Ellie, Engineer children’s book

Ellie loves to build. She’s always engineering new creations with the help of her imagination and her best friend Kit. Unfortunately, with Kit’s birthday just around the corner, the French-braiding machine Ellie built turns out to be more of a hair-knotting machine. What’sEllie going to do? Luckily, the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about Kit’s surprise – it must be the dog she’s always wanted! Ellie is struck with inspiration: she’ll build Kit the best doghouse ever! The project quickly becomes more than just a present for Kit – it builds a bridge between Ellie and those bothersome neighbor boys, as well as the other handy girls in her class.

Designed to look like Ellie’s notepad, with pencil-on-graph-paper illustrations of her projects interspersed throughout the book, Ellie,Engineer inspires creative and crafty girls to get hands-on with their imagination. Ellie’s projects range from the simple (using a glass against a wall to amplify sounds), to the practical (the doghouse), to the fantastical (a bedroom security system featuring spikes) – encouraging readers to start small but think big. Ellie’s parents support her engineering experiments, with important safety tips sprinkled throughout, and her relationship with Kit is a glowing example of positive female friendship. They share their hobbies – Ellielikes to get her hands dirty, while Kit prefers ballet – reminding readers that there’s no wrong way to be a girl. Ellie’s hand-drawn tool guide at the end explains basic tools in accessible terms, rounding out this fun and funny adventure, and giving girls everything they need to be their own Ellie!

About the Author: Jackson Pearce lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of a series of teen retold fairy-tales, including Sisters Red, Sweetly, Fathomless, and Cold Spell, as well as two stand-alones, As You Wish and Purity. As J. Nelle Patrick, she is the author of Tsarina. In addition to The Doublecross and The Inside Job, her middle grade novels include Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures, co-written with Maggie Stiefvater. Visit her at www.jacksonpearce.com and @JacksonPearce (Twitter and Instagram).

WIN Set of Kids National Geographic Books

National Geographic Kids Books is featuring SIX new titles that are perfect year round or for giving as gifts.  They are big, bold and beautiful hardcovers; cater to book enthusiasts and reluctant readers alike; and are fun, inspiring AND educational (but don’t tell your kids that last part!).

How Things Work (ages 7-10, $19.99) – Discover the secrets and science behind bounce houses, hovercraft, robotics and everything in between in this book that provides both the quick answers AND complete explanations for all things high tech, low tech and no tech (how DOES glue work???). Detailed diagrams, revealing photos, hands-on activities and and fascinating facts all help to demystify many common items — like how a microwave works, how an eraser makes pencil marks disappear and how an iPad or tablet can do so much —  and also delves into the more futuristic — but very real — inventions like bionics, invisible cloaks and  tractor beams.  “Tales from the Lab” and profiles of talented engineers, inventors and scientists provide plenty of inspiration.  How Things Work is perfect for the kid who thinks “just because” isn’t a REAL answer.  Several spreads from How Things Work can be found by clicking here.

Ultimate Oceanpedia (ages 7-10, $24.99) – Perfect for the ocean-obsessed, this book is the most complete ocean reference ever! Ultimate Oceanpedia is overflowing with amazing facts, photos, art and diagrams that take the reader on a journey through the ocean. Whales, dolphins, porpoises, turtles, sharks, fish, crustaceans, sponges — from the weird to the wonderful — they are all featured in breathtaking photographs with easy to read captions. Wild weather, underwater exploration and tips and pointers on how to help keep our oceans thriving round out this thick, keepsake volume.

Tales from the Arabian Nights: Stories of Adventure, Magic, Love and Betrayal by Donna Jo Napoli (ages 8-12, $24.99) — “A brilliant tapestry woven not of yarn but of stories, both fresh and faithful to its historical routes” — starred review, Kirkus

Do you have a child who loves magical stories about far away places? Classic stories and dazzling illustrations of princesses, kings, sailors and genies come to life in a stunning retelling of the Arabian folk tales from One Thousand and One Nights and other collections, including those of Alladin, Sinbad the Sailor, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. In this beautiful, gift-worthy book, beloved author Donna Jo Napoli not only brings timeless tales of royalty, adventure and love to life but also includes sidebars that connect the stories to history, culture and geography.  A perfect story time selection for bedtime or anytime.

The Book of Heroines and The Book of Heroes (ages 8-12, $14.99) – All kids are heroes in waiting and these two titles are sure to inspire.  In The Book of Heroines it’s all about Girl Power!  Looking for a leading lady? How about more than 100 of them?  True stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, ladies in lab coats ad everyday people who all have two things in common — they were girls and they changed the world.  From Michelle Obama, Jane Goodall and Wonder Woman to Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem and Katie Ledecky, The Book of Heroines not only highlights how girls are just as tough as boys, but also challenges the reader to be a heroine herself and provides tips on how to unleash her inner heroine. Sample pages of Heroines can be found here.  The Book of Heroes highlights 100 guys who had the boldness, bravery and brains to meet the challenges of their day. Featuring a very diverse array of amazing minds, heroes from history, sports stars and even action heroes — like Abraham Lincoln, Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking and Steve Irwin  — boys will be sure to find more than just a few role models in the pages of this book and also perhaps inspire them that they, too, are capable of extraordinary things.

5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) 3 (ages 8-12, $19.99) – Did you know that one-third of the earth is a desert, that beets are sometimes used to give red velvet cake its color or that there are more caribou than people in Alaska?  Well, that’s only the beginning……5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) 3 features gross facts about toilets and edible insects, gravity defying facts about things that fly, awesome new dino-discoveries and even facts about newborn octopi and how many oranges it takes to make one glass of o.j. — to name just a few!  This book is the ultimate boredom buster and is perfect for curious kids who love to learn about the weird, wild and wacky!

Make sure you

* Follow National Geographic Kids Books on twitter – @NGKidsBks

* Friend National Geographic Kids on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/NationalGeographicKid

to keep in touch with all the fun.

One of you will be able to win a set of National Geographic Kids Books Gift Pack Giveaway of the six books listed above (ARV $120.00).  US only please, sorry international readers!

Please feel free to enter to win by using the RC form below. Good luck! Ends March 15, 2017.
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New Jumbo Minds’ Science ABCs Book Collection

Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own and honest. For more, see “I Disclose”
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As a teacher and mom I am definitely a big promoter of reading to your children and having them read to you. I was excited to be able to receive part of this awesome new line Jumbo Minds’ Science ABCs.

About Jumbo Minds:

The mission of Jumbo Minds is to increase the exposure to, basic understanding of, and enthusiasm for science and STEM in children through well-crafted books and related products.

The founders of Jumbo Minds are sisters who have backgrounds in education, science, and business. The sisters have combined their love of science and teaching with their entrepreneurial spirit. Annette Dunn, CEO, majored in biology and started her professional career in a chemistry lab. Jumbo Minds is the second company she started and directs. Corrine Knight, Chief Educational Officer, is a previously certified teacher with experience teaching primary, middle, and high school science and math curriculum. Their sister, Valeri Sewald, who spent most her career on Wall Street working in international sales, has recently joined the executive team and directs Jumbo Minds’ corporate messaging.

At Jumbo Minds, they dream of sparking a science revolution!

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About Jumbo Minds’ Science ABC Books:

Their books were created by scientists and educators to introduce science to children in a fun and engaging way, with vibrant illustrations.

Some great perks of these books:

  • Teach the alphabet
  • Introduce the science vocabulary
  • Explain the meaning of the word via short and easy definitions
  • Provide extended learning with longer definitions and further detail
  • Increase readability for readers with a dyslexic-friendly font
  • Are made in the USA

The target age group is 0-6. Children of all ages will be able to learn from these books.

My Thoughts:

I was definitely impressed with these great books. I love to read with my kids and my kids love to read and look for books. They enjoyed looking at the pictures and listening to new vocabulary words while we read. I teach 3rd grade and my students were even interested in these books even though they are well past the age of 6. This is a great book line to get your kids going and more familiar with many science words.

Purchase:

If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, head on over to the website and get the ones you are interested in.

Fantastic Winter Books For Kids

Looking for a few great books to tide your little ones over for the winter season?  Check out these adorable picks, including some fun craft ideas and fun fluffy friends.

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Wax on Crafts Holiday Projects

reate bright and cheerful designs for the holidays, using a box of crayons and a few simple tools! With step-by-step instructions and over 400 images, you can turn inexpensive and everyday items into family treasures. Start with the basics using simple shapes, free-hand designs, leaves, and flowers. Decorate tile magnets, ornaments, and other mediums. Find out how to use wax with paper, wood, glass, metals, boxes, eggs, and felt. Discover twice-melted wax and add color to your designs. Learn the methods to use color washes, base coating, and floating color to create a stunning, eye-catching project. From colorful Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and snowflakes to Easter eggs, necklaces, and pumpkins, Miriam Joy will show you how to add a little color to a basket sitting in the corner, make a wonderful Christmas heirloom out of an antique sled, and turn that old saw into a harvest piece to set above the fireplace.  By Miriam Joy, available at http://www.schifferbooks.com/

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Santa Claws: The Christmas Crab

Travel beneath the Chesapeake Bay, where Spud, a feisty young blue crab, hates to nap. Waking his underwater friends, Spud launches a rollicking Christmas Eve party that is interrupted by an unexpected traveler in need of Spud’s help. Can Spud help bring Christmas to the Bay.  Preschool to grade 2.  By Priscilla Cummings, available at http://www.schifferbooks.com/

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The Visit: The Origin of “The Night Before Christmas”

By Mark Kimball Moulton , Illustrated by Susan Winget.  In 1822, Clement Clarke Moore created the classic Christmas poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” for his daughter. Here, in verse and accompanied by over 50 richly detailed illustrations, is the story of the writing of this classic. It is based on the history of the poem as passed down through the generations of the Moore family and told to the author by Dinghy Sharp, the great-great-granddaughter of Clement Moore. Not only does the story of the beautiful and enduring poem’s creation unfold in this tale, but many of the terms and actions of the characters in “The Night Before Christmas” are explained, including why stockings were hung, why windows were shuttered, what coursers were, and what exactly sugarplums that danced through children’s heads really were. Perhaps most moving, is Moore’s motivation and inspiration for the creation of the poem. This lovely edition is a natural companion to “The Night Before Christmas,” which is included in Moore’s own handwriting at the tale’s conclusion. This story is sure to become an equally valued part of the holiday tradition.  Available at http://www.schifferbooks.com/

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Abe™

Abe is the cutest abominable snowman you will ever meet. The main character from Have an Abominably Good Day, Abe is the perfect sidekick for a snowy Christmas Eve adventure. Like his new friend Hannah, Abe can help you discover the importance of friendship, decisions, and the love of family and friends. Ages 3 and up. Available at http://www.schifferbooks.com/

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The Lollipop Monster’s Christmas

Larry’s favorite time of the year has arrived. He races around his home trying to make everything perfect before his friends arrive for Christmas morning. During the celebration, he discovers a lonely monster named Walter, who is very sad. Larry asks him why he is sad and Walter explains that Christmas is a difficult time of the year because he is always alone and has no family. Larry invites him to spend the holiday with him and his friends. Walter shyly accepts the invitation and follows Larry back to his home. Walter is welcomed by Larry’s friends and ends up having the most merry Christmas ever! By Eric T. Krackow, Available at http://www.schifferbooks.com/

VeggieTales Christmas Books #VeggieTales

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner? One of my favorite things during this season is the love and laughter in the air. The spirit of Christmas is full of kindness, sharing and forgiveness. VeggieTales Christmas themed soundboard books are a great way to remember and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with your children.

My son loves VeggieTales- the TV show, movies, live show, and of course the books.  These cute singing veggies are a great way to bring the reason for the season to your family.  It’s easy to get caught up with the material things, the hustle and bustle, and all the rush-rush of the holidays- sometimes, we really need to take a moment and remember what it’s really about, and to be grateful for all we have and what we’ve been given.

VeggieTales Christmas themed soundboard books are a fun and interactive way to teach children the true meaning of Christmas.

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About the books

Silent Night:

Join Junior Asparagus, Laura Carrot, and all your favorite VeggieTales characters as they stage a Nativity play based on the lyrics of “Silent Night.” Silent Night teaches children about Jesus’ birth and is a fun, great way to keep children talking, and singing, about the true meaning of Christmas.

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Away in a Manger:

Join the VeggieTales character as they star in this colorful retelling of the birth of Jesus, featuring the lyrics of “Away in a Manger,” sung by Junior Asparagus. This fun-yet-reverent Nativity book is a great way to keep little ones talking – and singing – about the true meaning of Christmas.

You can follow Veggie Tales on social media as well-

Website: www.veggietales.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VeggieTales

Instagram: @veggietalesofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VeggieTales

Join the conversation: #VeggieTales

These books are available in stores everywhere, as well as online and on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. They are easy to pick up, not expensive, and a great way to remind your kids of the real meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine.

Great Gifts For Your Kids

The cold and eventful festive days are coming up quickly, which means lots of fun events for adults but long stuffy days indoors for kids! Being stuck inside during holidays can be boring, making your little ones cranky.

Let me introduce to you some creative solutions to beat the hard-to-cure holiday cabin fever! Cooper and Kid–creatively curated kits designed especially for kids to have fun while learning. Squirrel King–craft kits that transform a child’s reality into an imaginative world of colorful squirrels and the homes they live in. And last but not least, Zoonicorns–the unique combination of unicorns and zebras into adventurous plush toys, with a creative children’s book to bring the characters to life.

STEM learning kits

Cooper and Kid is all about making dad cool again and doing what matters most–bonding with the kids! Cooper & Kid has everything a dad needs in the winter for educational fun (think STEM) with his kids! Each Cooper Kit is fun-in-a-box with endless hours of amusement…no more mindless TV shows! Each kit contains a huge box of fun, with themed projects, toys, books and ideas that dads and kids will truly enjoy. Together they can build rocket ships, take off with sky lanterns or explore the world of butterflies — there is so much to create and discover!

An activity book guides dads through the theme and the contents of the box for hours of fun. Plus, the shipping box turns into a toy too! Sign up for the Cooper & Kid subscription online and every three months a Cooper kit is delivered to dad at home. The subscription price is $65 per quarter.

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The fun, unique and ingenious Squirrel King kits are a swirl of intellect, engineering and creativity delivered with a hands-on approach that inspires a thirst for knowledge. Designed for ages 8 and up, the Build with Stickers kits combine two things kids love — stickers and building. Each colorful kit includes novel stickering techniques — no glue involved — and all the materials for children to build, create and explore, making awesome toys in the process…and making those rainy days educational and fun! With Build with Stickers kits, STEM (science, technology, education and math) principles are explored in an age-appropriate manner.

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The new Build with Stickers Kits are available on the Squirrel King Craft website and at select retail stores, priced from $5.99 to $7.99. The original Squirrel King Craft kit is also available on the website and in over 200 stores across the country, and in a range of choices for $9.99 to $69.99.
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Zoonicorns are enriching youth with life adventures™ and creating wonderful imaginative worlds.  My son really enjoyed the book and the plush zoonicorn- something to cuddle and a friend to take to bed later and give him good dreams, just like the young animal in the story.  He thought that was fun.  As my child often has bad dreams, this was comforting to him.   The book was cute, with an easy to follow story and adorable illustrations.  I would recommend this to any parents with young children of either gender.

Fairy-tale Zoonicorns are enchanting creatures that pop up in the dreams of young zoo animals. Zoonicorns are unique, plush toys for children that a combine an exotic animal (zebra) and a mythical creature (unicorn). The Zoonicorn herd is ready for adventure in the enchanting world of your youngster’s imagination and keep them occupied for hours on end.

Super-soft Valeo is the leader of the Zoonicorn pack, who likes to pal around with animal friends like African giraffes. Shy and gentle Promithea is a good friend who can be trusted to keep your little one’s secrets. Playful Ene likes to catch forty winks before bouncing to life to rumble and tumble with. Outgoing Aliel loves to speed around and will challenge any kid to keep up with her.

Each Zoonicorn is $9.99 or you can get the entire family plus children’s book for $49.91

Great Books for Snoopy and Disney Princess Fans

This winter, Thunder Bay Press presents three titles perfect for any pop culture fan’s collection: The Snoopy Treasures by Peanuts expert Nat Gertler, Disney Frozen Crochet by Kati Gálusz, and Disney Princess Crochet by Jana Whitley and Jessica Ward

Timed to the release of The Peanuts Movie, The Snoopy Treasures (November 2015; $34.95; ISBN: 978-1-62686-440-5) tells the story of everyone’s favorite beagle from the beloved childhood pet who inspired his creation, to his status as a cultural icon and beyond.

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This comprehensive guide is divided into 12 sections covering Snoopy’s origins, his alter egos from Joe Cool to the Flying Ace, his family at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, his friends in the beloved Peanuts gang, and his prevalence in pop culture – in songs, movies, books, plays, parades, museums, and even NASA, who named a lunar landing module after him as they prepared to put man on the moon in 1969.

Each page features original Peanuts panels, side-by-side comparisons showing the evolution of Snoopy into the universally recognizable style we know today, photographs from the Schulz museum, and ten pieces of pullout memorabilia: an original Schulz drawing, a Snoopy baseball pennant (popular dorm décor in the 60s and 70s), a letter from President Ronald Reagan to Schulz, a bookmark, a bumper sticker, a punch out model of the Red Baron’s plane, the last Peanuts strip ever printed, and more.

Lifelong fans and first-timers alike will discover something new within the pages of this in-depth compendium, making The Snoopy Treasures the perfect holiday gift for Snoopy lovers of all ages.

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Disney Frozen Crochet (November 2015; $24.95; ISBN: 978-1-62686-443-6): Do you want to crochet a snowman? How about Elsa and Anna, too? Let it go and create all twelve cuddly characters from the Frozen tundra! All the materials you need to create Elsa and Anna are included, and your creativity is sure to snowball from there. The Queen of Cold and all her friends will make great gifts, or adorable additions to your own collection. Don’t hesitate! For the first time in forever, let these characters melt your heart.

  • 12 adorable crochet characters, including Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Sven, and more!
  • Step-by-step instructions accompanied by full-color photos in a 76-page book.
  • All the materials you need to make Elsa and Anna are included.
  • Kit includes 8 colors of yarn, crochet hook, stuffing, safety eye beads, 4 colors of embroidery floss, tulle, and a tapestry needle.

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Disney Princess Crochet (November 2015; $24.95; ISBN: 978-1-62686-444-3): Create 12 of Disney’s most enchanting characters! A full-color, 76-page instruction book with detailed patterns and colorful photos will guide you from “once upon a time” to “happily ever after” using your yarn and hook. To start you off, the kit includes all the materials needed to create Cinderella and Ariel. Each amigurumi princess is sure to be a treasured part of any crochet collection!

  • Detailed instructions to make 11 Disney princesses— Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Aurora, Jasmine, Tiana, Rapunzel, Mulan, Snow White, Pocahontas, and Merida—and Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother.
  • Full-color photos accompany step-by-step instructions in a 76-page book.
  • Kit includes 9 colors of yarn, crochet hook, stuffing, safety eye beads, red embroidery

floss, and a tapestry needle.

  • Featured projects are Cinderella and Ariel.

Operation ResCUTE Book & Plush Set – Gives Back to Pets @OpResCute

Have you heard of the inspirational non-profit called Operation ResCUTE™ ($29.99), packaged for young readers as a book-and-plush set. It stars the true-life-story of Jingles, a homeless puppy in New York City that gets to live happily ever after. Youngsters discover (as they snuggle with their plush pup) that shelters are full of friendly faces. With the purchase of this boxed set, they become a ResCUTER.

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It’s no wonder Operation ResCUTE is getting two paws up from animal lovers of all ages. The illustrated book is written from the dog’s point of view, in her own voice. After reading the storybook, kids will want to share the importance of being a ResCUTER, a solution to shelter dog adoption. Packaged in a cage-like gift box, the book and plush pal opens their eyes to the many four-legged friends locked away in cages, longing for a loving home. And it really happened to Jingles.

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We have our own adopted dog, and usually a foster dog as well, so we loved this story as well as the idea of ResCUTE.  Giving a gift that is not only cute and sweet but also gives back is one we can fully support.  Kids on your list and any animal lover would appreciate this adorable gift set.

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Like many happy-ending stories, this one began tragically when NYC marketing powerhouse Laurie Brown-Nagin spotted an Animal Control Officer carrying a puppy to a pro-bono veterinarian. The animal lover and mom fell in love with Jingles, the shelter pooch that desperately needed a warm, loving home. As a marketing researcher, Brown-Nagin discovered only 30 percent of pets in homes come from shelters and rescue organizations. Worse, an estimated 2.7 million healthy pets remain in shelters each year! She started a non-profit, www.OperationRescute.com, and used her years of marketing prowess to package this inspiring boxed set for the next generation to read and feel empowered to make a difference.

During this season of giving, parents and grandparents can give a pawsitive present, with 100% of profits going directly toward helping shelter dogs get adopted. Brown-Nagin reports that profits will be used by shelters for marketing /outreach efforts for placement of dogs with families.

Operation ResCUTE Book & Plush Set • $29.99 • Ages 3+

Jingles the dog, the first in the Operation ResCUTE series, shows youngsters the value of opening their hearts and helping someone/something less fortunate. Each boxed set includes an illustrated book and huggable plush pup. Animal shelters give it two paws up! For sale at Amazon.com.