Thursday, July 31, 2008

August Issue At Your Favorite Location Starting Today!


Costume Party & Book Release Party at Barnes & Noble in Worcester on August 1

Tomorrow, August 1, from 9 p.m. to 12;30, the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Plaza In Worcester is hosting a release party for Stephenie Meyer's new book Breaking Dawn. The bookstore will be having a costume wedding party. There will be a prize for best costume. Bella and Edward excluded. The event is free. For additional information call 508-853-2236

Monday, July 28, 2008

REVIEW: Super Scientific Circus

By Laura Richards

On Friday I dropped my three year old son off at my parent’s house and took my husband and 6 ½ year old twin sons to see the North Shore Music Theater’s Super Scientific Circus. The show is recommended for children ages 4 and up due to the concepts involved and some loud noises. When we arrived, the parking lot was teeming with kids and over a dozen yellow camp school buses. The theater said this show is one of their most popular children’s performances each year. After a quick snack at the concession stand, we entered the theater which is circular and no seat is more than 50 feet from the stage thus an excellent venue for kids. Plastic booster seats are readily available for kids who need them. The show began with the very high energy, and crazy-haired, Mr. Fish who bounded onto the stage promising the audience a show of magic and circus tricks all of which could be explained by science. The show had a circus theme but one should not expect a traditional circus per se with many participants and activities taking place at once. My twins were expecting a real circus of sorts but this show consisted only of Mr. Fish and his assistant, Trent the Mime, though was no less entertaining. Mr. Fish brought out a living 'human' robot and examples were made in a fun, engaging way that robots cannot do anything without the use of the humans who created them. Mr. Fish and Trent used a wonderful blend of comedy and slapstick humor to get the sometimes complex principles of science down to the kid level. They demonstrated the center of gravity and balance point, friction, sonic booms, speed of sound, centripetal and centrifugal force through spinning dinner plates, huge beach balls, metal rods, boomerangs and the old trick of pulling a tablecloth off of a table piled high with items. They even used a bullwhip to demonstrate the speed of sound. Audience participation was garnered through clapping and several volunteers were brought onstage to assist. At one point, Mr. Fish had to leave the stage and asked the audience to watch Trent to make sure he didn’t touch anything. My kids went wild over this and loved screaming “Nooooo” along with everyone else as Trent attempted to touch things. The duo stressed throughout that the power of imagination is often more important than knowledge and that science is fun and can explain almost everything. If you exercise your mind you gain knowledge. The show wound down in energy at the end with an entrancing demonstration of bubbles and things kids can do at home with a plain drinking straw and some bubble fluid. A perfect conclusion to a rip-roaring hour of scientific fun.

This was the only performance this year at The North Shore Music Theater http://www.nsmt.org/
For future performances check out
http://www.superscientificcircus.com/

Friday, July 25, 2008

Travel North & Attend the Curious George Festival on Aug. 8-10 in Waterville Valley, N.H.

Waterville Valley Resort's Curious George Cottage Family Festival will delight kids of all ages from Friday, Aug. 8th through Sunday, Aug. 10th.
The 2nd annual festival hosted by the Margret and H.A. Rey Center will include three full days of activities and events for the whole family.
For visitors interested in an active and nature filled adventure, the festival features a full-day hike, nature discovery walk, the Curious Gourds Garden, and all that the Waterville Resort has to offer including ice skating, boat rental, and chair lift ride up Snow's Mountain.
The festival is also host to many cultural activities whether art, theatre, or culinary.
The Brookside Gallery in the Rey Center will display works by local artists. "Chalk-Talks" combines art and discussion with Nat Scrimshaw, artist-in-residence, as he sketches for a new series of books that will feature Hans and Margret Rey's "lost" Whiteblack the Penguin as he explores the world and learns about different places and their ecologies and people. There are Curious George TV Show and movie viewing opportunities and an opportunity to meet the famous monkey. For a star-studded atmosphere, guests can view the night sky during the "Astronomy with Christa McAuliffe Planetarium" event. Star gazing was one of H.A. Rey's favorite activities.
Festival theatre opportunities include performances of Shakespeare in the Valley's: Taming of the Shrew; Waterville Valley Follies; and Bionic Bard among others.
For a sweet treat guests can enjoy a banana pancake breakfast with Curious George and a dessert reception with Louis Borden author of "The Journey that Saved Curious George." There is also a lobster bake for a taste of New England.
The Margret and H.A Rey Center creates a rich intellectual and creative environment for families visiting Waterville Valley by maintaining the Curious George Cottage. The Curious George Cottage was once home to Margret and H.A Rey, the creators of the world's most beloved monkey, Curious George.
For a full festival schedule, ticket information, and more information visit http://www.blogger.com/www.reycenter.org or call 603-236-3308.

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And, be curious and stay with a special package with two nights lodging, admission to the Character Lunch, Movie Viewing, and Nature Walks, plus a Curious George souvenir. Additional fees charged for some of the other event activities. Prices from just $73 per person, per night (based on quad occupancy).
The Waterville Valley Summer Unlimited package includes all the fun people cherish in New England each summer: boating, mountain biking, tennis, golf, access to the White Mountain Athletic Club, use of the Waterville Valley shuttle, a scenic chair lift ride up Snow's Mountain, and access to the Waterville Valley Recreation's open gym program. In addition, families staying for at least three nights can send their children between the ages of six to 12 to one day of Kids Camp. An all-inclusive price for activities provides guests an opportunity to save at least 50 percent on their family vacation through this package. It is also valid at the many summer activities at the Rey Center's Curious George Cottage, and productions of the North Country Center for the Arts Children's Theatre.
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Win A CoCo Key Ultimate Staycation

CoCo Key Water Resorts is giving away the bank or rather, eight exciting tropical vacation experiences valued at more than $1,000 each in the “CoCo Key Ultimate Staycation Challenge.”
With record high gas prices and the headaches of air travel, a family vacation close to home, or “staycation” as it is commonly referred to, never sounded so good. As a fun and exciting way to celebrate the staycation experience, CoCo Key Water Resort is launching a search for the most creative and resourceful ways families have staycationed in the past. Vacationers can tell their stories online at www.CoCoStaycation.com.
Gone are the days of the weeklong vacation. Families are opting to save their precious time and hard earned dollars by taking a one or two night local trip. But just because consumers are staying near home this summer, doesn’t mean that they can’t experience that vacation they always wanted. “We understand that families are looking for economical ways to vacation,” said Elizabeth Beutel, Director of Sales and Marketing at CoCo Key Danvers. “CoCo Key Water Resort is that hot, new, affordable vacation experience located right here in your own backyard.”
How to Enter: Consumers are invited to go online to www.CoCoStaycation.com and in a 100-word essay, tell CoCo Key Water Resort the most creative way their family has staycationed in the past and why they desperately need to escape to the tropics this summer. Winning essays will appear on the CoCo Key Water Resort Web site. Consumers may also enter via US Mail. Entries, along with complete contact information (name, address, city, state, zip, phone, age and nearest CoCo Key Water Resort) may be sent to:
CoCo Key Water Resort
Attn: Staycation Challenge
3400 West Euclid Ave. #224
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
One entry per family per household. For complete official rules and regulations visit www.CoCoStaycation.com. Deadline to enter is July 30, 2008.

Ultimate Staycation Prize Package: Eight families will win the ultimate staycation – which includes an unforgettable trip to CoCo Key Water Resort, VIP treatment and a host of other prizes. One winning family will be selected for each of the CoCo Key Water Resorts (a total of seven across the country). Winners will receive a prize package valued at over $1,000, which includes: A two night stay for a family of four at their nearest CoCo Key Water Resort
VIP treatment including: Ground transportation to/and from CoCo Key Water Resort
Upgraded room (where available)
$100 food credit
$50 towards arcade play
A CoCo Key gift pack for the family
Meet and greet session with CoCo, including a family photo
10 water park passes for that next staycation

One grand prize winner will be chosen from all entries submitted from across the country. The winning family will receive a prize package valued at over $2,200, which includes:
· The prize pack above
· Plus, unlimited day visits for a family of four for one full year to a CoCo Key Water Resort near them and a $200 gas card!


About CoCo Key Water Resort: CoCo Key Water Resorts, created in partnership with Wave Development LLC and Sage Hospitality Resources, are the newest water resort development throughout the United States, offering a Key West paradise for family adventure getaways. Managed by Sage Hospitality Resources, one of the nation’s leading hotel management companies, CoCo Key Water Resort developments are currently open at: Sheraton Chicago Northwest, Arlington Heights, IL; Clock Tower Resort, Rockford, IL; Cherry Valley Lodge, Newark, OH; Sheraton Ferncroft/Boston Resort, Danvers, MA; Holiday Inn Central, Omaha, NE; Sheraton Cincinnati Hotel, Cincinnati; and Sheraton Sports Complex Hotel, Kansas City, MO. Additional CoCo Key Water Resort developments are underway at Waterbury, CT; Mt. Laurel, NJ and Fitchburg, MA.

CHARITABLE EVENT: August 1-15 Haircuts Help Disadvantaged Children

Hair Cuttery Shares a Haircut
At Hair Cuttery, they believe a new haircut on the first day of school can be a big confident boost to a child. Through the company's Share A Haircut program, they partner with local social service agencies to provide back-to-school haircuts to children in need in the community.
Bring your child into any Hair Cuttery salon from August 1-15, and for every haircut a child (age 18 years old or younger) receives, the salon will donate a free haircut to a disadvantaged child in the community.
Over the years, Hair Cuttery has donated more than 380,000 haircuts!
The company has more than 900 salons nationwide. Massachusetts locations include:

CAMBRIDGE
CHICOPEE
DANVERS
FRAMINGHAM
HUDSON
MEDFORD
REVERE
SAUGUS
SPRINGFIELD
WAREHAM
WEST SPRINGFIELD
WESTBOROUGH
WESTFIELD
WOBURN
WORCESTER
For more information, visit www.haircuttery.com
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

August Back-to-School Issue Off to the Printers Today


Between the Lions at Boston Children's Museum Friday, July 25 at 4 p.m.

Between the Lions, the seven-time Emmy Award winning children's television series and 2007 & 2008 recipient of the International Reading Association's Broadcast Media Award will be performing a puppet Show with Cleo and Lionel .
This live show, featuring two members of the Lion family, includes puppet performances, songs, jokes, and audience participation. Join us on KidStage for a special treat.
Tickets are limited and will be available 1-hour prior to the performance.
Between the Lions is best for ages 4-7.
Visit www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org for more information or 617-426-6500

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

North Shore Music Theatre Holding Auditions for Teen and Other Performers

Award-winning North Shore Music Theatre is holding auditions for its production of 42nd STREET which will be presented at the theater October 28 through November 23, 2008. All auditions will be held in the Theatre Arts & Education Building behind the theatre at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly. For specific directions, please visit our website at http://www.nsmt.org/.
Adult Auditions at North Shore Music Theatre - Friday, August 1: Male and female adults 19 and older can audition for ensemble and principal parts of 42nd STREET by appointment only. AEA and non-AEA auditions will be held starting at 11:30 am on Friday, August 1. Principal and ensemble actors should bring appropriate dancewear and tap shoes, and should be prepared to sing 16 bars of an up tempo song. Actors will need to bring their own sheet music marked with the starting point and stopping point; an accompanist will be provided. Adult auditioners should email Assistant to the Producers Mark Jacobsen at mjacobsen@nsmt.org to schedule an audition appointment.
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Teen Auditions at North Shore Music Theatre - Friday, August 1: Male and female teens between the ages of 12 and 18 who are excellent tap dancers are encouraged to attend an open chorus call for the opening number of 42nd STREET on Friday, August 1 at 2 pm. Auditioners should bring appropriate dancewear and tap shoes (singing is not required).
Rehearsals for the teen ensemble are October 9 – 27, and will not conflict with regular school hours. The exact day and time commitment is to be announced, but participants must be available for the entire rehearsal process, no exceptions. Performances of 42nd STREET are October 28 through November 23, 2008.
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Auditions for 42nd STREET will be run by North Shore Music Theatre Artistic Director and Executive Producer Barry Ivan and Choreographer Michael Lichtefeld.
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Operating since 1955, NSMT has evolved into the largest non-profit producing theater in New England, with approximately 350,000 patrons annually. NSMT has gained a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, specifically in the areas of developing new works and providing outstanding theater arts and education programs. NSMT has received numerous industry awards. With its celebrated Theatre for Young Audiences program, a school touring program, and year-round classes for children, NSMT has become one of the region’s leading providers of theater arts and education.

Peabody Essex Museum Host Japanese Festival on Saturday, July 26

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem is hosting an afternoon of Taiko drumming and Obon dancing as part of its 2008 Japanese Festival from 2 to 4 p.m.
Obon dancing is enjoyed throughout Japan in the month of August, when family members gather to honor their ancestors. Join members of Odaiko New England for a taiko drumming performance and an opportunity to learn Obon dancing with middle school students from Ota, Salem's sister city, in Tokyo, Japan. For additional information, including admission prices and directions, visit http://www.pem.org/

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catch Between the Lions LIVE!

Since 2000, the popular PBS KIDS series Between the Lions has been helping children learn how to read, and this summer, the Lions are hitting the road yet again to engage live audiences in read-alouds and performances and to celebrate the show’s upcoming eighth season on the air.
On Thursday, July 24, mother of the pride, Cleo, and cub Lionel will be joined by executive producer Chris Cerf when they visit several locations in Boston and Burlington on the first leg of the show’s 2008 summer road tour.
The Between the Lions Lions are scheduled to make public appearances, live, on Friday, July 25th at the main branch of the Boston Public Library and at the Boston Children’s Museum. On Saturday, July 26, the Lions perform at the Burlington Mall. Franklin Prk Zoo, and at WGBH's Theatre.
“Cleo and Lionel can’t wait to visit with their fans, says Sirius Thinking executive producer Chris Cerf. The children they meet are so excited about meeting them in person an d reading along with them. And since the regular episodes of the Between the Lions television show are not performed in front of a live audience, it's a special thrill for all of us involved in the series to get out around the country and interact with our viewers."
After a rest from their travels, cast and crew will set out on the second leg of their tour and visit Tulsa, Oklahoma City and San Antonio from September 8-13. In the summer of 2007, kids, their parents, teachers, and caregivers enthusiastically welcomed the crew in Baltimore, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The producers plan to continue the grass roots tours over the next two summers, providing opportunities for more children to meet the Lions up close, and to demonstrate directly to their families the value of using BETWEEN THE LIONS as a way to teach reading skills. According to independent studies, kindergarten students who watched BETWEEN THE LIONS improved their reading skills and outperformed students who didn’t watch by four to one.
July 25:

10m.: Boston Public Librarym700 Boylston St

4 p.m. Boston Children's Museum (included with the cost of admission)

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July 26:

10 a.m.: Burlington Mall, 75 Middlesex Turnpike

1 p.m.: WGBH Yawkey Theater (attendees should sign up at http://support.wgbh.org/btlevent)1 Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135

4 p.m.: Franklin Park Zoo (included with the cost of admission) One Franklin Park Road, Dorchester, http://www.franklinparkzoo.org/

About Between the Lions: BTL is produced by WGBH Boston, Sirius Thinking, Ltd., and Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The series is funded in part by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education's Ready To Learn grant, and by the Barksdale Reading Institute. National corporate funding is provided by Chick-fil-A, Inc. The BTL team is committed to making quality television available to all children. Each episode is accessible to blind and visually impaired viewers through WGBH Boston's innovative, Emmy Award-winning Descriptive Video Service (DVS). The series is closed captioned by the Caption Center at WGBH for viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Storytelling Event at Cornertsone Books on July 26th

This Saturday, July 26 at 1 p.m. at Cornerstone Books , on Lafayette Street, in Salem, Lawrence-native Tabatha will bring her energetic and interactive storytelling presentation. Perfect for Early Readers (ages 4-8), she also will speak about (and sign copies of) her series of nature books. For more information on this free event, e-mail info@cornerstonebooks-salem.com
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Movies on The Mystic River: Tomorrow Shrek the Third at Dusk

Assembly Square is hosting movies on the Mystic starting this week through Aug. 17.
Come stretch out your summer weekends with Federal Realty and the City of Somerville as it shows FREE family favorites including Shrek the Third, Happy Feet, Antz, Jumanji, and Back to the Future on the big screen at Assembly Square. Mark your calendars now for Sunday evenings starting through August 17th.
Tomorrow night, there will be a special showing of Shrek The Third, tomorrow evening, July 22nd.
Movies will be shown at dusk (approx. 8:30pm). Bring your beach or lounge chairs to the lot adjacent to Assembly Square (behind Assembly Square Marketplace parking lot) to join in the family fun. Food and soft drinks are available for purchase at all movies.
Movie Schedule:
7/22 Shrek The Third (Special Tuesday Night Showing)
7/27 Happy Feet
8/3 Antz
8/10 Jumanji
8/17 Back To The Future


.For more information on the Assembly Square Marketplace,visit http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001bDh5eA0AAHF60Pb4ETUky59WlS-TIo2LNFf8e3-Kvl44pdf7wlc0CGYwaAQIJRjeatwWQuYuzNCp79FB0BwLCn-qY9u_kP0c5S3AWgnXWEA6ZdcpOsO9VQ==
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Beauty & Beast at Walpole High July 25th & 26th

A tale as old as time -- Beauty & the Beast -- is being brought to life by Walpole Children’s Theatre this weekend. This classic tale is directed by Elizabeth Smith. Shows are at Walpole High on Common Street.
July 25 - two shows -- 10 a.m. and 7 p.m
July 26 - two shows -- 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets: $11 Premium Seating and $9 General Admission, with $8 Seniors & kids under age 12
For tickets call the WCT Box Office 508-668-9722
For additional information visit http://www.walpolechildrenstheatre.com/

Friday, July 18, 2008

WEEKEND PICK: Life is good Festival on Boston Common Saturday!

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From sack races and seed-spitting to an old-fashioned tug-of-war you'll find all the backyard activities you need at the 2008 Life is good festival on Boston Common Saturday. Bay State Parent magazine is one of the media sponsors of the event. Stop by -- we'll be near the sack races -- and say hello!
The FREE festival, which benefits charity, begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.
100% of all funds raised -- including those from 2008 World's Greatest Backyard Athlete Competition -- plus sale of Life is good products and personal donations that day will go to the Life is good Kids Foundation.
There is a lot of entertainment planned, including several musicians. And this outdoor concert is-FREE!

At 11:30 a.m. - Steve Songs performs for an hour

At 1 p.m. see Double Dutch & Hula Hoop demonstrations

At 2 p.m. - Check out Electric Youth

At 3 p.m. - Listen to Melvin Sparks Funk & Groove Trio

At 4:30 p.m. - the World Greatest Athlete Finals take place

At 5 p.m. -- Listen to Robert Randolph Pedal Steel Driven Blues for an hour

The festival, produced in conjunction with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, benefits Project Joy, a Boston-based non-profit organization whose mission is to use the healing power of play to transform children impacted by violence, poverty and loss into healthy and joyful players in the game of life.


Life is good's festival features:

* The Olympic Village: This is the site of the 2008 World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition.

* Jaketown: Features games aplenty, including lacrosse, speed pitch, soccer kick, Frisbee toss, basketball, tug-o’-war, volleyball, etc.

* Chillville: Features arts and crafts, face painting, and a kids stage.

* The Joy Zone: Features kids’ games hosted by Project Joy, including a 50-foot multi-colored parachute.

For additional information, visit www.lifeisgood.com
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Jordan's Furniture Hosts Summer Adoption Mixer Saturday to Find Adoptive Home For Children in Foster Care

Jordan’s Furniture Hosts “Summer Adoption Mixer” to Find Adoptive Homes for Children in Foster Care. Summer Adoption Mixer – A free carnival for children in need of adoption and families approved to adopt a child or sibling group from foster care

WHEN: Saturday, July 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Assumption College, 500 Salisbury St., Worcester, (start in Laska Gymnasium)
WHO: Hosted by Jordan’s Furniture’s CEO Eliot Tatelman in collaboration with Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) and Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS)
ATTENDING: = 105 children currently in state foster care awaiting adoption
= 79 prospective adoptive families
= 174 social workers and staff from state and private agencies to facilitate connections

FEATURES: BBQ lunch, entertainment, carnival activities for prospective adoptive parents to meet waiting children in a fun, informal setting and orientation workshops for prospective parents, beginning at 9 a.m.

* In Massachusetts, 2,400 children currently in foster care have the goal of adoption
* 600 still have not been matched with families
* Older, school-aged children, sibling groups, children of color and/or children with special needs tend to wait the longest for families

“Jordan’s has been a part of the adoption and foster care community for over 10 years now,” says Jordan’s Furniture CEO Eliot Tatelman. “Once we saw how many kids, especially older kids, were looking for families, we started to do whatever we could to help. We are excited to see the magic happen at our adoption event. These connections can change the life of both the children and the families. It is what it is all about and is much more rewarding than just selling furniture!”
Last year, over 300 teens in Massachusetts aged out of foster care to fend for themselves. Adoption improves cognitive, educational, health, social, and economic outcomes.
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WEEKEND PICK: Lady Bug Festival Sunday a Garden in the Woods

Last weekend, Garden in the Woods had a grand opening celebration for the return visit of David Rogers' dinosaur-sized bug sculptures into its 45 acres. The sculptures made a visit in 2004.
This weekend, your family can see the sculptures and explore more than 1,500 varieties of native plants as the Framingham garden hosts a Ladybug Weekend.
Join in on a ladybug release in the meadow garden and learn about insects with “warning colors." Make a craft. See the ladybug sculpture by Rogers. Have you children take a photo in front of it. Admission is $8 for adults (non-members) and $4 for children ages 3-18.
For additional information visit, http://www.newfs.org/
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Start of a Baby Boom???

More babies were born in the United States last year than ever before, according to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics. About 4,315,000 children were born in 2007, that is 15,000 more births than the peak time of the baby boom in 1950s.
Years leading up to 2007 showed slight increases in the number of births, not the substantial growth of the baby boom years, which were 1946 through 1964, according to the statistics.
To read the complete report visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_21.htm

RECALL: Lip Gloss & Jewlry Set Sold Exclusively at Wal-Mart Due to Rick of Lead Exposure

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with FAF Inc of Rhode Island, today announced a voluntary recall of 30,000 “Faded Glory” Lip Gloss, Locket, and Bracelet Sets. The lobster claw clasp on the bracelet contains high levels of lead, which is toxic if ingested and can cause adverse health effects. Injuries: None reported. The recalled three-piece sets contain a rectangle-shaped lip gloss container, a heart-shaped locket necklace, and a charm bracelet. The following models are included in the recall:
Item Model Number UPC
Frog Set 6709-4250 72783357703
Monkey Set 6709-4251 72783357704
Cat Set 6709-4252 72783357705
“Faded Glory”, the model number, and UPC are printed on the product’s hangtag.
Sold at: Wal-Mart stores nationwide from May 2008 through June 2008 for about $6 and manufactured in China.
Consumers should immediately take the bracelet away from children and return the set to any Wal-Mart store for a full refund. For additional information, contact F.A.F. Inc. at 800-949-3311 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit http://www.faf.com/

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

REVIEW: The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs

By Jennifer Lucarelli Shimer

Since I was a little girl, I have heard the stories of the Three Little Pigs, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and Goldilocks and The Three Bears. But never have I seen such a wonderful story of all three tales put together in once fantastic children’s show.
This morning, I took my 4-year-old son Thomas along with my 1-year-old son Derek to see Foothills Theatre production of The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs and it was a wonderful show. My sons had never experienced live theater before and certainly never heard the story of the Three Pigs like this.
And as a special treat, we sat only a few rows from the stage (it’s a small theater setting, perfect for little ones), and boy did my sons enjoy that. Thomas sat quietly in his seat mesmerized by the antics of the pigs, the wolf, the goats, the troll, and goldilocks and the three bears.
The show was funny, age appropriate, and entertaining for children of all ages, and even with some jokes thrown in for the adults in the audience, as well. Derek, my 1-year-old, even enjoyed the twist on an old classic tale as well as all the laughing and running around of the actors.
And as a special treat after the show, the entire cast was available to meet the children and sign autographs. That is definitely something you can’t experience on Broadway. And each of the actors was engaging with the children after the show – and boy did Thomas love meeting all the characters after the show.
While I’ve seen theater productions growing up and even as an adult, the Children’s Theater productions at Foothills are a great way to introduce little ones to the theater and entertain them as well. I can’t wait to see Mother Goose, which will be playing July 22nd to August 2nd.
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The Surprising Story of the Three Little Pigs plays at Foothills Theatre in Worcester through Saturday, July 19th. Tickets are $10. www.foothillstheatre.com
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Friday, July 11, 2008

FREE Community Concerts in Massachusetts

Make it a regular date with your family. Pack a picnic supper to enjoy while learning about jazz, blues, folk, classical, and many other musical styles. Not only is it quality, educational family time, it's free!
Bay State Parent magazine (
www.baystateparent.com) has rounded up a sampling of the region's sweet serenades. If your community is not listed, please call your local town hall for concert information and then e-mail us at calendar@baystateparent.com



Concerts on the Common. Town Common, 75 Great Rd., Bedford. Thursdays, 7 p.m. Rain location: John Glenn Middle School Auditorium, 99 McMahon St.781-275-6310. www.bedfordrecreation.org.

Blackstone Valley Community Concert Band. Sun., July 13, Riverbend Farm in Uxbridge, 3:30 p.m. Thurs., July 24, Whitinsville Town Common, 6:30 p.m. Rain location: Northbridge Middle School Wed., July 30, Grafton Town Common, 7 p.m. Rain location: Grafton Municipal Building Sat., August 9 at the Sutton Town Common, 7 p.m. Visit www.UniBank.com for schedule updates.

Fort Point Channel Lunchtime Concert Series. Club Passim's Culture for Kids presents a FREE Outdoor Summer Music Series. Fridays, 12 - 1 p.m. on Children's Wharf, Boston: July 18 and August 1, 8, 22, & 29 Plus, free ice cream, compliments of Hood Dairy. For a complete list of performers visit www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org *Please note 7/25 & 8/15 concerts are scheduled for 6 p.m.

Special Live Concerts. Rowes Wharf, Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston. Fri., June 20 - Fri., Aug. 29. Summer Soul Tuesdays, 6 - 10 p.m., features different R & B and soul singers and their bands. Summer Swing Wednesdays, 6 - 10 p.m., features entertainment of various themes, ranging from a tribute to the legendary performers of big band to the sultry swing of jazz. Blues Barge Thursdays, 6 - 10 p.m., is held on a floating stage anchored behind the Boston Harbor Hotel. Hear some of the hottest local and national blues artists. Free. 617-439-7000. www.bhh.com.

Harborwalk Sounds. The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) and the Berklee College of Music, waterfront Putnam Investments Plaza at the ICA, Boston. Thursday evenings through Sept. 11, from 6 - 8:30 p.m. Rain Location: Indoors the ICA. Features rising stars in jazz, world, Latin and more. Relax on the harbor with a delicious drink from the Water Café and hot sounds from the coolest music school around. 617-478-3100 or www.icaboston.org.

Summer Concerts at Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park. Franklin Park Coalition, near the Franklin Park Zoo, behind White Stadium, Boston. Free summer concerts every Tuesday at 6 p.m. starting July 8. Opening night features renowned folk singer and Civil Rights activist, Odetta. Beginning July 15 concerts will be Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. for children and evenings at 6 p.m. for the whole family. Go to www.franklinparkcoalition.org for a full summer program. 617-282-2881.

Concerts at the Hatch Shell. Charles River, Boston. Sat., July 12: WODS Oldies in Concert, 7 - 9:30 p.m.;Wed., July 16: Landmark Orchestra Concert Series - "Green Masterpieces", 7 p.m.; Wed., July 23: Landmark Orchestra Concert Series -"Gospel & Gershwin", 7 p.m.; Sat., July 26: WODS Oldies in Concert, 7 - 9:30 p.m. Wed., July 30: Landmark Orchestra Concert Series - "The Rite of Spring"; Sun., Aug. 3: Harvard University Band, 7 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 6: Landmark Orchestra Classical Concert Series Opera Highlights, 7 p.m. Free. www.hatchshell.com.

2008 Concert Series. Sundays in Coggshall Park, Fitchburg. 2 - 4 p.m. On the day of a concert, enter the park through the Electric Avenue entrance only. Exit will be via the two Mount Elam Road exits. Rain Dates: July 17 and Sept. 21. www.discoveryfitchburg.com

Concerts on the Common. Framingham. Fridays, July - August, 6:30 p.m. 508 532-5960. www.framinghamma.gov/parks/
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Summer Concert Series. Senior Center Lawn in front of the Bandstand, Main St., Holden. Sundays 6 - 8 p.m. www.townofholden.net

Voices of the Andes Concert. Wood Park, Park St., Hudson. Wed., July 16, 6:30 p.m. Free concert of soothing South American music. Rain location: Hudson Town Hall, 78 Main Street. www.upwitharts.org

Family Night at the Bandstand 2008. The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra Milford Musicians Pavilion. Milford Town Park, corner of Congress & Walnut Streets, Milford. Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 508-478-5924. Rain dates the following Thursday

Art in the Parks. Needham Town Common. Thursdays, 7 p.m. Rain Location: John Eliot Elementary School Performance Center. Please note the change of location for this year, only, due to construction at Memorial Park www.needhamma.gov

Sunday Evening Heritage Festivals. Newton Centre Green, Newton. Sundays at 6:15 p.m. July 6: Rumbafrica - Boston's premier African dance band; July 13: InkasWasi - Combining music from the Andes and American with dancers in colorful Peruvian attire; July 20: Winiker Orchestra - Bill & Bo will trace highlights in American popular music from Ragtime to Hip Hop and all in between!; July 27: Black Sea Salsa - 15- piece band playing an original blend of Armenian music and Afro-Cuban jazz; Aug. 3: Clarence Thompson, Sr. and The New Spirits - Leading light's of Boston's gospel music with influences from the R&B and soul music Also Bob Bachelder's Totem Pole Orchestra will perform at Pellegrini Park in Nonantum on Wed., July 30, at 6:30 p.m. Rain location for July 30 is the adjacent gym. All other concerts cancelled in the event of rain. 617-527-8283; 617-527-8283. www.newtonpride.org.

Sunday Evening Concerts on the Common. Walter J. Dempsey Memorial Bandstand on the Town Common , Corner of Washington & Nahatan Streets, Norwood. Sundays, 7 - 9 p.m. Rain or shine. www.norwoodma.gov

Lakeside Concert Series. Memorial Park Beach Bandstand, Sharon. Wednesday nights, 7 p.m., throughout the summer. July 16- Dale & The Duds Classic Hits; July 23- Sharon. Community Band Selection of Family Favorites; July 30- Kadima Band Popular Jewish Songs; Aug. 6 - Four Guys in Tuxes Swing, Society and Classic Rock. E-mail: mlothrop@townofsharon.net

Southbridge Summer Concert Series for 2008. Free summer concerts at the Rotary (Route 131) in Southbridge on Sunday evenings. Concerts start between 5:30 and 6 p.m, July 6 - August 31. July 13 - Route 66 & Liz; July 20 - Macey & Hart; July 27 - East Woodstock Cornet Band; August 3 - Famingoes. www.southbridgeinfo.com

Sweet Summer Nights Music Series. Sweetwilliam Farm, Upton. Free weekly outdoor concerts Fridays 7 - 8:30 p.m. Features fine local and regional and national performing artists. Fun for the entire family. Spectacular sunsets! Bring a picnic dinner and blanket. 508-529-2000. Visit www.sweetwilliamfarm.biz for schedule.

Concerts on the Canal. River Bend Farm Visitor's Center, 287 Oak St., Uxbridge. Sundays, 3:30-5 p.m. Starts July 13. 508-278-7604.

Concerts on the Common. Sundays, 6 p.m. West Boylston. www.westboylston.com

Concerts at the Clark. 225 South St., Williamstown. Held at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute's expansive south lawn on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in July. Jae's at the Clark will sell barbeque fare and the galleries remain open until 6 p.m. on concert evenings. Rain Location: auditorium. Free. 413-458-2303 or www.clarkart.edu.

Storytime at the Movies in Millbury This Weekend

Families, you are invited to StoryTime this weekend! Kids of all ages are invited to have fun by joining Showcase Cinemas for Kidtoons StoryTime at Blackstone Valley 14: Cinema de Lux located at 70 Worcester Providence Turnpike in Millbury. Monthly, Showcase Cinemas will offer a new popular story the whole family will enjoy. On Saturday, July 12 & Sunday, July 13, at 11.30 a.m, an animated storyteller will encourage children and parents to use their imagination by bringing their favorite characters to life. Plus, kids are invited to participate in creative activities and will get a FREE slice of pizza!
For additional information visit nationalamusements.com
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Celebrate Bastille Day Sunday in Harvard Square

The region's largest Bastille Day celebration, free and open to the public, takes place on Holyoke Street in Harvard Square, Cambridge on Sunday, July 13!
Parents can celebrate with a shady beer garden and exciting food and product vendors all day long and enjoy a traditional waiters race (La Course des Garçon de Café) along Holyoke Street (Grand Prize is 2 Free Round Trip Jet Blue Tickets). Plus, dance under twinkling lights to just what the kids are listening to in the streets of Paris with DJ Kamal from the Boston French Party.
From 3 to 5 p.m., there are specific children's events --- Face Painting, Flag Making, Chalk Art, Kid-friendly Food, Jugglers, Magicians, and Balloon Art.
At 5 p.m. there is a French Children's Parade led by Curious George
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The Traditional French Waiters Race (La Course des Garçon de Café) takes place at 5:15 p.m..
From 5:30 to 8 p.m. there is dinner and dancing performance options. They include:
Afrobrazil - http://www.afrobrazil.org/
Cirkestra - www.myspace.com/cirkestra
From 8 to 9 p.m., families can dance to the sweet Louisiana sounds of the Hot 8 Brass Band - www.myspace.com/hot8brassband
Sandrine's Bistro is the culinary and cultural co-host for this event.
Joining them in the event is Chez Henri, Brasserie Jo, The Elephant Walk, Rialto, and Petit Robert, who will provide traditional French Food outside on Holyoke Street for the evening!
Sponsors of this gala celebration are: the Harvard Square Business Association, Sandrine's Bistro, Maison Marques & Domaine Wines, and Nestle Waters.
In addition, the Katrina Ritaville Express will be displaying a FEMA trailer along Mt. Auburn Street in an effort to educate the public about the continued suffering of the survivors of the 2004 hurricane disasters. For more information, please visit: http://www.findingourfolk.org/ / http://www.krvexpress.org/ / http://www.katrinaaction.org/
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Avoid the Heat and Check Out Thomas The Tank Engine At the Movies This Weekend

Families, avoid the heat and head indoors to Showcase Cinemas this weekend for Kidtoons!
Blackstone Valley 14: Cinema de Lux and Showcase Cinemas in Lowell, Randolph, Revere, & Woburn are offering G-rated movies for kids every Saturday & Sunday morning at 10 a.m. this summer.
The July feature is Thomas the Tank Engine: The Great Discovery. Admission price is only $3.50.
For more information about this event and upcoming movies scheduled visit
www.nationalamusements.com
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Mini Golf Fundraisers To Help Children Who Need Homes

The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange invites the public to play miniature golf this Sunday, July 13 and Monday, July 21 as a way to help children in foster care find permanent homes. Local mini-golf courses are donating 5% - 10% of their proceeds to MARE from designated Mini-Golf for MARE days, scheduled for:

Sunday, July 13 – Bogey Lanes, E. Brookfield
Monday, July 21 – Funway USA, Foxboro

“We hope everyone will brush up their mini-golf skills and visit these great facilities,” said MARE executive director Lisa Funaro. “Over 600 children in Massachusetts foster care right now are waiting to join a permanent, caring family. Thanks to the support of these golf courses, you can make this the summer you help a child find a home.”
The participating miniature golf courses include the following:

Bogey Lanes, “Where the FUN is,” can be found at 199 North Brookfield Rd., East Brookfield, , 15 miles west of Worcester and 35 miles east of Springfield. Bogey Lanes offers a variety of family-friendly activities, including candlepin bowling, 6 pool tables, ice cream bar, and a 17-game arcade, as well as an 18-hole miniature golf course. For more information visit http://www.bogeylanes.com/.

FUNWAY USA, “America’s Playground,” is located on Route 1, just a mile north of Gillette Stadium, at 2 Washington St., Foxboro. Funway features miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, bumper boats, moon walk, rock wall, obstacle course inflatable, a bungee run inflatable and a bungee trampoline. Visit http://www.funwayusa.net/ for more info.

About the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange: The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) is a private non-profit agency, founded in 1957, to find “a permanent place to call HOME” for harder-to-place children waiting in foster care, including older children ages 6 – 18, children of color of all ages, sibling groups, and children with emotional, physical and intellectual challenges. MARE works in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) and private agencies.
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To learn more about Mini-Golf for MARE or about adoption from foster care, call 617-54-ADOPT (617-542-3678), toll-free at 800-882-1176 or visit http://www.mareinc.org/.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WEEKEND PICK: Gigantic Bugs Invade Framingham on Saturday

Come to BIG BUGS at Garden in the Woods in Framingham on Saturday and get a bug’s eye view of the world when you stand nose to knee with a 18-foot, 1200-pound praying mantis and 12 other enormous and beautiful wood sculptures by New York artist David Rogers.
(The exhibit is in Framingham through Oct. 31) Enjoy a picnic and buzz over to the nursery to buy a butterfly garden and other cool native plants, gifts, books, and bug-themed toys. Take photos and share your images at bigbugsart@newenglandWILD.org
Saturday is the Grand opening celebration, featuring MEET THE BEATLES –with HELP! New England’s own Beatles Tribute Band, performing live in honor of BIG BUGS. Join in to make this the greatest celebration of rock history meeting natural history ever. All this takes place in a summer paradise filled with 1,500 native wildflower species and including 200 rare species at New England Wild Flower Society's Garden in the Woods, a world-renowned 45-acre botanical garden and living museum.
For nearly 20 years, "HELP!" has delighted audiences with its authentic Beatles sound, vintage costumes and instruments, and repertoire that spans the entire recording career of the "fab four." “We play Beatles music because we love it”, says Marc Hertzberg, Bandleader of ‘HELP!’, and dedicated conservationist. “Bringing the Beatles to the Beetles is an exciting way to support the plant conservation work of the Society and have a great party too.”
Families will thrill to meet live costumed characters “ANT MINI”, “ODO” the dragonfly, and “DANI” the monarch butterfly on garden walks, together with the enormous BIG BUGS on Saturday too. Opening day festivities begin at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m.
Which BIG BUG is also a beetle? Throughout the exhibit's run visitors will learn the answer and lots of exciting nature facts every day, and at theme weekends through the exhibit, with special family activities, buggy crafts, and a great time for everyone. There is a full roster of buzz worthy courses at the Society’s education programs throughout. New England Wild Flower Society's offers the largest native plant education program in the nation.
“Insects play a vital role in a garden, but are unnoticed, so I put them on such a large scale that you can’t help but notice them,” says Rogers. His popular exhibition is a smash hit across America and returns to New England in this exclusive showing.
Make BIG BUGS your summer’s centerpiece for a grand celebration of the Web of Life and enter the exciting world of plant and insect relationships with dozens of special events.
Learn more at about your visit, photo gallery, events, and bug-related classes.
See BIG BUGS July 12-September 1, 9-7 daily; September 2-October 31, 9-5 daily, rain or shine. Admission, including opening day concert and theme weekends is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students with identification, $4 for children 3-18, and free for members and children under three. 508-877-7630, www.newenglandwild.org.
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PHOTO: BIG BUGS Spider and Web by David Rogers at Garden in the Woods. (c) New England Wild Flower Society/Lisa Mattei

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July 7-13 is Girl Scout Week at Dairy Queen

July 7-13 is DQ Girl Scout Appreciation Week! This month, Dairy Queen introduced a Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookie Blizzard®. Made of creamy soft-serve blended with Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookie pieces and a crème de menthe topping, the Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookie Blizzard will be available during July 2008 at participating Dairy Queen locations (call your neighborhood Dairy Queen for info.) This is the first time Dairy Queen has introduced a thin Mint Cookie Blizzard.

New Massachusetts Booster Seat Law Goes Into Effect Tomorrow, July 10

In April , Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed Senate Bill 2018, dubbed the Booster Seat Bill. The new law goes into effect tomorrow, July 10.
This enhancement of the Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Law requires that all children riding in passenger motor vehicles must be in a federally approved child passenger restraint that is properly fastened and secured until they are 8 years old or over 57” tall. This will significantly increase the number of children who will be required to ride in a booster seat.
The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division with its partners is working to implement the new child passenger safety law and ensure all children are safer when riding in motor vehicles.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death among children ages 3 to 14.
A major component of the implementation of the new law will be child safety seat checkpoints offered around the Commonwealth. Checkpoints are important because most parents do not properly restrain their children in vehicles. At checkpoints nationally certified technicians inspect child safety seats and educate parents and guardians about how to correctly use their children’s seats.
If you need more information on how to obtain or properly install child passenger restraints, or would like to attend a checkpoint, call the state's Child Passenger Safety Hotline at 1-877-392-5956, TTY 1-617-725-0261, or go to www.mass.gov/childsafetyseats.

July 12: Lavender Blooms at Canterbury Shaker Village in NH

This Saturday July 12, Canterbury Shaker Village celebrates Lavender Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 10 am to 4 pm. Mom's if your in the Granite State Saturday, this is a a day to savor, learn about, and relax with this fragrant herb. Families can tour the historic Canterbury Shaker Village botanical gardens, make their own lavender sachets and tea, and unwind at the relaxation clinic. They can attend workshops on growing lavender and on its culinary, medicinal and household uses. Visitors can also sample traditional Shaker style lavender lemonade and cookies. Lavender plants will be available at the Farm Stand.
Admission: $15 for adults, $7 for children ages 6-17; no charge for children under 6. Family rates are available. Admission price includes and all regular museum tours, demonstrations, and exhibits. This event is rain or shine. http://www.shakers.org/
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Founded in 1969 to preserve the heritage of the Canterbury Shakers, Canterbury Shaker Village is an internationally-known, non-profit museum and National Historic Landmark with 25 original Shaker buildings, three reconstructed Shaker buildings and 694 acres of forests, fields, gardens, nature trails and mill ponds under permanent conservation easement. The Village is located 20 minutes north of Concord, NH, and 25 minutes south of Meredith, NH. Take I-93 to Exit 18 or Route 106 to Shaker Road.

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STUDY: Asthma Attacks Early in Pregnancy Put Baby at Greater Risk of Birth Defects

Uncontrolled asthma during the first trimester of pregnancy greatly increases the risk of birth defects in babies, according to new research recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Canadian researchers Lucie Blais, PhD, and Amelie Forget, MSc, concluded that women who had an asthma flare-up in the first three months of pregnancy were 48 percent more likely to have a baby with at least one congenital defect than asthmatic mothers who did not have a flare-up in the first trimester. The rate of birth defects among the children of mothers who experienced a flare-up was 12.8 percent, versus a rate of 8.9 percent for mothers with better-controlled asthma, according to study data. In total, researchers analyzed more than 4,300 pregnancies through health care and pharmacy records.
The findings underscore the need to keep asthma well-managed throughout pregnancy, but especially in the first trimester – a crucial period for fetal development.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) recommends all pregnant women with a history of asthma consult with an allergist/immunologist to ensure the asthma is well-controlled.
When a pregnant woman has trouble breathing, as during an asthma attack, both mother and fetus can experience a drop in the level of oxygen in their blood. A fetus needs a consistent supply of blood for normal growth and survival. Pregnant women, like all asthma patients, should avoid common asthma triggers such as house dust mites, animal dander and smoke, according to the AAAAI. An allergist/immunologist can prescribe safe and effective medications for controlling asthma during pregnancy. To learn more about asthma and pregnancy or to find an allergist/immunologist in your area, visit http://www.aaaai.org/
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

RECALL: Bayside Furnishings Recalls Youth Bed Toy Chests Sold At Costco After the Death of a 22-month-old Child

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Bayside Furnishings of San Diego, Calif., on July 3rd announced a voluntary recall of about 9,350 LaJolla Boat Bed and Pirates of the Caribbean Twin Trundle Beds (pictured). The lid supports on the toy chests fail to prevent the lid from closing too quickly, posing an entrapment and strangulation hazard to young children. The Commission received one report of a death involving a 22-month-old boy of Roseville, California. He strangled when the lid of the toy chest fell on the back of his head and entrapped his neck on the edge of the chest of a LaJolla Boat Bed. This recall involves two styles of Bayside youth beds: the LaJolla Boat Bed and the Pirates of the Caribbean Twin Trundle Bed. The preassembled toy chests are designed in the shape of a ship or boat’s “bow” and attached to the beds as a footboard. The LaJolla Boat Bed toy chest has a hardwood top and white wood base with a blue stripe. The Pirates Boat Bed toy chest has a hardwood top, wheel shape and brown wood base with decorative carvings. They were sold at Costco and furniture retail stores nationwide and Costco.com from January 2006 through May 2008 for between $700 and $1,400 and manufactured in China.
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop children from using the recalled toy chests and contact the firm for instructions on receiving a free repair kit with replacement lid supports.
For additional information, contact Bayside at 877-494-2536 anytime, or visit http://www.baysidefurnishings.com/ to register online for the free repair kit.
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RECALL: Children's Jewelry By Bead Bazaar Due to Lead Exposure

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Bead Bazaar of Rockville, Maryland, on July 3rd announced a voluntary recall of 13,000 “It’s a Girl Thing” Bracelets, Necklaces, and Phone Charms. The children’s jewelry could contain high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects. Incidents/Injuries: None reported. This recall involves “It’s a Girl Thing” metal necklaces, bracelets, and phone charms. The jewelry features a variety of charms including flowers, shoes, letters and butterflies. “It’s a Girl Thing” is printed on the packaging along with the UPC numbers 633870018419 (bracelet), 633870018426 (necklace), and 633870018433 (phone charm).
Sold at retailers nationwide from February 2006 through June 2008 for about $6 and manufactured in China.
Consumers should immediately take the recalled jewelry away from children and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. For additional information, contact Bead Bazaar USA at 800- 838-1769 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit http://www.beadkit.com/

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RECALL: Infants Garmets Due to Choking Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Rashti & Rashti of new York, on July 1st announced a voluntary recall of about 6,200 Taggies™ Sleep’n Play Infant Garments. The snaps on these garments can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported. The recall involves two Taggies™ Sleep ‘n Play style infant garments sold in purple or blue and white with style number listed in chart. The infant garments are one piece footed coveralls with snaps down the front. These garments were sold in sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months. RN #27829 is printed on the care label sewn into the garment. Style numbers are printed on the hangtag of the garments.
Style# UPC Color Description
T21301H 0-22253-21301-3 Purple Butterfly Applique Sleep’n Play (0-3M)
T21302H 0-22253-21302-0 Purple Butterfly Applique Sleep’n Play (0-6M)
T21301H 0-22253-21303-7 Purple Butterfly Applique Sleep’n Play (6-9M)
T20816H 0-22253-20816-3 Blue and White Fun Dog Print Sleep’n Play (0-3M))
T20817H 0-22253-20817-0 Blue and White Fun Dog Print Sleep’n Play (3-6M)
T20818H 0-22253-20818-7 Blue and White Fun Dog Print Sleep’n Play (6-9M)
Sold at: Buy Buy Baby, Dillards, Nordstrom, and other specialty stores and Internet retailers nationwide from June 2007 through May 2008 for about $20 and manufactured in China.
Consumers should immediately take these garments away from children and contact Rashti & Rashti to receive a refund. For additional information, contact Rashti & Rashti at (888) 594-3730 between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit http://www.rashtiandrashti.com/

Become A Foster Parent Event -- July 16th

On Wednesday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cornerstone Books at 45 Lafayette St., in Salem in conjunction with Dare Family Services is hosting an informational event on becoming a foster parent. For more information on this free event visit www.blogger.com/www.cornerstonebooks-salem.com
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Monday, July 7, 2008

Winner: Autographed In My Backyard Book

Congrats to Kristen Gustafson of Oxford, who is the winner of the autographed copy of the book In My Backyard by Massachusetts author Valarie Giogas.
A reader of Bay State Parent magazine for the past three years, her favorite features are the calendar, Day Trip Destination and Parenting 1-2-3.
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To enter current, exclusive contests offered by Bay State Parent magazine, visit http://www.baystateparent.com/common/contests.html
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About the book: Baby dogs are puppies and they belong to a litter, but what is a baby skunk and what is the name of its group? This clever, rhythmic story tells us just that! Counting from one to 10, familiar backyard animals are introduced by baby and family group name. Each stanza also tells a bit more about each animal by providing clues as to what they eat, how they sound or where they live. The “For Creative Minds” section includes more animal fun facts, information on keeping a nature journal and how to watch for wildlife in your own backyard.
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About the author: Giogas has been writing since she was a child. As a teacher, her favorite part of teaching was the books. She’s been writing for children ever since she discovered that she could combine her love for children’s literature with her passion for writing. The idea for In My Backyard began when her son was in preschool. They always drove by a gaggle of geese, and he would giggle when she told him the group name. When the geese had goslings, the idea for this book was cemented.
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About Sylvan Dell Publishing: Based in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., it is on a mission to create picture books that excite children’s imaginations, are artistically spectacular and have educational value. The company specializes in “Science and Math Through Literature” and provides free supplemental parent/teacher resources for every title. Founded in 2004, Sylvan Dell’s family has grown to include more than 55 authors and illustrators in the U.S. and Canada, and 35 titles – honored as nominees, finalists or winners of more than 50 book awards – line their bookshelf. For more information about Sylvan Dell’s books and free parent/teacher resources, visit http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/

Mike Lowell Joins Bay State Parent in Support of the Life is good Kids Foundation and the World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete Competition

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Life is good event is Saturday, July 19 at Boston Common.

World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete to be Crowned at Life is good® Festival July 19 on Boston Common. It may be too late to qualify for the Olympic games in Beijing but there is still time to take the field for a storied athletic competition. The World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition will once again be the centerpiece event at the annual Life is good Festival on Saturday, July 19 on Boston Common. More than 100 individuals will compete in this friendly, low-key competition for the coveted title while raising funds for the Life is good Kids Foundation. Proceeds from this year’s festival will be directed by the foundation to Project Joy, a Boston-based non-profit organization whose mission is to use the healing power of play to transform children impacted by violence, poverty and loss into healthy and joyful players in the game of life.The pledge-driven competition, sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, features men and women putting their skills to the test through a number of old-fashioned backyard games including Frisbee toss, bocce, watermelon seed spitting, and Wiffle Ball Homerun Derby. Competing athletes commit to raise at least $1,000 for the Life is good Kids Foundation. The top fundraiser will win a three night stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Palmas del Mar Resort in Puerto Rico. To sign up for the World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition, visit the Life is good® Web site at www.lifeisgood.com/festivals.

“Our Backyard Athlete competition is great fun for the athletes and the crowds that cheer them on, and it’s backed by a serious purpose,” said Bert Jacobs, Chief Executive Optimist for Life is good. “The World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete Competition gives each athlete a day of smiles along with the deep satisfaction of raising major funds for an organization that works to bring joy back into the lives of children in need. Even if you don’t end up with the title, everyone wins in this competition.”

2008 Life is good Festival

The Life is good Festival brings the nostalgia of an old-fashioned American picnic to the heart of Boston. The classic outdoor summer bash will feature great traditional games and activities. The festival will be divided into several “villages”:* The Olympic Village, sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will be the site of the 2008 World’s Greatest Backyard Athlete competition.* Jaketown, sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, features familiar games aplenty, including football, lacrosse, speed pitch, soccer kick, Frisbee toss, basketball, tug-o’-war, volleyball, and much more.* Chillville, sponsored by Four Points® by Sheraton and the perfect cool-down spot between physical activities, showcases arts and crafts, face painting, and an entertaining kids stage.* The Joy Zone features cooperative kids’ games hosted by Project Joy, including its amazing multi-colored 50-foot parachute.* Music & Memories: The festival will also feature classic backyard food and great live music from the Main Stage, sponsored by 93.7 MIKE FM, with headliner Robert Randolph..

The Life is good® Festival is produced in partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Sponsors for the 2008 Life is good® Festival include Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Newland Communities, SAP, Four Points® by Sheraton, Verizon Wireless, Citizens Bank, and UPS.

Media sponsors include 93.7 MIKE FM, Boston.com, The Improper Bostonian, Bostoncentral.com, & Bay State Parent.

About Life is good, Inc.®: Life is good®, based in Boston, MA, spreads good vibes through its colorful collection of apparel and accessories, and the contagious grin of Jake, its optimistic cultural hero. For more information on Life is good®, please visit www.lifeisgood.com

About the Life is good Kids Foundation: The Life is good Kids Foundation supports extraordinary charities that creat a lasting positive impact on children facing unfair challenges, including the trauma of violence and poverty. The Foundation receives its principal financial support from the public via the charitable fundraising festivals conducted by Life is good, Inc. This year eighteen different festivals will be held in fourteen different states nationwide. 100% of funds raised from these festivals is distributed to 501 C (3) non-profit organizations supporting children in need.

CONTEST: Enter To Win A Sesame Street DVD Featuring Singles & Doubles Tennis Champion Venus Williams

This past weekend, tennis great Venus Williams not only won the singles title at Wimbledon but also the the Doubles title with her sister Serena (whom she beat for the singles title.). Your child can watch Venus and Elmo in an imaginary game of volley & serve and the rest of the Sesame Street gang on Sesame Street: Count On Sports, arriving on DVD July 22nd from Genius Products and Sesame Workshop.


Bay State Parent magazine has teamed up with the two companies to giveaway 5 copies of the DVD to readers. To enter, fill out the survey at http://www.baystateparent.com/common/entry_form.html. Make sure to select Sesame SPORTS in the pull down bar.
The deadline to enter is Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:59 EST.
Winners' names & hometowns will be posted on this site. DVDs will be mailed to winners, upon verification. The contest is open to Massachusetts residents only.

ABOUT COUNT ON SPORTS: Integrating essential concepts into each of the memorable sports segments, this math-tastic presentation is full of numbers, shapes and spatial relations such as short/tall, over/under and forward/backward. With Ernie reporting from ESSN - Ernie's Sports Show News (a parody of ESPN's "Sport's Center") - tiny tikes won't miss a moment of the DVD's amazing athletic adventures such as The Count racing in the Transylvania 300; Prairie Dawn flipping for Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes; Grover shooting hoops with New Jersey Nets basketball star Vince Carter and Elmo serving up a game of imaginary tennis with champion Venus Williams.

Sesame Street: Count On Sports, is about 45 minutes long, will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.93.
About Sesame Workshop: Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. As the single largest informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a difference in over 120 nations. Using proprietary research to create engaging and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales and Pinky Dinky Doo. In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives provide families tools for addressing such issues as children's health, military deployment and emergency preparedness. As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop's educational research and creative content for children around the world. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org



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WINNER: Set of Wally books

Congrats to Tiffany McNamara of Ayer!
She is the winner in Bay State Parent magazine's Cheer on the Sox Contest: Wally the Green Monster books
A reader of the magazine for 4 years, her favorite feature is the calendar. To enter our current contests visit, http://www.baystateparent.com/common/contests.html
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Tiffany won two books written by Red Sox great Jerry Remy and featuring Wally The Green Monster.
In Hello Wally, your child can follow Wally around Fenway Park during game day. Read along as Wally enjoys pre-game festivities on Yawkey Way, visits the Ted Williams Statue, participates in batting practice, entertains Red Sox fans, and cheers the home team to victory. Boston Red Sox Children's Book The 24-page hardcover book published by Mascot Books (http://www.mascotbooks.com/) retails for $14.95.
The sequel book by Remy is Wally The Green Monster And His Journey Through Red Sox Nation. In it, Wally the Green Monster, takes a tour of Red Sox Nation. Read along as Wally's journey takes him from Boston, out to Cape Cod, south to Connecitcut and Rhode Island, then north to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The hardcover book is $14.95.
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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Don't Miss The Big Dipper All-You-Can-Eat-Ice-Cream Festival on July 12

The 2008 Big Dipper All You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival takes place at Elm Park (Route 9 and park Avenue) in Worcester from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 12.
Festival faces Russell Street, free parking in the St. Spyridon Cathedral main lot.
Ice cream from many leading national and local vendors, moonwalks, a food tent, face painting, continuous entertainment, clowns, team mascots, gigantic raffle, and other fun activities! Rain or shine.
A & C (12+) $5pp, C under 12 free. 508-753-5425 or e-mail: dhuegel@childrensfriend.org

CONTEST: Win A Wall-E Soundtrack

Bay State Parent readers can enter to win one of 5 copies of the soundtrack for the #1 movie in the country -- Wall-E. The Walt Disney Records CD features a score written by 8-time Academy Award-nominated composer Thomas Newsman and the original song Down to Earth written and performed by Peter Gabriel. (It's my personal favorite song on the CD.) The soundtrack also includes two songs from Hello Dolly performed by Michael Crawford (It Only Takes A Moment and Put On Your Sunday Clothes and the Louis Armstrong classic La Vie En Rose.

Academy Award-winning writer-director Andrew Stanton (Finding Demo and A Bug's Life) didn't wait long to ask Finding Nemo collaborator Thomas Newman to compose the music for Wall-E. "The night of the Oscars in 2004 (Finding Nemo) we went out for a celebratory toast at the bar in the middle of the ceremony, and right there I remember saying, 'Okay I've got this idea and it involves Hello Dolly and science fiction.' Wondering if he would still talk to me after that..." Stanton described. The Hello Dolly reference didn't scare off Newman - his uncle Lionel was the conductor for the 1969 film.

Though he has written music for a wide range of films Thomas Newman had never composed for a science fiction film. He brought his on unique style to Wall-E. "He's got a very unique style that often involves a lot of overdubes and mixing after he's recorded the orchestra. And it just allow this fresh palette of sounds to come in," said Stanton. "He really nailed an identity for not only the movie but for the characters and for the moments. I can't imagine it any other way."

If you haven't seen the animated film, here is a quick synopsis: What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (beside collecting knickknacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL-E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile WALL-E chases EVE across the Galaxy and sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures.
The soundtrack it stores on June 24 and the movie opened to box office success three day later.
To win one of 5 CD, fill out the survey at http://www.baystateparent.com/common/entry_form.html. Make sure to select OTHER in the pull down bar. The deadline to enter is Sunday, Aug. 3 at 11:59 EST. Winners' names & hometowns will be posted on this site. CDs will be mailed to winners, upon verification. The contest is open to Massachusetts residents only.
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July 5th: Red Sox Pitcher Bill Monbouquette Joins Baseball Celebration in the Berkshires

Bill Monbouquette, former pitching ace for the Boston Red Sox, has been added to the line-up of an all-star baseball celebration to be held at Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, July 5, from 1 to 4 p.m. Mr. Monbouquette is a 20-game winner and multi-year All Star who played for the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, and the San Francisco Giants. He was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000, and will share stories from his baseball career, which included a no-hitter and spanned from 1958 to 1968.
At 1 p.m. meet Master of Ceremonies Carl Beane, the Voice of Fenway Park and the 2008 World Championship Boston Red Sox, who will share stories about the Red Sox past and present. Try a World Series ring on for size, and snap a picture to capture the moment.
At 2 p.m., meet award-winning illustrator Graig Kreindler, whose paintings depict watershed moments in baseball history. A print signing will follow the artist's illustrated talk.
At 3 p.m., hear about life in the Major Leagues from former Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette, or design your own baseball card in an art class for all ages.
Finally, see what baseball looked like in 1886, with a visit from the Pittsfield Elms Vintage Baseball Club at 3:30 p.m. The Elms will toss the ball and discuss the evolution of the game. Other highlights include a reading of "Casey at the Bat," and appearances throughout the day from representatives of the North Adams Steeple Cats and Pittsfield Dukes baseball teams. PJ Moynihan, director and producer of "Eye on the Dream," will also be on hand to screen his documentary celebrating the game of baseball in its purest form.
The afternoon is free with regular Museum admission.

Norman Rockwell Museum is open daily in Stockbridge. General public admission is $15 for adults, $13.50 for seniors, $10 for students, and free for visitors 18 and under (five per adult). Kids Free Every Day is a gift to families from Country Curtains and the Red Lion Inn. The Museum is open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May through October; from November through April, weekday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekend/holiday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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CONTEST: 4 Readers Will Win A Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker

Bay State Parent magazine has partnered with Jada Toys to giveaway 4 Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker (Retail value $29.99)
Do your tweens & teens love rock and roll? Do they dream of being a rock star when they grow up? If so, they need the new Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker to let them unleash their inner rock star – no video game system required! The Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker uses patented technology consisting of guitar picks and a rockin’ belt buckle that when connected to a wearable, mini-amplifier, allows anyone to freely jam - anytime, anywhere. With an air guitar in hand, the user waves the pick over the belt buckle sensor to determine the tempo of the song. Whether with friends, alone, or even after dinner with the family, every kid will be hooked on the Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker. The Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker is available for $29.99 (includes batteries) in retail stores nationwide, including Toys ‘R’ Us, Target, Best Buy & Wal-Mart,
To enter the Bay State Paent conest, fill out the survey at http://www.baystateparent.com/common/entry_form.html
You could win a Guitar Roker for your son or daughter and your child might actually think you are cool!
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The deadline to enter is August 13 at 11:59 est.
Contest is open to Massachusetts residents only!
Winners' nams nd hometowns will be announced on this blog.
Winners MUST pick up their prize at the Bay State Parent magazine's main office on Elm Street in Millbury, Massachusetts. Prizes will NOT be mailed.
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Stroller Strides to Launch First Fit4Bay Prenatal FitnessClasses

For the past seven years, Stroller Strides has supported thousands of women through new motherhood with its postnatal mom-and-baby fitness program. This fall, the family-friendly exercise company will extend its same supportive services to the pregnant client, with its launch of Fit4Baby – an exclusive prenatal fitness program developed by Stroller Strides.
“We’ve long anticipated this expansion into prenatal fitness,” says Lisa Druxman, founder of Stroller Strides. “There is still quite a bit of misinformation out there in regard to exercise during pregnancy, and our clients can rest assured that we are well-versed in the latest research and recommendations pertaining to this important population of women, and are therefore able to offer the safest and most effective program to date.”
Like Stroller Strides, Fit4Baby will offer a total body interval workout including strength training, cardio and flexibility exercises that can be completed in either an outdoor or indoor environment. During the one-hour class, exercises will be adjusted to accommodate clients’ various stages of pregnancy, and further education from instructors on each phase will help participants understand the bodily changes taking place, how to best care for themselves, and the preparation process for motherhood.
Beta’ Fit4Baby classes will launch in select cities in August 2008, and all Stroller Strides franchisees will have the opportunity to become trained in the program in October.
Following the training, franchisees can begin offering the classes at any of their already existing Stroller Strides class locations, which currently number more than 700 and are found throughout the United States and in Canada.
“There’s increasing awareness that exercise is beneficial to both mom and baby during pregnancy,” Druxman explains. “Virtually every prenatal ache, pain and discomfort in a healthy pregnancy can be alleviated or lessened with exercise, and the added bonus of exercising in a group setting is the strong bonds and friendships that are built along the way.”
Prior to starting Fit4Baby or any other exercise program, pregnant women should obtain a physician’s clearance.

Stroller Strides classes are offered in over 700 locations in the United States and now in Canada. The hour-long classes emphasize cardiovascular activities and muscle-strengthening exercises using resistance bands and strollers, allowing moms to interact with their babies throughout their workout. To further assist mothers in all aspects of their lives, Stroller Strides partners with LUNA® and BOB™. For more information about Stroller Strides, including class locations, visit http://www.strollerstrides.com/
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

CONTEST: Yes You Can, Win It! Bob the Builder DVD Giveaway!

Yesterday was the public debut of Bob the Builder: Let's Build the Beach DVD ($14.99) If you haven't purchased a copy yet, consider entering Bay State Parent magazine's exclusive giveaway contest. The grand prize winner gets a box full of Bob the Builder beach tools to build their own sandcastle plus the new DVD to watch on a day filled with thunderstorms. Four 0ther winners each will receive a copy of the DVD. (For details to enter see below...)
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With summer in full swing and Independence Day days away, Bob the Builder heads to Bobland Bay to embark on some beach-building fun as Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment present the all-new Bob the Builder: Let’s Build the Beach DVD. Bob the Builder and his machine team are always ready to tackle any project. As they hammer out solutions that lead to a job well done, Bob and the Can-Do Crew demonstrate the power of positive thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and follow-through. Most importantly, from start to finish, the team always shows that The Fun is Getting It Done!
The building adventures in Bobland Bay continue in September when 14 new episodes of Bob the Builder – Project Build It, set at this seaside location, air on PBS KIDS® (check local listings).

DVD SYNOPSIS: Join Bob and his Can-Do Crew in Bobland Bay as they welcome exciting new machine team members Splasher and Bristle. Bob is going to need a lot of help to build this new seaside town, so grab your hard hats, buckle up your tool belts and get ready to have some fun with everyone’s favorite builder in these five all-new, never-before-seen episodes:
* “Lofty’s Comet” - Bob and the team are busy building an observatory. When Lofty climbs a mountain to get a better look at the comet, he gets stuck. Will Lofty get back in time to see it with the others?
* “Spud and the Hotel” - When the first guests arrive at the Bobland Bay hotel, Spud helps out by doing every job, with chaotic results. When the new manager arrives, Spud is very pleased to go back to the quiet life of a scarecrow!
* “Tumbler’s Perfect Promenade” - Tumbler wants to help design the new promenade, but can’t come up with an idea. When some friendly animals leave their tracks in his wet cement the Bobland Bay Walk of Fame is born!
* “Clean as a Whistle Bristle” - As Bob and the team prepare for the opening ceremony, Bristle, the street-cleaner, arrives to clean the town. When important items are missing Bob puts the clues together and they all point to Bristle! Is he really the culprit?
* “Super-Splasher” - Splasher, an amphibious vehicle, arrives to take the hotel guests for sight-seeing tours. After a brave water rescue, he becomes known as Super-Splasher. Determined to live up to his new name, he rescues some people who don't need rescuing!
SPECIAL DVD FEATURES include a bonus episode of Fireman Sam™ – “Danger, Falling Sheep” ad a bonus episode of international sensation Fifi and the Flowertots™ – “Stingo Gets Stuck.”


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To enter for the grand prize or the 4 other DVD prizes please fill out the survey at http://www.baystateparent.com/common/entry_form.html. Make sure to select Bob the Builder in the pull down bar.
*The deadline to enter is Aug. 13 at 11:59 est.
* Contest is open to Massachusetts residents only!
*Winners and their hometowns will be announced on this blog.
*Grand prize winner MUST pick up their prize at the Bay State Parent magazine's main office on Elm Street in Milbury, Massachusetts. The grand prize will NOT be mailed. The 4 DVD prizes will be mailed, upon address verification.
* The grand prize toy package includes bubble blowers, sand tools, and a Bob the Builder Scoop watering can.


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