Category: childrens books

Raincoast Board Book Bundles #review & #giveaway

It should not come as much of a surprise that we love books in our home!

Books have a special way to take us on an adventure. They teach both adults and children a like important moral and life lessons. Reading together also helps to build bonds between parents and children as well as building language skills.

We received a Raincoast board book bundle that we fell in love with at first sight. In the bundle we found the You Are My Baby collection, A Tree for All Seasons, Daddy Wrong Legs and Peek a Zoo. Each board book is strong and durable with bright colours as well as an unique design. The board book bundle is suited for ages 1-4.

Our favourite out of this collection was the You Are My Baby series that included ocean, farm and garden animals. This series of books pairs a larger board book with a smaller inset book. The larger portion contains the images of the adult animal and the smaller portion has their baby.We were able to turn each page and our youngest was able to learn how to match up the animals based on the images and the sounds they make. We also had a great time making all the accompanying sounds!

A Tree For All Seasons shows the life of a tree in a year. The book is designed to look like a tree and the top part of the tree opens up with each turn of the page. It was a very unique design (my first time seeing a tree shaped book!) with easy words and pictures.

Daddy Wrong Legs will provide lots of comic relief! The book opens in two and allows readers to mix and match Daddy’s legs to the appropriate upper body. We also had fun making silly matches with the legs to the wrong upper body. Even our eldest son got in on this and had fun with the match ups!

In Peek-a-Zoo by Nina Laden readers are able to read the clue, guess the animal and then start all over ago. This book is colourful and full of rhymes. The little windows on each page allowed us to get an even better picture of which animal was waiting for us next.

You can purchase your own copies of these books at Amazon, Indigo and KidsBooks. You can also follow Raincoast books on Facebook and Twitter.

Raincoast Books is offering my Canadian readers the chance to win the book bundle featured in this post! You can enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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Beating the Indoor Blues with #DKCanada Sticker Boutique

Sticker time is always fun time! From beating boredom, adding to crafts and fixing boo boos at the doctor’s office – stickers have always fascinated kids!

I was (and still am) a huge sticker fan – I actually still have my large collection of stickers in the original tin box I collected them in. My boys are able to go through them and use them in their own pictures – although they are full of hearts and animals which I never hear the end of. Stickers have come along way since my childhood – you can now even purchase favourite characters (from Disney to Lego to Superheroes, the possibilities are endless!).

With the deep freeze we have been under lately (and not to mention the constant colds!) my boys have been itching to find new things to keep them busy. For them the chance to try out some of the DK Sticker Books from their boutique was the best news they had received in a long time.

My boys were beyond thrilled when they received their books. Superheroes and Lego, yes please! Our youngest is going through a huge Hulk and Spiderman phase – he even slept with his book that night!

The boutique offers sticker collections ranging from Disney princesses and movie characters to Lego and superheroes as well as animals and dinosaurs. There are over 1000 reusable stickers (the pages are made so that they can stick them on and peel them off – not sure how many times they would last through this process but my boys peeled them off about five times without causing them any problems with how effectively they stuck on). The book itself is thick which is perfect for little ones as you know it wont tear easily and cause tears. The selection in each book was perfect and also had extra stickers because if your children are like mine – many will end up on a nose or cheek or even as a pretend tattoo!

We fell in love with the DK Canada Sticker boutique and the boys rated them a 5/5 for being awesome, superior collection and downright fun.

http://cn.dk.com/static/cs/cn/11/nf/features/stickerbookboutique/index.html

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

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The Other Bears: Teaching Acceptance and Respect for All

It is so important to teach our youth to accept and respect people that may be different then us whether it is by culture, skin tone, gender, etc. For young children it can be hard to help them understand (to be honest – I can tell my two year old the same thing many times and he will probably still repeat the same action). Books and movies are an excellent avenue to help children learn that we may look or act differently but on the inside we are all the same.
The Other Bears written by Michael Thompson follows the Koala Bear family. The Koala Bear family are taking a trip but the trip is made difficult by Mother and Father Koala Bear who are suspicious of all the other bears. Mother and Father Koala Bear find faults with all the differences the other bears have. All of these feelings melt away when they watch all of the little bears play together.
This children’s book touched on some great topics – acceptance and love for all types of people. I love how it shows the love that children have for all people and how this should be fostered by the adults in their life. Although they did address the topic of acceptance briefly I would have loved to see it expanded a little bit more at the end. It would have been nice to speak more about the Koala Bear parent’s mistakes in misjudging the other bears and how they would accept the other bears.
It did a great job of opening up the conversation with my eldest about his own experiences at school where he is exposed to bullying and racism towards other children (he is not the victim nor the aggressor but has been a witness and has numerous times acted to their defence or told a teacher). I realized we do not have these conversations enough.
Rating: 3.5/5
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. Opinions expressed are my own.
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Come Out to the Garden: Children’s Book Review

Our family loves reading time – I have to admit I think I love it sometimes even more then they do! I love to act out their books when I read aloud to them, make silly voices and spend quality time with my boys. Finding a children’s book that allows for this and teaching a lesson for them can be hard!
Come Out to the Garden written by Rick January is the story of Mary Louise, her Granny and her Granny’s vegetable garden. It is a beautiful sunny day, as Granny calls out to Mary Louise to “Come out to the garden” so that they can pick vegetables for a special lunch. Mary Louise convinces her Granny to pick the vegetables that sit closer in the shade so that they will not become too hot. They pick a feast of vegetables that they have as their lunch.
The story is written in a simple rhythm that flows perfectly – making it that much easier to read aloud to my boys. It teaches the importance of hard work, growing and sustaining our own food and the relationships between Grandparents and our children. I loved that it had our eldest son talking about our garden that we plan on building in the spring and what vegetables he would like to plant and grow. I love when a children’s book starts conversations with my children that are so important like healthy foods and learning to grow our own food. 
The relationships between Grandparents and Grandchildren is so important for children. It was great that in this story Granny was teaching Mary Louise all about the importance of growing our own garden and the nutritional value of vegetables. Grandparent’s have so much knowledge to give our children and it is important to foster this relationship.
Rating: 5/5
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate the review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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A Gift for Sophie Review & Giveaway US/CAN

Story time is a very special time in our house. It is the time of day where we can relax in bed, cuddle up with a blanket and catch up on some quality time with a good book. We love stories that carry a strong meaning for our children, stories they can cherish and learn from.

A Gift for Sophie written by Gilles Vigneault follows the life of Sophie a seven year old girl and her friendships with Old Man Tom and Emilio. We watch as Sophie grows and learns about loss and friendship. A Gift for Sophie is a powerful reminder of the connections we have with our loved ones and help children understand that we are always there for them whether in spirit or presence.
This beautifully written story also comes with a CD that contains both a narration of the story and nine heart warming songs that your whole family will love. The CD really helps bring the story to life. If you are more of a digital person and love reading stories on an app with your children you can download it on the iTunes store for only $7.99. These enhanced e-books offer a complete narration of the story with animation and two recorded songs.

My favourite features of A Gift for Sophie:

– An incredibly powerful and poetic story with an important message for our children. Makes the perfect bedtime story!
-The addition of the CD with a narration and songs (as well as the lyrics to sing along with!).
-An enhanced e-book for those who prefer to download e-books.
-Story is the perfect length – enough to create an interesting story line and to keep a child’s attention.
-The illustrations are beautiful! The illustrations are by St├ęphane Jorisch (also a four time winner of the Governor General’s Literacy Award.
-The book is completely Canadian – writer by a Canadian author (Gilles Vigneault), illustrated by a Canadian illustrator (St├ęphane Jorischand published by a great Canadian publisher – Secret Mountain!

 If you are not familiar with the Secret Mountain, they are a Canadian publisher based out of Montreal. They are renowned internationally as a publisher of children’s books and music. They have a large volume of work that you can browse through on their website.
The Secret Mountain is offering one reader a chance to win their own copy of A Gift for Sophie! This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada so feel free to share with all your fellow parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for the purpose to review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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