Holiday Gift Suggestions! Books, CDs and Apps!

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Wax on Crafts Holiday Projects
By Miriam Joy

Create bright and cheerful designs for the holidays, using a box of crayons and a few simple tools! With step-by-step instructions and over 400 images, you can turn inexpensive and everyday items into family treasures. Start with the basics using simple shapes, free-hand designs, leaves, and flowers. Decorate tile magnets, ornaments, and other mediums. Find out how to use wax with paper, wood, glass, metals, boxes, eggs, and felt. Discover twice-melted wax and add color to your designs. Learn the methods to use color washes, base coating, and floating color to create a stunning, eye-catching project. From colorful Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and snowflakes to Easter eggs, necklaces, and pumpkins, Miriam Joy will show you how to add a little color to a basket sitting in the corner, make a wonderful Christmas heirloom out of an antique sled, and turn that old saw into a harvest piece to set above the fireplace.


ize: 8 1/2″ x 11″ | 410 color images | 96 pp

ISBN13: 9780764349553 | Binding: soft cover

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. is a family-owned, independent publisher of high-quality, nonfiction books. Since 1974, Schiffer has published thousands of titles on the diverse subjects that fuel our readers’ passions. From our traditional subjects of antiques and collectibles, arts and crafts, and military history, Schiffer has expanded its catalog to publish books on contemporary art and artists; architecture and design; food and entertaining; the metaphysical, paranormal and folklore; and pop and fringe culture, as well as books for children.


Visit to explore our backlist of 5,000+ titles and learn about Schiffer’s exciting new releases. Whatever your passions are, Schiffer Publishing welcomes you to find your niche and scratch it with books from our catalog of specialized titles.


The Official ScratchJr Book
New book from the creators of ScratchJr makes
programming fun for kids ages 5-7

It may seem hard to believe but even 5-year-olds can learn to program—even before they learn to read and write—and many want to. Fortunately, No Starch Press, publisher of the best-selling introductory programming books for kids, has teamed up with the creators of ScratchJr to release a new book designed to make that promise a reality—The Official ScratchJr Book (No Starch Press, $19.95, 160pp., Nov. 2015).

Scratch, the older sibling of ScratchJr, is the de facto standard for introducing kids to programming, with more than 8 million users registered on their website. Designed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a block-based programming language—kids connect blocks of code to program interactive stories, games, and animations. The process is fun and makes programming immediately accessible to any beginner.

But Scratch wasn’t designed for the youngest of kids, and that’s where ScratchJr comes in. The result of a partnership between MIT and Tufts University, ScratchJr is a simplified version of Scratch aimed at introducing computer science concepts to pre-readers. Released in July of last year, ScratchJr is available as a free mobile app for any Apple or Android tablet and already has 1 million users.

The Official ScratchJr Book extends the ScratchJr app with hands-on coding activities and patient step-by-step instructions that make it easy for anyone (even those with no programming experience) to teach young brainiacs to program. Each activity in the book includes core math and literacy concepts, tips for grown-ups, and suggestions for creative challenges to take the learning further.

I love how this book makes it so easy for kids to learn how to code! The tips for grown-ups is very helpful too!

The Official ScratchJr Book is now available online and in fine bookstores everywhere.

Tales For Your Monkey's Mind

Hey Little Monkey – Come Down From That Tree
Steve Reedy writes short stories that will take readers on a fascinating journey in new book

In the spirit of Shel Silverstein, Roald Dahl, and Dr. Seuss, new book “Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind” is one that will spark the imagination of readers old and young.

As an emerging author from Dallas, TX, Steve Reedy has spent over 20 years studying the human body and the psychology of the human mind. During these years he became fascinated with the side effects of our social structure, how it affects children, and continues to affect them as they grow into adults.

“I decided to write my observations in the form of a children’s book. I did this for two reasons. First, I believed that the information would be more interesting if written with witches, toy factories, and rhyme. Second, it would be more fun to write,” Reedy said.

“Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind” will take you on a whimsical journey through the puzzling world of humans with hypnotic prose and fairytale fantasies. Unusual and odd, its quirky style and vibrant illustrations wrap its underlying themes in tales of wonder.

“Though I wrote ‘Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind’ as a children’s book, its themes are universal. It is my hope that it will enliven the minds of its readers, and be used as a proactive and healthy discussion tool,” Reedy said.

Each of the six stories in “Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind” will lead its readers through different perspectives of life and return them changed from the journey. So leave the safety of your tree and set your inner child free. With all the wonders you will see, it’s worth the trip; you will agree.

For more information, visit

This is a fun read!

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Balboa Press.


A fun CD for younger kids!

Award-winning children’s entertainers and Colorado family favorites Jeff & Page are poised to take center stage on the national scene with their fifth kid-friendly exploration of science and nature, Mighty Wolf, set for release on November 20.

Winner of the prestigious Parents’ Choice® and Creative Child Magazine Awards, Jeff & Paige have perfected a playful performance style that combines the duo’s vivid storytelling and first-rate musical abilities to capture their love of the outdoors and respect for ecology.

Wrote one enthusiastic parent, “They are also wildly creative, funny, and goofy, with a wholesome goodness that brings kids, families, and communities together through their music and shows.”

Within the setting of a family hiking expedition, Mighty Wolf features songs that touch upon such topics as insect migration, Arctic adaptations, keystone species, ladybug ecology, spider anatomy, lightning safety, scavengers, nature appreciation, ungulates, and the Appalachian Trail, interspersed with colorful, informative narrative.

From Mighty Wolf’s title track, which doubles as an a cappella tribute to Jeff & Paige’s son Wolf and is structured like a Renaissance canzonetta, to “The Great Monarch Migration,” a graceful acoustic song about a butterfly’s life cycle, Mighty Wolf is fully committed to its message, yet consistently maintains top-notch musical standards.  Album highlights include a big vocal number with a great dance beat, “Black Widow,” which provides plenty of opportunities for kids to get dizzy by spinning in circles, “Triple Rainbow,” which just might become the latest and most ridiculous kids’ dance craze, “Grandma Gatewood,” an ode to the first woman ever to hike the Appalachian Trail, and “Dead and Delicious,” a real showstopper about roadkill, sung by a hungry raven!  Listeners will note influences ranging from Primus, Ween, and Pink Floyd to The Beatles and Boards of Canada.

The husband-and-wife team of Jeff & Paige met in graduate school at the Audubon Expedition Institute, where both were studying Environmental Education.  After receiving their Master of Science degrees, Jeff Kagan and Paige Doughty decided to make the stage their science classroom and music-loving families their students.  Based in Boulder, Colorado, they’ve released four albums and played well over 600 eco-friendly shows since hitting the boards with their first performance in 2007.

Previous Jeff & Paige albums include Get Outdoors (2013), 21st Century Energy Superheroes (2011), Songs from the Trail (2009), and Rocky Mountain Tunes for Rocky Mountain Kids (2007).

Visit Jeff & Paige’s website HERE.


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Once you open the pages of this book, we are certain you will be reaching out to touch the images that nearly jump off of the pages. Open the gates of the Wonder Garden to explore five of Earth’s most extraordinary habitats, each filled with incredible creatures and epic scenery. Trek through the Amazon Rainforest, travel to the Chihuahuan Desert, dive in the Great Barrier Reef, delve deep into the Black Forest and stand on the roof of the world – the Himalayan Mountains – to see nature at its wildest. Breathtaking, engraved illustrations bring to life Earth’s spectacular Wonder Garden.

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This oversized format is perfectly kid-sized in its ability to inspire a sense of adventure in little world explorers. The full page illustrations include the types of details that make kids want to make pretend passports and pack their bags for an imaginary trip on a plane. Tip: kitchen chairs are great for setting up pretend airplane seating and Atlas of Adventures is fantastic airplane reading material.

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Animals have always been a source of excitment for kids. Their names are fun to say (“elephant!” “hippopotamus!”), their sounds are fun to imitate (“roar!” “ribbit!”), and they come in all shapes and sizes. Creaturepedia is setup perfectly for a daily bedtime story and learning adventure all in one. Meet ‘the architects’, the ‘noisy neighbors’, the ‘homebodies’, the ‘forever faithfuls’, the ‘champions of forgetfulness’ and more in this alphabetically ordered encyclopedia.


Casey’s Bright Red Christmas
Written by Holly Dufek, Illustrated by Paul E. Nunn | Octane Press | Ages 4-8 | 32 pages | Hardcover | $14.99
It’s Christmas time at Happy Skies Farm! Tillus the worm, Big Red, Sammy and the rest of the team are excited to celebrate the season. But Casey the farmer is busy working: feeding animals, repairing fences and planning for the year ahead. With so much to do, Casey wonders if she’ll have time to prepare for the holidays. That’s when Tillus and the team unite to make this Christmas extra special for their busy friend.

Published by Octane Press, known for their award-winning tractor books, “Casey & Friends” uses photos of CASE IH equipment in real farming situations with cartoon characters to explain how modern farm equipment works in a factual and fun way. Author Holly Dufek, a seasoned educator and national curriculum writer, joins Paul Nunn, Licensed Artist for Disney and Lucas Film, to help kids make the connection with the farm equipment they see in the countryside and the food on their table.

More about “Casey & Friends” books at

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Country Store takes children on epic and fun-filled adventure


Tim Noah, who has received 9 Emmy awards for his work as a composer and producer, has written, illustrated and produced a new, children’s story, song, and picture book titled Country Store.


This delightfully told story is a musical frolic in nature – a whimsical adventure that shares the joy of friendship, the thrill of real and imagined adventures and a deep appreciation for the natural world.


Singing a happy refrain, a boy with a nickel and his faithful dog set off for the Country Store. They are soon joined by two more pals and a simple trek turns into an epic adventure.


Through twists, turns and hair-raising surprises, the boy reaches his final destination. Surrounded by his friends, he discovers it was all about the journey.

Goin’ to the Country Store

Written by and Illustrated by Tim Noah


List $12.95

64 pages Paperback  8 1/2″ X 11″ full color, is available on Amazon

Link to download song in the book

Also available in Kindle in E-book format (Book and Audio Track)

A book/CD combination can be ordered through the web site:

Publisher: CreateSpace September 15, 2015

ISBN-10: 1517305357  ISBN-13: 978-1517305352


Music MP3 of Tim Noah playing Country Store


For more information visit

And the one to keep a look out for in 2016!


Ben Rudnick and Friends
A Frog Named Sam: A Musical for Children (Soundtrack)
Bartlett Ave. Records
22 January 2016

The award-winning music of Ben Rudnick and Friends, pioneers of the kindie music scene, has delighted families for more than fifteen years.  Now Ben Rudnick and Friends’ most requested song, the beloved “A Frog Named Sam,” leaps onto the stage with the January 22 release of the band’s eleventh album, A Frog Named Sam: A Musical for Children (Soundtrack).

The song “A Frog Named Sam” has stood the test of time since 2009, and it’s easy to see why.  It captures a pond full of frog essence, and its musical sophistication and tongue-in-cheek humor, amphibian and otherwise, are completely irrepressible.

A Frog Named Sam: A Musical for Children includes other favoriteBen Rudnick and Friends songs (“Race Car,” “I Got a New Friend”), introduces new, sure-to-be-classic tunes (“The Adventure Song,” “When Something’s Got You Terribly Blue”), and features a reimagined, more fun than ever disco version of “Macaroni and Cheese.”  A bonus track, “Coney Island Crazy,” showcases Ben Rudnick and Friends saluting a classic American vintage amusement park with some classic American rock ‘n’ roll.

All of these Ben Rudnick and Friends songs are drawn from A Frog Named Sam: A Musical for Children, which spins a yarn of adventure while exploring the joys of achieving sustainability, both in friendships and in the natural environment.  Sam is a frog, of the rock star variety, who has just returned from an exhausting round-the-world tour.  The play begins with Sam coming home to his pond, feeling tired and grumpy.  Anticipating a nice rest, Sam is distraught to find the pond in disrepair, overgrown, and practically waterless.

As if that weren’t enough, an alien, Tripp, crash lands into the pond, making Sam even grumpier.  Tripp, however, turns out to be a blessing in disguise and offers to take Sam on a galactic peregrination with the purpose of learning how to repair the damaged pond.  With songs that celebrate Sam and Tripp’s new friendship, the musical describes their interstellar efforts to save the pond.

Winners of seven Parents’ Choice® Awards and affectionately nicknamed “the Grateful Dead for kids,” Ben Rudnick and Friendscreate a jam band dynamic that takes their concerts and recordings to a stratospheric level.  The band’s instantly identifiable brand of adventurous musicianship soars spectacularly across a spectrum of bluegrass, western swing, disco, reggae, country, folk, and the many flavors of rock.  According to Dave Loftin (The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl), “[Rudnick] and the band are so musically gifted that they almost create their own style of music.”  Kids’ music authority Stefan Shepherd (Zooglobble) enthused, “The band just sounds GOOD.”

Since 2000, Ben Rudnick and Friends have been joyfully laying down the soundtrack of families having fun together.  The band’s previous albums include Love is a Superpower (2012), Live in Lexington: Under the Copper Beech (2011), It’s Santa Claus! (2010), A Frog Named Sam(2009), The Challenger Baseball Song and Other Hits (2007), Grace’s Bell (2007), Live at The Playground: WERS 88.9 FM Boston (2005),Blast Off! (2004), Fun and Games (2002), and Emily Songs (2000).

A Frog Named Sam: A Musical for Children (Soundtrack) will be available at,,, bandcamp, and iTunes.
Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above to facilitate this post.




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