Dad of Divas' Reviews

Monday, March 27, 2017

Book Review - If You Were Me and Lived in....the Mayan Empire

If You Were Me and Lived in....the Mayan Empire
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About the Book
Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series. Learn what kind of food you might eat in Ancient Greece, the clothes you wore in 15th century Renaissance Italy, what your name could be in Viking Europe, and what children who lived during the Han Dynasty did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.



My Take on the Book
I have visited some of the Mayan ruins in the past and learned some about the civilization then, but this book gives you an even greater insight into the Mayan civilization. I have found this civilization an interesting one over the years, and while brutal in some ways, the book allows you to really explore more of the history, religion, culture, clothing and daily activities as well. On top of this though, the author also shares information on things like employment, city and home environment, famous buildings, food choices, necessary attire, monetary values, education, hobbies, and even important people and what they accomplished.

You can tell that the author has done her research and this is not the first book in which she has provided this amazing information and more.


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Book Review - If You Were Me and Lived in...Germany: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World

If You Were Me and Lived in...Germany: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World
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About the Book
Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the beautiful land of Germany in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the central Europe to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book about Germany. My relatives are from this country but I have never been there myself. What I love about this book is that it allows me to better understand the country, the people, the culture and people. The book gives you a glimpse into some of the unique aspects of this country and makes me want to visit it even more now that I have read more. Carole Roman continues to bring you great insights into foreign countries and times long gone and I am glad that she does!


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Book Review - A Handful of Stars

A Handful of Stars

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About the Book
When Lily's blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it's Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season.

After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily's grandfather, and Salma's friendship transforms Lily's summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they'll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant-and possibly win?

Set amongst the blueberry barrens and by the sea, this is a gorgeous new novel by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord that tackles themes of prejudice and friendship, loss and love.


My Take on the Book
First , I highly recommend this book for a middle age reader . It would also be a great chapter book for an adult and child to share. The story is rich in character development. It involves Lily who lives with her grandparents in Maine. It is blueberry season and she meets Salma who is a young migrant worker. They develop a fast friendship.

It is a story about a little girl's loss of not knowing her mother. It is a story about the same little girl, Lily , who is trying to raise money for her dog to have cataract surgery. It is a story about bravery, dreams, friendship, and striving to set a goal and reach it. It is a story about Salma who travels with her family and dreams of never having to move again.

There are so many real life situations in this book. As an adult , it was a great story which I enjoyed. I think you will also see the value of the content of this story. 

Cynthia Lord has written a beautiful story.


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Book Review: American Girl: The Real Z

American Girl: The Real Z
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About the Book
And action! Z knows what she's doing when it comes to making movies. She's an expert at stop-motion video. In this first book about the aspiring filmmaker, Z has to make a whole new kind of movie--a documentary--and it's harder than she thought. Z wants to wow the judges, but she's not sure her ideas are good enough for a film festival. With the help of her friends, Z shoots a lot of footage, but something about it doesn't feel right. Should she start over? As she tries to make a movie she can be proud of, Z discovers that to be a real filmmaker, she'll first have to be her real self.



My Take on the Book
Suzanne Yang or Z and her best friend Lauren love to make movies. They are especially good at making stop motion videos. They work together setting up the scenes, moving the props, videoing the action, and editing. 

Suzanne was invited to participate in a contest. She had to produce a documentary film for the Cloud Song Seattle Film Festival. The prize was $1500. Z decides on the topic and believes that the film will be easy to produce. However she soon realizes there will be many challenges.
So some of the challenges like a broken guitar string for a singing group she wanted to record. That the thunderstorm kept them from videoing. The filming took longer than anticipated. And the list goes on and on. What Suzanne learned is that this is where her problem solving skills had to kick in in order to produce the film for the festival. She learned from her mistakes.
This is a good story about perseverance in trying to reach a goal.
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Book Review - Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella


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About the Book
Once there was a girl named Harper who had a rare musical gift. She heard songs on the wind, rhythms on the rain, and hope in the beat of a butterfly’s wing.

Harper lives in the City of Clouds, an enchanting place where it rains every day and an umbrella is always a good idea. With her Aunt Sassy, her beloved cat, Midnight, and all of her neighbors in the Tall Apartment Block, every day is full of possibility.

But when every cat in the city goes missing—including Midnight—Harper is determined to find all of the precious pets. And she’ll need a magic, flying umbrella to help in her search. Recruiting friends from her building to help, the magic umbrella whisks them into the sky on the trail of the cats and adventure.

They stumble on the Midnight Orchestra—tabbies on triangle, Siamese singing, Persians on piccolo—all under the direction of its fearsome, wild conductor. But can the group use their talents, quick thinking, musical skill, and a little magic to stage a rescue like no other?

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella is a spellbinding tale of friendship, music, and magic featuring a diverse cast, brought to life through stunning illustrations. A perfect book to be shared and treasured.



My Take on the Book
Cerrie Burnell's chapter book is a story about magic, music, the cooperation of friends, bravery and perseverance.

Harper's cat and other cats are missing. After searching the City of Clouds where Harper lives, they locate the cats. The Wild Conductor stole them to create his cat orchestra.
Harper and her friends: Nate , Ferdie and Liesel are able to free the cats with the help of the magical scarlet umbrella. Along the way there is adventure for the friends . Sometimes it appears dangerous.
The story illustrates how each of the main characters had a special gift which they used to solve the problem of having their cats returned to them.
It was an interesting story. It definitely shows how people working together can create a change and solve a problem.
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Review - Geronimo Stilton Spacemice: Pirate Spacecat Attack

Geronimo Stilton Spacemice: Pirate Spacecat Attack

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About the Book
The on board computer on spaceship MouseStar 1, Hologramix, is out of order! To fix it, Geronimo Stiltonix must take it to a brilliant inventor who lives on a distant planet. But while Hologramix is being repaired, pirate spacecats attack, and steal it! Can the spacemice get Hologramix back before the spacecats turn it evil and set it against them?
My Take on the Book
If you have read any of the Geronimo Stilton books you will recall they have adventure, funny lines, and great characters. This latest book is no exception.

Geronimo is the captain of Mouse Star 1, a spaceship. The space ship is equipped with a computer called Hologramix. As the space ship is traveling , Hologramix begins to have some major problems so Geronimo and his crew stop to have it repaired.

The repair goes well, but then the mean and stinky space cat pirates steal the computer. It is up to Geronimo and his crew to outfox the pirates and retrieve their computer.

This adventure story is one that a second to fourth grade child would enjoy reading.


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Book Review - Boo Laa Laa: School for Ghost Girls

Boo Laa Laa: School for Ghost Girls

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About the Book
Best friends Maude, CJ, and Tiny are so excited to start third grade at Boo Academy (affectionately called Boo La La), the world's premier haunting school! The ghost girls love their new dorm mother, Ms. Finley. But she has some strange characteristics that make them think that she might be... human. Could it be?! The ghost girls are determined to find out, for the sake of their school -- and the entire ghost world!


My Take on the Book
This is a delightful chapter book on a third grade reading level with an interest level for girls between the grades of second through third grade.

Maude, CJ, and Tiny are in the third grade at Boo Academy. It is a school for ghost girls. Here they learn how to haunt, use spells, fly through humans, etc. They sleep in dormitories and eat together in a large cafeteria. The three girls have been best friends since they began school. This school year an unusual circumstance arises and they must solve the problem.

Ms. Finley is the new dorm mother. She is kind and helpful and the girls find unusual. She wears shoes, her nose cannot detect fine odors, and the girls become suspicious. Could she be a human? That would not be good at a school for ghosts.

This story contains all the emotions that normal girls go through. There are times when they need to ignore mean girls. There is subject matter that is hard to learn. They make mistakes. The support each other.

At the end of the story Ms. Finley explains all the unique circumstances behind why she is different.

This is a fun story to read.


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