Archives for September 10, 2023

Make learning fun for young children with Nat Geo Kids Books!

Sharing books with kids about our natural world — and especially about what we can do to take care of it — is important all year long.

From learning about protecting wild animals and natural habitats to reading about the impact of recycling, the science of trash and our consumption of natural resources, these bright, beautiful and engaging titles from Nat Geo Kids Books celebrate our planet and spotlight how each one of us can make a positive impact upon the earth every day!

Great for ages 8-12 yrs old!

This Book Stinks!: Gross Garbage, Rotten Rubbish and the Science of Trash (ages 8-12, Paperback, 192 pgs, $19.99)

From e-waste, to waste in space, to innovative trash technology, This Book Stinks! cleverly reveals the smelly — and fascinating — scoop behind what happens to the 4 MILLION TONS OF TRASH the world generates each day and what we can do to un-stink our planet. 

Readers can go “beyond the bin” and learn the cool science behind landfills, why it’s so much better to toss a banana peel than a glass bottle and why being a trash collector can be a risky business.  Rather than being all “doom and gloom” about the subject, This Book Stinks! inspires young eco-warriors kids to take action by including tips and ideas about what they can do to make a difference at home, in their neighborhood and in their community. 

From the ins and outs of recycling, to the nitty-gritty of landfills and dumps, to how creative people find new ideas to reuse rubbish, This Book Stinks! covers everything kids need to know about trash on land, in our oceans and even in outer space and how, by rethinking what we toss and how we toss it, we can save and protect our planet.

100 Ways to Make the World Better  (ages 8-12, Paperback, 256 pages $9.99)

Who says kids can’t change the world? If they’ve got the will, Nat Geo Kids can guide the way, with doable activities, hands-on projects, advice from National Geographic explorers, interviews with experts, weird-but-true facts, and more inspiration.  In keeping with the Nat Geo Kids mission, the book is full of practical, positive, and powerful ideas that every kid can consider, from simple acts of kindness to creative adventures to good-for-the-planet projects. 

Ideas are presented as simple concepts with engaging graphics and photographs, and many are followed by detailed supporting information. Kids get a sense of their own power to make a difference and an understanding of what actions contribute to positive outcomes. Sometimes all it takes is starting with something simple, and before you know it, together we’ve reshaped our planet for the better.

Destiny Finds Her Way(ages 4-8, Hardcover, $16.99)

I loved this next one!

Newbery Honor winner Margarita Engle and photographer and Sloth Institute Executive Director Sam Trull team up to bring the inspiring and true story to life of how Destiny, a motherless baby sloth, sightless in one eye and rescued by Sam in the Costa Rican rain forest, defies the odds, overcomes her obstacles of limited sight and learns the skills she will need to return to her wild, forest home.   

In addition to learning about Destiny and her journey, readers are immersed in the world of sloths, how sloths are extremely vulnerable to deforestation and sloth rescue in this uplifting story about overcoming obstacles and believing in yourself.

Did you know the water in your glass could be the same water the dinosaurs drank? Discover more incredible facts about Earth’s water, the challenges facing it, and how your actions can help defend this precious resource. Dive in!


No doubt about it, water is fascinating! It’s also essential. But our planet is facing some serious water problems: Drinkable water isn’t easily accessible to everyone, the demands for water around the globe are increasing while the supply is limited, and some human actions are causing disastrous ripple effects downstream for ecosystems and the animals that live in them.

Fortunately, there is hope! And that’s where this book comes in. By learning the ins and outs of important water issues and making small but powerful changes in our daily life, we can help protect the water that connects us all on our beautiful blue planet.

Features include:
· What kids can do right now to combat climate change
· How to make a water filter at home and other fun activities
· How small changes in your daily routine can equal big water savings
· Stats, infographics, and surprising facts (Did you know that it takes about 300 gallons of water to produce one cheese pizza?)
· And much more!

A fascinating look at Earth’s water and a call to action to young readers to help safeguard it.

This is my favorite!

Hey, Baby!: A Collections of Pictures, Poems and Stories from Nature’s Nursery(all ages, Hardcover, 192 pages, $24.99)

Join National Geographic Kids on a trip around the globe to celebrate nature’s nursery. This collection of stunning photography of wee ones of the wild world will inspire, awe and awww. With dynamic profiles, clever poems, time-tested folktales, amazing rescue stories, and unlikely animal friendships, this book will be a favorite with sleepy little ones, new parents and moms-to-be. Featuring everything from wobbly baby bison to teeny turtles, mini-monkeys to fluffy foxes, this is the perfect keepsake book for the baby animal lover in us all. 

Go Wild! Lions(ages 4-8, Hardcover, 48 pages, $9.99)

Play, pounce, hunt, and roar with lions in this lively introduction to these powerful big cats! Learn all about lions, including their awesome body parts, how they hunt, and what life is like in a pride. Little kids will go wild over photos of adorable lion cubs and more as they explore:

  • Where lions live
  • What their families are like
  • How lion babies grow up
  • Other amazing wild cats
  • How lions communicate

Young readers will also find out why lions need our help and what people around the world are doing to protect them. Filled with fun facts, awesome photos, games, and activities that will inspire kids to care about these amazing animals.

National Geographic Reader: Plants Level 1 Co-Reader (PreK/Kindergarten, Paperback, 48 pgs, $5.99) 

Perfect for parents and kids to read together. Find out how plants grow as well as the different parts of plants, seeds, and flowers. This one is great for teaching very young children about plants! It’s perfect for preschoolers!

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

Back-to-School Must-Have for College Students!

Safety is important!

With kids being away from home, for perhaps the first time, it is important for them to know how to protect themselves on campus and off and what to do if they are in certain situations. Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, it is it is not enough to just tell them to not drink and drive. With recent attacks on students and more being reported every year, it is important to provide tips and products to keep college students safe.

David Nance, second generation CEO of SABRE safety products and personal safety expert, has tips to protect students in every situation.

As a college student, safety should always be a top priority. That’s why SABRE offers the best pepper spray and other personal safety devices to help you feel more secure on campus. They also provide access to hundreds of videos and educational material. In addition, the SABRE College Safety Program provides personal defense training to help students stay safe both on & off campus. Watch this video to learn how our course educates and empowers.

SABRE offers a variety of personal safety products, from pepper sprays and gels, dog and bear sprays, and home security devices, all of which include innovative features to perform at the highest level at a moment’s notice, helping provide safety and peace of mind no matter where the day takes you.

The SABRE Back to School Bundle is PERFECT for any college student.

SABRE products are the most trusted by public safety officers worldwide. Our industry-leading certification and testing maximize safety and product effectiveness and our safety training and empowerment videos and classes help consumers and officers go confidently. And SABRE is proudly dedicated to supporting 501(c)3 charities that align with our mission to help Make It Safe.

“SABRE’s personal safety tools are designed to work immaculately in a worst-case scenario, but equipping one’s self with the right spray, whistle, home or travel device is knowing that your safety is in your hands. For commuting, traveling, nighttime outings, on-campus strolls, hiking in the woods, walking in the city, and much more, SABRE creates peace of mind,” said David Nance, CEO and son of SABRE’s founder Larry Nance.

As a leader in its industry for nearly 50 years, taking control of personal safety is SABRE’s specialty. Its tools are crafted for convenience and security for the user from all angles, including practice sprays to help individuals feel completely ready.

SABRE security tools are available on Amazon and at retail locations such as pharmacies and outdoor/sports products are sold. To find a location nearby, visit SABRE online.

I had the opportunity to try the products out and their products really make me feel safer when I am out in the early evening walking my dog.

For more information visit SABRE online and follow them on social media.

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

Pharaoh, Sept. 8th Pet of the Week

tooo cute!

Pharaoh has just finished up a tasty snack. That’s no mean feat—or is it paws?—for him, because he’s completely toothless! Pharaoh had all his teeth pulled because of stomatitis and dental disease, but it hasn’t stopped him from eating, purring, and begging for head scritches. He wouldn’t bite even if he had teeth! He’s just a 3-year-old couch potato. Pharaoh needs to go home because he’s been at Long Beach Animal Care Services since May. He has some medical conditions that will need to be addressed by his human. To give Pharaoh the reign he deserves, email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to speed the process for adopting or fostering, or call (562) 570-7387. Ask for ID#A699241).

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

American: An Odyssey to 1947 * Vivid Interviews And B-Roll Enhanced My Understanding American History During This Time Period

Following the rise and fall of Orson Welles, while interweaving stories of diverse individuals amidst the backdrop of the Great Depression, World War II, and the dropping of the atomic bomb, director Danny Wu’s American: An Odyssey To 1947 sheds light on the defining moments that shaped the destinies of the subjects, and the nation’s collective consciousness.  In the early 1940s, director Orson Welles navigates his meteoric Hollywood rise. As WWII begins, a Japanese American boy visits abroad, and an African American soldier enlists in the army. As the story heads towards 1947, each character follows their own ambitions in search of their American identity. The tone of the film is split into two halves, with the first half being about the romantic rise of a great American director, and the second half transitioning into the realities of race and life in the Jim Crow era. In the end, as one American returns home, another American is forced into exile.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “With vivid interviews and b-roll to complement its engaging narrative, American: An Odyssey to 1947 had me glued to the screen and enhanced my understanding of a transformative era in American history.” See his full review and interview with director, Danny Wu below.

American: An Odyssey to 1947

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

With vivid interviews and b-roll to complement its engaging narrative, American: An Odyssey to 1947 had me glued to the screen and enhanced my understanding of a transformative era in American history. 

The film takes viewers through the first half of the 20th century, following stories as diverse as Citizen Kane star Orson Welles rising to fame, to FDR shaking up politics, to Japanese citizens being shipped to internment camps. Things students might yawn at in class — the makeup of the Northern and Southern Democratic Party, for example — are made captivating as they’re examined through different lenses, including seeing mid-century politics through the shifting relationship of media magnate William Randolph Hearst and FDR. 

Thanks to its detailed, well-paced interviews and high-quality photos and videos, American: An Odyssey to 1947 seems destined not for a history classroom but for the silver screen. It might take some time to get used to the multiple narratives being presented, as there isn’t much of a transition between them, but viewers can be assured that all becomes clear within the first thirty minutes. The cinematography is clean and clear, as is the soundtrack. My favorite part of the editing is the interspersed of archival interview footage from Orson Welles and others from the 20th century, as well as the somewhat-experimental initial and final sequences shot in black-and-white. 

This film promotes patriotism, but also suggests there’s more to American identity than meets the eye — some bad and some good. The film is all about looking back at our experiences and doing better going forward.


American: An Odyssey to 1947 gets 5 stars out of 5 from me and I recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. The film opens in select theaters beginning September 8, 2023 in New York City and releases on digital platforms September 12, 2023.  Trailer:

Beyond the Grave * One Of The Most Informative And Awakening Documentaries I Have Ever Watched

Death is the only certainty we have in life, and yet we know so little about it. This documentary explores the different aspects of the afterlife including near death experiences, channeling the dead and the attempt to extend one’s lifespan thru cryonics. After living through a global pandemic, death has been placed at the forefront of our lives however what actually happens to us when we die is still shrouded in mystery. There are some cultures that believe that death is truly the end, however there is a growing community of people around the world who claim to have had near death experiences. These people, in the 10s of millions believe that they have travelled beyond the grave and have proof of the afterlife and that consciousness lives on after our bodies die. If this is true then can the terminally ill freeze their bodies at the time of death, to be brought back to life and healed in the future? There are others who possess a sixth sense and claim to have conversations with the dead or have experienced paranormal phenomena involving visitations by ghosts. Does this mean that humans can communicate with the spirits of people who have died and if so, can these spirits come back to haunt us? Serena DC meets with the world’s leading scientists, doctors, experts, mediums & paranormal investigators to discover if there really is life Beyond The Grave.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic SaniyaRain F. comments, “Beyond the Grave is one of the most informative and awakening documentaries I have ever watched! The whole concept of it is alluring because who wouldn’t want to learn about what happens in the afterlife. I also enjoy it because of how everything is so clearly explained. The documentary covers lots of spiritual discoveries and intriguing stories.” See her full review below.

By SaniyaRain F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15  

  
Beyond the Grave is one of the most informative and awakening documentaries I have ever watched! The whole concept of it is alluring because who wouldn’t want to learn about what happens in the afterlife. I also enjoy it because of how everything is so clearly explained. The documentary covers lots of spiritual discoveries and intriguing stories. It is also amusing to watch if you are interested in paranormal activity. 

 
The plot of Beyond the Grave follows Serena DC who is on a mission to figure out as much as she can about what happens after you die. She travels around meeting with different experts, doctors, mediums, and even paranormal investigators who all have stories to disclose. Throughout her trips Serena attains new knowledge that she is using to answer the main question of what really happens to one’s soul after they pass and other factors that involve their life before death. 

 
Beyond the Grave has loads of information and each piece adds a bit to the puzzle. The main reason Serena interviews all of these people is because the majority of them share at least one thing, which is the fact that they faced death head on in their own way. For the ones who didn’t, they are professionals when it comes to life and death situations. One of the people she meets whose narrative touched me was Susana Grau. She gained abilities after her near-death experience to the point that she can communicate with present spirits. She gave Ms. DC some really interesting information. Another interesting person is Ellen Whealton, who witnessed things out of earth’s reach that changed her life for the better and made her who she is today. Each of the people Serena talks with explains their stories and how they changed their lives. The documentary is very well executed from the camera work to the interviews. 

  
The film’s message is to show and prove that death, the one assured thing in life, may sound scary but it could truly be just the beginning of something unimaginable to the human mind and its analysis should be seen as such. 

  
I give Beyond the Grave 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. Beyond the Grave releases September 5, 2023, on VOD! 


Trailer: