Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection – 20 Back to School Tales


Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection - 20 Back to School Tales

This time of the year most kids are either already done with school for the summer, or close to it. My kids are done with school until September. In fact my oldest gradates from high school this coming week. Sigh… time flies way too quickly.

The last thing on people’s minds is back to school time. Trust me, it’s the last thing on my mind too. I still have one in school and now one heading off to college soon.

Back to school time will be here before you know it. In just a few short weeks you’ll no doubt start seeing school supplies popping up on store shelves. In fact I’ve already seen summer items on clearance at some stores. Clearance? Really? Summer hasn’t even officially begun and already things are on clearance. Way to rush things.

If you have a child or grandchild who is heading off to school for the first time, or even returning to school to start Kindergarten or first grade, you might be interested in a new DVD collection from Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection called 20 Back to School Tales.

Get ready to learn your 123’s and ABC’s with this new colorful DVD collection featuring animated shorts of popular children’s books.

  • How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?
  • Splat the Cat
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • Sky Color
  • Crazy Hair Day
  • The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash
  • Monty, Emily’s First 100 Days of School
  • The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon
  • The Librarian from the Black Lagoon
  • Miss Nelson Has a Field Day
  • Miss Nelson Is Back
  • Will I Have a Friend
  • Open Wide: Tooth School Inside
  • Otto Runs for President
  • Owen
  • The Scrambled States of America Talent Show
  • Shrinking Violet
  • The Teacher from the Black Lagoon

There are 20 short animated episodes based on popular, classic books. Many of the books featured on this DVD are award winners including ALA Notable Award, Cine Golden Eagle, NAPPA Gold, and Parents’ Choice.

Splat the Cat

Splat the Cat

The DVD has a run time of approximately 3 hours and a suggested retail price of only $5.97 which is super inexpensive for such a fun and educational DVD your child or grandchild will love.

I was sent the DVD to review. It was fun for me to see some of my kid’s favorite books come to life. For example, the Black Lagoon books. My daughter loved them so much that we owned every book in that series. I even kept all the books so that she can some day read them to her children. It was great to see these stories I read to my kids over and over again come alive on the television screen.

I love Splat the Cat. He wasn’t around when my kids were little. None the less I have seen several Splat the Cat books and I love them. He was another character I was happy to see come alive on my television.

This is a great DVD that can be enjoyed year round and not just for back to school time. It’s fun and entertaining with educational materials too.

Look for Scholastic Storybook Treasures: The Classic Collection – 20 Back to School Tales  where ever DVDs are sold.

Scholastic logo


*I received a free screener copy 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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The Secret Life of Pets – a hysterical new movie coming to theaters Summer 2016


The Secret Life of Pets

Don’t you hate it when you see a trailer for a new movie and you are super excited to see it but it won’t be in theaters for many months – or even a couple of years? That happens to me often. Like the first time I heard about the new Star Wars movie. Thankfully that is now only months away.

I recently learned about a new movie from the people who bought us Despicable Me (my family loves that movie) called The Secret Life of Pets. Since I’m an animal lover, and I love Despicable Me, I had to check out the trailer.

Oh my! I laughed so far watching the trailer that I’ve watched it again and again. The Dachshund and the Poodle at the end crack me up.

Here is the trailer. Don’t be surprised if you watch it more than once. It’s cute and funny.


I love it!

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks.  Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

The film comes to theaters July 8, 2016. Oh! Why do we have to wait that long. I want to see this movie now.

If you would like to learn more about this adorable film visit the official website, TheSecretLifeofPets.com. You can also follow the film on social media (SecretLifeofPets on both Facebook and Instagram and @PetsMovie on Twitter).

What do you think about this film? Are you looking forward to seeing it?



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Marvel’s Ant-Man in theaters July 17, 2015



It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an… ant?

I know. Marvel fans will be quick to remind me that Superman is NOT a Marvel comic book hero (he’s from D.C. comics). I just used that line to make a fun introduction to the newest Marvel movie release, Ant-Man, which crawls into theaters on July 17, 2015.

I am not familiar to this action hero. I have never heard of Ant-Man before.

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, Tip “T.I.” Harris as Dave, Wood Harris as Gale, Judy Greer as Maggie, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, and Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym.

Peyton Reed directs Marvel’s Ant-Man with Kevin Feige producing and Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Edgar Wright and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. The story is by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and the screenplay is by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd. Marvel’s “Ant-Man” delivers a high-stakes, tension-filled adventure on July 17, 2015.

Check out the film’s trailer.


I’m used to seeing Paul Rudd in comic roles. I never saw him as a superhero, but I think he makes a great Ant-Man.

I’m excited to check the film out when it comes to theaters.

If you would like to learn more about the film visit it’s official website, Marvel.com/Antman.  You can also connect with the film on social media – Facebook and Twitter.



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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COOTIES – Coming to select theaters and VOD September 18, 2015



Coming to select theaters and Video on Demand (VOD) September 18, 2015 is the horror/comedy film COOTIES.

From the twisted minds of Leigh Whannell (co-creator of Saw and Insidious) and Ian Brennan (co-creator of “Glee”), COOTIES is a horror comedy with unexpected laughs and unapologetic thrills. When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killer zombies, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage. The film stars Elijah Wood (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings ), Rainn Wilson (“The Office”), and Alison Pill (“The Newsroom”) as teachers who fight to survive the mayhem while hilariously bickering in an uncomfortable love triangle on the worst Monday of their lives. COOTIES will be one of the debut releases of the newly-launched Lionsgate Premiere label, which will release the film on  September 18th in select theaters and on demand.

SpectreVision and Glacier Films present COOTIES, starring Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Nasim Pedrad, Ian Brennan and Jorgé Garcia. The film is directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion from a screenplay by Leigh Whannell and Ian Brennan. Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller and Elijah Wood produce along with Tove Christensen, Georgy Malkov and Steven Schneider. Ian Brennan, Leigh Whannell, Gevond Andreasyan, Sarik Andreasyan, Hayden Christensen, Seth William Meier and Vladmir Poliakov serve as Executive Producers.

I love horror movies. I love comedies. This film is a great mix of both genres.

Check out the film’s trailer.


It looks funny. I hope it’s playing at a theater near me so my husband and I can go and see it.

If you would like to learn more check out the film’s social media channels.


Official Facebook | Official Twitter

What do you think about COOTIES? Did you think you’ll check it out in the theater or on Video on Demand when it’s released?



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Tips for making road trips more fun (giveaway ends 6/30/15)


Road Trip

Did you take a lot of road trips when you were a child? I did. My family traveled a lot by car. I also used to spend my summers in Pennsylvania and my mom and aunt would meet half way every two weeks to take me and my cousin (two weeks in PA, two weeks in NY, another two weeks in PA and another two weeks in NY).

Driving in the car was not always fun. Often it was boring. It also seemed to take FOREVER. As an adult the same trips I made when I was a child don’t seem so bad. Why is that? That is weird.

As a mom I know how hard it can be to go on long car trips with kids. It’s not always fun – unless you make it fun.

Here are a few ideas worth considering.

Magnets! Magnets! Magnets!

Purchase an inexpensive METAL cookie sheet/pan and use it as a portable “work space” for kids.

You an purchase pre-made magnets from your local dollar store, craft supply store and even an educational supply store. Magnetic letters and numbers are always a great choice for little ones. You can also purchase dress up dolls, cars, animals and an abundance of other characters and shapes.

Make your own magnets out of your own photos. Simply print our you photos on cardstock and adhere a magnet to the back. If you could laminate them that would make them sturdier and last longer.

The cookie sheet and magnets can also be used to hold down coloring and activity pages.

Audio Books

It’s not always easy to read in a car. For some people (like myself), they get car sick/nauseous when trying to read in the car.

Instead of books why not get books on tape, or download books from places like Amazon or Audible.

Find a book that would appeal to young and old alike so mom and dad can enjoy it too.

Goodie Bags

Visit your local dollar store and pick up several small toys and games, even crafting products (chenille stems/pipe cleaners are always fun to play with). Put a few little toys/games in small bags along with a healthy snack and/or beverage. When your children start getting antsy and restless give them their surprise goodie bag. That should keep them entertained for a while.


Oldies, but Goodies

Don’t forget about the classic car ride activities to help pass the time.

One game I remember playing was trying to find as many different license plates as you can. Make note of the ones you see. See if you can find all of the states. Bonus points if you find one from some place like Alaska or Canada.

“I Spy” is always fun to play too. “I spy with my little eyes…

“Would you Rather” is another fun game. Each player takes turn asking a question (for example – “Would you rather win a billion dollars or live forever?“) then each person in the car takes turns answering the question.

The Alphabet Game. Try and find things along the road in alphabetical order (for example Animal, Bus, Car, Dog, Exit Ramp, Fallen Tree…).


A great stand by will always be to bring along your child’s favorite movie. We used to do that for our kids when they were little (although my daughter always seemed to watch what SHE wanted to watch).

We kept their favorite movies on hand at all times. We kept them separate from the other DVDs so that we knew where they were in a moment’s notice instead of having to go look for them. Of course this was back when people had portable DVD players. These days people just download and stream things on their tablets and smartphones.

If you are looking for some movie suggestions the recently released Paddington is a fun choice. It’s a super cute movie the whole family will enjoy.

While you are heading off on you adventure why not enjoy Paddington on his adventure to acclimate himself to the human world.

You can see my review here – Movie Review: Paddington. The movie is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD where ever movies are sold.

In addition, here it the trailer for your enjoyment.


It’s a cute movie – sure to entertain your family where ever you go this summer.

Paddington would also like to join YOU on your family adventures.

Paddington Prize

One lucky reader will win a Paddington prize package which includes;

  • Paddington Luggage Tag
  • Paddington Plush Bear/Toy
  • Paddington Blu-ray Combo Pack

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on June 30, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me how you entertain your family on long road trips?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Movie Review: The Duff



Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD is the high school comedy The DUFF.

The DUFF stars some of today’s hottest young stars – Mae Whitman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Robbie Amell (TV’s “The Flash”), Bella Thorne (Blended), Bianca Santos (Ouija), Skyler Samuels (upcoming TV’s “Scream Queens”) Romany Malco (Showtime’s “Weeds”), Nick Eversman (Wild). The movie also stars veteran actors Ken Jeong (TV’s “Community”) and Allison Janney (TV’s “Mom”).

The DUFF is the story of a high school senior, Bianca, and how her life gets turned upside down.

Bianca has two best friends – Jess and Casey. Jess and Casey are very popular in school. All the boys think they are “hot” and would do anything to be with either of them. When it comes to Bianca she’s next to invisible compared to her two best friends.


Bianca has a crush on a boy name Toby. She cannot even utter one word to him.

The most popular girl at school, Madison, invites Jess and Casey to her party. She tells Bianca that she ran out of invitations and she cannot attend without one. Casey remedies this by ripping her invitation in half and giving the other half to Bianca.

At Madison’s party Bianca meets up with her childhood friend and next door neighbor Wesley. Wesley is the captain of the football team, “Mr. Popular” and dating Madison (they constantly break up and get back together again).

During a conversation with Wesley, Bianca is told that she is the “DUFF” of her group. DUFF stands for “Designated Ugly Fat Friend.”

According to Wesley;

The DUFF need not actually be ugly or fat, he explains, it’s just the person in a social group who is less popular and more accessible than the others in the group. People exploit the DUFF to get to the popular people.

Bianca is devastated by this news and assumed that Jess and Casey used her as their DUFF. She ends up unfriending them both in person and on social media.

Bianca also learns that Wesley is failing his science class and if he doesn’t pass he can’t play football. That is when Bianca comes up with an idea – she’ll help Wesley pass his class if he can help turn her from a DUFF into a popular girl at school so that she can win the heart of Toby. Wesley agrees to take on the challenge of turning a DUFF into a popular girl.


Will Bianca succeed in getting Toby to like her? Will she end up being a popular girl – even more popular than Madison? And what about Jess and Casey? Is her friendship with them over for good? To find out you need to pick up a copy of The DUFF, available where most movies are sold.

The film also has bonus features.

  • “The DUFF Hits The Red Carpet” featurette
  • “Bringing the Book to Life” featurette
  • “Teen Comedies and The DUFF” featurette
  • “I Am the DUFF” featurette
  • The DUFF Files
  • Extended Gag Reel

I watched the bonus features. They are worth checking out although I was a bit disappointed in the Gag Reel. I didn’t really find it funny.

I was the DUFF in high school, so I can totally relate to this film to some degree. My best friends were pretty, smart, athletic and some what popular. Not me. I was the fat one. I was the DUFF.

Case in point… in 7th grade I had a huge crush on a boy. We were very good friends. I was grateful for our friendship but I couldn’t help but crush on him. I wanted so much more than to be just his friend.

I was devastated when I found out that he had a crush on my best friend – and she liked him too.

Me in high school

Me in high school

I ended up being the “go- between.” He would ask me stuff to find out about my best friend, and vice versa. He even ended up sitting next to her in class – which was next to me too. I hated seeing him make “googly eyes” at her when I was hoping and wishing it was ME. Sigh…

I’m still very good friends with my best friend. The boy… he sort of disappeared after high school.

I think many people can relate to this film, especially if YOU were the DUFF of  your friends (male or female).

The film can be a bit cliche and time and predictable. Aside from that I think it’s a fun movie.

The film is rated PG13.

I think Mae Whitman was the perfect casting choice for this film. It’s like the role was specifically created for her. She was great in this role and I hope to see a lot more of her in the future.

Robbie Amell is certainly nice “eye candy,” but he did pull of his role exceptionally well too.

I liked this film. I don’t think it’s necessarily geared towards high schoolers.

Look for The DUFF where ever movies are sold.



*I received a free screener copy 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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