Monday, September 9, 2013

Review: Dear Granddaughter Life Lessons From Your Grandmother by Judy Smith


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
A grandmother's wisdom with secrets of nourishing your soul, falling in and out of love, living with dignity and grace and most importantly - enjoying the journey.
Every grandmother is full of valuable wisdom. She can tell you the secrets of nourishing your soul, falling in and out of love, living with dignity and grace, and most importantly enjoying the journey. Listen closely to your grandmother when she speaks and hold on to each pearl, for therein lies tremendous wealth and wisdom.
Grandmothers are just antique little girls. ~Author Unknown

MY TAKE:
The main reason why I requested this book was because it reminded me of some of the books I saw in my grandmother's collection when I was a kid.

Dear Granddaughter Life Lessons From Your Grandmother contains life lessons on everything from finance to lifestyle.

The entries on each page are usually short but they make good points. The writing style feels similar to those New Age self-help books, but because the entries are short, even if that's not your style, you'll probably like this one anyway.

The layout, colors and pictures used are reminiscent of Hallmark Cards, which I found nice and fitting for the topic.

Thanks to NetGalley and Holland Publishing for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It has some good lessons.
  2. The pictures, layout and fonts used are classy.
  3. It would make a nice gift.

THE BAD:

  1. The writing style may not appeal to everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
What you save is more important than what you earn.
READ IT IF:

  1. You miss your grandmother.
  2. You like self-help books.
  3. You like books with pretty layouts.

RATING:
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

In My Mailbox


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

FROM NETGALLEY:



The One Year My Princess Devotions Preschool Edition by 
Karen Whiting
Dear Granddaughter Life Lessons From Your Grandmother by Judy Smith
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Review: The One Year My Princess Devotions Preschool Edition by Karen Whiting


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Princesses are a big attraction for most girls, especially preschoolers and early readers. The One Year My Princess Devotions is written for early readers and preschoolers. Each devotion sheds light on how the reader is a princess—a daughter of God, the King. The devotions also emphasize how little princesses should respond to being God’s children. Each devotion includes Royal Words (the Bible verse), Princess Thoughts (a short devotion written for early readers), a Prayer, and a Princess in Action section (an activity related to the devotion).
The devotions are thematic according to the calendar. For example, January features creation and February highlights love.
Little Princesses will look forward to learning more about their King each day.

MY TAKE:
If ever there was a book that could help young girls have a closer relationship with God, this book might be it.

The One Year My Princess Devotions contains the following for each day of the year: Royal Words (verses from the Bible), Princess Thoughts (explanation of the given verse), A Prayer for the King, and Princess in Action (an activity that girls can do that's related to the verse and its message).

The book may seem simple but as far as content goes, they are easy for young girls to understand and follow through with the activities and prayers. There are some days that have related verses, so that may also help girls who aren't that familiar with some of the Bible stories to become acquainted with them.

The book's text is in purple and pink, which might appeal to most young girls. I thought the idea of framing the text in different cute designs and a crown at the top was a nice touch that could help maintain or get a child's interest.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tyndale Kids for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. The lessons are easy for young girls to understand.
  2. The layout and color scheme is cute and pretty.
  3. It covers nice range of topics.

THE BAD:

  1. It's hard to tell if girls can sustain their interest in reading the book and doing the activities from start to finish.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Your mother is a princess too.
READ IT IF:

  1. You have a little girl.
  2. You want your daughter to ease into devotions.
  3. Your daughter is becoming more curious about God.

RATING:
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: 365 Guide New York City: Drink. Eat. $ave. Every Day of the Year. A Guide to New York City Restaurants and Bars by Monica DiNatale


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
You're in New York City. You're hungry. You're thirsty. You don't want to spend a fortune. Now what? Drink. Eat. Save. Every Day of the Year with 365 Guide. The most comprehensive guide to the best restaurant and bar deals anywhere in the city! Compiled by New York Food Host and Deals Expert, Monica DiNatale, you get the inside scoop on where to go at a fraction of the price. Inside 365 Guide there is a deal a day for every day of the year! This is the only New York City guide that tells you where you can find: free, yes, FREE food specials throughout the city, $2-$3 drinks any day of the week, the best happy hours where you can nosh to your stomach's content and more deals than any other guide on the planet! From five-star restaurants to the best dive bars, Monica DiNatale is your savings guru. Whether you live here, hope to live here, or are visiting, if you want to know all about New York City's restaurants and bars-at a discount-then 365 Guide is the book for you! www.365guidenyc.com
MY TAKE:
I don't live in New York, but I thought this would be a good read since I do like the idea of going to New York.

365 Guide New York City features different New York restaurants and bars that have great food and drink deals.

I was surprised to find that the book did not have pictures or a colorful layout. I expected the book to look like travel guide books. Of course, I've read some guide books which, like this one, didn't have pictures, but I think adding pictures would have made this book better and more interesting.

There were also instances wherein for restaurants with more than one location, the entire entry was repeated, with only the heading and location changed. I would have preferred if the main entry just had the two or three locations or if the different locations had different content.

That said, the book covers the important things for each establishment, that is: time and details of the deals, location, hours, contact details, recommendations and observations and extras.

Thanks to NetGalley and Hugo House Publishers, Ltd. for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. It covers the important stuff for each restaurant and bar.
  2. It has a section on cheaper foods like pizzas, hot dogs and desserts.
  3. There are indexes which allow you to search the restaurants and bars by type, alphabetically, or by area.

THE BAD:

  1. There are no pictures.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Even if you don't think you like banana pudding, give theirs a try.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like good deals.
  2. You live in or will be visiting New York.
  3. You don't mind it if guide books don't have pictures.

RATING:
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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: Baby Santa and the Lost Letters by M. Maitland DeLand


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Only a week until Christmas, and the last delivery of children's Christmas letters to Santa have not arrived at the North Pole!
Santa and his elves are ready to finish making presents . . . but where is the last batch of Christmas letters? For the first time in history, the mailbox at the North Pole is empty. If Santa can't find the missing letters, Christmas will be ruined for children across the world.
Just when it seems that all is lost, out jumps Baby Santa. The youngest member of the Claus family relies on his quick wits, his winning attitude, and his endless energy to solve the mystery of the lost letters with help from remarkable animal characters around the globe.
Responding to a cry for help, penguins, kangaroos, and even a three-toed sloth cooperate with friends on every continent in an amazing race to save the holidays.
With a boundless spirit of cooperation, Baby Santa proves that Christmas is for every living being. Children and their parents will thrill to this exciting holiday adventure guided by the youngest member of the Claus family, Baby Santa.

MY TAKE:
I really enjoyed the other Baby Santa book I read so I was looking forward to reading this one.

In Baby Santa and the Lost Letters, the last batch of letters to Santa are missing and Santa has to find them. Baby Santa and Prancer the Reindeer work together and help get Prancer's animal friends to help find and bring the letters to the North Pole.

I think it's because I'm more of a travel lover than an animal lover that I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one I read. However, I still found this book to be quite cute. I mean, I'm not sure how plausible it is that the animals were able to deliver the letters that quickly, but if you stop thinking about the science, it just becomes a nice story. I also liked that Santa gave the animals who helped out a little gift as a thank you.

Thanks to NetGalley and Greenleaf Book Group Press for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The illustrations are nice.
  2. It's a fun read.
  3. The animals are charming.

THE BAD:

  1. Some might question or get bogged down wondering if it's really plausible for animals to move that quickly.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"Yes, Baby Santa. Christmas is for animals, too."
READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is an animal lover.
  2. You like Christmas books.
  3. You are looking for a book to read to your child on Christmas Eve.

RATING:
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: Baby Santa's Worldwide Christmas Adventure by M. Maitland DeLand


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
What in the world is Santa going to do when his sleigh breaks down?
The presents are packed up, Santa is ready . . . but where is his magical sleigh? For the first time in history, Santa's sleigh is broken. Santa is grounded on the most important night of the year. How will children around the world get their presents?
Baby Santa, the youngest member of the Claus family, comes to the rescue. With his boundless energy, bright smile, and bouncy enthusiasm, Santa's son hatches a plan to save Christmas and have a traveling adventure at the same time.
Baby Santa takes his father on a great Christmas race around the world. Leaping into jeeps, cavorting on camels, and balancing in balloons, Baby Santa and his dad rely on local transportation to help them deliver presents to each and every locale.
With ingenuity and insight, Baby Santa saves Christmas and shows what sons and fathers can accomplish when they work together. This inspiring story will liven up the holidays as children (and their parents) experience the wonders of traveling the globe with the youngest adventurer from the North Pole.

MY TAKE:
Christmas may be months away but it's always fun to read Christmas books so I gave this one a try.

In Baby Santa's Worldwide Christmas Adventure, Santa's sleigh is broken and he must quickly come up with a way to deliver the gifts to kids all over the world.

I like the idea of Santa's kid being a child genius and helping his father out. Reading about how Santa and Baby Santa were able to travel the world was nice, but it was the illustrations that really tied the story together and gave it oomph. They're pretty much exactly how you'd expect a children's Christmas book illustration to look like, but with a little bit more humor and lightness.

The only thing that didn't work for me was the look of Baby Santa. He reminds me a little bit of human Chip from Beauty and the Beast and I didn't really find him cute. Other than that, this book brought a smile to my face.

Thanks to NetGalley and Greenleaf Book Group Press for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The illustrations are nice.
  2. You do feel a little bit like you're visiting the different countries with Santa and Baby Santa.
  3. Santa and Baby Santa's disguises are cute.

THE BAD:

  1. Baby Santa may not be how you'd imagine or prefer he would look.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"Don't forget your earmuffs, Baby Santa," Mrs. Claus said.
READ IT IF:

  1. You like reading Christmas books.
  2. You or your child like travelling.
  3. You are looking for a book you can read to your child on Christmas Eve.

RATING:
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

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!

"You're right," Santa said, a smile spreading across his face. "We just have to be creative."
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Ultimate Fighting The Brains and Brawn of Mixed Martial Arts by Patrick Jones


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
What if…? In decades past, fans could only wonder what would happen if a boxer and a wrestler stepped into the ring together. Or a karate expert and a judo master. Then came ultimate fighting, and fans’ questions were answered. Author Patrick Jones takes the reader deep inside the world of mixed martial arts and shows how its beauty and brutality have turned it into a worldwide sensation. 
MY TAKE:
I normally only watch MMA when my husband watches it, and I thought that this would be an interesting way to learn more about MMA and its origins.

Ultimate Fighting has information on the origins of MMA, classic MMA fights and moments, MMA legends and the future MMA superstars.

As far as children's sports reference books, this one's pretty complete. It's kind of boring when books are all about the history of a sport and usually only mention the popular athletes. I liked that this book featured not only the legends and future superstars, but also made the distinction between classic fights and memorable moments. In sports, there are great games that are worth remembering and there are mediocre games that have amazing moments within them that are worth a place in history too.

Thanks to NetGalley and Millbrook Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of Ultimate Fighting The Brains and Brawn of Mixed Martial Arts is on November 1, 2013.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's chockful of information.
  2. MMA fans will have a fun time going over and agreeing or disagreeing with the books list of classic fights and moments.
  3. It's a good beginners' guide to MMA.

THE BAD:

  1. The amount of text and the vocabulary of the book may be more suited to older kids and teenagers.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Just because a fighter finds himself on his back, that doesn't mean a fight's over.
READ IT IF:

  1. You want to learn more about MMA.
  2. Your kid is an MMA fan.
  3. You are an MMA fan.

RATING:
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

In My Mailbox


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

FROM NETGALLEY:



Ultimate Fighting The Brains and Brawn of Mixed Martial Arts by Patrick Jones
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.
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