101 Dalmatians (1996)

November 27th, 2015 · Movies

Girl holding a movie camera - stock image to accompany movie reviewReview By JENNIFER KALI

I was home sick with two kids (ages 2 and 6) by myself and took care of them the only way I could manage – an all day movie marathon. I was interested in showing them the super cute animated “101 Dalmatians” that I remember enjoying as a child, positively reviewed on this blog previously. But the live action version was available for free on Netflix, so that is what we watched.

The movie is sweet enough, with a cute love story paralleled between the dogs and the owners. The puppies are super swoon-worthy. There were some hard parts for my daughter to get through. Fur is a tough subject matter and once she realized what Cruella De Vil’s intentions were with the puppies, she was reduced to a sobbing mess. She had me reassure her throughout that no one would die, and in the end declared it a great movie. It was an emotional journey but she enjoyed it.

My son, only two years old, didn’t follow the movie but he liked the dogs and enjoyed the slapstick comedy of the dog thieves, yelling “CRASH!” every time they crashed into something.

Overall, this is a nice movie. Not movie of the year great, but an enjoyable time. There are some great stars that make the movie shine - Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, and Hugh Laurie as a surprisingly comedic dog thief. I would recommend it for your next rainy day.

Rated G. Common Sense Media recommends this for ages five and older. My six-year-old enjoyed it but was very emotional throughout.

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Turkey Trouble

November 23rd, 2015 · Books


Another great find from the author of Turkey Claus. Turkey doesn’t want to be eaten for Thanksgiving and disguises himself as various other farm animals in an effort to hide from the farmer. It’s basically the same premise as Run, Turkey, Run, but our library has room for two turkey-friendly Thanksgiving books.

turkey trouble

My two-year-old is loving this book. On every page he throws his hands up in the air and asks, “Where Turkey go?” and then points out Turkey’s latest disguise. The repetition is fun for a read aloud with young kids and the pictures are fun and engaging. I’m very happy to have added it to our library of Thanksgiving books this year.

Ages 2+.

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Not a Nugget

November 18th, 2015 · Books

Not A Nugget CoverReview by ROBYN MOORE

Not a Nugget by Stephanie Dreyer (aka VeegMama) is a really sweet book that combines a dose of fun facts with a strong vegan message.

Vegan books that are gentle, fun-spirited, informational, and toddler age-appropriate are hard to come by, but the author really accomplishes all this in her book. This book connects each animal (including sea creatures) with the food they typically get turned into, so for example a cow becomes a hamburger and an egg becomes an omelet. I think this is an important connection for kids to understand, especially for the young ones who are just learning about where their food comes from.

On the first page spread, there’s a cute chicken with the words, “not a nugget” followed by a question about chickens and then a fun fact that relates to the question. I like this combination of statement, question and fact, and the way the book sticks to this same pattern throughout its entirety. It’s simple and predictable in a good way that makes sense to kids. The facts themselves are interesting, especially because so most of them connect to our own human behaviors and relationships. This association is important for kids in developing empathy, which leads to compassion.

The images were sweet and really effective at keeping the focus on the animals, without having the distraction of a busy background. I thought the illustrator’s portrayal of the animals’ eyes was remarkable; they were animated and warm and seemed to pop out of the page! I really liked this book, and it was a perfect read for my two kids under 5 years old! Highly recommend.

Ages 2 to 6.

Note: Vegbooks contributor Diane Vukovic also reviewed this book on her blog Plenteous Veg. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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I Am Yoga

November 9th, 2015 · Books


I Am Yoga by Susan Verde teaches us that when we align our hearts, minds and bodies anything is possible.


Yoga, a Sanskrit word meaning “to join,” is a practice that enables each one of us to connect with the many elements on this earth in our own special way. Once we know we can carve out a unique spot that feels right for us, we know we are never alone.

This book not only is a great introduction to yoga, but teaches children to embrace their individuality, as a gift and not something to fear. In a world, that can seem overwhelmingly large, it is nice to know that this practice of yoga, can make us feel one in our being. This book sends a beautiful message. It shows children that there is no one right way to feel and when we have feelings that seem unmanageable, there is a way to experience them that feels safe. I love how it incorporates references to nonviolence and anger management skills.

The illustrated guide at the back of the book introduces children to basic poses and explains them in an active and explorative manner.

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