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Origami Fun!

 



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

Wow, what a turn in the women's gymnastics the other day. I have to say I am happy that Simone Biles felt confident enough to walk away from the competition. She is a role model for our children. She knew she wasn't feeling right and stepped away. That takes courage and confidence. And it highlights the need to focus on mental health. The pressure she must have been feeling with all the press and such before and during the Olympics must have been awful, so knowing when to step away is huge in my mind. 

With the Olympics in Tokyo, we are continuing a focus on Japan. And a look at Japan is not complete without some origami. Today I am sharing two books--one for beginners and another for more advanced as well as four packs/books of origami paper. We will start first by looking at the packs of paper I used throughout this post. They are Origami Rainbow Paper Pack Book, Origami Paper 200 Sheets Mother Earth Photos 6" (15 cm), Origami Paper 500 Sheets Cherry Blossoms 6" (15 cm), and Origami Paper 200 Sheets Nature Photos 8 1/4" (21 cm).

Japanese Food Ideas: Bento Boxes & Sushi

 

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

Have you been watching the Olympics? This year is the first time I have really watched in a long time. I love watching the women's gymnastics but always hated how it was shown so late. I love the live streaming videos that I can watch any time. With the Summer Games in Tokyo and where spectators are not allowed, I thought it was the perfect time to explore Tokyo and Japan. Today I'm going to share some cookbooks to bring home a bit of the Japanese culture with food and it is food your kids may enjoy! These books are also perfect for getting ready for school lunches, parties and more! We will start with Ultimate Bento by Marc Matsumoto and Maki Ogawa. 

Rocks, Shells and Minerals -- Review of book and a project

 

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

This has been an interesting summer. Here in the Boston area we are experience a very wet and cool July. This July is the third wettest on record in Boston and the wettest July in Worcester. There have only been a few days where no rain fell. As a result there haven't been many real beach days. But during the dry times it is still fun to walk on the beach and look for some beach treasures. To go with these walks is today's book from National Geographic Kids. It is Little Kids First Big Book: Rocks, Minerals and Shells by Moira Rose Donohue. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8. 

True Colors -- The colors of the world

 

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

One of the best things of a coloring book is that you can use whatever color you want for any part of the picture. You can make the sky yellow or purple. You can make a tree pink. Your creativity can go wherever you want it to go. Today I'm going to share a book about an illustrator who went a bit crazy. The book is True Colors by Gonçalo Viana. It is recommended for ages 4 to 9.

Full Moon -- New Picture Book with Craft & Fun Facts

 

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

Are you aware of a full moon? Does your mood change? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you think everyone else has gone crazy? Or do you just enjoy seeing it? Today I get to share a beautiful new picture book recommended for ages 3 to 6. The book is Full Moon by Camilla Pintonanto. 

The Formation of the Iroquois League

 

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

Do you know what the oldest living participatory democracy on earth is? It is the Iroquois League or Iroquois Confederacy. It was formed in 1142 and some of our Founding Fathers like Benjamin Franklin actually learned from them and used ideas of their set up when forming the United States. They even have a constitution that was recorded and kept alive on a wampum belt.  (Source) Today I am going to share a new picture book that shares the story of the formation of the Iroquois League. It is written for ages 10-14, so it is not your typical picture book. The author and illustrator are both Native American. The book is A Peacemaker for Warring Nations: The Founding of the Iroquois League by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden. 

Beach Art -- Crafty Sundays

 


Every summer we spend at least one week at Cape Cod. My parents live there and my family has a house that we rent out but we get a week at the house every year. We always try to have at least one beach day and sometimes walk on the beach in the evening. My favorite thing about walking the beach is picking up shells and rocks. I love finding the pieces of quahog shells which is what wampum is made from. We have a rock and shell collection. Some are found, some gifts and some bought. I took a combination of our collection from this year and past years and made some crafts. I started with one I was inspired by the Coastal Seashell Wreath over at Amy Latta Creations. I saw her creation last week on Facebook and fell in love with it. I headed over to Michaels and found the grapevine wreath and a wooden plaque for about $6 total. I also picked up some wooden framed shapes for my other project. They were 99 cents each. So I took our collection and created these fun pieces of beach art.

Classic Paperbacks 1,000-Piece Puzzle -- Mommy Time Review

 

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

I haven't shared a puzzle in awhile. I have been holding onto this one because I was afraid it would take awhile. I brought it to our vacation house last week and actually finished it in two days. The puzzle is Classic Paperbacks 1,000-Piece Puzzle by Richard Baker. 

Favorite Colors--Mine is Pink! -- Activity Book Review & Fun Facts

 

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

What is your favorite color? It is a question we often ask children and occasionally adults. My favorite color is pink, in case you couldn't guess. It always has been pink. Growing up my favorite flavors of ice cream were strawberry and bubble gum. I still love strawberry ice cream and strawberry cake. I believe Hazel's obsession with flamingos when she was little was because they are pink. It is her favorite color as well. Today I get to share one of the books in the My Favorite Color Activity Book Series. And, yes, I get to share My Favorite Color Is Pink illustrated by Mei Støyva.

Kyle's Little Sister -- Review of New Middle School Graphic Novel

 

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

Do you have siblings? Where do you fall in the order? I am the youngest of three girls. I went through my elementary school being called my middle sister's name and then in middle school one of the art teachers kept calling out my oldest sister's name for an end of the quarter review and when he finally used our last name I realized he meant me. He had never taken the time to learn my first name and my oldest sister is truly an artist so he remembered her. (She earned a degree in art.) So I can completely relate to today's book. The book is Kyle's Little Sister by BonHyung Jeong. It is a graphic novel for middle school ages (age 8-12).

Firekeeper's Daughter -- Powerful YA Novel with Native American Ties

 

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

It is hard to find a contemporary story with strong Native American people in it. It is even harder to find a good one written by a Native American. Today I am sharing a powerful young adult novel that is just that. This book is definitely for young adults and older. There is sex, rape, drugs, violence, and swearing in it. However I found the story to be fascinating and learned some things about Native American life today that I did not know. The book is Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. 

Adult Paint By Numbers -- Mommy Time Review

 

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

Last summer I discovered the joy and relaxation of paint by numbers. I had the pleasure of reviewing a custom paint by number from Winnie's Picks. Needless to say when they offered me another one to review this summer I jumped at the offer. I had a hard time choosing which one I wanted to try. There are many great choices, and of course you can do a custom one like I did last year. I decided to go with Hollyhocks in the Evening Glow. I am considering gifting it to my father since he loves hollyhocks but now that it is done I'm not sure I can give it up.

Learning about Pandas -- Book review, fun facts, & Craft Round-Up

 

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

This week we have been focusing on the ocean, but today we are going to move out of the water and into the trees with a look at pandas! Today we will be sharing a National Geographic Kids book, fun facts from the book, and a panda craft round-up. The book is Go Wild! Pandas by Margie Markarian. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Learning about Sea Turtles

 

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

Yesterday we talked about a book full of fun facts about the ocean. Today let's focus on one of the creatures in the ocean waters--sea turtles. I am going to share a book recommended for ages 4 to 8 as well as some fun facts from the book and a turtle craft round-up! The book is from National Geographic Kids and is Go Wild! Sea Turtles by Jill Esbaum. 

Weird But True! Ocean Review

 

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

The Fourth of July always seems like the start of beach season to me. I tend to spend it at Cape Cod where the crowds come for the beach. Today to kick off beach season I am sharing a National Geographic Kids book full of fun facts about the ocean. It is Weird but True! Ocean

Navigation History and How-To for Middle Grades

 

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

Do you have a good sense of direction or are you one of those people who always gets lost? I tend to have a pretty good sense of direction. When I do get lost I can usually call my husband and he will pull out a map and find where I am and how to get where I want to be or use my GPS. Steve loves maps. When we were first married he would drive me crazy. I would print out directions when we were going somewhere but instead of reading me the directions he would try to tell me the directions from the map. Unfortunately he is not as quick as needed in the map reading when I'm driving. Because of Steve's love of maps, Hazel became interested in maps at a young age. Of course there are places that are not mapped out like the forest. What happens when you get lost there? Today's book is a book to give the reader skills to not get lost or at least know how to find one's way and what tools one might need when exploring. The book is How to Go Anywhere (and Not Get Lost) by Hans Aschim and illustrated by Andres Lozano.

Stingers -- 2nd book in the Middle Grade Sharks Inc Series

 

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

Last year I introduced you to Sharks Inc. with the middle grade novel Fins. This summer the Sharks Inc. threesome is back and are still tagging sharks and solving mysteries. Dr. Ford has brought the team to the Bahamas where Captain Hannah will oversee their work. While there they explore Katt Island with a local girl whose mother owns the hotel they are staying in and find all sorts of mysteries and trouble. The second book is Stingers by Randy Wayne White. 

YA Novel Series Being Turned into Netflix Series -- Review of First Book

 

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

I was challenged to read today's book with Hazel and share our experience. It is the first book in a trilogy that is being turned into a series on Netflix. The book is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Now I am going to add that the Netflix series involves this series as well as some other parallel series by Leigh Bardugo. 

Hear My Voice/ Escucha Mi Voz

 

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

Today we are going to talk about a controversial subject that I usually avoid. I see both sides of the discussion and don't usually try to debate either. The issue is immigration. Now unless you are 100% Native American somewhere in your family history someone immigrated here. I know when I was growing up I had many friends whose families immigrated here from Asia to get away during the wars there. Several of them say the United States is the best country in the world. I am so glad their families made it out or at least part of their families did. Many lost family members while escaping. I understand the need for people to immigrate. To leave all they have known and come to America, the land of dreams. However then I look around and realize we cannot even take care of our own people. Look at all the homeless, poor, starving people we have including some veterans who were willing to lay down their lives for our country but now are not taken care of by the country. Do we really want more to add to the mix? It is hard and I am sure it is really hard for the politicians to figure out fair ways to control it. However I know one thing for sure, today's book shines a light on a major problem our country is experiencing and needs to change. The book is Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz complied by Warren Binford for Project Amplify.

Game On! Series Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was sent these books to participate in Dover Publications Virtual Book Tour hosted by The Children's Book Review and will receive a small stipend for my review. All opinions are my own. 

Today we are continuing our series of fun learning resources for the summer. I know there are many parents worried about the loss of learning due to the pandemic, but also know that kids need some fun and normalcy to life this summer. My solution is to share resources to keep kids brains working while they enjoy and have fun this summer. Today I am going to share the three activity books in the Game On! Series. 

Books for Pride Month

 

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

June is Pride Month! As a straight ally and a former GSA advisor, June always holds a special place in my heart. The gender and sexuality issues have morphed as we we gain more understanding but the issues still exist to get equal rights and fair and safe treatment for all. Today I am going to share three books--two picture books and one middle grade book that deals with different parts of our own uniqueness and identity. The first picture book is not particular to Pride Month but more about being different and finding acceptance. It is recommended for ages 2 to 5. It is Oddbird by Derek Desierto. 

Outdoor School Series Review

 

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

I am going to continue sharing books to get your kids learning while having fun this summer. Today we are going to look at a series of books that no only is fun and educational but also gets your kids outside and enjoying nature! The Outdoor School series features three interactive nature guides as well as three sticker books, and two essentials guides. Whether your family is interested in animals, hiking, camping, rock collecting and more there is something for everyone and these books all start by saying step outside no matter where you live there is nature out there. 

Third Book in the Startup Squad

 

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

We have had the pleasure of sharing The Startup Squad series with you since it began. This fun multicultural middle grades novel series is about four friends who work together to start businesses. Each book is full of fun, mistakes, friendship, and entrepreneur ideas for kids. Today's is no exception. It is The Startup Squad: Party Problems by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear. 

Japanese Artwork inspired by the World's First Novel Jigsaw Puzzle

 

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

I have been loving my puzzles but I am also loving learning about the picture on the puzzle. Today's puzzle is a woodblock print by Kuniteru Utagawa called Song of the Four Seasons: Summer created in 1853. It depicts a scene from the famous novel, The Tale of Genji written by Murasaki Shikibu. The Tale of Genji is considered to be the first novel in the world. It was written in the 11th century. You can learn more about the novel here. The picture on the puzzle is of Prince Genji with his companions in a Japanese garden on a summer's evening. 

Fun Summer Learning Resources

 

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

Last February we found an amazing school to switch Hazel to. They have a spring break in March that lasts for two weeks. Hazel was supposed to start right after the break, but the pandemic hit and our state closed down. Her school started after that break with remote learning for last year. This year however they went in person with the daily choice of a student going remote. Although it has been a strange year, it has been an amazing year. Hazel has so much more confidence. She is standing up straighter and just overall happier. Finding the right school makes so much difference and we didn't really realize it until this year. Today is her last day of school and summer begins! Now since she has been learning in person she is not one of the kids that has lost so much during the pandemic. However I know there are many kids who have. I see the posts and articles with the concerns of what kids lost this year, will they be behind, etc. I also know there are people who are looking for ways to help catch them up this summer. My advice is to find fun ways to help them catch up and learn something new. Today I am going to share some books that will do just this. The first book is Top Secret: Spies, Codes, Capers, Gadgets, and Classified Cases Revealed by Crispin Boyer and Suzanne Zimbler. 

Ace of Spades -- new YA novel that everyone should read

 



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

Do you remember a year ago when many white people were claiming to stand with their Black friends as well as searching for information about what it is like to be Black in America? George Floyd has just been murdered by a police officer. We are a year later and the police officer has been found guilty. Racial riots were happening everywhere a year ago. People took "Black Lives Matter" for anti-police. The truth is people who are standing with the Black people aren't saying they are necessarily against the police. They are saying they are against the police who abuse their power and discriminate based on race. I know as a white person I have good friends who are different races and respect all races and I have friends who are police officers and have a huge respect for police officers. I also know when I have been pulled over for speeding a few times, I never once thought "Am I going to die here?" because of my skin color. That fear is what needs to go away and there is definitely a need for education all around. Today I am going to share a new young adult novel that deals with race, homosexuality (including bisexual), class, and so much more. This is a novel that I feel everyone should read. And it is also an amazing novel. The novel is Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.

Ting Ting the Girl Who Saved China Review with crafts and more!

 

Disclosure: I am participating in a virtual book tour with The Children's Book Review and Ryan O'Connor. I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and will also receive a small stipend.

The Chinese New Year is a very important holiday in China. It is also called the lunar new year and is celebrated in different countries with different traditions. It usually falls in January or February and is celebrated for fifteen days in China and seven to fourteen are public holidays. Now we have shared many books, crafts and more about the Chinese New Year and the Chinese zodiac including this fun facts post with many details about the holiday and celebrations. Today we are sharing a fun book about a young girl learning about her own ancestor's role in the Chinese New Year celebration and how she saved China. The book is Ting Ting, the Girl Who Saved China by Ryan O'Connor and illustrated by Xiang Minghui. 

Blue & White Crafts with Japanese Influence and More!

 

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

I have always loved blue and white crafts. The colors just contrast and make beautiful images. Today I am going to share some blue and white inspired crafts and most have a Japanese influence to them. Let's start with the one that is not a craft but has pictures of Japanese Shibori on them. They are Japanese Shibori Note Cards

Peaceful on Purpose

 

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

Have you ever read a book that moves you and changes your life almost instantly? The book I am sharing is one of those books. It was so moving to me that I told Hazel and Steve that they need to read this book. All three of us tend to be anxious people and after this past year there is a lot to be anxious about. This book is perfect for anyone who feels anxious, stressed or worried. The book is Peaceful on Purpose by Joel Osteen. 

Exploring Japan with Books & Activities

 

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

Since Monday was Memorial Day and I spent the weekend with family and friends I didn't do my multicultural post this week. Today I am going to share some of the resources I have to explore Japan. I know Japan will be a popular country to look at this summer with the Olympics being held in Tokyo. We will start with All About Japan by Willamarie Moore and illustrated by Kazumi Wilds. 

Tie-Dye Paper Products Review with DIY Gift Bag Tutorial

 

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

Tie-dye can be so fun and always seems to come back on trend. We have had fun making our own tie-dye shirts and more. Today we are going to share note cards and gift wrap that both have tie-dye designs. Let's start with the Tie-Dye Note Cards

My First Science Book Series Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I am working with The Children's Book Review & Dover Publications by participating in this virtual book tour. I was sent copies of these four books in exchange for an honest review and a small stipend. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe it is June. Summer is basically here. For many this school year was a mess. I know many parents are worried about how much their kids learned with all the remote learning the past two years. Every summer kids lose some of what they have learned. This summer it will be more important to keep our kids reading and learning. I am going to be sharing books that will give you extra resources to keep the kids learning all summer long in fun ways starting today. Today I am sharing part of Dover Publication's My First Science Book Series and at the end there will be a giveaway!! 

5 Little Angels Review with Craft Round-Up

 

Disclosure: I am working with The Children's Book Review and Kathleen T. Pelley to participate in this Virtual Book Tour. I was sent a digital copy of the book for the review and will receive a small stipend. All opinions are my own. 

Today I am sharing a new picture book with you from Kathleen T. Pelley. It is a sweet, religious picture book. It is Five Little Angels. After my review I will share some angel crafts to go with this book and there is a giveaway as part of the blog tour!

Interesting Facts about Samurai and Himeji Castle Jigsaw Puzzle Review

 

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

Today I am going to share another 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. It is a beautiful photograph from Japan. It is the Samurai Castle and Cherry Blossoms 1,000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Review of Six Thousand Doughnuts

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for this review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Dooney Press and will receive a small compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am participating in a Virtual Book Tour for Six Thousand Doughnuts by Thomas Tosi. The book is being released next week, June 4, 2021. It is a middle grade novel with some illustrations throughout it. It is recommended for ages 8-12.

Mongolian Gers -- Tent Houses

 

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

So I had big plans to start reviewing books on Japan. I have quite a pile. However they are going to wait until next week and into June because I found one other Asian country to cover on my bookshelf. Today I am going to share with you Story of the Mongolian Tent House by Dashdondog Jamba, retold by Anne Pellowski and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. Before I begin my review, I would like to add that there are not a whole lot of books about or from Mongolia or many crafts or resources for kids. When I did a search for craft ideas most of them were adult crafts and for sale. I think this is a topic that needs a bit more exploring and I am going to share what I did find.

Interesting Facts & Benefits of Clover with Craft & Recipe Round-Up

 

Last week we had so much fun learning about dandelions. It is amazing that what many consider a weed can do for your yard as well as food! This week I thought I would look at another wildflower or weed. We will look at clovers! I found many interesting things about clovers. Now many people associate clover with St. Patrick's Day. However for me it is a spring/summer thing because we have so much in our yard and the rabbits come out to eat it.

Fun, Useful and Interesting Books from National Geographic Kids

 

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

It is hard to believe summer is fast approaching. What a year we have had. We have made huge strides fighting the world pandemic. Our state is going to open up fully on the 29th. The vaccines seem to be working. We have been lucky. Hazel's age is approved for the vaccine so she will be fully vaccinated a couple of weeks into her summer vacation. She has also been in school in person all year. However I know many schools were not in person. Many kids are a bit behind so this summer it will be even more important to have them reading and learning. Today I am going to share three fun, useful and interesting books that kids will love learning from this summer. All three are from National Geographic Kids which means they are pretty easy reads without long stories or chapters and more fun facts and photos. We will start with the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2022.

Book about Women of the Bible & Prayer

 

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

I said it. Today's book is one of the best Christian books I have ever read! Now I am always intrigued by a book about women of the Bible. I have looked at several of the women in some detail here on this blog. Women like Mary, Esther, and Mary Magdalene. I have shared versions of the Bible as well as devotionals including my go-to devotional that I reread every year! Today I am going to share a book that can be used as a devotional though each chapter is a bit long for a short read that delves into the stories of ten women of the Bible and relates their stories and their prayers to your everyday life. What amazes me most about this book besides that it really hits home is it is written by a man. The book is When Women Pray by Bishop T. D. Jakes. 

A Look at Korea with Bojagi and Food

 

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

This week I thought we would look at Korea through a craft and food. So far this month we have looked at China and Vietnam. We will also begin looking a Japan but I will continue the Japan resources into June with the Summer Olympics in Tokyo coming up in July! So today we look at Korea. Now over the years we have explored Korea with books, stories, crafts and food. We even have looked at the Korean language. Now I have had Korean Patchwork Quilting by Choi Yangsook sitting on my shelf for awhile. I have been meaning to share it for Crafty Sundays but haven't gotten around to it because I am fascinated with discovering bojagi. I have not tried any of the projects yet but plan to. Then when I was looking for something to make for dinner tonight with ground beef, I found this recipe for Korean Ground Beef and Rice Bowls. I figured it was the day to share the book and look at Korea! First here is our Korean Ground Beef and Rice dinner. My family LOVED it!! I only used half the red pepper because we don't like too much heat. 

Fun Facts about Dandelions with Craft & Recipe Round-Up

 


This week is National Wildflower Week! The other day I shared a post on Facebook about dandelions. A friend had posted it and I assumed it was true but wanted to know for sure. I decided to investigate the common wildflower, dandelions, and wow, what an interesting plant. First, did you know dandelions are in the same family as the sunflower and aster? Whether you see wishes, food or weeds, there is something here for you including where they came from, how to harvest them and how to rid your yard of them if you really want to (fun fact 11).

One Big Fat Notebook Resource Books for Study Help

 

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

It is hard to believe the end of the school year is upon us. We have been lucky this year. Hazel's small private school has been open all year so she has been in person since the day after Labor Day. When I was a teacher this was the time of the year where we were trying to cram in what we had left to cover and then get the kids ready for finals. As a student I hated final exams. There was just so much to learn and remember for them. And if you struggled with some topic it was sure to show up on the final exam. Today I am going to share with you three books from a series of books that are perfect for helping kids in middle school and high school ace hard classes. I have already shared the geometry one with you (since you know I'm a sucker for math books). Then Hazel's fifth grade teacher shared that she was using some of the middle school books to prepare lessons for her on-line classes and she loves the books. (She left the school and is only teaching on-line now.) I decided to give the books another look. Today I am going to share the middle school book on computer science and the high school books on biology and chemistry. All three books are really well written and explain the topics in simple terms that kids will be able to understand. I'm really hoping they come out with a physics one so I can really learn physics after awful experiences with it in high school and college. 

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town -- middle grade novel review

 

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

A few months ago I reviewed The Ambassador to Nowhere, Texas. I discovered it was a sequel to another book, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, both by Kimberly Willis Holt. The Ambassador to Nowhere, Texas was set in the era of 9/11 and told the story of a middle school girl in Antler, Texas and how she and those around her dealt with all that was happening. During the book she and a friend begin to try to find out about Zachary Beaver because of a photograph of him and her father and his best friend from when they were about her age. Having not read the first book I was thrilled with the mystery, but it also left a yearning to read the first book, so today I am sharing with you the first book! It is set in 1971 with the Vietnam War going on. Seeing how I turned one in 1971 I was curious to read about this era.

Learning about China through Books

 

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

May is Asian American Heritage Month. Last week we focused on Vietnam and this week we will focus on China. I have two books to share with you today. One of them I reviewed an older edition several years ago. The other is a book of children's stories from both China and Tibet. I began to wonder about Tibet. Tibet was taken over by the Communist Chinese Government in 1949. The leader of Tibet prior to that was the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama escaped to India and lives there in exile with over 100,000 Tibetan refugees. (Source) We will start with Favorite Children's Stories from China and Tibet by Lotta Carswell Hume and illustrated by Lo Koon-chiu.

Jigsaw Puzzle of and Fun Facts about the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia

 

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

I have been very lucky to be able to get products to review from Tuttle Publishing. Since their company focuses on Eastern countries I always find their products perfect for sharing in May (though I share them all year long). Besides books they have other products including jigsaw puzzles. I thought it would be fun to share some of the puzzles I have from Tuttle this month. I have shared others previously. Plus since the puzzle is of the Borobudur Temple, I thought I would share some fun facts about the temple.

Sins of Our Mothers -- Mommy Time Review

 

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

Today I get to share with you a dystopia adult novel. It will have your mind thinking about the roles and rights of women and men in our society. The book is Sins of Our Mothers by Nicole Souza. 

Time to Reset -- a Mommy Time Review

 

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

Have you lost your job? Perhaps your home? Or other major life change? Or perhaps it is just getting through this pandemic? Are you fearing life going back to "normal"? I know the idea of crowds does not excite me any time but especially as the mask mandates are beginning to go away. Today's book is just what we need. It is Time to Reset by Karen Brown Tyson. 

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey -- Book Review

 

Disclosure: I am working with The Children's Book Review and Harper Collins Publishers to participate in this blog tour. I was sent a copy of this book and will receive a small compensation for my review. All opinions are my own.

Yesterday we kicked off our celebration of Asian-American Heritage Month. Today's book features a young Filipino-American girl so it is perfect for this month. The book is Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly. Today is the release day of this book!! The book is recommended for ages 7 to 12 but I think the sweet spot is for 6 to 9. This is definitely an emerging reader novel thanks to the pictures throughout and larger print size. 

Exploring Vietnam

 

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

May is Asian/Pacific Islander-American Heritage Month. Last May I focused on Japan and I thought this year I might try to do that with Vietnam, but as I looked at my resources this year I decided I would do one post on Vietnam and posts about other Asian and Pacific Island countries. Today we will focus on Vietnam and I will share two books--a cookbook and a picture dictionary. At the end I will share a round-up of some activities and books on the topic of Vietnam and the culture.

Picture Books that Teach Kindness & Understanding

 

Disclosure: I am working with The Children's Book Review & REED Foundation for Autism by sharing these books with you. All opinions are my own.

April is Autism Awareness Month. I have a close friend who has a son on the spectrum. It is through them that I truly became aware of autism and what it is. Her son is highly functioning, but I know the difficulties he can have. When he was young I was one of the only people she allowed to pick him up from school besides herself or her husband. I feel blessed to have learned more about autism from him and I feel blessed to share these two amazing books with you. These books come from the REED Foundation for Autism. Inside each cover jacket it says: "The 'One Big Canvas' book series is an initiative of the REED Foundation for Autism. The series will feature a growing number of titles, characters, and storylines centered on understanding, accepting, and demonstrating kindness to all." The REED Foundation for Autism is committed to providing individuals with autism the opportunity to learn, live, work and thrive at every stage of their lives. For more information, please visit https://www.reedfoundationforautism.org.