Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hoo Hoo Who? Children's Prize Pack #Giveaway (Book + Puzzle + Free Flash Cards)

You’re Invited! Mouse’s Surprise Party is today, but Owl’s glasses are broken. It’s a good thing you came along! Can you use the clues to help Owl figure out which guest is at the door? Hoo hoo who could it be? 

In this catchy and interactive book, children are encouraged to take part in the story and use expressive language to respond to Owl’s WHO questions. With engaging opportunities on every page, children will be excited to read this story again and again. Who doesn’t love to yell, “Surprise!” and sing, “Happy Birthday”? The bold and distinctive illustrations are refreshing for parents, and particularly enthralling for children who will be naturally drawn to the curvy and circular shapes. 

Roughly 1 in 12 children have a speech or language delay, including author Mary Maier’s 3-year-old son Max, who is also on the autistic spectrum. Here’s an excerpt from her blog explaining the importance (and shortage) of books focusing on WH- questions: 

“Kids with language delays work on WH- questions A LOT. Many children know their colors, shapes, numbers, letters, but not the difference between whowhat and where. These questions are the building blocks of conversations and are HUGELY important to language development. I started thinking, why didn’t I know about this? Why doesn’t every parent know about the importance of WH- questions? Why aren’t WH-question books as prevalent as shape and number books? So I started doing some research. I wanted to find something to help with my son’s language development. All I could find were books with the word AUTISM in bold print on the front cover. No parent wants to read their child an AUTISM bedtime story—so I decided to write and illustrate my own WH- series of books for all kids, beginning with WHO. And WHO better to go on this journey with than a speech pathologist? 

My hope is to spread the word to ALL parents (not just to those whose children have language delays), the importance of WH- questions in language development and that they can be focused on in a fun and natural way—just like all those color books.” To download colorful flashcards that can be used with the book or alone go to WHERE Flash Cards.  .

The 411:

I loved the illustrations and adorable story about owl who is waiting for his friend mouse to come over for a surprise birthday party. Owl's glasses are broken so he needs our help finding out who is showing up at the door. We are given clues like What is that singing I hear? a ba baa baa or a la la laa? Owl asks who can it be? Who is fluffy like a cloud? Who has snowy white fleece? Who says baa baa la la la? To which the listen answer before we turn the page to reveal "Sheep". My preschool class loved the book and were able to guess from the clues who was at the door. 

They loved the illustrations as much as the story and especially when owl was finally able to see. 

Very cute!

Hoo Hoo Who? will be followed by titles focusing on "WHERE" and "WHAT", and is the first title from Mary Maier's new publishing company Building Block Press, a publisher of books focusing on early childhood development and thoughtful design.

About the Authors: Mary Maier graduated from Miami University, where she met her husband, with a degree in Art Education. She is an avid painter with a huge imagination; an important quality when raising two wild boys. She resides in Louisville, KY.   

Mary has previous experience owning a publishing company for 25+ years solely based on books about the card game bridge. 
Lauren Horton received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Ball State University in December 2016. Lauren was born in Muncie, Indiana, but now resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. 

To Enter the giveaway for Hoo Hoo Who? And a custom puzzle that features the artwork from the book fill out the form below. This giveaway is available to the US and Canada. 18+ and ends 2/28/19.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary book for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Monday, February 18, 2019

3 Ways to Stop UTI Discomfort with Natural Prevention Methods

Most Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)s aren’t serious. But the severe pain in the bladder region during a UTI attack can be unbearable to most people. If left untreated, the infection can spread up to the kidneys and bloodstream and become life-threatening. Kidney infections can lead to kidney scarring and eventually kidney damage.

Symptoms of a UTI usually improve within two to three days after starting antibiotic therapy. Many doctors prescribe an antibiotic for at least three days or more, depending on the severity of the UTI, which can be seen from the report of a urine culture. If you are prone to getting UTI attacks, take heart that you don’t have to resort to antibiotics each time you get an attack. There are natural prevention methods like a daily uti prevention pill or UTI prevention drink made from natural ingredients that you can take.

While antibiotics is the standard treatment, researchers are noticing that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are reducing the effectiveness of some antibiotics in treating UTIs. Some UTIs don’t clear up after antibiotic therapy. When an antibiotic medication doesn’t stop the bacteria causing an infection, the bacteria continue to multiply.

The overuse or misuse of antibiotics is often the reason for antibiotic resistance. This can happen when the same antibiotic is prescribed over and over again for recurrent UTIs. Because of this risk, experts have been looking for ways to treat UTIs without antibiotics.

Here are 3 simple ways on how you can prevent recurring UTIs:

1  Drink plenty of water
Although urinating can be painful when you have a UTI, it’s important to drink as much fluids as possible, particularly plain filtered water. Basically, the more you pee, the easier it is for bacteria to be flushed out of your bladder.

2 Take a UTI prevention drink everyday
Target from Uqora flushes out new bacteria that may have been introduced during certain activities. It binds with UTI-causing bacteria and increases urinary flow to flush them out of your urinary tract while boosting your immune system. All at the right time.

3  Pee when you need to
If you are prone to UTI attacks, never ever hold your urine or ignore the urge to urinate.  This allows bacteria to multiply in your urinary tract. As a rule of thumb, always use the bathroom when you feel the urge.

Other UTI prevention ways include getting enough sleep everyday, exercise regularly, eating alkaline foods (an alkaline environment prevents growth of bacteria), wipe from front to back, avoid swimming in public pools,  avoid wearing damp clothes and wear loose clothing (choose skirts and dresses over tight pants and jeans).

Ben 10: Out To Launch DVD Now On DVD + Ben 10 Transforming Figure #Ben10 @CartoonNetwork @PlaymatesToys

Join Ben in even more alien adventures with Ben 10: Out To Launch now on DVD. There are 18 galactic episodes from Season 2 of the adventure driven series which aires on the Cartoon Network.

Ben is a 10 year old boy who discovers a magical device that turns him into 10 different aliens that each have their own super, unique super power.  Ben, his cousin Gwen and even Grandpa Max stop the bad guy do whatever they can to help others.

Even with all these abilities Ben still manages to get into some trouble once in a while. After all he is still just a kid.

Check out our Ben 10 Unboxing

To Purchase:


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest review. No monetary compensation was offered. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Children’s Books to Welcome Spring

By Deb Chitwood on behalf of
March is not only National Reading Month in the USA, and Little Passports wants to help you celebrate the start of spring! Spring is a wonderful time for garden adventures, both in the backyard and through the power of reading. Use this reading list to find amazing children’s books that feature gardens and plants around the world, for ages 3-5 and 6-10. Of course, the ages will often overlap and vary according to each unique child.

Garden Adventures for Ages 3-5
1. One Child, One Seed: A South African Counting Book, by Kathryn Cave (Author), Gisèle Wulfsohn (Photographer)
This is a creative counting book about a child planting a pumpkin seed in South Africa. This book tells the story of the seed while sharing the culture of a child growing up in rural South Africa.
(Recommended for ages 3-7.)

2. The Flower Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta (Author), Leslie Evans (Illustrator)
This beautifully illustrated book can be used to combine a study of flowers around the world with letter work.
(Recommended for ages 4-8.)

3. Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library), by Bonnie Worth
This wasn’t written by Dr. Seuss, but it still has a fun adventure with the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2. That it gives scientific information about plants is a bonus.
(Recommended for ages 4-8.)

4. The Empty Pot, by Demi
This tale from China has vibrant, detailed illustrations, gardening inspiration, and a clear moral to the story.
(Recommended for ages 4 and up.)

Bonus reads: Don’t forget about preschool classics like,  The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (which includes the tale of Frog giving Toad seeds to grow a garden) and of course, Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
Garden Adventures for Ages 6-10

5. The Magical Garden of Claude Monet, by Laurence Anholt
This is the type of book that can help spark an interest in fine art. It’s a combination of fiction and biographical fact in which a girl from Paris becomes friends with a gardener (who she later learns is the garden’s owner, Claude Monet) in Giverny, a few miles from Paris. The book includes reproductions by author-illustrator Laurence Anholt, of Monet’s famous waterlilies painting, which Monet completed in his garden at Giverny.
(Recommended for ages 6-9, although many  preschoolers will love the story, too.)

6. A Seed Is Sleepy, by Dianna Hutts Aston (Author) and Sylvia Long (Illustrator)
The illustrations of a wide variety of seeds in this book are gorgeous, making it a wonderful addition to a study of seeds and plants around the world.
(Recommended for ages 5-10.)

7. Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
Miss Rumphius wanted to travel the world and make the world more beautiful. The lupines along the coast of Maine are from seeds scattered by the real Miss Rumphius.
(Recommended for ages 5-8.)

8. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, by Claire A. Nivola
This lovely book is about Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. It tells about her native Kenya and how she returned home to bring back the trees and gardens.
(Recommended for ages 5-8.)

9. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This classic book is timeless. It tells the story of a young girl on the Yorkshire moors of England. She discovers a secret garden and works to bring it back to life.
(Recommended for ages 7-12.)

Bonus reads: Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow. While not a traditional garden book, it encourages children to go outdoors and enjoy imaginative adventures in their own backyards and gardens, creating “dishes” their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents may have enjoyed creating as children. Grab a book and head outdoors with your kiddo!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A Children's Book About Dealing With Loss - Maybe Tomorrow? By Charlotte Agell

 A heartwarming story about loss, healing, and how to be a friend.

"[Offers] hope that the world can be beautiful excellent purchase." --School Library Journal

Elba has a big block. She's been dragging it around for a long time.

Norris dances everywhere he goes, even uphill. He is always surrounded by a happy cloud of butterflies.

Can Norris and his butterflies help ease Elba's sadness and convince her to join them on a trip to the ocean?

This tender exploration of loss illuminates how kindness, empathy, and friendship can lift our spirits and see us through many tomorrows. It will resonate with anyone who has experienced hardship or grief, from the death of a loved one or a pet, to a friend moving away, or the transition to a new home or family situation.

The 411: 

I haven't had a children's book make me tear up since I Love You Forever. Maybe Tomorrow? Is beautifully written and illustrated. 

Elba the pink hippo has been dragging around a big black box that weighs her down, makes her tired and brings her all over sorrow. 

Norris the dancing Alligator has a swarm of butterflies following them around. 

Elba obviously needs a friendly person who understands that she needs to talk but is quiet and patient enough to make her open up without prying. She eventually, walks and starts talking about her grief and sadness which allows her to unload some of her issues making them smaller and lighter. Before she knows it, that big, huge block is a small enough to manage.

I love everything about this book from the message to the soft illustrations. While I didn't read it to my class yet, I plan to. My reason for not reading it was that the message was so big, I wanted to be able to talk more about it before I jumped into the book. 

To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Preventing Digital Damage: 4 Tips For Managing Your Child’s Screen Time

The digital age has given new generations of parents something extra to worry about:
How much screen time is too much?

Physicians, teachers and psychologists generally agree that spending inordinate amounts of time immersed in computers, smartphones or social media can negatively impact a child’s developing mind and body. A screen time study published recently in JAMA Pediatrics found a link between excessive screen time and later development milestones.

Other studies have associated digital overuse with teen depression, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines suggesting daily limits on screen time for different age groups.

“It’s the responsibility of the parents to get control of this and guide their children, from a young age, on the positives and negatives of screen time,” says Christine Kyriakakos Martin (, an early education expert and author of You’ve Got This! Keys To Effective Parenting For The Early Years.

Martin has suggestions for how parents can manage screen time and decrease a child’s risk for screen-related health or developmental problems:

Distinguish screen time from play time. Play is a fundamental learning tool for young children, but parents, Martin says, should not think of screens as toys for play time. “When screen time is limited and separated from other types of play, parents show their children the importance of setting boundaries, using their imaginations, and being active.”

Get involved. Parents who engage with their children about on-screen activities can help them increase their communication skills and teach them how to navigate digital media. “Parents can talk with their children about the videos they watch and games they play like they would discuss characters and plotlines in a book,” Martin says. “When there is parental engagement like this, a child’s vocabulary and literacy skills develop and family communication gets stronger.”

Make mealtimes screen-free. “Eliminate screens from the meal table, including when you’re out at a restaurant,” Martin says. “While it can be tempting to pack the iPads to have some adult conversation while you’re out to eat, doing this doesn’t teach your children about manners, properly engaging in conversation, or being mindful of other patrons.”

Set a good example. It will be harder for a child to disengage from screens if his or her parents are consistently looking down at their own phones or tablets. “Remember,” Martin says, “your children learn from your example. If they see you spending a lot of time with your face in front of a screen, they’ll also want to use technology at the same time. Try your best to save your time on social media for your lunch break, during nap time, or after your children have gone to bed.”

“Learning how to use screens, verbally communicate or socially interact will have a positive impact on language skills, relationships and overall health,” Martin says. “Spending time with their parents, learning through play is what young children need and want.”

About Christine Kyriakakos Martin

Christine Kyriakakos Martin ( is the author of You’ve Got This! Keys To Effective Parenting For The Early Years. An early education expert and consultant, Martin is the founder and owner of Sunshine Preschool in Hopkinton, Mass. She has spoken on child-development topics at national education conventions and colleges.

Last Minute Gifts For Friends - One Tough Bitch

While I am not a female who uses the word bitch as a term of endearment I know many friends who use it for all their best friends or themselves. I am in love with a company called One Tough Bitch and love why the name was chosen. Founder Shelly Fisher is a Cancer survivor who after hearing she had cancer for a second time she decided to make her mantra into a necklace "one tough bitch". She wore it backwards but it gave her strength. Eventually she spoke about the necklace and many people came forward telling her they needed the necklace because they needed to find their own "tough bitch." Everyone is fighting something and sisterhood is a real thing. I don't know what I would do without my friends and YES...after everything I have been through...I am proud to say I am also One Tough Bitch.

If you're single and dreading the month of February, DON'T! February 13th (AKA Galentine's Day) is a day for all your best gal pals to get together, forget about silly boys and enjoy each other! From ordering pizza and getting your nails done to exchanging gifts- this day is all about YOU!

To make this Galentine's Day even better, One Tough Bitch, fashion/accessories brand created to empower other women has JUST LAUNCHED a line of best friend jewelry. Buy one and you get a second included to gift to your best friend!

OneTough Bitch Dual-Sided Galentine's Day Bracelet and Necklace ($29.95)

  • One Tough Bitch is more than a brand, it's a movement. By recognizing the unique emotional challenges all women face in our cultural climate, One Tough Bitch offers the reminder of inner strength and honors a woman's bravery in the face of adversity, whether that be illness, grief, divorce, etc.
  • The symbol featured on the One Tough Bitch accessory line is a triangle with an upward facing point representing the mind, body and soul; the inner strength of each woman wearing it.
  • 10% of the royalty proceeds will be donated to Give Her Camp, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which offers women's empowerment weekends.  Give Her Camp offers scholarships to women who can't afford it.  In particular the donations from the sale of One Tough Bitch products will be for the benefit of scholarships for Breast Cancer Survivors. The website is

Remember when you and your friends all wore the same necklace, earrings or bracelet. My besties and I wore earrings that came in three parts. We each wore a part and together it made a complete heart. We were each other's family. We were roommates by necessity and family by choice. These necklaces are perfect for your best friends or that special woman in your life who means everything to you. I don't know where I would be without all the special woman in my life and I wish I could get a necklace for each and every one of them.

I posted these photos on my Instagram and my sister-in-law a woman I look up to wrote "wants". So guess what she is getting for her birthday this month?

One Tough Bitch has many products to choose from clothing to jewelry and accessories. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with their news.

Disclaimer: I received a free product for my honest opinion. No other compensation was offered.