechlace (Jamie Montz) originally developed the laces to help her three boys learn to tie their shoes. How many parents here can relate to that?! This is one of the most trying lessons to teach as a parent. What seems like an easy concept, can end in tears and frustration. Even when they do master the skill, there will be moments when they will struggle, their laces will come undone during an important game and they will panic.

Stretchlaces are just that – they stretch. When they came in the mail, I wasn’t sure if there was a trick to them and I am going to be honest, I kept looking for instructions in the box. I expected them to have a loop somewhere or that they would need to be threaded differently in your child’s shoes. I can be quite honest with you, I had to google to make sure all that I had to do was thread them and then tie to them to ensure they are tied properly on your child’s feet.

After they were tied, because of the stretchy material in the laces, it gives the shoes that extra room for your child to slip the shoe on and off. That was the real magic, it is the extra give in the laces that allows the shoes to come on and off easily.

As most children (and adults), already like to slide their shoes on and off, we know the damage this causes to our shoes (or our walls as they ricochet off your child’s feet when they wont slide on!). Shoes with regular laces are not meant to slip on and off, the stretchy material in these laces changes that.

Here is what I loved the most:

  • The stretchlaces look identical to regular laces! This is so important for younger children, who don’t want to look different than their peers.
  • They are easy to thread through the shoes and once on and tied, you can forget about having to re-tie the shoes.
  • The company offers fifteen different colours, allowing your child to express themselves and to better match their shoes.
  • The company also offers nine different lengths of laces, which allows people of all ages to benefit from the laces.

I didn’t list it here because only time will tell, but I do have a strong suspicion that this will actually increase the life span of my son’s shoes. He breaks the backs on them quite frequently (I am also guilty of this as I don’t untie my shoes to take them off) because he turns them into slip ons, when they were not meant to be. I suspect because of the extra give in the front of the shoes, this will not happen anymore.

What I also noticed (and can fully appreciate), is how many adults would benefit from these laces.

Adults that may have any type of mobility issue which can make it difficult to bend, pull and tie, would benefit greatly from these laces – once they are tied to fit their feet, they will no longer struggle with these actions. I also noticed how Jamie mentioned that it also benefits those who suffer from swollen feet (right here!!), parents who have their hands full all the time, and those with special needs.

The Stretchlace is reasonably priced, with prices starting at $9.99 and can be purchased on their website.

Want to learn more? Visit the Original Stretchlace website and make sure to follow Stretchlace on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Dear Santa Book Review

A beautiful story of honesty and the spirit of Christmas.

About Dear Santa

When Ms. Holly asks the class to write their letters to Santa, Parker gets nervous. He has done some things this year that might put him on the naughty list. Like feeding Brussels sprouts to his dog and staying up past his bedtime. Should he gloss over his mistakes like his classmates do, or take responsibility for his actions? Deciding that honesty is the best policy, and hoping that Santa understands, Parker hands in his letter and hopes for the best.

Christmas morning arrives and Parker finds a big surprise under the tree ― PLUS a letter from Santa!

BONUS: Kids can write a letter to Santa using the festive holiday-themed stationery included in every book. Parents can also visit putmeinthestory.com/dearsanta for a FREE downloadable personalized letter from the desk of Santa Claus, or get a letter and official ‘Nice List’ certificate sent in a magical envelope all the way from the North Pole! It’s never been easier to make your child’s Christmas wishes come true.

Our Thoughts

Dear Santa is the perfect Christmas book that will make you laugh, smile and start all of those important conversations with your child around their actions and being the best person that they can be.

Writing a letter to Santa is a tradition that we have all done every year as a child. It is so important to children and for the magic of Christmas. It can also cause a bit of anxiety, as children tend to worry if they have been good enough for gifts, if they should be showing off all of their good deeds and if Santa will put them on the good or bad list. It can be quite a stressful time for a child!

This beautiful book follows Parker, a young boy who is tasked with writing a letter to Santa at school. He listens to his classmates writing their letters and is shocked when they write about how good they are. Because to be fair – no one is perfect 100% of the time. Parker knows he is not perfect and he doesn’t want to lie to Santa, even if it means he may not get any presents on Christmas. So Parker explains to Santa how he tried to be good and why he wasn’t.

This was an adorable, sweet and funny book that we loved from start to finish. Parker’s fears are something that every child can relate to and it is such an important lesson for children to learn. It is okay to make mistakes and to not be perfect – it is when we own those mistakes that we grow as a person and become better individuals. I loved how this book explained this concept in a way that children can understand – we don’t want our kids to be perfect, just the best version of themselves.

This will become a favourite holiday read in your home and is perfect for children of all ages. We also loved that the book came with beautiful paper in the back for your child to write a letter to Santa to, as well as with a free Santa letter download.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Susanna Leonard Hill is the New York Times bestselling author of Moon’s First Friends, as well as many other award-winning books for children.  She does frequent school and library visits, teaches picture book writing, and offers picture book critiques.  She lives in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley with her children and two rescue dogs.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Unwrap Huge Levels of Cuteness with the Cutetitos Series

Ready to discover a whole new world of plush animal friends? Love something different and unique?

Then you will fall in love with the Cutetitos and their little friends, the Babitos.

I think we can all agree, babies and animals are so cute when they are all wrapped and snuggly inside a blanket. We used to joke that we were wrapping up our kids tight and snug, just like a burrito when they were infants (especially our eldest who was quite colicky).

These adorable plush animals will tuck at your heart strings with their burrito style design. The Cutetitos animals are wrapped up in a blanket to resemble little burritos. The burrito theme is present throughout the whole unwrapping – from the foil wrap on the bottom to the design of the actual wrap (it even has little toasted spots on it).

Each Cutetito is a surprise and your child will be able to unwrap their new friend to uncover their identity. There are twelve in total to collect and (my favourite part) each one has their own level of spiciness – will they have a mild, medium or hot personality? Each pet comes with their own collector card that gives all of these details and more.

The plush animals that you can collect include (just take a minute to appreciate how cute the names are):

  • Cattito
  • Bearito
  • Monkito
  • Piggito
  • Slothito
  • Puppito
  • Bunnito

Our adorable little friends come with adorable friends in an even smaller package – Babitos! The Babitos are stuffed inside a taco shell and are roughly the size of the palm of your hand.

They also come in twelve collectible styles, which includes Puppito, Duckito, Raccoonito, Skunikto and also have their own spicy personality that ranges from mild to super spicy. These adorable little baby animals even have their own special gender reveal.

My favourite part of this collection is how precious the eyes are on these plush animals. They are just too precious for words with those big, loving eyes!

Both the Cutetitos and Babitos can be purchased at Toys R Us, Walmart and Chapters Indigo. Prices range from $9.99 CDN to $16.99 CDN.

The Cutetitos and Babitos will make the perfect surprise gift for the young child in your life who loves plush animals. I know my niece LOVES them! Make sure you stock up before they sell out during all the pre-holiday season shopping.

Make sure to follow Basic Fun (the makers of Cutetitos and Babitos) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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