W is for Welcome : A Celebration of America’s Diversity (Sleeping Bear Alphabet Books)

A bit late for our 4th of July post but better late than never 🙂 This was a wonderful book we got to review a while back and I think it’s a beautiful addition to any kids library and an important subject to teach our kids about ! The USA wouldn’t be the same without these great people !

Here are my daughters thoughts on it :

I really enjoyed reading W is for Welcome because it was about freedom and people from other places who have helped to make the United States into what it is today. The stories shared by the people in this book inspire me in many ways to do what seemed impossible before! It talks a lot about the diversity that makes the United States great. It explains differences in cultures, religions, and beliefs. It mentions heroes of all sorts, from Olympic athletes to amazing scientists like Albert Einstein. It mentions people from all walks of life and all kinds of places, and I really enjoyed reading and learning about them. The book guides you through the alphabet by explaining how the United States developed into what it is today with the help of immigrants who immigrated here from other countries. I also really enjoyed the different styles of art and how many artists were actually involved in making this book. I would recommend this book to young and old people who think they can make a difference in the world!

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Once a king A Clash of Kingdoms Novel {kids review }

Once a King is a beautifully written fantasy book, and the third book in the series :  A clash on Kingdoms. This book takes on multiple perspectives. Aodren has just been crowned king of Malam. A kingdom that has been persecuting Channelers, gifted women and girls with special elemental powers, for over twenty years. He fights to stop the discrimination and hate towards them and becomes allies with them. Lirra, a young woman and Wind channeler, distrusts Aodren for many reasons but when he finally asks her to help him in his quest to help the channelers she realizes his good attention and joins him in his quest.
Unfortunately, a channeler-made substance is sparking rumors about it harming ungifted people, which makes Aodren and Lirra’s task only harder. Aodren and Lirra fight to uncover the truth, free the Channelers, and restore peace in the kingdom.
Overall the book had a thrilling plot that made it hard to put the book down. I enjoyed the mix between fantasy and a touch of romance. It was highly enjoyable and I think it would be a great read for girls eleven and up. (kids review )

On the run to ancient China {kids review }

On the run in ancient China is a fun story about three kids time traveling to ancient China. The kids have been to the “time travel agency” before, so they know that when they open a book, they time travel! When they arrive in China, they end up in a rice field. While Josh and Emma, the two older siblings, are busy, the youngest, Libby, sneaks away to the Emperor’s palace.

When Josh and Emma discover that Libby is missing, they make a plan to sneak into the capital to find their sister. They travel through a lot of crazy places and have to be careful not to be caught as they continue their travels. They learn about ancient traditions, Chinese writings, the secrets of silk, ancient ways of medicine, and other beliefs. After they finally rescue Libby straight from the throne room, they continue their way home and have more adventures all the way across to the Chinese wall. With lots of luck, they eventually return home.

This book, and the whole series, are very enjoyable to read. I really liked it because it was funny, and the shared facts are great. I recommend this book to ages seven and up, and to kids who like history.

Mum edit: This series has been used in quite a few homeschool curricula, inlcuding Moving beyond the page,and my kids have enjoyed many books from this series. It is perfect for younger kids who are just getting curious about history and need a fun introduction. I highly recommend this fun series as well 🙂

Book review SHRED GIRLS : Lindsay’s Joyride

Shred Girls is an exciting book about a group of girls that ride BMX bikes together.

Lindsay is thrilled about her summer break, and really just wants to read her comics and become a superhero but her parents have other plans and have to go on a work trip. So Lindsay has to go stay with Phoebe the supervillain AKA her cousin. During her stay with Phoebe, Phoebe shows her BMX bikes, teaches her how to ride! Lindsay meets lots of new kids and even makes great new friends.  When JOYRIDE, the club they meet,  announces a competition Lindsay is super nervous but when she finds out all her friends will compete too she feels more confident. The group of girls learns to stick together more than ever to prove that girls can ride BMX  just as good as boys!

This book was a wonderful read. It made me laugh out loud a lot, I was able to relate to Lindsay a lot and she was a likable character throughout the story. I learned that when you are confident and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything

{ Book Review } Mary Poppins Picture Book

 

 

img_1157Are you all super excited for the new Mary Poppins Movie ? I sure am and I am trying to figure out a way to go see it. ( with baby and all a bit difficult these days lol ). Anyways, I was so excited when I saw this beautiful new edition, that I am about to introduce to you. My two older girls have watched the old movie of course, and read some of the stories as well, and now they are thrilled that they can share the story with their new baby sister.   I think this classic belongs into everyone’s library, big or small !

Okay here is what my daughter thought about the book 😉

Mary Poppins is a wonderful story, shortened into a picture book. This book tells the story of the magical Nanny, who arrives in the night by an umbrella and takes the children Jane, Michael and the twins on many adventures. Some of her whimsical adventures are: going to the zoo at night and hanging stars in the sky on ladders.
This picture book has very pretty illustrations. I can clearly see the expressions of the characters and Mary Poppins does “ look as neat as a pin”, with her heeled boots and lacy apron.
Mary Poppins is one of my favorite stories to read and this book got me really excited and I couldn’t wait to read this tale as a picture book version. I am excited to share this picture book with my younger sisters to read.
I really like the technique the illustrator uses to create the artistic pictures and you can really see when and where the story takes place.
This version did a wonderful job of recapturing the whimsical and fun story of Mary Poppins, everyone’s favorite Nanny. This book is wonderful for all ages and as a read aloud !

 

Book review : Brick Who found herself in Architecture

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What a cute, adorable book. My kids have always loved Legos since they were little. They  have played hours and hours long with all kinds of legos and other bricks through the years and often many amazing buildings have sprouted from their creativity. And that’s how I got curious about “Brick” .. it’s and easy tie in, while Littles are playing with certain bricks, or a fun quick book for older kids, who can understand the connections to real historic buildings….  But here is what my daughter thought of the book :

When Brick was small her mother would tell her “great things, start with small bricks”, so when Brick is an adult she sets out to find her place. At first, she visits many castles all around the world. Soon her travel takes her to many places of worship, including Saint Basils Cathedral, Malwaid Minaret, and others. She also visits ordinary apartments, the suburbs, and then the Great Wall of China until she finds her place.
This book was lovely because it teaches kids about finding your place in the world while reading about amazing places and buildings the world has to offer. I also thought the illustrations were adorable and beautifully done. Another great part is the detailed description of the buildings in the back. I would recommend this read aloud to kids 5 and up.

 

BOOK review : Charlie and Frog

I am going through some of our older reviews, and saw we never blogged this one yet. This was such a great, unique read. Stepping into the world of sign language, was really interesting for my kids and taught them even a few sings. They enjoyed the mystery the kids in the book had to solve as well… It was one of their favorite reads from earlier this year ! Here is her short review…

 

Charlie and Frog is an exciting mystery about a kid named Charlie, who is trying to escape boredom and adventures out to the Castle on the Hudson, and Frog, who desperately wants to solve a mystery.

Charlies parents once again left for an exciting adventure but left him at home. He quickly gets bored and eventually decides to visit the library, but he arrives a little early before it even opens. He sees an old woman sitting on the steps, and she looks really upset. He quickly figures out that she is deaf and that she is very worried because she told a secret to someone, and now terrible things could happen because of it. Miss Tweedy the Librarian tries to help and tells Charlie to go to her sign language teacher, Frog, to figure out some of the mystery signs the old woman made.

Charlie and Frog make a wonderful team and  race to solve the mystery at hand before anything bad happens.

I really loved this book because it was an exciting mystery, and it was a very fast-paced and a fun read. I don’t often see a lot of new mysteries on the shelves at stores, so it was great getting to read a new one. I also found it interesting to peek into the world of sign language. I would recommend this book for kids eight and up.

Reviewed By: Hannah – Age 11

Bella & Harry Series ( Book review )

 

We were in a super rush to head out the door for the library again today and just last minute, I remembered to get a picture of these guys. So not the best picture, but hey.. you do what you gotta do 😉 !!

The Bella and Harry series was a lucky grab a few weeks ago and we were pretty excited that our small library actually had quite a few from this series. This was our second grab already and we enjoyed each one of these.

They are clearly  for the younger audience ( 5 and up ) but if your child loves travel stories I think just about every age would still enjoy these. I know my almost 10 year old had fun reading these with her little sister. They both just love these little Chihuahuas !  We have studied many countries through homeschooling in many great details and I love adding little fun stories in between just to recall some of the basic facts, these were perfect for that !

The little puppies travel along with their family to all kinds of amazing places in the world and get to have little adventures. Each page is beautifully illustrated and very colorful. The story is brought to life in fun ways with little dialogues between the puppies as they travel through each city and full of great educational information.

They would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s library, educational, inspirational and just a whole lot of fun !!

 

Check out some of the other books from the series, maybe Bella and Harry have already visited the city you have on your next travel plan !!




I wonder.. ( book review )

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I am trying to get out of our morning slump and it has been so hard with the renovations going on and summer slowly knocking on the door. I did not want to spend all summer on renovations on our house and I really did not want to spend our real first summer in Oregon catching up on school stuff. We are not really, really behind ( but my A- personality type, list keeper and goal setter in me, tells me I am / we are).We finished all math curriculum way early even..but… I am good at creating stress for myself. You know –

Anyways. We hit the library at least once a week and bring home tons of books. The girls spend tons of time reading and I almost feel left out. I don’t make as much time as I should to still read with them, the 20 minutes here and there or bed time reading goes over in a blurr and I long for the couch …  So I want to give our morning reading baskets a new chance.

I think I will dedicate another whole post to morning baskets because it is such a beautiful routine to work into your homeschool.

The first book we actually picked from our basket this morning was ” I wonder” and it was so incredibly special and beautiful that I literally wanted to post about it right away ! I clearly have been out of the loop, since this book has been out for several years..

When I saw it at the library I figured it was special and it would be a great fit for my ever asking children. One fact of motherhood and especially of homeschooling that dazzles me continuously  are the questions they ask and the things their little minds truly wonder about….  ” Why do are there stars in the sky ? Why do we have to eat ? What was the first flower ? Why is there gravity ? Where , how , what and when… ?!” I have learnt to appreciate all these questions though ❤

This book, with all it’s beautiful pictures is a great conversation started and a beautiful way to put their minds at ease. While I encourage my children to start finding answers on their own, do their own research through books and the internet, I still want them to know that sometimes, just sometimes, it is okay to not  know know the answer to EVERYTHING… that some things on earth are still, even today, are still a mystery…. I want them to know that even scientists still do not have the answers to many questions about our world, planet and so on ! It’s good to be curious, to explore and also just be amazed and believe !

The book clearly hits more of  secular believes, it mentions science and a few short explanations but it does not talk about religion or God, so if you are looking for religious aspects to be explained this is probably not a good fit.

While the book is targeted towards 1 year olds and up, I think it’s a lovely story for older ones as well. When we get older these questions come up a lot more, and the mind wonders … i know ate age 6 the questions really started coming. While the book does not give exact information on how to answer the questions, its lovely to explore together, and also dream a little.. and just live life sometimes without knowing ” everything”.

I am not sure if a 1 year old would even understand the story line of this book. While I think it’s a beautiful story to share with any child,  if I would could select the age range of my readers I would select Kindergarten age probably 🙂

9-11 A house of Tailors ( Immigration)

We are still playing catch up with 9-11 MBTP but are enjoying it big time. This is another Unit she has once again been looking forward to and so have I honestly. The books included with this lesson are incredible.

As a photographer myself, old photographs always enthrall me. Like I said, I enjoyed this unit a lot myself. The first two books go with the social study unit Immigration.

And we also added

And of course this is the main book for the literature unit.

There are also some great video’s suitable for this age range. I added a few to the list.

During one of the lessons you will also visit and tour the Ellis Island museum. Isn’t it amazing what we can do with technology nowadays ? The links are provided in the curriculum.
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/tour/index.htm

And you will also get a glimpse of how immigrants lived in the tenements.
So much good stuff on these websites alone.
https://tenement.org/education_lessonplans.html

I sure wish we could take a trip to NY right now and see some of these historic sites, luckily this fun family has taken many trips for us and its always fun watching and exploring with them. If you have amazon prime you can watch this episode for free ( you might find it on youtube as well)

There are also some big writing assignments in this unit and be ready to put aside some time for the the artsy projects, like making a hat pattern and making a quilt at the end of the story !

We ended the unit with an amazing final project, a story quilt about the house of tailors !!

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