Bedtime Book Review For Kids- “Chicks Run Wild”

Get it on Amazon @ http://www.amazon.com/Chicks-Run-Wild-Sudipta-Bardhan-Quallen/dp/1442406739

TITLE: “Chicks Run Wild”

By: Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen Illustrated By: Ward Jenkins

Copyright: SIMON & SCHUSTER 2011

Pages: 32 

ISBN: 1442406739

Excitement Level: Medium                                                                                                                                                           Age Range: 3-7                                                                                                                                                                           Timeless: Mostly

Pros:

  • The rhymes are fun. 
  • In Spanish and English.
  • Relates with both parents and children. 

Cons:

  • Might cause kids to get the wrong idea about bedtime.
  • Mama is more developed than the children (as far as a character). 

Bottom Line? I give it for stars for kids under 7.

More Bedtime Stories For Kids:

http://www.bedtime.com/

http://merissawrites.com/2015/01/14/just-try-to-put-the-toddler-to-bed/

http://www.amazon.com/Kindergarten-Mishaps-The-Magic-Teacher/dp/149281878X

RE: “17 Habits Of Very Happy Moms”

Today, I read an article on the Parent Magazine Blog entitled “17 Habits Of Very Happy Moms.” In the article author Marion Winik gives ways to stay happy and energetic as a mother, or father for that matter. Every piece of advice came directly from those high- energy, never- stop- smiling parents we all envy to some degree. After reading the entire article it seems to me that these 17 habits to being a parent with a smile can be summed up into just five main points.

1. Make time for family

Make time for your kids together and separately. Make time to be alone with your husband, or wife. And make time for activities the whole family will enjoy. This family has some really great ideas.

2. Make time for just you

Being a parent seems like it should be all about your kids one- hundred percent of the time, but even psychologists agree that you cannot be the best parent you can be if you are not first the best you you can be. So don’t feel guilty about taking a little “just me” vacation to the bath or somewhere. You need to care for your children’s parent if you are going to care for your children.

3. Spend time with friends

Being a good parent doesn’t mean you never spend time with just the grown- ups. So go to the movies as a couple or with all of your friends. You will need someone to remind you that it is not appropriate to burst out singing the backpack song from “Dora the Explorer” in public.

4. Be healthy

Fitball Group Fitness Class.JPG
Fitball Group Fitness Class” by http://www.localfitness.com.auOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Yeah, yeah, we have all heard it said that staying fit, keeping active and eating a healthy diet is “the key to happiness.” But it turns out that is exactly what some of the happiest parents around believe.

5. Have fun!

It has been said that being a parent is the hardest job you can have, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the WORST job to have. Relax. Pick your battles. Plan great adventures. Make the most imperfect piece of art you can. Search for bugs in the mud. Whatever you do, have fun with it. Soon your kids will be all grown up and you will be able to look back and be happy with all the fun you had.

But really, all of this can probably be summed up into one main idea, JUST STAY HEALTHY! Healthy socially, psycologically, emotionally and physically. A well balanced parent will make for a well- balanced home, life and family.

What did you think of the article on parents.com? Is there anything you would like to add? Please leave a comment below with your opinions. Are there any other advice tidbits you’d like to mention?

“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” A Movie You Can ACTUALLY Sit Through Every Day

Mr. Peabody and Sherman Movie Review“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” is the 2104 take on the classic cartoon from the 1960’s. Directed by Rob Minkoff, it stars Ty Burrrell as Mr. Peabody and Max Charles as Sherman.

Summary

When Mr. Peabody does not get adopted as a puppy, he devotes his whole life to filling his head with every kind of knowledge available to both man and dog, alike. He graduates from Harvard University, wins multiple awards, one being the Nobel Peace Prize and later winning a court case allowing him to adopt a baby boy named Sherman who was abandoned by his parents.

Mr. Peabody is inspired by Sherman to build a time machine called The Way Back and takes his son all throughout time, teaching him in the coolest way about world history. On Sherman’s first day of school a bully named Penny picks on him resulting in Mr. Peabody inviting the girl and her parents to dinner. When Penny finds The Way Back, Mr. Peabody an Sherman must rescue her from time and keep their machine from ripping a hole in the space- time continuum.

Merissa’s Overview

As a newcomer to anything having to do with the Mr. Peabody and Sherman franchise, I was not sure what to expect from this movie at all. I mostly assumed it would be a cartoon that was at least “behind- the- times,” pun/ no pun intended. I was delighted to find that the technology in the movie was up- to-date when Mr. Peabody and Sherman were in the present, which makes the movie more relatable to kids of the 21st century.

Lately, there have been many remake of old cartoons from the 1950’s and beyond, and I like to think that many of them do an excellent job balancing things of interest to kids in this century while still staying true to the original cartoon. “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” was no different. The kids in the movie spoke and dressed as though any kid would now.

Parent Approved?

Mr. Peabody takes kids on a long journey through history in a very engaging way. They go through the Renaissance Era, Ancient Egypt and many other pivotal points in history. At one point, Penny (voiced by Ariel Winters) almost marries King Tut while they are visiting Egypt. The movie is even engaging for adults. The story line is just complex enough for an adult to enjoy, but not too complex for most kids to follow.

Overall Rating

Overall I give this movie a 5 out of 5 Star rating. Although, I would rather the movie be a little bit more accurate with some of the historical events, the movie is definitely one you will enjoy as a child or an adult. And let’s be honest, the minute your kids see a movie they like, you will be watching it daily, so it may as well be one you can enjoy and that challenges your mind a little bit, right?

I have a lot to say about this movie, but for the sake of time, I will just suggest that you watch it for yourself and tell me what you liked and did not like in the comments below.

Why I Think “Frozen” Is the Best Disney Movie Ever!

Frozen CoverFrozen is a 2013 Disney fairy tale based off of the popular Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen.” Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) is the older sister of Ana (voiced by Kristen Bell), who are both the princesses of Arendelle. Elsa was born with a mysterious power to create snow with her hands and feet. Elsa is told never to tell anyone that she has the powers, because the king and queen believed it could put others in grave danger. But when Elsa and Ana’s mother and father die while traveling to another land, Ana finds out Elsa’s secret. This causes Elsa to get scared and accidentally create an eternal winter throughout Arendelle. After Elsa runs away in fear, Ana, a pessimistic ice salesman named Kristoff (voice by Jonathan Groff) and a naive, silly little snowman named Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad) travel up some mountains to find her.

There are so many reasons that I love this movie. Surprisingly, most of them have nothing to do with the animation or the special effects. Almost every Disney fairy tale is all about finding “true love,” that special someone who will swoop in and save the heroine. Frozen is the first Disney Fairy Tale I have seen that very clearly defines what “true love” is and is not. It does not just limit “true love” to a boy and a girl, or a husband and a wife. In fact, the movie has almost nothing to do with any of that stuff. It shows how the bond between two sisters, and other family members can also be considered “true love.” There is so much to love about this movie that I could not possibly make a complete list of all the reasons. But I do have time to tell you my favorites!

  1. Clearly defines “love”- Toward the end of the movie Olaf, the snowman very clearly says that “Love is when you put someone else’s needs before your own.” Ana said that she did not know the meaning of the word “love,” and I think that was just one of the incredibly touching things Olaf says.
  2. Everyone has flaws- In most of the Disney classic movies, you will notice that the heroine has almost no flaws. Even the ones that she does have would be hard for a child to notice. The movie does not pull any punches when is bluntly says that “everyone has flaws.” That is what the trolls sing about when Ana and Kristoff ask them how to fix things.
  3. More Realistic- When Ana meets a prince at the ball celebrating Elsa’s coming of age, he asks for her hand in marriage. Being the naive fifteen or sixteen year old that she is, Ana says “yes.” When Ana and the prince come to Elsa for her blessing, Elsa says that she can not marry someone she just met. Getting to know whomever you marry is a theme throughout most of the movie. I think this gives young girls a much more realistic idea of what it means to be “in love” and the kind of commitment marriage takes. Frozen-Screen-Shot
  4. Jokes for everyone- One thing that I have always loved about Disney movies is that their are always little things the characters say or do that are funny just for the older viewers, and this movie is no different! Some of the jokes are funny for the whole family, some are just funny to the kids, and some of them will probably fly over the kid’s heads. Like usual, Disney has created a movie with a great balance of jokes for all different age groups.
  5. Great Music- Frozen is a musical, and like many Disney musicals, the songs are really catchy, and can easily be enjoyed by the whole family. Many of the songs from Frozen still play on the radio to this day, even though it came out in the theater almost a year ago. The song “Let It Go,” and “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” seem to be the most popular out of all the rest, but it is not hard to find all of them on iTunes or the Google Play Store. I have “Let It Go” on iPhone, and listen to it often.

When I think of Disney Classic Fairy Tale, I think of a story about a princess, an evil queen or king, and a charming prince that swoops in to save the day just in the nick of time. As a young girl, I did not realize how most of that stuff never happens in real life. I was amazed to find that Frozen talked about what it really means to love someone, and how to do it. You’d think a movie like that would not be a very good fairy tale, but obviously it can if it is done right!

An Inspiring Book About Words “Frindle”- By Andrew Clements

cover_novel_frindleAs a child, I always tried to find a way to be in the spotlight. In the 1996 book “Frindle” by Andrew Clements, Nicholas (Nick) Allen, tries to do just that. He is a trend setter. In third grade, Nick convinced all of his classmates to help him turn his classroom into a beach in February, complete with paper palm trees, a 90 degree thermostat and, of course, buckets and buckets of white sand. But now Nick is in the fifth grade, and he has a new language arts teacher, Mrs. Granger. One bad look from her could “make you feel like a speck of dust.”

Every fifth grader has little tricks to keep the teachers from giving out homework assignments, and Nick is no different! His master plan on the first day, during the last period, in the last few minutes of class with Mrs. Granger is to ask one seemingly simple question that will change the course of his life forever. On that fateful day, Nick is given the assignment that would create a huge fuss, worldwide. The assignment gives Nick the brilliant idea to change the name of a pen, to a “frindle.”

When I was a child, I had to read this book during a reading circle. I did not know at the time the impact this book would have on me. I have always been one to look for ways to stand out. I would purposely do strange things just because it was different (I still do). Nick started by getting a few of his best friends to ask the school store for a “frindle.” Before he knew it, the entire fifth grade was referring to their pen as a frindle. After reading this book in grade school, I was inspired to start making up words for different things, and using them. My words have not caught on nearly as quickly as it did for Nick, but even now, seven or eight years later, I have friends who use the words.

“Frindle” is an inspiration to those kids who like to stand out, and is an encouragement to those who try to stay “in.” It harnesses the perfect balance of quietly teaching kids about the origins of words and how one person can affect many.

*When you read this book with your child, talk about the ways words can help the world and how they can hurt the world. Make up a new word with your child. Start to use it around the house. Soon, it will become second nature, and you will use the word in front of others. You and your child can be a local trend setter, too!*