Dad of Divas' Reviews: February 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Book Review - Unicorn in New York: Louie Lets Loose!

Unicorn in New York: Louie Lets Loose!
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About the Book
Louie the unicorn has traveled from his home in Storyland to New York City to make all his dreams come true! He's enrolled at an elite performing arts school because he's determined to become a star.

But his ride to super stardom is bumpy--the school already has a superstar unicorn, not to mention singing mermaids and dancing trolls. And apparently you can't pay for things with glitter! But Louie isn't giving up. His irrepressible spirit can't be tamed. And he's about to take a big bite out of the Big Apple so he can see his name in lights!


My Take on the Book
This was a hilarious book that brings in so many memorable characters. I mean what other story brings in unicorns, mermaids, trolls and more. This book has a little of everything and is funny to boot. The story was a quick read and my girls absolutely adored the entire thing! For me, I appreciated the tenacity and strong will of Louie as his never give up attitude is something that I have continued to try to teach my own kids in my own way!

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Book Review - The Wish List: Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!

The Wish List: Worst Fairy Godmother Ever!

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About the Book
Q: What do you need to become a great fairy godmother?

a) kindness
b) determination
c) gusto
d) all of the above

Fairy-godmother-in-training Isabelle doesn't know what gusto is, but she's pretty sure she has what it takes to pass fairy godmother training with flying colors.



My Take on the Book
This was a very funny book that allows you to see a fairy godmother in training that may not be the best fairy godmother but you can definitely give her credit for trying. The characters in this book were delightful and the story was very engaging. I found that my daughters and I did not want to put this down and instead we wanted to laugh more and see what would happy next. This was a very enjoyable story that I would highly recommend to all!


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Book Review - Be Happy: Fantastic Photo Images to Color, Decorate, and Give as Gifts

Be Happy: Fantastic Photo Images to Color, Decorate, and Give as Gifts

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About the Book
Open your mind and heart to Be Happy, and find lush blossoms, paisley prints, and garlands of vines interwoven with Mandalas and inspiring photos, allowing you to create something truly beautiful. Mandalas are known for their restorative power, and when you sit down to finish coloring these beautiful photos, you will tap into a wellspring of creative energy. Design your own color palette as you decorate each one. Perforated pages allow you to pull them out, share them as gifts, or keep them. Perfectly sized so you can take your coloring on-the-go.



My Take on the Book
While this is a small book in size there is nothing small about the images that you can create within this book. The pictures that are presented for coloring are stunning and with the fact that you can use your own imagination to color these to create unique images, each will be unique. My daughters and I had a lot of fun creating memorable images from this book and you will too!


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Book Review - If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire

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About the Book
Join Carole P. Roman as she travels back in time to visit the exciting Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa during the 1300s. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the past to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land and its rich history through the eyes of a youngster like you. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair time traveler.



My Take on the Book
Another great book from Carole Roman. I have read a number of her books over the years and all are so well written and really allow you o get lost in the story itself. This book was very interesting and allows you to explore the Ancient Mali Empire. The thing that always intrigues me by the authors' books is how much research she puts into the books so that you can get a better picture of daily life, culture and more within the worlds that she is sharing with her readers. This book is no different and you leave reading this much more education, but also entertained too!


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Book Review - Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
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About the Book
“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is a children's book packed with bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present—from Queen Elizabeth I to Serena Williams, Frida Kahlo to Julia Child, Ruth Bader Ginsberg to Amelia Earhart—and illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.

Co-authors Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, both from Italy, raised over $1 million from 20,000 backers through their crowdfunding campaigns. You can see a short video with Elena and Francesca below and a preview of the book and illustrations at https://www.rebelgirls.co.




My Take on the Book
As a father of girls I am always looking for stories of inspiration for my daughters and this book is filled with them! There were 100 stories of women that really changed the world in their own ways. There are great illustrations throughout and the book is well constructed too. The stories themselves are inspirational and for my girls I found that they were intrigued at all that these women did in their lives. I am so glad to have found this book and I highly recommend this especially if you have daughters yourself!


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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review - Color Quest Animals: Extreme Challenges to Complete and Color

Color Quest Animals: Extreme Challenges to Complete and Color

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About the Book
Calling all puzzle lovers, animal enthusiasts, and challenge seekers!

Color Quest Animals features 30 wild and wonderful creatures that are just waiting to be revealed. Grab your colored pens or pencils and start shading in these shapes…and in no time at all, you’ll free the images concealed on the page. Your odyssey will take you on a magical journey to find animals that are hiding in plain sight, including a magnificent mandrill, a colorful kingfisher, or a beautiful butterfly. Once you’ve completed them, perforated pages allow you to pull them out—making them perfect for decorating, framing, or giving as gifts. It’s all just waiting to be liberated by you as you color each one, breathe new life into these pages, and uncover stunning and intricate works of art in your Color Quest.



My Take on the Book
This is a great book in the series of Color Quest books! This is filled with amazing images that you can create and each image can be completely different than the next. The pages you get to color are HUGE and also are very heavyweight. The images can  could be taken out of the book to be given to others as gifts. My daughters loved this book and the images that they created. You get a wide array of images and about 30 large pictures. I highly recommend this to all!

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Book Review - Creative Card Making Pack

Creative Card Making Pack: With Pre-Cut Cards and Picture Sheets to Make over 30 Stunning Cards for Every Occasion

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About the Book
Young kids don't need to be artists to make amazing, home-crafted cards that are brimming with color, flair, and style. All they need is this kit and their imagination The Creative Card Making Pack lets them tap into their artsy side with this collection of pre-folded cards (or use a blank card of your own), templates, picture sheets, and step-by-step instructions to help them create:

  • Pop-up cards
  • Collage cards
  • Cut-outs
  • Free-standing cards
  • Birthday cards
  • Christmas cards
  • So much more


Kids will discover some simple techniques for cutting and folding, the art of surface decorating, beautiful design ideas, and more that will help them make cards that shine with creativity and fun.



My Take on the Book
If you have someone in your family that loves to be create cards then this book has a ton of great ideas for creating some very cool cards that you can give to others as gifts. My daughters loved using this to design some very fun cards that they never would have been able to create before. Highly recommend this book for all!

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Book Review - Bead It, Iron It, Love It!: Over 300 Great Motifs for Fuse Beads

Bead It, Iron It, Love It!: Over 300 Great Motifs for Fuse Beads

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About the Book
Pixel art using melty beads is the latest cool craze to hit the crafting community. All you need to get started is a peg board, a bucket of beads, and an ordinary iron! Discover how easy it is to create unique, eye-popping accessories and jewelry out of fuse beads. This creative how-to book shows you how to transform simple beads into charming jewelry and home accessories using simple beading and melting techniques. You'll find:


  • Over 300 motifs, with patterns for the seasons, flowers, celebrations, geometric shapes, under the sea, animals, and more
  • 15 projects, including brooches, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, coasters, bookmarks, Christmas ornaments, and more
  • Step-by-step instructions for all of the essential techniques, from fusing and beadweaving to attaching findings
  • Tips, tricks, and materials needed to get started
  • Blank grids so you can create your own designs


So go ahead bead it, iron it, and we bet you'll love it!


My Take on the Book
My daughters love to create with pearler beads. This book has a ton of great ideas for someone that loves to create with these. The images make you see how to create these and while there are not true patterns within the book the images are ones that they were able to follow to make some fun creations. My daughter even made me a Tardis! This book was so much fun!


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Book Review - Guide To Cartooning


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About the Book
A practical step-by-step guide for anyone interested in cartooning art, it contains original drawings in all styles to illustrate the instructions.

This is the book for anyone who wants to be a successful cartoonist. Easy-to-follow text and hundreds of illustrations teach the reader about
  • the history of cartooning
  • basic drawing skills
  • greeting cards
  • book and magazine illustration
  • humor writing
  • editorial and political cartoons
  • caricature
  • animation
  • comic strips
  • comic books





My Take on the Book
This is an amazing book that offers a ton of great ideas about how you can become a better artist. Filled with a number of activities that will get you drawing. While I am not a great artist this book made it easy to create some very cool art pieces. It allowed me to move forward and even create some creations that I am very proud of and the more and more that I use this the better I tend to get.


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Book Review - If You Were Me and Lived on...Mars

If You Were Me and Lived on...Mars

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About the Book
Join Carole P. Roman when she blasts off to colonize the planet Mars, in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about how life would be living on the Red Planet. Travel to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. Look into the sky and watch Phobos and Deimos, Mars' two moons. Discover what you would wear, and how the seasons change. See Mars through the eyes of an adventurous youngster like you and understand what life is like in a trip of a lifetime. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair traveler.



My Take on the Book
I have been reading Carole Roman's stories to my daughters for some time now, but this is the first one that takes place in outer space. As in other books this book is filled with a ton of factual information about Mars. I love how she has used actual facts to extend her reach to be able to talk about what she believes it would be love to live on Mars. This was a fun read that younger kids would love to read this for themselves, I know my own daughters' did too!

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Book Review - How To Draw Incredible Aliens and Cool Space Stuff

How To Draw Incredible Aliens and Cool Space Stuff

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About the Book
This small but informative drawing book will help young artists discover and expand on their creative drawing talent. Inside How to Draw Incredible Aliens and Cool Space Stuff, they'll find easy, step-by-step instructions for drawing their favorite outerspace scenery or out-of-this-world alien. Each title in the How to Draw series features more than 100 weird and wonderful drawing projects in a variety of categories. A handy index in the back of the book makes it easy to find favorites to practice again and again. (Ages 7+)



My Take on the Book
If you have a kid that loves to doodle and enjoys doodling space related items and extraterrestrials too, then this book was a ton of fun. You have a great opportunity in this book to be taught how to create some very cool images that are quirky, fun and a blast to draw.


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Book Review - How to Draw Amazing Animals and Incredible Insects

How to Draw Amazing Animals and Incredible Insects
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About the Book
This small but informative drawing book will help young artists discover and expand on their creative drawing talent. Inside How to Draw Amazing Animals and Incredible Insects, they'll find easy, step-by-step instructions for drawing their favorite creepy, crawly or just plain incredible animals. Each title in the How to Draw series features more than 100 weird and wonderful drawing projects in a variety of categories. A handy index in the back of the book makes it easy to find favorites to practice again and again. (Ages 7+)



My Take on the Book
My youngest daughter loves animals and may even want be a vet someday, but now she loves to create art and this book was a great book that allowed her to explore new ways to draw some of the animals that she simply loves. The book really was easy to follow and allowed her to create some very cool animals along the way.


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Book Review - How to Draw Awesome Vehicles: Land, Sea, and Air

How to Draw Awesome Vehicles: Land, Sea, and Air

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About the Book
This small but informative drawing book will help young artists discover and expand on their creative drawing talent. Inside How to Draw Awesome Vehicles: Land, Sea, and Air, they'll find easy, step-by-step instructions for drawing their favorite vehicles. Each title in the How to Draw series features more than 100 weird and wonderful drawing projects in a variety of categories. A handy index in the back of the book makes it easy to find favorites to practice again and again. (Ages 7+)



My Take on the Book
I draw notes for my girls on a daily basis and I love finding books that allow me to be able to draw new things that I can incorporate in their lunch notes. This book was an amazing book that really allowed me to create some cool images. The book was easy to understand and it was laid out very well too so that you could find any pictures included throughout the book!

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Book Review - Life is Beautiful: Fantastic Photo Images to Color, Decorate, and Give as Gifts

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About the Book
Tap into the natural beauty that is all around us as you finish coloring these mandala-adorned photos that feature dragonflies, peacocks, daisies, and more. Mandalas are known for their restorative power, and when you sit down to enhance these beautiful photos, you will tap into a wellspring of creative energy. Design your own color palette as you decorate each one. Perforated pages allow you to pull them out, share them as gifts, or keep them. Perfectly sized so you can take your coloring on-the-go.



My Take on the Book
This is a fun book that really allows you to create some amazing images. It is a beautiful and well made book and my daughters and I loved to mix unique colors together to make nature just come alive. This is the type of book we could take everywhere as my daughters would just throw it in their small bag with some colored pencils and we were off!

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Game Review - WordSpiel

WordSpiel

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About the Game
Simply Words, Simply Fun!

Be the first to get rid of all 10 of your cards by making words. Each turn, simply start your word with the last card played. Just like the name, WordSpiel. Spiel uses the S from WordS. It’s the word game…Where the END…is just the BEGINNING! Word size doesn’t matter, but ending with a tricky letter can really challenge your opponents. You can use the timer or take your time, just be sure to put your best word forward! Your friends and family will thank you for spreading the WORD about WordSpiel!
  • New word game from the creator of SET, Quiddler, Five Crowns & Karma.
  • WordSpiel is the game – Where the END…is just the BEGINNING!
  • Each word spins off the last, so the game will never be the same twice!
  • Perfect for family & friends of all ages — kids can compete with adults!
  • Ages 8 to adult • 2-6 Players • Includes a digital timer.




My Take on the Game
This game was a ton of fun! As someone that loved the card games Quiddler and Karma, I found that this was a ton of fun for the entire family. My girls and I loved playing this. You get a new letter to start with every turn and because of this you get a chance to think quickly. While there are some games where you can plan ahead I did not find that you could do this with WordSpiel. Best of all the game did not take long to learn. We have played this many times since we first got this, such a fun game!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Book Review - Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

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About the Book
An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast's library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she's always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.



My Take on the Book
This is a magical tale that takes place between the time Belle substitutes herself for her father in the Beast's castle to just before the last petal of the rose falls.

Belle is unhappy. She misses her father. While reading in the library she finds an enchanted book called NEVERMORE. NEVERMORE is a fantasy place and Belle believes it will bring her the happiness she craves. However this place is not real and will bring Death to Belle.

The creative story line will captivate the reader. You will not stop reading. There are many twists and turns as the character Death tries to win Belle from the character Love.

With the assistance of a magical spider, beetle, puppet, and a diamond heart, Belle eventually returns to the Beast's castle.
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review - Kingdom Keepers: The Return Book One Disney Lands

Kingdom Keepers: The Return Book One Disney Lands
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About the Book
With the defeat of the Overtakers behind them, the five teenagers known as the Kingdom Keepers should be celebrating. By all accounts they saved Disneyland from certain destruction. Why then did their mentor leave one last puzzle for them to decipher? The Keepers must solve a puzzle of the past, or be crushed under an evil that makes the Overtakers seem like gentle souls.


My Take on the Book
I have been reading the Kingdom Keeper series ever since the beginning and at the end of the last book I did not know if another book would come or not. That being said I was very excited to see what would come in this new book. While this is a new series, you still see the same characters that you have come to love within the book. You get to see them a bit older, a bit wiser, but also a bit different none-the-less.

Different is not a bad thing though. Yes, this is a part of a series, so if you have not read past books you should go back and read the others first to better understand what is happening. There are many references to past experiences of the characters and someone that has not been following along would be a bit lost.

As in past books, this book is filled with action, intrigue and adventure, as well as some twists and turns that allow you to stay on the edge of your seat as you go through the book.

You also get to see the Kingdom Keepers battling some villains and this makes the heart of Disney Fan happy!

Overall, this is a fun book that is a page turner and if you love the Kingdom Keepers and you love Disney then this book is definitely for you!

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