Dad of Divas' Reviews: 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Review - The Handbook

The Handbook



About the Book
There's nothing Jake likes more than some good trash-picking, so when his elderly neighbors move out and leave an especially promising-looking pile of household refuse on the curb, he goes right for it. He only has the chance to grab one box before his mom catches him and orders him in for dinner, though.

When mysterious goings-on begin to occur in the neighborhood, the trio investigates the hidden box from Jack's garage. In it, they find the Secret Parent's Handbook and with it all the means to subvert the irrational rules and petty tyranny of their home lives. No more clean rooms! No more vegetables! No more brushed hair or washed hands! It's all videogames and junk food all the time!

But the authorities -- and the resistance -- have taken notice of the strange goings-on in Jack and his friends' neighborhood. And they are closing in . . .




My Take on the Book
The chapter book has an interesting story line of three friends and their families as they encounter the rules of their parents and try to survive being 12 and it is summer, a summer of lots of free time and too many rules. Jack finds a book called THE SECRET PARENTS HANDBOOK in Mr. Wallace's garbage. The three friends realize that this is a book their parents use on them with advice for "controlling" children. The three friends realize they can use the book to change their parents behavior and this is where their adventure begins. They meet the challenges of their parents and a secret group who administer consequence to adults and children to do not conform using the book. As Maggie fools everyone with her intelligence and the friends convince their parents to join them in destroying the secret group, everyone decides that loving your children is the best way to live your life.
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Book Review - Big Nate: A Good Old-Fashioned Wedgie

Big Nate: A Good Old-Fashioned Wedgie



About the Book
Join the unstoppable Big Nate for another round of middle school adventures! From homework and hygiene to hilarious hiijnks – no one quite does sixth grade like Nate and his friends.

Need a way to shut up some snooty kid when he gloats about his private school? Looking for the perfect response when your best friend joins the grammar police? Want a quick and easy way to out-snap even the snappiest comeback? Nate Wright has the answer: a good old-fashioned wedgie!

The whole gang from P.S. 38 is back for more hijinks, hilarity, and underwear hoisting in this new collection of Big Nate comics. Can Chad somehow survive on a diet of kale and soy nuts? Are Jenny and Artur EVER going to break up? And how is Nate supposed to concentrate on baseball when he’s got a crush on his team’s new pitcher? See for yourself! Join Nate and the rest of the crew for another unforgettable round of middle school adventures!


My Take on the Book
There are over ten Big Nate stories. Lincoln Price sure has a wonderful sense of humor and creativity. Once again Nate and his friends in middle school , find themselves in various challenges and situations. There is humor with Nick and his friends and then the humor with the adults that they encounter. Lincoln Peirce definitely is able to get into the head of middle school age kids. You will enjoy this comic strip style book.


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Book Review - Bruce's Big Move

Bruce's Big Move




About the Book
After the events of Hotel Bruce, our favorite curmudgeonly bear shares his home with not only his four geese, but three rowdy mice besides! Fed up with their shenanigans, Bruce sets off to find a rodent-free household. But as usual, nothing goes quite according to plan. . .


My Take on the Book
Your young child will enjoy this new story about Bruce, his young geese that thinks he is their mother, and some mice who decide they love Bruce and want to live with him. Bruce once again does not like noise or chaos . With all the animals living with him he decides to move without the mice. It becomes very funny as Bruce decides where to live and escaping from the mice only to find out that they want to help him move and forever live with him. The expressions on Bruce and the other animals faces are priceless and you and your young child will enjoy reading this story often. Great illustration accompany this fun filled story.

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Book Review - Simpson's Sheep Just Want to Sleep!




About the Book
'These stubborn sheep,'' the farmer sighs,
''won't open up their sleepy eyes.
But I know how to wake this crowd.
I'll make some noise and make it loud.''

From pounding on pots and pans to playing a screechy violin, Farmer Simpson makes all sorts of commotion to wake up his sleepy flock of sheep, but nothing works!

  • Then Farmer Simpson gets a brilliant idea -- he decides to bring home a puppy who will surely be able to wake the snoozing sheep with its loud barks.
  • But the farmer is in for a surprise -- his sheep wake up, but not in ways he expected!
  • Author and illustrator Bruce Arant presents a tender tale about the virtues of using a gentle nudge when friends won't budge.
  • 32 pages.
  • 8-3/4 inches wide by 11-1/4 inches high.
  • Full-color illustrations throughout.
  • Hardcover picture book with dust jacket.

Author Bruce Arant brings his sheep back into the fold in this sequel to the award-winning Simpson's Sheep Won't Go to Sleep! Prior to becoming a full-time writer and illustrator, Arant enjoyed a career of nearly 20 years in the magazine and custom publishing industry, where he held a variety of editorial and creative positions. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.



My Take on the Book
This is a delightful picture book for young children. The story rhymes and the illustrations are bright and colorful. This is a funny story about a farmer trying to wake up his sheep. He tries many methods but it is not until he adopts a dog that he learns that gentle nudges are better than being loud and forceful. It is evident that some problem solving works better than others. Problem solving with your child is a great way to help him/her try new avenues to finding solutions without too much frustration.


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Book Review - Born Free: Bear Rescue: True-Life Stories

Born Free: Bear Rescue: True-Life Stories



About the Book
Discover the stories of wild animals around the world that have been saved from a lifetime of cruelty and suffering.

The Born Free Foundation's mission is to protect many different species in their natural habitats, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together peacefully. In this book, children will meet Mollie, Georgia, and Louisa, three bear cubs stranded by terrible floods. Now, it's up to Born Free to face raging flood waters in order to save them! Parents will be intrigued by these books as they recall the movie Born Free and the story of Elsa, the orphaned lion cub brought up by Joy and George Adamson (portrayed by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna in the movie and the founders of the Born Free Foundation) and released back into the wild. Children will be inspired as they read how Born Free comes to the rescue even as they learn about life, compassion, and making the world a better place.




My Take on the Book
Here is another wonderful nonfiction story about the efforts of humans to rescue wild animals and allow them to enjoy a healthy and happy life. Three baby bears, Mollie, Georgia, and Louisa were orphaned in the Republic of Georgia (near Russia). There are challenges for the humans as they try to feed them and help the animals acquire the needed weight to be transported to an animal preserve in Greece. Another challenge was introducing the animals to each other so they could live in the same area. With patience the bears are living with fresh food , water, and safety in their new home. The reader will enjoy not only the story, but beautiful photographs of the bears , and facts about bears. Thanks for the Born Free Foundation and other animal groups, these bears and other animals are given another chance to live in an open environment safely.


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Monday, August 21, 2017

Book Review - Playful Painting: Pets: More than 20 fun and clever painting projects for animal lovers




About the Book
From an affectionate French Bulldog and astute Boxer to a sassy tabby cat, if you love animals and art, then your tail will be wagging with each of our easy-to-learn lessons and the humor that goes with them. You’ll be an expert in gouache, pencil, and ink in no time!

Playful Painting: Pets is the first title in Walter Foster’s new compact and portable Playful Painting series, and it is aimed at artists, doodlers, and painting enthusiasts. There has never been a better time to learn to paint and illustrate whimsical portraits of your pets and favorite animals! Startup is easy, with minimal tools and materials required.

You’ll be inspired to create when you see our gallery of dozens of cute cat and dog breeds (plus mixes!) as well as birds, pigs, rabbits, and other favorites. Then, when you’re ready, dive into exclusive bonus content to see how to use finished artwork in fresh and clever ways.

Artist Faye Moorhouse illustrates this book in her signature friendly, quirky style. Not an artist? Playful Painting: Pets is a perfect gift for the animal lover in your life and a must-have for anyone who’s shared their life and living space with furry or feathered friends.


My Take on the Book
If you love to paint and love pets you will love this easy to follow book that will walk you step by step through what you need to do to prepare yourself to create some amazing images. My daughters love to paint and what they loved here is that it really does walk you through the steps you need to follow and even works you through blending techniques and more. This is a thorough book that really delivers quality images in the end!

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Book Review - Kawaii Doodle Class: Sketching Super-Cute Tacos, Sushi, Clouds, Flowers, Monsters, Cosmetics, and More

Kawaii Doodle Class: Sketching Super-Cute Tacos, Sushi, Clouds, Flowers, Monsters, Cosmetics, and More



About the Book
The Japanese word kawaii translates to "cute," and this how-to book is chock-full of super-adorable images of tacos, sushi, smoothies, clouds, rainbows, cacti, doodle monsters, Christmas trees, lipsticks, teacups, and more for your adoration.

Popular kawaii artist Zainab Khan shows you how to draw 75 super-cute characters with simple step-by-step illustrations and instructions. She has also included fun search-and-find images and inspiration boards that show you how to give your characters different facial expressions and zany accessories.

Thanks to this crash course in Kawaii Doodle Class, soon you will be enhancing your notebooks, stationery, artwork, and more with your own unique kawaii world!



My Take on the Book
With this great book you can create some very fun images that are very cute! If you love to draw you will love to draw these cute images too. My daughter loves to draw and these images were ones that she did not want to stop drawing once she started. Get ready to have a blast with this great book!

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Book Review - Catdoodles: The Cat Lovers Drawing Book


Catdoodles: The Cat Lovers Drawing Book



About the Book

Cat lovers unite! Now you can doodle away your days like never-before with of fun prompts for doodling, drawing, and decorating hundreds of kitty cats. From cat feelings to cat colors, and cat dances to cats clothing, this drawing book will never let you down with its collection of fun, creative collection of prompts in the style of the beloved game Neko Atume. Scribble, doodle, draw, color, and love this cat-extravaganza.




My Take on the Book
If you love to draw and you love cats you will love this unique, fun book that allows you to learn how to draw some very cool cats for yourself. The instruction is straight forward and you will end up filling up a ton of pages with some very cool images that you will love to create.


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Book Review - American Girl: Gabriela: Time for Change

American Girl: Gabriela: Time for Change



About the Book
Gabby has never been so busy! In this third novel featuring American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year, Gabby is already juggling homework, school leadership activities, dance classes, and rehearsals for a spoken word competition when she's offered an exciting dance opportunity. It's too good to pass up, but soon, Gabby finds there aren't enough hours in the day to do it all, let alone be a good friend to her BFF, Teagen. And she can't help but notice that more and more, she wishes she were working on her poetry instead of doing pliés and grand jetés. Gabby's changed a lot this past year. By the time the competition rolls around, she begins to wonder--have her dreams changed, too?



My Take on the Book
Another great American Girl story that will allow you to get to know the American Girl 2017 Girl of the Year, Gabby (Gabriela). In reading this, my daughter and I loved getting to know Gabby and we found that by the end we wanted to get to know Gabby even more and we were hoping to find more stories about this great girl in the future and you will too!

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Book Review - Graveyard Shakes

Graveyard Shakes



About the Book
Katia and Victoria are sisters and scholarship students at a private boarding school. While Victoria tries to fit in, Katia is unapologetic about her quirks, even though their classmates tease her. After a big fight, Katia runs away from school. And when Victoria goes looking for her, she accidentally tumbles into the underworld of a nearby graveyard. It is inhabited by ghosts, ghouls, and a man named Nikola, who is preparing a sinister spell that's missing one key ingredient.

Victoria teams up with adorable Little Ghost and Nikola's kindhearted son, and together they search for Katia. They must find her before she becomes Nikola's next victim!



My Take on the Book
This was a great book with memorable characters that you will want to get to know. I loved reading this with my daughter and we found ourselves being drawn into the book further and further with each page that went on. You get mystery, adventure, fantasy and a bit more. This is a great book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you coming back for more!

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Book Review - Geronimo Stilton Cavemice: A Mammoth Mystery

Geronimo Stilton Cavemice: A Mammoth Mystery




About the Book
All the mammoths have fled Old Mouse City! It's a total cat-astrophe! Not only because mammoths are valuable allies of the cavemice, but also because without them, the cavemice can't make mammoth milkshakes, their delicious national drink. Geronimo Stiltonoot must embark on a daring journey to find the mammoths…and avoid going extinct before he gets back!



My Take on the Book
Another great cavemice story! I loved the story in this and you get a ton of humor, fun characters and more. Go back to the prehistoric era and have a ton of fun with this great new book!!


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Book Review - Top Elf

Top Elf




About the Book
These elves are off the shelves.

Ollie and Celia think they know what the life of an elf is supposed to be like: Make toys. Help Santa. Make more toys. Help Santa. Try out a new ice-cream flavor. Help Santa.

But then Santa rocks the North Pole with a surprise announcement! He's decided this is going to be his last year in the Big Red Suit--and instead of letting his oldest son, the unfortunately named Klaus Claus, take over, he's opening up the job to any kid who wants to apply--Claus or elf.

The Santa Trials have begun!

Ollie and Celia enter the contest, having no idea whatsoever that they'll soon have to squeeze through impossible chimneys, race runaway sleighs, sweet-talk a squad of rowdy reindeer, and consume cruel amounts of cookies and milk. It's both an adventure and a survival test, far beyond what any elf or Claus has been asked to do before. But whoever rises to the top will get a reward even bigger than Christmas . . .


My Take on the Book
This is a crazy book with an almost amazing race feel to see who will be the next Santa Claus. My daughter and I loved reading this together. It not only had fun characters, but it also had adventure, intrigue, humor and more. The author keeps you wrapped page-by-page and does not give anything away, making you want to read more to see what will happen int he end. This was such a fun book that you will love to read with your kids too!

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Book Review - Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Shatter Your Senses!





About the Book
Shatter Your Senses! is the 2018 edition of the bestselling annual series by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! There’s no way to prepare yourself for this all-true, all-new collection filled with incredible facts, unbelievable stories, and mind-blowing photography. A sensory overload, Shatter Your Senses! is sure to amaze and astound children and adults alike.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Shatter Your Senses! is filled with thousands of strange stories, bizarre feats, and hair-raising oddities from around the world. Discover the sport of underwater ice hockey or marvel at the flower that bloomed in space—it’s all weird and all true! Bursting with vibrant and eye-catching photos, as well as submissions from our dedicated readers, this book is a must-have for every Ripley’s fan.


My Take on the Book
This is an amazing book that has facts that will amaze you, pictures that will stun you and other information made to impact all of your senses. We were excited to read though this as it is a book that always delivers and we were not disappointed. The book again opened our eyes to so much that we were not aware of and it is this that continues to draw us back to these books year after year. This is a well made book that will continue to draw you in from beginning to end!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Review - American Girl: Tenney Grant: A Song for the Season

American Girl: Tenney Grant: A Song for the Season




About the Book
The fourth book starring contemporary character Tenney Grant, a young singer-songwriter with dreams of country-music stardom in Nashville!




My Take on the Book
Another great Tenney Grant story that you will love if you loved the other stories that came previously. This was a fun story that gets Tenney in a whole new adventure. My daughter loved reading this for herself and is always excited about a new adventure for Tenney and you will be too.

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Book Review - The Princess Imposter

The Princess Imposter



About the Book
Princess Gabriella is accustomed to a certain kind of castle life. So when she wakes up one morning in a crowded hut, surrounded by squabbling fairy siblings, it takes all her princess training to maintain her poise and good manners.

Meanwhile, across the kingdom, Fairy Phleg revels in Gabriella's luxurious lifestyle. As long as she can fool the castle into believing she's the real princess-with a little help from her magical disguise-then she's set to enjoy three glorious days of sweets and comfort.

The mischievous fairies have placed a bet, and Gabriella is caught in the middle of it. Can she survive her time in the chaotic fairy household without failing the ultimate princess test and losing her temper? Phleg turns the castle upside down as she poses as Gabriella, but when an important guest arrives, will her antics unwittingly send the kingdom into war?

An upbeat and hilarious fantasy from the masterful storyteller, Vivian Vande Velde.



My Take on the Book
This is a great book with a ton of fun characters. Get lost in a whole new world and you will love the mix of supernatural and medieval, castles, magic and more. This is a funny story with a great story that you will not want to miss!


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Friday, August 11, 2017

Book Review - Game On! Ready, Set, Play!

Game On! Ready, Set, Play!



About the Book
Ready, Set, Play is the essential guide to the all the funnest and coolest games that are appropriate for gamers ages 5-8. In this guide, readers will learn all the best tips and tricks for their favorite games like Minecraft, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Party Star Rush, Splatoon, LEGO Dimensions, and so much more. They'll learn some gaming basics, discover new games worth playing on console and mobile, and even be introduced to some of the cutest characters they can expect in the games they play like Kirby, Yarny, and more.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book that offers you some cool tips from some of your most popular games! I loved finding tips for Zelda, Splatoon and more! The book was a ton and filled with a ton of great insights.


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Book Review - Super Fun Science: With Cool and Challenging Experiments

Super Fun Science: With Cool and Challenging Experiments




About the Book
Help kids become “little scientists” with this hands-on book!

The world is an amazing place, and children often have lots of questions about it. Tap into that amazing well of curiosity and teach children about different areas of scientific study; famous scientists; the tools they need to conduct experiments; how science impacts their world; and more. They’ll also learn the how’s and whys of energy, gravity, weight, light, and matter. Make a scale, bend light, trap gas, and more. Soon, kids will prove scientific facts for themselves by testing them out with these challenging experiments created especially for them. How cool!



My Take on the Book
I am always looking for awesome experiments to do with my own daughters and this book really allows you to become your own home scientist and allow your kids to learn and have fun too. The book has a large number of experiments that kids can do with you to explore so many different concepts. I loved how well the book was laid out as well as how well the experiments are explained. My daughters enjoyed doing the experiments that we tried and I enjoyed having the time to be able to do these experiments together! This is a great book that will encourage you to build strong communication and relationships which is always a good thing!

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