Dad of Divas' Reviews: September 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review - Art of Coloring: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas

Art of Coloring: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas



About the Book Whimsically macabre artwork, patterns, and designs permeate the story of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. These images are ideal for adding your own brand of color and style. Perfect for cultivating creativity, relaxation, and focus, these pages are filled with artwork evocative of the delightfully frightful world of Jack Skellington.



My Take on the Book
I am a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas and have been for years. I recently watched this movie with my daughters for the first time and we loved all of the artwork and characters and this book brings all of these together in one place. This has a ton of great images that will keep you coloring for a very long time! Have fun doing this alone or with your kids!!

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review - Art of Coloring: Mickey & Minnie: 100 Images to Inspire Creativity

Art of Coloring: Mickey & Minnie: 100 Images to Inspire Creativity



About the Book
Fun, funny, and feisty patterns and character designs permeate the near-ninety-year history of Disney's beloved mice: Mickey and Minnie. These images are ideal for taking pencil to paper and adding your own brand of color and style. Perfect for cultivating creativity, relaxation, and focus, these pages are filled with line art from Disney animation, comics, and more-featuring work from Ub Iwerks, Floyd Gottfredson, and more.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book that brings in some very interesting images that will place a smile on your face and is a ton of fun to color for yourself or with your kids. I love all of the amazing images that are perfect for anyone that loves Mickey and Minnie!

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Book Review - The Witch Boy

The Witch Boy



About the Book
In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.



My Take on the Book
I love a great graphic novel and this book does not disappoint. This novel is a great one that brings in a bit of the supernatural. I loved the great imagery and the plot as the main character evolves and s willing to be who he is, no matter what the costs. The story is powerful and true and is one that everyone should read!


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Book Review - Have Sword, Will Travel


Have Sword, Will Travel



About the Book
It is strange enough that Odo and Eleanor have stumbled upon a sword in a dried-up river outside their village. It is even stranger that Odo is able to remove it from where it's buried. And it's REMARKABLY strange when the sword starts to talk.

Odo and Eleanor have unearthed Biter, a famous fighter from earlier times. By finding Biter, Odo instantly becomes a knight -- a role he is exquisitely unsuited for. Eleanor, however, would make a PERFECT knight -- but she's not the one with the sword.

Finding Biter is only the start -- boy, girl, and sword must soon go on a quest to save their kingdom from threats in both human and dragon form, in this new fantasy triumph from Garth Nix and Sean Williams.


My Take on the Book
This is a very fun book filled with adventure, suspense and great characters that you will keep coming back to again and again. I found myself wanting to keep reading from page one to the end and by the end I was even wanting more of these great characters and world that the author has created. The book is a great read and one that you will love to read by yourself or with your kids!


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Monday, September 18, 2017

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


Born Free: Tiger 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 Tiger Rescue, an undercover investigation reveals that Roque, a five-month-old tiger, is languishing in a pet store in Barcelona. Now it's up to Born Free to save him! 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
This true story tells the rescue of a young tiger cub named Rogue. He was found in an aquarium in a Spanish pet shop. Rogue was one of the fortunate tigers because the international wildlife charity Born Free and others make it their mission to assist wild animals held in captivity so they may live a life being wild, even if it is in a sanctuary.

Rogue was taken from the pet shop to a sanctuary in Kent, England to recover. He developed into a strong tiger but needing more room , he was transferred to a tiger sanctuary in Karnataka, India. There he had the climate he needed to live a good life.

Just to give you an idea how much care and love the wild animals had from the organizations like Born Free who tried to help them, one wild tiger Masti had to have a leg amputated and because he was truly a wild tiger and not one rescued from a zoo, circus, or pet shop, they had to build him a special enclosure which would give him access to free movement but keep him safe due to having only three legs. 

These rescue organizations are devoted to make sure that the world will always be able to see paw prints.

Beautiful photographs of the animals and the humans who help them.


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Book Review - Mommy, Baby, and Me

Mommy, Baby, and Me



About the Book
A long time ago, it was just Mommy and me. 
We were very good friends. 
We did everything together. 
It was very nice. 
But then . . . things changed.

A dog's world is turned upside-down when his owner brings home a new baby. How will the pooch adjust to the noisy, smelly, mostly furless creature who is hogging all the attention?


  • This humorous picture book story of a family dog's adjustment to the arrival of a new baby will appeal to young readers adjusting to new siblings themselves.
  • Children will enjoy the story's unexpected voice: the first-person point-of-view of the dog.
  • Exuberant, full-color, cartoon-style illustrations add to the fun.
  • Hardcover picture book with dust jacket.
  • 32 pages.
  • 8-3/4 inches wide by 11-1/4 inches high.


Author Linda Elovitz Marshall recalls how her first dog reacted when she brought home her first baby -- her pooch was not exactly a happy camper. Luckily, dog and baby ended up becoming the best of friends. Linda lives with her husband on a farm in the Hudson River Valley.

Illustrator Ged Adamson grew up in Liverpool, England. As a boy, when he wasn't watching TV, he was drawing and doodling. And drawing dogs is something Ged does a lot. He drew the dog in this book as a corgi but Ged insists that it's not because the Queen of England has one, he just really likes corgis.




My Take on the Book
Linda Elovitz has written a delightful story for a young child. It will make the adult and child laugh, empathize with the dog, and want to reread this story often.It was easy to see that the author understood how the dog must have felt as a new baby intruded on his space and became the center of attraction.As the story progresses, you will enjoy watching the growth of the dog to become a friend to the baby and its protector.

Ged Adamson's illustrations are just as engaging as the story. He captures the feelings of all the characters.

You will enjoy the story and the illustrations.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Book Review - Visual Explorers: Global Warming

Visual Explorers: Global Warming



About the Book

Dramatic, full-color photographs take children on a visual exploration unlike all others!

The books in the Visual Explorers reference series feature page after page of incredible photographs that will engage, inspire, and enlighten young readers. Inside, kids can get an up-close look at climate change, including the ravages of extreme weather, record-breaking temperatures, dying coral reefs, and shrinking glaciers. They’ll also learn the facts about global warming and the steps we can take to correct it. Engaging text, detailed facts, and impressive statistics give children exciting scientific insight into the world around them and the universe beyond. A glossary at the end of each book helps reinforce the information. Parents, teachers, and librarians will want to collect all of the books in this series to create a very cool first encyclopedia.



My take on the book!


I was eager to read this book. There are people who do not believe in global warming. Once you read this book, I think you will be convinced that this global issue should not be ignored. 

The author(s) relate the specific information extremely well and document each section with diagrams, photographs, and facts that have been accumulated over many years. Global warming is affected by environmental phenomena like volcanoes erupting, but also humans with our use of fossil fuels have caused the greenhouses gases which affect the temperature of Earth.

The reader will learn about the change in climate and also the reasons for the increase in the hurricanes, drought, and forest fires. Marine animals, land animals, crops, and humans are all affected .
I learned many new facts. I encourage to educate yourself by reading this book.



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Visual Explorers: Birds of Prey


Visual Explorers: Birds of Prey



About the Book Dramatic, full-color photographs take children on a visual exploration unlike all others! The books in the Visual Explorers reference series feature page after page of incredible photographs that will engage, inspire, and enlighten young readers. Inside the pages of Birds of Prey,, kids can get an up-close look at falcons, ospreys, eagles, hawks, and more. They'll also discover which skills, senses, and tools these creatures have, how they hunt, and what life is like for these extraordinary birds. Engaging text, detailed facts, and impressive statistics give children exciting scientific insight into the world around them and the universe beyond. A glossary at the end of each book helps reinforce the information. Parents, teachers, and librarians will want to collect all of the books in this series to create a very cool first encyclopedia.


My Take on the Book
As you read this nonfiction book, I think you will be in awe of the progress we have made since the first tools were created from rocks.This book takes you through the history of tools and machines that humans use in their lives. You will see machines like the washing machine for example and then read about drones and more complicated inventions like artificial limbs. I marveled at the creativity and problem solving skills of the people who invented these tools and machines in this book. There are excellent photos and detailed drawings in each section.

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Book Review - Visual Explorers: Machines




About the Book
Dramatic, full-color photographs take children on a visual exploration unlike all others!

The books in the Visual Explorers reference series feature page after page of incredible photographs that will engage, inspire, and enlighten young readers. Inside the pages of Machines, kids will get an up-close look at the world of monster excavators, Mach 9.6 jets, deep-space probes, microscopic nanobots, and more. They'll even learn about the many ways these incredible, innovative creations have impacted our world. Engaging text, detailed facts, and impressive statistics give children exciting scientific insight into the world around them and the universe beyond. A glossary at the end of each book helps reinforce the information. Parents, teachers, and librarians will want to collect all of the books in this series to create a very cool first encyclopedia.



My Take on the Book
As you read this nonfiction book, I think you will be in awe of the progress we have made since the first tools were created from rocks.This book takes you through the history of tools and machines that humans use in their lives. You will see machines like the washing machine for example and then read about drones and more complicated inventions like artificial limbs. I marveled at the creativity and problem solving skills of the people who invented these tools and machines in this book. There are excellent photos and detailed drawings in each section.
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Book Review - Visual Explorers: Aviation

Visual Explorers: Aviation



About the Book
Dramatic, full-color photographs take children on a visual exploration unlike all others! The books in the Visual Explorers reference series feature page after page of incredible photographs that will engage, inspire, and enlighten young readers. Inside, kids can get up-close look at the world of aviation as they learn about jet planes, helicopters, gliders, and seaplanes. They’ll discover the many jobs these vehicles are used for, how they fly, and how they’ve changed the way we travel. Engaging text, detailed facts, and impressive statistics give children exciting scientific insight into the world around them and the universe beyond. A glossary at the end of each book helps reinforce the information. Parents, teachers, and librarians will want to collect all of the books in this series to create a very cool first encyclopedia.



My Take on the Book
This is a wonderful nonfiction book about the history of aviation. The author has included detailed photographs and drawings. The reader will learn the history of aviation. There are facts and photographs about the various kinds of aviation like gliders, passenger aircraft, cargo and seaplanes, and more. The last section in the book delves into the future of aviation. I learned many new facts from reading this book. Did you know Air Force One has three floors and a theater? Enjoy learning with this new book.

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Book Review - Rainy Day Unicorn Fun: A Phoebe and Her Unicorn Activity Book




About the Book
What to do, when there's nothing to do? The answer to that on a rainy day, or any other day, is to join Phoebe and Her Unicorn for a splendiforous variety of challenging puzzles to pass the time away.

Phoebe and her unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, present hours of challenging crossword, wordsearch, and sudoku puzzles, along with mazes and word games.



My Take on the Book
This puzzle book is very challenging . I would say that an older child would probably find this book a challenge and fun. As an adult I found many of the puzzles interesting and challenging, as well as enjoyable. 

The puzzles vary from word puzzles, to mazes, and then there are crosswords and word searches. The author included long and complicated dot to dot pages, visual discrimination pictures, and different kinds of number puzzles.
There are certainly hours of enjoyment in this book and it will encourage new kinds of thinking processes.
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Book Review - Kid Alone: A Garvie Smith Mystery


Kid Alone: A Garvie Smith Mystery



About the Book
Meet Garvie Smith. Good-for-nothing scoundrel, genius, and sometime detective. Right in the middle of exams hell -- until now.

A boy from Marsh Academy has been shot, with no clear motive and no clues. Disgraced police detective Raminder Singh is on the case, and he's determined to keep Garvie away.

But Garvie knows he's the only one who has any idea where to look for the answers. Starting with his best friend's girlfriend. And it's going to take more than pointless studying or flunking his tests to stop him getting involved.

Exams. What exams?




My Take on the Book
This was a fun book! My girls love a good mystery and with bringing a mystery into the world that my kids understand just drew them in even more. The book is filled with fun characters that you will love. The author has done a great job at bringing forth characters that you will care about which makes the reading that much more enjoyable in my opinion. There is mystery, adventure and more in this engaging book. My daughters and I read this together and we did not want to put it down! The book had some great twists and turns that will keep you guessing and in the end you will be wondering what will happen until the end! This was a great book that you will love!



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DVD Review - My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy



About the DVD
Not every Pegasus pony in Equestria is the same. Just ask Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. While Rainbow Dash is bold and daring, Fluttershy is quite reserved and caring. But that’s what makes Fluttershy such a wonderful friend to everyone around her, whether they're her pony friends, like Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack and, yes, even Rainbow Dash , or her non-equestrian friends, like Angel the bunny. Join in for five adventures that feature everypony’s lovably quiet Pegasus, Fluttershy.



My Take on the DVD
Another great DVD for any My Little Pony fan. You get five great episodes on this DVD and my girls loved all five of them. This DVD focuses on the Crystal Empire and is filled with adventure, friendship and more. Each episode is fun with some funny moments too. The episodes definitely were entertaining and for my daughters they were captivated from beginning to end! Whether you are a My Little Pony fan or not, this is a great DVD that you will not want to miss!


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Book Review - The Complete Guide to Paying for College: Save Money, Cut Costs, and Get More for Your Education Dollar

The Complete Guide to Paying for College: Save Money, Cut Costs, and Get More for Your Education Dollar




About the Book
College costs are straining every family except the richest. Most financial aid goes to the neediest families. The middle class typically doesn't qualify for need-based financial aid, even though most can't afford to pay cash for college and their salaries haven't allowed them to save enough to cover all costs. If these families are trying to put more than one child through college, the challenges are exponential.

If you've been asking how your child can receive a quality education even though you can't pay today's college tuition out of pocket, The Complete Guide to Paying for College is the answer. This step-by-step guide includes actionable tips to save on education costs and the many living expenses, room, board, books, activities that apply to the first year and beyond.

Leah Ingram, a money-saving expert and parent of two college students reveals the insider tricks to pay for college, including:

  • How to find bona fide scholarships, not spam and scams. 
  • Where parents can work to receive tuition benefits. 
  • The pros and cons of earning college credits before graduating high school. 
  • Which schools give out the most merit aid, even if you're not a rocket scientist. 
Paying for college just got a lot easier for millions of families!


My Take on the Book

As someone that works with students going to college, there is always room for additional resources that will assist students and parents with making good decisions about college and for knowing ways to save and find money for college. This book is a practical guide that shares some great hints, tips and more on what you can do to make college affordable. I loved how the book explores ways that you can start saving money through things you do in high school, as well as exploring the myriad of different college scholarships that are available too. This book provides you with amazing practical solutions that will assist you in finding money for your own child. If you have a child that will go to college someday, this is a book you will not want to miss!


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Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review - Get Better: 15 Proven Practices To Build Effective Relationships At Work

Get Better: 15 Proven Practices To Build Effective Relationships At Work



About the Book
A practical guide for anyone looking to create a competitive advantage in any size and type of organization by building effective relationships—from the performance improvement experts at FranklinCovey.

In Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships, FranklinCovey’s Chief People Officer Todd Davis explains that an organization’s greatest asset isn’t its people; rather, it’s the relationships between its people that is the greatest predictor of personal effectiveness. In the end, employees’ ability to build and sustain great relationships is an organization’s ultimate competitive advantage.

Ideal for professional people at all levels of business, government, and education, from the front-line supervisor to the president and CEO, Davis describes the most common relationship pitfalls that negatively affect personal careers and organizational results. Get Better draws on real-world stories in an approachable, engaging style—and Davis’s thirty-year experience observing, leading, and coaching others brings those relatable experiences to life. He identifies fifteen proven practices that influential leaders at any level of an organization use to take ownership of their work, improve the quality of interactions with others, and master the skills of effective relationships.




My Take on the Book
This was a great book that really opened my eyes to the power of relationships at work and what you need to do to be able to create stronger relationships within the workforce. The book is a quick read and with the fact that it is providing you with 15 proven ways to make change for yourself and others this book will really get you moving forward in helping yourself and others on your team create and sustain relationships for the future!


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Cross Stitch Creations Star Wars: 12 Out-of-this-world Patterns


Cross Stitch Creations Star Wars: 12 Out-of-this-world Patterns



About the Kit
Proudly proclaim your love for the galaxy far, far away with out-of-this world cross-stitch projects. Explore a universe of patterns inspired by the Star Wars saga, from A New Hope to The Force Awakens.

Including twelve patterns, an easy-to-follow instruction booklet, a needle, and a hoop, this comprehensive kit also comes with the cloth and embroidery floss for two projects—the iconic Star Wars logo, and a detailed portrait of Yoda.

Organized by skill level from Padawan to Jedi Master, there’s an array of projects to satisfy novice and experienced stitchers alike. Design inspirations include everything from classic quotes to beloved character portraits, and the logos of the Empire and the Rebellion.

Alongside patterns and tips, the helpful instruction booklet features ideas for applying your stitching to pillows, clothing, tote bags, and more. Whether you’re embellishing your home decor or stitching exceptional gifts for family and friends, crafting with Star Wars has never been easier.




My Take on the Kit
My mother taught me to do cross-stich as a child and it has come in handy over the years. I have been working to teach my own daughters the same and because of their love of Star Wars (and mine too) this was a perfect kit to do just that. The kit provides you with a ton of ideas for things you could create in the future and gives you floss and other supplies to create one such cool Star Wars creation. The activity kit is amazing and the first that I have found that really incorporates in a love for Star Wars with cross-stitch. My Kudos on this kit as it is easy to follow and fun for all ages!

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