Monday, April 24, 2017

HarperCollins Middle-Grade Reads

 ** A Geek Daddy received the featured products for free to review **

My eight year old twins are at an age where they've moved beyond early reader books but aren't yet ready for adult novels yet.  They are reading  at what is called the Middle-Grade level.  These books are aimed at children 8 - 12 years old (Grades 2 - 5), often referred to as tweens, and include lots of illustrations to enhance the reading experience plus the subject matter is specifically written to cater to this age group.  Middle-Grade publications tend to be shorter than normal books, no more than 50,000 words (compared to 75,000+) and are not permitted to contain profanity, graphic violence or sexual situations. Our family is always on the look out for Middle-Grade Reads that will capture my kids attention.

HarperCollins kindly sent my kids complimentary editions of two recently published Middle-Grade books, OLGA AND THE SMELLY THING FROM NOWHERE by Elise Gravel and STICK CAT: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES by Tom Watson, to check out.  My daughter and son haven't put these books down since we got them in the mail.  At the age when parents start get some friction from children about spending time reading, it has been great to see my kids immersing themselves in these middle-grade reads.


To share my kids enthusiasm for these books, A Geek Daddy has an OODLES OF DOODLES prize pack courtesy of HarperCollins to giveaway.  It includes copies of Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties and Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere, art prints from each of these book's creators, a notebook to doodle in, and a colored pencil set.


To be eligible to win complete the entries below before May 12, 2017 at 11:59pm.  Must be a U.S. resident over 18 years old to participate in this giveaway.  One winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My daughter LOVES this book! She says it is hilarious.  I am excited as a parent by this book because its been awhile since I've seen her as enamored with reading as she has been since getting her hands on OLGA AND THE SMELLY THINGS FROM NOWHERE.

In the story, Olga finds a creature in her garbage can one day and all it says is "MEH!"  It won't eat, it won't sleep, it snores, it stinks and Olga studies it like mad.  She adores it and eventually names it after herself --> an OLGAMUS.  A trip to the library reveals little, while a trip to the local grocery store proves successful when Olga discovers Meh's favorite food is olives!

Her adventures with Meh take place over a few days and during that time Olga's life is never dull.  Readers progress through Olga's journal as she reveals a great deal of information not only about herself, but also concerning everything from the scientific method to Jane Goodall.  She also documents her favorite odd creatures along with things like the ins and outs of friendships with entries that seem to have my daughter constantly chuckling.


The author, Elise Gravel, is an award winning author/illustrator from Quebec who is well known in Canada for her wacky picture books.  Having studied graphic design in college, Gravel has carried over a tendency to incorporate text here and there within her drawings in her career as a literary illustrator.  She is inspired by social causes and  you should be prepared to find a good dose of eccentricity within her work.
 


My son gravitated to STICK CAT: A TALE OF TWO KITTIES when these books arrived in the mail from HarperCollins.  He loves to draw and has been tirelessly working on sketches that replicate the artwork found in the book.  This book is heavily illustrated with young readers in mind making it a perfect fit for him.



In this story it's a big day in the big city for Stick Cat and his best friend Edith.  There are treasures to hunt, songs to sing, pigeons to catch, and naps to take.  But way up on the 23rd floor, danger lurks just around the corner.  Terrible noises and violent crashes trap a desperate man in the building across the alley.  Stick Cat will need to navigate his way across the alley -- an around Edith's peculiar ways -- to attempt a rescue.

The author,Tom Watson, lives in Chicago with his wife, daughter, and son. He is the author of the Stick Dog series and now is starting a Stick Cat series. This is the first book in that series. Tom does not have a cat. So his ideas for the Stick Cat series come from a whole different place. He’s not sure where that place is exactly, but he knows it’s kind of strange there. While he has your attention, Tom would like to make one thing perfectly clear: There are not going to be any other stick animal books. There won’t be a Stick Monkey, for instance. Or Stick Chicken (even though that’s fun to say) or even Stick Giraffe (even though that would be fun to draw). He’s having plenty of fun just with dogs and cats.



OLGA AND THE SMELLY THINGS FROM NOWHERE and STICK CAT: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES are available to purchase at retailers now. For additional suggestions of Middle-Grade reading selections available from HarperCollins, please CLICK HERE.

HarperCollins Publishers is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world.  Headquartered in New York City, it has publishing operations in 18 countries. This two hundred year old company  publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles.

Disclaimer & Contest Rules: A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by HarperCollins and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate. One entry per mailing address and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified if that prize has already been awarded by HarperCollins. By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. Must reply to notification email within 48 hours by providing requested contact information or else the prize will be forfeited and a new winner randomly selected. HarperCollins will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner.

RUGRATS SEASON 1 & 2 DVD GIVEAWAY

** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free **
RUGRATS was one of the most popular shows on the Nickelodeon cable network in the 1990s.  Told from the perspective of a group of adventurous and imaginative toddlers, RUGRATS transformed the most mundane activities into unforgettable adventures. Led by fearless leader Tommy Pickles, the gang can turn an ordinary trip to the park into a journey across the Sahara in search of water, a visit to the plant nursery into a jungle trek to find a cure for "jungle beaver," or a search for cookies into a prehistoric fantasy. Known as one of the favorite childhood television shows of millennials, Nickelodeon is now releasing the show on DVD to introduce a new generation of children to the Rugrats.

Nickelodeon Home Entertainment generously sent my family the 2-disc RUGRATS: SEASON 1 and 4-disc RUGRATS: SEASON 2 dvd sets to enjoy + is providing the same for A GEEK DADDY to giveaway to one lucky winner!  Time to do the happy dance!


Rugrats: Season 1 & Rugrats: Season 2 will be available individually on May 2, 2017 through retail outlets across the United State and Canada. .Rugrats: Season 1 contains 25 episodes and Rugrats: Season 2 contains 51 episodes.  At the price of $14.99 and $19.99 respectively, Rugrats: Season 1 & Rugrats: Season 2 will be a welcome addition to any family looking for a little throwback fun and adventure from the '90s era.


For a chance to win these Rugrats DVD sets follow the instructions below before May 2, 2017 @ 11:59 pm ET.  Must be a U.S. resident over 18 years old to be eligible to participate in this promotion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rugrats: Season 1 includes the following episodes: 
DISC 1:
  • Tommy's First Birthday                        
  • Barbeque Story                        
  • Waiter, There's A Baby In My Soup                 
  • At The Movies             
  • Slumber Party              
  • Baby Commercial                    
  • Little Dude                   
  • Beauty Contest             
  • Baseball                       
  • Ruthless Tommy                      
  • Moose Country                        
  • Grandpa's Teeth                       
  • Momma Trauma                                                              
DISC 2:                                                
  • Real Or Robots?                       
  • Special Delivery                       
  • Candy Bar Creep Show                        
  • Monster In The Garage                        
  • Weaning Tommy                     
  • Incident In Aisle Seven                        
  • Touch-Down Tommy              
  • The Trial                      
  • Fluffy vs. Spike                       
  • Reptar's Revenge                      
  • Graham Canyon                       
  • Stu-Maker's Elves 

Rugrats: Season 2 includes the following episodes:
DISC 1:
  • Toy Palace                   
  • Sand Ho!                     
  • Chuckie Versus The Potty                    
  • Together At Last                      
  • The Big House             
  • The Shot                      
  • Showdown At Teeter-Totter Gulch                  
  • Mirrorland                   
  • Angelica's In Love                   
  • Ice Cream Mountain                
  • Regarding Stuie                       
  • Garage Sale                  
  • Let There Be Light                   
  • The Bank Trick                       
DISC 2:                        
  • Family Reunion                       
  • Grandpa's Date             
  • No Bones About It                   
  • Beach Blanket Babies               
  • Reptar On Ice               
  • Family Feud                 
  • Superhero Chuckie                  
  • The Dog Broomer                    
  • Aunt Miriam                
  • The Inside Story                      
  • A Visit From Lipschitz             
  • What The Big People Do                      
  • The Santa Experience              
DISC 3:                        
  • Visitors From Outer Space                   
  • The Case Of The Missing Rugrat                      
  • Chuckie Loses His Glasses                    
  • Chuckie Gets Skunked             
  • Rebel Without A Teddy Bear               
  • Angelica The Magnificent                    
  • Meet The Carmichaels              
  • The Box                       
  • Down The Drain                      
  • Let Them Eat Cake                  
  • The Seven Voyages Of Cynthia                       
  • My Friend Barney                                
DISC 4:
  • Feeding Hubert                        
  • Spike The Wonder Dog                       
  • The Slide                     
  • The Big Flush              
  • King Ten Pin               
  • Runaway Angelica                   
  • Game Show Didi                      
  • Toys In The Attic                     
  • Driving Miss Angelica             
  • Susie vs. Angelica                    
  • Tooth Or Dare             
  • Party Animals             

Disclaimer & Rules: A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate. One entry per mailing address and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified if that prize has already been awarded by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment. By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. Must reply to notification email within 48 hours by providing requested contact information or else the prize will be forfeited and a new winner randomly selected. Nickelodeon Home Entertainment will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

BRUEGGER'S BAGELS HAS A NEW LOOK

BRUEGGER'S BAGELS is getting a fresh new look and invited me to attend the Grand Re-Opening of their Bloomfield Hills, Michigan location for a complimentary breakfast to observe the makeover and check out some new products they're now offering.  The layout has been changed so people no longer order at one end of the counter and make their way down to the cash register.  Instead you now place your order at the register and pay right away. Head back to the counter area when buzzed with a pager device letting you know your order is ready to pick up.  So while waiting, customers can use the self-serve coffee stand which has been moved away from the service counter, grab a seat at a table or watch bagels being made in the bakery through a window in the back wall.


In addition to a refreshed look and layout, Bruegger's Bagels is offering some brand new products now.  For the first time Espresso drinks like Caffe Lattes, Mochas and Americanos are being offered at Bruegger's.  Plus they have introduced a new individually prepared Pour Over Coffee.  With this your drink  is brewed on the spot instead of coming from a prepared pot.  I taste tested the difference between a normal pot of coffee and the pour over variety.  The Pour Over Coffee  definitely has a richer, more robust taste to it. So if you are a coffee lover I'd recommend giving it a try.


All of Bruegger's Bagels coffees now originate from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.  This means the coffee beans are being harvested in an environmentally-friendly manner that promotes sustainable farming.  You can find out more about what this means at rainforest-alliance.org.

If coffee isn't your thing, Bruegger's is now serving hot chocolate too!  I have to tell you this is some of the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted!  It has a rich chocolate taste to it that makes the hot chocolate seem like you are drinking a melted candy bar mixed with whip cream. Oh was it good!


Plus Bruegger's has added a new selection of items to its desert menu.  They were all very tasty treats that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.  You know I didn't pass on trying out the samples they were handing out. The new chocolate peanut butter bar has the flavor or a peanut butter cup candy but with a crunch to it.  The lemon poppy seed muffin is more tart than sweet but has a nice lemony scent and taste to it.


Of course I couldn't visit Bruegger's without getting my favorite thing on the menu, a lox sandwich on an onion bagel.  These are a delicious meal for any time of the day whether it be for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I'll go out of my way to pick up a Bruegger's Bagels lox sandwich.


I appreciated the chance to be a #BrueggarsVIP for the day.  I really found their new look and menu additions to be great.  Of course, as usual when I visit, all their products were delicious!  To try them out for yourself, visit brueggers.com to find a location near you.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

National Geographic: MARS Blu-ray Giveaway

What would it be like to venture and live on Mars?  What would you pack and take with you on your journey from Earth to the fourth planet from the sun?  Is there a chance one day in the future that in addition to humans celebrating Earth Day there will be colonists also be commemorating Mars Day?  National Geographic explores this topic with its six-part television series MARS produced by the Academy Award-winning production duo of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard which merges a sci-fi drama with an educational documentary by interspersing interviews with real life astronauts, engineers, scientists, and other space experts within a scripted fictional story about a journey to the Red Planet.

Ask your kids what they think it would be like to be an astronaut on a trek to Mars. Share with them the informative fact sheet and packing list sheets below.  What would they pack along with them on a journey to Mars? I'm sure some of their answers will be quite interesting!





Share a picture of your completed inventory list on Instagram and/or Twitter by 11:59 pm on Monday, April 24, 2017 for a chance to win National Geographic: MARS Season 1 on Blu-ray.  Tag @Geekdad248 on either Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #MarsDay when sharing your picture on social media.  One winner will be randomly selected to win the Blu-ray courtesy of National Geographic and Fox Home Entertainment. One entry per social media account with a maximum of 2 entries allowed per household.


The television series tells the story of a multi-national effort to send astronauts to explore Mars set in 2037.  It revolves around the crew of the Daedalus, which includes mission commander Ben Sawyer (American), systems engineer Hana Seung (American), physician Amelie Durand (French), roboticist Robert Foucault (Nigerian), geochemist Javier Delgado (Spanish), and geologist Marta Kamen (Russian), who will be the first people to set foot on Mars.  As they engage in their adventure, viewers are shown flashbacks of the characters preparing for the mission from four years before lift off.  Interview segments with actual modern day experts are also incorporated into the fictional story explaining how today's technology will be utilized or enhanced to make such a mission feasible in the future.

In the first episode, as the Daedalus prepares to land on Mars a critical system on the space ship malfunctions.  Attempting to avert a disaster, the mission commander is critically injured.  While Commander Sawyer's efforts get his crew's boots on the ground, they find themselves 75 kilometers away from where automated rockets from Earth had previously dropped supplies waiting for them.  How will they survive with limited resources and no easy way to get to their planned landing site where all their vital supplies are stored?  And how do they treat Sawyer's serious injuries when the closest hospital is more than 200 million kilometers away?  You'll have to start watching to find out!


Disclaimer & Rules:  A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by Fox Home Entertainment and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate.  One entry per mailing address and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.  If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified if that prize has already been awarded by Fox Home Entertainment.  By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. Fox Home Entertainment will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

ENJOY EARTH DAY AT THE MICHIGAN SCIENCE CENTER

Commemorate Earth Day at the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) during their “Make Way for Earth Day” celebration! The event features a special Science Parade at Noon throughout MiSci as well as other interactive Earth Day activities and programs that introduce children of all ages to the fields of Earth science, and allow them to get hands-on with Earth science concepts.

Plus thanks to support from Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coating, guests who dress as their favorite STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) professional or wear green will receive FREE general admission on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10 am - 6pm.


MiSci is located at 5020 John R Street in downtown Detroit, Michigan.  CLICK HERE for directions and parking information.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY

Episodes of the original MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (MST3K) television series are back on the air! Comet TV is broadcasting reruns of the classic show that has developed a cult following on Sunday nights at 8p ET.  MST3K revolves around the goofy premise of a man being kidnapped by evil scientists and forced to watch bad "B" movies as they attempt to drive him mad.  Each 2 hour episode involves the main character and his robot sidekicks watching one of these B movies while they make funny wisecracks, engage in skits and sing songs about the film they are viewing.  MST3K originally aired for ten seasons among a variety of networks between 1988 and 1999.  Now MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 is back on COMET TV.

To highlight the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to the airwaves, COMET TV has provided A GEEK DADDY a MST3K prize pack to giveaway.  For a chance to win it please follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet the embedded message below before 11:59 pm ET on April 30, 2017.  Must be a US resident over 18 years old to participate in this promotion.

The MST3K Prize Pack includes:

2 limited edition MST3K pint glasses;

A moon stress ball;

A custom MST3K flyer designed for the discriminating MST3K fan.

COMET TV is a partnership between Sinclair Broadcast Group and MGM providing the first 24/7 digital broadcast network with a focus on science fiction and horror programming.  Viewers in more than 100 U.S. markets can watch COMET TV for FREE just by plugging a digital antenna into their television and receiving the signal being broadcast through the air.  No paid cable or subscription services needed to watch COMET TV!

Not in one of COMET TV's broadcast markets? Utilize their app to watch via ROKU or APPLE TV.  You can also watch their programing through the network's website, COMETtv.com.

COMET TV is also the broadcast home for one of my favorite sci-fi television shows, Stargate SG-1.  Watch back-to-back episodes Monday through Thursday at 8p ET with an encore showing of both episodes beginning at 10p ET.  Tune in to see the SG-1 team explore the galaxy by utilizing the mysterious Stargate four days a week on COMET TV.



Disclaimer & Rules:  A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by COMET TV and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate.  One entry per mailing address and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries.  If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified.  By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. COMET TV will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. 

NEVER GIVE UP UNTIL THEY BUCKLE UP

Did you know that tweens are currently the most high-risk age group in the United States for being injured in an automobile accident because they weren't wearing a seat belt?  According to the most recent statistics, 50% of children 8-14 years old that are killed in car accidents were not restrained at the time of the crash.  The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working to let parents and caregivers know that even through life as a guardian may be full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation, through a PSA campaign featuring character's from Fox's summer road trip adventure movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.

Iconic characters from the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, as well as actors from the newest release in the movie series encourage parents to "Never give up until they buckle up."  The Long Haul chronicles a family's misdaventures throughout their summer road trip making it a perfect fit to help promote this important safety message.



Here are a few tips from NHTSA about tween seat belt safety:

  • No matter how hectic or chaotic your situation is, don't negotiate over seat belt safety;
  • Always wear a seat belt yourself to consistently be a role model.  Insist that all family members do the same;
  • Never assume kids are buckled up;
  • Keep children seated in the back seats until at least age 13.
For more helpful information and tips concerning this topic, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp