The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall, Review & Giveaway

Sooner or later, every child will ask, Where do babies come from? Answering this question has never been this easy or entertaining! Join a curious little boy who asks everyone from his babysitter to the mailman, getting all sorts of funny answers along the way, before his parents gently set him straight.

New from award-winning author and illustrator Sophie Blackall comes a beautiful picture book full of playful details to help answer the age-old-question..where do babies come from?

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SOPHIE BLACKALL is the illustrator of several award-winning books, including Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges, Meet Wild Boars by Meg Rosoff, Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, and the Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows. Her artwork has also appeared in various magazines and exhibitions. Previously she lived in Sydney, Australia, and has had jobs in a shoe shop and a robot factory.

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- “Blackall once again excels at portraying a thoughtful child with a rich inner life” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

-“A delightfully age-appropriate way to give young children the facts about contraception and birth…Another wonderful contribution from Blackall.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review

With my daughter being the mother to a six year old girl, and expecting her second baby in just a couple of months, this book came to us at the perfect time. Our granddaughter has been filled with questions! I found the book a great way to approach the subject, without over-doing it or leaving any questions unanswered. The book is easy to read, and the installations are adorable. I highly recommend this book. Would make a for a great gift.

You can purchase a hard copy of The Baby Tree on Amazon for $12.95 or download the the Kindle edition for only $9.78.

You can also enter to win The Baby Tree and a soft kid’s blanket for story time here on Five Dollar Shake! Courtesy of Penguin Books USA.

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Enter to win by using the widget below. No purchase is necessary to enter. You’ll need a valid email address to enter. Must be 18+ and living in the U.S to win. No P.O. boxes please. One winner will be chosen and contacted by email on June 17th.

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FTC Disclosure: Information was provided as part of an ongoing relationship in which free products and compensation are often received. All opinions expressed are honest and my own. This blog post contains affiliate links.

Walking With Dinosaurs @ The Palace of Auburn Hills Ticket Giveaway #Detroit

Dinosaurs once again roam the earth when the spectacular production, Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular, based on the award-winning BBC Television Series, comes to The Palace of Auburn Hills for an eight-show engagement from August 6-10, 2014.

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Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic realism. The show has scenes of the interactions between dinosaurs, how carnivorous dinosaurs evolved to walk on two legs, and how the herbivores fended off their more agile predators.

This updated production will showcase changes to the dinosaurs based on the latest scientific research including the likely feathering of some species. Worldwide, more than eight million people have seen this show in 243 cities and over 2,000 performances.

Ten species are represented from the entire 200 million year reign of the dinosaurs. The show includes the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the terror of the ancient terrain, as well as the Plateosaurus and Liliensternus from the Triassic period, the Stegosaurus and Allosaurus from the Jurassic period and Torosaurus and Utahraptor from the awesome Cretaceous period. The largest of them, the Brachiosaurus is 36 feet tall, and 56 feet from nose to tail. It took a team of 50 – including engineers, fabricators, skin makers, artists and painters, and animatronic experts – a year to build the production.

“We take the audience on a journey back in time and show them how the dinosaurs might have actually looked in their prime – huge, sometimes frightening, sometimes comical monsters – that fought for survival every day of their lives,” said Director Scott Faris. “Our dinosaurs move exactly like they are real — with all the roars, snorts and excitement that go with it. The realism is mind-blowing!”

Walking With Dinosaurs will be at The Palace of Auburn Hills for an eight-show engagement from August 6-10, 2014.

Tickets at $59.50, $49.50, $39.50, $19.50 reserved at Palacenet.com, The Palace Ticket Store and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets may be also charged by phone to American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard by calling 800.745.3000.

For more details go here: http://www.palacenet.com/events/detail/walking-with-dinosaurs.

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Enter to win!

One lucky Five Dollar Shake reader will win a family four pack of tickets to see Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular at The Palace of Auburn Hills! The winning tickets are for the Wednesday, August 6th at 7pm show.

To enter simply leave a comment on this blog post saying you’d like to win. A valid email address is required to enter. Winner must be 18+ and live within driving distance of The Palace of Auburn Hills, as transportation is not provided.

One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email on July 17th.

Want extra entries? Of-course you do! Please leave a separate comment after doing any or all of the following.

Like Five Dollar Shake on Facebook.
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FTC Disclosure: This information and giveaway is being shared as part of an on going relationship with The Palace of Auburn Hills in which free event passes or products are received. All opinions expressed remain my own and honest. This post contains no affiliate links.

Bookstock Used Book and Media Sale #BookstockMI

Bookstock’s back at Livonia’s Laurel Park Place, offering incredible deals on used books and media. Bargains abound at Bookstock, metro Detroit’s biggest and best used book and media sale where all proceeds benefit literacy and education projects in metropolitan Detroit.

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As much as I love movies, I also enjoy reading. It’s something I share with my entire family. Sometimes, there is just nothing more relaxing than curling up with a good book, and getting lost in then story. Yet, books don’t also come cheap. So, I’m super excited to share about Bookstock! A local event to help families enjoy books, and other media at awesome bargain prices.

WHAT IS BOOKSTOCK?
Bookstock is an annual, non-profit used book and media sale. It is a highly visible event with thousands of shoppers. All merchandise sold comes from donations and all workers and organizers are volunteers. Proceeds from the sale, after deducting expenses, are donated to non-profit organizations. Merchandise remaining after the sale is donated to area non-profit organizations and schools.

Thousands of Pre-sorted books and merchandise!

  • Current fiction
  • Non Fiction
  • Books on tape
  • Children’s books
  • Cookbooks
  • CD’s
  • DVD’s

WHEN AND WHERE DOES BOOKSTOCK TAKE PLACE?
Bookstock takes place April 27-May 4, 2014 at Laurel Park Place in Livonia, Michigan.
On Sunday, April 27, 8:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m., there is a Pre-Sale for which there is a $20 entrance fee. After that, admission is free.
Hours are 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on both Sundays.

WHAT BENEFITS DOES BOOKSTOCK GENERATE?
Bookstock benefits the entire community by recycling gently used books and media and then offering them for sale at value prices. Most books and media range in price from $1-$4, although there are “special selections” (more valuable books) at various price points.

In 12 years, Bookstock has donated just shy of $1,000,000 to non-profit organizations in Detroit and the metro area, including those comprising its coalition. Additionally, Bookstock donates large quantities of unsold books to other non-profit organizations and schools. For example, the Salvation Army receives the bulk of the remaining books and media. Bookstock also underwrites a scholarship at the Wayne State University School of Library Science and supports the Bookstock Fund, a literacy fund that provides micro-grants to enhance literacy and learning in Detroit and the metro area.

WHAT ADDITIONAL SPECIAL EVENTS DOES BOOKSTOCK OFFER?

  • Bookstock’s Monday Madness, Monday, April 28, all day: Each purchaser receives an envelope with varying prizes. Prizes are randomly varied in each envelope but a single envelope could include gift cards, coupons and/or a giveaway.
  • Teacher Appreciation Night, Tuesday, April 29, 3:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.: Teachers with valid i.d.’s receive a 50% discount.
  • Bookstock B.E.S.T. Award, Tuesday, April 29, 5:00 p.m.: The B.E.S.T. Award is given to the winners of a contest open to fourth grade students in the Detroit Public Schools based on submission of a one page essay about their favorite books. Five students, their teachers, and their schools all receive monetary awards.
  • Booksbuster Sale, Wednesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 1, 3:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.: For every three items purchased, a fourth one may be gotten for free (it must be the least expensive of the four chosen).
  • Half-Price Sale, Sunday, May 4, all day: All books and media are half price.

This is an incredible event for the entire community!

For more information about Bookstook, call the Bookstock hotline (248) 645-7840, ext. 365 or visit www.bookstock.info. You can also follow along on Facebook. Laurel Park Place is located on 6 Mile Road east of I-275 in Livonia.

I was selected for this sponsored post by Hay There Social Media. All opinions expressed are my own.

The cost of college tuition

In the 1940s only 25% of adults had college degrees. Today it has become all but essential to get a four year degree if you want a fair attempt and finding a good job, but not even a degree guarantees you a career. We’ve all heard that college graduates are entering a meager job market, but now they are also graduating with large amounts of student loan debt to pay for as well. Not only has the cost of tuition, books and the cost of living dramatically increased since the 1940s, it has dramatically increased in just the past couple decades.

According to the information collected and put into this illuminating graphic by Consolidated Credit, the general cost of college tuition alone has risen 500%. This inflation doesn’t seem to be stopping with the current generation of students either. Take a look at this helpful but shocking information to see the trajectory at which college prices are rising and what future generations might have to deal with when they graduate.

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Help! My Teen is Driving!

If you thought teaching your teen to drive was stressful, wait until you have to set him free and let him actually drive. Without you there. On the wide-open roads. With all of the other crazy drivers. Yeah, it’s enough to cause any parent to have a full-on anxiety attack. So what can you do to help ease the worry and make the experience a positive one for both of you?

Take a Deep Breath
First, you need to relax. Yes, it is your baby controlling that car, but you stressing out and worrying constantly isn’t going to solve anything. Instead, think about all of the positives that come along with your teen driving: You don’t have to feel like a taxi service anymore, and you can go to bed when you want instead of having to wait to go pick him up somewhere (although you know you will still be staying up to make sure he gets home safely).

Demonstrate Your Trust
Now, you need to show your teen that you are confident in his behind-the-wheel abilities. If he senses that you are nervous about his driving, it will just make him question his own skills, which is the last thing you want. You spent months and months of your life ensuring that your teen has all of the knowledge and knowhow he needs to be safe behind the wheel. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting through it all in one piece, and give him his wings. He won’t let you down.

Continue to Set a Good Example
The first rule of parenting is that what you do has a much bigger impact than what you say, and this could not be truer when it comes to controlling a car. Always drive how you want your teen to drive, because you never know when he is watching. This means not using your phone, always putting on your blinker, wearing your seatbelt, and following the posted speed limits. If your teen spots you breaking any of these laws, he will assume it’s okay for him to break them also.

Let Him Learn His Own Lessons
There will likely be a day in your not too distant future when your teen calls you to tell you he got pulled over (hopefully it never happens, but you need to be prepared, just in case). It is understandably your parental instinct to protect him and get him out of any ticket he receives, but this is not the best message to send from the get go. If he really feels the consequences of that first ticket, chances are he will try especially hard not to get another one.
Give it Time

As the days and weeks pass, your teen will prove to you that he really did listen to everything you taught him and is an excellent driver. Before you know it, he will head out the door with the keys in his hand and you won’t even think twice about it.

Written by Improv Traffic School.

Marvel’s THOR: The Dark World New Movie Clip & Ultimate Mentor Adventure #ThorDarkWorldEvent

Check out this new movie clip from Marvel’s THOR: The Dark World!

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin.

Seeking the next Jane Foster!!

If you have a female in grades 9-12 in your life, who is also a Thor fan, then you might want to check out this event!

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Marvel Studios, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), Dolby Laboratories, National Academy of Science, Girl Scouts USA along with the famous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, are proud to team up to sponsor a nationwide MARVEL’S THOR: THE DARK WORLD ULTIMATE MENTOR ADVENTURE in conjunction with the November 8th release of the film starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.

MARVEL’S THOR: THE DARK WORLD ULTIMATE MENTOR ADVENTURE aims to empower girls 14 years and up, in grades 9 – 12 nationwide, to embark on a journey to discover their potential and future in the world of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  Through the collaborative efforts of Marvel, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), Dolby Laboratories, National Academy of Sciences and Girl Scouts USA, girls will have a chance to go out into the real world and ask successful women in STEM fields about what they do, how they got where they are…and how others can follow in their footsteps.  The process is designed to help students to understand who they are, and why this experience can be impactful on their futures. For more information, rules and how to apply, visit www.ultimatementoradventure.com.

 

THOR: THE DARK WORLD (in Digital 3D and RealD) will be in theaters November 8, 2013!

Stay social with Marvel’s THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Like THOR on Facebook: Facebook.com/Thor

Follow THOR on Twitter: Twitter.com/ThorMovies

Visit the website: www.marvel.com/thor

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook as I travel to L.A., to walk the red carpet and interview cast members as part of the Thor Dark World Event! Using the hashtag #ThorDarkWorldEvent .

Learning is Fun @ PowerMyLearning.Org #Review

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PowerMyLearning.org is a free non-profit website for kids K- 12th. The site provides educational online games that incorporate all the things kids enjoy with learning – such as trains, animals and even fashion.

I recently opened a parent account on PowerMyLearning to review with my fourteen year old daughter, and six year old granddaughter. Both are very tech savvy, and spend a good amount of time online. So, I knew going in that this website would have some real competition their eyes.

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I was impressed by the amount of parental control PowerMyLearning offers. Also impressive is the amount of games, and how easy they are to access. This should keep most kids from wandering back onto the web.

For the amount of options offered, the website is very well organized, and easy to navigate.

The main categories are:

  • Science
  • Math
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Art & Music
  • Technology
  • World Languages

Being only six – my granddaughter first chose math to explore.

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After math we went on to explore a few other subjects, like art & music. Though the site didn’t hold her attention as long as I would have liked. It has been a hit with my teenage daughter who is studying high school Spanish this year. She has also spent time exploring the Social Studies category and has nothing but good things to say about it. Like how interesting it is, and enjoyable without the pressure of watching the clock and waiting for the bell to ring. She has always been a girl that learns more on her own time.

PowerMyLearning.org is more than just games – it’s a great study tool, and a good resource for printing worksheets. Kids can even check their learning progress with a quiz.

If you have kids K- 12th, PowerMyLearning.org is a site worth visiting. One that continues to impress my family.

FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored review. All opinions expressed are still honest. This post contains no affiliate links.

My Motor Oil Matters Experience

A while back I shared some tips and information from a new consumer education and industry watchdog program called MOM – Motor Oil Matters. My post included the below suggested checklist.

Motor Oil PDF

I recently took a copy of the above check list to my local oil change garage. The maniac that was working could not have been more friendly. He answered all of my questions, and for the first time showed me the labels on the oil bottles before pouring them into my car. Hearing him explain to me what he was doing, as he was doing it, was a refreshing change.

Now that my car has passed the checklist and running great, I should be set for another six months.

You can download and print the .PDF checklist by clicking here!

Visit MOM online to find a licensed motor oil location near you!

Follow Motor Oil Matters online & stay connected on Facebook & Twitter!

Disclosure: Information and a gift card have been provided by Motor Oil Matters. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own.

Wont Back Down Movie Review

I had the pleasure of attending an advanced screening of Won’t Back Down. Haven’t heard of it? I’m not surprised. I’ve only seen the trailer once or twice, and the movie opens September 28, 2012.

The Story
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis play two determined mothers, one a teacher, who will stop at nothing to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.

My thoughts
I went into this movie not only a viewer, but also a parent. The story it’s self is very moving. Yet, I watched without ever really feeling moved. That is not to say this is a bad movie, in fact I really did enjoy most of it. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, and Holly Hunter shine, with the help of some pretty talented supporting actors. Yet, my disappointment came just as I felt fully vested in the storyline and ready to see these women kick butt, where some butts obviously needed to be kicked, the movie felt as though it was hijacked by an anti-union ad. I don’t doubt these to be real issues in far too many schools, but, this is after all “a movie”. While putting a lot of focus on what is wrong within the teachers union, and painting them as cold and uncaring, the movie felt pretty one sided. And somewhat uncomfortable. That is where it started to lose me. If it would have kept more of it’s focus on the characters, their struggle, and the positive out come, I would have enjoyed this movie a whole lot more. That being said, the movie is still well worth seeing, and will keep most of it’s audience thinking long after leaving the theater. That to me is a job well done.

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Celebs Heading to Sesame Street

Check out the new promo pics below of this season’s celebs visiting Sesame Street. I think Jack Black’s pic is my favorite.