Dad of Divas' Reviews: 2019

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Book Review - Draw 62 Magical Creatures and Make Them Cute

Draw 62 Magical Creatures and Make Them Cute


About the Book

Build your drawing and character design skills while following the step-by-step instructions of Draw 62 Magical Creatures and Make Them Cute.

Beloved illustrator and Instagrammer Heegyum Kim takes you on a magical journey to expand your character-building skills as she shows you how to draw each creature, from simple shapes to identifying marks, and then shares several other options for varying your design. You might change the view, the character's posture, their features, or their expression. Grab your pen and use the open spaces throughout the book to create your own fantastic variations of each one.

Whether it's a gremlin, a gargoyle, a hobgoblin, or unicorn—you will be inspired by the fascinating characters of this collection. Fresh, modern, and unexpected, you won't find a more enjoyable way to practice your illustration and expand your imagination.


My Take on the Book
I love drawing characters for my daughters and this book is full of so many fun ones and the instructions that are in this book make it easy to draw them. I drew a number of them and I started to give them to my daughters in their lunches and they loved them! If you love to learn to draw this book will teach you a ton of new techniques that will help you draw a ton of new things!

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Book Review - Secrets of a Fangirl

Secrets of a Fangirl



About the Book

A cool girl who's secretly a major geek has to figure out how to be true to herself in this relatable, funny, feminist novel from Erin Dionne.

Sarah Anne loves lacrosse, and the MK Nightshade series that everyone was obsessed over in grade school. The problem is that she's still obsessed, which is way too nerdy for a popular kid like her. So she hides her geekiness with a set of rules meant to keep her geek and jock selves separate.

Except when she's offered a spot in a Nightshade fandom contest, where the winner gets to see the new movie premiere in LA. No one seems to think Sarah Anne can win, since she's up against a pair of guys in high school--but the more she's called a fake fan, the more determined she is to wipe the floor with her competition. As long as none of her friends or anyone at school knows what she's doing.

Can she keep her geek identity a secret, win the contest, and manage to keep her friends even though she's been living a lie? Sarah Anne is going to have to make some choices about what's truly important to her and which rules she's going to break to stay true to herself.



My Take on the Book
My daughter has dealt with anxiety in the past with all of the things that she has going on in middle school. As she read this she told me that this is an amazing book that really put things in perspective. She loved reading this book and she also loved the characters. This was a book that was fun to read and with every chapter you will find that you will want to keep reading!


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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Book Review - The Ghost Network

The Ghost Network



About the Book

The Ghost Network is a new 3-book epic adventure series in which a group of teenage hackers get to work to save the world from disasters in the Dark Web as man takes on machine.

Age Level: 10-13 Grade Level: 4th and up

Despite coming from different ends of the world, John, Slack, Akane, and Salome, age 12, have plenty in common. They love computers, coding, hacking, gaming—it literally flows through their veins. One more thing: they are all technically dead. The group comes together at the Wolf's Den in deepest Alaska, one of several top-secret schools for technological excellence around the globe. The place seems like a coder's dream come true at first, but things take a dark turn when the group realizes they are not like the other kids there. They uncover that the center is working on a potentially dangerous, secret project known as Project 31. What's worse, the guinea pigs are the kids themselves. The gang realizes that John's father implanted artificial intelligence in their bloodstream, in order to protect them, before going missing under mysterious circumstances. They are not only wanted by those in power, but are now being hunted. There's only one way out: to escape across the brutal Alaskan tundra where the truth will be revealed.



My Take on the Book
There is a definite mystery that surrounds this group. The entire story brings together some amazing young people that are doing some amazing things. The school that these students are brought to is quite amazing and deep cover ops. It is amazing to see how these kids are different than others and see what they can really do. The book has some strange turns that made the book a real page turner. In the end I was truly compelled to keep reading from chapter to chapter to see what would happen next and so will you!

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Book Review - Shipwreckers: The Curse of the Cursed Temple of Curses - or - We Nearly Died. A Lot.

Shipwreckers: The Curse of the Cursed Temple of Curses - or - We Nearly Died. A Lot.



About the Book

When Dani and her big brother Mike find themselves aboard the ill-fated river expedition of careless adventurer, Captain Kevin, they must work together to save themselves and the captain from all manner of deadly trials and traps.

Complete with treacherous temples, ancient idols, and plenty of explosions, Shipwreckers is a big adventure that brings humor along for a dangerous and thrilling ride up the Amazon. In a place where laughter meets non-stop action, you'll find Shipwreckers and its cast of soon-to-be fan-favorite characters.



My Take on the Book
This was another great book that was funny, weird and a ton of fun to read. The book was full of adventure and every page compels you to read that much more. I found that the characters were so much fun and while the journey was a bit fanciful, the over the top fun was an amazing ride. There were a ton of jokes, puns and more throughout the entire book. This was an amazing book that was a ton of fun to read!

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Book Review - Waylon! The Most Awesome of All

Waylon! The Most Awesome of All



About the Book

Waylon can't wait to participate in the Boston Science Expo June 14. He's confident that his project will impress the crowd, and his idol, a famous astrophysicist, is sure to be in attendance. Maybe Waylon will finally get a chance to meet her! The Expo is on the same day of his sister's performance at the Beantown Repertory Theater. Neon has been preparing for weeks, ever since she won third prize in a New Voices in Boston Theater contest, and their dad has agreed to be the centerpiece of the show. June 14 is also the deadline Waylon's dad set for himself to sell his screenplay to Hollywood. Finally, Waylon's mom has a mysterious appointment that day that she won't talk about. It looks as though Waylon will be going to the Science Expo by himself. But at least there's that astrophysicist!

When Waylon's dad is summoned to Hollywood at the last minute, Neon is in dire need of a replacement. She trains her eyes on Waylon, and he has no choice but to be the stand-in, even though it means missing the Expo. It promises to be the most embarrassing night of his life . . . yet it could turn out to be the most awesome of all.

But what is Mom up to, anyway?




My Take on the Book
Waylon is a great character. We always love to read this together and find out what Waylon will be doing next. This book was a fun one and as we were reading we were anticipating what would happen when he met his idol. The book was a fast read but a fun one none-the-less!

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Book Review - The Squirrels Who Squabbled

The Squirrels Who Squabbled



About the Book
"It's mine!" shouted Cyril."No, mine!" hollered Bruce."You don't stand a chance!Give up! It's no use!""I'm HUNGRY!" cried Cyril."This cone is NOT yours!""Stay back!" shouted Bruce."This cone's for MY stores!"



My Take on the Book
This was such a cute book with a message that you will be able to share with your kids from beginning to end. The illustrations are remarkable and really draw you into the characters and the book itself. I loved how the author was able to capture the arguments of the squirrels and in the end they have to work through their problems which is what we have to do in our own lives as well. All-in-all this was a fun book for the whole family!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Book Review - Thank You for My Dreams: Bedtime Prayers of Gratitude

Thank You for My Dreams: Bedtime Prayers of Gratitude




About the Book

Sometimes saying "thank you" is all it takes to calm our minds, ignite our inner gratitude, and draw near those we love.

From the official photographer of the 2018 royal wedding comes Thank You for My Dreams, an encouraging guide and helpful tool for parents and their children to begin the daily practice of saying "thank you." Not only do its brilliantly illustrated pages recognize the importance of gifts like family, health, the environment, prosperity, and art—they also prompt readers to reflect on what they're individually thankful for. As Lubomirski's own children narrate the thank-yous, Thank You for My Dreams creates an occasion for children and adults to express, enjoy, and connect through their gratitude.


My Take on the Book
This book is really an amazing book that really lets family start meaningful conversations about gratitude and saying thank you in many ways. The book really allows young kids to better understand important topics that will help them live a full life for years to come. This was such a great book that I wish I had when my kids were young.




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Book Review - Superman of Smallville

Superman of Smallville



About the Book

Can Superman keep Smallville from going to the dogs?

Acts of awesomeness are happening around town. People are being rescued, runaway tractors stopped, and fires extinguished. This is all in a day's work for the hero known only as "Superman." But who is he, really?

Thirteen-year-old Clark Kent knows. He has a super-secret--one his parents are constantly worried will get out. Clark promises to be extra careful, but when random objects begin to take flight and disappear, his parents threaten to ground him. Except he's innocent! If Superman isn't responsible...who is? Join Clark in this hilarious adventure as he sniffs out the real culprit.

From New York Times--bestselling and Eisner Award-winning creators Art Baltazar and Franco, comes a fun, whimsical story featuring young Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, and of course Clark Kent.




My Take on the Book
This is a great, fun story that lets you look at a young Clark Kent and some of the adventures that he is on as he works to control his powers and keep his secret identity. The book brings in humor, adventure and more into a graphic novel that any Superman fan will want to read!

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Book Review - Unicorn Bowling: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure

Unicorn Bowling: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure



About the Book

The NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING series Phoebe and Her Unicorn is back with all-new sparkling tales of best friendship. Whether they're visiting Camp Shimmerhorn or fitting unicorn hooves for bowling shoes, Phoebe and Marigold find magic in every moment.

A unicorn in bowling shoes is quite a STRIKE-ing sight. But for nine-year-old Phoebe Howell, it’s just another fun outing with her best friend, the illustrious unicorn Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. This unique and magical friendship is at the heart of the ninth Phoebe and Her Unicorn collection, which includes adventures such as writing original songs, publishing rival news websites, and making a summer visit to the exclusive Camp Shimmerhorn. Life with a unicorn BFF is not without its challenges, however, and whether it’s homework, friction with classmates, or talent show jitters, Unicorn Bowling is full of amusing, heartwarming reminders that when the going gets tough, the tough get sparkling.



My Take on the Book
This is another great collection of comics that draws you into the graphic novel from beginning to end. One of the great things that you get in this novel is comic strips that flow well together. Many are 4 panes but you also get some that even span a few pages. Not all of the comics tie together but that is ok as the strips themselves are so much fun. My daughter loves graphic novels and even more she loves Phoebe and her Unicorn. Ever since the first graphic novels came out she always was excited to find the next book as it came out. Get ready for a fun read with this great addition to the comic series!

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Book Review - Happy Birthday Peppa Pig

Happy Birthday Peppa Pig



About the Book

Peppa celebrates her birthday in this adorable board book! Based on the hit TV show.

It's Peppa Pig's birthday!

Peppa invites her friends to a very special birthday party, complete with a magic show by The Amazing Mysterio -- also known as Daddy Pig. Find out what birthday surprises are in store for Peppa! This is the board book edition of the book, with a special gifting nameplate inside (no pullout card included).

Based on the hit TV show on Nick Jr.!



My Take on the Book
My niece loves Peppa Pig and in reading this book I have to say that she loved the magic that was a part of the birthday party. The book has some definite surprises held within the book and it was fun to see my niece's reaction as we read this together.

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Book Review - Ranger in Time: Night of Soldiers and Spies




About the Book
Ranger's next mission finds him in the middle of the Revolutionary War. There he meets Isaac Pope, a fisherman turned soldier for the Continental Army. When General George Washington is in need of a spy to cross into enemy territory, Isaac is chosen for the dangerous task. Ranger must help Isaac remain safe and undetected, or the battle -- and their lives -- will be lost.



My Take on the Book
This is a fun series that brings you as a reader back in time. The book is fun and really brings you back in time to see history in a whole new way. These were quick reads but they were also a ton of fun. The book itself allows you to see the Revolutionary War in a new way and through the eyes of people that you would not normally see history through. This was a great book to read with the your kids!

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Book Review - Aru Shah and the Song of Death

Aru Shah and the Song of Death



About the Book

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents best-selling author Roshani Chokshi and her sequel to Aru Shah and the End of Time. Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love's bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn't playing Cupid. Instead, they're turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren't bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn't find the arrow by the next full moon, she'll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won't be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they'll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn't at all who they expected.



My Take on the Book
I have loved the reading a past Aru Shah book in the past and this book was just as powerful and exciting as the other one that I have read. The book is full of amazing characters and it is non-stop action from beginning to end. As I started reading this I found that I could not put the book down. I continued to want to know what was coming next and you will too. I love the incorporation of God's and people that you can relate to. This book really shows the world in Chaos with people missing and a hunt for the thief of the God of Love's Bow. The book has adventure, but even more, the book is full of humor which makes the book even more compelling.

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Book Review - Arthur's Off to School

Arthur's Off to School



About the Book

Arthur and his friends are getting ready for school! Get a sneak peek at every character's morning routine, from Francine preparing for recess to the Brain searching for his lost lizard. D.W. wishes she could join in the fun, but she's still too young for school. Can she find her own way to help Arthur get ready?

Part of an exciting new seasonal 8x8 Arthur publishing re-release with Scholastic, sure to engage and delight a whole new generation of Arthur fans!




My Take on the Book
My kids have always loved Arthur books and this was a great throwback to the many stories we read over the many years. This was a great story that lets you see the routine of Arthur and his family as they get read for school. You also will love to see all of Arthur's friends. This was a fun story for the whole family!


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Book Review - Peppa Pig: Peppa in Space

Peppa Pig: Peppa in Space



About the Book

Peppa Pig visits the museum with her family and learns all about outer space in this adorable 8x8 with glitter all over the cover! Based on the hit TV show, as seen on Nick Jr.

Get ready for a Peppa Pig story that's out of this world!

Peppa, George, Mummy Pig, and Daddy Pig visit the museum to learn about outer space. They take a pretend trip through the planets, all the way to the moon!

With silver glitter on the cover, this paperback storybook is sure to grab the attention of Peppa fans and their parents!



My Take on the Book
Another great Peppa Pig story that is a bit out of this world. This book will allow young readers to get to know more about outer space. This is a short, but fun story to read with your kids!

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Book Review - Mary Blair's Unique Flair: The Girl Who Became One of the Disney Legends

Mary Blair's Unique Flair: The Girl Who Became One of the Disney Legends



About the Book

Young Mary Browne Robinson loved color, even her name had a color in it. All she wanted to do was to make art. But becoming an artist wasn't an easy. Her parents worked hard to provide her paper and paints, and Mary worked hard to enter contests and earn a spot at a school for the arts. She even had to work hard to find her place at the Walt Disney Studios. But Walt was easily impressed by Mary Blair. When she joined his trip to South America, Mary had never seen such color. She collected that color and used it in her concept art for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan, and even the It's a Small World attraction at Disneyland. This beautifully illustrated picture book shares Mary's story, in all its inspiring flair.



My Take on the Book
What an amazing women whose work you saw in so many early Walt Disney movies. Her sense of color and style really allowed the movies to thrive even today. The book is full of vibrant pictures that show her work as well as a great story that makes you both applaud and wonder what will come next. If you have a daughter this is a book that you will want to read with her.

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Book Review - Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls' Guide to Disney Animation

Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls' Guide to Disney Animation



About the Book
Based on Mindy Johnson's critically acclaimed Disney Editions title, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation, this nonfiction picture book is a fun and inspiring look at many of the amazing women who have worked at Disney Animation over the years-from Story Artists, to Animators to Inkers and Painters, all with unique personalities and accomplishments, such as becoming a record-holding pilot, or designing Hollywood monsters, or creating an international club for tall people!




My Take on the Book
What an inspirational book for young women to read. As a fan of Disney I knew of this division of the early Walt Disney company. I had heard of some of these women, but this book brings out the stories of these remarkable women in so many new ways. I am SO impressed at all they accomplished and to be honest I am very happy to have had the chance at reading this book with my youngest daughter. By the end of the book we had a great conversation about perseverance and how things were different when these women were in the company and how things have changed (for the better) for women in Disney today!

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Book Review - Dear Justice League

Dear Justice League



About the Book

Hello! Justice League here. Ask us anything!

Does Superman ever make mistakes? Does Wonder Woman have to listen to her parents? Does Aquaman smell like fish?

The greatest heroes in the DC Comics Universe, the Justice League, answer mail from their biggest fans--kids!

From New York Times bestselling author of TombQuest, Michael Northrop, comes a new middle grade graphic novel series where iconic heroes are asked questions both big and small, and when they're not busy saving the world the Justice League even finds time to respond. Their honest and humorous answers will surprise and delight readers of any age, as it turns out that being a superhero is not too different from being a kid.

Full of feats, follies, and colorful illustrations by Gustavo Duarte, Dear Justice League gives readers the inside scoop into everyday heroics, no matter who wears the cape!



My Take on the Book
This was a great graphic novel that allows you to see that even Super Heroes have challenges and are human in their responses. This book allows the reader to imagine themselves writing a letter to a superhero and getting a response and seeing how the superhero responds is only part of the fun. The different stories throughout the book tie in well together and in the end you get to see superheroes in a whole new way!


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