All posts in Book Reviews

Karen Day, A Million Miles from Boston, similar to Penderwicks

Top 10: Eerie Similarities of Newest Penderwicks and Karen Day Book

Penderwicks Series and Book Just Like It!

It might have been a sheer coincidence (cue Twilight Zone music below!), but I was reading the newest Penderwicks book(The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall) with my middle child and the newest book from Karen Day (A Million Miles from Boston) with my oldest simultaneously and I was struck by the myriad of similarities between both books AND YET the books are so different AND written at the same time. Coincidence? Maybe, or perhaps there is a more cosmic messages afoot?! Let’s investigate! Read more…

Top 10 Starting School Books: Kindergarten & Preschool

Starting Kindergarten and Preschool Books

A reader asked me to help her round out her list of books for incoming Preschoolers.  I searched, and there are not tons of them.  I decided to combine this with entering Kindergarten because in September, my youngest child will start Kindergarten. I feel that you can use the books somewhat interchangeably and that books that your child enjoys will be a more important factor than whether the book aligns exactly with his or her school entry point. Read more…

Best Travel Writing by Women

Women and Travel: Best Travel Writing

My Mom Friend Carol is one of the most interesting and kind-hearted people who I know and now she’s reinvented herself mid-career as a writer. And oh, what an outstanding writer she is. She is published in The Best Travel Writing by Women, 2011 which comes out in a week, and her book will follow that.

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summer math curriculum, summer math workbooks for kids, math summer supplementation, math summer slide

Best Math Workbooks for Home or Summer Supplementation

I find that no matter how good your elementary school is, there is always a need to supplement your child’s math curriculum at home.  For some of my kids, they needed additional challenge that their school was not providing.  For another child, I found that she needed more individualized attention to really “get it.”  All of my kids benefited from additional math fact drills, and home supplementation helped me to understand how my child learns and exactly what each child needed additional practice on. Read more…

Appealing Non Fiction Book: 100 Most Disgusting Things on Planet (ages 4-12)

Non-Fiction for Reluctant Boy Readers

100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet: Prepare for the Worst by Anna Claybourne is a book that delights those with a fascination for grossness that occurs in nature. But this book is also a clever guise to get reluctant readers reading and readers of all ages engaged in life science non-fiction.  This book gives equal weight to Disgusting Nature as to Disgusting Humans delving into  interesting creatures as  poo-covered beetles, Surinan toads that hatch their young below a layers of their mother’s skin on their backs to maggot cheese and snot.  Yes, this book is hard to resist! Read more…

African American picture books, Black History Month, picture books Black History Month,

Top 10: Best African-American Picture Books (ages 4-12)

African-American History Through Picture Books

This Top 10 list of African-American Picture Books is different for me, because rather than list the books from favorite to most favorite as I usually do, I chose instead to list the books in historical chronology such that each book touches on a significant period or event of African-American history in the United States.  If you read all 10 (and please use your library for this!), you and your child will get a sense of history through picture books.  Because each picture books tells its own powerful story, I am hoping you and your child will get images and vignettes that will linger in your mind. Read more…

Our favorite Pokemon Books for playing Pokemon Go

Top 10: Pokémon Books for Kids

Best Pokémon Books for Kids

My five-year-old son has been obsessed with Pokémon for over a year now.  He wanted to be a Pokémon master when he was four but now he realizes that there are no wild Pokémon to catch where we live and we won’t allow him to wander the earth unsupervised.  That was a sad day for everyone!  Still, he continues to love Pokémon and memorizes a large database of factoids on Pokémon.  

I suppose while there will never be a need to recall this information on a standardized test, it’s not so different from learning a database of factoids of information on something more educational like dinosaurs.  So until he learns to read his Pokémon books on his own, I am getting my master’s degree in Pokémon.  But since I seem to lose every Pokémon battle, I don’t expect to graduate.

For those seeking a book form of the Pokédex, try Pokémon:  The Complete Pokemon Pocket Guide, Boxed Set, $16.99.

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Best Picture Books That Teach Counting

Picture Books for Counting

I remember how much I enjoyed a counting book with a twist. I do completely believe in the power of picture books to teach math concepts but I do need a little something extra as I am reading the book for the tenth time. My own counting picture book library was not too robust so I trolled through a 4 foot stack of counting books to find these treasures.  I hope that you and your child enjoy them. What are your favorite counting books? Please leave a comment and I’ll keep adding to this list. Read more…

Hiroshima In the Morning: An UnFugable Memoir in the vein of Eat, Pray, Love

Memoir of a Bad Mother

I know this review is a snarky but the book just brought that out in me but I feel redeemed when CapabilityMom sent me this Huffington Post article/video on her where she says that she never wanted children and that she’s worse than Hitler. CapabilityMom wrote a beautiful and balanced review of her book if you want another perspective. We were both part of the same blog tour but mine, ahem, did not get included. I wonder why?… Read more…