Learn Your Messy ABCs with Oscar the Grouch & his Sesame Street Friends!

The Messy Alphabet Book

Looking for the perfect alphabet book? This one is fun and is personalized with your child’s name! It’s also approved by Oscar the Grouch!

“You know, it seems like every alphabet book I read is full of nice, clean things like cute kittens, cuddly puppies, and shiny new toys. I think it’s time for a new alphabet book, a MESSY alphabet book.” — Oscar the Grouch 

 In Sesame Street: The Messy Alphabet Book, a new personalized book on PutMeInTheStory.com, Oscar the Grouch and his Sesame Street friends teach your child their ABCs by splashing and crashing their way through the alphabet together!

I received a copy of this book and it’s adorable! We have a friend who just had a baby and decided to give this book as a gift! She loved it and I am sure baby will too!

I mean who doesn’t love Sesame Street?!  I’m a big fan of Elmo and Oscar too!

There is a Sweepstakes you can enter but you have to enter NOW!

A Messy Alphabet Book Sweepstakes for a chance to win a Sesame Street personalized book bundle!

 

Enter through the Rafflecopterhttp://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7566/

Terms & Conditions:

No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

Open to legal residents of USA who are 18 years or older. Giveaway begins September 11, 2017 at 12:01am and ends September 22, 2017 at 11:59pm (“Promotion Period”). Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by submitting the entry form. The entry form can be found on the following website at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7566/ . Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. ONE (1) winner will receive ONE (1) Sesame Street Personalized Book Bundle and Plush (approximate retail value or “ARV”: $155). By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to Put Me In The Story. Put Me In The Story does not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway.

 

o   Includes personalized copies of:

§  Sesame Street: The Messy Alphabet Book

§  Sesame Street: Just One You!

§  Sesame Street: I Love You Just Like This!

§  Sesame Street: Let’s Make a Friend

§  And an Elmo Plush

Self Disclosure: I received a free book to facilitate this post and participate in this blog tour. Images were provided.

Floogals: Mission Complete – A wonderful way for younger kids to learn about Planet Earth!

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Join the Floogals on a mission of discovery as they explore Earth and the funny hoomans who live there! Each day, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer encounter something that sparks their curiosity, setting in motion the day s research project and triggering an exciting adventure! First, the Floogals have an adventure in which they must learn the difficult task of assembling the Girl Hooman’s jigsaw puzzle. They learn working in a team wins the day! The projects continue with investigating Boy Hooman’s building of a model rocket, learning how to fly a toy helicopter to rescue Boomer, discovering who stole Dad Hooman’s veggies in the garden and so much more! Adventure is everywhere they go. They’re the Floogals! 3, 2, 1, let s go! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Dariana A. comments, “Floogals are such a great way to get kids hooked on learning. It has an amazing dynamic and a review of everything they learn at the end, so the kids don’t forget.” Samantha M. adds, “This hilarious animated series had me laughing the entire time. Seeing aliens interact with humans is something I’ve never witnessed before, and the obstacles that the Floogals face are incredibly unique.” See their full reviews below.

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Floogals: Mission Complete

By Dariana A., KIDS FIRST Film Critics, age 11

 

 

Floogals: Mission Complete is a spectacular DVD. It has great animation, a great way to teach kids about day to day things and the Floogals are such a great way to get kids hooked on learning. It has an amazing dynamic and a review of everything they learn at the end, so the kids don’t forget. It also never has a dull moment, so it will keep kids very interested and wanting to watch more.

 

Floogals is about three little aliens that move into a “hoomans” house. Everyday, they discover something new about Earth and they investigate. While doing that, they teach kids about all those things. There is a wide variety of episodes from teaching kids how mail works, to finding out how seeds grow.

 

This show has such amazing animation. The Floogals are little animated aliens, but they live in a live action world. It’s so cool to see them pick up objects that aren’t animated and they still look like real objects. Another thing I really like is the personalities of all the Floogals. Take Boomer for example. He relates to kids that are shyer and helps them be more out there just like him. I also love the way each episode is formatted. Every episode starts with the Floogals seeing something they don’t understand. Then, they find funny uses for it and, in the end when they find out what it is, they go over everything they learned. It’s a great tool to help kids remember what they learn. One of my favorite episodes is “Project Mail.” I really like it because, as a kid, I never would have known how mail worked and this would have been really cool for me to watch at a younger age. If I could change one thing about the Floogals, it would be how long Boomer’s name is. On the show they call him Junior-Floogal-Boomer. I think it would be better as just Boomer.

 

The message of this show is that you should go out and learn something new every day. I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars for its great animation, awesome plots and incredible characters. I recommend this DVD for ages 3 to 6. This DVD will be released on September 12, 2017 so be sure to check it out.

 

Floogals: Mission Complete!

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

 

 

 

This hilarious animated series had me laughing the entire time. Seeing aliens interact with humans is something I’ve never witnessed before, and the obstacles that the Floogals face are incredibly unique. As soon as I began watching the series, the Floogals have to face a giant cat, which did not fail to make me laugh. With many twists and turns, you will never get bored.
A story is about three aliens from outer space, Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo and Junior Boomer who  experience many exciting adventures with humans. They must stay hidden, conduct research projects and report back to their space captain about what it’s like to live on earth. The Floogals learn about jigsaw puzzles, mail, a model rocket, a helicopter and so much more! And, if they do a good job with their research, they get badges to wear on their uniforms. Join Fleeker, Flo and Boomer as they learn what it’s like to be a “hooman.”

 

Rasmus Hardiker, who plays Captain Fleeker, is the lead Floogal. Fleeker always manages to come up with solutions to problems that the Floogals face. For example, when the Floogals ruin a jigsaw puzzle that a little girl built, they have to find a way to rebuild it before she comes back. Hardiker’s voice is very deep, but it’s also very optimistic, which makes his character very relatable. Hugo Harold- Harrison, who plays Boomer, is the funniest character I’ve ever seen. Boomer doesn’t think before he acts, which lands him in difficult situations. Boomer is in charge of watching the cat while the other Floogals rebuild the jigsaw puzzle. Harrison’s voice is filled with fear, which makes it hilarious.

 

The animation in this show is very realistic. The house that the Floogals live in looks just like mine! Their uniforms are the coolest uniforms I’ve ever seen. I wish I could be a Floogal! My favorite part about this series is its theme song. It is incredibly catchy, so prepare to have it get stuck in your head. I love the ending of each episode, because Fleeker, Flo and Boomer each provide their personal perspective about their daily adventures. It’s great to hear their differing opinions, which makes their friendship work. Fleeker, Flo and Boomer are undoubtedly best friends, and you’ll wish that you could join them on their adventures.
The message of this series is to explore everything that life has to offer and to keep an open mind. The Floogals are nothing like humans, but they learn to love what humans can do. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 4 to 8. With non-stop adventures and many jokes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This DVD is available on September 12, 2017 so, be sure to look for it.  I can’t wait to watch the second series.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

Monster Island – Unique Storyline and Great Animation

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When not-so-popular Lucas finds out he is not really a human, but actually a monster, the news changes his whole world!  Embarking on a quest to Monster Island to discover his real roots, Lucas undergoes a journey he will never forget.  He finds himself face to face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn’t freaky—it means you’re a member of a brand new type of family that you can proudly call your own. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Carla P. comments, “Monster Island is a great film because of its animation and unique storyline. I love how the monsters are animated.” Jolleen M. adds, “This animated film is hilarious and is made with great quality. I love the colorful and detailed animation. The storyline is different from other monster films, which makes it stand out. “ See their full reviews below.

Monster Island

By Carla P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

 

Monster Island is a great film because of its animation and unique storyline. I love how the monsters are animated. I also adore the storyline. It’s something I’ve never seen before.

Monster Island is about a boy named Lucas who’s a monster, but doesn’t know it since his dad hid it from him his whole life. His dad has given him a potion to stop him from turning into a monster by hiding it as an inhaler. When Lucas forgets his inhaler at home to go the biggest party of the year, he turns into a monster which scares everyone. Luckily, his dad comes to the rescue with his inhaler which turns him back into a human. His dad explains what’s happening and where he got his powers from. Turns out, they’re from an island called Calvera. Lucas goes on an adventure to find this island. But will he find it? Watch it to find out!

The animation reminds me of Frankenweenie and Coraline which are some of my favorite Halloween movies. Unlike Frankenweenie and Coraline, Monster Island is all computer animation. However, it looks like claymation. I’m fascinated by the attention to detail. Every monster is unique. There are squid monsters and humongous monsters who tower over people.

I love the characters in this movie. Two of my favorites are the two police officers. I love their banter as they try to catch Lucas, but always fail. I love how the pumpkin monster is the “brains” of their team while the deer head monster is the tough dumb one. They had me cracking up the whole time.

The message of this movie is to accept yourself. Lucas’ uncle tries to become a monster since he never became a monster. He felt left out because all of his family are monsters, but he isn’t. Although his family loves him either way, he still tries to find a way to become a monster through science.

I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 6 to 10. You can find this incredible movie online now so, go check it out. Available on YouTube, Google Play, Budi and more.

Monster Island

By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

 

This animated film is hilarious and is made with great quality. I love the colorful and detailed animation. The storyline is different from other monster films, which makes it stand out.

The story line is about a boy named Lucas, who doesn’t know that he is a monster. His dad has been keeping the truth from him, until he is ready to handle it. Lucas takes medicine every 24 hours so he doesn’t get “sick.” At least that is what his father told him. But one night he forgets to bring his inhaler with him and he turns into monster form. He is completely shocked, as is everyone around him, for he did not know he had this inside of him. His dad gives him a small explanation, but Lucas, wanting to know more, goes on a journey back to his birthplace. He goes back to Monster Island, to figure out who he really is.

The Director Leopoldo Aguilar has created a very original and interesting film. The style of animation that Art Director Jorge Carrera has created really detailed and realistic, without looking too scary, animation. The animation is so colorful and pleasing to the eye.

The music of this film by Ricardo Solis, really sets the tone for the film and adds suspense, which makes everything interesting. The music can tense you up or just make you feel really happy for no apparent reason. The music is a crucial part of any movie and Solis’s score truly makes this film even better!

My favorite scene is when Lucas turns into his monster form for the first time at a party. I really enjoyed this scene because everything is put into play. The music adds to the suspense, the animation of Lucas  transformation and the zooming in increases the tension. This scene has a lot of key elements that makes it my favorite.

The message of this film is to embrace who you are. Lucas, at first, does not like the idea of being a monster, but he soon realizes that it’s not so bad. Just because you are different doesn’t mean that you are alone. This is a really important lesson to teach kids because, some kids want to fit in and be like everyone else. If they aren’t, they think that they are not good enough. But Lucas shows that no matter what, you are special in your own ways even if you don’t realize it. There is always someone out there who will love you for who you are.

Monster Island is inspirational and just a very interesting film to watch. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for the ages of 4 to 12. Monster Island is available online at YouTube, Google Play and other locations now so, go check it out.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

September Book Picks!

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THE MERMAID’S SECRET (978-0-7653-8130-9; $27.99; June 14, 2016), the sophomore women’s fiction/fantasy novel by Katie Schickel is a must-read!

THE MERMAID’S SECRET is  a wonderful, seafaring tale of magic, family and identity.

Set on an island off the Maine coastthis sophomore novel is the ultimate in beach reading.

It’s “Splash” meets “Jaws” with a touch of magic and adventure, appealing to both women’s fiction and fantasy fans alike.

In a recent 4-star review, RT Book Reviews said that the new novel delivers a “fast pace and believable emotion from the characters.” Schickel’s debut novel, HOUSEWITCH, was one of Booklist’s Top 10 Women’s Fiction for 2015.

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t’s that time of year again when beleaguered parents constantly remind disobedient children that it’s more important than ever to do the right thing.

Otherwise, they could end up on Santa’s notorious naughty list – the one specially reserved for kids who fight with siblings, refuse to do their homework, throw temper tantrums and don’t eat their vegetables.

While banishment to the naughty list has long been a handy tool in the disciplinary arsenal, any responsible parent wants their children to be good the rest of the year, too, when the threat of empty stockings holds less sway over those impressionable minds.

“I suspect most children deep down want to do the right thing, but they struggle with temptation,” says K.J. Hales, author of It’s Hard to Be Good, the first volume in the Ellie the Wienerdog (www.elliethewienerdog.com) series of educational picture books for children.

“A lot of it comes down to self-control – being able to control both your emotions and your actions when things don’t go your way or you don’t get what you want.”

Hales, who creates teachers’ guides and educational activities to go along with the lessons in her books, says the earlier parents start teaching children to do the right thing, the better.

She says some of the ways they can reinforce good behavior and discourage bad behavior include:

• Be generous with praise. Don’t underestimate the importance of your words. It’s easy to notice when children do the wrong thing and to chastise them about it. But take note when they do the right thing, too, and praise their good choices or good behavior.  “Everyone loves words of approval and children will want to please you as a result,” Hales says.
• Make good choices a fun activity. One way to encourage good decisions could be to set aside one week in which each day you ask your children to write or draw about a good decision they made or they saw someone else make. Hales says this is an activity she suggests for classroom teachers, but it can work in the home as well. Be sure to discuss those good decisions with the children.
• Reward them. Discipline so often focuses on punishments for bad behavior, but children should also be rewarded for good behavior. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. A reward could be a picnic in the park or a favorite dessert after dinner.

“I’m sure every parent wants their child to gain independence, grow emotionally and learn to make good decisions about their own behavior,” Hales says. “And this is important 365 days a year, not just in the weeks before Santa Claus comes to town.”

This truly is a delightful story that I recommend for young children! ~SoCal City Kids. 

About K.J. Hales

K.J. Hales (www.ellietheweinerdog.com) is author of the Ellie the Wienerdog series of educational children’s books for children. The first volume in the series is It’s Hard to Be Good. The Ellie character is based on Hales’ own dachshund also named Ellie.

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Fly away with English actress Cerrie Burnell’s newest title and help Harper search for the city’s missing cats!

 

Harper and the Scarlet UmbrellaHarper and the Scarlet Umbrella
by Cerrie Burnell

Illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

 

This is a fun story that I specifically think that young girls will love!

Harper lives in the City of Clouds, an enchanting place where it rains every day and an umbrella is always a good idea. With her Aunt Sassy, her beloved cat, Midnight, and all of her neighbors in the Tall Apartment Block, every day is full of possibility.

But when every cat in the city goes missing—including Midnight—Harper is determined to find all of the precious pets. And she’ll need a magic, flying umbrella to help her in her search. Recruiting friends from her building to help, the magic umbrella whisks them into the sky on the trail of the cats and an adventure.

About the Author and Illustrator

Cerrie Burnell (author) is a presenter, actress, and writer, best known for her work in British children’s TV. She was featured in the Guardian’s 2011 list of the one hundred most inspirational women. She divides her time between London and Manchester, England.

Laura Ellen Anderson (illustrator) has been a children’s book illustrator since graduating from the University of Falmouth. She is the creator of the Evil Emperor Penguin comic and the illustrator for many books including the Witch Wars series. She lives in the United Kingdom.

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Looking for a great read for young boys? This one is a must!

Henry Hunter and the Cursed Pirates: Henry Hunter Series #2 
by John Matthews.

Henry Hunter’s friend Charlie is desperate for help. His parents have gone missing in the Caribbean Ocean, and no one will believe him that something sinister is afoot.

The only lead Henry and Dolf have is the sighting of a ghostly galleon and a huge tentacle of mist. Exploring the local pirate history and myths, Henry and Dolf uncover a cursed crew of pirates, led by no other than the deadly Edward Teach—Blackbeard himself. But what’s keeping the pirates sailing beyond their deaths? And how and why are they building a crew of live prisoners? It’s up to Henry and Dolf to survive monster waves and befriend a crazy local sea dog to solve the mystery and put the pirates back in their watery graves!

About the Author

John Matthews is a historian, folklorist, and author. He has produced more than ninety books on the Arthurian Legends and Grail Studies. He has devoted much of the past thirty years to the study of Arthurian Traditions and myth in general. He lives in Oxford, United Kingdom.

 

I love these Wee Gallery books! These are just perfect for the really little ones!

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Baby’s First Soft Books

Friendly Faces in the Wild: 9781609929138

Friendly Faces in the Yard: 9781609929145

Activity Books

Dog’s Day Out Activity Book: 9781609929176

Cat’s Playgroup Activity Book: 9781609929183

Find out more here!

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Sharks and Dolphins

By Kevin Kurtz

Sharks and dolphins both have torpedo-shaped bodies with fins on their backs. They slice through the water to grab their prey with sharp teeth. But despite their similarities, sharks and dolphins belong to different animal classes: one is a fish and gets oxygen from the water and the other is a mammal and gets oxygen from the air. Marine educator Kevin Kurtz guides early readers to compare and contrast these ocean predators through stunning photographs and simple, nonfiction text.

This one can be found at Arbordale Publishing. I love their books because they are fun to read and educational!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to feature. Info and images were also provided.

Turn on the Lights, Let the Sun Shine In, Stand Up and Join the Alphabet Rockers’ Movement! A new hip hop album for young change makers RISE SHINE #WOKE

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Music and activism have always changed culture in positive and powerful ways. Brilliant artists like Marvin Gaye, Erykah Badu and The Roots move people to sing and dance while lifting consciousness. Alphabet Rockers are making similar social waves with their music for children and families.

 

A nationally touring kid-friendly hip hop group out of Oakland, Alphabet Rockers address complex issues around identity and social justice through their hip hop music.Their upcoming album Rise Shine #Woke (available September 1, 2017) offers a set of songs to get kids moving while sparking discussions in homes and classrooms.

“We want families to join us in making change,” says Kaitlin McGaw who, along with Tommy Shepherd, are the two core members of Alphabet Rockers. Tommy adds, “Being woke is nothing new but right now it’s crucial for folks who are too comfortable in their lifestyles to get involved in this movement. This album is an entry point.”

Last year’s award-winning Alphabet Rockers EP The Playground Zone featured a song called “Gimme Some Skin,” which asks kids to examine the color of their own skin in relationship to the world around them. In Rise Shine #Woke, the song “Questions” digs deeper, asking listeners to think about questions like, “What is my skin tone?” “What is its history?” and “What is my culture? What is my legacy?” Jill Scott and Mary J.Blige vibes come through in songs “What Are You?” and “I’m Proud, ” which invite families to use new language around gender and cultural identities.

Indeed, from the Lauryn Hill inspired first track, “Don’t Wait (Interlude),” which features the compelling voice of Laroilyn Davis of Oakland’s Young Gifted & Black, this album presents a distinct departure from the usual nostalgic vibes of a children’s album. In place of the expected “we are all a rainbow” message, Alphabet Rockers repeatedly ask listeners to “wake up” and deal with the human rights issues happening every day, right in front of them.  In the upbeat and positive songs like “The Nitro,” “Rise,” “Turn on the Lights” and “Shine,”  the messages of awareness and the need to become a social justice ally run throughout, with sounds reminiscent of Outkast and Kendrick Lamar. “Walls” humanizes the undocumented experience and invites families to empathize as a nation of many immigrants. Listeners are called to action with pop and dancehall songs like “Stand Up for You” and “Sway.” Sampling is everywhere, including Maya Angelou’s poetry, Sugarhill Gang breaks; and President Barack Obama’s inspirational words: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Rise Shine #Woke features collaborations with family music trailblazer Genevieve Goings (Choo Choo Soul) and hip hop producer Chief Xcel (Blackalicious), along with music production from two-time GRAMMY winning producer Torrance Esmond (aka Street Symphony, whose credits include 2 Chainz, Lecrae, Ludacris, and G-Eazy). Children’s voices and dozens of other artists and allies contributed to this album, which is packed with dance singles that bring social justice language to the home and classroom.

As McGaw says, these songs allow people to “put consciousness in motion. We want to help parents raise the next generation of change makers.  We’re here to ignite their courageous conversations. Our music is part of a movement.”

More about Alphabet Rockers

Alphabet Rockers use hip hop to shift the way people see themselves and each other; it’s music that makes change.Their shows, school assemblies, and family workshops bring joy to tough topics. The group, led by Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Shepherd, creates brave spaces for parents, educators and children to shape a more equitable world through hip hop.

Alphabet Rockers plan to release music videos and a conversation-starting game for families. After a summer East Coast tour, their busy fall performance season will include an album release event at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley in November and family workshops around racism and difference throughout Northern California. Visit http://alphabetrockers.com/shows/ for the latest updates.

 

Self Disclosure: Information and Image provided by Sugar Mountain PR.

Pup Star: Better2Gether – Fun-Filled Family Film With Adorable Pups

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The action-packed new season of the franchise continues with the story of Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who, after winning the ‘Pup Star’ TV singing competition, is suddenly launched into an adventure when she’s replaced by a street Yorkie, Scrappy, and the two swap lives in a dog-filled, fish-out-of-water tale that ultimately demonstrates life truly is ‘better together.’  KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart.” Samantha M. adds, “You’re never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you.” Calista B. wraps it up with, “I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time.” See their full reviews below.

Pup Star: Better2Gether
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

 

Air Bud Entertainment has done it again and created a fun-filled family film with this follow up sequel to Pup Star. I like the movie because the story has a fun adventure and also introduces lots of new characters including the disco dog Shampoo, the perfect pal P.U.P. (Mackenzie Sol) and the “catankerous” Kitty Purry (Madison Pettis).

The story begins when Roland (Jed Rees) and Bark (George Newbern) kidnap Tiny (Kaitlyn Maher); or should I say dognap. Scrappy (Kaitlyn Maher) is put in Tiny’s place for the Pup Star finals because Bark wants revenge on Tiny. My favorite scene is Shampoo’s disco party! It is hilarious because it is quite unusual to see dogs dancing. Wow! He slides all around and spins on the ground like fidget spinner. My next favorite scene is in Kitty Purry’s cat alley. When Roland enters, his clothes are in perfect condition, but when he comes out, his entire outfit is in shreds.

My favorite characters are Tiny, Scrappy and Roland. Tiny is so loveable and a great singer. Scrappy is an awesome rapper with lots of attitude. Roland thinks he is pretty smart but he’s really like a dodo bird. It’s so funny that in almost every scene something bad happens to him which made me laugh like a howling husky.

I absolutely love the music because it includes rap, pop, country, upbeat and sad songs that draws you in and touches your heart. Kaitlyn Mayer has an amazing and versatile voice. She is able to not only sing pop but rap like nobody’s business. I like the special effects because they make the talking dogs and facial expressions look so real and, by the end of the movie, I believed that dogs can really talk and sing. Can’t they?

 

I don’t want to give away the ending, but you’ll most likely have tears in your eyes. The heartfelt messages of the film are about sticking together and that families are better together. I recommend this to ages 3 to 13. I rate this film 5 out of 5 Pup Stars. I highly encourage you to see this film! It is available on VOD August 29, 2017 so go check it out.

Pup Star: Better2Gether

By Samantha M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

 

 

This wonderful, animated film is one of my all-time favorites. Firstly, it’s about dogs. Secondly, any kind of dog you can imagine is in this film, so you are sure to love at least one. If you don’t love dogs as much as I do, that’s okay, because there are plenty of cats to go around as well.

 

After Tiny, a Yorkshire terrier, wins the Pup Star finale, her fame begins to flourish. Having multiple interviews and traveling around the country, she’s forced to remain astray from her family. Scrappy, an identical street Yorkshire terrier, switches lives with Tiny and their families and friends are completely unaware. Tiny and Scrappy encounter multiple adventures and learn a valuable life lesson: life is better together.

 

Kaitlyn Maher, who voices both Tiny and Scrappy, successfully illustrates the differences between the two, through Scrappy’s low-pitched raps and Tiny’s intense singing voice. During the film, there are also times where you aren’t able to tell the difference. Mackenzie Moss, who plays Tiny’s owner Lou, is the perfect dog owner. She loves Tiny more than anything in the world and, even though she’s actually loving Scrappy for a majority of the film, her heart is always with Tiny. You can see it in her smile when it’s Tiny’s birthday. The entire house is decorated. There is a cake – what more could you ask for?

 

The set is incredible! It looks so similar to the set of America’s Got Talent. The stage is filled with colorful lights, incredible singers and there’s even a real audience. It feels as if you’re a part of the show. My favorite part is when Tiny goes on “Jimmy Kibble Live” and competes with a super-fan. They play a game called “Who Knows Tiny Best?” Jimmy Kimmel Live is one of my favorite talk shows, so it is hilarious to see an imitation of it.

 

The message of the film is concise, yet extremely powerful: life is better when you’re together. No matter who you may be with, as long as you have a support system, there is nothing that can tear you down. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to kids ages 6 to18. Adults will love it too. You’re never too young or old to love an animal. I fell in love with the first Pup Star film and seeing the second one made my heart melt. If you love animals as much as I do, this is undoubtedly the film for you. Catch this film on VOD August 29, 2017. I can’t wait to see Pup Star 3.

 

Pup Stars: Better 2Gether

By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

 

 

This film is a perfectly cute kid and family furry-friendly movie. Sorry, there are lots of puns in this film. It is clearly geared to younger kids, but at least I can say there is a very clear effort to make this film watchable for older siblings and even parents.

 

The story centers around a celebrity pooch named Tiny and a streetwise dog named Scrappy who are forced to switch places after Tiny is dog-napped. Scrappy is coerced to purposely lose The Pup Stars Final competition pretending to be Tiny.

 

First, I want to acknowledge the really good editing in this movie. Since most of the characters are dogs, you must make their lip movements and actions look convincing. And I must admit, the lip movements and actions actually do look real. That must have taken a lot of time. Kudos to the film’s editor, Jason Dale. All the dogs in the film are likable and you just want to cuddle up with Tiny and Scrappy.

 

This film has some flaws in terms of its story. First, the humans are incredibly oblivious and bumbling. When Scrappy meets Tiny’s family, she does a terrible job hiding that she isn’t Tiny, yet they completely buy it. No one seems to realize Tiny and Scrappy have switched places. All the human characters are either self-absorbed or really incompetent. I also have an issue with how predictable the storyline is. I knew the big reveal within the first few minutes of the film. Not only that, this type of story has been done before. This movie is pretty much Parent Trap, but with dogs and an American Idol twist.

 

I have to say that the music is surprisingly really good. The song Tiny sings, “Is This For Real?” is pretty catchy and I even found it stuck in my head after the movie was over. The singing overall is also great. I admit, the movie’s soundtrack is kind of a guilty pleasure for me.

 

Before the movie starts, it is revealed that they are working on Pup Stars 3 and I am curious how many movies they can make, especially since the first one only came out last year and they go straight to VOD. I wonder what the plot will be for the next movie and hope they don’t depict the humans as totally incompetent next time.

 

I give this film 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 10, as this is a solid family film. It will be released on VOD on August 29, 2017 so, check it out.

 

Pup Star: Better 2Gether
By Jolleen M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12.

Pup Star: Better 2Gether, the sequel to Pup Star, is an amazing original film that really hits the heart. The storyline is unique and the ending is so adorable. The film teaches the important messages of honesty and owning up to your mistakes.

The storyline begins when Scrappy gets put up to impersonate Tiny. Bark instructs Scrappy to lose the Pup Star Competition as Tiny so that he can win. Bark kidnaps Tiny and tries to keep him contained. Eventually he escapes and tries to find his owner and reveal the truth.

Kaitlyn Maher voices two completely different characters and personalities well. She voices Tiny’s sweet and affectionate personality and also voices Scrappy’s rough, snarky personality. I also love the voice acting of Steve Valentine as Simon Growl. It is a really good Simon Cowell impression. At first, I thought it was actually Simon Cowell voicing his dog counterpart.

The animation that makes the dogs dance and talk looks so real. It is so cool to see the dogs breakdancing at the disco party. It is also amazing to see the dogs singing and talking. They sound beautiful and angelic.

My favorite character is Scrappy, because she is so courageous and has such a strong personality, even if she seems harsh. She is a great example of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I don’t want to give any spoilers, but she is very confident and knows what’s right.

The message of this film is to have confidence in yourself and do what’s right. Tiny has confidence that she can find her owner. She doesn’t give up and that helps her greatly. Scrappy knows what’s right and she becomes successful and happy at the end. These things benefit both dogs and the film teaches that it will benefit you as well. They are very important lessons that will help you throughout your life.

This film is very inspirational and super-cute. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages of 3 to 18. Who doesn’t love puppies?  Definitely check this film out when it comes out on VOD August 29, 2017.

 

Credit: KIDS FIRST!

 

 

NEWS RELEASE/for immediate release Ralph’s World Presents ‘Time Machine Guitar’ Giveaway Opportunity!

TMG Cover FINAL SQUARE uncolored

Amidst a busy summer of dozens of concerts, Ralph’s World, the Grammy nominated songwriter, performer and author, will release a new album of original story-songs, Time Machine Guitar, on August 4.

 

The new album of 12 songs reflects Ralph’s World’s “quirky lyrics and solid rock sensibility”(LA Times). Time Machine Guitar takes listeners on an imaginative musical and narrative adventure through time and space,  whether it be about “Ben Franklin’s Mole,” or “Beethoven’s Horse,”  the “Young King Tut,” or “Hummingbird Tree.” Amidst all the fun, these songs often offer socially conscious messages, as in “Toy Masters of War” (with a strong nod toward Bob Dylan’s protest song), and memorable life lessons, like “Color outside the Lines.” Ralph Covert’s ability to craft instantly accessible and singable songs is clear in each of these new tracks. As MusicBox Online noted, “He’s as close to the Beatles as they get, both in terms of sound and sheer brilliance.”

 

The album liner notes will include a booklet of biographical information on the historical figures featured on the album. Historical people come to life, as Ralph paints a picture of the boy King Tut playing with toys, or Mozart and Haydn (who were real-life friends) chat about music. Ralph, who studied classical music  while beginning his career in rock music, says, “I used the song ‘Beethoven’s Horse’ as a vehicle to demonstrate the different styles of their musical compositions by recasting the same melody as each of them might have interpreted it.”  A learning guide will be available this fall.

 

A pilot for “Time Machine Guitar” originally aired on Chicago public television, WTTW.  A series of “Time Machine Guitar” episodes is launching on the Ralph’s World YouTube channel. Fans who subscribe to the channel will be the first to view new episodes every other Saturday morning. In the show, Ralph lives in a colorful tree house with his three puppet animal friends, Rani, a squirrel, Beauregard, a dog, and Malcolm, a cat. Together they make and learn about music, and go on trips through history with Ralph’s Time Machine Guitar to visit interesting people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Amelia Earhart, and Tito Puente.

 

As Ralph explains,“The show is in the spirit of Saturday morning cartoons from our childhood. It will be a music driven show that combines educational elements with an engaging and energetic sense of fun. Our hope is that kids will be inspired to learn more, and that they will feel excited about exploring their own creativity.”

 

 

Ralph Covert, aka Ralph's World

More about Ralph’s World

 

Since his first children’s recordings in the early 2000’s, Ralph’s World has won numerous awards and critical acclaim for his 12 children’s albums and music videos (released on Minty Fresh, Waterdog Records and Disney Sound). He has published four children’s books, created scores for musical theater, and has toured the nation performing for thousands of fans at venues ranging from Lollapalooza to Austin City Limits, as well as sold-out crowds at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Symphony Space in New York and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. His last children’s album was Ralph’s World Rocks and Reads (2015).

Ralph Covert continues to lead the grown-up, Chicago-based rock band The Bad Examples, who still perform together frequently. He also records and performs solo shows. A Ralph Covert acoustic album is scheduled for early 2018, tentatively titled Little Bird. 

For the third year in a row, Ralph will curate the Lil’ Pilgrims family stage at Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, TN, and he will perform there and on the main stage that weekend.

Find all upcoming concert details at www.ralphsworld.com.

We have teamed up for a Giveaway! To enter, leave a comment below! Deadline to enter is September 16th, 2017! U.S. Residents only, please! 

Self Disclosure: Info and images were provided by Sugar Mountain PR.

Molang: Season 1 – Each Episode Is Overrun With Happiness

Moland.Season1

Join Molang, a round, fluffy, and happy rabbit, and his friend, Piu Piu, a poised, timid, and reserved yellow chick, as they explore everyday life. Molang savors every moment of his life, imbuing it with joy and wonder. He pays attention to the smallest details, giving meaning to even the tiniest things. Molang puts his heart into his actions, and he has a huge heart. Even when he does absolutely nothing, he does it well! Piu Piu, on the other hand, doesn’t t like calling attention to himself. He likes to do things carefully and well. When unexpected situations arise (and Molang’s unpredictable behavior often causes such situations to occur!), Piu Piu can become quickly unsettled, even panicked. Despite their many differences, Molang and Piu Piu enjoy a unique friendship. They have amazing times together ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary. From finding themselves in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean to riding camels in the desert, Molang and Piu Piu experience unexpected situations. Throughout it all though, every single moment with these two is filled with happiness. Embark on 52 unforgettable adventures with Molang and Piu Piu! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Sahiba K. comments, “Molang and Piu Piu’s innocent demeanor makes them lovable characters that I rooted for every step of the way. Their love for each other and their society made me fall in love with both of them.” Samantha M. adds, “This delightful series had me laughing the entire time. I enjoyed it tremendously, because there is no dialogue.” Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror sums it up with, “. The animation in this program is amazing and fun. The fluffy thick lines make it very kid-friendly and hold the attention of the viewer.” See their full reviews below.

 

Molang: Season 1

By Sahiba Kaur, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

 

 

Molang: Season 1 is full of fun and laughter! Molang and Piu Piu’s innocent demeanor makes them lovable characters that I rooted for every step of the way. Their love for each other and their society made me fall in love with both of them. Each episode is overrun with happiness which made me smile nonstop.

 

The story follows the everyday life of a fluffy rabbit named Molang and its best friend Piu Piu the chicken. On their journeys together, Molang and Piu Piu face different situations and find creative ways to help others and fix their unique problems. Together, they happily enjoy the surprises their lives bring.

 

There is no dialogue in this show, but the animation and music easily make it understandable. The animation is bright and rounded giving it a soft and calming feeling. During the daytime, the trees, hills and grass are radiant shades of yellows, greens, pinks and oranges. It adds to the brightness of the mood when Molang and Piu Piu are adventuring through their world. During the night, the aura changes as the colors turn soft shades of purples and blues. The hills, trees, snow, sand and nature are drawn with different colorful patterns as are the walls, floors and ceilings which adds a playful and cheerful feeling. The character’s expressions easily convey their thoughts and increase the visual appeal.

 

The music spoke to me as the dialogue would. Throughout the different episodes, the music changes whenever the situations change. For example, when Molang and Piu Piu are going to the beach or on vacation, the music becomes lively and venturesome. When they run into a problem, the music transforms to a slow rhythm. The music imbued the feelings of Molang and Piu Piu into me. It made me feel a part of their journey.

 

My favorite part of this show is the character, Molang the bunny. Molang never gets worried and always remains calm when everything seems to be going wrong for Piu Piu. Molang is quick to think of ideas and does anything to help others. Therefore, Molang took a spot in my heart.

 

The messages of the show address the importance of friendship, teamwork, kindness, loving everybody and helping those in need. I give this DVD 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 8. Check out Molang: Season 1 on DVD when it is released on August 15, 2017.

 

Molang: Season 1

By Samantha Marcus, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

 

This delightful series had me laughing the entire time. I enjoyed it tremendously, because there is no dialogue. Each episode is filled with multiple adventures, so you will never be bored!
You are invited to join Molang and Piu Piu as they explore what life has to offer. Molang is a big, ecstatic rabbit, who finds ways to enjoy his life in every circumstance. Piu Piu is his best friend, a small, shy little chick who is dragged along on every adventure and is often frightened by the unexpected situations they both face. These best friends are completely opposite, but both manage to experience happiness in every situation.

 

Bruno Gueracague, the sound coordinator, composed an extremely catchy, opening song. While there are 52 episodes, it only takes two to get it stuck in your head, which is a great way for kids to remember the series. Marie-Caroline Villand, one of the series’ directors, successfully communicates themes of happiness and friendship to kids, no matter their culture or dialect. The absence of dialogue leaves the interpretation up to the audience, which gives something for everyone to relate to.

 

The animation is adorable and leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire time. The characters are incredibly cute, which makes them very relatable. I could not stop watching the series, because I love the unique friendship that Molang and Piu Piu share. My favorite episode is, “The Goldfish.” Molang and Piu Piu try to get the goldfish’s attention and have a disco party, which is hilarious. The fish loves the party, so next time you want your fish’s attention, make sure to involve a disco ball!

 

The themes of the series are happiness, friendship, respect and unity. It is important to maintain great friendships, live your life to the fullest, care for one another and stick together.

I give this series a 5 out of 5 stars, recommend it to kids ages 3 to 18 and believe that adults will enjoy it too. I could not stop laughing, because it is funny seeing animals act as people in everyday situations. Check out Molang: Season 1 on DVD now, because it will undoubtedly make you laugh.

 

Molang Season One

By Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Juror, Adult

 

Molang is about a very cute relationship between Molang, a joyful rabbit and Piu Piu, a reluctant chick. Their dynamic is adorable and together they go on many adventures and have great fun. The animation in this program is amazing and fun. The fluffy thick lines make it very kid-friendly and hold the attention of the viewer. There are many episodes on this DVD and my favorite is called “The Underground Walk.” In this episode, the duo goes on an underground tour and, due to their mischievous behavior and lack of discipline, they get lost from the tour group and must work together to find their way out of the tunnels. I like this episode because you really get a good taste of why they work so well together and you get the feeling that maybe without each other they could not accomplish as much. I recommend this for ages 2 to 6 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Credit: KIDS FIRST!