iPad App Review - I Wonder

~ Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2012 at 12:00 PM ~

I'm a full-time mummy

* Title: I Wonder - Kids' Book
* Price: $0.99
* Category: Books
* Updated: May 02, 2012
* Version: 1.3
* Size: 31.9 MB
* Language: English, Italian
* Seller: Ware's me srl
* Rated: 4+
* Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 4.0 or later.

Description from the product page:

"A book published by Kite Editions becomes an extraordinary application for iPad! A captivating and simple story, written by Marinella Barigazzi with Ursula Bucher's wonderful illustrations, original music, entertaining animations and sounds.

Marco gets on the train, and page after page he discovers a world behind the window. As the pages of the app turn and the landscape passes by, Marco thinks and daydreams on the nature and the animals that live beyond the pane, and you too can discover and think along with him, and play with the objects of its reflections and the landscape that slides in front of Marco, in front of your eyes and under your fingers."

I'm a full-time mummy

What's good?

* This is an easy to read book app that also comes with 4 puzzle games as well. I was excited to see my 3 year old happily playing one of the puzzle game with his daddy!

* The illustrations are amazing and pleasing to the eyes as well, captivating enough even I caught myself gazing dreamily in some of the beautiful pages!

* I like the sounds and animations that comes along as we read through the pages, especially the thunderstorm (I am a fan of dark sky, rainy sky, thunderstorm etc etc).

* There are some pages which got Ben's attention and reactions such as the page where Marco wonders about the lights of the night. Ben enjoyed this page very much and kept on playing and sliding the train to and fro! (Yes, he is a fan of trains too!)

Room for Improvement?

* Maybe it's just my weird preferance but I would prefer if the book app ended with the "The End" words shown so that we can know that the story ended... instead of leaving us wondering is this the end? Or perhaps this is a tactic of this book based on it's title? Hmmm...

I'm a full-time mummy

You can purchase the "I Wonder - Kids' Book" app from the iTunes App Store.

I'm a full-time mummy

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"

I'm a full-time mummy

Book Review - ParentSmart/KidHappy™ Ready to Play!

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 at 4:35 PM ~

I read the press release of these new books with great interest especially when it mentioned "...the books illustrate everyday scenarios that can challenge parents and young children: getting ready in the morning, sharing toys, and going to bed at night. Along with simple dialogue and full-color illustrations, the books include color-coded text to cue parents about positive language to use with their children. The ParentSmart/KidHappy series teaches four positive parenting techniques: (1) how to validate a child’s feelings, (2) how to offer choices, (3) how to promote problem-solving skills, and (4) how to encourage alternative behavior.

So I immediately wrote in asking whether there is any possibilities of me reviewing the printed copies of these awesome books and a month later, these books arrived safely into our hands! Yes!!!

Without further ado, here goes my first review for the "ParentSmart/KidHappy™ Series" book entitled "Ready to Play! A Tale of Toys and Friends, and Barely Any Bickering":

Title: ParentSmart/KidHappy™ Series (Ready to Play! A Tale of Toys and Friends, and Barely Any Bickering)
Author: Stacey R. Kaye, MMR  Illustrated: Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
ISBN-13/-10:  978-1-57542-318-0
Paperback:  32 pages
Dimension: 8 1/4" x 8 1/4"

Description from the product page:
"Trouble sharing. Haggles over what to play. Jealousy, hurt feelings—and of course tears when playtime ends. For kids just learning to get along, playtime can be riddled with conflict. Ready to Play! offers healthy, lasting ways to help kids cooperate, develop social skills, and have fun.

When good friends Emma and Ryan get together to play, there's lots of fun to be had—and also plenty of playtime problems to be solved. Children will love the full-color pictures and whimsical story, and parents and caregivers will learn the language of positive parenting.

This book, and others in the series, provides a BONUS for parents and caregivers. With honesty and gentle humor, Ready to Play! shows how to handle typical playtime struggles by modeling three parenting techniques using color-coded text to teach the language of positive parenting:
* Giving encouragement
* Validating feelings
* Inviting kids to brainstorm solutions and imagine outcomes

These techniques are explained in detail in a section at the end of the book that is just for adults. The result: you get through everyday challenges with less stress while building your child's emotional intelligence and your own parenting skills.

Ready to Play! features:
* An engaging, realistic story that will ring true for parents and kids alike
* Easy-to-use techniques and positive language highlighted in color-coded text
* A section just for adults that explains the language of positive parenting
* An easy, fun way to improve parenting skills—by reading with your child

I'm a full-time mummy

This is my favorite book among the series! Ben is on the same page with me as this was the first book he chose for us to go through together, in fact he said 'Mummy read this first!'

Now, just want to clarify, I didn't follow the storyline in this book exactly. Instead of using the characters names (Ryan and Emma), I substituted them with Benjamin and Alyson, my children's names so that my 3 year old can relate himself with his baby sister in the story.

As I go through the book with him, I gently stressed to him that it is important for us to share things and take turns as well.

I also love the beautiful and realistic illustrations which clearly depicts the expressions on the child's face! I explained while pointing to my 3 years old why the child's face is in such way, for example on a page where the little girl is angry because she doesn't get things done her way and I gently explained to Ben that we have to mind our manners and must not be bossy and we cannot expect everyone to adhere to our wishes.

In addition, I also deviated a bit with the book as I saw the first page on the book is a background of toy horses in sandy brown color and one unique dark brown colored horse. I used this opportunity to teach Benjamin to identify the different horse from the rest (this is part of my activities with my 3 years old boy - which is to identify the same and/or different object)

My verdict? Definitely a must have book!

I'm a full-time mummy

You can get this book from Amazon and Free Spirit Publishing website.

I'm a full-time mummy

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"

I'm a full-time mummy

Reminiscing My Journey Into AS/400 World...

~ Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 at 1:44 AM ~

I started my IT career in the world of AS/400 (now known as iSeries) by attending what I would think as a Premiere pro classes in 2000. One of a kind unique type of classes back then.

I remembered the first time I saw the advertisement posting on the AS/400 programming classes, I immediately enrolled myself in the one month course that teaches and equips fresh graduates with basic AS/400 programming skills.

I felt that it was an opportunity in a lifetime to enrol in this programming classes as back then, there are very high demand of people who are knowledgeable in AS/400 programming and there is only a handful of colleges and universities in my country that offers the subject.

* Image credit: https://www.thetrainingfarm.com/

After completing the course, I was then send off to work in IT projects at client's site and my programming skills improved from there onwards as I also get to learn more on the job.

Until today, I believe my decision to attend this training gives me an added advantage over the other graduates as there are no longer colleges or universities offering this programming subjects. I really felt blessed at being able to learn so much and have a strong foundation in AS/400.

Who knows, one day when I decided to go back into the working world, I might be able to be a trainer and conduct classes in AS/400 programming huh?

** This is a sponsored post for The Training Farm, however, all thoughts, opinions and words are 100% my own.