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The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide is coming...

I sincerely hope you enjoyed my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide here on The Rock Father! Believe it or not, preparations for the 2014 Holiday Gift Guide are already underway. Do you represent something that my readers should know about? Click here for details on how to submit your item for possible inclusion, today!

THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.
James Zahn

James Zahn

About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™. 

Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.

He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.

Website URL: http://www.facebook.com/therockfather

Local: WTTW Readers are Leaders Tour returns to Gurnee Mills with MISS LORI and ARTHUR...

Gurnee MillsFor my local friends in Lake County, Illinois - mark your calendars, because the WTTW Readers are Leaders Tour is returning to Gurnee Mills. On Saturday, September 6, kids and grownups alike can spend the morning singing, dancing and enjoying story time with a live performance from Miss Lori's CAMPUS and a special appearance by ARTHUR. This FREE event starts at 10:30am at the Lake County Food Court in the Macy's full-priced wing. The first 200 children in attendance will receive a free children’s book.

Giveaway: Win a WILD KRATTS Toys Prize Pack!

PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)Animal and adventure-loving kids that are fans of WILD KRATTS on PBS KIDS can now bring the fun home like never before with an all-new line of toys from Wicked Cool. Available online from the Wild Kratts Shop and in-stores at Toys "R" Us, the Wild Kratts collection features action figures, plush and more, and to kick things off, the Kratt Brothers, Wicked Cool Toys and THE ROCK FATHER are going to get one lucky reader set up with a WILD KRATTS PRIZE PACK including a Wild Kratts 4PK Figure Set, one Wild Kratts Wildlife Plush and the Wild Kratts book, “Wild Sea Creatures: Sharks, Whales and Dolphins!” from Random House. Check out the details and enter for your chance below!

SLAYER.

SLAYER. The photo above arrived in my inbox this evening in a message devoid of any text aside from the subject line of "Slayer" and a link to a Facebook post containing the hashtag #SlayerAlbum15. The photo of Kerry King in the studio was taken by Andrew Stuart, confirming that the latest incarnation of the band - Tom Araya vocals/bass, guitarist Kerry King, drummer Paul Bostaph, and guitarist Gary Holt - is working on their first album for Nuclear Blast Records.

Giveaway: Win the Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine Toddler Bed!

THE ROCK FATHER is a Step2 Brand AmbassadorAs part of my gig as Step2 Brand Ambassador, I recently took a trip to Step2 HQ in Ohio to take a peek at some of the latest toys and accessories that are at or headed to retail very soon (more on that shortly). In fact, my kids and I get to check out a lot of great new toys from Step2 (here's the latest) and while we won't be bringing this one home, I know a lot of families our there with a little conductor that would just love to ride the rails of the Isle of Sodor in their dreams with a Step2 Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™ . My friends and fellow Step2 Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy and Viva Veltoro have teamed-up to host a giveaway for the Thomas the Tank Engine™ Toddler Bed™, and now THE ROCK FATHER is in on the action, sharing your chance to win one of these cool beds below! 

Review: LITE-BRITE Gets an Upgrade for 2014 with the Magic Screen...

About a year ago, my girls got their first LITE-BRITE, which on the surface, I would've called "an upgrade" from the classic toy that Hasbro has been marketing in one form or another since 1967, if only because it borrowed styling from the iPad and called itself the "Lite-Brite LED Flatscreen." Thing is, while the nostalgia factor was certainly there, the version was clumsy, not as bright as it's old-school counterpart (remember the, big hot light bulb inside?), and the pegs were meant to fit within a flip-open storage tray at the bottom of the unit... one that didn't really fit all the included pegs, and to be stored in it's box, had to be folded flat - thus dumping the pegs. There were design issues (Amazon reviews have not been kind), but at it's core was the peg fun that generations have enjoyed, complete with black paper designs that were essentially use-once-then-toss, but as in the past - we kept them and made them work more than once. Fast-forward a year and the Lite-Brite has received a true upgrade, and what it appears to have taken is some fresh eyes on the project, these courtesy of Basic Fun, who have licensed the Lite-Brite brand from Hasbro and have run with it, sending us for review their first incarnation - The LITE-BRITE MAGIC SCREEN.

LANA DEL REY gets Lullabied by Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star...

Fans of LANA DEL REY have three new ways to experience her music this week, as the crew at Roma Music Group have just released a trio of new tributes to the talked-about songstress, starting with LULLABY VERSIONS OF LANA DEL REY (Amazon | iTunes) as part of their popular TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE ROCK STAR series of baby-friendly nursery jams based on 14 of Lana's biggest hits and fan favorites. Check out "Summertime Sadness" and the full tracklisting below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER.

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