Weird but true! Who knew?

300 outrageous facts are available to young, inquiring minds at the turn of a page! Brought to you by the nation’s most popular kids magazine, National Geographic Kids. This cute little book captures photos and facts that are sometimes downright silly.
Weird but True 2 is full with 200 pages of bright colors, interesting pictures, graphics and photographs captured the attention of my little one. She loved the facts and photos of the animals. She laughed and laughed at some of them and quizzed me on the rest, none of which I got right! Way to go Mom, right!

This book comes in soft cover only and is available for $7.95 which I feel is a reasonable price. I always worry when I am buying books if it is going to be a read once book or one that will be read over and over again. Let’s face it, we have all bought those expensive books because they were cute only to have it read once and tossed aside. National Geographic Kids Weird but True 2, is fascinating and will keep your kids coming back for more. The pages are durable and it’s a good size to toss into a backpack or purse. Long wait at the Doctors office? Ba Bam! Entertainment in your purse that does not require batteries or need to be recharged!

weird but true

I love fun books that are at her reading level and encourage growth in vocabulary with a few challenging words. And National Geographic does not disappoint with words like Gelotology which means the study of laughter. I recommend you read along with your National Geographic Kid as you will probably learn some things and you too can be a trivia champion! I know it’s weird, but it’s true!

Bird Seed Craft Tutorial Inspired by "The Pigeon Needs a Bath"

Bird Seed Craft

MomStart is working with "The Pigeon" book series to bring you these fun ideas! Compensation and samples provided.


The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon’s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge. First in the series, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus recently celebrated it’s 10th birthday!


Over the last decade, The Pigeon books have sold millions of copies and enchanted young readers. The books have received numerous starred reviews, have appeared on many "best of" lists, and have even been inducted into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame.

As you saw earlier this week, MomStart hosted a super fun "Pigeon Party" in honor of The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems.


To help inspire your own Pigeon Party, we wanted to share this fun and easy party favor craft that the whole family can make together.

Pigeon eggs!

These "Pigeon Eggs" hold a bird seed surprise inside, so that the recipient of the party favor can enjoy getting outside and feeding some real, live pigeons after chuckling over that hilarious pigeon scarfing down a hot dog! My parents always had several bird feeders outside our home when I was a child, so I grew up with a love of feeding the birds. I thought this craft would be a fun way to continue that tradition!

What You’ll Need to Get Started:

Bird seed favor supplies


  • Small bag of bird food – 1lb or less
  • Post-It Label Pads in blue & yellow
  • Sandwich bags
  • Bag of 12 plastic Easter eggs
  • Scissors
  • Black felt-tip pen

IMPORTANT NOTE: As always, if you are doing this craft or bird feeding activity with children, parental supervision is required.

Step 1: Fill The Sandwich Bags With Bird Seed

To get started, pay a visit to your local pet shop and pick up some bird seed for your little pigeon friends; ours has a "Dove Mix" that you can pick up for $1.79 per pound.

"Dove Mix"

You’re going to measure this out in 1 tablespoon increments into 12 sandwich baggies.

Bird seed bags

Tuck the bag shut, and fold it in half so that it fits into the plastic egg shell.

Egg filled with bird seed

Step 2: Create Your Pigeon

Now comes the fun part where you can let your inner Picasso Pigeon free! Take your yellow Post-It Label Pad and pull off one sheet. Cut off a small portion of the corner to form a crude triangle.

Cutting the Post-It Label

Creating a beak

Unlike regular Post-It Notes, Post-It Labels have an entirely sticky back, so this will stick easily to the egg to form your pigeon’s beak.

Creating the Pigeon Egg

Next, take your blue Post-It Label and draw your pigeon head. This is essentially 3 circles: One large circle for the head, one medium circle in the center to form the white of the eye, and one small black circle to create the pupil. This is so easy to draw that even my un-crafty bird brain could do it! :D

Drawing the pigeon

Using the outer line as your guide, cut out the head.

Cutting out the pigeon head

Line up the head over the beak and affix it to the egg.

Affixing the pigeon head

Finished egg


Bird Seed Party Favors Inspired by "The Pigeon Needs a Bath"

These favors are perfect for a Pigeon-inspired party – hand them out to your guests, then go outside and take turns feeding the birdies!

Finished party favors

You might say…this is one party favor that’s for the birds!

Now tell me: What party supplies would YOU create for a Pigeon Party?

The Pigeon Needs a Bath Book Party With Friends #ThePigeonParty

I’m working with The Pigeon books series and received samples and compensation to host a party with my neighbors for The Pigeon books…..And this is our Pigeon Adventure

So, here in Seattle when it’s sunny we have a party outside not inside and I think an outdoor theme for “The Pigeon Needs a Bathby Mo Willems and other The Pigeon series books is perfect don’t you? See it’s a sunny day and The Pigeon Needs a Bath, even the one with the red hair that has the same argument with me that you’ll find in the book….



Once the kids got home from school we took our party over to the park. You see when the sun comes out in Seattle we all run outdoors because you might only have 15 minutes to enjoy it. Luckily on this particular Monday we had a TON of sun. It was awesome.


Before the kids got home from school I got everything ready. I created salted melon rinds and a whole other basket of fruit to share. It was a hot day so really nice cold melon was really a hot commodity.



Then I created some really fun gift baskets full of Easter supplies. Of those supplies each family received three of the Pigeon Series books. We have a lot of kids in each family so I LOADED up these bags with lots of goodies.


The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog
The Pigeon Needs a Bath



The Pigeon Wants a Puppy


The books are a hit in our house, Zoe read all of them as soon as she saw them in the living room. The first time I saw any of The Pigeon books was in my daughter’s book order for school. I think she even had it circled, it was hers or her brother’s one of them had it circled.



One thing about playing outside and having the party outside is that my kids end up playing in the dirt and needing a bath so of course we had to read The Pigeon Needs a Bath before bath time and bed that night.


The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon’s not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It’s going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

First in the series, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus recently celebrated it’s 10th birthday! Over the last decade, The Pigeon books have sold millions of copies and enchanted young readers. The books have received numerous starred reviews, have appeared on many "best of" lists, and have even been inducted into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame.

Check out the 10th Anniversary Activity Kit here. And see how much more fun we had in the sun with our Pigeon Needs a bath outdoor celebration.DSC00018DSC00019

PS: the day after my friend said thank you on Facebook:


Be sure to follow The Pigeon Books by Visiting the Official Site and be sure to Follow @The_Pigeon on Twitter

About the Author


Photo credit: ©Marty Umans

Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. And his celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as three Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, and Let’s Go for a Drive!). Other favorites include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and City Dog, Country Frog, illustrated by Jon J Muth. Mo lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Zombie Books Sale The Walking Dead Themed: Dead Sexy & A Ghoul-Lurching UNlifestyle

I received a copy of Dead Sexy and found it to be the perfect way to survive the Zombie Apocalypse. You see, if you get the make up right they won’t know you’re actually alive. Just act like them and have the look and you’ll survive easy peasy! DeadSexy_v2_300

In preparation for the finale episode of THE WALKING DEAD on March 30th, innovative hybrid publisher Riverdale Avenue Books will be offering 50% off of all their zombie titles including the best-selling book, Dead Sexy: The Unofficial Walking Dead Fan Guide to Zombie Style, Beauty, Parties, and A Ghoul-Lurching UNlifestyle.

“12.4 million people watched the season three finale of THE WALKING DEAD last year, so this weekend is a zombie-themed weekend,” said Riverdale Avenue Books Publisher, Lori Perkins. “I wanted to give our readers a chance to curl up with a good zombie read in anticipation, and as well as after the finale. We have so much to choose from among our titles, from zombie romance to military action.”

Customers will be able to receive the 50% discount on Riverdale Avenue Books’ website, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and Kobo from March 28th, 2014 through April 1, 2014. The discount applies to:

· Dead Sexy: The Unofficial Walking Dead Fan Guide to Zombie Style, Beauty, Parties, and A Ghoul-Lurching UNlifestyle. by Paula Conway

· Blood Burn by J.E. Fletcher, a tale about werewolves in the zombie apocalypse

· EvoluZion and RedemZion by Axl Abbott, military zombie fiction

· Still Hungry for Your Love, further adventures in zombie romance, edited by Lori Perkins

First 12 Chapters of NOT YET RELEASED “Dorothy Must Die” FREE – New Twisted Tale From Oz

I’ve been trying to make a little more time for myself lately and I’ve been trying to do a little pleasure reading. That sounds so easy, but we all know in practice… it takes some work! When I heard about this new tale from Oz, I was pretty curious. Then I found out I could preview it and share it with all of the MomStart readers and I knew I couldn’t say no.

Dorothy Must Die is a new book by Danielle Paige available for purchase on April 1. By the time I had read the first few chapters, I was hooked. You will see the magical land of Oz flipped upside down. You will be immediately connected to Amy, the “new girl from Kansas”, as she tries to sort out the differences between wicked and good. You will start reading, and want to keep turning the page just to see what happens next.

dorothy preview


From the Back Cover

I didn’t ask for any of this.
I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.


The publishers have actually released the first 12 chapters for you to preview! Follow the link to get the first 12 chapters of Dorothy Must Die so that you can get a sneak peek of a highly anticipated literary debut!


Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at @Momicles2010.

American Girl Of The Year 2014 is Isabelle: The Isabelle American Girl Doll Book

I felt so blessed because American Girl has been sending us their books and they sent us the doll of the year book just in time for Zoe’s Birthday. I mean it actually showed up on her birthday so of course I added it to the stack of birthday presents that she opened and look at this smile. SHE LOVES IT. Of course she still has a small desire for an actual American Girl Doll but the fact she gets so excited about the books just makes me so proud. And she’s only in first grade and she can read these books all by herself. We help her a little but she reads these books at night in her room. I LOVE THIS GIRL!


She’s saving up for her own American Girl Doll.

American Girl has revealed its new limited-edition ‘Girl of the Year’ doll for 2014.

Isabelle Palmer, a young ballerina who attends a private dance school in Washington D.C., is the company’s newest release.

With her blonde, pink-streaked hair, casual clothes, and many dance accessories, Isabelle will likely be a must-have toy among aspiring young ballerinas nationwide.



  • Who she is: She’s an inspired dancer who discovers her own way to shine
  • Where she lives: Isabelle lives and attends school in Washington, D.C., surrounded by the bustle and culture of the city
  • Favorite activities: Practicing ballet and designing dance costumes
  • Best friends: Luisa, a modern dancer; and Gabriel, a magician
  • Fun fact: When Isabelle is dancing, she sometimes pretends she’s a water lily skipping and spinning across a pond
  • What changes her life: The realization that she can use her design skills to help others
  • What she discovers: There’s no one else out there with your unique talents

From one of the three books:

As soon as we got to the ballet studio, Luisa and I plunged inside. Before I’d gotten into Anna Hart, I’d taken ballet three times a week at a pretty good dance academy. And I had learned all the moves, turns, and positions so well that I’d been one of the best dancers in my class.

That wasn’t true here at Anna Hart, but the ballet studio still felt like my second home. I loved the soft whisper of cloth on floor as the other ballet students warmed up. They lay on their backs, stretching their arms and legs in ways that arms and legs didn’t normally move. Some wore gray sweatshirts over their brightly colored leotards, as if pigeons and parrots were gathering together in the same birdbath.

Our teacher, Ms. Hawken, was a small, slim woman in a leotard with a crimson scarf tied around her waist. A matching ribbon circled her ponytail.

Get your child reading by introducing the American Girl series to them. You can find them at the library, Amazon, or at the American Girl Doll store.

10 Halloween Books For Early Readers

Miles picked out books from his Scholastic order last month and ended up with quite a collection of Halloween books. One of the books he brought home doesn’t seem to be from Scholastic but it’s still perfect for Halloween and is actually our favorite book this Halloween, it’s Click, Clack , Boo A Tricky Treat. Here is our video showing you the 10 Halloween Books for Early Readers



imageClick Clack, Boo A Tricky Treat

Will the barnyard animals trick—or treat—Farmer Brown? Find out in this Halloween tale from the #1 New York Times bestselling creators of Click, Clack, Moo.
Farmer Brown does not like Halloween. So he draws the shades, puts on his footy pajamas, and climbs into bed.
But do you think the barnyard animals have any respect for a man in footy pajamas? No, they do not. For them, the Halloween party has just begun. And we all know these critters far prefer tricks over treats.
There are big surprises in store for Farmer Brown!


Skeleton Meets The Mummy

This spooky new read-aloud story is perfect for Halloween!
On Halloween night, Sammy has to make a quick trip through the dark woods before he can go trick-or-treating. But someone–or something–is following him. Scritch! Scratch! What could it be?
Bold, vibrant illustrations make this spooky story a perfect Halloween tale that kids will want to read again and again.


The Teeny Tiny Ghost

Each day the teeny tiny ghost goes to haunting school to try to become scarier. It’s hard work, though — especially since he’s frightened by his own screams! Then, one bat-black October night, the teeny tiny ghost is floating in his teeny tiny home when he hears a RAP TAP TAP on the door. And then he knows it’s up to him to keep himself and his teeny tiny cats safe. But what are the chances that a teeny tiny timid ghost will really be able to scare someone away?


Wee Witches Halloween

It’s Halloween night and the wee witches can’t wait to go on their Halloween spree, where they hope to scare everyone they see. However, the scaring does not go as planned. When they try to scare people at a fair, everyone looks the other way. The witches think they’ll have better luck at a parade, but their attempts fail there, too. The wee witches are flying away in defeat when they spot a group of kids. They decide to try one last time. But "when they scream their biggest ‘BOO!’ . . . the kids just laugh and scream, ‘BOO!’ too!


The Halloween Play

It’s the night of the Halloween play.

The auditorium is packed. Roger has a small but important role


My Monster Mama Loves Me So

She tucks me tightly into bed,
then asks me id my spider’s fed
and hangs my favorite bat above me.
That’s how I know my mama loves me!

At once tender and funny, this monster bedtime story is guaranteed to generate giggles, tickles, and plenty of monster hugs.


Goodnight Goon

Goodnight monsters everywhere, in this parody romp with its own special twist!

?Goodnight tomb. Goodnight goon. Goodnight Martians taking over the moon.?

It?s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest.

A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again.


The 13 Nights of Halloween

On the first night of Halloween, what does your mummy give you?A bright, shiny Skeleton Key, of course!

In fact, for each of the thirteen nights leading up to the big night, your mummy is ready with gifts that include everything from singing skulls to demons dancing to icky eyeballs. The spookier and slimier, the better!

From debut author-illustrator Guy Vasilovich comes a picture book that is sure to inspire even the youngest readers to start the creepy countdown to Halloween. Sing along to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” as you get ready for the scariest—and silliest—night of the year.


Scooby-Doo and the Witching Hour

Scooby and the gang are picking pumpkins for Halloween when — YIKES! — they see a witch haunting the pumpkin patch! When the witch makes another appearanceat the town’s annual Halloween bash, will the guests be too spooked to party? Or will Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred, and Velma uncover the wacky witch’s tricks? Find out in an all new Scooby-Doo Reader!


Black Lagoon Adventures The Class Election from Black Lagoon

Another fun chapter book from the dynamic duo of Mike Thaler and Jared Lee — just in time for Election Day!
Mean Mrs. Green is forcing everyone to run for something in the school election, but everyone just wants to run for their lives! YIKES!
Hubie is running for president against Doris. But he doesn’t think he stands a chance against the free ice cream that she’s giving away to voters. Plus, to stay in the race he has to do crazy stuff like shaking Coach Kong’s paw and Mrs. Green’s claw, and kissing a bunch of babies. Hubie’s chances look slim. Will being the candidate who stands for something—not just who stands on top of something–be enough to win him the race in the end?

Children’s Book review: “Big Pigs and Sock Dances” by Randy Briley

Book review: “Big Pigs and Sock Dances” by Randy Briley

Written By Lynn:

I met Randy’s wife through a local moms group, she is such a kind-hearted person, the type you always wish good things happen too. But that, unfortunately wasn’t the case when her husband, the sole breadwinner for the family, was laid off from work this year. Randy saw the silver lining and being an amazing artist has also tried his hand at writing children’s books.


I was given a book to review called “Big Pigs and Sock Dances”. The story is written and illustrated by Randy. When I first saw the pictures I thought they were a little unusual and that my daughters might find them weird, but I showed it to them any way. I guessed since the book was targeted for their age (they’re 3 & 6) they would give the best and honest review. My eldest LOVED it. She literally read it 3 times over in the first sitting. My youngest giggled along too at the words AND pictures. The unusualness of the pictures actually appealed to them. The story is more of a poem referring to things the writer likes and sometimes dislikes. It could be the thoughts of a child, and I mean that in a GOOD way! Of course it mentions something about underpants, which most children find positively hilarious, and mine did! BWsmall

It is a book I can sit with my children and enjoy looking at because I seem to see and hear something new each time. It gives me the impression that children, especially boys, who don’t normally like to read, will find something engaging about it and want to turn it’s pages, even if it’s just to look at all the pictures initially.

This book is available via Amazon in a kindle addition (you don’t need a kindle, just the app) at

You can also find more information at

Like Raven Mad Studios on Facebook

Or follow randybriley99 on Twitter


About Lynn:

I met Lynn in MOMS Club and she has two children. One of which is the same age as my daughter and they love to giggle and play together. Lynn Hooper is also a local Mary Kay Consultant while also being a full time mom. “A lot of what the business stands for is true to my heart. Mary Kay Inc. has a foundation that donates funds to help end domestic violence and also funds research into cancers that affect women. Mary Kay also has what’s called "The Golden Rule" which means God (faith) first, family second and business third. A great principal for me and nice to know I am part of a team that believes in this too.

Children’s Book Review: My Very Own Pirate Tale

Book review “My very own Pirate Tale”

By Lynn:

This is an absolutely AMAZING book! I received one for my youngest daughter and WILL be getting one for my eldest.

So firstly it is a personalized book. You provide the company with some basic information about your child., some optional, but some required, such as their name, which is key in the story. You can give a little dedication too – fantastic for a gift as this is a book they will keep for life!109

There are a few themes you can choose from, some are “My Very Own Name”; “My Very Own Fairy Tale”; “My very Happy Birthday” and the one we reviewed that is up for promotion – “My Very Own Pirate Tale”. You can visit their website at to view the whole list of titles.Pirate Placemat (2)

So yes, having a child see their name appear in a book is fantastic, right? But what makes it even more incredible (I feel like one of those infomercials, but wait, there’s more! – but in this case parents will LVOE this) each letter in the child’s name is attached to an animal (For example, J for jellyfish) and they include a cute picture of the animal. Even more cool is that at the end of the book they give the entire alphabet of sea creatures (with the book being pirate themed), some letters had more than one animal, and information about them in a cute little note for children. They also have other products that go along with the books, such as placemats, coloring books and lunchboxes. I asked my 3 year old what she thought of the book and she simply said: “I love it”.


Right now is having a Pirate Tale PROMO: Where you can get 15% off select Pirate Tale Product (My Very Own Pirate Tale book, gift set and placemat) using coupon code PIRATE, 9/1/2013 through 9/30/13.

You can sign up for discount promos and company alerts at this link:

You can also find more info about them at the following links:

Twitter:!/ISeeMe_Maia @ISeeMe_Maia

Pinterest   #iseemebooks

About Lynn:

I met Lynn in MOMS Club and she has two children. One of which is the same age as my daughter and they love to giggle and play together. Lynn Hooper is also a local Mary Kay Consultant while also being a full time mom. “A lot of what the business stands for is true to my heart. Mary Kay Inc. has a foundation that donates funds to help end domestic violence and also funds research into cancers that affect women. Mary Kay also has what’s called "The Golden Rule" which means God (faith) first, family second and business third. A great principal for me and nice to know I am part of a team that believes in this too.

LEGOS: Cool Creations in 35 Pieces By Sean Kenny Children’s Book

This book makes me think….With Little Blocks comes Great Creativity….


Ok, yeah I’m pretty random sometimes when I’m reviewing products, yes we received this book as a sample and it came on a day that Miles didn’t have school and his sister did. He kept asking me if he could play a video game but he’s not allowed to change the discs because he doesn’t take care of the discs. So I had to change the disk and I was in the middle of editing a video for my blog. This book was delivered and suddenly he didn’t care about the video game, he cared about finding the LEGOS to make a ROBOT.IMG_7985

There are always LEGOS in the floor of my living room, on the fire place and in the kitchen. The kids LOVE LEGOS and when I say kids that include the big kid my husband. Ah, I love them too but they paly with them the most. What I love about this book is how easy it is to use and how it inspires great things. Building with LEGO® pieces can inspire children and adults alike to construct wonderfully imaginative and grand creations – towering castles, massive aircrafts, and intricate cities. But LEGO models don’t have to be complicated to be fun and exciting. In Cool Creations in 35 Pieces, best-selling author and artist Sean Kenney taps deep into his imagination with an exercise that will challenge readers of all ages. He creates dozens of figures—from menacing robots with names like Blurg and Scraps, to transforming trucks, to creatures that live in the rainforest—out of LEGOs, but uses no more than 35 pieces in each construct.

Cool Creations in 35 Pieces is Sean’s sixth book that showcases his LEGO art work. His intricate-yet-simple designs will inspire millions of LEGO fans to unleash their own imaginations. He provides starting points, and also includes a step-by-step instruction guide on how he created his pieces.

Falling in love with LEGOs as a boy, Sean left a lucrative Lehman Brothers career to pursue his dream as an artist. He now owns nearly 2 million LEGO bricks and has erected works that weigh as much as 400 pounds. For Cool Creations in 35 Pieces, however, he wanted to show what’s possible with only a few blocks. Just imagine the worlds you can create in only 35 pieces!