Category: Raincoast books

Halloween Friendly Frights with Raincoast Books!

Raincoast Books

Halloween is our favourite holiday in our home. We love decorating the house, baking themed culinary delights and reading stories of ghosts, witches, zombies and more! Not all children enjoy this fun holiday though. It is important to talk about monsters, witches and all the scary stuff so that children can get used to the idea of Halloween and aren’t afraid of the things that go bump in the night!

To help your little ones get into the spirit of Halloween, Raincoast Books has two great book selections for the young reader: Herbert’s First Halloween and How To Catch a Monster.

Halloween Friendly Frights with Raincoast Books!

Herbert’s First Halloween

Herbert is deeply doubtful about his first Halloween-but with a little help from his dad and a special tiger costume, Herbert might just find confidence on Halloween night. Together, father and son practice roaring, carve a pumpkin, and venture out in search of candy. And by the end of the night, Herbert finds his doubts have melted away. A sweet introduction to Halloween and to being brave, this book is sure to delight the youngest of trick-or-treaters.

Herbert’s First Halloween is a sweet book all about a little boy who isn’t too sure about Halloween. I know many parents can relate to having this conversation with their child! Most young children aren’t too sure about this holiday, they may be scared of the costumes, going up to the houses and even the yells of “boo”. It really helps to open up the topic of Halloween, address the fears your child may have and talk about all the fun this holiday can be. I loved how the Dad showed his son a picture of himself when he was a child dressed up for Halloween. This is such a great idea for parents and one I never thought of. Kids love seeing old photos and it is a great conversation starter. This book is beautifully illustrated in seasonal colours (think lots of greens, oranges and browns). It is an excellent book for those little ones who are heading out for their very first Halloween.

You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Halloween Friendly Frights with Raincoast Books!

How to Catch a Monster

“There’s a monster in my closet,
with claws, and teeth, and hair,
and tonight, I’m going to scare him!
He lives just right through there…

Get ready to laugh as a young ninja heads into the closet to meet the monster that’s been so scary night after night! But what if things aren’t what they seem and our monster isn’t scary at all? What if our ninja hero is about to make a friend of strangest sort?

If you dare to travel beyond the closet door and into the land of the monsters… you might just find the very best reward of all. But with robots, lava pie, and a smattering of traps-catching monsters is no easy business!

How to Catch a Monster is an adorable, laugh out loud story of a young ninja that is prepared to face the monster that has been scaring him. The young boy comes home from school in his ninja costume full of confidence and ready to face the terrifying monster. He uses his ninja skills and captures the monster! To his surprise, he finds out that maybe the monster really wasn’t that scary and that maybe he might just make the best of friends.

This story was awesome – we had so many great laughs (how can you not with ninja skills, farts and monsters?!). It was very easy to read out loud with a great flow in the wording. It sets a great tone which helps to bring the story to life (we had a great time making scary and loud noises to help our youngest really get in the story). The illustrations are beautiful and really help to tell the story. The monster was so well done and looks so friendly! Perfect for those kids who are convinced that there is a monster hiding in their closet. How to Catch a Monster will be the perfect, laugh out loud addition to your family library that you will enjoy reading over and over again.

You can learn more about this book and purchase a copy of it here.

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

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Reconnect With Family Game and Activity Time #PlayTestShare

Raincoast Books

With school starting up this month and the return of many after school activities, the focus on family down time can be pushed to the back burner. While we sometimes have to do a give and take at home, it is so important to carve out time for your family. This could be setting aside twenty minutes a day or a couple of hours together once a week. It is important to choose what works for your family so that way you know you will stick to it.

The best way to use that family time? Play fun and interactive games and activities that get you talking and laughing!

Reconnect With Family Game and Activity Time #PlayTestShare

Raincoast Books has put together nine games, activities and books that help strengthen the family bond through laughter. We tested out Royal Bingo and After Dinner Amusements: Family Time and had an amazing time!

Reconnect With Family Game and Activity Time #PlayTestShare

About Royal Bingo

This majestically illustrated bingo game features portraits of 64 royal icons from around the world. Spot famous faces like William and Kate, or meet some less familiar figures such as the playboy prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein. Each royal is further brought to life in an accompanying booklet, which details their personalities, foibles, gaffes and romances. Who will reign supreme?

Who doesn’t love learning about the royal families? When I saw this game I thought immediately of my Mom who is a HUGE royalty fan. She loves the English royal family but will read books, magazines and more about all the royal lineages. This game was pretty cool as you were able to learn about more than just the popular royal names and you were given a bit of background about each one. It takes Bingo to a whole new level while being great for young and adult players a like although I have a feeling that adults will love and appreciate this one a tad bit more!

Reconnect With Family Game and Activity Time #PlayTestShare

About After Dinner Amusements: Family Time

This is a fun little twist on classic games and activities and offers easy amusement during family dinners, holiday gatherings and road trips! This miniature deck of cards features fifty thoughtful and playful questions about the past, present, and future – a great way for family members to connect and learn new things about one another.

Reconnect With Family Game and Activity Time #PlayTestShare

This was an amazing way to get our kids and us talking about our family – what we loved and more! It had great questions and thought starters. We pulled it about an hour before bed time and let the kids choose three questions. While we answered the questions we also found ourselves discussing even more about what we want to see more of in our family time, what we want to do in the upcoming year, etc. We also set a monthly mini golf challenge and formed our teams. It was fantastic to have this time dedicated to talking about us.

The other seven titles include:

Animal Friends on a Parade Puzzle

From a gorilla in a party hat to a hedgehog rat-a-tat-tatting on his drum, these animal friends from different habitats—the jungle, farm, woodland, and Arctic—know that togetherness is something to celebrate. Featuring twelve double-sided uniquely die-cut pieces by artist Junzo Terada, this fun puzzle offers (nearly) endless combinations, providing hours of entertainment.

Say Zoop!

The newest book from Herve Tullet magically responds with bursts of color and moving shapes, empowering children by letting their imaginations liberate and direct each page’s reaction. Tullet’s books define the genre of participatory bookmaking, encouraging readers to explore and interact with the physical book in all its dimensions. The reward is tremendous: a journey of whimsy and sheer fun that extends well beyond the book’s pages.

Donner Dinner Party

Who’s safe when there are cannibals hiding among you? That’s the question at the heart of this fast-paced game of social deduction in which cannibals and pioneers face off in a fight for survival. Set in the winter of 1846, players are members of the ill-fated Donner Party wagon train, stranded atop a mountain with no food. Rowdy, outrageous, and full of deception, this party game packs a delightfully wicked twist!

Ghost Story Box

Based on a unique and original format, this game contains 20 story-telling puzzle pieces printed on both sides. Each piece can be interchanged or flipped over to allow for all kinds of plot twists and turns, and there are even two alternative endings! When all the puzzle pieces are used, they stretch out to over 8-feet long to tell your own mega ghost story!

Make and Move Mega: Dinosaurs

Press out, slot together and play with your very own T-Rex, Triceratops, Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Pteranodon. Created by talented paper artist and engineer Sato Hisao, each of these detailed 3D models comes with easy-to-follow assembly instructions. No scissors or glue required!

Star Wars: Super Graphic

Graphic design guru Tim Leong presents STAR WARS trivia via playful pie charts, bar graphs, and other data-driven infographics. From a Venn diagram of Yoda’s idiosyncrasies to an organizational chart of the Empire to a line graph of Grand Moff Tarkin’s management decisions, STAR WARS SUPER GRAPHIC shines a new light on the much-adored universe. Equal parts playful and informative, this visual love letter to the vast STAR WARS universe will enchant fans of all ages.

Travel Matching Game

Mix and match with this classic matching game, which includes 36 robust, jumbo-size cards featuring charming illustrations by Greg Pizzoli that will have kids ready to pack up their bags and explore the world! Children will adore pairing colorful images of suitcases, taxis, stop signs, and other classic travel imagery as they develop memory, concentration, and identification skills.

The Giveaway!

Now my Canadian readers have the chance to win one of the above games or activities of their choice to help them plan out their own family activity night! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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Get Ready for Back to School with Raincoast Books

Raincoast Books

Back to school is always a nervous time for children. Children heading off to school for the first time are scared of the unknown, children returning are nervous about their new teacher, if their friends will be in their class and what will the new year be like. These fears are completely normal and okay – even as adults we have these feelings too when we start a new job or meet new people. One of the best ways we can prepare our children (besides sitting down with them and discussing their fears) is reading a book that helps bring humour and reassurance that we all go through the same fears, expectations and hopes.

Raincoast Books has several books that help children learn about others thoughts, fears and hopes for school all while giving you an excellent opportunity to get your child talking to you about the upcoming school year. Two of my favourite picks are: Kisses for Kindergarten and Zombelina School Days.

Get Ready for Back to School with Raincoast Books

Kisses for Kindergarten

School is about to begin, and Stella Isabella Harden decides that kindergarten just isn’t for her. Instead, she decides to spend the day learning from her puppy named Buster. Together these two adventurers plan a day full of playtime, tea time, nap time, and story time. After every lesson,” Stella gets the best reward: a kiss from her best friend and favorite puppy. But will she change her mind about kindergarten before the first day of school? Join Stella and Buster in this lyrical read-aloud and heartwarming story about growing up.

“Stella Isabella Harden
contemplating kindergarten
declared she didn’t have to go…
because her puppy told her so.” – Kisses for Kindergarten

Kisses for Kindergarten is a 2017 Mom’s Choice Awards, Gold Award Recipient.

This was an adorable book to read to young children. Stella doesn’t want to go to school, she wants to stay at home with her puppy because her puppy really needs her to be there for him. And her puppy can teach her everything she needs to know right?

In a series of adorable and humorous moments, Buster tries to teach Stella but Stella comes to the realization all by herself that going to school may just be the best decision for her and Buster. The best part? It only makes their bond that much stronger!

We fell in love with the easy to read story with gorgeous illustrations. It is a great book for children entering Kindergarten so that they know they are not the only ones scared of the change and why it is important to go to school. Not to mention all of the fun things they will do, see and learn! I loved how the end of the book showcased that although Stella decided to go to school, everything else in her life remained the same. Buster was always there waiting for her to return and still loved her just as much as before she went to school.

You can purchase a copy of Kisses for Kindergarten on Raincoast Books.

Get Ready for Back to School with Raincoast Books

Zombelina School Days

The only thing Zombelina loves as much as dancing is going to school! When it’s time for show and tell, her new friend, Morty, experiences a terrible case of stage fright . . . something Zombelina knows all about. Zombelina has an idea to help Morty work through his jitters-a big dance party!

After all, friends who dance together, stay together!

Starring in her third picture book, this adorable zombie ballerina tackles themes of family, friendship, and school day anxiety. The rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud, and the delightfully spooky illustrations are full of charm and heart.

I really enjoyed this  book myself. Zombelina stands out from her classmates with her unique features and of course by being a Zombie in a class full of humans. She shows us that even though we may look different on the outside, we still love the same things, want to be accepted and have the same fears as each other. She shows us that it is important to step outside of our comfort zone, to try  new things and to show compassion for others. It helps children to realize we are all the same on the inside and that is what  matters the most. I loved that the book did this with adorable illustrations and humour. You can’t help but fall in love with Zombelina. She is a definite big hit in our home!

You can purchase a copy of Zombelina School Days on Raincoast Books.

Have an amazing few last days of summer before your child heads back to school. Happy Reading!

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

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Stunning Children’s Books from Raincoast Books #SummerTimeReading

Raincoast Books

Tomorrow marks the official first day of summer and I am so excited for the laid back days, later bed times and an ease on our regular routines. I think both my kids and I are ready for that break! While we tend to shy away from some of our regular routine during the summer months, the one activity we never stop is a bedtime story. Both of us look forward to those cuddles and the journey we take before heading off into dream land. It helps us to unwind and reconnect after a day of play and I love that it keeps up those very important reading skills throughout the summer.

Here are my three fun picks for your preschool to school aged child for fun summer time reading:

Stunning Children's Books from Raincoast Books: Summer Reading

This Is Not a Picture Book!

In this quirky yet sweet picture book about the joy and power of reading, Duck learns that even books without pictures can be fun. While he and his friend Bug may struggle at first to decipher their book, they stick with it, and before long they discover that not only can they read it, but it deserves a place on the shelf with all their favorite picture books. Author-artist Sergio Ruzzier has created a fanciful tribute to books of all kinds. It includes both words AND pictures.

Reading is the most powerful gift you can give your child. It takes them on adventures, teaches them life lessons and gives hope and inspiration, all from the comfort of your favourite reading spot! This beautiful book helps to drive home that reading is magical. Our character, Duck, is first unsure of a book without pictures, could he read the book? Would he be able to know all the words? Would it even be interesting? How could a book without pictures be interesting? When he tries the book, he realizes he recognizes those words and even without pictures the book takes him on a magical adventure that ends with him at home (and excited for his next adventure with a book with no pictures!). This is what a book does, it touches you with words and brings excitement, hope and every book that is opened by a child is the gift of adventure! This is a definite must read for children before they progress to more advanced books with less imagery.

You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Stunning Children's Books from Raincoast Books: Summer Reading

Don’t Blink!

Think you can win a staring contest against an elephant? What about a gorilla, a cheetah, a fox, or an alligator? What about all them AND a bunch of their other animal friends at the same time? You’re about to find out!

Whatever you do DON’T BLINK!

How many of us have had staring contests with our children? I know my boys and I are always having one, whether it be at the dining room table or watching movies. We always have to see who can last the longest and without a doubt my kids are usually the winners! This adorable book is all about staring contests with your favourite little competitor,  your child. As the book progresses your child can have a staring contest with all of their favourite animals. Who will win this fantastic staring game? The book is beautifully illustrated in soft and warm colours which makes the characters that much more loveable. The characters even remind you of your own child, especially at the end as they decide on a winner. This lovely book started giggles and a new round of staring competitions in our home.

You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Stunning Children's Books from Raincoast Books: Summer Reading


A touching tale of a boy and a horse, by the late poet Ed Galing and illustrated with remarkable tenderness by Caldecott-winning artist Erin Stead.

The late Ed Galing was born in 1917, spent his early years in the Lower East Side of New York City, and has been widely published in the small press.

“Tony was all white,
large, sturdy,
with wide gentle eyes
and a ton of love . . .

it was early in the morning
around three a.m.,
but I was up, and would
go out and pat Tony with
my gentle arms, and
his head would bow down”

An absolutely beautiful and touching story of friendship and love between a horse and its friend. It is an easy to read story to your child, that they will fall in love and can also help to read aloud. The illustrations are all done in a blue-green, yellow and white with an almost pencilled in design, which helps the story to do the talking. The wording is perfect for a night time story, it was soothing and so full of love.

You can purchase a copy of Tony here.

What are your favourite bed time stories to read to your child?

To keep up to date with new book releases for children, make sure to follow Raincoast Books on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: I received copies of these books in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Summer Reading from Raincoast Books

Raincoast Books

There is only one more month of school left (hard to believe right?!) and the laid back days of the summer are almost upon us. It is so important to keep up with your child’s reading through the summer months. Raincoast books has an excellent selection of books that are perfect for children to read with you and alone through the summer months.

Here are two of my favourite summer time readings for children:

Summer Reading from Raincoast Books

Shark Lady

This is the story of a woman who dared to dive, defy, discover, and inspire. This is the story of Shark Lady.

Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary-and they didn’t think women should be scientists.

Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname Shark Lady. Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to.

Shark Lady is a truly special book – it reminds children and adults that no matter what anyone says we can be who we want to be. In this beautiful story, Eugenie fell in love with these magical creatures and knew this was her life calling. Nothing could stop her from learning and being a part of their world. No matter what anyone told her about choosing a different field or that it wasn’t the best fit job for a girl, Eugenie showed them that she could study sharks and that you could accomplish anything you wanted to with drive and passion. She showed the world that sharks are not vicious killers but instead she showed them compassion, understanding and respect and wanted the world to do the same. Shark Lady is an amazing book for children to learn to follow their dreams and to show everyone and every animal compassion and understanding.

You can purchase a copy of Shark Lady here.

Summer Reading from Raincoast Books

This Is How We Do It

Follow the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia for a single day! In Japan Kei plays Freeze Tag, while in Uganda Daphine likes to jump rope. But while the way they play may differ, the shared rhythm of their days-and this one world we all share-unites them. This genuine exchange provides a window into traditions that may be different from our own as well as a mirror reflecting our common experiences. Inspired by his own travels, Matt Lamothe transports readers across the globe and back with this luminous and thoughtful picture book.

In this beautifully illustrated book, we follow the real lives of seven children – Kei (Japan), Ribaldo (Peru), Kian (Iran), Oleg (Russia), Anaya (India), Romeo (Italy) and Daphine (Uganda). It is so important for children to understand different cultures, both are similarities and our differences. This Is How We Do It, offers children a look into the lives of others so that we can see how at the heart of things we are all truly the same. We get a look into where these children live, who they live with, what they were to school, what they eat, how they help and what they do in the evening. My favourite part of the book is right near the end when we get a picture of what each child sees at night, driving home that we are all the same. The book is beautifully illustrated with a well written story line.

You can purchase a copy of This Is How We Do It here.

What do you look for in books for summer time reading?

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

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