Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Immedium. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Immedium. Sort by date Show all posts

Book Review & Craft: The Woollyhoodwinks vs. the Dark Patch

Disclosure: I was sent this book digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I get to share with you another fun book from Immedium. The book inspired me to be crafty and as a result Hazel and I did some hand sewing together. The book is The WoollyHoodwinks vs.The Dark Patch by Jeff Root, Scott Runcorn, Phil Dumesnil and Asa Sanchez. The woolylhoodwinks are five homemade characters that live in the North Black Forest in a pretty carefree way. Then one morning they awaken to a strange noise in their forest and they go off to investigate it. They find a strange black patch on the ground and wonder what it is. As they investigate the patch grows and some of the woollyhoodwinks and their dear forest get stitched into the black patch until the one who is afraid of the dark finally saves the day. 

The story uses such imagination, and the pictures are fun. Hazel and I really enjoyed reading it. The characters are similar to common animals, but not quite and are just basic enough for a child to love. 

To go with the book, we decided to make our own woollyhoodwinks or should I say feltyhoodwinks since we did not use wool. We used the pattern for finger puppets in Kata Golda's Hand-Stitched Felt. They are relatively simple. The body shape is a rectangle that is stitched in the back and then on top. You then add ears. The original pattern comes with mouse ears (outer and inner). 

We glued Hazel's inner ears to the outer ears so she would not have to sew as much. Then I quickly stitched them into one side of the rectangle. We also drew the faces on for simplicity. Sorry the lighting was not great to get the face details on hers. We left the tails off since the woollyhoodwinks do not have tails.

For mine I tried to make it a bit more like the woollyhoodwinks by using a different color for the body from the head. I also tried to make the longer ears and put them to the sides and I added feet. Since these are finger puppets, I did not make them so they could be stuffed. Mine required a bit more sewing to make the different colors in the body, but I'm happy with how it came out. Hazel wants to make the rest of the woollyhoodwinks too. We will see if we get to it.

So we loved The Woollyhoodwinks vs. The Dark Patch and I loved that it inspired us to sew and craft. The story itself requires some imagination and I was asking Hazel if different parts were really possible in real life. A perfect book to grow a child's imagination and inspire more! The hardcover book is available at the Immedium website for $15.95. It is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Julie the Black Belt Series - Product Review

Today is the last day to enter my current giveaway!!

Disclosure: I was sent these books digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day!! Last week I reviewed Cathryn Falwell's Rainbow Stew as an official reviewer for the day. Now over at Pragmatic Mom and Jump Into a Book are the blog hop with all the books shared in one place and you can share your own review of a multicultural book. There are also some giveaways being held by a few of the sponsors!   Barefoot Books  is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page.

After reading my Rainbow Stew post, Immedium contacted me to see if I would review a few of their multicultural books. I of course jumped at the chance. They sent me three Asian American books to review. I am going to review two of them for you today and the final on on Friday for the Chinese New Year. I hope you will join me on Friday for my other review. 

The books I am reviewing today are a series. The second book in the series, Julie Black Belt: The Belt of Fire by Oliver Chin was recently released. Since we had not read the first book in the series, Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles by Oliver Chin, they sent us that one as well.
Julie is a young Asian American who loves Brandy Wu, a kung fu master actress. Her parents ask her one day if she would like to learn kung fu and maybe earn a black belt like Brandy Wu. She decides to give it a try. Her younger brother, Johnny, also wants to try, but she says if he is good she will teach him after she learns. She tries on the uniform for class and thinks it needs a belt. At the class she is surprised when her teacher or Sifu (teacher in Chinese) as the students call him is a young man. At first she thinks all she is being taught is easy things but when she tries them she discovers they are much harder than she thought. At one point Julie is ready to give up and that is when Sifu whispers that a black belt is a white belt that doesn't give up. After that she is enthusiastic about kung fu and earns the yellow belt in the end. She knows she is on her way to a black belt.

The Belt of Fire picks up where the Kung Fu Chronicle leaves off. Julie goes to her first yellow belt kung fu class. Then as they are starting the doorbell rings and a student in a different color outfit but with a yellow belt enters. He is introduced as Brandon, who moved into the neighborhood. Julie becomes jealous because Brandon seems better than her. She tries to compete with him. Soon the two students are making mistakes left and right because they are too focused on each other than themselves. Sifu's teacher comes for a visit and she helps Julie and Brandon learn to work together and to focus on themselves instead of each other. It works and they are able to make a great team. 

What I love about both of these books is how it takes the girl to be the heroine in a typically male sport. I also love how it brings races (Brandon is white) together to have the same goal of bettering each person. The messages are so well woven into the stories. In the first book, Julie learns to not give up and keep trying even when it seems hard. In the second book, Julie and Brandon learn not to compare themselves to others, but to focus on oneself. The books themselves are written in an almost comic form, so it is a great way to expose younger children to comics and the upcoming graphic novels. I read the first book to Hazel this morning and she really liked it. She cannot wait to hear the second one. 

Both books are available for sale at Immedium's website. They are each $15.95 in hardcover. They are a wonderful way to introduce kung fu to young children as well as teach a few of the lessons from it.

The Octonauts & the Sea of Shade Book Review & Giveaway Reminder

Disclosure: I was sent this book digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing one of the Octonauts books! Hazel and I were so excited to review this book. Hazel loves to watch the Octonauts on television and loves the Octonauts: To the Gup-X DVD we reviewed and are currently giving away until March 25th. I had requested to review one of the Octonauts books to go with this giveaway. It is perfect timing as well as we have been so focused on sea creatures!

Today we are sharing The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade by Meomi. This is one of the four Octonauts books written by Meomi and published by Immedium. All four are available for $15.95 at Immedium as well as other book retailers. Meomi is the original creator of the Octonauts and these are the original books.

Our Tweak Peg Doll

The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade starts out with Tweak Bunny realizing that shadows and shade are missing. The Octonauts adventure to the Sea of Shade to find the Shade King. The Shade King is in charge of all the shade in the world. The Octonauts want to find out what has happened to cause all the shade to be missing. As they adventure through the Sea of Shade they see sad looking shadows. Captain Barnacles begins to play his accordion and the shadows begin to cheer up and remember how nice it was outside of the Sea of Shade. They all go to the Shade King and discover the Shade King thinks no one appreciates or loves their shadow since they are stepped on and such all the time. The Octonauts show him how creatures are missing their shadows and he agrees to let the shadows return as long as the Octonauts make sure the shadows are treated well.

Coloring page available at Disney Jr.

This is a sweet story with the same characters as the television show although one has a different name as Hazel was quick to point out. The underwater spaces in the book are much more creative and fantasy than the cartoon. Some of what is underwater in the book looks like it is really above water, but the pictures are beautiful and the story is so creative. I loved reading the story and seeing more basics of the characters than you get in the television show. For example Kwanzii is a kitten and I always assumed him to be a rough and gruff tomcat. The other main difference is there is not the information about a specific sea creature like the television show. However the story line was so creative and made me stop and think about how important shadows and shade are to all of us. It is definitely something we take for granted. To go with the book, I made a Tweak peg doll (see above). Now Hazel has four of the characters as peg dolls.

Our Octonaut Hat Craft

This story leads to so many things you can do with shadows. The first is the obvious shadow puppets. On Friday we went to a great shadow puppet show at our local library. We are going to try to make a shadow puppet box and some shadow puppets. The man who did the shadow puppet show gave us a card with instructions. Stay tuned for more on shadow puppets from us. An easier task would be to make some hand shadow puppets. Here is YouTube video with some instructions on making a few.

For older children, you could easily do a math lesson on similar triangles and then do a height estimation project like this one. To do similar triangles, the student needs to be able to set up and solve ratios.

Now if you would like to win a copy of the Octonauts: To the Gup-X DVD, be sure to go here and enter before March 25th!!

For more book reviews visit:

Lunar New Year and Year of the Horse Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent these books digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Although we celebrate our New Year on January 1st, there are many places around the world that celebrate the new year at a different time (and some celebrate it at two times January 1st and a cultural traditional time). Friday, January 31st is the lunar new year. Now some cultures that celebrate the lunar new year are the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Mongolian. The Chinese are the largest group that celebrate it and is the one we hear about most often.

 Now China is the largest celebrated lunar new year. Traditionally the celebration of the lunar new year lasted fifteen days. Now in modern times it is usually two or three days. The days leading up to the new year are important in China. The Chinese clean their houses from top to bottom prior to the new year and never on New Year's Day in fear that good fortune will be swept away. They pay off their debts, buy new clothes and shoes to wear on the first day of the year (it is considered lucky to wear all new clothing on the first day of the year since wearing old clothes brings bad luck in the year to come) and have their hair cut. As the old year ends people focus on their mistakes and failures and think about how to act better in the new year. Oranges and tangerines are traditional gifts for friends and family. They are also a favorite offering to the ancestors. Tangerines still have their leaves attached to make sure the family ties remain secure. For food, a chicken is served to ensure prosperity, a Tray of Togetherness (circular or octagonal candy tray) serves sweets each symbolizing happiness, long life, good health and other good wishes.

 The Shēngxiào also known as the Chinese Zodiac relates an animal with each year in a twelve year cycle. The year ending tonight is the year of the snake. The new year is the year of the horse. There are different legends of how the animals were picked and the order they go were picked in. Each animal presents certain personality traits for the people born in those years as well as ways the year should go. People born in the year of the horse love to be in a crowd and extremely active and animated. They love to be the center of attention and can be impatient and hot-blooded. 

I was lucky enough to receive a digital copy of Oliver Chin's The Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac from Immedium. This adorable story goes through the live a foal and a young boy, Tom. Tom and the foal, Hannah, become good friends. The young boy's teacher has been asked to send a painting for the governor. She needs someone to deliver it, but everyone is busy. Tom offers to do the job, but the teacher feels he needs someone to go with him. All of the horses in Hannah's family are too busy to help so Hannah volunteers. Hannah and Tom ride off to make the delivery. They come across some challenges: a snake, a tiger, and dark, chilly nights, but together they are able to get through/past all of them. Hannah jumps the snake and walks nimbly by the sleeping tiger. Together the pair spends the cold night in a cave with a fire. They make the delivery and the governor invites them to dinner. They see a few sights of the city, but want to get home. They enjoy the sights on the way home since they do not have an important job to accomplish anymore. When they arrive home, the teacher shares a copy of the painting. It is the Chinese word for horse and the teacher says it describes Hannah's valiant spirit. The two friends loved to play together and remained good companions.

For more on China check out DIY Fortune Cookies, Chinese Cinderella, Chinese New Year 2013, Chinese New Year Instruments,

Sources: World Book's Celebrations and Rituals Around the World New Year's Celebrations  and Wikipedia and China Highlights

In Korea the lunar new year is called Seol. Generally it falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. It is a family holiday with much respect for one's family and ancestors. The Korean house is usually cleaned and special foods are prepared. The house lights remain on throughout the night and the people stay up to greet New Year's Day or Seollal. On Seollal people dress in the best clothes and start their day with Chayre. Charye is the ritual to make the food offerings to their ancestors. An altar table is set carefully with special foods. The family's leader conducts the ritual while someone else reads the chuk mun, the list of ancestor's names. Then the children perform Sebae, when they formally greet their elders (parents and grandparents). The children receive money and cakes and then there are special breakfasts, visits with neighbors, games, fortune telling and dancing. A typical game is yut which involves four sticks being thrown into the air and telling a fortune from how they land. Everyone in Korea eats one bowl of ttokkuk, rice cake soup on New Year's Day and they count their age by the number of New Year's Days they have lived through or how many bowls of ttokkuk they have eaten.

For more information and stories from Korea check out our past posts: The Korean Cinderella, Chap ch'ae (Around the World in 12 Dishes), and Kongi and Potgi: A Korean Cinderella.

Sources: Wikipedia and World Book's Celebrations and Rituals Around the World New Year's Celebrations 


In Vietnam, the new year is called Tết. It is the most important celebration of the Vietnamese culture. People prepare for it by cleaning the house and preparing special foods. There are also many customs that go along with it like visiting friends and relatives and forgetting the bad of the past year. Similar to the Chinese, children receive red envelopes of money from their elders on New Year's Day. The first day of the new year is reserved for nuclear family. Since the Vietnamese think the first person to enter their house in the new year determines their fortune for the whole year, no one visits without an invitation. Sweeping during the holiday is taboo in fear of sleeping away good luck. The second day is usually reserved for friends and the third for teachers. They have some traditional food. One such food is Hạt Dưa or roasted watermelon seeds.

For more on Thailand check out The Golden Slipper post.

Sources: Wikipedia


Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian New Year, literally means white moon. It is one of the most important holidays in Mongolia. Around the new year families burn candles on the altar to symbolize Buddhist Enlightenment. Typically the family meets in the dwelling of the eldest member and dress in traditional Mongol costumes. When greeting their elders during Tsagaan Sar, Mongols perform a greeting ceremony called zolgokh. The eldest receives the greeting from each member except his spouse. After the greeting the family eats mutton, sheep's tail, dairy products, rice with curds, and buuz and exchange gifts. 

The day before Tsagaan Sar the Mongols completely clean their homes and herders clean their livestock barns to provide a complete fresh start for the new year. They also have a ceremony that includes burning candles on this day. 

Source: Wikipedia

So that is a bit about the lunar new year. What will you do to celebrate? We are planning on making some dumplings and having a Chinese inspired meal. We did make horse stick puppets. The pattern and idea came from Better Homes and Garden.

Finally, as promised here are some more ideas for learning about the Chinese New Year and crafts to do--these all came from last week's Sharing Saturday!

1) From Afterschool Learning for Smarty Pants: 8 Ways to Teach Your Kids about China

2) From In the Playroom: Chinese Crafts for Kids - Chinese Fans

3) From Gift of Curiosity: Chinese New Year Do-a-Dot Printables

If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button. I hope you will join us for this week's Sharing Saturday!

The Discovery of Anime & Manga Review as part of our Explore Japan

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Back in May we explored Japan with various posts to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Due to one of those posts Immedium contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing their newest in The Asian Hall of Fame Series, The Discovery of Anime and Manga by Phil Amara and Oliver Chin and illustrated by Juan Calle. I have reviewed many books from Immedium previously and have enjoyed them.

The Year of the Monkey -- Book Review

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

February 8, 2016 begins the lunar new year. There are several cultures that celebrate the lunar new year, but the Chinese is the largest one and the most heard about one. The Chinese have an animal zodiac for each year. It is based on a twelve year (and twelve animal) system. We are ending the year of the sheep and will be beginning the year of the monkey. There are several versions of legends as to how the twelve animals were picked. Today we will focus on the year of the monkey!!

Book Review: Sora and the Cloud

Disclosure: I was sent this book digitally to review free of charge from Immedium. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today we got almost a foot of snow. With all the cold, beautiful snow outside, I thought it was the perfect time to review this wonderful book by Felicia Hoshino called Sora and the Cloud. It is one of those wonderfully dreamy books that can never happen, but it is always so fun to think about happening.

This story is about a young Japanese boy exploring his world. Sora is a climber and one day he climbs a tree. Waiting in the branches of the tree is a friendly cloud. Sora hops on and the two become friends as they have an adventure. Throughout the story there are Japanese references such as food booths in a festival, kite flying and lyrics to a children's song about kites. The story has been translated into Japanese and both text are written on each page. After Sora returns to his family, his sister starts to check out the friendly cloud. It is an imaginative story about young children exploring and discovering the world around them. 

Felicia Hoshino has illustrated many books and finally she writes and illustrates her own. It is beautifully illustrated and is the kind of book you can imagine a child daydreaming about. Add the Japanese culture throughout the book, and it is a wonderful introduction for any child. The book makes me smile. The story is simple yet fantasy and it makes it that wonderful mix that makes you happy to read.

The book is available for $15.95 at Immedium. It is a wonderful addition to anyone's multicultural library!

For some more multicultural children book reviews check out: