Friday, November 13, 2009

Review, Discount and Giveaway: Pretty Please Press CLOSED



If you're a regular reader, you'll know how much I love books and sharing story time with my little fella. Though he is a busybody and doesn't sit still for very long, I make it a point to read aloud to him for at least fifteen minutes each day. Even if it means I read while he runs around and only stops now and then to glance at the pages. I'm crossing my fingers that someday soon, my rambunctious toddler will settle down long enough to listen to an entire board book story on my lap or beside me.

Needless to say, I am always on the lookout for books that can grow with him. I prefer books that both entertain and teach, and contain enjoyable subject matter for a two-year old or a twelve-year old. So, when I saw an opportunity to review some children's books from Pretty Please Press via the PR Place, I didn't let it pass me by. As inferred by the name, I had a feeling we could learn some important lessons - and maybe even some manners. Never too early for that!
Pretty Please Press, founded in 2001, publishes children's books that are designed to be read aloud and talked about, establishing good communication between parents and children. Many education and parenting experts stress that reading together during the elementary school years helps parents and children bond as a family and helps kids stay on the right track. Opening up lines of communication with kids early in life will encourage them to talk later, when big "character issues" arise.

Each book contains a message about character and values that helps parents and children think and talk about a variety of issues. The key to character building is sharing your own good values with your children. You don't have to give a boring, sit-down lecture that will leave your kids looking stone-faced. We think one of the best ways to impart your thoughts about character is to read a book that leads you to ask your child, "Well, what would you do in this situation?" Your child will answer, and then you'll have a moment to tell him what you think about the subject, and how you would handle it.
Pretty Please Press kindly sent me a collection of four hardcover books to review.

Bella Basset is a puppy from a small country town. Her mother takes her to see the famous Royal Borzoi Ballet for the first time and Bella is immediately mesmorized. She is inspired to become a dancer herself! But her parents - and everyone around her - remind her that she is a Basset, short and stubby, and not cut out for dancing. She is best suited for farm life and dancing should be left to the long and lanky Borzois. Bella sets out to prove everyone wrong, overcoming obstacles and even moving to the Big City to pursue her dream. It is a story about dedication, perseverance and passion. I loved this story and the message behind it: to follow your dreams no matter what people may think or say. Bella Basset Ballerina proves that no dream is an impossible pursuit.

The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters is about two sisters, Lavinia and Emmeline Twitchell, who are just two years apart in age. They may seem adorable to the untrained eye but their constant competiveness, complete with squabbling and fighting, has divided their household. When a vaudeville producer turns this behavior into profitable entertainment, the sisters begin to realize how much they really mean to each other. It is a story of understanding and appreciation. While I never had a sister, I had many friends that were living examples of the Twitchell sisters. The hair-pulling. The name calling. The jealousy. I guess these battles are inherent in having a sibling of the same gender. But I loved the ending. Despite all the fighting, deep down, they had love for each other.

Kick Block Punch is about a boy named Sam, who begins his first day of karate class with one goal: to receive his black belt. He is bored with the posing, bowing and stretching. He wants to get to the good stuff - punching, kicking and breaking boards! But to Sam's surprise, he has a lot to learn about the art of karate. In order to reach his black belt, he is going to have to really work for it. With the help of his instructor, and with lots of practice, Sam is able to get one step closer to his goal and master new skills. This is a story of a patience, which is something kids of all ages - and adults too! - often lack. I like the message that rewards are not just handed out, nor are they easy. You have to put in some elbow grease to achieve your goals. This is one lesson that can surely come in handy come school age.

In another world in a distant galaxy, an unusual purple creature called a Pynx, finds herself a new home in the jungle. She looks different from the other inhabitants and her language is nothing more than a ruckus to her neighbors. As Pynx expands her family with dozens of babies, who are just as noisy as Pynx, the neighbors become fed up and are about to kick her to the curb when an unforseen event brings them together. It is a story about tolerance, acceptance and communication. I thought the message of appreciating differences was very important. Children are sometimes afraid or stand-offish about "new" people, things or places. This story teaches them not to judge a book by its cover. You never know - that person could become your new best friend!

I have to say I was very impressed with this collection. The illustrations in all of the books were beautifully done. They were colorful and imaginative. I almost felt they were a throwback to some of the old-school storybooks I read as a child. The vocabulary was a little advanced and the stories were a little long to capture and hold a toddler's attention but I like that I can read it aloud to him as he grows. When Nate gets to be preschool age, they will be perfect. Each book provided a valuable moral that any child, young or old could take with them. They were engaging, allowing many opportunities for you to stop and ask your child questions to ensure they are grasping the material.

My favorite book was Bella Basset Ballerina but I think Nate liked Pynx most. He was quite intrigued with the pictures of monsters and aliens. He is a boy, after all.

Bottom line: Pretty Please Press offers quality, creative children's literature that would be a welcome addition to any library. Definitely a home run in my book (no pun intended).

BUY IT: Bella Basset Ballerina, The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters, Kick Block Punch and Pynx are all available on the Pretty Please Press website (ARV $12.96/each). Bulk discounts are available for educators or those who purchase more than 12 books.

For those of you who are teachers or who homeschool, Pretty Please Press also offers Character Building lesson plans and free educational downloads, such as Vocabularly Building Cards and Concept Building Cards. Check them out!

DELICIOUS DISCOUNT: If you make a purchase from the website, you can get 20% off the list price! They are also offering a "Buy 3 books, get 1 free" deal. Both discounts are available through December 31, 2009.

WIN IT: I have one more set of all 4 books to give away to one lucky reader (a $52 value)!

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Check out Pretty Please Press and tell me what book you think your child would like most. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile or if you are not a blogger!

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!

1.) Follow my blog or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry)

2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. You can do this daily! (1 entry per day)

3.) Comment with your favorite story to read with your child. (1 entry)

4.) Add my blog button and/or my holiday button to your site and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry for each)

5.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)

Giveaway will end on November 28, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. only. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: As noted above, I received this review opportunity due to my membership at the Product Review Place. I was sent a collection of 4 books from Carolyn at Pretty Please Press to facilitate my candid review. I was also sent 4 more books to give away in a contest. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.

83 comments:

lisa said...

I think Bella Basset Ballerina looks really cute. msmith572@yahoo.com

clenna said...

My grand daughter would love Bella Basset Ballerina - she loves dogs and dancers. Perfect!
clenna at aol dot com

clenna said...

I follow your blog
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clenna said...

My favorite story is Left Foot.
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clenna said...

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Gerrie said...

My daughter would like Bella Beassett Ballerina
gerrie.shaeffer@yahoo.com

Gerrie said...

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Desiree said...

I think my daughter would like bella bassett ballerina.

Desi
weeshareblog@gmail.com
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Desiree said...

blog follower

Desi
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Desiree said...

My daughter's favorite book to have read to her is Mimi's Toes.

Desi
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Desiree said...

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Desi
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Desiree said...

entered your unilever giveaway

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Desiree said...

entered the your picturebook giveaway

Desi
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Mysharona said...

My daughter would love the Bella Basset Ballerina book.

Kristen said...

My children would love the Bella Basset Ballerina book!

krissykidkare(at)aol(dot)com

Kristen said...

One of my favorite children's books to read is "The Hello, Goodbye Window"

Kristie said...

I think my daughter would love the Bella Basset Ballerina book the best!

khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

lisa said...

Email subscriber. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

I entered Unilever Goodies Box giveaway. msmith572@yahoo.com

lisa said...

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lisa said...

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Desiree said...

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Desi
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souldolphindream said...

my daughter would love the Bella Basset Ballerina book since her bella is her name

souldolphindream@aol.com

krkupr01 said...

My daughter would love the Bella Bassett Ballerina book!
krkupr01@yahoo.com

krkupr01 said...

My favorite book to read to my daughter is Baby Faces.

Nicole said...

My daughter would love Bella Basset Ballerina!!

choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

M. said...

My niece would love the Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters book!

meghan34(at)gmail.com

Terra H. said...

I think my son would most like Pynx. Thanks.
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

Terra H. said...

email subscriber
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Terra H. said...

I have your holiday button up on the right hand side of my blog.
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AmberN225 said...

I would love to get The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters for my 2 daughters. They are only 2 & 5, but I'm sure this book would provide some great insights for them as they get older and their relationship . . . develops :).

amber.grover@gmail.com

AmberN225 said...

My favorite story to read to my children is "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. I sing them that song every night before bed. It's very special to us.

amber.grover@gmail.com

sweetsue said...

My 5 year old grandson would like Pynx-it looks like a cute story!
smchester at gmail dot com

AEKZ2 said...

My son would like Kick Block Punch.

annettekz2@yahoo.com

Carol EL said...

Pynx is my choice because it teaches tolerance which is a good trait to have. jelly15301@gmail.com

Carol EL said...

We're reading The Marvelous Toy which I won in another giveaway. jelly15301@gmail.com

Carol EL said...

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saturdaynightfever said...

"Bella Basset Ballerina"; my niece Hannah loves to dance!

edgenemmers@gmail.com

roseh2o19 said...

bella bassett ballerina looks good

demmi said...

The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters
con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

DEBIJOT said...

I think he would like Pynx the best.

DEBIJOT said...

blog follower

DEBIJOT said...

Entered The Sound of Music giveaway.

Kellie Conklin said...

The girls I sit for would absolutely love Bella Basset Ballerina! It looks so cute with a great message! Thanks! Kconklin1028@gmail.com

Kellie Conklin said...

My favorite story to read with the kids I watch is The Scrambled States of America! It's funny and educational at the same time, a great story!
Kconklin1028@gmail.com

Susan said...

I think my grandkids would like Pynx the best.

Susan said...

Goodie Goodie Gumdrops email subscriber

Susan said...

Hop On Pop by Dr. Seuss is a favorite with the 2 year old. The 5 year old is just starting to read so her favorite changes every week.

Susan said...

Entered Boogie Wipes Giveaway

susan1215 said...

Pynx sounds like a good book

Sarah said...

I think my kids would like The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters.

Sarah said...

I'm a follower.

Sarah said...

We love to read The Cat in the Hat.

Sarah said...

I have your button on my sidebar (http://iloveagiveaway.blogspot.com)

dreamcleavers said...

dreamcleavers@yahoo.com
she would like the bella basset ballerina book

dreamcleavers said...

dreamcleavers@yahoo.com
email subscriber

dreamcleavers said...

dreamcleavers@yahoo.com
we always liked to read green eggs and ham

LeeAnn said...

DS would like Pynx!
murphykatt[at]yahoo[dot]com

Janet and Maya said...

My four year old daughter loves to dance so I think Bella Bassett Ballerina will be her favorite. But Pynx looks fun too! I like these books - thank you for the giveaway!

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Janet and Maya said...

I subscribed by email
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Janet and Maya said...

I tweeted here http://twitter.com/janetmom2maya/status/6159652
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Janet and Maya said...

I love to read Llama Llama Red Pajama. The rhymes are fun to read!

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Nancye said...

My daughter would like The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters the best because she loves dogs.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower


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lilyk said...

Bella Bassett Ballerina looks very interesting!

Nancye said...

email subscriber


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subscribe via reader

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Nancye said...

My favorite story to read with my daughter is any Curious George book. She also loves Junie B. Jones


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lilyk said...

I subscribed by email.

Janet and Maya said...

I entered the Go Waggaloo
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Gianna said...

Bella Basset Ballerina :)

Janet and Maya said...

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ktgonyea said...

Enter the Sound of Music giveaway :)

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rosannepm said...

They would like The Scritchy Little Twitchell Sisters because they are sisters
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rosannepm said...

Subscribe via Google reader-rosannepm
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rosannepm said...

I love to read any of the little Criter books to them
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