Dad of Divas' Reviews: 2018

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Book Review - Strong Is the New Pretty: A Guided Journal for Girls

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Guided Journal for Girls



About the Book

Inspired by Kate T. Parker’s internationally bestselling Strong Is the New Pretty, which Drew Barrymore called “the first thing in a while to kind of knock me off my feet,” this guided journal invites girls ages 8 to 12 to discover and celebrate their independent, wild, silly, powerful selves.

Illustrated with favorite photographs from the book Strong Is the New Pretty (as well as more than 20 brand-new images), each page features an inspiring, interactive prompt that encourages writing, doodling, and creative self-expression:


  • Draw a picture of yourself as a superhero—what is your superpower?
  • Invent a new language, and write down some translations here.
  • What makes you unique? List three things about you that make you different.


As girls make their way through the journal, it becomes a source of motivation to be their most powerful selves. It’s a personal keepsake to revisit again and again.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book with so many great activities. The book is a book that really allows readers to think about their lives and their future in a different way. The book encourages kids to use creativity to be kind. Also, the book asks a lot of questions that helps to inspire and to build confidence for young readers. I loved the questions and my daughter loved going through the book for herself. She would carry the book around with her no matter where she was going so she could finish the journal. At the end she told me how fun the journal was!



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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book Review - Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves



About the Book

Girls being fearless. Girls being silly. Girls being wild, stubborn, and proud. Girls whose faces are smeared with dirt and lit up with joy. So simple and yet so powerful, Strong Is the New Pretty celebrates, through more than 175 memorable photographs, the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves.

Real beauty isn’t about being a certain size, acting a certain way, wearing the right clothes, or having your hair done (or even brushed). Real beauty is about being your authentic self and owning it. Kate T. Parker is a professional photographer who finds the real beauty in girls, capturing it for all the world to see in candid and arresting images.

A celebration, a catalog of spirit in words and smiles, an affirmation of the fact that it’s what’s inside you that counts, Strong Is the New Pretty conveys a powerful message for every girl, for every mother and father of a girl, for every coach and mentor and teacher, for everyone in the village that it takes to raise a strong and self-confident person.



My Take on the Book
As a father of daughters this book is one that I would recommend to anyone that has a daughter. The book does an amazing job at promoting and showing girls that being strong is a good thing and something that all girls should do. I have read this book with my daughters and they kept asking me to read just a bit more. I think that while this book may be made to be a coffee table book, it is also a great book that is one that will be good for kids to read along with with parents. What I loved was that the book offers inspiration and motivation for all who read this. This is a book I would highly recommend to all!

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Book Review - Eerie Elementary: The Art Show Attacks!

Eerie Elementary: The Art Show Attacks!



About the Book

Pick a book. Grow a Reader!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

In the ninth book of this spooky series, Eerie Elementary is having an art show. Sam is working on his project for the show when suddenly the clay he's working with comes ALIVE! Then Sam and his friends start seeing signs of mad scientist Orson Eerie everywhere. First Orson's face mysteriously appears on a painting, then he leads them to a new, secret room in the school. What is Orson up to this time? Is he trying to spread his creepy power outside school grounds yet again? Sam and his friends need to act FAST!




My Take on the Book
Great addition to the series. My daughter has read all of the other books in this series so she was excited to see what would happen in this book. This book brings back the characters that you love and you will love to see what mysteries and fun come out in this book as we thoroughly enjoyed reading it. These books are quick reads, but every page compels you to keep reading. This was a great addition to the series!

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Book Review - American Girl: Like Sisters - Caitlin in Charge

American Girl: Like Sisters - Caitlin in Charge



About the Book
What animal makes the loudest sound?

Caitlin knows it's the blue whale, of course! She has a talent for trivia and is delighted when Emma, Zoe, and Natalia vote her captain of their school trivia team. She's determined to lead them to victory through multiple levels of competition-all the way to the top prize, a trip to New York City!

But being a team captain is more complicated than Caitlin thought it would be. Her drive to win is starting to create a rift between her and the other girls. When a potential advantage for an upcoming contest falls in her lap, Caitlin has to decide what to do. Is this the big break her team needs. . . or is it cheating?



My Take on the Book
This is a great addition to the American Girl series. The book was easy to read and had some great characters that your kids will love. The book introduces the characters to some challenging situations that they must overcome. My daughter liked seeing how the characters in this book had to work through the challenges to figure out the situation for themselves. As a dad, I loved that the book had a great plot, but also characters that were not one dimensional. I also loved that the characters had to figure out issues together and along the way they teach the reader some valuable lessons.

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Book Review - Disney Villains: The Evilest of Them All

Disney Villains: The Evilest of Them All



About the Book


Dive into the devilish thoughts of Disney’s most masterful villains and become a part of the story . . . for better or for worse.

WANTED: The most evil, wicked, abhorrent, vile villain to ever curse this world . . . or any others.

A villain acting vile is merely part of the job description . . . but which of Disney’s famed scoundrels is the evilest of them all? Dive into the devilish thoughts of The Evil Queen, Jafar, Ursula, and more as they recall their most wicked achievements. With gatefolds and lift-the-flaps, readers can dive into minds of the best of the worst in this fun read for Disney fans of all ages.
Villains Include...

  • Evil Queen (Snow White)
  • Jafar (Aladdin)
  • Mother Gothel (Rapunzel)
  • Lady Tremaine (Cinderella)
  • Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
  • Scar (Lion King)
  • Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
  • Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Malificent (Sleeping Beauty)
  • Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland) Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
  • Hades (Hercules)
  • Dr. Facilier (The Princess and the Frog)


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My Take on the Book
If you are a fan of the Disney Villains you will want to read this book. What is great about this book is that it allows you to get inside of these characters' minds to then be able to see their stories and their world in a different way.  This was a guide that really gives you insight into each villain. The villains even get the opportunity to justify their actions. The book is a fun read that any Disney fan will love.


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Monday, November 5, 2018

Book Review - The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Secret of the Realms: An Extended Novelization

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Secret of the Realms: An Extended Novelization



About the Book

This dazzling novel will not only retell the moving story from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, but half of the book will expand and explore the world of the Walt Disney Studios film with brand-new, exclusive content. Complete with beautiful full-page chapter opener illustrations and never-before-seen details that add new depth to the story, this novel will have readers eager to step into the resplendent world of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms for generations to come.



My Take on the Book
This book goes deeper than other books that I have seen about The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The book has a great story line and the characters throughout the book are amazingly vibrant. The book examines all aspects of the story and prepares you more than other books I have read to see the movie. The plot even has a bit of a twist that I was not expecting!

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Book Review - The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Read-Along Storybook and CD


The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Read-Along Storybook and CD



About the Book

Follow along in this captivating Read-Along Storybook and journey to a strange and magical world where a young girl named Clara meets a soldier named Phillip, a gang of mice, and regents who preside over the Realms. Complete with word-for-word narration, original character voices, sound effects, and enchanting stills from the film itself, there's no better way to revisit The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Transport back into a world alive with song, dance, and the magic of storytelling!



My Take on the Book
This book will walk you through the movie and by playing the CD you will hear actual voices from the movie too. The book gives you a great walk through of the movie and with the voices you will get to know the actual characters as well. This is a quick read that really gives you a great way to get to know the characters and the movie!

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Book Review - The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Dance of the Realms

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Dance of the Realms



About the Book
With breathtaking painterly illustrations, a deeply enchanting story, and a foreword written by celebrated dancer Misty Copeland, this picture book brings The Nutcracker and the Four Realms to life in a brand-new way. As the adventure from the film jumps off of the screen and onto the page, a new generation of readers and fans will be drawn in and enchanted by the holiday spirit, the beauty of dance, and the magic of storytelling.


My Take on the Book
This book has amazing illustrations and really walks you through the story of the Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This is a great story that makes me even more excited to see the new Disney movie. In reading this to my own daughter she echoed my own thoughts on the story. This book will really get you excited about the movie!


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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Book Review- Grandpa Magic: 116 Easy Tricks, Amazing Brainteasers, and Simple Stunts to Wow the Grandkids

Grandpa Magic: 116 Easy Tricks, Amazing Brainteasers, and Simple Stunts to Wow the Grandkids



About the Book

From a professional magician and New York Times bestselling author, 116 tricks, stunts, and brainteasers that will engage the grandchildren and provide giggles, jaw-dropping awe , and wonderful memories.

Guaranteed to make grandparenting even more fun, Grandpa Magic is sure to entertain—and crack up— the grandkids. From the old pull-a-quarter-from-behind-a-kid’'s-ear trick and “removing your thumb” to card tricks, stunts for the dinner table, and verbal puzzles that surprise and delight, there’s something for everyone. Step-by-step illustrations make them easy to learn.



My Take on the Book

This was a fun book for any parent to read, whether they are a Grandpa or not. The book is filled with tricks, stunts and more. Each of the activities are well explained and by the end of the book you will have quite the repertoire of things to mesmerize and amaze your kids, their friends and more. I wish I had found this earlier in my own life as a dad!

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Book Review - Snoopy: Boogie Down!

Snoopy: Boogie Down!



About the Book

Good grief! The Peanuts gang is back in this new collection of comic strips!

Is your baseball team getting beat sixty-eight to nothing? Are you caught in the rain without an umbrella? Have you finally worked up the courage to call your crush only to get the wrong number? Don't worry! The Peanuts gang has the cure for your worries. Join Linus as he awaits the Great Pumpkin, Peppermint Patty as she faces off against an entire hockey team, and Snoopy as he attempts to eat the largest sandwich he's ever seen. Sally befriends the new girl at school, Eudora, only to find a rival for the affection of her Sweet Babboo. And Charlie Brown searches for a home for Snoopy's mysterious brother, Spike. So put on your top hat, fancy tie and dancing shoes, and join Snoopy and the rest of the gang in this boogielicious new collection of classic Peanuts comics.



My Take on the Book
This was a great book that brought out the great Peanuts characters that you have come to love. I read through this and then had my daughter read it because they are big fans of the Peanuts too. My kids have been huge fans of this comic series and this book definitely allowed them to get into the comic even more. The loved that all of the characters were in the book, my daughters loved seeing them all and so did I!

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Review - Scholastic 2019 Book of World Records

Scholastic 2019 Book of World Records



About the Book

Another year of amazing world records and all the latest and greatest pop culture crazes!

What is the tallest living animal that can grow up to 19 feet?

Where is the deepest cave on Earth?

Just how fast is the world's fastest roller coaster?

Discover the most impressive and jaw-dropping world records in science, tech, pop culture, sports, nature, and more in the third edition of our world records annual, Book of World Records 2019. Complete with "Trending" sections for every category, this book includes all the social media sensations, spectacular stats, and unique facts you need to know from 2019.


My Take on the Book
This is another great collection of feats, facts, and records that people hold that simply amaze me. The book is filled with great images and write-ups that will fill your brain with information that you may not have known in the past. I love reading these books because I have to marvel at the records that people will work to break! This is another great addition for anyone who loves reading about records being broken!!

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Book Review - My Life in Smiley: I Got This!

My Life in Smiley: I Got This!



About the Book
In this second installment of the My Life in Smiley series, Max is back from Summer vacation with his wisdom for future generations in this hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid–style journal that is unconventionally illustrated with the internationally recognized emoticons of the SmileyWorld brand.

Age Level: 8-12 Grade Level: 3rd and up

After summer vacation, Max is back at school in France to tackle seventh grade, which turns out to be even harder than sixth grade. In his journal, he recounts his over-the-top crush, fighting with his best friend Tom, his mom losing her mind with yoga and new-age parenting, and his friends’ attempt at making smiley-themed clothing with unique illustrations and plentiful smileys.


My Take on the Book
This is a great second book. If you loved the first book, this one was just as good if not better. My daughter loved to read this. She continue to love the main character, but also the interactions between other characters too. The book was a quick read but it was memorable though. Loved being able to read this with my daughter as well, and even as an adult I found the book to be fun for all!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Book Review - Phoebe and Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater

Phoebe and Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater



About the Book
The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel! Summer is here, and Phoebe and Marigold are headed to drama camp. Phoebe’s expecting some quality time with her best friend, but in a surprise twist, Marigold has invited her sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils! While the unicorn sisters head to camp in a magical rainbow pod, Phoebe is stuck riding with her parents in their boring car, wondering where it all went wrong. But at Camp Thespis, there are more daunting tasks at hand: writing, producing, and acting in an entirely original play! The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel is a sparkling tale of sisterhood and summer fun, as well as a reminder that sometimes it takes a bit of drama to recognize true friendship.


My Take on the Book
Another great addition to the series. This series brings you humor, great illustration as well as a great story and my daughter, for one, simply loves reading the books as they get released, and this book was no different. The book itself was a quick read, but I found my daughter reading it again quickly afterwards as she loved the book so much! If you have read other books in the series, you will love this book as well. Even if you have not, you will love the characters and the story throughout!

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Book Review - Mini Kawaii Doodle Class

Mini Kawaii Doodle Class



About the Book

Kawaii is a Japanese word that translates to "cute," and popular YouTube artist Pic Candle shows you how to doodle your way to adorable in this miniature, portable, and even cuter version of her best-selling Kawaii Doodle Class.

This master class in cute features nearly 100 lovable, huggable characters and includes simple step-by-step illustrations and instructions, search-and-find puzzle patterns that you can color, inspiration boards that show you how to give your characters different facial expressions and zany accessories, and drawing pages to get your doodle party started. Your adorable drawing subjects include tacos, sushi, smoothies, clouds, rainbows, cacti, and more.

Soon you'll be enhancing your notebooks, stationery, artwork, and more with your own unique kawaii world. Mini Kawaii Doodle Class is now in session!


My Take on the Book
This was a fun book that had very cute images but even better than that, it offered you gstep-by-step instructions on how to create these fun images for yourself. My daughter loves to create images for herself and she truly enjoyed this book because of the fun pictures she could create because of this book. You will be able to create some very fun images with this book too!

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Book Review - A-MAZE-ING America: 50 Mazes of the 50 States

A-MAZE-ING America: 50 Mazes of the 50 States



About the Book
From the author of A-MAZE-ING Animals and Myths & Monsters comes another wonderful maze-filled book . . . and this time, it's all about the U.S.A. These 50 colorfully illustrated mazes feature themed, integrated illustrations that reflect each state—from New York to California and everything in between—that are fun, playful, and perfect for big kids and grown-ups too. Puzzle-solvers will have to navigate through crazy cartoon features, like a county fair, the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, and much more. There are dozens of dead ends, illusions, twists, and turns that increase with the difficulty level. It's not just thoroughly entertaining . . . it's another dose of absolutely A-MAZE-ING fun!


My Take on the Book
This is a great book with fun mazes that will keep you and your kids having fun for some time. The book has great images too that you can color in while you do your maze if you want. The book kept us active for a long time and we loved being able to spend time together as we worked through the mazes page by page!

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Book Review - The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive: Tips and Tricks for Every Kind of Player

The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive: Tips and Tricks for Every Kind of Player



About the Book
Proven, fast levelling strategies that will help you win matches and maximize the XP you earn each season.

What do World Cup soccer players, Drake, and 125 million other people have in common? They all play Fortnite! And now with The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive, anyone can survive the island and take their game to the next level. This must-have guide has something for every kind of player: game mode overviews for Battle Bus beginners, detailed weapon and item stats for initiates, and advanced building strategies for veterans. With The Fortnite Guide to Staying Alive, you have everything you need to max out each season and have fun doing it.


My Take on the Book
If you are a fan of Fortnite, this is the book for you. Even though the book is short it is packed with great information that will definitely help you to survive and thrive in the game. This game is definitely not always easy, but this book does offer practical advice to help you survive which definitely helped me to last longer than I did in the past!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Book Review - Art Studio: Faces & Features

Art Studio: Faces & Features



About the Book
Art Studio: Faces & Features introduces beginning artists and art enthusiasts to the art of drawing and painting heads, faces, and expressions using a variety of mediums.

Drawing and painting heads, faces, and expressions can be an intimidating prospect for a beginning artist. Art Studio: Faces & Features is here to help, with more than 50 tips, techniques, and step-by-step projects that will have you creating expressive faces and mastering textures in all your drawings.

This intuitive guide shows you how to work with graphite and colored pencils; acrylic, oil, and watercolor paints; pastels; and even pen and ink. This range of mediums is the perfect way to experiment, build artistic confidence, and define your own unique style. Art Studio: Faces & Features makes the art of drawing expressions possible for beginning fine artists.

The Art Studio series is designed to help beginning artists venture into fine art; an overview of each art medium helps them determine which they like best.

My Take on the Book
This is a great book for any aspiring artist. For someone working to become a better artist you will find that faces and features tend to be things that take time and practice. The book walks you through activities that will help you to create faces that will get better and better the more that you practice, or at least it helped me. The book looks at so many aspects to faces and features that I know that I did not consider when I first started reading this. I learned a ton and I know that you will too!

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