4 #Books To Make Holiday #FamilyTravel Easier + #ChildrensBook Giveaway

*Disclosure: This content uses some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info: here

Do you pack books for yourself or family when you travel? I do. No matter if it’s by plane, train or automobile each member of my #HeighPartyof3 will have some type of reading material or activity book. We are heading up to Charlotte, NC for Thanksgiving weekend and I have already started packing up what books my daughter will read on the roadtrip and keep her entertained during our hotel stay. Sure she has a tablet and my husband has his kindle, but there is still something special about having and holding a book. Here are 4 Books To Make Holiday Family Travel Easier:
Football Freddie and Fumble Dog by Marnie Schneider, Goldie Grace, Illustrated by D.Moore

Description: Football Freddie and Gameday in the Carolinas is a book that follows Football Freddie, a football loving girl who also loves to learn, as she travels around the Carolinas taking in the sights, ending her trip at a Carolina Panthers game in Charlotte.

This book is beautifully illustratrated and includes dome fun facts about the Carolinas and even some Charlotte stops, which is right on time since we will be visiting there in a few days! Our daughter is including this book in her #outandaboutAvareads series to enjoy along the way.

*Available at Amazon.com >here
Color My Washington DC by Elina Diaz

Description: Color Washington, D.C., the way you want to see it… Color your journey through the capital of the United States. Color elaborately hand drawn pen and ink illustrations of some of the most iconic destinations in the District—from to the White House, down through the National Mall and across to the Washington Monument, enjoy all the treasures this city has to offer. Each page contains facts about the District of Columbia, so regardless if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or a first time visitor to Capitol Hill, you’ll have your own relaxing coloring experience for years to come.

I am from the DMV area and enjoy traveling back to DC to see family, friends and share our #soDMVsavvy highlights. With this book, I get to learn more about the city while coloring. When my daughter pulls out her coloring books in the hotel, this is the one I will use!

*Purchase at Amazon.com >here

48 hours in North American Cities

Description: 48 Hours In…North American Cities | How to Enjoy the Perfect Short Break in 20 Great Destinations By Simon Calder

Every Saturday in The Independent’s award-winning Traveller section, our “48 hours” stories explore new and exciting city-break itineraries. Now, 25 years after the series was first launched, we’ve produced this special, designed to help you get the most from a visit to a selection of 20 key North American cities. Among them, you can choose from New York’s dizzying nightlife, the rollercoaster thrills of Orlando, the Hollywood glitter of Los Angeles or Vancouver’s great outdoors. We’ve also included a range of accommodation options to suit your budget.

We love weekend getaways! While my husband and I both have a background in working in a Travel agency (it’s how we met actually), we still like referring to books on what to do in certain cities. Our family just came back from a 3 Day Vacation in Orlando and this book gave us some ideas outside of the Disney box!

*Get your copy on Amazon.com>here

BigFoot Fun Book!: Puzzles,Coloring Pages, Fun Facts! by D.L.Miller

Description: The idea of the book brainchild of Pennsylvania artist D.L. Miller, was to marry fun activities along with learning. “Children have the opportunity to have fun while learning about the world around them with BigFoot,” says Miller.

The activity book is a treasure trove of engaging activities such as mazes, word search games, dot-to-dot pictures, coloring, and of course his classic seek-and-find activities. As with his other BigFoot books, the activity book is intended to help children learn about the world in an engaging and exciting way. As an added bonus, the book also includes animal stickers.

This book, which is recommended for children ages 5-12 years old, grade level:4-6 , is 136 pages of fun for my 7 yr old 2nd grader. The variety of educational, fun and interactive activities is why we parents love this book for our daughter. It keeps her engaged and gives a good balance between playing with apps on the tablet doing an activity in a book. She enjoys the Bigfoot seek and find series, which you can find out more information at IFoundBigFoot.com

*Available at Amazon.com >here

SobeSavvy Tip: Enter my #SobeSavvyGiveaway to recieve a copy of the BigFoot Fun Book!: Puzzles, Coloring Pages, Fun Facts for a child in your life! Comment below in blog comments with ” I Found BigFoot” to enter. One winner will be selected randomnly. Contest ends Monday, Nov 26, 2018 at noon. Additional entry if you comment in this IG post also ⤵

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3 Summer Break Books to Intrigue, Inform, Inspire Your K-2nd Grader #outandaboutAvareads #books

Disclosure: This content uses some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info: here

Can you believe Summer’s here? I have been asking myself where has this year gone and what shall I do to keep my child from being bored during Summer Break? While my daughter is ready for some time off, I know the importance of keeping her mind active. Ever heard of the “summer slide” where kids lose some of their academic gains from the school year? Well, I plan to avoid that by encouraging my child to read. However, because my daughter loves to read, I really don’t have to do much encouraging. In fact, you may have seen her #outandaboutAvareads series on my Instagram!

Recently, some authors/publishers have contributed to her summer reading list and she is excited to read these books at home, by the pool, or in the car during our family roadtrips!If you are looking for things for your child to do this summer, remember reading is a great way to keep kids engaged over summer break!

Today on the blog, SobeSavvy.com, I am sharing some new children’s books to add to your child’s summer reading list that will Intrigue, Inform and Inspire! Take a look at these three books:

*INTRIGUE | THE CASE OF THE PINCHED STRADUVARIUS by Elaine Loeser

#outandaboutAvareads

The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is a unique whodunit – a mix of television script and comic book presented in a fun way! This picture book shows kids how using their brains and working together can solve problems. Miles and Fargo are your average turtles. They swim, lounge around and fight over the one rock in their tank. But Miles and Fargo are different in one major way: like Jimmy Stewart’s character in the iconic 1954 film “Rear Window” or Dr. Anna Fox in “The Woman in the Window,” they witness a crime from the window of their NYC apartment and manage to solve it – without leaving their tank.

The story is told in an all-dialogue format, with icons representing the characters in the story so kids can identify with them more closely. It’s written by Elaine Loeser – former writer for the long-running NBC drama “Law & Order” – with wonderfully vibrant illustrations by Greg Arvanitakis. Elaine’s husband acquired the real-life turtles while they were living in Los Angeles and they spent their first months living in their tank in Pasadena, overlooking Dodger Stadium.

In The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius, while looking out the window one day, Miles and Fargo witness a little girl’s violin stolen by a bad man, who snatches the instrument and runs away. After watching carefully, the turtles enlist the services of Bogie and Bandit, the dogs who live in the apartment with them, to do the investigative legwork during their walks. The dogs get all the credit when the violin is found. But that’s ok with Miles and Fargo. They did the thinking. The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is the story of how they manage to solve the crime and bring the thief to justice, thus becoming: Miles and Fargo, Turtle Detectives!

For kids, parents and teachers alike, it’s a fun story that introduces readers to Miles and Fargo, their background and how they become the Holmes and Watson of the reptile world. It also teaches kids about introverts (the turtles) and extroverts (the dogs.) The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is ideal for readers ages 3-10 and is available on Amazon.* Learn more about the book on turtledetectives.com, Facebook and Instagram.

*INFORM | LIKTOON’S BOAT by Radha Rai

Liktoon’s Boat is an endearing and educational book to help promote financial literacy among children. Written by North Jersey financial expert, blogger, mom and author, Radha Rai, this book provides introduction to basic mathematical and financial concepts. Liktoon’s Boat takes children of all ages to a make-believe world of adventure, entrepreneurship and challenges, where dreams are accessible with the right financial planning.

For more information on Liktoon’s Boat visit Liktoon.com, or visit Rai’s blog at Missfingy.com/. Liktoon’s Boat is available at Amazon* as well as other fine booksellers.

*INSPIRE | JUST BE YOURSELF by Karen Stone

Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey is a new children’s book written by Karen Stone to inspire kids to be happy with who they are and build a positive perception of self. As children grow up, they will face various challenges and struggles, author Karen Stone wants to make sure a negative self-image will not be one of those issues.

In “Just Be Yourself,” Stone introduces readers to a unique story that follows an unsure ladybug in the Happy Peaceful Forest. The ladybug questions why she is the only one in her family without a special crown and sets out to reach the shiny purple castle to find her answers.

Along the way she meets various animals that impart lessons of self-assurance and empowerment. At the end of her journey, she realizes that to receive her crown, she simply needs to find confidence and happiness in her own heart.

“I want to enable children to build a foundation to be happy with who they are for the rest of their lives,” Stone said. “Just Be Yourselfteaches children to be confident with their own attributes, skills and appearance so they can build a positive self-image.”

For more information, please visit www.kstone11.com. “Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey” by Karen Stone is available at Balboa Press, Barnes and Noble and Amazon*.

📚What Books Are You or Your Child Reading This Summer?📚

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#BookReview | Let The Children March by @MonicaClarkRob + More #BlackHistoryMonth Books Every Child Should Read #sponsored

Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review of Let the Children March.
Let the Children March is brand new picture book by Monica Clark-Robinson that gives readers an in-depth look at the Civils Rights Movement and the little freedom fighters who had a big impact on changing the world! This is the author’s debut of her first children’s book in which she collborated with Frank Morrison to illustrate and bring these historical moments to life!

This book gave incredible insight and accurate information about the Children’s March in 1963. I personally do not recall learning much about this in school, so it was with great pleasure to learn the story along with my 6 year old daughter. Her reactions to what the children did, how brave they were and the struggles faced at that time were indeed priceless.

The narrator of the book is a young girl so that immediately caught the attention of my daughter. Although the chatacter is fictional, the events are not. You can tell the author put a whole lot of research into this book to make it as real and accurate as possible. Not only was art done by illustrator Frank Morrison, but actual photographs from the events in Birmingham on 1963 were used.

I think everyone’s introduction to Black History in school is probably thru learning about Dr. Martin Luther King. So when my daughter saw that he was a part of this movement, her face lit up as she recognized someone she had been studying about at home and school!

His efforts and purpose of the movement was also shared in the book. His ideas to ‘fill the jails’ with people arrested for marching in order to disrupt government and make change happen had some obstacles when adults were too afraid to lose jobs. The introduction of children to the Civil Rights Movement, he later wrote, changed everything! Watch this video for a look inside this beautifully illustrated book and a read-a-long snippet from #outandaboutAvareads:

👏👏 Bravo to the author and illustrator for finding a balance of giving enough details to tell this story of courage and hope without scaring young readers. My daughter understood that the bravery those children had then makes a difference in our lives now!

With just a week left of Black History Month (although these books can be read during any time of the year), I wanted to share some other books we have enjoyed as part of the #outandaboutAvareads series for families and teachers to know more about Black History. Check these out in addition to Let The Children March:

📚 Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by @ninanolan111 📚Our Legendary Ladies: Harriet Tubman by @ourlegendaryladies 📚 Bedtime Inspirational Stories-50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World by @bedtimeinspirational

For more information about Let The Children March, follow
Website: https://monicaclark-robinson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monica.clarkrobinson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/monicaclarkrob
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monicaclarkrobinson/

..and hashtags #letthechildrenmarch #childrenscrusade #blackhistory #blackhistorymonth

Ever heard of the Children’s March in 1963? What moments in Black History have you shared with or read to your child? Comment below..and thanks!

Enter #SobeSavvyGiveaway and #Win ‘THIS IS IT’ by @DariaPeoples @HarperChildrens #newrelease #book

I am excited to tell you all about a new book from author Daria Peoples-Riley, titled ‘This Is It‘ and even more excited to offer you a chance to win this book!

This Is It ,which released on February 6, 2018, is published by Harper Collins and written/illustrated by Daria People-Riley. It is the author’s picture book debut and was inspired by her daughter. My 6 yr old daughter, fondly referred as #outandaboutAva on the blog, loves to dance and has practiced ballet which made me interested in learning more about this book. I also believe in supporting diverse books and authors because representation matters. This book, recommended for ages 4-8 yrs old, celebrates the joy of dance and shows how confidence can be gained from within.

For those of us who live in North Carolina, there is a special connection. Take a look at this lovely trailer + interview for This Is It ….

BOOK TRAILER INTERVIEW

Tell us a little bit about the trailer. It’s not the average book trailer for a picture book.

I know, right? Well, I’ve always been interested in making films, so when THIS IS IT was
acquired, I knew I wasn’t going to do an animated book trailer. Creating a live action book trailer
would be the perfect opportunity to try filmmaking. I thought the idea of bringing my heroine to
real life would be more impactful. To be honest, as a child, I wasn’t very interested in cartoons. I
liked shows and movies with real people. It’s hard for me to believe there aren’t more kids out
there like that. The book trailer is the prologue to the book, and you have to read the book to
find out what happens next. It was a wonderful opportunity to create my first experience as a
filmmaker.

Who was some of the talent behind the scenes of the trailer?

I enlisted the expertise of Patrick Lascu, a Los Angeles based filmmaker, and he put together a
crew of amazing talent. He really went out of his way to involve me in the creative process. I
learned a lot from him, and hope we can work together again in the near future.

And in front of the camera, who plays the shadow?

The shadow is played by my daughter, Jonah Marie. She is an aspiring ballerina who inspired the poem in THIS IS IT.

Jonah, can you tell us a little bit about your ballet training?

I train in Vaganova Ballet, a style of Russian ballet. I train about ten hours a week right now, and
in the summer I attend summer intensives. Last summer, I attended Los Angeles Ballet School
and next summer I will attend UNCSA’s classical ballet intensive.

What was it like dancing as the shadow?

It was really fun because I didn’t have to worry about being on the camera, but I was still a part
of the trailer.

Besides ballet, what are some of your other interests?

I like fashion and baking.

What are some of your dreams for the future?

I would love to become a professional ballet dancer.

The mom and the daughter—who plays those roles?

The mom is played by Tanya Hill, and her daughter Jalyn Noelle. They are real mom and
daughter, so the connection was natural.

How did you go about finding Tanya and Jalyn?

It was pretty unconventional actually. We call it a God story—one of those acts of Providence
only God could orchestrate. Patrick and I were looking for actors, and reached out to a few casting directors, but we hadn’t found anyone who looked quite like the character in THIS IS IT.
However, after a couple of weeks of unsuccessfully finding anyone, I was leaving a hotel in Buena Park, California when I drove by Tanya and Jalyn who were standing along the street at a crosswalk. Immediately, I was amazed at how much Jalyn looked like my heroine, so I pulled over. It wasn’t until I got out of my car to approach them, I realized Jalyn and Tanya were holding a homeless sign and asking for money.

What did you do next?

Truthfully, it caught me off-guard a little and probably out of nervousness, I commented on
Tanya’s t-shirt, a North Carolina Panther’s shirt. I don’t really watch football, but I am a Cam
Newton fan because of all the wonderful things he does for kids, so the first thing I said was
something like “I’m a Cam Newton fan!” Awkward, right? So funny. But she said, “I am too!”
Then, we Cam-dabbed together.
Once the ice was broken, I told her I was an author/illustrator who wrote a book, and her
daughter looked a lot like the character in my story. I asked her if she was interested in acting in
my book trailer, and that was when Jalyn told me,“Of course, I’m an actor.” Tanya told me she was struggling after relocating to California from North Carolina. She cried tears of joy when I offered Jalyn the role. Then, I cried. Then, we celebrated by taking a selfie.

We exchanged information, and Jalyn became my real life heroine. The best thing about it was I was
able to compensate Jalyn for her talent.

How are Jalyn and her mom doing now? Can you give us an update? Do you still keep in touch?

Absolutely! We keep each other updated. Jalyn and her mom will be in my heart forever. They are doing wonderful. Shortly after our first meeting, I reached out to my aunt who lives in the LA area to find Tanya and Jalyn housing. She
enlisted the help of Boys II Men singer, Nathan Morris who has a heart for helping the homeless.
Together, we raised $9,000 in three days on GoFundMe. Jalyn and her mom moved back to the Carolinas. Jalyn is acting and attending school and mom is working as a manager of an optical gallery.

Jalyn, what did you think about Daria asking you to be in her trailer?

I felt excited because I wanted to be an actress and she just came in my life and helped me fulfill my dreams, and well, it was the first time I was on onset with cameras. I did NarroWay, A Christian theater in South Carolina, but it wasn’t like that.

How was your experience? What was your favorite part?

I loved the experience. It was a lot of fun doing it. My favorite part was learning ballet. It was the
first time I ever tried it, but now I actually want to do ballet.

What are you doing now?

Well, I went back to NarroWay and now I’m doing a show called Not Just Another Love Story.

What are some of your dreams for the future?

One of my dreams is becoming a veterinarian. I love animals and I really want to help the homeless. I’ve been in that situation before, and it’s not fun.

I am happy to host a book giveaway for one winner (who must be a US or Canadian resident) to receive a copy of THIS IS IT! Winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, February 23 at noon. Leave a comment below and answer the following:

Why would you like to win this book? 📚

Remember this book is not only good for little girls or aspiring dancers, you could gift this book to a child in your life or even a homeless shelter. Thank you for reading and entering. GOOD LUCK!

#FiveForFriday | 5 Childrens Books to Gift this Christmas #holidaygiftguide

Disclosure: This post is sponsored and contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of the links in my post, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

It’s almost Christmas and when it comes to shopping for our 6 year old or any other young children in our lives, I prefer to give the gift of reading. BOOKS make great gifts because no matter what your child enjoys, there is nothing like a new book to read to themselves, to you, to their favorite stuffed animal, for you to read to them at night, to take along on a trip..the ways to enjoy a book are endless! If you are ready to rebuild your home library with the best books for your little ones, ages 4-8, then this Amazon list is a great place to start! 

  • ELI’s 1st WINTER CARNIVAL by Lisa Bowen 

 This book will have you excited for Winter, as Little Eli enjoys making snow angels, and helping his family make a silly snowman at his first winter carnival! The joys of winter fun and quality time with family are wonderfully illustrated in this 36 page book for recommended for age level: Birth-8, grade level: preschool – 5.

       

  • Smarty Locks and the Unforgettable Zoo by Marilyn Harary

This rhyming book inspired our recent trip to the NC Zoo and my latest hair do..lol! Smarty Locks is so excited for her class trip to the zoo, but when plans change she comes up with a clever plan of what to do! The lesson of ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is loud and clear for young readers ages 5-8 and their parents to hear! 

  • I Just Kept Spinning by Destini Berry

As a young black girl who enjoys ballet herself, my daughter was thrilled to receive this diverse book. The author, who is 18 years old, retells an inspirational story based on true experiences of overcoming discrimination when she was 7 years old. I Just Kept Spinning relays an important message that no matter how you wear your hair, or what you look like, to have self-love and always follow your dreams!

    • No Chimney? No Problem! by Jodi Wojtowicz

    If you ever had a child ask, “If our house has no chimney, how will Santa get in?” ..this book will answer the question! Prior to Christmas Eve, give this boxed gift set which includes a hardcover, dust jacketed copy of the book and keepsake key and ribbon. We plan to start a new family tradition of hanging this decorative Santa key on the door and unlock the magic this year! This book gift set is available for purchase at www.nochimney.com. Use discount code  ‘NOCHIMNEY10BT’ from 10/23-11/30. 

    • Rice & Rocks by Sandra L. Richards

    We loved this picture book which not only spoke to our love of travel and food but celebrates culture and diversity! When Giovanni learns his grandmother is serving ‘rice and rock’ to his friends who are coming over for Sunday dinner, he worries they will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. However, he discovers other places where people eat rice and rocks too and that its these delicious similarities that bring us all together!

     

      There are so many amazing books our daughter read this year that I would recommend to give as a gift but these were her favorite five. On #outandaboutAva ‘s Christmas wish list this year is Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vasht Harrison (avail for pre-order now on Amazon).

      So if you are reading this Santa, she has been a good girl and would love this book! Check out a sneak peek of the book >>here.

      Be sure to follow along on social media at #outandaboutAvareads to see what books she has reviewed + stay tuned for giveaways!

      Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

      WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU GIFTING TO A YOUNG READER OR YOURSELF THIS HOLIDAY? Comment Below 📚