Dad of Divas' Reviews: May 2019

Friday, May 31, 2019

Book Review - Shake it Off: A Wish Novel

Shake it Off: A Wish Novel



About the Book
Sweet treats and friendship mix-ups abound in this story about cousins, first crushes, and finding your place.

Bria Muller is stuck on her aunt and uncle's dairy farm for the summer, and she is not happy about it. Milking cows alongside her cousins Wren and Luke? No thanks.

The one thing she's good at is mixing up milk shakes in the creamery. Instead of their usual vanilla, she starts crafting towering, over-the-top shakes like the ones she loved sipping back home in Chicago. Wren, and most of the customers, aren't impressed. Everyone seems to think Bria is just a snobby city girl.

There is one person who appreciates the sweet, cold treats: Gabe, her cousins' cute friend who helps out on the farm. But with the family business in danger of being sold, can Bria's shakes make a difference . . . and will she ever fit into country life?




My Take on the Book
This is a great middle school aged novel that brings together topics of fitting in and finding your place. Bria is a fun character that you will enjoy seeing grow and learn, not only about herself, but about life, love and friendship. The book was a fun read that you will want to keep reading as you wait to find out what happens next with Bria and others in the book!

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Book Review - Potty All-Stars

Potty All-Stars



About the Book

Ross Burach expands his board book footprint and creates an upbeat new addition to the evergreen toilet training canon.

Get out of diapers and into the game. This upbeat basketball-themed potty romp is a slam dunk!

My whole life, I've been stuck on the bench in diapers. It's time for a change. No more diapers for me. I'm ready for the big leagues!

But toilet training can be hard, and sometimes it's tough to make the shot. Fortunately, Coach and fans are there to cheer... until at last... score! Ross's energetic illustrations and clever, reassuring story will help kids gain confidence and embrace their potential to become potty all-stars!



My Take on the Book
This was a great book for the family going through potty training. The book uses a basketball idea to have kids get into the game per se when it comes to getting out of diapers. This is definitely a book that will motivate your toddler and through a fun cadence the book makes it fun to use the potty and celebrate success!


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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Book Review - Escape from the Isle of the Lost

Escape from the Isle of the Lost



About the Book
Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos may have once been the baddest of the bad, but their wicked ways are (mostly) behind them—and now graduation is almost here! But before the seniors can don their custom-designed caps and gowns, courtesy of Evie, they've got an epic plan to put into action. There are tons of villain kids on the Isle of the Lost who are eager for their chance to come to Auradon Prep—even Celia, Dr. Facilier's trickster daughter, wants in on the deal!—and Mal's crew is using their upcoming visit to the Isle to help make it happen. But Auradon's biggest threat is still at large… Trapped on the other side of the barrier, Uma is more desperate than ever to get her long-awaited revenge against Mal. When she discovers an underground lair belonging to Hades, god of the underworld, Uma realizes she's found the perfect partner in crime. Together, they can defeat Mal, bring down the barrier, and escape the Isle for good. Mal and Uma have a score to settle, and they'll come face to face in an explosive underwater battle that could determine the fates of Auradon and the Isle of the Lost once and for all.


 
My Take on the Book
This was a great addition to the books that came before. The book brings in humor and adventure and was a ton of fun with characters that you know and love and even some new ones too. If you are a huge Disney fan this will bring you back into the world of the Isle of the Lost again and in front of amazing characters that will make you want to read more and more with every page. This was a great book!

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Book Review - Little Things

Little Things



About the Book
A child notices everyday small thingsfrom footprints to flowers, from berries to birds. And what may seem like a small act to one, may be a lifesaving act to another -- proving that even the littlest things in the world may have the biggest impact.



My Take on the Book
This is a beautiful book that really allows you to see that the things that you do, though small make a huge ripple effect. The book really encourages you to do small things to change the world in ways that you may not even know.


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Book Review - Press Start! Robo-Rabbit Boy, Go!: A Branches Book

Press Start! Robo-Rabbit Boy, Go!: A Branches Book



About the Book
Uh-oh, Super Rabbit Boy is in big trouble. He's been kidnapped by Queen Spooky and her ghost troop! Without Super Rabbit Boy, Animal Town is scared. So meanie King Viking creates Robo-Rabbit Boy to help. Robo-Rabbit Boy is fast like Super Rabbit Boy and strong like Super Rabbit Boy, but is he a hero like Super Rabbit Boy? This latest Press Start! adventure is fully charged!

With full-color art by Thomas Flintham!



My Take on the Book
This is a great book with fun characters. It is an early reader so easy to read for the early reader.  The characters are fun and the story is something that stays with you even past when you read it for the first time. This was a great book!


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Book Review - My Life in Smiley: Save Me!

My Life in Smiley: Save Me!



About the Book

Max is off to summer camp and ready to fill his journal with hilarious middle-school wisdom in this third installment of the My Life in Smiley series that is illustrated with the internationally recognized emoticons of the SmileyWorld brand.

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

Max is in trouble, SOS trouble, he's a prisoner in the middle of nowhere. His journal is the conclusive evidence that the next two weeks at summer camp are going to be absolutely miserable . . . or not! His parents signed him up to give him some “independence,” but all it’s given him so far is bug bites! It's super hot, he's got no video games, no salt and vinegar chips, and—worst of all—no friends. He even has to pretend to have fun and participate in activities! But despite all that, his roomies are cool, this girl Clara is kinda pretty, and he found a mysterious diary. . . .



My Take on the Book
This is a great 3rd installment in the book series. My daughter loves this series and she is always excited when a new book comes out. Like the other books in this series you will find that you have to read to the end to see how summer camp goes. The book is a ton of fun with fun characters that will bring a smile to your face throughout the entire book. 

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Book Review - The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid

The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid



About the Book
Warning! Unless you have express permission from young Russell Weinwright to access his personal journal, do not read any further. This blurb is strictly off-limits! Seriously, we mean it.

Okay, if you are still with us, here is what we can share: Russell is a middle schooler; he excessively doodles in his spiral notebook; he has two best friends, Charlotte and Preston; he is not-so-great at sports; and he is pond scum. Nicknamed "Swamp Kid" by his classmates, Russell has algae for hair, a tree trunk of a right arm, webbed toes, and a parsnip for a thumb. Also, Russell's favorite meal is sunlight. Also, a frog lives in his arm.

In this notebook, Russell details, in both hilarious text and green-tinted illustrations (complete with ketchup stains!), what it's like to be different, to be comfortable in his own skin (no matter how slimy), to discover his true talents, to avoid the intense stare of Mr. Finneca (his suspicious science teacher), and to find humor in the everyday weird.

This is The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid by writer and illustrator Kirk Scroggs, and you'll never look at the bayou the same way again.




My Take on the Book
This was a fun book that looks at a fun character that definitely does not always get things right but he is a very fun characters that, while flawed at times, he is also lovable and one that draws you in from beginning to end. One of the things that I loved about this book was that it really allows any reader to see a character that it's ok to be different and that what is important is to make sure that you find your true gifts to allow you to be who you are.


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Book Review - Battle Royale: An Unofficial Fortnite Adventure

Battle Royale: An Unofficial Fortnite Adventure


About the Book

Take the Fortnite frenzy off the screen with this illustrated novel inspired by the wildly popular video game.

Paul’s a normal teenager: he likes sports, junk food, and action movies—he even wants to be in one someday. But what seems like Paul’s big break, his very first acting role, quickly takes a turn for the worse. One minute he’s on a festive bus heading for a new life of stardom, and the next, he’s hurtling toward the ground and certain death. Though saved at the last minute by an unexplained parachute, things don’t get any easier when Paul lands: he’s lost on an unknown island, he’s unable to speak, and every time he sees someone else, he hears strange noises and then blacks out . . . before falling from the sky again. But when a girl inexplicably saves him (and spray paints him) instead of attacking, Paul starts to learn the survival basics. Bit by bit, he must explore his surroundings, build structures, evade violent storms, unlock the mysteries of his strange island prison, and maybe—just maybe—find a way out.




My Take on the Book
If you are a fan of Fortnite then you will love this book as well. The book has a ton of great characters that will draw you into the book from beginning to end. As you go though this book, just like in the game, Paul will explore the world that he finds himself within. The book was a ton of fun to read and you really feel a part of the environment within the story itself!

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Book Review - Sink or Swim

Sink or Swim



About the Book
It's been a month since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. America is officially at war with Germany and Japan, and everyone wants to do their part. In twelve-year-old Colton's case, that means stepping up at home once his older brother, Danny, ships out with the navy. But before Danny leaves for boot camp, the brothers are fishing on the Atlantic Ocean when Danny's boat is capsized by a Nazi U-boat, nearly killing him.

When more U-boats start attacking the next day, Colton realizes just how close the enemy is to American shores. With Danny's life in the balance, Colton does the only thing he can think of to help his family and his country: He steals his brother's enlisting papers and joins up instead.

Colton's bold decision leads to a deadly journey. Even if he can keep his age a secret and survive boot camp, he'll have to face Hitler's ruthless submarines. But the longer he's on the seas, the less sure Colton is that he and his shipmates can stop such a relentless enemy . . .



My Take on the Book
This book is full of drama and adventure. The story is a strong one that really grips you from beginning to end. You will love the story of Colton Graham and his brother Danny. You will find the story compelling and you will love to find that this book is actually based on a true story. It was an amazing journey that not many brothers would take. The book really shows you how much of a hero that Colton becomes and the awards that he even receives from what he does in the war.


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Book Review - Unicorn and Yeti: A Good Team

Unicorn and Yeti: A Good Team



About the Book

Magical friends Unicorn and Yeti love to play games.

Yeti is good at kicking the ball.
Unicorn cannot kick the ball.

Unicorn is good at running races.
Yeti cannot run fast.

Unicorn and Yeti play ring toss, run a race, and go ice skating. These laugh-out-loud stories with full-color artwork and easy-to-read text throughout are perfect for new readers!



My Take on the Book
What a fun short book that shows a how great of a team these two characters are but also how good of friends they are as well. It was fun seeing these two characters working together and you will love the activities that they get into as well!

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Book Review - The Pepper Party Family Feud Face-Off

The Pepper Party Family Feud Face-Off



About the Book

Meet the Peppers.
Funny runs in the family.

Maria Pepper wants to win her school's mascot competition. But her tryout goes terribly! Her always-embarrassing family manages to humiliate her for the millionth time. So Maria decides enough is enough. The Pepper Party is about to get one person smaller!



My Take on the Book
We loved reading this book. It was a great addition to the other book that we read with this great family of characters. The family is so funny and definitely one that I would love to read more about in the future. The book is so funny and off the wall, but overall the book is something that you will love to read and to share with your kids!


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Book Review - Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu



About the Book
Get ready to go on an adventure with Detective Pikachu! The official story of the movie.

On the neon streets of Ryme City, people live in harmony alongside Pokemon: a diverse ecosystem of mysterious and colourful creatures that form a close bond with their human partners. When Tim Goodman's father disappears under suspicious circumstances, he sets out to find him by partnering with a Pokemon like no other: Detective Pikachu, an adorable super-sleuth. 

But this unlikely pair soon stumble upon a larger mystery: why are so many Pokemon missing ... and who is behind their disappearance?

Read the story of the smash-hit movie, starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith.



My Take on the Book
This was a book that really walked you through the Pokemon movie. The book gives you great insight into what to expect when you go and see the movie. We read this before seeing the movie and I will say that it was true to the overall concept of the movie as a whole.


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Book Review - Eerie Elementary: The End of Orson Eerie?

Eerie Elementary: The End of Orson Eerie?



About the Book

Eerie Elementary is hosting a haunted house for the town's Eerie Day celebration! But mad scientist Orson Eerie has his own plans for this creepy holiday. Pumpkins attack and Sam gets trapped in a hayride maze! Can the hall monitors find a way to save their school and the rest of the town? Will they finally defeat this mad scientist FOR GOOD?



My Take on the Book
Another great addition to the series of books! My daughter loves reading these books to see what strange things will happen next. In this book you definitely see some crazy things, but in the end the book is so much fun to read. One of the things that we loved was the mad scientist. Such a great character!!

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Book Review - Pokémon: Battle with the Ultra Beast

Pokémon: Battle with the Ultra Beast



About the Book
Kids who love Pokémon won't want to miss this cool comic compilation! This 128-page, full-color graphic novel includes two stories jam-packed with adventure and Pokémon battles.

First, Ash is determined to help his friend's mom who has been taken by a mysterious Ultra Beast through an Ultra Wormhole! But when he finally reaches her, only a Z-move can get her back. Is Ash up for the challenge?

Then, Ash takes on his first assignment as an Ultra Guardian on an action-packed Ultra mission!

With tons of art on every page from the animated show airing on Disney XD, this comic book is the perfect new format for Pokémon fans.


My Take on the Book
For anyone that is a fan of Pokemon this is a great book that is short but has some great characters and a great plot as well. If you have loved Pokemon in the past this book was a fun read that you will want to read this well!

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Book Review - Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World

Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World



About the Book

This powerful collection of favorite movie moments is readers' gateway to the most empowering witches of our age!

For all the girls as clever as Hermione Granger, as dedicated as Tina Goldstein, and as fierce as Minerva McGonagall, this incredible compendium is packed with the stories of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts' extraordinary heroines! Besides the series' best-known characters, get to know the female mentors, founders, rule-breakers, and -- yes, even villains like Bellatrix Lestrange and Vinda Rosier -- who made the wizarding world what it is today.

Complete with gorgeous, full-color illustrations and photography from iconic movie moments on every spread, fans will love this colorful romp with the most empowering witches of our age. Explore the many ways these women built, enriched, and saved the wizarding world, and get inspired by their stories in this compelling handbook--a must-have for fans!



My Take on the Book
For any Harry Potter fan, this is a book that examines all of the heroines within the Harry Potter series. The book itself was a fun read that really went into depth into women that you have come to love in reading this series. The book itself was a great read that allows you to remember things you might have forgotten but also allows you to know even more about these characters as well!

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Book Review - The High School Survival Guide

The High School Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Studying, Socializing & Succeeding



About the Book

We’re all told to study hard in high school but none of us are ever taught HOW to study, let alone how to balance the increasing workload and demands of teenage life.So many students feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of starting high school because they think it means they are going to be given so much homework they will feel like they’re drowning. They feel a huge pressure to succeed, that they neglect other areas of their lives, which makes life more stressful and their grades actually suffer! But what if I told you that you don’t have to fall into this trap? That you can LOVE high school, form amazing friendships, grow your confidence, excel academically, feel proud of your achievements and at the same time, feel 100% supported! You don’t have to sacrifice your life to get through high school and I am going to show you step-by-step exactly how to do it and become your most organised, productive, motivated and confident self! My grandmother, who is full of wisdom but also fiery like the Mediterranean blood coursing through her veins, shared something with me that I always keep in mind, especially as I wrote this book. One day, when I was feeling overwhelmed, she ask me, “Jessica, how do you eat an elephant?” Then she answered, “One bite at a time.”

This is exactly what I do in The High School Survival Guide. I help you focus on each area of your life one step (or bite) at a time, from setting up the ideal study space, organising your study schedule and strategically revising for exams, to building your confidence, tackling study-stress and anxiety, avoiding burnout, and setting effective goals!
This book is for you if:

Whether you want to improve your grades, stress less, get organised, re-gain your confidence, or boost your motivation and productivity, The High School Survival Guide will teach you how to get the MOST out of your high school experience.

Inside, you'll learn:
  • How to identify which study techniques work best for YOU
  • How to increase your productivity
  • How to improve your focus during class
  • How to avoid burnout and manage study related stress and anxiety
  • How to throw the ultimate study party and make revising fun!

It’s also filled with study tips and tricks, mini summaries and helpful exercises to put your new skills into practice!



My Take on the Book
As someone that has a student going into high school I was very interested in getting this for her so she could be ready for everything that was coming ahead. The book itself was a great read and every section had a ton of actionable tips from the examples that the author continues to share from chapter to chapter. The book was an easy read and definitely is one that I know my daughter will refer back to after reading it the first time.


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Book Review - The Art of Toy Story 4

The Art of Toy Story 4



About the Book
With a story that's spanned more than 20 years, the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the gang have captured the hearts of millions. The Art of Toy Story 4 invites readers to explore the next installment of Pixar's beloved franchise through never-before-seen concept art, character studies, process animation, storyboards, colorscripts, and more. Featuring exclusive interviews with the production team on the making of the film and insights into their creative vision, The Art of Toy Story 4 reveals the vivid imagination that brought this story to life.



My Take on the Book
If you are a Disney / Pixar Fan, then you probably are as excited as I am to see the new Toy Story 4 that is coming out soon. This book is beautifully made, and really explores the art of Toy Story 4. As someone that has been to Pixar Studios, I have a true love of the work that goes into creating these films. I know that it is a painstaking process that takes many years. This book gives you an inside look at the making of the film, and the different stages that the artists go through to develop the characters, the plot, and more to create an amazing film in the end.

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