Saturday, May 27, 2017

WINDOWS by Julia Denos & illustrated by E.B. Goodale from Candlewick Press


ISBN: 9780763690359
My thoughts: At first glance, one would think this is simply a book about seeing into the windows of one's neighborhood as the day ends and the lights inside come on revealing activities at the close of day. However, as you ponder the pictures and text it leads one to contemplate just what is really going on inside the rooms alight and revealing the lives of those around us.

We see that they, just as we, putter about their homes doing the mundane chores and being involved in the act of daily living. Just as you and just as I. So we see the varied homes with varied shaped windows with varied individuals each unique and each somewhat the same as you and I. We are all going about the act of living out the day and are backlite in the windows of our homes.

Is this snooping? Is this an invasion of privacy? Is this none of our personal business and encroaching into the lives of those into whose windows we are peering? That just depends on your outlook. I choose to think that it is that little bit of life our neighbors are willing to share with us. They are allowing us to peer into their windows and see them a little.
What if we allowed our associates, our families, our neighbors to peer into the windows of our souls at least a little just as we are peering into the windows of the houses along the street at close of day when the lights come on and the curtains are not yet pulled shutting us out?

A lovely book provoking thoughtful insight into that which is around us. Illustrations by E.B.Goodale are done in dark shades of blues, browns, and greys indicative of the setting sun and darkening evening. Golden rosy hues light the backdrop of the pages as the sun sets and as the lights flick on in the windows of the homes along the street inviting the reader to peer into the windows and find objects and activities to talk about.

About the book: Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.

Before your city goes to sleep, you might head out for a walk, your dog at your side as you go out the door and into the almost-night. Anything can happen on such a walk: you might pass a cat, or a friend, or even an early raccoon. And as you go down your street and around the corner, the windows around you light up one by one until you are walking through a maze of paper lanterns, each one granting you a brief, glowing snapshot of your neighbors as families come together and folks settle in for the night. With a setting that feels both specific and universal and a story full of homages to The Snowy Day, Julia Denos and E. B. Goodale have created a singular book — at once about the idea of home and the magic of curiosity, but also about how a sense of safety and belonging is something to which every child is entitled.
Watch for Chat With Vera's giveaway of a final copy of WINDOWS.
DISCLOSURE: I received an Advanced Reader Copy (uncorrected proof) from Candlewick to facilitate my review which is freely given.

Friday, May 26, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time (Volume 5) by Carole P. Roman & illustrated by Mateya Arkova [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  It was refreshing to see a book on ancient civilization in Africa and specifically the country of Mali. In the 1300s life in Mali was different from that of today. There was a successful  and wealthy ruler benefiting the country.

As with most cultures during the 1300s, children age 11 or 12 took on cares of the adult world. They were apprenticed, girls were given in marriage, and their childhood was ended. Sadly, this is something that remains unchanged in some cultures even today.

The girl in the book is instructed in what life would be like for her if she had lived in the Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa. Illustrated in the same hues as the landscape of the region, the pictures take on a rosy, sandstone coloration indicative of the area and touched with the vivid colors that the people of Mali like to incorporate into their clothes.

This book is instructive and interesting in that so little is know of this region and period of history in the annuls of Western Civilization. I think it quite enlightening and educational to read and would encourage the use of this small book as a starting point for further research. The end pages of the book, as with other "If You Were Me and Lived in...." books, include important personages and a wonderful glossary.

I encourage the incorporation of this volume into library collections for children and I highly encourage families of African-American heritage to get a copy for their own children's libraries.

About the book: Join Carole P. Roman as she travels back in time to visit the exciting Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa during the 1300s. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the past to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land and its rich history through the eyes of a youngster like you. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair time traveler.
Congratulations to Carole P. Roman! IF YOU WERE ME & LIVED IN THE ANCIENT MALI EMPIRE is a WINNER in the 2017 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS. Check it out - click here. Other Carole P. Roman books either won or were finalists including: Can A Princess Be A Firefighter, One to Ten: Squirrel's Bad Day, If You Were Me &  Lived in Germany (Winner), If You Were Me & Lived On Mars, & If You Were Me & Lived in Israel.

GIVEAWAY

3 winners chosen to receive 1 copy each
Begins May 26
Ends June 16 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author to facilitate this review of my own opinions. I was not compensated. Winner's copy is provided directly to the winner by the author.

Friday, May 19, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade Contemporary Romance from Bethany House Publishers A Bradford Sisters Romance #1 [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: I do look forward to reading Becky Wade's delightful books. Usually they are very light hearted, chock-full of sweet romance, clean reads, Christian, and contemporary. Seeing the cover of True to You really caught my attention because the young lady whose image adorns the book is so lovely and has a sweetness about her gentle look. And on top of that, the dress in the picture is very, very much like one I wore in the late 1950s to one of my bridal showers.

When I began reading I realized that the lovely lady on the cover as the book's heroine, Nora Bradford, is from a "monied" family who owns a historic village and who loves books, words, times of long ago, genteel living, and multisyllabic word conversations. She is also a lady with a quirky sense of humour oft times being the brunt of the funny stuff herself.

But there is a depth to this story that takes wading into its many pages to realize. Not only is it one of discovered romance and getting-to-know you occasions, it is one of finding out that there are life situations that are not all roses and bright sunny days, happy occasions, and sweetness. It is finding your depth of understanding and digging deep into yourself to see if you're the stuff of which a quality and lasting relationship can be made.

As usual, I found Becky Wade's book enjoyable and light hearted but I also discovered that she can write about depths of humanity and pen the story with skill and expertise. I thoroughly enjoyed True to You. (Caution: if "Christian fiction" readers don't want to have hugs, kisses, and longing in their stories even though they are handled with grace and beauty, you shouldn't pursue reading the book.)

About the book: After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

From the book.......

...the past might be challenging and the future might be sure. And that's okay. The present is all we're given, anyway. When we get to the future, God will be there. He'll supply whatever we need for each day."

GIVEAWAY

Begins May 11
ENDS May 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author: Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at www.beckywade.com.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publiciuty group on behalf of Bethany House Publishing and the author to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given. Winner's copy will be sent directly to the winner from Litfuse or the publisher.

If You Were Me and Lived On...Mars by Carole P. Roman & illustrated by Mateya Arkova [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781540869722
My thoughts:  Former educator Carole P. Roman launched a new career several years ago when she began writing the Captain No Beard stories to entertain her grandchildren. She branched out with her series of cultural books in the If You Were Me an Lived in.... (name of country). Now branching out into the world of science she ventures into what it would be like for people to travel to and establish a community on Earth's nearest planet, Mars.

Written in easy-to-understand format that can be understood by preschoolers when it is read aloud to them and later for early elementary children to read themselves. The imagined community has entire families living there. She imagines, as scientists do as well, that they can grow crops in soil comprised of a mixture of Earth soil mixed with Martian soil.  The lack of breathable air, drinkable water, and unlivable air pressure is addressed so the reader will understand why they would have to live in a structure that creates (or imports) air, water, and other life sustaining elements.

The moons of Mars, location and appearance of the Sun, their cycles and length of year and day is also part of the narrative. Truly Ms. Roman has packed quite a lot of information about our neighbor, Mars, in this little book and written in such a manner that children won't realize they are learning.

About the book: Join Carole P. Roman when she blasts off to colonize the planet Mars, in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about how life would be living on the Red Planet. Travel to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. Look into the sky and watch Phobos and Deimos, Mars' two moons. Discover what you would wear, and how the seasons change. See Mars through the eyes of an adventurous youngster like you and understand what life is like in a trip of a lifetime. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair traveler.

GIVEAWAY

3 winners chosen to receive 1 copy each
Begins May 19
Ends June 9 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author to facilitate this review of my own opinions. I was not compensated. Winner's copy is provided directly to the winner by the author.

The Frightening Philippi Jail (Faith that God Built Series) by Gary Bower & Illustrated by Barbara Chotiner

My thoughts:    There are three books, to date, in the "Faith that God Built" book series. I have reviewed two others and found them entertaining, enlightening, and educational with true to Scripture "telling."

The story of the Philippian Jailer can be a bit scary to young children. With Paul and Silas being locked up in a dark, frightenting jail is a bit hard on young imaginations. Gary Bower lets the reader into that Frightening Philippi Jail where bugs, slugs, an other creepy crawlies abound in the cold and dark. But he tells about it in an imagination and mind-grabbing use of rhymes with rhythm and cadence akin to the "This Is the House that Jack Built" nursery rhyme.

So tuck in your funny bone and get ready for a fun yet frightening, repetive rhyming, re-telling in text and wonderful illustrations about Paul and Silas in the Philippi Jail.

Gary Bower's fabulous use of rhyme coupled with his sense of humor and splashed across the pages with Barbara Chotiner's grandly appropriate illustrations makes the reader (obviously this time it is the 'Grandma-GG' reader) want to read the book again and again. I recommend each of the "Faith that God Built Books" for libraries and homes.
About the book: The Faith that God Built series by Gary Bower uses the same whimsical style of storytelling as The House that Jack Built, using rhyme to introduce preschoolers through second graders to favorite Bible stories. Gary has a well-developed talent for creating engaging narratives that also teach biblical truths through rhyme. In The Frightening Philippi Jail, Paul and Silas praise the Lord in a difficult and unfair situation.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishers to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Hurry-Up Exit from Egypt (A Faith that God Built Book) by Gary Bower & illustrated by Barbara Chotiner

My thoughts: Most folks who enjoy the rollicking rhyme of the folk story in verse or rhyme "This Is the House that Jack Built" want to pass the joy of the chant, song, rhyme, repetition for which this nursery rhyme is famous. Now if you love that, you will absolutely love Gary Bower's new set of Biblical rhymes in the same style and cadence as the House that Jack Built. I previously reviewed A Patch on the Peak of Ararat (A Faith that God Built Book) and enjoyed it so very much that I looked forward to more from Mr. Bower.

And I am again so very pleased. The Hurry-Up Exit from Egypt just rolls along and it builds with excitement as Moses and the Israelites cross the Red Sea and the Egyptians get swamped by the water. And as I read it I could feel the "hurry-up exit from Egypt" building with perhaps a touch of what those Israelites felt as they exited Egypt.

But this is intended as a children's picture book with story in rhyme. That is just what it is. And this retelling of God's faithful protection of Moses and the Israelites as they left Egypt is presented on a level for the child that portrays excitement, adventure, and awe. The illustrations are bold and beautifully done. The text is full of words that will capture the child's attention - fun words and yet they don't detract from the truth of this Bible story (short excerpts below)
feet that were frantic and fleet
Israelites thrown in a fit, panicking, scampering, lickety-split  
an eye-popping sight 
water heaped high on the left and the right
This series is true to Scripture with reference to the whole story in Exodus 12-14 plus a petinent Bible verse. I recommend this series as fun ways to learn about Bible stories.

About the book: The Faith that God Built series by Gary Bower uses the same whimsical style of storytelling as The House that Jack Built, using rhyme to introduce preschoolers through second graders to favorite Bible stories. Gary has a well-developed talent for creating engaging narratives that also teach biblical truth through rhyme.

The Hurry-Up Exit from Egypt takes readers along as Moses leads God’s people out of slavery in Egypt and toward the Promised Land.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale House Pub. to facilitate a review. These are my own opinions and I was not compensated.

My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories By Thomas Nelson

My thoughts:  The world of "board books" for young children is evolving into a more substantial story book that encompasses a broader age spectrum. Obviously board books will hold up better in the hands of the young child and obviously lifting-the-flag is a means of engaging and capturing a young child's attention. And this My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories is just that - a board book with a variety of flaps for the child to peek under.

The book also has more story or text than the typical board book. This is great because young children can and should be taught to sit for longer readings at an early age. So this book encompasses that broader spectrum of ages - the young listener and the later young reader. The Bible stories span the entire Bible with key stories for the child. The flaps reveal another part of the story - kind of a before and after scenario. And under the title of each story is the Scriptural reference so you can actually read the entire story straight from the Bible. Great for family devotions when an older child or an adult reads the Biblical text while the young child lifts the appropriate flaps.

I highly recommend this for homes with children.

About the book:  With more than 30 lift the flaps that move the story along and charming artwork, My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories will delight little ones as they learn favorite Bible stories.

Young families looking for a way to engage their little ones with the Bible will love My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories. Unique from other lift-the-flap books, each flap reveals the next part of the Bible story to keep the story moving. Search for Jonah falling into the belly of the whale, watch Jesus perform miracles, and welcome an angel waiting in the tomb by lifting the flaps to see the story revealed. Sweet art and easy-to-understand retellings of favorite Bible stories will delight parents and little ones alike. Teach your little ones about the stories of the Bible in fun, delightful ways through the My Lift-the-Flap Bible Stories!

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the BookLook Review Program on behalf of Tommy Nelson a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women's Suffrage by Claire Rudolf Murphy & illustrated by Stacey Schuett

My thoughts:  The author has taken a real girl and a real family who interacted with Susan B Anthony and were involved in the campaign for women to receive the privilege to vote - women's suffrage. The story revolves around an event in California.

Today when girls and women are allowed to vote, work at careers of their own choosing, and participate in activities once frown upon or forbidden, it is hard to imagine an America where women could not be active and could not vote. It has not been that long since women's lives were so vastly different.


While Marching with Aunt Susan is the fictionalization of an actual family interacting with Susan B. Anthony and their involvement in the suffrage campaign, it brings out the history of the time and the need for societal changes. And while eventually the country did pass laws allowing women to vote and making it unlawful for children to work long hours and not attend school, women were still "kept in their place" by much of society. The author has done a good job of presenting this period of history in a format that will appeal to young elementary age students. This book would be a good addition to school libraries.


About the book:  All Bessie wants is to go hiking with her father and brothers. But it s 1896 and girls don t get to hike. They can t vote either, which Bessie discovers when Susan B. Anthony comes to town to help lead the campaign for women s suffrage. Inspired by the great woman, Bessie becomes involved in the movement and discovers that hiking is only one of the many things that women and girls aren't allowed to do. But small efforts can result in small changes and maybe even big ones.


DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Peachtree Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

One to Ten: Squirrel's Bad Day by Carole P. Roman & illustrated by Mateya Arkova [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: Prolific author Carole P. Roman has turned her attention from stories and journeys around the world to that of counseling and a scale of one to ten that children can use to rate hurts and disappointments in life. The illustrations by Bulgarian Mateya Arkova, who has previously illustrated several of Roman's books, are quite lively and colorful. Using water colors and a whimsical style of cute forest animals with bright, bold eyes she has squirrel being counseled by rabbit and bringing the entirety of forest critters into the group therapy.

Squirrel is traipsing along the forest with an armload of acorns and he trips spilling them into a stream where they get completely away from him. Squirrel being saddened by this loss is comforted by rabbit and then rabbit proceeds to use a system of rating a hurt or disappointment from one to ten as a means of identifying the gravity of an event.

The text is really thin which I find unusual for a children's book and the depth of thought and amount of text in the story somewhat beyond what I perceive as the intended age group for this picture book. It is doable, just different.The examples to be rated on the one to ten scale included  death of a loved on and also separation or divorce of parents. These are, naturally, rated upward to the 10 level. The concept of helping a child understand that some things definitely are worse than others and learning to cope with varying degrees of hurt and disappointment is needed and perhaps Roman's book is a great beginning.

About the book: Squirrel is running along a tree limb when she trips, losing all her acorns into the rushing water of the river below. Angry and frustrated, she doesn't know what to do. Her good friend, Rabbit, lends both a sympathetic ear as well as a solution. Rather than get angry, Rabbit tells her, rate the problem on a scale of one-to-ten. By identifying and realizing the true importance of the issue, the issue may not seem so overwhelming. Adorable forest creatures help the sad squirrel put everything into perspective so he does not to get stuck in a rut over something that may not be a big deal after all.

GIVEAWAY

3 winners chosen to receive 1 copy each
Begins May 12
Ends May 26 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author to facilitate this review of my own opinions. I was not compensated. Winner's copy is provided directly to the winner by the author.

Prize Pack and $100 Giveaway from the author of TRUE TO YOU - Becky Wade

Do opposites really attract? John and Nora might just be the perfect match. Find out in True to You, book one in Becky Wade's new series! Genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Celebrate the launch of Becky Wade's new series by entering to win a fabulous prize pack and $100 cash card!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of True to You
  • A $100 Visa cash card
  • A prize pack hand-picked by Becky

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on May 30. The winner will be announced May 31 on the Litfuse blog.

All Things Bright and Beautiful by Make Believe Ideas & Published by Thomas Nelson


My thoughts:  If you are not familiar with the lovely hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful" you should really find it and listen, read the beautiful lyrics, and let it wash over your entirety. To teach a young child the concept that everything that God made, and He did make everything, is beautiful is a wondrous thing to accomplish. To begin that lesson, the lovely words and tune to All Things Bright and Beautiful paves the way.

This bright and cheerful board book with softly padded cover (and even slightly rounded corners) and a nifty carrying handle can be a first step in helping you teach your wee little one that the Lord God made all things bright and beautiful.

I absolutely love the cute, bright, colorful illustrations that grace the pages of this little book. The textured "glitter" that accents the illustrations is an appealing addition that will "brighten" the day and the reading for the little ones.

This is a wonderful little book to give your little one or gift to a child. I highly recommend.

About the book: All Things Bright and Beautiful, a charming new padded board book for young children, will be a bright, glittery addition to any home.

This padded board book with plastic handle sparkles with its eye-catching cover and colorful, fun illustrations. With glitter on every page, your little one will be engaged with the lyrics from the classic hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” Enjoy celebrating God’s beautiful creation through this adorable book that your children will want to read over and over again!

The padded covers, thick pages, and handle are perfect for little hands, and the glittery artwork and simple, classic lyrics will appeal to any young child. All Things Bright and Beautiful will delight your family as you cuddle up and read all about God’s care in creation.

Enjoy the beautiful words and song below.


DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of the book from BookLook Blogger Review Program on behalf of the publisher to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Love Letters from God; Bible Stories for a Girl's Heart by Glenys Nellist & illustrated by Rachel Clowes [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  I have often sat in worship service or at Bible study and heard the comment, "The Bible is God's love letter to you." And that is very true but we tend to relegate that choice phrase to the background of our memories and read the Bible without completely realizing that it is, in fact, God's love letter to us. To you. To me. To each and every man, woman, child.

The author has carried that thought to fruition in an absolutely lovely book for girls. She has taken the stories of 14 women or girls in the Bible and shown how God loves (loved) them. Then an application is make where the young girls reading the stories can see how God loves them and has show this love in His love letter to them.

In the very first story which is about the very first girl, the reader learns about Eve who sinned when she chose the forbidden fruit and ate thereof. But that is not the end of the story. No, God covers Eve, forgives her, allows her to live. The application - tucked away in the little "lift the flap" love letter to the reader - is that even though the reader might sin, God forgives and God covers that sin.

This concept of story, God's love, and application is repeated in each of the stories. A Bible verse appropriate to the lesson and story is included with each. The illustrations are charming, softly colored, and will engage the interest of the reader.

I highly recommend this book to first be used as a read-aloud devotional and discussion with young girls and parents. Then to be read, and re-read. This is a great opportunity to sprinkle in and elaborate on deeper theological ideas.

About the book: In this heart-warming picture book designed for girls, author Glenys Nellist tells the inspiring stories of incredible women in the Bible. With beautiful illustrations by Rachel Clowes and sweet lift-the-flap envelopes, each story delivers a special message for children to open as they read their own personal love letters from God. Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord. The stories of Eve, Miriam, Rahab, Mary, and many more will delight children and remind them of the bond they can share with God, just like the women of the Bible.
GIVEAWAY
Begins May 11
ENDS June 1 @ 12:01 a.m.
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Handlebar Publicity on behalf of ZonderKidz and the author to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided by ZonderKidz via Handlebar Publicity directly to the winner.

Win a copy of Becky Wade's newest book "True to You"



About the book: After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

Watch for Chat With Vera's review on May 20th.



GIVEAWAY

Begins May 11
ENDS May 30 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author: Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at www.beckywade.com.
Wade pin1

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publicist Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publisher and author to facilitate a review. Opinions are reviewer's alone and freely given. Winner's copy is provided directly to winner by Litfuse and Publisher.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

National Geographic books help get the kids excited about careers: "Things to be when you Grow Up," "You Can Be a Paleontologist!" & 'Ultimate Explorer" [Review & Giveaway]

It's never too early to help kids learn about the variety of career opportunities that await and get them excited about their future.

100 Things to Be When You Grow Up (ages 8-12, $9.99) by Lisa M. Gerry

ISBN: 9781426327117
Softcover $9.99
National Geographic Kids
Ages 8-12

My thoughts:  This is a delightfully colorful book just brimming with attention grabbing graphics that will intrigue, interest, and entice young minds and hearts about what people do when they grow up and what they, too, can become. The amount of information on each is great and not above the intended targeted age of reading audience. While the attitude presented about each job is positive and sounds interesting, I like that a serious tone is also achieved as needed.

Photography is, as it always is in a National Geographic publication, amazing. The nuggets of factual information about the wonderful opportunities that await upcoming generations of adults is great.

About the book: From beekeeper to ice-cream taster, forensic psychologist to Hollywood animal trainer, conservation biologist to Chief Happiness Officer, this book features 100 of the coolest, wackiest and most amazing jobs out there (greeting card maker?? Yes, you can!). Hands-on projects, advice from National Geographic explorers, interviews with experts, weird-but-true facts and tips for aligning your interests and personality to your job and more, this new book in the popular "100 Things" series is a great way to get kids thinking creatively about career paths.

You Can be A Paleontologist!: Discovering Dinosaurs with Dr. Scott (ages 4-8, $16.99) by Dr. Scott D. Sampson

ISBN: 9781426327285
Hardcover $16.99
National Geographic Kids
Ages 4-8
My thoughts:  This is a well done, attractive, and interesting book for young readers to learn about dinosaurs and the people who have careers discovering dinosaurs - paleontologists. The author recounts his early interest in fossils and dinosaurs as a young student and goes on to instruct the reader in easy to understand language the ways paleontologists go about finding, digging, and preserving fossils.

Interesting things I found in the book include: 1) You can tell the difference between a fossil and a rock with your tongue. 2) Fossils tend to break up and roll in bits downhill so you follow the residue uphill to find the source. 3) Dinosaurs still exist - they're called birds. 4) Paleontologists dig for fossils of plants, sea life, and mammals.

The book though intended for ages 4-8 could surely be of interest to older students as well giving them a kick-start read for more detailed information in other sources.

About the book: Dr. Scott Sampson, the expert host of Dinosaur Train on PBS Kids, author of How to Raise a Wild Child and real-life hill-hiking, dirt-digging fossil hunter takes young readers into the field to look for dinosaurs. Along the way, kids will learn all about how to find and dig up fossils, how they are removed from the field and prepped in the lab and then how paleontologists put the fossils back together into the dinosaurs they know and love. Lastly, Dr. Scott encourages kids to follow their dino passion and become a paleontologist themselves with tips, hints and advice from the heart.

Ultimate Explorer Guide (ages 8-12, $14.99) by Nancy Honovich, foreword by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger

ISBN: 9781426327094
Paperback (stiff/flex cover) $14.99
Ages 8-12

My thoughts:  There are 160 pages in Ultimate Explorer Guide that are in three basic categories: Land, Sea, and Sky. In other words, the three basic components of this wonderful world in which we live. Explore the tidbits of information about the tropical rain forests, the grasslands, the tundra, and deserts of the world. Not only will the reader read, and see fabulous pictures, about the land, sea, or sky themselves, the reader will learn about the animals and various critters that make each of these their home. The reader will learn about the ancient past, the present, and the future. The beauty and glory of land, sea, and sky. The people who study and explore. 

Tucked away in the back of the book is an index, glossary, a fun career quiz, and a list of publications and websites for additional information. I recommend this book to engage young readers in science, career opportunities, and an interest in the world in which they live. Suitable for home, classroom, and libraries.

About the book: Through its storied history, National Geographic has inspired generations of explorers. Take a trip to their headquarters in Washington, DC and you will see photo after photo of amazing people exploring every corner of the world. The Ultimate Explorer Guide features National Geographic Explorers of all kinds including paleontologists, biologists, photographers, artists, writers, activists and conservationists that is sure to get kids to explore, discover and create their own adventures. In addition to fascinating first person stories and advice, the book also features “Help wanted” vignettes outlining career paths, hands-on activities and experiments; scientific explanations and fun facts and ideas for simple actions kids can do now. Broken down by land, sea and air sections, readers will marvel at the feats of the world’s most famous explorers as they unearth ancient mummies and lost treasures, encounter wild animals and learn how to protect their habitats, and shoot for the stars with the latest technologies in space travel.

GIVEAWAY ~ 3 WINNERS
1 copy of 1 book per winner
Begins May 8
Ends May 29 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
Randomly selected winners may select the book they would most like to receive. They will be sent that book if another winner has not responded with the same request prior to their request. Therefore, winners will be asked to list the 3 books in the order they wish to receive the 1 book they won. If  that book has not yet been selected, they will receive their 1st choice. If their 1st choice was previously selected by an earlier responder, they will receive their 2nd choice, etc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of each book from MMPublicity on behalf of National Geographic to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Deep Extration by DiAnn Mills


ISBN: 9781496410986
Paperback $14.99
My thoughts:  I found Deep Extraction a book that captured my attention from the cracking of the spine. I know that much of our world is now controlled by computers, but truly would not have thought that a pacemaker could become an instrument for murder through hacking. My thoughts aside, the author brought so many layers into the storyline that this reader was kept wondering just who did what and my suspense was kept on edge until the very end.

The family of Nathan Moore was a loving and pretty normal family. Of course, they were moneyed and lacked for nothing. But they loved one another, went about their daily lives of work, homemaking, and school just as most folks do. But in the depth of their lives, lies were being lived out unknown to those around.

I found the character development tops and the plot complicated yet not so convoluted that it could not be comprehended. The touch of romance was sweet and well-handled. The action scenes vigorous and intense but did not overshadow the main plot lines.

The Christian element was well presented and not overbearing. It just simply flowed as part of the lives of those who were believers.

I recommend this as a book to be read and shared.

About the book: A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore's life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.A bombing at one of Nathan's oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional--the victim's wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI's prime suspects.Clearing Sally's name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan's personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer--and to each other--the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Blog Network on behalf of the publisher to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Noah Webster's Fighting Words by Tracy Nelson Maurer & illustrated by Mircea Catusanu

ISBN: 9781467794107
Hardcover $19.99
Grade Level 2 - 5
My thoughts:  Introducing young readers to real people in picture book biographies is a fabulous way for them to begin learning about those who shaped the world. It is also a wonderful method to introduce and encourage reading of non-fiction works to young readers.

Most Americans have used a Webster's Dictionary at one time or another but few have the slightest clue as to how a dictionary was compiled, when, and by whom. In Noah Webster's Fighting Words the story begins with America's path toward shaping American English as we know and define it.

The story reveals the feisty nature of Noah Webster and how he pushed hard to establish verbiage that was uniquely American in sound interpretation and spelling.

Illustrations that will surely capture the attention of the most reluctant reader add interest and direction to the text that is factual yet with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor that keeps it lively and entertaining. This story gives a glimpse into an individual that was somewhat weird, hard to get along with, and contrary and yet who was a valuable contributor to American English language development.
The pages at the end of the book include author's note and illustrator's note as well as a fantastic timeline. This book would make a great addition to libraries everywhere and of every type.

About the book: Noah Webster, famous for writing the first dictionary of the English language as spoken in the United States, was known in his day for his bold ideas and strong opinions about, well, everything. Spelling, politics, laws, you name it he had something to say about it. He even commented on his own opinions! With a red pencil in hand, Noah often marked up work that he had already published. So who edited this book? It certainly looks like the ghost of the great American author and patriot picked up a pencil once again to comment on his own biography!

Author/Illustrator Information

Author Tracy Nelson Maurer has published more than 100 titles for children and young adults, including many nonfiction books for schools and libraries. Tracy holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and lives with her family near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Illustrator Mircea Catusanu was born in Romania and studied painting at the National University of Arts in Bucharest. He now lives and works in New York City as a freelance illustrator and painter, incidental photographer, and occasional author.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Lerner Books to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.