Saturday, February 14, 2009

Review: Rascals and Routines Bedtime Safari

Rascals and Routines is a product line produced by Haydenburri Lane in a commitment to help preschoolers learn daily self-care routines in a fun manner.

The innovative way that this company promotes such activities as brushing teeth and going to bed certainly IS fun! My 5 year old was delighted with every portion of the set that I received to review. We received the “Carry Me Everywhere Suitcase” complete with 5 finger puppets, book, blanket with puppet pocket, and Bedtime Safari boardbook. Not only does this encourage healthy habits, but it also has provided endless hours of entertainment!

The 5 finger puppets are of Rascals and Routines 5 Ambassadors: Rory, the sleepy time tiger; Paige, the story time elephant; Chomper, the tooth-brushing crocodile; P.J., the pajama time bear; and Bubbles, the bath time hippo. Each ambassador encourages one part of the bedtime routine. The Bedtime Safari book expands upon the characters and why your preschooler needs that part of the routine.

I especially like the finger puppets and the blanket with the puppet pocket. Adam enjoys tucking each puppet into the pocket and telling them good night before snuggling up with the super-soft blanket. An additional ‘Cool’ feature is found in the suitcase: built in elastic holders for each finger puppet! We have also been able to put the suitcase to use for carrying toys and such to activities where Adam needs to entertain himself.

Haydenburri Lane
is currently offering several special deals! You can purchase the same item reviewed here, the “Carry Me Everywhere Suitcase”, for $29.95! Also available is the Bedtime Safari music collection for $3.95, which includes 5 songs! And how about a freebie?! If you sign up for the newsletter, you will receive a free music download! The website also features a section especially for parents, including a parent guide for the products.

I highly recommend Haydenburri Lane’s products for encouraging your young child to develop healthy bedtime routines!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

WINNER: All About Us books!

Sorry I'm late getting this up! I have been so overwhelmed lately that this just slipped my mind!

So Dina is our winner! Thanks so much for playing along! Dina, be looking for an email from me!

Be looking for more giveaways coming SOON!

Review and Giveaway: All About Us books

***This post will stay on top until the contest ends! Please scroll down for more recent posts! Thank you!***

I’m so excited about an opportunity to share these GREAT books! The series is set in San Francisco at the fictional elite prep school Spencer Academy. Follow the stories of five friends who deal with the ups and downs of their teen years while also learning more about their Faith in God.

Have you been looking for something for your teenage daughter, granddaughter, or friend to read? Are you concerned about how she will respond to peer pressure concerning such issues as premarital sex, sharing her Christian faith, underage drinking, among others? Then this is the series for you!! Lissa, Gillian, Carly, Shani, and Mac deal with these everyday struggles in a tastefully done, entertaining manner. The books are up-to-date and filled with references to technological and fashion trends to which your daughter can relate.

Not only that, there is an interactive website that goes with the series! She’ll love getting to interact with the ‘girls’ on All About Us online!

I have read the first three books in the series and felt like I bonded with Lissa, Gillan, and Carly. I’m anticipating the release of Shani and Mac’s stories already! I wish that such a series had been available when I was a teenager struggling with self-image and value judgments. That these books do so with a solid Christian influence adds much value to them, in my eyes. I know that your child or grandchild will be enthralled with the books and will be glad to read stories of girls who struggle with similar problems.

Here is the fun part: YOU can win the three books in the series released so far! You’ll win It's All About Us, The Fruit of my Lipstick, and Be Strong and Curvaceous, valued at approximately $30.00! I’d like to thank Hatchette Books for their willingness to sponsor this giveaway—without them, I couldn’t share this fantastic deal!

So how do you win? Simply leave a comment on this post! I’ll need to limit this giveaway to readers in the United States and Canada, and no P.O Boxes. Please also be sure to leave me a way to contact you—I can’t send you the books without this!

I’ll close this to entries on Wednesday, February 11 at 9 pm. Good luck, and I pray that God blesses you richly through these books!

(If you’d like to read my original review of Be Strong and Curvaceous on my other blog, click here!)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Jesus Storybook Bible

I was very excited to be able to review this book with my sons. It has become a welcome addition to our devotions!

The beautifully written stories begin with adaptations of stories from the Old Testament. The words are accurate, and explain in interesting yet kid-friendly terms the stories of the patriarchs of the Bible. Many nights, the stories that I read aloud have led to detailed discussions on related Bible stories or questions like, “Mom, what is Heaven like?”

I really like that the language is fully explanatory without making it so simple that the lyric flavor of the story is lost. The beautiful and detailed illustrations bring the story to life for my 5 and 7-year-old boys. In fact, both boys have picked the book up and explored it on their own—which is not always done since they are otherwise distracted with their electronic toys!

I have to share a story of what we were reading last night! We were reading the story of the tower of Babel. They were so cracked up by the part of the story on page 53 that I had to repeat it 3 or 4 additional times just so they could laugh at it again! Here is what they found so amusing:

“You see, God had given each person a completely different language! Suddenly, no one understood what anyone else was saying. Someone would say, “How do you do?” and the other person thought they said, “How ugly are you!” It wasn’t funny. You could be saying something nice like, “Such a lovely morning!” and get a punch in the nose because they thought you said, “Hush up, you’re boring!” (You couldn’t even say, “Pardon?” to check if you’d heard right because no one understood that word either.)

More simply put, The Jesus Storybook Bible is not only giving me the opportunity to share the stories of the Bible with my children, it is helping us make memories while we do so. It is helping them feel more comfortable asking me questions they might have on their mind, and showing them ALL the roles and prophesies that were revealed through Jesus at the same time. This book is a great tool all the way around!

If you’d like some more information about the book, here it is on the Zondervan website. I highly recommend it for parents with children from preschool age to 9 years of age (but you know your child best; take a look at it and decide for yourself!)