Reviews, giveaways and memes - Jumpin Beans

18.9.14

Twelve Dancing Unicorns #BlogTour

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.


Twelve Dancing Unicorns by Alissa Heyman was a really cute book for us to review.  When it arrived, I was not really sure if Broxton was going to be interested in reading it...  but once he snuggled up, we settled down and enjoyed it!  I loved how it starts off with a KING - so you know it is going to be good!  Then, as the story starts to unfold, we learn that the King has these beautiful unicorns that he keeps chained up (with a gold chain) to their very own pomegranate trees.  The story gets better... each morning, the King goes to see his beautiful unicorns and finds that each of them has broken free of their chains at some point during the night.  The thing is... he can NOT find out how or why... they are all there, so its not like they are being stolen... 

Hurry and grab this book now, so you can find out the mystery behind it all!  The illustrations are perfect for this book and everyone will love the way it all works out!  

Don’t miss the final stop on the Twelve Dancing Unicorns blog tour on September 21st at The Children’s Book Review: www.thechildrensbookreview.com.

17.9.14

Is October 2nd Open for you? @IKEA #Giveaway

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

If your calendar is clear for October 2nd and you live in or near Marietta, Georgia...
Why not make it a date night for a good cause? Devereux Georgia is having an event with money raised for the Marietta Campus.   Without fundraising, they would not be able to stay open, so this is a great way to give back to the community!  (If you can't attend, you can still donate online if you would like.)

You might be asking "What is Devereux Georgia?"
Well - let me tell you --- (From their site) 

The Devereux Georgia Treatment Network (Devereux Georgia) is located on a secure, tree-lined, 40-acre campus in Kennesaw, Georgia. Devereux Georgia is licensed to serve 100 children up to the age of 21, who are experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges brought on by abuse, neglect, mental illness, sexual exploitation, or intellectual/developmental disabilities. They struggle with mental health and/or emotional challenges including major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Symptoms of their illness often manifest in expulsion from school, additional disrupted foster care placements, and even placement in the juvenile or criminal justice system.



IKEA is helping to spread the word of the Devereux Event by offering a giveaway of a $100 gift card to their store.   You can enter below ... but before you do, why not go ahead and purchase a ticket to their event?   The night is sure to be fun...   
The evening includes an art auction fundraiser featuring pieces designed by the youth at Devereux ages 8-21. The evening will also include a jazz trio, dinner, cocktails and a live auction.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How Rare is It really???? What Are the Chances?

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

Image Credit - Amazon

Need a new book for your library?  Sports Illustrated for Kids has released "What are the chances?  The Wildest Plays in Sports" and it comes just in time for anyone wanting to stock up for a great Christmas gift!
I am not sure if you know it, but I am really a fan of Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints')  not only for his plays on the field, but for the person he is when he is OFF the field too!  So, imagine the surprise and delight when I opened this book and was greeted with "5,000  Passing Yards in a Season.  Only eight times has a quarterback thrown for 5,000 or more yards in an NFL season.  The New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees has done it four of those times.  No other quarterback has reached 5,000 yards in a seasons more than once."  Yep.. Pretty excited to say the least!
The contents of this book:  Rare, Really Rare, Super Rare, Almost Impossible and Never Happened.   With titles such as that, I was really pretty curious as to what this was going to cover and to say I was impressed is putting it mildly!  
This book covers basketball, baseball, football, golf and even hockey.  
I really enjoyed the bright and vibrant colored photographs on the pages to accompany the facts.  The huge numbers that tells the stats listed below is a great way to catch your eye as well!  I did like that they mixed all the different stats throughout, instead of separating it based on the sport!  If you have a sports fan on your list, this is a great book to look at getting for a great gift.  With this being a great book for any sports fan, I do wish they had made it a hard back, but being that not everyone is a hard back fan, I can see why they did not do so.  

16.9.14

Need a Laugh?? Check out Alexander's Day #VeryBadDay

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.


SYNOPSIS: 
Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn't had one.
 
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” directed by Independent Spirit Award-winner Miguel Arteta (“The Good Girl,” “Cedar Rapids,” “Youth in Revolt”) from a screenplay by Rob Lieber, is a 21 Laps Entertainment/Jim Henson Company production. The film hits theaters nationwide Oct. 10, 2014.

In theaters Oct. 10, 2014, Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—and soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Let's Celebrate!!!! LOTS of Rio Licensed Products to make this a holiday to remember! #MakingMyList

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
 We fell in love with Blu (and Jewel) when we watched the first Rio movie... Then, when Rio 2 was released, we fell in love with the other family members...  Although it is an animated movie, it really is a great movie for all ages...  Now, they are expanding even further!
As with all movies that are hits, there have been releases of items that fall into the "Rio Franchise" and we were sent a couple for review...

Here is a small list of some of the items that have been released:
Leading licensing partners for Fox Consumer Products and RIO 2 include:
  • Jakks Pacific – Bounce Sky Balls, Figures, Hula Hoop, Jump Ropes, Playsets, Plush, Musical Plush, Remote Control Toys, Role-playing Game Costumes and Seasonal and Novelty Toys are available at retailers nationwide now.
  • H&M – Children’s apparel and accessories soon available in stores worldwide.
  • Rovio Entertainment – Angry Birds RIO-themed merchandise available soon.
  • HarperCollins Publishers – Five movie tie-in books are now available in stores nationwide. 
  • Titan Books – The Art of Rio is now available in stores worldwide.  Revealing the creativity behind RIO and RIO 2, The Art of Rio features character sketches, storyboards and digital paintings, along with interviews with key animation talent. 
  • Cupcake Digital – The RIO storybook app, based on the first film, is slated for release March 20. The official app for the RIO 2 movie will be available April 1, before the film hits theaters. The RIO and RIO 2 Movie Interactive Storybook, Activities & Games for Kids apps will be available in the Apple App Store, Amazon Appstore for Android and Google Play.
  • Hallmark – a variation of greeting cards, stationery, ornaments and gifts available in the US.
  • DecoPak  Cake Decorating Kits, Cake Toppers and Candles will be available in the US and Canada in bakeries, Kmart, Walmart, Target and more.
  • Jay Franco & Sons Inc. – Bath accessories and bedding soon available.
  • Bentex Group Inc – Sleepwear, sportswear and swimwear soon available in Old Navy, specialty stores and department stores in the US and China.
  • Mashon Inc – Apparel, electronic, home and bath items and accessories soon available worldwide.
  • SimEx-Iwerks – An all-new RIO Rainforest Adventure 4-D attraction recently opened at the San Diego Zoo in Fall 2013, providing a one-of-a-kind rainforest experience for zoo guests. SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and the San Diego Zoo, debuted this fully-immersive attraction with a 4-D Theater experience as the featured element.  The attraction is located in the Children’s Zoo, where an existing structure has been transformed into an immersive rainforest experience that celebrates the festive sights and sounds of Rio de Janeiro with live macaws, a waterfall and samba music. The 12-minute theater presentation takes guests on a journey through Rio de Janeiro with their favorite characters from the film.
Additional licensing partner highlights by region include: 
  • Asia Pacific:  Richprime Global will be launching a full range of merchandise to include apparel, bags, accessories, footwear, inflatable toys and more by the end of March and will be available in all Toy Kingdom and SM Department Stores nationwide in the Philippines.  Richprime will also have new merchandise available in all leading department stores in Thailand and Indonesia beginning in April.
  • Europe:  C&A International for children’s clothing, Pez for candy dispensers, Smith & Brooks for outerwear, Aykroyds for nightwear and NextAsdaTesco andPrimark for clothing; Russia partners include 15 licensees across the core categories: toys, apparel, stationery, homewares, food & beverage, health and beauty.
  • Latin America:  Grow for vinyl dolls and board games, BBR for plush, Ri-Happy and PBKids in Brazil for toys and Ripley Department Stores in Chile, Peru and Colombia for toys, apparel and home d├ęcor.
We were sent two plush animals and the coffee table book.  

I was so excited for the book.  Of course, Broxton was thrilled to have the animals and he has been running around the house with them, but for me, the book was amazing!    They  have basic plush toys... as well as MUSICAL ones!  But, I want to tell you all about the book!!!!
I felt like I was able to be one on one with the director and was able to sort of have a behind the scenes look.  Yes, I know this book was published for everyone, but it felt (even if very brief) like it was just a special event for me!  
The Art of Rio is a hard back "coffee table" book that gives us a first hand look from the artists and director of Rio.  This book includes images from Rio, as well as Rio 2.   

If you are a fan of animation... or more specifically, if you know someone that has a desire to do animation for a living ---  THIS IS THE GIFT FOR YOU TO GIVE THEM!!!!!!!!!  Know a budding artist?  Look at this... it is really amazing all that goes into making an animated movie!  All the sketches, BEFORE you get to a final result... AWESOME!  

The colors are nothing short of amazing... It is about Rio afterall!  
The illustrations, the sketches, the thoughts and the process...   It is just too cool and I have NO DESIRE what so ever to be an artist.. but it is super neat to look at all of the pages!
Another thing I enjoyed?  I did not have to start at page one and go from there.. I have flipped from front to back , middle to front over and over again...
They broke the book down into two different categories for us to enjoy: Characters (with what looks to be all of them!) and then Locations.  

Did you know that in order for them to create RIO for us, they even TRAVELED TO RIO to let the artists get a first hand experience of the colors and culture of the area?  Talk about going above and beyond!  

So - bottom line is this...
If you have a Rio fan, you need to plan on making it a Rio birthday (or Christmas) this year and stock up on all that they have to offer!    You could even make a themed bag/box/ basket and give them a few different items, with copies of both movies of course!  

Language Building With Books #GuestPost

I received this in an email and thought it would be nice to share...

Language Building with Books
By Thomas Weck 
(Author of  Cave Monster and Bully Bean ) 

I believe a child's ability to learn at a very early age is typically underestimated--possibly delaying a child's verbal development. I have found that most children between the ages of 4 and 6 can master many language skills that we tend to "reserve" for when they are a bit older.

If, instead, we work on the assumption that most children can incorporate complex words into their functional vocabulary between the ages of 4 and 5, we can help make that happen. One of the best and most enjoyable ways to accomplish this is by reading to your child as often as possible.
A children's book that incorporates the following elements will show a rapid increase in vocabulary and stimulate curiosity that leads to further vocabulary mastery.

1. First and foremost, books with a message or a moral offer greater opportunities to talk with your child about the book and story. If talking is an integral part of your interactions, new words can be regularly introduced without a problem.

2. The book where the picture and story are fused on the same page offers two layers of learning at the same time. The text is the expression of the story in words joined by the illustration that is the expression of the story in picture. Both contribute to the understanding of the story.
Sometimes, the parent or other adult only sees the "obvious" elements of a picture, but the child almost always sees small details, too, and and will comment on them. The learning then is more of a shared experience, and the child is pleased to have "taught" the older reader something about the story.

3. The story should be at the interest level of the target audience. Then, if "new" words are well presented, children will more readily learn them and incorporate them into his or her functional vocabulary. Some authors feel that for  young children blue is a "safer" word to use than indigo or azure. They will then also stay away from "difficult" words like labyrinth or camouflage that will initially need to be explained.
As long as the reader takes the time to explain "new" words and encourage the child to use the "new" word in a sentence of their own, these words can quickly be added to a child's vocabulary.

4. Using the above approach, once more difficult words are mastered, it can trigger other learning. If the parent explains that the "ology" in paleontology means "the study of," they can then expand on that and talk about other words that end in "ology" such as ecology, biology, archaeology, geology, etc. If one topic particularly piques your child's interest, then a trip to a museum or other "outing" can be planned as well as finding additional books on the subject.

5. For some words, the derivation of that word might be fun to talk about. Sandwich, mesmerize, and silhouette all have fascinating derivations. Check them out for yourself.

6. Poetry by itself or within a prose text is another powerful tool for vocabulary building. When a "new" word is part of a repetitive phrase or poem, the repetition reinforces the learning. Of course poetry goes far beyond that as well. It naturally teaches rhythm and rhyme as well as syntax and pronunciation.

It all adds up to a simple truth: if you trigger the imagination of a child, it will blossom. If you trigger the creativity, it will flourish.

Happy reading!

New Baby Gift? #Disney Baby - My First Words

FTC Compliant Review Policy:
The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. Opinions expressed are my own and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.

One of my very best friends just had her first baby!  I am so excited and this is where the miles between friends really hurts and I wish we were closer in distance! Even though I can not be there to see her little one grow up, doesn't mean I can not send a couple books to start her son on a love of learning like we have at our house!    The book I am sending first?  Disney Baby - My First Words  .  No, I know that they will not be reading words and her newborn will not be talking yet... but I do know that it is a great book to have on hand to work with down the road and with it being Disney book, it is a great keepsake one too!  
In this book, we have the different Disney characters, from Mickey and Minnie to Robin Hood and Dumbo!!!  I LOVE IT!!!!
The book starts with Farm Animals (cow, goat, pig and so forth)  then we move on to Wild Animals and Pets.  As the book goes further, we have Nature and Home, Toys and Numbers!  I really enjoyed the mix of colorful photographs and illustrations throughout the pages and really enjoyed looking at the book!    I think this is a great book to have on hand for any grandparents house... or even a road trip with a little one.  I know that although it is "Disney Baby" I think it would be a great book for new readers as well!  
 
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