All posts in Book Reviews

Christmas Crafts for Kids

Christmas Crafts for Kids ebook GIVEAWAY

I am just not good at crafts. I wish I was but I’m not. This is why I am so excited for a Christmas Crafts for Kids book. I can really use it. I’m also excited that the author is a fellow blogger, 123 Homeschool 4 Me, Beth Gorden. Her eBook contains more than 100 activities, crafts and recipes based on children’s books (which makes me deliriously happy!). But more than that, it is a labor of love that took Beth more than one year to write.

Christmas Craft eBook for Kids Giveaway

She has wonderful books, crafts, activities, recipes and and ideas for celebrating 24 days of Christmas. If you wanted to use some of her ideas for Advent, she also has them organized by the day. Her book makes me want to move in with her for the holiday season!

If you are looking to start a holiday tradition (or two) for your kids, this is a wonderful place to get ideas.

Day 1: Elf on a Shelf

Day 2: J is for Jesus

Day 3: The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Higgs

The Pine Tree Parable tells the heartwarming tale of a farmer and his family who nurture tiny seedlings into fragrant Christmas trees.

When the trees are tall enough to offer to their neighbors, the farmer’s wife plans to keep the most beautiful pine tree for her family, until one snowy December night when a child teaches her the true meaning of Christmas.

Read more…

boys and reading, Guys Read, chapter books for boys aged 9, chapter books for boys,

Guys Read Other Worlds: Cover Reveal and GIVEAWAY

Chapter Books for Boys: Guys Read Series

The Guy Read series edited by Jon Scieszka always intrigued me. Chapter books that entice boys to read are much needed and I will happily promote them until the cows come home.

Walden Pond Press was kind enough to send me the first book to review, Guys Read: Funny Business and it delivered on its promise. It’s a series of short stories written by well known authors. You can tell that they all had fun with this.

The short story by Jon Scieszka and Kate DiCamillo about a boy reluctantly doing a author book project was particularly memorable but all the stories were fun to read!

I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peak at the lastest soon-to-be-released Guys Read book, Guys Read: Other Worlds edited by Jon Scieszka sure hand.

Welcome to Other Worlds, the fourth volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading. Prepare yourself for ten trips into the unknown, as ten of your favorite writers spin tales of fantasy and science fiction the likes of which you have never imagined. Compiled by National Ambassador for Children’s Literature (and Secret Ambassador for the Intergalactic Alliance) Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: Other Worlds is the most exciting collection of stories on this-or any-planet.

Contributors to Guys Read: Other Worlds are …

Rick Riordan
Tom Angleberger
Rebecca Stead
Shannon Hale
D. J. MacHale
Eric Nylund
Kenneth Oppel
Neal Shusterman
Shaun Tan
Ray Bradbury

Even better, the nice folks at Walden Pond Press are letting me give away an ARC (Advanced Release Copy)! Yep, be sure to tell your son (or daughter) that he is the FIRST to read this book! No one else will be able to get their hands on it for a while. Read more…

Fabulous Flying Females: Women Aviators Books for Kids

Fabulous Flying Females: Women Aviators Books for Kids

I love a mighty girl character or real life role model for my girls. These girls all dared to fly at a time when flying was a great adventure. What makes girls daring enough to say “What If … Women Were Aviators?” And how can we encourage this? I’ve picked three books to explore this idea … a picture book, easy chapter book biography, and historical fiction middle grade chapter book. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Fabulous Flying Females: Women Aviators Books for Kids

Picture Book for Girls  Who Ask “What If?”

Bessie, Queen of the Sky by Andrea Doshi and Jimena Duran, illustrated by Chiara Fabbri

To become the first black woman pilot, Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman had to learn French to attend pilot school in Paris because it was the only flight school that would accept girls. She received her pilot’s license at age 29 and lived from January 26, 1892 to April 30, 1926. This beautifully illustrated picture book of Bessie Coleman will inspire readers that anything is possible if you don’t give up. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Zephyr Takes Flight by Steve Light

Zephyr, a little girl, loves airplanes. She makes them, plays with them and hopes to fly one day. But no one in her family wants to play airplane with her. When she has a spectacular crash, she is sent to her room … where she finds ways to fly! A girl version of Where The Wild Things Are! [picture book, ages 4 and up] Read more…

Miso marinated fish, Weelicious, Catherine McCord

Weelicious Cookbook is a Gift That Keeps Giving

Healthy, Easy Multicultural Recipes for Kids

We are all looking for magic bullets, and the truth is, there is none.

If you want to do well in school, you study; if you want to lose weight, you exercise and eat healthy; if you want to be a good piano player, you practice.

So it stands to reason that if you want your kids to eat well, you have to set them up for success.

When kids eat poorly, it’s because we allow them to.

I met Catherine McCord through my friend Dan, the first person I ever hired at my first job out of college. I was a marketing consultant for a small computer consulting company and overworked so it was announced with great fanfare that I was allowed to hire an assistant.

This single hire changed our lives. For Dan, I was the first of a few bossy Asian female bosses that he thrived working under. For me, I hired him twice; once for that first job and then again when my own staffing company was ready to expand to Los Angeles. Read more…

Book Love, how to get your kids reading, Melissa Taylor, Imagination Soup

Are All Kids Reluctant Readers? Mine Are! And What to Do

How to Get Kids Reading with Book Love!

Now that I’ve gotten all three of my kids reading, I realize that they were all reluctant readers at some point. Which made me wonder. Are all kids reluctant readers? Is reading like learning to ride a bicycle? A milestone skill that comes to kids at a different points in their life? And, like learning to ride a bike, if we keep at it as parents, can we get all kids to love reading? Read more…

The Thankful Book, 21 Days of Gratitude

Teaching Gratitude to Kids with Thanksgiving Books

I am thankful to be part of the 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge. It’s a great time to reflect and be thankful for the little things in life. This holiday season, we are thankful for books. They entertain us, teach us and take us new places. We are also thankful for our good health, electricity during Hurricane Sandy, our cozy bed and bedtime stories. (And that soccer season is over! That’s a selfish one for me and my husband!).

The Thankful Book, 21 Days of Gratitude



Thanksgiving Books for Kids and Being Thankful

Todd Parr has a natural talent for taking a subject that might be difficult to articulate to a child and making it a comfortable and colorful conversation. I remember when my oldest started Kindergarten and her classmate had two moms which prompted a multitude of questions. One of the moms, of the two mom family, suggested Todd Parr’s book It’s OK to Be Different. We bought a copy and found that it also spoke to us.

Read more…

best Halloween books for kids, best Halloween chapter books for kids

Favorite Halloween Books for Kids

Halloween Picture Books and Chapter Books for Ghoulish Fun

Halloween is every child’s favorite holiday by far! The candy might last but for a few weeks, but Halloween themed books can stretch the holiday out all year! Read more…

Starry River of the Sky, Grace Lin, Asian chapter book, 4th grade chapter book, 5th grade chapter book

Grace Lin’s Latest Chapter Book is Her Best Ever!

Grace Lin’s Latest Chapter Book Deserves Newbery

I don’t think there was a 4th grade or 5th grade kid I knew who read Where The Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin and didn’t rave about it though they were generally girls. It could be that Minli is a girl. I hope Lin’s audience broadens with her latest companion book, Starry River of the Sky. Rendi, the lead character, is a BOY! And he couldn’t be more different than Minli who is cheerful despite poverty and hardship. Read more…

teaching kids presidential election, picture books on election, election game, presidential election game, learning about election politics

The Presidential Game: Everyone Can Be President

Games for Kids About Presidential Election

My 7-year-old son likes board games so he makes me play them with him as his sisters will generally not play board games with or without him. With the upcoming presidential election, I thought it might be a good way to explain our United States slightly convoluted election process to him. Read more…