Picture Book Round-Up -- Picture Books for Everyone

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am going to clear off my picture book shelf and share with you eight books for younger kids! We will start with a book that is perfect for the new baby or mom. It is To the Moon and Back for You by Emilia Bechrakis Serhant and art by E.G. Keller. The suggested ages for this book is 4 to 8 but I am thinking that is for the child to read the book him or herself. 

Happy Earth Day -- Let's Get Gardening

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Earth Day! We've all seen the news. As people are staying at home the Earth has begun to heal. The pollution is down in the big cities. The animals are becoming more relaxed and trying to take back their space. One of the things I find most interesting is so many people are planning gardens. Seeds and plant companies are having trouble keeping up with the orders. I checked out my normal seed catalog site and discovered many vegetables are sold out. And one of the times I was on they were not even taking orders that day so they could catch up with their orders. This never happens. So today I thought I would share two resources for gardening. One is about herb gardens (more for adults) and the other is about gardening with kids and how to help them connect with the natural world. 

Foreverland -- a middle grade novel about friendship, courage & dealing with loss

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Middle school is hard for everyone. Often friendships change. There are new people to meet and new ideas or perhaps new and different schools. Add in the stress of your sister finding a new passion and new boyfriend and not having time for you plus your parents are getting divorced. Yup, life can be tough. What is an intelligent, germaphobic girl to do? Well runaway to the last place she remembers a happy family memory--the amusement park. That is the setting of today's book, Foreverland by Nicole C. Kear. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12 and is being released today!

Discovery Math Activities Round-Up

I saw a meme on Facebook that says: "Think you're bored? When Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus it was during the plague. Do you have any idea how bored you have to be to invent calculus?" Now the truth is Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a German mathematician, published the same discoveries around the exact same time as Isaac Newton. Each mathematician claimed the other stole his ideas, but it is believed that both actually discovered the same thing separately around the same time. (For more about Isaac Newton click here and I share a little more about both men here.) 

Earth Day Resources for 2020

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is a strange time and hard to believe Earth Day is next week. With all the stay at home orders around the world we are hearing about amazing things happening to our Earth like the Venice canals being clear (although not necessarily because the water is cleaner see here) and the skies above cities being clearer including in New Delhi, India, people are seeing the rare blue skies. The air in Los Angeles, California is even said to be clear. (Source) As scary as Covid-19 is it seems the Earth is enjoying a break from the craziness our society has been causing. But we know this break will end and we can choose to go back to the craziness or do something to help our Earth and keep our planet going for generations to come. Today I am going to share three books about people, places and ways to do just that. The first two are picture books. We will start with Solar Story: How One Community Lives Alongside the World's Biggest Solar Plant by Allan Drummond.

Fun with Watercolor Resist -- Covid-19 Art Activity

One of my goals is to get back to doing some crafts and nonreview posts. With all the stay at home orders and trying to flatten the curve it seems like the perfect time to do these kind of posts. We are all staying at our home. Many times a day the three of us are on our separate technology (my laptop, Steve's desktop or work laptop and Hazel's iPad) or on separate phone calls. I have been working on bringing some organization to my craft room with the hope of being able to actually use it for our crafts rather than just for storage. I am also really getting rid of craft supplies that we know we won't use. Hazel has outgrown so many that we never got to. I also have been making face masks. I donated about 40 of them to local hospitals. Now I'm making them for family and friends. I keep adjusting my pattern. Let me know if you would like me to share with you what I am doing. I know there are so many tutorials out there I wasn't going to unless someone asks. I have combined several things I have seen and have worked out what I think works the best. I am also sewing buttons on 2-inch and 3-inch pieces of ribbons for the healthcare workers. Apparently some of them are having issues with the elastics bothering their ears since they have to wear them so long now. It is an easy thing to make and a great way to give back. Have you found ways to give back and support the people going to work to support us? I would love to hear them.

Hazel has one hour a day of lessons with her teacher and classmates using Google Classroom. Then she has her work to do and turn in. Her art teacher assigns a new project every week as well. The one due this week was to make two different watercolor resists. I thought it would be fun to do my own while she was doing hers and fun to share with you as an activity you can do with your kids. The teacher sent the kids videos of the two techniques and they had to make under the sea paintings using the techniques. To make all of them you need crayons and watercolors with a jar of water and various brushes as well as preferably watercolor paper (however printer paper will work). One of mine I also used salt. 

The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes -- A Look at the Other Side of WWII and the Atomic Bomb

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book and the various packs of origami paper in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Yesterday I shared various chapter books for different ages (7-young adult). I saved this book to be in its own post for several reasons. First it is a true story. Second part of the story reminds me of what we are facing today. I felt I wanted to do more with this book than just review it. It has paper cranes in the title and provides a tutorial at the end of the book to make your own paper cranes. I figured I had to pull out the piles of origami paper I have and start making some cranes. While I sat there making the cranes I realized this was something families could do together. I'll explain more at the end of the post. The book is The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Sue DiCicco and Mashairo Sasaki (Sadako's brother). It is recommended for ages 7 to 12.

Chapter Books for Ages 7 - Young Adult

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

How are you surviving this self-isolation/quarantine? How are your kids surviving? One thing that Hazel and I have been enjoying is reading. I decided it is time to finally share the stack of chapter books (or at least most of them) that I have on my review shelf. I'm hoping you might find something for your kids to read while stuck at home! We will go somewhat by age. The first book is for the younger chapter book reader. The suggested ages are 7-10 but I would say this series is good for 6-8. We reviewed the other two books in the Fairy Mom and Me Series previously.

The Startup Squad Sequel -- Chapter Reveal!

Disclosure: I was sent the first chapter to reveal to you and read. All opinions are my own.

So last year we got to share The Startup Squad by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear. We loved this book about a group of four girls who were trying to start a lemonade business as a class project. They had to find ways to work together and put aside their differences to be successful. Well the sequel is due out on May 5th. It is Face the Music. We cannot wait to get our hands on it. However today we get to share with you the first chapter! (Yes, you can read it for yourself with that last link!)

The sequel picks up with the same four lovable girls. Each of these girls have distinct personalities and their friendships have grown. Didi, Resa and Amelia cannot wait to share the big news with Harriet and expect a big Harriet-ish reaction but when they do not get it, they want to know why. Harriet explains to them her brothers' band, the Skinks, broke up and says it is her fault. Then the chapter ends. Now the Skinks played a role in The Startup Squad, so the reader of the first book knows they are a good band. The first chapter leaves the reader wanting to know what happened and what will happen. I personally cannot wait to read the sequel. I hope you will check it out!