Archives for November 2016

Our Top Book Selections For This Week!

Is Being a Princess is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

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This is a really delightful book especially for young girls! I recommend for ages 1-6.

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., is pleased to announce the release of I Am Not a Princess! by Bethany Burt with drawings by Brenda McCallum and featuring a little girl whose princess persona collides with the activities she loves best. Can a princess ride a bike, bake cookies, and play baseball?

Play-acting and self-identity are the themes of this charmingly illustrated book about a girl who dreams of being a beautiful princess. What’s not to love? Princesses get to wear fancy dresses and beautiful jewels. They live happily ever after with the prince of their dreams in a splendid castle in the countryside. Plus, they are never burdened with boring chores or unpleasant activities. Their only real job is looking pretty. But when Eliza, dressed in full princess fashion, tries to join in on the fun in her household and neighborhood, she is disappointed to discover that being a princess prevents her from doing many of the things she loves. She can’t ride a bike, play baseball, help her father paint, or bake cookies with her mom. See what happens as her frustration builds. This glimpse inside a little girl’s head helps preschoolers put their fantasies in perspective.

About the Author

Bethany Burt has never wanted to be a princess. As a young girl she loved playing sports and climbing the enormous pine trees that surrounded her home in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. She missed the princess phenomenon entirely; that is, until her daughter Eliza was born. Bethany, owner of Nest Media Company, (www.NestMediaCo.com), has been an advertising, design, and marketing specialist for over twenty years and, like the storybook character, loves to write, draw, paint, and bake cookies. Her two amazing children serve as inspiration for her stories.About the IllustratorBrenda McCallum Even as a little girl Brenda McCallum knew she wanted to bring the world of her vivid imagination into her future work. As a design professional she developed compelling and original marketing campaigns for corporate clients. Now, she uses her creative passion to inspire readers to discover new ideas and follow their own adventures of the mind.Follow I Am NOT a Princess!Facebook: facebook.com/IAmNotPrincessBookTwitter: twitter.com/NOTaPrincessAUTInstagram: instagram.com/iamnotaprincessbook 
About the Publisher
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. is a family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality books. Since 1974, Schiffer has published thousands of titles on the diverse subjects that fuel our readers’ passions. From our traditional subjects of antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts, and military history, Schiffer has expanded its catalog to publish books on contemporary art and artists; architecture and design; food and entertaining; the metaphysical, paranormal and folklore; and pop and fringe culture, as well as books for children. Visit www.schifferbooks.com to explore our backlist of more than 5,800 titles.The next ones are also highly recommended and would make great gifts this upcoming Holiday season!

brunhildas-backwards-day-9781634506915BRUNHILDA’S BACKWARDS DAY by Shawna J. C. Tenney : Brunhilda the witch loves making trouble. But one night, Brunhilda’s cat makes trouble instead. When she wakes up that next morning, she is on the right side of the bed. The day has gone completely backwards. What will happen when Brunhilda casts her all-time favorite misery-inducing spells? With bright, colorful illustrations and clever dialogue, this book teaches kids that being kind to people actually makes you feel better than playing tricks and being mean.I like this one because it is a fun book and also teaches kids to be kind!  Ages 3-6.

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BELLA DONNA: TOO MANY SPELLS by Ruth Symes and Marion Lindsay: Bella Donna seems just like any other student at her school, but she has a secret: she’s really a witch! The other witches who live on Coven Road are having a spell casting contest, and Bella is determined to win. When strange things start to happen at school and begin to spin out of control, Bella wonders if she can really handle it all. Teachers and parents will love this series because it is good for reluctant readers and will teach kids important lessons in each book.

I love this one because of the important lessons it will teach kids ages 7-10!  It is a fun read and I think kids will like Bella Donna!

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Have a Pokemon fan in the house? This one is great for ages 8-12.

CAPTURING CRESSELIA: UNOFFICIAL STORIES FOR POKÉMON COLLECTORS, #2 by Alex Polan : Welcome to Camp Pikachu, where kids can act out adventures from their favorite Pokémon games and cartoons, battling other teams to earn points and badges, and maybe make it into the Summer Camp Hall of Fame! Marco, Nisha, Logan, and Maddy can’t wait to embark on their latest adventure: Pokémon Orienteering! This is the perfect book for young reluctant readers and fans of Pokémon.

Look for them on Amazon.com!

The next one is a book series that I also highly recommend!

TOMO EXPLORES THE WORLD: Brand New Picture Book Series!

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Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group is launched a brand new picture book series this past October, TOMO EXPLORES THE WORLD!

Perfect for budding innovators who like to think outside the box, TOMO EXPLORES THE WORLD is a fun and inspiring story that emphasizes creativity and imagination to achieve your goals.

I love the artwork and the story will keep young kids entertained!

Look for it on Amazon.com.

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This next one is a really fun read for young children!

THIS BOOK IS OUT OF CONTROL by Richard Byrne is a final picture book in a series and is perfect for toddlers and young readers. I highly recommend the whole series!  I love how this book will spark imagination! A truly fun and interactive story for young children.

Look for it at Amazon.com, Walmart, Barnes and Noble and other locations! Look for the other two books: This book just ate my dog! and We’re in the wrong book!  

 

Love this Picture Book from Lane Smith: THERE IS A TRIBE OF KIDS!

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This one is highly recommended for young kids! It is whimsical and imaginative and also introduces young children to collective nouns!  Look for it on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble this holiday season!

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I really suggest this Adventure series! How Three Brothers Saved the Navy by Charles Salter came out this past Summer and is full of adventure! 

In a Recon game one day, three brothers–Matt, Ryan and Jack–scout out an abandoned airfield. They notice a team of skydivers and quickly discover these are NOT U.S. military, but rather hostile agents training to land with guns and explosives on a navy aircraft carrier. Their Force Recon Marine play suddenly becomes very real as they struggle to determine the exact target and time of the coming attack, to evade the terrorist gang, and get their intelligence information back to the navy in time to save their father’s aircraft carrier ship located just off the coast.

Captured by the gang, can they use their junior Force Recon Marine skills to escape, get back to headquarters, and devise a plan to defeat the terrible plot without anyone getting seriously hurt?

I recommend for ages 8-12.

Look for it on Amazon.com.

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The Ancient Earth Journals

by Juan Carlos Alonso and Gregory S. Paul

Illustrated by Juan Carlos Alonso.

These Journals are so interesting and older children will love them!  They have such interesting facts and great illustrations!

Look for them on Amazon.com.

Have a young child who loves Dinosaurs? This next series is a Must-Buy!

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These are so entertaining and so educational too! My favorite is Jurassic Classic: The Presidential Masters of Prehistory  and love how many facts are included! These are perfect for ages 7-11.

These can also be found on Amazon.com.

The next one is a Bedtime Story with a Shakespearean Twist!

by Henry, Joshua and Harrison Herz with illustrations by Lisa Woods.

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Little Mabel is an expert at not going to sleep. She knows all the best bedtime-avoiding excuses. “I’m thirsty.” “I need to use the bathroom.” “Will you tell me a story?” Luckily, Mom’s quiver of bedtime tales includes the story of the Fae Queen, who paints children’s dreams and can only visit when their eyes are closed. Inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Romeo & Juliet, in which he details how the tiny fairy queen influences people’s dreams as she passes by in her flying chariot, the soothing story evokes images of an ant in a worn gray coat and a hazelnut-shell chariot with a roof of grasshopper wings. Told in lyrical language that adults will also appreciate, the story helps parents get their kids to sleep.

I really enjoy this one and love how unique the story is! Great for a bedtime story!

This one is from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

It’s time for Adventure! 

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New Bubba Jones National Park Adventure!

The Adventures of Bubba Jones: Time Traveling Through Shenandoah National Park by Jeff Alt.

Children and adults will enjoy this book and I especially liked the time travelling. This book will make you want to pack up your bags and visit all the National Parks! It is entertaining and a fun book to read out loud! I highly recommend!~SoCal City Kids.

Check out the official website of The Adventures of Bubba Jones!

The books can also be found on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble.

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to feature in this Books of the Week posting.

New Amazon Original Special, The Snowy Day, Comes to Life on Prime Video! A delightful Book Giveaway Opportunity!

The Snowy Day, part of Amazon Studios’ original kids holiday programming, is an animated special based on the award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats. The book, well-known as one of the first picture books to feature an African-American protagonist, has won a host of awards, including the Caldecott medal – one of the highest honors in children’s literature – and was included in the Library of Congress’ list of “Books that Shaped America.”

 

The special follows Peter, a young boy in a red snowsuit, as his mother sends him on an adventure to Nana’s house to retrieve their traditional Christmas mac and cheese dinner. Enjoying the snowy day along the way, Peter encounters friends from the neighborhood, from storekeepers and bakers to the older boys he admires – and a group of a capella singers voiced by Boyz II Men. After arriving at Nana’s and retrieving the mac and cheese – and his most coveted gift, a brand-new red sled – Nana helps Peter team up with the older boys for an epic snowball fight, resulting in the destruction of the special holiday dinner and his sled. When the neighborhood comes together to celebrate new traditions with Peter and his family, Peter realizes that the true meaning of the holiday is about who you spend it with.

 

Narrated by Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Matrix) and the featuring voice talent of Regina King (American Crime, The Leftovers), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos), and Angela Bassett (American Horror Story, BoJack Horseman), The Snowy Day features “Snowy Day,” an original song by Boyz II Men, available exclusively on Amazon Music to download and stream which started on  November 25. The new production us executive produced by Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland (Akeelah and the Bee) as well as Ann Austen, Irene Sherman, and Deborah Pope (Ezra Jack Keats Foundation).

I also received a copy of this delightful book and highly recommend it for young children this Holiday season!

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We have teamed up for a Special Holiday Giveaway! One winner will win this delightful book! To enter, leave a comment below telling us how you would spend a day in the snow! I know I would build a snowman!

Deadline to enter is December 1st, 2016 at noon PST. Winner will randomly be selected via Random.org.

Self Disclosure: I received a free book to post. Credit: Amazon and The Snowy Day.

2nd Annual Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace Shop Local in Little Tokyo & Celebrate the Season December 3-4

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2nd Annual Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace

WHEN:
Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, 2016hours vary per business

WHERE:
Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles

DETAILS:
Shogun Santa is coming to town! Experience another exciting holiday season of gift-giving and merry-making at Downtown LA’s most unique holiday shopping tradition on Saturday, December 3rd and Sunday, December 4th with the 2nd Annual Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace! Enjoy a weekend full of live entertainment, interactive workshops and demos, guided tours, unique gift items, and specials from Little Tokyo’s one-of-a-kind shops. Sample the neighborhood’s authentic cuisines, discover quality gifts only found in Little Tokyo and make new holiday memories with friends and family.

GO LITTLE TOKYO HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE WEEKEND ACTIVITY GUIDE:

Saturday, December 3

  • ALL DAY – SHOGUN SANTA & HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT
    • Enjoy music and entertainment at Japanese Village Plaza, including balloon animals, caricature drawings and live karaoke. Are you on the Nice List? Visit Shogun Santa, snap a photo and share your Little Tokyo holiday wish list, brought to you by the Little Tokyo Business Association (LTBA). Get your holiday gifts that you picked up in Little Tokyo wrapped by the Little Tokyo Rotary Club!
  • ALL DAY – GREEN TEA & MATCHA FAIR + FUKUBUKURO “LUCKY BAGS”
    • From matcha green tea, to green tea candies and snack, sample green tea foods and enjoy special sales on green tea items at the Little Tokyo Market Place. Grab a “fukubukuro” lucky bag for $10 (valued at $30) and find holiday treasures inside!
  • 10-11AM – “KADOMATSU” JAPANESE NEW YEARS FLORAL ARRANGEMENT WORKSHOP”
    • Kuragami Little Tokyo Florist leads a workshop on how to make “kadomatsu”, a Japanese New Years decoration that brings good fortune and happiness to your home. Made with pine and bamboo, learn the history and meaning of the traditional arrangement and take your creation home to ward off bad spirits. All materials will be provided. $10 material fee.
  • 10-11AM – FAMILY CREPE MAKING WORKSHOP
    • Join Four Leaf Cafe in a hands-on cooking lesson from these crepe-making experts. Stuff your own custom crepe with delicious fillings of your choice: chocolate, strawberries, nutella, mochi, and more! All materials will be provided, $5 material fee.
  • 10:30-11:30AM – HOLIDAY NAIL ART DEMO 
    • Get your nails right just in time for the holidays! Learn new techniques and try your hand at different holiday designs using your nails as your canvas. This nail art demonstration with Nail Service Little Tokyo will teach you how to design snowflakes, candy canes, hollies and more of your favorite holiday-themed characters. All materials will be provided and all are welcome for this kid-friendly demonstration.
  • 11AM-1PM – LITTLE TOKYO HISTORICAL SOCIETY SHOW & TELL
  • 11AM-5PM – 6TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL TEA FESTIVAL
  • 1- 2PM – KIDS KARATE CLASS
    • Kyokushin Karate was born in the determination for the pursuit of ultimate truth of mind, technique, and body. Give your child an opportunity to learn self-discipline and self-defense in this FREE introductory kids karate class. Ages 4 and older are welcome. FREE.
  • 1-2PM – “FUROSHIKI” JAPANESE CLOTH WRAPPING WORKSHOP
    • Learn the art of “furoshiki” cloth wrapping from master furoshiki wrapper, and Director of Service Programs at the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC), Mike Murase, who can wrap just about anything! Furoshiki will be provided by local Japanese goods store, Bunkado. FREE.
  • 2-4:30PM – “AMIGURUMI” KNITTING WORKSHOP
    • Join local DTLA collaborative co-working space, Opodz, for a beginners “amigurumi” knitting workshop, where students will learn the basics of crochet and create an adorable, stuffed snowman! Crocheters of all levels welcome. All materials provided. FREE.
  • 3-4:30PM – HISTORIC SHOPS IN LITTLE TOKYO GUIDED WALKING TOUR
    • Take a step back in time with the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) and uncover historical landmarks, shops and hard-to- find treasures with a guided walking tour of the Little Tokyo neighborhood. Pick up a few gifts you can only find in Little Tokyo for family and friends along the way! Participants will also receive a commemorative 2017 “Favorite Foods” calendar published by the Little Tokyo Historical Society. $15 per person.
  • 5-6PM – WELLNESS WORKSHOP
    • Happiness specialist, author, speaker, radio and TV personality, AFAA Certified Fitness Instructor and reiki practitioner Rebecca L. Norrington leads a free health and wellness workshop on happiness. Hosted by Little Tokyo health center, BEST Chiropractic Clinic, understand the true meaning of happiness, learn behaviors that will improve your health and well-being, and live a more fruitful life. FREE.

Sunday, December 4

  • ALL DAY – SHOGUN SANTA & HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT
    • Enjoy music and entertainment at Japanese Village Plaza, including balloon animals, caricature drawings and live karaoke. Are you on the Nice List? Visit Shogun Santa, snap a photo and share your Little Tokyo holiday wish list, brought to you by the Little Tokyo Business Association (LTBA). Get your holiday gifts that you picked up in Little Tokyo wrapped by the Little Tokyo Rotary Club!
  • ALL DAY – GREEN TEA & MATCHA FAIR + FUKUBUKURO “LUCKY BAGS”
    • From matcha green tea, to green tea candies and snack, sample green tea foods and enjoy special sales on green tea items at the Little Tokyo Market Place. Grab a “fukubukuro” lucky bag for $10 (valued at $30) and find holiday treasures inside!
  • 10:30-11:30AM – KIDS “MOCHITSUKI” WORKSHOP
    • Give your child the opportunity to make “mochi”, or Japanese rice cake, the traditional way with a “mochitsuki” workshop led by local youth organization, Kizuna! Ages 6-10, all matericals provided, $10 material fee.
  • 11AM-5PM – 6TH ANNUAL LA INTERNATIONAL TEA FESTIVAL
    • Sample fine teas from all over the world, attend stimulating presentations, and meet premier suppliers, all in one place. Proceeds support the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Presented by Chado Tea Room. $20 General Admission.
  • 11:45AM, 1PM, 2:15PM, 3:30PM – UKULELE HOLIDAY JAM SESSION
    • `UKE On with easy, familiar tunes and songs to celebrate the holiday season. Join the Jam with U-SPACE’s `Ukulele Discovery Jam-Along, an interactive learning and play-along experience for beginners just beginning their `ukulele journey. FREE.
  • 2:30-3:30PM – HOLIDAY COCKTAIL DEMO
    • Join Little Tokyo’s neighborhood highball bar, Wolf & Crane, for a lesson in mixology. Learn a few tips and tricks from these Japanese whisky experts on how to concoct a perfect cocktail with a holiday twist and have a sip (or two) of their favorites: the O’Shito, Miyagi Mule and a classic Old Fashioned. Then stay for Sunday happy hour with $5 drink specials! FREE.
  • 3PM, 3:30PM – POUR OVER COFFEE DEMO
    • Calling all coffee-lovers! Little Tokyo’s favorite neighborhood coffee shop, Cafe Dulce, will teach you how to make the perfect cup of pour over coffee at home. While you’re there, pick up a yummy donut or pastry on the side. FREE.
  • 5-6PM – WELLNESS WORKSHOP
    • Put down your holiday shopping and to-do lists and join Little Tokyo health center, BEST Chiropractic Clinic, for a demonstration of how aromatherapy can help you cope with stress. Participants will see the body’s physical reaction to stress through muscle-testing, and learn how different aromas can soothe the body and mind to help you stay calm and collected throughout the holiday season. FREE.

Download the Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace Event Passport to view featured items in our Little Tokyo Gift Guide, full schedule of workshops and a listing of future events in Little Tokyo for the rest of the holiday season – visit http://www.golittletokyo.com/holidays.

Pick up a hard copy on Saturday & Sunday, December 3 & 4 at:

  • Cafe Dulce – 134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall
  • JANM – 100 N Central Ave
  • Kinokuniya – Weller Court, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, #205
  • U-Space at JACCC – 244 S San Pedro St

The Go Little Tokyo Holiday Marketplace is brought to you by Go Little Tokyo: a Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) run neighborhood marketing campaign created by Community Arts Resources (CARS) and funded by Metro. This event is in collaboration with the Little Tokyo Business Association (LTBA), the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC)Kizuna, and Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS).

TICKET AND REGISTRATION:
FREE – $20 depending on the activity. Visit www.golittletokyo.com/holidays for more details and information.

PARKING:
Event participants are highly encouraged to go car-free and take Metro! Plan your trip at http://www.metro.net.

For parking options visit www.golittletokyo.com/map and select PARKING.

PUBLIC CONTACT:
RSVP on Facebook: www.facebook.com/golittletokyo
More information at: www.golittletokyo.com/holidays                 

Credit:     Go Little Tokyo.

NBC4 Presents The Wishing Tree at Universal CityWalk & Grants Holiday Wishes Live On-Air from December 12-16 Viewers and Visitors May Make Wishes Beginning Monday, November 21

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Universal CityWalk and NBC4 Southern California announced today the second annual The Wishing Tree, inviting viewers to pay it forward by making a wish for someone deserving.

Beginning Monday, November 21 through Thursday, December 15, viewers are encouraged to submit wishes for friends and family at NBCLA.com/wishingtree.  Guests are also invited to share their wishes in person at Universal CityWalk’s holiday-themed “5 Towers” plaza.

Every night from December 12-16, NBC4 will grant the wishes live from Universal CityWalk during the NBC4 News starting at 4 p.m. with Weathercaster Fritz Coleman.  For the next four weeks, viewers are encouraged to make wishes for others who are important in their lives.

Everyone is welcome to join NBC4 and be part of the live wish reveals at the “5 Towers” plaza on Universal CityWalk. Those visiting The Wishing Tree are encouraged to post photos and videos on social media using #NBC4You.  Updates and a schedule of the Holidays at Universal CityWalk can be found at www.CityWalkHollywood.com as well as on CityWalk’s Facebook- Universal CityWalk Hollywood, Twitter and Instagram @CityWalkLA.Viewers can tune in to NBC4’s Today in LA at 4:30 to 7 a.m. and NBC4 News at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and follow @NBCLA on social media for daily highlights.

In addition to The Wishing Tree, Universal CityWalk celebrates the spirit of the season, beginning the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 25 through Sunday, January 1.  A spectacular 40-foot tall Christmas tree will glisten with 200,000 LED icicles choreographed to the lights and sounds of the season in the 5 Towers plaza.  Santa Claus will make nightly appearances and offer special photo opportunities at “5 Towers.” Admission to Universal CityWalk is free.

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About Universal Studios Hollywood:

Universal Studios HollywoodTM is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter TM” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and Flight of the Hippogriff™, Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor rollercoaster, as well the all-new “The Walking Dead” permanent daytime attraction.  Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM.”  The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s flagship attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.”  The destination also features the Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, including the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue.

 

About NBC4 Southern California:

NBC4 Southern California is the West Coast flagship station of the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, serving the vast region since 1949.  NBC4 produces more than 40 hours each week of local news and weather, and the station features the largest award-winning investigative unit in Southern California.  NBC4’s news operation has received nearly every industry award bestowed on local news, including numerous Los Angeles Emmy and Golden Mike Awards, two national and two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and a Peabody Award.  NBC4 news is delivered across the main broadcast on channel 4, at www.nbcla.com, and through multiple interactive social media platforms 24/7.  The NBC Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal, also operates COZI TV (www.cozitv.com), a national network that brings viewers some of America’s most beloved and iconic television shows and movies.

 

Amazon Original Kids Series Thunderbirds Are Go skyrockets onto Amazon Prime Video this Month!

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Thunderbirds Are Go features the world’s most famous heroes, International Rescue. The dynamic series follows the five brave Tracy brothers, and their covert operative Kayo, as they pilot their remarkable, cutting-edge Thunderbirds vehicles to perform near-impossible rescue missions – from the depths of the oceans to the highest reaches of space. In Season Two, viewers are in store for even more harrowing rescue adventures, while Kayo’s mysterious connection to arch nemesis The Hood will also be revealed.

Produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures in collaboration with world-famous Weta Workshop, Thunderbirds Are Go features a unique mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets. The series delivers a new level of action-adventure for today’s audiences, while it pays tribute to the characters and settings from the original show.

Here’s more info:

 

Thunderbirds Are Go is executive produced by Estelle Hughes (Driver Dan’s Story Train), Giles Ridge (Pocoyo), Richard Taylor (The Lord of the Rings), and Andrew Smith (District 9), written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, Teen Titans), and directed by David Scott (LEGO Star Wars) and Theo Baynton (The Wotwots). It is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

 

The first season of Thunderbirds Are Go is currently available for Prime members to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Video app for TVs, connected devices including Amazon Fire TV, and mobile devices, or online at www.amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Customers who are not already a Prime member can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream. Thunderbirds Are Go is also available as part of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat subscription service designed from the ground up for kids. FreeTime Unlimited is available exclusively on Amazon devices, including Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, and a year-long subscription is included with every Fire Kids Edition.

Credit: Thunderbirds Are Go.

Celebrate Christmas with the Animals of the OC Zoo Dec. 10

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The County of Orange, OC Parks and the animals of the OC Zoo invite the young and the young at heart to celebrate the holiday season on Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Christmas at the OC Zoo invites guests to watch the resident animals open treat-filled gifts hidden inside of Christmas trees and gift boxes throughout the day. Children can join the holiday fun with festive face painting and create seasonally inspired crafts. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be visiting with children and spreading holiday cheer, and the jolly fun continues with games and a photo station. Reservations are not required to enjoy Christmas at the OC Zoo. The holiday activities are free with paid zoo admission.

 

Inside the OC Zoo children can take a ride on Irvine Park Railroad’s annual Christmas Train through Irvine Regional Park. The Christmas Train runs December 1 – 23.

 

Join the festive fun with OC Parks and the animals of the OC Zoo!

December 10 – Christmas at the Zoo

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: OC Zoo (inside Irvine Regional Park)

1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

Cost: $2 per person, ages 2 & under are free

Parking: $5 per vehicle

Contact: (714) 973-6847

http://www.ocparks.com/oczoo/

 

December – Christmas Train

Location: Irvine Park Railroad (inside Irvine Regional Park)

1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

Cost: $12 per person (children under age 2 ride free)

Parking: $5 per vehicle and free after 5 p.m.

Contact: (714) 973-6835 or (714) 973-3173

http://www.irvineparkrailroad.com/

 

Credit: OC Parks.

Help Children in Foster Care for National Adoption Month

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Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? I’m reaching out to you, my loyal readers, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council to ask for your help in spreading the word about just how important it is for prospective parents to consider adopting older youth from foster care.
There is a stigma about older kids that make people shy away from looking at them for adoption, and it is sad, really. Older teens have lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted. But no matter their age, all kids need a supportive, loving home, and the teenage years are a critical period.
Right now, there are 428,000 youth in the U.S. foster care system and 112,000 are waiting to be adopted. AdoptUSKids’ maintains a national photo listing service for children waiting to be adopted.

Since the project launched in 2002, more than 26,000 children who were once photo listed on adoptuskids.org have been adopted and nearly 39,000 families have registered to adopt through the website. Nevertheless, older youth are disproportionally represented – approximately 43% percent of children and youth photo listed on adoptuskids.org are between 15 and 18 years old, but only 17% of those adopted have been in this age group.
Have you ever considered adoption? Here are a few key things to know and remember:
Adopting from Foster Care:
• Adoption isn’t expensive. Most adoptions from U.S. foster care are free. The minimal costs that can be associated with them are often reimbursable. In addition, the vast majority of youth adopted from foster care are also eligible for monthly adoption assistance up to the level of the foster care rate.
• Kids are in foster care through no fault of their own. Children and youth enter foster care not because they’ve done anything wrong, but because they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by the people who were supposed to care for them. Over 100,000 are waiting for the love and security that a permanent home provides.
• Many different kinds of people can adopt:
o In most instances, you’re eligible to adopt regardless of age, income, marital status or sexual orientation.
o You don’t need to own your own home, be wealthy, or have a college degree to adopt. (However, you do need to demonstrate that you can support yourself without any additional income, such as adoption assistance.)
o You don’t have to be a stay-at-home parent or have children already. And you don’t have to be of child-bearing age—experienced parents and empty-nesters are encouraged to adopt.
o In most states, you do not have to be married to adopt. Many children have been successfully adopted by single parents.
o Even families living outside of the United States, including military families stationed overseas, are eligible to adopt from the U.S. foster care system.

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit adoptuskids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.

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Credit: Adoptuskids.org.

Disney launches “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” Disney Invites Students Around the World to Learn the Basics of Coding

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Disney has launched “Moana: Wayfinding with Code,” a free online tutorial that offers an introduction to the basics of computer science, featuring characters from the upcoming Disney animated film, Moana. In conjunction with the launch of “Moana: Wayfinding with Code,” Disney also announced activations across the world that invite millions of students to learn the basics of coding. Created in close collaboration with Code.org, the “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial will be available in more than 180 countries and 23 languages, including Samoan Polynesian, giving children all over the world the opportunity to learn the basics of coding.

 

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s storytellers and with this tutorial we’re working to introduce them to the technological skills they will need to bring their stories to life,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI). “By bringing together Code.org and Disney filmmakers, we’ve created a program that we hope will inspire kids all over the world to try coding for themselves.”

 

Over the past two years, Disney has hosted two Hour of Code tutorials, featuring characters from Disney’s Frozen and from Star Wars. In total, almost 40 million students have participated in these tutorials to learn the basics of coding.

 

“We’ve found that kids are much more likely to try computer science if it contains topics they are interested in, like their favorite Disney stories and characters,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org. “Our work with Disney over the past two years has helped Hour of Code reach record numbers, inspiring millions of children of all ages to try coding and pursue an education in computer science.”

 

Disney Hour of Code Events:

Disney is working with leading organizations to host events around the world in an effort to reach millions of parents and students during CS Education Week (December 5-11) to introduce kids to coding. These events include:

 

Apple Stores: All 487 Apple stores worldwide will host block-based coding for young coders workshops featuring the “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial during their Hour of Code session December 5 through 11.

 

Code.org: Code.org will feature “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial on its site and will educate thousands of teachers and community leaders about how to use the Disney tutorial in their lessons.  Register participation in a Disney Hour of Code here:  HourofCode.com/Disney.

Family Code NightMoana: Wayfinding with Code” will also be part of direct family engagement in home and school learning.  Parents and educators eager to bring new coding education to their kids can sign up today to receive the free “Moana Family Code Night Event Kit,” shipping in January.  Family Code Night is a delightful high-impact elementary school event at which children and their parents do their first hour of coding, together, as part of a whole-school evening program that any school can put on.  Celebrating family engagement in CS education, the Moana Family Code Night Event Kit will let any parent help their principal and school or youth group put on this family computer science learning event with a theme inspired by the film. Sign up for the free Kit today at http://www.familycodenight.org/Moana.

Disney Network: Disney will promote the “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial across its global channels in an effort to reach millions of families.  Tutorial and toolkit found here: Disney.com/HourofCode.

 

Moana: Wayfinding with Code Tutorial:

The story of the “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial centers around Moana and Maui as they sail through unknown territory across the ocean. As students follow Moana and Maui’s travels, they learn basic coding commands that help steer the boat. Along the way, students are introduced to conditionals, sequences and loops while they master the art of navigation. When Moana and Maui are suddenly attacked by the Kakamora – coconut-clad warriors, they must use their coding skills to dodge their pirate projectiles and penetrate their defenses.

 

“The artistry and innovative technology used to create “Disney’s Moana” is rooted in the types of skills that kids will develop by learning the basics of computer science,” said Osnat Shurer, producer of Disney’s Moana. “We hope that Moana’s fierce determination and sense of adventure encourages children to try this tutorial and learn the skills they need to become future filmmakers and storytellers.”

 

Disney’s Hour of Code uses a visual programming language with “Blocks” that kids simply drag and drop to write code. This visual programming language is a fun and easily understandable way to teach basic coding skills. This type of visual programming lays the foundation for text-based programming.

 

For educators, parents and leaders looking to host their own hour of code event in their communities, they may access the tutorial and download the Disney Hour of Code Digital Toolkit at Disney.com/hourofcode in both English and Spanish.  Events may be registered at HourofCode.com/Disney.

Credit: Disney/Code.org.