Archives for August 2021

Easy Face Painting Ideas for a Night Out

Photo by Samar Ahmad on Unsplash

When you’re looking for easy face painting ideas, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many different designs and colors available. But don’t worry—we have everything you need on one website. Whether you want something bright and colorful or a more subtle look, there are many ways to get the perfect design.


Whether you’re going to a 4th of July event or a party with friends this summer, fireworks are an easy face painting option. There are dozens of designs and colors to use for the fireworks. Even if you have 20 people with bursts of sound and color on their faces, not one will be identical. Are you looking for something different? Add a variety of bright colors and glitter to stand apart from the other guests. 


A leopard face is perfect for kids and adults on any occasion. Whether it’s a birthday party theme or Halloween, there are dozens of variations to try. From the classic orange, yellow, and white colors to more creative purples, pinks, and bright sky blue, make the leopard face paint design your own. 


A butterfly face paint design is another classic design that’s easy to create and ideal for children and adults. Make sure to match the colors in your outfit to the colors of the butterfly’s wings to boost the effect. To really stand out, add glitter to the wingtips or outline and the tops of each antennae. If the full butterfly face is too much, consider a few tiny butterflies on the cheeks or around the eyes. 


Argh! Who doesn’t love a pirate costume? Stun the other guests with this unisex face painting idea. There are so many different options for the pirate. For the guys, you can paint a mustache and beard. Everyone can have an eye patch, and you can even paint the hat and feather instead of adding the accessories. 

Don’t forget to finish it off with the proper clothing and props to match. Excellent choices include a pirate hat, boots, a hook hand, and a sword. Additionally, a stuffed parrot on your shoulder can top it off.


Tiger face painting designs are also unisex and work for adults and children. Boys won’t mind a scary tiger face with lots of dark colors and fierce eyes. Stick with deep oranges, bright yellows, and pitch-black stripes. Add some blood drops on the tips of the teeth for an added effect. Girls can change the colors to add more vibrancy and match their outfits. Go bold and dab the black stripes with gold and silver glitter. Face paint is a fun way to add something different to your next party or outing. Whether it’s a few fireworks, butterflies, or your favorite feline, you can find something unique and straightforward at the same time. You don’t have to spend hours perfecting your art—just use some of these easy face paint ideas and get creative!

It’s time for Back-to-School!

Going back to school during a pandemic is a little different. This first product is a real must-buy! Handzies individually packaged wipes are perfect for tucking in a lunchbox, giving your child fresh, clean hands using only natural castile soap, water and essential oils. Handzies do not contain alcohol, BZK, triclosan, artificial perfumes or dyes. Gentle for use by those with allergies, the wipes are compostable and biodegradable. Non-GMO. Available in NEW Free + Clear or Tangerine scent in a convenient 30-count soft pack (Free + Clear only), 24-count individual towelettes or 100-count individual towelettes. I love to keep these in my car! You can buy them here.

Dick & Jane Educational Snacks are delicious, all-natural, and loaded with learning. Think education on an animal cracker. These tasty treats are made with non-GMO ingredients and are 100% nut-free. Choose from six snack varieties including States & Capitals, Presidents, English & Spanish, Food & Nutrition, Fun & Fitness, and Farmers Market.

All snacks are non-GMO, nut-free, and meet all USDA guidelines for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and all SMART Snack guidelines. These are sure to be a hit with your little ones!

Available at Amazon and DOT.
Follow them on Instagram @educational_snacks.


Price:  Available in 10, 20 and 30-count boxes, starting at $21.90. Or try a sample of all three bars for $7.50. Available on and Amazon

Lunch packing perfection!! Dino Bars are healthy and mess free snack bars wrapped in edible paper, all bars are non-GMO, USDA certified organic and free from nuts, gluten, soy, and dairy. You won’t find artificial flavors, preservatives, or refined sugar either. Kids will love the edible paper wrapping (especially picky eaters) with different cute dinosaurs on each flavor. Just 10 healthy all-natural ingredients – fruits, oats, hemp hearts, coconut oil – and a mess-free coating that parents will love. They are available in three fun flavors – Strawberry, Blueberry, and Mango. 

ABBY&FINN Hand Sanitizer Spray

Price: $17 for 6 pack 

Kick the after school ick with ABBY&FINN hand sanitizer spray! Because your family’s safety comes before anything else, we’ve made sure this sanitizer is made with only 4 ingredients as recommended by the World Health Organization and FDA (what can we say, we’re rule followers!) These are literally my new favorite hand sanitizers!

Bunnies By The Bay

Price: Starting at $12.00

Bunnies By The Bay provides the perfect best friend for your preschooler as they head back to school. From lovies and buddy blankets to adorable stuffed animals and dolls, their products will be cherished possessions providing comfort all day long.  These are so adorable!

Available on Amazon

MCubed Backpacks

Price: $29.00

MCubed Backpacks are affordable and trendy, created by a mompreneur and teacher who knows first-hand the importance of motivating young students by providing them with the essentials for a successful school year and tools to build self confidence. Roomy enough to fit for all the school essentials, yet not too large to overwhelm young children. It is easy to choose among several designs that fit your youngster’s personality, with many more launching this summer! MCubed Backpacks® are affordable and trendy, created by a mompreneur and teacher who knows first-hand the importance of motivating young students by providing them with the essentials for a successful school year and tools to build self confidence.  Preschoolers as young as three years old wear these backpacks with ease and comfort.

You may not think the next one is for back-to-school but they will add something special to dinner time.

Holic Foods You can spice up your favorite foods with these clean-label, bold-flavor, globally inspired sauces, dips and condiments that taste so good, they are naturally addictive. Holic Foods’ sauces are extremely versatile! Each can be drizzled, dolloped, dipped, dressed and spread. All of the delightful sauces are plant-based, gluten-free, non-GMO, keto-friendly, soy-free, and t0p 8 allergy-friendly. Both the Jalapenoholic and Tahiniholic are Vegan Certified. Three crave-able sauces are available, including Jalapenoholic, Tahiniholic and Honey Aleppo Holic. 

Mabel’s Labels

Get back to basics this year with the Ultimate Back-to-School Combo Label Pack from Mabel’s Labels! This classic set includes all the durable, waterproof labels needed to keep your child’s things out of the lost and found. With new, on-trend designs for children of all ages, Mabel’s Labels make it simple to identify belongings… from backpacks and lunchboxes to clothing, school supplies and more! I’ve been a big fan of this company and remember using these labels when my son was little. Find them at

MyWish4U Notes From Me!

Pack your child’s lunch with love… and include Lunch Notes from MyWish4U, which give your school-aged child reminders of love, thoughtfulness, and support during their school day. Starting this sweet tradition is easy – simply tear off and slip a note into your kid’s lunchbox, container, or backpack! With positive notes, riddles, facts, jokes, and more, your child will be thrilled to find Lunch Box Notes each day.  These really are so unique and your kids will love them!

Without a Trace Foods

Healthy, allergy-friendly snacks to pack in your kid’s backpack or lunchbox that are free from the top 8 allergens! Developed by a mom whose children have severe food allergies, Without a Trace offers a mouthwatering variety of plant-based, gluten-free Chewy Granola Bars, Power Bites and Cookies. Perfect for tucking in lunchboxes or as a grab-n-go snack for everyone in the family. Their Rad Raspberry Power Bites & Strawberry Surprise Chewy Granola Bars are truly phenomenal.

Undercover SnacksHealthy ingredients… in disguise! Developed by a mom whose two daughters were diagnosed with celiac disease, all Undercover Snacks are made with carefully sourced all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO, simple ingredients and Rain Forest Alliance Certified chocolate. Undercover Snacks are made with crispy quinoa, which is naturally gluten-free, packed with protein, fiber and nutrients, and has an incredible crunchy texture. Certified Nut-Free, Certified Gluten-Free and Kosher. Comes in 8 decadent varieties. 

This next one is just perfect for the upcoming Fall school nights! Too often the soups that fill the shelves today are filled with artificial ingredients and terrible amounts of sodium. The manufactured soups we find on the shelves seem to have no expiration date, and what does this mean? It probably is not that healthy for you, and certainly is not made with care. Good Stock is focused on great soup, and they make that through great ingredients! They have such delicious flavors too! My favorites are the Roasted Cauliflower soup and the Broccoli and Cheddar.

Find them at

Happy Back-to-School! Stay tuned! Next week will be the next Back-to-School feature! Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this special featured post. Images were also provided.

The Smartest Kids in the World * Captures Stories of Teen Seeking Better Educational Opportunities

Based on Amanda Ripley’s New York Times bestseller, The Smartest Kids in the World chronicles a year abroad with four American teenagers, who study in countries that dramatically outperform the United States in education. We travel with them as they adjust from their local high schools in Wyoming, Orlando, Maine and The Bronx to high schools in Finland, South Korea, Switzerland and the Netherlands The film gives voice to students, hearing first-hand their discoveries and insight about how to reform U.S. high school education.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Rosemary K. comments, “I thoroughly enjoyed The Smartest Kids in the World and highly recommend it for everyone, especially students. Documentaries don’t usually interest me that much, but this movie, based on the New York Times bestseller by Amanda Ripley, captivated me with its themes and landscapes.” Rosabella P. adds, “This film captures the integrity and bravery among these teens. Our younger generation needs to learn more about the difference between learning in the USA verses learning abroad.” See their reviews and interview with one of the students, Simone Hassan-Bey below.

The Smartest Kids in the World

By Rosemary K, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

I thoroughly enjoyed The Smartest Kids in the World and highly recommend it for everyone, especially students. Documentaries don’t usually interest me that much, but this movie, based on the New York Times bestseller by Amanda Ripley, captivated me with its themes and landscapes.

The Smartest Kids in the World is a full-length documentary directed by Tracy Droz Tragos following four different U.S. students (Simone, Jaxon, Brittany and Sadie) as they travel for a year to different countries as exchange students. It focuses on different methods used in each country that makes students perform higher on tests. We learn what we should be doing differently in the United States and what other countries are doing great in terms of education.

Along with a storyline that captivates you and shows that it’s not always that easy to adapt to new places, this film, while showing the hard work of the students, also has many fun and relaxing parts that balance out the kids’ time while abroad. There are lots of beautiful landscape shots and calm music. All of this adds to the peaceful feeling you get from the movie, even though school can sometimes be quite the opposite of that. I really enjoyed seeing all of the students’ journeys and, although they aren’t acting, their on-camera appearances show the insights they gain along with their stories, accomplishments and comparisons of life abroad to life at home. One thing that is lacking is that it falls short in giving specific ideas of how to improve U.S. education. It does show what our schools are doing wrong it only touches on how to improve education in our country.   

The message in this film is that the U.S. is often thought of as a perfect country, but in lots of areas, including education, this is not true. The students in this film found that the schools in other countries actually offer a range of more challenging, hands on, more choice-driven, even less stressful education – all of which contribute to higher test scores, higher education levels and higher graduation rates. We would benefit from looking beyond our boundaries to see how we can improve our educational system.

I give The Smartest Kids in the World 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It begins streaming exclusively on Discovery+ August 19, 2021.

The Smartest Kids In The World
By Rosabella P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

I enjoyed watching the film, The Smartest Kids In The World because it shows teenagers traveling to different colleges and high schools to figure out what education platform is better. Its view on education in the USA is a bit discouraging.

Inspired by the book by the same name, this documentary follows a group of teens that go to non-behavioral schools. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Tracy Droz Tragos, it follows four American teenagers that travel to four different countries for one school year in search of a better education for themselves. 

We see how the kids have to learn new languages to get into these various schools and to make friends. All of their traveling about to find a better education is inspiring. I found it discouraging that the kids had to go outside the US in search of better schools when it seems that they should have been able to get good education in their own country. They traveled long distances and experienced many hardships in order to find a good school that would challenge their minds academically. We see that Pennsylvania schools don’t offer the best educational experiences. One student, Tracy Droz Tragos expressed the difference between rich and poor schools. Some students attended school in Switzerland, others attended schools in South Korea and elsewhere. The main characters are both interesting and disappointing. They are taking their future into their own hands and charging out into the world. During their adventures they are learning from one another, which is inspiring. The film doesn’t show us how change can happen in US schools, but it points out how desperately it is needed. 

This film captures the integrity and bravery among these teens. Our younger generation needs to learn more about the difference between learning in the USA verses learning abroad. 

I rate The Smartest Kids In The World 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18. It begins streaming exclusively on Discovery+ August 19, 2021.

The last days of Summer Fun from Playmobil, Hog Wild, and Zing!

Are you enjoying the last weeks of summer? Here are some of my favorite products!

Go Go Bird (Zing; $39.99) – R/C meets today’s trending drone toys with the wing-flapping Go Go Bird. Perfect for the outdoors or on the beach fun – this modern day kite flies distances of up to 100 feet! With a smart obstacle-avoiding module that uses infrared sensors, Go Go Bird has autonomous obstacle recognition and will automatically turn around 6 feet away from the wall for self-protection. Inside of Go Go Bird, there’s also a six-axis sensor, so it can take off by lifting your hand up and down when you’re ready to fly. Available on Amazon. I had a blast trying this one out!

Wing Ball  (Hog Wild; $14.99) – A totally tubular throwing toy! Thanks to its unique design, you can throw Wing Ball super speeds, great distances and even master the perfect spiral. Great for kids and adults; lightweight so easily tosses into your summer tote; great for beach or pool fun too ‘cause it floats!! Available on Amazon. This one definitely isn’t just for the kids!

PLAYMOBIL 1.2.3. Knight’s Castle Sand Bucket OR The 1.2.3 Sand Bakery Sand Bucket ($24.99 each) – Hit the beach this summer with either of these adorable, high-quality pails and shovels. Perfect for the beach or backyard fun, each set has three different molds. Perfect for little ones can bring imaginative play to the beach or sandbox. Available on

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images were also provided.

Books of the Week

The Mind of a Teen: Life-Saving Book For Teens and Vital “Toolkit” for Those Managing Teens

 Rachel Dinah has worked with hundreds of young girls in the UK, Especially working in schools, pupil referral units, and supportive housing for teen mothers. She has run her own projects which she created in 2010 called change of thoughts. Through her work with young people, her discoveries, case studies, and experiences as she has created The Mind Of A Teen: Your story Your Success as an overall experience of one girl’s life called Rai.

But all the same, the narrative is a positive if the poignant depiction of a troubled young woman’s life; a microcosm of the lives of millions of teenagers who crave a productive future. The mind of a Teen is about the life of a teen girl called Rai. From age 5 -23  She narrates different events in her life from growing up without a male role model, religion, school, friends, bullying, first boyfriend, joining a gang, having a baby, near death experience, and then her discovery of what everything she has experienced and now who needs help around the world. Rai bravely addresses parents, teachers and other professionals throughout her story before moving on to the next chapter. This is a perfect guidebook for all those managing teens/young adults.

‘The Mind of a Teen : Your Story Your Success’ is available now:

For more information, visit the author’s official website:

Special Kid to Super Kid: Mum’s New Book Exposes Secrets to Helping Children Overcome Autism – and Thrive!

The Paediatrician who diagnosed Ruthangela Bernadette’s daughter, Rosemary, with autism, language delay, and learning disability, all but wrote her off. So did experts in the special school she attended, and a speech and language therapist.

According to the professionals, Rosemary should have been institutionalized or, at best, sent to a specialized group home. Just five years later, Rosemary thrives in a mainstream school, doing all of the things (and getting into all of the innocent trouble) girls of her age should.

In her new book, ‘Special Kid to Super Kid: Overcoming Learning Disability, Language Delay, and Autism’, Ruthangela takes readers on a journey that not only proves how the right balance of therapies can help any child overcome similar diagnoses, but shows them exactly how to replicate Rosemary’s radical transformation.

Unleash Your Hidden Superhero Powers and Help Your Child

When a child is diagnosed with learning disability, language delay, and autism, your world crumbles and panic takes over. Why me? Who will look after my kid when I’m gone? Disabilities like these can rob your child of self-esteem and dash your hopes and dreams for their future.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. Author Ruthangela Bernadette knows this first-hand.
Sometimes harrowing, sometimes laugh out loud funny, this book tells the story of how Ruthangela’s daughter, Rosemary, defied the doctors’ gloomy predictions and overcame all three disabilities.

Discover the 10 Secrets of how Rosemary triumphed over autism, learning disability, and language delay, without breaking the bank. Your child will


-Improve social interaction, while reducing stims.

-Make friends and gain confidence.

-Transform school from being a battleground of obstacles into a playground of opportunities.

Not all superheroes wear capes–some wear aprons in the kitchen instead. Parents like you are superheroes! You can help your child go from super-stuck to super kid–starting today!

‘Special Kid to Super Kid: Overcoming Learning Disability, Language Delay, and Autism’ is available now:

Amazon UK –

Amazon US –

For more information, visit the author’s official website:

I highly recommend both of these books!

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the books to facilitate this post. Images were also provided.

Think Tank Scholar Sight Words & Math Flash Cards will be a hit with your young children

Whether parents are homeschooling for the first time this year or looking to support their children’s in-person or online learning, Think Tank Scholar has become their flashcard brand of choice, earning the company the #1 spot on Amazon. The company’s flagship Sight Words Flashcards, available in sets designed specifically for preschoolers through third graders, have more than 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Each set includes 100+ sight words curated from the revered Dolch and Fry lists to help students memorize some of the most common words found in grade-level reading books.

Think Tank Scholar also offers a line of math flashcards including sets covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Each card features a problem on one side and the answer on the other, including a graphic illustration to aid concept understanding for visual learners. A sturdy box contains each card set and includes tabs to organize cards into mastered, semi-mastered, and unmastered concepts. Additional support is provided via five included teaching methods and five fun learning games to play with each card set.  The set is a parent favorite, earning it the #1 spot on Amazon.

And, new for this year, the company has released a line of toddler and preschool flashcards designed to introduce and reinforce the alphabet, numbers & counting, shapes, and colors, first words, and rhyming words. Cards feature clear, bold words and numbers for easy reading and beautiful, photo-real images to support each concept. Each set includes six teaching methods for parents as well as six fun games to play.

Also available in bundled sets, Think Tank Scholar flashcards range in price from $9.99 – $69.99 and can be purchased on and from The brand has been honored with awards including the Tillywig Toy Brain Child award, the National Parenting Product Award, the Mom’s Choice Award, Creative Child Magazine’s Product of the Year Award, the Play on Words Award, the Family Choice Award, the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval, Dr Toy’s Best Pick award, the Hot Diggity Award for Educational Products, and the Homeschooling Parent’s Seal of Approval.

What I really like is that it makes learning at home easier and also more fun! Look for them on

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Images were also provided.

Free Guy * Hilarious with a Touching Moral

When a bank teller discovers he’s actually a background player in an open-world video game, he decides to become the hero of his own story — one that he can rewrite himself. In a world where there’s no limits, he’s determined to save the day his way before it’s too late, and maybe find a little romance with the coder who conceived him. Free Guy is a 2021 American science fiction action comedy film directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn and a story by Lieberman. The film stars Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller who discovers he is actually a non-player character in an open-world video game and decides to become the hero of the story and save his friends from getting deleted by the game’s creator (Taika Waititi); Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar and Joe Keery also star.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Nyara A. comments, “The hilarious film, Free Guy, written by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn, might fool you into thinking it is a comedy, but in the end, has a touching moral behind all of the laughs.” Maica N. adds, “The message of Free Guy is that you need to make sure you enjoy the simple things in life. For a regular person, life can be pretty repetitive if you let it. So when you do something out of the ordinary, make sure you recognize and appreciate it.” See their full reviews below.

Free Guy

By Nyara A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13

The hilarious film, Free Guy, written by Matt Lieberman and Zak Penn, might fool you into thinking it is a comedy, but in the end, has a touching moral behind all of the laughs. What makes us human? Our physical bodies or the way we learn and love? By the end of the film, we all come to the same conclusion. In the meantime, the story will keep you at the edge of your seat and sometimes bent over with laughter.

Free Guy follows a protagonist named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), an optimist and great friend who brings cheer to Free City. When Guy meets Molotov Girl (Jodie Corner) his whole world changes and he begins to question his daily routines and expectations. He realizes that he can be so much more. At the same time, the world is about to get in Guy’s way. Outside of Free City, there is a battle ongoing between the company Soonami and game designers MIllie (Jodie Corner) and Keys (Joe Keery) to win back their game. What will Guy do when he realizes there is a threat to Free City? Will he take charge?

This film is full of star power. Ryan Reynolds plays Guy with the perfect mix of hilarity and emotions. He is easy to root for. Jodie Comer who plays both Molotov Girl and Millie and Joe Keerey as Keys make the perfect team to battle against Antoine (Taika Waititi). They are smart and creative and beautifully emotive. The special effects and CGI in this film are incredible. They are absolutely essential to the storytelling and are executed flawlessly by a massive team of artists. Each costume is unique and elevates every character. All of the bad guys/sunglass people have colorful and intricate skins that make them look strong and scary. The visuals and story are tied together with music that ranges from energizing to emotional, at times even creating intense suspense. There is a mix of well-known rap/hip-hop songs and newly composed music. During the big finale, the booming high intensity music makes my heart race.

The message of this film is that our life is defined by our relationships and the small moments that we spend creating them. We choose our path in life and no one can decide what it is except for us. As Guy’s best friend Buddy says, “Even if I am not real, this moment is real.” By choosing to be connected to those around us, we are living. The film does have a lot of violence including robberies, guns, bombs and explosions, but it’s in a video game style. There is some mild profanity.  It is not likely that kids would imitate the violent behavior due to the gaming quality of the behavior.

I give Free Guy 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is a moving and hilarious film. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This is a great movie with families with older children. This film opens in theaters August 13, 2021.

Free Guy

Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Free Guy is a movie with a very interesting concept and actors that execute it perfectly. The movie is humorous and had me and the people I was with, laughing the entire time. But, once you get to the bottom of it, you’ll realize there’s a lot more to Free Guy than the humor.

Free Guy is about a video game character named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who discovers that he’s just a background player in a game called Free City. When he finds a pair of sunglasses that changes his status in the game, he becomes all anyone can talk about. Even Millie (Jolie Comer), also known as Molotov Girl in Free City, is starting to fall for him. With all the fuss about Guy, Keys (Joe Keery) and Millie realize they can use him to their advantage to expose Antoine (Taika Waititi). However, since their secret is hidden within the game, they are going to need a little help.

Free Guy has a lot of star power, which is one factor that will attract a lot of people. Many celebrities with very big fan bases make cameo appearances in this film. Towards the end of the film, Free Guy takes another opportunity to appeal to different audiences. For example, in the final battle scene, Guy uses different weapons that crossover with franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars. The characters in Free Guy are likeable and some are also relatable. My favorite character is Antoine. He is a lot funnier than most antagonists and he is the character that actually lightens the mood of the film. The way he banters with people and bosses everyone around makes him a character you want more from. The special effects in Free Guy are also a prominent component of the film. Free City is a game that was redesigned by Antoine to be repetitive, with a lot of damage taking place in everyday life. Every day there is another car being blown up, or a bank being robbed. Most of the time, it’s both. So, major props to everyone in special effects, because it must have taken a lot of effort and time to make it look so realistic.

The message of Free Guy is that you need to make sure you enjoy the simple things in life. For a regular person, life can be pretty repetitive if you let it. So when you do something out of the ordinary, make sure you recognize and appreciate it. Free Guy executes the double meaning subtly through the characters and their actions, which is very clever. This movie does include heavy use of profanity, which sometimes can be gratuitous, so parents should be aware of that.

Free Guy is a unique film that will appeal to a lot of people, especially gamers. I rate Free Guy 4 out 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18. Free Guy releases in theatres August 13, 2021. Make sure you check it out!

Free Guy

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Be the main character of your story and head to your local theater to see the new hit action-comedy of the year, Free Guy! Free Guy flies in with a boatload of action and hilarious surprises that will leave you speechless. The film makes the plot understandable to a wide variety of ages, because typically, the world of video games is mainly understood by teenagers. Although the film is live-action, a mix of video game graphic design is integrated to really bring the concept of the story to life.

Free Guy takes place in a video game called Free City. Within Free City, players can do practically whatever they want. Similar to real life, nobody ever thinks about the background characters. This is where the audience is introduced to our main character Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Guy is an NPC (non-player character) with the same routine and mannerisms every single day.  One day, he decides to step out of the background to be his own person. When he learns his world is coming to an end, he must fight in desperation of love to save the reality he knows.

Ryan Reynolds is historically known for bringing various silly characters to life with his iconic comedic energy. A snail that wants to be fast, a caveman who wants to be revolutionary, or even a plain superhero that loves chimichangas. Ryan does it once again with his role in Free Guy. His childlike wonder soars in the film not only making you laugh hysterically, but keeping you intrigued the entire ride. In a film that takes place mainly in a video game, of course you need to make it look realistic. The visual effects department delivers a polished CGI that correctly captures the essence of modern day video games. Free Guy is no doubt one of the greatest films to correctly capture the world of digital gaming. Ryan Reynolds is the perfect lead to not only make you cry with laughter, but also immerse the audience in a world that you can’t get enough of.

Free Guy has an extremely straightforward message that applies to everyone – be the main character of your story. Step out of the background, don’t let anyone control you, because this isn’t their story, it’s yours. Since we are dealing with a video game where you can do anything you want, you can definitely guess that violence and cursing frequently occur during the movie.  The film also includes themes of friendship, love and courage.

I give Free Guy 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. You can find Free Guy at your local theater on August 13, 2021. Make sure to check it out!

Paw Patrol: The Movie * Suited Up And Armed With Exciting New Gadgets PAW Patrol Is Ready To Go

When the PAW Patrol’s biggest rival, Mayor Humdinger, becomes Mayor of nearby Adventure City and starts wreaking havoc, Ryder and everyone’s favorite heroic pups kick into high gear to face the challenge head-on. While one of the pups must face his past in Adventure City, the team finds help from a new ally, the savvy dachshund Liberty. Together, armed with exciting new gadgets and gear, the PAW Patrol fights to save the citizens of Adventure City and stop Mayor Humdinger from destroying the bustling metropolis.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Suited up and ready for an all-new adventure, your favorite group of heroic pups, led by a boy named Ryder, are back in Paw Patrol: The Movie! This film has all the same things you’ve come to love about the PAW Patrol TV series with a new action-packed adventure and new-found friends.” See her full review below.

Paw Patrol: The Movie
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

Suited up and ready for an all-new adventure, your favorite group of heroic pups, led by a boy named Ryder, are back in Paw Patrol: The Movie! This film has all the same things you’ve come to love about the PAW Patrol TV series with a new action-packed adventure and new-found friends. This family fun film is sure to capture the hearts of new and original PAW Patrol fans.

The filmfollows the PAW Patrol as they head to Adventure City to save its citizens from Mayor Humdinger’s (Ron Pardo) dangerous plans and what he calls adding “adventure” back to the city. During their trip to Adventure City, the team goes on a series of high-risk adventures that becomes one of their biggest challenges yet and really tests the pups as they learn what it means to be true heroes.  We even get to learn about Chase’s (Ian Armitage) backstory and how he met Ryder (Will Brisbin), which really ties in well with the new storyline.

The main characters Mayor Humdinger, Chase, Ryder and new-comer Liberty (Marsai Martin) are joined by the rest of the PAW Patrol team. My favorite character is Liberty because she’s an adventurous, brave and smart pup that is always willing to help. Plus, I love how she stands up for herself and even “roasts” a mean pup that was disrespecting her. Each of the team members has special skills, gadgets and vehicles that help them on their missions. My favorite vehicle is Zuma’s, because it can be used as a boat, submarine or even a raft. The team receives upgrades to some of their gadgets including a new pup treat dispenser that I would definitely love to fill with snacks.

The message of this film is that being a hero doesn’t always mean being the strongest or the bravest. It’s okay to rely on others sometimes to help you get the job done. Chase learns this when he goes through different moments where he does not feel like a hero or worries that people will think he is a scared little puppy and not a hero, because he is nervous about returning to Adventure City. He eventually has to trust himself and his friends along the way.

This is a “PAWsome” film. I give Paw Patrol: The Movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. Paw Patrol: The Movie unleashes in theaters and on Paramount+ August 20, 2021.