The Jenny Evolution

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October 30, 2014
by Jennifer
7 Comments

Friday Flash Blog No. 92

Friday Flash Blog is a flash mob of blogs, highlighting the best of bloggers from the week. Be sure to check them out (and the ones I’ve featured) as well as link up your own.

Weekly Thought: Sorry about the snafu last week. Despite having the Friday Flash Blog scheduled, it didn’t go live!!! Technology is wonderful until it doesn’t work. Despite the smaller linky numbers, we still have some great posts to highlight this week :-)

This DIY Secretary Desk makeover is quite stunning! Tutorial by Redo It Yourself Inspirations

Yummy! Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream Recipe by From This Kitchen Table

FREE Pumpkin Counting Printable Learning Activity from Fun Handprint Art

DIY Penguin Pumpkin Tutorial from Artsy Momma

Mummy Cookies for Halloween | The Jenny Evolution

Chocolate Gingerbread Man Mummy Cookies Tutorial from The Jenny Evolution

Friday Flash Blog is a Flash Mob of Blogs

Share ALL Your Favorite Posts of the Week

Now Let’s Get This Party Started

Requests to bloggers:

  • Include a link to this sharing party, post my button on your site or add the linky party to your own posting
  • NO selling please
  • Note I pin all featured items onto my boards, which you can find here
  • By linking up, you understand you will receive an invitation to receive notifications of this linky
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  • Leave your host a comment! Tell me which highlight was your favorite one

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October 29, 2014
by Jennifer
2 Comments

Football Safety Tips + Win the Ultimate College Football Experiences Sweepstakes

If your kids play sports, injuries are going to happen. But what’s scary is when you don’t know that your child is injured.

Last spring, a friend’s son was playing basketball. Somewhere along the way, he was bopped in the head by a basketball. He shook it off, continued to play the game and went home afterward. The next day, he developed an ongoing headache that persisted over the next several days and also felt nauseous. The symptoms seemed like he was coming down with something — perhaps the flu? After several days, they took him to the doctor only to discover that he had a minor concussion!

Injuries aren’t always obvious. As parents, we can only do our best in trying to notice changes in our kids to tell if something is wrong. My friends were smart enough to know that something seemed off and to get him checked out by his doctor.

Football Safety Tips

Now think about the type of injuries that can occur in contact sports such as football. Since football is such a demanding and physical sport, injuries can be common and sometimes serious enough to lead to a trip to the emergency room. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! To help your children learn how to keep things as safe as possible on the football field, follow these football safety tips from Aflac.

Football Safety Tips for Kids | The Jenny Evolution

1) Football = lots of gear! Some equipment may look “optional,” but it is important to wear all necessary pads and safety gear each time you play. If you show up for a practice or game without it, alert your coach immediately.

2) Follow the rules: While physical prowess is central to football, you must obey the rules. In the heat of the moment it’s easy to forget, but there is a reason why things like tripping, clipping, blocking below the knees and helmet-to-helmet contact are illegal in football. They can be very dangerous to both you and your opponents.

3) Listen to your body: If at any point you feel pain or discomfort while playing, notify your coach and get out of the game. While sitting on the sidelines is one of the most difficult situations a player can face, pushing through injuries increases the severity and keeps you out of action longer.

4) Take the doctor’s orders: After experiencing a sports injury, the first question a player often asks is, “When can I play again?” The answer depends on the injury. Always listen to your doctor. Even if you can’t return right away, a doctor or physical therapist might have suggestions and advice on what you can do to stay fit and rehab the injury. It is important to always check with a doctor before attempting any activity following an injury.

5) Make sure you’re covered: Accidents happen. When unexpected injuries happen on the football field, make sure you’re prepared with supplemental insurance to help cover out-of-pocket expenses. According to the 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report, 66 percent of U.S. workers could not afford the costs associated with a serious illness or injury. That’s why voluntary insurance plans are so important. In the event of a serious injury, they help provide peace of mind and cash benefits to help you get back in the game fast.

Football Safety Tips

Accidents happen. When a covered accident happens, supplemental accident insurance pays the policyholder cash benefits for the unexpected medical and everyday expenses that begin to add up almost immediately. When unexpected illness or injuries DO happen, make sure you’re prepared with supplemental insurance. Supplemental insurance could help cover these and other expenses that may not be fully covered by your major medical insurance:

  • Broken teeth
  • Concussions
  • Ambulance, ground and air
  • Emergency room visits
  • Lacerations

To learn more about Aflac, visit them on Facebook or Twitter.

Enter the Ultimate College Football Experiences Sweepstakes

Are you the ultimate college football fan? If so, this #AflacSweeps is for you! Three lucky fans will win a trip for two, a pair of tickets to one of three college football games in early November, a chance to meet Desmond Howard and more.

Enter the Ultimate College Football Experiences Sweepstakes

Each prize package includes:

  • Two tickets to the biggest college football game of the weekend.
  • Meet & greet with Desmond Howard.
  • Round trip airfare.
  • Hotel accommodations.
  • Ground transportation to and from events.
  • $500 prepaid debit card for food and other expenses.

For full details and to grab  your chance to win:

CLICK TO ENTER HERE

 

CONSUMER NOTICE: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Open to legal permanent residents of 50 U.S. states and DC, 21 or older, who have Internet access and valid email address prior to 08/28/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, click here: https://www.facebook.com/aflacduck/app_143103275748075. This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. For a winner’s list (after 11/10/14), visit the Ultimate College Football Experience tab of this page or mail request to Aflac “Ultimate College Football Experience” (Specify Winner List), Media Relations, 1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 31999. Sponsor: American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

$1000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway 2014

October 28, 2014
by Jennifer
8 Comments

$1000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway

$1000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway 2014 Can you keep a secret? This year we are planning on taking the boys to Disney World for the first time ever. And no, we haven’t told them. That’s why it needs to remain a secret. Tell me, what would you do if you won this awesome $1,000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway?

One winner will receive a $1,000 Disney Gift Card.

Giveaway ends November 18th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

October 28, 2014
by Jennifer
13 Comments

Ausable Chasm Wordless Wednesday

DSC_7029 We visited the Ausable Chasm this summer in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. I’d always seen signs for it but finally made it there. The pictures I took really can’t capture the awe-inspiring scene. And the hike along the upper part of the chasm was quite exciting!

IMG_9730
Wordless Wednesday on The Jenny Evolution

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What is Proprioception and Sensory Processing Disorder? | The Jenny Evolution

October 28, 2014
by Jennifer
1 Comment

Why Does My Toddler Give Me Football Tackle Hugs? And What is Proprioception?

From the moment my son Vman could walk, he would slam himself into me to give me hugs. While kids may run at you because they’re excited to see you, this was more… and it’s name was proprioception.

What is Proprioception and Sensory Processing Disorder? | The Jenny Evolution

When Vman became an agile toddler, he would run at me full force and (rather than jump into my arms) he would slam his body into me at top speed. Although he was a toddler, he packed such a punch that it often felt like I had been slammed by an adult.

Some days Vman would literally tuck his head down and slam into my legs. There were many weeks where I had bruises exactly at the height of his head where he had slammed himself into me. As self defense, I started turning my body trying to distribute the blow among my body.

Even picking him up from preschool, he would run across the room to me picking up such speed (and not slowing down) that he could actually knock me off of my feet despite me bracing for impact. I felt like I was living with a professional football defensive tackle.

“Hugging” wasn’t the only place Vman was tough. He never seemed to have a soft switch. He was always full force physically, from running to playing to roughhousing. It just didn’t stop. When we brought his little brother home, I wasn’t sure Vman was ever going to understand the meaning of “soft.”

Once we figured out Vman had Sensory Processing Disorder, we began to learn about proprioception and the fact that he was hypo-sensitive to the cues his body was sending him.

What Is Proprioception?

Proprioception has to do with the body’s muscles and controlling them. For example, if I swing my arm, I’m able to tell how fast I am moving it and the force I’m putting behind it. A child who is hypo-sensitive doesn’t register the force behind their movements. So if my son went to tap my arm, he would actually slap it because his body didn’t register the amount of force behind his movements.

When Vman went to hug me, his body didn’t actually register that he was body slamming me. From his perspective, he was using just the right amount of force to reach me and connect with me.

Here is a video I love that helps explain what the proprioceptive system does:

Decoding Everyday Kid Behaviors

As part of Sensory Processing Disorder Month, a number of fellow sensory bloggers are writing about the sensory issues behind many everyday kid behaviors. I encourage you to read other posts by visiting the Decoding Everyday Kid Behaviors page. And be sure to grab this free printable: 100 Sensory Activities for Home and School.

If you have a kiddo that is hypo-sensitive proprioceptive, check out the following affiliate product links, which can help your child get the sensory seeking activities he or she needs:

 

October 27, 2014
by Jennifer
0 comments

25 MORE Great Adventure Chapter Books for Girls

25 More Great Adventure Chapter Books for Girls: Because girls need to read more than princess books. Find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.

As a girl, the last thing I ever would have read were books about princesses or trying to win the boy. I wanted adventure! I wanted to read about daring, rough-and-tumble girls who seek out adventure or rise to the challenges thrown at them. Earlier this year, I published the first part of adventure books for girls. (READ HERE.) Enjoy the second part!

I write so often about books, I’ve put them in one central location and created a collection of all of my book lists on The Jenny Evolution! Find more great reading book lists here.

25 More Chapter Books for Girls

To view the full lists

and see recommended grade level reading,

click for Part I and Part II.

Stranded by Ben Mikaelsen

Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Black Star, Bright Dawn by Scott O’Dell

East by Edith Pattou

Fire Arrow: The Second Song of Eirren by Edith Pattou

Terrier (The Legend of Beka Cooper, Book 1) by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic (The Immortals, Book 1) by Tamora Pierce

Alanna: The First Adventure (The Song of the Lioness, Book 1) by Tamora Pierce

The Firework-Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman

Swallows and Amazons (Godine Storyteller) by Arthur Ransome

We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea (Aurora New Drama) by Nick Wood

Paint The Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan

Death Mountain by Sherry Shahan

Wren to the Rescue (Wren Books) by Sherwood Smith

Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest by Nancy Springer

Lionclaw: A Tale of Rowan Hood by Nancy Springer

First Light by Rebecca Stead

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Ice Drift by Theodore Taylor

The Thief (The Queen’s Thief, Book 1) by Megan Whalen Turner

Gypsy Rizka by Lloyd Alexander

 

To view the full adventure book lists

and see recommended grade level reading,

click for Part I and Part II.

 

As always, you can visit all of my lists

through my Listmania site on Amazon.

Just click here.

October 23, 2014
by Jennifer
2 Comments

Friday Flash Blog No. 91 {Plus Features}

Friday Flash Blog is a flash mob of blogs, highlighting the best of bloggers from the week. Be sure to check them out (and the ones I’ve featured) as well as link up your own.

Weekly Thought: We are in countdown to Halloween and a birthday. So much celebrating — so little time to get ready! So I’m loving all of these Halloween ideas from last week’s party.

Super adorable Mummy Chocolate Bars from Drugstore Divas

Super adorable Mummy Chocolate Bars from Drugstore Divas

Preschool Pumpkin Craft from Grandparents Plus

Preschool Pumpkin Craft from Grandparents Plus

40 Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats from Kids Are a Trip

40 Allergy Friendly Halloween Treats from Kids Are a Trip

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls from Three Kids and a Fish

Pumpkin Popcorn Balls from Three Kids and a Fish

Create a Sensory Pumpkin from A Little Pinch of Perfection

Create a Sensory Pumpkin from A Little Pinch of Perfection

Spooky Chapter Books for Kids 8-12. Recommendations from A Book Long Enough

Spooky Chapter Books for Kids 8-12. Recommendations from A Book Long Enough

Chocolate Gingerbread Man Mummy Cookies Idea from The Jenny Evolution

Chocolate Gingerbread Man Mummy Cookies Idea from The Jenny Evolution

 

Friday Flash Blog is a Flash Mob of Blogs

Share ALL Your Favorite Posts of the Week

Now Let’s Get This Party Started

Requests to bloggers:

  • Include a link to this sharing party, post my button on your site or add the linky party to your own posting
  • NO selling please
  • Note I pin all featured items onto my boards, which you can find here
  • By linking up, you understand you will receive an invitation to receive notifications of this linky
  • Take a look at some of the other links and comment on them
  • Leave your host a comment! Tell me which highlight was your favorite one

Please follow your host, The Jenny Evolution, on

Facebook | Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Pinterest | Instagram

I follow back all of my friends!

FlashFlashBlog

Please CLICK HERE to grab my button.

Get Notified When Friday Flash Blog Goes Live

CLICK HERE


October 22, 2014
by Jennifer
5 Comments

Speak up! How to Effectively Communicate with Your Child’s Teacher

Teachers have a lot of influence in your child’s life. And since you two are supposed to be the same team in trying to ensure your child is successful in school, it’s important to know how to effectively communicate with your child’s teacher. I’m offering up some ideas you can use to ensure you do that.

After working with my son this summer, I knew he was going to have some problems going into the school year. Instead of waiting, I picked up the phone and reached out to our principal to let her know that we were going to have to work as a team this year to help keep my son on track. The first phone call can sometimes be the hardest but it always better to reach out now than to discover something later.

Speak up! How to Effectively Communicate with Your Child's Teacher | The Jenny Evolution

Here are some tips on how to effectively community with your child’s teacher:

* As soon as you can, make an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher. If you can do that before the school year begins and there’s no pressure on either of you, it might be the best choice. However, that’s not always possible or realistic. By starting your relationship off early, there won’t be problems to contend so it should help it start on the right foot. Then, later in the year, if your child does have problems, you’ll already have effective communication established with your child’s teacher. Don’t wait until there is a problem before you meet your child’s teacher. If you’re already into the school year, it’s not too late! Call now to connect with your teachers. Don’t wait until a mid-year conference to find out something is going on with your kiddo at school.

* Let the teacher know you want to be considered a partner in your child’s education. Ask them what you can do to help your child. Ask them how you can extent the learning process at home. Reach out via email and You may be surprised at their suggestions.

* Find out when your child’s teacher has a break during the day. If you have an opportunity, stop by the school to see if there’s something you can do to help them. You can also become involved in the parent-teacher organization or volunteer to help in your child’s classroom. What better way to keep a pulse on how your child is doing than by having a presence within the actual classroom.

* Many teachers, especially of younger children, send a notebook or some other type of communication home with your child at the end of the week. Be sure to take the time to look through your child’s backpack or notebook for any notes they may send. Then, once you’ve read them, you can either send a note in response or simply initial it so they know you have read it.

* At some point you may notice a problem your child’s teacher may not be aware of. Has there been a death in the family? Are their problems at home between family members? Send a note to your child’s teacher or call them to bring them up to speed on the situation. Just because you don’t see a change in behavior doesn’t mean the teacher doesn’t. Your child may begin to show out or cause disruptions in class and this knowledge will help the teacher understand why and how to manage it.

* Follow through with any promises you’ve made. If you say you’re going to something, be sure to follow through. Of course, there may be circumstances where you won’t be able to, but you’ll want to let the teacher know what’s going on.

You are your child’s best advocate. Remember the importance of knowing when to communicate and how often to communicate with your child’s teacher. Learning how to effectively communicate with your child’s teacher can make all the difference in your child’s educational success.

October 21, 2014
by Jennifer
1 Comment

Chocolate Gingerbread Man Mummy Cookies

Looking for a fun activity to do with the kids this Halloween? Try out these fun Mummy Cookies in the shape of Chocolate Gingerbread Men!

Looking for more great Halloween ideas? Be sure to check out my collection of Halloween tips, ideas, activities, recipes and more for the entire family.

Mummy Cookies for Halloween | The Jenny Evolution

You are more than welcome to make these cookies from scratch. You can find a terrific recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies here. But as many of you know, I believe in making life easy. So I completely cheated and used a terrific cookie kit from Wilton that you can find at Walmart that already includes the cooked cookies.

The thing I love about these mummy cookies is you don’t have to be an icing extraordinaire to make them look good. And it’s so easy even the kiddos can do it.

To make the decorations on the kiddos, use a flat, wider icing tip. Create vertical lines with the icing criss-crossing on the arms and legs. Then create horizontal lines on the body. Leave a slight gap on the head and add two black dots of icing for the eyes.

Mummy Cookies2

To make these Mummy Cookies, consider the following affiliate links:

Looking for more great Halloween ideas? Be sure to check out my collection of Halloween tips, ideas, activities, recipes and more for the entire family.

200+ Halloween Tips, Tricks and Treats on The Jenny Evolution

October 20, 2014
by Jennifer
2 Comments

15 Memorable Picture Books About Cats

15 Memorable Picture Books About Cats: Find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.

Can anything beat the purring and soft fur of a kitty cat? Thousands of kids (and adults) will tell you absolutely not! Embrace your inner feline, curl up with a good book  and share these memorable picture books about cats with your kiddos. Purring is optional.

Pete the Cat has been a long favorite of my boys since we received it as a gift. Be sure to check out the CD version. The tune is incredibly catchy! Hondo & Fabian is a sweet tale that my kiddos love. And Splat the Cat… well, this cat is humorous and sweet at the same time. We love every story with Splat.

I write so often about books, I’ve put them in one central location and created a collection of all of my book lists on The Jenny Evolution! Find more great reading book lists here.

15 Memorable Picture Books about Cats | The Jenny Evolution

For an extended list of irresistible cats, visit my list of Memorable Picture Books About Cats on Amazon.

 


Mr. Wuffles! (Caldecott Medal – Honors): A cat named Mr. Wuffles doesn’t care about toy mice or toy goldfish. He’s much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens—but the ship wasn’t designed for this kind of rough treatment. Between motion sickness and damaged equipment, the aliens are in deep trouble. When the space visitors dodge the cat and take shelter behind the radiator to repair the damage, they make a host of insect friends. The result? A humorous exploration of cooperation between aliens and insects, and of the universal nature of communication involving symbols, “cave” paintings, and gestures of friendship.


Little Beauty: Once there was a very special gorilla who had almost everything he needed. There was only one thing he didn’t have: a friend. With no other gorillas at the zoo, the keepers try something new. Will the gigantic ape strike a bond with another sort of creature, one as tiny and innocent as a kitten? Sparked by the story of a real gorilla who learned to sign, Little Beauty is a celebration of a most surprising friendship.


Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes: Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand new white shoes. Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown to WET as he steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other big messes! But no matter what color his shoes are, Pete keeps movin’ and groovin’ and singing his song…because it’s all good. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes asks the reader questions about the colors of different foods and objects.


Hondo and Fabian: A dog named Hondo and his friend Fred are going to the beach for a day of excitement. Fabian the cat is left behind at home to play with the baby. Who will cause more trouble? And who will have more fun?


Splat the Cat Storybook Collection: his storybook collection will have Splat the Cat fans laughing out loud at his hilarious antics! From visiting the aquarium to camping out, these six Splat tales are funnier than ever—and now for the first time, they’re available together in a collection.

Fuddles: Fuddles is a fat, lazy housecat who’s never been in the Great Outdoors. One day, his humans leave the door open a crack and Fuddles seizes the chance to slip out, but things aren’t quite as he expected. In a series of hilarious mishaps, including a run-in with the neighborhood dog, he realizes that life as he’d known it was actually pretty good. Told with deadpan humor and charming art, Fuddles is sure to steal readers’ hearts.


Raj the Bookstore Tiger: Being a bookstore tiger is hard work. There’s much patrolling, and a lot of sitting in laps at story hour, and then there’s sleeping in the window display. But Raj is up to the task. He is fierce and proud—until Snowball comes along. The new cat in the bookstore informs Raj that he’s just a marmalade kitty-cat. Times get tough, then, for the bookstore tiger. But bookstore and Raj owner Felicity, with the help of poet William Blake, knows how to fix things. In turn, with a very special book, Raj is able to fix things with Snowball.


Wabi Sabi: Wabi Sabi, a little cat in Kyoto, Japan, had never thought much about her name until friends visiting from another land asked her owner what it meant.


I Must Have Bobo!: When Willy woke up there was trouble. Where was Bobo? Willy needs Bobo. But, Earl the cat likes Bobo, too. A favorite toy is hard to share…even when it’s a sock monkey. With sparse text and a modern-nostalgic vibe, this retro-fun book about friends (sock monkeys) and frenemies (devious cats) is an ode to favorite toys everywhere.


Skippyjon Jones: Skippyjon Jones is no ordinary kitten. Oh, no. . . .He’s actually El Skippito, a great sword-fighter ready to battle banditos the world over! With a little imagination and a whole lot of fun, this frisky cat dons a mask and cape and takes on a bad bumble-beeto to save the day. And along the way, he’ll be sure to steal young reader’s hearts, yes indeed-o!


Chester: Chester is more than a picture book. It is a story told, and retold, by dueling author-illustrators. Melanie Watt starts out with the story of a mouse in a house. Then Melanie’s cat, Chester, sends the mouse packing and proceeds to cover the pages with rewrites from his red marker, and the gloves are off. Melanie and her mouse won’t take Chester’s antics lying down. And Chester is obviously a creative powerhouse with confidence to spare. Where will this war of the picture-book makers lead? Is it a one-way ticket to Chesterville, or will Melanie get her mouse production off the ground?


Cat Jumped In!: When someone leaves the kitchen window open, Cat jumps in! So begins the tale of an outdoor cat who finds his way into a tidy house, wreaking havoc at every turn. That is, until he finds his way in once more–this time into someone’s heart. Beautiful, bright watercolors from Caldecott-winning illustrator Emily Arnold McCully nearly spring off the page, buoyed by a playful text that highlights simple prepositions.


Cat the Cat, Who Is That?: Cat the Cat sure likes her friends. You will too! Join this spunky feline as she introduces the very youngest readers to her world, where a surprise is waiting in every book!


Kitten’s First Full Moon: It is Kitten’s first full moon, and when she sees it she thinks it is a bowl of milk in the sky. And she wants it. Does she get it? Well, no . . . and yes. What a night! The nationally bestselling picture book about a kitten, the moon, and a bowl of milk, written by the celebrated author and illustrator Kevin Henkes, was awarded a Caldecott Medal.


Bad Kitty’s Very Bad Boxed Set (#1): Hack up those fur balls, sharpen those claws because we’ve got three Bad Kitty adventures coming your way! In this compilation, get a terrific grouping of Bad Kitty’s adventures.

For an extended list of irresistible cats, visit my list of Memorable Picture Books About Cats on Amazon.