Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

The Survival Skills Handbook is the must-have survival guide for all young explorers. This practical field guide is full of information about the essential skills needed for outdoor activities, with step-by-step instructions, tips and level-headed advice from Bear, plus cool facts and incredible illustrations. Don’t leave home without it!

Author Bear Grylls

Volumes One and Two

Flexbound, 192 pages

Great books!! Recommended ages are 8-13 but I think many adults would appreciate them also. They are 5½ by 7½; a good size to take in a backpack/ bag. Each book is divided into four sections. The pages are glossy which make them easy to turn. Clear color illustrations are all throughout the book and go hand in hand with the information.

A great resource and good gift idea. Highly recommend 🥾

 

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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Title: Wild Nights Out: The Magic of Exploring the Outdoors After Dark, Author: Chris Salisbury

paperback, 192 pages

The Magic of Exploring the Outdoors After Dark

Learn how to call for owls, walk like a fox and expand your sensory perceptions. Wild Nights Out is a wonderful new hands-on guide for those who wish to take kids (of all ages) outdoors for fun, thrilling nighttime nature adventures.

The cover did look good but I found this book a disappointment. I was expecting a book on nature at night in the way of facts, information, and stories to said subject. Didn’t happen. The 192 pages were uninteresting. Many suggested games needed participants as would a group or class. There was mythology galore in Chapter 5, Learning the Night Sky, and I don’t care to know about this tradition/ belief.

The book’s description states that there are black-and-white illustrations throughout; however, there is a one page illustration before each chapter making only 7 illustration in the entire book.

This title aside, I would still be interested in the many titles offered by Chelsea Green Publishing. “Since 1984, Chelsea Green has been the leading publisher of books about organic farming, gardening, homesteading, integrative health, natural building, sustainable living, socially responsible business, and more. Now employee-owned.”

Chelsea Green Publishing provided a copy of Wild Nights Out 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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Introduce your little one to the little wonders that happen all throughout nature! Choose either Build It, Grow, Hatch, or Wake Up. Holes cut out of each page turn each event into a fascinating transformation to experience!

Hardcover, recycled material, ages 2-4

Cute little story for a young reader. Introduces the dormouse, polar bear, lemur, and tortoise. Recycled board book needs to be kept dry. 

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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Play the Ukulele: Melodies, Chords, and Progressions

Paperback 160 pages

2020

“SECTION 1 briefly goes over some of the basics of how to tune the ukulele, how to read tablature, and so on.SECTION 2 is made of common melodies such as Jingle Bells, Ode to Joy, and so on.SECTION 3 introduces melodies from the Classical repertoire.SECTION 4 is all about chords, strumming finger-picking, and progressions used in pop, rock, blues, country, and jazz.SECTION 5 goes deeper into Classical repertoire and includes two arrangements of each piece of music — a single-note melody, and a much more challenging chord-melody arrangement.”

I like that the book has clear print and that the material/music utilizes the entire page. That makes it easy to look at and use while playing. It is not a stand alone curriculum (what is) but certainly a terrific resource to use with other books. It is a skill builder for beginner and intermediate ukulele players. The author, Robert Anthony, has many music books available on Amazon.

Robert Anthony 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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uke

“What every beginner needs to know to get up and playing as soon as possible, plus somewhere to go after that.  Learn how to tune your uke and to strum some simple chords from our favorite Chord Families: C, G, F, D and A. Plenty of familiar song examples, as well as referrals to classic songs on You Tube.  Once you’ve exhausted all the play-along songbooks and web sites that are available, this book will lead you into the realm of Comprehension. There is fingerpicking (including Travis-picking), Twelve Bar blues, cool chords around the neck, some useful scales and an explanation of the Minor Keys. There’s no need to read music, and there is just enough music theory to help make you a better player, including the demystification of the Circle of Fifths.”

spiral bound, 100 pages

Ukulele From Scratch is a handy resource. The information is presented in a conversational style and in user friendly segments. It isn’t a stand alone curriculum but the material is valuable for beginner players. I love clearly explained music theory!

One downside for me is that the book uses only tablature. I like having tabs with standard music notation and wish the author had put that into this book. I think it helps the learning process to see the musical relationship between the notes that make up the music.

This book and others are available at the Skeptical Guitarist website (and Amazon).

Pop Superstar Bruce Emery

Bruce Emery (see above image ) 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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“Anatomy and art combine in this incredibly detailed manga drawing guide that offers an in-depth look at the human body.”

Tuttle Publishing 

Paperback, 176 pages

over 1,500 illustrations


There are four How to Create Manga drawing books in this series from Tuttle Publishing. Drawing the Human Body, Drawing Clothes and Accessories, Drawing Facial Expressions, and Drawing Action Scenes and Characters.

All the books have lots of illustrations with text offering plenty of tips and helpful suggestions. These drawing guides are suitable for artists ages 6 up.  They contain common manga themes so I would venture to say they are appropriate for most people. I however tend to steer away from the super hero content so there is a lot in the books that I do not have any interest in. The books contain only people, there are no animals. A talented 2nd grade artist and myself reviewed these titles. It is our first look at manga so we don’t have a comparison; as a drawing guide it is neatly presented. Drawing the Human Body and Drawing Clothes and Accessories were our favorites and we will be drawing up some cute manga people and scenes.

Tuttle Publishing provided the How To Create Manga 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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Picture

 

When Bear and Hare try to reach some juicy pears, they realise they need some help. Hare finds three chairs but is it fair that Hare has two chairs and Bear only one? When they have the same, Hare still can’t reach the pears! So a little friend teaches them that fair isn’t always everyone getting the same thing….with hilarious results! A beautifully simple picture book that considers, what is fair? The answer is not always as simple as you’d think!

Picture Book, Ages 4+, Hardcover,  32 pages.

My 1st grade reader liked this story but the story and illustrations didn’t hold my interest. A recommended picture book if you are looking for an answer to “what is fair”. 

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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Les Productions d'OZ

Music publishing house founded in 1986 by Sylvain Lemay, Les Productions d’OZ has quickly established itself as a leader in classical guitar music publishing, both for solo instrument and in ensemble music settings.

Les Productions d’Oz has published nine ukulele books by composer Samantha Muir. I’ll share a few things about two of them.

12 Progressive Studies for Ukulele

The Twelve Progressive Studies book has 24 pages and is suggested as an easy to intermediate level. I would recommend some previous ukulele background for this and for any of her books. The books contain original pieces for the ukulele in both tab and notation. 

The Classical Ukulele Method book is the largest of her ukulele books with 60 pages. It is suitable for self learning and would be good for use as part of an educational curriculum. I would suggest pairing it with something like the Hal Leonard method book. As an FYI, in this book Ms Muir uses a different approach to fingering notation (PIMA) then I am use to. She alternates fingers on strings and she doesn’t use A, just PIM. I don’t care for this technique and I like to stick playing with the P for string 4, I for 3, M for 2 and A for 1. I have been use to the ukulele playing style of James Hill and Daniel Ward. 

All nine books have similar covers which I think are artistically pleasing.

The Classical Ukulele Method

Les Productions d’Oz provided Samantha Muir’s ukulele 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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Picture

One little boy who loved the idea of flying became the first person to set foot on the moon.

On 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong made history, his ‘giant leap for mankind’. From his childhood playing with model planes to becoming one of the most famous astronauts of all time, discover the incredible story of Neil Armstrong’s life in this beautifully illustrated book, complete with narrative biography, facts and timelines.

June 2019, paperback, 128 pages, recommended for ages 7-12

This is one of the books in a new series for young readers. There are different books for other notable people. This is an easy to read narrative with facts and illustrations for a young reader. We enjoyed this title.

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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Ronan was a mighty barbarian.
He invaded. He raided. And back home, he traded.
He always found the greatest treasures.
Until one day, Conan found something no barbarian wants:
A BOOK.

“This humorous picture book from sister duo Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie and illustrator Victoria Maderna follows Ronan the Barbarian as he he grows from being just a rough-and-tumble warrior to a rough-and-tumble warrior who loves books.

At first, his fellow barbarians are skeptical of his newfound passion for reading, but in the end, even they aren’t immune to the charms of a good book.”

Tara Luebbe (Author)
Becky Cattie (Author)
Victoria Maderna (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 40 pages, Roaring Brook Press (April 21, 2020)
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GREAT book~ Ronan The Librarian is entertaining and humorous. It also gives a positive message on reading. Reading is suppose to be fun and this is the story for that.The illustrations have plenty of details that make this viking story interesting. Rereads will still have things to discover!  Great for the classroom. 
Tara Luebbe 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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