Weekly Roundup: Books, Board Games, Virtual Playdates + More! 1/17 – 1/23

award-winning virtual playdates

This week’s roundup of Mom’s Choice Award winners features children’s books, board games, online games and virtual playdates. Be sure to scroll through the entire list so you don’t miss any of our new award-winners! All the items you see below won a Mom’s Choice Award during January 17, 2021 to January 23, 2021.

Every week companies, inventors, and publishers from around the world send us their products for evaluation. Only the best earn our designation.

Award-Winning Children's book — Tyler's Acting Practice

Tyler’s Acting Practice: Book Three in the Tyler, the Rabbit series.
Written and illustrated by M. C. Abushar

Tyler spent his summer vacation diligently practicing to aim a foam pebble with his slingshot at the center of a round target in anticipation of his being fully ready to act the role of David in the school play “David and Goliath” on the stage of the school auditorium when the school reopened in the fall. There was, however, a change of plan when Tyler observes a group of his school mates bullying, disrespecting, and excluding from their basketball practice a new student named Joel. The students were certain that Joel could never succeed in shooting a basketball through the net. Tyler sympathized deeply with his new friend Joel.

Upon his learning that Joel excelled at aiming pebbles with a slingshot accurately at the center of a target, Tyler offered the role of David to Joel with the hope of reversing the students’ disrespect for Joel when they observe him aiming a pebble accurately at the helmet of Goliath during the play on the stage of the school auditorium.

In the end Joel was very successful in having the foam pebble hit Goliath’s helmet accurately and gained the whole student audience’s admiration and respect.

Children’s Picture Books:
Values & Life Lessons

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The Elephants Shoes
Written by Charity Yoder

The Elephant’s Shoes is a children’s book about love, loss, and healing. We all make decisions in our life-some that make us happy, and some that we regret. Author Charity Yoder believes that everyone, even young children, can better learn how to cope with the sometimes-painful outcome of their choices. This is a beautiful story about the power of connection and how to move on with an open and compassionate heart.

Children’s Picture Books:
Values & Life Lessons

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Award-Winning Children's book — The Elephants Shoes
Award-Winning Children's book — Praise Petals: A Church of Go Novel

Praise Petals: A Church of Go Novel
Written by Lisa A McCombs

High School sophomore, Rose Hicks, tolerates her limited social life as long as her sidekick, Jay Allen, is by her side, but when Jay receives the best news of his life Rose is forced to survive the rest of the school year at the mercy of school bully GODZILLY JENKINS. When she is recruited as a member of an all-girl praise team, Rose realizes that even the most popular girls have problems and that mean girls need love too.

Young Adult Books:
Body, Mind & Spirit

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VONK offers a valuable way for kids to stay virtually connected with friends and loved ones while doing active, creative play in the real-world. VONK is a stay-at-home game for kids that bridges virtual playdates and real world play. VONK can be played alone as a short playbreak from remote learning or as a scheduled playdate activity with socially distanced friends or family members using a video call. 
Kids complete silly challenges from VONK PLAYing Cards with stuff they already have around the house. Parents can download free printables of the VONK PLAYing Cards from our website along with bonus activities, or kids can play on their screens swiping through the virtual card decks. With more than one way to play, VONK is also great for solo play, sibling play, or even as a family-vs-family virtual game night challenge.

With VONK, there is no special equipment required, no apps to install and it’s free to play. Designed by two moms, VONK was first created as part of of the StartEd incubator at NYU as a a play-across-distance platform that could be used by hospitals, libraries and families.

Online Resources (Websites, eMagazines and Blogs):

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Award-Winning Children's book — PLAYVONK
Award-Winning Children's book — OK Boomer Trivia Game

OK Boomer Trivia Game

Hi, we’re the Spisaks!

We are a family from Central, Pennsylvania who love to play board games together. We created OK Boomer because we were sick of the unfair (and un-fun) generational gap in traditional trivia games. OK Boomer levels the playing field for different generations to compete against each other in a new age take on classic style trivia

To win the game a player must correctly answer a trivia card from each of the five generational decks. Each generational deck contains 5 question categories specific to that generation’s time period: Entertainment, Trends, Science, Sports, and History. OK Boomer contains 550 trivia questions and 3 different game modes guaranteed to bring timeless memories and endless laughs to your next game night!

OK Boomer is the perfect game to bring together family and friends of every generation to finally determine who the smartest generation is once and for all!

Visit us at https://www.okboomer.game

Toys, Games & Puzzles:
Young Adults

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Mama Why Am I Black
Written and illustrated by Amos Knoll

The young boy asked his mother, “His mother’s reddish, blond hair, light skin and blue eyes denote her European descent.

His father has dark skin and hazel eyes and sports short brown dreadlocks.
Their young son’s name is Iskinder. He was born in North America and stands out with shining red hair, blue eyes and olive skin.

His mother explains to him that he was created from the best of mom and dad with all the love that parents can give to their child.

His mother, Sarah, further explains that his name, Iskinder which means “defender of humanity” comes from his father’s native land of Ethiopia. “Your father’s name, Adam, means ‘man’ or the red earth of Eden. My name, Sarah, means ‘princess’ Your dad’s and my name are taken from the Old Testament, and your name is from a proud people going back to King David and Bathsheba.”

His mother continued, “Iskinder, you are one of millions of special boys and girls because our future and the future of the whole human race is in your and all the children in the world. Always remember to be proud of you are and you are!”

Juvenile Books (Level 1 – Ages 5 to 8):

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Award-Winning Children's book — Mama Why Am I Black
Award-Winning Children's book — Jump the Moon

Jump the Moon
Written by Kathy Simmers; Illustrated by Marjorie VanHeerden; Edited by Simone Kaplan

Ponies were always coming and going at the barn, that was nothing new, but as summer begins the girl with the long blonde hair notices something about the newest pony to arrive that she can’t quite put her finger on.

This pony is ordinary, ugly even and on top of that, she is mean. But the girl doesn’t seem to care, she is drawn to her and determined to earn the pony’s trust.

Over the course of the summer, the pair develop an incredible bond. But, tragically, as summer ends the two are separated. Readers will eagerly turn the pages to find out if the girl and the pony will ever see each other again.

The beautiful illustrations throughout this picture book bring to life an emotional journey that will make readers of all ages cry, smile, and cheer as it reminds us all to follow our dreams.

Children’s Picture Books:
Domestic Animals & Pets

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Cleo-cat-tra’s Wonderful World of Bugs
Written by Lucy T. Geringer, Savanna G. Kollock; Illustrated by Thomas Rodriquez

Cleo-cat-tra is curious about everything that moves. She gives a cat’s eye view of bugs that she and Mario, the mouse, find in their wonderful world of bugs. With full-color illustrations by Thomas Rodriguez, Cleocat approaches nature with joy, playfulness, curiosity, delight, and wonder.

She finds some of nature’s fascinating insects that are usually called bugs. She does not have to go far to find types of bugs hiding all around her. She looks, listens and crawls around bushes, in open fields, along a country road, through woods and by wild flowers. Filled with excitement, she discovers a dragonfly, a stink bug and many more. She even finds a creature that is not an insect.

Before reading the book, you can look at the picture glossary in the back of the book, and then discover them in the story with Cleo-cat-tra.

This high-quality read-aloud picture book is an engaging way for children to learn about nature through Cleo-cat-tra’s discovery of insects. They are not hard to find. If you look you will see them crawling on the ground, resting on plants or flying through the air. In addition, the rich vocabulary challenges and enlarges children’s understanding of language.

So, sit down and discover Cleo-cat-tra’s Wonderful World of Bugs.

Children’s Picture Books:
Animal Kingdom

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Award-Winning Children's book — Cleo-cat-tra’s Wonderful World of Bugs

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