I know what you’re thinking, BB can’t really be going to Kindergarten in September. Believe it because it is happening. As we begin to ease him into the task at hand we have been reading school readiness books. Adam Rex’s new book featuring art by Christian Robinson employs a fresh take on the back to school genre. School’s First Day of School focuses on the school itself as it gets ready for the first day. Newly built Frederick Douglass Elementary is curious about what is going to happen. Initially, the school bonds with the janitor and though him learns about the children. The story deals with the hardships that accompany the first day of school but…and as usual, I won’t spoil the ending, the everything works out in the end. Since the point of view is from the school one of the funny aspects is that the kids naturally go everywhere and touch everything which upsets the school. BB of course enjoys it when the school gets milk on it from a laughing kids nose. Hopefully, the tale will help BB with any first day jitters.
After reading the first Microsaurs book LTD asked for more but we had a discussion about patience instead. Now that he has read volume two he was able to leave me alone with his demands. Dustin Hansen’s second Microsaurs tome Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack (say that ten times fast) was devoured by LTD (no pun intended). The story follows on Danny and Lin as they not only know about the existence of little dinosaurs but take care of them as well. However, as the source of all drama is conflict soon additional tiny dinos arrive and high jinks ensue. The story also features cartoon drawings of the action which seems to be all the rage these days if judging LTD’s reading selection is any indication. The video game parallels are easy to make but I dig the premise as it feels original. Of course with stories of this nature I need to field inquires about the possibility of the kids obtaining little dinosaurs.
Thanks to the heat advisories it is not just the rain that keeps us indoors on some summer days. In that regard, the boys need to be occupied a for a bit if the iPad battery needs charging. We often turn to crafts or board games. However, when the subject of baking comes up they always are interested but it can be difficult to find something suitable. We turned to The Curious Creamery’s Ice Cream Mix. We simply added milk and the packet and whipped. I confessed we didn’t use mixer as recommended but a wisk and I feel we suffered no ill effects. After mixing, you put in the freezer for a few hours. The only other instructions suggest to add any mix ins you want. In our case after some debate I allowed m&ms as the less crazy options based on the kids demands. Now I know what your’re thinking, this is America and it is pretty easy to buy ready made ice cream why make it? I agree and wouldn’t not advise making your own ice cream unless you either had kids or lived on Mars.
LTD fancies himself many things and one of those things is a mad scientist. He couldn’t wait to don his white lab coat and goggles to play Dr. Beaker. BB couldn’t wait to knock everything over and annoy LTD after being told he had to play on my team. To play the game you must imagine yourself in the laboratory of Dr. Beaker (Not to be confused with 70’s Saturday morning TV icon Dr. Shinker). You take a challenge card and it becomes a race against time as LTD and I pretend we are making toxic gas. Using the stirring rod you have to shift and arrange the molecules into the design depicted on the challenge card. However, the beaker is made in such a way to only allow one molecule to be moved a time. While the game play is pretty quick it can be a little challenging especially if you have inpatient children playing. I try to stress the art of planning ahead since the game requires strategy instead of speed.
LTD has always had a hard time with accents. Upon learning that Arnold Schwarzenegger using his real Austrian accent says, Get to the Chopper (in Predator which he has NOT seen) LTD repeats the line in what can best be described as a Jamaican accent. So it was time for a trial by fire. We recently played Utter Nonsense: Family Edition. The game features 50 accent cards and over 400 phrase cards. First you pick one player to be the accent judge. Then, as you can imagine, you pick cards and then have to say one of your phrases in the required accent. Of course some make sense and work with the accent but most do not. Here is where it gets a little tricky, the accent judge has to pick the person who did the funniest accent. Once chosen they win the round. This party game also has a naughty edition so make sure you play the family one lest you get a call from the school the next day. BB has to play on my team since all his accents sound the same. Also when we play at home we really don’t keep score since the judging is difficult with so few people. The good news is that now LTD is slightly better at his Arnold accent, slightly.
With Summer reading upon us and LTD looking for source material so he can fill out his online library form. As long time Beyond the Car Seat readers know all to well LTD digs robots. In that regard, R. McGeddon series Disaster Diaries features a tale devoted to the subject. As a side note, I feel like a pen name is being used by the author. The tale focuses on friends Sam, Emmie and Arty and the creation of a science fair robot. A subject that LTD is always thinking about with me always explaining we would need serious help to make that dream come true. The robot, Charles turns out not to be so good at his chore helping (the reason he was created) but instead malfunctions. With the series highlighting the word disaster it is not surprise that the robot tries to destroy the whole town. One thing leads to another and soon enough a whole robot army is in play. I won’t spoil the ending but I think you can guess it doesn’t become a dystopian cautionary tale. The book also features a few illustrations to help BB keep up as I felt it was important for him to also use this survival guide.
Never one ignore a book with a dad related central theme, BB has been enjoying Chana Stiefel new book, Daddy Depot with illustrations by Andy Snair. The tale focuses on Lizze who despite loving her dad feels he has a few negative qualities that warrant at least a search for a new and improved model. When it comes to her attention that the new store, Daddy Depot may offer the perfect answer she investigates. BB is particular found of the book because one of Lizzie’s complaints is that her father tells the same lame dad jokes over and over something BB has accused me of. Of course while the dad’s for sale at the store seemed cool there was always an issue. Rocker Dad had bodyguards keeping loved ones at arms length etc. As usual, I won’t spoil the ending but I’m guessing you can figure out which dad Lizzie ends up with (can you even imagine how dark the book would be if she didn’t). As we read the book right before bed and he is sleepy, thankfully, BB has never asked if he can go to the store to get my replacement.
Sadly or not depending on how you look at it, both my boys have recently discovered the joys of potty humor. I guess maybe separately they always enjoyed it, but now they wind each other up. Bigmouth has a line of mugs that the kids have been digging. Yes, the mugs are huge and bigger than their heads, but that, I can only assume, is why they are enjoying them so much. The product line also includes mugs that hold cookies or donuts but the boys aren’t ready for that yet (or to be more specific, the Mommy won’t allow). The Ninja mug is of particular interest to BB while the shark bite version is a hit with LTD. All of this doesn’t change the fact that both kids spill constantly when drinking from any mug ever.
A perfect storm occurred over the new book, Beauty and the Beak. LTD just finished watching A Dolphin Tale, BB received a bald eagle stuffed animal as a prize, we recently saw Beauty and the Beast in the theatre and we saw the Makers Guild 3-D print different objects at the library. What am I talking about? Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp’s book tells the story of Beauty, a bald eagle that lost most of her beak to a bullet. Found starving, she was nursed back to health, but could not eat or drink on her own. As usual I won’t spoil the ending, but thanks to the kindest of a group of dedicated people Beauty became bionic. Okay, not quite, but she did receive a plastic, 3D printed beak to allow her to truly soar. In addition to the tale, the story also features an update on how Beauty is doing now and cool facts about Bald Eagles including ways to help them. BB went nuts to see the mission patch for Apollo 11.
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