Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Disney Diva

I recently started writing for another Disney lover's blog, Tips from the Disney Diva. Every Diva has a nickname and I'm the Pirate Diva. My first article, a review of Disney's Hollywood Studios 50s Prime Time Cafe, posted today, and I'm super excited to continue writing on both blogs. The Diva blog is full of fantastic hints and tips, ride and restaurant reviews, and lots more. So please stop by and check it out. And let me know what you think.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brave Books

As I'm sure you've noticed, I'm terribly excited for the new Brave movie, coming to theaters this June. Yesterday, I found a plethora of Brave books in the children's department at Barnes & Noble. I must admit that I got a bit carried away and purchased nearly all of them. But they are so cute, and I LOVE the story behind Brave, now that I know more about it. Of course, the books tell the whole story, so there will be few surprises in the movie, but after reading a few of the books, I want to see it even more! So, here are the books that I found.

Brave: The Junior Novelization $4.99
The Junior Novelization tells the entire Brave story. It is available as a paperback and features 8 pages of glossy pictures from the film. Like other junior novelizations, it is a somewhat condensed version of the story, but includes all of the important points. We haven't read it yet, but it looks pretty good. Appropriate for children ages 8-12, this book has 128 pages.

Brave Big Golden Book   $8.99
This hardcover Big Golden Book features images straight from the film. It briefly tells the entire Brave story in a manner appropriate for children ages 3-7. The images are absolutely gorgeous and really help to tell the story. This hardcover book is 64 pages long.

 Brave: A Mother's Love     $3.99
If you're anything like our family, you love the Disney Step into Reading books. This level 2 book, perfect for emerging readers ages 4-6, tells the whole story, focusing on the relationship between Merida and her mother, Queen Elinor. It uses pictures from the film to help tell the story, and is a 32 page paperback.

Brave: Big Bear, Little Bear     $3.99
This level one Step into Reading book is perfect for preschoolers who are just starting to sound out words. It is a book of opposites with few word and large type. The book features pictures from the film, but doesn't tell a story. By contrasting the various characters, kids can learn a little more about the character's personalities. This book has paperback 32 pages.

Brave: A Friend for Merida     $3.99
This 24 page book, aimed at children ages 3-7, tells a short story about Merida and her best friend, her Clydesdale Angus. Angus and Merida love their adventures, as long as their together. This book is a square paperback with stylized images inspired by the film.

Brave: Magic in the Mist  $6.99
A board book for children ages 2-5, this 12 page book has the most adorable pictures! Each page contains a short piece of rhyming poetry and a wonderful secret; each page has a several glow in the dark areas. Just hold them to a light for 30 seconds to charge the glow in the dark feature. The pictures in this book are my favorite of any of the picture books.

Brave Little Golden Book   $3.99
A traditional Little Golden Book for children ages 2-5, this hardcover book features the stylized images popular in Disney Little Golden Books. The story is 24 pages long and briefly covers the whole story.

Brave: Read-Along Storybook and CD    $6.99
This 32 page paperback book features pictures from the film and tells the whole story of Brave. The CD includes character voices, sound effects, and word-for-word narration. I haven't listened to it yet, but with the voice talent from the movie narrating the story, I'm sure it will be fantastic.

Brave: Movie Theater: Storybook and Movie Projector    $19.99
This 32 page book for children ages 4-7 has a light-up projector that can be removed from the book. Five reels each have four pictures that can be projected on the wall, and focused so that they are sharp and easy to see. Numbers to the side of each paragraph tell you which reel and picture to view. The book tells the entire story and uses pictures from the film.

Brave: One Perfect Day   $15.99
This 40 page book the most wonderful stylized pictures of Merida. I absolutely love her wild hair in this book! The hardcover book tells the story of Merida's idea of the perfect day. Her adventures are hilarious and the pictures are a lot of fun. If you like visual books, this one is the perfect choice.

Brave: The Essential Guide   $12.99
A great behind the scenes book for children ages 5-10, this 48 page book tells about the characters, locations, and magic behind the story. In typical DK fashion, this book is like a photographic encyclopedia for the world of Brave. The images from the film are surrounded by fascinating trivia and fun.

Brave: Ultimate Sticker Book   $6.99
This 16 page book for children ages 3-8, contains over 60 reusable stickers. Each page talks a little bit about the characters as expected from a DK sticker book, and has a Celtic knot work or tartan filled shape to help kids figure out where each sticker should go. I must admit, I'm partial to DK sticker books and have several, although I don't always use the sticker inside the book. I often use them in my scrapbook when character stickers can be difficult to find.
Brave: Look and Find    $7.98
I love Look and Find books, like Where's Waldo. This book features hand-drawn cartoon images inspired by the film. The 8 scenes are fantastic, filled with tons of tiny hidden details in true Disney fashion. My favorite is the scene where the clans have all come together to kill the bear and tiny blue Will o'Wisps are flitting around everyone. They are so cute, like tiny sprites! There are so many things to look at on each page, that this book should keep kids busy for some time.

Brave: Triplet Trouble Watercolor Paint Book     $7.99
This 128 page book is filled with line drawings inspired by the film. There are 16 different colored paints and a brush to be used to fill each picture with color. The pages are one-sided and have perforations that make it easy to remove a picture for painting. The pictures feature characters from the books as well as some scenes, like Merida's castle, Castle Dunbroch.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Disney has released a new trailer for Brave just in time for Mother's Day. It celebrates the relationship between Merida and her mother. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

My family and I finally made it to the theater to see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island this weekend. I have to say, I had high hopes because I absolutely loved the first one, and I wasn't disappointed. Josh Hutcherson was fantastic reprising his role as Sean Anderson. In Journey 2, Sean receives an encrypted message that he is positive came from his grandfather, who has been missing for the last two years. His stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), helps him to decipher the code and, after some debate, agrees to accompany Sean on a search for the Mysterious Island of Jules Verne and his lost grandfather. They travel to Palau, where they hire tour guide Gabato (Luis Guzman) and his daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens). After a few mishaps, they finally arrive on the Mysterious Island. Madcap adventure ensues. They discover that animals that would be large in the outside world are miniaturized on the Island. And animals that should be small, have grown enormous. While trying to escape from a giant lizard, they are found by Sean's grandfather Alexander (the ever hilarious Michael Caine). The rest of the film is spent, like the first one, searching for a way to get back home, with a lot of action, adventure, and the discovery of several secrets hidden on the Island.

I loved this movie! It was hilarious and exciting, a great blend of adventure and comedy. If you enjoyed Journey to the Center of the Earth, go see Journey 2: Mysterious Island, you won't be sorry.