Book Review: A Knight in Sticky Armor (Doc McStuffins)

Continuing my new video book review series (or: in an attempt to be fair to my children), here is a review for a book that my daughter, five year old BB, read recently. She would like to tell you more about:

13642690A Knight in Sticky Armor (Disney Junior: Doc McStuffins) by Andrea Posner-Sanchez, Mike Wall(Illustrator)

BB thinks this book is hilarious because every time something touched the sticky part of the titular knight, said thing got stuck to him and it was “really funny.”

Savvy parents will notice that this is a story straight out of the Doc McStuffins tv show series so if you have been forced to watch the series, you probably already know who Doc is and what she’s all about.

For the rest of you, a brief description from Amazon:

Doc McStuffins doesn’t just play with her toys—she heals them! Girls ages 2-5 will love getting to know this super-smart six-year-old doctor with her own backyard clinic. This Little Golden Book is based on the new Disney Junior show, Doc McStuffins.

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for, Miss BB’s review:

In summary: You’re guess is as good as mine.

Have you read this book (or seen the tv show)? What did you think?

Book Review: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

bookreview-geekmomgeekkid

When my son, currently eight years old, requested that I read the first book in The Underland Chronicles, a series by Suzanne Collins (yes, that Suzanne Collins), I couldn’t resist. He has become something of a Fan Boy where this series is concerned and pretty much eats, sleeps and breathes it. A kid after my own heart.

gregor the overlander by suzanne collins
FEELS: liked, good role models, obsessable

Gregor the Overlander tells the story of eleven year old Gregor who  falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building in an attempt to rescue his 2 year old sister, Boots, who had crawled inside.

When I say ‘fall’ I mean they both literally ‘fell’ into another world called The Underland which exists directly below our world. In this world there is no sunlight, no moonlight. No real communication with the upside world, except for the occasional overlander that might fall through – a fall that most wouldn’t survive.

Gregor and Boots luckily do survive, only to meet a host of giant versions of pests and creepy crawlers that would make most grown men tremble. Gregor doesn’t love the huge talking rats, cockroaches, bats and spiders initially – nor the human village that has been thriving in the Underland for years – but thanks to his diplomatic two year old sister, an ancient prophecy and a lot of luck, he finds his courage and goes on an epic adventure to help save the Underland from war and get him and his sister back to his family in New York City.

It was hard to read this book and not be coming at it from a mother’s angle. I was often fretting over whether or not Gregor and Boots would ever get home to their poor mother. I cheered whenever Gregor showed bravery or compassion that was well beyond his years – he is a terrific brother and brave when it counts, without being foolish. I loved Boots (everyone loves Boots) and how she might have been the bravest and most impressive character in the story.

I loved the continual theme of not judging a book by it’s cover, not judging an entire race based off one member (or vice versa), on learning to walk a mile in each other’s shoes and the benefits of diplomacy over brute force. There were a lot of great lessons to be learned in this story and it’s a great introduction to fantasy and adventure for kids.

My eight year old is a pretty advanced reader and the kind of kid that will hide under the covers with a flashlight to read into the wee hours of the night so he tends to finish each book in one or two days. I read for about a half hour at night and finished it in about a week.  There are 5 books in the series that each sell for roughly $5 so it’s a decent bargain but if you have voracious readers, they’ll burn through them quickly. We’ve been letting my son get one a month to make it last a little longer.

At the end of the book there are questions with the author as well as a fun code for learning to speak like Boots and a writing exercise so kids (or adults) can create their own Underlands. I’m definitely going to encourage my son to try that out if he hasn’t already!

What is your child’s favorite book right now?

craft love: these dinosaurs are real stand up guys!

dino

We’ve been finding ourselves stuck inside a lot this summer and I was in desperate need of a quick and easy art project to occupy an hour or two of our time. Flipping through the May issue of Disney Family Fun magazine, I saw a cute stand up dinosaur guy that had been painted on cardboard. They have a free printable on their website so you can trace your own dinos – you’ll need an account on parents.com to login and access it but I’m pretty sure they are totally free and it’ll gain you access to lots of different magazines online.

This sounded like a nice easy project so I quickly printed off a few copies (no need to fight over paper stencils!) and cut out each stencil while the kids were eating lunch. Later I set up the stencils, green card stock, scissors and markers and briefly showed them the idea of the project but tried to encourage that they do their own thing with it.

My son, age 7, has a tendency to closely mimic whatever design I am doing during projects like this – so concerned about “doing it right” – in an effort to foster some creativity I made each corner, nook and cranny of my dinosaur a little different from each other (you can see my Stand Up Guy in the bottom to pictures of the collage above). He tried to keep up with me for awhile, but eventually my son also let himself just do his own thing and was really proud of the results (see the two pictures on the right hand side).

Then there’s my daughter – a three year old who absolutely marches to the beat of her own drum. Rather than trace the stencil on the green paper, she began cutting little pieces of green paper and placing them on her stencil in a mosaic style. I was so impressed with her creativity, that I offered her a glue stick which she happily accepted. She really spent most of the project practicing cutting and gluing, which is really a perfect use of our time and I was so proud of her. You can see her results in the big photo of the collage which was a little too floppy to stand but so adorable!

After making our dinosaurs, my son decided to use all of our scrap papers to be food for the dinosaurs to eat and building blocks for a Dinosaur City – no scrap gets unused under his watch! So now, my youngest has worked on some motor skills, both kids have gotten a lesson in creativity and we’re recycling – all for free, basically, as we used supplies we already had on hand.

By the time they were done crafting and playing, dinner was ready!

Disclaimer: Disney Family Fun did not sponsor this post, request it or have any idea that my children like making paper dinosaurs. These thoughts are my own and I am writing about them simply to share the project idea with other tired mommas out there looking for a quick art project fix.

Bling.

Bling. on 365 Project

My daughter is obsessed with this necklace which belongs to a good friend of ours who always lets her wear it while we meet up for coffee or a walk. The lighting was very much working against me at the coffee shop this morning but I tried to make it look intentional.

I ca’t decide if I like it or if I think it looks over edited – but her cute little face has me leaning towards like. :O)

Aloha Friday: Opinions Please?

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

So my friend Stephanie has a business idea – and she’s looking for opinions and advice, being new to the world of business – I thought this would be the perfect chance to help her out and get some opinions from her target audience – you (most likely)! Anyway here’s her idea, in her words, edited slightly for clarity…

“Do you think a “mom and me cafe” would take off as a business? It’s a cafe where moms and dads can take their kids to have a cup of coffee with other moms and dads and their kids can play in a safe environment. There would be parent only events at night such as scrap booking nights- and family nights as well… during the day, one day a week, there could be a play group, etc.”

Thoughts/ideas?

Aloha Friday: You Put Your Right Arm In…

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Lately MM has been very grumpy, irritable, restless. Despite his mother’s contentment with being a homebody, this kid is booooored. He’s bored with the routine and he wants to do something else now – he needs constant distractions. It’s made Dan and I grumpy, irritable and restless, too. The other day I was trying to keep MM preoccupied before bedtime while we waited for Dan – we like to do this bedtime routine together as a family – new diapers, pajamas, a story, all that – I don’t remember what was taking him so long but I do remember that MM was ready to jump ship and do this whole “bedtime thing” another day instead – what kid isn’t? So I’m trying to calm him down, distract him and convince him that bedtime isn’t the devil, when out of nowhere I start doing the hokey pokey. Just because.

I must be a genius or something because MM was immediately enthralled – he wanted to hokey pokey over and over. After about our 4th round of hokey pokey, I switched things up and we did head, shoulders, knees and toes. Another big hit – and I’m left thinking, “Why haven’t we sung these to him yet?” and “What other awesome distraction / song / dances am I forgetting?” Because this stuff is like activity gold – I don’t need to buy anything, grab any tools, or anything – I just have to remember all the dorky song and dance numbers from my youthful past.

So my Aloha Friday questions for you this week are:

  1. (If you are a parent or care provider for a little one) what songs, nursery rhymes etc. do you like to do together?
  2. What is your child’s favorite? What is yours? Feel free to include the words, etc. in case I don’t know them.
  3. Any other distraction tips for my grumpy, irritable, restless little one? I know, I know – I need to take him out more – did I mention I’m hugely 34 weeks pregnant and live on the third floor? I’m trying people!