Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thunder and the House of Magic

Directed by Renowned 3D Filmmakers Ben Stassen and Jeremie Degruson,
With Original Music by Ramin Djawadi

Featuring the Music of Selena Gomez



This fall, venture inside an intriguing mansion full of endearing animals and a dazzling array of automatons and gizmos, and spellbound by the exciting animated adventure of THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC. Already a great box-office success in much of the world, this highly entertaining family movie is directed by renowned 3D filmmakers Ben Stassen (Fly Me to the Moon, Sammy's Adventures: Escape from Paradise) and Jeremie Degruson (A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventure), with original music by Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones). The film also features the music by Selena Gomez.

On September 30, 2014, Shout! Factory is proud to present THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC on DVD and on two-disc Blu-ray™ 3D Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and digital), available exclusively at Walmart stores everywhere. The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack allows viewers to enjoy THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC on the platform of their choice and includes spectacular movie presentation on Blu-ray 3D and 2D, DVD and a digital copy of the movie. This highly anticipated movie can also be seen in select U.S theaters and on VOD September 5.

My Thoughts:
When I read about this movie I knew that it was something that my daughter would enjoy. Basically, it is about two things... a cat and magic. Those are two things that my daughter loves! So we sat down to watch it for family movie night with popcorn and all!

She was engaged through the entire film. She loved the magical mansion and all of the fun characters that come with it. But Thunder was her favorite character, and quite the little hero. The film was filled with positive messages about working together and doing the right things. It's also full of adventure, magic, humor, and fantastic music!

Since family movie night, my daughter has watched the film two more times. It is definitely a hit in our house. And I really appreciate the fact that it was a film our whole family could enjoy together. I would definitely recommend you check it out at your local Walmart store on September 30th.

* I received a free copy of this film in order to provide an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Time For a Bath

Time For a Bath
by Phillis Gershator illustrated by David Walker

We all know kids aren’t the easiest to get into a bath – but what if a little bunny could show them how fun it is?

Go through a year of baths with bunny in TIME FOR A BATH (Sterling Children’s Books, October 2014) by husband and wife team Phillis Gershator and David Walker.  Kids will squeal as bunny gets messy while splashing in puddles, rolling in grass, eating a drippy banana split, and painting pictures. And when there's a mess, it's rub-a-dub-dub from head to toe!

This adorable follow-up to Time For a Hug (2012) will make bath time fun!

Phillis Gershator has written many picture books for children, including When It Starts to Snow (Henry Holt), Listen, Listen (Barefoot Books), and Time For a Hug (Sterling). Phillis worked as a children's librarian for the Brooklyn Public Library and the St. Thomas/St. John Department of Education. She lives with her husband and frequent coauthor, David, in the US Virgin Islands. Visit her at phillisgershator.com.

David Walker is the illustrator of numerous children's books, including Before You Were Mine (Putnam), Time For a Hug (Sterling), and Bears on Chairs (Candlewick).  To see more of David's work, visit davidwalkerstudios.com.

My Thoughts:
My children have been enjoying Time For a Hug for quite some time now. I always get excited when my daughter picks it out for bedtime reading because I know she will be especially cuddly as we read it! The simple, yet sweet story with fabulous illustrations has made it a favorite. So I knew when I heard there was a follow-up, that it would be a hit in our home!

Time For a Bath is a fun little tale that makes making messes and getting clean fun. Bunny is too cute splashing in puddles and having fun! My kids pointed out all the things that bunny did that they like to do. I am a lucky mama and my kids love the bath, it's getting them out that is the trouble!

This book is simply adorable and sweet. And if you do have a child who doesn't like bath time it could be a fun way to show how fun it is!

Friday, September 26, 2014


by Jeff Mack

It's time for bed, but that doesn't mean it's time for the same old boring bedtime story. This one starts with a boy who discovers a duck in his fridge. Soon there are more ducks, and the only thing they are interested in is having fun. So the boy gets some dogs to scare them away...but things don't quite go the way he planned. More and more animals arrive, and soon there's a party. Will the boy ever be able to get to sleep?

My Thoughts:
When this book arrived and I took a quick read through, I knew that this was the perfect book for my husband to read to my daughter before bed. So for this review I was able to sit back and observe the storytelling, rather than being the reader. This was the perfect perspective for me!

The book is very silly, and silly books are my husband's thing! He gets excited as the story gets exciting. And my daughter just feeds off of that! The two of them were having a ball with all the silly things happening in the story. And the illustrations were so bright and colorful that my daughter was fully engaged with what was happening on the pages.

The story basically tells the tale of why a dad reads Mother Goose to his son every night. I won't ruin the surprise ending, you will have to check it out for yourself! But all the animals that join in throughout the book bring humor and trouble to a little boy's bedtime. The only problem we had was that daughter wanted a pizza party at bedtime! 

This is a super fun book that kids will get a kick out of! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

M is for Me

26 Qualities or Characteristics Every Parent Hopes Their Child Will Develop
I See Me!’s newest personalized book, M is for Me,
inspires children to be the best they can be.

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
― Norman Vincent Peale
M is for Me, is geared to inspire children to be the best they can be.  M is for Me is a personalized alphabet book developed by MyChronicleBooks that does more than help little ones learn the ABCs. Each of the 26 letters in the storybook represents a quality or characteristic that every parent hopes their child will develop - C is for caring, P is for patient, U is for understanding, and more.

M is for Me can be personalized with a child’s name on the cover and throughout the text and illustrations of the storybook. The book also includes a photo and special dedication from the gift-giver. When ordering the title online at www.ISeeMe.com, the customer can even select the color of the cover. M is for Me was illustrated by award-winning artist Nicola Slater and features adorable characters and bright colors with every turn of the page, promoting positivity and being the best one can be.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely adore personalized gifts for my kids. Especially when they are things that we can use and enjoy, and then tuck away in the keepsake box as something to keep forever. So when I learned about M is for Me, an I See Me! book, I was very excited to be able to have one personalized for my son and check it out in person.

This book is truly special. It is filled with beautiful little characteristics and fun little illustrations. I even found my son's name hidden in the illustrations. It's bright, cheerful, and engaging for little readers. I sat down with my son and he loved looking at all the animals and I loved teaching him the letters and the beautiful characteristics of the beautiful person I know he is and will be!

I also loved the fact that the book could be dedicated to our son from us. So when he looks in his keepsake box years down the road he can smile and remember the profound love we have for him. It is truly a priceless gift for any little person in your life. I highly recommend you check them out! And while you are checking out this great book, you can also see all of the other great products they have to offer, like lunchboxes, puzzles, growth charts, placemats and stickers. Tons of great personalized gifts for everyone on your list.

Be sure to check out I See Me! on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to keep up to date on their latest products and promotions!

* I received a book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Teeny Mates Series 3 NFL Collector Tin

I was introduced to TeenyMates over a year ago, and as soon as I saw them I knew they were exactly what my husband would love! With little collectible baseball, hockey, football and basketball players.... they encompassed my husbands passions. Plus, they have college teams... go UVA! So when I got to check them out in person he was thrilled... therefore, I was, too!

My husbands TeenyMates have held a place of honor on a shelf in his home office. They have been lined up carefully, displaying his favorite teams.... the Yankees, Giants, Rangers.... and UVA. But recently I went in and the little guys were missing. I looked around and found them on a lower shelf. I asked him why he moved them and responded, " I thought Ben might like to play with them." He can now share his favorite little figures with our son. So they really are the perfect collectibles or toys!

So when I was asked to check out the newest collectible item in the TeenyMates family, I was thrilled to! This great new collector tin is filled with fun for my husband.. and now my son. Check out all that is included in this one fabulous tin:

NEW TeenyMates Series 3 NFL Collector Tin

The Collector Tin runs for $19.99 and includes

  • 4 packs of the new Series 3 NFL TeenyMates (each pack including 2 TeenyMates and 2 puzzle pieces)
  • NFL standings stadium display for collectors to display their TeenyMates and rank them according to their real weekly NFL standings
  • A rare collectible glow-in-the-dark TeenyMate!
I am holding on to this little gem for Christmas. Shh... don't tell him. These collector tins would make a great gift for the sports fan in your life! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Disney's "Planes Fire & Rescue" is Coming to Blu-ray November 4th!

We are so excited for this to hit the shelves! Both my kids love Planes... 
and since their Papa is a fireman they want to share this movie with him! Perfect for family movie night!

Disney's "Planes Fire & Rescue" is landing on Disney Blu-ray™  Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand platforms November 4th! The follow-up to last year's "Planes" comes the world famous racer Dusty Crophopper who joins an elite fire and rescue unit and learns what it takes to be a true hero. The high-flying comedy adventure also comes jet packed with an all-new exclusive animated short, deleted scenes, music video and more!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#FitMadeFun with LeapFrog and CLIF

This weekend we got to celebrate #FitMadeFun with Leapfrog and CLIF. This amazing day was designed to help encourage kids to get out move! This day also coincided with the launch of the LeapBand, a new wearable activity tracker from LeapFrog. To help us get ready for this fun day... we received an awesome party pack!

We even started the festivities a day early by sending our brand new kindergartner off to school with the perfect snack to keep her going all day! Thanks CLIF!

On the day of the party we planned all kinds of outdoor fun! We played "Frogs on Lily Pads," rode bikes, climbed on the jungle gym, and just ran around and laughed and played. All of the kids had a great time and loved taking a break to snack on CLIF Kid bars. The chocolate mint was the most popular!

Even the littlest frogs had a blast running around!

At the end of the day we gave out awards and one lucky kid got to take home an awesome new LeapBand! I have heard from her mom that she loves it and has been challenging herself to move more and take care of her pet! My daughter got to keep the other one and it has been a hit. Every day she is asking to get out and about more... and sit around less. Love it!

* I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog and CLIF Kid sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Jim Henson's Enchanted Sisters

Autumn's Secret Gift
by Elise Allen and Halle Stanford
illustrated by Paige Pooler

Sisters Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer are nature’s royalty. In Mother Nature’s realm, they’re responsible for each magical turn of the seasons. When they’re not keeping all of nature in balance, the girls play, imagine, and explore their way around their enchanted world. And though they love harmony, the sisters often cross paths with the Weeds — wild boys who bring trouble with them wherever they go.

This charming new series comes from The Jim Henson Company and is perfectly suited for newly independent readers who love the Rainbow Fairies and Candy Fairies series. The series launches with Autumn when she loses a special gift from Mother Nature. Can the sisters find the gift before Mother Nature’s party?

My Thoughts:
My daughter just started kindergarten, so we are really trying to encourage reading in a fun way! One of our ideas was to start reading "big girl" books with her. Since she is just starting out on her learning-to-read adventure I am reading the books to her before bed time. So when this book arrived I was really excited to share it with her during our special reading time.

Each night we would read for about 20 minutes. It took us a few nights to finish the book, which was really fun and different for here! Before we would start each night she would recall what we had read and where we had left off. She was so engaged and excited while reading this book, a book that is longer than any book she has read... so that was pretty exciting!

The story is really well written for young readers to understand. It's not too long that it loses their interest, and it's filled with adventure and humor. The Sparkles are so lovable and have such a sweet relationship. What I loved the most about the story was how it was filled with so many positive messages for my daughter. Messages about friendship, love, being brave, helping each other, honesty and more. The girls are strong and learn a lot about themselves and each other along their adventures. It offered so many opportunities for my daughter and I to talk about things throughout the book.

I am so excited to check out the next books in this series and get to spend more time with my daughter and these fun sisters!

* I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales

Available TODAY!

Los Angeles, CA – Now 20% spookier! Halloween is just around the corner (boo!), and so is My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales! Coming to DVD on September 9, 2014 in the U.S. and Canada from Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, Spooktacular Pony Tales features 6 episodes and a sing-along. The DVD also comes packed with spooky fun including My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic pumpkin carving stencils and a color Halloween poster perfect for seasonal decorating.

Everypony loves Halloween… the candy, the pumpkins, the costumes, the friends! Join your favorite residents of Ponyville — Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and, of course, Spike — as they take on some of the spookiest adventures Equestria’s ever seen! Time to gather around and hold on tight, because these six exciting tales are a chillingly good romp.

The My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series is currently airing on The HUB TV Network in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.

My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales Episodes Include:
Boast Busters
Stare Master
Luna Eclipsed
Sleepless In Ponyville
Castle Mane-ia

Bonus Feature:

My Thoughts:
My daughter is the biggest My Little Pony fan! We try to catch it on HUB as often as we can, so I knew this DVD would have her excited. With Halloween around the corner she is already talking non-stop about the costumes, treats, and parties. When I whipped out this DVD she shrieked with excitement and settled in with her favorite stuffed pony (Rainbow Dash).

Her favorite episode was Boast Busters... but her favorite part of the DVD was the Sing-Along! She loves to sing and dance with her favorite pony pals. Each episode on this DVD is filled with everything we love at My Little Pony - friendship, adventure, and working together. I am happy to let me daughter enjoy this show because it is sending positive messages about how to be a good friend and how to be kind to others. And none of the episodes are too spooky :)

This would make the perfect Halloween treat for the pony lover in your family!

* I received a copy of this DVD for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Twelve Dancing Unicorns Blog Tour!

Twelve Dancing Unicorns
by Alissa Heyman illustrated by Justin Gerard

With fairy tale adaptions becoming more and more popular, I am excited to share with you Twelve Dancing Unicorns (Sterling Children’s Books, September 2014), a beautiful picture book based on the Grimm’s fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Enchanting illustrations from Justin Gerard combine with Alissa Heyman’s whimsical narrative to tell the tale of a young girl’s determination to help her unicorn friends. Every morning, the king wakes to find his twelve unicorns—his most prized possessions—lying with the chains that are meant to restrain them in pieces. Unable to figure out where his unicorns escape to each night, he offers a reward to whoever can discover their secret. In an attempt to help the unicorns, who always seem so sad cooped up in the gardens each day, a little girl sets out to find the answer, but she’ll have to be very brave to accomplish what even the king’s guards could not. Twelve Dancing Unicorns is full of magic and mystery, with dazzling full-page illustrations that will captivate children from the start.

My daughter and I sat down to read this beautiful book together. The sweet little girl in the book very much reminded me of my daughter. She was drawn to the beautiful unicorns, especially the smallest one, but she could see the true sadness in their eyes. I could just picture my daughter visiting the magical creatures and falling in love with them. She has a love fro animals and would hate to see their sadness. 

My daughter fell in love with this story. The pictures are gorgeous and help to bring the magic and mystery to life. The little girl's adventures to discover where the unicorns go at night had my daughter enthralled. She couldn't wait to find out what would happen to the unicorns and to see if the little girl would give the king her secret. 

The story has a beautiful ending. I am so glad to have this story to add to our collection. We have already read it several times and I am sure we will be reading it again very soon! It has wonder, magic, mystery, and a beautiful message about doing the right thing. 

Follow the Twelve Dancing Unicorns blog tour tomorrow on Enchanted Conversation: http://www.fairytalemagazine.com/.