Archives for 2017

Pacific Islander Festival June 3-4, 2017 at The Aquarium of the Pacific Giveaway: PACIFIC ISLANDER TICKET GIVEAWAY: Family 4-pack!

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Experience dance, music, cuisine, and cultural artifacts of the Pacific Islands on Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

      Discover and explore the rich and diverse cultures of the Pacific Islands at the Aquarium’s 14th annual Pacific Islander Festival. The festival will include traditional craft demonstrations, educational programs, and an ocean of entertainment, including music and dance performances. Enjoy hula, Tahitian drumming, Hawaiian games, and the work of artisans. Hawaiian, Tahitian, Samoan, Fijian, Tongan, Chamoru, Marshallese, Kiribati, and Maori cultures will be featured.

 

HONOREE:  Regina “Ning” Quenga

Ceremony: Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11:45 a.m. at Honda Blue Cavern

The award is presented in recognition of dedicated service to the Pacific Islander community.

WHEN:          Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, 2017, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  

WHERE:        Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

 

COST:           Included with general admission: $29.95 adult (12+), $25.95 senior (62+), and $14.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age three and Aquarium members

PUBLIC

INFO:            (562) 590-3100 or

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/pacific_islander_festival/

 With coupon adults receive $10 OFF admission on June 3 or 4. Regular $29.95, just $19.95 with coupon!

http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/fest10

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! One winner will win a PACIFIC ISLANDER TICKET GIVEAWAY: Family 4-pack!

To enter leave a comment below! Deadline to enter is May 31st, 2017 at 12 PST. One winner will randomly be selected. 

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AQUARIUM: The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored by scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders in search of sustainable solutions. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 11,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include the Ocean Science Center, Molina Animal Care Center, and the new FROGS: Dazzling and Disappearing, Our Water Future, and Archerfish exhibits. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. The Aquarium has won a 2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums, as awarded by TripAdvisor® travelers, and the 2016 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months, VIP Entrance, and other special benefits.

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific.

 

Diary of A Wimpy Kid’s Latest Installment Is Fun, Upbeat and Unpredictable

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A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. This family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Alejandra G. comments, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series.” Ella L. adds, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing.” Maria G. wraps it up with, “I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film.” See their full reviews below.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

By Alejandra Garcia, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

 

(Spanish)

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul has the same wonderful entertaining impact as the rest of the series. For those who don’t know, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a fiction comedy novel for children and teenagers written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. Over the years, these books have been brought to life in films that have the same well-liked effect on the audience as the original books. I was and still am a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid series and I recall always being excited for the new book or the new film to come out.

 

This film follows the Heffley’s taking a road trip to attend Meemaw’s (their grandmother’s) 90th birthday party. But of course, this trip goes off course thanks to Greg’s newest strategy to get to a video gaming convention. They flee from their parents, drive themselves to the convention, violate the no technology rule and many events take place that will make this not-so-family trip unforgettably crazy. Their family adventure turns into an experience filled with different funny moments you don’t get in a normal family vacation.

 

My favorite scene of is when they are entering the grandmother’s house. Greg gets into a boat that is outside and he goes inside the house with it. Somehow, he slides into the house and makes it to the pool, thereby making a special entrance. This is a very funny scene because it shows how Greg’s delirious mind operates.

 

The message that I get from this film is to never give up on what you want and don’t let anyone stop you. The film teaches this message in a funny and comical way. Gregory sees himself in a position that he doesn’t like due to something he does wrong so, he does what he can to clear his image. His way of doing it is to go to the video gaming convention and become famous. This is how Greg thinks he can fix this, by doing all these crazy things. But that’s not the important part. The point is that he goes out of his way to achieve his goal and he never stops until he gets it. I rate this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 15. This opens in theaters on May 19th, 2017 so go check it out.

 

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
By Ella Ladd, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is an upbeat, fun and humorous movie based on the books by the same name. It has an entertaining script with interesting relationships between characters. This movie also has moments where I burst out laughing. However, although it is delightful, this film falls flat in many areas.

 

The film follows twelve-year-old Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker), his brothers Rodrick (Charlie Wright) and Manny (Dylan Walters) and their parents (Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone). The family takes a road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday in Indiana. However, Greg has plans to go to a video game convention that land him (and his family) in some hot water.

 

This film has many positive qualities. One i the clever writing. I really like the scene where Rodrick gets “shot,” when Greg and Beardo remake the scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Also, the scene where Manny and the pig are reunited is absolutely adorable. I applaud the writers for their brilliant writing. Another positive quality that quite impressed me is the story line. The chain of events had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. Mischief and misfortune seems to follow the Heffley family wherever they go! It is clear that the writing and the physical humor in this film are quite outstanding.

 

However, although the script is quite good, the direction is not. The shots don’t feel quite right all the time. For example, throughout the movie, the camera is often focused on Alicia Silverstone’s teeth. The scene transition is also choppy and disorganized. It just is not smooth. I feel as though there could be more music underneath the dialogue. The acting falls flat as well. I am quite disappointed by these aspects.

 

I rate this film 3 out of 5 stars. The excessive potty humor throughout the film may appeal to younger kids, so I recommend it for ages 7 to 13. This film is funny and entertaining, yet it lacks several essential components. It opens in theatres on May 19, so if you’re looking for some family-friendly fun, go check it out.

 

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

By Maria Guerrero, KIDS FIRS! Film Critic, age 17

 

This family friendly film will have you laughing as you join the Heffley’s in their first summer road trip. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul  is a fun entertaining film that I highly enjoyed with its funny scenes, unique character personalities and the different adventures the Heffley’s take on.

 

As the Heffley’s embark on their summer road trip to rural Indiana for their grandmother’s 90th birthday, young and witty Greg Heffley (Jason Drucker) will do whatever it takes to get to a video game convention and meet his favorite gamer. To everyone’s surprise, technology will be restricted on the trip since Greg’s mother, Susan (Alicia Silverstone) wishes to grow closer to her son and create unforgettable memories. Throughout the trip the whole Heffley family faces numerous adventures and trials as the trip goes hilariously off course and becomes a mission.

 

I really enjoyed the personality of each character in this film. Their different charisma contributes greatly to tone the film. My favorite character is Rodrick, the older but not so wise brother. His humor, style and spirit brings laughter to the screen. Although he is not the brightest, he is highly funny. One of my favorite scenes is when Rodrick orders an Uber and believes that the ride is free, although the destination is an hour away and it’s charged to his parents’ credit card. Also hysterical is the scene where Rodrick eats one too many fried butter sticks and regrets it later when riding the roller coasters.

 

Young and witty Greg Heffley is played by Jason Drucker of Barely Lethal, Every Witch Way and many commercials. Lead rock singer of Loaded Diper and Greg’s sixteen-year-old brother Rodrick is played by Charlie Wright, known for Ingrid Goes West and Better Things. Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play the parents of Greg and Rodrick .

 

Although this film is hilariously funny, it is filled with several life lessons for the viewer to learn from such as, disconnect from technology and connect with those around you. Today, everyone seems to be so attached to technology and social media that they loose the concept of socializing. This film grasps the importance of family values and disconnecting from technology to spend quality family time.

 

I highly enjoyed watching this fun, summer movie and recommend it to families and children between the ages of 5 and 10. This is a great film for kids to watch over summer break and remember the value of family. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because of its many funny scenes, unique story line and unique characters. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul opens in theaters May 29, 2017 so, be sure to check it out.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

 

Looking for Recipes for Summer? I love these from Starkist! Simple and Spicy Tuna Taco and Caribbean Tuna Salad! Yum!

Summer usually means less cooking over a stove and lighter meals! I simply love these two recipes from our friends at Starkist!

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Simple and Spicy Tuna Tacos

Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Recipe Yield: 2

Created by StarKist®

Ingredients:

  • 2 pouches (2.6 oz.) StarKist Tuna Creations® BOLD Jalapeno
  • 4 corn tortilla shells
  • 12 cup shredded lettuce
  • 14 cup diced tomato
  • 14 cup Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded

Directions:

  • Place tortilla shells on a plate. Distribute tuna over the shell.
  • Top with lettuce and tomato and cheese as desired.
  • Garnish with avocado and cilantro as desired.

 

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Caribbean Tuna Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Recipe Yield: 8

Created by StarKist®

Ingredients:

  • 2 (5 oz.) Cans – Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, (or NEW Low Sodium Solid White Albacore Tuna) drained
  • 212 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 14 cup chopped jicama
  • 1 mango (12 diced for salad and 12 sliced for garnish)
  • 4 avocados, halved
  • Cilantro and lime juice to taste
  • Leaf lettuce, if desired

Directions:

  • In a medium bowl mix mayonnaise and chipotle pepper well. Add tuna, jicama and diced mango and mix well.
  • Cut avocados in half and remove seed. Hollow out slightly if needed.
  • Place tuna salad in avocado half and sprinkle with a little fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. Place on lettuce-lined plate with mango slices as a garnish.

I actually received samples from our friends at StarKist and I love the Carribean Tuna Salad! I made it for lunch and just loved it! I am also quite impressed with the options of single pouch Tuna packages offered by StarKist. These are called Tuna Creations! They come in flavors such as Thai Chili Style, Jalapeno, Hot Buffalo Style, and Lemon Dill. I haven’t tried them all yet but I really like the Hot Buffalo style in a wrap! Simply delicious! 

 

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Photos and recipes were also provided.

One Lucky Kiddo will be the next #zulilycutie!

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Exciting News!  zulily has launched the search for their next #zulilycutie! Here at zulily, they are ALL about inspiring their fans to share the unique and special #zulilycutie in their life on social media! So, in celebration of all the cuties out there, they are hosting another contest to find their next OFFICIAL #zulilycutie (aged between 2-5 years old), who will be the face of an upcoming zulily campaign!

So, what is a #zulilycutie? It’s an adorable kid with a unique style, personality and sense of fun. Above all, they’re looking for a cutie who embodies their zulily spirit. At zulily, what makes them unique is their use of real people as models to tell a story around the products their customers love. Many of their models are everyday people like you and me, unique in all the best ways!

The winner of the #zulilycutie contest will receive:

  • A trip to zulily headquarters in Seattle, WA for a photo shoot featuring the cutie, which will be used in an upcoming zulily campaign!
  • Featured in images and posts across zulily’s social media channels!
  • A feature blog post here on The Find!
  • The opportunity to take over zulily’s Instagram account and more!

Be sure to watch the zulily social channels for updates on this exciting contest! All information, including how to enter, is available at the link below.

Contest Blog Link: http://www.zulily.com/blog/the-find/may-zulilycutie-contest/

 

Credit: zulily. I did receive some form of compensation to post. The contest is not affiliated with SoCal City Kids.

NestFresh Calls for Home Bakers’ Best Recipes During National Egg Month

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To advocate for the all-American egg during National Egg Month in May, NestFresh, one of the most innovative specialty egg products in the nation, is hosting a baking recipe contest. Calling upon home bakers nationwide to submit their best recipes, entrants will vie for the opportunity to win the grand prize of a $500 Visa gift card and a gift package filled with free product from NestFresh.

 

Throughout the campaign, select submitted recipes will “face off” weekly on the campaign’s landing page on Facebook. A final cooking demonstration onYouTube will celebrate the grand prize winner and his or her accompanying recipe.

 

Fans can enter the baking contest by entering their recipes through NestFresh on Facebook.  Recipes can be submitted during National Egg Month, from May 1 through May 31.  To learn more about NestFresh’s Second Annual Egg-cellent Baking Contest and NestFresh, visit NestFresh.com.

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More about the brand:

NestFresh was founded in 1991 when a family from Colorado wanted to create a company that reflected their views on animal welfare and sustainability. NestFresh was built upon the principle that when businesses do the right thing we all benefit, from hens to humans. We are proud that these fundamentals are still the basis of our business to this day. Today we use regional, family owned farms to produce and supply farm fresh NestFresh eggs in a local, sustainable system.

Each of our family farms is specially chosen because they share our commitment to animal welfare, stewardship of the land, and local production. To ensure that every NestFresh Egg across the country meets the high standards we started out with, each farm is inspected by auditors committed to farm animal welfare. We are committed to producing eggs that are cage free and we have increased our commitment to sustainability and humane treatment by introducing even more products such as organic, free range, pasture raised, and the first Non-GMO Project Verified Eggs.

Credit:  NestFresh. Self Disclosure: I did receive free coupons to post. 

Free Summer Reading Program from Arbordale Publishing Read around the world with free interactive ebooks

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Warmer weather and longer days say summer is near, and this year Arbordale introduces Summer Reading Around the World. This free program includes 25 interactive ebooks, a passport to reading, and the opportunity to earn hardcover books.

 

To prevent the summer slide, and give young readers the opportunity to learn about environments and habitats around the world, Arbordale has selected books that feature animals and places near and far. Learning about science and math is fun through stories, and Arbordale’s signature “For Creative Minds” section extends the themes within the story.

 

A downloadable passport magnifies the fun, and voracious readers are able to return their passport for their very own book and reading certificate. Additionally, educators and librarians can earn up to 25 free books and online access to the entire library on Arbordale’s Fun eReader® by sending in groups of passports.

 

The Fun eReader platform allows for easy access, and families on the go are able to download the books onto tablets via the Fun eReader app. Each interactive ebook includes English & Spanish text and audio with speed control, word highlighting, and some now have tappable animal sounds.

 

Perfect for a rainy day or community programs, Arbordale has included special bingo cards, crafts, and activities for download. New activities will be added throughout the summer via the publisher’s social media channels @ArbordaleKids.

 

The free ebook access is available through the Summer Reading site at Arbordale Publishing (www.arbordalepublishing.com/SummerReading.php). Parents, educators and librarians will find passport instructions and submission information with details to redeem the passports for free books. Questions about the program can be sent toinfo@arbordalepublishing.com.

 

More About Arbordale:

Arbordale is on a mission to improve child literacy with science and math through fun-to-read books. Using prose and pictures, children are delighted with stories of their favorite animals, planets, or even places. This leads to the exploration of facts and learning activities in each book’s “For Creative Minds” pages. Arbordale carefully designs each book to portray accurately the chosen subject. Vetted by experts in that field, and aligned to standards, and leveled for reading, each book is an asset to educational programs. Arbordale has grown to include a diverse group of authors and illustrators from across the country, and honored to have won more than 80 national and state book awards since its inception in 2005.

Universal Studios Hollywood Casts a Dazzling Spell on “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” with Its All-New “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle,” Beginning June 23

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Beginning June 23, guests are invited to see “The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM” in a whole new light when Universal Studios Hollywood introduces its all-new “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts TM Castle,” featuring a dazzling light projection experience against the backdrop of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” will shine brightly with an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin that culminates with awesome beams of lights that fan into the night sky.

The colorful state-of-the-art light display and special effects projection, designed to dance across the stunning Hogwarts castle, will be accompanied by a special musical arrangement created by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams based on his original scores composed for the film series. The musical arrangement that will emanate in a surround sound environment was conducted by prolific arranger William Ross and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra in London.

This new summertime feature will take place multiple times a night during its run.  Live rehearsals with annual pass previews and very limited guest access will begin in June in preparation for the June 23 grand opening.

Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle.

From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” transports guests of all ages to the very places they watched on the silver screen.

The architecturally stunning land also includes the incredibly captivating and highly acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride, now enhanced with 4K-HD and ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second for an even more immersive glimpse into Harry Potter’s world, as well as Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor family coaster.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverages at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™ and Hog’s Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.

A foray through the shops adds to the authenticity of the land with eight retail venues and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges™, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium™ of Confiscated Goods.

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Join the conversation online using #WizardingWorldHollywood. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Credit:

Universal Studios Hollywood 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 ™” 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.  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” and the “The Walking Dead” daytime attraction.  The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s signature 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 adjacent Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex also includes the all-new multi-million dollar, completely redesigned Universal CityWalk Cinema, featuring deluxe recliner seating in screening room quality theatres, and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert stage.

About Warner Bros. Entertainment: Warner Bros. Entertainment is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms.  A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product, and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting.

Books of the Week

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I Love Sharks, Too!
by Leanne Shirtliffe
Illustrated by Lorenzo Montatore
Shark fans of all ages will want to take a bite out of this funny and informative story! The book is filled with tons of fun facts and information about different shark breeds. This one is a really fun book! Great for ages 5-9.
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Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. would like to announce the release of Mr. President and The First Lady: The DC Eagle Cam Project by Dr. Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie. Mr. President and The First Lady provides a detailed chronology of the American Bald Eagle nesting season from their mating to the fledging of their young, and grants a rare glimpse of eaglet antics from the American Eagle Foundation’s DC Eagle Cam Project in the nation’s capital.
I found this book very interesting and even my 13-year-old son enjoyed reading this one! I highly recommend for ages 8-14.
About the Authors
In cooperation with the American Eagle Foundation, Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie present the celebrated story of the bald eagle family featured on the dceaglecam.org. Gorrow, a professor of teacher education at Salisbury University with more than thirty years of experience as a Maryland educator, lives with her husband on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Koppie, a raptor biologist for over three decades with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office, makes his home near Annapolis with his family. Through their collaboration, Gorrow and Koppie hope to inspire in others an appreciation for wildlife and promote environmental stewardship. Their other Schiffer titles include the 2014 Green Earth Book Award winner Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest and the recently released Inside an Osprey’s Nest.
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.

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A fun book in the Tractor Mac picture book series, TRACTOR MAC WORTH THE WAIT, by Billy Steers (FSG, on sale 05/09/2017)!
In this cheerful new story, the pigs, Pete and Paul, learn the importance of patience when they try (unsuccessfully) to speed along the growth of Farmer Bill’s prized watermelons. This one is a fun story that young children will love!
About the author: Billy Steers is an author, illustrator, and pilot! In addition to the Tractor Mac series, he has worked on forty other children’s books.
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This one is great for parents!
Doctor offers guidebook for working with children with autism.

For many parents and caregivers of young children with autism, one of the first questions, after diagnosis is, “What kind of future can I expect for my child?” Parents were often given little hope that their child could succeed in school, make friends and live a happy, meaningful life.

But, this doesn’t have to be the case for many children.

In “Autism: The Potential Within: The PLAY Project Approach to Helping Young Children with Autism,” Richard Solomon, M.D., offers a guidebook that can help parents discover the therapeutic power of play, when working with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

“Through intensive, early intervention, many children can gain the language and social skills to become highly functional in society,” Dr. Solomon said, “if their families and the professionals know how to help them.”

Dr. Solomon is a board-certified developmental and behavioral pediatrician, with over 25 years of experience as a clinician and researcher in the field of autism. As the founder and medical director of The PLAY Project, an autism intervention program, Dr. Solomon has helped thousands of families develop joyful relationships with their young children with autism.

“In this book I’m giving practical, professional advice, based on years of proven success,” Dr. Solomon said. “But I’m giving it with the highest possible personal standard: what I would do for my child, if he or she had autism.”

For more information, visit:http://www.playproject.org/autism-the-potential-within/.

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Improve your coloring skills with these simple, step-by-step instructions for techniques using colored pencils. Intended for beginning artists and coloring book enthusiasts, this guide is ideal for those without formal training but with some experience of coloring with pencils. A wealth of suggestions and exercises will show you how to take your skills to the next level.

Discover how to create volume with such shading techniques as crosshatching, long and short strokes, and color gradation. Learn how to form unique textures that add detail to images. Practice blending techniques and layering one color at a time to control values and colors effectively. Full-color photographs throughout the book illustrate each method as well as lessons in color theory. Eight practice pages from Dover’s bestselling Creative Haven® series of coloring books provide the opportunity to test your new techniques.

Price: $19.95

You can find it here.

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About Sketching: The Art and Practice of Capturing the Moment by Jasper Salwey

Written as a sketching artist’s companion, this guide by a noted author of art instruction manuals attests to the value of sketching as a distinct art form rather than merely a vehicle to achieve more polished works. Artist and author Jasper Salwey details advantages of many drawing media, from pencil to watercolor, and their application to depictions of interior studies, figures, landscapes, seascapes, and architecture.
Suitable for artists and students of moderate to advanced skills, the book makes a case for why the artist needs to sketch and the importance of sketching to the history of art. Salwey’s advice and insights are illustrated by relevant examples that range from works by the Old Masters to those of his great contemporaries, including Frank Brangwyn, Dame Laura Knight, and John Singer Sargent.

Price: $12.95

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A vivid new paper doll collection pays tribute to the legendary star-crossed lovers
Shakespeare enthusiasts, paper doll collectors, and romantics will prize this charming homage to the Bard’s famous sweethearts. Four dolls depict ardent Romeo, lovely Juliet, sympathetic Friar Laurence, and Juliet’s jolly Nurse. Their wardrobe, consisting of 24 colorful and authentic Renaissance costumes plus accessories, is accompanied by quotations from the immortal play. In addition, the book’s inside covers offer the perfect background: a rose-covered balcony.
Price: $11.99

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HUG IT OUT is a delightful picture book that encourages its readers to do just that, hug your squabbles out! Whether a crazy uncle starts spouting nonsense, or your cooped up kids squabble with each other, this is a cure for any age: just Hug It Out! I love this one! It is a wonderful book for young children!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post.