Dad of Divas' Reviews

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review - Hi by Ethan Long


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About the Book
A string of comically stylized animals greet each other in masterfully rhyming couplets—an owl’s “hoo” is answered by a cow’s “moo”; a crow’s “caw” is returned with a donkey’s “hee-haw”—all leading up to the “hi!” and “good-bye!” of a human toddler and his mom! The first in a brand-new board book series on animal (and human) first words by award-winning author and illustrator Ethan Long.


My Take on the Book
This was a very cute story with great images and a fun story. The rhyming nature of the book was well done too and really shows a young child how some animals may be saying hello to both each other and maybe even to them. Young children will love the illustrations and the rhymes and you will too!


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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Post - How to Sketch People: Tips and Techniques for Fast, Fun, Freehand Drawing


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About the Book
Learn to sketch people quickly and precisely with this book and sketch pad set!

How to Sketch People provides everything a complete beginner needs to know in order to produce expressive, stylish sketches quickly and accurately. It's a combination pack of step-by-step instruction in a highly-illustrated book and a sketchpad to help you start each sketch or drawing--and complete it!--following the instructions in the book.

Beautiful art, inspiration and technique will make a dedicated drawing enthusiast out of anyone who picks up this set. Each chapter in the instructional book covers a key area of sketching, such as perspective, tone, and light, with an emphasis on recording subjects with speed and precision. In case you want to branch out into digital drawing, sketching techniques for a digital tablet are covered, too.



My Take on the Book
Matt Pagett has written a very informative and detailed book on sketching people. The introduction and the  pages on whether to use a pencil, pen, charcoal, pastels, or crayon were interesting and very practical for the artist..Right away the reader will understand that the author has not only researched his topics well, but knows how to apply them.

Mark discusses shapes, lines, color , perspective, proportion and much more in each of the book sections. He gives detailed descriptions or drawings that apply to the text.

Mark encourages the reader to practice and reflect and to practice more.  He includes with the book a pad of plain drawing paper, but there is  more. Within the pad are specific pages that have instructions which relate to exercises in the book. So the reader has a chance to actually practice the information Mark is teaching.

This is a very complete book on sketching people. It is user friendly and the reader will acquire so much valuable information.


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Book Review - A Flag for the Flying Dragon: A Captain No Beard Story

A Flag for the Flying Dragon: A Captain No Beard Story
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About the Book
It's business as usual on the Flying Dragon. Their mission is to find a flag for the ship. Captain No Beard sighs, "Being a captain is hard work," as he watches the busy crew preparing the vessel for their next adventure. Polly is giving out pretzels; Linus is polishing a lamp. Matie is cracking coconuts, Cayla is stuffing holes, and Hallie is swabbing the deck. High overhead, trouble is brewing, and it is not the weather. Mongo does not want any help from the newest crew member, and it is creating a hurricane of a mess on board. The team must come together and find a task that will fit Zachary without interfering with their own fun. On the way, they acquire a flag that will unite them as both friends and crew. Join the problem-solving crew of the Flying Dragon as they find a flag for their ship and a job for Zach.


My Take on the Book
Carole P. Roman's latest Captain No Beard story is just as wonderful as her other creations. In this particular story , there is a problem to solve. . All the crew members on the Flying Dragon have jobs except for baby Zachary. Since Zachary is a baby many of the jobs are difficult for him or the crew members decide they do not want to share. As the story progresses you see the problem solving that the captain goes through to finally create a job for Zachary. What I truly like about Carole's books is although the story is great fun to read there is always some kind of lesson to be learned. This one illustrates the concept that each person on a team is important and the entire team needs to work together. It is a important message to share with your child.


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Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword by Mike Maihack

Cleopatra in Space: The Thief and the Sword

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About the Book
Cleopatra's space adventure in the REALLY far future continues!

A mysterious thief has stolen the ancient sword Cleo recovered in Book One: Target Practice, and she's determined to get it back. But her teachers at Yasiro Academy forbid her from risking her life, so she's stuck at school, trying to adjust to her newfound popularity and responsibility. And when she learns more about the prophecy that names her the savior of the galaxy, she must go on a dangerous journey to find the time tablets that could decide her fate... before they fall into the wrong hands!




My Take on the Book
The book is set up like a comic strip with speech bubbles with the illustrations. There is so much imagination in the text, the adventure story, and the sound effect words used. The story takes place in the future and the main character is a girl named Cleopatra. She attends Yasira Academy on the Planet Mayet. She is on the military defense team for the city she lives in.

There is a thief, Antony, who steals a sword and of course it gets into the hands of the enemy of Cleopatra and her colleagues. As she boards a space ship with her friends , the reader can feel that something will happen before they find the sword. And it does.

However that is where the author stops Book Two. The crew with Cleopatra are in danger and what will happen next??? I guess we will need to wait until Book Three is printed. 

This is a good adventure story for those young readers who enjoy space and using their imagination.

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Geronimo Stilton Spacemice: The Galactic Goal

Geronimo Stilton Spacemice: The Galactic Goal

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About the Book
Geronimo Stilton meets outer space in this cosmically fun spin-off series!

The spacemice have received an invitation to participate in the intergalactic soccerix championship. It's a tournament for the most popular sport in space! But Geronimo doesn't even know how to play soccerix, let alone lead a team to victory against aliens with bizarre skills (like flying)! Can the spacemice team prevail?




My Take on the Book
Geronimo Stiltonix is the captain of Mouse Star 1. He and his family are traveling through the universe when he receives an invitation to play at the soccerix championship. 

As the mice prepare themselves to play in the soccerix championship, many funny events occur. If your child plays soccer, your child will enjoy the story and the preparation the mice need.

The author has created some interesting space aliens/opponents for the competition. As in all the Geronimo Stilton chapter books, there are puns, lots of humor, adventure and often a mystery or two. 

So who won the game? Was it the spacemice or the zomborgs? Here is a hint, the winners like cheese!

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DVD Review - The Magic School Bus: Season Two

The Magic School Bus: Season Two

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About the DVD
Seatbelts everyone! Take a wild ride on The Magic School Bus with the Complete Second Season! All 13 episodes of THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS SEASON 2 are available for the first time in this 2-DVD set. Ms. Frizzle and her class journey inside a volcano, take flight high in the sky and go back in time to visit the Dinosaurs in these super fun classics! Where will the Magic Bus take you?

DISC 1:
  • BLOWS ITS TOP
  • FLEXES ITS MUSCLES
  • THE BUSASAURUS
  • GOING BATTY
  • BUTTERFLY AND THE BOG BEAST
  • WET ALL OVER
  • IN A PICKLE

DISC 2:
  • REVVING UP
  • TAKING FLIGHT
  • GETTING ENERGIZED
  • OUT OF THIS WORLD
  • COLD FEET
  • UPS AND DOWNS

My Take on the DVD
This is a great collection of Magic School Bus episodes. My girls love learning from Ms. Frizzle and as a parent I like what she teaches too. Each episode teaches something new and interesting to the viewer and the DVD is made to be watched together as a family. That being said this was well made and quite extended. You will get a lot of screen time and learning from watching this!


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DVD Review - Slam Dunk: Season 1, Vol. 1

Slam Dunk: Season 1, Vol. 1

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About the DVD
Hanamichi Sakuragi is a high school punk who hates basketball, mostly because the girls he likes always prefer basketball players to him. Things change, however, when he meets the cute and available Haruko Akagi. She loves basketball and thinks Hanamichi has the height and prowess to play. Hanamichi, quite willing to settle for collateral affection, immediately takes up the sport, never mind the fact that he doesn’t know the rules, cannot dribble and is constitutionally unsuited to teamwork and sportsmanship. If playing basketball will get Haruko to look at him then he’ll be a basketball star! However, a weird thing happens to Hanamichi while struggling to make the team and play the game: he kind of starts to like it! And what’s more, he’s getting good.



My Take on the DVD
I had never heard of this series before, but I am always game for a new cartoon so I tried it out. For anyone that likes basketball, this is a series that will keep you going. It is filled with action and a pretty solid plot line too. I liked that the main character has to work to get good at the spot and shows the viewer that it does not come naturally to him. The message behind this is strong and is something that any parent would want their aspiring athlete to hear. Working hard pays off!


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