Monday, May 20, 2019


My family loves the HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON movies from DreamWorks Animation. The twins have grown up watching them with the first film debuting when my son and daughter were in preschool, the second came out when they were in kindergarten and the final movie in the trilogy, THE HIDDEN WORLD, arrived as the kids are nearing the end of elementary school. There is a special place in our hearts for these DreamWorks Dragons movies for the way they have delighted my kids over the years and provided great childhood memories of us enjoying the films as a family.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3: THE HIDDEN WORLD will be available to add to your home entertainment library on Blu-ray and DVD beginning May 21, 2019. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON movies are ones my family watches over and over again. So I absolutely give A Geek Daddy nod of approval to adding THE HIDDEN WORLD to your video collection.

In HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3, Hiccup discovers Toothless isn't the only Night Fury. Based upon that discovery he seeks out "The Hidden World", a secret land full of dragons, before a tyrant named Grimmel can find it first. As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless' discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON THE HIDDEN WORLD will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on May 21, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019


how to train your dragon pop up book
My kids have grown up watching the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy of movies from DreamWorks Animation. The original How to Train Your Dragon film came out when they were preschoolers and both of the twins fell in love with Toothless the Night Fury. The second film arrived as they were preparing to go to Kindergarten. And now the last chapter of the trilogy How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World wrapped up the trilogy as they are getting near the end of elementary school. The Dreamworks Dragons movies really are beloved by our whole family.

So we really enjoyed flipping through the pages of DreamWorks Dragons: Adventures With Dragons: A Pop Up History from Insight Editions. Crafted by James Diaz and Joshua Pruett. Pruett is a Primetime Emmy and Annie Award–nominated TV writer, author, and storyboard artist best known for his work on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Phineas and Ferb, and Disney XD’s Milo Murphy’s Law. James served as the Creative Director for Intervisual, developing over 200 children’s pop-up and novelty books then founded White Heat, Ltd. which published and packaged over 300 children’s novelty books for National Geographic, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic. This really is a dynamic creative duo that put together this DreamWorks Dragons Pop Up Book.

pop up book

pop up book

The book is written from the perspective as if was the journal of one of the films lead characters and primary heroes, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. This personal tone to the text adds an extra dimension of enjoyment complimenting the more than two dozen pop up visual effects within this book. DreamWorks Dragons: Adventures With Dragons: A Pop Up History provides an overview of the adventures that took place within the three How To Train Your Dragon movies through 6 impressive spreads that have the dragons and Vikings pop out at you from the pages of this book.

dreamworks dragons pop up book

pop up  books

Relive the enduring story of the friendship and bond that develops between a dragon and Viking in the How To Train Your Dragon movies. Hiccup and Toothless grow into best friends learning to trust and live harmoniously as they grow into leaders. DreamWorks Dragons: The Pop-Up Book explores the Island of Berk and other settings from the films as it shares dragon lore and provides peek inside the lives of the characters from the movies. Full of original artwork and tactile elements brought a lot of joy to my kids as they discovered all the wonderful details included within this book.

If you are a fan of DreamWorks Dragons like my family is, DreamWorks Dragons: Adventures With Dragons: A Pop Up History is a must have addition to your book shelf. Because this book was so much fun to delve into exploring the illustrations and special effects, it has A Geek Daddy nod of approval. We especially enjoyed the paper engineering that lets readers shoot a catapult within the book's pages.

pop up books

How To Train Your Dragon 3 will also be available to add to your home entertainment video library on May 21, 2019 via Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn't the only Night Fury, he must seek "The Hidden World", a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless' discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. Both this pop up book and the How To Train Your Dragon movies make for great family entertainment.

Monday, May 13, 2019


Play All May
Are your children getting enough time playing and having fun enjoying being kids? The American Academy of Pediatrics is concerned that kids aren't getting enough childhood playtime. So is recommending its member doctors begin writing prescriptions that remind parents to make sure children are spending time playing. Research is showing that time today's children spend playing has gone down 25% from the previous generation and there are concerns that this may have a negative impact on childhood development and learning. So don't be surprised if the next time your child is at the doctor's office for a routine physical you may be handed a prescription for play.

Have you heard of the Genius of Play? This campaign provides parents and caregivers with information and inspiration to make play an important part of a child day. While active throughout the year, Genius of Play is amping things up in May. It is promoting a month long celebration of playtime encouraging families to PLAY ALL MAY.

Genius of Play is sharing tips for encouraging play every day + hosting daily toy giveaways throughout the month of May. To learn about play ideas for everyday and enter to win daily toy prize pack giveaways each worth $50 or more, head over to

  • Getting kids to play is absolutely critical to their healthy development! See the facts
  • Overly-structured schedules, increased focus on academics, and the growing amount of screen time have led to the decline in play
  • Through play, kids acquire 6 critical skills they need for success in school and in life. 
  • Play brings families and generations together and reduces stress for everyone. 
  • Play is FUN! And where there is play, there is also LEARNING
Play All May

Tossing a baseball in the backyard in the evening, an afternoon of pretend dinosaur adventures, and role playing game nights are a few of the ways my family enjoys playing together. What will your family be doing to play in May? PLAY IN MAY is just the prescription for fun that doctor's are recommending. Join in and enjoy this month long celebration of play!

Friday, May 10, 2019


Imagine a world where dragons are real! William O'Connor's DRACOPEDIA FIELD GUIDE shows a reality where dragons are actual creatures living in urban and natural landscapes around the globe. The book is laid out like a bird watching guide but for dragons instead. Filled with information on the habitats, diets, sizes and visual descriptions for a variety of dragons, the wonderful layout of the DRACOPEDIA FIELD GUILD will have readers hoping they just might spot one of these mythical beasts some day.

O'Connor, who passed away as this book was being published, made a name for himself as an artist providing fantastic illustrations for Dungeon and Dragons role playing game adventures and Magic the Gathering card game decks. He also created the Dracopedia series of books that delve into the artist's passion for dragons.  During his twenty-five year careers, O'Connor worked with entertainment companies that included Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, IMPACT Books, LucasFilm and Wizards of the Coast while also being a regular contributor to the popular art blog Muddy Colors.

DRACOPEDIA FIELD GUIDE from IMPACT Books features more than 80 dragons. Sorted into thirteen categories of dragons from Amphipteres to Wyverns, there are a number of species highlighted within these groups. All of them are indexed with an image of each dragon along with a habitat map, species specifications, and a write up that includes their food sources, sizes, conservation status and other interesting information.

william oconnor

impact books

The artwork within this book itself makes perusing the DRACOPEDIA FIELD GUIDE worthwhile but when you combine the depth of effort put into creating realistic identities for a world's worth of dragons it creates an exceptional reading experience. My son has been engrossed in flipping through this book since he got his hands on it. I haven't been able to read through it myself as much as I'd like from not being able to get it out of his grasp. If a book captivates one of my kid's attention it absolutely is going to get A Geek Daddy nod of approval.  This is a great pick up for anyone who is a fan of magical and mystical creatures.


DRACOPEDIA FIELD GUIDE is a 160 page hardcover book. It contains 400 color illustrations. In addition to full-sized images of dragons, there are also pictures of the different colored and textured variations of dragon eggs as well as close up looks of different body parts of these creatures including talons, tails and wings.

blog giveaways

Thanks to IMPACT Books who provided with a DRACOPEDIA FIELD GUIDE to review + one to giveaway. One lucky winner will receive his or her own hardcover edition of William O'Connor's DRACOPEDIA FIELD GUIDE mailed to them from IMPACT Books. Just complete the rafflecopter entries below by 11:59pm ET on May 15, 2019 for a chance to be the randomly selected winner. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to be eligible for the prize. Good luck!

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Detective Pikachu
My kids are really into Pokémon and are really excited about the new movie Detective Pikachu. So I know they'd adore this do it yourself idea that my friends at Wholesale Halloween Costumes shared with me which allows you to make shoes that look like the Pokémon character Pikachu. Any kids who is a fan of Pokémon will be sure to exclaim PIKA PIKA if they spot someone sporting these Pickachu inspired kicks.

Want to make your own Pokémon Shoes? Here are the diy directions that Wholesale Halloween Costumes shared with me:

  • White canvas shoes 
  • Acrylic paint – Yellow, black, white, red, pink 
  • Felt – yellow 
  • Paintbrushes – skinny and wide widths 
  • Yellow shoelaces 
  • Needle and thread 
  • Painter’s Tape 
  • Pencil 
  • Pikachu shoes template PDF
Step 1:

Remove the shoe laces from the shoes. Then cover the rubber soles of the canvas shoes with painters tape. It is recommended when you are all done to replace the white laces that came with the shoes with yellow ones.

Pikachu shoes

Step 2:

Cover the canvas parts of the shoe in yellow acrylic paint to mimic Pikachu’s yellow fur.

Step 3:

Once dried completely, it is time to draw on Pikachu’s facial features. Download this free Pikachu template to use as your guide. If you have artistic abilities it is a nice example to replicate.

diy pokemon shoes

If you are like me though and aren't artistically inclined here is a way to create the image without having to rely on freehand drawing. Flip over to the back of the paper the template has been printed out on. Outline with a pencil the template's shapes. Flip the paper over and place it on the top of the shoe. Outline the shapes on the template again with a pencil. This should transfer the graphite you added on the backside of the paper onto the shoe.

Voila! You know have Poakchu's face looking back at your from the shoes. Next use a fine tip paintbrush to provide some color to the facial features. Outline the graphite with black acrylic paint. Once that layer is dry, add a white dot in acrylic paint on each of the black eyes and a pink tongue on the mouth. Once all the paint is dry remove the painter’s tape.

make your own pokemon shoes

Step 4:

Cut (4) pieces of yellow felt in the shape shown. Paint the tips black with acrylic paint. Sew or glue these ears onto the canvas shoe as Pikachu’s ears.

Step 5:

Re-lace the shoes with the yellow laces to match the shoe's newly painted canvas.

There you have it! A pair of custom made shoes that will delight kids who love Pokémon and make them the envy of the playground. Thanks to Wholesale Halloween Costumes for sharing this fun idea with us!

pika shoes

Costumes don't have to be just for Halloween. Themed family fun nights watching movies and playing games together are a great time to get into character that can provide good times throughout the year. We recently had an entertaining evening playing a Marvel super heroes role playing game dressed up as our favorite Avengers for example.

Comic cons, parties and other special event also provide fun opportunities to get dressed up in costumes beyond traditional Halloween activities. Check out all the Pokémon, and other themed costumes, available from all year long. They always have a great selection to costumes and accessories, masks, as well as decorations to help set a mood or enhance a theme for an occasion.

Sunday, May 5, 2019


Game of Thrones Pop Up Guide to Westeros
Pop Up books aren't just for kids! Take for example the GAME OF THRONES: A POP UP GUIDE TO WESTEROS from Insight Editions which transports readers to the fantasy world of the hit HBO television series through incredible 3D representations of key locations in the show. Flip through the pages of the book one by one to view five stunning spreads or unlock its magnetic spine to unfold a giant 46" x 30" map.

Inspired by the clock-work style animated opening that starts each episode, the book provides pop up recreations the include the Red Keep within the Seven Kingdom's capital city,  the castle of Winterfell and the Wall. It is like having a pop up version of the Game of Thrones opening that you can hold in your hands and keep on your book shelf. It doesn't just have impressive imagery to enjoy though, GAME OF THRONES: A POP UP GUIDE TO WESTEROS also is an insightful reference guide to the world of Game of Thrones.

Matthew Reinhart

Designed by paper engineer Matthew Reinhart who has gained renown for crafting pop up books he has crafted, GAME OF THRONES: A POP UP GUIDE provides a wonderful glimpse into this fantasy world. In addition to the books central displays, it is also filled with numerous mini-pop ups highlighting various aspects of the show. From dragons to white walkers, fan favorite elements of the television series pop out at your from the pages of this book. Plus, accompanying the book's dynamic imagery is informative text that delves into the family histories of the royalty competing for control of the Iron Throne and provides a background into the history of these players and the lands which they desire to rule over.

Matthew Reinhart
Matthew Reinhart

A unique collectible, GAME OF THRONES: A POP UP GUIDE TO WESTEROS is sure to delight any fan of the show. This visual guide provides more than 30 amazing pop up effects as it highlights the family sigils of the show's characters, landscapes where scenes have occurred, and other aspects of the show such as dire wolves, giants and the unsullied army which have captivated audiences for eight seasons.

Game of Thrones Westeros

While Game of Thrones is a television show that is absolutely not meant to be viewed by children, reading through this pop up book brought out the kid in me as I was giddy flipping through the pages exploring all the details packed inside it. This is a must-have for any Game of Thrones fan so it definitely earns A Geek Daddy nod of approval. If this book caught your interest, you may also want to check out the The Walking Dead: The Pop Up Book from Insightful Editions as well.

For more information about pop up books for adults and other publications to geek out over from Insightful Editions head over to

Saturday, May 4, 2019


Blog Giveaway
Happy Star Wars Day! In celebration is giving away two books courtesy of Quarto Knows: Star Wars Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner's Guide + Star Wars: Scum and Villainy. May the Fourth be with You!


For a chance to win a pair of Star Wars books from Quarto Knows complete the rafflecopter entries below by 11:59 pm ET on Friday May 10, 2019. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to participate. One random winner will be selected from all eligible entries. Must respond to prize notification within 48 hours of receipt or an alternate winner will be chosen. Good Luck!

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Star Wars Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner's Guide


This 22 page novelty book takes readers through a tour inside the legendary spaceship known for making the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. This 3D Owner's Guide provides a pilot's insight into every facet of the Corellian freighter known as the Millennium Falcon. Each page of this owners manual is die-cut fitting together to create a three-dimensional model embedded within the book.

Containing material reflecting on the Millennium Falcon's role in movies ranging from Solo: A Star Wars Story to The Last Jedi, Star Wars Millennium Falcon: A 3D Owner's Guide is full of insights and details about one of the most beloved starships in sci-fi. The book is co-authored by Ryder Windham and Cole Horton who both have significant experience writing about Star Wars lore. Windham wrote Haynes' Star Wars Millennium Falcon and Imperial Death Star manuals plus edited Star Wars comic books for Dark Horse. Cole has also authored multiple Star Wars books, including Star Wars Absolutely Everything You Need to Know and LEGO Star Wars: Chronicles of the Force.

Star Wars: Scum and Villainy

Scum and Villainy

Star Wars: Scum and Villainy delves into the misdeeds of infamous smugglers, pirates, gamblers, bounty hunters, and thieves a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It is written as if you are reading the files of three generations of galactic law-enforcers. Flip through their case reports, surveillance images, warrants, and much more learning about infamous as wall as brand new Star Wars characters. The 128 page book contains more than 100 original illustrations.

The book was authored by Pablo Hidalgo who as a member of Lucasfilm Story Group is involved with the development of Star Wars storytelling across all entertainment mediums, including feature films, animated television, video games, novels, and comic books. In addition to his numerous published Star Wars works, Hidalgo has also written books about G.I. Joe and Transformers. He has some serious geek cred!