Nickerbacher Chapter Book by Terry John Barto, Cymplified!

I first read the story of Nickerbacher, the funniest dragon as a picture book. It was a pleasant surprise to learn about the new Nickerbacher chapter book. At first, I thought it’s a continuation of the picture book. Consequently, I realized that it’s kind of an expanded version. There were still pictures; but the story was more in-depth.

If you happen to be a dragon and you happen to want to be a comedian, then this book is for you! Seriously, this is a nice read for children who can handle longer books. It inspires them to chase that dream, against many odds.

If you happen to be a princess and you happen to have an advocacy, then this book is perfect! When something feels right, then fight for it. Even when no one seems to believe in it. When there’s a pulling inside us to do something good, especially for the marginalized, do it.

If you happen to be a prince who wants to follow his heart and extend help to the unexpected, follow it! Everybody deserves kindness, right?

If you happen to have friends and family who are encouraging, what else is there to do but be thankful? It’s difficult to find people who support us and our dreams.

I got all these from a children’s book with six chapters? Yes, I did! Although the drawings do not have any colors, they were doodled in great detail.

This is an easy read that kids from aged 7 or 8 and above will enjoy.

Note: I received a copy from the author to read and review.

Nickerbacher Book Cover Nickerbacher
Terry John Barto
Early Chapter Edition
TJB Kids
December 8, 2016

Nickerbacher is a dragon and aspiring comedian who travels to La La Land to audition for The Late Knight Show. Hoping to prove to his father - and the world - that dragons can be funny. Nickerbacher befriends a prince and a princess who help him realize his dream while paving the way for equal rights of all citizens.

Family Day Out: Quezon Memorial Circle, Cymplified!

Quezon Memorial Circle

Several families had the same idea as ours. That is to bring the kids to Quezon Memorial Circle on Sunday. The last time I went there, my hubby and I bought plants for his hydroponic garden. The first time I went there was on a date with him as a boyfriend. We bought a pack of chicharon that had human-like hairs.  😯

It’s surprising to learn of the many activities families could enjoy inside. This link take you to a closer look at the place. Who knew that this national park in Quezon City was so big?

@ Quezon Memorial Circle
“Mama, take pictures of them.” So I whipped out my phone and took these. These were the only photos I took in Quezon Memorial Circle as I was absorbing the sights around us. Also, for safety since there were a lot of people.


@ Quezon Memorial Circle
I loved its color and its bushy tail!

We went in the afternoon and found out that the museum closed at four. Aww… Thus, we kept on walking. We arrived where the “action” is. Circle of Fun was the small amusement park. Circle of Joy was the overcrowded playground.

Hunger struck, therefore we had snacks at the food area in the vicinity. Rows of booths sold various food products. We had shawarma, fries, juice, tokwa’t baboy, and hotdogs on sticks.

what we did there

After that, we went over to Pedal & Paddle. As the name implied, it’s where we can pedal and paddle. We opted for the pedal with bikes going around a track. I was intrigued by the sky bike, though. We saw people paddle on the small lake on swan-shaped boats.

My legs felt like jelly after 15 minutes on the tandem bike. The youngest rode with me, the boy rode with his dad, and the eldest rode on her own. The children weren’t satisfied, that’s why I accompanied them on the small carousel. I got dizzy. Good thing I didn’t throw up. Haha!

It was growing dark when we walked back to our car.

We had dinner at The Big Cheese! Pizza. We had the place all to ourselves! Is that a good sign?

The Big Cheese! Pizza


The Big Cheese! Pizza

Yet, we loved the pizza! The toppings were tasty, not salty. The dough was delicious.

The Big Cheese! Pizza
The boy wanted pepperoni pizza. That’s a dish of garlic parmesan fries below it. Yum!


The Big Cheese! Pizza
The 10-cheese overload for my cheese-loving girls.

I was amazed at the sink at the hand-washing area. It’s operated using pressure from the knee.

The Big Cheese! Pizza
Here the kids were enjoying the blue lemonade, which, IMO was a tad too sour.

I hope we get to visit the Quezon Monument Museum next time. Quezon Memorial Circle is great for a Sunday walk with the family.


Have you been here before? What were the things you did?

Blog Tour: Selfies In The Wild by C. L. Murphy, Cymplified!

Selfies In The Wild Blog Tour Banner




About the Book

Title: The Adventures of Lovable Lobo – Selfies in the Wild

Written and illustrated by C.L. Murphy

Published by Peanut Butter Prose

Date published: August 1, 2016

Recommended ages: 3 to 7

Number of pages: 28

Summary: Lobo and his sidekick raven find a trail camera in their neck of the woods, and it attracts the attention of forest friends. Images captured have never been sillier or more candid. Just as their wild dispositions are exposed, the photo shoot comes to an unexpected end and they’re all left wondering why. The reason may be obvious.

Take a peek inside…






About C.L. Murphy


Cathy (C.L.) has been creating with and for kids for many years, and because of it she’s ever armed with crayons and not afraid to use or share them. She’s faster than a speeding turtle, more powerful than a newborn bunny, and nearly able to leap tall tales in a single bound. She’s in a position to use her unassuming powers in a never-ending battle for good and silliness while traveling to the deepest (sometimes dark) part of her imagination. She’s been a member of SCBWI since 2012. She lives in a wonder-filled forest, amongst the wildlife with her husband and other untamed animals. They have two wildly perfect sons and a scrumptious new granddaughter.

Website Blog Twitter Facebook Pinterest Google+ Goodreads Instagram

The Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $200 Amazon gift card or $200 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: August 31, 11:59 p.m., 2016

Open to: Worldwide

How to enter:
Please enter the Rafflecopter HERE.

Terms and conditions: There is NO purchase necessary to enter or win. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget within 48 hours and notified by email once the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo – Selfies in the Wild

Cymplified review:

Don’t we all wonder what animals are always thinking? Like little children, they are curious, wild and funny. This book “captures” (because, selfies!) that spirit of being guileless. Although we don’t know what really happens, this book adorably speculates conversations among the forest critters.

I read it with my nine-year-old. It was a treat for me to see and hear her laugh. She loves animals. That’s why I knew she’d love this. She enjoys reading and watching videos about silly animals.

It’s a simple yet fun book that animal-loving kids would enjoy. I like that it has a glossary and real trail camera photos at the end. Educational.

Book trailer:

Free stuff: Activity Kit

Selfies in the Wild Book Cover Selfies in the Wild
The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #6
C. L. Murphy
Peanut Butter Prose
August 2016

Lobo and his sidekick raven find a trail camera in their neck of the woods, and it attracts the attention of forest friends. Images captured have never been sillier or more candid. Just as their wild dispositions are exposed, the photo shoot comes to an unexpected end and they're all left wondering why. The reason may be obvious.

Finn’s Rocket by Serena Schreiber, Cymplified!

Rocket-front cover

About the Book

Title: Finn’s Rocket: A Surfer Catches Air (Finn’s Fast Books, Book #3) | Authors: Serena Schreiber | Publication Date: November 1, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 176 | Recommended Ages: 7 to 12

Amazon * Goodreads

Book Description: Finn’s summer vacation plans didn’t include leaving the planet. When his little sister gets kidnapped from space camp, Finn will do anything and go anywhere to get her back. Even the international space station.

The Buzz About “Finn’s Fast Books”

Finn’s Ship: The story blends Finn’s American upbringing with his German heritage, acquainting the reader with the many similarities and differences in food, culture, language, transportation and family values.~ Candy 613, Amazon

Finn’s Ship: The author did a marvelous job bringing the characters to life and making the reader feel apart of each scene.~ Glen G., Amazon

Finn’s Car: I really enjoyed reading this book! Very fun to read and it’s something that teens will love to read. I recommend it to everyone!~ Jocelyn, Amazon

Finn’s Car: A well-paced, funny and highly infectious read!~ Bree W., Amazon


About the Author: Serena Schreiber

serenaschreiberFirst published in Brooklyn in third grade, Serena Schreiber took a circuitous route through Europe to settle in Florida. When not writing for kids or scientists, she follows her other muse, fantasy. She’s a happy co-conspirator of Florida Writers Association Youth Program and runs the Howl at the Moon Writers Jam. Serena has two amazing children, a handsome husband, and a turtle named Bolt.

Author Website | Book Website

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Cymplified review of Finn’s Rocket:

Reading about something unfamiliar is a good way to experience something I know I will never do in my lifetime. 

I am not familiar with surfing (the offline kind) and I was given a glimpse into that world. I am not familiar with space travel and I got to peek at what space programs do. I am not hard of hearing so I have a sort of idea what happens when wearing hearing aids. The main characters also went on other adventures that seem alien to me.

These adventures are what make the book exciting. The action-packed story is thrilling. It is quite fast-paced, so I think kids would really enjoy it. Although, for me the plot was a bit deep for seven to twelve-year-olds. 

What I didn’t like was when I was a hundred or so pages into the book, lots of typographical errors keep cropping up. Also, I know that the author wants to keep it realistic, but when the teen boys whistled at the girls, the flirting turned me off.

Other than that, Serena Schreiber seemed like she did a lot of research about various subjects like building a rocket or summer glacier snowboarding, since I do not think these could not be made up, especially the one about space camp. Could it?

I would recommend it to older kids, when they are not too impressionable, because they might think that “parents could be so useless sometimes.” But, it’s a good reminder to love and appreciate one’s family.

Finn's Rocket: A Surfer Catches Air Book Cover Finn's Rocket: A Surfer Catches Air
Finn's Fast Books Book 3
Serena Schreiber
Children's Action & Adventure
November 1, 2015

Finn's summer vacation plans didn't include leaving the planet.

When he isn't surfing or scuba diving, Finn likes building vehicles that go fast, while his little sister dreams of being an astronaut. So the two enroll at Kennedy Space Camp, where Finn can design rockets and Gabi can pilot them. But a shocking countdown is ticking behind the scenes, and Gabi goes missing.

Determined to find his sister, Finn searches for clues. As always, friends Axel and Burrito jump in to help him complete his mission, which takes them from Cocoa Beach Florida to Kiruna, Sweden. Lucky for Gabi, Finn will do anything and go anywhere to get her back -- even the international space station.

Finn's Rocket is a middle-grade novel appropriate for kids aged 10-14 or 5th-8th grade. This action-packed story contains no inappropriate language or graphic violence, although some characters do meet a sudden end. As with all of Finn's Fast Books, #3 Finn's Rocket provides a fast ride to adventure with a little science along the way -- great for sneaking a little STEM learning into a young reader's day.

Don't miss the action of another high-velocity Finn adventure!

July And Kidzville, Cymplified!

It’s November, and I’m still talking about July? Am I crazy?



July was a month of hot and sunny days. And also cold, wet, rainy and stormy days. Of the children’s staying home three days before one weekend because of class suspension.

July was a month of broken scanner glass plate. Of nervousness and palpitation. Of pain on the left side of the chest. Of a dark cloud looming overhead. The cloud that is breast cancer.

July was a month of Cayla’s sudden clinginess before classes start. Of different colored nail polish she painted on my finger nails.

July was a month of showing the origins of the yellow, pill-shaped minions so popular with children. Of watching the movie in the cinema of The Podium. Of watching in the movie house with the three kids for the seventh time.

July was a month of Ella’s 8th birthday bash in Kidzville. Of her pleasant time with friends and cousins. Of opening gifts. Of playing with new toys. Of Caleb, turning five years old.

kidzville sign to the partty
the birthday girl’s OOTD, shirt and pants from Uniqlo|unicorn necklace from H&M|silver boat shoes from Payless|Princess Celestia headband from M+K=a

July 12 was our target date for the party. Less than a month to go and I haven’t booked anything yet. I wondered if it will still push through.

We finally decided on Kidzville just two weeks shy of the said date. I’m just so glad that it was available on a short notice. We chose the princess theme, but with a twist. It had party packages that included details too tedious to attend to one by one.

Details like:

  1. Party venue, chairs, decor and tables with preferred tablecloth colors

I loved that the chairs had covers, even the kiddie chairs. Thankfully, I can opt for three colors instead of just two. They said that the area could accommodate 150 people.

kidzville birthday decor

2. Party favors

For the boys, there’s a crown, a sword with tiny lights inside the blade, a puzzle and a Kidzville bag inside the loot bag. For the girls, there’s a tiara, a wand, a set of necklace, bracelet & earrings and also a Kidzville bag. There were also balloon sticks for 30 kids.

kidzville giveaways

3. Party host

I met the host the day itself. Gosh! I forgot her name. She’s warm and friendly. She talked to me about the programme and asked for my input. Her attire was in line with the theme. I think she’s channeling her inner Elsa. She’s professional and really made the effort to connect with the guests, kids and grown-ups alike.

kidzville party host

4. Games

The host naturally facilitated the party games. I think she also came up with them, which was a relief for a busy mom like me. Thank you to the adults who participated in this game!

kidzville party game

5. Prizes

In any kiddie party where there are games, there must be prizes. It’s a good thing these were included in the package so I need not go buy.

kidzville party game prizes

6. Face painting

The kids also got to have a painted face or arm to remember the event by… Until they washed it off, that is!

kidzville face paint

7. Invitations

I chose the package for 30 children and with it came 30 invitations. Here was the twist. Instead of the human princess, like so,

kidzville party invitation design
not the full image, I cropped out my mobile number

I got in touch with the one in charge of the printing and requested a slight change.

kidzville party invitation revised

I wanted Princess Celestia to be the pony, but when I emailed the peg, the invites were already printed. I should remember to be more specific when I opted for a pony princess and to email the desired photo right away along with the request.

For the cake to be consistent with the theme, I ordered from Wynne’s Cakes as recommended by Kidzville. It did not disappoint. It’s not only beautiful, it’s also delicious; just eat in moderation! Ella chose the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, under the fondant design.

princess celestia cake

8. Play

The fun part of the package was the unlimited play the children were treated to. I thought they spent more time playing, before and after the party, than eating. They couldn’t wait to go back to the play area once the party proper was done. I could tell they enjoyed this the most.

kidzville play area

9. Guest book

One minor detail that could be overlooked was the guest book that Kidzville provided. There was also a gift for the birthday girl – a coupon for an unlimited play sesh valid for a year. Maybe we could go back during Christmas break.

10. Food stalls

Aside from the catered food, we were given a hundred servings of snow cones. Plus, food carts of squid balls and nachos.

kidzville party food table deets
fascinated by the birdcage and the photo frame table decor

In order to avail of the party package, though, we were required to order from the party menu (grown-ups’ food) for at least 30 people. This was okay since we needed to feed the parents/guardians, too. The meals for the children were included in the package.

I just managed to take pictures of the potato salad and the chocolate eclairs because we did not have a photographer. That was one detail we overlooked. Since my hubby is a photographer, he said he will do it. We asked family and friends to take the family photos, though.

I think everything went swimmingly considering I had only a couple of weeks to plan this. It’s virtually stress-free for us. At least we know that the party and the play place were ones the birthday girl would immensely enjoy.

How about you? What was the most relaxed birthday party you have ever planned?


Party venue and package: Kidzville, The Podium
Birthday cake: Wynne’s Cakes
MLP headband and hair clips: M + K = a
Aqua princess skirt: ERC Textile

Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle by Emlyn Chand, Cymplified!



About the Book

Title: Mike and the Dog-Gone Labradoodle (The Pet Shop Society, Book #1) | Author: Emlyn Chand | Publication Date: September 26, 2015 | Publisher: Evolved Publishing | Pages: 43 | Recommended Ages: 7 to 11

Book Description: Mike Adams has always been a pretty average kid. He hates homework, love sports, and spends a lot of his day bugging his twin sister Maddie—because, after all, she deserves it. But one day, everything changes. Nic Chang’s dog goes missing. Mike, his sister and their two best friends join forces to search for the truth and, with it, the missing pet. Will Mike and Maddie find a way to put their differences aside and save the day? And just where did that dog-gone labradoodle go? Put your thinking caps on and prepare to find the answers in the premier installment of The Pet Shop Society, a brand new mystery series for readers aged 7-11.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBook * Kobo

Smashwords * Evolved Publishing * Goodreads


About the Author: Emlyn Chand

Emlyn (4)From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has published fiction across multiple genres, oversees and contributes as both an editor and an author to the Novel Publicity Guides for Writing & Marketing Fiction series, and loves the written word so much, she even married author Falcon Storm! Don’t forget that she is the founder and president of Novel Publicity too.
The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. Maybe that’s why she loves writing her Bird Brain Book series for children so much! Emlyn’s first novel, Farsighted, won the prestigious Writer’s Digest Self-Published Novel of the Year award in 2012 for the YA category. She now writes most of her fiction under her real name, Melissa Storm.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

Cymplified review:

The cover reminds me of the days when I was reading Sweet Valley Twins. Oops! Now you know my age!

It’s a quick and interesting book. The story draws me in as if I were a kid again, eager to find out the missing dog’s whereabouts. I was quite riveted that I finished it in one sitting.

This mystery is perfect for kids who are 7-11 years old since it’s not complicated.

It’s really nice that the event that happened could prove to be beneficial to Mike and his sister. It’s a positive change as the story progresses. Goodness knows kids these days need more positivity in their lives.

I would definitely recommend it to moms who have kids of the mentioned age range.


Note: I got this e-book for free from the book review blitz hosted by All opinions expressed are my own.

Learning Basic Calligraphy From Cher, Cymplified!

Calligraphy is so popular these days. There are even fonts being made out of calligraphy. It’s different from the Chinese calligraphy that I learned in high school, though. The calligraphy that people over at Instagram do is the art of decorative handwriting. It’s the way one writes a certain letter which makes it beautiful, a work of art in itself.

I have not tried calligraphy before. I wasn’t interested because 1. I have no idea what pens to use. 2. I have poor handwriting.

Then, my former college blockmate in UP, Cher, invited me to her private basic calligraphy workshop called Cher’s Calligra-class 1.0. I decided to go because I wanted to support her. I have always admired her calligraphy works from the time I started following her on Instagram. Like her post below:

A photo posted by Cher Cabula (@chercabula) on


I used the GrabTaxi service to get to K&L Café, my eldest accompanied me. It started just a few minutes after we got there. Cher and this set of calligraphy materials greeted me:  

This afternoon’s learning: @chercabula ‘s #calligraphy class! A photo posted by Cym M (@ceemee) on

Looking at the implements used in calligraphy could be overwhelming. There are so many kinds of ink and there are so many kinds of nibs, even nib holders, out there. Learning basic calligraphy could be intimidating for beginners like me. I had many questions.

What kind of nibs would be suitable for me?

Would being heavy-handed be an issue?

What if I break a nib?

Oh, no! I have a spillage! What should I do? (Yes, I spilled my ink… in the workshop and here at home, I need more ink!)

Thanks to Cher, learning basic calligraphy was also fun. She shared with us her experiences, her works and most especially, encouragement to motivate us. The following days, I tried completing the worksheets she provided. I also used my calligraphy set in addressing my daughter’s birthday invitations.


#calligraphy -ing my daughter’s birthday invites. Haha! Need more practice.

A photo posted by Cym M (@ceemee) on

Cher will be holding two separate calligraphy workshops this coming July 18 and 19. Click the photo below to sign up!

Have you tried doing calligraphy? Care to share a link to your works? 🙂