Browsing Category "Review Blog"
22 Apr

Peas and Harmony (review + giveaway!)

I was compensated for this post with a free review copy of the book, but YOU have a chance to win much more by entering the contest below!

A potty-trained child is the gift of freedom. No more diapers, no more diaper bags, no more surprise wet spots on the furniture or the car seat or the lap dressed in dry-clean-only fabrics. A potty-trained child is everything, but as with many stages of parenting, it’s not an accomplishment easily won, and there will be tears (probably yours). To get to the Promised Land of Sunshine and Roses and Adorable Tiny Underpants at the far end of the Valley of TwoThreeFour, you must brave the Forest of Frustration, the Swamp of Despair, and the Bog of Eternal Stench (and you thought that last one was fictional…), and although the destination is worth it–I promise!–the reality is that there’s almost nothing to love about potty training itself. Almost.

As is true of most things in life, books make it better, and I have a really, really cute one for you. It’s not a book that vows to train your toddler in two days or work miracles with stubborn preschoolers, but it will bring some lightness and fun into what can be an otherwise joyless process. It’s called Go, Pea, Go! and the pun is not only intentional but integral to what has made the book an instant favorite in our house.


We have a lot (alotalotalot) of children’s books here, and while I’ll admit to having a soft spot for pretty much anything printed and bound and wrapped in a cover, it would be absurd to pretend that all books are created equal, to deny that some books are better than others. (My tastes are broad, but I still have standards, for goodness sake.) This book? Is GREAT. (I told the publisher I wouldn’t review it unless I loved it.) It’s a give-as-a-gift-to-your-friends book, a put-on-top-of-the-stack-so-your-kid-requests-it-more-often book, a buy-an-extra-copy-so-you-can-cut-out-and-frame-the-artwork book. It’s by a pair of animation artists (Joe Moshier and Chris Sonnenburg) who have tapped into that sweet spot between vintage and modern that makes the pleasure center of my brain light up like a pinball machine, and I tried to pick one page or spread as my favorite and ended up with several. (Apologies for the hoopty photos; I’m having camera issues.)




(And also cat issues.)

The bear driving the train is just…GAH, I love him. And the pool party! And the Gene Kelly penguin! And “tako” means “octopus” in Japanese!

We got the book back in February, and I swear to you Fox read it every single day (usually multiple times in a row) for at least a week. Two months later and it’s become one of those books any member of the family can pick out and no other member of the family will grumble and groan about it. Wombat, who’s well outside the marketing demographic, likes the book because it’s full of silly potty puns (without entering the territory of “toilet talk” most parents discourage), and we’re all still discovering clever details in the illustrations that give us a genuine chuckle.

The book comes with a potty chart and stickers, a page of music for a special song, and who knows, it might even improve a picky child’s relationship to peas. Sticklers of poetry meter will twitch a bit where the rhythm is a bit wonky, but if I can get over it, so can you. (Even Shakespeare has his moments, so iamb not one to judge.)

It’s really just a special little book obviously designed with care (I love the size and binding and rounded corners), and it has certainly made our potty-training journey more peas-ful and hap-pea. (I’m sorry, but I HAD to. Punsters are my peaple.)

Other peaple who are my peaple = my sweet peas in a pod:


Here’s your chance to win a copy of the book plus related merchandise from author Joe Moshier’s website Yip-pea!

To enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s what you want to win:

1. ONE person will receive a prize pack that includes a pea plush, pea beach ball, pea tote bag, pea hair clips, stickers, and a copy of the book. (I WANT THIS!)

2. THREE people will receive prize packs that include a pea beach ball, pea postcards, stickers, and a copy of the book.

3. FIVE runners-up will receive a copy of the book and stickers.

The contest runs from 4/22 to 5/4 at midnight EST. Winners will be contacted by email and must notify us within forty-eight hours of the notification email with their address and acceptance. Please note that winners can be from the US only.

To learn more about the book (and for more chances to win!), here are the rest of the blog tour stops:
4/23: Stacking Books
4/24: Geo Librarian
4/25: Art, Books, Coffee
4/27: Coffee for the Brain
4/28: Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms
4/29: Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books
4/30: Booktalking #kidlit
5/1: Unleashing Readers

Good luck, everyone, and hap-pea pea-ing! (Okay, I’m done now.)

(Peas out!)

30 Nov

Black Christmas (Sponsored)

Black Friday gets its name for what color business ledgers turn with all the extra income accumulating from holiday shoppers, and in that same vein, we’re hoping to have a black Christmas here at home, which for us means keeping er…getting our finances under control and out of the red. Historically, Simon and I have always been pretty willy-nilly with budgeting (read: we’ve never actually used a budget), but this is the year we finally buckled down and have attempted to establish (and stick to) a plan we hope will not only help us feel more financially secure on a day-to-day basis but also allow us to shore up for future expenses, from fun stuff like vacations and home improvement projects to looming things like college tuition for two kids (aiiieee!). Read more >>

White Rabbit

I’m late. I’m late. For a very important date with, uh, posting my second candy craft to remind you that today is your last day to enter to win a haul of Easter candy from Hershey’s.

Here’s the other thing I made, and although it’s not quite as easy as snapping pretzels in half, it will still only take you a few minutes, and everyone knows food tastes better when it looks cute.


Click through for the easy DIY, and don’t forget to enter to win the giveaway. As of right now, your chances are really, really good. (Y U NO LIKE CHOKLIT, INTERWEBS?)