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I have always dreamed about scrap booking and used to make photo albums for our family. Then reality got in the way and I stopped. I would always be jealous of people that had made beautiful memory books for their children. In September, TechyDad and I spotted a really great deal for a Shutterfly Photobook. It was an 8×8 with 20 pages and you could design it with your own photos and text on the pages.
Late one night, we sat up and pulled photos together to make the books. Our plan was to give them to the boys for a night of Chanukah. The kids love looking at photos and this was going to be a book about our spring trip to Walt Disney World. When the books arrived, I have to admit we almost gave them to the boys. All these weeks later, the books are wrapped and ready to give to the kids. They will be an early Chanukah present left for them when we are away at the New Fantasyland event.
Now that we have made the books and seen what they look like in person, I can not wait to make more. They will make great holiday presents to share family events, trips, and other items. They can be about birthdays, weddings, and anything else you imagine. The books are the perfect size for grandparent brag books and to take away with you to share on new adventures. I also think they would make a fun present to a teacher to remember the school year and celebrations.
Thanks to a Global Influence campaign with Shutterfly, two readers (US or Canada)will be able to make their own twenty page 8×8 Photobook to gift. Please note that shipping is not included, you will receive a code to make the book and have to pay for this on your own.
Check out this video below and then head to the giveaway information.
Rules for Giveaway:
- MAIN RULE – Watch the Shutterfly Photo Books: The Best Gift Ever video and comment on what scene in the video reminds you of a memory in your own life.
The following Bonus Entries may also be done. Please be sure to leave separate comments for each that you complete below to make sure you get the right number of entries.
- 2 bonus entries (leave a comment for each one) – Visit the Shutterfly Photobook page on their website (here) and let me know which is your favorite “style” and who you would make the book for. There are nine different categories in the styles, so have fun browsing.
- 1 Bonus Entry – Tweet the following about the giveaway: #Giveaway for 20 page 8×8 @Shutterfly Photobooks from @TheAngelForever to celebrate the holidays http://bit.ly/VjoIvv #win #SFLYPhotobook (May be done once a day – leave link to Tweet in comment below for new entry)
- 1 Bonus Entry – Follow TheAngelForever and Shutterfly on Twitter and leave a comment with your Twitter name below.
- Please follow the rules above within the comment section. Giveaway begins December 2, 2012 and ends December 15, 2012 at 10:59 EST. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you once the giveaway is over. I will select the winner using random.org and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to US and Canadian residents only – remember shipping is NOT included with this prize.
Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a Global Influence campaign. As noted, we had already purchased several of their products before, and the opinion expressed is 100% my own. I will be receiving a promo code from Shutterfly to thank me for my time and make another one of their Photobooks.
It should not be a surprise that I am a huge fan of educational technology. When I had a classroom of my own, I encouraged my students to utilize computers. These days not only do we have computers, but we have iPads with a wide variety of apps for children of all ages.
In the past, I reviewed an app from Cavallo Media called Letter Buddies Alpha Books. JSL was really young and we used the app to help him with speech therapy. It was a wonderful tool and I was instantly a fan of their educational resources. As time went by, they started to spend more time creating apps for the iPad, along with book and other items to go along with the Letter Buddies. When they heard that we had an iPad, we were asked to check out their Letter Buddies Alphabet Discovery app.
Here is a great video that they have to give you the highlights of the app:
Letter Buddies Alphabet Discovery for the iPad is now available on iTunes for $2.99.
What we thought:
JSL helped me to explore the new app after we entered the review code. He immediately recognized the Letter Buddies from the past and wanted to take control of the iPad.
JSL is five years old and in kindergarten. Within a few short weeks, he was a bit beyond the target group for this app. Still, he had fun meeting the letters, listening to the songs, finding animations, and checking out what each letter would reveal. He immediately said he thought that his little cousin (almost three) would probably love this app and I bet he is right.
As a parent and teacher, I really appreciate the attention to educational details that Cavallo Media place in their work. Letter Buddies Alphabet Discoveries is a great way for young children to get to meet the letters of the alphabet in a non-threatening way. They become friends and are cute characters that welcome you into their world. Pushing on the iPad to launch a hidden animation and words create way to introduce new vocabulary and letter/sound recognition (hello phonemic awareness). The pages with each group of letters are not cluttered and are easy for little fingers to explore.
I would recommend this to others looking for an interactive early literacy application for the preschool set just starting to explore their alphabet and corresponding sounds.
Disclosure: Cavallo Media supplied me with a complimentary code for my honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are 100% mine.
Did you ever have a monster under your bed, in your closest, or in another location in your room? Perhaps you did not, but maybe a child in your life has this fear. Author and illustrator Sharon Cramer’s granddaughter and a familiar Disney monster movie were the inspiration for her latest book Marlow and the Monster.
Marlow and the Monster – Written and illustrated by Sharon Cramer – Talking Bird Books – August 2012 – ISBN 9780983943716 – Hardcover 40 pages – $14.95 (Also eBook of Marlow and the Monster available)
Marlow is a young boy who seems rather annoyed when a colorful monster keeps coming to his room. The monster keeps pestering Marlow and hides when he calls his mother to come help. Of course, nobody sees the monster who continues to bother Marlow. Eventually, Marlow figures out something to do that involves his little sister Sarah. She helps him to see the truth behind the monster and how he is not really that bad.
JSL, 5, and I read Marlow and the Monster together and we both really enjoyed it. JSL immediately was intrigued with the very different style of illustrations from Cramer. Although black and white may seem quite simple, the level of detail in these magnificent drawings are beyond anything I have ever seen in a picture book. You can tell that love was poured into each and every page of this book. JSL was also fascinated with finding a sweet little friend within each picture.
As a parent and teacher, I love that monsters are not portrayed as bad creatures. They are simply misunderstood and will help to ease fears that many children may have. Too many kids are afraid of monsters because of what they may hear from other kids and see within books and television programing. JSL and I talked about the monster and why Marlow may have been upset with him. Then we were able to chat about how it is important not to assume something about a “person” before you really get to know them. There are a lot of lessons that you can take from Marlow and the Monster. Of course, Sharon Cramer also has made a list of pointers to help children with their fear of monsters. We will be using this since JSL has been waking almost every evening with nightmares. Here is Sharon Cramer talking about some of the items during a television interview:
I know that we will now be checking out more of the books by Sharon Cramer, including her award-winning three-book series, Cougar Cub Tales. In addition to this, she is working on a Fantasy series called The Cerulean Star and just released her first full length novel, The Execution.
Marlow and the Monster Book Giveaway:
Author and illustrator Sharon Cramer would like one lucky reader to have a very special copy of Marlow and the Monster for someone in your life. Please be sure to see the rules listed within the Rafflecopter widget and below.
To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section and Rafflecopter. Giveaway begins October 30, 2012 and ends November 14, 2012. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to US and Canada residents only.
Disclosure: I received the autographed book complimentary of Sharon Cramer and Talking Bird Books in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own. This giveaway is sponsored by Talking Bird Books who will fulfill the prize to the giveaway winner. Two Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post for the books in the giveaway. I will receive a percentage of money for the sale should you opt to buy the book through that link.
Let me introduce you to a very popular young boy who has quite a lot of fans around the world. His name is Henry and he is actually quite horrid. Yes, Horrid Henry is a boy who gets into mischief and knows how to work around things to get what he wants, even if it means using his little brother, Perfect Peter.
In his latest book, Horrid Henry’s Monster Movie, Francesca Simon shares four new tales about Henry, his family, his friends, school, and many misadventures. This time, we watch as Henry makes a monster movie, has a horrid weekend, utilizes magic grump cards, and hosts his own Olympics.
Horrid Henry’s Monster Movie – Written by Francesca Simon – Illustrated by Tony Ross – Sourcebooks Jabberwocky – September 2012 – ISBN 9781402277375 – Paperback 112 pages – Ages 7+ – $4.99
Prior to receiving this book from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, I had heard about Horrid Henry, but never read them before. JSL, 5, and I used this as our read aloud book for two evenings. He laughed and enjoyed the antics of Henry. I liked that although Henry’s actions were not so nice, they lead to nice conversations about manners, vocabulary (lots of new adjectives), and how to be a friend. Henry really is loveable and the humor from Simon, along with the illustrations from Ross bring Henry to life.
If you are looking for more information to use with the Horrid Henry series, Sourcebooks has a great resource page. Here you can learn more about Henry, find a downloadable teacher guide, activity pages, and more. Horrid Henry is also a popular cartoon in the UK, so keep your eyes open for details in other spaces and places.
Spooktacular Book Giveaway:
Sourcebooks would like one lucky reader to have a spooky reading festival of your own with four of their books. One person will win the following prize package:
- Horrid Henry’s Monster Movie – By Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross
- Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire – By Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross
- Picture the Dead – By Adele Griffin
- A Bad Day for Voodoo – By Jeff Strand
- Please be sure to see the rules listed within the Rafflecopter widget and below.
To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section and Rafflecopter. Giveaway begins October 23, 2012 and ends November 1, 2012. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to US and Canada residents only.
Disclosure: I received the book reviewed above complimentary Sourcebooks in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own. This giveaway is sponsored by Sourcebooks who will fulfill the prize package to the giveaway winner. Four Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post for the books in the giveaway. I will receive a percentage of money for the sale should you opt to buy the book through that link.
As a child, I adored spending time with older neighbors and learning from them. They taught me how to knit, love art, and many other things. In addition to this, I adored Claude Monet. For some reason, I fell head over heals in love with his water lilies. At about the time, I was ready to change my bedroom from rainbow hearts and a set based on Monet’s lilies was out. My parents got it for me for my birthday one year. I bought art to go on my walls and additional books about Monet. These items all went well when I had to write a report in French class during high school. I had Monet post cards, painting replicas, and a variety of books. I vaguely recall a book about a young girl going to visit Monet’s Gardens in France.
Fast forward to the day I received an e-mail from Sourcebook Jabberwocky letting me know that the book I could visualize in my collection was being released again for the 25th anniversary. Yes, Linnea in Monet’s Garden is back and even more beautiful than ever.
Linnea in Monet’s Garden – Written by Christina Bjork – Illustrated by Lena Anderson – Sourcebooks Jabberwocky – October 2012 – ISBN 9781402277290 – Hardcover 48 pages – Ages 4+ – $16.99
Imagine entering a beautiful world where you meet a young girl named Linnea and her upstairs neighbor Mr. Bloom. Together, the two have bonded over their admiration for the artist Claude Monet. They talk about his life, family, artwork, and more. As they chat, they talk about going to Paris together to visit Monet’s gardens. Bjork tells the tale of their friendship and adventure that is mixed with the beautiful illustrations by Anderson. In addition to this, there are photos of Monet, his work, and more.
The story gives readers a chance to learn about the Impressionist art movement, Claude Monet, and Paris. This blend of history and fiction is really a great starting point to introduce children to one of the great artists. Some of the most beautiful pages and memories of the book are when Linnea and Mr. Bloom are actually in Monet’s garden.
Although I can not find my original book, I know the new 25th Anniversary Edition of Linnea in Monet’s Garden is an improvement. I do not remember the colors being this vibrant, the pages being so big, and the experience being so touching. I am happy to report that my love for Claude Monet and his work has been revived and I look forward to sharing with with my boys. It will also be a great book to share over a break and add in some art projects in the Impressionist style.
Sourcebooks is having a blog tour to help celebrate Linnea’s birthday. They are giving away a copy of the book and a Vera Bradley bad to one lucky person who enters the various giveaways. In addition to this, they would love one of my readers to also have the opportunity to take home a copy of the book. Comments left here for the initial entry before 10/25 will also be entered into the drawing for the prize from Sourcebooks.
Please be sure to see the rules listed within the Rafflecopter widget for details about my individual giveaway courtesy of Sourcebooks.
To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section and Rafflecopter. Giveaway begins October 16, 2012 and ends October 24, 2012. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to US and Canada residents only.
Disclosure: I received Linnea in Monet’s Garden complimentary of Sourcebooks in order to facilitate this review. This giveaway is sponsored by Sourcebooks who will fulfill the prize to the giveaway winner. An Amazon Affiliate link is included in this post for the book mentioned. I will receive a percentage of money for the sale should you opt to buy the book through that link.
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