POSTS WITH TAG: books & media

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    If you're looking to get your kids to put down the gadgets and get back to nature, the last place you'd expect to get that message is inside a movie theater. But if there's one thing the new animated flick, Rio 2, really has going for it, it's a message that parents can get behind.

    The follow-up to 2011's Rio, the movie that introduced kids to a blue macaw named Blue (played by Jesse Eisenberg) and his lady love, Jewel (played by Anne Hathaway), flies into theaters this weekend and brings with it a whole new cast of colorful characters. Brought together in the first film because they were the last of their species in existence, Jewel and Blue are now married with three kids, living a rather human-like existence in the city with their owners.

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    Bath time is never an easy feat. Between settling the perfect water temperature for the kids and including each and every waterproof toy, every night's bath is a production. And for the famous Pigeon, things are no different.

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and the release of the newest addition, The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, we're putting together an extra special giveaway pack.

    One lucky winner will receive the entire collection of The Pigeon books by Mo Willems, as well as a $500 Pottery Barn Kids gift card, so you can buy all of your bath-related needs and make the nightly event a little bit smoother.

    To enter for a chance to win the book prize pack and gift card, let us know:

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    Parents of kids with autism are buzzing about the cover of a national parenting magazine -- but it's an issue all parents should be reading. The April 2014 issue of Parents magazine features a child with autism on its cover, the first time for a national, mainstream parenting magazine. In the history-making cover, 5-year-old Daniel Molina looks out into the distance while his 3-year-old sister, Chloe, grins at the camera. It looks like a typical day for both of them, but for so many parents, the sight of Daniel is exceptional. 

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    “Mommy, what’s S&M?” That’s what my sweet and innocent 8-year-old daughter recently asked me while driving home from school. Yeah, THANKS Rihanna. Thanks a lot. Fortunately, when this question came up, we were at a red light. I probably would have swerved and hit a passing pedestrian or light post otherwise.

    My second grader and I had been listening to the radio, some random Top 40 “we play the hits you wanna hear” type station.

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    I'm trying to be open-minded and find the upside to this story. But so far, all I've come up with is WTF? Guess what, kiddies: This year's Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue cover girl is Barbie. You know, Barbie the doll? Because that makes all kinds of sense! Oh, and by the way, the theme of the issue is #Unapologetic, hashtag and all. I'll pause while you roll your eyes.

    Anyway, there Barbie is on the cover, posing in a black-and-white one-piece, with a caption reading, "The doll that started it all." Started what, exactly? I'll let them explain why they're doing this to us.

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    Old MacDonald had a ... mutilated cow? Many children fall in love with these soulful creatures and other rural animals when they're mere toddlers playing on the rug with their Little People farm friends. Some parents, myself included, choose to give our little ones organic or almond milk because we want to avoid harmful hormones and have heard far too many horror stories about the ways in which cows are treated on many dairy farms. Maybe we've even discussed these realities with our children. But parents at an elementary school in California are outraged this week because members of PETA reportedly took matters into their own hands by distributing "comics" containing illustrations of mutilated cows to children as young as 6.

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    In today's edition of things that are just plain mean and messed up, supposedly an 8-year-old autistic boy has been forbidden to bring his Bible to school, you know -- because it's not "appropriate" for him to read or whatever.

    When Jessica Cross' son Jason came home from school upset, she asked him what was bothering him. That's when he told her that he was not permitted to bring his Bible to school to read during free time because it's for church, not for the classroom.

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    You guys, I just don't know how I feel about this video. Okay, so it's this 8-year-old boy doing a SPECTACULAR dance on live TV. Akshat Singh does somersaults and handstands and who knew a kid could move like this? It's seriously impressive. And charisma? Please, he's got oodles of the stuff. What a charmer. There's just one little thing: OMG, the crotch-grabbing! Some of this little guy's moves are a bit, well, big guy. Is it me, or is some of this routine a bit much for a kid his age?

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    Without a doubt, one of the hardest parts of having a child who is fast approaching the tween years is the increasing need to explain the changing body. Puberty doesn't scare me. Talking about puberty doesn't scare me.

    But like many kids, my daughter is not a big fan of talking about her body with me. Considering her mother once sat through a sex talk with her fingers in her ears as she chanted "la, la, la, la, la" (I was such a mature kid), I suppose this is nature's way of getting back to me.

    But whether she wants to talk about it or not, puberty is coming, and she has to hear about it -- if not from me, then from a book.

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    So, according to FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly Santa is white and that's all there is to it. The end! Except, is that really all there is to it? When I look at the Santas around me she does seem to be right. Even though I live in New York City we have never encountered a black Santa, or an Asian Santa, or a Cuban Santa -- well, you get the idea. Maybe I just don't know where to look. The only Mexican Santa I've ever seen was that one year my dad dressed up. (And I was onto him!)

    I've been Googling and calling and asking around to see if there are any Santas of color in the major department stores around me. No luck so far. And that makes me wonder -- is Christmas racist?

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