Category Archives: book review

Book Review: Max and Bird

max and bird

My boys love Ed Vere’s book Max the Brave so when we had the opportunity to review his newest book Max and Bird it was a not brainer.

Max and Bird is the story of an unlikely friendship between Max, a cat and Bird, a bird. When Max meets Bird, Max thinks he’d like to be friends with Bird. He would also like to chase Bird and maybe eat him as a tasty snack. But that’s not what friendship is all about . . . Is it?

We really love the simple and expressive illustrations throughout this playful story. It’s a quick and easy read for adults and kids alike. Yet, the simplicity of the storytelling doesn’t hinder the wonderful story about friendship.

EdVere_Max_Bird2

About Ed Vere
Ed Vere is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Max the Brave, which was also named one of the Sunday Times‘s 100 Modern Children’s Classics. His book ‘Mr Big‘ was chosen by Book Trust as the official Booktime book for 2009 and was distributed to 750,000 British schoolchildren, making it the largest single print run of a picture book, Vere was also the World Book Day illustrator for 2009. He lives in London.

ed evere Buy: Max and Bird is available online and at your local book store.
Price: $17.99

I received the featured products complementary to review for this post. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the company.

2 Must-Have Christmas Picture Books

We love sitting around the fire at night reading Christmas stories before bed. Each year we read some of our old favorites and add in some new festive stories. This year we’re excited to be adding two great pictures book from Sky Pony Press.

The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story by Anne Margaret Lewis (author) and Aaron Zenz (illustrator) is a sweet and endearing story of relationships, adventure, and following one’s dreams.

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I adore this simple and colorfully illustrated book that follow Santa on a sight-seeing adventure around the world.

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And the boys are in love with this creative depiction of an all time classic Christmas story, The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story. Written by by Clement C. Moore (author) and Amanda Brack (illustrator) this is a fresh take on a holiday classic and is perfect for LEGO and Christmas lovers alike.

 

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Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 3.50.40 PM Both of these are great fun reads for this upcoming holiday season. I’m sure I will read each of these books so many time I lose count but joy in my boys’ eyes will make each time a special Christmas memory for our family.

Buy:

The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story – $10.99

The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story – $15.99

I received the featured products complementary to review for this post. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the company.

Our Summer Reading Challenge

This summer we plan to do a lot of reading. Now that Jude can read to himself we’ve set up a designated reading time and are participating in our local library’s summer reading program. As an incentive to read more we have a chart on our fridge, when Jude fills up the chart the whole family gets to go out for ice cream.

I’ve been challenging Jude to read longer, chapter books. Currently, he’s reading BOYS CAMP: ZEE’S STORY. He’s only on chapter two but he is so excited to be reading a larger chapter book.

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Boys Camp: Zee’s Story
Written by Kitson Jazynka and Valerie Tripp and Illustrated by Craig Orback
Ages 7-10
$14.99

Zee couldn’t be happier to be reunited at camp with his fellow jokester Will. The trickster team of two has millions of great ideas for practical jokes and more than a few big surprises to spring on their fellow campers and counselors.
At first, all the mayhem and mischief they cause is a big success. Who’d have guessed that a stuffed octopus, toilet paper, and pies could be combined so comically? But when Zee tries to include other guys in the fun, Will gets mad, and their friendship blows up. The fight forces Zee to face his scariest, most dangerous crisis on his own while on a kayaking trip, and for a while, it looks like all is lost. How will Zee survive the rapids? Is this the end of Will and Zee? One thing’s for sure: Zee will have an adventure-packed summer at Camp Wolf Trail!

He’s also been reading books to his little brothers like the book, FARAWAY FRIENDS. FARAWAY FRIENDS is an imaginative adventure that is out of this world!

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Faraway Friends
By Russ Cox
Ages 3-6
$16.99

When Sheldon’s best friend moves away, Sheldon spies the word “Jupiter” painted on the side of the moving truck. Sheldon feels sad at first, but realizes that this is a sign—what he needs is a rocket ship! So Sheldon and his dog, Jet, build a ship piece by piece until they are ready for takeoff! The duo jets around satellites, zooms by planets, speeds past other flying saucers . . . until plop, they’ve arrived somewhere with a green alien life-form.

Faraway Friends will speak to any child who has had a friend move away, teaching them to channel boredom into creativity and imagination. Ultimately, it is a story of old and new friendships.

And then there is the silly and vivid book, THE ALPHABET OF BUGS. The Alphabet of Bugs

The Alphabet of Bugs: An ABC Book
By Valerie Gates; Photographs by Ann Cutting
Ages 3-5
$14.99

Travel through the alphabet to learn about the many beautiful and unusually named bugs found in nature. Valerie Gates’s charming alliterative style paired with Ann Cutting’s stunning photographs of all types of bugs is sure to delight curious children and adults alike. Spectacular photographs of insects of all kinds will inspire children to learn more about the different creatures found in the natural world. This is an ideal gift for new parents and for young nature-loving children!

All three of these books are available through Sky Pony Press.

We started our summer reading challenge just 4 days ago and Jude has already read 6 books. I forsee many trips to get ice cream this summer.

Do you participate in a summer reading program?

I received the featured products in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends – Book Review

My boys love any type of vehicle including tractors. We were very excited to check out the new Casey & Friends book series centered around the iconic red CASE IH tractors and other farm equipment.

BigTractors-cover

There are four “Casey & Friends” books set to be released in 2015:
A Year on the Farm with Casey & Friends
Big Tractors with Casey & Friends
Combines with Casey & Friends
Planters & Cultivators with Casey & Friends

We are reviewing the most recent release, Big Tractors with Casey & Friends along with a CASE IH toy tractor.

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends

Big Tractors with Casey & Friends shows how the biggest, most powerful tractors handle the demanding jobs of pulling and powering on the farm. Find out how Big Red and Sammy – the biggest tractors on the farm – use their powerful muscles to work in the field with the rest of the team. Learn about the science of farming and discover how advanced technology makes Big Red and Sammy special.

This is a very colorful and fun book with a cast of cartoon characters explaining how the equipment works. I love all the educational facts found in the sidebars, picture glossaries and fun farming facts. Some of the features include a timeline of the red tractor, explaining the different jobs of various farm machines, an a driver’s point of view from within the tractor explaining what all the components and switches are for. For all us city (or suburbanite) folks there is even a glossary in the back that defines all the farm terms.

If you have a little tractor fan the Casey & Friends series is a must-have.

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a Casey & Friends book and toy tractor. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 5/29/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Giveaway ends on May 29, 2015. The winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

I will receive the featured product in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Surf Sharks teaches kids about sharks

I am fascinated by sharks. Sharks can seem pretty scary but they are actually really cool animals. Surf Sharks is a new series about a group of young surfers and sharks who forge a friendship and ride the waves together as they help each other solve daily challenges faced by all growing kids.

Surf Sharks: The First Ride is the first book in the series introduces us to three surfer boys that help and befriend some super cool surfing sharks. Throughout the story we learn important and fun facts about sharks.

Surf Sharks We really enjoyed reading this book together. It’s a little bit longer than some of the books we have so the younger boys didn’t want to sit through the whole thing but Jude was really interested by the story. Jude really love the sticker book and pop-up collector cards. We learned a lot of really cool facts about sharks like

Surf Sharks Sticker Book

Surf Sharks is written by Shelley & Chance Wolf.
BUY: Surf Sharks: The First Ride is now available in all major book stores and online via Amazon Kindle and iTunes/iBooks in eBook version.

Surf Sharks Gift Set

Connect
Like Surf Sharks on Facebook
Follow @SurfSharks on Twitter

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a Surf Sharks Prize Pack which includes:

  • A copy of Surf Sharks: The First Ride
  • A sticker book
  • 32 Surf Shark stickers with fun shark facts on the back
  • A set of pop-up collector cards

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway ends 5/13/14. US Residents Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US Residents Only. Giveaway ends on May 13 , 2014. The winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

The featured product and information have been provided by Surf Sharks. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

Miss You Like Crazy – Children’s Book Review

missyoulikecrazy April 24th is Take Your Child to Work day.

If you are a mom (or dad) who works outside of the home I’m sure it’s difficult to leave your little one during the day. Miss You Like Crazy is a wonderful book by Pamela Hall that provides parents an opportunity to let their little ones know how much they miss them even when they are at work.

Synopsis
Walnut and his mom agree that it would be fun if he could go to work with her, and they fantasize about the adventures they could share. Though it can’t always happen, Walnut’s mother assures him that he is always on her mind, and together they find ways to have a physical presence for each other when at work or school. This light-hearted story provides parents an opportunity to reassure children on their importance in busy parents’ lives.

While I don’t work outside of the home the boys immediately interpreted the book to be about their Dada. They saw the briefcase that Walnut’s mom carried and proclaimed, “that’s just like Dada’s!” I really love the beautiful illustrations by Jennifer A. Bell, they capture the warmth and gentle love between a mother and child.

I think Miss You Like Crazy would be a great book to give a working mom this Mother’s Day.

Connect
Like Tanglewood Press on Facebook
Follow @TanglewoodPress on Twitter

Buy

Miss You Like Crazy Giveaway

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a copy of Miss You Like Crazy, a 5 x 7 “Me and Mommy” frame (perfect for displaying at work!) and a keychain photo holder just right for attaching onto a little one’s backpack (ARV $35). Use the Rafflecopter form below. US Residents Only. Ends 4/26/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on April 26 , 2014. The winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

Disclosure: I received the featured book in exchange for my honest opinion. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company. This post includes affiliate links.

Women Driven to Success: You Can Have Your All – New Book

“Success is not a one size fits all concept.”

This is the idea behind Dr. Jane Goldner”s book, Women Driven to Success: You Can Have Your All.

You Can Have Your All

Women today are told they can “have it all” which seems daunting. What does “all” mean anyway. That is exactly what Goldner questions throught the book. “What does “it all” really mean?” Dr. Goldner answers that “it all” is different for each person.

Goldner shares her own life experiences as well as 14 other professional businesswomen as examples of how each “all” is different.

About Dr. Jane S. Goldner
Dr. Goldner has been a trusted advisor to the leaders casino online of Fortune 100 Companies, the Military as well as small businesses. Over her 30 years in business and family life, she has learned the secrets of integrating multiple roles and great leadership for women which she now brings to her coaching clients. She continues to practice the successful strategies of overcoming the ‘everything to everybody’ syndrome. Her passion is helping other women succeed. Jane has a Masters Degree in Counseling and a

Doctorate in Career Development/Human Resource Development.

Buy: Women Driven to Success: You Can Have Your All is available for Kinde ($9.99) or Paperback ($16.95) on Amazon.

This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

 

Helping Your Baby Sleep Better – The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep Book Review

Sleep… beautiful sleep.

Nothing is sweeter than a sleeping baby. And nothing can be more challenging than a baby that won’t sleep.

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I would have given anything for a few extra minutes of sleep when Jude was a baby. Naively I just assumed my baby would be the world’s most awesome sleeper. HA! I didn’t know that you have to help train your baby to sleep.

3 Kids later you’d think I’d have it all figured out and have excellent sleepers. You’d be wrong. I’m still learning and trying new techniques. I am currently reading The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, M.D. It’s a very insightful book that offers a variety of tips that any parent can implement to help get a little more sleep.

I really like the way this book is laid out, I can find tidbits of information as I need them. Not all points will apply to my family or our lifestyle so I can pick and choose what works best for us. I think that is the key to getting any child to sleep well, find what works for your child. You can get advice from everywhere but nothing will be as useful until you’ve tried a few things and found what works for your child.

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep

Overview

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep provides dozens of foolproof tips to help parents and children get more sleep.

Insights Include:

  • What’s the best white noise (and which ones worsen sleep): The right white noise (low pitched and rumbling) is the key to good sleep—even through teething—for all babies.
  • How to enjoy the benefits – and avoid the risks – of swaddling: Swaddling dramatically improves a new baby’s sleep. Yet, many states are shockingly banning this ancient parenting tool. Smart moms should do it and Dr. Karp will teach them how to do it properly and safely.
  • The importance of powering down: Staring at bright screens at night (TVs, computers, phones) can wreak a toddler and a parent’s sleep.

 

Dr. Harvey Karp, MD

The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, M.D. is available for $15.99.

I am participating in a book review campaign with One2One Network. I received this book from Harper Collins for the purposes of reviewing it. I have not received compensation. My participation in the campaign enters me into a drawing for a gift card. All opinions stated are my own