Dad of Divas' Reviews

Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review - Mom and Me: An Art Journal to Share: Create and Connect Side by Side

Mom and Me: An Art Journal to Share: Create and Connect Side by Side

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About the Book
This full-color art journal for moms and kids to color and draw together in is designed to be a sharing experience. Mom and child can write each other letters, draw what scares them, imagine what they want to be when they are grown up, color a scene using only one favorite color, whatever their imaginations lead them to!

Mom and Me: An Art Journal to Share is filled with fun hand-lettering and artwork from Bethany Robertson along with creative prompts from licensed art therapist Lacy Mucklow.

Mucklow offers up the best ways to communicate with a child through creating together; how to start an open conversation with your child; questions you can ask that will help generate thoughtful responses; and how to tailor the quality time so it's still fun and engaging for your child.

This art journal has 50 full-color spreads to color, fill in, draw, and more. Each spread has a creative prompt or another exercise for mom and child to fill out together.



My Take on the Book
Even though this is called Mom and Me, as a dad I used this with my daughter and we still had a ton of fun The book is filler with great prompts that get you to think, engage, react and more. The whole idea is allowing you to be create with your child, but also to engage with your child too. The book allows you to be open with feelings and really to delve into topics that might otherwise be harder to talk about. This is a type of book that, when completed, could be a book that you could go back to many years from now and cherish!


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Book Review - Hand Lettering A to Z: A World of Creative Ideas for Drawing and Designing Alphabets

Hand Lettering A to Z: A World of Creative Ideas for Drawing and Designing Alphabets

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About the Book
Your hand lettering contains a little bit of you! It expresses what you have to say, and demonstrates your creativity in all your communications. In Hand Lettering A to Z, artist and author Abbey Sy has invited four international artists--Meg Hyland, Joao Neves, Tessa Go, and Lisa Lorek--to join her in designing all new alphabets for you to draw and use in many different languages.

You don’t have to be a trained artist to master the art of hand lettering. These alphabets are for every skill level, and will suits any taste: colorful, or black and white, classic or just plain fun. It’s all about getting creative with the twenty-six letters and a little bit of you.



My Take on the Book
A great book that will walk you through the process of creating some very cool letters that you can use on cards, projects and more. If you love to create hand-made graphics or artwork that uses lettering, this book will definitely help you make some sustainable changes that will really stand out!


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Book Review - Mastering Excellence: A Leader's Guide to Aligning Strategy, Culture, Customer Experience & Measures of Success

Mastering Excellence: A Leader's Guide to Aligning Strategy, Culture, Customer Experience & Measures of Success

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About the Book
This book is for leaders with high expectations, a vision of the possible, urgency to engage employees and impatience for results that improve the lives of many others. If you are looking for the road map to dramatic success, this is it. Mastering Excellence provides you with a new way to think about work and customers, an elegantly simple framework and tools you can immediately apply to transform your organization and your role in it. Based on the author’s 30 years of work with organizations of all kinds and sizes, including multi-nationals, small start-ups, government agencies, healthcare, education and defense, you get an engaging and practical speedway to dramatic change you would not think possible. There are many approaches to change. Most emphasize process improvement. They use tools that are mathematical, analytical and operational in nature and assume that the absence of things gone wrong is equivalent to achieving excellence. That focuses on minimums, not optimums. Virtually none provides an integrated strategic system that begins with articulating purpose from the customer’s perspective, uses linguistics to reveal and destroy the ambiguities we allow to persist, and redefines knowledge and service work in tangible, countable ways we can design for excellence. This book does that and far more. As the CEO, executive change leader or consultant to leadership, you want customers that are enthused, employees that are engaged and fast, highly visible results. Eye-popping savings, customer wait times cut by 90%, strong revenue growth and an avalanche of customer kudos are the kinds of sustainable and continuing results many Masters of Excellence have achieved. This provides the means and rewires your brain to understand how. Ambiguity, Vital Lies, complexity and the fragmented pursuit of excellence are hidden barriers this book systematically destroys. The reader’s mind gets rewired in surprising ways, enabling clarity of thought and purpose that is easily tied to deployment. Practical application reinforces and makes memorable every key idea. Many examples are paired with how-to’s the reader can immediately apply. Robin Lawton follows his first book, 5-star ranked on Amazon, with MASTERING EXCELLENCE. This engaging, practical and thought-leading read is for leaders seeking a strategic systems approach to customer-centered organizational transformation.



My Take on the Book
This is a practical book that explores the concepts of alignment. The book is filled with a ton of great examples that will help you better conceptualize the concepts that are being shared by the author. The book also explores outcomes and how what we produce have to be aligned with what what we are providing to others too. The book is truly set up to walk you step-by-step through the things that you need to do to make a transformation within your own organization. There are assessments you can use and more! The book is entertaining and informative and you will find that the advice that is being provided is such that you can put it to work right away!


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Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review - Gabby Duran: Multiple Mayhem

Gabby Duran: Multiple Mayhem

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About the Book
CASE FILE: The Third (and fourth and fifth and sixth . . . ) Unsittable

SUMMARY: Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, Sitter to the Unsittables, has proven herself an integral member of A.L.I.E.N.--the Association Linking Intergalactics and Earthlings as Neighbors. She has amassed an impressive roster of alien clients, and is a trusted babysitter among humans and intergalactics alike. We here at A.L.I.E.N. are proud to call her one of our greatest success stories, and believe she is ready to take on more responsibility.

Which is why Gabby has now been entrusted with the care of one of our most volatile charges. His name is One and he's a member of the Tridecalleon species. While One and his parents present the appearance of a normal, human family, they have some intriguing qualities that make caring for their young a unique challenge. And while, under normal circumstances, inviting outsiders to aid an agent with an Unsittable job would be strictly forbidden, we have decided to forgive Gabby calling in her friends Satchel and Zee in this case. After all, a babysitter only has so many hands. (Unless, of course, he or she is a Flarknartian.)

Making this highly unstable situation an even greater challenge? Gabby has also been assigned to protect a very dangerous object--one that, if it falls into the wrong hands, could cause the destruction of Earth itself. It remains to be seen whether Gabby and her friends are able to handle the demands of eleven . . . wait, twelve . . . no, thirteen babies, while ensuring the safety of the world at the same time. All we can do is wait, and hope, and trust. And ready our escape pods.



My Take on the Book
Another great book from the Gabby Duran series! We love this character and my daughter and I always enjoy seeing what kind of fun, action, humor and more will come up in these books and this book did not disappoint. The book is a quick read and you will find that there are not only fun ideas about babysitting but also some great connections to STEM and some hidden learning gems too! If you have never read a Gabby Duran story in the past, it is about time to start!


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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Book Review - The Jolley-Rogers and the Monster's Gold

The Jolley-Rogers and the Monster's Gold

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About the Book
Ahoy there, shipmates! Join Jim Lad and Matilda as they sail the seven seas (and the coast of Dull-on-Sea) in search of treasure in this latest adventure from Jonny Duddle featuring the Jolley-Rogers.

When Matilda discovers a treasure map inside an old bottle, she shows it to the Jolley-Rogers and they all set sail to find the mysterious island on the map. Unfortunately, they end up in the belly of the dastardly Pirate Cruncher! Can Matilda and the rest of the Jolly-Rogers rescue themselves before it is too late? Or will they end up trapped there forever? Expect adventure, laughs, and perhaps an almighty sneeze.



My Take on the Book
Matilda is fishing with her father when she reels in a bottle with a treasure map. The map will lead Matilda, her friend Jim Lad , and the Jolley Rogers to an island where a sea monster guards a huge treasure chest of gold. In this chapter book which is meant for ages 6-9, the crew find an island inhabited by a pirate , a huge number of monkeys and scarlet parrots. As you read the story you will understand the importance of the parrots in thwarting the sea monster's devouring of the crew. In an interesting twist to the story , Matilda and Jim find themselves in the monster's belly along with discovering 91 old pirates who live there. Quick thinking helps them escape and the old pirates , Matilda, and her friends/family live comfortable back at home. The story is full of action and will keep the reader engaged throughout the story.
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Book Review - Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief

Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief
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About the Book
Harold’s quiet detective skills back up Pigsticks’ braggadocio when key items go missing before the big Butterfly Ball.

The Butterfly Ball is tomorrow, and all of Tuptown awaits an exciting day full of cake, games, and amazing butterflies. Everyone has a job to do—even Harold. He's making the Spirit of Tuptown prize! But when the prize statue goes missing, a confident Pigsticks volunteers to solve the case (with the help of Harold's careful note-taking, of course). With more and more things disappearing, and everyone in Tuptown a suspect, who can track down the mysterious thief? Comical illustrations belie a deadpan story in this second charming adventure starring a grandiose pig and his undersung sidekick.


My Take on the Book
This is an early reader for children 5-9 years old. It is a mystery that takes place in the town of Tuptown. Tuptown is getting ready for their Butterfly Ball. Everyone has a job except Alice. When Harold's special statue he created goes missing, plus other objects, the whole town helps Pigsticks and Harold to search for clues. There is humor in the story . You will see the towns members understand the reason for Alice's theft and their friendship to her extend into giving her an important job at the ball.
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Book Review - Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
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About the Book
Beatrice does her best thinking upside down.

Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned!

Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up?


My Take on the Book
Beatrice does her best thinking upside down. She is the middle child in a family. She and her older sister have not necessarily gotten along, but this will change by the end of the story.

The story centers around Beatrice's friend Lenny and a new girl in town, Chloe.It is the first day of school and unfortunately it is not going well for Beatrice in many ways.However, by the end of the day Beatrice is able to solve some problems occurring in her life. She finds that Lenny is once again her best friend and even her sister Kate begins to understand that Beatrice is a special little sister.
It is a story about friendship, family dynamics,and celebrating our differences and similarities.

I enjoyed reading this chapter book.
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