March 5th, 2014 by

Goosebumps-logoAre you ready to let out a blood-curdling scream and jump in your seat from fear… in 2016?! Because that’s when GOOSEBUMPS is coming to a theater near you!

Chances are, you’ve read one of the 62 books in the Goosebumps series. And if you haven’t, you should, because they’re not just spooky, scary and spine-chilling — sometimes they’re laugh-out-loud funny, too. (Especially the book covers, even if unintentionally…)

Even though I’m not a huge fan of the horror genre (because I’m a scaredy-cat), I enjoy a good scare once in a while, and R.L. Stine’s books are a great go-to series for goosebumps on your arm (see what I did there?).

What we know about the movie so far:

Left: Author R.L. Stine, Right: Actor Jack Black

Left: Author R.L. Stine, Right: Actor Jack Black

  • Jack Black will play author R.L. Stine: I don’t see a resemblance, but Jack Black is always pretty fun in movies!
  • Odeya Rush will play his niece, Hannah — Odeya is also in this year’s upcoming adaptation of The Giver.
  • Dylan Minette will play a character who moves from NYC to the small town of Greendale, Maryland and befriends Hannah.

Here’s a description of the movie from a news article — but keep in mind that quite a lot can change from the movie announcement to the final release!

“When all the many demons of Stine’s mind are set free by a demonic ventriloquist’s dummy, it’s up to Minnette’s character and Stine’s niece Hannah to deal with all the evil.”

  • So it sounds like Slappy the Dummy will be making an appearance… That wooden doll is quite a bugger!
  • It comes out March 23, 2016 — that’s just a short 749 days away!

Hopefully the movie will not just be scary, but funny too, and with plenty of the plot twists and surprise endings that are always in R.L. Stine’s books!

What was your favorite Goosebumps book, and do you think it’d make a good movie?

— Nancy


Nancy met R.L. Stine once and thought he was a pretty cool dude. He was dressed in all black and even signed his autograph:

R.L. Stine's autograph for Kidsmomo

Note: Nancy’s giant head is only slightly smaller than the happy face shown.


Oz, The Great and Powerful: Movie Review

March 12th, 2013 by

oz-the-great-and-powerfulThe yellow brick road. The Emerald City. Flying monkeys. Poppy fields. Munchkins. And of course, witches. All our favorite parts of the marvelous land of Oz come to life again in the new movie Oz, The Great and Powerful. But can it live up to the classic books by L. Frank Baum and the beloved 1939 film?

Obviously, we had to investigate. So we bravely made our way through the crowds to see Oz on opening night — seriously, there were more excited movie-goers fighting for seats than warts on a witch’s chin. And were we rewarded for our efforts?

Read on, for our review of Oz, The Great and Powerful:

KAREN: I was pleasantly surprised! Before we watched the movie, I knew it didn’t get very good reviews, so I went in with low expectations.


KAREN: I thought it was going to try to be an awesome epic action adventure, and it would fail. But I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t trying to be that at all; instead, it wanted to be a funny fantastical family film! So once I realized that in the first few scenes, I was all like:


KAREN: And now that I think about it, I kind of got that feeling right from the beginning because I LOVED LOVED LURVED the opening sequence with all the old-fashioned paper art. It was so light-hearted and whimsical and I was like:


NANCY: I agree with most of what you said — but one thing really distracted me during the movie, and that, unfortunately, was the actor who played Oscar (the Wizard): James Franco. I found him to be so goofy and distracting! Every time he overacted, I would wince, like this:


NANCY: So since he was the main character and on the screen all the time, this is how I felt for most of the movie:


KAREN: I’m not a big James Franco fan either. Originally, Robert Downey Jr. was going to play Oscar, and I was super excited about that. When I heard he was replaced with James Franco, I was definitely like:


KAREN: I think James Franco is kind of fakey and slimy — but actually, that was perfect for this role! So when I realized he was just going to act like a kind of silly, slick salesman through the whole thing, I was like:


NANCY: Agree to disagree… But on a positive note: As usual, I’m a sucker for visuals — I thought the film was beautiful! The scenes showing the gorgeous and magic scenery of Oz were kind of long, but I didn’t mind so much because I was like:


KAREN: Disagree again! I really didn’t love all the computer-generated settings, like the gigantic flowers and the green crystals that some of the characters floated over. It looked too obviously computer-generated to me, compared to how realistic Pixar makes nature look in their movies.


NANCY: Okay, well, maybe we can agree on this: You know what character I especially liked? The flying monkey servant, Finley. He was adorable! And so funny.


KAREN: YES! I loved Finley too. And also the little China Girl who is Oscar’s other main companion in the movie. And guess what — she’s voiced by Joey King, who played Ramona in the movie Ramona and Beezus! I recognized her name in the opening credits, and I was all like:


NANCY: Overall, I’m definitely on the fence about this movie. On one hand, I liked almost everything in the movie… EXCEPT the main character! I feel so conflicted:


So… should you see this movie? Neither of us would say, “This is the best movie ever! Run out and see it right now!” If we said that, you’d definitely end up like this:


But if you’re a fan of the books and/or you just want to see the world of Oz on the big screen in stunning technicolor, then we say, “Go for it. But for heaven’s sake, keep your expectations low!” As long as you do that, you’ll probably be like:



We can’t take credit for making any of these images — all taken from the Interwebs!

The Hobbit: In a theater in your town there played a movie.

December 11th, 2012 by

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” —The Hobbit, page 1, sentence 1

And if you didn’t know that the movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel The Hobbit was coming to theaters this Friday… then perhaps you’ve been living in a hole!

In case you were indeed in that hole, let me pull you out: Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, reluctantly joins a band of dwarves (Thorin, Dwalin, Balin, Fíli, Kíli, Dori, Nori, Ori, Glóin, Óin, Bifur, Bofur, and *deep breath* Bombur) to recapture their mountain and recover treasure from the dragon Smaug. Wizards, elves, goblins, trolls, and giant spiders also included.

What you might not know… is that this is actually the first of three movies, all adapted from the 310-page book. That’s pretty much the same length as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (309 pages) and that was only one movie!

The three movies for The Hobbit are titled:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again

(Uh, spoiler alert much, movie producers? Now anyone — well, anyone who hasn’t read the books or watched other adaptations of the book — knows that Smaug, the eloquent and greedy dragon, becomes desolated. Uncool).

I’m going to carve out some time this week to re-read The Hobbit before I see the movie! Even if it means sleeping an hour or two less, which if memory serves, won’t be so difficult — because I remember the book being awesome!

Have you read The Hobbit? Are you going to catch it in theaters during winter break? Leave a comment or send in a review of the book, just like Mira, age 11 from Colorado did!

— Nancy

Nancy relates well with Bilbo Baggins because he enjoys eating and thinks about food all the time. I think we all do, especially during holiday snacking season!

More about Nancy »

The Graveyard Book: Movie News

May 3rd, 2012 by

graveyard-book-neil-gaimanIf you enjoyed going to the theater and munching on popcorn as you watched Coraline flee from button-eye wielding alterna-parents in the movie version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, then you’re in luck — Disney has announced a film adaptation of Gaiman’s Newbery winner, The Graveyard Book!

The movie will be directed by Henry Selick, who did the Coraline movie. Disney hasn’t said whether The Graveyard Book will be live-action or animated, but my hope is that it will be stop-motion in the same visual style as Coraline.

Also no word on the release date. They actually don’t even have a screenwriter yet, so I think we’re in for a looooooooooong wait… The upside? More time to re-read the book, or discover it for the first time if you haven’t read it before. And if that’s the case, you can get the scoop on the story in this podcast, where I made The Graveyard Book my Halloween pick.

Now, I was completely spooked the entire time I read The Graveyard Book, so I can only imagine the extreme terror I’ll feel when the story comes to life before my eyes. But obviously, there’s no way I’m going to miss this movie! I just may need to hide my face every once in a while. I hope Nancy doesn’t mind when I clutch her arm and scream in her ear

But what about you? Have you read the book, and would you see the movie? Leave a comment and let me know!

— Karen

Karen has to confess she’s never read Coraline or watched the movie. Nothing freaks her out more than the idea of parents who are actually monsters. Great, now she’s getting creeped out just thinking about it! [insert panic and fear here]

More about Karen »

Movie News: Percy Jackson Sequel Cast

March 29th, 2012 by

It’s been a while since we raced to the movie theater to watch Logan Lerman — I mean, Percy Jackson go in search of Zeus’ missing lightning bolt. The film version of The Lightning Thief came out in February 2010, over two years ago! So it’s about time that there’s some buzz around the sequel!

Based, of course, on the second book in Rick Riordan’s super popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Sea of Monsters is set to hit theaters March 2013. That’s nothing new.

But I’ll tell you what is new: the actor playing Chiron! Anthony Head is taking over for Pierce Brosnan as the beloved centaur/camp director. What do you think? He looks a bit more clean-cut than Pierce Brosnan did in the first movie, but I hear that Anthony Head has experience dealing with ghouls and demons from his days on Buffy, so I’m open to it!

Anthony Head replaces Pierce Brosnan as Chiron.

In other casting news, Nathan Fillion will play Hermes. He is definitely not the way that I pictured Hermes, but I guess that since Luke is so handsome, it makes sense that since Luke’s father would be good-looking too. Did I say good-looking? I mean great-looking! Har har. Hee hee. Squee.

Nathan Fillion as Hermes. Ruggedly handsome since 1971.

Anyway… Mary Birdsong, Missi Pyle, and Yvette Nicole Brown have also recently been cast, as the Three Fates. No offense to these actresses, given that the Fates don’t always look or behave in an appealing manner, but I think this is awesome casting! I look forward to seeing them torture Logan — I mean, Percy…

Mary Birdsong, Missi Pyle and Yvette Nicole Brown as the Three Fates. Head size will be adjusted for the movie.

Bonus Images: Logan Lerman x3

What do YOU think of this casting? And what are you most excited to see in the upcoming movie? Any particular scene that you just can’t wait to see on the big screen? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

— Karen

Karen decided to hold off for a while before reading The Son of Neptune because Nancy already read it and said it’s frustrating to have for the next Heroes of Olympus book. Sometimes it’s hard to resist. But then Karen reminds herself that the book is huge and heavy! Karen’s lazy, so that helps.

More about Karen »

Kidsmomo at The Hunger Games Movie

March 24th, 2012 by

Yesterday morning, we got up really early (okay, really early for Nancy) to watch this year’s first blockbuster, which just happens to be adapted from an awesome book (the best movies always are): The Hunger Games.

Mockingjay temporary tattoos!

First and foremost: the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the new movie are meant for kids ages 12 and up. After all, the story IS pretty violent and disturbing… Okay, it’s REALLY violent and disturbing…

But if you happen to have already read the book, then you’re probably headed to the movie theater this weekend — and you’re in for an intense 142 minutes!

Since we are waaaaaaaaay over 12, that’s what we did Friday morning before breakfast! (Yes, that’s right. Before breakfast. And you know how important food is to us!) We don’t want to spill the spoiler beans here, so we’ll just say this: the movie made us cry, gasp in shock, wince at gruesome parts (again — there’s a reason it’s rated PG-13), and even jump in our seats.

After the movie, we stopped by the Scholastic Store in New York City to hang out with Katniss Everdeen (cardboard edition). Note: We did not Photoshop Katniss into this picture. She was really there (kinda). Another note: Karen works at Scholastic, which is the company that publishes the Hunger Games trilogy. But she didn’t work on the books, unfortunately.

"Hey, Katniss, will you introduce us to Peeta and Gale?" ... "No."

As you can see, we wore our mockingjay pins just like Katniss, and Karen dressed in her “Girl on Fire” outfit. Thank goodness she decided not to incorporate actual flames.

If you’re not sure about whether the book or movie are right for you, then you can always check out the some of these book reviews of The Hunger Games, submitted by kids like you!

(Btw, if you’re planning to see the movie but haven’t read the books yet, we highly recommend that you read at least the first one before you see the film.)

If you decide that The Hunger Games is not for you, check back with Kidsmomo on Tuesday: Karen will recommend another awesome series by Suzanne Collins.

And if you did watch the movie, let us know what you thought in the comments below!

May the odds be ever in your favor,

— Karen (District 8, textiles) and Nancy (District 3, electronics)

The Lorax Movie Review

March 8th, 2012 by

the-lorax-by-dr-seussWe saw The Lorax on opening night.
Was it a beauty or was it a fright?
Watch the video if you want to see
A movie review from Karen and Nancy!

Hey, give us a break, we know we can’t compare to Dr. Seuss! But really, who can?

The REAL question here is whether you should see the Lorax movie. Watch our movie review video to find out:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy protecting the trees from greedy, axe-wielding men — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new Lorax movie? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

Book-to-Big-Screen Winners

February 28th, 2012 by

Monday mornings are always rough, but it was especially hard for me to get out of bed yesterday because I stayed up watching the Oscars on Sunday night. Did you?

My favorite part of the Oscars is always checking out what the celebrities are wearing, but this year I was also paying close attention to all the categories where War Horse and Hugo were nominated, since they’re both based on children’s books. Though neither one picked up the Best Picture award, I was delighted when The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won for Best Animated Short Film. What what! Book love at the Oscars! Raise the roof! Holla!


Since I have book-to-movie adaptations on the brain, I thought maybe you guys would too. So here’s a round-up of our favorite films based on children’s books, to help you get ready for your next DVD night. Out of ALL our movie reviews on Kidsmomo, these are the ones that got two smileys from us!

How to Train Your Dragon, based on the book by Cressida Cowell:

(And apparently there’s a sequel in the works. Yahoo!)


Ramona and Beezus, based on the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary:


Flipped, based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen:


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, based on the book by Judi and Ron Barrett:

The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

February 23rd, 2012 by

Imagine a film about tiny people living in the walls of your house, sneaking into your room at night, taking little items while you sleep. Is it the newest horror movie to hit theaters? No, it’s The Secret World of Arietty, based on Mary Norton’s classic children’s book The Borrowers!

Yeah, we were just kidding with that horror film stuff. Although the question still remains: Is this movie a delight, or a fright? Check out our video review below:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy hiding from the household cat because you’re about the size of his paw — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new movie The Secret World of Arietty? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

Hugo Movie Review

December 2nd, 2011 by

hugo-movie-posterLike the station inspector chasing after Hugo, or Hugo and Isabelle seeking out the answer to a mystery, last week Nancy and Karen went in search of a magical movie experience… We saw Hugo, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick!

And did the movie deliver? To find out, you’ll just have to watch the video review below! You know, just like Hugo and Isabelle watching a film, or — oh, forget it, let’s just get to the review:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy winding the clocks at the local train station — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new movie Hugo? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book? And what do you think: do you need to know the book already in order to enjoy the film?

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