Dad of Divas' Reviews: 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review - Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat

Cat Lady Embroidery: 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat



About the Book
Fat, striped, cheshire, or grumpy, this books offers more than 300 embroidery stitch patters for cat lovers. Each set of patterns offers a range of ideas in different styles, shapes, genres from simple to more complex. A purrfect book for embroidery beginners or those looking for fun and simple patterns. Original designs and clear instructions make this book a must have for any embroidery enthusiasts library.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book for anyone that loves both cats and embroidery. The book is filled with great tips with patterns and photos that will give you opportunities to create some very fun looking cats. In the tips you will learn new stitches and more and the book walks you through these stitches and more. This is a great book!

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Book Review - Are You Scared, Darth Vader?

Are You Scared, Darth Vader?



About the Book
It's midnight and the moon is full, but Darth Vader isn't scared.

OF COURSE I AM NOT SCARED.
Nothing can scare Lord Vader!
CORRECT.
Not monsters or witches or ghosts, and especially not the dark.
So what is Darth Vader scared of?
Read on in Adam Rex's hilarious and spooky Star Wars tale to find out!
YOU WILL LEARN NOTHING.


My Take on the Book
This is a very cute book that is funny in so many ways. I loved reading this to my daughter, both of which are Star Wars fans. They loved to see Darth Vader in a new way and through this book you get to read some of his iconic sayings but you also get to see him interacting with some fun other characters too. This is a great story that any Star Wars fans will love!


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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Book Review - I Lost My Tooth!

I Lost My Tooth!



About the Book
Mo Willems, creator of the revolutionary, award-winning, best-selling Elephant & Piggie series, is back with another breakout beginning-reader series. This time, an ensemble cast of Squirrels, acorns, and pop-in guests host a page-turning extravaganza! Each book features a funny, furry adventure AND bonus jokes, quirky quizzes, nutty fact formats, and so, so many squirrels!

In I Lost My Tooth!, Zoom Squirrel has lost a front tooth! The Squirrels leap into action when they discover the missing tooth is a baby tooth! Do you know more about teeth than the Squirrels do? You will by the end of this book!



My Take on the Book
This was a funny book that looks at losing a tooth in a whole new way. From the brilliant mind of Mo Willems, you get a very fun story with squirrels that seem to not know too much about teeth. Once you get to the end keep reading as there are jokes and educational content that you will not want to miss. Overall, this was a very fun book that all kids will love!

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Book Review - Cookiesaurus Christmas


Cookiesaurus Christmas



About the Book
Cookiesaurus Rex may not be your usual holiday treat, but he has plenty of Christmas spirit. He would like nothing more than to make it onto Santa's cookie plate. After all, the Big Guy should have only the best cookie to take back to the North Pole. But Mr. Spatula chooses Star, then Bell, and finally Gingerbread Boy. . . . WAIT ONE STINKIN,' STOMPIN' MINUTE! Looks like Cookiesaurus Rex is going to have to take matters into his own tiny arms. Will his Christmas dreams come true, or will his holiday dreams be crumbled?



My Take on the Book
This is such a cute story! Just when you think you know what Cookiesaurus wants, think again and things may change. This story shares a lot of messages. As a parent I loved how Cookiesaurus goes from thinking of himself to thinking of others and in the end he gets what he really wants. The illustrations in this book are spectacular and really bring the book to life!


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Book Review - Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker, Book 2 Incognito

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker, Book 2 Incognito




About the Book
In book two of the delightfully energetic Beatrice Zinker series, Operation Upside is finally in full swing! But when Beatrice's overenthusiasm lands Mrs. Tamarack with a Strictest Certificate, the team has to hold off on any new missions to avoid suspicion.

Lying low is not exactly Beatrice's strong suit, especially when she sees someone who desperately needs to be recognized. But when the certificate meant for him falls into the wrong hands, Beatrice and Lenny must find a way to widen their circle once again to save Operation Upside, and themselves, from trouble.



My Take on the Book
This is another great book in the series. We love the spirit of Beatrice and she brings so much life into all of the activities for which she is a part. The book has some great adventures as well as some twists as well. This was a quick book o read but definitely a fun one. Highly recommended!


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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book Review - The Trials of Apollo - The Burning Maze

The Trials of Apollo - The Burning Maze




About the Book
The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.

With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor--and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles--somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon. . . .


My Take on the Book
I finished the 2nd book in this series quickly and because I had not read that book right when it came out I was lucky enough to be able to find that the 3rd book was now available so I jumped right into this book as well. This series has been a great one to read. Even as an adult I find that it is a series that I love to read as the characters are strong and with each book you learn a bit more and you see each of them going on a journey of their own with the help of friends along the way.  This book finds Meg, Apollo and Grover having to get through the Maze to meet up with and challenge the 3rd Emperor (who is supposed to be the worst of the three). They also have a journey to rescue another oracle. This book is filled with drama, action and adventure, but you will also find that the story is also filled with great moments of figuring out what friendship means and what the characters will do and endure to reach their goals. If you have never read this series, it is a must read. Also, I can honestly say I am sitting on pins and needles waiting to see what will happen next!

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Book Review - Squidtoons: Exploring Ocean Science with Comics


Squidtoons: Exploring Ocean Science with Comics



About the Book
Dive deep into the latest, most interesting (and weirdest!) science about underwater creatures with Squidtoons!

These beautifully drawn, educational comics combine fun science facts about marine life, kid-friendly wit, and a strong environmental message. From whale vomit to bone-eating worms, narwhals to sea dragons, Squidtoons presents real ocean science in a series of entertaining, easy-to-understand comics. Venture from the seashore to the deep sea, and learn about the ocean’s diverse life forms straight from the experts.




My Take on the Book
Talk about a fun way to learn! This brings together great science facts about fierce and strange creatures and allows you to learn without even knowing so. This book offers amazing images throughout that give you the opportunity to learn on every page. The book is a quick read, but as my daughter said at the end, "this was so cool." Hearing that from her, I started reading it myself and I agree, it was very cool! If you have a child that loves comics, but also loves science and animals of the water, this is a book for them! Get ready to learn!

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Book Review - Brush Pen Illustration


Brush Pen Illustration



About the Book
Curious about the world of brush pens but aren't sure where to start? Brush Pen Illustration shows how to draw pretty much anything in 2 – 4 steps.

Brush pens have taken the illustrating world by storm! This unique medium comes in hundreds of colors and produces a beautiful, soft, watercolor effect which has had lettering artists buzzing. Now, though, illustrators in all walks of art are incorporating brush pens' into their repertoire as a simple way to include color and motion into their art.

Brush pens' style is reminiscent of Chinese brush painting and drawing. They offer a gentle, paint-like quality that replicate watercolor paints without having use paint and brushes. Brush Pen Illustration is a comprehensive guide which shows you how to draw pretty much everything in 2-4 easy steps; apples, zebras, penguins, flowers, this book shows you how to draw everything under the sun with fun and colorful brush pens.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book for any artist that wants to learn more about brush pen illustration. I have not used brush pens in the past, but had some around the house. Through the reading of this book I truly learned a ton about using these brush pens in the right way to create some very fun images. I was impressed by the way that the author was able to walk the reader through the steps that they needed to follow to create these fun images. It took a bit to get the technique worked out, but after trying and learning more I was able to fix my technique to be able to get the image to look more like what I was seeing in the book. This is a great book for any artist that wants to learn more about brush pen illustration, I know I learned a lot and you will too.


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Book Review - Ten-Step Drawing: Animals

Ten-Step Drawing: Animals



About the Book
Featuring illustrated tutorials for drawing 75 different animals, Ten-Step Drawing: Animals breaks down each subject into 10 simple steps. All you need to get started is a pen or pencil and a piece of paper!

With Ten-Step Drawing: Animals, you will learn to create an awe-inspiring array of different animals. Step by step, you will create creatures both wild (bald eagle, armadillo, meerkat, dung beetle) and domesticated (donkey, camel, duck, goat). The animals include those from the sea (whale, sea turtle, jellyfish, walrus) and the woodland (snail, fox, raccoon, river otter). Even learn to draw your favorite pets (cat, dog, rabbit, guinea pig).

Handy prompts encourage artistic individuality, and include helpful tips for drawing other subjects not featured in the book.

Ten-Step Drawing: Animals is sure to encourage even the most reluctant amateur artist to draw their heart out.



My Take on the Book
This is a great book that walks you step-by-step into creating some very fun images of animals that you love. The way that the author shares the steps for any artist will allow any artist to create things in a simple way. My daughter and I loved to create images together and if you love to create images you will love this book as well.


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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Book Review - National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019


National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019



About the Book
The world's best-selling almanac for kids is back and in demand! This year's includes the latest information about what's new and newsy in our world, special dates to anticipate, and fresh topics, and much more.
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019




Have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling almanac, curated and created just for kids. It's packed with incredible photos; tons of fun facts, crafts, and activities; and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include an updated "Fun and Games" chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; all new weird-but-true facts; "19 Facts for 2019" feature in every chapter; updated reference material; and cool stuff on topics today's curious kids care about.



Highlights of the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019 (ages 8-12) include:
  • What’s new and newsy in our world 
  • Cool events to look forward to in 2019 like World Emoji Day in July ’19 and Scooby-Doo’s 50th birthday in September ‘19
  • Hot movies coming in 2019
  • Latest updates about animals like the new four-legged recruits in Brooklyn and Taipei that are currently in training to help their human friends in law enforcement and how a recent Tasmanian Devil baby boom is helping to ensure these marsupials are saved from extinction
  • All About Animals — An entire section devoted to the wild and wonderful animal kingdom, including profiles of the awesome "Unicorns of the Sea," how dolphin’s brains work and the crazy antics of armadillos
  • Science and Technology — Cool inventions, how the slinky came to be and which animals have the strongest sniffers — to name just a few
  • Nature - Important and timely coverage of recent natural disasters, ideas for protecting our seas and examining wild weather and its impact
  • 19 facts for 2019 feature in every chapter including 19 Amazing Facts About Vikings, Telescopes, Deserts, Big Cats and more
  • Almanac Challenge 2019 — Lions Forever! 
    • This year’s challenge encourages kids to get involved and make a difference. The focus is on highlighting the threats lions face and the importance of saving them. Kids are encouraged to visit natgeokids.com/almanac to create a lion poster and send a message with their entry about why they feel lions must be saved. Winner will receive a $500 cash prize!
  • Crafts, Recipes and Activities
  • Digital Extras (videos, games, and even how to set up a “Lion-Ade Stand!) at natgeokids.com/almanac



My Take on the Book
My 10 year old was just talking about this book and how excited she was to get this! She loves to read all of the facts and figures and become better informed about the world around her. This book definitely does just that. The book is full of so many amazing facts, figures and more on so many different topics. The book is filled with stunning pictures that really draws you in and I found that as my daughter was reading through this she was educating us as well! I also loved that there is new free digital extras that she could tap into as a part of this book too! All-in-all if you have a child that loves to learn, this is a book that they will want to read!

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Book Review - The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy

The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy



About the Book
Written by best-selling author and hand letterer Abbey Sy, The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy covers the basics and beyond for creative lettering techniques. 
The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy
 

The book begins with an overview of tools and materials, both traditional (pointed pen and fountain pen) and modern (including brush markers and chalk), then presents a visual glossary of letterforms, highlights the unique characteristics of the featured alphabets, and demonstrates how to draw letterforms to foster an understanding of how they’re created. The core chapters explore traditional, modern, and special effects lettering using a variety of mark-making tools, with in-depth how-to on adding flourishes and other special details, plus creative projects. There’s also an introduction to modifying and creating letterforms digitally, as well as practice sheets for the featured alphabets.
The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy


So whether you’ve never tried lettering before or you’d like to develop your skills and consider all your creative options, The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy will guide and inspire you on your lettering journey.


My Take on the Book
This was a very thorough book that explores so many different ways of lettering things that you want to keep for yourself or share with others. Both of my girls are talented with art but have never really explored this facet of art, so this book was a great primer on a new art form and they really appreciated all of the great information that was shared in the book. The book walks you through step-by-step on the different types of lettering and even talks about tools needed as well. This is a great book for anyone that is either first starting out or is in need of a refresher, and the images through the book are wonderful to follow along with too!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book Review - Thea Stilton: Mouseford Academy - The Secret Invention

Thea Stilton: Mouseford Academy - The Secret Invention



About the Book
The students of Mouseford Academy are participating in an enormouse science fair! Mice from schools around the world are all hoping to take the top prize. The Thea Sisters would love to win, but so would Ruby Flashyfur - and shes willing to do whatever it takes! Can these mice play nice, or will the science fair be a total flop?

My Take on the Book
This is a great addition to the Thea Stilton series of books. The story is a ton of fun and you get great characters that you know as well as a few new ones too. The book has some great humor throughout and the images were vibrant and really drew you into the book itself! This was a quick read that you and your kids will love to read by themselves or you can read together as well.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Book Review - Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away



About the Book

Graphic design guru Tim Leong presents Star Wars trivia in an all-new way—through playful pie charts, bar graphs, and other data-driven infographics. From a Venn diagram of Yoda's idiosyncrasies to an organizational chart of the Empire to a line graph of Grand Moff Tarkin's management decisions, Star Wars Super Graphic shines a new light on the much-adored universe. Equal parts playful and informative, this visual love letter to the vast Star Wars universe will enchant fans of all ages.



My Take on the Book
This was a book that was so cool. The book brings in some very cool graphics to make you think about Star Wars in some very new and innovative ways. Because of the fun graphics that are throughout this book you will find that it is a very easy read. Also, I will honestly say that if you are a Star Wars fan, this will be a book that you will want to read and you will also find that you will love reading it! While some of the graphics are a bit silly and crazy, in the end they are so much fun to read and to share with other fans!


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Monday, May 28, 2018

Book Away - Off & Away

Off & Away



About the Book
How would you get mail if you lived in the middle of the sea? It's Jo's dad's job to deliver it, taking bottles wherever they need to go. He always comes home with exciting stories to tell-but Jo is far too afraid to go out on the ocean herself. Until Dad gets a bad sea cold, that is. With no one but Jo to deliver the bottles, she must find her courage and set sail alone. As she embarks on her mission, her fears just might be replaced with new friendships . . . and grand stories of her own.

With beautiful, atmospheric art and endearing new characters by author-illustrator Cale Atkinson, this picturebook is a treasure.

My Take on the Book
Cale Atkinson has written a heartwarming story accompanied by beautifully detailed illustrations.
This story any child will enjoy hearing often. It is a story about a little girl, Jo, and her father. Her father delivers bottle mail (rather than mail in envelopes). They live by the sea and his home is the "post office".

Jo is afraid of the sea. She imagines monsters and does not travel with her father, but one day that changes.

This story is about Jo becoming courageous as she must deliver the mail to various places. The reader will see as she ventures further and further out into the sea that she begins to actually see what is real and not imaginary. It is not until she meets a real sea monster who helps her, that Jo becomes very courageous.

All children develop fears at some time in their young lives. How they eventually overcome those fears is the real courageous journey, like Jo.


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Book Review - The Mortification of Fovea Munson

The Mortification of Fovea Munson



About the Book
Fovea Munson is nobody's Igor. True, her parents own a cadaver lab where they perform surgeries on dead bodies. And yes, that makes her gross by association, at least according to everyone in seventh grade. And sure, Fovea's stuck working at the lab now that her summer camp plans have fallen through. But she is by no means Dr. Frankenstein's snuffling assistant!

That is, until three disembodied heads, left to thaw in the wet lab, start talking. To her. Out loud.

What seems like a nightmare, or bizarre hallucination, is not. Fovea is somebody's Igor, all right. Three somebodies, actually. And they need a favor.

With a madcap sense of humor and a lot of heart (not to mention other body parts), this is a story about finding oneself, finding one's friends, and embracing the moment.


My Take on the Book
This was a great book that you will love! This book has amazing characters that will make you laugh throughout the entire book. This author has a great way with words and does an amazing job at capturing the voices of the characters. The book shows a great coming of age story that also has some drama too. My daughter told me that she laughed and cried as she was reading this and as I was reading it, while I did not cry, I did laugh and it was a very fun book to read!


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Saturday, May 26, 2018

DVD Review - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: It's a Beautiful Day

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: It's a Beautiful Day



About the DVD
PBS Distribution announced it is releasing the new DVD Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: It's a Beautiful Day.”This special set of 32 memorable episodes and over 15 hours of content celebrates the 50th anniversary of the beloved Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the pioneering children’s television series from The Fred Rogers Company. Mister Rogers helps children learn the importance of being kind to others, appreciating what makes everyone unique, recycling and taking care of our planet, and much more in the classic series. The new release also includes a very special bonus episode – the series premiere, in original black-and-white!



“MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD: IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY COLLECTION” will be available on March 27, 2018 ($19.99 SRP). The four-disc collection has a total run time of 928 minutes. Episodes of the program are also available for digital download.



Through his popular daily TV visits, generations of young children have grown up with the kind and gentle Mister Rogers, who created a calm and safe place that welcomed all to hisneighborhood. With real-life guests, adventurous field trips and charming make-believe segments, the iconic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood encouraged kids ages 2-5 to learn about themselves and the world around them, speaking directly to the series’ young audience with his unique one-to-one affirmation of their self-worth. Celebrity guest stars have included: Tony Bennett, Julia Child, Margaret Hamilton, Michael Keaton, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Rita Moreno, and Bill Nye.




Episodes featured on the DVD include:

Helping Children Know What to Expect at School

Creating with Friends is Different than Playing Alone

Play is the Work of Childhood

Respecting All Living Creatures

Opera Day

Ups and Downs of Friendship

Learning about Rules and Limits

Appreciating the People Who Came Before

Food and Love Go Hand in Hand

Music As a Way to Express Feelings

Families Come in Different Shapes and Sizes

Celebrating Big and Little Things

Lots of Different Things for Play and Pretending

Each Person is Unique – Yet We All Have Much in Common

Being Kind to Ourselves and Others

Nobody Knows What You’re Thinking Unless You Tell Them

Games Can Be Fun, But Not If You’re Left Out

Recycling and Other Ways to care for Our Planet

Learning to Take Care of Yourself

Trying on Different Roles

We All Have Art Inside of Us

Understanding Concepts of Up and Down

The Strength of Love – Even Through Angry Times

Appreciating our Uniqueness

Some Things Change…Some Things Stay the Same

Needing Help and Giving Help

Feeling Good About Who We Are

Encouraging Generosity and Gratitude

Strengths and Limitations, Abilities and Disabilities
Wondering and Asking Questions

Enjoying Books and Recognizing Symbols

Valuing All Kinds of Art

My Take on the DVD
I have always been a fan of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood ever since I was a kid. This DVD has a great mix of episodes that really brought me back. Each disc had 7-8 episodes on it and you get 31 episodes in all. Each episode had such amazing messages that Mr. Rogers would share with so many. For the price that you pay you get so much. I loved sharing this with my daughters. At first they did not know what to think, but after a few episodes they seemed to like them as much as I did.


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