Category - Literature

Basie and Paisley Reviews

Basie and PaisleyLet me introduce you to Basie and Paisley, Little Miss A’s new best friends. Basie and Paisley are two fun monsters. Now I know you’re thinking monsters equal scary, these two are far from that. I am definitely a protective momma bear and because of that Little Miss A has skipped many a Disney movie (sorry Walt). Daddy B and I feel that the villian in most kids movies are too scary for Miss A and sometimes even for us!! So needless to say these two cuties, Basie and Paisley not only captured Miss A’s heart but I fell in love with them too. Read More

U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids Book Review

UNIQUE Kids ReviewLooking for a book to inspire your 8-12 year old to become a leader? Debra J. Slover is the writer of both U.N.I.Q.U.E. and U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids. With illustrations by Darlene Warner, U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids book came to life.

Slover used a fable like story telling point of view to grow her points and ideas. Using farmers, animals, and places on the farm Slover illustrates how to become a strong leader.

I’m really an advocate for children learning how to be inspired although I’m not quite sure that every child should be or could be a leader. There were a lot of things in this book that I enjoyed and could see children 8-12, the intended audience for this book, liking, but there were also some things I could have personally done without.

Since the list of my dislikes is short and sweet I’ll start with those, but please keep reading because this book does have some great things to offer. My main issue with the book, being that it is written for children ages 8-12 is the style of writing. U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids is told in a very fable-like way using animals, and places to convey leadership concepts. Having been a child once ago and having a pre-teen sister I think the points would have been absorbed without the corny characters. I get what the author is trying to do by relating child-like symbolism, but again could have done without. Now, if this book was written for say children 5-8 I might say it was more appropriate, personally. Other than the tone of the story there were some great learning points throughout the book.

I enjoy that after each chapter there are questions about that chapter and leaves room for the reader to examine what they have learned from that lesson. I think this is a good opportunity for children to read and then absorb what they just read and think about how they might be able to integrate it into their lives.

U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids uses the letters U.N.I.Q.U.E. to illustrate how to become a leader. U – Understanding, N – Nurturing, I – Inventive, Q – Quality, U – Unstoppable, and E – Expression. Each of these points are taught by characters in the book from people, to animals who facilitate places around the farm to portray things the reader may have to overcome to become a strong leader. I enjoy the word play with U.N.I.Q.U.E and again feel that the chapter journaling will help the reader not to get too overwhelmed with each step.

I enjoyed that this book was not all words and gave some well done illustrations. The illustrations in this book are not only pleasing to the eye, but they also show the learning points in a fun way that makes it very easy to learn and remember. I can see a reader enjoying these as much as I did.

U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids has great symbolism and explains that everything has a meaning. It is definitely an in-depth book and I would recommend this more for a teacher or adult who is overseeing a leadership group, club, or class, rather than something you would pick up for your child. Again, I think it takes a certain personality and drive to become a leader and not every child is meant to lead otherwise the world would not work as it does.

What ways do you teach your child to be a leader?

Custom Made for Kids Review and Giveaway {CLOSED}

Custom Made for Kids Review and GiveawayI’ve tested out a few different personalized book companies and have enjoyed each of them, however I truly feel that Custom Made for Kids is a different company with a more personal keepsake slant.

I had the opportunity to review The First Adventures of Incredible You. Not only is this 32-page, hard covered book full of bright and fun illustrations, the message given to each child is one of inspiration.

Custom Made for Kids book allows children to have fun hearing the city and state they live in, read family members names and listen to a fun adventure featuring the best character of all, them! Read More

Princess Bubble Review

Princess Bubble Review

Ever dream of being a princess? Running away with a handsome prince? Living happily ever after in his castle? Well forget that! Okay, maybe not completely, but I stumbled upon this amazing book, Princess Bubble, written by Susan Johnston, published by Susan Johnston and Kimberly Webb and illustrated by Maria Tonelli.

Princess Bubble is a modern day fairy tale with an amazingly empowering twist. The Princess does not run away and get happily married to the prince. She finds her own happiness rejoicing in and celebrating the spirit of being a strong, independent woman.

I found this book to be anything but focused on feminism. Instead,Princess Bubble embraces her talents, encourages education and finding a career and knowing that no matter what every Princess/woman has worth, whether or not they choose to find that “Prince.” Read More

Teen’s Guide to NOT Being Perfect

Teen's Guide to NOT Being PerfectFrom troubled teen to just the average teen, the Teen’s Guide to NOT Being Perfect by Tom Krause is a book that can relate to them all. Much to my surprise I enjoyed this book from the first line to the last.

When I first received this book I had my own preconceived notions of what it would be about and thought it may be a very cheesy, psycho-babble book geared towards teens. Boy was I wrong.

Teen’s Guide to NOT Being Perfect focuses on many Teen related issues like stress, weight loss, emotions, confidence, addiction and is more than just that. Aside from dealing with the issues Tom Krause gives his reader several ways to think about things teens come across in life and express their worries and triumphs. Read More

Hooked on Phonics Review

Hooked on Phonics Review GiveawayAfter getting to try out our very own copy of Hooked On Phonics Learn to Read Preschool edition, I am not surprised in the least bit that Hooked on Phonics is a multi-award winning program. Little Miss A was very excited to be able to sit down and start learning her letters. Although she knows “O” and a few others I was struggling trying to teach her others and found that Hooked on Phonics made it easier for both of us.

The Learn to Read sets are very extensive and come with a variety of materials. In our Pre-K package we received a workbook, reward stickers, flash cards, several reading books, and a fun DVD, not to mention the online resources. I think with all of their materials they’ve definitely covered the bases of learning. Read More

Imagia and the Magic Pearls Review

Imagia and the Magic Pearls ReviewAt first glance you may think Imagia and the Magic Pearls: Tales from the Mapmaker is a knock-off of the recent Disney princess hit movie,The Princess Frog. While both princesses are African-American the bulk of the stories are very different from one another.

I think it’s great that the country is getting a bigger dose of diverse leading ladies, and this book gives you another option aside from the already popular Disney movie. While the book has some great ideas behind it, I doubt that this book will become a household name or a classic read.

I found myself, at times, just wanting the book to be over with. Tarver spent a lot of time developing his characters and describing the story, almost at a point where it hindered the actual plot and story line of the book. While I enjoy reading about how the wind gushes I don’t need to know what color every flower, every blade of grass is. Read More

Kustom Memories Spotlight

Kustom Memories SpotlightI hope you enjoy my first and last spotlight of 2009. This spotlight features Kustom Memories, a small family owned company focusing on making fun, educational, personalized products for children.

The company is family founded and  Kustom Memories ensures that every product they send out is of the highest quality. Many studies show that when children become a part of what they read, see and listen to it builds confidence and self-esteem while increasing literacy and retention. What a better way to learn than by having fun?!? Read More

Scholastic Storybook Classics DVD Review

Treasury of 50 ClassicsScholastic debuts a Treasury of 50 Storybook Classics: Animal Antics and More. This seven-disk box set has a lot of great things to tout, including  stories that have won 80 awards (the Caldecott Medal and the NAPPA Gold Award among them), and celebrity voice narration by Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Lithgow, and others.

I was very excited to review these Storybook Classics since some of my childhood favorites, “The Story About Ping” and “Owl Moon” (winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal) are featured. Not only could I reminisce about the tales I loved as a child, but I can now share them with my own child. Read More

The Napping House

When my husband first brought The Napping House into our home, touting that it was one of his childhood favorites, I wondered if it would be current enough to be fun for my 2.5 year old to sit and listen to. (After all, it was published when I was just four years old!)

Well, the short answer to that is that she loves this book, and, secretly, so do I! The playful repetition in the book helps the reader to participate by joining along in the sing-songy lines and fuels opportunities for making animal and snoring noises along with the funny characters we meet in The Napping House.

The book begins with a rainy dreary night in a tired house. It opens with a plump, snoring granny and climaxes with a sleepy child, dog, cat, mouse, and flea all perched atop the granny in the silliest of positions, making readers and listeners alike giggle.

Each character gets it’s own creative way to awaken the next. This wild sequence of events unfolds to a happy house where “no one now is napping.”

My favorite part of this book is the illustrations. The New York Times awarded this book Best Illustrated Children’s Book in 1984. Don Wood’s playful images help children understand each part of the book from the yawning dog to the clawing cat. His depictions of this hilarious tale make the words on the page come to life. The images really convey the story of how everyone ended up in that small bed, bending with each addition, and how each fun character woke the other up in the silliest of fashions.

Audrey Wood and Don Wood have certainly created an imaginative piece of literature that you can read over and over again, each time inspiring laughter from your audience. I would highly recommend this book for kids of all ages.

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