Posted in Preschool Reads, Tween Reads

The YouTube Kids App makes the holidays merry and bright with playlists and a Gift of the Month!

‘Tis the seasons to be jolly—especially for families with the YouTube Kids app!

A month-long extravaganza celebrating the holidays kicked off this week, with festive content including playlists from Gordon Ramsay and KIDZ BOP! Little fans and their parents will be able to cuddle up with a mug of hot chocolate and watch some cool playlists they won’t be able to see anywhere else – I mean, come on; where else but the YouTube Kids app are you going to see Gordon Ramsay rocking an elf outfit, while dispensing culinary advice?

The holidays are right around the corner and Gordon is sharing his favorite holiday cooking videos with the YouTube Kids App! You can check out the playlist here, if you have the YouTube Kids app, but if you aren’t viewing from a phone or tablet, fear not! Check it out here.

In the mood for more of a dance party? KIDZ BOPS Holidays has your back with a Winter Wonderland playlist, packed with KIDZ BOP’s favorite music and dance videos.  You can watch their rocking playlist by clicking here on the YouTube Kids app, or here, if you’re not viewing from a phone or tablet.

There’s new, original programming hitting the app this month, too! Do you remember growing up with Woody Woodpecker? Well, he’s back, and the YouTube Kids app has him. Watch the first new season of the beloved show in two decades, reuniting the gang for the first time (Andy Panda, Chilly Willy, Wally Walrus, Buzz Buzzard, Winnie, Splinter, and Knothead).  You can see it here on the app, and here if you aren’t viewing from a tablet or phone.

There are more Oddbods to be had this month, too! Oddbods, the popular preschool show, is returning to YouTube Kids with the exclusive Oddbods: The Festive Menace Holidays Special. One of the hot new preschool shows is returning to YouTube Kids with another exclusive special! T’was the night before Christmas and trouble is brewing, Santa’s gone bad and it’s the Oddbods doing! You can check out the fun and mischief here using the app, or here if you aren’t watching on a phone or tablet.

In Santa’s Apprentice, Santa doesn’t want to retire, but rules are rules and he must train someone to replace him.  The lucky winner, to be chosen from among millions of children, must be named Nicholas, be an orphan and have a pure heart.  On the other side of the planet, there is a little boy who is a perfect match, but his lack of self-confidence and fear of heights make him a poor contestant.  Will Santa agree to step down, and help his apprentice take his place?  Check out Santa’s Apprentice here using the YouTube Kids app, or here if you aren’t watching from a phone or tablet.

As a very special bonus, during their holiday celebration, YouTube Kids will be giving something special to their viewers everyday with their “Gift of the Month.” Until January 1st, the YouTube Kids app will feature a Gift Box icon that kids can click on to see a very special video presented to viewers each day by the YouTube Kids characters.  Each of them chose their videos based on a favorite theme or topic.  Kids can simply click on the Gift Box in the app and enjoy a fun surprise!

The YouTube Kids app is the first Google product built from the ground up with kids in mind. The app makes it easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore and is available for free on Google Play and the App store. YouTube Kids continues to put parents in the driver’s seat with additional parental controls that allow parents to choose what is right for their family.

Posted in Media

Halloween Playlists from YouTube Kids!

It’s Halloween season! Who’s going to a party over the next week? Need a playlist or two? YouTube has put a bunch of adorable kiddie playlists together – just get your phone, laptop, or tablet fired up and let the kids dance! These playlists are up from now through November 1st.

Get Ready For Halloween With Nickelodeon!

Are you ready for Halloween? Create your spookiest Halloween costume with the Merrell Twins, make Halloween slime with JoJo, trick-or-treat taste test with some of your favorite stars on Nickelodeon, and so much more! Introduced by Nickelodeon star Jace Norman.  Check out the exciting playlist on the YouTube Kids App by clicking here, or if you are not viewing it on a phone or tablet, click here! This is a great playlist for your school-age kids: prank challenges, mystery slime challenges, and gross Halloween treats are just a few of the videos in store!


Giggle and Hoot: Halloween Favorites on Youtube Kids! The Big Boo!

Jimmy Giggle and Hoot have put together a bootastic playlist of their Halloween favorites for the YouTube Kids App!  Get a peek at what they are up to by clicking here, or, if you are not viewing from a phone or tablet, you can watch here.  This playlist is great fun for your toddlers, pre-K, and Kindergarten kiddos, with videos from Giggle and Hoot, Sesame Street, Peppa Pig, The Wiggles, Octonauts, and more!


Art for Kids Hub’s October Month of Making

Art for Kids Hub has compiled a super fun playlist of art projects especially for Halloween featuring painting, origami, drawing, and paper cutouts! You can check it out on the YouTube Kids App here, or, if you are not viewing from a phone or tablet, you can watch here.  This is a great video for a Halloween art time program or party, with crafts for kids ages 4 and up: draw a cute candy corn or bat, DIY your own trick-or-treat bag, or make a paper plate witch with the Art for Kids gang!


Oddbods Halloween Special

My first grader discovered The Oddbods a couple of months ago and loves it. This exclusive series, created specifically for YouTube Kids viewers, features the characters young viewers know and love from the hit animated series. The show stars seven furry, colorful friends who live in the small town of Oddsville and like to get into all sorts of mischief.  Check out what they have up their sleeves for Halloween on YouTube Kids here, or, if you are not viewing on a phone or tablet, you can check it out here.  Let the kids watch this while they make Halloween crafts and enjoy some snacks!


Zombie Hotel Halloween Special

Pass the Fawlty Towers, turn right after the Addams Family’s house, and you’ll find the ZOMBIE HOTEL! Wide-eyed twins Fungus and Maggot will welcome you, along with their Mom and Dad Zombies, Rictus and Funerella, and a team of wacky employees who never run short of oddities.  But don’t worry, the twins and their human school pal Sam will come to the rescue whenever you’re served pig’s eye soup for lunch or if your room is next to a couple of loud vampires.  A different kind of resort, where there’s never a dull day! This is a Halloween special created especially for YouTube Kids. Check it out on YouTube Kids here, or if you are not viewing from a  phone or tablet you can view it here.  This is a new one for me, so I’ll be tuning in with my kiddo this weekend.


Happy Halloween viewing!


The YouTube Kids app is the first Google product built from the ground up with kids in mind. The app makes it easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore and is available for free on Google Play and the App store. YouTube Kids continues to put parents in the driver’s seat with additional parental controls that allow parents to choose what is right for their family.


Posted in gaming, geek, geek culture, Guide, Humor, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Tween Reads, Video Games

Yogscast: The Book!

yogscastYogscast: The Diggy Diggy Book, by The Yogscast, (Feb. 2016, Scholastic), $8.99, ISBN: 9780545956635

Recommended for ages 8-13

Yogscast is an insanely popular YouTube channel by gamers, for gamers. They have skits, animations, videos, songs – it’s like SNL on crack for gamers, and it’s pretty kid-friendly (otherwise, Scholastic wouldn’t be putting this book out). If you have Warcraft and/or Minecrafters in your household, library, or classroom, you’ve likely heard of Yogscast, or the kids in your life have.

My gamer boy was a faithful Yogscast fan when he was 7 or 8; I’d see him curled up with his iPad and headset in, cackling and snorting, and wondering what in the world he was listening to. So I asked him, and he told me, and then he showed me.

Yogscast is HUGE. The channel has over 4 BILLION views. If they were a movie, they’d be Deadpool PLUS Avengers, and that is just something that warps my fragile little mind. When I saw that they had a book out, I knew I’d need to check this out.

The Diggy Diggy Book is for people who know this channel and know it well. You will meet the creators and explore different areas. There are tons of in-jokes, a tour of YogTowers, a the tourist’s guide to Datlof, and the chance to become a JaffaQuest cadet. I was pretty clueless reading this book, because it is such an inclusive community (yes, I know calling a community of millions and billions inclusive is hilarious), but if you’re a fan, you’ll love the book. Carry it in your library at your own risk, though – there are workbook-type pages in here and they’ll most likely get written on. This book will do gangbusters at the Scholastic Book Fairs, bet on it.


Posted in Non-Fiction, Teen, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

Really Professional Internet Person – A YouTube Superstar’s Story

9780545861120_30ac9Really Professional Internet Person, by Jenn McAllister (Jennxpenn) (Aug. 2015, Scholastic), $14.99, ISBN: 9780545861120

Recommended for ages 12+

Jenn McAllister is a star on YouTube. Starting in middle school, she began making and uploading videos with pranks, sketches, and vlogs about her life. She’s got over 2 million YouTube subscribers, has worked with Old Navy and Mattel, and gets mobbed at DigiCon like a rock star. She’s a Really Professional Internet Person.

Really Professional Internet Person is one of those books where I really feel out of my league reading and reviewing. I’m not the audience for this book, and that’s apparent just from reading the language of the book, which is made up mostly of “like”, “literally”, and “basically”.

I also couldn’t wrap my head around how McAllister’s mom and school were okay with her missing huge chunks of school at 15 years old so she could work digital conferences. I know this is actual work, but at 15, where was the school board? The state? And her mom letting her make the move on her own, with her YouTube friends to California, completely blew me away. McAllister does finish high school via online school when she relocates from Pennsylvania to California, but her not seeing the value in education over YouTube is really stressful to me. We’re a pretty disposable society these days – I hate it, but I recognize it, so where is YouTube celebrity going to leave 19 year-old Jenn in a few years? McAllister even talks about knowing she is a role model to her under-18 fans, so this worries me even more.

There are some solid highlights to this book. Jenn speaks frankly about her struggles with anxiety, which is great for anyone that may be dealing with the same issues. It happens to everyone, even famous people. She writes in a manner relatable to her audience, and loads the pages with Top 10 lists, which breaks information down into small, interest-heavy bits. She includes tons of screen shots, photos, social media posts, and anecdotes about her life with fellow YouTubers, which provides an inclusive feeling. Jenn, who writes about never feeling like she fit in at school, knows how to make her audience, even on paper, feel like they’re part of her crowd. And she is earnest and sincere in her love for her subscribers and viewers.

Overall, this is just not my book. I’d like to talk to the tweens and teens in my library and see what they think, though – this book is written for them.