Sunday, September 27, 2020

Fashion-Forward Series Takes a Little Mouse on a Big Adventure - Claris, Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris by Megan Hess [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 978-1760504953
Hardcover $17.99
Ages 3-8 ~ 48 Pages

My thoughts:
  When I saw the cover of this picture book I absolutely feel in love with the beautiful illustration and delightful, fashionable mouse, Clarise.

And, oh my, that was just the beginning. Every single page is packed with adorable, wildly extravagant scenes from New York and the fashionable stores, streets, decorations, buildings, and especially people.

Do folks roam the streets of New York dressed like this in today's world? Probably not. But it makes for fun reading, glamerous characters (and yes, young readers and listeners can enjoy pretty, fashionable attire), and the hustle and bustle and the extravagant Christmas decorations that make New York such a dream place.

But the story is the essence of the book and youngsters can learn a lot from the characters' strengths and flaws. The action is great as a "mystery" or "action" story for youngsters with Clarise and her trusty side-kick Monsieur coming to the rescue.

Special in this series is that Megan Hess, acclaimed fashion illustrator for major fashion houses, is both author and illustrator. And she has written a rhyming story that is attention grabbing and packed the pages with brilliant and beautiful illustrations.

I hate that I've missed her previous "Claris" books. I highly recommend this enjoyable book and think it would be so nice to give a child before Christmas.

You can pre-order the book by clicking here

About the book: A sweet little mouse takes on a cheeky cat burglar with holiday cheer! Can Claris and Monsieur save the day – the New York way? 

The Claris series, with more than a million books in print, follows an adorable mouse who moves to Paris to follow her fashion dreams, for fans of Eloise and Olivia. Destined to delight fashion-obsessed readers of all ages!

Fashionable illustrations will draw young readers into Claris’ glamorous life again and again, while budding designers delight in the characters’ detailed outfits. Rhyming text makes this story of friendship and following your dreams a fun read-aloud for both kids and parents. Claris is more than a story – it’s a whole new world for children to explore as they follow the fashionista mouse on each new adventure, from her move to Paris in The Chicest Mouse in Paris (8/2018; ISBN: 978-1760502591) and the runways of Fashion Week in Fashion Show Fiasco (6/2019; ISBN: 978-1760502874), to the beaches of the French Riviera in Bonjour Riviera (3/20; ISBN: 978-1760504939) and now a winter romp through New York City in Holiday Heist.

About the Author: Megan Hess is an acclaimed fashion illustrator who works with some of the most prestigious fashion designers and luxury brands around the world, such as Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Montblanc and Tiffany & Co. She is the official illustrator for Bloomingdales New York, and completed the cover artwork for all of Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell's books, as well as a private commission for Michelle Obama, and has collaborated with Gwyneth Paltrow for the 'Blo' Blow Dry Bar campaign. Claris: The Chicest Mouse in Paris is her first children's book series. Find Megan and Claris on Instagram @meaganhess_official and @claristhemouse

Begins September 27
Ends October 22 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA/CANADA addresses
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and sent directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Soft, hand tie-dyed onesies and bibs for the baby in your life - Support small businesses [Review & Giveaway]

Baby clothes are simply adorable. And that's exactly as it should be. Adorable baby clothes for an adorable little one. But there is that practical side, too. Sometimes you need a bit of the simple life and that calls for onesies!

Sometimes, the little one needs an extra layer of clothes and that calls for onesies!

Sometimes you just want them relaxed in the least you can put on them, and that calls for onesies!

D.L.Widger has a small, home business of tie-dying face masks, baby onesies, and baby bibs. We're supporting her in this endeavor by presenting her unique tie dyed onesies. You can purchase these via a Direct Message to her Instagram account. DM @D.l.Widger and she'll give you the details. #tie-dye-onesies

I have a  soft pink set that she sent me and it will go for my newest great-granddaughter. It's a bit large for her now but she will soon grow into it. These sell for $25 for the onesies and bib is $7.

1 Onesie & 1 Bib
Begins September 26
Ends October 20 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by D.L.Widger.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Priti NYC Natural Nail Care found at Good Earth Beauty is gluten, paraben, & cruelty free [Review & Giveaway]

The last time we talked about nail polish, we spoke of how the uncertainty of the times and how Covid-19 is governing our lives with the fear of contagion with limits on going out to work, socializing, and just living day-to-day.

That fear is still there. We're still slow to socialize, shop, play, work as normal. But some limits have been lifted and folks are beginning to come out of the isolation that drove us to fight this novel virus and to protect ourselves and those we love.

But we still need to stay isolated or away from large groups. We still need to wear a mask. We still need to exercise care by distancing ourselves and diligent hand washing. 

And we still need to add a level of self-care and of prettying-up ourselves. We need to use nice products on our skin. Good stuff to make us pretty and add a dab of color to our lives.

PRITI NYC Nail Polish can help you do that. And... Priti NYC Nail Polish is one of the good guys! It's natural. It's safe. It's long lasting. It's definitely pretty!

Our hands have been lathered and rinsed until our cuticles, knuckles, and nails  are showing a bedraggled look.

Fix it! ...

Get a bottle of polish. Get a clipper. Get a file. Then trim, shape, and get pretty.

Find this Color "Cool Paris" (a lovely pink with touch of voilet) & other beautiful colors. Note: this color is not as violet as it appears in this picture. CLICK HERE

What color would you choose? Liven up the day with a crimson red or be beguilingly beautiful in a blushing pink. What's your choice?

Now here's a superb thought..... order online! (Don't go in stores where those Covids abound.) The folks at which is a fabulous all natural product beauty shop online is the perfect place to shop natural, vegan, cruelty free, etc. I love it!

Here is the Priti NYC Nail Polish I'm trying out right now. I'm telling you, it went on beautifully. I applied a nice base coat. Then two coats of this beautiful Priti NYC Nail Polish. And finished with a clear top coat. 

"I feel pretty, oh so pretty....." (You know the song...)

You can, too. Go ahead and check out what they have. CLICK HERE


A natural nail polish! Priti NYC Polishes are safe and completely Non-Toxic, and do not contain toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP. Each is housed in a 12.6 ml. bottle that is completely recyclable. They are fast drying, chip resistant, non-yellowing, contain a UV inhibitor, and are super durable and glossy. All Priti Polishes are named after similar colored plants and flowers. #232 Cool Paris looks like hydrangea. Made by Priti NYC Natural Nail Care made in USA. Price $13.00

Ingredients: Butyl Acetate (an organic compound common used as a solvent. Colorless, soluble found in many types of fruit), Ethyl Acetate (an organic compound with a pungent smell like pear drops), Nitrocellulose (a long lasting film forming agent derived from cellulose), Acetyl Tributyl Citrate (colorless non-toxic liquid used as a food adaditive), Phthalic Anhydride/Trimellitic Anhydride/Glycols Copolymer (intermediate for the synthesis of surface coating in dyes and adhesives), Isopropyl Alcohol (non-toxic alternative to formaldehyde, Stearalkonium Hectorite (a thickening agent to make sure all the glitter doesn't sink to the bottom), Adipic Acid/Fumaric Acid/Phthalic Acid/Tricyclodecane Dimethanol Copolymer (an organic compound used as a food flavoring ingredient found in mushrooms, and lichen), Citric Acid – obtained from citrus fruits. MAY CONTAIN: D&C Red #6 Barium Lake, D&C Red #7 Calcium Lake, D&C Red #34 Calcium Lake, FD&C Yellow #5 Aluminum Lake, D&C Yellow #10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake, Ferric Ammonium, errocyanide, Red Iron Oxide, Black Iron Oxide, Guanine, Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica, D&C Violet #2, D&C Red #17, D&C Red #33, D&C Yellow #11, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Green #3, D&C Green #6, D&C Yellow #10, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate (and) Tin Oxides, Silica (and) Aluminum Powder (and) Iron Oxides, Aluminum Powder


Use 10% Discount Code: VERA10
Free Shipping in USA

1 Bottle Priti NYC Natural Nail Polish
(no choice of color)
Begins September 21
Ends October 19 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.

DISCLOSURE: I received a lovely product to facilitate a review. Any opinions given are my own alone and are freely given. I was not required to render positive thoughts on the products. I only recommend those products which I or a member of my family or close friends and will use. The winner's prize will be provided and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or damaged products. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Picture book biographies of two women who made a difference: Frances Perkins & Jane Adams

Dangerous Jane: The Life and Times of Jane Adams Crusader for Peace by Suzanne Slade & illustrated by Alice Ratterree 

My thoughts: 
Dangerous Jane is a beautifully illustrated story of a women born into a life of affluence. As a child, she had personal tragedies that molded her personality but didn't break her. Her mother died when Jane was two years old and a few years later Jane had what they thought might be tuberculosis which left her body deformed. She felt she was ugly and unwanted.

But then she saw the need - exceptional need - of the poor and poverty stricken people in her city. She became a person of real compassion and in adulthood turned that compassion into good works.

Later in her adult life, she traveled in Europe on behalf of the suffering people there. These people were also those with whom the United States battled during WWI. This drew opposition toward Jane.

She lived into old age continuing her good works on behalf of the poor. 

This is an exceptional children's book about an exceptional woman. A must for school and public libraries.

About the book: Jane's heart ached for the world, but what could she do to stop a war?

This energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize. From the time she was a child, Jane's heart ached for others. At first the focus of her efforts was on poverty, and lead to the creation of Hull House, the settlement house she built in Chicago. For twenty-five years, she'd helped people from different countries live in peace at Hull House. But when war broke out, Jane decided to take on the world and become a dangerous woman for the sake of peace.

Suzanne Slade's powerful text written in free verse illuminates the life of this inspiring figure while Alice Ratterree's stunning illustrations bring Jane Addams and her world to life.

Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers' Rights by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Kristy Caldwell

My thoughts: 
As this book opens with a challenge to the young reader to consider the math of calculating when they, the reader, will qualify to receive Social Security Retirement Benefits. Unless you already know the major achievement of Frances Perkins, you may wonder just why that is an important thought to process in a biographic picture book.

Frances Perkins was born in 1880 in Boston into a home that valued education. Although women were not considered needful of education beyond the basics, her father thoroughly educated Frances. She ultimately received a Masters Degree. An amazing achievement for that time. 

But she was also taught by her parents to be a caring individual with a responsibility to help those in need at every opportunity. As a young woman, she saw the plight of young and older women working in factories - extremely long hours and under dreadful conditions. She sought ways to improve circumstances for them. This led to being appointed by the Governor of New York as a social director to improve conditions. So began her plan that worked in New York and led to her position in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Cabinet. An as part of the President's team, she developed the Social Security System.

This is an amazing story about an amazing woman. A book that needs to be in every school and public library.

About the book: How many years will it be until you turn sixty-two? What year will that be? Once you've read Thanks to Frances Perkins, you'll know why these are important questions--and why you may want to thank Frances Perkins.

After Frances Perkins witnessed the Triangle Waist Factory fire in 1911, she was forever changed. While some activists pressed factory owners for change, Frances decided to work to bring about new laws that would force employers to treat people better and make workplaces safer. When she became Secretary of Labor in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration--the first woman cabinet member--Frances had the opportunity to make real her bold vision of a country where no one was left out. As a result of the Social Security program that she created, we have built a society where we help one another.

Deborah Hopkinson's energetic text and Kristy Caldwell's appealing illustrations introduce readers to a fascinating woman who has changed many American lives. Back matter features more information about Frances Perkins, Social Security, and resources for economic education.

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Lola Koala’s Travel Adventures by Dr. Tinita Ortega Kearney [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:
This is a sweet  educational tool to use with young children to teach them how to think through and answer the "Who, What, Where," and "Yes," "No" questions. In order to do this the cute Lola Koala prepares for a trip by packing and then as she journeys the reader is asked these staple questions.

The answers are hidden beneath flaps that the child can lift to see and also to find numbered clues as to Lola's trip destination.

A well done book and I am certain speech pathologists and therapists of children with special educational needs will readily be able to use. But it is also useful for any child to learn the process of knowing and giving an answer to these basic questions.

The book is a bit "wordy" and the book's target audience is ages 2 to 6. So younger children might be bored unless skillfully directed by the adult reading the story to them.

Purchase it here

Websites to explore:
  • Websites: 
  • FaceBook: @lolakoalaexplorer 
  • InstaGram: @dr.t_slp
About the author:  Dr. Tinita Kearney (Dr. T) is a speech pathologist who wants to empower kids and their parents by teaching foundational language skills in a way that is fun and interactive. With the first book in her new lift-the-flap Lola Koala Travel Adventures series, Dr. T and Lola Koala teach kids to answer WHO, WHAT, WHERE and YES/NO questions. Kids will be delighted and enchanted as they help Lola pack her suitcase and find clues to mystery destinations. Mastering critical language skills is important to target early because these particular skills are needed to functionally engage in conversation, demonstrate basic knowledge, and meet the Common Core standards of kindergarten and beyond.

Begins September 14
Ends September 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and sent directly to the winner by publisher, publicist, or author. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson (A Christmas novella from Revell Books)

ISBN: 9780800738020
Hardcover $16.99
Revell Books

My thoughts:
This was such an enjoyable little novella to read. Sure it's September but I love a good Christmas story anytime. 

There's a bevey of characters that run the gammit of stinking rude to awesome sweet. Character flaws abound and devious scheming occurs.

All this takes place when two households decide to swap their homes, already fully decorated, and celebrate the Christmas holidays in the other's abode. They soon discover that a swap is not all they thought it would be. Of course, heading into new territory for Christmas with a foul mood doesn't help the situation.

Skiing, outdoor fires and S'mores, a broken arm and nearly a broken heart are woven into this tale where through the snow is cold and the mixed attitudes are complicated, a sweet romance blooms where boy meets girl and survive the interferrance of another.

Loved it! Good clean reading. Great for warm days of fall as you look toward the Christmas season or for cuddling up beside a warm toasty fire at the heart of the season.

About the book: All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.

Tyler Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house's caretaker. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things get . . . messy.

Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another delightful Christmas tale to warm your heart on those cold winter evenings. 

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog by Lisa Papp [from Peachtree Publishing]

My thoughts: 
If you haven't met sweet little Madeline Finn, you're in for a real treat. I met this little girl in Madeline Finn and the Library Dog and simply fell in love with her and the sweet, patient dog that "helped" her learn to read.

This new book, Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog, is again featuring sweet little Madeline Finn and a new dog. Sort of a replica of the Library Dog, but younger. This dog's name is "Star." Star has been training to become a therapy dog for rest home residents (seniors, etc.) and Star must pass the test.

They go to the retirement center (another word for "rest home") and each time Star passes the test. Another dog has interacted with humans to help them when they need help.

The illustrations are really beautiful and capture the essence of Madeline Finn's sweetness and the behavior of a therapy dog's innate gentleness.

I highly recommend this sweet series.

About the book: Madeline Finn and Star are back--and now Star is old enough to become a therapy dog. Will our beloved team be able to pass the test?

Madeline Finn and Star are off to Walker Oaks, a retirement community where Star will take his tests to become a therapy dog. Accompanied by Mom, Mrs. Dimple, and Bonnie, she and Star make their way through a variety of challenges and meet several new friends. But Madeline Finn can't stop thinking about an elderly man in a wheelchair who never smiles. Is there something she and Star can do to help?

A companion to the Lisa Papp's best-selling books Madeline Finn and the Library Dog and Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog, this heartwarming story explores the therapy dog training process and provides a realistic and appealing example of a young person making a difference in her community.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Prestel Publishing's new Fall children's books are varied, stoking imagination, and educational [Review & Giveaway USA]

How to Spot an Artist by Danielle Krysa 

Ages 5+
ISBN: 9783791374406
My thoughts:  This is such a cautionary story for youngsters. Personally, I know of two individuals whose artistic talent was nipped in the bud by art teachers who told them they couldn't "draw" or "paint." This is devastating to a child especially in the pre-teen and teen years. But little one's, too, need confirmation that their "art" is good. 

Eventally, they will determine themselves if they are truly a gifted artist, but their enthusiastic endeavors in any art-form should not be squelched. 

This is a delightful book full of crazy art and mixed media as well as a jumble of text fonts and the book conveys in an enthusiatically encouraging manner how an artist can be spotted. By a mess. By lots of stuff. By glue. By paints. By paper, etc. etc.

A delightful book that needs to be read by parents, teachers, and kids of all ages.

About the book: This is a vividly illustrated, funny, and endlessly encouraging picture book “about being an artist, even when someone tells you not to be." 

With over 200,000 Instagram followers, Danielle Krysa has helped a lot of people overcome the fear that they "aren't creative," and in How to Spot an Aritist, Krysa wants to reach readers as kids before their inner critics arrived on the scene, using her characteristic playfulness, lively illustrations, and humor to help kids overcome negativity about their artistic endeavors--and to help them redefine what being an artist means. Every page delivers encouragement to the kid who thinks artists all live in cities, or that art has to look like something familiar, or that painting and drawing are the only way to make art. In a world that drastically undervalues creative freedom, Krysa's whimsical paintings and collages joyfully proclaim that art is essential and that artists are everywhere. Additionally, a page at the back of the book includes ideas for art projects--because who wants fewer art projects? Nobody!

The House of Happy Spirits by Geraldine Elschner & illustrated by Lucie Vandevelde

Ages 4+
ISBN: 9783791374543

My thoughts: Since I don't "do Halloween" I almost skipped this book because I thought it might be halloween themed. While a bit on the weird side artistcally with its blast of color and design that sometimes tires the eyes, it is not a halloween book. While titled "The House of Happy Spirits," I think the happy spirits part is a conclusion because of the house's magical, whimsical quality.

The story is about a neighborhood that undergoes change and the fear is that a old beloved huge tree will fall prey to construction.

Surprisingly, the tree makes it completely whole and has a lot of other plant life to keep it company.

An interesting story. A bit of architectural history. Distinctly European in book style. A fun read.

About the book: The pages are filled with color-saturated illustrations that echo Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser's bold style, introducing young readers to the idea of environmentally conscious and playful architecture. 

When construction starts on a new building in Lea's neighborhood, she fears that her favorite tree will be chopped down. For days she watches anxiously as the tree is covered up and surrounded by bricks. Finally, she learns that the tree has been spared and made the centerpiece of a fantastic new building, where it will live a long and healthy life. Lucie Vandevelde's joyful drawings convey a kid's-eye view of city life, complete with people, pets, automobiles, and machinery. As the new building emerges, readers will come to learn about some of Hundertwasser's celebrated and offbeat principles--such as the rights of tenants to paint the walls outside of their windows, that trees should be given their own rooms, and that "straight lines lead to the downfall of humanity." A brief biography of Hundertwasser at the end of the book fills readers in on the work of this pioneering artist whose ideas were once radical but are now integrated into many architectural concepts.

Since this is such an unusual architectural concept upon which this picture book story is based, I thought it would be interesting to see real pictures of the real Hundertwasser Haus.

The Little Dancer by Geraldine Elschner and illustrated by Olivier Desvaux 

Ages 4+
ISBN: 9783791374499
My thoughts:   The artist Edgar Degas had a fascination for ballerinas and therefore painted a large number pieces depicting them, individually or in groups. This children's book, "The Little Dancer," is based upon the Degas sculpture "Little Dancer." 

The story is set in Paris in late 1800's, and the child and her mother enter Paris in a wagon. The girl  auditions for the ballet group, and if accepted, she will be paid a daily amount and her mother will be given a job as a laundress. A hard life for both the child and the mother, but it is to advance the little ballerina in her art and also a means of survival for both of them.

Her feet are sore and bruised. She is tired.  But this is her life.

About the book: One of Degas's most celebrated works comes to life in this delightful book - vibrantly illustrated story of the young ballerina who inspired the artist. 

This book tells the fictional story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. Jeanne auditions at the Opera Garnier and moves with her mother, a laundress, to Montmartre where life becomes consumed by rehearsals and classes. One day she meets Mr. D, an artist who asks Jeanne to be his model. As Mr. D works on his sculpture, Jeanne prepares tirelessly for an important performance. The book culminates with Jeanne triumphing at the Opera--and Mr. D completing his sculpture with her help. Olivier Desvaux's gorgeous illustrations, which recall Degas paintings, bring readers into Jeanne's world--the studio where she spends her days, the tiny apartment where she sleeps with her mother, and Mr. D's atelier, where he preserves her story forever. Readers will learn about the life of a young dancer in 19th-century Paris, and at the end of the book they will learn even more about one Degas's most intriguing works: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, the only sculpture he exhibited in his lifetime, particularly beloved for capturing the essence of a ballerina.

This Thing Called Life by Christian Borstlap

Ages 5+
ISBN: 9783791374437
My thoughts: This is quite an unusual book for a young child - both artistically and verbally. It philosophically and in understandable terms presents the connectivity of all life. From the most minute to the most giagantic, life is connected.

Each bit of life is important individually and as a whole.

This is not a religious or faith-based work though it doesn mention Creation ... "A medley of stardust, gases, ice meteors, sulight, and many other things we don't understand created... life..."

So the beginning of life is open to interpretation in this book which makes it acceptable to many. 

The text simplistically speaks to what life is about.... "reproducing, perceiving, breathing, moving, feeling, giving, taking, surviving..." 

So the reader gets to think about more than the biological aspect of life and living. And in thinking about these aspects, discovers the connection between all aspects of life and living.

An interesting book that can potentially open many doors of discussion between child and adult.

About the book:  A scarcely worded book that shows the many shapes and forms life takes all around us, from the smallest specks of life to the largest creatures.

What is life? It's constantly moving, growing, reproducing, and dying. It's happening now, all the time, and it's everywhere around us. From little helicopter seed pods that float through the air to blue whales in the ocean, the world is filled with all different types of odd and familiar kinds of life. This whimsical picture book helps young readers see the connections between all living things. Author and illustrator Christian Borstlap's furry, feathery, smooth, and spiky creatures crawl, eat, growl, fly, and interact with one another. While most of his creations are imaginary animals, they all depict real things that organisms must do to survive and thrive. Bold and quirky illustrations tug at kids' imaginations and help demonstrate complex concepts that can be hard to put into words. The book leaves lots of room for discussion and for new discoveries with each reading.

Begins September 8
Ends October 4 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and sent directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Trendy Tie-Dyed Scrunchies are unique & versatile accessory finding a cult following [Review & Giveaway]

During the 1980's the scrunchie was the way to capture out-of-control hair into pony tails and other upsweeps or sidesweeps. They protected the hair from breakage caused by typical hair-elastics and rubber bands previously used for this purpose.

Then scrunchies kind of disappeared from the "fashion scene." 

We've seen a resurgence of scrunchies in various statement styles and fabric designs. Women and girls from all walks of life who have bunches of hair they wish to control and make a fashion statement while doing so are grabbing these.

They are being worn on wrists as an accessory as well as capturing that mane of hair that you want a bit out of the way. Wearing them on the wrist is cute and you have them available at a moment's notice when you want to gather your hair in an upsweep to get it out of your way. 

My teen and pre-teen grand-girls love them!

What a great item to tuck away for your favorite girl-on-campus - any age, too. So do grab a few and let her be trendy on two counts: tie-dye fashion is IN and scrunchies are IN. 

While fun to wear and servicable, and while they make a great fashion statement, one of the scrunchie's best attributes is the way it protects your hair from damage.

D.L.Widger is marketing unique, one-of-a-kind scrunchies that are made of soft, gentle, tie-dyed fabric. And she is selling them for $5 each or 3 for $10. Contact her on Instagram @d.l.widger if you wish to purchase some. Support a small business owner!

We have a giveaway going on right now....
one winner will receive 3 scrunchies.

Begins September 7
Ends September 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary scrunchies to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. D.L.Widger is responsible to provide and mail the prize to the winner.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A Donkey, an Otter, and a Chicken..... stories to delight children from Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Catch That Chicken! by Atinuke illustrated by Angela Brooksbank

Ages 2-5
Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9781536212686

My thoughts:
This is a well told African tale set in a village compound with livestock and chickens seemingly roaming at will. And in the midst of this crowded scene, we find little Lami who loves to chase chickens and catch them. She is the fastest in the compound to be able to catch chickens.

The author uses a story telling mode and the story just flows along. I love the use of alliteration that encourages listeners and young readers to recognize words that begin the same and use them for effect. 

Bright illustrations are excellent and just right for this story taking the reader into the heart of African culture and village life. This is also a great story for teaching the culture of village life within a compound. 

About the book: Lami is the best chicken catcher in the whole village. Her sister may be speedy at spelling, her friend fast at braiding hair, and her brother brave with bulls, but when it comes to chickens, nobody is faster or braver than Lami. That is, until the day when Lami chases a little too fast, up the baobab tree, and reaches a little too far . . . ow! How can she catch chickens with an ankle that’s puffed up like an angry lizard? Could it be, as Nana Nadia says, that quick thinking is more important than quick running? Award-winning author Atinuke celebrates Nigerian village life in a story vibrantly illustrated by Angela Brooksbank with a universal message at its heart.

If You Take Away the Otter by Susannah Buhrman-Deever illustrated by Matthew Trueman

Ages 5-8
Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763689346

My thoughts:
 This is a superb book that is both interesting and educational and will entertain the reader or listener intellectually as well as visually. We don't normally stop and think about the multitude of good otters bring to our world. We see them as graceful, cute critters, sometimes lazy, and consider it fun to watch them.

But they have been endangered. Now in this children's book we can see just how much our oceans need the otter. 

A story is told on each page with text and illustrations. Also tucked away on each page are important points of interest that will drive home the need to protect sea otters for the health of our oceans.

Terrific book. 

About the book: On the Pacific Coast of North America, sea otters play, dive, and hunt for sea urchins, crabs, abalone, and fish in the lush kelp forests beneath the waves. But there was a time when people hunted the otters almost to extinction. Without sea otters to eat them, an army of hungry sea urchins grew and destroyed entire kelp forests. Fish and other animals that depended on the kelp were lost, too. But when people protected the sea otters with new laws, their numbers began to recover, and so did the kelp forests. Susannah Buhrman-Deever offers a beautifully written account of a trophic cascade, which happens when the removal of a single element affects an entire habitat. Asides that dig deeper are woven throughout Matthew Trueman’s dynamic illustrations, starring a raft of charismatic sea otters. Back matter includes more information about sea otters and kelp forests, including their importance and current status, the effects of the international fur trade on indigenous peoples, and a list of books and websites for readers who wish to continue to explore.

Little Green Donkey by Anuska Allepuz Hardcover ISBN: 9781536209372 Ages 3-7

Ages 3-7
Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9781536209372
My thoughts:
This is a simply told story of a picky eater. He fixates on a food (green grass) and eats it to excess. The result is he turns green. His mother despairs of convincing him to eat a variety of colorful foods, so he picks through a few. He settles on crunchy carrots. And then, alas, he turns orange as a carrot.

The purpose of the story is to show that our bodies need a variety of food and that we should not just pick one that we prefer. 

The illustrations are cute and capture the mood of the story quite well. 

About the book: Little Donkey loves eating grass. Grass is so juicy, zingy, sweet, and tangy! Mom asks him to please have a tiny taste of something else — oranges, watermelon, broccoli? — but a life of eating grass is just fine with Little Donkey. Until one day he spies his reflection in the watering hole and sees that he has turned green. Mom resumes her persuasion with new urgency. Apples and grapes? Yuck! No thank you! But carrots — carrots are crunchy, crispy, and delicious! Little Donkey is delighted with his new carrot-only diet and happy to transform from his all-green self to — oops! Pictures full of color and movement bring to life a charming story that will resonate with choosy eaters.
Begins September 6
Ends September 30 @ 12:01 EDT
Open to USA/CANADA only
No P.O. Boxes. Canada winners must provide phone number.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complementary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Ella Freda Organics Face & Neck Firming Lotion [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: Ella Freda Organics Face & Neck Firming Lotion which I used on both face and neck was surprisingly effective for a product in this price range. I think I prefer it as a neck and decollete cream to tighten skin and help with elasticity. Hopefully preventing and/or stopping crepey skin. 

Ella Freda Organics Face & Neck Cream $21.96

This new product from Ella Freda Organics is a Facial & Neck rejuvenating cream. The texture is a somewhat dense cream. I apply a small amount to my entire face (avoiding close to eyes), chin, neck, and décolleté. It goes on smoothly and I use smoothing upward strokes that rotate massaging the tension away. 

After using the face/neck cream, I apply my makeup for the day whether it is a stay-at-home day with little or no color added or a one of my full-out makeup days. My beauty products work well with the Ella Freda Organics Face Neck Cream.

This product may be used morning and evening. One must be certain to avoid getting it in one's eyes.

I think this is a good product and suggest you give it a try. Check out the Ella Freda Organics website.  Click Here

Product information: Our lotion tightens sagging skin and restores elasticity. Use on your face, forehead, neck and décolleté to rejuvenate your troubled skin areas, improve neck crepe, and look years younger. A true breakthrough in fighting the dreaded turkey neck, our cream is a double chin reducer that restores elasticity and tone, producing near miraculous results.


Ingredients: Deionized Water, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Butylene Glycol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus) Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Beeswax, Stearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Coconut (Coconu Nucifera) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl Alcohol, MSM, Green (Camellia Sinensis) Tea Extract, Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, 


Can't wait to see if you win the giveaway? Order now  

Check out wide range of discounts on webstore 

Ella Freda Organics Face & Neck Firming Lotion
Begins September 1
Ends September  27 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a product cost free or highly discounted to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own, alone after using the product and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided by Ella Freda Organics and shipped directly to the winner.