Dexter the Very Good Goat – A Children’s Book Review

Dexter the Very Good Goat

Jean Malone’s Dexter the Very Good Goat is an adorable children’s book with sweet illustrations. Dexter the Goat is very good… Most of the time. He’s nice to the visitors, and he’s nice to his keepers. It’s hard to be good when he’s afraid though. Sometimes, he’s naughty when it’s time for doctor and grooming things to be done. His keepers are always gentle though and take the very best care of him.

This is a cute story that reinforces rewards (like scratches!) for good behaviors and doing the right thing even when it’s tough or scary. It’s fun to talk about the differences in the goats with your toddler and relate it to how different every person is.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Calling All Cars – Children’s Book Review and Giveaway

Calling All Cars cover

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing an advanced copy of Calling All Cars, which was written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Sarah Beise.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and shared my thoughts right away. Maybe it’s because I have a little car lover on my hands… This book is a HUGE hit! From the rhyming used throughout the book to the wonderfully fun and colorful illustrations, I couldn’t find a single thing not to love! I think this is a must have in your little automobile lover’s collection.  As a special treat, three copies of the book will be given away…  Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom for details!

About the Book

Big cars, small cars, let’s call ALL cars! This bouncy text explores the wonderful world of cars zipping up, down, fast, and slow. A perfect basic concept books for eager young learners from the author of Tons of Trucks. Then cruise into bedtime!

Rest cars, Hush cars

No more rush, cars.

Cars pull in, turn off the light.

Sweet dreams, sleepy cars…goodnight!

Filled with vibrant art, adorable animal characters, and cars of all kinds from love bugs to the demolition derby, Calling All Cars is for every child who loves to read about things that go! Surprise bonus—follow one long road throughout this vividly imagined world and don’t miss the hidden clues in the artwork!

Calling All Cars spread

 

Additional praise for Calling All Cars:

“Each double-page spread offers a surplus of amusing sights: three pigs in a convertible, a kitten chauffeuring a royal pair of lions, love-struck snakes hugging and tugging their cars too close together. Beise’s digital illustrations pop with vivid colors…. [Fliess’] rhyming couplets bounce off the page.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This successful collaboration combines brisk and spirited writing with bold, effervescent pictures and will have wide appeal to young readers. Fliess’s punchy rhymes mimic the speed and energy of the cars being described, making for a lively read-aloud… Young car enthusiasts will enjoy the ride through this zippy, robust picture book.” —School Library Journal

 

Interested in purchasing this title for your little one?

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WHmpgX

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1QZwx0q

Books a Million: http://bit.ly/1SRWipt

Sue Fliess photo

About the Author

Sue Fliess is the author of more than a dozen children’s books, including the popular Tons of Trucks and Robots, Robots Everywhere! Her background is in copywriting, PR, and marketing, and her articles have appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine; Huffington Post; Writer’s Digest; and more. Her article from O, the Oprah Magazine was chosen for inclusion in O’s Little Book of Happiness (March 2015). Sue lives with her family and a Lab named Charlie in Northern Virginia. Visit her online at www.suefliess.com.

Connect with Sue Fliess

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sue.Fliess.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/suefliess

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/suefliess/

 

About the Illustrator

Sarah Beise, a graduate of Minneapolis College of Art and Design, is an innovative illustrator and designer who loves to create fun and unique characters that help tell stories. Originally from Matthews, NC she now makes Kansas City her home along with her two dogs, Maxwell and Mazzie May. For more info visit www.SarahBeise.com.

Connect with Sarah Beise

Website: http://www.colordotstudio.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sarah-Beise-Art-Design-LLC-233477983374912/

 

Calling All Cars Giveaway

Runs March 1-31 (US and Canada only)

 To Enter the Giveaway – CLICK HERE

 


Manners Are Not for Monkeys – A Children’s Book Review

Manners Are Not for Monkeys

 

Heather Tekavec’s Manners Are Not for Monkeys is an amusing children’s book with illustrations to make you laugh out loud. When the zookeeper decides to relocate the outdoor monkey play area beside the family picnic and play area, something surprising happens. The monkeys start to behave, so as not to draw attention and be able to watch the children play. The children start to ignore the monkeys, who are behaving very un-monkey like despite Momma Monkey’s warning. The book provides a funny look at why manners are important for children, but maybe not so much for monkeys.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review and give this one 4/5 stars for your toddlers.


Too Many Carrots – A Children’s Book Review

Too Many Carrots

 

Too Many Carrots, by Katy Hudson, was a big hit at our house!

Rabbit is stockpiling so many carrots that he soon outgrows his borrow leaving no space for himself. He has several good friends who are willing to suffer for him and offer up their homes, but because of the large amount of carrots Rabbit is hoarding, disaster always strikes and their homes are destroyed.

When the final catastrophe causes all of the animals to be homeless, Rabbit finally figures out what he should have done from the beginning… If he shares his carrots with his friends, there is room in his burrow for everyone!

This is the perfect story for toddlers. We all want our children to learn not to hoard things for themselves and to share with others. The illustrations were very well done and appealing, and the animal characters were all adorably sweet.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Crockpot Chicken Lasagna Recipe

Well, I didn’t mean to tease everyone when I posted a pic on Facebook last week after I made my first crockpot chicken lasagna… The thing is that I didn’t write anything down when I did it! I decided to remake it today and took some notes…  Below you’ll find some pictures that show me building my layers and the full ingredient list and directions. I’m really excited about this recipe because it’s a way for me to easily get in protein and baby #2 isn’t a big fan of a lot of meat! 😉 Plus, it took me about 15 minutes from start to finish and that was with taking pics! Add in that the recipe is (picky) toddler and hubby approved, and you’ve got a winning meal!

 

********** Let’s begin! **********

 

First, you’re going to start by laying down a layer of sauce in the bottom of your slow cooker.  As you can see in the picture, I often use Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners to make clean up easier.  I LOVE not having to scrape or soak cooked sauce off the sides!

 

First Layer Sauce Crockpot Chicken Lasagna

 

Next, you’re going to build your first layer by placing your no cook Barilla lasagna sheets down and top with shredded chicken, ricotta and mozzarella, if you wish.

 

First Layer Crockpot Chicken Lasagna

 

I usually do three “filled layers” total.  (You can see that I go heavy on the ricotta in the beginning…  I need to learn to judge how much I’m using better!) The top layer of today’s lasagna is finished and looks like this…

 

Third Layer Crockpot Chicken Lasagna

 

To finish it off, you simply add sauce, cover with noodles, add another layer of sauce and top with shredded mozzarella.

 

Top Layer Finished Crockpot Chicken Lasagna

 

Finished product!

 

YUMMY Slow Cooker Chicken Lasagna

 

The fine details for those that want to give this a try…

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Lasagna Recipe

 

Feedback? Comments? Feel free to leave them below…  I’d love to know what you think and how your dinner turns out!


The Midnight Visitors – A Children’s Book Review

The Midnight Visitors

The Midnight Visitors, written by Juliet David and illustrated by Jo Parry, is an adorable story of Christ’s birth is told from the perspective of Miriam the cow… She had no idea when the day began that the hay manger in her cowshed would hold the baby Jesus. One by one, Miriam permits the other animals to sleep snug and safe in her cowshed as long as they promise to be peaceful with one another. Her “guests” just keep coming… From Mary and Joseph to the birth of Christ to the visit from the three wise men, this is a beautiful story that our animal loving children will love, and it’s a perfect way to tell this story in a new way. Plus, the illustrations in this book really put it at 5+ stars for me… They are clear and rich but have a soft quality to them.

This book is a must have! I know our son will enjoy hearing the story and looking at the pictures at Christmas and all year round.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Who’s Afraid of the Ghost Train? – A Children’s Book Review

Who's Afraid of the Ghost Train? - Frank Rodgers

In Who’s Afraid of the Ghost Train? by Frank Rodgers, Robert’s imagination often gets away from him helping him create scary situations out of everyday happenings. With the help of his grandfather, he learns how to cope with his wild imagination. His friends, who are all interested in scary things, could make it even worse when they want to visit the Ghost Train, but Robert gets the chance to put his grandfather’s lessons into action. In the end, Robert is able to deal with the scare ride even better than they are. This is a very sweet story that should help children deal with their fears of imaginary monsters whether they hide in the toilet, tub, closet, or under the bed. I thought the illustrations were perfectly done. They are enough to capture a child’s attention and imagination while not being overly frightening. I personally wouldn’t recommend this book for younger toddlers or those children who have yet to exhibit such fears. However, it could be a great help in learning to cope for younger children who are beginning to worry and have nightmares about their imagination’s creations.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


Feeling overwhelmed?

Believe, Obey and Endure

 

I’ve taken a lot of heart in this saying the last couple of days. The thing is… Not all days are going to be perfect. The curve balls being thrown at you can be difficult to deal with. Maybe it’s a life change, a job change, or simply a difficult toddler that’s wrecking your plan.

Right now, I’m struggling because I feel like my mind is being pulled in all directions… As far as making healthy food choices, I either feel like I want to eat #allthethings or nothing… That includes both good and bad choices. I know the feeling is temporary so I’m pushing through and remembering to take it one “bite” at a time. Whether that’s literally what’s going in my mouth or the “eat the elephant” philosophy of getting everything on my list done. Right now, that “to do” list feels like a trash heap that stuff keeps getting thrown on top of. I will overcome #feelingoverwhelmed. You can, too! <3


Mama Needs a Do-Over – A Review…

Mama Needs a Do-Over

 

I’ve spent the last two days reading the book Mama Needs a Do-Over: Simple Steps to Turning a Hard Day Around by Lisa Pennington and have a few thoughts I’d like to share…

This book isn’t necessarily what I thought of when I decided to read and review a “parenting” book. I would better classify this title as a refreshing look at parenting as part of a soul-seeking challenge of life. The author has nine children of various ages, and she birthed the last at 42. In my opinion, that makes her qualified to talk about parenting, even if you don’t agree with her style (more on that later).

The book is broken down in sections. The process they encourage helps you to tap into what makes you unique and helps you identify how those things can benefit you when working through difficult parenting seasons. I would argue that accepting the challenge and doing the work prepares you for the struggles of life in general and not just those that arise with parenting. Regardless, the author helps you to formulate your plan so you can be prepared to face encounters and approach them in a new way. She offers several suggestions, broken down by rough age categories, to “reset” the day and turn the ship around.

I found her advice practical for those of us that are dealing with the fit du jour or mountains of laundry. It’s even more helpful if you are a stay at home spouse (male or female) and sometimes resent the opportunity your partner has to leave the house. Lisa herself is a self-professed control freak and kitchen failure, but it’s easy to see that she maintains her sense of humor through her own struggles. Plus, she’s doing it all while homeschooling her children! It’s refreshing to get perspective and realize that these moments don’t last forever, and YOU ultimately control the situation by your reaction to it. You can realize that the situation provides stress as a means and opportunity for personal growth.

The author obviously holds deeply religious views. Her thoughts on “do-overs” have her beliefs sprinkled all over them. I did not find these offensive, but I’m also a believer in Christ. Someone who doesn’t have the same faith may not find her book as easily accessible as I did.

I did a little search on the author after finishing the book as she referenced her blog at The Pennington Point (Blog). My research yielded several things of note. First, the author hasn’t blogged since the spring of 2015. You can find links to deleted blog posts with a search, including one about spanking babies. I PERSONALLY don’t approach the mechanics of parenting in the same way she does and would never paddle a baby. Our soon to be 22 month old has never been paddled. She and I are going to have to agree to disagree on a lot of things involving parenting style and how “obedient” I think my child should be.  I’m not trying to raise a robot here. Two, the author is currently dealing with a crisis.  It would seem that one of her daughters has chose to approach life without the support of her family and lacks the documentation to support her identity and make a way for herself.  If you want to know what it’s all about, you can get all kinds of details by doing a quick search. Lastly, the author (currently) has a much stronger Facebook presence.  You can find her at The Pennington Point (Facebook Like Page).

I only bring it up for this reason… Yes, I am aware that the family is facing some difficulties. Yes, I realize that everyone is entitled to their views on parenting and faith. BUT…  I wanted this post to focus solely on the content of the book and not what can be found on the blog or my view on Lisa’s parenting. If you are a Christian and a parent who struggles with sometimes seeing the good in the day, this book can benefit you regardless of your personal views on the struggles they face. I think we can all benefit from finding the joy in our everyday struggles and who doesn’t need a little spontaneous game of “zoo” in their life? 🙂

I recieved a digital copy of this title for my honest review.


Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer — A Children’s Book Review

Let's Learn About the Lord's Prayer

 

Catherine DeVries’ Let’s Learn About the Lord’s Prayer provides the perfect way to introduce children to God in everyday life.  I found the illustrations to be bright and cheerful.  I loved the way Emma welcomed the reader into her home.  She was able to illustrate how the prayer is used at mealtimes and teach the meaning behind the words in a more simplified way.  Closing the book with Emma teaching the Lord’s Prayer to her favorite stuffed teddy, Blueberry, is a good way to end and offers children the opportunity to practice the prayer again.

I would absolutely recommend this purchase. My own 21 month old would love this as a board book, and I know that he would enjoy looking at the pictures and listening to me read the story aloud.

I recieved an ARC in exchange for my honest review.