Archives for August 25, 2015

Author’s new children’s title explores the challenges of young life in the Middle Ages


Castle in Danger by retired NYC teacher Karen Rita Rautenberg is a richly evocative historical fiction novel set in the time of the Middle Ages in the 14th Century.


It tells the story of Emma, a very pretty and kind-hearted girl, who lives in a castle with her rich father, Baron Geoffrey. She meets a handsome, young peasant, Thomas, when he saves her from a frightening accident. They become friends and are thrown into many adventures. Thieves try to steal Emma’s and her father Baron Geoffrey’s jewels.


There is mystery and adventure with battles and a siege in her uncle’s castle and a harrowing journey through the forests and countryside searching for Emma’s missing cousin Helen, as well as personal intrigue and friendship involving the main characters.


The story weaves jousting tournaments, town fairs, scrumptious feasts, holidays, Christmas and All Hallow’s Eve, and Medieval traditions.


Well-crafted and laden with entertainment and learning value, Castle in Danger is intended for children ages nine to twelve.

I received a copy of this book and think that children ages 9-12 will enjoy the story especially the characters. My son enjoyed learning about the different ways that holidays were celebrated. It’s a fun adventure story that both boys and girls will enjoy reading. 

You can purchase on and

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to facilitate this post.


Thank a Truck Driver!



September 13-19 marks this year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!

Rudolph Foods, the world’s largest manufacturer of pork rinds, wants to help celebrate truck drivers and all that they do! We know truck drivers are often overlooked, but there are so many things that we could not do without them!
To commemorate this special week, from July 21 to September 19, truck drivers will be able to visit to play a game. Each time the game is played, you are entered to win a contest with a grand prize of $2,000 and pork rinds for a year!


Credit: Rudolph Foods. 

Nikko is Pet of the Week!

Nikko, Aug. 27 Pet of the Week

One-year-old Nikko’s owner moved and took everything but Nikko. For us at the shelter, this was leaving a family member behind. Nikko is smiling because he knows that he’s sweet and pretty enough to get a real family. If you have room in yours, meet Nikko on the shelter side of Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A552058.

Credit:  Companion Animal Village.


(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

FamilyFun and Goldfish photo contest!


FamilyFun and Goldfish have teamed up for the Faces of Fun contest. The contest is open to kids ages 3 to 12 and it ends on September 1st.

It’s simple to enter: Upload a photo of your child’s best smile for a chance to appear in the December/January issue, PLUS receive a $100 Visa gift card. To submit your photo and for rules, go to

Credit: FamilyFun and Goldfish. No compensation was received. This is a courtesy posting. SoCal City Kids is also a big fan of FamilyFun.

iPlate and iCup

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You have probably already heard about the ever-growing popularity of iFork, the intelligently designed utensils that keep germs off your fork, and messes off your table. Now, the inventor that brought you iFork is ready to release the next big thing. Please join us in raising a glass to the release of a Kickstarter Campaign that will change the way you party with the new iPlate and iCup!


The iPlate and iCup allow you to eat and drink without needing a place to set your stuff down—the ultimate product for those who like living socially and being the life of the party. Think about this—that last time you were at a party, tethered to your table because you couldn’t move freely about with your food and drink, and watching the fun happen around you, you could have been having the time of your life! Want to make table time-outs a thing of the past? Back the Kickstarter campaign for iPlate and iCup and never miss out on the party again!


How does it work? It’s simple! The iCup and iPlate is an interlocking system that enables you to carry your plate, cup, and utensils in one hand. Leaving your other hand free to high five and handshake your way around the room! Just slide your iCup underneath your iPlate and it will lock into place leaving you free to roam. Your utensils also have a spot to lock in and stay in place on your plate! Have a date you want to impress? Now you can carry two sets of food and drinks easily, which is sure to earn you some points!

If you want to be one of the first to experience iCup and iPlate, check out the Kickstarter Campaign and make a pledge toward future party fun:


Pledges of $10 or more will guarantee you some iCups and pledges of $15 or more can get you a whole family set! Check it out, make your pledge, and get ready to experience the next big thing in party going!


Kyle Donovan never really liking his utensils touching tables at restaurants, but he was particularly made aware of the uncleanliness of this practice one day while dining outside and watching a bird land on his table. Initially finding the bird amusing, he soon realized that there was a lot more on that table than just his eating utensils! After consulting with a doctor and receiving the disturbing news that not only are there germs and bacteria all over most eating surfaces, but that some can even live for 48 hours, he knew he needed to do something about it. His solution is the patent pending line of intelligently designed flatware iFork that keeps your utensils clean and helps you rise above the surface! For more information please visit

Credit: No compensation or product was received to post. No product was received to review.

Kidgits Robotics, Reading, and Math Back to School Event! Saturday, August 29, from 10am-12pm at Del Amo Fashion Center in JoAnne’s Court


Sylvan Learning’s Center will be coming to host STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, programs to celebrate the start of a new school year. These programs are a great way to help your child build critical skills for the future while having fun! Sylvan will be bringing fun and learning together with these programs:


Robotics for Kids
Build Robots. Build Friendships. Build Confidence!  Robotics for Kids uses fun, hands-on projects to get your child’s creative juices flowing. Your child will learn how to build and program robots with LEGO® bricks and software— all while making friends, developing new skills and having a great time with STEM. To fully engage and challenge your aspiring engineer, computer programmer or scientist, we have several kids’ robotics programs available for Grades 1-6.  We will be hosting free demonstrations, and opportunities for kids to build their own LEGO Robotic creations during our visit to the Del Amo Mall
Math  for Kids
Fun and skill building, this math program will boost your child’s math speed, proficiency and accuracy, whether he or she is keeping up in class or leaping ahead. Kids love the engaging, brain-boosting activities and mastering challenging math concepts. Grades 1-5.
Reading for Kids
We will have fun reading activities for all grade levels on August 29th, giving your child an introduction to Sylvan’s reading program.
The reading curriculum we use is structured by grade level. However, rather than just placing your child in a grade, we first assess his or her reading ability. No assumptions! Whether your child is an advanced reader or getting up to grade level, we take the time to identify the type of reading help he or she needs to succeed. As your child progresses, our reading tutors adjust your child’s learning plan as needed, so reading stays challenging and fun, but not frustrating.

Credit: Simon/Del Amo Mall Kidgits/Sylvan Learning Center.


Toaster Music to Feature Artist Sheriann Ki Sun Burnham for First Friday

At 7pm this Friday, August 29th, Toaster Music, in partnership with the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association, is presenting a preview of TRADITIONAL VISTAS, a new exhibition by Long Beach artist Sheriann Ki Sun Burnham. The exhibition, curated by Sumako in the Expo’s North Gallery, will feature a cross section of Burnham’s work, including early images created using software she wrote, and her more recent work which combines digital printmaking with natural materials to create beautiful, otherworldly sculptural forms.

In college, Burnham pursued a degree in art, and developed an interest in printmaking, something that continues to influence how she puts images together. She was also influenced by David Em, an artist who worked with computer animation systems created by JPL to simulate spacecraft flybys.

In the South Gallery of the Expo Arts Center, a group exhibition curated by Connie Erikson will feature work by Katie Phillips, cofounder of the Squeeze Art Collective, muralist and painter Heather Proctor, painter Alex Diffin and Esmeralda Villalobos.

The preview is from 7 to  9pm, and will include a performance of improvised ambient music by Toaster Music.

First Friday, Sept 4th
The official opening for both galleries will take place on the following Friday, September 4th, from 6:30 to 9:30pm, as part of the monthly First Fridays Long Beach art walk.

This event will include three Toaster Music 30 minute performance sets at the top of each hour, starting at 7 pm and will feature the dancers of Maha and Company Dancers.

The Expo Arts Center is located at 4321 Atlantic Avenue, and is operated by the BKBIA in a public private partnership with the City of Long Beach.

To learn more about Sheriann, visit

To learn more about Alex Diffin, visit

To learn more about Heather Proctor, visit @deadlykiwi (Instagram)

To learn more about Katie Phillips, visit

To learn more about Esmeralda Villalobos, visit

To learn more about Maha & Company, visit
To learn more about Toaster Music, visit

Credit: Toaster Music. No compensation was received.