Book Review - Bing & Nero: Boy + Robot = Fun!

~ Posted on Monday, May 05, 2014 at 6:47 AM ~

As a mother of a 5 years old boy who is crazy with robot stuff at the moment, this book is just perfect! I have read this book 6 times in the span of 2 days. So happy I was with this book that I must get this review up as soon as I possibly can to help spread out the word about it.

Title: Bing & Nero: Boy + Robot = Fun!
Author: I L Williams, Inci Alper (Illustrator)

Publisher: Northern Phoenix (March 26, 2014)
ISBN-13/-10:  978-8293353003 / 8293353007
Paperback:  36 pages

Description from the product page:
"“The perfect story for every child who has ever wanted their own robot.” Share a day with an inventive young boy in a story that celebrates creativity, friendship and fun! Bing wants a dog. But his mother says a dog is out of the question. What´s a young boy in need of a friend to play with on a boring Saturday morning to do? Why, make his own friend! And what a friend his new creation is! The product of Bing´s rich imagination and household junk from the basement, Nero is a metallic wonder. From the moment he is switched on, the house is filled with fun! And when they take to the sky for a late afternoon flight, boy and robot are in for a joyous ride that celebrates their friendship. This debut book from I.L. Williams gives young readers an opportunity to share an exciting experience many dream of with a young boy in a story that showcases creativity, friendship and fun. An excellent book with vibrant illustrations, for parents and children to enjoy together."

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Firstly, the illustration is very nice. I love the details drawn and reading this book together with our 5 years old boy is just a wonderful delight! The pictures are on the left hand side while the text is on the right side.

As our 5 years started his pre-K this year, I decided to read through word by word on each page (instead of summarizing the story and telling a simpler version based on his understanding which I previously do), stopping from time to time when there are words I think he may not hear before and then explaining to him what the words meant. I can see him being very interested in this book, as he can relate himself with Bing, the main character in this book. Like Bing, our boy wanted a pet dog too but we told him that he is too young to care for a dog now. Other than that, our boy is very much into robot stuff at the moment so to have this book to read through is very exciting and fun!

I use the opportunity from this book to teach our boy to:

- Not whine and complain when he is bored. I told him to emulate Bing, even though he is bored and do not have a pet dog, he still finds way to fill up his time and uses his brain to create the robot etc.

- Have proper planning when trying to come up with something. In one of the page illustrated, I showed our boy a blueprint drawing of the robot and some crumpled papers next to it. I explained to our boy that we need to draw or write out our ideas on paper so that we can see clearly what we wanted to do / make.

- Not throw tantrum when things go wrong. In one of the page, Bing realised he made the robot wrongly but that does not deter him from continuing his work, he just rectify his mistakes and move on.

- Set goals and works towards achieving the goal.

I use the opportunity to play with our 2.5 years old girl when I read this book to her. I came up with my own version of a simpler and easier to understand version for her due to her shorter attention span at the moment. I got her to point out where the cat is on some pages, making it a fun hide and seek game. I also got her to imitate some of the expressions shown by Bing and got her to tell me the names of the objects I pointed to her from the book.

In summary, it is a very fun book on friendship and adventures with a robot friend and encourages creativity, imagination and sense of hope to make your dreams come true. I can definitely see this book being read over and over and over again. Highly recommended!!

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You can get this book from Amazon. You can have a look at the animated video here or find out more from the website.

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Product Review - Victoria's Class

~ Posted on Friday, May 02, 2014 at 7:49 AM ~

Few months ago, I received an email on the possibility to review some hair clips. I initially declined the offer and kindly told the owner that our girls' hair is a bit short to be clipped with anything. The owner assured me that her clips will grip well even in their fine short hair. I thought 'Oh well, let's see how this work out!' and we went ahead with the review. Without further ado, check out my review below...

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About the company:
"Victoria´s Class is a mum-owned company dedicated to giving you the very best of girl´s hair accessories, with a focus on exclusiveness, quality and comfort. The company was founded by Thassia Dezan, who realized there was no place where you could find authentic hair accessories for her and her daughter. While most hair accessories shops seemed to be selling unattractive accessories which were disappointing in quality and poor in originality and authenticity, Thassia started designing and making different and exuberant accessories to fit her and her daughter´s every outfit. The first head bands and hair clips received a lot of compliments for their quality and uniqueness which gave Thassia the impetus to turn hard work and inspiration into to a booming on-line store.

The company is named after her daughter, Victoria, who is naturally the biggest inspiration for her design work and class is related to the group of beautiful girls, such as Victoria, which our cute hair accessories are intended for. Victoria´s class accessories are freshly designed by Thassia and handmade by a team of master artisans in The Netherlands committed to providing accessories with superior craftsmanship quality and functionality with classic, yet timeless styles which can´t be found anywhere else. Our goal is that, whether you have a special event coming up, need something for a photo shoot or simply want a beautiful neat hair style for school or every day use, you will find something just perfect in our shop."

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I browsed through the website and finally decided on the "Pink & Beige Interchangeable Headband 3 in 1" and the "Isa Hair Clip Set". You have no idea how long it took for me to finally settle on these 2 items. There are just so many gorgeous looking hair accessories in the website!

Let's proceed with the 1st review for the "Pink & Beige Interchangeable Headband 3 in 1". I picked this as I love things with multi-purpose functions, you know, things you can use in more than 1 way.

It consists of an elastic headband and a matching alligator clip which can be used together or separately to provide 3 different results: headband, hairband and hairclip.

Here is how it looks on our girls, totally love the striking pink color, very eye-catching and the elastic band is snug, holds on perfectly and just loves how demure our girls look with it!

 

Moving on to our next review on the "Isa Hair Clip Set". I picked this as I love the color combination in this set! This set consists of five boutique bow hair clips in the coordinating ribbons: heart print, vivid blue, daisy print, flower print and coral pink polka dots.

Here is a closer look on the hair clips. The bows are made of grosgrain ribbon. I would prefer it if the clip is covered up completely with the ribbon as currently, the bottom clip is not covered. Just my personal OCD habit hahaha...

(** Note: I have informed the owner about my OCD observation and she helpfully responded about the partially lined hair clips: "I don't cover the bottom part because that way it doesn't grip so well. The bottom part of the hair clip has a little curving metal that sticks better in the grip placed on the top (inside) part of the hair clip when closed. If I cover the bottom with grosgrain, it flattens up the metal curve and it has a negative effect on the grip feature. Therefore the clips are partially lined for an optimal hold.") So, okay, just the OCD me, apologies for not realising that there is a valid reason for the cover not being covered up with ribbon. Good to know!

Here is how it looks on our girls...

The hair clips are of good quality, easy to put on and I actually use it a couple of times when we go out! And true enough as mentioned by the owner, the hair clips stay strong even on our girls' fine short hair. Love it!

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You can browse for more products at www.facebook.com/victoriasclass or http://www.victoriasclass.com/default.asp

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Do note that I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the products in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

iPad App Review - Dinosaur Puzzle and Play

~ Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 8:02 AM ~

Our 5 years old boy loves dinosaurs and to have the opportunity to review this app is just awesome! I can tell by our kiddos excitement on this app the moment I tapped to start it and upon seeing the main screen, we got scared when the dinosaur (T-rex) roared at us!

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* Title: Dinosaur Puzzle and Play
* Price: $0.99
* Category: Entertainment
* Released: Apr 17, 2014
* Version: 1.0.0
* Size: 28.6 MB
* Language: English
* Seller: CUPCAKE DIGITAL INC © 2014 & TM Discovery Communications, LLC
* Rated: 4+
* Requirements: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5..

Description from the product page:

"Take a journey back in time and play with 16 amazing jigsaw puzzles in Discovery Kids Dinosaur Puzzle & Play, perfect for the explorer in you! Learn fun facts and interact with vibrant, tappable scenes filled with the coolest dinosaurs, from the Triceratops, the popular herbivore to the voracious Tyrannosaurus Rex, plus so much more!" 

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* There are 2 games you can play with from this app, puzzles or painting. Under the puzzle section, you can choose the difficulty levels (Easy, Medium & Hard), the harder it is, the more puzzles required to complete the picture.

* I let our 2 kiddos take turn to solve the puzzle pieces and I like that once the puzzle is completed, you can see some animation from the dinosaur and also learn more about them. Our 5 years old boy and 2.5 years old girl take turn to tap on the dinosaurs and see what animation appeared from it. There is a function to mute the narrator voice if you do not want to hear it.

* Under the painting section, there is easy to find navigation buttons, from zooming in and out from the picture, to delete or undo your action, take a snapshot of your painting and the various colors, coloring utensils and options you can choose from.

* My only recommendation for improvement is to separate out the sticker option which is currently located as one of the options in the painting section. The developer can reuse the dinosaur pictures from the puzzles side and allow stickers to be placed in it - that way it is more realistic as currently it looks weird when the stickers are placed in the illustrated painting.

* Overall a fun and yet educational app for the family!

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You can purchase the "Dinosaur Puzzle and Play" app from the iTunes App Store.

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I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the promo code to redeem the application for free from iTunes Store in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine. And if you'd like to read my previous iPad Apps reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My iPad App Reviews"