Archives for April 19, 2018

Sesame Place Becomes the First Theme Park in the World to be Designated as a Certified Autism Center

Sesame Place®, the nation’s only theme park based entirely on the award-winning show Sesame Street®, in conjunction with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), today announced the completion of a staff-wide autism sensitivity and awareness training at the theme park.  The completiondesignates Sesame Place as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) as distinguished by IBCCES, — the first theme park in the world to receive such a distinction. The certification aligns with National Autism Awareness Month and comes as the park readies for its 38th season, opening on April 28, 2018.

For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children who have special needs have limited travel options, and in response, created training and certification programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry.

As a Certified Autism Center, Sesame Place is required to provide ongoing training to ensure that team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to interact with all families and children with special needs, specifically on the autism spectrum. Training takes place in the areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development, and emotional awareness as well as a comprehensive autism competency exam.  The autism training must be taken every two years in order to maintain the certification.

“As the first theme park in the world to complete the training and become a CAC, Sesame Place is better equipped to offer families inclusive activities for children with autism and other special needs,” explained Sesame Place park president Cathy Valeriano.  Robust pre-visit planning resources will be added to the park’s website including a sensory guide, developed by IBCCES.  This sensory guide will make it easier for parents to plan activities that satisfy their child’s specific needs and accommodations by providing insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for each attraction.  The park will also have two quiet rooms located on Sesame Island.  These rooms will have adjustable lighting, and a comfortable seating area for guests to take a break.

Sesame Place’s certification aligns with Sesame Workshop’s commitment to increasing awareness and understanding of autism.  Sesame Workshop launched the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative in 2015 and Julia, a Sesame Street Muppet with autism, came to life on the award-winning broadcast last spring, signaling a strong, continuing commitment to the autism community.  Julia made her debut at Sesame Place in 2017 as a walkaround character and is available for guest meet & greets. The park is developing in-park programs that will be implemented this season giving guests additional opportunities to interact with Julia.

“Since her debut, Sesame Street’s Julia has touched the lives of millions of children and families around the world and we’re proud that partners like Sesame Place are committed to providing autism-friendly experiences,” said Scott Chambers, Senior Vice President and General Manager, North America Media and Licensing, Sesame Workshop.  “We applaud them for earning this distinction.”

“IBCCES works with leading travel destinations to create safe, sensory-compatible travel options for parents and individuals on the spectrum. Our Certified Autism Center designation is awarded to premier organizations around the globe that have completed rigorous training and meet the highest industry standards,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Sesame Place is ideal because of its accessibility to families and convenient location, as well as everything the organization has done to be inclusive for all. The CAC certification helps give parents and other guests on the spectrum peace of mind when visiting a new destination or attraction.”

“Sesame Place is honored to be leading the theme park industry through our commitment to making our facility friendly for families with children on the spectrum,” added Valeriano.  “We’re dedicated to providing all of our guests with an exceptional and memorable experience.  We look forward to applying this training and expanding our commitment to help spread awareness about autism.”



The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) was established in 2001 to meet the training and credentialing needs of professionals who work with individuals with special needs. IBCCES has since expanded into over 40 different countries with training centers in the United States and Singapore and members all across the globe. Our Certified Autism Specialist, Board Certified Cognitive Specialist and Certified Autism Center credentials were established with the highest standards in the industry. As a result, our programs have become the benchmark for those who work with cognitive disorders around the globe. In addition, IBCCES created and hosts the annual International Symposium on Cognitive Research & Disorders.  This global event brings together top neurologists, education leaders and healthcare experts with a focus on research, innovation and collaboration. For information about training and certification, visit


About Sesame Place®

Sesame Place®, the only theme park in the U.S. based entirely on the award-winning show, Sesame Street®, is ideal for families and kids of all ages.   Conveniently located just 30 minutes from Philadelphia and 90 minutes from New York City, the park has over 25 attractions, three live shows, a daily parade and of course, everyone’s favorite furry friends.  NEW IN SPRING 2018: the biggest, most exciting roller coaster ever – Oscar’s Wacky Taxi™! The new wooden-steel hybrid roller coaster will take thrill seekers of all sizes on a crazy, curvy taxi cab ride, with everyone’s favorite grouch at the helm.  Before little kids become big kids, go before they grow® to the nation’s only theme park based entirely on Sesame Street®.  For more information, visit call 1-215-752-ELMO.

PBS KIDS Announces Adaptive Apparel Collection Available Exclusively at Zappos


PBS KIDS and Zappos Adaptive are introducing a line of gender-neutral two-way reversible adaptive apparel with kid-friendly designs that promote independence for all children. Manufactured by 4WARD Clothing, the PBS KIDS Adaptive Apparel Collection will soon be available exclusively at

The PBS KIDS Adaptive Apparel Collection includes t-shirts and lounge pants designed to meet unique sensory needs. Each item includes dissolvable tags, has no buttons and is made with soft, machine washable poly-cotton blend fabric. The entire clothing line can be worn either forward or backward, making it versatile for kids.

“PBS KIDS is committed to diversity and inclusion, helping children of all abilities learn and grow,” said Dawn Ciccone, Vice President of Brand Licensing, PBS KIDS. “This collaboration with Zappos Adaptive is one more way we’re honoring that commitment. The PBS KIDS Adaptive Apparel Collection is purpose-driven to help empower children, encourage independence and promote creative expression.”

Additionally, in support of Autism Awareness Month, PBS KIDS will air and stream episodes of ARTHUR, DINOSAUR TRAIN and SESAME STREET featuring characters with autism on and the PBS KIDS Video app. Related digital games can be found on, hands-on activities on PBS Parents, and educational resources on PBS LearningMedia.

As the exclusive home of 4Ward Clothing, Zappos Adaptive promotes inclusion by providing functional and fashionable clothing and shoes to help make getting dressed easier. 4Ward Clothing represents the important underlying concept of providing a garment that fosters independence and inclusion for those who need it most so they can move forward in life.

“We’re so excited to collaborate with PBS KIDS and 4ward Clothing on this collection because it brings something fresh and fun to our assortment of super soft, reversible clothing. Zappos Adaptive is focused on curating a wide selection of products that make our customers’ lives easier, and this definitely helps us fulfill that purpose,” said Derek Flores, Senior Buyer at

With fun and bright colors using PBS KIDS-branded graphics, the PBS KIDS Adaptive Apparel Collection includes four design themes: dinosaurs, rainforests, oceans and air travel. Offered in child sizes 18m-6x, the clothing line is available at an affordable price, ranging from $26-$32 SRP. One hundred percent of the net proceeds PBS receives from purchases of the PBS KIDS Adaptive Apparel Collection will support PBS KIDS’ mission to empower children to succeed in school and in life.

The PBS KIDS Adaptive Apparel Collection will soon be available at


PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers children ages 2-8 the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital media and community-based programs. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn, including their teachers, parents and community. Provided by stations, the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream is available to nearly 95% of U.S. TV households. Kidscreen- and Webby Award-winning provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video.

PBS KIDS offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning, including the PBS KIDS Video app, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Chromecast. PBS KIDS also offers parent and teacher resources to support children’s learning anytime and anywhere. For more information on PBS KIDS content and initiatives supporting school readiness and more, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.


Established in 1999, has quickly become the leading destination in online apparel and footwear sales by striving to provide shoppers with the best possible service and selection. Zappos currently showcases millions of products from over 1,000 clothing and shoe brands. Zappos is also proud to be rated ELITE by STELLAService and was named a J.D. Power 2011 Customer Service Champion, one of only 40 companies so named in the U.S. More information about the customer service philosophy, unique culture and job openings can be found at More information about Zappos Insights and its business membership program can be found at, Inc. is a subsidiary of, Inc.

Books of the Month of April 2018!

Here are my favorites for this month!

This one has such cute little dishcloths so if you can crochet, this one is a must-buy!

Dishcloths to Crochet: Fun Designs to Brighten Your Kitchen!

Crocheters of all skill levels will delight in these playful patterns for crocheted dishcloths — they’re as fun to make as they are to use! Animals, flowers, and fruits are among the themes of the 25 patterns, which include Sweet Strawberry, Perky Pig, Dandy Daffodil, and other designs.
Full-color photos accompany the easy-to-follow instructions. The directions also show how to convert any of the dishcloths into a potholder with the simple addition of a ring. Great to stitch during warm-weather months, the dishcloths make cheerful displays, and the textured stitches are ideal for efficient dishwashing. They’re great gifts, too!
Price: $14.95.
If you follow social media at all, you are bound to know who Grumpy Cat is and if you are a fan…then you will want this one!

Grumpy Cat’s Miserable Papercraft Book

Have some papercraft fun with Grumpy! Grumpy Cat hates just about everything, including papercrafts. Nevertheless, this book displays the furrowed-browed feline on several cut-out crafts that include bookmarks, door-knob hangers, masks, gift boxes, signs, paper chains, snowflakes, finger puppets, stand-up figures, origami of Grumpy’s face, a mobile, a paper fortune teller, and other items.

Price: $14.95.

If you have kids and are trying to figure out some fun things for them to do away from their screens.this next one is a must-read! I love all the different creative ideas in this book! 

Screen-Free Fun: 400 Activities for the Whole Family by Shannon Philpott-Sanders.

More about the Author:

Shannon Philpott-Sanders has written extensively about the joys of parenting for local and national newspapers and magazines throughout her fifteen-year career as a freelance journalist. A mother of two, she has dedicated herself to becoming a lifelong learner when it comes to parenting her son and daughter who are now in their late teens.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Philpott-Sanders holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English. When she is not writing and offering tips for fun-filled experiences with children, she serves as an associate professor of English at St. Louis Community College – Meramec and advises the student-run newspaper.

The next one is known as The Book That’s Changing Millennial Parenting!


Written by an ivy league psychiatrist and a successful start up founder, The Birthday Rules  applies proven business and  human resources strategies to the world of parenting and offers a structure to help with one of the most important tasks parents have—creating a safe environment to communicate and demonstrate unconditional love.

“A child’s birthday is an excellent opportunity to have important conversations,”  says author Rachel Marsh, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

The Birthday Rules provides a fun and flexible framework of an annual review process combined with a structure for increasing permissions, responsibilities and conversations.

I found this one interesting and highly recommend!


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Jeff Wald is a serial entrepreneur having directly raised three companies, and, as an investor and advisor, helped raise about 100 more. Jeff is the proud uncle to three nephews and three nieces. In addition, Jeff is a renowned speaker and startups and growing companies. He has a BS and MS from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard.

Dr. Rachel Marsh PhD is an associate professor of Medical Psychology in the Division of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. She is the mother of three: Milo, Lyla, and Ruby. Dr. Marsh speaks worldwide and has published papers on brain function and development.

These next two books are really fun for kids and adults that love to be creative!


Fanciful Sealife Coloring Book

This imaginative collection of 31 wondrous designs features a variety of stylized ocean creatures with highly detailed and decorative backgrounds. Images include schools of exotic fish, a sunken ship and treasure chest, a seashell castle, and such underwater dwellers as jellyfish, an octopus, sea turtles, striped angelfish, whales, and more. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. Specially designed for experienced colorists, Fanciful Sea Life and other Creative Haven® adult coloring books offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfillment. Each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress.

Price: $5.99.

Stone Painting for Kids

This follow-up to the bestselling Art of Stone Painting offers a kid-friendly version of an engaging activity that helps promote creativity. Popular stone artist F. Sehnaz Bac, a seasoned archaeologist who markets her painted Sassi dell’Adriatico (Stones of the Adriatic) on Etsy, presents step-by-step instructions for simple projects, accompanied by full-color photographs. Her introduction explains how to find and choose stones, which kinds of materials and tools are safe for kids to use, how to set up a workspace, simple techniques, and other helpful tips.
A splendid variety of patterns begins with illustrations of basic shapes and designs for human figures and faces, animals, numbers and letters, and natural motifs—flowers, trees, and stars. Other activities include painting stones for games such as tic-tac-toe, chess, and dominoes. Kids will learn lettering techniques for writing names and words on pebbles and how to design holiday-themed decorations. They’ll also discover how to assemble multiple stones for picture-making and story-telling.

Price: $19.93.

This next one is a delightful story that I recommend for all young children! It is simply a magical story!

It’s late in the fall when Oyster Jack and his boat Dinah sail out to the Chesapeake Bay to harvest oysters. Their friend Wind helps them by blowing against Dinah‘s sails. But Wind is cold and Oyster Jack won’t share his coat or blanket. When Wind hears of a nearby coat of frost and then a blanket of snow, she rushes off to look for them. Oyster Jack and Dinah can’t sail without her. He must find a way to keep Wind warm—and with him. Readers of all ages will be delighted by the clever wordplay and imaginative solution in this feel-good story about the importance of looking out for your friends. Ages 0-6.

Marcia G. Moore has studied the effects of wind upon sail and sailors for more than forty-five years. She and her husband explore the coves and rivers of Maryland’s Eastern Shore in Little Bird, a replica of a Chesapeake Bay skipjack. Her boating stories have been published in Sail magazine and The New York Times.
Heather Crow, winner of numerous awards including the prestigious national Robert Rauschenburg Power of Art Award for Maryland, spent her career as a public school art teacher. She and her husband live on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she enjoys illustrating stories her big family can read together over and over.

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. Visit to explore our backlist of more than 5,800 titles. To receive regular announcements about new releases from Schiffer Publishing, sign up for our e-newsletter.

This next one is really cute and fun for young kids!

Paint by Sticker Kids: Beautiful Bugs just was released this month and it’s a must-buy!

Many view bugs as terrifying little creepy crawlers, but thanks to movies such as A Bug’s LifeAntz, and the Bee Movie, these flying and scurrying insects have been given a cute and adorable appeal for children!

The newest addition to the Paint by Sticker series, PAINT BY STICKER KIDS: BEAUTIFUL BUGS ($9.95; April 3, 2018) features a diverse selection of itsy bitsy critters including colorful butterflies, a glowing firefly, marching ants and more!

With a combined 1.2 million copies in print the Paint by Sticker series has become an amazing success which is sure to grow as children all over being sticking together the images of these enchanting and charming bugs.

The perforated pages make it easy for each picture to be torn out and proudly displayed on the refrigerators and office desks of proud parents everywhere!

And, last but not least..I love these fun and educational books!



Sharpen your search and find skills by locating BigFoot at his favorite metropolis. It won’t be easy! BigFoot is visiting ten major cosmopolitan destinations, from the Big Apple and London to Paris, Athens, Tokyo, Toronto, and more.

This handsome hardcover book presents each urban oasis as an immense two-page visual puzzle, full of teeming people and creatures. Your task is not only to find BigFoot and his legendary footprint, but also more than 500 other unusual and sometimes unexpected personalities and objects. Fun facts and pictures accompany each scene to help you learn more about the world’s most popular cities.


BigFoot is enjoying his holiday in ten different ways, from deep sea diving and joining a balloon festival to taking a cruise, going to the beach, visiting Yellowstone National Park, and more. This handsome hardcover book presents each getaway as an immense two-page visual puzzle, full of teeming people and creatures.

I gave these two books to a young family friend for Easter and he just loves them! These are perfect for ages 5 and up.

HAPPY FOX BOOKS are for children and all of those who enjoy beautifully illustrated books.

ABOUT D.L.Miller: As with Bigfoot, D.L. Miller is a bit on the reclusive side, rarely seen in public, spending most of his days sketching from his studio located amongst the mighty oak trees only found in the deep dark woodlands far off the beaten path. After spending decades learning the habits of the elusive bipedal humanoid, he has finally agreed to share his illustrative journals that capture the sightings of this larger-than-life creature that has mystified generations.

Connect with Fox Chapel Publishing on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook and learn more about the fun, educational, and friendly BigFoot at

BigFoot Visits the Big Cities of the World and BigFoot Goes on Vacation are now available for purchase in hardcover via Amazon and wherever fine books are sold.

Self Disclosure: I received copies of the above books to facilitate this post and feature the books in my featured book posts. I only feature books that I highly recommend. Images and Information were also provided.