The Jim Henson Company, a leader in family entertainment for over 50 years, and its adorable PAJANIMALS, are partnering with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on its Celebrity Get Caught Reading campaign this August, coinciding with Get Ready for Kindergarten Month and the release of a slate of new PAJANIMALS books from Running Press Kids. The Get Caught Reading campaign was developed by the AAP and launched in 1999 to promote and celebrate the joy of reading, and is embraced by thousands of celebrities, booksellers, teachers and librarians who continue to support this campaign across the country. The celebrity Get Caught Reading posters, including PAJANIMALS, can be ordered for free here– all you pay is shipping! http://www.getcaughtreading.org/ It should come as no surprise that one of the best ways to prepare young children for their first educational experience – Kindergarten – is by reading with them. In fact, in an article entitled Getting Ready for Kindergarten for Education.com, writer Skila Brown reported: “The consensus among teachers is that reading aloud, talking about school, and getting your child emotionally and physically ready are the big steps parents need to take before the school bell rings.” Following a story requires focus, imagination, and an interest to know what comes next, all essential skills for kindergarten readiness. Sarah Powell, Project Coordinator at Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University urges parents, “Read to your child. Parents should simply read to their child and talk about the importance of doing well in school to get their child ready for kindergarten.” Reading stories that resonate with a child’s emotions about starting school may also help. Running Press Kids’ PAJANIMALS board book with stickers, like It’s Apollo’s Special Day (SRP: $7.95) and Sweet Pea Sue Makes a New Friend (SRP: 7.95) may create positive anticipation for the first day of Kindergarten, helping to alleviate a child’s anxiety. Other stories, like board book Sweet Pea Sue Misses Mom & Dad (SRP: $6.95) or paperbacks like Apollo Has a Bad Day (SRP $4.95) or Squacky is Afraid of the Dark (SRP: $4.95), are wonderful ways to initiate discussions with kids about expectations and fears regarding their new classroom environment. The new books from Running Press Kids are available on August 16th, everywhere books are sold! And a new holiday title, Squacky and the Gift of Christmas (SRP: $7.95) will be available on September 24th. Children will enjoy cuddling up with an all-new Pajanimal Pal from TOMY (SRP: $12.99, Amazon.com and Walmart.com) while they practice reading one of the new PAJANIMALS books. Toddlers won’t be able to put this blankie down with the super soft satin on one side and cuddly fleece on the other. Available in each of the characters from the show with their matching pajama prints. The Jim Henson Company and Running Press Kids have teamed up to provide a copy of the new Pajanimals’ board and sticker book, Sweet Pea Sue Makes a New Friend, for your REVIEW and GIVEAWAY to help your readers Get Caught Reading, too. Additionally, TOMY is offering you a sneak peak at the new Pajanimal Pal toy available for the first time this fall and holiday! Please let me know if you would like to participate in the review or giveaway or both of the PAJANIMALS Sweet Pea Sue Makes a New Friend book and would like a sneak peak at the new Pajanimal Pal. If interested, please send me your address. For the book giveaway, we will mail the prize directly to your winner. For U.S. and Canada participants only. In Sweet Pea Sue Makes a New Friend, Sweet Pea Sue can’t sleep because she’s scared of a picture of an octopus she saw in a book. When the Pajanimals go to the Big, Blue Sea, they meet Ellie, a real octopus. To Sweet Pea Sue’s surprise, Ellie is scared of the Pajanimals. The two realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of because they just want to be friends. PAJANIMALS currently airs daily on Sprout, the 24-hour preschool channel parents and kids share together and also airs on Saturday mornings on NBC Kids, The PAJANIMALS series follows the adventures of four cuddly musical puppets — Sweet Pea Sue, Squacky, Cowbella and Apollo. Their journeys celebrate imagination and tackle typical toddler issues such as the fear of the first day of school, making new friends and learning how to share. The PAJANIMALS end their day of play with a relaxing return to their cozy bedroom and familiar night time routines, including bathing, brushing teeth and story time, to develop a feeling of safety and structure. PAJANIMALS fans can also visit the www.sproutonline.com website to participate in the various PAJANIMALS’ activities and play the latest PAJANIMALS’ games online. ABOUT THE NEW BOOKS FROM RUNNING PRESS: PAPERBACK BOOKS (8×8): Apollo Has a Bad Day (SRP: $4.95) When he is feeling too angry and sad to sleep, he and the Pajanimals travel to The Night Sky. The moon reminds Apollo that though there are bad days, tomorrow is always a brand new day. Squacky is Afraid of the Dark (SRP: $4.95) Squacky is afraid to go to sleep in the dark. Luckily the rest of the Pajanimals know just what to do! They travel to The Night Sky where the moon reminds Squacky that he is always shining bright in the sky and watching over the Pajanimals. BOARD BOOKS (6×6): Sweet Pea Sue Misses Mom & Dad (SRP: $6.95) Sweet Pea Sue can’t sleep because she wants to be in Mom and Dad’s bed. When the Pajanimals travel to The Night Sky, she remembers that Mom and Dad are always close by if she needs them, and that the moon is there watching over them. Cowbella & the Bad Dream (SRP: $6.95) Cowbella is afraid she’s going to have a bad dream and doesn’t want to go to sleep. The Pajanimals travel to the Friendly Forest where Jerry the bear assures Cowbella that if her imagination can think up scary thoughts, it can also make happy thoughts! So she learns to only think of happy things before she goes to sleep. BOARD BOOKS WITH STICKERS (7×71Ž2): It’s Apollo’s Special Day (SRP: $7.95) Tomorrow is Apollo’s Birthday and the Pajanimals are excited to celebrate—all except for Cowbella. She wishes that it was her Birthday so she can get all the cake and presents. But when they visit Mr. Happy Birthday at Birthday Land, Cowbella discovers that the fun part about a Birthday party is spending time with the ones you love. Sweet Pea Sue Makes a New Friend (SRP: 7.95) Sweet Pea Sue can’t sleep because she’s scared of a picture of an octopus she saw in a book. When the Pajanimals go to the Big, Blue Sea, they meet Ellie, a real octopus. To Sweet Pea Sue’s surprise, Ellie is scared of the Pajanimals. The two realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of because they just want to be friends. Squacky and the Gift of Christmas (SRP: $7.95) The Pajanimals are excited that Christmas is coming! Squacky really hopes he gets the new Fantastic Splash Super Sub, but then becomes worried that Santa won’t bring it. The Pajanimals travel to The Night Sky where the moon reminds Squacky that Christmas isn’t about the presents you get, it’s about spending time with the ones you love and sharing Christmas traditions together. Be sure to check out all of the websites below. Pajanimals Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Pajanimals The Jim Henson Company Facebook: www.facebook.com/hensoncompany Twitter: @hensonparents Running Press Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RunningPressKids Twitter: https://twitter.com/RP_Kids Sprout Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sprout Twitter: @SproutTV Get Caught Reading Website: http://www.getcaughtreading.org/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WhatAreYouReading Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReadingWithAAP The Jim Henson Company is offering a Pajanimals Sweet Pea Sue Makes a New Friend Board & Sticker Book to be given away to one of my lucky readers, just enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below. Good luck!