Search Results for: Holiday Gift Guide

It’s time for Holiday Gift Guide #2!

Looking for something for an 8-year-old? This one will be a hit!


A robot that defies gravity?! That’s what you get with Air-Walker, a four-legged bot that uses an ingenious system of suction cups and pumps to crawl along smooth, vertical surfaces like windows. You can also build four other models with the same components and learn how suction and mechanical devices can be used in different real-world applications. A vacuum-suction machine sticks to and lifts flat panels, while a robot with just two suction cups rotates around a central pivot point.  This hands-on construction kit brings engineering and physics to life as it demonstrates the power of air pressure at work. Ages 8+ MSRP: $39.95.

Maybe you are looking for a great gift for the toddler on your list?

Magformers Mini House Sets will be a hit!

Click, Connect, Create! Explore endless construction possibilities with Magformers Mini House Sets! Your little one can build anything they can imagine when they use the Magformers Magnetic Rainbow shapes, characters and accessories included in, Max’s Playground Set, Maggy’s House Set, and Milo’s Mansion Set. Compatible with all Magformers, add Milo, Minibot and Max sets for extended building fun! Ages 3+. MSRP: $49.99.

Antsy Pants has a couple of great gift ideas for the younger kids! The Bingo Game (SRP $7.99) and the Tic Tac Toe Travel Mat (SRP $19.99) are classic games that encourage developmental play and together time.

I recommend both for children ages 3-5 years old.

Here’s another one that is a great choice for the little children ages 3 and up!

My Little Farm
Here’s some battery-free, no charger required fun and learning for the littles! My Little Farm (MLF) is an award-winning, interactive, multi-sensory educational toy that builds early language skills and vocabulary. Invented by a Speech Pathologist, this interactive toy has eight colorful panels that are fully reversable—a red barn exterior can be reversed to reveal a barn interior and colorful outdoor farm setting. It’s far more than just decorating a play farm – MLF comes with 32 soft and stick-able felt cut-outs that match outlines in the 8 rooms. As children are placing the felt pieces in each room, they are also discovering early language concepts, quantity, colors, shapes and sizes. MLF comes in a sturdy carry-case (so giftable) and it includes a pamphlet with a handy primer on the educational and sensory language skills to instill through play. It is also endorsed by the Center for Autism Related Disorders and Autism Live. More information:  

I love this next one because it is a great way to teach young children about culture and other places! Worldwide Buddies
Worldwide Buddies’ culture-in-a-box sets teach kids all about the customs and traditions that make various countries unique and special. The first Worldwide Buddies kit is full of Mexican treats—it includes a book, bilingual playing cards, a stuffed axolotl toy (the critically endangered underwater Mexican salamander), and various other games and activities that will keep kids entertained. The second culture package features China. It includes everything kids can learn about China, a Mandarin/English memory game and a fun, plush toy, Shui, an endangered spotted seal and more. All books and toys are designed to spark curiosity and encourage learning, as well as skill development through play. They all fall under the category of STEAM toys.

This next one is great for teenage girls or for your BFF’s! Great gift for Mom’s too!

Pamper your friends with 7th Heaven’s cruelty-free, vegan and EASY peel-off masks! Available in several ‘flavors,’ such as Coconut & Clay, Tea Tree and Dead Sea, these de-stressing masks use luxurious natural ingredients to reveal glowing, fresher, cleaner skin.
Each mask comes in a generous single-serve sachet and retails for $1.99 – a real stocking stuffer steal! I actually tried out one of these and loved it!

Here’s another one Mom may like! Classic Slipcovers offers a line of high-end slipcover products that make your furniture look brand new.  From chairs to sofas and even dog furniture, they offer a variety of fits and styles. I really like the quality of these slipcovers. You can get more information about their product line at

Here’s another one for young kids! GoPals, a brand new plush toy that travels everywhere a child goes and fastens securely to any backpack. These are really cute and quite clever!

The GoPals Originals Collection features 8 adorable characters and retail for $14.95. In addition, The GoPals brand has partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which is aimed at propelling the world towards a future without childhood cancer. A portion of every GoPals animal sold will go toward funding and promoting children’s charities. Now, how cool is that?!

This next one is really quite original!

The Toothless Monster, a toy that “magically earns teeth”
every time your child loses one. The plush monster is packaged in a boxed set,
including 16 plastic teeth and a hardcover book illustrating the tale of The
Toothless Monster. The toy is available nationwide for purchase online, priced at $39.95. Glow in the dark teeth are available for an additional $5.95.

The Toothless Monster is available for purchase online at The sets can be shipped nationwide. For more information, visit

Looking for a snack for the kids this holiday season? Or even a stocking stuffer? Welch’s Christmas Fruit Snacks will be a hit! Available in two pack sizes, a 5-count box and a 28-count box, they’re perfect for stocking stuffers and holiday parties. Additionally, the mixed fruit snacks come in fun, new shapes – snowman, ornament, Santa, snowflake, and Christmas tree! They are made with REAL fruit and are available at Walmart, Target,  Walgreens and Dollar General.

Happy Holidays!

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above items to feature in this holiday gift guide. Images were also provided.

Holiday Gift Guide: The Next Edition!

It’s really starting to look like the holidays are here! I love this time of the year!

Here are some more great gift ideas for everyone on your shopping list!


With ZIPIT Interactive Coloring& Activity Books your creation awakens. Our inspiring themes, coloring pages and Magic Stickers take the ordinary coloring book and makes it extraordinary. Inside this coloring book you will find pages of animated stickers that come alive when you view them with the ZIPIT Creativity App. Go ahead and apply each sticker on top of its own picture. To help you get started several pages have stickers on them already. Once you download the free App, the excitement is just beginning! By looking at the book’s pages through the App, you can see the stickers move and your creation come to life! Hold the app over your colored pages or snap an image of anything you like and unleash your creativity. Comes in blue and pink.

Younger children will love this! I love the creativity!

Age range: 5 years+

MSRP: $4.99

Available online here. 

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An interesting gift is teaching a child how to use chopsticks easily with Marcus & Marcus’ Kid’s Chopsticks. These animal-themed chopsticks will help keep your chopsticks in line. The animal hinges are made of soft, food-grade and brightly colored silicone to add an element of fun to the dinner table.  Marcus & Marcus kid’s chopsticks are made of BPA-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free materials. These are really cute and so easy to use!

Age range: 6 months+

MSRP: $9.99

Available online here.   

Games are usually a hit with kids of all ages! Here are some of our favorites from our friends at Blue Orange Games!

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Less is more in this subtle card game. Group the cards in your hand by number and color to try canceling out their point values. Multiples of cards are scored as zero, so each number is only counted once. Trade cards while keeping a watchful eye on your opponents. Mind your strategy as you all reach for the goal of canceling out your hand and achieving the ultimate combo: ZERO! This one is fun for the whole family! I like that it is a fast-paced type of game.

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Will you risk it all? Roll all 6 dice and win the number of points that match the big colored die. Decide to bank your points, or take a risk and roll again. Keep scoring as long as you have numbered dice that match the colored die. If nothing matches, forfeit all points won that round and try again next time! Take big risks with this fast and fun dice game! I had a blast playing this one!


Explore the lands and expand your kingdom! Each turn, connect a new domino to your existing kingdom, making sure that at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. Build up your 5×5 grid as best you can, as the player with the richest lands takes it all! Game of the year winner!

If you have a little one who loves story-time this next one is a must-buy! This one is pretty cool and I wish I had one of these when my son was a little one! Introducing…Moonlite! 

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Moonlite was invented by former Google veteran Natalie Rebot when she was inspired by her daughter’s love of shadow play before bedtime.  Moonlite is a children’s storybook projector that attaches to almost any mobile phone and uses the flashlight function to project vibrant story images onto the ceiling or wall. It brings storybooks to life with a modern twist on traditional storytelling that both children and parents fall in love with. Her tech background helped her developed the product in the easiest form to bring to moms everywhere. It’s a story-time projector for your mobile phone! It’s easy to use and great for travel too! 
Moonlite is available in Target stores, across the country so look for it this holiday season. This is super easy to use and a lot of fun! I highly recommend this one for anyone with a little one!
Find out more at

 OgoSport’s Active + Creative Play Holiday Toys are at the top of my shopping list this year!

OgoSport Holiday 1

Check out the OgoMinton! It has all the thrill and challenge of Badminton but designed specifically for short range play. It’s smaller sized racket and stretchy ogosoft ball make it ideal for kids to play with indoors or as a travel toy for on-the-go fun. This is a lot of fun and I like that it is easy and safe to play indoors. Great for rainy days!

OgoMinton 1

For the kids who enjoy active + constructive play, the OgoBILD POD is a kit that will inspire creative building for hours. With its connective tubes and interchangeable rubber balls, POD allows kids to design all sorts of flexible, moveable, and innovative structures. From creating geometric shapes and 3D objects that can bounce, to building forts to camp out in, kids will expand on their STEM skills with POD…and have a blast doing it!  I am really impressed with this one and highly recommend it for ages 6+.

There’s even something for the little ones!

Bolli Rattle 3

The Bolli Rattle will strengthen their sensory, fine motor, and hand-eye skills as they squish, roll, grab, chew, and shake this stretchy rattle ball. The open-play design is easy to grasp and teeth, the interior rattle is entertaining, and the material is stretchy, soft, and captivating. It comes in a rainbow of colors, is BPA free, dishwasher safe, and made of food safe silicone (safe for teething!).

Find out more here. 

 Here are a few of our favorites from our friends, Stuck On You!
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 I just love the Personalized Wooden Name Blocks! They are lightweight, do not chip and come in a personalized felt bag. These would make a great gift for a little one this holiday!
Stuck on You has a variety of great gift ideas! I love their Monogram Christmas Cup and I really love the Christmas Address Labels! I  like that you can even choose the font and design.
C Christmas in a cupC Address Labels
Check out Stuck On You this holiday season!
Sunglasses in Winter? You bet! Especially if you live in sunny So Cal! Today it was cold in the morning and it was still sunny and then in the afternoon, it was 77 degrees!
sg in snow
I love Real Shades! They are quite affordable and premium quality, 100% UV protective sunglasses designed specifically for kids, with the most durable materials available so they will last. They are also available in adult sizes. I really like the quality of these sunglasses and there are many designs to choose from. Check them out this holiday season at
Happy Holidays!
Stay tuned for our next Holiday Gift Feature early next week!
6.17.2017 Denise B.-123


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OgoSport’s Active + Creative Play Holiday Toys!


2016 KIDS FIRST! Holiday Gift Guide


Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. That’s why, KIDS FIRST! has created our annual Holiday Gift Guide featuring DVDs, games and music for your loved ones. We know you look for that perfect gift for your niece, nephew, sister-in-law and of course, your own kids and family members and, we’ve got your back! You most likely know what those closest to you want and need, but for those who you don’t see as often it’s more of a challenge. Check out our recommendations of DVDs, music and games to help you find the perfect Holiday gift. Many of these have been reviewed by our in-house team of youth KIDS FIRST! Film Critics and, if so, you will find their video review right next to the item. Of course, you can find many more reviews at and, if you order anything from Amazon, please use our Amazon Smile account so a part of your purchase helps to support the ongoing work of KIDS FIRST. Happy Holidays from all of us at KIDS FIRST! to all of you.

Click here for our 2016 KIDS FIRST! Holiday Gift Guide: 



Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide Christmas is almost here!

This month is going by so quickly but there is still time for Holiday shopping! Here are my top picks for this week!

Top Gifts for New Parents

This year Diono, world leader in providing families safe, innovative and high quality juvenile products that exceed expectations at home or on the go, is getting in the holiday spirit and wants all new parents to join in on the fun!

Diono products are the perfect gift for new parents to ensure their little one is safe and comfortable during the holiday season and beyond! From car seats to car and stroller accessories, Diono provides family with products for all ages for all occasions.

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Here are some great gift suggestions:

Diono Radian®RXT car seat is designed with your child’s security and safety as top priorities. Premium materials and thoughtful safety features like a steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced side walls, energy absorbing EPS foam, and a five-point harness put your mind at ease as your little one stays safe and sound. The reinforced adjustable head support provides additional side impact protection. (; SRP: $359.99)

Diono Stow ‘n Go keeps everything organized and easy to find when you need it. Our seatback organizer does it all with seven full sized pockets and two drink holders in a washable, waterproof fabric. The top fastens around any headrest while the bottom fastens around the seat for a secure fit. Folds for easy storage in seat back pocket when not in use. (; SRP: $10.99)

I really like this one! A real must-have for new parents!

Diono Travel Pal is designed to keep books and toys neat and organized. It has a deep cargo bin for toys and lots of pockets for smaller things, too. It also has insulated drink holders and the entire cargo area is waterproof – just in case. Travel Pal fits between two child car seats and it’s big enough to hold everything for both children. (; SRP: $15.99)

The Diono® Buggy Tech Tote is the new media solution that keeps mom connected and organized while baby and kids stay entertained. Simply and easily slide your smartphone into the protective touchscreen-compatible sleeve to quickly answer text or calls while pushing a stroller though the park. Slide your tablet into the back sleeve and start a video to keep your baby entertained while riding rear-facing. For older kids, simply zip off the removable tablet sleeve so your child can play in the stroller while mom enjoys a moment of peace. Stay organized with the customizable and removable dividers; there is even an insulating pouch for a water bottle. Quickly remove from stroller to use as a tote to take with you. The design fits most smartphones and tablets, and any stroller configuration from two-handle to a handle bar stroller. (; SRP: $29.99)

I love this next one! It truly is my favorite printer!


The HP Envy All-in-One printer is a great compact solution for your home and office printing, scanning and copying needs. Now, when you buy the HP Envy 5540 e-All-in-One printer, it comes with 3 months free of HP Instant Ink!

With HP Instant Ink you select your subscription plan and HP takes care of the rest so that you never run out of ink and printing costs a lot less! Ink, shipping, and cartridge recycling are included in your monthly plan. Plans start as low as $2.99/month and are based on pages printed, not cartridges used. There’s no annual fee and you can change or cancel plans online at anytime.


Now through December 31st, when you enroll your printer in HP Instant Ink, you will receive six free months of ink! To decide which plan is right for you and to enroll, visit but remember to do it before December 31, 2015!

Self Disclosure: This gift suggestion is part of a sponsored campaign with MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The next one is a great one for Mom, Dad, Grandma…I can go on! Who doesn’t love has such a great variety of framed art. My son and I love dogs especially beagles so we found this really awesome print! I love the quality and the beautiful colors in the print! It truly is a piece of art! What I also really like about this website is there is such a wide variety of choices. You really can find something for everyone on your list! Even the most difficult to shop for! There were so many great choices for dog prints that it took me awhile to choose which one. There’s still time to order and receive before Christmas but you have to hurry! They are also having a holiday sale. Holiday Sale Ends in 1 Day, 16 Hours & 10 Minutes! There really is the prefect print for everyone on your shopping list! They also have a 100% satisfaction return policy but I am sure you will be pleased! I love the one we received!


The next gift suggestion is great for young children learning about feelings. A great Child Development toy idea!

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The Moodsters, a new line of toys and books designed to teach young children the fundamentals of feelings.


The Moodsters, five lovable little detectives (Coz, Lolly, Snorf, Razzy and Quigly), come to the rescue whenever their friends, Zach and Zoey, have a feelings emergency. The stories and toys teach simple strategies to build social and emotional intelligence skills in young children. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined as the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Decades of scientific research has shown that children with EQ skills are better able to manage their thoughts, feelings and behavior.

My favorite?

Feelings Flashlight™ and Storybook– an electronic flashlight that features The Moodsters character images with voice affirmations and fun play activities so kids can explore their feelings, helping them to process and understand their emotions. “The Scary Sleepover”storybook to complement the Feelings Flashlight with a story to take the “scary” out of bedtime. The night of the treehouse sleepover is finally here, but the backyard is full of spooky noises and dark shadows.  The Moodsters help their friend, Zach, face his fears – and save the sleepover!


** Winner of NAPPA 2015 Bronze Seal **


Now available at Target stores nationwide and on, each toy + story book set retails at $19.99!

Looking for stocking stuffers?

These are some great ideas!

For the Athlete

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Earth’s Care Muscle & Joint Rub brings natural relief from the pain of bruises, muscle aches, strains and sprains. This unique formula quickly relieves these painful conditions while soothing the skin with natural mositurizers like Vitamin E, Beeswax, and Shea Butter. It is ideal for use on minor injuries, on sore muscles after sports activities and is effective for minor backaches and arthritis. The Muscle & Joint rub comes in a 2.5 oz jar, which means it’s TSA friendly! MSRP $10.99.

For Those with Acne


Earth’s Care top-rated Acne Spot Treatment has been called a “little tube of wonder” by fans of the product. Instead of using harsh chemicals on problem skin, the Acne Spot Treatment utilizes maximum strength sulfur to clear stubborn blemishes, pimples and breakouts. Formulated to reduce irritation and promote on-the-spot healing, this proprietary blend restores a clear, healthy complexion. Contains no parabens, pthalates, artificial colors or fragrances.  MSRP $14.99.

For those with acne needs beyond the occasional spot treatment, the Earth’s Care Acne Treatment Mask is a fantastic way to reduce irritation and prevent future breakouts. MSRP $19.99.
A Hostess Gift or Present for a Co-Worker
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It can be hard to find a present or a hostess gift for distant relatives, acquaintances or co-workers. The folks at Earth’s Care like to keep a few gift bags on-hand for those times when a little extra “thank-you” is in order.

When that happens, the Earth’s Care Dry & Cracked Skin Balm (MSRP $10.99) is always a must-have as it quickly soothes damaged skin and makes it feel visibly softer and smoother.

The team also loves to throw in a bottle of its Sweet Almond Oil, (MSRP $9.99) which is not only a fantastic natural moisturizer, but is a great makeup remover as well!

Both items contain no parabens, pthalates, artificial colors or fragrances.

This next one also makes a great stocking stuffer! My husband took mine so this one is also great for Dads!

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Bausch + Lomb Eye Mask for the practical person in your life. Bausch + Lomb THERA°PEARL® Eye Mask ($9.99) is the perfect beauty indulgence to help soothe their tired eyes this holiday season. They may not have thought to buy this themselves, but will certainly be grateful you did! And as an added bonus, enjoy $2 off by visiting + Lomb THERA°PEARL® Eye Mask is available on and at Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kroger, Ahold, Meijer, Harris Teeter and Publix.

This unique eye mask contains hundreds of tiny pearls of gel that contour to the shape of your face, delivering soothing relief from puffiness and “beauty fatigue.” Its pliable, face-hugging shape and comfortable band stay in place without dripping or leaking.

·         Use the eye mask cold to help relieve puffiness, helping your eyes to look and feel better.

·         Use it hot to help deliver soothing relief for tension headaches. Simply microwave for the time indicated on the package and apply to closed.

I love the next two ides for Moms and friends!

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Mandukaleader of yoga gear, offers the most sustainable yoga gear for the fitness fanatic in your life ($4-128). From eco-conscious eKO mats, fully recyclable LiveON Mats for kids and adults, one-mat-for-life PRO Mat, yogitoes towels made from recycled plastic bottles, hbands headbands, bags, to props, Manduka takes mindful gifting to another level. I love the headbands!

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ORGANIC INDIA’s, Tulsi Tea Line ($5.99) These USDA organic teas are infused with a sacred Indian herb that’s packed with goodness + deliciousness in over 20 flavors. A cup of Tulsi tea warms up the soul – lowers stress, bolsters immunity, enhances stamina and promotes a healthy metabolism. ORGANIC INDIA works directly with marginalized farmers in India providing healthcare, education, gender equality and empowerment programs. Sipping fireside, never tasted so good!  My favorite is the Peppermint!

I love this next one for kids (12+) and adults!

12434 Vintage Globe  Ravs_Globe_12434_CAT

The Ravensburger Vintage Globe is really cool! My son will be so excited to get this one!

More product information : Construct your own vintage globe in amazing 3D! 540 carefully-constructed plastic puzzle pieces, including curved and hinged pieces that interlock, come together to create this classic, 9 inch, vintage globe. Build your way around and around – display your finished model or disassemble and enjoy the challenge of building again. •Creates sturdy 9 inch vintage globe •Includes 540 plastic puzzle pieces (some hinged and curved), base, and instructions •Features patented EasyClick Technology – no delaminating, peeling, or glue required •Pieces are numbered for easy assembly.

You can find at

This next one is a great gift idea for anyone in the family!

BoomBoom Prints has a great choice of gift ideas!

Brand new features include:
  • Over 30 new custom products perfect for new families including home decor, apparel, and even pet beds
  • Reduced pricing across the board to offer the most competitive custom printed products on the web
  • A community of more than 3,000 independent artists around the world with more than 30,000 designs to browse

I chose the perfect pillow that reminds me of my son and our pup!


I love the quality of this pillow! I love the print by Tammy Kushnir. I simply love this pillow! Find this one and many more at BoomBoom Prints.

Looking for a cute way to give a Gift Card? Fluffeez is the answer!


The purpose of Fluffeez is to wrap your gift cards in a bit of extra love. A Fluffeez plush is the perfect solution for those who love the ease of giving gift cards but recognize the importance of a tangible gift rather than a greeting card that gets thrown away after reading. A Fluffeez and gift card show that you took time to pick out a special plush just for your loved one and still provide the means to pick out their own gift. I love how cute and fun these are!

Self Disclosure: I received free products or compensation to facilitate this holiday post. I recommend all products featured.


KIDS FIRST! 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – DVDs Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,

As the holidays approach, you are looking for the perfect gift for that niece, nephew, sister-in-law and of course, your own kids and family members. You know what the people closest to you want and need, but those relatives who you don’t see as often are a bit of a challenge. Check out our compilation of DVDs, Feature Films, Audio Recordings and E-Books to help you find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Many have been reviewed by KIDS FIRST! Film Critics and we’ve provided a link to their video reviews which gives you the kids’ point of view. More film reviews are available at Happy Holidays from KIDS FIRST!



Armed with the amazing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang joins forces with his new mentor Dr. Hank Pym to protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from ruthless villains! With humanity’s fate in the balance, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a daring heist against insurmountable odds. Filled with humor, awesome special effects and exclusive bonus features, this action-packed adventure takes you to new levels of pulse-pounding excitement! MSRP: $39.99

Avengers: Age of Ultron 
When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure. MSRP: $39.99


Aladdin Diamond Edition
For the first time ever, a whole new world of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Aladdin will be revealed in a whole new way on Blu-ray with never-before-seen bonus. Rediscover how three wishes can change everything in Disney’s timeless adventure for the whole family. MSRP: $29.99



Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Alexander’s day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Starring Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner and Ed Oxenbould as Alexander. $36.99


Walt Disney Animation Studios is releasing the live action version of Cinderella on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. The movie stars Cate Blanchett as Stepmother (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Lily James as Cinderella (TV’s “Downton Abbey”), Richard Madden (TV’s “Game of Thrones”) as Prince, Stellan Skarsgård (Marvel’s: “The Avengers,” “Thor”) as Grand Duke, Holliday Grainger (“Jane Eyre”) as Anastasia, Derek Jacobi (“The King’s Speech” ) as King, and Helena Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother (“Alice in Wonderland”). MSRP: $36.89

When Oh, a lovable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human, and together they discover the true meaning of the word HOME. MRSP: $19.04

Inside Out
After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions – Jay, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school. Directed by Pete Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen. Starring Diane Lane, Rashida Jones and Amy Poehler. MSRP: $39.99


The Legend of Longwood

Crumbling castles, frightening spirits, beautiful horses and a plucky, fearless heroine all come together in this magical quest film, set in the starkly beautiful landscapes of rural Ireland. When 12-year-old Mickey Miller moves from New York to Ireland, she soon discovers a link between herself and the 300-year-old legend of the mysterious Black Knight, who regularly haunts the sleepy Irish village. MSRP: $16.97


Little House on the Prairie – The Complete Collection

Fall in love again with the classic TV series that celebrates family, faith and the human spirit, and enjoy the nine-season saga with vividly restored picture and sound. Completely uncut and remastered, this 48-disc set features all nine seasons and is packed with eight hours of bonus material, including the 96-minute original pilot movie, a cast screen test with Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert, the six-part  “The ‘Little House’ Phenomenon” documentary that takes a historical look back at the acclaimed series and three movie specials. MSRP:$149.98


My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Friendship Games

Every four years, Canterlot High has ‘The Friendship Games’ where they must rival with different schools with a series of different sporting events and every year, the cup has gone to Crystal Prep. So Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, and Sunset Shimmer must work together to win the cup. But they find out that the other Twilight Sparkle is on the opposing team. MSRP: $17.98

Once Upon a Sign: The Magic Mirror
In this DVD, young Alice Cogswell wants to enter the talent show but she’s unsure of herself. After an audition that doesn’t go her way, she gets some magic help. But will this magic help get her to the talent show and help her ASL poetry sparkle? MSRP: $15.95

Once Upon a Sign: The New Stone Soup
This new DVD tells the story of three traveling magicians who hope to enjoy a delicious meal after entertaining the folks in a local village. The people are happy to revel in the show but are not willing to share their food with the performers, so the trio comes up with a plan to get the community to contribute food and learn that sharing can be a joyous and happy thing. MSRP: $15.95.

The Seventh Dwarf                       

Venture into the wondrous world of Fantabularasa Castle and be spellbound by the exciting adventures of your favorite storybook characters in The Seventh Dwarf. With an exceptional voice cast of Peyton List,, Norm Macdonald, Nina Hagen and Joshua Graham, this new CG-animated motion picture is a hilarious mash-up of the best classic fairytales, packed with beloved storybook characters,  non-stop laughs and toe-tapping songs!  MSRP $14.99


Bound by a shared destiny, a teen (Britt Robertson) bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor (George Clooney) embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory. MSRP: $39.99


The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series          

This 15 disc set contains all 91 episodes of the popular Nickelodeon series. The hit series follows the Thornberry family as they travel the world in their Communications Vehicle (or CommVee) looking for rare animals to film. After an encounter with a mysterious shaman, their youngest child Eliza was given the power to speak to animals! Travelling to every corner of the world with her family of daffy documentarians, Eliza uses her fantastic skill to learn about the lifestyles and habitats of the world’s most exotic creatures. MSRP $29.99



The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki (Amazon Exclusive)
Includes a 1972 TV Pilot directed by Miyazaki, three episodes from the hit anime series “Little Samurai” and a commemorative booklet. For the first time, all 11 of Miyazaki’s feature-length masterpieces are packaged in collection, complete with bonus features. Included films are: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979); Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984); Castle in the Sky (1986); My Neighbor Totoro (1988); Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989); Porco Rosso (1992); Princess Mononoke (1997); Spirited Away (2001) ; Howl’s Moving Castle (2004); Ponyo (2008/2009); The Wind Rises (2013) MSRP: $224.99.

Gumby: The Gumby Show, The Complete 50s Series
For the first time ever, the complete Gumby Show has been re-mastered from its original camera rolls and soundtracks with the brilliant colors and full-length formats as first aired in the 1950s. These imaginative, surrealistic, stop motion animated masterpieces will mesmerize children and adults of all ages. MSRP: $24.99


Shaun the Sheep


From Aardman, the producers of Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit comes Shaun the Sheep Movie, a farm-tastic adventure for the whole family. MEET SHAUN! He’s a little sheep with big dreams, and lately, life on Mossy Bottom Farm has become a bit dull. When Shaun takes the day off for some fun in the Big City, he gets a lot more action than he bargained for. Now Shaun and his flock must use their wits to hatch a baaaa-rilliant plan to get back home in an adventure the whole family will love. MSRP: $34.99 (BR)/$29.95 (DVD)


ABC Monsters: Starring ABCD
The ABC Monsters are on the loose and only Alice, Brian and Cherry Berry can catch them. 26 cuddly ABC Monsters live within the walls of Capital Castle. Each monster represents a letter of the alphabet, but should any of the monsters go missing for longer than a day, all the letters will be wiped clean from every book in Capital Town, so it’s very important to make sure that all the ABC Monsters are safely back in Alphabet Gardens before the sun goes down. MSRP: $9.99

Chuggington: The Big Freeze
The chuggers perform one heroic rescue after another in this cool new seasonal collection of “Chuggington” adventures! When icy temperatures cause the town to run out of fuel and all diesel engines are grounded, it’s wheels-to-the-rails as Chief Jackman and his team of brave Chug Patrollers work together to find a way to the frozen docks to retrieve fuel and get the town of Chuggington moving once again. MSRP: $14.98


Doozers: Giant Gingerbread House
The Pod Squad want to build a Doozer-sized Gingerbread House. However, in order to achieve such a large size Gingerbread House it’s going to take some clever construction to create. Can the Pod Squad do it? Then, Daisy Wheel wants to ice skate with the others, but she doesn’t know how. Together, the Pod Squad build her a custom Doo-Step Skating Dress that lets her glide across the ice in no time. Weee! Enjoy these adventures and six more focusing on science, technology, engineering and math! MSRP: $9.99

Maya The Bee Movie
Based on the well-known children’s novel and popular animated series, this animated feature brings to life an enchanting story of a little bee named Maya and her exciting adventure of self-discovery and fantastical fun. This is an instant classic that delivers wholesome family entertainment— emphasizing the importance of friendship, freedom and courage. Originally a German children’s novel by Waldemar Bonsels, The Adventures of Maya the Bee was published over a hundred years ago in 1912. MSRP $15.80
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (3 Movie Gift Set)   
Join Twilight Sparkle and her Canterlot High friends in three animated adventures! With a special lenticular cover featuring a transforming Twilight Sparkle, the box set houses all three films released from the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls canon, Equestria Girls, Rainbow Rocks and Friendship Games. Bonus features include audio commentaries, animated shorts and deleted scenes. MSRP $29.93

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Tales
Join Plum in “Snowberry and the Seven Berrykins” as she learns to believe in herself when putting on a small and simple play.  In “Berryella and Prince Berry Charming,” Huck agrees to be in a production, but then quickly realizes that he’d be happier behind the scenes.  Strawberry, Lemon and Raspberry star as three princesses on a quest to rule a kingdom in “The Littlest Berrykin,” and realize that they can never succeed without kindness and generosity. MSRP: $14.98

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
An ancient myth of a massive creature sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, an animal fairy who’s not afraid to break the rules to help an animal in need. But this creature is not welcome in Pixie Hollow — and the scout fairies are determined to capture the mysterious beast, who they fear will destroy their home. Fawn must convince her fairy friends to risk everything to rescue the NeverBeast. This thrilling action-adventure roars to life with never-before-seen bonus extras on Blu-ray and DVD. MSRP: $36.99


A Christmas Detour 

Two NYC bound travelers find themselves inextricably linked when a freak snowstorm waylays their Christmas plans to an overcrowded airport hotel in Buffalo. Eternal optimist and hopeless romantic, Paige Summers, desperately needs to find a way to the city so that she can meet her fiancé’s parents before her storybook wedding — and it’s up to a guy she can’t stand, fellow passenger and total stranger Dylan Mackenzie, a guy permanently soured on romance after his girlfriend broke his heart to rise to the occasion and become Paige’s off-white Knight in shining armor. Exclusive to Walmart and Sam’s Club. MSRP: $14.93


A Crown for Christmas 

Allie has taken care of her brothers and sisters ever since their parents died when they were just kids, and now, she and her sister Lisa work as maids in a first-class Manhattan hotel. By a twist of fate, Allie meets Ryland, a King in disguise staying at the hotel, and on the very same day loses her job due to unruly hotel guests. In an effort to apologize for Allie losing her job, one of Ryland’s closest servants offers her the role of Governess (a glorified Nanny) for Ryland’s 10-year-old daughter Teddy. Walmart/Sam’s Club Exclusive. MSRP: $14.93

Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas

The story of Buddy the elf, and his quest to reunite with the human father he never knew existed. While Buddy’s sincerity and idealism are commonplace at the North Pole, these attributes are rejected in cynical New York City. But through song, dance, and relentless good cheer, Buddy rekindles the spirit of Christmas for the entire city. Voice talent of Jim Parsons, Mark Hamill, Kate Micucci and Ed Asner. MSRP: $14.98 (DVD)/$19.98 (BR)

Home Alone 25th Anniversary Edition
This gift set features all five films packaged together for the first time in a collectible paint Includes all 5 films together for first time! Includes: Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Home Alone 3, Home Alone: Taking Back the House, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist. MSRP: $39.99



Ice Sculpture Christmas 

As a little girl, Callie Shaw always knew she wanted to be an amazing chef.  Now, after spending years trying to get her foot in the door, she’s losing faith that she has what it takes to succeed.  Is it time to give up?  Working as the entry-level new hire in her hometown’s country club kitchen, Callie finally gets the opportunity to make a name for herself through a culinary Christmas ice-sculpture contest!  Walmart/Sam’s Club Exclusive. MSRP: $14.93.

The Nutcracker Sweet

Features the voices of an all-star cast including Alicia Silverstone, Ed Asner and Drake Bell. It  is Christmas Eve and the Silberhaus children are excited for the festivities to begin. Marie and Fritz are playing in the children’s room when their godfather Drosselmayer arrives and presents them with an early Christmas gift, a Nutcracker. Marie witnesses a great battle between a vast army of toy soldiers led by the Nutcracker against a terrible platoon of mice commanded by the Mouse King.  MSRP: $14.93


Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special
As you’ve never seen it before, beautifully restored, re-mastered and in HD. Join the whole Playhouse gang for one of the wackiest specials ever! With laughs for the whole family, this unique, triple Emmy®-nominated special offers all the imagination and charm of Saturday morning’s most outrageous TV series, which became a cultural milestone when it aired from 1986-1991. MSRP $6.95 (DVD) / $19.97 (BR)


‘Tis The Season For Love 

Hanna Baker, left her small town of Kern to seek the stardom that everyone knew was her destiny.  Now, ten years later, with none of her dreams coming to fruition and feeling like a failure, Hanna heads back to Kern for a real hometown, family Christmas, to cheer her up. Once back, Hanna sees that life in Kern has moved on quite nicely without her and she soon finds herself longing for her past.  MSRP: $14.93






Andy Z- Classic Songs & Traditional Tunes

Beloved American folk songs blended with classic children’s songs that the younger set just can’t get enough of. Andy brings together two genres that complement one another beautifully and captures the heart and intention of the songs as they were originally written.  For this 15-song album, he used true-to-genre instrumentation, thoughtful arrangements and restored lyrics. MSRP: $14.98,


Big Block Singsong Volume 1

Who knew that being so square could be so cool! Big Block Singsong is a terrific musical, visual DVD romp. Creators Warren Brown and Adam Goddard have hit the creative mother load here – what seems so simple is so deceiving in its well-designed construction – the ‘simple’ individual block characters sing a two-minute nicely produced song that covers subjects from noses and hair to emotions of sadness and happiness, so you see the sky’s the limit, or not. MSRP: $15,


Calling All the Elephants
Randy & Dave, two hit songwriters from different genres, started writing some silly songs for kids. “Silly” soon morphed into over-the-top, laugh-out-loud funny. Randy’s country roots and Dave’s children’s pop roots come together to create a wacky, seesaw feel, moving from a country stroll where the wit of the lyrics sneaks up on you to a rock ‘n’ roll sprint where an outrageous lyric slams into you. MSRP: $14.98,


Dancin in the Kitchen: Songs for ALL Families by Cathy and Marcy,

This CD knocked my socks off so I immediately decided to dance barefoot in the kitchen – great decision. This album is a breath of fresh air that climbs the mountain of rarefied musical integrity and promotes acceptance and tolerance on so many levels. You will not be disappointed or dismayed, this album is special and grabs you from the first downbeat to the last fade-away. MSRP: $15;


Do You Believe in Magic

Original fantasy musical/rock opera for tweens, teens, combining colorful characters, compelling story, infectious songs, danceable duets, narration, full musical score. Percy Jackson meets Into The Woods. Enchanted books, witches break into song! MSRP: $15



Happy Kids Songs
These full-production songs are both highly entertaining and age appropriate–adult quality music with words and themes that tap into the most common issues confronting 4- to 8-year-olds. The variety of adult and child soloists, children’s chorus and wide range of instruments and musical styles easily hold children’s attention and parents’ too. These songs were written and produced by award-winning child psychologist, Dr. Mac, who has also been the music director and songwriter for the PBS hit, Jay Jay the Jet Plane. MSRP: $19.80,

Hot Air by Recess Monkey,

‘Hot Air’ rises to the occasion and delivers a potent punch of fun, danceable and delightfully listenable tunes that will lift your spirits and take you on flights of fancy that are frown resistant. Recess Monkey is a tried and true band of experienced and educated musicians who have inhaled the wonderful songwriting and production values of top groups from the late 60’s and 70’s and have exhaled a new, original and pleasing paradigm of songs that are kid-friendly but more importantly, kid-conscious. MSRP: $13

Let’s Boogie
The debut album from Toronto children’s’ rock band, Rock’n’Rainbow, this CD is a family dance party of high energy tunes with catchy hooks & funk-rock rhythms, exploring favorite forms of exercise: biking, heading out on scooters & boogying-on-down. Rainbow Songs Inc. MSRP: $14.97


Nursery Rhyme Parade!
This new album presents 35 familiar nursery rhymes and songs. These fresh and sparely produced tracks provide the perfect opportunity for parents to remember their own childhoods, and to connect with their kids through melody, rhythm and rhyme.  Acclaimed children’s book and magazine illustrator Ekaterina Truhan created the sprightly animal parade art for the album and noted singer Renee Stahl guests. Exclusive to Amazon, MSRP: $9.99 CD; $8.99 Digital

The Pop Ups – Bird and Rhino (music video)
Stomp those fires out with The Pop Ups. This is an animated music video, featuring a song from their brand new album, Great Pretenders Club, exclusively at Amazon. Animator: Garrett Davis, Artists: Jacob Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein MSRP: $7.99



LEGO Dimensions
The all-new collection merges physical LEGO brick building and interactive console gameplay. Includes the videogame, bricks to build the LEGO Gateway, three LEGO Minifigures, Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle, plus the LEGO Batmobile, and the LEGO Toy Pad, which allows players to transport special LEGO minifigures and models into the game, as well as direct in-game action all with the movement of the physical toys.  MSRP: $99.99

Need for Speed

Brings together 20 years of history and inspiration from some of the most beloved games in the venerable franchise, to create the definitive racing game experience. Introduces compelling and innovative gameplay through Five Ways to Play – Speed, Style, Build, Crew, and Outlaw. Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC. ESRB: T. MSRP: $69.99


NHL 16

Built with more fan feedback and insights than ever before, NHL 16 delivers your most requested features and modes along with new experiences that make NHL bigger and better. NHL 16 puts you into the heart of a team, where you’ll play together and win together. ESRB: E, MSRP: $59.99


Star Wars Battlefront

Feeling the ominous thud of an AT-AT stomping down on the frozen tundra of Hoth. Rebel forces firing blasters as Imperial speeder bikes zip through the lush forests of Endor. Intense dogfights between squadrons of X-wings and TIE fighters filling the skies. Immerse yourself in the epic Star Wars battles you’ve always dreamed of and create new heroic moments of your own in Star Wars Battlefront. ESRB: T, MSRP: $69.99

Project CARS

Represents the next-generation of racing simulation as the ultimate combination of fan desire and developer expertise. With a Franchise Mode that allows you to carve out a personalized career starting in the Karting world and then progressing on to whichever motorsport specialization you prefer. ESRB: E, MSRP: $39.99


F1 2015

The official video game of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship, F1 2015 is set to take gamers closer to the real-world experience of racing in the world’s most glamorous, exciting and prestigious motorsport. ESRB: E, MSRP: $39.99



Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, PG, Comedy. December 18, 2015
Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them.  They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother. Starring Bella Thorne, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting andAnna Faris.

Bridge of Spies, PG-13, Biography, Drama, History. In Theaters Now
An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda and Amy Ryan.

Brooklyn, PG-13, Drama, Romance. November 6, 2015
In 1950s Ireland and New York, young Eilis Lacey has to choose between two men and two countries. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Brid Brennan, Maeve McGrath and Emma Lowe.

Everest, Biography. In Theaters Now
A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm. Starring Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Goosebumps, PG, Comedy, Adventure. In Theaters Now
A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.



Hotel Transylvania 2, PG, Animation, Comedy. In theaters now.
Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel. Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez and Kevin James.


Jem and the Holograms, PG, Adventure. In Theaters Now
As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden. Starring Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott and Aurora Perrineau


Joy, NR, Comedy-drama. December 25, 2015
Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.


Spectre, Action, PG-13, Adventure. November 6, 2015
A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux.


Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, PG, Action, Adventure. December 28, 2015
A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983). Directed by J.J. Abrams, Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Adam Driver.


The 33, PG-13, Drama. November 6, 2015
Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days. Starring Naomi Scott, Cote de Pablo, Kate del Castillo, James Brolin.


The Good Dinosaur, PG, Adventure, Comedy. November 27, 2015
An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. Starring Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn and A.J. Buckley.


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, PG-13, Adventure, Sci-Fi. November 20, 2015
After being symbolized as the “Mockingjay”, Katniss Everdeen and District 13 engage in an all-out revolution against the autocratic Capitol. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
The Intern. PG-13,  Comedy. In Theaters now
70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin. Starring Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo and Anders Holm.

The Martian, Adventure, PG-13, Drama. In Theaters now
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

The Peanuts Movie, G, 3D Animation, November 6, 2015
Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home. Starring Trombone Shorty, Rebecca Bloom amd Anastasia Bredikhina.


A Blanket Quite Rare –
There once was a boy with a blanket quite rare that his mother had told him was made with great care.  It came on his birthday with colors so bright It made him feel happy all day and all night. Neptune Press. MSRP: $12


The Loneliest Tree –
Not very far from the big city is a very special farm. It’s special because it grows special trees…Christmas trees! The trees are able to stretch their graceful branches covered with needles and pine cones toward the sun as they grow taller and taller–all but one. Neptune Press. MSRP: $9.95
Ship Shape (Upton Charles – Dog Detective)
When the Chief of Police calls the Charles family to report that a brand new boat and trailer are missing  from the boat show, Upton is immediately recruited to apply his detective skills to the disappearance. Our super sleuth is a Bichon Frise (that’s “BEE-shon free-ZEY”), a little white dog, who  wastes no time in sniffing out clues that lead to a surprising discovery.  During the course of the investigation, Upton is joined by a new assistant. Neptune Press. MSRP: $7.99.


KIDS FIRST! 2014 Holiday Gift Guide – DVDs Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,

As the holidays approach, you are looking for the perfect gift for that niece, nephew, sister-in-law and of course, your own kids and family members. You know what the people closest to you want and need but those relatives who you don’t see that often are a bit of a challenge. We have compiled a collection of DVDs, Feature Films and E-Books that we think make great holiday gifts for your loved ones. Those that our KIDS FIRST! Film Critics have watched and reviewed have a link to their video reviews which gives you the benefit of the kids’ point of view.  Since kids are the audience for these films, it makes sense to listen to what other kids think about them. More film reviews are available at Happy holidays, Ranny Levy, KIDS FIRST!


Dawn of Planet of the Apes
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. MSRP: 39.99; Age Recommendation:  12-18

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

Harry Potter™ Hogwarts Collection

This collectible box set is sure to please fans who can now access all the Harry Potter films and exclusive behind-the-scenes content conveniently in one place. Included are all eight Harry Potter™ films, plus a whopping 45+ hours of previously released bonus material that contains the complete eight-part documentary series “Creating the World of Harry Potter.” MSRP: $249.99; Age Recommendation: 8-15

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:



The Maze Runner
Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape. MSRP: $39.99: Age Recommendation: 12-18


KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:


X-men: Days of Future Past
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future. MSRP:  39.99; Age Recommendation: 12-18
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:




Earth to Echo

After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help. Starring Teo Halm, Astro and Reese Hartwig. Rated PG for some action, peril and mild language. MSRP: 39.99; Age Recommendation: 8-15

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:


Ernest & Celestine

Deep below snowy, cobblestone streets, tucked away in networks of winding tunnels, lives a tiny mouse named Celestine. Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer, and has a hard time fitting in. When she nearly ends up as breakfast for a grumpy bear named Ernest, the two become fast friends and embark on an adventure that will put a smile on your face and make your heart glow.  MSRP: $34.95; Age Recommendation:  5-18

Frozen Sing-Along DVD

Experience Frozen, the hit musical comedy from Walt Disney Animation Studios, like never before in a new to DVD, full-length Sing-Along Edition! Follow the lyrics with a bouncing Frozen snowflake. Join Anna as she sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and a snowman named Olaf – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. It’s pure enchantment – and full of fun for the whole family! Includes the making-of featurette “Breaking the Ice”, the Sing Along Version of the Film, the Original Theatrical Version of the Film, and “Get a Horse!” Mickey Mouse Short. MSRP: $29.99. Age Recommendation: 4-18

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The quest through Middle-earth continues in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug when the epic fantasy adventure is released as an Extended Edition on Blu-ray 3D™ and Blu-ray™. This extended cut of the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy includes 25 minutes of extra film footage that extends individual scenes,  more than nine hours of new bonus features. Both Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray include Digital HD copies of the Extended Edition. MSRP: $54.98 & $35.99. Age Recommendation: 12-18

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

How to Train Your Dragon 2

It’s been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons. MSRP: $24.96; Age Recommendation: 8-12
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:


MALEFICENT explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic SLEEPING BEAUTY and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever. MSRP: $36.99. Age Recommendation: 10-18.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition

Fall under the glorious spell of Disney’s Ultimate Princess Fairy Tale! The magic is real as you experience all the pageantry and power with incredible high-definition picture and thrilling, soaring sound! Beauty, wonder and adventure spin together in a grand legend that transcends time as Maleficent, one of animation’s most spectacular villains, sends the kingdom’s beloved Princess Aurora into an enchanted sleep. In a majestic story that awakens all your senses, Good Fairies arm brave Prince Phillip to defeat a fearsome fire-breathing dragon and rescue Aurora. But success in battle may not be enough, for the only way to awaken the Princess is with True Love’s kiss! MSRP: $36.99. Age Recommendation: 4-18


The Fault in our Stars
azel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel’s other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. MRSP:  29.99. Age Recommendation: 12-18

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Step inside the imaginative story book world of the highly popular French novel La Mécanique du Cœur (The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart) and beguiled by the wildly inventive adventures of Jack and Miss Acacia as they leap from page to the screen. Directed by Mathias Malzieu and Stéphane Berla, this is a visually opulent animated fairy tale set in an exciting period full of fabulous inventions, enchanting music and marvelous adventures. This superbly animated movie brings to life a unique tale of love and the acceptance of others through an awe-inspiring cinematic adventure filled with whimsical characters, stunning CG animation and unforgettable musical numbers. MSRP: $16.97; Age Recommendation: 8-15          

Pee-Wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series

All 45 wacky episodes, plus the Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, have been meticulously re-mastered from the original film elements. Mecka-lecka hi, Mecka-hiney ho!  Pee-wee’s Playhouse is an educational, artistic and entertaining show that teaches kids strong ‘life lessons.’  With its innovative production design and Reubens’ rich original characters and humor, Pee-wee’s Playhouse is a magical place that sparks creativity and imagination—and brings joy to children and adults alike. Parents and grown-ups have always enjoyed the show’s many double entendres. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 1 and 2 in a high-definition 4-DVD set. MSRP $149.99; Age recommendation: 5-18

Rio 2

It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids in RIO 2, after they’re hurtled from that magical city to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all – his father-in-law. All our favorite RIO characters are back, and they’re joined by Oscar® nominee Andy Garcia, Grammy® winner Bruno Mars, Tony® winner Kristin Chenoweth and Oscar/Emmy ® /Tony winner Rita Moreno. RIO 2 also features new Brazilian artists and original music by Janelle Monae and Wondaland. MSRP: $24.99; Age Recommendation: 5-12
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:



Littlest Pet Shop: Passport to Fashion

Blythe Baxter has two amazing gifts – she can talk to animals and can create amazing fashion!  Together with her pet friends- Zoe the spaniel, Pepper the skunk, Sunil the mongoose, Russell the hedgehog, Penny the panda, Vinnie the gecko and Minka the monkey, Blythe is determined to make her dream of a career in fashion come true. Join Blythe and her animal friends as they visit exotic cities such as Paris, Rio and Shanghai and learn that true friends will support you no matter what! MSRP $14.93 DVD; Age Recommendation: 5-8

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Keys of Friendship            

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: The Keys Of Friendship includes “Rarity Takes Manhattan,” “Pinkie Apple Pie,” “It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies,” “Twilight’s Kingdom, Part 1,” and “Twilight’s Kingdom, Part 2.” A fun sing-along is included as a bonus feature. Since her arrival in Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle has learned the true meaning and value of friendship. With her very best friends — Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy and, of course, Spike — Twilight goes on the greatest of adventures and comes back with even more lessons. All of this has earned Twilight her wings and the crown of a Princess and now you can learn what Princess Twilight Sparkle has learned and take with you The Keys Of Friendship. MSRP $14.97 DVD; Recommended age: 4-12

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales  

My Little Pony – Friendship Is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales features six episodes and a sing-along. Every pony loves Halloween… the candy, the pumpkins, the costumes, the friends! Join your favorite residents of Ponyville — Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and, of course, Spike — as they take on some of the spookiest adventures Equestria’s ever seen! Time to gather around and hold on tight, because these six exciting tales are a chillingly good romp. The DVD comes with pumpkin carving stencils and a color Halloween poster perfect for seasonal decorating. MSRP $14.97 DVD; Recommended age: 4-12

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

Planes: Fire & Rescue Blu-ray

In this heart-pumping, laugh-filled follow-up to last year’s smash hit “PLANES,” world famous racer Dusty Crophopper joins an elite fire and rescue unit and learns what it takes to be a true hero. Featuring non-stop action, memorable characters and never-before-seen bonus features, “PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE” is this fall’s must-own animated family film! Bonus features include the all-new exclusive short “Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular;” the mock-umentary “Welcome to Piston Peak;” and more. MSRP: $39.99. Age Recommendation: 2-12

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:

Veggie Tales: Celery Night Fever

Bruce Onion (voice of Terry Crews) is a nefarious real-estate developer who plans to turn the serene, green Celery Park into a parking lot.  His unsavory scheme spurs Laura Carrot and Junior Asparagus to enact a bold plan: reuniting the long-lost ’70s band The Groovy Brothers to play at a fund-raising concert. The problem is, The Groovy Brothers haven’t spoken to each other in decades, and the members have little interest in getting back together.  Their long-simmering feud spills over to affect Laura and Junior.  It’s not just Celery Park that’s in jeopardy – if best friends can’t learn to forgive each other and accept each other’s faults, the veggies might lose their cherished community gathering spot. MSRP: $14.97; Recommended age: 5-10.

10 Movie Romance & Family Collection

Stuff your stockings with love this holiday season with ten films overflowing with the hope of the season. For family movie marathons or snuggly date nights, each of these stories spread a little Christmas magic, reconnecting family and friends as well as rekindling long-lost loves. In the end, you’ll hold your loved ones a little tighter, find your heart a little brighter, and spread the true meaning of the holiday season. Includes 10 best-selling movies: Christmas in Canaan, Merry-In-Laws, 12 Days of Christmas, A Christmas Proposal, Holiday Baggage, Annie Claus, Holiday Engagement, Christmas Pageant, Moonlight & Mistletoe, Most Wonderful Time of the Year. MSRP: $29.93. Age Recommendation: 8-18

A Belle for Christmas 

Dean Cain of Lois & Clark and The Dog Who Saved Christmas stars as Glenn Barrows, a recent widower doing his best to raise his young kids Elliot and Phoebe who really miss their mom. When the Barrows adopt an adorable puppy named Belle during the holiday season, it seems that their healing may have begun. But will Glenn’s dog-hating, gold-digging new girlfriend spoil their newfound happiness, or can Elliot and Phoebe pull off a daring Christmas Eve rescue of their beloved new pet? Haylie Duff costars in this heartwarming comedy about family, friendship, and a four-legged holiday miracle. DVD SRP: $19.98; Age Recommendation: 7-18

The Christmas Ornament
Newly widowed Kathy plans to skip out on decking the halls and trimming the tree this Christmas, trying to avoid anything that will bring back memories of her late husband. The only Christmas tradition she will observe is baking cookies for her friends, a passion since she was a child. When Kathy meets handsome Christmas tree shop owner Tim, their undeniable chemistry – along with an ornament Tim gives her that symbolizes hope – helps Kathy open up to the joys of the season again. With the support of her best friend Jenna Kathy begins to embrace the hopeful message of the ornament. Although Kathy wants to take a chance on Tim, she struggles to find the balance between preserving the memory of her husband and moving on with her own future. MSRP: $14.93; Age Recommendation: 10-18


Octonauts: Very Vegimal Christmas

On this very merry DVD, join the Octonauts as they celebrate the holidays! The Vegimals’ plans for a Christmas feast aboard the Octopod are interrupted when the Octonauts become entangled in a gigantic blob of sea snot! The holiday excitement continues when the Octonauts travel to Professor Inkling’s childhood home, an undersea mountain, but soon discover that a rockslide has endangered the local creatures, including Inkling’s nephew, Squirt!  Can the Octonauts rescue the creatures and save Christmas in time?

MSRP: $9.99; Age Recommendation: 5-8



Nine Lives of Christmas

Fireman Zachary Stone is a confirmed bachelor who doesn’t believe in love or commitment. When a stray, tabby cat named Ambrose shows up at his door, Zachary takes him in and slowly starts to see that a little companionship might not be so bad. Zachary’s commitment to solitude is further challenged when he meets Marilee who teaches Zachary how to care for his new feline roommate. With Christmas rapidly approaching, Marilee’s sister Jaclyn convinces her to add romance to her nose-to-the-grindstone life of work and school, while fire chief Sam encourages Zachary to understand the importance of love, marriage and having someone special with whom to share the holidays. MSRP: $14.93; Age Recommendation: 10-18

A Royal Christmas 
As the only daughter of an expert tailor in Philadelphia, Emily Corrigan is a kindhearted young woman proud of her blue-collar background. She is a devoted seamstress at the family business and madly in love with her doting European boyfriend, Leo. As their first Christmas together approaches, Leo drops a bombshell on his unsuspecting girlfriend: he is actually Prince Leopold, heir to the throne of Cordinia, a small sovereign country. Emily is in shock and they fly to Cordinia to announce their engagement and spend the holidays with Leo’s disapproving mother, Queen Isadora. Less than enthusiastic about her son’s relationship with a commoner, Isadora makes Emily feel anything but welcome at their grand castle. Attempting to stay true to herself in a world where she clearly doesn’t belong, Emily wonders if love is enough to keep her newly royal relationship from falling apart before Christmas morning. MSRP: $14.93. Age Recommendation: 10-18.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Celebrate the magic of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer ​in the golden-packaged 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. Newly produced bonus features teach fans how to draw Rudolph, Hermey and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster; present video sing-alongs of the musical holiday favorites Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Holly Jolly Christmas; and offer a video version of a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer pop-up book.  MSRP: 17.99; Age Recommendation: 2-18

Signed,  Sealed,  Delivered Christmas
Signed Sealed Delivered Christmas, based on the highly successful Hallmark series Signed, Sealed, Delivered created by Touched By An Angel’s Martha Williamson, follows the four postal workers turned detectives in their next mystery as they track down the original recipient of a Christmas card from the past. MSRP:  $14.93

Saving Santa: Adventures of a Time-Traveling Elf

Bernard, a low-ranking elf dreams of joining Santa’s elite team of inventors, who make the magic of Christmas possible. But when one of Bernards inventions reveals the secret location of the North Pole to a billionaire scoundrel Santa and Christmas are in jeopardy leaving Bernard to time travel to rescue Santa in time to save Christmas. Voices of Martin Freeman, Tim Curry, Tim Conway and Ashley Tisdale. MSRP: 19.98; Age Recommendation: 5 – 12

The Snowman (special anniversary edition)

An Academy Award Nominee (Best Animated Short Film, 1982), this delightful animation weaves a spell of magical enchantment as a young boy’s snowman comes to life and escorts him on a magical flying visit to the North Pole. Absolutely superlative family enjoyment that Includes the original introduction by author Raymond Briggs. Bonus features include The Story of the SnowmanTM and an alternate introduction from David Bowie. MSRP:  $9.99; Age Recommendation: 4 – 18.
A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Holiday Show

Join DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee as they dance, sing and decorate the tree to prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus! Filmed live at New York City’s The Beacon Theatre, celebrate the season with the colorful cast of characters singing their hits, including “It’s Wintertime,” “Every Snowflake’s Different, Just Like You” and a holiday version of everyone’s favorite “Party in my Tummy!” Includes special appearances by superstar Leslie Hall and the one and only Santa Claus! MSRP: $12.99. Age Recommendation: 2 – 8
A Very Merry Mix Up

Shop owner Alice Chapman (Alicia Witt) is nervous to meet her future in-laws at Christmas, especially because she is arriving ahead of her new fiancé, Will Mitchum (Scott Gibson). Alice’s trip becomes more stressful when her luggage is lost and her phone is damaged, leaving her no way to find Will’s family! As fate would have it, she meets her future brother-in-law, Matt Mitchum (Mark Wiebe), at baggage claim and is happy to get a ride home with him. As Alice meets Matt’s doting family, mom Penny (Susan Hogan), dad Joe (Richard Fitzpatrick) and Grandpa Charles (Lawrence Dane), she falls in love with their festive holiday traditions and warm welcome to their home. And when unexpected romance comes calling as Christmas approaches, Alice must decide if her “Merry Mix-Up” will actually turn out to be her destiny. MSRP$14.93; Age Recommendation: 10-18




Son of God

Now, the larger-than-life story of The New Testament gets a larger-than life treatment in the stand-alone feature SON OF GOD. Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. It marks the first motion picture about Jesus’ life since Passion of the Christ, released ten years ago. MSRP: $25.99; Age Recommendation: 12 – 18


KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:



Black Nativity


Struggling to pay the bills, single mom Naima (Jennifer Hudson) sends her teenage son Langston (Jacob Latimore) to live with his estranged grandparents, Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett) in New York City. At first Langston resents their strict household, but with the help of new friends – and a little divine intervention – he embarks on an inspirational journey of self-discovery that brings the whole family together. MSRP: $14.99; Age Recommendation: 12-18


KIDS FIRST! Film Critic review:




25 Days of a Tropical Christmas

25 Days of a Tropical Christmas is a celebration of the holiday season incorporating beautiful illustrations with a variation of a classic melody. Similar to the 12 days of Christmas but extended with a tropical theme, this is a fun and entertaining read with beautiful beach- themed illustrations. Written by D.G. Stern and Illustrated by Susan Lane. MSRP: $1.99; Age Recommendation: 5-12








Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one. Starring Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould, Kerris Dorsey, Megan Mullally, Jennifer Coolidge, Bella Thorne. Rating: PG    ANNIE
Dec. 19
 Business tycoon and mayoral candidate Benjamin Stacks launches a campaign to take in Annie, a young girl who has been living with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan since her parents left her as a baby. Starring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne. Rating: PG

BIG HERO 6 (In 3D)
November 7

From Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” comes “Big Hero 6,” an action-packed comedy-adventure about the special bond that develops between Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit), a plus-sized inflatable robot, and prodigy Hiro Hamada (voice of Ryan Potter). When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo and catapults Hiro into the midst of danger, he turns to Baymax and his close friends adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago (voice of Jamie Chung), neatnik Wasabi (voice of Damon Wayans Jr.), chemistry whiz Honey Lemon (voice of Genesis Rodriguez) and fanboy Fred (voice of T.J. Miller). Determined to uncover the mystery, Hiro transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called “Big Hero 6.” Starring: Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez, Daniel Henney, with Ryan Potter as Hiro Hamada and Scott Adsit as Baymax. Not yet rated.

Nov. 14

A talented young musician on the brink of super stardom struggles with the pressure of her new-found success. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover, Aisha Hinds. Rating: PG-13


Nov. 7

Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Starring Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman. Rating: PG

Dec. 19

The Company of Thorin has reached Smaug’s lair; but can Bilbo and the Dwarves reclaim Erebor and the treasure? And, if so, can they hold on to it? Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richar Armitage. Not yet rated.

December 25th

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.  Starring: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski and Johnny Depp. Not yet rated.

Dec. 19

Larry spans the globe, while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever. Starring Robin Williams, Dan Stevens, Ben Stiller. Not yet rated.

Nov. 18

Super spy teams aren’t born…they’re hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, from destroying the world as we know it.Stars: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch. Not yet rated.


Holiday Gift Guide for Readers! Check out these great suggestions!

Looking for gifts for Readers? These are some of my favorites!


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I received a 3-month free trial and I just love this! Instant access to more than 500,000 ebooks  and 30,000 audiobooks! What else can I say?  This is just the BEST thing for a reader like me!   I am really enjoying this on my Kindle! 

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Price: $8.99/month (Gift cards: $25/3 months, $50/6 months, $99/12 months)


Next is our Holiday Gift Guide for Young Readers!


My Yellow Balloon
Ages 4-9, Oct 2014, Minoan Moon Publishing, $18.99,
With illustrations by former DreamWorks “Shrek” artist, this already award-winning hardcover book follows a little boy who loses his best friend: a bright yellow balloon. It gives kids courage to experience loss (from a move or a new school to a lost pet or family member) and a language for understanding change. Just like Oh, The Places You’ll Go! is the book for graduation, My Yellow Balloon is for anyone in tough times.

I love how this one gives kids courage! This is a Must-Read for all children ages 4-9.

This Is the Greatest Place

This is the Greatest Place!
Ages 5-9, Oct 2014, China Institute/ Tuttle Publishing, $12.95,
Created by internationally renowned children’s book artists, this book teaches uses one of the world’s most fascinating landmarks, Beijing’s Forbidden City, to show young readers how nature’s influence can be seen around us, and how people and animals can live together in harmony. Features a gatefold spread and lift-flaps.

This is a beautifully illustrated book about such a great landmark! My son and I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it as a holiday gift!

In The Forbidden City

In the Forbidden City
Ages 9+, Oct 2014, China Institute/ Tuttle Publishing, $19.95,
Similar to David Macaulay’s Castle, highly detailed line drawings convey the grandeur of Beijing’s Forbidden City buildings, gardens, and courtyards. This large format impressive book is part of We All Live in the Forbidden City, a dynamic educational program by China Institute about the history, culture, architecture, and life of imperial China as seen through the lens of the Forbidden City.

I love this book and actually haven’t shown it to my son because he loves landmarks and architecture so I am putting this one up myself as a holiday gift! I highly recommend as a Holiday gift for the older kids ages 9+.

The Principle Gange Book 1 The Principle Gang Book 2

The Principle Gang series
Ages 4-11, The Dugi Group, $14.95 each,
Book 1: Don’t Judge a Lizard by His Scales (Aug 2014)
Book 2: Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway (Oct 2014)
There are No Bullies Allowed in The Principle Gang, a new 6-book series that teaches three important anti-bullying lessons: 1) Don’t be mean, 2) Tell your teacher, and 3) Be a friend. Questions at the end of each book encourage kids, parents and caregivers to engage in thought-provoking conversations about family, friendship, community and fairness.

I like these two books because it is a creative series with important lessons for kids. I also love that there are questions at the end of the book to encourage important discussions.

Self Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this Holiday feature.

Holiday Book Gift Guide 2018

Books make great gifts! Here are some of my top choices!

These first ones are for adults:

Do you know someone who loves to cook? If so this one will be a hit!

INSTANT INDIAN: Classic foods from every region of India made easy in the Instant Pot!
By Rinku Bhattacharya

Hippocrene Books/October 2018

Whether you crave idli and sambhar from South India, Khaman Dhokla from Gujarat, Punjabi Butter Chicken, Goan Fish Curry or Bengali Red Lentils, or simply want to discover a new favorite, Instant Indian has something for everyone. Some of the delicious recipes in the book include:

–    Carrot and Beetroot Rasam – Spicy Carrot Beet Soup
–    Sevai Upma – Stir-Fried Indian Vermicelli with Vegetables
–    Kofta Pulao – Golden Rice Pilaf with Chicken Meatballs
–    Hakka Noodles – Indo-Chinese Mixed Noodles
–    Baigan Bhartha – Mashed Eggplant with Red Onions and Chilies
–    Bhindi Masala Subji – Stir-Fried Okra with Onions and Tomatoes
–    Patra Ni Macchi – Steamed Fish with Coconut and Herb Chutney
–    CheMeen Kari – Kerala Shrimp Curry
–    Adrak Saufwale Murgi – Chicken Curry with Ginger, Fennel and Thyme
–    Anda Rassa – Kolapuri Egg Curry
–    Rogan Josh – Kashmiri Fragrant Lamb Curry
–    Pork Vindaloo – Pork Ribs in Spicy Garlic Chili Sauce
–    Amritsari Phirni – Rice and Almond Pudding with Cardamom
–    Lagan Nu Custard – Indian Baked Custard
–    Kesar Bhapa Sandesh – Steamed Saffron Cheesecake

I like that the recipes are not complicated!

Rinku Bhattacharya is a Gourmand Award-winning cookbook author, blogger and cooking instructor.  She is the author of Bengali Five Spices Chronicles and Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors. Rinku was born in Kolkata, India and has a natural passion and love for regional Indian cuisine and uses it to share and connect with her cultural heritage. She has traveled extensively and specializes in adapting Indian cuisine in global environments and kitchens. Her deep commitment to using seasonal ingredients for Indian cooking is reflected in her recipes.  Rinku teaches very popular Indian cooking classes in the Hudson Valley area of New York and has been featured in newspapers, magazines and on radio.  She and her family reside in the Hudson Valley area of New York.  Visit her at

This next one is for those who would like to learn more about Bible Journaling!

Whether you’re new to Bible journaling or looking for fresh ideas, this book will lead
you on a rewarding spiritual journey. Success is not measured in the complexity or
polish of the art, but in a deeper, more personal connection with God.

Your relationship with God is unique. Shouldn’t your Bible reflect and celebrate that
bond?  In this introduction to Bible journaling, you’ll discover meaningful ways to combine art, heart and scripture—from backgrounds to hand-lettered verses to beautiful full-page drawings. BIBLE JOURNALING MADE SIMPLE: An Art-Filled Journey for Creative Worship (North Light Books; October 2018; Paperback; $19.00) by Sandy Allnock states that no expensive supplies or artistic skills are required…only a desire to honor and enhance your spiritual life.

To guide your creative worship experience, this book provides:
• Prompts to engage you with the text, then visually interpret Scripture in words and pictures
• Basic techniques for working with colored pencils, watercolor pencils and watercolor paints
• 21 step-by-step tutorials for drawing trees, flowers, skies, mountains, maps, water, light and other
popular themes
• Tons of inspirational page samples and suggested verses to illustrate
Downloadable icons and technique videos available on the author’s website

In addition to the book a companion workbook BIBLE JOURNALING MADE SIMPLE: Creative Workbook (NorthLight Books; Paperback; October 2018; $19.00) is also available.

If you like Bath Bombs and are the creative type this next book is a must-buy! 

I absolutely love this book and it is simple to learn how to make Bath Bombs and Body Scrubs!

This book will teach you how to create all kinds of delightful, natural, homemade treats like:

▪            “Candy Crush” Bath Bomb

▪            “Meet Me in Tahiti” Bath Bomb

▪            “Green Goodness” Face Mask

▪            “Pump It Up” Volumizing Hair Mask

▪            “Get Jiggly with It” Bath Jellies

My personal favorite is the “Meet Me in Tahiti” Bath Bomb!

More about the Authors:

Growing up in Minneapolis, Isabel and Caroline Bercaw always loved using fizzing bath bombs. So much so that they decided to make some of their own. During the summer of 2011, their parents Ben and Kim picked up $25 worth of ingredients to make homemade bath bombs as a science experiment. They decided to create their own line of bath bombs that contain a fun surprise in the middle. After successfully launching the da Bomb Bath Fizzers at an art fair, they met demand by making each bomb by hand out of their basement. Flash forward to 2018 and Isabel, 16, and Caroline, 15, now run a multimillion dollar business selling over 500,000 bath bombs a month with 150 employees. And it’s become a real family business – their mom is the CEO, and dad is the CFO/COO. The da Bomb Bath Fizzers are sold in more than 7,000 stores in all 50 states. All the bombs are made in Minneapolis and they use local materials as much as possible. Despite their booming business, Isabel and Caroline are still full-time high school students and even compete on their high school track team. The “sisterpreneurs” truly embody the fun, fresh appeal of the business and always looking to learn more.

If you are a fan of Harry and Meghan then this next one is for you! 

Celebrate the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with these lifelike cut-outs of the happy couple. Sixteen full-color plates include figures of the bride and groom, complete with accurate re-creations of the fashions they wore to pre-wedding events as well as on the day of the historic occasion. Highlights include the bridal gown, an exclusive design by Clare Waight Keller that was one of the year’s biggest fashion secrets and has already achieved iconic status.

I actually am a big fan and love this book!

Price: $9.99 and you can find here! 

Looking for an Inspirational story? Check out The Spirit of the Trail by Carrie Morgridge!

I really found Carrie Morgridge and her husband John’s journey very inspirational and interesting to read! It’s also a positive story about how you can achieve anything. You can find it on Amazon.

Do you have a Dog lover on your holiday shopping list? The Pocket Guide to Dog Tricks By Kyra Sundance is a must-buy!

With all the instructions you’ll need to get your dog thinking, moving, and its tail wagging, this handy pocket guide offers step-by-step instruction for impromptu training sessions. I really like this book because it makes teaching y our dogs tricks very simple! Even kids will like this book so it is not only for adults!

The Pocket Guide to Dog Tricks goes above and beyond in the most conveniently sized book for on-the-spot training. This book includes tricks ranging from basic skills like Sit, Shake Hands, Fetch, and Roll Over, to more out-of-the-box tricks like Tidy Up Your Toys into the Toybox and Get a Soda from the Fridge. Training your pup is important at any stage and helps increase your bond and communication skills for a better relationship and more energetic dog. Also, training on-site is not only convenient for you, but relevant for the dog to understand and remember a particular situation. With 500 images to show how to perform each trick step by step, The Pocket Guide to Dog Tricks provides easy to follow guidance for the best results. Perfect for traveling, a trip to the dog park, or to keep in your bag for immediate training, pup owners will love this book; and kids will too as a few of the best tricks from 101 Dog Tricks for Kids are added as a fun bonus!

You can find this one on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Target!

Now here are some of my favorites for the Kids!

QUEEN OF THE HANUKKAH DOSAS by Pamela Ehrenberg; illustrated by Anjan Sarkar (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), October 10, 2017, Ages 4-7)This is a colorful picture book that blends Jewish and Indian traditions as a multicultural family comes together to celebrate Hanukkah in their own special way. QUEEN OF THE HANUKKAH DOSAS is a fresh, modern Hanukkah story with a dosa recipe in the backmatter. Big siblings will relate to the challenge of getting little sisters or brothers to behave in this sweet sibling story.

I love gingerbread cookies and I really love this adorable story about this little Gingerbread Man finding his purpose!

TOUGH COOKIE: A CHRISTMAS STORY by Edward Hemingway (Henry Holt and Co. BYR, September 11, 2018, Ages 4-8)From author and illustrator Edward Hemingway — grandson of the famous novelist Ernest Hemingway — comes a delightful picture book that puts a humorous new twist on the classic story of the Gingerbread Man. Once upon a time, while Fox was visiting the Land of Holiday Treats, a little cookie, still warm from the oven, burst out of the bakery door, looking sweet and delicious. But what happens when the little cookie, aka the Sugar Cookie Man, realizes he is not as fast and tasty as he thinks? A terrific gift for the holiday season! In the back matter, readers will find a recipe and instructions to cook up your own Tough Cookies. Both a recipe for an edible cookie, and a recipe for a tree ornament.

Little Elliot the adorable Elephant is back with Merry Christmas Little Elliot! I just love this little elephant!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, LITTLE ELLIOT by Mike Curato (Henry Holt and Co. BYR, September 11, 2018, Ages 4-8) Best friends Little Elliot and Mouse go looking for Christmas spirit in this winter holiday picture book. This story is a perfect holiday read-aloud—a modern classic to share! And its theme about the true meaning of Christmas is one that will resonate with all. Scenes of sledding and skating and holiday fun bring lightness to the winter season. No matter where they go or what challenges they face, Little Elliot and Mouse are best friends—forever! This is Little Elliot and Mouse’s fifth adventure together! Fans of the duo will love this holiday special.

This next one is perfect for the younger kids!

A UNICORN NAMED SPARKLE’S FIRST CHRISTMAS by Amy Young ( Ages 2-6) It’s Sparkle’s first Christmas and Lucy is showing him how to celebrate. In pure Sparkle fashion, nothing goes as planned, but Lucy ends up learning that love— not presents— is what Christmas is all about. Sparkle has so much charisma, just like her peers and fellow beloved MCPG picture book characters like Pout-Pout Fish, Bad Kitty, and Love Monster. Unicorns are an evergreen subject and are especially in style and can be seen everywhere (gifts, clothing, toys, and even Starbucks!). The ethnicity of the main character is not specified, but Lucy has light brown skin and dark curly hair. The first book, A Unicorn Named Sparkle, was an Indie bestseller!

This next one is a really cute way to teach young children about voting!

 Voting with a Porpoise by Rock the Vote board member Russell Glass and children’s author Sean Callahan.

A pod of dolphins can’t find enough food in the reef where they have always lived and are faced with an important decision: stay in their long-time home or move on to more fruitful waters. Looking to the group to vote on what their future would hold, the pod’s leader, Finn, doesn’t want Petey to vote because “he’s just a porpoise.” However, when Finn finds himself with a 6-pack ring wrapped around his beak, which Petey helps him remove, he has a change of heart. With Petey’s vote, the pod swims off for a new reef where they happily find plenty of food and a prosperous new life.

This truly is a delightful story and I think that all young children should have this book!

This next one is another great gift idea from Dover Crafts!

Princess Party: A Scratch & Sketch Adventure

Three activity books in one! Coloring pages follow the adventures of five princesses-in-training that are magically transformed into pirates and battle a wicked queen in a faraway land. Then, using the stylus included, children can reveal the foil and
rainbow-colored backgrounds of 16 scratch art pages featuring these heroic characters. There are even drawing and doodle pages. Hardcover with special spiral binding.  Retails for $12.99.  This one is a lot of fun!

Stay tuned! There will be one more Holiday Book Gift Suggestions feature before Christmas! 

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above books and only feature books that I recommend. Images were also provided. No other compensation was received to post.