Archives for January 31, 2020

Books of the week: January 31st, 2020!

Looking for Children’s books that young children will enjoy reading over and over? Here are my top choices for this week!

 Baby Shark! by Stevie Lewis

Complete with lovable illustrations of sharks of all ages Stevie Lewis’ illustrated board book is perfect for fans of the Baby Shark traditional sing-along.  I recommend this one for ages 2-4 and I’m sure that they will ask to read this one over and over!

I just love this one!  Snakes on the Job by Kathryn Dennis.

The busy snakes are back! This time, they are operating a variety of construction vehicles—bulldozers, diggers, backhoes and more. What are they building? There’s only one way to find out! I highly recommend this one for ages 3-6 years old.

As a big believer in cleaning up our beaches, this next one is one that I highly recommend!

1, 2, 3, Who’s Cleaning the Sea?: New Book Empowers Children to Champion the Fight Against Sea Pollution

Inspired by her deep love for ecology and protecting the environment, Janina Rossiter’s ‘1, 2, 3, Who’s Cleaning the Sea?: A Counting Picture Book About Protecting Our Planet’ takes all the fun of a children’s book and drapes it with a bold, vital message for young readers. In a way that is perfectly dignified, Rossiter wakes young minds up to the true horrors of humans’ deadly impact on sea creatures, and inspires them to make it a passionate cause for their future.

‘1, 2, 3, Who’s Cleaning the Sea?: A Counting Picture Book About Protecting Our Planet’ is available now on Amazon.

For more information, visit the author online:

www.janinarossiter.com

www.instagram.com/Janinarossiter

Self Disclosure: I received copies of the above books to facilitate this book feature. Cover images were provided. I receive many books and only feature those I highly recommend.

FRIENDS TV – WE WERE ON A BREAK! – EXCLUSIVE CLIP

On September 22, 1994 the first episode of Friends aired on NBC, and since then the series, characters and its infamous taglines have become a global phenomenon. After 236 episodes and its ten season run on-air, the beloved series went into syndication episodes on a number of networks, and in 2015 Netflix acquired the exclusive rights to stream the series; eventually becoming one of most watched shows on the platform, until the close of 2019!
So where have your “Friends” been, now that its 2020? According to Ross, “We Were On A BREAK!” from streaming – but have no fear, you can still get all of your favorite episodes on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD today!

For both fans and newcomers that want to buy the series to digitally stream forever – the complete series, individual seasons and compilation sets are available to purchase here: www.OwnFriendsTV.com. All seasons are also available to own at all major digital retailers; including iTunes, VUDU, Amazon Prime, and Google.
If you feel like splurging – there is something to be said for physically owning a hard copy of your favorite TV show! You can purchase the DVD or Blu-ray sets from all major retailers – including Walmart, Target, and Amazon. If you purchase the digitally remastered Blu-ray Complete Series set – you will get over 110 hours of content – including all 236 original broadcast episodes, plus 20 hours of special features. It’s like a dream come true!
Friends is an American sitcom about six friends struggling to survive on their own in Manhattan. In each episode, they find the companionship, comfort and support from each other to be the perfect solutions to the pressures of everyday life. The series stars ‘The Ones That Were There For You’ for ten seasons strong: Jennifer Aniston as “Rachel Green,” Courteney Cox as “Monica Geller,” Lisa Kudrow as “Phoebe Buffay,” Matt LeBlanc as “Joey Tribbiani,” Matthew Perry as “Chandler Bing,” and David Schwimmer as “Dr. Ross Geller.” Friends has also featured many notable guest stars including Tom Selleck, Aisha Tyler, Jon Favreau, Anna Faris, Hank Azaria, Bruce Willis, Reese Witherspoon, Christina Applegate, Sean Penn, Jon Lovitz, Alec Baldwin, and many more. Friends was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman and aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series was produced by Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, in association.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Troop Zero * Terrific Combination of Comedy, Drama and Diversity with a Great Cast

In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like this movie because it is a combination of comedy, drama, diversity and great casting, especially the children actors… My favorite part is when Christmas starts recruiting kids to belong to her troop.” Abigail Zoe L. adds, “I recently saw the inspiring new Amazon Prime movie, Troop Zero, and love it. It’s a warm-hearted coming-of-age story with a beautiful, positive message and a fun adventure throughout. The movie guides us through the story of a quirky girl, Christmas Flint played by the talented McKennaGrace and her rag tag group of Birdies known as Troop Zero.” See their full reviews below.

Troop Zero
By Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

I like this movie because it is a combination of comedy, drama, diversity and great casting, especially the children actors.  This film is an Amazon Prime original and has a duration of 1 hour and 37 minutes.

Troop Zero timeline is the late 70’s and the storyline is about a young girl named Christmas (McKenna Grace) who’s obsessed with outer space, aliens and planets.  She finds out there is a competition that offers her to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, but in order to compete she needs to belong to a Girl’s Scout troop.  She recruits four challenging kids and asks her father’s (Jim Gaffigan) co-worker, Mrs. Rayleen (Viola Davis), to be her Troop Mom.  The five children go through tough and exciting experiences in order to earn their badges to enter the NASA’s competition.  During their journey, all five children create a strong bond and friendship.
 
My favorite part is when Christmas starts recruiting kids to belong to her troop.  Troop Zero has amazing actors such as Award Winner Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janney and McKenna Grace from The Haunting of Hill House.  Charlie Shotwell, who portrays Joseph, Christmas’ best friend, pulls off an amazing performance as a feminine boy.  I am happy to see Johanna Colon (internet dancing sensation) play Smash, in this movie.  She’s great!  The scenery and costumes are typical 70s style, including the hairstyles.  The story line is bit slow in the beginning, but later it gets interesting.  You will experience laughter, sadness and tears of joy with this movie.

The moral of this film is to have a child’s heart when it comes to choosing your friends or recruiting a team.  Christmas does not discriminate against skin color, gender identity, religion or personalities when it comes to recruiting her troop and becomes friends with all four of them because she sees their hearts, not what society considers flaws.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars because the beginning is rather slow.  I recommend it for ages 8 to 18.  Older adults might enjoy this movie as well.  Troop Zero is available on Amazon Prime beginning January 17, 2020.

Troop Zero

By Abigail Zoe L. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

I recently saw the inspiring new Amazon Prime movie, Troop Zero, and love it. It’s a warm-hearted coming-of-age story with a beautiful, positive message and a fun adventure throughout. The movie guides us through the story of a quirky girl, Christmas Flint played by the talented McKennaGrace and her rag tag group of Birdies known as Troop Zero.

Christmas is passionate about science. She wants to connect to the universe and her late mom through a NASA competition. The winner will have their voice recorded and sent out to the universe for posterity on a Golden Record. This movie is a journey of self-discovery, not only for Christmas, but everyone that is a part of her adventure. Each person learns more about themselves as they work together.

  
One of my favorite scenes is at the end of the movie, when the cast comes together and performs at the jamboree competition. I won’t give away what happens but it is an emotional moment when they take a stand to be accepted for who they are. Another favorite scene is the baking fight scene. I bet it was so much fun for the actors to film, because it is absolutely hilarious and, at the same time, cathartic as a baking food fight between Troops Zero and Birdie. My question for you is: Who do you think won? LOL.

The acting by McKenna Grace as Christmas Flint and Viola Davis as Miss Rayleen, is perfect. Each of them make the audience believe in the struggles they face during the movie. McKenna really embraces her character with the lopsided haircut and awkward, quirky moves. However, I particularly connected with her character’s father, Ramsey Flint (Gaffigan), because he so perfectly portrays the ideal father. He reminded me of my own father, who while not perfect, truly loves his daughter and wants her to be happy and achieve her dreams. Indeed, theirs is a father-daughter relationship very touching that I think families will connect with.

The moral of the story is to be yourself, listen to your heart and, if people try to knock you down, just keep on fighting the good fight for what you believe in. This is definitely a triumphant movie of self-acceptance and overcoming life challenges and one definitely to watch. This film would be especially enjoyable for those who love science. The transition of Troop Zero becoming Troop Hero is inspiring and uplifting. At the same time, the critic in me did find the film a little slow moving at times. All said, I think it is a wonderful movie and give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It is airing on Amazon Prime beginning January 17, 2020.