Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

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Combining mystery, adventure and friendship with a sumptuous Edwardian setting, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow is an absolute joy of a book, transporting the reader to a world of heady glamour offset by a murky criminal underground. It’s Nancy Drew with a PBS twist, and readers of all ages will adore the cast of exceptionally likeable characters.

Paperback, 336 pages, Age 10-14 years

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Once again our heroines, Sophie and Lil are on the case, donning cunning disguises and mingling in high society, leading them straight to London’s most dangerous criminal mastermind.

Paperback, 352 pages.

Immensely enjoyable. This is a great series for young teens. And I think some adults would enjoy it like I am. It has a good story, characters, and an interesting plot. Reading the first chapter of Clockwork Sparrow briefly reminded me of the PBS Masterpiece series Mr. Selfridge. I recommend these stories for a home school book list. 

Order online at Kane Miller Publishing shopping site usborne books and more

Kane Miller EDC Publishing provided these books to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Inspired by the trend of “open when” letters sweeping the nation, Instant Happy author Karen Salmansohn has created a bound collection of 12 notes for readers to flip open whenever they need a pep talk. With categories like “Open when you need a laugh,” “Open when you’re feeling stressed out,” and “Open when you need courage,” these little happiness-boosters are based on Salmansohn’s viral posters that combine witty sayings with colorful graphics.

Hardcover, 24 pages, 7.4 x 0.5 x 4.2 inches

Keep um’ closed. The little letters in this book could have been written by a grade school student. (“I’m the happiness kitten. I’ve sprinkled happiness dust on you”) It references Buddhism and karma, so probably not a Christian read. And it also has one not so endearing thought (like thinking someone is an idiot).

Not recommended.

The Blogging For Books book review program provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

 

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In glorious onomatopoeia, Tim McCanna takes the reader on a dazzling journey as a fox seeks shelter from a rainstorm.

Drip
Drop
Plip
Plop
Pitter
Patter
Pat.

As the rain begins, a little fox seeks shelter. But then it builds and builds into to a torrential storm.

Wash! Wham!
Lash! Whirl!
Bash! Swirl!
Hiss! Slap! Slam!

Both a visual feast and a joy to read aloud, this stunning picture book showcases the power and beauty of nature.

Hardcover, 32 pages

Super terrific illustrations! The text is limited to single words as readers follow a fox during a rain storm. Enjoyable to read over and over; this book is a keeper 🙂

The last page is an informative page about water. A good resource for the classroom.

This book was provided by Tim McCanna (thank you for the autographed copy) to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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ABC See, Hear, Do: Learn to Read 55 Words teaches letter sounds and early reading skills. This exciting new method of teaching reading combines visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles to help increase phonemic awareness. The combination of fun animal pictures with hand motions helps young children easily remember each letter sound. After learning only four letter sounds, your child will start blending words together. It is simple and effective. Best for ages 2-6.

A fun way to learn the sounds the letters make. Love the cover of this book. Recommended by me and my just turned three reviewer. Available on Amazon. Paperback, 44 pages.

http://www.stefaniehohl.com/

Stefanie Hohl, M.Ed. has been teaching children to read for years. Through her experience teaching preschool, homeschooling, and running storytime at a local bookstore, Stefanie has developed this simple Learn-to-Read picture book. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and five children. 

This book was provided by Stephanie Hohl to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

 

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Lift the lid on eight animal habitats to see the extraordinary natural stories that happen above and below the surface. From the rainforest to the ocean and the macro to the micro, lift the flap to explore the fascinating relationships occurring in each of the world’s ecosystems.

Hardcover, 22 pages, 8.5 in W | 12 in H

Kane Miller Books specializes in award-winning children’s books from around the world.

Wonderful book. A great home school resource and a good book for nature lovers. Each habitat presented covers both pages and includes a half page flap for a different viewpoint. The habitats in the book are the following: the ocean, the rainforest, the North Pole, the river, mountain caves, the savannah, the clifftop, and the forest. Fun spotting the animals described in their habitats. Good for little and big kids. The illustrations and flap page makes it a fun way to learn. 

Kane Miller EDC Publishing provided this book to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

 

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Flying Frogs and Walking Fish: Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toads, Jet-Propelled Jellyfish, and More Surprising Ways That Animals Move

A red-lipped batfish waddles across the sea floor on its fins, searching for small sea creatures to eat. Other animals may fly or glide, or jet-propel themselves to get around. These creatures come equipped with legs, wings, or tentacles, and they often move from place to place in surprising ways. In the latest eye-catching escape into the kingdom of Animalia, Caldecott Honor-winning team Jenkins and Page show how animals roll, fly, walk, leap, climb, swim and even flip! This fascinating and fun illustrated nonfiction melds science, art, biology, and the environment together in a detailed and well-researched book about how animals move in our world today.

hardcover, 40 pages, nonfiction

Lively book on ways certain creatures move. The book contained more “creatures” than what I would call animals. The list of these critters include fish, reptiles, insects, echinoderm, cephalopods, mollusks, and even larva. The illustrations are artful and fun for preschoolers. But here again, my little reader is looking at things like larva? We would have liked this book to have included more classic animals. But that’s just our opinion. 

A two page reference spread at the end of the book contains more information on the animal like their habitat, size, and general description. This nonfiction picture book could also be good for a research project as well as science and creative writing topic starters. 

This book provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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We all have choices to make every day, even the youngest children. The choices we make play a large part in forming who we grow to be as adults. For kids, those choices can include whether to be obedient or disobedient, to share or be selfish, to have a good attitude or not, and more. John Ortberg addresses the ability to choose in a whimsical way by inviting children to use their “magnificent chooser” that God gave them to make right choices daily. Parents will love reading this book to their kids, and kids will enjoy the content while learning lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives.

recommended age 3-6

hardcover 40 pages

My opinion:  The “chooser” idea doesn’t sit well with me. (I am not comfortable with this idea) I also don’t like the illustrations that shows “choosers” being represented as a furry balloon, bubble kind of critter. The writing is reminiscent of the Dr Seuss style of rhyming. I would enjoy a child’s picture book that address free will/ choice making with more emphasis on the importance of making good choices and the consequences of bad ones minus an actual “chooser” which there is not.

Confusing review? Well, that’s an appropriate word to describe this book. Confusing. Not recommended.

 

Tyndale House Publishers provided an advanced reader copy of All is Bright in return for this review. All opinions are entirely my own. No other compensation was received.

 

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