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Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex -- Review & Giveaway

 


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Carole P. Roman and will receive a small stipend for my review. All opinions are my own.

Looking for a fun book for middle school and high school kids? Do they love super heroes and adventure? Check out today's book, Grady Whill and the Templeton Codex by Carole P. Roman. Now I will admit I love Carole P. Roman's books for younger children in the past and shared several of them here before. Carole has also been an author sponsor of Multicultural Children's Book Day in the past as many of her books, including this one, are multicultural. 

Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen -- Review & Giveaway

 


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with the Children's Book Review and Alexa Palmer to participate in this virtual blog tour and will receive a small stipend. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a picky eater? I know so many kids who only like junk food. It can be so hard to get kids to eat healthy. Today I get to share an award-winning book that teaches kids about healthy eating in a fun way! The book is Jolene: Adventures of a Junk Food Queen by Alexa Palmer and Catharine Kaufman and illustrated by John Martinez and Hayden Mills. 

Embarrassing George -- Book Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Foreword Publicity and will be paid a small stipend for this review. All opinions are my own.

We all have those embarrassing moments. We also have those family members who can be rather embarrassing. Do you remember having to go to school functions with your embarrassing family? Did you worry about them embarrassing you in front of your friends and teachers? Today's book is about just that. The book is Embarrassing George by Kimber Morgan and illustrated by Jessica Kwan. 

New Picture Book that Teaches Fears Can Be All in Our Minds

 

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

When Hazel was young, she had many fears including the dark. We have spent quite a bit of time dealing with her anxieties. Today I'm sharing a wonderful book that helps kids who are afraid of the dark. It reminds me a bit of the Halloween book, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. Today's book is not Halloween or even fall specific. It is Barnaby Is Not Afraid of Anything by Gilles Bizouerne and illustrated by Beatrice Rodriquez. 

Can't Get Enough Space Stuff Review with Craft & Activity Round-Up

 

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

This week for our Back to School with National Geographic Kids we are sharing a fun new book about space. To go with our book review, we are sharing a round-up of crafts, activities, lessons and more all about space for different ages. Our book is Can't Get Enough Space Stuff by Stephanie Drimmer and Julie Beer. It is recommended for ages 7 to 10.

Fun Animal Facts --Back to School with National Geographic Kids

 

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

School starts tomorrow for Hazel and me. It is hard to believe I'm going back after being home for sixteen years! My classroom is ready for the kids though, and I'm looking forward to it. It seems fitting to begin the school year with some books from National Geographic Kids. Today we are sharing 5,000 Awesome Facts (About Animals!) by National Geographic Kids. It is being released today and is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Dear Wild Child -- new picture book in response to home burning in wildfire

 

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

With climate change the world is truly changing and we are seeing damage to homes. Whether it is wildfires, tornados, hurricanes or something else, home loss can be devastating to all but especially to children. For me it was simply my parents downsizing when I went to college. I was the youngest of three and it was time for them to sell the house and move to a smaller condo. Even without devastation of the home, there is a loss, but as Wallace Nichols and his daughter Wallace Grace Nichols share the home goes with you with all the memories. The book is Dear Wild Child by Wallace J. Nichols and Wallace Grace Nichols and illustrated by Drew Beckmeyer. It is recommended for age 4 to 8.

Mrs. R. Snugglesworth Attorney-at-Law Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Amy Flanagan for this Virtual Book Tour and will receive a small stipend for my participation. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share a creative and fun beginning reader illustrated chapter book with you that kids are going to love. It is also perfect for back to school since its main character, Mrs. R. Snugglesworth goes to dog law school in it. The book is Mrs. R. Snugglesworth, Attorney-at-Law by Amy Flanagan and illustrated by Jon Davis. 

Weaving Big on a Little Loom Review

 

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

Weaving has always fascinated me. Think about it--so many of our fabrics are created by weaving! Perhaps it is the sewer and quilter in me and my love of fabrics that makes me so intrigued. I always wonder about the patterns in woven works. Now with that said the only looms we have are ones for kids. Therefore, I was interested in Weaving Big on a Little Loom by Fiona Daly. 

Macrame Made Easy Review

 

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

Sorry it has been so long since my last post! I have been getting ready for the start of school. I will be officially working full time starting Monday! Hazel and I headed to school to set up my classroom and I have had other responsibilities to get ready for the year plus things going on at home. Hazel has switched around her rooms and is redecorating to more of a teen vibe. I have been trying to organize the house. Next I will need to find a housecleaner to come since I won't have time to do it. Enough of my quick update on my life. Today I am going to share with you a fun macrame book. It is Macrame Made Easy: Stylish Patterns and Projects for Beginners by Harumi Kageyama. 

Before Music: Where Instruments Come From with Musical Instrument Craft Round-Up

 

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

Music is such an important part of life. We hear music everywhere. Listen to the wind blowing or the birds singing. It is musical. Today I am sharing a book that takes a look at music from across time and around the world. It shares where musical instruments come from and I'm sharing a round-up of diy musical instruments for kids. The book is Before Music: Where Instruments Come From by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Madison Safer. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

Northwind -- a Middle School/YA novel taking a look at life in the Northern Ocean

 

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

Today I am going to share a new middle school/young adult novel that takes a look at a different life than I am used to. It has been sitting on my shelf for awhile. When my life changed in April, I got behind reading my middle grades and young adult (as well as adult) books. This book is perfect for an Earth Day theme as well as just an adventure lover or explorer. It is Northwind by Gary Paulsen. It is recommended for ages 10 to 14.

Ultimate Food Atlas -- Explore the World through Food with This Book

 

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

When Hazel was younger, we loved exploring the world and participated in a blog group celebrating food from around the world. We did the series Around the World in 12 Dishes. I miss it sometimes because it got us exploring different dishes. Some we loved and others not so much. Today I get to share a book that lets you explore the world through food so basically our series in one book sort of. The book is Ultimate Food Atlas: Maps, Games, and Recipes for Hours of Delicious Fun by Nancy Castaldo and Christy Mihaly. It is from National Geographic Kids and is recommended for ages 8 to 12 but could work with younger kids with adult help.

This is 52

 


This past week I turned 52. Fifty-two is not one of the benchmark years. I turned 50 in the summer of 2020. It was when we were afraid to be indoors with too many people and were still wearing masks often. Yet it was one of my best birthdays ever. My sister came for the day and she and Hazel made a delicious meal topped off with a homemade birthday cake. They did all the planning, the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning. They even decorated our patio for the party. Yes, we ate outside. My sister works with newborns and their moms in a hospital setting and has taken being cautious to a new level. She wore her mask whenever she was in our house. It was truly the perfect birthday for me because I didn't have to do anything. It was small, intimate and simple. It certainly wasn't the ball my girlfriend went to for one of her friends who turned 50 this year. My girlfriend and many guests caught Covid from the ball. My girlfriend who is a nurse on a Covid unit in a local hospital. My girlfriend whose kids got Covid last summer and her oldest was truly sick for weeks. He could barely move off the couch, and she didn't get it. But she went to a 50th birthday ball and got it. No, my 50th was simple and fun and perfect and best of all we didn't get sick from the celebration!

The Crystal Beads Lalka's Journey -- a new picture book with a different story from the Holocaust

 

Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Purple Butterfly Press with this post and will receive a small stipend for it. All opinions are my own.

There are so many untold stories from the Holocaust. Today I get to share a new book that shares a story I haven't heard previously. The book is The Crystal Beads Lalka's Journey by Pat Black-Gould with illustrations by Katya Royz. Below you will find out about the book, my review, a giveaway as well as some crafts to go with this book.

Dollhouse Scaling Project -- Geometry Class Project

 


This weekend I found a mini-room box kit on clearance at a craft store. I picked it up and thought it would be great for my classroom when I teach ratios, similarity and scaling. It is 1/24-scale which is also known as 1/2 scale. The 1/24 scale means that for every 24 inches (or 2 feet) an object is in real life, the miniature will have 1-inch. All the dollhouses I have worked with previously have been 1/12 scale or sometimes called 1:1 scale. It is for every 12 inches (or 1 foot) a real-life object is the miniature will measure 1 inch. The kit was easy to put together though I did mess up the wallpaper on one piece.

Let's Make Letters!

 

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

I am always fascinated by people who can create beautiful handwriting. I have learned calligraphy and can write neatly but it takes so long!! Today I am sharing a book that helps learn how to do creative lettering. It is Let's Make Letters! by Kelcey Gray. 

The Name She Gave Me -- YA Novel about Adoption, Family & More!

 

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 another novel from Betty Culley. This one is a young adult novel written in verse. It delves into the topic of adoption, family, belonging and so much more. The book is The Name She Gave Me

Flower Print Cards -- Fun & Easy Nature Craft

 


Today I am going to share a fun and easy nature craft. Last year or two I saw a post about hammering pansy flowers and getting a print on fabric. I have no idea whose post I saw. I believe it was on Facebook, but that is about all I can remember. It is a craft you can do with kids, but it involves hammering so watch little fingers! I wanted to try the craft on paper since if I used fabric, I would want to be able to wash it and assumed the print would wash out. I pulled out some blank foldover cards and picked some pansies. I pulled out the hammer and worked in my husband's workroom. My first try did not go as planned. I just put the flowers on the card and began hammering.

The Sisters of Luna Island -- New Middle Grade Novel with Magic, Sisters and Friends

 

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

I am trying to catch up with my reading and I have to admit I am very far behind. (Getting use to my new glasses hasn't helped.) However today I finished a wonderful middle grade novel that has the strength of sisterhood and some magic in it. It is The Sisters of Luna Island by Stacy Hackney. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. 

Sierpinski Gasket -- Math Art -- Fractals

 


Today I am going to share some fun math art looking at a famous fractal--the Sierpinski Gasket or the Sierpinski Triangle. It is a perfect fractal to have kids create and goes well with geometry lessons. A fun way to introduce it and create it is the Chaos Game. Here is a video showing the Chaos Game with a triangle, square, and pentagon. With the triangle the Sierpinski Triangle will appear with enough iterations of the game. The rule as explained in the video is to begin with a random point. Then randomly choose a vertex. Connect your point to the vertex and find the midpoint. (Erase the line.) The midpoint is your new starting point. Repeat. This is a game you could easily play in a class as well. Don't watch the video first though. 

The Natural Genius of Ants -- New Middle Grades Novel about Family, Friends, Loss, Ants & More with Ant Craft & Activity Round-Up

 

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

Summertime always brings ants. Whether you are picnicking, gardening or have them in your house, ants seem to be everywhere in the summer. Today I am going to share a new middle grade novel about family, friends, loss, and learning about forgiveness with a little biology lesson on ants sprinkled in. The book is The Natural Genius of Ants by Betty Culley. I am also sharing a round-up of ant crafts and activities to go with the book.

Exploring Pi with a Fractal & Pi Activity Round-Up

 


I really wanted to do something with pi for artwork in my classroom plus would love a good pi activity. I struggled with this one. I have seen the pi skyline like this one over at What Do We Do All Day? It is fun but not quite what I am looking for. There are different pi artworks if you google "pi art" but most is based on the digits of pi. To be honest I do not believe in having kids memorize the digits of pi, so much of the artwork is not my thing. As I was searching for ideas, I came across this YouTube video that intrigued me. I decided to make the "fractal" that has an area of pi! It is a spin from the Sierpinski Carpet, Menger Sponge, and the Wallis Sieve. Now fractals are supposed to be infinite, but I cannot draw them this way. I am working on taking this fractal to the third level. If you were able to go on infinitely the area of this picture would be pi. 

Roe vs. Wade Overturned--why it matters to all Americans

 


Normally I try to stay away from politics here and in my life. I am a liberal married to a conservative and I have to say since 2016 our marriage has been tough. I only have a few things I truly care about when it comes to politics. I truly believe and will fight for equal rights for all. Having been a woman in a male dominated subject I have experienced discrimination firsthand. Being a woman in America is tough. I truly believe we all have a #metoo story. But when a white man who talks derogatory about women and people of other races was elected President, the country was torn, and the truth is I am not sure it can recover. The man did not want only to be President, he wanted to be ruler of the world and he is still pushing his agenda. If you don't know what I'm talking about I highly suggest you watch the January 6th Hearings and go back and watch all of them. The election of 2020 was tough and made worse by many things, but the truth is on October 27, 2020, as a liberal woman I told my conservative husband, congratulations your side has won. Of course, my husband does not agree with me. He truly believed for quite a while that the election was stolen. He no longer believes that. But on that day, I knew what our future held. I knew yesterday would happen. I was told by many that there was no way they would touch Roe vs. Wade. They were very wrong, and I truly believe they will regret ever voting for the man who wants to rule the world. 

The unthinkable happened. Yesterday the stacked Supreme Court overturned a law. Not any law but a law the Supreme Court put in place in 1972. A law women fought for and a law women will fight for once again. Now no matter where you stand on abortion it does not matter. No one has won by this overturned law. Personally, I realize that by outlawing any medical procedure that can save a life (yes, abortions can save a mother's life), the Supreme Court has now made it so private decisions between a person and their doctor may no longer remain private. Yes, the privacy of every American can now be brought to the government to decide. You can no longer expect the right to privacy with your health matters. Because if someone does not agree with your decision, they can now use the precedence of this overturning of a LAW to make your decision one that should be decided by the government. 

Now I have read many things about pro-life people being about the babies. However, let us be honest here--the abortion issue is NOT about the babies for the government. If it was about the babies then pre- and post-natal care would be free, delivering a baby would be free, meeting with a lactation specialist would be free, there would be at least a year of paid parental leave for both parents, there would be free preschool. The list can go on. There also would not be the misses by overworked social workers for the foster care program because each foster child would have their own social worker, or each social worker would only be in charge of a very small number of kids. No, by overturning Roe vs. Wade the Supreme Court has put it back to the states to determine whether a woman can have an abortion. Now let's just remember gun control is also controlled by the state governments. The states have not been doing a great job keeping kids alive when it comes to guns. We have decades of mass shootings happening at schools to show us this. The states that are making abortion illegal are taking back control over women. Honestly if you are female and live in one of these states, I hope you vote out the awful, sexist politicians and if you can't move!! The white man is afraid. They are afraid of the people of color asking for more rights. They are afraid of the women asking for rights. They are afraid they are going to lose their power as white men. And the truth is they are and should. White men should not be treated any differently than any other person. Most white men do NOT realize they are, but they are. 

When Texas passed its new abortion law, doctors had to turn women away from care. These women were losing their babies, but the doctors could not (and still cannot) help the women get through the difficulties until the women's bodies are already miscarrying the babies. Now let's be honest women can travel to another state for the abortion. However, the woman needs money to travel and has to be healthy enough to travel!! Everyone has heard the horrible stories about late term abortions. But let's be honest, most late term abortions are not because the woman has decided she doesn't want the baby. Most are due to a health issue for either the mother or the baby. Now the states that are making abortions illegal are making it illegal to help these mothers live and survive a bad pregnancy. Many of these women already have their nurseries set up and are picking out names for the baby. They do NOT want their babies to die. They are morning their children and their bodies are suffering in ways that doctors can help ease, but they are not allowed to in some states.  This is what making abortions illegal. 

Making abortions illegal will not stop abortions. They will still happen whether the woman travels or has an illegal one. Have you heard the stories of the illegal abortions? Perhaps you have read about Margaret Sanger? If not you should. Years ago I shared the book, She Takes a Standby Michael Elsohn Ross. It shares the story of Margaret Sanger and her fight to educate women about contraception and abortion. The illegal abortions kill more because not only the baby dies but often the mother does or she loses her ability to have future children. This is what overturning Roe vs. Wade will do. 

Overturning Roe vs. Wade is not about the babies. It is about white men trying to hold onto power. They realize in our melting pot of a country the white men are losing control. They are not willing to give it up, but they seem to forget that women are the backbone of the country. We are the mothers, teachers and more. Women need to stand up and take back our power. This is far from over. The war has begun again.

Oh, and for those celebrating the overturn please note that this Supreme Court has set precedent for laws to be overturned whenever the court sways in one way. Today our court is conservative, but this conservative court just came in and overturned a 50-year-old law. This means no law is safe. It is now precedent for the change of court to get rid of laws they don't like. Since three of the six justices that overturned this law were put there by a president who wants to rule the world, I truly hope everyone in the country realizes what a scary place America is now. 

Please make sure you vote! Vote in every election and primary. Make sure you know where the person you are voting for truly stands. Do NOT let these white men maintain the power. If we cannot vote them out we will have to get more drastic and I'm not ready to stop taking care of my family but if we cannot vote them out women will have to take a stand and show these backwards men who really has power.

Pythagorean Theorem Fun -- DIY Mathematical Art

 


As I continue to think about my new job in September and plan for what I want to hang in my classroom, I am exploring the Pythagorean Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem is probably one of the most well-known or well-remembered theorem in math. It is often taught in both algebra and geometry. In algebra it lends to working with exponents and roots and in geometry with triangles. I have seen memes saying how people did not use the Pythagorean theorem today, but I have also been told by many people that they have used it in their lives from building a new deck and woodwork to programming and more. Although math has real life applications and was mostly discovered to explain the world, much of math is taught to help develop the brain of our children. In high school the brain is just beginning to truly develop its logic skills and math is huge in helping with this. The Pythagorean theorem also is mentioned (incorrectly) in the Wizard of Oz. Yes, it is this famous!

Although it is named for the Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, it was known throughout the world before his time. It is referenced in Ancient Egypt and Babylon (around 1900 BC). Apparently, it did not become as well known until Pythagoras stated it. There are many proofs of this theorem and some of them like the one below is a visual proof.

Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves -- middle grades novel that shares a story about the homefront during World War II

 

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

What have you learned about World War II? I know we all have heard about Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. We all know about the concentration camps and the evil that happened in them. You may have heard about the Japanese internment camps here in America. Over the years I have shared many books for different ages about World War II as well as posts about heroes of the time. However, I personally had not heard about the U-boats that threatened the East coast during the war. Today I am sharing a middle grades novel that shares a story based on some of the events on the East coast during World War II. The book is Louisa Jane and the Nazis in the Waves by L.M. Elliott. It goes beyond just sharing about the war. This book also includes mental health issues, family, and grief.

Family Legacy Maps -- a Piece of Your Ancestry on the Wall

 



Disclosure: I was sent my own Family Legacy Map in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

How much of your ancestry do you know? Do you use one of the on-line services like Ancestry or Family Search? I always find it so interesting. Well, now there is a new company, Family Legacy Maps, that takes your information and photos and creates a family map for you! My friend, Aaron Carapella of Tribal Nations Maps (see my reviews), and Jon Vanderveer cofounded this new company. Can I tell you how neat it is?

The Golden Quest -- Review & Giveaway and Compound Interest Activity Ideas

 

Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book to write this review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and David Delisle and will receive a small stipend for this review. All opinions are my own.

What have you taught your child(ren) about money? It can be a hard topic for some. The other day I was having a conversation about how it is so different for this generation. When we were young, we used money. We got money. We earned money. We saved money. We spent money. These days almost everything is purchased with plastic. We order online and use a credit card. Most people pay with credit card just about everywhere. I know I often don't have that much cash on me. Our credit world is teaching kids a different lesson than we learned, and they may not truly understand that we have to pay for the purchases when the credit card bill comes. Today I am going to share a fun graphic novel style book for kids that helps teach about money. It is The Golden Quest by David Delisle and illustrated by Travis Hanson. 

Origami for Geometry Class with Marbled Patterns Origami Paper

  


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

As I mentioned I am returning to the high school math classroom in the fall! One of my goals is to bring more hands-on activities as well as projects to the class. One of the classes I am pretty sure I will be teaching is geometry. I am so excited to be back in the geometry classroom. I am hoping to use origami in the classroom and definitely want to have an origami project in the geometry class. This year's teacher did this, so I am working off her idea and adding my own spin. Today I am going to share two origami tutorials all using a beautiful pack of Origami Paper 500 Sheets Marbled Patterns 6-inch paper. This particular pack of paper is being released in July 2022, but there is a similar pack of 200 sheets already available. 

Fun Facts about Crayons and Our Exploration of Crayon Racing

 

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

If you have kids, you have crayons. Most restaurants give kids some crayons to keep them busy while their food is being prepared. I know we have quite a supply from over the years. But have you ever really thought about crayons? What are they? I decided to gather some fun facts for you about the childhood staple and then I have a fun book to share with you to give you a use for the crayons sitting around your house.

Sumi-e -- Japanese Ink Painting

 

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

Before Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month ends, I wanted to explore sumi-e, Japanese ink painting. I was sent three books that share the about this beautiful art and provides tutorials to create your own. Now a while ago I shared my adventure with Chinese brush painting. The idea I had when I bought the supplies was for Hazel and I to do it together. Since sumi-e is similar I thought she would enjoy expanding her skills. She did some Chinese brush painting in art class last year. However in reality she never had time or desire to do it with me, so after waiting quite awhile for her to join me, I did it on my own. When researching books to learn Chinese brush painting I discovered sumi-e. This is the Japanese form of brush painting. I am going to share three books that teach sumi-e from three different masters. Each is a bit different. I have not tried any of the techniques as my life has gotten busy. (If you didn't read about my big news, you can here.) Let's begin with the newest book, A Beginner's Guide to Sumi-e: Learn Japanese Ink Painting from a Modern Master by Shozo Koike. This book was released in October 2021!

Mathematical Art: DIY Fibonacci Spiral and My Big News

 


I have BIG NEWS!! My life is changing. After leaving teaching high school math sixteen years ago to get married and focus on family, I am going back to the classroom full time in the fall. Then on top of that news I have been helping out four days a week in the school's directed learning center since someone left at the end of April. My life has been a bit different, and you can tell by the number of posts I have been doing. This will mean some changes to Crafty Moms Share, but I am not sure the extent yet. I will change my focus to more math-based posts but am hoping to still review some books, especially math focused ones and young adult ones so I can connect with my students. I will also be doing more origami, so be ready for review of origami products. 

Somewhere, Right Now -- Beautiful new picture book to help deal with the bad moments

 

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

What do you do when something doesn't go your way? It could be something small or something big. How do you model dealing with disappointments for your kids? Today I am going to share a picture book that teaches this. It is Somewhere, Right Now by Kerry Docherty and illustrated by Suzie Mason. It is recommended for ages 3 to 5.

Cold -- Engaging Young Adult Mystery with LGBTQ+ Characters

 

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

I am working my way through several young adult, middle grade and adult books. Today I get to share a riveting young adult mystery. It is perfect for the upcoming Pride Month (June) as it has many characters in the LGBTQ+ category. The book is Cold by Mariko Tamaki. It is recommended for ages 12+.

Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday -- Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book for this review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Alysson Foti Bourque and will receive a small stipend for this review. All opinions are my own.

Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be all mixed up? Today I am sharing a new picture book with a young cat that experiences one of those days and bonus the book has cattywampus in the title! Great vocabulary word for you and for kids! The book is Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday by Alysson Foti Bourque and illustrated by Chiara Civati. There is also a giveaway and cat craft round-up to go with the book!

The Red Palace -- YA Historical Fiction Perfect for Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

 

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

As May marches on, we continue to look at Asian and Pacific Island heritage products. Today I am sharing a historical fiction young adult novel that takes place in Korea in 1758. It is The Red Palace by June Hur.

Dash & Zoom: Little Miss Sneakypants --Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for this review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Susan R. Stoltz and will receive a small stipend for this review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am participating in The Children's Book Review's Virtual Book Tour of a sweet new picture book perfect for young children. The book is Dash and Zoom: Little Miss Sneakypants by Susan R. Stoltz and illustrated by Melssia Bailey. I am also sharing a round-up of dog crafts for younger children at the end. Plus there is a giveaway!

Skandar and the Unicorn Thief -- Middle Grades Fantasy Novel Review

 

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

Did you go through a unicorn phase? I remember loving unicorns in middle school. In fact one of my graphic arts projects in middle school was screen printing a unicorn on a mirror. I had the mirror for a very long time and may still. I'm not sure where it is though. I remember seeing it when my parents moved during college. Unicorns have become a big thing. They are always cute and sparkly. They apparently poop rainbows now. And every animal can become a type of unicorn. I see the marketing for a caticorn or llamacorn. Have you seen it? Let's face it today's kids are going crazy for anything unicorn. Today I get to share a new middle grade fantasy novel. It is described as a book for Percy Jackson fans, and I wholeheartedly agree. The book is about a world with unicorns, but unicorns are not what we think they are. The book is Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman. It is the first book in a series that will be extremely popular!! It has an 8- to 12-year-old reading level. 

Bella Santini in the Troll War -- Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I am working with The Children's Book Review and Angela Legh to present this review. I will receive a small stipend for my review. I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for the review. All opinions are my own.

Today I get to share with you the second book in The Bella Santini Chronicles. Now I have not read the first book but am interested in it after reading the second one. The book I am reviewing is Bella Santini in the Troll War by Angela Legh. However, the giveaway is for both books in this series!

Anything But Pink -- a fun picture book about accepting one's own true colors

 

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and J.C. Benthin and will receive a small stipend for this review. All opinions are my own.

What is your favorite color? Mine is pink. Would you want everything in your world to be your favorite color? I know I wouldn't. I don't even dress completely in pink ever. Today's book is about being a different color from everyone else. I will admit when I heard the title of the book, the first thought I had was of a baby girl. I remember getting a shower gift that was white with ladybugs. My friend who gave it to me said she got it so I would have something nonpink to put on my baby girl since everything for a baby girl is always pink. I figured the book would be about a girl who didn't like pink. I was very pleasantly surprised. This book is so much better than anything I was imagining. The book is Anything but Pink by J.C. Benthin and illustrated by Andy Catling. 

All About Vietnam -- Book Review & More!

 

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

May is Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month. All month long I will try to share books, crafts, and activities to help celebrate this fun heritage. Today I get to share the newest book from one of my favorite series about Asian countries. It is All About Vietnam: Projects & Activities for Kids: Learn About Vietnamese Culture with Stories, Songs, Crafts & Games by Tran Thi Minh Phuoc and illustrated by Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong. It is a middle grades reading level but can be shared with younger kids if you do the reading!

New Books about Amazing Women

 

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

I always love learning about amazing women. Today I get to share two new books with you that share all about some very amazing women. One is a picture book for the younger kids and the other is a chapter book for older kids. We will start with the picture book. It is The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell by Laura Alary and illustrated by Ellen Rooney. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

The Juneteenth Story and Fun Facts about Juneteenth

 

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

Do you know what Juneteenth is? Do you know why it is a holiday? Do you know how it is celebrated or when? Today I am sharing a new book that answers these questions and more. And I'm going to share some fun facts about Juneteenth too. We will start with the fun facts! On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas that the slaves were free by order of the President of the United States. The next year the first Juneteenth was celebrated.

I Am Golden -- a must-read book for all Asian American children!

 

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

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It is a month I try to focus on Asia and the Pacific Islands. Today I am going to share a book that I feel is a must read for Asian American children especially when there has been such an increase in discrimination and violence toward Asian Americans. The book is I Am Golden by Eva Chen and illustrated by Sophie Diao. It has a reading age of 4 to 6. 

Meow Is Not a Cat -- Book Review & Giveaway

 

Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book for this review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Kelly Tills and will receive a small stipend for this honest review. All opinions are my own.

As a former teacher and someone who has volunteered and worked at my daughter's school, I know there is always that child that thinks outside the box and sees the world in a different way. The child does not want to do anything wrong and probably does not even think he or she is doing something wrong but drives the teacher crazy. Today's book is for all those kids out there and for the adults in their lives! The book is Meow Is Not a Cat by Kelly Tills and illustrated by Max Saladrigas. It is recommended for ages 4+. 

Lia Park and the Missing Jewel -- Asian Middle Grade Fantasy Novel 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 new middle school fantasy novel. It is the first book in a series and is being released on May 3rd. Since the main characters are Korean it is also a perfect book to pick up for Asian Pacific Island American Heritage Month. The book is Lia Park and the Missing Jewel by Jenna Yoon. It is recommended for ages 8 to 11.

At the Sea -- New Picture Book with Flaps to Teach All About the Ocean

 

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

Spring is here. That means summer is almost here and that means the beach! With Earth Day last week, we need to talk about the ocean. Today I am sharing a beautiful, oversized picture book about a trip to the sea that even goes into the Earth Day topics! The book is At the Sea by Emma Giuliani. It has a reading age of 8 to 12.

The Second Chance of Benjamin Waterfalls -- a new Native American themed middle school novel


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 a new middle school novel with Native American characters--Ojibwe to be exact and written by someone of Ojibwe descent. It is about finding oneself after you have hit rock bottom. It is The Second Chance of Benjamin Waterfalls by James Bird. It is recommended for ages 10 to 14.

Animal Books & Crafts for Earth Day

 

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books (digital for stories and physical for crafts) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Earth Day! I am one who believes every day is Earth Day but today is the day the world celebrates this amazing planet and the nature that fills it. To celebrate today I am sharing three new children's books about animals with perfect messages for Earth Day and craft round-ups to go with them as well as two craft books with animal themes. We will start with the first two books. They are from the Surviving Wild series by Remy Lai. The series are graphic novels for ages 6 to 9. The first is Surviving the Wild: Rainbow the Koala

The Wild Garden -- New Picture Book Perfect for Earth Day Everyday!

 

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

Earth Day is this week! I wanted to share a book with you that screams Earth Day to me. Sadly, the book is not being released until May in the US, but it is the perfect book to talk about some of the Earth Day issues. The book is The Wild Garden by Cynthia Cliff. It is recommended for ages 5 to 9. I am also sharing a round-up of gardening crafts, activities, and recipes for kids.