Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe: A Review

Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe

by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro
Annick Press Ltd.


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. 

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!

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.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alphabet Everywhere: A Review


Elliott Kaufman
Abbeville Press

My Thoughts:

"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.

Publisher's Synopsis:

There is a world of letters just waiting to be discovered in the world around us -- if we know how to look for it.

n this engaging and delightful book, photographer Elliott Kaufman reveals the "secret" life of the alphabet through his photographs, showing how letters can be found in things we encounter every day. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by multiple images, each unintentionally created by the intersection of architectural details, shadows, light, or natural elements as caught by Kaufman's keen eye. Some are obvious, while others demand a little more imagination to recognize, inviting the readers to start their own game of hunting for letters! This fun approach also reinforces the notion that learning to see the familiar in new ways encourages visual literacy and creativity.

Elliott Kaufman is an architectural photographer whose work has been displayed in venues such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Light Gallery (NYC). He currently teaches at Queens College and the International Center for Photography.





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

Thursday, September 19, 2013

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.

Publisher's Synopsis:
In Feng Shui Simply, Cheryl Grace digs deep into the principles of feng shui to present an exciting new view of this age-old concept and shows that feng shui isn’t just about rearranging your furniture or painting your walls; it goes much deeper. She opens your eyes to how feng shui can be used to balance the energy of every part of your life—both in your external and internal environments. Grace shows that bringing your focus to both of these worlds is a powerful way to design the life you’re meant to live.

In these pages, Grace takes you on a journey to design your living spaces using the classic Bagua map—a chart separating physical spaces into nine areas, each representing a different aspect of life, such as wealth, family, and career. But perhaps more importantly, she goes one step further, teaching you the inner work of feng shui using her own Inner Wisdom Bagua map, which correlates the characteristics, beliefs, and attitudes that will help you flourish in each area of your life.

Sharing anecdotes from her own experience switching careers from an ESPN executive to a feng shui consultant, as well as her clients’ success stories, Grace walks you through each area of the standard and Inner Wisdom Bagua maps to create unique solutions for your life. She teaches you to harness the power of your intuition to determine what’s true and important for you. And she offers practical tools based on concepts such as Yin and Yang, the Five Elements, and the Magical Day, to help you figure out which enhancements will be the most effective in transforming your life.

By celebrating key principles like universal gratitude, a positive outlook, and living in the present moment, she shows you how to manage life on a day-to-day basis and points you toward your life’s true purpose.

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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

Author: Diane Cowen

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.

Publisher's 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.

I received a free digital copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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

My Thoughts:

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. 

Publisher's Synopsis:
 We’ve been led to believe that when we get sick, it’s our genetics. Or it’s just bad luck—and doctors alone hold the keys to optimal health. For years, Lissa Rankin, M.D., believed the same. But when her own health started to suffer, and she turned to Western medical treatments, she found that they not only failed to help; they made her worse. So she decided to take matters into her own hands.     Through her research, Dr. Rankin discovered that the health care she had been taught to practice was missing something crucial: a recognition of the body’s innate ability to self-repair and an appreciation for how we can control these self-healing mechanisms with the power of the mind. In an attempt to better understand this phenomenon, she explored peer-reviewed medical literature and found evidence that the medical establishment had been proving that the body can heal itself for over 50 years.     Using extraordinary cases of spontaneous healing, Dr. Rankin shows how thoughts, feelings, and beliefs can alter the body’s physiology. She lays out the scientific data proving that loneliness, pessimism, depression, fear, and anxiety damage the body, while intimate relationships, gratitude, meditation, sex, and authentic self-expression flip on the body’s self-healing processes.     In the final section of the book, you’ll be introduced to a radical new wellness model based on Dr. Rankin’s scientific findings. Her unique six-step program will help you uncover where things might be out of whack in your life—spiritually, creatively, environmentally, nutritionally, and in your professional and personal relationships—so that you can create a customized treatment plan aimed at bolstering these health-promoting pieces of your life. You’ll learn how to listen to your body’s “whispers” before they turn to life-threatening “screams” that can be prevented with proper self-care, and you’ll learn how to trust your inner guidance when making decisions about your health and your life.     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. 



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

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mindful Living Miraval: A Review


Miraval
Hay House Publishing

My Thoughts:

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.

Publisher's Synopsis:

Mindful Living is designed to help you more fully celebrate each moment of your life. Twelve specialists from the Miraval resort—ranging from exercise physiologists to chefs to spiritual healers—bring their expertise to chapters centered on the key tenets of the Miraval philosophy, such as balance, joy, and developing the ability to overcome obstacles. This book brings Miraval to the reader and is designed to be helpful for both those who have never visited and regular guests of the resort. Through recipes, exercises, meditations, and spa treatments, readers are shown a wide variety of practical ways to implement the changes they desire. While the topics addressed in Mindful Living may seem broad, they are held together through the concept of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to live in the present, using simple tools like the breath to help you remain focused, calm, and capable of making the kind of decisions that will lead to a better life. Just as life is a journey, so is Mindful Living, moving through the months of the year and encouraging you to get the most out of each stage of the cycle.

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







Friday, September 6, 2013

A Review: I Dream of an Elephant

By: Ami Rubinger
Abbeville Press
Abbeville Kids

My Thoughts:
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.

Publisher's Synopsis:
From the author–illustrator of Abbeville's Big Cat, Small Cat comes another rhyme–completion concept book, teaching children about colors through bright landscapes of loveable elephants.

I Dream of an Elephant takes readers through a wondrous world where they will encounter elephants of many colorful shades that sing, dance, and play. Each page's descriptive sing–song text leaves out the last word, allowing little ones to chime in and complete the rhyme while learning a range of colors. Amusing color–themed illustrations provide clues for the words that have been left out. I Dream of an Elephant teaches children about colors with a fun, fill–in–the–blank challenge that encourages participation.

Accomplished illustrator Ami Rubinger once again turns his humorous and imaginative eye to an otherwise simple subject. His colorful elephants will make little faces smile, and the rhyming game will have them learning words and colors.
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I loved it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Review: The Washington Post Cookbook

Readers' Favorite Recipes
Bonnie Benwick (Compiler),
Phyllis Richman (Foreword)
Time Capsule Press, LLC
Bookmasters, Inc

My Thoughts:
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.

Publisher's Synopsis:
This first-ever cookbook from the Washington Post’s Food section contains over 150 favorite recipes from a variety of categories including drinks, meats, salads, soups, starters, vegetables, and desserts. Selected by the editors of the Post’s Food section, the book includes a foreword by Phyllis Richman, its long-time editor. The Post’s Food section has been recognized nationally for its food reporting as a past James Beard Award winner.

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Review: Year Round Slow Cooking

By: Dina Cheney
The Taunton Press, Inc.

My Thoughts:
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, and 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.

Publisher's Synopsis:

Slow cookers are popular for good reason: They’re the ultimate kitchen problem solvers. If you’re watching your budget, they’re well worth the $30 they cost since they can turn the cheapest cuts of meat into unctuous, mouth-watering results worthy of a five-star restaurant. Slow cookers also do the hard work, cooking for hours while you’re out of the house only to come home to a meal just about ready to eat. And since slow cookers keep food warm, they allow different family members to eat at different times: a practical option in a world of staggered schedules.

Yet, slow cookers have an image problem. Most home cooks use them for cold weather meals only, while others think slow cookers can only produce food that’s mushy, bland, and watery or rely solely on shortcut ingredients like spice packets, bouillon cubes, and bottled sauces.

No longer does this must-have kitchen tool deserve to be stored away when spring months hit. In Year-Round Slow Cooker, home cooks will find 100 delicious, modern, practical slow cooker recipes featuring seasonal produce. Recipes speak to the home cook whose palate is more sophisticated and who wants to incorporate seasonal produce into all of her meals.

Organized by season, Year-Round Slow Cooker features notes about the featured seasonal ingredients as well as invaluable tips throughout to help cooks maximize the power of the slow cooker.
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.