Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe: A Review

Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe

Sheryl and Simon Shapiro
Annick Press Ltd.

Publishers Synopsis: This little book shows children
that squares are here and there,
and if they keep an eye out,
then stripes are everywhere.
The fun, simple text and vibrant design of Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe explore the concept of squares and stripes. Using words such as 'cube,' 'line,' 'block,' and 'band,' short poems encourage readers to spot the similarities (and differences) between the shapes of the stripes on a zebra and the stripes on a crosswalk, for example, or between a square soda cracker and cubes of cheese.
A square puzzle piece has four corners, as does a square chocolate (until someone takes a bite)! Slats on a fence and striped socks both have lines, too -- but on one of them, you can't see through!

My Thoughts: Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe is a colorful, rhyming book for preschoolers and early elementary which focuses mostly on shapes.  The title is deceiving and the book is nothing at all about Zebras.  This title is a good reference to introduction a child to shapes.  I give this book three out of six stars.

I was furnished a digital copy of this title free of charge from the publisher for review.  This is my honest opinion of this title.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alphabet Everywhere: A Review

Alphabet Everywhere

Elliott Kaufman
Abbeville Press

"Letters Everywhere" encourages letter recognition and turns the alphabet into an everyday scavenger hunt game. There are no words in this book, only the pictures that are portraying the designated letters of the alphabet, five photos for each letter of the alphabet. All the photos are of object that resemble letters of the alphabet by photographer Elliott Kaufman.

Alphabet Everywhere is a fun, creative book.  The one negative aspect, the lack of an example, actual letter would pose difficulty with beginner readers.  I would suggest this book for a moderate level or advanced youngsters to encourage letter recognition through artistic mediums in an interactive activity.

I received a free digital copy of this book. My opinions are my honest opinions.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013


My dad substitute preached at his church this past Sunday.  During his lesson he told the following story.  


One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"

Everyone in the class said, "Yes."

Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Once again he said, "Good." Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"

Image: Oleander Palm
"No," the speaker replied, "That's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all." What are the 'big rocks' in your life? Your children; Your loved ones; Your education; Your dreams; Spiritual health; Uninterrupted Time with your Family; Teaching or mentoring others; Doing things that you love; Time for yourself; Your health; Your significant other? Remember to put these "big rocks" in first or you'll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you'll fill your life with little things you worry about that don't really matter, and you'll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks).

What are your big rocks?  Are they first priority in your daily life? Give them the utmost priority and place those "big rocks" in first, then everything else can fill in the cracks.

Kinda puts stuff into perspective.

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Feng Shui Simply: A Review

Feng Shui Simply
Change Your Life From the Inside Out
Cheryl Grace

Hay House, Inc

I have attempted to research Feng Shui but have little success. Cheryl Grace's book is not just the simplicity implied in the title, but how each lesson is so easy and practical and leaved you empowered enough to put the methods into practice. Her explanation of how clutter affects the subconscious mind, and blocks the flow of energy in our lives is definitely an Ah-ha moment.

The author explains the aspects and elements that make up Feng Shui in a very "simple," understandable way. Each area of living space is oriented by the position of the front door, and a Bagua map is provided to help the reader to orient their own space. The nine sections represent aspects of one's life such as money or relationships. The purpose is to enhance or balance these areas using Ying and Yang and all five Chinese elements - water, fire, etc. which are represented by materials as well as colors.

I highly recommend this book.

I received a digital copy of this title from NetGalley in return for my accurate, true opinion.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sunday Dinners: Our Favorite Pastors Bring Together Family, Food and Faith to the Table: A Review

Sunday Dinners: Our Favorite Pastors Bring Together Family, Food and Faith to the Table 

Author: Diane Cowen
Release date: September 10, 2013

Synopsis: A cookbook that feeds the body and soul, featuring recipes and inspiring stories from some of America’s most prominent pastors, and encouraging everyone to come to the table and celebrate Sunday suppers with grace and good food. Sunday Dinners brings readers to the kitchen and dining-room tables of fourteen of America’s favorite pastors and their families as they share their Sunday traditions, mealtime blessings, inspiring stories, strong family values, and favorite recipes.

Research shows that eating dinner together strengthens a family’s bond, and Sunday dinners are especially sacred. They are a time to bring everyone together, catch up, teach children manners and social skills, stay connected with teens, learn about family history and values, and nourish our bodies and souls.

In Sunday Dinners, the pastor families who share their experiences are known not just for their successes in the pulpit and in their communities but also for the strong families they have built. They preach it, and they live it, and that’s inspiring. This is a cookbook to be read and savored, to remind us that no matter how busy we think we are, we can still take time to come together, break bread, and connect with family and good friends.

My Thoughts: I adore cookbooks. This one is terrific. Sunday Dinners focuses on meal planning from well known ministers across America, such as Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. Each pastor contributes their favorite recipes along with full-color photos.  I am looking forward to trying several of these.  There are recipes for every cook level, taste and size of family.  Great resource.

I would have like to have seen more recipes and a little less Biography of the contributing pastors.
I received a free digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself: A Review

Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself
Lissa Rankin
Hay House Publishing

I highly recommend this book.  Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology teaching you to take more of an active role in your own health, especially for those times when you do need the help of doctors and medicine.

Dr. Rankin gives us a six-step program to help with your own healing process. These steps help us discover where we are off balance and then form a positive solution for those areas which allow us to tune into our body's signals so we can take steps to heal.

“By the time you finish Mind Over Medicine, you’ll have made your own Diagnosis, written your own Prescription, and created a clear action plan designed to help you make your body ripe for miracles.”

An index would have been a great addition.

Definitely worth the read.

I received this book free from NetGalley to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Mindful Living Miraval: A Review

Mindful Living
Hay House Publishing

Miraval is a luxurious spa retreat in
Tuscon, Arizona. This would be a great coffee table nook.  I receive a free digital copy from the publisher for my honest review.  This book was NOT designed to be viewed digitally.  The font was very small and too light to read.  This is definitely a beautiful book you would want to flip through but not purchased digitally.

The photographs are absolutely gorgeous.  Each chapter follows the calendar year and address a topic with that month. There are spa treatments, recipes, meditations.

I received this book free from NetGalley to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

A Review: I Dream of an Elephant

I Dream of An Elephant
By: Ami Rubinger
Abbeville Press
Abbeville Kids

Adorable!!  I admit the cover of this book does NOT do it any justice at all.  I was not expecting much but this book is simply adorable.  I Dream on an Elephant is: Rhyming and interactive, colorful and creative, just the perfect length.  This mom of six is past the picture book stage but my seven year old daughter loves it anyhow.  I highly recommend this great book.

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I loved it.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Review: The Washington Post Cookbook

The Washington Post Cookbook
Readers' Favorite Recipes

Bonnie Benwick (Compiler), 
Phyllis Richman (Foreword)
Time Capsule Press, LLC
Bookmasters, Inc

The variety of recipes will ensure every reader will find recipes he/she loves. The layout is beautiful, the photos mouth-watering (though too few for my taste). The caramel apple pie and lemon chicken are on my too try this week recipes.

I love to “read” cookbooks, they are one of my greatest weaknesses.  This is a keeper.

I received a digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.  My review is honest and purely my opinion.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Review: Year Round Slow Cooking

100 Favorite Recipes for Every Season
By: Dina Cheney
The Taunton Press, Inc.

This is a great resource for the avid crock pot cook.  Most of the recipes included require a bit more preparation time than this working mom of six has though.

This cookbook contains: Separate sections for Winter, Spring, Summer, & Fall recipes, colorful photographs and easy to understand instructions.

I would have loved to see more dessert recipes though.  This is a good resource for anyone wanting to step up their crock pot database of recipes. 

Note: I received a digital copy of this book at no charge and the opinions given are mine alone, I have not been compensated in any way.

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