Dad of Divas' Reviews: March 2018

Monday, March 26, 2018

Book Review - Daditude

Daditude



About the Book
Life is never peaceful in Chris Erskine's house, what with the four kids, 300-pound beagle, chronically leaky roof, and long-suffering wife, Posh. And that's exactly the way he likes it, except when he doesn't. Every week in the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune (and now and then in many other papers), Erskine distills, mocks, and makes us laugh at the absurdities of suburban fatherhood. And now, he's gathered the very best of these witty and wise essays―and invited his kids (and maybe even Posh) to annotate them with updated commentary, which they promise won't be too snarky. This handsome book is the perfect gift for the father who would have everything―if he hadn't already given it all to his kids.


My Take on the Book
As someone that has loved reading Chris Erskine's columns in the past this is a book that really brings together great writing that really captures being a dad! The book has a lot of heart and it really does show family life through a different lens. The essays were easy to read and a ton of fun as well. I related to so many of them as I see my own family growing before my own eyes.  This was a very well written book that explores family, fatherhood and so much more!


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Book Review - Bye Bye Pesky Fly

Bye Bye Pesky Fly



About the Book
Pig is having a good, happy day—until he’s bothered by a Pesky Fly. Pig needs to figure out the best way to handle it, instead of yelling or swatting… that wouldn’t be kind! Fly needs to figure out how to better interact with his friends and respect Pig’s space, and decides Pig is a good friend to have! Pig and Fly work through their problem and move on to having a feel-good day…together! Includes a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” about working through frustration in friendships.



My Take on the Book
This was a very cute book that looks at friendships in a whole new way. While the friendship of these two unlikely characters is not traditional however they still learn to find friendship through their adversity. This is a great book that was a ton of fun. My daughter and I loved the new way of looking at friendships and it opened us up to talking abut a lot of issues in regards to the friendships she has as well! 


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Book Review - Abracadabra!: The Magic of Trying

Abracadabra!: The Magic of Trying



About the Book
All of the little birds have learned to fly…except Little Owl. The others explain that it’s easy: all he has to do is say “abracadabra!” At first, it doesn’t work, and Little Owl thinks the “magic” word is broken! But as he gets better and better, he realizes that the real magic is in himself. This book teaches children how to face challenges and keep trying, despite setbacks. Includes a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” with tips for encouraging kids to persevere.

My Take on the Book
Life is not always easy and there will always be challenges within your life that you must overcome. In this book you will get to meet a fun owl that continues to have challenges flying. As he continues to fly he finds that he has his own magic within him to be able to fly himself. This is a great book that you will love to read with your kids as much as I loved reading it to my own!

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Book Review - Charlie and Frog

Charlie and Frog



About the Book
All Charlie Tickler wants is for his parents to listen.

Charlie's parents have left him (again). This time they are off to South Africa to help giant golden moles. And Charlie? He's been dumped with his TV-obsessed grandparents. Lonely and curious, Charlie heads into the village of Castle-on-the-Hudson, where a frightened old woman gives him a desperate message-in sign language. When she suddenly disappears, Charlie is determined to find answers.

All Francine (aka Frog) Castle wants is to be the world's greatest detective.

Frog, who is Deaf, would rather be solving crimes than working at the Flying Hands Cafe . When Charlie Tickler walks into the cafe looking for help, Frog jumps at the chance to tackle a real-life case.

Together, Charlie and Frog set out to decipher a series of clues and uncover the truth behind the missing woman's mysterious message. Charlie needs to learn American Sign Language (fast) to keep up with quick-witted Frog. And Frog needs to gather her detective know-how (now) to break the case before it's too late.

Discover the surprising ways people listen in debut author Karen Kane's page-turning mystery filled with humor, intrigue, and heartwarming friendships.



My Take on the Book
This book is a mystery but it is also a story about a young boy named Charlie who is trying to find his place to live. His parents fly all over the world and he feels they do not really pay attention to him. He stays with his grandparents who love to just watch TV. It is not until he meets a deaf woman named Aggie that the mystery begins and he meets a young girl nicknamed Frog that he begins to feel part of a "family" and community.

Yes there is a mystery and the reader is brought through their investigations and their deciphering of the numbers and letters of a gravestone of a known and loved author of the town. 

There appears to be danger as two men, Dex and Ray, try to steal a book which holds a valued treasure. The treasure is not what they thought, but something that each person who puts it on, a knitted scarf, can learn to feel the power within them.

Charlie needs to learn sign language as Frog and her parents are deaf. But that knowledge and his friendship with Frog's family leads him to the life and education he was hoping for while his parents are still traveling. Charlie begins to develop a new relationship with his grandparents too as they watch less TV and pay more attention to him.

It is a good chapter book with many good values.
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Book Review - Secrets of Topsea: A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!

Secrets of Topsea: A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!



About the Book
Welcome to Topsea, the strangest place you'll ever visit. In this town, the coves are bottomless and the pier has no end in sight. There's a high tide and a low tide... and a vanishing tide. Dogs are a myth, but mermaids are totally real. And seaweed is the main ingredient in every meal-watch out, it might just start chewing you back!

New kid Davy definitely thinks Topsea is strange. His mom keeps saying they'll get used to life in their new town-it's just the way things are on the coast! But after his first day at Topsea School, Davy finds himself wondering: Why is his locker all the way at the bottom of the school swimming pool? Why can't anyone remember his name? (It's Davy!) And why does everyone act like all of this is normal?!

Through newspaper articles, stories, surveys, notifications, and more, follow Davy and the rest of Ms. Grimalkin's fifth grade class through the weird world of Topsea. (Whatever you do, don't make eye contact with the rubber ducks.)



My Take on the Book
Davy Jones is a new 5th grader at Topsea School. Davy notices right away that this town and the school are very unusual (at least to him). For example seaweed can be found in your bed around your feet, in your cereal bowl and you can expect to be served seaweed burgers on a seaweed bun in the school cafeteria.

The reader will get to know Davy's new friends. As the friends play together you will learn about the town : the water park that often is not open, the closed arcade that the kids can get into, and there is the lighthouse in the middle of town with no doors but there is a lightkeeper living there. And more!
Some of the adventures are when Finn was stuck to the chewing gum wall. Another one involving Finn and friends was the running on the boardwalk and an old woman (troll) who lives under the boardwalk gives Finn a bell. What is so great about the bell is that Finn who has a quiet voice, can now get the attention of his friends by ringing the bell. I enjoyed that chapter.

In spite of all the strangeness of Topsea, Davy and his mother seem to begin to settle in and adjust.Davy continues to ask questions and may be confused by events, but the kids at the school accept him as a new friend by the end of the book. 

The authors have really used their creative powers in this book.
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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review - To the Land of the Dinosaurs: Make It, Wear It, Send It, Show It!

To the Land of the Dinosaurs: Make It, Wear It, Send It, Show It!



About the Book
Creative kids can stretch their imaginations to the limit with this exciting craft and activity series.

Who needs a smartphone or tablet when you've got paper? A wealth of craft ideas will have children folding, cutting, constructing, and customizing wildly imaginative projects. Create a dinosaur model, Triceratops face, dinosaur landscape, and more. Discover more fun activities:
  • Make It: including models to press out and build, pop-ups to construct, and step-by-step origami projects
  • Wear It: including facemasks and other accessories to cut out, personalize, and model
  • Send It: stationery to press or cut out and customize, including post cards
  • Play It: board games and other ideas for creative play that get friends and family in on the fun

Paperplay includes over 150 reusable stickers to customize everything you make. Create in a few minutes or take all day--there's always something fun to do here!



My Take on the Book
If you are a fan of dinosaurs, this book is one that you will want to bring into your own home. This book has activities, things that you can wear, send or even play with, so it has something for everyone! The book was one that will keep any child busy for a long time and with all of the stickers that it also has any child will be happy with this book and it will keep them busy for quite some time!

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Book Review - Enchanted Fairy Forests: Make It, Wear It, Send It, Show It!

Creative kids can stretch their imaginations to the limit with this exciting craft and activity series.  Who needs a smartphone or tablet when you've got paper? A wealth of craft ideas will have children folding, cutting, constructing, and customizing wildly imaginative projects. Find fairy-inspired crafts and activities, including a collage, game, wand, and more. Discover more fun activities: Make It: including models to press out and build, pop-ups to construct, and step-by-step origami projects Wear It: including facemasks and other accessories to cut out, personalize, and model Send It: stationery to press or cut out and customize, including post cards Play It: board games and other ideas for creative play that get friends and family in on the fun Paperplay includes over 150 reusable stickers to customize everything you make. Create in a few minutes or take all day—there's always something fun to do here!



About the Book


Creative kids can stretch their imaginations to the limit with this exciting craft and activity series.

Who needs a smartphone or tablet when you've got paper? A wealth of craft ideas will have children folding, cutting, constructing, and customizing wildly imaginative projects. Find fairy-inspired crafts and activities, including a collage, game, wand, and more. Discover more fun activities:
  • Make It: including models to press out and build, pop-ups to construct, and step-by-step origami projects
  • Wear It: including facemasks and other accessories to cut out, personalize, and model
  • Send It: stationery to press or cut out and customize, including post cards
  • Play It: board games and other ideas for creative play that get friends and family in on the fun
Paperplay includes over 150 reusable stickers to customize everything you make. Create in a few minutes or take all day—there's always something fun to do here!



My Take on the Book
This had a bit of everything within it for you to have fun with your kids or for them to have with by themselves. If you love fairies, magic and more this book will keep you busy for some time! The book has a ton of stickers that you can use throughout the book and you can even wear some of the things that you make! As I said, this has a little bit of everything for everyone!

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Book Review - The Gumazing Gum Girl!, Popped Star

The Gumazing Gum Girl!, Popped Star



About the Book
Gabby Gomez is back for more gum-tastic adventures! The third book in The Gumazing Gum Girl series, POPPED STAR (Disney-Hyperion | On Sale April 3, 2018) by Rhode Montijo, with Luke Reynolds, illustrated by Rhode Montijo, follows Gabby’s struggles against a tutu-wearing, trophy-obsessed villain out to steal all the attention away from Gum Girl.

The scented/reversible cover and bold illustrations will draw readers into all the gum-flavored action! Buckle up for more flavored-packed action as Gum Girl takes on someone a little more her size. It's another exciting adventure with the ever-elastic, super-stretchy superhero, Gum Girl!


My Take on the Book
This is another lip smacking novel from the Gum Girl series of books. My daughter has loved all of the other two books from the series and this one was also a ton of fun as a book. You get great characters, plot and illustrations throughout the book that made the book one that you will quickly read through and thoroughly enjoy! My daughter was through this book so quickly I could tell that she enjoyed it completely. If you love stories that are fun and engaging, then this book is for you!

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Book Review - My Story, My Self: Journal Your Plans & Dreams


My Story, My Self: Journal Your Plans & Dreams



About the Book
Turn on, tune in, and chill out with this must-have journal!

Tap into your strengths, gain insights into your thoughts, and build confidence in the person you've already become with this keepsake journal created especially for girls. You'll discover new ways to digitally detox and become more mindful as you fill in the beautiful pages of this book. Every day, you'll be prompted to fill in the blanks that tell your story—and get you in touch with your truest self. What's your perfect start to the day? What is your favorite hobby? How do you like to relax? What goals would you like to achieve? Dream, plan, and track who you are right now—and shape the person you hope to be in the future. Inspirational quotes, practical tips, and interesting hacks will make this book a joy to open, and a treasure trove of information to look back on in the coming years.


My Take on the Book
This was a great book that really leads the reader through many prompts that will give you ways to capture things about yourself that you can then remember for all time. My daughter loved going through the different activities and saw this as a keepsake that she can continue to look back at in years to come. This was a very fun book that will let your own child explore so much about themselves!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review - Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior: Quest Mode

Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior: Quest Mode



About the Book
Minecraft meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid in book 5 of the very popular 8-Bit Warrior series of the journal of a young Minecraft villager who dares to dream of becoming a Minecraft warrior!

THESE ARE THE REAL BOOKS BY CUBE KID! DIARY OF AN 8-BIT WARRIOR: QUEST MODE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AS WIMPY VILLAGER KINDLES 13 & 14.

In the fifth in this series of five unofficial Minecraft adventure books, everyone's favorite 12-year-old villager-turned-warrior is back this time to use his warrior training on a new quest.

There’s no time to enjoy his newfound stardom.To save Villagetown, Runt embarks on a perilous quest far beyond the safety of the wall. Between bizarre towns, terrifying dungeons, and epic boss battles, Runt must summon the hero within and say “so long” to the noob!



My Take on the Book
This is a great book that continues the series of books that I have read with my kids in the past too. The book is definitely a bit of a puzzle and takes you some time to follow all of the plot, but in reading this together, you will find that it is a lot of fun. The book is fun for all! Even if you are not a Minecraft fan, you will still find that the characters are fun and the plot is solid in the end. As mentioned, I have read the other books so I did understand this one, but if this is your first book, I would go back to book one to better understand everything. All-in-all this was a book that I would recommend to all!


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Book Review - Color Quest: Color By Numbers


Color Quest: Color By Numbers



About the Book
Kids: you'll love this color-by-numbers book that is unlike anything you've ever seen before.

Grab your colored pens or pencils and start coloring the numbered shapes... and in no time at all, you'll uncover intricate artwork on the page. Color Quest: Color by Numbers takes kids on a magical journey to find hidden gems! Each page features a color coded puzzle and four clues to help you guess what's hidden there. It's all just waiting to be liberated by you as you color each one, breathe new life into these pages, and uncover stunning works of art in your color quest!

My Take on the Book
This is a great book that if you love art and love books that will walk you through every step you need to follow, this is it. This book is really allows you to color some very cool pictures and the book walks you through every step. This is a book we have loved to use and you will too!

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Review - The Mortification of Fovea Munson

The Mortification of Fovea Munson



About the Book
Fovea Munson is nobody's Igor. True, her parents own a cadaver lab where they perform surgeries on dead bodies. And yes, that makes her gross by association, at least according to everyone in seventh grade. And sure, Fovea's stuck working at the lab now that her summer camp plans have fallen through. But she is by no means Dr. Frankenstein's snuffling assistant!

That is, until three disembodied heads, left to thaw in the wet lab, start talking. To her. Out loud.

What seems like a nightmare, or bizarre hallucination, is not. Fovea is somebody's Igor, all right. Three somebodies, actually. And they need a favor.

With a madcap sense of humor and a lot of heart (not to mention other body parts), this is a story about finding oneself, finding one's friends, and embracing the moment.


My Take on the Book
This was a great book that you will love! This book has amazing characters that will make you laugh throughout the entire book. This author has a great way with words and does an amazing job at capturing the voices of the characters. The book shows a great coming of age story that also has some drama too. My daughter told me that she laughed and cried as she was reading this and as I was reading it, while I did not cry, I did laugh and it was a very fun book to read!


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Book Away - Off & Away

Off & Away



About the Book
How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It's Jo's dad's job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own.

With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.

My Take on the Book
Cale Atkinson has written a heartwarming story accompanied by beautifully detailed illustrations.
This story any child will enjoy hearing often. It is a story about a little girl, Jo, and her father. Her father delivers bottle mail (rather than mail in envelopes). They live by the sea and his home is the "post office".

Jo is afraid of the sea. She imagines monsters and does not travel with her father, but one day that changes.

This story is about Jo becoming courageous as she must deliver the mail to various places. The reader will see as she ventures further and further out into the sea that she begins to actually see what is real and not imaginary. It is not until she meets a real sea monster who helps her, that Jo becomes very courageous.

All children develop fears at some time in their young lives. How they eventually overcome those fears is the real courageous journey, like Jo.


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Book Review - Real Lives: Explorers & Pioneers: Intrepid Adventurers Who Achieved the Unthinkable

Real Lives: Explorers & Pioneers: Intrepid Adventurers Who Achieved the Unthinkable



About the Book
Young readers will be inspired by these stories of remarkable individuals who changed history and continue to impact our world.

Each entry in Real Lives series of books explores how these individuals, through courage and determination, managed to change the world for the better. In Explorers & Pioneers, children will discover stories about people who traveled across land, over and under the sea, and into space to help us expand our horizons beyond ordinary expectations. Includes Sacagawea, Neil Armstrong, Jacques Cousteau, Charles Darwin, Isabella Bird, Yuri Gagarin, Gertrude Bell, and more.

These remarkable people came from all four corners of the globe, from all walks of life, and across many different disciplines. There are men and women, musicians and scientists, activists and leaders, athletes and actors, and more. Bold color schemes and a stylized photograph or illustration of the subject make these books hard to resist. Children will be drawn to these visually appealing books and find the stories inside of them fascinating and thought-provoking.

My Take on the Book
This nonfiction book is full of courageous individuals who were pioneers in their field or explorers to new lands. There are 28+ biographies. Each biography has a picture of the famous person. The entries are very interesting to read.

Some of the highlighted people are: Neil Armstrong, Sacagawea, Jacques Cousteau, Isabella Bird, and Nellie Bly.

I will give you a short version of two individuals: Ida Pfeiffer was born in 1797. In that period of time girls were not educated like boys, but Ida's father made sure she was educated like her brothers. He thought is was important.Ida became a world traveler to countries and cities that women/ men did not visit often. She explored Iceland, Africa, Iraq, Russia, Greece and Italy. While in China she had to disguise herself in men's clothing. And when she visited a tribe in Indonesia that were cannibals, she had to make a quick exit. Ida traveled over 170,000 miles in her lifetime.

Yuri Gagarin grew up in Russia. He learned to fly and was in the Soviet Air Force in 1955. At this time there was interest in sending a man into space. In 1961, Yuri became the first human to travel in space. He orbited the Earth. He was called a cosmonaut. I thought it was interesting that when Neil Armstrong was on the moon he left a symbol on the moon honoring Yuri Gagarin.

You and your child will learn so much from reading this book. To me it is inspiring to read about individuals who in the face of challenges persevered.

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Book Review - Real Lives: Incredible Successes: Inspiring People Who Overcame Adversity

Real Lives: Incredible Successes: Inspiring People Who Overcame Adversity



About the Book
Young readers will be inspired by these stories of remarkable individuals who changed history and continue to impact our world.

Each entry in Real Lives series of books explores how these courageous and determined individuals managed to change the world for the better. In Incredible Successes, children will find the stories of people who experienced amazing success despite overwhelming obstacles. Includes J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Serena and Venus Williams, Ludwig van Beethoven, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Alva Edison, Vincent van Gogh, and others.

These remarkable people came from all four corners of the globe, from all walks of life, and across many different disciplines. There are men and women, musicians and scientists, activists and leaders, athletes and actors, and more. Bold color schemes and a stylized photograph or illustration of the subject make these books hard to resist. Children will be drawn to these visually appealing books and find the stories inside of them fascinating and thought-provoking.


My Take on the Book
You and your child will thoroughly enjoy reading this book, and you will learn new facts about people you know and those you do not know. The book contains 25+ short biographies of people throughout the world who have made a difference in others lives. The biographies are accompanied by a picture of the person. The people highlighted in this book have accomplished a goal or task because of their dedication, passion, courage, and talent.

Here are some of the names of people you will read about: Harry S. Truman, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael J. Fox.

I will give you a short version of two individuals. James Dyson was the inventor responsible for creating the Dyson Vacuum Cleaner. He lived in the UK and no manufacturer would support his invention. It was not until he created his own company and manufactured his vacuum cleaner himself, that he became known world wide. He has continued to create new inventions.

J. K. Rowling is the famous author of the Harry Potter books. Before she became famous, she was a mother raising her young baby. She was on welfare and had little money.As she tried to publish her first book, she was receiving many rejection letters. However she has become one of the most well known authors today. Her books have broken book sales. 

These are just two of the individuals who persevered in face of adversity. Their amazing successes could spur your child into believing he/she can be acknowledged for their talents too.
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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Book Review - Bulwark

Bulwark



About the Book
Clay Finnes is the sheriff of a small town in Georgia called Bulwark. Recently separated from his wife, all he can think about is what went wrong, and will Jenna ever come back to him. He's troubled by a bothersome reporter trying to build a story from what he thinks is a normal day in his life. Clay has to admit that the fantastical stories, told by an accident victim as well as unusual sightings of wolves, things are getting a bit strange. A visit to the ominous Gingerbread House makes him realize that his life as he knows it will never be the same.


My Take on the Book
While I have read books by this author, I have not read books under her pseudonym Brit Lunden. In reading this book you will be drawn in by the well developed characters, deep plot and events that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

This book is called Bulwark and it is the town where everything happens within this book. The book is filled with mystery, action, drama and a bit more. The author uses great description to draw you into the story. The book really delivers you into a world that feels a bit supernatural, and different than what you are used to, but it is also a book that will keep you engaged from beginning to end.

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Book Review - A Robot World: Discover Amazing Robots and their Robotic Powers

A Robot World: Discover Amazing Robots and their Robotic Powers



About the Book
Robots are everywhere!

Robots can be found in our homes, hospitals, and schools; in books, movies, and computer games. Robots are at work, at play, and even at war. Robots are even out of this world, helping us explore space. This photo-packed book explores the rise of robots, from the first automata (lifelike mechanical figures that acted like humans or animals) to the latest AIs (Artificial Intelligence robots). Learn some bot basics, how robots on the move know where to go, sociable robots with facial expressions, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that chase hurricanes, nanobots that can be injected into a person's bloodstream to fight diseases, and much more. As you flip through the pages of this bold book, you'll discover the many different designs that have captured our imaginations and led to amazing developments in technology. You can even learn how to build your own robot!

My Take on the Book
This is a great book that will really allow you to better understand robots. You learn about how and where they work as well as what it takes to build a robot for yourself. This is a great book that really educates you about robots. I found the book to be very interesting as robots are being used in so many ways that I was not aware of. This is a book that will really educate you!!


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