\"Quantcast\"/

National Geographic Kids Books new book series – So Cool! So Cute! (giveaway ends 10/12/19)

 

I’ve always been an avid reader. Sadly, I have been too busy over the years to read as much as I’d like to. I have a nice collection of books I’ve been meaning to get to. Someday…

As a child, I would read all kinds of books. I especially loved books that were educational. Yes… it’s true. I would read educational books. I would grab an encyclopedia (remember those?) and literally read through it from beginning to end. How nerdy was that? It’s true. I think that is why I am so good at answering questions on Jeopardy. I love it when “I” know the answer and the smart people on the show don’t.

I loved reading books about animals, ancient Egypt (I loved to learn about mummies), and other far away places.

If your child/grandchild love animals, and they love to read up about the various species, you should check out a new book series from National Geographic Kids Books called So Cool! So Cute!

So Cool! So Cute! books are filled with fun facts about the specific species. Each page features beautiful, colorful, photography of the species to help bring it all alive.

The first two books in the series are So Cool! Sharks and So Cute! Pandas. I was sent both books to review, along with adorable plush animals.

These books are geared towards kids 3-7 year olds (preschool to second grade). I’m an adult and I think these books are great. I even learned a thing or two that I didn’t know about sharks and pandas.

So Cool! Sharks

Sharks are among the world’s top predators, but that’s just ONE reason why they are SO COOL. So who wouldn’t want to hang out with them to learn more! These books blend awesome animal photos with silly quips and info that will delight young readers and animal enthusiasts. For example, kids can catch the hunting habits of a great white shark while learning that its true nature is as chill as a frozen fish stick. This is the perfect little reader to get their brain buzzing and keep them laughing during downtime, bedtime, or anytime.

I have always found sharks to be fascinating creatures. One of the things on my “Bucket List” is to cage dive off the Australian coast and see a Great White shark up close. I know, I know… sounds crazy. But I am really interested in doing something like that. I know it will never happen (we don’t have that kind of money), but it’s fun to dream about it at least.

I know a lot of people are into sharks. That is why “Shark Week” has become so popular over the years. Admittedly I watch some of the programs that come on that week. That’s because I find sharks so cool, just like the books.

This book is a great starter book for young children to learn about these fascinating creatures. You can read it to them, or they could read it themselves. These are easy readers.

The other book in the series has to do with Pandas. Who doesn’t love Pandas? They are SO CUTE! I especially love how they act. They are very silly. I love how they roll around.

I first fell in love with pandas when I saw the famous Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., when I was a young girl. It was back in the late 70’s or early 80’s if I recall correctly. Sadly, those Pandas died many years ago.

I also received the So Cute! Pandas book as well as an adorable plush panda.

So Cute! Pandas

Get ready for cute overload, panda style. And the funny thing is, this panda isn’t just cute. It’s got attitude! You’ll flip over the adorable photos and be equally charmed by what this sassy little panda is thinking on every page. Introducing the brand-new series from National Geographic Kids that combines two wonderful things: super cute photos of all your favorite fluffy animals and silly text that will have the whole family laughing. Add to that some great nonfiction content that gets kids learning, and, what can we say? This series is just so cute!

Admittedly, I didn’t know as much about pandas as I did sharks. That is because there is no such thing as “Panda Week” on television. There should be. Pandas are fascinating creatures too.

Both of these books would make a great addition to any family library.

If you are interested in learning more about these and other National Geographic Kids Books, visit the National Geographic store (linked here).

I have both books and the plush animals to give to a lucky reader.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 12, 2019. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

To enter, please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this giveaway?

For extra entries, please refer to the giveaway widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. The sponsor will be providing the prize package. 

Health First: What to Do to Keep Your Kids Physically and Mentally Healthy

 

Having kids is a big deal. You’re nurturing and raising tiny humans. That means that their health is your top priority. But where to start? It seems there are so many things to keep track of when you’re raising a child. It can be tricky to handle everything at once.

This guide is far from everything that comes with raising kids, but it’s a pretty good start. This will take you through the professionals that you need to book appointments with for your child. Medicine and health are something for which you are responsible, so choose wisely before you see someone.

1. Getting the Right General Practitioner Is Key

Having a family doctor to go to will save you a lot of heartache once your child falls ill. That’s right, when not if. There’s no way to stop your child from getting sick. But that doesn’t mean that you need to let them suffer. You can take them to a doctor that you trust.

This is not only for when they’re ill. It’s also good to have a professional regular contact. This way, you can get updates on your child and their development.

2. The Right Dentist Is Essential

Healthy teeth are essential for development and growth. Taking your children to a good dentist doesn’t have to be stressful. You just need to focus on finding a dentist who treats families and takes care of them well. If you’re interested, there are plenty of great offices where you can make an appointment today.

As a side note, getting a good orthodontist for your children will really help in the long run. Having braces seems almost like a rite of passage for kids these days. Orthodontics offer real benefits of straightening jaws, aligning teeth, and saving thousands on dentist bills later in life.

3. A Nutritionist Couldn’t Hurt

Diet is the most important part of keeping your children healthy. It doesn’t matter how often they go to the doctor or how many vitamins they take—if they don’t eat right, they won’t be healthy. A nutritionist seems like a waste for your kid, right? But there are real benefits to getting them started early with a nutritionist.

If your kid is active in sports, a nutritionist could help them balance caloric intake and outtake. A nutritionist could also help them maintain a good body image and a healthy relationship with food.

4. It’s Never Too Early to Go to Therapy

Therapy helps more than it hurts. There is still a bit of a stigma around it, but there is nothing wrong with going to see a therapist. Your kid has things with which they are struggling. It’s all a part of growing up. As much as you’re there for them, there are some things that they won’t talk to you about. That’s where a therapist comes in handy.

A therapist acts as a professional third party who has your kid’s best interests at heart. Plus, if anything super terrible is going on, the therapist will let you know. No news from them is good news for you.

Putting Your Kids First Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Getting medical practitioners lined up for your child seems like a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. As long as you’re inside the network of your insurance, you’ll find plenty of viable options. Searching for the perfect person might take a little while since it’s about the comfort of your child. But as long as you listen to your child and make the decision your gut is telling you is right, you cannot go wrong.

What You Should Know About Teenage Drug Abuse

 

As parents, we want to protect our children from the dangers of the world like drugs, alcohol, and other harmful influences. Unfortunately, we cannot control who our kids spend time with or what they choose to do in their free time. What we can do is keep an eye out for signs of teen drug abuse.

If you suspect your teenager is using drugs, it’s important to seek help before this gets out of hand. If you’re certain your teen is facing addiction, sites like https://clearrecoverycenter.com/ can give you information about how you can help them recover. However, first you’ll want to familiarize yourself with how to approach your teenager about drug use, and what signs to look for.

How To Tell If Your Child is Using Drugs

Changes in behavior are the most obvious signals that your son or daughter is using drugs or has fallen victim to drug addiction. This can include:

  • A sudden drop in grades
  • Laughing or crying randomly
  • A loss of interest in activities they once found enjoyable

They may also begin to:

  • Practice poor hygiene
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Have a sudden increase of appetite

Be sure to consider physical changes as well, such as bloodshot eyes or clothing that smells like smoke. If your loved one is not being themselves or acting strange without cause, it is possible they are using drugs.

What To Do If Your Teen Admits To Using Drugs

Having a conversation with your child about drugs is never easy, especially if you suspect they’re addicted. If they come clean about drug use, its important not to overreact or scold them, especially since it was most likely very difficult for them to confess in the first place.

If your teen admits to drug abuse, begin by letting them know that you care about them and their future. If your child feels supported, they will be more willing to stop use and seek the help they need. Find out if this has been a one-time thing or if they use substances frequently. Take appropriate measures depending on their response.

What To Do If Your Teen Denies Drug Use

 

Ideally, your teen will admit to drug use and agree to seek help, however this isn’t always the case.

Naturally, your child may be inclined to deny your suspicions, reassuring you they are okay. Let them know that you are worried and want to help them. If you’re certain they’re under the influence of drugs, have them take a home drug test. You also have the option of taking them to an addiction specialist to diagnose them. If they are unwilling to take a test, chances are they’re using illicit substances.

However, they might refuse to cooperate.

In this case, you can always make progress by educating yourself on different substances. This way, you’ll be able to know for certain what substance your loved one is addicted to. It will be harder for your child to deny your claims if you can pinpoint accurately what side effects they’re experiencing.

You also want to monitor what they’re doing on a daily basis. Make sure they are not skipping school and keep an eye on them whenever possible. Let them know that their activity is not left unmonitored.

If they refuse to accept your help, we suggest you speak with a professional.

Conclusion

There are many reasons your child will experiment with drugs.

They could be:

  • Curious
  • Pressured by friends
  • Stressed out
  • Desire to escape from reality

It’s important to understand these reasons if you want to help a loved one. Remember, they’re not trying to intentionally harm themselves. But regardless, they need help.

If the signs and symptoms listed above sound like your teenager, take the appropriate measures to help them reach sobriety.

Great books for young readers

 

Summer is over. School is back in session. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday families were celebrating graduations and prom. Now it’s a brand new school year. It’s back to reading, writing and arithmetic.

Is your child (or grandchild) a reader? Some kids LOVE to read. Other children, like my son, are considered “reluctant readers.” It’s not that they can’t read, or don’t want to read. It’s just that often titles presented to them to read of are no interest to them.

Our daughter would willingly read just about any book she had to for school. She also read A LOT just for the fun of it. Even now at 22 years old, she still reads books. Although I wish she’d utilize the library more and not buy brand new books. We have no room for them (she’s amassed quite a collection).

Our son has never been a fan of reading. When he was younger he was interested in Biscuit and Max and Ruby, so I picked up A LOT of books about them for him to read – which he would. There were other titles/book series he showed interest in, so I would borrow them from the library (or purchase them) just so he’d have something to read.

If you have a child that loves to read, or perhaps you are looking for titles to interest a child that may not be a big fan of reading, check out these great books from Silver Dolphin Books and Canterbury Classic Books.

The Big Book Adventure

Journey back through childhood classics like Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and more in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading!

There is nothing like a book to take you to places you’ve never been. Best friends Foxy and Piggy can’t wait to tell each other about all of their adventures in reading! Flying over Neverland, swimming with a mermaid, joining in a mad tea party, soaring on a magic carpet—old classics come to life in the eyes of two little readers who can’t believe what they’ve seen. Journey back to old favorites and experience the magic all over again in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading.

This is a super adorable book that is fun to read. It’s geared toward children in 1st – 3rd grade (6-8 years old). However, younger and older children can enjoy this magical story too.

The book is written by Emily Ford and illustrated by Tim Warnes.

The illustrations are charming. I adore the main characters in this story (Foxy and Piggy). They are absolutely adorable.

This is an easy reader, filled with creative and fun rhymes.

What I love about this book is that it “samples” various other well-known stories, as the friends travel through them on their many adventures. I think this is a fabulous way to encourage children to want to read these classic stories after they finish this book. I think this book is a great pre-cursor to enjoying those books as well. As a parent, anything that can stimulate a child and encourage them to read is wonderful in my book (no pun intended. OK… maybe a little).

If your child is interested in these classic titles (and more), then you should check out Canterbury Classic’s  illustrated classic series. This book series includes the titles;

I was sent a few of these titles to review. I was sent Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Peter Pan. These are some of my most favorite classic stories. In fact, I have a HUGE framed poster of the entire Peter Pan story, made to look like Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. From a distance it looks like their likeness, but when you get up close you can see that it’s made out of the words from the entire story, from beginning to end.

PHOTO SOURCE: Spineless Classics

My framed artwork, leaning against the fridge. It now hangs in our dining room.

Needless to say I was excited to receive a copy of Peter Pan, as well as the other titles, to review from Canterbury Classics.

These are high quality, collectible, heirloom quality books that can be passed on from generation to generation. They are exceptionally well made, including detailed foil stamping and a full-color illustration on the covers (they feel really nice to the touch) and colored ends to the pages. The books are colorful too, so they stand out nicely in your home library or bookcase.

These books are written for ages 10+ (they are the original, unabridged stories).

Each book features gorgeous, colorful illustrations by acclaimed illustrators that really add to the story (I’m a big fan of books with images/photos in them).

I have saved books from my youth for my children to enjoy. I also saved some of their favorite books for their children (my grandchildren) to enjoy some day. I am saving these books to pass down to my grandchildren too. They are beautiful and you cannot beat the classics.

I’ve read Peter Pan already (I am very familiar with the story, of course, and have read it a few times in the past). I am currently working on the Brother’s Grimm book. I’ve already enjoyed their interesting tales.

It’s funny that I received a Hans Christian Anderson book to review. Recently I found a very old (antique) copy of his stories at an old bookstore. That book is old and delicate, so I won’t open it that often. I appreciate the copy I received from Canterbury Classics to review. I feel better opening and reading that book.

If you are interested in learning more about these books (or where to purchase them), you can click on the links from above. You can also find Silver Dolphin on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Look for Canterbury Classic books on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

What do you think about these titles? Do you think your child or grandchild would be interested in them?

Which title most interests you, or you think would most interest your child/grandchild?

Kimberly

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

Fun new Halloween books from Simon & Schuster

 

I know that summer just ended (technically it ends on September 23, 2019), but it’s never too early to start planning for Halloween. I don’t know about where you live, but here they’ve had Halloween things in the stores since the beginning of August.

I bought some Halloween decorations from AC Moore (craft store) around the first of August. I haven’t put them out yet. We plan on decorating for Halloween towards the end of September.

If your child/grandchild wants to get into the Halloween mood, there are plenty of fun books for all ages available from the publishing company, Simon & Schuster. They have plenty of new Halloween books for all ages, that are worth checking out.  I received a few of these books to review. I’ll comment about each one I reviewed below.

I also linked directly to the book on Simon & Shuster’s website so that you can learn more about it and where to purchase the book. Many of these books are found locally in bookstores, online book retailers and of course, Simon & Schuster.

CLACK, CLACK, BOO!

By Doreen Cronin

Illustrated by Betsy Lewin

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534450127 | All Ages

New York Times bestselling duo Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin’s beloved Halloween story is now available as a Classic Board Book!

HALLOWEEN KITTY

By Salina Yoon

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534443426 | All Ages

A cute kitten with a very twitchy tail is looking for a friend to trick-or-treat with in this purr-fect Halloween novelty book from award-winning creator Salina Yoon.

This book is super adorable! Throughout the story, you or your child can pull on the side tab to make the kitten’s tail wag back and forth.

I wish the book had “googly eyes” ‘instead of printed on eyes. I think that would have made the book even cuter.

The story is sweet, and the book is short enough to keep a young one’s attention.

The illustrations are adorable, and the images are bright and colorful.

This is such an adorable book.

I’M FEELING OUTRAGEOUS ORANGE

By Tina Gallo

Illustrated by Mette Engell

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440197 | Ages 2-5

Kids are sure to laugh out loud at this pumpkin-shaped board book celebrating Halloween.

PJ MASKS SAVE HALLOWEEN!

By May Nakamura

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440586 | Ages 3-7

The PJ Masks have to protect all the kids from Luna Girl, Night Ninja, and the Wolfy Kids who team up to steal everyone’s treat bags. It’s up to the PJ Masks to save the day—and Halloween! 

 Cast a spell on your curious child! Our Halloween picture books are both clever and cute:

CLEVER LITTLE WITCH

By Muon Thi Van

Illustrated by Hyewon Yum

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781481481717 | Ages 4-6

Little Linh is the cleverest little witch on Mãi Mãi island. She has everything she could need: a trusty broomstick, a powerful spell book, and a magical pet mouse. She also has a new brother named Baby Phu, and she does not like him one bit. He crashes her broomstick, eats pages out of her spell book, and keeps her up all night. Little Linh tried giving Baby Phu away, but nobody will take him. So, she’ll just have to try something else…

THE MOST TERRIBLE OF ALL

By Muon Thi Van

Illustrated by Matt Myers

4/23/19 | ISBN 9781534417168 | Ages 4-8

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the most terrible one of all? Every morning, Smugg’s magic mirror tells him that he’s the most terrible monster there is. Until one day, when the mirror tells him there’s an even worse monster, right next door!

SKULLS

By Blair Thornburgh

Illustrated by Scott Campbell

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534414006 | Ages 4-8

Debut picture book author Blair Thornburgh and award-winning illustrator Scott Campbell put their heads together to celebrate one of the most important bones in your body: the skull! This smart, skull-positive story cheerfully dispels any fears kids might have about their skeletons, flipping our view of skulls from a spooky symbol to a fascinating, cool, and crucial.

 

SPENCER’S NEW PET

By Jessie Sima

8/27/19 | ISBN 9781534418776 | Ages 4-8

When Spencer gets a new pet, he’s excited to do all the things that pets do—taking walks in the park, going to the vet, and attending parties together. There’s just one hitch: Spencer’s new pet is a balloon. And that means No. Sharp. Objects. 

For Ages 5-7, a spooky sleepover Ready-to-Read:

CREEPIEST SLEEPOVER EVER

By Ximena Hastings

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440647 | Ages 5-7

Mavis is thrilled to be reunited with her friends Sophie and Charlotte, twin werewolves from her Ghoul Scout troop. But when Aunt Lydia smells humans on the premises, she orders a lockdown of the castle and a search of the entire hotel. Mavis’s sleepover goes awry in this hilarious Level 2 Ready-to-Read based on an episode of the hit Disney Channel show Hotel Transylvania: The Series. 

Calling all monster lovers! Junior Monster Scouts is a new series for ages 7-10 for fans of Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol and Hotel Transylvania!

THE MONSTER SQUAD

9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534436770 | Ages 7-10

By Joe McGee

Illustrated by Ethan Long

Wolfy, Franky, and Vampyra—the children of the classic monsters—are Junior Monster Scouts. And even though ‘monster’ is their middle name, these funny fiends just want to help anybody in need, earn their Junior Monster Scout merit badges, and make friends. But, their good deeds are always foiled by Baron Von Grump, a cranky schemer who doesn’t like noise, doesn’t like kids, and most of all doesn’t like the Junior Monster Scouts.

CRASH! BANG! BOO!

9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534436800 | Ages 7-10

By Joe McGee

Illustrated by Ethan Long

It’s The Village’s 150th birthday celebration! And that means bright lights, popcorn machines, a marching band, and a musical merry-go-round. But not if Baron Von Grump can help it! 

I received both of these books to review. They are a fun read. I hope that the author, Joe McGee, plans on writing more books about these lovable characters.

These books are easy to read, and feature black and white illustrations sprinkled throughout the pages. I personally prefer reading books with interior pictures (I’ve always been that way). I find that illustrations keep my attention and add to the visualizations I have in my head about the content I am reading.

There is a third book coming out in April of 2020. I wouldn’t mind reading that book either.

I could see myself reading these books back in the day when I was in the 7-10 range (maybe even younger or older). I love monsters and scary things, so these books would have been perfect for me.

No worries, these books are NOT scary. They are just super fun books that really grab your attention (which is why I’d love to read the 3rd book in the series.

Check out these Halloween-themed tales from our other favorite chapter books series:

CAMPIRE STORIES

By Andres Miedoso

Illustrated by Victor Rivas

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534433519 | Ages 5-9

Camping with Desmond Cole is a lot of fun, until he starts telling ghost stories around the campfire. Most kids tell creepy stories that are totally fake, but Desmond tells totally true stories that will give you goosebumps.

This is another fun Halloween book.

Recently, the film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark came out. That movie was not suitable for young views (in my opinion). This book would be a great alternative. It’s not scary at all.

I think most people share stories around a campfire (I used to when I went camping with my cousins). I could see someone reading this out loud to little ones around a campfire (or fire pit).

This book features different stories (each one is only a few pages long). Some are a bit more “spookier” than others, but nothing scary (in my opinion).

THE GREAT PUMPKIN SMASH

By Franklin W. Dixon

Illustrated by Santy Gutierrez

9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534431249 | Ages 6-9

Detective brothers Frank and Joe investigate a crime of smashin’ in the tenth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series. Can Frank and Joe find out what happened before it’s too late? Or is this pumpkin crime unpatchable?

NO TRICK-OR-TREATING!

By P.J. Night

8/27/19 | ISBN 9781534445635 | Ages 8-12

Ashley is shocked to find out that her new friends in Heaton Corners are forbidden to go trick-or-treating, so she convinces them to sleep over at her house and go trick-or-treating anyway. But she soon discovers that Halloween in Heaton Corners isn’t like Halloween anywhere else. Halloween is more than haunted in this superspecial You’re Invited to a Creepover book, featuring a glow-in-the-dark cover.

THE MARSHMALLOW GHOST

By Natalie Shaw

9/17/19 | ISBN 9781481494878 | Ages 5-8

A sleepover at the Royal Castle has Mini, Taffy, Frosting, and even Gobo the little troll believing in marshmallow ghosts in this fourth super-sweet Aladdin QUIX story. Perfect for fans of Sofia the First. 

 

PUMPKIN GUTS VERSUS VAMPIRES

By Andres Miedoso

Illustrated by Victor Rivas

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440456 | Ages 6-9

On Halloween, a curious Mavis and her friends break with tradition and do something every monster has been warned not to do: they go trick-or-treating. How much trouble can they cause? Plenty apparently.

Discover the wacky world of Franken-Sci High, the only school in the world for aspiring mad scientists! A new series created with the Jim Henson Company, perfect for ages 8-12.

WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH NEWTON?

8/27/19 | ISBN 9781481491310 | Ages 8-12

By Mark Young

Illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum

It takes a lot to stand out at a school for mad scientists—but Newton Warp is unlike anyone (or anything) else at Franken-Sci High. Newton Warp is a mystery, even to himself: He wakes up one day in the library with no idea of who he is, how he got there, or where he came from. He’s eager to find out who his family is, but this is high school after all, and he soon has other problems.

MONSTERS AMONG US!

9/24/19 | ISBN 9781481491341 | Ages 8-12

By Mark Young

Illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum

In the second book in the Franken-Sci High series, Newton Warp’s friends notice he’s being followed around by a strange new professor, Dr. Flubitus, but have no idea why. Newton wonders if it has something to do with the barcode on his foot. He doesn’t have much time to dwell on it, though, because soon there are reports of a giant monster loose on campus!

Beware of these spooky middle-grade novels for ages 8-12, guaranteed to hook any young reader:

BUNNICULA: 40th Anniversary Edition

By James Howe

5/21/19 | ISBN 9781534435933 | Ages 8-12

Celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the fluffy and fearsome classic Bunnicula with this pocket-sized edition, perfect for accompanying readers on all their mischievous adventures. This special edition includes bonus content and a deluxe cover that looks and feels as eerily delightful as the story within!

Seriously? Is Bunnicula FORTY years old already? Sheesh… I feel old. Very old!

This book has a velvet-like cover, which kids are going to love to “pet” and stroke.

This is a classic story that I read many times over the past few decades. This book is so funny! It contains a plethora of crazy characters that you are sure to love.

I know this story is geared more towards younger children (8-12), I think older children and even us “big children” (adults) will enjoy reading this. I’ve read this book numerous times and I still find myself laughing at certain parts.

Cute! Cute! Cute! You really should read this book at least once in your life.

FESTIVAL OF GHOSTS

By Alexander William

Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

5/21/19 | ISBN 9781481469197 | Ages 8-12

Rosa Diaz saved the town of Ingot by unleashing all the ghosts who were previously banished. Now, like the rest of the world, Ingot is filled with spirits and poltergeists. But unlike the rest of the world, the town’s residents have no idea how to cope, and some of the ghosts are holding century-old grudges. National Book Award winner William Alexander conjures up a spooky adventure full of excitement in this entertaining sequel to A Properly Unhaunted Place.

This book is actually a series of sorts, There is another book that preceeds this book. I haven’t read that one, but I’d be interested in reading it because there were some parts in this book where I feel there is a backstory and I’d love to learn more about it.

This book, in a way, reminds me of Mean Girls in that Rosa (the main character) has to attend middle school after being at home for many years. She needs to find a way of navigating middle school, which i s a lot scarier than the ghosts she’s experienced. She’s also seeing as the “weird” kids at school, which honestly doesn’t bother her.

Even though the lead character is a girl, I think boys would enjoy this book just as much as girls would.

I enjoyed reading this book. I don’t think it’s necessarily scary. But there is a bit of a creepiness factor too it, which is cool.

 

THE GRIFFINS OF CASTLE CARY

3/5/19 | ISBN 9781534430884 | Ages 8-12

By Heather Shumaker

A charming, adventure-filled debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Penderwicks series. The Griffin siblings can’t wait to spend a week visiting their eccentric aunt in England. But when they finally arrive, they’re faced with a few local secrets that stir up more than a little trouble. Apparently this town has a ghost problem and the three children must race to solve the mystery before the ghosts take something that doesn’t belong to them. 

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl graphic novel for ages 8-12:

THE OKAY WITCH

9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534431461 | Ages 8-12

By Emma Steinkellner

Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! 

For readers 14 and up, a plague called “Wickedness” is pulses through the world in this dystopian YA:

HOW WE BECAME WICKED

By Alexander Yates

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781481419840 | Ages 14 and up

When an insect-borne plague begins to envelop the world, three sixteen-year-olds struggle to survive amongst the healthy “trues” and the infected “wickeds” in this gripping dystopian tale from the author of The Winter Place.

What book (or books) stood out to you the most? What book (or books) do you think your child/grandchild would love to have? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

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

Send them Back in Style: How to Find the Best Deals on Back to School Clothes

 

I don’t miss having to do back to school shopping that much with my kids. I do in some ways, but now that they are both in college, the only thing we really need to shop for is new glasses for the family.

Back to school clothes shopping can be expensive unless you find the right deals. Here are a few tips for saving money on the things on your list.

One of the many things no one ever tells you about parenthood is how expensive it is to send your kids to school.

Even if they go to a public school, they still need supplies and, of course, new clothes. In fact, on average, parents spend nearly $700 a year getting their kids ready to go back to school.

Does the idea of back to school clothes shopping make you want to hyperventilate? Don’t panic! It’s totally possible to get your kids fun and fashionable clothes for the new year without breaking the bank.

Listed below are some effective strategies that will help you make the shopping process much more affordable.

Start by Shopping at Home

Before you venture out to the mall with your kids in tow, have them go through their closets. This gives you an opportunity to take stock of what they already have and figure out which gaps you need to fill.

Maybe your daughter’s jeans from last year still fit perfectly and don’t look worn out. If this is the case, she might not need any new pairs. She might be lacking in the shirt or sweater department, though.

Going through her clothes before you shop will save you from coming home with six new pairs of jeans and no sweaters.

Plan a Clothing Swap

If you go through your kids’ closets and find that they have clothes that are still in good condition but don’t fit, consider arranging a clothing swap with your friends and their children.

This gives everyone an opportunity to pick out some new clothes without having to spend a bunch of money. It’s also a chance for you to spend some time with your friends during the busy back to school season.

Sell Their Old Clothes

If there’s anything left from the clothing swap (or if you don’t have anyone around with whom you can do a clothing swap), another good option is to sell clothes to consignment stores.

There are brick-and-mortar consignment stores, but there are also lots of online stores that allow you to list your clothes and ship them out yourself. This can be a lot easier than hauling everything to a store only to have the bulk of it rejected.

Buy Used

In addition to selling at consignment stores, you can also take advantage of them for your kids’ own shopping. Lots of consignment stores have high-quality, designer clothing for sale at great prices.

If your child wants to get their hands on some name brand items, consignment stores are a good option to consider. When you shop at consignment stores, you’re also preventing clothing from ending up in landfills, so it’s great for the planet as well.

Check Out Discount Retailers

You can also save quite a bit of money by shopping at discount retailers. Stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls all offer great deals on brand name clothing, shoes, and accessories. You can also find lots of unique items at these stores that will set your children apart from their classmates.

Shop on Tuesdays and Fridays

Did you know that you’re more likely to find deals on certain days of the week? Tuesdays and Fridays tend to be the best days to shop when you’re looking to save money.

Markdowns usually start to show up on Tuesday because foot traffic in stores is lower. This gives staff more time to go around and add new tags.

Fridays are also popular days for sales because they help to attract weekend shoppers. Consider hitting the store on these days to get the best deals and have your pick of the on-sale items.

Download Coupon Apps

Most clothing stores these days have an app that will provide you with additional coupons and savings options.

These apps will also often alert you when a big sale or promotion is coming up so you have an opportunity to take advantage of it before everyone else does.

Download the apps for your children’s favorite stores and be on the hunt for coupons and deals as back to school season gets closer.

Get Cash Back

Check with your credit card provider to see if they offer points or cashback when you shop at your child’s favorite clothing stores.

This can be a good way for you to get some of the money you spend back or be able to put it toward another purchase.

Just make sure you understand the parameters of your card’s cashback offering so you can take full advantage of it.

Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs

If your child’s favorite store has a loyalty program, it might be a good idea to sign up for it. Most of these programs are free to join, so you don’t have anything to lose.

These kinds of programs can give you access to more coupons and offers that aren’t available to regular shoppers. You might get access to exclusive deals and sales, too.

Set and Stick to a Budget

Back to school shopping is a great opportunity to teach your kids about budgeting, too. Sit down with them and give them a dollar amount that they have to stick to.

This will help them prioritize what kinds of clothing they want to purchase. For example, if they want a Bomboogie coat, they can have it, but that might not leave them very much extra for their other clothing needs.

Save on Back to School Clothes Shopping Today

The idea of back to school clothes shopping is daunting to a lot of parents, especially when you have multiple children who need new school clothes.

If you’ve been stressing over how you’re going to pay for new clothes for your kids, hopefully, these tips have shown you that it can be done (without sacrificing style or clothing quality).

Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your back to school shopping adventures.

Don’t forget to check out the giveaways section of the site, too. Here, you’ll find tons of opportunities to win back to school items and save even more money.