2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Children’s Books from Quarto Children’s Publishing USA

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I received books from Quarto for this post. 





When my children where babies and toddlers, I read to them every day. Their favorite toy when they were pre-school age was a record player that came with books on record. They could play the record, and follow along in their book. All three of them could read before they went to kindergarten. Books have always been on gift lists at our house–for birthdays, holidays, and other important days. Giving a child a book sets them off on an adventure, and expands their world. There are books from Quarto Children’s Publishing USA for every age group, some are story books, some are picture books, some are “how to” books for kids. Here are just a few of the titles available:  (scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the fab giveaway!)

Quarto Children's Books

Quarto Children’s Books

The School of Art
Learn How to Make Great Art with 40 Simple Lessons
Teal Triggs, Daniel Frost
Wide Eyed Editions  $19.99

23 Things To Do Before You are 11 1/2
A practical step-by-step guide for things to make in your backyard
John Haslam, Mike Warren
QEB Publishing  $14.99

101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up
Be your own movie critic: the must-see movie list for kids
Suzette Valle
Walter Foster Jr  $12.95

Crazy, Zany Cartoon Characters Drawing Book & Kit
Includes everything you need to draw crazy cartoon characters
Dave Garbot
Walter Foster Jr  $8.95

Learn to Draw Disney’s Frozen
Featuring Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and all your favorite characters!
Walter Foster Jr  $9.95

How to Cook in 10 Easy Lessons
Learn how to prepare food and cook like a pro
Wendy Sweetser
Walter Foster Jr  $12.95

How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons
Learn how to design and code your very own computer game
Sean McManus
Walter Foster Jr   $12.95

First Wheels: Colors
Features 22 vehicles and showing ten different colors  (My 2.5 year old grandson loved this book!)
Susan Steggall
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books  $17.99

Field Guide: Creatures Great and Small
35 prints to color
Valeries Davies, Lucy Engelman
Wide Eyed Editions  $19.99

How to Look After Your Puppy
Find answers to all your questions
Helen Piers, Kate Sutton
Wide Eyed Editions    $9.99

How to Look After Your Kitten
Find answers to all your questions
Helen Piers, Kate Sutton
Wide Eyed Editions  $9.99

My Little Book of Sharks
Packed full of cool photos and fascinating facts! (My 8 year old grandson loves this book!)
Camilla de la Bedoyere
QEB Publishing  $15.95

My Little Book of Animals
Packed full of cool photos and fascinating facts!
Camilla de la Bedoyere
QEB Publishing   $15.95

Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth
Adrienne Barman
Wide Eyed Editions  $22.99

Ancient Earth Journal: The Early Cretaceous
Notes, drawings, and observations from prehistory
Juan Carlos Alonso, Gregory S. Paul
Walter Foster Jr   $19.95

Tell Me a Picture
Adventures in looking at art
Quentin Blake
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books  $18.99

A Journey Through Space
Take a journey through the solar system and beyond
Steve Parker, John Haslam
QEB Publishing   £9.99

Atlas of Adventures
A collection of natural wonders, exciting experiences and fun festivities from the four corners of the
Rachel Williams, Lucy Letherland
Wide Eyed Editions  $30.00

One Thousand Things
Let Little Mouse introduce you to this collection of first words to see and say.
Anna Kovecses
Wide Eyed Editions $16.99

The Wonder Garden
Wander through the world’s wildest habitats and discover more than 80 amazing animals
Jenny Broom, Kristjana S Williams
Wide Eyed Editions  $30.00

The 50 States
Explore the U.S.A with 50 fact-filled maps!
Sol Linero, Gabrielle Balkan
Wide Eyed Editions  $30.00

How to Build a Car
A highspeed adventure of mechanics, teamwork, and friendship
Martin Sodomka, Saskia Lacey
Walter Foster Jr  $14.95

The World Famous Cheese Shop Break-in
Daddypops says it will be as easy as 123 to get into the Cheese Shop…
Sean Taylor, Hannah Shaw
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books  $17.99

The Crow’s Tale
Courage and kindness are what really matter
Naomi Howarth
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books  $18.99

The Wild Swans
A beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale ‘The Wild Swans’ by Hans Christian Andersen Jackie Morris
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books $16.99

I Love Hugs
Hugs, cuddles, snuggles all are wonderful to share
Camilla de la Bedoyere
QEB Publishing $12.95

Dreams of Freedom
In Words and Pictures in association with Amnesty International UK
Amnesty International
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books   $18.99

My Big Book of Christmas Coloring, Songs & Activities
Holiday games, puzzles & activities for kids of all ages!
Walter Foster Jr  $9.95

150 Fun Christmas Things to Doodle
An interactive adventure in drawing holiday fun!
Christmas Crafts
Everything you need to get into the holiday spirit
Danielle Lowy, Kate Riley
QEB Publishing  $14.95

Spot the Reindeer at Christmas
Packed with things to spot and facts to discover!
Tasha Percy, Krina Patel
QEB Publishing  £4.99

Elliot’s Arctic Surprise
One little boy realizes that Santa Claus’s home is under threat from oil drilling.
Catherine Barr
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books  $17.99

With few exceptions, these are really nice hardback books that your child will treasure, and will be proud to pass on to their own children someday. The exceptions are the Christmas activity books and coloring books.

BUY IT: You can purchase any of these books and more at the Quarto Children’s Publishing USA website.

WIN IT: One lucky reader will win TEN CHILDREN’S BOOKS of their choice from the ones listed in this post. To enter the giveaway, use the Giveaway Tools form below. Good luck!

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Flash and Thunder from Invicta Challenge

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Flash & Thunder

Flash & Thunder

As a grandmother, I like to try to find toys, games, and books for my grandchildren that not only keep them happy and hold their attention, but also will help them learn something during the time they play with it. The Flash & Thunder game is one of the things that I feel is a good combination of all that. The game has enough action to hold the attention of even the shortest attention span. And the good thing is, they don’t even realize they are learning a history lesson while they play. My grandson, Owen, is autistic. He loves playing with the action figure more than anything else in this package that we received. Spencer, who is 13, loved the digital game best. In addition to getting to play the game, the novel that accompanies the game gives him strategy to use in playing, but he has to read to get the information, thus keeping his reading skills up to par even is he is playing online after school. All of this makes grandma happy, and makes me feel that the money invested in the package was well spent.

A new youth entertainment brand called INVICTA Challenge combines an action-packed video game, graphic novel, maps and operation packet that inspire kids to read and then lead. Children ages 8 to 14 immerse themselves in historical situations where they make decisions that determine success or failure. Flash & Thunder ($34.99) is the first in a series of Leadership Decision Challenge boxed and app-based games. Now all kids can walk in the shoes of an American hero.

Collectible figure

Collectible figure

The concept behind INVICTA Challenge came from Jim Murphy, a former Marine who went on to a successful career in the toy industry. His passion for fun and games sparked the idea for a product that encourages literacy, teaches history and fosters leadership.

“We want kids learning about heroes and leaders who can inspire them to their own greatness in a fun and compelling way,” explains Murphy who has had stops at Mattel and Spin-Master. “INVICTA is an acronym for seven key leadership traits: Integrity, Nobility, Valor, Initiative, Curiosity, Tenacity and Accountability. These traits are infused with every story. Our stories are highly visual and contain plenty of action and adventure.”


Their first game, Flash & Thunder, tells the true story of a Native American paratrooper on D-Day. Your kids can challenge themselves as Turner Turnbull, a young lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne, in this action-packed game.
See if you can lead paratroopers on D-Day when reliving this true leadership story.


Flash & Thunder includes an operations packet, 2 detailed maps, 108-page graphic novel and collectible paratrooper figure, which tie to a free-to-play mobile game. Players make the decisions that determine history!

BUY IT: You can purchase Flash & Thunder at Barnes & Nobles stores, and online at Amazon.com 

WIN IT: One lucky reader will win a Flash & Thunder Game. Use the Giveaway Tools form to enter.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Just Add Milk

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just add milk

This post is brought to you by Griddly Games.

Just Add Milk is a fun science experiment packaged in a milk carton! Young scientists can explore surface tension and experiment with around the house ingredients such as food coloring, soda pop and vinegar to watch what happens when you just add milk.

Just Add Milk

Just Add Milk

Both girls and boys ages 5 and up will have loads of fun with this. After completing the many other included experiments, create colorful designs and turn them into mouse pads and window sun-catchers with the instructions that are included. 

BUY IT: Just Add Milk can be purchased at Open Sky or on Amazon.com and retails for $14.49.

WIN IT: One lucky reader will win one of the Just Add Milk Science Experiments. Use the Giveaway Tools form below to enter.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Artsy Clothing From Yizzam

xmas_gift 125I received a Tee Shirt from Yizzam. 




If you have an art lover in your circle of friends, you will be able to find the perfect gift for them at Yizzam.  This company has so many great works of art imprinted on clothing. Most all of the great artists are represented, including Van Gogh, Monet, Escher, and O’Keefe.


Van Gogh

Van Gogh “Irises”

You can get these wonderful prints on Classic Tee Shirts, Hoodies, Tanks, Leggings, and more. They are available in kids size Small through adults size 4X.


Escher “Eight Heads”

You can also have your own art custom printed on shirts and leggings. What a great way to celebrate your artist friends creations! Prices range from $19.99 for kids Tees to $69.99 for Men’s hoodies, and can be purchased at Yizzam.com.

 Space Galaxy Cepheus Star Clouds Leggings

Space Galaxy Cepheus Star Clouds Leggings

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Zoonicorns Giveaway

I received product from Zoonicorns. 

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If you have a baby, toddler, little girl or little boy on your gift list, the Zoonicorn’s will make a great gift for them. They are soft and snuggly, and just the right size to sleep with, or carry around all day. The two little girls I gave Zoonicorns to loved them immediately!

My neighbor's daughter, Gracie, with Pro

My neighbor’s daughter, Gracie, with Valeo the Zoonicorn.

Zoonicorns are a cross between a real live animal, the Zebra, and a mythical creature, a Unicorn. They come in four colors, Pink, Blue, Green, and Purple. The Blue one is named Valeo; The Pink one is Aliel; the Green one is Ene, and the Purple one is Promithea. They are all featured in a story book about them, Buffy Meets the Zoonicornsby Mark Lubratt and illustrated by Sara Weingartner.

In Buffy Meets the Zoonicorns,  Buffy feels a little ignored and wants the freedom that the older animals have.  Within Buffy’s dream, she meets the Zoonicorns and learns to appreciate the balance of freedom and responsibility.  After waking up from her dreamland adventure, Buffy quickly realizes how much she appreciates her life… just as it is!   Each book includes a life lesson for positive reinforcement.

BUY IT: You can purchase Zoonicorns Plush Toys and Books at the Zoonicorn website; or at Amazon.com.

WIN IT: Two winners will each win one Zoonicorn! To enter the giveaway, use the Giveaway Tools form below.