Weekly Roundup: Best Baby Monitors, Books, Apps, Music, Toys, & More! May 29 – June 4, 2016

Weekly Roundup: Best Baby Monitors, Books, Apps, Music, Toys, & More! (image)

This is an exciting week! Last Tuesday we didn’t have any new awards to announce, but we are making up for it this week with an amazing batch of products! Baby monitors, children’s books, toys, a diaper bag, YA books, apps, music, and more! All of the products you see below were found to be among the best in family-friendly media, products, and services by our evaluators.

As our regular visitors know, every week we receive products from companies, publishers, developers, and inventors around the world. We pair each product with 5 evaluators based on its target audience. Only the best products and services win our award.

The products you see listed below were awarded the week of May 29 – June 4, 2016. For more information about a product, click the product image or purchase link.

Award-Winning Children's book — Windswept * Vendaval

Windswept * Vendaval
Written and illustrated by Al Sprague

Bob Hunter and Willie Deal know they are special. After all, they were born in the Panama Canal Zone, which definitely had been created for teenage boys. The Isthmus of Panama, 600 miles north of the equator, is a tropical paradise. Dense rain forests cover the land, while the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans splash on opposite shores 50 miles apart. Both oceans are teeming with fish, and the boys spend every minute they can exploring Panama’s jungles and its deep and shallow waters. They are used to its tropical storms, but nothing has prepared them for the torrential downpour that leads them on the greatest adventure of their lives. Bilingual juvenile novel in English and Spanish with critical thinking and reflective questions at the end of the book.

Young Adult Books:
Fiction – General

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Hope for a Motherless Child

Original, multi-genre renditions of American Sprituals and Historical Readings, bookended by new jazz arrangements. A tour of history through jazz, opera, rap, and gospel. Incorporates famous American speeches by Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and William Lloyd Garrison to expose today’s children to stories and songs from the past. Great for the classroom or the car!

Audio Experiences:
Ages 9 to 12

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Award-Winning Children's book — Hope for a Motherless Child
Award-Winning Children's book — Boppy Newborn Lounger

Boppy Newborn Lounger

The Boppy® Newborn Lounger is the perfect place for wee ones to coo and kick in comfort. It is uniquely designed with a recessed interior perfect for a newborn’s bottom. This must-have for newborns is a lifesaver for moms and dads. It allows parents to interact with baby hands-free. Use it until baby reaches 16 pounds or can roll over on his own. A convenient carrying handle and lightweight design make this baby pillow a portable must-have. And because babies are cute but messy, the easy-clean fabric means you simply wipe the cover clean after every oops. Designed for baby’s awake time.

Gear & Accessories:
Infant Positioners

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Award-Winning Children's book — Zooby Car and home Video Baby Monitor

Zooby Car and home Video Baby Monitor

The Zooby Car and Home video baby monitor is a portable video baby monitor that can be used at home, in the car, and on the go. The monitor’s camera is embedded in a specially designed plush that gives this monitor its unique portability because it can be placed anywhere at home, and also allows for easy placement in a car. With the new large 4.3? split screen version a parent can view 2 rear facing infants in the back seat of the car. Whether twins or a toddler and an infant. or keeping one at home and one in the car, the Zooby 4.3? Split Screen Video Baby Monitor* makes on the go even easier for parents. The monitor is 100% wireless, includes night vision, rechargeable batteries, and all accessories necessary to use anywhere. Perfect for all parents that want a monitor that does it all, and brings them peace of mind, security, and confidence.

Gear & Accessories:
Safety

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VTech Safe&Sound® VM344 Video Baby Monitor with Pan & Tilt Camera

The VTech Safe&Sound® VM344 Video Baby Monitor with Pan & Tilt Camera has all the modern features parents desire and even comes with an adorable owl-shaped camera, making it a stylish addition to any nursery décor. The VM344 comes equipped with a high-resolution, 4.3-inch color LCD screen on its parent unit, giving users a crystal clear view of their little ones. Parents can also watch as their toddler moves about thanks to the camera’s pan, tilt and zoom capabilities. The VM344 can expand up to four total cameras so parents can keep an eye on more than one child or room at the same time, utilizing a variety of different viewing options from the parent unit, including single view, split-screen, and patrol mode.

The VM344 also features a two-way talk-back intercom and automatic night vision, so parents can see and hear their little one without disruption, even after dark. The monitor also comes standard with DECT 6.0 digital technology to reduce the risk of eavesdropping while cutting down on background noise. 1,000 feet of wireless range also helps parents stay connected from any room in, or outside, the house as they go about their day.

Gear & Accessories:
Media, Electronics & Accessories

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Award-Winning Children's book — VTech Safe&Sound® VM344 Video Baby Monitor with Pan & Tilt Camera
Award-Winning Children's book — VTech Safe&Sound® DM271-110 Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed and Motion Sensors

VTech Safe&Sound® DM271-110 Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed and Motion Sensors

The VTech Safe&Sound® DM271-110 DECT 6.0 Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed and Motion Sensors is the latest addition to VTech’s award-winning baby monitor line. The DM271-110 comes equipped with two ULE (Ultra Low Energy) smart home sensors to make taking care of your little one easier than ever before. With the open/closed and motion sensor alerts on doors, cabinets and open spaces, you can know when your toddler is somewhere off limits, or getting into something they shouldn’t be. The monitor also comes standard with DECT 6.0 digital technology to ensure the most secure connection, letting you rest assured that the only sounds you – and only you – will hear are your baby’s.

The DM271-110 baby unit doubles as a glow-on-ceiling night light that projects the moon and stars onto the ceiling, and can be easily adjusted to best suit your nursery. Plus, the DM271-110 can play a gentle lullaby to help soothe your little one during nap time. The monitor also features a two-way, talk-back intercom, built-in belt clip and up to 1,000 feet of range, so you can stay connected from any room in the house as you go about your day.

Gear & Accessories:
Media, Electronics & Accessories

Purchase here

Zoo Jamz Microphone™

Sing and learn with the Zoo Jamz Microphone™. Join the jungle jam and use the voice-amplifying microphone to sing along to children’s songs with the friendly lion and his friends. Speed up or slow down the tempo and add fun sound effects by turning the ring. Press the six light-up instrument buttons and your little one will learn about each instrument and hear the sound it makes. They can also use the light-up buttons to play ten different melodies note by note. Bring the animal band together by pressing the star-shaped button and hear the lion sing with the zebra from Zoo Jamz Piano™ and the giraffe from Zoo Jamz Guitar™ (each sold separately). Go on an exciting singing safari!

Toys, Games & Puzzles:
Babies

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Award-Winning Children's book — Zoo Jamz Microphone™

The Great Green Tree And The Magical Ladders
Written by Stephen Kozan; Illustrated by Tony Maulfair; Edited by Vanessa Gonzales

Shea Stonebrook is a typical 10-year-old girl from rural Pennsylvania. The problem is, she’s a troublemaker. From not listening to her parents, acting badly in school, and everything in between, Shea is giving everyone a reason to give up on her. That is until one fateful day when an imaginative visitor decides to shape her point of view and offer her access to a place she never knew existed. In order for success, she will first have to accept responsibility for her actions, and only then will she be granted access to each new magical ladder within a mysterious world of enchantment, understanding, and life lessons known as The Great Green Tree.

Juvenile Books (Level 2 – Ages 9 to 12):
Fiction – General

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Award-Winning Children's book — The Great Green Tree And The Magical Ladders
Award-Winning Children's book — The Christmas Star From Afar

The Christmas Star From Afar

The Christmas Star From Afar™ is a game that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas. This family tradition encourages children to go on a hunt for their Star, similar to that of the Wise Men. Everyday the Star is hidden and the children participate in a fun hide-and-seek game to locate it. Once they have found their Star they move all Three Wise Men to its location. On Christmas morning the Three Wise Men reach their final destination when the Star is found at the stable with the newborn baby Jesus. The activity book includes a wooden Star, a full wooden nativity scene that matches the artwork of the book, and optional scripture to use throughout the month. Help your child reconnect with the true meaning of Christmas this year… Follow the Star!

Toys, Games & Puzzles:
Preschoolers

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Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball
Written by Kevin Christofora; Illustrated by Dale Tangeman

Meet Nick and The Hometown All Star little league team as they learn the basics of the game from Coach Kevin using real life coaching techniques and fun, interactive activities!

Children’s Picture Books:
Sports & Recreation

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Award-Winning Children's book — Nick's Very First Day of Baseball
Award-Winning Children's book — Magic Bat Day

Magic Bat Day
Written by Kevin Christofora; Illustrated by Dale Tangeman

Nick and the team are back! This time they get to choose their bats and learn how to hit the sweet spot on the ball. Can Nick hit a home run? Find out in Magic Bat Day!

Children’s Picture Books:
Sports & Recreation

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TGIT Thank Goodness It’s T-Ball Day
Written by Kevin Christorfora; Illustrated by Dale Tangeman

In the third installment of The Hometown All Stars the team is learning to pitch. From the proper way to stand and hold the ball – to the best way to dunk the principal in the school carnival dunk tank – this book is full of fun and surprises!

Children’s Picture Books:
Sports & Recreation

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Award-Winning Children's book — TGIT Thank Goodness It's T-Ball Day
Award-Winning Children's book — MusiQuest

MusiQuest

Join the more than 250,000 kids, parents, and teachers who use Edify apps to make music. MusiQuest helps kids make important connections between the music they learn and the music they love.

Apps & Software:
Ages 9 to 12

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Ju-Ju-Be’s B.F.F. Diaper Bag

Ju-Ju-Be’s Be Classy Diaper Bag is one of the popular brand’s most sought after styles. Ju-Ju-Be strives to create bags that happen to also double as a diaper bag – bags for moms on the go who worry about spills and style.

Click on the product image to see the full list of features.

Gear & Accessories:
Totes, Diaper Bags & Slings

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Award-Winning Children's book — Ju-Ju-Be's B.F.F. Diaper Bag
Award-Winning Children's book — I Love You Today

I Love You Today
Written by Sean Smith; Illustrated by Bettina Brasko; Edited by Sean Smith

I Love You Today is an expression of love as experienced through the heart of a father and daughter. The story begins as our dad wakes up on his daughters birthday and is overjoyed at the opportunity to give her a day she will remember forever. We are then given a view of the larger than life imagination of the child as she recounts her day!

With beautiful illustrations and creative story telling Sean Smith in collaboration with illustrator Bettina Brasko give us a heartwarming glimpse of a loving bond any parent and child can relate to.

Children’s Picture Books:
Bedtime Stories

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Balto Save the Arctic
Written by Sylvia M. Medina, Saige J. Ballock-Dixon; Illustrated by Joy Eagle

After the Green Kids gain their powers to understand animals in their first adventure The Green Spring, they travel to the Arctic. There they meet their friend Iluak, and decide to go sledding. At first they try to use a snowmobile but realize that they should
use a dog sled. By riding the dog sled they create very little impact to the environment. As they are on their adventure the ice cracks and the kids begin going out to sea. Can the Green Kids be saved so they can continue helping the Arctic animals?

Children’s Picture Books:
Green Earth

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Award-Winning Children's book — Balto Save the Arctic

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