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Friday, August 12, 2011

Small, Medium, Large review

The colorful, lively characters in Small Medium Large will captivate young readers as they discover the wonderful world of relative sizes - an important stepping stone to learning early math skills. Small, Medium, Large and all their friends: Extra Large, Huge, Enormous and Teeny-weeny, Itsy bitsy, Miniscule and others join colossal in this super-sized learning adventure featuring a dynamic double gatefold that can hardly contain all the fun!

My Review:
Bright, colorful illustrations definitely captivate young readers  as they are introduced to the wonderful characters of Small Medium Large.  With minimal words children can grasp the math concept of bigger and smaller and how smaller things can add up to equal bigger things.  A great way to introduce or reinforce early math skills.  While this book is 36 pages long, it easily captures and maintains the attention of young children.

After reading this my little one, age 3, began gathering and sorting her toys, attempting to find her own versions of Enormous and miniscule.  Definitely sparks an interest!

This book will be available September 8th through Star Bright Books.

All thoughts and opinions are my own despite having received a digital copy of this book free of charge.

A bedtime kiss for Chester Raccoon review

The sun is up, it's time for little Chester Raccoon to go to bed, but he is frightened by the shadows the sun is creating on the walls. Mrs. Raccoon soothes him with a Kissing Hand, and he is able to go to sleep.

This sweet and decidedly unscary board book is both a light-hearted way to calm children's fears at bedtime, along with a gentle introduction to Chester Raccoon and the Kissing Hand for the younger child. Funny illustrations will gentle the scary-looking shadows in a bedroom.

My Review:

Another wonderful Chester Raccoon story!  This book introduces the concept that some animals sleep during the daytime (which brought about some really interesting discussions for Princess A and I) while still addressing those scary things when trying to sleep, shadows on the wall.    Presented in a pleasant rhyme, this short book is great to read before naptime.  The illustrations are darling as usual and my little one loves the imagination of Chester as he turns shadows into crocodiles and dancing spiders! 

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully review


In this latest addition to the Kissing Hand book collection, Chester Raccoon must learn to deal with another common problem of childhood: a bully at school.

When Mrs. Raccoon learns that there is a bully problem at school, she decides to investigate the situation. But after seeing the bully for herself, she shares a story about a forest that was full of smooth yellow stones, and how the animals living there changed a pointy stone they found into a smooth stone so that it wouldn't hurt any tender paws.

Chester,Ronny, and Cassy follow the spirit of Mrs. Raccoon's story when they next encounter the Bully. Approaching him as a group, they invite him to play, proving that the best way to get rid of an enemy is to make him or her a friend.

This book encourages children to understand that many child bullies are themselves unhappy and gives readers a good example of settling differences by peaceful means. Educators will embrace this story about a positive strategy for dealing with a bully.

My Review:
I really enjoy the Chester Raccoon stories.  They are always a positive example of love.  This one however, is not on my list of favorites.  The illustrations are beautiful, the story has a great moral message.  However, I found it a bit unrealistic and in today's world my concern is that some children are going to read this and get hurt.

Today the school bully, even in elementary schools, is less apt to back down and have a change of heart than he or she is to lash out and fight when a group of kids stand up rather than cower back.  In my neck of the woods at the very least Chester, Ronny and Cassy would have been labeled school bullies when "finally Chester was nose to nose with the trembling badger (bully).  He narrowed his eyes and looked as serious as his little furry face would allow."  Around here that is the point that a teacher would step in and Chester, Ronny and Cassy would never have had the chance to ask the badger to play.  Besides, few bullies I have ever known would stand still long enough to allow him or herself to be cornered like that much less allow those children to laugh at him while he or she was scared and then accept the offer to play.

Penn delivers a wonderful message, in that often times the bully isn't so much picking on you as he or she is wanting to be accepted.  I agree with that completely.  However rarely does the bully respond so quickly to overtures of friendship.  While I want my children to be willing to befriend anyone, I think it may have been a better book had Chester, Ronny or Cassy approached the bully in a less intimidating way.  This made me feel like it was encouraging them to gang up on the badger in a show of force rather than truly extending the hand of friendship.


5 conversations you must have with your son review

Book Description:

From the cradle to college, tell your sons the truth about life before they believe the culture's lies.

For parents with boys newborn to eighteen, 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son will be as much a part of the boyhood journey as those Legos you're still finding under the sofa cushions and the garage full of sports equipment. Award-winning youth culture commentator Vicki Courtney helps moms and dads pinpoint and prepare the discussions that should be ongoing in a boy's formative years.

Fully addressing the dynamic social and spiritual issues and other influencers at hand, several chapters are written for each of the conversations, which are:

1. Don't define manhood by the culture's wimpy standards; it's okay to be a man!

2. What you don't learn to conquer may become your master.

3. Not everyone's doing it! (And other naked truths about sex you won't hear in the locker room.)

4. Boyhood is only for a season. P.S. It's time to grow up!

5. Godly men are in short supply-dare to become one!

The book also offers invaluable tips on having these conversations across the various stages of development: five and under, six to eleven, and twelve and up.

My Review:

Vicki Courtney's honesty and sincerity make this book a wonderful read rather than a finger pointing, you could do better book.  While the conversations aren't always easy ones, they are all necessary.  I found myself identifying men that lived lives that either demonstrated they had needed a few of these conversations or that their parents had given them.

Courtney gives real life examples of both the good and the bad, even including her own boy's lives at times.  She makes sure the reader understands that these aren't one time only things, they are lessons that need to be repeated and that parents need to show in their own lives.  I love that she gives pointers for the mom's when dealing with "guy" topics in case dad isn't around or just isn't comfortable with it.  I also enjoyed that there were special pages just for dad and that there are links included with each chapter to view more resources online.

This book is for parents of boys, no matter what the age, for each stage has a lesson to be learned.

I received this book at no cost and no obligation.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It Couldn't Just Happen review

Publisher's Description:
This four-color, Gold Medallion Book Award winner is a perfect tool that offers solid, biblical answers to some of the tough questions kids ask about evolution and our world.

“Did Earth begin with a ‘Big Bang’ cosmic explosion?”
“Does science contradict the Bible?”
“What happened to dinosaurs?”
“Is there life on other planets?”
“Did we evolve from apes?”
“What makes my body work on its own?”

Kids are daily exposed to the theory of evolution by the media and public schools. It’s not safe to assume that your kids will reject that theory. It’s up to us as parents and Christian leaders to make sure our children know the truth about the creation of the world. With thousands of evidences to prove He created and sustains the universe, It Couldn’t Just Happen will fascinate kids with fun activities and examples of God’s marvelous works.

My Review:

  Let me just say, "WOW"!  This book is an amazing resource for any Christian parent to have in the home for their children.  It is an awesome demonstration of how science CONFIRMS the Bible rather than goes against it.  Throughout the book, Richards presents proof that even the science our children are being presented with in school as true is flawed.  He then provides scripture to demonstrate that science is beginning to recognize the facts in the Bible.  (The Earth does revolve around the Sun, the stars can not be counted, animals reproduce after their own kind and don't evolve into new kinds.)

While I have been teaching my children the truth about the creation of the world and all that is in it and combating the science they are being exposed to as truth for many years now, this book presents it in a great way and even included some things I did not know.  (Did you know that soil, which is necessary for living things to grow, MUST contain organic matter to support life?  In other words, without dead plants in the soil it can't provide what is needed for plants to grow.  So how did plants first begin to grow? It's a which came first the chicken or the egg? kind of thing.)  I also like that the book reminds me of a school textbook.  Great for public school children who tend to view textbooks as truth.  Seems to increase the validity of the content in their minds.

This would be a great homeschool resource or supplement to your child's education.  I highly recommend it!

This book was provided free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.