Littles

Press Here – Happy Dad and Kids Book Review

Title: Press Here

Author: Herve Tullet

Illustrated by: Herve Tullet

Age Range: Littles (1+)

HappyDad’s Review

This is such a fun book.

Interactive Reading for Everyone

I know I said this book was for “littles,” but even my nine year old enjoys this one. Everyone gathers round in anticipation for their turn to interact with the book.

Simple Creativity

In an age of iPhones, iPads, computers, tablets, smart TVs and more, it’s really refreshing to see my kids interact withe the simple creativity of Press Here. No special effects, no high definition graphics, just an incredibly clever book that will grab your child’s imagination.

Don’t let the simplicity of this book fool you.

HappyDad Rating: FIVE Silly Faces

5 Silly Faces from HappyDad and Kids

HappyKids’ Review

James (5 year old boy)

I love it. I like it. I love it. I like to press the buttons and that’s it.

Ava (6 Year Old Girl)

You’re going to have to do what it says, otherwise it doesn’t work. If you don’t do what it says the rest of the pages will stick together 😉 It’s a fun book to read and it’s a nice book for kids.

Shaw (9 Year Old Boy)

It’s a fun book where you can press stuff. I like being silly and seeing what happens when we push the different things.

Bella (12 Year Old Girl)

Too old for this one 😉

Bring Press Here to Story Time and Support HappyDad

You can get Press Here on Amazon and support HappyDad in the process just press here 🙂 Press Here

Thanks so much for supporting us as we help dads (and moms) connect with their kids!

The Book With No Pictures – Happy Dad and Kids Book Review

Title: The Book With No Pictures

Author: B.J. Novak

Illustrated by: N/A

Age Range: Littles (2+)

HappyDad’s Review

This has got to be one of my new favorite books.

Creativity and Imagination Abound

I’m a huge fan of creativity and imagination. Cultivating these things in our children is some of the most important work we can do as parents. Stifling these is one of the worst things we can do to you our children and the world.

So a book with no pictures might not seem so creative at first thought, but sometimes limits can spark a creativity in ourselves and our children that we never knew existed. B.J. Novak shows a clear and present creativity in limiting himself to writing a children’s book with no pictures and I love it.

Challenge Your Kids

In fact, just the idea of this book is a great tool to use with your kids to cultivate creativity. Have you kids tell a story with no words. Can they act it out? Have your kids eat a meal with no talking. Can they sing for their supper?

What limits can you impose to unleash your children’s creativity in new ways?

Giggles For All

Just because there aren’t any pictures, don’t let that fool you into thinking the book is dry or dull. In fact, I feel The Book With No Pictures is sillier and funnier than a large majority of children’s books with pictures. Again, a huge testament to the authors own creativity.

Be ready to have some fun, as your kids giggle themselves to sleep.

HappyDad Rating: FIVE Silly Faces

5 Silly Faces from HappyDad and Kids

HappyKids’ Review

James (5 year old boy)

I love it daddy. I love it. (whispering…) I don’t know. Me like the robot monkey. Me love it. That’s it daddy.

Ava (6 Year Old Girl)

It’s really funny. It’s hilariously funny and there is a rule to books that you always have to read what they say even if they say silly things.

Shaw (9 Year Old Boy)

It’s an awesome cool book and it’s really funny when my dad says things that are really silly because it’s a book with no pictures only words and it’s the funnest book in the world.

Bella (12 Year Old Girl)

A very funny and hilarious book. I like watching my dad say stupid stuff and I never knew my dad was a very lonely person whose best friend is a hippo.

Bring The Book With No Pictures to Story Time and Support HappyDad

You can get The Book With No Pictures on Amazon and support HappyDad in the process. Just click here –> The Book With No Pictures

Thanks so much for supporting us as we help dads (and moms) connect with their kids!

Rummikub For Kids – Happy Dad and Kids Game Review

Game: Rummikub For Kids or Rummikub Start Right

What does the box say?

Age Range: Little and Bigs (4 and up)

Number of Players: 2 – 4

Short Description: Develops number and color recognition skills, teaches players how to build sets of consecutive numbers and logical reasoning.

Game Length: 10 – 15 minutes

Learning Curve: About one game.

HappyDad’s Review:

It’s been raining here in Tulsa for weeks, or at least it feels like it. Which means we’ve been catching up on our game playing, so it isn’t all bad.

Love and Games

So tonight we pulled out another of our classic go to games – Rummikub For Kids. Which it looks like now they’ve changed the name to Rummikub Start Right.

I can remember one of the first times I met my wife, she was playing Rummikub with some of her friends. In my family we always looked forward to game night, so knowing that she liked to play games definitely sealed the deal for me.

Also, as you can imagine, this was one of the first games we wanted to get for our kids since we both had fond memories of it.

The Eye of the Tiger

I have no idea where she learned it, but somehow my daughter learned one of the most motivational songs ever in human history and I’m a little scared quite frankly.

Because when your six year old daughter starts humming “The Eye of the Tiger” while playing you in a board game you can be pretty sure she’s about to take you out.

In fact, you can be 100% sure. She took me out.

HappyDad Tips for Winning

We’ve always been a pretty competitive family, and Rummikub For Kids is no exception.

So there are a couple of things you need to know when taking on your own 6 year old Rocky.

The first pro tip is that you don’t want to be the first one to lay down. Everybody thinks laying down first is best way to play, but inevitably the person who lays down second or third wins because they have more options for going out.

The second big tip is what I call the reshuffle. Take an extra minute on your turn to see if you can reshuffle some of the tiles already on the table. Many times you can get rid of those last pesky tiles by simply splitting up a few that have already been played. So don’t be so quick to end your turn.

That said, my family has threatened to institute a play clock more times than I count. So don’t milk it too much. 😉

Quick Play and Confidence Building

One of the reasons we like this game is because you can play it quickly if you don’t have a lot of time. But if you do have a lot of time, you can play a few rounds.

The other reason we like it is because the littles can usually win at the game even against older siblings or me. It’s always fun for them when they know they’ve won a game fair and square.

Although it does shake my confidence from time to time. It’s fun to see them get so excited. Just so long as they don’t start humming “We are the Champions” I’ll be good.

HappyDad Rating: 4 Silly Faces

4 Silly Faces Rating on Happy Dad and Kids

HappyKid’s Review:

James (5 Year Old Boy):

I like it. I love it. I play it. I like it. I love it. Let me see. I love it. Ava, there’s yours. Hmm. (Stretching legs) That’s it.

Ava (6 Year Old Girl):

It’s a fun game. It’s fun to play. It’s a pretty easy game even though sometimes it can be complicated and I like it. That’s good, do you think?

Shaw (9 Year Old Boy):

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Best review ever. Oh, and Wild.

Bella (12 Year Old Girl):

Really fun game you can play with your family. Little kids really like it.

Get Rummikub For Kids for your family and support HappyDad

You can get Rummikub For Kids on Amazon and support HappyDad in the process: Rummikub For Kids on Amazon

Thanks so much for supporting us as we help dads (and moms) connect with their kids!

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel – Happy Dad and Kids Book Review

Title: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Author: Virginia Lee Burton

Illustrated by: Virginia Lee Burton

Age Range: Littles (0-7)

HappyDad’s Review

Another classic children’s book this week. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has become known as Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne at our house. In fact, until I looked at the cover to write this review, that’s what I thought it was called.

Spend a Day in Poppervile

Recently I was able to visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art with HappyMom and take in a few of their amazing exhibits including one about some our our times greatest fakes and forgers.

I was blown away to see the talent of some of these men who never made a name for themselves on their own but could reproduce some of the world’s most amazing paintings.

As we walked through the museum and made our way past the fakes and forgers exhibit to the other exhibits, I couldn’t help but think that some of the men who only made a living forging other people’s works were far better artists than some of those who were in the museum on their own merit.

It further cemented my belief that art is solely dependent on a person’s own taste, and what one person loves another hates. I believe the same thing holds true for illustrations in children’s books.

I love the nostalgic and simple illustrations in Mike Mulligan. I believe good art and good children’s illustrations give you a longing to be in them. They make you want to visit them and spend a day strolling through the world’s they create. The illustrations in Mike Mulligan do that for me.

Full of Character and Characters

From the townspeople and the little boy to Mike and Mary Anne, the book is filled with characters you want to meet and people you can relate to.

But more importantly for me, the book drives home the importance of character qualities I want my Happy Kids to strive for, namely determination.

Mike and Mary Anne, never give up. They don’t quit despite the odds being stacked against them and the world turning its back on them. They keep going and in the end it pays off.

In addition to determination, your kids will learn about responsibility, care for others and thinking outside the box, or the cellar in this case.

When It Counts The Most

If you’ve read any of our other reviews about some of the books I grew up with as a Happy Kid myself, you know how much I believe these books shaped me and continue to shape all those who read them. Mike Mulligan is no different.

Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne seemed to always work harder and faster when people were watching them. Not that they did their work for show, but that they seemed to rise to the occasion when the pressure was on.

This drive to perform when it counts the most has long been a trait of mine, and only reading this book again to my own Happy Kids did I notice it. It’s fun being taken back through our own lives as we share the joys of our childhood with our own children, and to me its half the magic of story time.

A Little Determination Goes a Long Way

So pick up a copy of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and teach your kids that sometimes a little determination can be the difference between being forgotten and leaving a legacy.

HappyDad Rating: FIVE Silly Faces

5 Silly Faces from HappyDad and Kids

HappyKids’ Review

James (5 year old boy)

It’s good. It’s an awesome book. It’s a good book and it’s crazy. That’s it! That’s the end daddy.

Ava (6 Year Old Girl)

It’s crazy! It’s kind of funny. It’s a nice book and that’s it. The end.

Shaw (9 Year Old Boy)

Good book, although it’s not true. But it’s fun to hear how they did it in one day.

Bella (12 Year Old Girl)

Very cute and classic book, I remember my mom and dad read it to my brother a lot. Best for little kids.

Bring Mike Mulligan & Mary Anne to Story Time and Support HappyDad

You can get this book now at Amazon here: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and support HappyDad in the process. Thanks you!

Ferdinand – Happy Dad and Kids Book Review

Title: Ferdinand

Author: Munro Leaf

Illustrated by: Robert Lawson

Age Range: Littles (0-7)

HappyDad’s Review

It wasn’t more than a month ago when the HappyMom and I were out on a date discussing the great mysteries of life and we stumbled upon the truth that… I am Ferdinand.

#IamFerdinand

With those simple words, “You’re Ferdinand.” My wife pulled the curtain back on a lifetime of hidden identity. If you read our review of “I am a Bunny” and how I said that I believe children’s books have a larger impact on our lives than we know, you already know what I’m saying here.

But it seems that as I visit these books again and again with my own children I am discovering just how true that is.

Stop to Smell the Roses

Happy Dad and Kids Quote Stop and Smell the RosesYou see, Ferdinand isn’t like the other bulls. Instead of running and playing and butting heads, he would rather just sit under his favorite tree and smell the flowers.

“That’s just like you,” my wife told me, and she’s right. “Plus you’re always wearing those red shoes now and that red hoodie, just like the red book cover. You’re Ferdinand.”

Our cover is a little more orange than red now, but it’s because our copy is a bit worn. The cover is red as you can see below, and the similarities don’t end there.

I’m pretty sure the cover of a book I read as a kid isn’t directing my clothing purchases, but I do think the lessons it contains did have an effect on me then and now.

What’s Important

Like Ferdinand, I’ve always felt a little different than the typical bull (guy), but the more HappyDads I meet, the more I don’t think that its that I or they that are different than the typical guy. But rather, we’re ALL different than the stereotypical guy.

Like Ferdinand, we have things that we think are more important than what our culture thinks guys should be interested in and that’s honestly why I created HappyDad in the first place.

Connecting Through Play

I believe those things that we as HappyDads think are important are important for a reason.

We’ve been given this natural curiosity to explore and discover certain things that tickle our fancies so to speak, and it’s so we can lead our children on adventures that involve those things.

For me, it’s helping dads connect with their kids through play and adventure so that they can build better relationships.

For some other HappyDads its filmmaking, business, marketing, story telling, traveling, cooking, building, and more.

We’ve settled far too quickly for a mundane existence in an effort to provide our families with a false security, when we should have been leading them on an adventure that would cultivate curiosity, create courage and show them that there is more to life than what we’ve been led to believe.

Play to me, is following that call to adventure.

It’s sitting beneath our favorite tree like Ferdinand and smelling the flowers when everyone else is running around under the spell of busyness and missing the truly important things in life.

Find Your Own Favorite Tree

So pick up a copy of Ferdinand, teach your kids that there is more to life than following the crowd, and start seeking out what it means to find your own favorite tree and smell the flowers.

I dare you.

HappyDad Rating: 5 Silly Faces

5 Silly Faces from HappyDad and Kids

HappyKids’ Review

James (5 year old boy)

Oh my turn. Hoo ahh! It’s a bull. Uh, huh a bull in a story. Sit on a bee. Got up and that’s it.

Invincible. That’s it, uh huh. It’s a bumble bee. That’s it. Nothing.

Ava (6 Year Old Girl)

It reminds me of flowers, roses, and flowers that smell good. It’s a cute story for kids. It’s funny at the end. And that’s it.

Shaw (9 Year Old Boy)

It’s a fun book, that’s it. Just kidding. It’s funny what happens to him and it made me laugh.

Bella (12 Year Old Girl)

It’s very cute and funny, but it’s best for little kids.

Bring Ferdinand to Story Time and Support HappyDad

You can get this book now at Amazon here: Ferdinand and support HappyDad in the process. Thanks you!

Qwirkle – Happy Dad and Kids Game Review

Game: Qwirkle

What does the box say?

Age Range: Littles and Bigs (6 and up)

Short Description: While Qwirkle is as simple as matching colors and shapes, it also requires tactical maneuvers and well planned strategy.

Game Length: 20 – 30 minutes

Learning Curve: About one game.

HappyDad’s Review:

The day you have to start playing games for real against your kids is like a right of passage.

Qwirkle is one of those games that I have to play full out or suffer the consequence of being completely annihilated by my 9 year old. His intelligence style fits perfectly with this game and he can see things I miss if I’m not vigilant.

Just the Right Amount of Fun

Its a fun game that involves skill, strategy, matching and some luck of the draw.

It’s a great table game that doesn’t take all day, but also isn’t so short you’re left wondering what else you’re going to do for family game night once it’s over, besides spending an hour trying to pick another game everyone can agree on.

A Warning for Organization Addicts

You can keep the box for easy storage with the rest of your games or you can just store it in the bag it comes with to hold the tiles. That said, the organizational monster in me prefers the box so that it stores easily with our other games. So before you ditch the box, check with your spouse to make sure that same organizational monster doesn’t live inside them and then comes out to eat you. 😉

The Nitty Gritty

The idea of the game besides winning by scoring the most points is to get what they call a Qwirkle. A Qwirkle is six tiles in a row that are either all the same shape but six different colors or six tiles in a row that are all the same color but six different shapes.

A Qwirkle is worth six points plus a bonus six points and it can be a game changer.

As mentioned above, it takes about a game for most everyone to learn the game except for maybe your children on the lower end of the age range. For them I’d recommend playing on a team with an older sibling or parent for a while until they get it.

The Independent Toddler

This could be longer or shorter period of time depending on if your littles are like mine and declare their belief that they are fully capable of playing on their own even though you know they have no idea what they are doing.

In that case, remember you’re playing a game, it should be fun and you’re raising an adult not a child so let them learn from the consequences of their decision mercifully and teach them gently.

Qwirkle is definitely one of our family favorites and is a go to game for us if we can’t decide on another one.

HappyDad Rating: 5 Silly Faces

5 Silly Faces from HappyDad and Kids

HappyKid’s Review:

James (5 Year Old Boy):

Purple… red… green… (siblings giggling) Oh, which one. Blue. That’s it.

Ava (6 Year Old Girl):

(Thinking… thinking… thinking…) It’s a very fun game. It’s a super duper fun game and that it’s cool because its a little bit hard and it’s cool because it helps out with colors and shapes and it shows you more shapes. Like stars and it tells you how to pronounce more stuff, like shapes.

Shaw (9 Year Old Boy):

A fun game that helps you learn about shapes and then it also helps you to have fun.

Bella (12 Year Old Girl):

Not available for this review.

Get Qwirkle for your family and support HappyDad

You can get Qwirkle on Amazon and support HappyDad in the process: Qwirkle Board Game

Thanks so much for supporting us as we help dads (and moms) connect with their kids!

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I am a Bunny – Happy Dad and Kids Book Review

Title: I am a Bunny

Author: Ole Risom

Illustrated by: Richard Scarry

Age Range: Littles (0-7)

HappyDad’s Review

It’s amazing how a simple board book can be so powerful, but that’s why I love children’s books in the first place.

I am a Bunny is like a a time machine for me. It’s one those books that takes me back to when I was just a little HappyKid. So when I first found out I was going to be a HappyDad it was one of the first books we got for our first little HappyKid over 12 years ago.

So, yeah. I love this book. It’s simple, cute and the pictures make me want to be there with Bunny experiencing the seasons right along with him.

The Power of a Simple Children’s Book

In fact this book probably plays a huge part in the reason my favorite season is “the change of seasons”. I love the transition and anticipation of each season that’s coming, just like Bunny, but I also mourn the end of the previous season as well.

Never underestimate the power of a book in shaping your life or the life of your HappyKids even if you don’t see it at first,

The more I think through who I am, I have to admit, many of these books that were read to me or that I read as a little HappyKid, have shaped me in some way or another even when I didn’t realize it.

Fun to Read and Beautiful to Share

I am a Bunny is fun to read and beautiful to share with your HappyKids that fit into the Littles age range, but our Bigs like it too since they’ve grown up with it just as I did.

For those HappyDads and HappyMoms who like to do voices for the characters when you read like me, I am a Bunny gives you the opportunity to pull out your cutest little voice ever or if your HappyKids have a goofy sense of humor like mine you can use a deep rough voice that doesn’t fit at all but will make for a story time filled with laughs.

HappyDad Warning

Oh and if your HappyFamily knows the children’s song I Think I’m a Bunny your HappyKids will probably be reminded of it and start singing it after you read this book. Just a friendly warning from one HappyDad to another. (We like that song in our house, but I’ve heard some people don’t since it does have the M word “monster” and it can get repetitive. But it makes us laugh.)

HappyDad Rating: 5 Silly Faces

5 Silly Faces from HappyDad and Kids

HappyKids’ Review

James (5 year old boy)

Me like them. I love him. (Hugging his brother.) Hi bunny. Hi bunny. Hi-ya you died. (Brother and sister laughing) Shush peoples.

Ava (6 Year Old Girl)

I liked it because it had cool pictures, a very cute bunny and because it helps people learn about the four seasons. What happens in that season? What happens in that season? And because it shows you what you can do in each season. It gives you ideas on what you can do in each of the four seasons.

Shaw (9 Year Old Boy)

I like it because it talked about the four seasons and what he did during each season.

Bella (12 Year Old Girl)

Not available for this review.

Bring Bunny to Story Time and Support HappyDad

You can get this book now at Amazon here: I Am a Bunny (A Golden Sturdy Book)
and support HappyDad in the process. Thank you!

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Daddy, Button.

We love children’s books so much, we’re working on our own.

Right now we’re working with a local illustrator (ColorPop) on our first children’s book with hopes of many more on the way after that.

Check out the first character development images of Daddy, Button. below. We can’t wait to share this book with all of you and be a part of the most magical time in all of parenthood. Story time!

Tell us your favorite book to read to your kids on Twitter by using the Hashtag #DaddyButton and lets be friends @HappyDadAndKids

Daddy Button Initial Development Happy Dad