Dad of Divas' Reviews

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Review - The Mermaid's Gift

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About the Book
Out of a bitter storm comes a gift that saves a village.

In this adaptation of an Italian folktale, the young fisherman Gianni braves the thawing, ice-bound lagoon of Burano to catch fish to feed the starving people of his island. His fiancĂ©e, Nicoletta, prays for his safety. Gianni, swept from his fishing boat, is rescued by a mermaid who whips the water into a length of elegant lace, which she gives to Gianni for Nicoletta’s wedding veil. This gorgeously illustrated tale recounts the mythical origins of Burano lace, whose production has long been a vital part of the island’s economy and vibrant culture, ensuring the islanders would never go hungry. The lace is still famed throughout the world for its scalloped, wave-like patterns.




My Take on the Book
The island of Burano , near Venice, is known for their beautiful lace. The author has taken the legend of the origin of the Burano lace and retold it in an enchanted story. Of course there is more to the legend and the author gives you the facts at the end of the book.


The legend tells of Gianni who risks his life to fish for his starving family. His fiance Nicoletta prays for him and with the help of the villagers helps him find his way home. She also instructs the women of Burano in making the lace which brings food and economic growth into the island.


Traci Van Wagoner's illustrations are soft and sensitive. They will draw you into the story.


This is a legend that I think you and your child will enjoy together.
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Book Review - What's Up with This Chicken?


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About the Book
Why so moody, broody Trudy?

As families embrace the farm-to-table food movement, more and more people are housing chickens on their balconies and in their backyards. Children growing up in urban environments surrounded by rural animals experience both the benefits and humor of farm life. Chickens provide farm-fresh eggs year-round, but they can also be noisy and stubborn, just like Trudy. Sylvia has one moody chicken who will not give up her eggs! Exciting and entertaining illustrations accompany this informative story about one annoying chicken—why she is like that and how Sylvia, eventually, cheers her up! An author’s note introduces the reader to the real chicken that inspired this story.




My Take on the Book
Jane Sutton wrote a humorous and informative story for young children. You and your child will enjoy learning about a broody hen in this story. Sylvia and her grandmother helped Trudy , the hen, actually hatch some eggs. Trudy thought she could do it but she needed the help of Sylvia and her grandmother. The humans used a book to help them understand the hen's behavior and then brought about the positive result of chicks being hatched by Trudy.

The illustrations by Peter J. Welling adds so much humor to the text. The expressions on the faces of the humans and the animals will bring a smile to your face.


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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Review - Beautiful Vintage: Creative Coloring for Grown-Ups

Beautiful Vintage: Creative Coloring for Grown-Ups

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About the Book
Make every day a fun "throwback" day with this coloring book that's inspired by all things vintage. From clockwork birds to art deco jewelry, to beautiful butterflies and beyond, these intricate patterns will make you eager to pull out your favorite colored pen and dive right in. This partially colored book features single-sided pages to color, so you won't have to worry about the ink bleeding through and ruining your work on the other side. Each page is also perforated, so you can easily pull out your favorite masterpieces and use them for decorations, gifts, or to inspire you to create bigger, better, more fabulous works of cool retro chic art.



My Take on the Book
My oldest daughter is into vintage items these days and this adult coloring book is all about vintage. She was drawn to this book from the very beginning and loved all of the classic designs as well as retro/vintage items that have been redesigned for optimal coloring. She particularly loved coloring these with her colored pencils and you will too!

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Book Review - Challenging Coloring: A Book Full of Creative Coloring

Challenging Coloring: A Book Full of Creative Coloring

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About the Book
There's no doubt about it: coloring is a great way to spur on creativity and help people focus. But what if kids think coloring books are for babies--or boring? Tell them to think again, because their best challenges start right NOW. This is not a little kid's coloring book! It's so jam-packed with creative challenges that kids will have to reach deep into their pencil cases to overcome each coloring obstacle. But when they do, the results will be AWESOME! This book is perfect for kids who like to kick things up a notch. The only question is…are they up to the test? Encourage them to say yes, and they'll enjoy hours of stimulating fun!



My Take on the Book
The front image on this book tells you a lot about the pictures on the inside. The images are challenging and there is a lot to color, but my daughters and I found that this book was a ton of fun to work on together. The book itself has an amazing array of images included and because there are so many challenges included in each picture, this is not for the youngest artist. However, even though I say that, my daughters and I did work together on a number of the pictures and we still had a blast. The book is beautifully done and if you are looking for an adult-oriented coloring book, this definitely fits the bill!


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Book Review - The Menagerie: Animal Portraits to Color


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About the Book
This lavishly illustrated, intricately designed collection of animal portraits offers hours of relaxing, absorbing fun to coloring book fans and animal lovers alike. It features sophisticated, custom-made artwork from two acclaimed illustrators whose work has captured the attention of keen colorists from around the world. From mighty bears to awe-inspiring tigers, and beyond, each page allows coloring fans to take their time, relax, and get lost in their own world, where color combinations and beauty are theirs to create and choose. Each exquisite headshot is printed on perforated paper, so it is easily pulled out and readily available for display once you've completed your coloring sessions. Long-time coloring book fans and beginners will be equally engaged and entertained, and will find their stress levels declining even as their creativity levels soar.



My Take on the Book
My daughters are big animal fans and this book takes Menagerie to a whole new level. You get so many amazing animals all in one book. Some of the animals that my daughters loved the best included the:

  • Bengal Tiger
  • Gorilla
  • Badger
  • Impala
The book helps you create pictures that are so fun and real. They draw you in and by using your favorite mediums you can create unique pictures you will want to share with others!



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Book Review - Motif Magic: Amazing Designs from Around the World to Color

Motif Magic: Amazing Designs from Around the World to Color

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About the Book
New from the best-selling Color Magic series! Motif Magic is another meditative coloring book that combines the youthful joy of coloring with the sophisticated composition of distinct patterns that everyone can color, share, and enjoy. These dazzling, intricate motifs include pharaohs and flowers, palm trees and peacocks, Buddhas and dream catchers, and other cultural designs inspired by locales around the world. There's a reason that coloring is a popular pastime with adults today because it encourages us to slow down, challenge ourselves to try something new, and create something that is simply exquisite. Best of all, once you complete these beautiful images, they are ideal for decorating, framing, and gift-giving.



My Take on the Book
These designs are amazing and ones that you will find to be mesmerizing as you create more and more of them. The designs are a mixture of cultural images that I have seen set throughout the world but many of them were so new to me. There were a ton of intricate designs that you will really love to work on and as you work on each layer of the image the picture comes together into something remarkable.


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Book Review - Ultimate Dot to Dot: Extreme Puzzle Challenge

Ultimate Dot to Dot: Extreme Puzzle Challenge


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About the Book
Connect-the-dots fans, rejoice! Ultimate Dot-to-Dot will captivate, motivate, and scintillate you for hours on end. You'll find hundreds of intricate dots to connect and projects to complete that are devilishly difficult…and wickedly fun. Put pen or pencil to paper and you'll soon free amazing animals, discover stunning objects, find intricate scenes, and so much more. Watch everything from lions to lizards, owls to peacocks magically appear as you complete these complex, varied, and challenging puzzles that dare you to keep making connections and having a great time while you do it. When you've completed each one, you'll also have an original and compelling work of art that you can pull out (the pages are perforated), frame, keep, or share.



My Take on the Book
This was an amazing book that really brings forth great animals through very intricate dots. I have never created such intricate designs in dot-to-dot in the past but I am so glad that I was able to find this and try this with my own daughters. You will love the pictures that you create as you go page-to-page in this remarkable book!

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