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Gabby Duran and the Unsittables

Gabby Duran

I have always encouraged my children to read. I am all for literacy. Even where I work we promote literacy and give out books to all the kids we see when ever we can. We also like to read to the children whenever possible.

I love books that are truly creative and encourage a child to use their imagination.

There is a book that will soon be released (May 12, 2015) that your child might be interested in. It’s called Gabby “Duran and the Unsittables.” The book is geared toward 8-12 year olds (or grade level 3-7).

The book was written by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners.

We have a copy of the book but I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet. It sounds like a lot of fun

Case File: The First Unsittable

Summary: The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (hereby known as A.L.I.E.N.) has a new member. After months of investigation, Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, has proven herself to be a babysitter extraordinaire. Her celebrity clients fly her around the country to care for their rambunctious little humans. Our spy, Associate 4118-23432B, otherwise known as Edwina, believes Gabby can be trusted with the truth: aliens are living among humans on Earth. And here at A.L.I.E.N we believe that even extraterrestrials need a babysitter now and then. No one was up to the task…until now.

After accepting the top-secret position, Edwina has paired our new associate up with her first charge, a little girl from the planet Flarknartia. The timing for associate 4118-25125A is less than ideal. It’s a school day on Planet Earth, Gabby’s audition for the solo part in the band is tonight, and this tiny alien is a bit more than meets the eye.

Can Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, First Sitter to the Unsittables, keep her otherworldly charge safe in the unpredictable halls of middle-school and keep A.L.I.E.N hidden?

The book has been touted as “The Babysitters Club” meets Men in Black. I loved that book series and the Men in Black movies so I bet this is a really fun book.

If you would like to learn more about Gabby Duran you can visit the Official Site. You can also follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter as well as follow Elise Allen & Daryle Conners on Twitter too.

To see what others are saying about the book check out the hashtag #GabbyDuran.

What do you think about this book? Does it sound like something your child or grandchild might like?

DisneyHyperion-logo

Kimberly

*I received a free sample copy and other goodies in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own (unless otherwise noted) and not influenced in any way. 

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Protect your child’s hearing with Puro Kids Headphones

 

Child with headphones

When I was a teenager and young adult I went to MANY concerts – very loud ones too. Some friends of mine had a heavy metal band and I would go to as many of their concerts as possible. I also had a bad habit of blasting music in my car.

Back then I didn’t give my hearing much of a thought. In hindsight I realize now how foolish I was not to care about my hearing. As a result my hearing is not as good as it should be for a person my age. I joke with my family that I have “selective hearing” when I don’t hear the things that they say to me, or miss something on TV. But it’s no joking matter. Years of abuse has taken it’s toll on my hearing. I regret that I didn’t take better care of my hearing.

I have teenagers who love to listen to music on their iPhones. They wear earplugs so we don’t have to hear the music. Several times I have had to ask my daughter to turn it down. If I can hear her music with no problem while she’s wearing earphones, then the music must be REALLY loud in her ears. I don’t want her, or my son, to damage their hearing.

These days it’s not only teens who love to listen to music. Younger children are also enjoying music on their phones (or parents) and tablets.

Have you given much thought to how loudly your kids and teens listen to music? If not, you should.

One option would be the headphones your kids use to listen to their music. They should have a volume control feature that ensures that your children can not “crank up the volume” too loud.

One brand of headphones is taking children’s hearing issues to heart. The brand is called Puro and they specialize in high end headphones. Their headphones provide superior sound and are reasonably priced, which is nice because some headphone available on the market are outrageously expensive.

What makes Puro different than other brands that sell headphones is that Puro takes hearing health very seriously.

Puro Sound Labs - Hearing-Healthy Headphones

The brand recently released their first product called Puro Kids®. What makes their children’s headphones different than others on the market is that their headphones that has a volume limiter that prevents the volume from exceeding 85 dB. The volume simply stops at this point. They can’t make it any louder.

Here is some additional important information from Puro.

As NIHL (Noised-Induced Hearing Loss) is on the rise in our youth, we have taken it upon ourselves to not only provide a product that is safer on ears but also in bringing awareness to the issue. By connecting with fellow parents, audiologists and hearing specials we believe we can create unique opportunities through the lens of our Healthy Ears® program to get involved, strengthening the voice of NIHL and making a real difference in the way parents and children look at the risk of generic earbuds. Healthy Ears® represents our commitment to hearing health and prevention of NIHL.

Puro sent me a set to try out.

The Puro Kids headphones are very nice looking. They look like super expensive headphones. Even the most tech savvy kid will be impressed by how cool these headphones look. They look like ones adults would use. They don’t look “kiddie” like at all.  You won’t see dinosaurs or ABC’s on them.

I have used these headphones myself before turning them over to my kids (teens). The sound quality is wonderful. I also like that they are comfortable to wear. They are the over the head type (not ear buds – I find ear buds to be uncomfortable). The padding for the ears is comfy too.

My teens think they look cool (even if they are most so meant for children). My son thinks the ear area (padding) is too small. He prefers it to be bigger.

I found the padding did cover my ears. In fact they did a great job drowning out background noise.

My daughter thinks they could be louder. I was not surprised she’d say that since she listens to her music way too loud.

As a mom I really like the idea of Puro, and I find the headphones to be very satisfactory. If these were around when my kids were younger I would consider getting both of them a pair (they also didn’t listen to music that much when they were younger).

If you would like to learn more about Puro Kids Headphones and the importance of caring for children’s hearing, please visit www.PuroSound.com/Healthy-Ears.

What do you think about the idea of special headphones for children that protect their ear health?

Does your child or grandchild listen to music too loud? Is their hearing a concern of yourself?

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Puro Sound Labs - Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Encourage your friends and family to join the fight the end child hunger

 

Child-Hunger

If you are a regular reader of She Scribes you’ll probably recall all the posts I have done over the years in regards to child hunger here in the United States.

A few years ago I flew down to Tampa, Florida and helped out at a food bank as well as had the opportunity to visit a Feeding America food warehouse. It was truly an eye opening experience.

If you are interested you can read about my experiences working with Feeding American in these posts.

The Face of Hunger Part 1

The face of hunger in your own backyard – Part II: Feeding America Tampa Bay visit

My eye opening experience at a mobile food bank

Needless to say I didn’t have to travel all the way to Tampa to understand just how serious the issue of hunger in America is. It’s happening right now – in your very own “backyard.”

Some people assume that they could tell a hungry person from one who is not. The truth is that food insecure families do come across as looking like “starving” people. You would be surprised at how many families living in nice homes, driving nice cars and working full time are struggling to put food on their table. You cannot assume you know their stories. Just because they have a roof over their heads doesn’t mean that the parents lost their job or had their hours cut and they are struggling to get by day by day. For all you know their home is at risk of foreclosure and their cars might be repossessed. Another words, food insecure families are all different. The only thing they have in common is finding a way to feed their families.

FATB

Did you know that 1 in 5 children are at risk facing hunger? Think about 5 of your children’s classmates. It’s possible one of them comes from a food insecure home.

My kids are teenagers and they know how serious this issue is. They know kids at school who participate in the free meal program at school. They know all too well that it might be the only meal their classmates have that day. I can’t imagine what these kids go through when school is not in session, like spring break. Does that mean those students are going to go to bed hungry most nights of their spring break – a time when they should be having fun and enjoying the time off from school.

Since my kids were off for spring break, and looking for something constructive to do, I thought I would take the to our local grocery store with a $50 gift card to see how much food they can get that we could donate to our local food bank. I challenged them to maximize as much food as they could get for the $50 by checking out what items were on sale. I also encouraged them to look for healthier for you options.

I must say that my kids did a really good job. They found pasta on sale for .88 each and cereal on sale for $1.99 a box, among other things. They also picked up oatmeal, soup and other great food options, including snack items like crackers and Goldfish.

I tried to get a photo of my kids, but being teenagers, they were not too keen on posing.

Shopping Cart 1

Shopping Cart 2

The loaf of bread in the photo was ours. I was craving PB&J and we ran out of soft, fluffy bread. :-)

We left the grocery store with several bags.

I think this was a great lesson for my kids. Not only did they shop for others in mind, they also looked for good food options and learned a lesson in how to get the most for your money by checking out sales and opting for store brands instead of name brands in some cases.

Bags 1

Bags 2

We took the food right over to our local food bank after we were done shopping and met one of the employees there. We also brought over some ice cream that I had received to review (long story, mix up with shipping – I was sent A LOT of ice cream) which they were happy to accept because ice cream is not something they normally get donated and the people their food bank serves would appreciate the dessert, especially for the holiday.

I didn’t take photos inside the food bank. I felt uncomfortable asking to do that. My kids did get the opportunity to see inside and see how the shelves looked.

We are planning on returning soon with clothing. The food bank we took the food to also gives those in need clothing and toys for the kids (depending on donations). My kids need to spring clean their dresser drawers so we’re hoping to go back with clothing donations as well as more food.

There are plenty of ways you and your family can get involved to make a difference in YOUR community. Please visit ChildHungerEndsHere.com for more information as well as great project ideas.

ConAgra Foods and the ConAgra Foods Foundation are doing what they can to support the 16 million children in the United States who are not getting enough to eat.

ConAgra and the ConAgra Foods Foundation has been committed to fighting hunger for over 20 years by donating food, creating valuable partnerships and working together to find solutions to this growing problem.

If you would like to learn more about ways ConAgra Foods is helping to fight child hunger please visit this website.

ConAgra Foods has partnered with Soul Pancake to hear what children thought about hunger and way in which people might be able to help. You can see what these children have to say on the Child Hunger Ends Here website.

One of the easiest ways YOU can help is simply by buying specially marked packages of ConAgra foods and entering in the special 8 digit code on the ChildHungerEndsHere.com website. From March – August 2015, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America, up to 3 million meals. Look for the pushpin logo on specially marked packages (as seen below).

How do you and your family help to fight hunger in your community? Are you involved in any special projects?

In what ways can you and your family help fight hunger? What ideas do you have in mind? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.

You can also share your ideas on social media using the hashtag #FightHungerTogether.

ChildHungerEndsHerePushpin-250x3001

Kimberly

*I have partnered with ConAgra Foods and The Motherhood to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. I also received a gift card that was used to purchase the donated food. 

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Please help Make-a-Wish “Give Wishes Wings”

 

Give Wishes Wings

Are you familiar with the Make-a-Wish Foundation? If not, the Make-a-Wish Foundation is a wonderful organization that helps to grant wishes to children with life threatening illnesses.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation recently launched a new campaign to help make even more wishes come true for sick children. The new campaign is called “Give Wishes Wings.”

Give Wishes Wings is hoping that people will donate their airline miles to help make wishes come true. Some wishes children make require air travel. As you know, air travel can be very expensive. By donating your miles it can help off set the cost for making wishes come true which means even more wishes can be fulfilled.

Last year Make-a-Wish granted 14,000 wishes. Almost 3 out of 4 wishes require airline tickets, that is why it is so important to help find ways to cover the cost of airfare for the children and their families.

I think this is a wonderful idea. My family and I don’t travel much and the last time we went on a plane was 12+ years ago. We don’t have any bonus miles or I would gladly donate them to this great campaign.

Please take a moment to view this video to learn more about Give Wishes Wings.

 

Many airlines offer frequent flyer bonus airline miles that can be redeamed for tickets including Delta, United, American Airlines and JetBlue.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation would love for you to not only consider donating your miles points, but also create a video and post is on social media to encourage you friends, family, coworkers and social media followers to do the same. The official hashtag is #GiveWishesWings.

If you would like to learn more about this campaign, or to learn how to donate your miles points (or even make a cash donation) please visit GiveWishesWings.org. On the site you can see videos submitted by others for inspritation.

To learn more about the Make-a-Wish Foundation or to see how you can help make wishes come true in other ways please visit MakeaWish.org.

If you don’t have bonus miles points I hope you will consider sharing this information with people you know who have them. Thank you!

Make a Wish Logo

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of the campaign.

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Happy Anniversary Fancy Nancy, Disney Junior’s new animated series

 

Fancy Nancy Anniversary Book

Are you familiar with the New York Times best selling book series, Fancy Nancy? I have heard of Fancy Nancy before but I have to admit that until now I have never read any of the books. My kids are teenagers and the book series came out after they grew up. In fact, Fancy Nancy is celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary this year. Happy Anniversary Fancy Nancy!

To celebrate this wonderful milestone, HarperCollins is releasing several delightful Fancy Nancy books including easy readers and activity books. They even published a beautiful anniversary book that comes with a hardcover and dust jacket accented with just the right amount of sparkle.

There are A LOT of fun Fancy Nancy books to choose from.

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HarperCollins was kind enough to send me a few books which I brought to the classroom where I work. I am keeping some of the books as classroom editions. A couple of the books I plan to give to some of the children who come to us. My co-worker was so impressed by the beautiful anniversary book that she asked me if she could give it to her neighbor’s daughter who LOVES Fancy Nancy. Of course I said “yes.”

I love the anniversary book but I think my favorite has to be the Fancy Nancy’s Perfectly Pink  Playtime Purse. The book features a handle, like a purse, so that little girls can carry it around. Inside the book is filled with a lot of fun activity pages that are sure to keep you little Fancy Nancy fan occupied and entertained for hours.

Fancy Nancy Purse

If you would like to check out these or other Fancy Nancy titles please visit the official Fancy Nancy website, www.FancyNancyWorld.com.

In addition to information about Fancy Nancy books you can also find free printables, party tips, games and more. Fancy Nancy can also be found on the various social media outlets. All the social media links are found on the bottom right of the Fancy Nancy website.

As if all the delightful new Fancy Nancy books weren’t great enough – the brand also announced that they have teamed up with Disney Junior to develop and animated movie and series for Fancy Nancy.

Fancy Nancy, the New York Times bestselling book series by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, has been optioned by Disney Junior for development of an original animated TV movie and series, as well as for related role-play items and other consumer products licensed by Disney Consumer Products.  In addition, HarperCollins and Disney Publishing will collaborate on book editions based on the television series.

The stories, geared towards kids age 2-7, have an underlying theme of self-expression and love of family as they follow the adventures of a girl who likes to be fancy in everything from her creative, elaborate attire to her advanced vocabulary.

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O’Connor said, “This is definitely one of those ‘pinch me’ moments. When Robin and I met Nancy Kanter and her team, we knew instantly that Disney Junior was the plus-perfect home for Fancy Nancy.

Preiss Glasser said, “After the thrill of seeing my two-dimensional drawings of Nancy and her ‘world’ come alive in spin-off musicals and ballets, the opportunity to see her animated by Disney is a dream I never would have dared to dream!”

Now in its 10th year, “Fancy Nancy” includes over 60 titles, has sold more than 28 million books and has been translated into 20 languages.  Beloved by young children around the world, Fancy Nancy was named 2008’s Book Character of the Year by Global License.  The series has received two Toy Industry Association’s Toy of the Year Award nominations, two LIMA International Licensing Excellence Award nominations and was named the Best Character Brand Program of the Year in 2009.

Even though I didn’t know much about Fancy Nancy until now I am looking forward to checking out her series when it airs on Disney Junior. I bet it will be adorable. I have a feeling that there will be a whole new generation of fans in the near future.

If you would like to learn more about HarperCollins Children’s books please visit  www.HarperCollinsChildrens.com.

Disney Junior’s website is DisneyJunior.com.

Are you familiar with Fancy Nancy? Does your child have a favorite Fancy Nancy book? What do you think about the new series? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Books

Kimberly

*I received free books samples. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.  

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The Rootlets – a new kind of super heroes

 

TheRootletsSuperRootabilitiesBookCover

Does your child love vegetables? What about a variety of vegetables?

I’ve always loved vegetables, even as a little girl. I have heard stories from other parents how difficult it can be to get children to eat their vegetables. As a veggie love I couldn’t imagine it being difficult.

When my kids were little I introduced them to a variety of vegetables as soon as I got the “OK” from the pediatrician. Even at a young age my kids were enjoying spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Now that they are teenagers they still enjoy a nice variety of vegetables. In fact my kids prefer raw veggies over cooked (I mostly steam) veggies.

I consider myself lucky that my kids love veggies. I know other parents who are still struggling to get their kids to eat their vegetables, or try new vegetables. Some kids tend to stick to carrots, peas and string beans when there are so many delicious vegetables out there to enjoy.

There is a new book that was just released that aims to show young children just how “cool” vegetables can be. The book is called The Rootlets: Super Rootabilities. It was released last month in honor of March being National Nutrition Month.

The Rootlets: Super Rootabilities was created and written by Vicki Marquez and illustrated by Jeremy Russnak.

The Rootlets are a new generation of superheroes – Brocc, Carrotina, Cornelius and Kaley . They live on Planet Planted and live in a town called VeggieVille. They have a cute dog named Basil and a guardian named Yammy Grammy. Yammy Grammy plucked the superheroes from the ground when they were just little sprouts.

When the Rootlets learn that they might have super abilities – or “rootabilities” – they set out on a wild adventure to find out the truth about themselves.

This is a super cute book aimed towards children ages 4-9. Younger children can enjoy the book with the help of a parent or grandparent to read it to them. The lessons learned in the book about health, friendship and using your imagination is something older kids can appreciate and understand too.

Basil Rootlets

 

I love the illustrations in the book. Not only are they adorable they are also very colorful. The colors really pop off the pages.

This is a very creative book. The author came up with some fun names for the characters, such as Mr. Fungi (“Fun Guy”) and put a lot of great detail into the story (I like National Plantographic magazine – too funny!).

My kids are too old for this books demographics. I took the book to our classroom but I haven’t had the opportunity to read it to any children as of yet so I cannot provide any feedback on how children enjoy it. After reading it myself I can’t see how a child would not enjoy this fun and colorful adventure.

As a parent I love the messaging behind the story and I appreciate having super heroes that might encourage children to want to try out and enjoy more vegetables.

“The Rootlets are so much more than adorable little superheroes, they’re positive role models with the power to help kids embrace and love veggies,” says Marquez, the book’s author. “It’s my dream that families use The Rootlets as an entertaining resource to get their little ones excited about healthy living and yummy plant-based foods in a refreshingly fun way.”

The book is just the first product launched by the Rootlets brand. Their mission is to introduce children to a whole of fruits and vegetables, as well as the importance of healthy eating. More books are in the works as well as games, toys and even an animated television series. I can see these characters on TV. I think they would have great appeal for children.

In addition The Rootlets are going to be launching a website which will be a fun, interactive experience for children with games and activities as well as learning resources and exclusive content for parents.

“Veggies rock and The Rootlets take veggie coolness to a whole new level – especially for the kiddos. My daughter is a huge fan. Great book, great brand, great message. I can’t wait to see what’s next for these rad little characters,”  says Chad Sarno, Plant-Based Chef Educator.

The book is available for purchase (I have seen it on Amazon) for a suggested retail price of $12.99. The book is 40 pages in length. That might not sound like much but it’s jam packed with a lot of fun and adventure.

If you would like to learn more about The Rootlets brand please visit www.TheRootlets.com. They can also be found on social media.

What do you think about The Rootlets? Do you think it’s a fun way to introduce healthy eating to children?

Rootlets

Kimberly

*I received a free book sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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