Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: The Tree With No Branches by Johnny Knew


SUMMARY FROM PUBLISHER:

Set in the Full-of-Pride Forest, the trees stand tall as they flourish and flaunt their fancy foliage. “There were Poplars, and Maples, five Oaks and two Peaches, Cedars, some Redwoods, and nine or ten Beeches.”
Situated amongst the flashy is one simple tree which is not as tall or as abundant as the rest.It doesn’t have any blossoms, leaves or even a single branch. Consequently, it’s teased and
taunted for being different. The Ash and the Date tell the glorious Banyan, “I’m certainly glad that it’s not our companion!” The Willow cries out to the Birch and the Teak, “It kinda looks funny, and skinny, and weak.”
Despite the hurtful slurs, The Tree With No Branches holds steady and takes a brave, stoic stance against the mean trees. It remains optimistic and kind, preserving its integrity and
inner strength. “While the others would push up and puff out all around, the tree with no branches grew roots deeper down.”
Then one day a family visits the forest to enjoy a picnic lunch, but a torrential storm blows in and they must seek immediate refuge. As debris swirls through the air, they remain safe—but only with the help of very unlikely, but mighty source. Finally, the storm subsides and the family makes an astounding discovery—and their reaction radiates amazement in this trunkwarming tale of gargantuan proportions.
Full of surprise and delight, The Tree With No Branches is a spirited story for children and nature-lovers ages 4-9. It transports youngsters into a land of imagination and fascination— with an opportunity for reflection, hope and appreciating what is on the inside is what matters most. In addition to the memorable lessons about courage, compassion and respect, Johnny Knew creates an impactful resource for the classroom to address other fundamental messages; Inner growth creates a lifelong foundation, excessive emphasis on one’s outer beauty is shallow compared to the beauty of one’s’ heart, there is joy in loving others, confronting bullies is the right thing to do and making the correct choice may sometimes require standing alone.
The illustrations are beautifully crafted and bring life to the trees in the forest, adding detail and dimension to these characters exquisitely. The Tree With No Branches is a children’s book to cherish and remember.

MY TAKE:

Bullying is a very important subject for kids to learn about and this book might help kids do that.

In The Tree With No Branches, a branch-less Banyan tree is treated shabbily by his more leafy neighbors.

I felt bad for the little Banyan tree at first because he seemed so sad. The plot can seem obvious, after all, what purpose would it serve for the Banyan to have deep roots? That said, the descriptions and writing make this worth the read. I particularly liked the rhymes as they were creative and used a variety of words and not the simple rhyming words that authors usually use.

The illustrations sacrificed a little bit of the cute factor by opting for more realistic-looking trees with wrinkled bark and eyes that are built into the bark. I like the coloring, especially of the grass, which looks like it was water-colored.

Thanks to the author for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. Your kids will learn about different kinds of trees.
  2. It will teach your child to be kinder to others who are different.
  3. The ending is unexpected and nice.

THE BAD:

  1. Some kids might not find the illustration to their liking.


FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

But the Tree-With-No-Branches would pay them no mind
and respond to the mean, pretty trees acting kind.
And though it was teased by the Elm and Persimmon
it always stayed sweet,
even to the old Lemon.

READ IT IF:

  1. You want to teach your child the importance of being kind to others.
  2. You want to teach your child that it's okay to be different.
  3. You're looking for a feel-good children's book.

RATING:
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Your Digestive System by Rebecca L. Johnson


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

The digestive system is made up of the tongue, esophagus, stomach, intestines, and other parts. But what does the digestive system do? And how do its parts work together to keep your body healthy? Explore the digestive system in this engaging and informative book.
As part of the Searchlight Books™ collection, this series sheds light on a key science question—How Does Your Body Work? Interesting photos and useful diagrams will help you find the answer!

MY TAKE:

I'm always curious about books that help kids learn about scientific concepts.

Your Digestive System is a simplified look at the digestive system and how food passes through it.

This book seems geared towards the slightly older kids, around 4th to 6th grade. This makes it a good companion book for kids who are just learning about the digestive system or are having a hard time understanding it.

What sets this book apart and might make it more interesting to kids is the inclusion of x-rays. This certainly ups the book's cool factor.

Thanks to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It helps kids learn about the digestive system.
  2. It makes the topic more interesting.
  3. Kids might find the x-rays fascinating.

THE BAD:

  1. Some kids may find it boring.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Cheese, crust, and sauce mix together in your mouth.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is studying the digestive system.
  2. Your child likes reading reference and trivia books.
  3. You want your child to become more interested in science.

RATING:
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review: Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader by Bathroom Readers' Institute


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
The Bathroom Reader turns 25! Uncle John is celebrating this historic milestone with his biggest all-new edition ever—more than 600 pages of absorbing material!
“Fully Loaded” is putting it mildly. This behemoth of a book is overflowing with incredible stories, surprising facts, weird news, little-known origins, forgotten history, fun wordplay, and everything else that millions of loyal fans have come to expect from the world’s best-selling bathroom reading series. As always, it’s divided by length: quickies for the reader on the go, medium-sized articles for those with a few minutes to spare, and extra-long pieces for those truly leg-numbing experiences. Here are just a few of the hundreds of topics loaded into this edition of America’s favorite “on the go” source of fascinating information:
- Real Life Superheroes
- Big Fat Nothing: the Story of Zero
- The Strange Fate of Eben Myers, the “Radium Man”
- When Authors Attack (Each Other)
- How to Talk Like a Bowler
- First Date . . . Last Date
- The Worst Business Decision Ever
- And much, much more!
MY TAKE:

If you've read other Uncle John books, then you already know that this book is going to be good.

Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader follows the usual format of short, medium and long reads with trivia at the bottom of the page.

What I like about this book is that it covers a lot of topics so you won't get easily bored and you'll probably find something you like. Plus, since it's more than 600 pages, this book will last you a lot of bathroom trips.

The quality of the writing is as good as the previous Uncle John books although it seems like there are fewer jokes in this one. The same light tone is still there, though, which makes this much more interesting than your typical reference or trivia book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Baker & Taylor Publishing Group for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:
  1. There's a lot of interesting topics.
  2. It's roughly 600 pages so there's plenty for you to read.
  3. The articles read like feature articles rather than encyclopedia entries.

THE BAD:
  1. It might be too big if you have a small bathroom rack for your books.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
The secret to making good hollandaise is to pour the butter slowly into the egg yolks while quickly stirring the mixture with a whisk.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like Uncle John books.
  2. You like reading while you're in the bathroom.
  3. You like reading trivia books.

RATING:
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

According to a study, reaching for a snack with your non-dominant hand helps you eat less.
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Dolphin, Fox, Hippo, and Ox What Is a Mammal? by Brian P. Cleary


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

The Words Are CATegorical® cats are back again . . . and they're on the loose to explore animal groups! This time, those zany cartoon cats provide a playful look at common animal classes. Brian P. Cleary's text and Martin Goneau's illustrations comically combine to give the defining characteristics of each class. They also offer a variety of animals in each group. Animal classification has never been so much fun!
Animal Groups Are CATegorical™ books
Butterfly, Flea, Beetle, and Bee: What Is an Insect?
Catfish, Cod, Salmon, and Scrod: What Is a Fish?
Dolphin, Fox, Hippo, and Ox: What Is a Mammal?
Salamander, Frog, and Polliwog: What Is an Amphibian?
Sparrow, Eagle, Penguin, and Seagull: What Is a Bird?
Tortoise, Tree Snake, Gator, and Sea Snake: What Is a Reptile?
Also by Brian P. Cleary
Words Are CATegorical® series
Math Is CATegorical® series
Adventures in Memory™ series
Sounds Like Reading® series
Food Is CATegorical™ series

MY TAKE:
There's nothing like colorful children's books to help kids learn and remember scientific facts.

In Dolphin, Fox, Hippo and Ox, kids get to learn about the characteristics of mammals, as well as examples of mammals.

The book makes use of rhymes so there's a Seuss-esque quality to it. This makes it a good book for parents to read to their kids. The rhyme is usually only within a verse or sentence, though, so it may seem a little bit stilted if you just read it straight through instead of making a full stop at the end of a rhyme.

As for the illustrations, they are cute and very colorful, making it perfect for younger readers.

Thanks to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It will help kids learn more about mammals.
  2. The illustrations and coloring is perfect for kids.
  3. Kids of all ages can appreciate this book.

THE BAD:

  1. Kids who already know about mammals might find this boring.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
These include chinchillas, cheetahs, chimpanzees and boars, elephants and otters, mice and moose, and many more!
READ IT IF:

  1. You want your child to learn more about mammals.
  2. Your kid likes reading children's reference books.
  3. Your kid likes colorful books.

RATING:
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Sunday, November 25, 2012

In My Mailbox



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
17 Women Who Shook the World by Preethi Burkholder
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Review: Dinosaur Countdown by Nicolas Oldland

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Count down from ten striding velociraptors to a ferociously funny end in this counting book for dinosaur lovers of all ages!
MY TAKE:
This book is pretty much as advertised.

Dinosaur Countdown is a reverse counting book that features dinosaurs.

I liked that it included dinosaurs that aren't so well-known, like deinosuchus, for example. The dinosaurs weren't as cute as I would have liked them to be, but that doesn't really matter so much, I think, as this book will most likely be a favorite of little boys who care more about the idea of dinosaurs than whether or not they're cute.

I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. As it's a countdown book, there really isn't a plot to this children's book, but the ending was funny and a perfect way to wrap up the book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It helps teach kids to count.
  2. It teaches kids about dinosaurs.
  3. There's a little tutorial at the back that teaches kids how to pronounce the names of the dinosaurs mentioned in the book.

THE BAD:

  1. The colors aren't as eye-catching as most children's books.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

ten
striding velociraptors
(and one looming predator)

READ IT IF:

  1. Your child likes dinosaurs.
  2. You are teaching your child to count.
  3. You want to teach your child about dinosaurs.

RATING:
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Maggie's Chopsticks by Alan Woo

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Poor Maggie struggles to master her chopsticks -- it seems nearly everyone around the dinner table has something to say about the "right" way to hold them! But when Father reminds her not to worry about everyone else, Maggie finally gets a grip on an important lesson.
MY TAKE:

I'm not particularly good at handling chopsticks so I thought this was an interesting concept.

In Maggie's Chopsticks, Maggie is having trouble learning how to hold her chopsticks correctly. Her family teases her for this, but they give her tips to help her be better.

I felt bad for Maggie because her grandmother, mother and brother seemed a little bit mean. I liked how the book showed how Maggie tried to practice using her chopsticks. It seems like exactly the kind of things that kids do with chopsticks. The ending seems a little bit abrupt, though, but it's a happy one.

The coloring and illustration style are also very appropriate to the story, as it has an Oriental feel to it, mostly because of the use of the color red, black and orange.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It can give kids the confidence to try using chopsticks.
  2. The illustration and coloring is perfect for the story.
  3. Maggie seems like an intelligent girl.

THE BAD:

  1. The writing might be too flowery for some.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

"What should I do?"
I ask my cat,
Purring perfectly in my lap.

READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is having trouble using chopsticks.
  2. Your child is having trouble learning a skill.
  3. You like stories that celebrate uniqueness.

RATING:
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review: The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman, Vicki Levy Krupp


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

This first cookbook created specifically for book clubs shows readers how to add a delightfully delicious angle to their book club gatherings.
Featuring recipes and food-related discussion ideas for one hundred popular book club selections, The Book Club Cookbook guides readers in selecting and preparing culinary masterpieces that tie in just right with the literary masterpieces their club is reading. From "Honey Cakes" to go along with The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd to "Eggplant Caponata" to go with Bel Canto by Ann Patchett; from "Lemony Goat Cheese Tart" with Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel to "Shrimp Flautas" for Empire Falls by Richard Russo; The Book Club Cookbook makes adding foods that stem from the books your club reads fun and easy.
Vicki Levy Krupp and Judy Gelman polled hundreds of book clubs all over the country to determine what their members are reading and to discover the creative ways that they're integrating food into their meetings. With recipes and colorful background information on the role that food plays in the reading choices-much of which was contributed by the authors of the book club selections themselves-The Book Club Cookbook will add some real flavor to your book club meetings.

MY TAKE:
Ah, books and food. Two of my favorite things.

The Book Club Cookbook is part cookbook, book guide and book club profiles. Select books are summarized and followed by a recipe for food that is either found in the book or inspired by the book, as well as a profile on a book club.

With this kind of book, the problem is information overload. I really liked the book summaries. They don't give away the ending, so it seems to assume that you're planning to read the book at some point. Most of the recipes look very appetizing too.

The biggest thing I wasn't a fan of were the profiles of the book clubs. I thought it was a little bit much. I mean, I get that this book would be perfect for book clubs as they not only get to find new books to discuss, they also have recipes ready to eat during their book club gatherings. However, for someone who isn't really into book clubs, they might find the book club profiles boring.

THE GOOD:

  1. There are different kinds of recipes.
  2. You'll be inspired to cook.
  3. You learn about books you might not have heard of before.

THE BAD:

  1. The book club profiles might not appeal to everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
But just in time, new dishes arrive, including eggplant sauteed with fresh basil leaves and a lion's head clay pot of meatballs and rice vermicelli.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like cooking.
  2. You enjoy reading about food in books.
  3. You like book clubs.

RATING:
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Shadows on My Wall by Timothy Young

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

The street lights make shadows on Kevin’s wall! In those shadows, he sees monsters, dragons, and all sorts of frightening creatures. Does he let them scare him or does he find imaginative ways of dealing with these creepy shadows? Find out in this frightfully fun book. Through 15 creative illustrations of silhouetted shadow characters, contrasting with night-time colors, Kevin’s room and his imagination come to life! Illustrations also show how you can create your own shadow figures! From Kevin’s experience, children will learn how to deal with their own shadowy fears. Grades Pre-K to 4.

 Timothy Young has worked as a toy designer, animator, illustrator, sculptor, puppetmaker, and graphic designer. He was design director for two toy companies and has created the iPhone app "Mix-Em-Ups."

MY TAKE:
This book did not disappoint in the least.

In Shadows on My Wall, Kevin sees all sorts of shadows on his bedroom wall at night. Sometimes they're scary and sometimes they're nice. Eventually, he learns how to make the scary shapes seem less scary.

As a kid, I used to enjoy making shapes with shadows and this book brought me back to those days. What's great about this book is that it not only teaches kids not to fear shadows, but it also shows kids how to have fun with shadows by making all sorts of shapes.

The illustrations are very cute and simple, and the mostly blue and yellow color palette complements it well.

My favorite part of this book, though, is the last part of the book which contains different types of animal shadows you can do.

Thanks to NetGalley and Schiffer Publishing Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It teaches kids to not fear shadows on their wall.
  2. Kids can learn how to make different animal shadows.
  3. It's very charming.

THE BAD:

  1. It would be nicer if there were more animal shadows to try.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

Then I thought they looked like dinosaurs.
I like dinosaurss, so I was less scared.

READ IT IF:

  1. You like making shadows on the wall.
  2. Your child is scared of shadows.
  3. You want to teach your kids how to make animal shadows.

RATING:
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
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I got my best education early on eavesdropping at Mama's feet while she talked to my aunt on the telephone.
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.
MY TAKE:

I really liked Kitchen Confidential so I decided to give this book a try.

Heads in Beds is billed as a book that is in the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant. That is, it's an inside look at a service industry and all the nitty-gritty stuff that goes on.

How does this compare to the other books? Well, I haven't read Waiter Rant but I have read Kitchen Confidential. While this book is good and the self-deprecating style and no-holds barred look is very similar to Kitchen Confidential, I prefer Anthony Bourdain's book just a little bit more.

Jacob/Thomas is funny and he does have some good stories. You really get a glimpse at the lives of the people who serve you at hotels. You also learn a few secrets about hotels and amenities. First off, while I knew that yes, some rooms are better than others and that those who get discounted rooms won't get the better rooms, I had no idea that you actually had a choice in the matter. It never occurred to me to ask the front desk agent to give me a room with a nice view. I guess it makes sense, though. Why shouldn't you get to choose a room if there are a lot of available rooms?

He gives a lot of tips that people can use to get upgrades and other stuff for free from hotels. I don't know if I'd use any of it, though. I'm not comfortable slipping people money to get better rooms or whatever. I don't feel comfortable getting food from the minibar either. I would feel too bad about it.

Overall, though, there are some very interesting and useful things that are described here. Frequent travelers should try reading this.

Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday for the e-ARC. Publication date of Heads in Beds is on November 20, 2012.


THE GOOD:

  1. You can learn a lot of tricks you can use when you visit a hotel.
  2. There are a lot of interesting hotel stories.
  3. Jacob/Thomas is quite a storyteller.

THE BAD:

  1. Some people might not be comfortable with using the tips he suggests.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Can you imagine how it feels, as a human, to be part of someone else's efoort to multitask?
READ IT IF:

  1. You're a frequent traveler.
  2. You wonder what it's like to work at a hotel.
  3. You wonder how to get free stuff and upgrades at hotels.

RATING: 
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

In My Mailbox



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:
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Shadows on My Wall by Timothy Young
Hailey's Halloween by Lisa Bullard
Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader by Bathroom Readers' Institute
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Review: Princesses, Pirates, and Cowboys by Karen Poth

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

For ages 4-7
Come join the VeggieTales gang as they learn about how to live like God wants us to. This three-book collection of VeggieTales I Can Read stories provides young readers with an ideal gift they will enjoy for years to come.
This collection includes:
Who Wants to be a Pirate?
The Fairest Town in the West
Princess Petunia's Sweet Apple Pie

MY TAKE:

This book is a really cute book that is a great way to teach really young kids things like sharing and being true to yourself.

Princesses, Pirates, and Cowboys is composed of three short stories. The first story is Princess Petunia's Sweet Apple Pie wherein there's a pie contest to find out who the host of the next fair will be. The second story is Who Wants to be a Pirate wherein three pirates wonder what else they could do besides their usual activities. The third story is The Fairest Town in the West wherein one town tries to stay the nicest in the west.

The strongest story for me is the first one. Out of the three, I found this one to be the most fun and entertaining. The third story was actually okay, but I didn't find it as interesting as the first two stories. The second story was cute, but I'm not too sure about the ending because it felt like it was encouraging not doing anything. Obviously that's not what the lesson of the story is, but I think the message would have been stronger or clearer if the pirates' identity was something else like they were musical pirates or something.

The illustrations are really nice, though, and will really appeal to kids.

Thanks to NetGalley and Zondervan for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. The illustrations and coloring is perfect for the stories.
  2. The stories are short but feel complete.
  3. There are a variety of stories for children to enjoy.

THE BAD:

  1. The Bible quotes at the end of the stories might not appeal to some parents.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

So the knights worked on their pies.
Starry Knight made a shepherd's pie.
Knight Owl made a black forest pie.
Hard Days Knight made a beetle pie.
Yuck!

READ IT IF:

  1. Your kid likes princesses, pirates or cowboys.
  2. You want to teach your child about things like sharing, loving who he or she is, and being nice.
  3. You want to get your kid to start reading more.

RATING:
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: Saving Moby Dick by L.L. Samson

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

For ages 9-12
This Character Could Be One Whale of a Problem
In Saving Moby Dick, Linus, Ophelia, and their friend Walter think they can control the powers of the Enchanted Attic, and they plan to bring Captain Ahab from Book World into Real World-on their own terms. But even the best-laid plans go awry sometimes, and their adventures take a wild turn. Captain Ahab is far crazier than they realized, and bookstores aren't really the best places to find whales, white or otherwise.

MY TAKE:
I read the first book in this series so I was definitely interested in seeing what Linus, Ophelia and Walter would do next.

In Saving Moby Dick, Linus, Ophelia and Walter have brought over Captain Ahab from Moby Dick into the real world. They didn't anticipate just how obsessed Captain Ahab is with Moby Dick, though, and a series of misadventures begin.

I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. Captain Ahab seemed more likable to me than Quasimodo. Also, as the kids are older now, they are more mature with their decisions and so the book moves along at faster clip and there are less moments when the main characters annoy you.

The real star of this book, though, is Captain Ahab. He is humanized here, and you get to see how his mind works and why he does what he does. He becomes less a man who is obsessed with revenge so much as a man who feels emasculated and empty.

Thanks to NetGalley and Zondervan for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The characters have matured since the last one.
  2. You get to see what Captain Ahab is like beyond what you see in Moby Dick.
  3. The concept is interesting.

THE BAD:

  1. The narrator's style of always interjecting with his thoughts or the definition of words could be distracting to some.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Corn. Summer squash. Yukon Gold potatoes. Macaroni and cheese.
READ IT IF:

  1. You liked the first book.
  2. You've wondered what it would be like if you could talk to your favorite book characters.
  3. You liked Moby Dick.

RATING:
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fiction Feature: The Midas Tree by Dr. Lesley Phillips


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For this Fiction Feature, we have a guest post from Dr. Lesley Phillips, the author of The Midas Tree.
GUEST POST:

The Midas Tree, a Book of Light by Dr Lesley Phillips

Joshua lives in the Garden Of Color and Light, an idyllic paradise where he is always playing and having fun. Each day is like any other, until he finds a magical golden acorn that enraptures him and propels him on an incredible adventure.

After being guided to chase the acorn as it flies through the garden, Joshua discovers a door at the base of a tree; and once he enters his life changes for ever.

“Now it is time for you to go on a journey.
You may forget the garden for a while.
Follow this golden acorn wherever it takes you.”

Joshua is transported into a mysterious realm within “The Midas Tree.”

Desperate to return home, he sets about exploring this unfamiliar environment. He encounters sticky situations and meets wily characters along the way. Fortunately he does not have to face them alone. His guides are the mystical creatures that live inside the tree, called Devas. They are keepers of ancient secrets that can help Joshua to cope with the obstacles he encounters and the challenges he meets.

Joshua learns from the Devas that if he wishes to return home, he must first transform himself – and “The Midas Tree”.

The Devas of the Midas Tree

The Devas are fairylike nature spirits, who love “The Midas Tree” and live to keep it happy and healthy. Each Deva presides over a different realm within the tree and tends to an aspect of the tree, such as its roots, leaves, branches, flowers and fruit. Each Deva also is the holder of an ancient secret, which they lovingly pass on the Joshua to help him on his journey.
Each deva has a name beginning with “Dev” and their name has a meaning that refers to their role within the tree and this also relates to the guidance this deva is able to give.
The word deva is taken from a Hindu word meaning divine being or good spirit. The Devas in the Midas Tree are good spirits, although some maybe tricksters. The main devas have physical bodies, and they help guide Joshua through his life’s lessons. Each Deva also presides over a group of fairy-like spirit helpers, which don’t have physical bodies, but appear as wisps of different colored energies.

Joshua’s Quest

Joshua’s quest is to uncover the spiritual secrets of the tree, overcome challenging situations and oust his inner turmoil to finally fulfill his destiny. He is taught different techniques and skills that help him cope with the trials he encounters. The processes the Devas expose him to begin a path of revelation where he learns the truth about himself.

This spellbinding story overflows with challenges, magical creatures and mystical superpowers, which you too will discover along the way.

“The Midas Tree” is a spiritual adventure novel aimed at a middle grade to Young Adult audience; although all the adults who have read it like it too.

The Midas Tree is a Spiritual Adventure Novel
The more mature readers that have read the book say it reminds them of “Illusions” by Richard Bach, or “The Celestine Prophesy” by Michael Redfield, but with the flavor of a fairy tale.

Children who have read The Midas Tree say it is reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland” and other well known children’s books. They enjoy all the funny characters, which include talking animals and insects, and each selects a favorite deva.

The Midas Tree has many teachings. It is an adventure story, a guidebook for personal spiritual unfolding and even includes lessons about biology and nature.

It is a book that parents can enjoy reading with their children or that teachers can share with their classes to introduce them to internal self awareness.

The Midas Tree is a book of light that offers techniques that can help all people cope when they are going through difficult times in their lives; as well as illuminating the path to personal enlightenment in a fun and entertaining way.
ABOUT THE BOOK:


The Midas Tree is a mystical realm where spiritual beings and animals live together in relationship to one another and their environment.

Our hero, Joshua, is drawn into this amazing realm from his home in the garden of color and light. The book follows Joshua’s adventures in the Midas Tree as he grows and learns about his life and destiny in this new world, as he searches for a way back home to his spiritual parent Morfar and the garden of color and light.

Joshua and his journey are analogous to each human’s journey toward spiritual enlightenment. The Midas Tree is planet earth and the creatures and spiritual beings who live there are teachers and guides. They teach Joshua how to meditate and use other spiritual techniques to help him on his mission to return home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am a Meditation Teacher, Spiritual Counselor and Energy Healer.

I have many years experience providing meditation and healing classes and workshops, as well as intuitive readings and healing to hundreds of satisfied clients. I focus on helping people increase their self awareness so that they are empowered to consciously take charge of their lives. I also paint and write for fun. I am the creator of Portico Soul Essence Cards, a card deck meant to help open the intuition and creativity of its users. I’m also the author of a spiritual novel, called “The Midas Tree.”

I am at my happiest when I am being of service, whether at a speaking engagement, teaching a meditation class, giving a healing or providing a reading or intuitive counselling session to a client.
www.themidastree.com
Lesley@themidastree.com
http://www.facebook.com/themidastree
Twitter: @DrLesleyP
www.drlesleyphillips.com
http://www.facebook.com/drlesleyphillips

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: The Admiral The David Robinson Story by Gregg and Deborah Shaw Lewis

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SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:

For ages 9-12
Disciplined Life, Determined Athlete, Devoted Christian
Kids will be inspired by the compelling story of David "The Admiral" Robinson, who went from the Navy to the NBA, becoming MVP center for the San Antonio Spurs. When David Robinson became MVP center for the San Antonio Spurs, he seemed to have it all-fame, success, wealth, and a wonderful family-but he didn't feel complete until he found his faith. This is the true story of one man's disciplined life, how he excelled in academics and sports, and who isn't afraid to share his utter devotion to God.

MY TAKE:

Kids today might not be familiar with him anymore, but people my age and older may remember David Robinson, one of the more talented and well-known NBA players back in the Michael Jordan era.

In The Admiral, we get a glimpse of the life of NBA superstar David Robinson, starting from his childhood up to today.

The book was able to pack in a lot of interesting anecdotes as well as some basketball history that even those who grew up today would be able to appreciate. However, this book really shines when we get a glimpse of David's personal life. Stories from his childhood and his struggles in college and in the NBA illustrate that David, for all his talent and selflessness, is quite human. What makes him extraordinary, however, and what makes this book so valuable to kids is how it shows that David is very generous and how he puts God first. Kids, especially young athletes, will be able to learn from his story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Zondervan for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It makes David seem more normal.
  2. Kids will be able to see how it's possible to balance work with other important things.
  3. Kids learn more about one of the best players in NBA history.

THE BAD:

  1. Kids may not know who David Robinson is.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
When photographers wanted a picture of him kissing the championship trophy, he refused saying, "I'm not kissing anything that doesn't kiss me back."
READ IT IF:

  1. You're a David Robinson fan.
  2. Your child is an athlete.
  3. You want to show your child how athletes can balance their different priorities in life and still be successful.

RATING:
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SOUNDS INTERESTING?



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