Antoine, July 12 Pet of the Week

soooo cute!

Antoine is an 11-year-old lap cat. He was given up because he was jealous of the other cats in the home and felt he had a proprietary right to their human’s lap. At the shelter, he loves to sashay from kennel to lap and back, and is full of love. He needs to be an only cat and will reward his new humans with love, devotion and lots of lap warming! The shelter took care of his dental needs, and he’s in very good health. To adopt or foster Antoine, email PetAdopt@longbeach.gov to speed the process, or call (562) 570-7387. Better yet, meet him in person at Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St., Long Beach, at entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors). Visiting hours are Wednesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Ask for ID#A712847.

5 Gifts to Buy Star Wars Fans

Did you know that two-thirds of Star Wars enthusiasts agree that the internet brings them closer to others?

Star Wars is one of the most iconic franchises of all time, and more than one billion Star Wars fans worldwide are still reeling from the series hiatus.

Are you currently looking for a fun Star Wars-themed activity to do with friends or family? Check out our guide to the best Star Wars gifts for fellow fans below!

1. Jedi Challenges AR Headset

As a huge Star Wars fan, I think the Jedi Challenges AR Headset is an incredible gift for any Star Wars fan. This product immerses you in the Star Wars universe like never before and is perfect for anyone who loves the franchise. The headset is also incredibly affordable, making it an excellent gift for anyone on a budget.

With the headset, they can experience augmented reality and take on the role of a Jedi Knight. They can fight against the Empire or the First Order and duel with Kylo Ren. If you are looking for gifts for geeks, consider also the baby Yoda phone case.

2. Mandalorian Tie Bar

Star Wars fans will love the Mandalorian tie bar! It’s the perfect gift for any occasion and will please any fan of the iconic franchise. This tie bar features a replica of the Mandalorian symbol, making it a must-have for show fans.

3. Darth Vader Cuff Links

When it comes to Star Wars fans, few things are as impressive as a good pair of Darth Vader cuff links. These are the perfect gift if you know a Star Wars fan who loves to dress up. They’re stylish and subtle, but they also show you a thing or two about the dark side of the Force.

These cuff links are perfect for any Darth Vader fan, and they are sure to appreciate the sentiment behind them. Made from high-quality materials, these cuff links are sure to last a lifetime and become a treasured piece of any fan’s collection.

4. Star Wars Quadcopter Drone

An excellent gift for any Star Wars fan is the Star Wars Quadcopter Drone. This drone is modeled after the iconic Millennium Falcon and will surely be a hit with any franchise fan. The drone is easy to fly and includes a built-in camera, making it perfect for taking pictures and videos from a bird’s eye view.

This drone is designed to look like an X-Wing fighter and can fly for up to 30 minutes on a single charge. It also has a camera so you can take aerial videos and photos.

5. Darth Vader LED Light

There’s no question that LED lights are all the rage these days. There’s no better way to show your love for Darth Vader than with this fantastic LED light. This light is sure to please any Star Wars fan, making it an excellent gift for anyone who loves movies.

Delight These Star Wars Fans

Look no further if you’re looking for the perfect gift for Star Wars fans! We’ve got a great selection of skills that will please any fan of the galaxy far away. So take a look and find the perfect present for the Jedi or Sith in your life today!

Check our blog for more helpful ideas!

Kid’s Club Pajama Party at 2nd & PCH

POP-UP KIDS CLUB PAJAMA PARTY

Join us for a pop-up kids club pajama party Wednesday, September 21st  10:00 am – 12:00 pm on the grand staircase stage.

Activities include:

  • Performances and meet and greets with surprise guests
  • Crafts at the picnic benches nearest Johnny Was
  • Complimentary face painting
  • Balloon artist

6400 EAST PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY LONG BEACH, CA 90803

Credit:  2nd & PCH

For All Mankind: Season Three

The propulsive new season of the alternate-reality series takes viewers to a new decade, moving into the early ‘90s with a high-octane race to a new planetary frontier: MARS. The Red Planet becomes the new front in the Space Race not only for the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but also an unexpected new entrant with a lot to prove and even more at stake.  Our characters find themselves going head-to-head as their ambitions for Mars come into conflict and their loyalties are tested, creating a pressure cooker that builds to a climactic conclusion.

For All Mankind: Season Three

By Dominic DiGravio, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12

Are you looking for a good TV series that’s quite literally out of this world? Well, if you are, then Season 3 of For All Mankind is the perfect choice for you! It doesn’t matter if viewers are not up to speed or have missed the first two seasons — this next series of episodes is so full of suspense and unpredicted circumstances that viewers are able to jump right in and enjoy it. Whether you are a NASA enthusiast, have a love for science fiction, or you really enjoy history, For All Mankind will not disappoint you.

For All Mankind is a science fiction drama series which poses to viewers the question, “what if?”  What if, for example, history didn’t happen as we know it? Season 3 episodes expose viewers to an alternative global space race that puts the Soviet Union in the lead ahead of the United States.  As the United States is defeated in their race to put the first man on the moon, NASA must now work with great speed and efficiency to make certain that this alternative history doesn’t repeat itself in the race to inhabit Mars!  This renewed challenge has a new twist in which a third contender enters the space race—an ambitious, independent entrepreneur.  Who will be the first to cross that finish line? You’ll have to watch the series to find out!

What I enjoyed most about For All Mankind is that you never know what’s coming next. Events are unpredictable and have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Some of the scenes are slow at times which allows viewers to critically think and imagine what’s ahead within the episode. I also enjoyed how emotionally intense this series is. You don’t have to be a part of that generation in history to appreciate For All Mankind. Anyone can enjoy these episodes which are brilliantly written, supported by a talented cast, and that offer such tremendous cinematography.

For All Mankind is a timely film series that provides us with a strong sense of teamwork which encourages people to work together despite division in society.  The NASA team, made up of diversified astronauts, works so closely on their race to be the first to reach the Red Planet.  There are plenty of obstacles on this path to success, yet with their strong communication, decision making, and optimism, the U.S. Space Team is determined to come out the winner.

I give For All Mankind 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Season 3 began streaming on Apple TV+ June 10, 2022.  This is a great series and one you won’t want to miss.

Celebrate Father’s Day With These Children’s Books!

Such a fun book to read!

THE ONE AND ONLY SPARKELLA MAKES A PLAN by Channing Tatum; illustrated by Kim Barnes (Feiwel & Friends, on sale May 31, 2022, Ages 2-6): In this second picture book from leading actor, producer and director Channing Tatum, a unique little girl wants everything to be perfect for her upcoming sleepover, so her dad steps in to show her the importance of planning and patience. This is such a delightful and fun book to read! I highly recommend it for young children (and especially with their dads!)

I love the characters in this book!

DUCK, DUCK, DAD? By Lorna Scobie (Henry Holt BYR, on sale May 3, 2022, Ages 4-8): In this laugh-out-loud picture book that explores the meaning of family, Ralph the dog unexpectedly becomes the new dad to a flock of ducklings, and soon realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew! I love the characters in this book and it is a really entertaining book!

Find out about these books and more at https://us.macmillan.com/mackids/

You can also find the books on Amazon.com.

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Photo credit: SoCal City Kids.

Looking for a quick and easy simple dinner on those school days?

All Clean FoodOrganic. Dinner. Done. Finally – a boxed pasta meal free from the top 14 allergens! Easy-to-make and done in 12 minutes, All Clean Food offers the only organic and clean ingredient boxed pasta meals on the market. Laura created these recipes in her kitchen when she could not find simple meal solutions for her kids with allergies. Vegan-Friendly, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, and Non-GMO. Available in 4 varieties, including Taco Pasta, Creamy Garlic Pasta, Savory Italian Pasta, and Porcini Mushroom Pasta. 

I love how quick and easy these are to make and it is a perfect meal for the whole family! I had the opportunity to try these and my favorite was the Taco Pasta!

Find out more at https://allcleanfood.com/

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

Octonauts: Season 4 * Fun, Educational – Lots Of Good Information About The Animal Kingdom

The Octonauts are a team of adventurers who explore the world’s oceans, rescue aquatic creatures and protect their habitats – from the bustling eco-system along the Amazon River to the deepest depths of the Mariana Trench. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Avalon N. comments, “Octonauts: Season 4 is a very fun and educational show to watch. It allows viewers to have entertainment while learning learn more about animals and become more educated.”

Kyla C. adds, “The DVD Octonauts: Season 4 is collection of episodes from the colorful, animated series with unique storylines and cleverly imbedded educational information. I would watch a cute scene, go back over it in my head, and realize that I just learned something!” Maica N. adds, “This collection of episodes has new creatures, new lessons and new adventures. If you watched this show when you were younger, the nostalgia will come to you immediately. However, if you are a new fan of Octonauts, you’re sure to be entertained because Octonauts Season Four is both educational and engaging.” Adult reviewer Tor F wraps it up with, “The Octonauts is educational, adventurous and appealing to younger audiences due to its fun characters and missions. Additionally, the musical score that accompany the action are terrific and help heighten tension when necessary. The educational aspects are hidden well within the adventurous missions.” See their full reviews below.

Octonauts: Season 4 

Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12


Octonauts: Season 4 is a very fun and educational show to watch. It allows viewers to have entertainment while learning learn more about animals and become more educated.

This DVD centers around Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen), Kwazii (Rob Rackstraw) and Peso (Paul Pattington) as well as other Octonauts as they undertake various adventures exploring the animal kingdom such as saving baby walruses and sea turtles.

Octonauts: Season 4 has a lot of cool things to talk about. First, this show is educational, especially about the animal kingdom. You learn things throughout the show and, at the end; there is a creature report where they teach you more. Second, the creature report. The creature report is a fun part of the show where they sing out facts about an animal and, at the end; they show pictures of that animal in real life to show you what they look like since they don’t always look the same when they are animated. Third, the theme songs are another really fun part of the show; there is a theme song playing in the background at the beginning when we first see the Octonauts. There is also a theme song to accompany the Octo Alert. Fourth, the show shows kids how to be kind and caring and help others. In the DVD the Octonauts often help other animals do lots of things; they help them find their moms or get to the ocean safely. This can teach kids how to help each other and how to be kind to others and how to care for the environment.

The message of this show is to always help others when they need it. If you can help, do it and make the world a better place. 

Octonauts: Season 4 gets 4 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 2 to 10. Adults will also enjoy watching it with their little ones. Octonauts: Season 4 is available now on DVD. 


Octonauts: Season 4
By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12


The DVD Octonauts: Season 4 is collection of episodes from the colorful, animated series with unique storylines and cleverly imbedded educational information. I would watch a cute scene, go back over it in my head, and realize that I just learned something!

This show, in Season 4, follows Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) as he teaches some young Octonauts to get their badges, which are earned by completing certain tasks. Some of the episodes revolve around these missions, while others are based on specific characters or events introduced solely for that episode.

Octonauts: Season 4 is similar in quality to previous seasons. It mostly keeps the themes, educational values and entertainment from the past seasons alive. The animation is colorful and bright, which makes the screen an interesting sight and compels you to keep watching. Although the animation and acting may not be quite the level of other animated TV shows, the bright colors, educational aspects and themes are important for young kids and make for an interesting show. One shortcoming is the unrealistic way the characters’ mouths move when they talk, with mouths moving differently than the words they are speaking. Some of the more suspenseful parts are less intense because their speech doesn’t quite seem real. Besides that, important educational impressions are seamlessly imbedded in the entertaining storylines. In one episode, I learned some interesting facts about sea creatures and their young pups. Whether it is facts about animals, environments, habits or anything else, education is the best part about this show.

The message of Octonauts: Season 4 varies, depending on the theme of each episode. However, the overall themes are about teamwork and kindness. 

Octonauts: Season 4 gets 3 out of 5 stars from me and I recommend it for ages 3 to 6. It is available on DVD now, so go look for it!

Octonauts: Season 4
Maica N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, Age 13

The beloved children’s show, Octonauts is back for its fourth season, now on DVD. This collection of episodes has new creatures, new lessons and new adventures. If you watched this show when you were younger, the nostalgia will come to you immediately. However, if you are a new fan of Octonauts, you’re sure to be entertained because Octonauts Season Four is both educational and engaging.

The DVD Octonauts: Season 4 follows Captain Barnacles (Ross Breen) and his crew of sailors who live in an Octopod in the ocean. This team’s purpose is to find and save ocean animals in need. Each member of the team has a different and unique duty to ensure that everything is in place for their rescue missions and their working together makes each mission successful.

Something that stands out in this show is the approach taken towards its educational aspect. Young children don’t want to sit down and watch a show that just states facts about animals. Octonauts Season Four uses a predictable format for each episode that keeps young viewers entertained, while learning new things. For example, “Creature Report” is an upbeat and fun song that plays at the end of each episode and summarizes the events of that rescue mission. During the song, viewers get to see a realistic picture of the animal the storyline is written about. Kids will be learning about these marine animals without even realizing it. This show also has a lot of diversity with the animals on the team, as well as the roles they play. For example, the three leading animals on the team are Captain Barnacles, who is a bear; Kwazzi, who is a kitten; and Peso, who is a penguin. With these characters alone, kids are introduced to three different animals. Additionally, the creators and writers of the show give each of the characters different positions for the missions. Barnacles is the leader; Kwazii is the daredevil who always goes on the quests; Peso is the medic; Dashi is the photographer and overseer at headquarters; Shellington is the scientist; Tweak is the engineer; Inkling is the oceanographer; and Tunip (along with many other Vegimals) is the helper in the Octopod. This showcases the idea that, even in real life, we have different roles to play as we learn to live and work together.

The message of Octonauts: Season 4 is stated in their motto – explore, rescue, protect. The Octonauts work together, committing their lives to exploring the sea and different environments so that they can help all of the other creatures. This might inspire kids to get creative, stay curious and explore.

Octonauts: Season 4 gets 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 2 to 8. Octonauts Season Four is the perfect DVD for parents to watch along with their kids. Even I enjoyed watching the team going on new quests. The DVD is available now so look for it. Make sure you check it out!

Octonauts: Season 4
Tor F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer

The Octonauts is educational, adventurous and appealing to younger audiences due to its fun characters and missions. Additionally, the musical score that accompany the action are terrific and help heighten tension when necessary. The educational aspects are hidden well within the adventurous missions. So, while children may think they are watching a fun adventure, they are actually learning. All the episodes are colorful and vibrant, which children will also enjoy. Octonauts is a great series for children that love adventures and helping animals.

The Octonauts are a group of animals that help protect creatures in the ocean or other bodies of water. Their adventures begin with reading or seeing the creatures, and then, if the creatures need help, the whole group of Octonauts assembles to create a plan. They go on adventures all over the world to save creatures.

The structure of the show makes sense and flows well. Each episode begins with Captain Barnacles and other members reading or seeing something associated with the creature they are going to save. Then, the Octonauts assemble and venture off to see that creature and help them resolve their problems. The episodes drew me in since the action occurs fairly quickly. I felt empathy towards the creatures that need help, but also the Octonauts when they struggle during their mission.

The vocabulary and concepts are suitable for the intended audiences. Even if the concept may be challenging to grasp, the Octonauts explain multiple times in different ways exactly what they are doing. For example, they explain what a tidal wave is with graphics on their TV and then other Octonauts join in and explain to one another what a tidal wave is. Repetition is excellent for learning, as is incorporating different learning styles. Visually, the show is vibrant and colorful. The images are definitely easy to identify; the animation is very crisp and clear. The DVD cover design is appropriate and matches with the episodic adventures within.

The viewer can click on individual episodes to watch specific ones, or play them all. Also, it keeps your place and remembers where you left off so you can pick up from there. It is also subtitled in English, which makes it useful for those wanting to learn to read or speak better English. After each episode, Captain Barnacles talks about Creature Reports, which you can find in the main menu. The Creature Reports are adorable; they give a little update on the creatures the Octonauts saved.

One big value to the show is that it involves the viewer in problem-solving. Since all the episodes are based around problem solving and devising plans to help creatures, it definitely encourages children to do the same in their own lives. It also teaches the viewer about different environments. Lastly, is the emphasis to work as a team, which helps you gain insight on problem-solving from another viewpoint.

Octonauts: Season 4 gets 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 3 to 9, perhaps older. Children may find this appealing because the educational aspects are hidden well within the adventurous missions. Not only will this appeal to the younger audience, but Octonauts will also appeal to the parents/guardians that are viewing it as well. Even adults can learn something new about aquatic creatures in each episode. Octonauts is appropriate for ages 3 to 9. The concepts and vocabulary are suitable for younger viewers; even if some concepts or terms may be difficult to comprehend, the team explains them thoroughly.

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk * Adorable selection of stories that teaches lessons about nature and friendship

Munki and Trunk: Ain’t no mountain high enough, river wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart! Our brave, curious monkey and big-hearted elephant live together in the jungle, as children imagine it: a playground with vines to swing on, trampoline mushrooms to bounce on, and a crew of jungle buddies to share endless adventures. Munki and Trunk explore their world together, facing fears, having fun and helping friends in a comedy adventure that s brim-full of heart, and built on a bedrock of friendship. Includes 8 tree-crashing, rock-smashing, water-splashing, fruit-mashing episodes! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Brad M. comments, “Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!” Ethan P. adds, “I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch.  It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes.” Cadence G. wraps it up with, “I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn’t). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I’m often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.” See their full reviews below.

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk

By Brad M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 18

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is an adorable selection of stories compiled onto one DVD. The fun adventures that Munki and Trunk experience are simple, yet engaging to watch. These best friends sure know how to have a good time!

This compilation of episodes follows two main characters, Munki and Trunk, as they explore the world together. Along the way, these jungle animals learn lessons about nature, their friendship, as well as their own unique qualities. The protagonists quite often face their fears with one another and help them grow as individuals.

An interesting part of the world the characters live in is how they communicate through noises and actions, rather than actual words. Brent Dawes, the voice actor for Munki, and Alison Lambole, the voice actress for Trunk, are terrific at making the animal noises comprehensible for the audience. I love how bright and fun the animation in this show is. The jungle and characters all have a very playful vibe that keeps the audience super intrigued with each adventure. For example, each tree is animated with a particular texture that is incredible to look at. One issue I have with the DVD is how repetitive it is, but I believe that is effective for younger viewers. The two goofballs (Munki and Trunk) are amazing at bringing creativity to really simplistic scenarios. For example, the two characters are chasing a rainbow and decide to run through it. When going through the rainbow they change colors like a chameleon and then end up swimming up the rainbow,

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk has many lessons to teach viewers. My favorite is that each animal is their own individual, yet they all get along and coexist so well with one another. I think we can use this in our lives – to not worry about other people’s perceptions of us, because we should all be kind to one another regardless. Another moral of these stories is how effective teamwork is in problem solving. It seems that every episode has some type of roadblock or obstacle to overcome, and only when the two friends stand together they can prevail over the problem.

I give Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk 4 out of 5 stars and recommend for kids 2 to 8. It is available now on DVD, so go check it out!

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk

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

I like this DVD because it is cute and funny to watch.  It makes me smile through all eight episodes, each around seven and a half minutes. Jungle Fun with Munk and Trunk DVD is approximately 60 minutes long.  The adventurous episodes include:  “Hot Stuff,” “Rainbow Rising,” “Bubble Trouble,” “Copycat,” “Hypno-Munki,” “Boing Boing,” “Sticky Situation,” and “Midnight Run.” 

Jungle Fun with Munki and Trunk is about an elephant and a monkey who live together in the jungle.  They have adventures that range from comedy to scary situations.  Munki is a very curious and friendly monkey, while Trunk is a big-hearted, kind elephant.  They are friends with everyone in the jungle and very nice to other animals in need.  The jungle is their playground.  The vines are their swings, the mushrooms are their trampolines to bounce on.  The graphics are super amazing and the colors are very bright. The animation can be compared to Disney’s animated movies.  The forest looks so realistic; it looks like a real forest with real animals.  The music and theme song are very pleasant and delightful to listen to.  There is no dialog in this DVD.

My favorite episode is “Rainbow Rising,” because it is very funny.  It’s about Munki and Trunk finding berries that makes their skin or fur look blue.  They go around showing everyone that they are blue.  Then, the blue wears off and they get upset.  Munki and Trunk soon see a rainbow.  They play in the rainbow and soon it makes them change colors, so they are happy again.  

There are multiple morals for different episodes but the overall moral is about accepting people for who they are, with their perfections and flaws. Nobody is perfect and true friendship is about accepting each other for who they are.  Part of the lyrics from the theme songs says, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, river to wide enough, or banana big enough to tear these two apart!”  Munki and Trunk are completely different animals, but they are still inseparable best friends.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars because and recommend it for ages 3 to 18.  Adults can enjoy this DVD with their children as well. It is available now so look for it.              

Jungle Fun with Munki And Trunk
By Cadence G., KIDS  FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

I like this film for its animation, but I typically enjoy films that have dialogue (which this doesn’t). The characters are cute, especially the hedgehog with his spunky attitude. I also like how colorful the scenes are. It is nice to see a change of scenery, since I’m often surrounded by snow, living in northern Minnesota.

This DVD is a collection of episodes about the jungle adventures of two friends—a monkey named Munki and an elephant named Trunk. They have fun together and meet new friends, but always seem to get in a little bit of trouble. They discover really cool things in the jungle and luckily can use many of the things they find to have some fun.

In one episode the elephant (Trunk) and monkey (Munki) start out being too hot, so they find different ways to cool off. They try to find shade and find themselves getting to a place that has snow, where they roll a huge snowball to try to get the hot spot cooler. At another time, they have fun changing colors and use grapes to turn purple, but then the rain washes away the colors. After finding a rainbow, they and other animals start changing colors. In their next adventure, Munki and Trunk find themselves in space because they chewed too much bubble gum. They start copying each other and get all the animals around them involved. Munki winds up hypnotizing all of the animals so they start acting like monkeys. In other adventures they find a plant that has a liquid that causes them to turn into Jello. They lose control over their bodies, while another liquid sticks to everything. There’s an ostrich that appears throughout the film that is always trying to protect her eggs.

My favorite part of the film is the music, composed by Andries Smit, because it is very catchy. It’s exciting and upbeat. It brings out the happiness of the characters. Some episodes on this DVD are a bit cheesy, but would probably appeal to a younger audience. I found myself laughing at one point when Munki and Trunk are squished in a bubble and get stuck in a tree. It is also fun to see all of the animals change colors and watch how excited they get. Listening to the animals just make noises gets a little annoying, but the animation, done by Infinite Studios, is great and gives lots of personality to the characters.

The message of the film is to trust your friends. Munki and Trunk show that you can get through almost any sticky situation by working together and using the problem as the solution.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this DVD to ages 4 to 8. The DVD is available now, so look for it.