Want to Be a Pirate? Here’s How!

by Amy Kraft on September 19, 2014

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Avast, me hearties, ’tis Talk Like a Pirate Day! This oddest of holidays hits extra close to me heart this year because I’ve been working on a pirate-themed game for the past six months. But what if you don’t know how to talk like a pirate? There’s a book for that.

How to be a Pirate is a delightful pirate primer in the form of a Little Golden Book, written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Nikki Dyson. (Sue Fliess wrote another Little Golden Book that we love, Robots, Robots, Everywhere.) With an “Ahoy, landlubber!” a pirate welcomes you aboard his ship, promising to make you a pirate by day’s end. You’ll learn all about the parts of the ship and how to talk like a pirate in the super-cute verse:

Skulls and crossbones mark our flags.

Never mess with scallywags.

No more manners!

No more fuss!

When you’re here, ye act like us.

The book also encourages you to throw all rules away with your toothpaste. Baths? A thing of the past. And, of course, by the end, not only will you be a pirate, but you just might find a little pirate treasure.

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Of course, that’s just a primer. Older kids and grown-ups can get hardcore with yer pirate speak, I found The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues to be quite helpful, with chapters for greetings & partings, commands, threats, insults, and more. Really, it’s all you need in one place.

I received a review copy of How to Be a Pirate.

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What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

by Amy Kraft on September 16, 2014

With mere days left of summer, the kids are finally settled back into school, so I’m hoping to get settled back into blogging. Here’s a little snapshot of what we did this summer.

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If it were up to her, Olive would have played Minecraft every waking second, but she also enjoyed some great city camps, including fashion design camp at Children’s Museum of the Arts and large scale art camp at Scribble Art Workshop. These city kids have it so good, man. (She did get out into nature, too, with some lovely Y camps.)

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I took a little break from my steady diet of YA, middle-grade, and picture books to read a few grown-up books. Gone Girl lives up to the hype, people. But, there’s still lots of kid in me. My latest app obsession is the Candy-Crush-esque Charm King, and I can’t stop thinking about Guardians of the Galaxy. I absolutely loved it, even if Olive was lukewarm on it. (I can’t wait until Ozzie’s old enough to go see superhero movies with me.) I loved all of the five fully-realized characters. Especially Groot.

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We also had some fun with some toys were were sent to review. Despite despising actual weapons, I really dig the Nerf Rebelle line. The line lacks the semiautomatic weapon look of the regular nerf line, and the designs are pretty cool without being overly girly. I was thinking that the Nerf darts should be considered disposable, as they have a tendency to disappear, but we just finished a major cleaning of the kids’ room and found about 20 of those things. Ozzie and I also really liked the Uncle Milton Night Hawk goggles. We used the marker that comes with them to make UV scavenger hunts for Ozzie, and the night vision feature is really cool. He also kind of looks like Dr. Horrible in them.

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We enjoyed a family vacation in Block Island, where you can go outside and be dazzled by the stars. The Starlight app totally came in handy. You hold it up to the night sky and it draws in the constellations that you’re looking at, a lovely combination of technology and nature. For the first time, I was really able to identify constellations other than the Big Dipper.

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And now the cooler weather is starting and our thoughts are turning to fall and school and apple pie. So long, summer.

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Time for Curious Kids: Animals, Robots, and Time Travel

August 20, 2014
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I know Time for Kids as a staple of my daughter’s classrooms, but they’re also a great publishers of nonfiction with high appeal for kids. They recently sent us three of their books to get our trivia brains fired up. Time for Kids Big Book of When invites kids on a journey through time, documenting a wide array […]

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Making in Queens: What’s New at NYSCI

August 18, 2014
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Today we enter the netherworld of summer in NYC. My Facebook feed is full of first day of school pictures, but here in NYC, we don’t start for over two more weeks. But summer camps have all ended as well, so it’s up to us to entertain the kids. Might I recommend the New York Hall […]

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Finding New Shows for My Boy: Violence and Sexism Edition

July 26, 2014
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Oz: Mom, can I watch this show? BOOM! SMASH! PUNCH! EXPLODE! PUNCH! Minor narrative insertion. PUNCH! PUNCH! Me (to Oz): Sorry, little man. I don’t think this is a show for 4-year olds. Me (to self): Or anyone for that matter. Oz: How about this show? [Watch show for a while...] Me: Are there really […]

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Maleficent: A Complicated Villain

June 7, 2014
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  Olive had a day off from school this week and on a whim while we were killing time between appointments we went to see Maleficent. I had shown Olive the trailer a while back and she said she wasn’t interested, but I had been reading about it being a great feminist film so I talked […]

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Prehistoric Funtime Off the New Jersey Turnpike

June 6, 2014
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Last weekend the family and I were invited to a blogger day at Field Station: Dinosaurs in Secaucus, NJ. It’s one of those things I’ve heard about and thought, yes, one day let’s get a car and go do that dinosaur thing in New Jersey, so I was glad to get the invitation as a […]

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Interview with a 9-Year-Old

June 4, 2014
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It’s hard to believe my wee little girl is now a beautiful 9-year-old. What an amazing age… still so interested in the world around her with little of the snark that goes so week with tweendom. And yet, she gave me answers to my annual interview questions with no interest in expanding on those thoughts. So, […]

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Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeee

May 22, 2014
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Six years ago I had an idea to start a blog as a way of keeping up with the world of kids’ media. And while there have been times life has pulled me away from blogging, I love having this platform to share the things that I love. Thanks, as always, to everyone who swings […]

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My Favorite Thing About Zita the Spacegirl

May 21, 2014
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I couldn’t be happier to be a stop on the “My Favorite Thing About Zita the Spacegirl” Blog Tour in celebration of the release of the third book in Ben Hatke’s amazing Zita the Spacegirl trilogy. Olive and I have formed a very special relationship with this particular heroine. For the uninitiated, the story begins when […]

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