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A Drawing Program That’s Different – Perfect for Young Budding Artists with a Curiosity

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A Drawing Program That’s Different – Perfect for Young Budding Artists with a Curiosity

Every once in a while a “how-to” DVD comes along that stands out among the others. I don’t usually talk about these but this one deserves my attention. This show, Drawing with Mark, is hosted by former Disney illustrator, Mark Marderosian.  What’s different is that the host takes you on a field trip first – to the science, for example to observe first-hand prehistoric animals and visit with the museum’s expert who teaches us about life in the time of dinosaurs. There are two DVDs in the series and each one contains two separate episodes. My youth critics reviewed it and loved it.



Below are written reviews by Stacy and Valdi Belizaire, two sisters, both KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 10 and 11.

“Drawing with Mark: A Day With The Dinosaurs and Reach For The Stars”

Reviewed by Stacy-Love Belizaire

“Drawing with Mark” is a great show to learn tips about how to draw and/or improve your drawing. Mark is really helpful and easy to understand. In “A Day with the Dinosaurs” I learned how to draw a pterodactyl and a T-rex. Mark visits the Museum of Boston and speaks with an expert to learn more about them and to get an idea of how the dinosaurs lived, what they ate and how long they lived. I learned that sometimes they call dinosaurs very large lizards.

In the other episode, “Reach for the Stars,” I learned how to draw an astronaut and the planet Saturn, the planet with the rings around it. At the Museum of Boston, he speaks with another expert about the stars, the galaxy, the astronauts and of course, Saturn. I also learned how far we are from the stars. I thought that the stars were probably about 270 miles from us, but they are actually millions of miles from us. That’s really far! You can see the stars look kind of close, but they are so far away!!

Mark taught me that a drawing takes time and you don’t need to rush. Always draw the stick figure, the foundation, before you start adding details and other special little things. You need to draw the outline and just sketch it, don’t hold your pencil too hard; sketch lightly and softly.

I recommend this show to anyone who loves to draw and wants to improve their drawing. You can have fun with the tips he gives you which may lead you to become and artist or to illustrate books. I give the show 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it to all ages because, it’s never too late to learn to draw. “Drawing with Mark” is a really fun, artistic and colorful program that will be open a new world to future artists around the world.

 “Drawing With Mark: Happy Tails and Ice Cream”  

Reviewed by Valdi Belizaire   

If you love drawing like me, then you’ll love “Drawing with Mark.” This show teaches kids how to draw while also teaching them their shapes and some history about the things they draw.  Kids also learn three or four fun facts about what they are drawing.                                                         

The “Happy Tails” part of this show is about cats and dogs and how to draw them.  He also talks about how much responsibility it is to have a dog. You have to groom it, take care of it, bring it to the vet and feed it. In the “Ice Cream” episode, Mark goes to the ice cream shop and learns about children’s favorite ice cream flavors and you’ll never guess – it’s cake batter flavor! When I heard this I thought that it was funny because I would never think that they would make a cake batter flavored ice cream.

I like that this show helped me be a better artist and I learned how to draw a dog and a cat better than I already did. I also learned how to draw an ice cream truck and a man holding an ice cream cone. I love watching this because I learned a lot and it made me understand the fundamentals of drawing. I also like that they included a live-action human with animated characters. I also like it when they went into the ice cream shop and saw Crystal Cat in the toppings section. It was funny because they were talking about all of the toppings that the kids pick every time they come in and Crystal Cat was right there so they started laughing. There is no underlying message in this story, because it’s about drawing except maybe that no matter how old you are, you can draw big things.

 I recommend this show to anyone that loves to draw to express their feelings, or to just have fun. I recommend this for people ages six and older because anyone can draw if they want to. I would give this DVD four out of five because overall I liked it but I wish that it had more music.

 Here’s a link to a video review by Cheyenne N. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSvtGZ6aHlU

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps. 





Truffle Salt and Panko Crusted Pork Chops

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Truffle Salt and Panko Crusted Pork Chops

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]12 year old Kid Chef Eliana, host of the show ‘Cool Kids Cook‘ on the VoiceAmerica Kids Channel,  grew up in a family of cooks. With grandparents from Cajun Louisiana, the Philippines, Cuba, and Honduras, Eliana’s recipes have international flair. She loves traveling and spending time in the kitchen with her family. Eliana says, “Cooking is so much fun. You can be creative and invent new recipes.” Eliana’s first cookbook, “Eliana Cooks! Recipes for Creative Kids” was released in October 2010. She is awaiting the publication of her second cookbook, “Cool Kids Cook: Louisiana.”

At ten years old, Kid Chef Eliana was chosen as one of 13 Latinos profiled in a museum exhibit at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. She is featured in a book called The Parents’ Guide to Raising CEO Kids by Dr. Jerry Cook and Sarah L. Cook. She has been a guest chef on Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV in New Orleans and has cooked with Celebrity Chef John Besh. She was a featured chef at the New Orleans Seafood Festival and the Louisiana Book Festival. She does numerous media appearances, cooking demonstrations, and book signings.

In the future, Eliana plans to design cookware for kids, create a line of spices, and host her own TV cooking show. She also wants to teach kids that good food is more than chicken nuggets and French fries. Her motto is, “Cool kids cook and get creative in the kitchen!”

Summer Stress for Teens BY HANNAH Li

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Summer Stress for Teens BY HANNAH Li

teen-girl stressed, voiceamerica

It seems just yesterday that we flaunted our new backpacks and bright eyes on the first day of school, but the reality is that summer is just around the corner. “Be excited! You can finally take a break from school and relax” says Mom; but little does she know, June breezes also blow in a warm dose of anxiety, as a cycle of summer stress settles in the pits of our stomachs. For incoming seniors it’s the ominous stack of college apps, but even the incoming freshmen understand the double-edged-sword of the three-month vacation: summer isn’t just daily tanning and trips to the beach, summer equals stress. 

We all acknowledge that this is an era of competition: an era when college isn’t just application and acceptance, but a grueling four years of five-days-a-week and seven-hours-a-day. We acknowledge that in order to get our hands on the glowing acceptance letter we must back ache and back break our way through all-night study sessions and endless stacks of flashcards. We acknowledge all of this with the glimmer of hope that summer brings a much needed exhale and a prolonged time-out. But maybe not…

An incoming freshman, Jordan L. from Joaquin Moraga comments on his prospective summer: “No camp. I’m starting community service. And then my dad wants me to take an online math course. I’m not that excited for summer this year.” Little does he know, his freshman summer is just the lesser of three evils; sophomore and junior year bring their own heightened problems:

“I don’t even remember what summer is. This year I have to tutor, be tutored, go to a college counselor, intern in Oakland, and then somehow catch up on my thousands of hours of sleep deprivation. I’ll probably just give up on that.” Meg S., a current junior at Miramonte muses over her cynical reality. 

Regardless of year, the reality is apparent: summer is now a three-month gap to fill with work. Whether it be internships, college counselors, or online courses, Lamorinda teens aren’t letting any precious time slip from their hands. It’s only a matter of time until the elementary school kids will be enrolling in SAT classes. 


Hannah Li runs track and tutors. In her free time she enjoys photography, blogging, and writing. She is the fashion reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio. 

As the editor and teen coach for Teen Scene for the newspaper, Cynthia Brian has had the opportunity to work with talented teens with attitude and opinions. She shares selected published works. To read numerous articles shepherded by Cynthia, visit www.BTSYA.com. Cynthia Brian also produces Express Yourself!™ on Voice America Kids Network heard Tuesdays NOON PT at  or for photos, descriptions, links, and more visit Express Yourself Teen Radio!

Read at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0707/Summer-Stress.html


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