Dad of Divas' Reviews: June 2017

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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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review - There Might Be Lobsters

There MIght Be Lobsters

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About the Book
Come on, Sukie, you can do it! A little dog’s paralyzing anxiety gives way to bravery when someone smaller is in need in this humorous, tenderly sympathetic story.

Lots of things at the beach scare Sukie. Lots. Because she is just a small dog, and the stairs are big and sandy, and the waves are big and whooshy, and the balls are big and beachy. And besides, there might be lobsters. With endearing illustrations and a perfectly paced text that captures a timid pup’s looping thoughts, here is a funny and honest read-aloud about how overwhelming the world can be when you're worried — and how empowering it is to overcome your fears when it matters the most.



My Take on the Book
Eleanor is a patient little girl who has a dog named Sukie. Sukie is afraid of many things . Eleanor takes the dog to the beach with her and Sukie's fears increase. Sukie is afraid the the steps to the beach, the sand, the beachball, and the water. I loved the ending of this story as Sukie shows that bravery exists within when her precious stuffed monkey is carried off by the waves and Sukie must save it. It is heartwarming to see Sukie ignore all the scary things in the water and return to the beach with monkey and a proud expression of triumph. The illustrations by Laurel Molk are colorful and detailed for a young child's exploring while the story is read.

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Book Review - Hattie and Hudson

Hattie and Hudson

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About the Book
A little girl and her colossal friend teach a monster-size lesson about prejudging others in a charming new offering from Chris Van Dusen.

Hattie McFadden is a born explorer. Every morning she grabs her life jacket and paddles out in her canoe to discover something new on the lake, singing a little song on her way. When her singing draws up from the depths a huge mysterious beast, everyone in town is terrified — except Hattie, who looks into the creature’s friendly, curious eyes and knows that this is no monster. So Hattie sneaks out at night to see the giant — whom she names Hudson — and the two become friends. But how can she make the frightened, hostile townspeople see that Hudson isn’t scary or dangerous at all? Chris Van Dusen brings his colorful, perspective-bending artwork to this satisfying new story about acceptance, friendship, and sticking up for those who are different.




My Take on the Book
Chris Van Dusen is the author and illustrator of this beautiful story about the friendship that develops between a girl and a lake creature she names Hudson. Hattie has a huge job in convincing the towns people that Hudson is not scary but friendly, unfortunately they do not believe her until Hudson develops a plan with Hattie. Their plan works and the towns people accept Hudson as a welcome addition to their lake and town. The story is not only about friendship, but also in accepting differences and giving someone who may not be the same as you a chance. Beautiful illustrations by Chris Van Dusen with many details to explore as you read the story.

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Book Review - Things to Do with Dad

Things to Do with Dad

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About the Book
Can a young boy figure out how to turn an obstacle into an opportunity in this nearly wordless picture book?

A morning of fun with Dad takes a turn for the boring when a long to-do list interferes. At first content to let Dad cross things off his list, the boy in the story soon realizes that the whole day will be spent on chores — unless he can come up with a solution. In his singularly expressive, kid-friendly style, author-illustrator Sam Zuppardi crafts a colorful celebration of the fun that can be had with just a little imagination — and a trusty green crayon.


My Take on the Book
This is a perfect story for a young child. You will enjoy reading this story often. The story introduces a boy and his father who are working through a "To Do List". However the little boy becomes bored with the jobs his dad is accomplishing and decides to take matters into his own hands so he and his dad can have some fun. Using his creativity the child convinces his dad to use his imagination to run away and join a circus and to sail a pirate ship. The illustrations are also by the author. They are colorful and shows the joy that the father and son enjoy together.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review - Geology Lab For Kids

Geology Lab for Kids: 52 Projects to Explore Rocks, Gems, Geodes, Crystals, Fossils, and Other Wonders of the Earth's Surface

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About the Book
Dig in and learn about the world where we live with Geology Lab for Kids.

Geology Lab for Kids features 52 simple, inexpensive, and fun experiments that explore the earth's surface, structure, and processes. This family-friendly guide teaches the wonders of geology, like the formation of crystals and fossils, the layers of the earth's crust, and the eruption of geysers and volcanoes. Learn about:

  • How crystals form
  • How insects are trapped and preserved in amber
  • How water shapes mountains, valleys, and canyons
  • How a volcano forms and erupts
  • How a geyser uses heat beneath the earth's surface

Geology is a science that teaches us about the world we live in, and Geology Lab for Kids teaches us that even simple activities can show the larger world at work.



My Take on the Book
I love this book! As a dad, I love to find fun things that I can do with my girls that are easy to create but also educate my kids without them knowing that they are learning (Sneaky!!). This book allows you to do this. You can have a blast with your kids through the large number of activities presented in the book. Best of all, for the most part I found that I had most of the supplies needed for the activities. Whether it is summer or anytime you will find something that will engage your kids in fun ways and this book will be one that you will be able to come back to over and over again and your kids will continue to ask you to keep working through the lab exercises (at least my kids did!).


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Book Review - The Ripple Effect: Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better

The Ripple Effect: Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better

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About the Book
Live Better, Not Harder

  • Sleep controls the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite
  • An hour of exercise can turn a B grade into an A
  • Muscular meditation helps reduce stress and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Watermelon decreases muscle soreness after a workout

Sleep better and you’ll eat better. Eat better and you’ll move more. And if you move more, you’ll sleep better and ultimately think and feel better. This is the ripple effect of good health and high performance. And it’s also why you don’t have to make major changes or sacrifices in your life: with an improvement of just 1% in your sleeping, eating, exercising, or thinking habits, you’ll see dramatic results. With Greg’s easy-to-follow strategies and tips, you can harness the power of the ripple effect and start living better—not just for a few weeks or months, but for life.


My Take on the Book
This book really allows you to look at health in a totally new way. The author talks about how sleep patters, eating, exercising and thinking influence physical and mental health. Once you understand this, you can take the advice that the author gives to help you to help you change these parts of your life to have some very big results in the end. The book was very practical in nature and you will find that the 1% tips through the books are easy to implement. I love these 1% ideas because so many of them were ones that I would never have thought of in the end. On top of the great advice that the author shares, the book is also filled with information and data that is founded in research so what is being shared makes a ton of sense. Get ready to make some great new choices for your life with this great book!



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Book Review - The Art of Drawing Dangles: Creating Decorative Letters and Art with Charms


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About the Book
If you like coloring, tangling, or lettering, you'll love to dangle!

Dangles are a beautiful and whimsical new art form for people who love coloring and tangles. By adding charms and pretty embellishments to letters and artwork, you can make your own dangles. With 50 projects in the book, you can add stunning patterns and color to dangles, personalize your dangles with charms that are unique to you, and create dangle words from the dangle alphabet in the book. Dangles are a perfect way to accentuate your stationary, invitations, lettering, and more.




My Take on the Book
This was a great book that not only was presented on quality paper, but also allows you to learn how to come up with some very cool dangles and letters that are very unique. My daughter loved learning how to create some very fun letters and the books makes it easy as well. She is now using this to create some very fun cards that she is giving to friends. She is taking this book with her everywhere!

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Book Review - Geronimo Stilton: Creepella von Cacklefur - The Haunted Dinosaur

Geronimo Stilton: Creepella von Cacklefur - The Haunted Dinosaur

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About the Book
A terrible haunted dinosaur is wreaking havoc throughout Mysterious Valley! He's scattering bones and leaving destruction in his wake. Creepella steps up to the task of taming this creature -- and brings Geronimo along for the adventure!


My Take on the Book
Creepella is a special effects designer and director. She also aspires to become a journalist. In this book, she writes about an adventure that she and Geronimo had when a haunted dinosaur came to life. Geronimo tells the story to his nephew.

The haunted dinosaur begins to wreck havoc throughout the town and they find that only a lullaby that the family sings will calm the dinosaur down so it will stop its destruction of the town. Of course Geronimo saves the day with his bravery and Creepella shoving him into his hero spot.
It is a story full of adventure, funny lines, and some new characters. There is an unusual invention and lots of problems solving.
This book is written for 2-4th grade students. It is written on a fourth grade reading level.
Once again the story line will keep your child engaged in the adventure with Geronimo and his friends.
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Book Review - Geronimo Stilton Micekings: The Mysterious Message

Geronimo Stilton Micekings: The Mysterious Message

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About the Book
The micekings have received a mysterious message in a bottle! Unfortunately, most of it has been damaged by water -- but Geronimo can tell it's from the Oofa Oofas, the laziest rodents in the ancient far north. The micekings set sail to Oofadale, in case the Oofa Oofas are in trouble. But on their way, the dragons attack! Fjords and fiddlesticks, what an adventure!


My Take on the Book
Here is a new Geronimo Stilton adventure book for your 2-4 grader to read and enjoy. The book is written on a 4th grade reading level. In this story, Geronimo Stilton lives in the ancient north in the town of Mouseborg. He is a mouseking . A message is found in a bottle so the mystery leads Geronimo and his friends to the town of Oofadale. Once there they encounter dragons who wish to eat them and they battle for their lives. As the battle is won, the mystery of the message is solved, but poor Geronimo still has not won his special helmet. Maybe he will in the next story. This is a great adventure story with funny lines and play on words. They mystery will keep the reader engaged from beginning to ending.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

DVD Review - The Pink Panther Collection

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About the DVD
The 6-film collection consists of The Pink Panther (1964), A Shot in the Dark (1964), The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), and Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), each directed by Academy Award winner Blake Edwards (Victor/Victoria, Breakfast at Tiffany’s). For the first time, all six are available together in a single collection, with four making their debuts on Blu-ray, including A Shot in the Dark and The Pink Panther Strikes Again, both presented in new4K scans of the interpositives. The set also boasts a treasure trove of bonus features, including new interviews and commentaries.



My Take on the DVD
This new collection contains all of the amazing Pink Panther movies. To be honest I had only seen a few of them, so this was a treat to see them all and experience the magic of great Peter Sellers. Make sure to watch the documentary about the making of these movies That bonus feature was amazing and really allowed me to better understand Peter Sellers as well as appreciate the Pink Panther movies even more. If you are a Pink Panther, or Peter Sellers fan, you will love having this collection in your own home!

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Book Review - Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown

Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown

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About the Book
Groovy Joe is totally fun.
He's a tail-wagging, song singing party of one!
And he rocks like this:
Disco party bow wow!

#1 New York Times bestsellers Eric Litwin (Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes) and Tom Lichtenheld (Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site) are back again in another groovy story that will have little ones singing, dancing, and learning math to a whole new beat. In his second book, Groovy Joe has a dance party. But Oh no! More and more doggies are knocking on his door, asking to come in. Will there be enough room for everyone? Joe knows just what to do and soon enough he everyone moving and grooving -- the party has only just begun! Signature rhyme, repetition, and musical writing style, combined with wild and witty illustrations infused and gentle math concepts come together to create an unforgettable new Grooy Joe story all about positivity, creativity, math, and kindness. Groovy Joe is back, ready to get groovy!


My Take on the Book
This was a fun book that my daughters loved to read with me. It was a fun story with a groovy character too! You are brought through the book and the beat of the story and you will find yourself really drawn into the book and the fun nature of the characters and the illustrations!

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Book Review - Zen Doodle Dreamscapes: Unlock Your Dreams

Zen Doodle Dreamscapes: Unlock Your Dreams

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About the Book
The latest addition to the best-selling Zen Doodling series!

There are lots of good reasons that our Zen Doodle books are best sellers. One reason may be that it's a technique that can be embraced by everyone. All it takes is a piece of paper, a writing implement, and the desire to create something while you free your mind. Zen Doodling is also a way to set your thoughts and dreams free, allowing you to express hidden emotions and ideas. In Zen Doodle Dreamscapes, you will explore the most common dreams, journey through different dream sequences, and be inspired to create incredible dreamscape artwork. Easy-to-follow, step-by-step illustrations guide the reader through the process, from first sketch to finished piece. Lots of creative techniques are explored, including printmaking, stenciling, watercolor washes, and more. You'll find a new freedom and passion for freeform Zen doodling as your creativity and artistic confidence soar. Artistic tips and hints are included.


My Take on the Book
This was a great book for anyone that loves Zen Doodling! You will get so many amazing images that you can color or even emulate for yourself. There are so many ways in which you can really allow your creativity come alive in bringing together any colors that you choose to bring together for the images that you are creating!

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Book Review - How to Draw Amazing Birds: From Songbirds to Birds of Prey

How to Draw Amazing Birds: From Songbirds to Birds of Prey

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About the Book
Give budding young artists the tools they need to let their creativity soar!

These small but informative drawing books will help children discover and expand on their creative drawing talent. Inside this book, they'll find easy, step-by-step instructions for drawing tiny songbirds, magnificent birds of prey, penguins, and more. Each title in the How to Draw series features more than 100 weird and wonderful drawing projects in a variety of categories. A handy index in the back of the book makes it easy to find favorites to practice again and again.



My Take on the Book
My daughters love to draw and this book will walk you step-by-step through the process of drawing some very realistic birds. I loved how this book allows you to see how to shade, draw and more on so many different types of birds. While the book is short, it provides you with a lot of guidance that will help you along your own drawing path!


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Book review - How to Draw Scary Monsters and Other Mythical Creatures

How to Draw Scary Monsters and Other Mythical Creatures

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About the Book

Give budding young artists the tools they need to let their creativity soar!

These small but informative drawing books will help children discover and expand on their creative drawing talent. Inside this book, they'll find easy, step-by-step instructions for drawing a variety of wicked vampires, undead zombies, camera-shy yetis, and more. Each title in the How to Draw series features more than 100 weird and wonderful drawing projects in a variety of categories. A handy index in the back of the book makes it easy to find favorites to practice again and again.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book that walks you through everything that you need to know to draw some very cool monsters. If you love to draw this book makes it simple and people of all ages can create some cool scenes or just draw the monster itself with the steps that this book provides. This is a great book for anyone that loves to draw!


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