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It Doesn't Take a Genius Book Review

Summer Camps are re-opening this year and It Doesn't Take a Genius by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is a great read to get the kiddos hyped for Summer. Emmett and his older brother Luke have always been "Batman and Robin," though they're quick to bicker about who's who. Spending the summer at a historic Black summer camp seems like a wonderful adventure for the two to share, but since Luke is there as a junior counselor, he seems to spend all of his time being everyone else's big brother, and ignoring Emmett.  As Luke seems to be moving on to new adventures, Emmett struggles in unexpected ways, especially in swim class and the "It Takes A Village" entrepreneurship class. Without his brother to turn to for support, Emmett works to build a new crew of "superfriends," who'll help him plan something spectacular for the end-of-camp awards night and celebration. Along the way, Emmett learns that no matter what, there can be many ways to defi
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Bedtime for Baby: The Last Tree

Once upon a time a group of friends were seeking a place to call home. The desert was too hot, the valley was too wet and the mountain was too windy.  Then they found the forest. It was perfect. The leaves gave shelter from the sun and rain, and a gentle breeze wound through the branches.  But the friends soon wanted to build shelters.  The shelters became houses, then the houses got bigger.  All too soon they wanted to control the environment and built a huge wood wall around the community. As they cut down the trees, the forest becomes thinner, until there is just one last tree standing.  It is down to the children to find a solution. Our Thoughts:   This is a story of awareness.  Truth can hurt sometimes but author Emily Haworth-Booth shares the reality of what has happened as mankind continues to build bigger and taller.  Albeit a tad grim, the story shows what happens when the people realize the error of their ways and make changes for the betterment of all.  Author Emily Haworth

Bedtime for Babies: Alone!

Alone!          There once was a boy called Billy McGill who lived by himself at the top of a hill. He spent every day in his house all alone for Billy McGill liked to be on his own... One day Billy hears the squeak of a mouse, which destroys his peaceful existence. So he gets a cat to catch the mouse. But the cat and the mouse make friends. So he gets a dog to chase the cat. But they all play together. So then he gets a bear... then a tiger... and on it goes, until Billy's house is so filled with animals that he has to move out. Will he find that he still craves peace and quiet, or is it better to have company and friends? This a laugh-out-loud story of growing chaos, with a subtle message about how it's good to have friends.  Our Thoughts : My niece dubbed this one her "Pandemic Read" because she spent so much time "alone".  Overall, we loved this book!  Full of deep, brown, Autumn-colored watercolor illustrations and rhythmic text Alone! is a fun r

Bedtime for Babies: The Greatest Show Penguin

Disclosure:  Many thanks to our partners at MM Publicity for sharing this book for our review. The Greatest Show Penguin      Poppy the Penguin comes from a long line of circus performers. Many skills have been passed down from penguin to penguin. However, Poppy soon decides that performing in the family circus is not for her, as she prefers to feel calm and in control.  But the hardest thing is not juggling, or riding a unicycle--it's telling her mum that she doesn't want to perform any more. Her bravery is worth it when Poppy discovers a better role--organizing and coordinating the whole show. And what a show it turns out to be! This tale of overcoming shyness and lack of confidence is both a funny and sensitive parody of the record-breaking movie The Greatest Showman, and a celebration of girl power! Our Thoughts: The Littlest One LOVED this book!  It's perfect for new readers and full of vivid watercolor graphics and a message too.  Young readers will enjoy Poppy's

Lucky Black Eyed Pea Casserole

Happy New Year! I first posted this recipe a couple of years ago but I couldn't let another day in the New Year go by without making at least one traditional New Year's Day dish. I remember my great grandma soaking black eyed peas, marinating pork chops and picking greens in preparation for the annual New Year's Day meal.  These were traditional dishes meant to bring good luck and prosperity all the year through if eaten on January 1st.  I've often shared the story of my great grandmother coming to visit us from November until March.  She lived in West Virginia and the winters were harsh so each winter we drove to West Virginia to pick her up as Fall ended and she stayed with us until her birthday in early March. She was a lady of few words.  I can't recall every hearing her say "I love you" but I have fond memories of watching her work magic in the kitchen. She was the best cook ever.   She had a knack for using anything in her pantry to ma

8 Things You Should Be Watching on Hulu This Month

Happy New Year! There are a bunch of familiar movies heading to Hulu this month.  Guess it's their way of helping us laugh off the stresses of 2020. January starts with the release of 3 in the Austin Powers series: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Austin Powers: Goldmember  Four Kid's Movies include: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Shrek Frozen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Well that's 7 flicks you SHOULD watch on Hulu this month and now it's time for the 8th.  That's where it gets tough.  Hulu has three Star Trek flicks and a collection of Stephen King movies so I can't choose one so I recommend that everyone be on the lookout for some of your favorite Star Trek movies and some Stephen King classics including Cujo. These are just a sampling of some of the new flicks hitting Hulu and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds for us.   Do you have Hulu? What are you watching?

STILLWATER Now Available on AppleTV+

  Got AppleTV+ and looking for something the kids will watch. We are really enjoying some of the new shows premiering on AppleTV+.  In addition to movies for the entire family there are some great shows for the little ones.   Recently, we had the opportunity to check out prevew episodes of a new series on AppleTV+ titled STILLWATER .  Siblings Karl, Addy, and Michael have a very special next-door neighbor: a wise panda named Stillwater. His friendship and stories give them new perspectives on the world, themselves, and each other . Our Thoughts : The animation is epic!  Two thumbs up!! Five stars!!!  The storyline is cute.  It's ideal for preschoolers and early elementary aged kiddos.  They're sure to fall in love with Stillwater, he gives off a sensei kinda' vibe and the kids liked it.  STILLWATER is one of those shows you can feel good about letting your kids watch.  Each episode teaches a practical lesson in a way kids understand.  Viewers are presented essentially with