Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Day Is Waiting By Don Freeman Bestselling illustrator and creator of Corduroy. Words by Linda Zuckerman

About the book: Don Freeman, the creator of Corduroy, was one of the most beloved and popular author/illustrators of picture books for children. After Freeman’s death in 1978, colleagues and his wife decided to use his never before published artwork and make a commemorative book using his wonderful illustrations. Paired with Linda Zuckerman's thoughtful rhyming text, The Day Is Waiting takes readers on a tour of our big, wide world and reminds us that no matter how far we roam, we always have home to come back to.

This classic tale is imbued with Freeman’s gentle humor, spontaneity, and his appreciation of the variety and complexity of human experiences, creating a book that children will enjoy reading again and again.

My thoughts: Charming! Sweet! Invoking thoughtful consideration on the part of the child and guidance by the parent as they consider these few lines of rhyming text. The illustrations are from a collection of Don Freeman's never before published art that was selected by his wife for The Day Is Waiting and Linda Zuckerman has given life to these illustrations with a few choice words.

The child's thoughtful consideration and imagination is the goal of the book. Take care that the scant text doesn't throw you off whereby you miss the golden opportunity for a child to think, to consider, to discover. It is there to be sought and found.

Published by ZonderKidz which is a Christian publishing company, there is really no "Christian" teaching in the book with the exception of a verse of Scripture from the Old Testament on the publisher's information page at the end of the book. The book is gently sweet and suitable for any reader audience.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review through the BookLook Blogger Review Program on behalf of ZonderKidz

Monday, June 29, 2015

Maps Activity Book by Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielinska


ISBN: 9780763677718
Grades 2-5 ~ $14.99/US, $17.00/CA
About the book: The Mizielinskis return with a compendium of 36 activities for you to design, decorate and draw. Bursting with fascinating facts and puzzles from around the world, this book offers hours of entertainment to young adventurers.

Countries featured include:

Europe – Poland, Czech Republic, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland
Asia – Russia, Mongolia, China, Nepal, India, Thailand, Japan, Jordan
Africa – Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Namibia, Madagascar
North America – Canada, United States of America, Mexico
South America – Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile
Australia and Oceania – Australia, New Zealand, Fiji
the Arctic, Antarctica

My thoughts: I previously reviewed "Maps"   conceived and illustrated by extremely the talented Mizielinskis duo. That was a real treat. (Be sure you go back and read it.) Now there is a Maps Activity Book by these same artists.

Young students and budding artists have at their fingertips a book of creative coloring and drawing activities. This will help them discover their world and have fun while doing it stimulating them mentally and artistically.

Throughout the activity book, they can visit a variety of countries and learn tidbits about that country. They then have an activity that incorporates that information. Example: On the map of Africa, they can draw and color several animals indigenous to Africa. Or for Japan they can design and color a kimono.
In the United Kingdom map outline, they can draw castles all over the place and of their own design because, you know, there once were many castles there.

This is not your standard geography project where the student draws a map of a country and fills in places. No, this is a fun way to learn about our World. This would be a great activity book for children in the home or to be used in a classroom setting. Not dependent on the predecessor, Maps, it is independent though it wouldn't hurt at all to have both available.

Another great product from Big Picture Press an imprint of Candlewick Press. I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are just mine alone. No compensation was received for this review.

Vita Sciences provides pain relief and inflammation relief with "Joint Right" topical cream

I have reviewed several of the Vita Science products and highly endorse them. When given the opportunity to review the Vita Science "Joint Right" Hypo-Allergenic Pain Relieving Cream, I was delighted. I have some typical aches and pains that seem to be the companion of a lady-of-a-certain-age as most folks do. So when knees, shoulders, neck, or back aches rise up to torment, I use pain relieving tablets and sometimes topical applications of pain relieving products. Now who wants to take lots of pills? I don't so the topical products are a choice that I really like. But they need to work, don't they?

Joint Right by Vita Sciences did help to relieve some knee aches and an aching shoulder. I found the product easy to apply and rub into the skin and it left no residue to rub off on my clothes. Nice. 

However, there was a slight down side for me that might not apply to most folks. Some ingredient in the product produces a stinging "pepper" sort or feel. Not unbearable, but not really a lot to my liking. Also, even though I washed my hands several time, I found the product still had some remaining residue that irritated my eyes if I touched them. So that is just a cautionary word. 

So it provides some relief and has a mildly irritating factor for me. I'll give it a 4-star rating.

Product Description (from Vita Sciences) - Targeted pain relief caused by inflamed joints—Vita Science Joint Right cream provides odor-free relief. Formulated with natural ingredients that have been scientifically established to work. Joint Right cream incorporates a unique combination of ingredients, our own BlueProfen complex, that work in 2 main ways to provide relief. Immediate relief is provided by bringing joint inflammation under control. Long term benefit comes from building up mucosal joint linings (lubricating the joint).

Joint inflammation is typically addressed using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.), prescription steroids (such as prednisone), or COX2 inhibitors (Celebrex, etc.) available by prescription. There can be serious side effects from using any of these forms of treatment. 

Using Vita Sciences Joint Right cream as directed is a safe and reliable method of dealing with joint pain. Moisturizers and anti-oxidants allow this light cream to easily absorb into the skin. Each 1.7 ounce bottle delivers 30 applications of lotion in protected and measured amounts. Natural ingredients assure this lotion is gentle to your skin. (see it on Amazon.com)
  • EASY TO USE - Each measured dose of Joint Right lotion from our airless dispenser delivers a full dose.
  • GENTLE ON THE SKIN - Our scent-free hypoallergenic lotion is gentle on the skin, odorless, nonirritating
  • ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS - Joint Right lotion uses only natural, safe ingrediants
  • MAXIMUM ABSORPTION - Joint Right cream is extremely safe to use. A full fluid ounce of cream contains 1,330 milligrams of BlueProfen complex plus Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Vitamin E, and Pro-Vitamin B5 which are all very good for your skin.
DISCLOSURE: I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest and unbiased feedback.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer's List by Anita Higman [Review & Giveaway-Ends 7/3/15]

About the book: A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness---caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore---she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love . . . didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something---or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

My thoughts: As usual, author Anita Higman has woven a lovely story involving a sweet Granny (whom we all will love and wish were our Granny), brothers who are scoundrels, sweet romance, grief, and restoration. People of faith who lived and shared their faith in a loving, caring God.

Summer is quite a sweet young lady but one who has missed out on love and the adventure of establishing a life of her own because she sacrificed her future to care for ailing parents until their death. Now her Granny has a special, dying request of Summer.

Being reunited with a childhood friend from 20 years prior is a story in itself and so sweet. The beauty of Anita Higman's prose captures the reader's interest and desire to continue page after page until the end is reach. A good read. A sweet read (though you'll want to do physical harm to the two brothers). A lovable dog and a faithful housekeeper are all part of the mix of characters whose involvement color the canvas of Summer's List.

Purchase a copy: CLICK HERE
GIVEAWAY 
1 Copy of Summer's List
Begins June 26 & ENDS July 3 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. 
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the author: Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publisher and author to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone. No compensation was received for this review. Giveaway copy is provided by Litfuse Publicity Group.

For the "Gold Touch" I tried ISA Professional XANADU 24K Gold Vitamin C Serum and Foundation Primer


Have you ever heard of having actual 24K gold in your cosmetics? I hadn't until recently. I began seeing products of various types with gold in them and their being touted as the real thing and the best thing going for your skin. So when given the opportunity from ISA to try their XANADU 24K Gold Vitamin C Serum, I jumped at the chance.
I've been using it a couple of weeks now - morning and evening. First of all, this beautiful product is gorgeous sitting on my counter. I feel so blessed to have such a lovely product. Isn't it pretty? It is a pretty expensive product, but one you might want to consider worth the gold (now that pun was really intended!). 
I have used a number of different serums from high end department store names to a plethora of brands found only online (as far as I can determine). Most work very nicely and we should use any and all products we can afford and to which we have access to care for our skin. Using the XANADU 24K Gold Vitamin C Serum has taken skin care to a new level! I just love it! Why, you might just want to make a little pedestal and put it right up on it!
So luxurious!
First I cleanse my face. Then I apply the XANADU 24K Gold Vitamin C Serum which I allow to thoroughly dry before adding moisturizer and makeup. This serum hydrates and produces a nice soft effect to my skin. I can even see a few little gold particles on my skin. Did I say I love it? I suppose I have, but it is worth saying again. 

How to apply? For best results with this product as with other skin care products, you should apply with an upward motion.

Product Description - (provided by ISA) - Formulated with a combination of Botanical Ingredients, High Tech science, and 24K Real Gold. This serum will moisturize, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, even skin tone, repair sun damage, and give you a golden youthful glow.


From Nature

  • 24K Gold.
  • Vitamin C - pH balanced and highly absorbable. Brightens skin, combats wrinkles and dark spots.
  • Vitamin E moisturizes and heals.
  • Rose Extract soothes the skin and gives the Xanadu serum a delightful natural scent.
  • P-anisic from the spice anise.

Supporting what's already in your skin


  • Hyaluronic Acid captures and holds up to 1000 times its volume in moisture to your skin.
  • Collagen to support your skin's own collagen.
  • Creatine supplies energy to your cells.
  • Beta-Glucan boosts the immune system.

From High Tech science


  • Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (Matrixyl-3000) is a peptide that specifically stimulates collagen synthesis and skin repair.
  • Epidermal Growth Factor stimulates new cell growth.

The Perfect serum for your face, made from the best botanical extracts and leading-edge technology.

Important Safety Notice: For topical use only. Not for use on mucous membranes. Do not ingest. Do not apply in, on, or around eye area. Irritation may result. If you do accidentally get some product in your eye, rinse with cool water.

Ingredients: 24K Gold, Deionized water, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Collagen, Rose Extract, Hyaluronic acid, Creatine, Beta-Glucan, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (Matrixyl-3000), Epidermal Growth Factor, P-anisic.

Directions: Apply twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, on freshly cleansed skin. Avoid eyes and mouth. For speedy application, pump the bottle top twice into the palm of one hand, rub palms together, then apply to face. For luxurious application, place one pump on each cheek (where your dimples would be) and smooth onto face with your finger tips in a circular upward motion. WARNING: The second method may leave tiny flecks of gold intact on your face for your friends to envy!

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Now and Forever (Book 2 in the Wild at Heart Series) by Mary Connealy

About the book: Shannon Wilde is the middle sister--and the one who loves animals. She's established her own homestead and is raising sheep for their wool. Things are going fine...until Shannon gets swept over a cliff by Matthew Tucker!

Tucker seizes every opportunity to get away from civilization, but one particular walk in the woods ends with him sprinting away from an angry grizzly and plunging into a raging river, accidentally taking Shannon Wilde with him. Their adventure in the wilderness results in the solitary mountain man finding himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.

As Tucker and Shannon learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon's land. Someone clearly wants to drive her off, but whoever it is apparently didn't count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad--and trying to hurt the woman he's falling in love with sets off something even he never expected.

My thoughts: From the crack of the spine, you'll have your funny bone tickled with the author's quirky, funny spin of this tale. Packed with danger, fraught with peril, chased by bears, and an escape over frothing river falls is told with a twist of the tongue as the characters mentally brace themselves for adventure.

Shannon Wilde (one of the Wild at Heart sisters) and Tucker (raised by Indians and tamed by no one) meet and greet each other and are ultimately married by the parson in the middle of the woods after being rescued. Bizarre, to be sure. But never-the-less seems to work.

Not only are they at risk from bears, rivers, and dark caves but danger lurks as land-stealing, barn-burning, meanness is afoot and aimed in their direction.

There is a serious side to Mary Connealy's book, too. The story is post-Civil War era and the three Wilde sisters all served as soldiers and fought during the Civil War (dressed as men, because women could not serve) at the insistence of their father. Shannon worked as a medic and in the story she deals with the nightmares those terrible war experiences brought to her.

As usual, a Mary Connealy book is a fun to read book with a bit of romance and a bit of suspense mixed in with the adventure and liberally dusted with wit.

Read an excerpt

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group to facilitate this review. Opinions are just mine. I was not compensated to review this book.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Achoo! Why Pollen Counts by Author/Illustrator Shennen Bersani

Hardcover: 9781628555509, $17.95
Paperback: 9781628555592, $9.95
About the book: Spring has arrived and pollen is in the air. Baby Bear does not like the pollen—it sticks to his fur and makes him itchy and sneezy. He’s allergic! Achoo! He just wishes the pollen were gone. But when his friends gather to tell him why they need pollen, Baby Bear learns that pollen is good for the forest and provides food for many animals, including him!

My thoughts: Allergies are so unpleasant and affect so many folks. Allergies to pollens are dreaded but few folks who are contending with this problem stop and think how thankful they should be for the pollens. In Achoo! Why Pollen Counts the young reader learns about allergies and also about the importance of pollen.

Personally, I'm one of those affected by pollens and I, like "Baby Bear," contend with the days of itching and sneezing during the pollen season. However, Baby Bear meets a variety of critters  including spiders, butterflies, and small animals who each explain how pollen helps them.
The story is sweet and the illustrations absolutely wonderful. The lessons on the value of pollen and how it is spread and its purpose and action in the cycle of life are really good. I love, too, the "For Creative Minds" pages at the end of the book. These enable the parent or teacher to further expand the learning opportunity with more information and activities.

I have just one little question. Do animals in the wild experience allergic reactions to pollen? While it makes for a cute story and Baby Bear is charming, in a book that deals with educational insights, it is important not to introduce inaccurate information in the story line even for the sake of a sweet tale. Click "comments" below and read author's response to my question, "Do animals in the wild experience allergic reactions to pollen?"

Love the book. Love the information. Absolutely love the illustrations!

Author/Illustrator Info: While  is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is her debut picture book as an author. Her art delivers a unique blend of realism, heartfelt emotion, love of nature, and life lessons for children of all ages. She has illustrated Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; Animal Partners; Shark Baby; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; and Astro: The Steller Sea Lion for Arbordale. Shennen has also illustrated a number of best-selling books, including, Snakes: Long, Longer, Longest; Sharks: Big, Bigger, Biggest; Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers; and Icky Bug Shapes. Shennen lives near Boston. For more information, visit her website at www.shennenbersani.com.

I was provided a complimentary copy by Arbordale Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are solely my own. I received no compensation for the review.