Thursday, May 31, 2012

On the Trail of the Elusive Puffin

My favorite book as an early reader was E. B. White’s Stuart Little. But that’s not the first book I loved. Before I could read, I loved a picture book about puffins. You know puffins, those auks of northern Atlantic and Arctic waters; they’ve got a brightly colored bill. They look like a cross between a penguin and a parrot. Who doesn’t love an auk?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

For a Magical Media Experience, Just “Press Here”

Book and App Review
Last March, Chronicle Books published an amazing book titled Press Here by Hervé Tullet. The book seemed simple on its surface, primary-colored dots on a plain white background; but it is thought-provoking in a way that all great art hopes to be. Press Here challenges the reader’s assumptions about how books “work” and what they can do as it plays with current popular obsessions with interactivity. Press Here blurs the line between books and apps.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Basic Black: “Men in Black 3”

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
Right off the bat, I must give credit to the filmmakers for the bold retro move of just adding a number to the end of the sequel’s title. I’m sure the studio wanted some stupid name like Men in Black: The Redemption or Men in Black: Scoundrel Days. And then when it’s on cable you can never figure out which is the second movie and which is the third, etc. So thank you, Barry Sonnenfeld, you are a man of principle.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TV Series We Love: “The Octonauts” on Disney Junior

At the beginning of every Octonauts episode, three main characters—Kwazii Kitten, Peso Penguin, and Captain Barnacles Polar Bear—shout the Octonaut motto, “Explore, Rescue, Protect!” That motto goes a long way to describe the content and plot of most episodes. This intrepid bunch of animal (and vegimal) oceanographers go on whimsical undersea adventures but the genuinely educational core of this series puts it a cut above entertainment television.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I Want to Move to “Magic Town”

Websites We Love
A new children’s website from Mindshapes Ltd. delivers a virtual world based on picture books and stories. Magic Town is designed for kids born in 1999 or later. And it really does feel like a town, a magical landscape populated with a collection of fanciful houses. Each time a new story is added to your personal Magic Town, another house appears. Think of it as a kinder, gentler Sims.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Anniversary! Now Show Me The Money.

Blogaholic Anniversary Cash Giveaway”=Blogaholic Social Network is celebrating their 1 year anniversary and we have teamed up with them to bring you the chance to win $400.00 Paypal cash! If you have not yet heard- Blogaholic Social Network is an online community where bloggers of all niche's connect and spread the word about their blogs while gaining resources, followers, blogging tips, and much more! You must be a member to win but joining fast, easy and best of all FREE! Join here!

This event is hosted by Blogaholic Social Network, The Organized Classroom Blog, Mompreneur Mogul, Swoon Media, Caffeinated OC MommyTerri's Little Haven, and Multi Testing Mommy.

You must be 18 to enter. A valid Paypal account is required. Open Worldwide. Void where prohibited.

This giveaway ends May 31st, 2012 11:59 pm

Verifying entries may take up to 2 days days. Please make sure all your entries are valid. Winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

This event is also made possible by the following blogs:  Like A Bump On A BlogA Mothers Heritage, A Little of This and a Little of That, Fashion in the Forest, Keeping Up With The Rheinlanders, Giveaway PromoteKids and Deals, Bella Bud, Shereen Travels Cheap, Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business, Addicted 2 savings 4 U, Stacy's Savings, One House Schoolroom, Insights by April, Mom Blogger Buzz, St. Augustine Qpon Posse, Mom to Bed by 8, Another Cookie, Please, Crossroad Reviews, Whole Lotta Mama, The STL Mark Mama, Oh My Gosh BeckMommies In Orbit, Lillys & Lollipops, Debt Free Spending, Children Teaching Mama, She Says, Bella Street, It's Just My Life, Nap Time Is My Time, Rockin Teacher Materials, The More The Merrier, The Mama Bird, Social Studies Momma, The Stress Free Spanish Teacher, Truly Simply Pink, The 3AM Teacher, The Mommy Times, Mommy Coupon Swappers, Media Darlings, Frugal Ferret

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Read Me a Story, iPad!

Apps We Love: Go Away, Big Green Monster! and Grimm’s Red Riding Hood – 3-D Interactive Pop-Up Book
Go Away, Big Green Monster! By Ed Emberley by Night & Day Studios is the app version of the Caldecott-medal winning storybook. I’m a big fan of Ed Emberley’s How To Draw series and this app works as both a reading and drawing “how to” experience.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

This Show Takes the Biscuit: “The Biscuit Brothers”

TV Shows We Love: The Biscuit Brothers by Jan Hames
Not too far from Austin, Texas–the Live Music Capital of the World–lies a magical, musical farm where Old MacDonald created the Educational Institute for Every Instrument in the Orchestra, also known as E.I.E.I.O.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Honey! Help! I’m Stuck!

Our Mother’s Day Tribute to TV Moms Who Are Married to Peter Pans
It’s a familiar plot device: the competent, together mom married to the charming doofus of a “man child.” It’s particularly familiar if you’re under the age of forty. These television moms are more often seen in our post-feminist television culture. Decades ago, you’d often see the opposite pairing: the ditzy mom who’s continually gotten out of scrapes by her wiser, more centered husband. In both cases, the clash of “conservative” verses “wild and free” creates the laughs.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Avengers

Movie Review by Jack Silbert
The Avengers smashed the all-time box office record for its opening weekend—more than $200 million—so there’s a good chance your kids have already seen this movie. In fact, you probably saw it as well. Hey, sorry for the delay; I was busy last weekend. Just in case you haven’t gone yet, or want to know what your kids are going to see six more times, here are my thoughts.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Apps We Love: “Gube” and “TeleTweet” by Shacked Apps

Every once in a while a product comes along that’s a game changer. I can’t imagine life without my cellphone, the gps for my car, my laptop, or my iPad. And now, I can’t imagine life without Gube.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Curiously Brilliant: Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland”

Disney’s Thirteenth Animated Feature - 1951
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland doesn’t open in the classic Disney fashion, showing the opening of an animated storybook; which is ironic, since Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland is arguably the best source material Disney had worked with to date. Carroll’s fantastical novel with its magical transformations and talking animals begs to be animated. In fact, Disney made his name as an animator in 1923 with a silent, black and white Alice In Wonderland in an animation where he combined footage of a child actor as Alice cavorting in a fanciful, animated world.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One Great App Deserves Another

Apps We Love: Stella and Sam Story Pack and Doodle Cast by zinc Roe
Have you noticed that when you discover a great app—well-designed, beautiful graphics, easy to use, fun—you’ll find other terrific apps by the same company? It makes sense. Talent, skill, and an uncompromising commitment to quality form the basis of the best companies and I’ll add zinc Roe Design to that list. Two of zinc Roe’s apps—Stella and Sam Story Pack and Doodle Cast—reflect top quality design and functionality in two very different incarnations.