The Pop-Up Guide Cities Around the World -- Book Review with Crafts, Recipes and More!


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

Looking to teach little ones about the world? Today we are sharing a fun pop-up book that takes us around the world. I am also sharing links to crafts, activities, and recipes to go with each city and/or its country. The book is The Pop-Up Guide: Cities Around the World by Maud Poulain and illustrated by Sandra de la Prada. It is recommended for ages 3 to 5. 

The Worry Balloon -- First Day of School Book


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

Has school started where you are? Many schools near us start this week and our school begins after Labor Day. However, the teachers have been back for teacher training starting last week. Last week we had three days with experts in success counseling originally started by Dr. William Glasser and his choice therapy. It has been really interesting and was a tiring week. We literally were being taught to think and react in a different way. If you have time, check it out. 

With the first day of school there is always some anxiety for students, teachers, and parents. Today I am sharing a new picture book that is meant to help children learn ways to deal with anxiety including the first day of school jitters. The book is The Worry Balloon by Mónica Mancillas and illustrated by Betty C. Tang. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8 but could be used with older children to help teach some techniques to help fight anxiety. 

Origami Animals and Origami Paper Review and How I Use It in My Classroom


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

I am heading back to school for teacher training and the pre-school year prep. One of the things I always have in my room is origami paper and books. I use them with my geometry classes and pull them out during breaks and students come in to get some when they need a break or something to do with their hands. Today I am going to share with you an origami kit and three packs of origami paper which I will be adding to my classroom collection! We will start with the kit which is Fun with Origami Animals by Sam Ita. It is recommended for ages 6 to 10. I would say it is perfect for beginners no matter the age.

The Wisdom of Solomon -- Book Review with Crafts and Activities


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

I haven't shared a Christian themed book in a while. Today I thought I would share one about King Solomon. You may remember Solomon is the son of King David and becomes the third king of Israel. He is known for his wisdom which is a gift from God and building the temple in Jerusalem. The book I'm sharing today is The Wisdom of Solomon by Demi. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8. I am also sharing some crafts and activities to go with the book.

Home Is Calling: The Journey of the Monarch Butterfly -- Book Review with Craft Round-Up


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

Over the years we have loved learning about butterflies and especially monarchs. We grow milkweed to help keep monarchs around. Today I get to share with you a wonderful new picture book about the long journey they take every autumn. The book is Home Is Calling: The Journey of the Monarch Butterfly by Katherine Pryor and illustrated by Ellie Peterson. It is recommended for ages 4 to 7. At the end of my post is a round-up of butterfly crafts and activities including a section on monarchs! It shares more than 50 ideas!

Rocket Says Speak Up! -- New Picture Book About Being an Activist


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

Last week I shared a book about the suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, and today I am still on the activist kick with a fun new picture book that encourages kids to speak up and change the world! The book is Rocket Says Speak Up! by Nathan Bryon and illustrated by Dapo Adeola. It is recommended for ages 3 to 7 and is part of a collection called Rocket Says. 

Back to School...Classroom Decor, Things I Learned and Free Resources


It was very different teaching last year versus when I left teaching 17 years ago. So much has changed from technology to expectations. When I taught previously every high school used Geometers' Sketchpad and now there are free and easier to use programs like GeoGebra. Graphing calculators were a huge deal and it was hard to get students to buy them. We actually often had a class set or at least a few for the ones who could not afford them. Now if they do not have the calculators, they can use online programs like Desmos. Although I did not permit Desmos during tests since it was too hard to monitor what they were really doing on their devices with online searches and such. I discovered I liked Desmos better for some things because of the ease to use it. However, I still teach kids to use their graphing calculators because they are able to use them in standardized testing like the SAT and ACT. 

Dare to Question -- Book Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and a small stipend. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Jamine Stirling to share this book with you and offer the giveaway.

When you think of the Women's Suffrage Movement in the United States, who do you think of? I am sure names like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton come to mind. Have you heard of Carrie Chapman Catt? It is because of her questions and thinking that we finally got the vote. Today I get to share a new picture book with you about her and her role as a suffragist. The book is Dare to Question: Carrie Chapman Catt's Voice for the Vote by Jasmine A. Stirling and illustrated by Udayana Lugo. It is recommended for ages 5 and up. There is also a giveaway at the end of this post!

Barbie Movie and a Barbie Birthday Cake


Have you seen the Barbie Movie yet? For my birthday this year, Hazel and I went to a matinee. I also decided to try to make a Barbie cake for myself. It is hard to hear some of the criticism of the movie from people who refuse to see it. For example, Rex Huppke's column in USA Today shares many of the things said about the movie. Now being a liberal and having many liberal friends, I have many friends who have different opinions. But I am going to begin by sharing a bit of my own background.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024 -- Review & Giveaway

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 always loved flipping through the National Geographic Kids Almanac. When we saw it at the bookstore, she would ask me to get one for her. I was lucky enough to get several to review in years past. Today I get to share with you the newest edition--National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. I know I shared it with Hazel when she was younger. We would look at it together and I would read it to her. And I also have a link for a giveaway of three copies!! Enter and you may be one of the lucky winners!!

About the New York Times Best-Selling National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024:

The New York Times best-selling Almanac is packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, National Geographic exclusives, games, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more.

This new edition features: 

  • EXCLUSIVE National Geographic Explorer interviews and features
  • EXCLUSIVE Interactive Almanac Challenge 2024, plus the results of the Almanac Challenge 2023
  • BONUS SECTION of sidesplitting jokes and riddles
  • NEW fun-tastic things to see and do in 2024
  • NEW cutest animal superlatives and animal rescue stories
  • NEW science and dinosaur discoveries
  • NEW fun games, quizzes, and activities
  • NEW weird and wacky places around the world
  • NEW experiments to do, places to explore, and ways to change the world
  • UPDATED reference material, including fast facts and maps of every country

Check out for more information and to take the 2024 Almanac Challange, Elephant-Stagram!

Whether you’re looking for homework help, want to learn more about another country, or just need a cute animal fix, the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024 has you covered!

From Me:

As I mentioned in the introduction, this was one of Hazel's favorites. It is packed full with fun information, riddles, jokes, fun facts, games and more. The topics are all over the place from animals (like the elephants that are part of this year's challenge) and the pages about flamingos and so many others. It also has animals in the news like the ones rescued from the war and more. The book also includes all you ever wanted to know about plastics and the need to reduce our usage of them. There is information about space and Earth as well as wonders of the world, history, geography, culture and science and technology. It is full of photographs galore as well as tidbits that are just fun!

While I was flipping through, I tried to get Hazel to say some of the tongue twisters and then asked her some of the riddles. She claimed I was being annoying (typical teenager mode) until she saw the "Stump Your Parents" section. She took over and quizzed me. Then I found the other quiz and asked her. We had a lovely time laughing and teasing each other over the facts. 

What I love about this book is it is fun and informational. It is perfect for checking out with an adult or to look up something for school. There are so many different topics and lots of ideas and actions to take to make the world a better place. It is such a great book to inspire kids to learn about things they love even if they haven't heard of them yet. I love how it has information about the dinosaurs to the latest technology. There is truly something for everyone and more! I hope you will check it out!


Three (3) winners will receive a copy of this ultimate summertime boredom buster! Good luck!! The rafflecopter will be live from 12:01am ET 7/24 to 11:59pm ET 8/11. US/Canada.