1.19.2017

Book Review: Whose Poop Is That?

Perfect for your future zoologist! (5 stars)

What small child doesn't have a great curiosity about poo? I honestly can't say I've met a kid who didn't want to know about it or at least tell me a joke about it. My own kids included. But there are plenty of books about the human kind, so how do you identify some of the animal droppings you discover while out and about?

While this book certainly won't serve as a database it has really terrific facts about why animal poos have the unique shapes, sizes, and content that they do. I'm a little embarrassed to be writing this but even as an adult I was pretty engrossed with the knowledge that was new to me. I really don't want to spoil the one that became the fascinating favorite with my 7-year-old and myself but suffice it to say that if you read this to a kid who loves science I foresee much Googling images of animal feces in your future. (This was pretty cool and not as disgusting as it sounds, I promise).

Not sure what more I can say to convince you teacher, parent, or cool aunt/uncle that this is a book the young reader you share this with will enjoy it. I mean, it's a book about poop and animals and science, a combo that rarely lets me down.

Notes: ARC received through NetGalley.

Whose Poop Is That?by Darrin LundeIllustrated by Kelsey Oseid

Children's Books, Animals, Science
Print/Digital (32 pages, CHARLESBRIDGE)
Poop! Ewwww!
No, don’t say “Ewwww.” Ask, “Whose poop is that?” This simple, and yes, charming book asks this question about seven examples of animal poop. By investigating visual clues, young readers can learn to identify the animal through its droppings. For instance, find a sample of poop with bits of bone and tufts of hair. Turn the page to learn it came from a fox!
Kelsey Oseid’s illustrations are both accurate and beautiful. Backmatter includes further information about the poop and what scientists can learn from an animal’s droppings.
(Ages: 3-7)

1.08.2017

Review: Gracie Meet a Ghost

So Kawaii! (4 stars)

There's something delightfully old-school about this translation. I've always been fond of Japanese children's books for some reason and this one is just as adorable as the ones I remember from my childhood.

From what I can tell there are other Gracie Wears Glasses stories that haven't been translated yet so I hope to see them available soon. I think any young child who wears glasses would enjoy them.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.


Gracie Meet a Ghost by Keiko Sena

Children's, Humor, Animals
Print (32 pages, MUSEYON)
Ages: 3-5
Gracie hasn’t been able to see very well recently, so she decides to get some glasses. But, after playing on the mountain one day, she realizes that night that her glasses are missing. She heads straight out to look for them on the mountain–where a bored ghost is hiding in the darkness, waiting for someone to scare. Although Ghost tries to scare her, Gracie doesn't react by being frightened, not even little–because she can't see Ghost well enough to be scared without her glasses! Ghost really wants to see Gracie scared, so he helps in her search all night long and finally finds her glasses. But what happens when Gracie puts them on...




1.07.2017

Review: Princess Lemonella

Get this for your library! (5 stars)


As one who tends to love unlikable characters I devoured Princess Lemonella with a mighty smirk. Beautifully illustrated and amusing, it's one of the most unusual and terrific children's books I've read recently.

Short, funny, and definitely one for read-alouds. I highly recommend it!

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.


Princess Lemonellaby Saarein te Brake, Illustrated by Sassafras de Bruyn

Children's, Emotions, Fairytale
Print (32 pages, CLAVIS)
Princess Lemonella is born angry. She always looks sour and never smiles.
When the king and queen try to find a prince for her, she sends all the candidates away.
Until one prince just rides past her …
A funny and romantic fairy tale about how love can make you smile.
For princes and princesses aged 5 years and older.




1.06.2017

It's Hero Time Girls!

It's Hero Time Girls! (5 stars)

Man, I wish this comic had been around 20 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I dig most comics just fine. I just really have enjoyed how this series has such a great emphasis on the girl characters. My 7-year-old absolutely loves the characters, cartoon, and these comic books.

If you have a reluctant reader this is worth a recommendation. I've had pretty good luck with introducing struggling and reluctant young readers to graphic novels.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.


DC Super Hero Girls: Hits and Myths by Shea Fontana & Yancey Labat

Comics, Graphic Novels, Superheroes, Children's Books
Digital/Print (127 pages, DC COMICS)
Ages: 8 - 12
A New York Times Bestseller!
Welcome back to DC Super Hero High in the newest original graphic novel from the DC Super Hero Girls line!
“Intro to Epics” is one of Wonder Woman’s favorite classes at DC Super Hero High, but balancing high school literature assignments with learning to be a superhero can be tough, even for an overachiever. But you know what they say about learning—experience is the best teacher! So when Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy, Katana and Harley Quinn fight a cyclops, a witch and a bevy of sirens, they’re sure to learn a thing or two about The Odyssey—if they survive their epic battle in the underworld!
DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: HITS AND MYTHS continues to develop the relationships forged in DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: FINALS CRISIS. Written by Shea Fontana, this story is perfect for girls ages 6-12.
The DC Super Hero Girls line is an exciting new universe of super-heroic storytelling that helps build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential. Developed for girls aged 6-12, DC Super Hero Girls features DC Comics' most powerful and diverse lineup of female characters as relatable teens, playing out across multiple entertainment content platforms and product categories to create an immersive world. Icons including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more make their unprecedented teenaged introductions, as each character has her own storyline that explores what teen life is like as a super hero.





1.05.2017

Review: Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undead

These Scouts are Ghoul. (4 stars)

Camping trip. Check. Scouts. Check. Zombies. Double check!

I was hesitant on this one as the art didn't really appeal to me but I couldn't resist the themes and I'm so glad I gave it a shot. It's a great starter horror comic for the late grade school and middle school set. Spooky but not too scary. Funny but not dumb.

If you enjoy Lumberjanes, Gotham Academy, or The Last Kids on Earth this is worth picking up!

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.


Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undeadby Steve Bryant, Mark Stegbauer, & Jason Millet

Comics, Graphic Novels, Zombies, Horror
Digital/Print (128 pages, ACTION LAB)
Ages: 9-12
Something stranger than usual haunts Full Moon Hollow, Paranormal Capital of the World. Adults either can’t see it, can’t remember it, or go crazy from it. So when a zombie outbreak threatens the town, only a group of misfit scouts can save it! Collects the fan-favorite miniseries. Be prepared. Be very prepared.

1.04.2017

Review: The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting by Ilana Wiles

Meh. Just wasn't for me. (3 stars)

I tried. Really I did. I'd honestly never heard of the Mommy Shorts blog but since I dig a good reminder that I'm not the only parent flailing around from disaster to disaster I gave it a shot.  It's not that there's nothing relatable about Wiles's book... there just wasn't enough. It's just another mommy book from a NYC based author living a lifestyle that only fellow NYC moms can really appreciate.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.


The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting by Ilana Wiles

Parenting, Motherhood, Humor
Print/Digital (224 pages, ABRAMS)
Ilana Wiles is not a good mother. She’s not a bad mother either. Like most of us, she’s normal. From the creator of the wildly popular blog Mommy Shorts comes Ilana Wiles’s first humor book on remarkably average parenting. If you want solid advice about raising kids, this book is not for you. If you want to wallow in your own misery about how having kids is AWFUL, this book is not for you. This book pays homage to the every-parent and suggests that they are the people having the best child-rearing experience of all. Using Wiles’s signature infographics and photographs to illustrate her personal and hilarious essays on motherhood, the book is an honest guide that celebrates the fun of being a mom.



1.03.2017

Review: 100 Plants to Feed the Bees by The Xerces Society

Strengthen the eco-system! (4 stars)

When I bought my house 7+ years ago I absolutely hated how unfriendly the yard was to pollinators. There was NOTHING to support them and I've considered them to be a vital part of the eco-system since I was a small child. I've spent each spring and summer working hard to provide what they need to combat the desert that is my neighborhood. One of my biggest challenges has been living in a dry, frigid climate. This book was tremendously educational and helped me find some new options to add once the weather permits.

If you love bees as much as I do but have had similar concerns and troubles this is a great resource to tap. 

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

100 Plants to Feed the Bees by The Xerces Society
Release Date:
Gardening, Environment, Eco, Green Living, Conservation, Insects
Digital/Print (240 pages, STOREY)
The international bee crisis is threatening our global food supply, but this user-friendly field guide shows what you can do to help protect our pollinators. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation offers browsable profiles of 100 common flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees that attract bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. The recommendations are simple: sow seeds for some plants — such as basil, rhododendron, and blueberries — and simply don’t mow down abundant native species, including aster, goldenrod, and milkweed. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees will empower homeowners, landscapers, apartment dwellers — anyone with a scrap of yard or a window box — to protect our pollinators


1.02.2017

Book Review: 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster

Got an anxiety disorder? Check this book out! (5 stars)

Because I suffer from a mental illness that comes with what I have dubbed "catastrophic thinking" it should come as no surprise that I would read a book with so much survival knowledge. Chances are I will never need any of them but it actually really helped to read a book that taught me ways to deal with the kind of terrifying situations my brain likes to cook up. From how to escape zip-ties and subdue a hijacker to improvised weapons and what to do in a theater shootout I found myself solidly engrossed and unexpectedly calmed to gain this info.

If this is a topic that at all interests you—and I'm talking real world situations not alien invasions or zombie apocalypses—then I would recommend picking this up. At the very least you'll find some cool stuff to use as a conversation starter at the watercooler.

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.


100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster by Clint Emerson

Instructional, First Aid, Survival
Ebook/Print/Audio (272 pages, TOUCHSTONE)
From national bestselling author and retired Navy SEAL Clint Emerson comes the essential guide for surviving today’s emergencies—from navigating in the wild to staying alive in any disaster.
These 100 skills, adapted for civilians from actual field experiences of special forces operations, offer a complete hands-on and practical guide to help you survive in the wild no matter the climate or terrain; be prepared for any crisis; and have the critical life-saving knowledge for staying safe in any hostile environment or disaster.
Yesterday’s survival guide is no longer relevant. 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition is what you need for today’s world, combining survival hacks developed on the battlefield with the low-tech tools you have on hand. This book is your essential prep manual, from securing shelter, building fire, finding food, and navigating back to civilization no matter the environment to thinking like a special forces solider so that you can survive a hostage situation, an active shooter, a suicide bomber, or a terrorist threat on the subway, and even apply trauma medicine as a first responder.
Full of specific scenarios to help you get in the mindset of survival, 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition is better than a Swiss Army knife whether you’re lost at sea, forced to land a plane, fighting off a bear, or deciding whether to run, hide, or fight. Next to each skill are easy-to-grasp detailed illustrations, because when you need to survive the apocalypse, you don’t have time for complicated instructions.





1.01.2017

Adult Coloring is so 2016... Try This in 2017

Forget Adult Coloring. Try This Instead. (4 stars)

As a child I always had pockets full of rocks. If I saw one that I liked in it went. From ones with pretty colors and patterns to those that had neat shapes. Now my kids do the same. I have to sneak them back outside in my own pockets trailing them like bread crumbs on my walks. But then I found this book and now I think I might finally be able to keep some of them.

Bac's stone painting instructions take these ridiculously complex looking ideas and break them down in a way that feels very doable. If you've gotten bored with adult coloring I recommend giving this a try. It's a little bit more grown-up and aside from the initial paint investment it's cheap!

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.


The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark Your Creativity by F. Sehnaz Bac

Art, Crafts, Relaxation
Digital/Print (96 pages, Dover)

Transform ordinary stones into colorful works of art with this easy-to-follow guide. Popular stone artist F. Sehnaz Bac, a seasoned archaeologist who markets her painted Sassi dell’Adriatico (Stones of the Adriatic) on Etsy, presents step-by-step instructions for creating 30 fantastic designs. Full-color photographs accompany directions for painting themes that range from trees, flowers, and animals to mandalas, geometric patterns, holiday motifs, and more.
Starting with the basics — including finding and choosing stones as well as tools and materials — the guide offers a variety of techniques, including painting stones with colors or inks, painting on natural stone, and sealing the finished work. Projects range from simple to advanced and include suggestions for indoor and outdoor display, as well as instructions on how to style wearable objects such as pendants. A complete selection of templates provides motifs for every project as well as ample inspiration for developing your own designs.



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