Thursday, February 1, 2018

Review: Bible Answers for Parents of Curious Kids 101 Kid-Friendly Q&As by Ed Strauss


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
“Mom, how big is God?
“Dad, why do people get old and die?”

Kids have questions—important questions. And they expect their parents to have all the answers. But what do you do when your children come at you with those head-scratchers that are sometimes hard even for adults to understand?

Bible Answers for Parents of Curious Kids is a fantastic resource for moms and dads of 5- to 8-year olds. This book includes 101 questions and answers written for parents, giving you the tools you need to engage your children in kid-friendly, faith-building conversations.

Other questions and answers include:How could Jesus walk on water?Why do we pray if God already knows everything?Does God have a mom and a dad?What will people do in heaven?How did so many animals fit on Noah’s Ark?How could a fish be big enough to swallow Jonah?Why did God make germs? Every answer is backed up with scripture and includes questions for further discussion, making this little book perfect for families with curious young minds!
MY TAKE:
The summary of this intrigued me. Sometimes, kids ask questions that are hard to answer, and I thought this would be an interesting and useful read.

The book is pretty straightforward. There's one page of introduction, before it goes straight to the questions, which are the headings, and each question gets 1-2 pages of answers, which are all simple, easy-to-understand explanations. The answers also include quotations from the Bible and include the specific books and numbers.

I liked that after each answer, there are follow-up questions you can ask your child to keep the discussion going. It could lead to some very interesting conversations. Plus, this is one of those books which you can either read in one sitting or just when a particular question comes up.

Some questions in the book are:
Did God have a mom and a dad?
What does God look like?
Why did Jesus pick Judas to be his disciple?
Why did God make germs?
Why doesn't God answer all my prayers?
Do I have to forgive everyone who hurts me?

Some of the questions, like Why did Jacob trick Isaac and Why Joseph's brothers sold him as a slave, I was already familiar with the answer before reading the book.

I actually learned quite a few things from this book, such as that God once made an iron axe head float (2 Kings 6:1-7) and that the Bible may have talked about dinosaurs (Psalm 104:26).

There are some questions, though, like How Could Jesus Walk on Water? wherein the answers aren't as definitive.

I would also have loved it if there had been some illustrations, even just small ones.

The book was good overall. However, I'm Catholic and love learning about other religions, and I saw a statement or two that I didn't agree with, such as Jesus being the only way to heaven. Also, in the answer to the question about reincarnation, there is mention of Hinduism and how millions of Hindus have become unhappy with their religion and have converted to Christianity. I don't know how accurate this is, but the inclusion of the statement about their conversion and how they once believed in reincarnation and now they don't so why should you believe it, made me a little uneasy. Maybe it was the way it was phrased?

Perhaps, I'm just not the target audience for this book, but if the other things I said about the book are to your liking, you should consider giving the book a try.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
But what if you're a tiger cub, and that ferocious Siberian tiger is your dad? Well now, that changes everything. And you have that kind of relationship with God.
RATING:

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: The Last Time I'll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

The Last Time I’ll Write About You is popular Filipino YA and romance writer Dawn Lanuza’s debut collection of poetry. Featuring beautiful, relatable poems about first love, this book is the perfect companion for anyone who has loved, lost, and emerged anew.
MY TAKE: 
I'm a #romanceclass fan, so Dawn Lanuza is not a new author to me. I've also seen screenshots of some of the poems in this book from other #romanceclass readers who purchased the back when it was first published. I was very intrigued then but I had a long TBR list already.

A couple or so weeks after deciding to blog again, I got a pleasant surprise when I saw this on NetGalley and I knew I had to get it right away. 

The book is divided into several sections: THE FIRST, THE PULL, THE KISS, THE TALK, THE HURT, and THE LAST. The poems vary in length and rhyming pattern, with a lot of the poems not containing rhymes.

The poems in this book are very relatable. Some of the poems brought back memories for me, although of course I'm so far removed from those memories already that they don't hurt anymore and there's just this strange sort of nostalgia left. Sort of like what was described at the end of ACCEPTANCE.

I had a really hard time choosing a favorite quote for this book. I also loved the questions in THE HURT section. Usually with poetry books, I'd have maybe 3 or so poems I really liked. Here I had 9: TRUTH, HH, HABITS, THE WORST SLEEPOVER, UNASKED QUESTION, RESUSCITATE, LESSON, EPILOGUE, and PS. Not all of the poems worked for me, but quite a number did which is saying something since I can be hard to please.
.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S: 
You keep coming back to him
To convince yourself that
You still feel,
You still hurt,
Your heart still works.
But that's not love,
Don't hang on to that.

RATING:
 
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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Review: Caillou: Happy Holidays! by Marilyn Pleau-Murissi


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Caillou’s Daddy helps him be patient until Christmas with a special Advent calendar that counts down the days left before Christmas. Each day Caillou gets to open a window on the calendar and discover a story about holiday customs around the world. Caillou finds out about the first Christmas tree and about the man who became known as St. Nick. He also takes part in his own family traditions, and learns about giving and sharing along the way. A book that celebrates the festivities, traditions and meaning of Caillou’s favorite holiday!  ++HARDCOVER EDITION WITH FOIL++
MY TAKE:
I meant to read this with my child during the holidays but we got busy and only got around to it recently.

I liked the book's concept. Caillou's dad gives him an Advent calendar and each window has a Christmas story or information about Christmas traditions in other countries. It's really a good holiday read, especially if you and your children love all things Christmas-related.

I already knew some of the things mentioned in the book, but I did learn a few things from the book. For example, I didn't know that in Puerto Rico, children leave vegetables under their bed for the three kings' camels.

The illustrations are very colorful and cute. My only quibble with this book is that there is no mention of stories, traditions or customs from Asia; aside from Turkey which is in Eurasia. This makes me a little bit sad, especially since my country has one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world and Christmas is always a huge celebration here. I didn't really go into this expecting to see my country but it would have been nice to be included.

MY SON'S REACTION:
The book is a little too advanced for my son, who is still just learning to read, so I read the book to him. The book was a little long for him and his attention started to wander about halfway through the book.

I wondered if it could work to read the book over the course of 12 days, just like Caillou did, but that may get too confusing and some of the entries were too short and were combined (5-3 are about traditions around the world).

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
In Spain they eat fish called besugo, and they have a roasted duck in Norway. 
RATING:

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Review: Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Kids will have their imaginations captured by this beautiful, non-fiction picture book that looks at home from around the world. Home from Home celebrates the wide diversity of living quarters people around the world live in.
Find out who lives in a Brooklyn brownstone or a Tokyo apartment! What about a London townhouse, or a cabin in Reykjavik?
Up and coming talent Paula Blumen illustrates all of these great views of home. There’s never been a better time to remember the importance of home for everyone.

MY TAKE:
I really enjoyed this book. To be honest, I actually thought this would have minimal text and would be suited to my son who is just learning to read. It turns out, it's more suited to somewhere in between early readers and middle grade readers. However, the topics and the illustrations make this book work for kids of any age.

I love the concept of this book. I was surprised to find that there were a lot of places (17) included in the book. Some were in the US, Canada, and Mexico; several in Europe, and three in Asia. The houses were of different styles and sizes, and the places they were in ranged from cities to suburbs to small villages.

What makes this book unique is the voices in the narration belong to pets living in those areas. There are different pets too. While most are dogs and cats, some of the pets narrating included a tortoise and a bird.

I really liked the illustration style used in the book. The colors were very beautiful and vibrant as well. It makes every location feel like a place you would want to live in, or at least visit for a while.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
People don't have fur, though, so the roofs of the houses are covered in grass to keep them warm. 
RATING:

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: 365 Weird & Wonderful Science Experiments by Elizabeth Snoke Harris


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
This fact- and fun-filled book includes hundreds of simple, kid-tested science experiments. All of which can be done with items from around the house, and require little to no supervision!

Whether you're making your own slime, rockets, crystals, and hovercrafts or performing magic (science!) tricks and using science to become a secret agent, this book has something for every type of curious kid. Each experiment features safety precautions, materials needed, step-by-step instructions with illustrations, fun facts, and further explorations.

With this book, you will:
- Create a drinkable rainbow
- Make a bowling bowl float
- Capture a cloud
- Build furniture out of newspapers
- Blow bouncing bubbles that don’t burst
- Plus 360 other weird and wonderful experiments.

At once engaging, encouraging, and inspiring, 365 Weird & Wonderful Science Experiments is every budding scientists go-to, hands-on guide for learning the fundamentals of science and exploring the fascinating world around them.

MY TAKE:
I am always on the lookout for interesting science books, since my son has shown an inclination to science, and I would love to nurture that.

This book certainly fit the bill. The variety of experiments was very impressive to me. For example, there were your usual science experiments (rockets, etc.), then there were cooking experiments, outdoor experiments, and magic tricks. Seriously, there's something here for everyone. Sure, there are several experiments here that you've probable tried or at least seen before, but kids and adults, even those who are only a little bit interested in science, will still have a ton of fun with this book.

Why am I so confident? Because I spotted several cool experiments like making a lava lamp, creating different kinds of ink (hot invisible ink, glowing ink, etc.), and the tea bag rocket. My personal favorite, though, is the food scrap garden because I've been meaning to start a food garden for awhile now and seeing the process here makes it seem so easy to do.

Most of the experiments don't need a lot of items, and most are easy to find or which you probably already have at home. The steps are easy to follow, even if there's at most only two small illustrations for each experiment. For most of the experiments, there are also explanations and occasionally, there are "What If?" scenarios to get you thinking. The pages are also colorful, which is a huge plus for me.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
The water crawls up the tiny gaps in the fibers of the paper towel. This is the same method plants use to get water from their roots to the tips of their leaves.
RATING:

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Inside Out Human Body: Explore the World's Most Amazing Machine! by Luann Columbo


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
What do you think is the most amazing machine in the universe? A superconductor? The modern computer? A rocket ship? Think again: It’s the human body!
Astonishingly intricate and complex, your body grows, heals itself, and performs a mind-boggling number of complex functions all at the same time! Discover the amazing human body, system by system and layer by layer, in this fascinating book.
Inside Out: Human Body takes you on an incredible journey through the powerful muscular system, the "bone zone," the long and windy road of the digestive system, the blood-pumping circulatory system, the forty-seven-mile long nervous system, and beyond! A unique layered model of the human body serves as the center point of each section, revealing key body parts and functions, while entertaining and informative text explains how the body works.
Each section is fully illustrated with colorful diagrams and includes fun, interactive lessons for you to try yourself. You can learn how to take your own pulse, how to make your arms float, and even what the color of your urine means! Sometimes the most incredible wonders are right under our noses.


MY TAKE:
This is my favorite book in the series.

I already learned all the trivia in the book during college, but I still enjoyed reviewing it. There are really good analogies here that make it easier to understand concepts. I liked that aside from facts, there are try-this activities. It makes it easier for people to retain knowledge when they get to learn by doing.

The information in the book is a little advanced, so it's best for pre-teens and teens in junior high and high school. Younger kids can still appreciate the illustrations and diagrams, though.

I wondered near the start why the diagrams were only half. As it turns out, it was half because the book is divided by system, and that particular system had several pages devoted to it. That system is the skeletal system, and those pages were quite worth it because it included explanations on things like how bones heal when they are broken. There were also other systems that were two pages each.

It's a really good book, and my only real quibble with it is that the background color for the digestive system is dark and the font color is black so it's hard to read the text.

MY SON'S REACTION:
My son is too young to retain most of the terms in the book, but he is familiar with most body parts and he had fun looking at the pictures in the book.

I pointed out the internal organs and tried my best to simplify the functions of each in an effort to explain it to him, and he seemed to understand it. At the very least, he was fascinated by it, so this is definitely a book I can see us reading again and again until he is old enough to read and understand it on his own.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Your body absorbs nutrients like sponge soaks up water. Sugar molecules are like small drops of water, and proteins and starches are like large puddles. Your body can absorb the smaller sugar molecules quickly. But energy from sugar is also used up quickly. 
RATING:

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: Inside Out Sharks: Look inside a great white in three dimensions! by David George Gordon


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Journey inside a shark and live to tell the tale! With Inside Out: Shark, you’ll take a three-dimensional tour through a great white to learn about the unique bodies of these eating machines.
Why are shark eggs called “mermaid purses”? What in the world are “skin-teeth”? Do sharks deserve the nickname “man-eater”? Find the answers to these questions and more in this action-packed book, which dives deep under the surface to explore the world of these astounding animals.
From the eerie goblin shark to the wide-eyed hammerhead to the most feared shark of them all, the great white, see the world from a shark’s-eye-view—and get an in-depth look at these most mysterious and misunderstood predators.

MY TAKE:
I really like this series, and this book lives up to my expectations.

The book's format is the same as others in the Inside Out series. The pages are divided by system (skeletal, dermal, etc.) and you can see the insides of the shark in the middle of the book. Each page also contains plenty of shark-related trivia.

There is a lot of information in the book, some of which I already knew while the others are new to me, but I liked that the way in which the information was presented kept in from being overwhelming. One of my favorite things I read in the book was about shark teeth. I knew that sharks had plenty of teeth, but I didn't know that different sharks had differently-shaped teeth. It was very cool to see the illustrations of the teeth.

MY SON'S REACTION:
I wasn't sure how my son would react to this because I thought there was a chance he might find the drawings scary. As it turns out, he actually liked this book a lot.

When he saw the cover, he wanted to read it right away. He also started singing the Baby Shark song from Pinkfong. He couldn't read the information yet, so I just told him about some of it. He reacted to some of the things I told him, but he was more interested in the illustrations.

I think this is another good buy for when he's older.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Great whites are prone to eat things made of metal. 
RATING:

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


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