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.

Scare Up Extra Smiles This Halloween With New SCARY! SOX Line Of Frighteningly Fun Kids, Tweens & Women’s Socks!

These are too cute!

Popular New SMILE! SOXBrand Unveils SCARY! SOX Line To Help Kids Scare Up Extra Smiles (And Candy!) 

Forget theghosts, goblins and cobwebs – the most frightening part of Halloween for most kids is not having the right costume to wear. Fortunately, a new line of socks from the makers of the recently-introduced SMILE! SOX brand will make dressing scary an easier feat than ever before.

Introducing SCARY! SOX–a bewitchingly fun line of high-tube pumpkin-orange socks for kids and Moms featuring six hauntingly scary faces ready to go toe to toe with every zombie, ghoul and vampire they encounter Halloween night.

Available now on the  www.smilesox.com siteSCARY! SOX are sold as 3 pair packs: 

  • Kids (12” Tube Socks; One Size Fits Most) – 3-Pair Price: $9.99
  • Tweens & Women’s (16” Tube Socks; One Size Fits Most) – 3-Pair Price: $11.99

SCARY! SOX™ are made of 98% soft polyester and 2% Spandex for maximum comfort and wearability.

Like SMILE! SOX, SCARY! SOX™ are lots of fun for kids and Moms! Wear them to a Halloween festival, to the Pumpkin patch, a school party, or on a Halloween Haunt. SCARY! SOX are also ideal gifts to send to friends and family or to give away as Halloween party favors. I received samples and just love them! I gave a pair to a friend and just had to keep the other pairs for myself!

More information:

Based in Southern California, SMILE! SOX™ is independently owned and part of the Keepers International family. Founded in 1954, Keepers is a pioneering wholesale distributor of premium-quality, high-fashion socks that began by serving independent apparel and shoe stores along with larger regional department and sporting goods stores located on the West Coast. Today Keepers’ socks are sold in Dress, Casual, and Sport styles for men, women and kids at stores all around the world.            

PBS SoCal 10th Annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest Celebrates Young Students on Their Writing Achievements


The winners of PBS SoCal’s 10th Annual Writers Contest. Photo courtesy of PBS SoCal.

On Sat., June 8 from 3-4:30 p.m.,PBS SoCal celebrated young students on their writing achievements at the Los Angeles Public Library in Downtown LA. Guests were welcomed with opening remarks from PBS SoCal’s Director of Early Learning Susie Grimm as well as Senior Librarian for the Children’s Literature Department of the Los Angeles Public Library Brooke Sheets. Hosted by KPCC’s Education Reporter Kyle Stokes, the celebratory and free event included an awards presentation and live storytelling from the contest winners themselves. The sixteen winners received their awards onstage while proud families looked on and took selfies with Clifford the Big Red Dog. Three of the winners will have their stories animated using their illustrations and they will air on PBS SoCal later this year. A few of the top awards went to the following children in local communities:

Four 1st Place winners:

Kindergarten: Ezra K. (Fort Irwin, CA)

First Grade: Melvin G. (Los Angeles, CA)

Second Grade: Moses H. (Carson, CA)

Third Grade: Hannah Y. (Porter Ranch, CA)

Four Genre winners:

Humor: Sathvik V. (San Ramon, CA)

Kindness: Allyson O. (Glendale, CA)

Science Fiction: Katherine M. (Los Angeles, CA)

Illustration: Brittany C. (Irvine, CA)

For a full list of the winners and to read their stories, visit: https://www.pbssocal.org/education/writers-contest/

The Writers Contest is locally funded by Compass Charter Schools.

Credit: PBS SoCal.

Books of the Week: Earth Day Books!

EARTH! MY FIRST 4.54 BILLION YEARS by Stacy McAnulty (Henry Holt BYR, on sale October 24, 2017, Ages 4-8)

  • This is a hilarious—yet fact-filled—new picture book, uniquely told from the perspective of Earth herself!
  • Earth! is filled to the brim with eye-opening, kid-friendly facts about our planet, brought to life with vibrant art by award-winning illustrator David Litchfield.
  • More than that, the picture book is an adorable imagining of Earth’s own personality, perfect for fans of Jason Chin’s Gravity or Peter Brown’s The Curious Garden.

I absolutely love this book! It is a fun read and I love the illustrations! I recommend this one for all young children!

NATURE GIRLS by Aki (Henry Holt BYR, on sale March 5, 2019, ages 3-6)

  • From the author-illustrator of The Weather Girls comes a new picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes—the ocean, the desert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest—and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.
  • All kinds of girls will see themselves in this adorable troupe of Nature Girls. With matching outfits and lots of spunk, they have all the charm of a modern-day Madeline.
  • Super cute art showcases the girls in scenes outdoors. Bright colors and simple lines bring this world to life!
  • Gently folded into the rhyming verse are fun facts and details about the biomes. Marine, desert, tundra, grasslands, forest—the Nature Girls love them all!

This one is really cute and children will love this adorable group of girls in this story! Recommend for young children.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above books and only feature those that I highly recommend. Cover images were also provided.

Free Kids’ Fishing Derby Returns to Mile Square Regional Park March 2nd!

OC Parks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Angler Chronicles invite families to enjoy the annual Kids’ Fishing Derby at the North Lake at Mile Square Regional Park on Saturday, March 2. Register for the free event from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and enjoy the derby from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“The Kids’ Fishing Derby has become an annual community tradition at Mile Square Regional Park and we’re thrilled to have families come out and enjoy a morning of outdoor fun,” Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do, First District, said. “We’re excited for youngsters to cast their lines, learn some new skills and spend time outdoors with their family.”

Kids ages 6 to 15 can fish for free at the Fishing Derby and compete to win multiple prizes in different age groups. The kid with the overall winning catch will get his or her name inscribed on the legendary Mile Square Fishing Derby Trophy. The lake will be stocked with more than 1,000 pounds of trout and catfish for the derby, and there will be a limited amount of fishing rods available for loan. Participants can learn fishing tips and tricks during fishing clinics, and food will be available for purchase.

Join OC Parks for a fun-filled day of friendly competition and fishing at Mile Square Regional Park.

Kids’ Fishing Derby

Date: Saturday, March 2

Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Derby Registration: 7:30– 8:30 a.m.

Location: Mile Square Regional Park

Address: 16801 Euclid, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Website: http://www.ocparks.com/milesquare/

Cost: Free

Parking: Free

Public Contact: (714) 973-6600 or (714) 973-3197

Credit: OC Parks.

3 Signs That a Family Member Might Need More Care Than What You Can Provide at Home

We all love our family members and especially the elderly, and it would be a joy to take care of them within the comfort of one’s home. The trouble is that it can be quite taxing on your family to have another family member live with you. On the contrary, it is always emotionally frustrating to have your loved ones stay away from your home in a nursing home. There are some instances though, that caring for a sick or an elderly person tends to take a toll on ourselves or their health needs surpass what we can provide at home. It is at such a time that you are left with no other option than to seek assistance from an institution such as Escondido assisted living. Here are 3 signs that your family member might just require more care than you can provide at home.

Chronic Illness

Taking care of a sick family member requires not only resources in terms of money, but also in terms of time and expertise. Often, we take care of sick family members with the guidance of a physician. For instance, diabetes patients can stay at home and still get their daily injections with our assistance. The problem arises when such a disease advances and we have to seek specialized care. At such a time, it is not possible to keep such as a person at home. It would be safer and better to have such a person stay at a hospital or in a specialized institution. Another issue arises with time. When a person requires constant attention, and maybe you are not able to provide that since you are constantly at work, then you should take them to an institution where they can receive such assistance.

Mental Illness

In the case of mental illness, it will depend on the extent of that illness. A case of mild illness, you can have the patient stay at home but under a watchful eye. There are times though when such an illness may advance and you do not have anyone to leave at home to check on your loved one. Employing a caregiver at home is extremely expensive and is out of reach to many people. The only option you are left with in such a circumstance is admitting your family member to a facility no matter how unpalatable that may seem.

Risks of Injury

When you begin seeing signs of an individual becoming frail and taking falls or just forgetting to do some ordinary stuff, then it’s time for him or her to get personalized care. It is very risky to leave an elderly person or any other person for that matter alone at home when they are faced with such circumstances. You never know when they are going to injure themselves when there is no one around to respond immediately. If you can afford a caregiver to check up on them, then it would be nice, but if that is not within your reach, then you will have to admit them to an institution so that they can be looked after round the clock.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Auditions in Los Angeles; November 11; 2-5 p.m. Skirball Cultural Center Calling all Kids who love film and love to be on camera!

Do you have a child who loves film, loves talking about film and loves to be on – camera? If so, we have a program for you – the national, KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, a project of the 25-year old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media.

KIDS FIRST! is pleased to be holding auditions at the Skirball Cultural Center on November 11, 2018 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The auditions are open to any child between the age of 8 and 18. To audition, you must register online at the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Audition site no later than November 2, 2018. Go to https://goo.gl/forms/RUx3NAVBiQxHVAbv1 to register. You will not be allowed to Audition unless you are registered.

As part of your Audition Registration, you will need to write a 200 word review of any film, DVD, TV show or web series released in the last 6 months, rated PG-13 or younger. Auditions will be limited to 30 children. Special consideration will be given to youth who are bilingual in Spanish and English.

Participation in the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics program is voluntary. None of the reporters are paid. However, the program offers a unique opportunity for youth to attend press screenings, press junkets and red carpets, learn to review films, present themselves  on-camera and interview celebrities. Many of the KIDS FIRST! Film Critics have found employment in the entertainment field as a result of their involvement in this program.

Brianna B. (age 18), comments, “Being a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic has provided me with skill sets that will last a lifetime.  Who knew from being a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, I would have one of my quotes on the back of a DVDappear on a national syndicated TV show and interview so many great celebrities.”

Rather than talk abstractly about media, the KIDS FIRST! reporters are given a voice and their reviews reach up to 7 million people per release through KIDS FIRST! blogs on Kidzworld.com, Grandmagazine.com, our KIDS FIRST! YouTube Channel and 48 additional publications, both print and online.

Gerry O.’s mom comments, “This program not only teaches kids how to be better communicators, more pleasant company and knowledgeable movie gurus, it gives them so much more. These kids will be able to socialize and speak properly, write great essays, participate intelligently in debates and become confident leaders. My son Gerry was invited to present some of his film ideas to Morgan Freeman’s production team after interviewing Freeman on the red carpet three times in a period of six weeks.

He has completed over 200 reviews and taken numerous workshop at YouTube Space LA, representing KIDS FIRST! as one of a small number of channels accepted. He has interviewed many industry greats including Brad Bird, Morgan Freeman, Ty Burrell, George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Zoe Saldana, John Ratzenberger, Tara Strong and many more.

“We are delighted to hold out auditions at the Skirball Cultural Center this fall, ” comments Ranny Levy, Founder and President KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. “In the past, we have offered our KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Boot Camps in Los Angeles on the Disney and Paramount lots, in New York City at the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network’s HQ and in Washington DC at Discover Channel’s World Headquarters. Some of our Los Angeles based KIDS FIRST! reporters will be present at this audition and help us select new member to their team. It’s exciting to audition Los Angeles kids, where many of them already are active in the entertainment industry.”

Who: Any child in the Los Angeles area, age 8 to 18 interested in film and entertainment.

What: KIDS FIRST! Film Critics Auditions

Where: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

When: November 11, 2018, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Register here: https://goo.gl/forms/73U1ws5BqHFolAry1

 

About KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media: The Coalition for Quality Children’s Media is a national, nonprofit (501-c-3) organization founded in 1991 whose mission is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children’s media. The KIDS FIRST! Film Critics are a group of 50+ youth reporters, age 8 to 18, nationwide who review new film and TV releases, interview talent and share their views on entertainment geared for kids. Their reviews and interviews reach more than 7 million people every month. KIDS FIRST! is supported by major entertainment industry leaders, teachers, librarians, media professionals, lobbyists, policymakers, child advocates, educators, parents and families nationwide. For more info, go to http://www.kidsfirst.org

Don’t Miss Out: The Habit Burger Grill CharClub Members Get Rewarded With Sneak Peek of New Mission Viejo Restaurant -Pre-Opening Events Include Fundraisers Supporting Capistrano Valley and Mission Viejo High Schools and Open Medicine Foundation-

 Burger fans shouldn’t fear missing out on special events at the New Habit Burger Grill opening in Mission Viejo, located at 27748 Crown Valley Parkway. It’s easy to be in the know – join The Habit’s CharClub! Members of The Habit Burger’s CharClub will be treated to exclusive food specials before the restaurant opens on April 25.

Local CharClub members will receive an exclusive invitation to enjoy a pre-opening event before the store’s grand opening, including:

  • Free Burger Day: The first 200 guests in line will receive a free award-winning Charburger, fries and a drink.

To join the CharClub, guests can visit http://www.habitburger.com/missionviejo to sign up and receive an invitation. The more than 2,500-square-foot Habit restaurant seats 64 people, plus additional patio seating for 32 guests. The restaurant will be open every day, 10:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

As part of The Habit Burger Grill’s commitment to the community, all are welcome to join in three fundraising events before the grand opening.  At each event, 100% of the proceeds raised will be donated back to the cause or organization.

  • Sunday, April 22, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Capistrano Valley High School
  • Sunday, April 22, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Mission Viejo High School
  • Tuesday, April 24, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Open Medicine Foundation

Supporting the Open Medicine Foundation is an important step in improving care for the more than 2.5 million patients who suffer from debilitating complex diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome. The Open Medicine Foundation funds vital research to find treatments to help people live fuller lives as they battle through pain and other unbearable symptoms.

High school clubs and organizations encourage student participation in community building and social activities at high schools, and the funds raised for Capistrano Valley and Mission Viejo High Schools will be used for a variety of upcoming campus functions.

Better burgers are just the beginning at The Habit where the menu also includes hand-cut salads, grilled sandwiches including line-caught, sushi grade ahi tuna, fresh chicken, and hand-filleted marinated grilled tri-tip, and sides including onion rings, sweet potato and French fries, and tempura green beans. Guests can choose from a variety of peppers, lemons, limes, and sauces at a complimentary condiment bar to customize the flavor of their meal.

The Habit is known for its award-winning Charburger which features 100% fresh, never frozen ground beef grilled over an open flame and topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, and mayo served on a toasted bun. Their restaurants have been serving the Best Tasting Burger in America exactly this way since the first Habit opened in 1969.

Connect with The Habit on social media at facebook.com/habitburgerinstagram.com/habitburgergrilltwitter.com/habitburger  and youtube.com/habittube.

 Credit: The Habit Burger Grill.

About The Habit Restaurants, Inc. 

The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit was named the “best tasting burger in America” in July 2014 in a comprehensive survey conducted by one of America’s leading consumer magazines. The first Habit opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. The Habit has since grown to over 220 restaurants in 11 states throughout California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Washington and Maryland as well as three international locations. More information is available at www.habitburger.com.