Board Book Review & Giveaway from Scholastic

As part of Scholastic Parent’s Circle of  Book Club book reviewers I get the chance to choose books every month to review and giveaway to one reader. Last month we did Lego City books for new readers but this month I wanted to focus on the baby crowd. My daughter who is 19 months adores books with babies.  I love board books because she can’t rip them and chewing on them only cause minimal damage.

The selection we chose this month was a set of 4 classic nursery rhymes beautifully illustrated by Annie Kubler.   The pack includes Ring Around the Rosie , Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes , Humpty Dumpty and Pat-A-Cake!  As you can imagine the text is familiar and it’s supposed to be. The sing song way that most adults will read this to their children is wonderful for read alouds with tiny ones.  The illustrations are filled with babies and toddlers of all ethnicities happily playing and acting out the rhyme in bright cheery colors. The thing I love best about these books are their small size. They fit in my back pocket, in my smallest purse and my daughter can easily grab and walk around with it. It’s easy to put a few in your stroller or Ergo carrier to keep your little one engaged while running errands .  My daughter loves these books and grabs them to read many times a day.

Do you have a baby or toddler that would like these books?

Enter our sweepstakes and you might get the chance!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling us the title of a book you read with your child today.


Official Rules – entries now closed.

This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must leave a comment on this post answering the question “What book did you read with your child today?”  1 winning commenter will be drawn at random, using, after the sweepstakes closes on Saturday February 4th  at 8:00pm PST. The winners will receive all four books listed , valued at $20. After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for Scholastic to ship their books to.or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes  including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
I was not paid for my review, I was provided a copy of the books to review and copies to offer as a sweepstakes prize. All opinions are mine .

Lego City Book Review & Giveaway from Scholastic

Every month I get the pleasure of getting a sneak peek at the books that will be included in the Scholastic Book Club flyers that kids look forward to every month. Even better I get to choose one to share with my kids and with a reader! I know when I was a kid I poured over these like I did the Sears Wishbook, circling the books I wanted, and begging my parents for more to read. Nothing has changed I still love pouring over the book pics in each book club flyer. Last month I chose a It’s Christmas , David! by David Shannon but this month I decided to choose something geared for a slightly older audience.


Lego City Scholastic Reader Pack including LEGO City: 3, 2, 1, Liftoff! (Level 1) and LEGO City: All Hands on Deck! (Level 1) fit the bill. I know many of your kids are getting to the age where they are reading more independently and I have a hard time finding kids that don’t like Lego. My son has many of these books already and we’ve been really impressed. I was no less impressed with these two. I especially like the guide at the back of all the Scholastic readers that let parents and teachers see the suggested grade level,  guided reading level, Lexile level and word count.

LEGO City: 3, 2, 1, Liftoff! (Level 1) by Sonia Sander is a story about getting a space crew ready and into space. I admit I actually learned a few facts from this and so did my son. The word count is 227 words so for beginning readers it’s not too long but not so short it’s boring. The author keeps the reader engaged with simple sentences but avoids talking down to the reader in the process.  My son likes this book and because of it we’ve been focusing more on punctuation like the role of exclamation marks which are liberally used through this book. My one complaint is the lack of female mini figures. My daughter loves to have my son read her these books ( they are reading them as I type) and I wish she’d be able to see more women in the pictures too.

LEGO City: All Hands on Deck! (Level 1) by Marlyn Easton is another Lego City themed book. If you have any of the Lego City building sets it’s likely you’ll recognize a few in the illustrations. My son loved seeing ones he recognized and loved telling me which of his friends have this set or that.  I think being able to relate to a book via favorite toys is actually really positive. Some parents will be apprehensive about books that sprang from a toy franchise but at this age when many children ( boys especially) start showing less interest in books , it can be a great tool. My son loves to read but loves reading these books even more and I am all for it! This story is even simpler following a group of sailors that save a windsurfer from disaster on the water. It’s also shorter than the previous with only 160 words which is great to build children’s confidence in reading which is also key to keeping interest high. MY one complaint is the complete lack of girls in this book. I know the audience is boys but by not including a single girl the audience of girls will drop even more.

Even better than getting to read and keep these books is that I get to give both away to one lucky reader!

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me the last book you read with your kids ( or if you are kid free the last book you read yourself).
I will choose a winner using and notify the winner via email. The contest closes January 9th at 8pm PST.

Disclosure: I was not paid for this review although I did get to choose the books I received free to keep and giveaway. All opinions are mine.

Comments closed at 8pm PST any comments made after that are not valid- we have another Scholastic Book Giveaway in a few weeks!

It’s Christmas, David! – Review & Giveaway

It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon.

Being a kid is hard. Being a kid waiting for Christmas to come is even harder and David Shannon remembers what it was like. As parents we try so hard to teach appreciation, gratefulness and patience but it’s so hard to be any of those things when you are little and very very excited! In this book we follow David as he gets scolded for trying to grab Christmas cookies, for peeking at gifts, and my son’s favorite naughty behavior, writing his name in the snow…with pee.  Over the years I have had readers say that they aren’t a fan of the original No! David because they worried it would spark naughty ideas but that is not what these books do. Young kids have a very natural sense of what is right and wrong and they are laughing because they know what he is doing is wrong and even David knows that he has messed up, as he fears Santa will leave him nothing but coal. Of course we all know that David is not a bad kid ( Are there bad kids? I don’t think so! ) and his heart is in the right place even if sometimes he makes bad choices. Both my kids loved this book and I loved the underlying message to parents that being a kid is tough especially when parents are busy.

Now here is the best part! This book was supplied to me by Scholastic Book Club to review and is featiured in their December Book Club fliers ( so if you get them look out for it! ) and they are also giving me one to give away.  Hooray!

To enter for a chance to win your own copy of It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon all you need to do is leave a comment on this post  telling me the title of your all time favorite book.

The giveaway will close  Sunday December 4th 2011 at 10pm PST.  The winner will be chosen by and please only one entry per person.


Disclosure : I was not paid for this review although I did get to choose the book I recieved free to keep and giveaway. All opinions are mine .

Win 20 Picture Book Favorites from MeMeTales

All week we have been celebrating MeMeTales new Mobile Reader App ‘s launch but really what I have been celebrating are the expanded options that kids have for reading favorite stories. One option I hope every child gets every day is to cuddle up next to someone they love and read some great books. In the spirit of celebrating reading MeMeTales is giving away a prize pack of 20 of my favorite picture books. The full list ( click to see ) includes In The Town All Year Round, Whoever You Are , Freight Train, Anamalia , Corduroy and 15 more!

MeMeTales’s philosophy is to make reading “The funnest ever!”  And having 20 new books is a great way to start having fun.

How To Enter

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is answer How do you make reading fun at your house? Leave a comment telling us the answer and you will be entered into to win this wonderful prize that celebrates literacy at home.

Extra entries- up to 2 extra ways to enter:

1. Download the MeMeTales  Free Mobile Reader App


Check out MeMeTales website if you don’t have an iPhone, iPod or iPad.


Come back and leave a separate comment saying  you’ve done it  and you will have extra chances to win.

Fine Print
T he giveaway closes June 4th at 8pm PST. The winner will be chosen by random using is open to residents of  Canada and the USA only. Please ensure your email address included in the comment so we can contact you if you win.
This Contest is closed.

iPad Giveaway from Target

Read to your kids. I have talked about my commitment to reading to kids over and over. I write my book reviews so my readers can walk into a library with some idea of where to start. I am giddy to  work with Target to share their commitment to reading with you today along with a chance to win an iPad and a selection of books to make it easier for one of you to read books online and off.

Target has launched a program called Target Read With Me to help promote reading , specifically reading proficiency in children by 3rd grade. What’s so special about 3rd grade ?  Research * shows that 3rd grade is the turning point when children begin learning by reading not simply learning to read.  The same study has shown that close to 3 out of 4 children with below grade level reading abilities in 4th grade never catch up.

Never catch up. We can’t let that happen.

That is why Target along with many partners have made a commitment to reading and education. By the end of 2015, Target plans to donate more than $500 million to support education, doubling its support to date, for a total of more than $1 billion. They also have collected wonderful easy to navigate resources on their Target Read With Me site to make reading with your kids easier. My favorite is this Build A Home Library from American Library Association.  It doesn’t just list books, there are short synopsis as well. I stayed up way too late last night reading it, as giddy as a kid in a candy shop.

I am also giddy that they are offering one lucky No Time For Flash Cards reader a prize package to make reading to your kids online and off a cinch:

Target Read With Me Prize Package consisting of a 16 GB iPad with Wi-Fi for reading books online, along with a selection of age-appropriate books for your children.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me :

What’s your favorite time and place to  read with your children ?

Fine print from Target:

This sweepstakes is only open to U.S. residents 18 years or older. A winning commenter will be drawn at random, using, after the sweepstakes closes on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 12:00am EST. The winner will receive a 16GB Wi-Fi enabled iPad and a selection of children’s books, a prize package valued up to $599. After the winner is notified, he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address, phone number and ages of their children, so that Target can ship the prize and select books appropriate for their children. If the winner does not reply in that time frame, he or she forfeits the prize and another winner will be drawn at random. Please note that we cannot ship product to a P.O. Box.
I am working with Target, receiving compensation from Target for running this sweepstakes and Target is providing a prize consisting of 16 GB iPad with Wi-Fi and a selection of books for one reader.

*EARLY WARNING! WHY READING BY THE END OF THE THIRD GRADE MATTERS Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Annie E. Casey Foundation