WHAT’S NEW & PRODUCT REVIEWS
In this fun and informative series, I’ll be bringing you a little tasting platter of what’s new out there with real product reviews, no-BS guaranteed.
Just so you know, I don’t endorse, sponsor or get paid for this segment because the integrity and honesty of my review is important. This is all about conveying information and keeping my ‘consumer voice’ free from commercial bias.
And, because I’m a minimalist, I don’t believe in stuffing our lives with more material stuff unless it offers real value or sentiment.
If you would like to be featured for a review on BLOGS X BANTER please email your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, product/service and web/social links.
BOOKS & LITERATURE
What’s Making Walter C. Laugh?
I’m a chronic comic addict, so anything that contains the word ‘laugh’ will instantly draw me in (same for doughnut but we’ll leave that for another day). The bright and bold illustrations coupled with the notion of a “snowman eating pizza in the bathtub” represents just how limitless a child can be when it comes to creativity, imagery and fantasy – something us parents too busy ‘adulting’ could do with from time to time. A visit to the land of Make Believe with your young son or daughter is a place guaranteed for fun and bonding.
This cutie explains to her mom @jauntymommy that she's reading to her stuffed animals not because they can't read but because she's playing "MAKE BELIEVE" Sadie's full conversion with her mom @jauntymommy is so funny! What's Making Walter C. Laugh? is all about playing with your imagination, so good job Sadie 💗😊📚
What’s Making Walter C. Laugh? by Ginny Jordan is a vivid story exploring the wild imagination of a child’s mind and heart. Reading this book, you would think it was a memoir of a dream you had after eating cheese, but alas, it is a lovely depiction of kangaroos, monkeys and goldfish doing silly things that conjure a smile and a giggle from our kids.
Self-published author Ginny Jordan tells us that story time is where the magic happens.
“My father and son spent much time reading together. Then they would go off to play imaginative games using characters from the book they just read.” says Ginny. “I wanted to re-create that shared happiness, fun and closeness for other kids, encouraging creativity and imaginative play. I think it’s so valuable and is possibly getting lost in these times of everything digital and two dimensional.”
Ginny is certainly right there, with iDevices taking over homes and households. Thanks to these resourceful, creative and ‘just get out there and do it’ authors, we hope the world will still be tangibly rich with words and pictures on paper that we can feel, smell and touch.
You can buy What’s Making Walter C. Laugh on Amazon. Look out for details on a sequel!
ART & MEMORABILIA
Kara Can Draw
If you’re done with the over-curating on Instagram showing only the pristine and polished side to parenting (something I’m yet to discover – for me it’s all poo and arguments with my toddler) then find and follow @karacandraw on Instagram.
What I love about Kara’s creative drawings is that I’ve never seen parenting depicted this way before. I’ve seen every book, blog and #babystyle photo out there and it can start to get a bit cliché and same-same. Kara’s art brings us something fresh and unique that we can all relate to and not only that, her portfolio is nothing short of gorgeous. Here are my favourites:
This 👆is what weekends look like for us. We like to stay at home and eat pancakes on the couch while watching our favourite Sunday shows. What did you guys get up to? — By the way, thanks everyone for all the positive comments on my last drawing! I really appreciate the solidarity and support. 🤗 it was a hectic week so didn't get much drawing in, but I'm hoping for things to go back a bit to normal this week! (But James is sick so we're off to a bad start 😥)
So who’s the girl behind the art that is fun, inspiring and just too darn cute to scroll past? Her name is Kara and she ails from France.
“I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. Through school I’d always have a sketchbook and pencils tucked away in my backpack and instead of listening during class I would be busy sketching away.”
Kara’s doodles were kept hidden for a while until her partner encouraged her to set up her own Instagram and Etsy.
“When I became a mom, finding the time to draw became very difficult again. But thanks to my partner I started my Instagram page. He kept pushing and motivating me to show my art. He is always behind me, encouraging me to pursue it further.”
“I opened my Instagram account in January 2017, sharing drawings inspired by my life as a stay-at-home mom. It hasn’t even been a year yet and my drawings have already progressed and changed so much, I feel really proud about the progress I have made. I feel whole as a person knowing that I have a passion and an outlet for all that creative energy.”
Though humble and timid, Kara is never short of ideas and ambition.
“I really enjoy drawing and sharing with the Instagram community. I’d love to illustrate my own book about the ups and downs of motherhood. From the responses I get, I know so many moms are living the same things and I think they would really enjoy a humorous little book on motherhood. Something baby and mom can enjoy!”
MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY
If we are all honest, our culture is largely run by technology and most of our lives couldn’t function properly without our mobile devices. Frankly, it’s just the way of the world right now and so we can choose to either fight it or embrace it.
As parents, we’ve decided to allow Elias our two-year-old son the use of our iPad but we tightly control his screen time, allowing only an hour or so every few days (of course, restricting non-kiddy content).
So, it was easy to say yes to a trial subscription from KidloLand, a popular app for kids under five to help with learning and development. He took to it straight away, completely drawn in by the bright and bold colours in the animation. He often recites the songs and nursery rhymes from KidloLand, cueing for me to join in on the sing-song (usually met with a blank look on my face – sorry kiddo, I can’t remember words, but I can hum).
KidloLand features over 1000 interactive songs, stories and educational activities from ABC to animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes, seasons and weather. There are interesting little characters like Munchy, Gobble and Gulpy within the story games segment. Elias’ favourite game (I think because it involves food) is Ice Cream Time. The games, just like the stories, flashcards, activities and learning modules are super easy to navigate. Very, very kid-friendly.
KidloLand is available free on the app store for Apple, Google and Amazon, where you can upgrade your purchase for something like US$5. Not bad for an app that’s going to provide hours and hours of education and entertainment (not that you want your kid using it for that long – just need to put that “I’m a good parent” disclaimer in). For a very minuscule investment, your child will get loads of learning that perhaps you don’t quite have the energy for.
If you want an app that’s guaranteed to teach your little one about counting, the alphabet, colours and pretty much everything in an early learning curriculum, download KidloLand. It has a 4-star rating on iTunes and has just short of 500 raving reviews from Mum/Mom Bloggers worldwide.
If you would like to be featured for a product review on BLOGS X BANTER please email your proposal to email@example.com with your name, product/service and web/social links.