Dad of Divas' Reviews: March 2020

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Book Review - Anti/Hero

Anti/Hero



About the Book
Piper Pájaro and Sloane MacBrute are two 13-year-old girls with very different lives but very similar secrets. Popular, outgoing Piper is strong. Like, ripping-the-doors-off-cards strong. She longs to be a superhero, even if she tends to leave massive messes in her wake. Snarky Sloane, on the other hand, is super smart. Like, evil-genius-smart. To help her family, she has to put those smarts to use for her villainous grandfather.

When a mission to steal an experimental technological device brings the two girls face to face with each other, the device sparks, and the two girls switch bodies! Now they must live in each other's shoes as they figure out a way to switch back.

Anti/Hero is a story that explores what makes a hero, how one can find friendship where it's unexpected, and what it means to walk in another person's shoes...literally!

Authors Kate Karyus Quinn (Another Little Piece, The Show Must Go On) and Demitria Lunetta (The Fade, Bad Blood) make their graphic novel and middle grade debut alongside artist Maca Gil to introduce two new and exciting characters to DC Comics!



My Take on the Book
Not only was the art in this book amazing, but the story was even better. You get a story that brings together unlikely friends that have to work together to be able to regain their lives. The story is string and the book allows you to see the growth in each of the characters which is also a ton of fun too. This is definitely a story that I would recommend to all that love superheroes, but also stories that have action, drama, great art and more!

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Friday, March 13, 2020

Book Review - Undersea Mystery Club: Problem at the Playground

Undersea Mystery Club: Problem at the Playground



About the Book
Dive into adventure with Violet the mermaid and Wally the narwhal as they solve the mystery of the disappearing playground! From Epic! Originals, Undersea Mystery Club is a fun, inspiring series about curious friends who work together to uncover the truth—learning lots along the way!

It’s an exciting day in Aquamarina! The entire community has gathered for the opening of a new playground. But when the equipment falls apart because some of the pieces have vanished, it’s up to a mermaid named Violet and her best friend, Wally the narwhal, to solve the mystery of what happened.

After the adventure, explore fun facts about ocean science and civil engineering included at the back of the book!


My Take on the Book
What a fun book about a group of friends that have a memorable adventure together. The book has a great plot and story along with characters that you will come to love as you get further into the book. The mystery is strong and definitely one that is great for younger readers. This would be a great book for parent and child to read together!


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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Book Review - My Video Game Ate My Homework

My Video Game Ate My Homework


About the Book
Meet Dewey Jenkins, a 13-year old school kid who's about to fail science class. Follow Dewey on an amazing adventure that leads him and his friends to a virtual world where they will have to overcome all sorts of digital creatures and solve a number of puzzles in order to get home.

MY VIDEO GAME ATE MY HOMEWORK is a funny, fast-paced adventure that shows the importance of cooperation and teamwork and the importance of using your own unique abilities to solve problems. It's illustrated in Hansen's light-hearted, cartoony style, and filled with lots of sight gags and nods to videogaming conventions.

DUSTIN HANSEN spent years directing and creating video games before becoming a writer and illustrator. His published works include the MICROSAURS illustrated chapter book series and his fan-favorite GAME ON! VIDEO GAME HISTORY FROM PONG AND PAC-MAN TO MARIO, MINECRAFT, AND MORE.



My Take on the Book
This was a super fun book with amazing illustrations throughout that allows you to go on a very fun adventure with a very unique character. My daughter loves video games and this book really allows any gamer to live vicariously through the main character Dewey. In this world Dewey is able to enter the digital world to battle digital creatures and solve amazing puzzles to be able to go home. Will he make it home or not, you will have to read to find out. This is such a fun book for all!

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Book Review - Disney Before the Story: Elsa's Icy Rescue

Disney Before the Story: Elsa's Icy Rescue



About the Book

Before Elsa was queen . . . she was a girl with magic!

Elsa cannot wait to spend time at her family's summer home and test her icy powers. But after a series of magical mishaps, Elsa begins to wonder if she has what it takes to one day become queen of Arendelle, or if her powers might be a curse after all. . . .



My Take on the Book
For any Frozen fan, you will love this new story that shares some of the life that Elsa when she was young. This book is a great glimpse into her as a girl and it shares some of the relationship between her, her sister and you even get to go on an adventure with her and her family. The book is written in chapters, but it is a short story too and by the end the story concludes, but it leaves it wide open for books to come in the future. This was a great story to either read with your kids or even to let your kids read themselves.

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Book Review - Disney Before the Story: Anna Finds a Friend

Disney Before the Story: Anna Finds a Friend



About the Book

Before Anna saved Arendelle . . . she was a girl looking for a friend!

Anna feels lonelier than ever when her parents go off on a trip without her. She imagines another girl her own age, Astrid, and sends her a letter. To her surprise, Astrid writes back! But as the two become friends, Anna begins to wonder if Astrid is closer than she first thought. . . .



My Take on the Book
For any Frozen fan, you will love this new story that shares some of the life that Anna when she was young. This book is a great glimpse into her as a girl and it shares some of the relationship between her, staff of the castle and even with Elsa. The book is written in chapters, but it is a short short too and by the end the story concludes, but it leaves it wide open for books to come in the future. This was a great story to either read with your kids or even to let your kids read themselves.

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Book Review - Baloney and Friends

Baloney and Friends



About the Book

Meet Baloney! This book is about him. And also Peanut the horse, his best friend. There's Bizz the bumblebee, too, of course. And Krabbit. He'd rather not be here, but what can you do?

In this graphic novel for young readers, watch our pig protagonist perform some questionable magic, cheer him on as he braves the swimming pool, and root for Baloney and his friends when a case of the blues gets him down.

Brought to you by Geisel Medalist Greg Pizzoli, these delightful tales will get kids giggling in no time!



My Take on the Book
This is a fun book that incorporates a fun group of friends but also fun situations that bring the characters together but also allows them to have fun together in so many ways. The book was a fun read for my daughters and I. We loved reading this and we loved the characters too. I have been a big fan of the author for a long time and this book continues my love of the author as well.

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Book Review - Win Every Day: Proven Practices for Extraordinary Results

Win Every Day: Proven Practices for Extraordinary Results



About the Book

Great ideas don't matter if you can't execute--bestselling leadership expert Mark Miller offers a proven, research-based method for creating workplaces where everyone performs at the highest level.

All high performance organizations have one thing in common: execution. The men and women who work there sustain performance at seemingly otherworldly levels of precision, accuracy, and consistency. In the fifth and final book of Mark Miller's High Performance series, he uses his trademark business fable format to show how any organization can cultivate the kind of everyday habits that yield extraordinary results.

Miller tells the story of Blake Brown, a CEO who learns how to help his team to consistently excel at execution from a perhaps unlikely source: his son's high school football coach. The story is fictional, but the principles and practices are very real, derived from years of research led by a team from Stanford University. Miller and his team interviewed leaders and employees from numerous world-class organizations, including the Navy SEALS, Starbucks, Apple, Southwest Airlines, the Seattle Seahawks, Mayo Clinic, Cirque du Soleil, and more. The lessons learned were then field-tested with over seventy businesses employing over 7,000 people. Miller gives you proven tools to release the untapped potential in your people, create a strong competitive advantage, and win not just on game day but every day.



My Take on the Book
This book really shares so many amazing leadership principles. The book shares so many things that you will find are practical and things you can put into practice right away. As someone that loves learning more about leadership, Mark Miller is one of the experts for whom I have gained so much over the years. This book is so down to earth with principles that just make sense. The step by step approach is one that all will be able to follow. This is a book that will truly allow you to create a clear path to move forward in your own leadership and creating a culture in your own organization to find excellence into the future.


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Book Review - Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change: How to Understand and Respond to Climate Science Deniers

Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change: How to Understand and Respond to Climate Science Deniers



About the Book
It’s Not Just the Facts

When it comes to climate change, this truly is a golden age—of fake news, post-truths, pluralistic ignorance, conspiracy theories, a willfully ignorant administration, and the Cranky Uncle. You know him. We all have one. That exasperating Thanksgiving blusterer digs in his heels even as the foundation of his denial thaws faster than the Arctic ice caps.

Written and illustrated by Dr. John Cook, cognitive psychologist and founder of the award-winning website Skeptical Science, Cranky Uncle combines humor and science to make clear, calm, and winnable arguments in the public controversy of climate change. Can we change our Cranky Uncle’s mind? Probably, regrettably, not. But Dr. Cook makes it easier for us to understand him. And armed with this knowledge, prevent climate misinformation from spreading further.




My Take on the Book
If you are concerned about climate change, this is a great book that kids will understand and it is written from an expert on climate change too. This book is written in a way that is written on a kids' level and even though the author is an expert he is able to articulate things so well that all can understand the important parts. This was a great book for all to read.

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Book Review - Once Upon a Fairy Tale: The Stolen Slipper

Once Upon a Fairy Tale: The Stolen Slipper



About the Book
Kara and Zed are ready for a new adventure! When Prince Charming loses the girl and the glass slipper, Kara knows this is her chance to find the shoe, foil an evil plot, and save the day. But will Kara and Zed fix the prince's happily ever after, or wind up thrown in a dungeon? Macky Pamintuan's illustrations are on every page, welcoming readers into the adorably silly world of the Once Upon a Fairy Tale series.



My Take on the Book
This is a great book with a fun mystery attached to it. Kara and Zed have to find the missing glass slipper and have to go on a journey to find it for the prince. There are some twists and turns but in the end she is able to figure it out to allow the prince to get some closure and to find the slipper. The book was a fun (quick) read and while it had a connection to a fairy tale, the story itself was very unique and fun. The characters were fun as well and the plot keeps you engaged from beginning to end. A great young reader for anyone that loves mysteries or fairy tales.

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Book Review - Griffith's Guide for Dragon Masters

Griffith's Guide for Dragon Masters



About the Book

Calling all Dragon Masters! Own the official Dragon Masters guide -- featuring full-color artwork on every page!

Kids love reading all about the Dragon Masters' adventures in Tracey West's bestselling Dragon Masters early chapter book series. Now fans can own the official dragon guide. This 144-page, full-color special edition features maps, information about Dragon Masters and their dragons, notes from wizards, the history of Dragon Masters, and more! This book has everything a future Dragon Master could need to know!



My Take on the Book
This was a great book for anyone that loves the Dragon Master series of books. The book is full of amazing images that that provide some of the backstory to the series. It is geared toward young readers to allow them to appreciate all that the Dragon Series is. You learn a lot about dragons and their masters and if you have read the series it is a great reminder to the books and if you have not, it is a great primer for the books.

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Book Review - The Unmapped Chronicles: Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings

The Unmapped Chronicles: Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings



About the Book
From bestselling author Abi Elphinstone comes a wondrous new series about four secret unmapped kingdoms hidden in our own world!

 Casper Tock hates risks and is allergic to adventures. So it comes as a nasty shock to him one day when he hides from bullies in an ancient grandfather clock—and ends up finding an entire world inside.

Casper discovers that this sky kingdom of Rumblestar is one of the four Unmapped Kingdoms in charge of controlling the weather in Casper’s own world. What’s more, Casper is now stuck in Rumblestar, and the only person there who doesn’t think he’s a demon spy is a strange girl named Utterly, who hates rules and is allergic to behaving.

All Casper wants is to find his way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy called Morg is trying to steal the magic of the Unmapped Kingdoms. And if these kingdoms fall, Casper’s world will be destroyed as well.

And so, together with Utterly and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks on a quest full of cloud giants, storm ogres, and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly, and Arlo—the unlikeliest of heroes—save both their worlds from the clutches of Morg?



My Take on the Book
As you read this book you will get transported from beginning to end into a whole new world. I had never read anything from this author in the past but I can honestly say that it was an amazing read full of rich description, detailed characters and amazing adventure from beginning to end. This was the type of book that really engaged me from beginning to end. As you go through this book you will continue to want to find more ways to the Unmapped Kingdoms. That being said we do hope that we will see more from this author in the future!


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Book Review - Frostfire

Frostfire



About the Book

Chosen as one of hundreds to journey to the top of the glacier in their village, Sabira will embark on a dangerous pilgrimage that will guarantee her a life of importance, but only if she can survive.

On Choosing Day, children of Adranna who reach the age of fourteen are finally eligible to undergo the tests to determine if they are worthy of bonding a Frostsliver. Only one in a hundred are destined to succeed. If chosen, they will have to climb to the top of the glacier and cut a piece off for themselves, so that they may be granted the powers they've always dreamed of.

When Sabira is chosen, an entire world of possibilities opens up to her. But in order to see it through, she'll have to embark on a dangerous pilgrimage to the top of the glacier. When a huge avalanche traps her on the glacier and destroys the pass, she must face up to the merciless mountain -- but there are dark and fiery secrets hiding in its depths...



My Take on the Book
My daughter and I read this and we can say that this was very well written. The characters are well developed and the plot moves well. The book combines adventure, magic, powers as well as dealing with the emotions and drama of having to go on a treacherous journey, especially after the main characters' brother had disappeared in the journey that she was chosen to go on. There are definitely challenges to overcome and conflicts between characters, but overall the book was a great one that kept my daughter and I engaged from beginning to end! By the end of the book we felt that we truly wanted to see these characters in a sequel in the future!



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Book Review - Mulan Live Action Novelization

Mulan Live Action Novelization



About the Book
A thrilling novelization that will take readers back inside the world of the upcoming Walt Disney Studios' live action Mulan film to relive the adventures with their favorite characters, old and new.



My Take on the Book
This was a great adaptation of the upcoming Mulan movie! If you were not excited to see the movie before reading this I think you will be once you do.

While many have seen the animated Mulan, I know I, for one, am excited to see the new live-action film. This book sets out the plot, characters and more as it allows you to visualize the world Mulan lives in and the circumstances that Mulan finds herself in that makes her take the action she does to bring honor to her family and her country.

The author does a great job of capturing the story but also uses humor, as well as action to draw the reader in and hold them from beginning to end. One thing that is different in the new live-action movie is that Mushu is not in this film. However, there is a bird that seems to represent the family's Phoenix and there is an interesting interplay in Mulan's mind that seems to get at the relationship between Mushu and Mulan in the first film.

Overall, this is a novelization that tells a story of the upcoming movie and for both my girls and I after reading this, we were definitely more excited to see the upcoming film!

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Book Review - A Place for Mulan

A Place for Mulan



About the Book
A stylized picture book that will tell an all-new, original story based on the world and characters of the upcoming Walt Disney Studios' live action Mulan film.


My Take on the Book
This book is perfect your young readers and lets you really appreciate Mulan in a new way and helps young kids to understand Mulan and what she has to do to find her place in the world. The illustrations are fun, and with every page you are drawn further into the story itself. One of the things that I loved about the story was that it really shows that you do not have to conform to be yourself and that at times it takes a little bit of time to find out who you are and what place you have in the world.
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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Book Review - Mulan: Loyal. Brave. True.

Mulan: Loyal. Brave. True.



About the Book
An action-filled retelling that invites readers to experience the heroic journey of Walt Disney Studio's new live action film, Mulan. Including stunning unit photography and a special poster, this title is perfect for young Mulan fans.



My Take on the Book
This was a great Mulan book for young readers! The book really brings to life the movie and makes you even more excited to see the movie itself. The book walks you through the story of the movie and prepares you for the live action that is to come. You even get an amazing poster as a part of the book too. After reading this you will be even more excited to see the movie!

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Book Review - Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime

Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime



About the Book
Gotham City is filled with stories--of heroes and of villains, of police and criminals, of families both lost and found. But the enchanted short stories in BATMAN TALES are brought to life with a classic fairy-tale twist that will fill you with wonder.

Once upon a crime in Gotham...

Damian Wayne dreams of becoming a real boy wonder--as long as he can avoid telling lies and making his nose grow.

Batman's butler takes an unexpected trip through the looking glass and finds himself in a topsy-turvy world, for Alfred's in Wonderland!

Gotham City Police Department detectives interrogate Gotham's most dangerous criminals looking for the princess who stole the pea.

And Batman meets a snow queen who leads him on a dangerous quest.

Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen, the creative team behind LI'L GOTHAM, return to their Bat-roots--this time with a fairy-tale flair!



My Take on the Book
This was a super fun book that not only had great illustrations but also amazing stories throughout the book. The book itself was short, but you get sucked into the book from beginning to end. The characters were solid and strong and if you are a Batman fan you will love this book and the stories that are within the books. The book is fun, action-packed and memorable. As a comic fan myself, I loved the book and would highly recommend this to all!

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Book Review - Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things



About the Book

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, Revised Edition is a valuable resource for transforming ordinary objects into the extraordinary. With over 90 solutions and bonus applications at your disposal, you will be ready for almost any situation. This revised edition includes 10 new timely projects focused on STEM and Maker initiatives.

Do you know how to make something that can tell whether the $20 bill in your wallet is a fake? Or how to generate battery power with simple household items? Or how to create your own home security system? Science-savvy author Cy Tymony does. And now you can learn how to create these things and more than 40 other handy gadgets and gizmos in Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, Revised Edition. More than a simple do-it-yourself guide, this quirky collection is a valuable resource for transforming ordinary objects into the extraordinary. A new section focuses on STEM initiatives, along with survival, security, self-defense, and other silly applications that are just plain fun. You'll be seen as a superhero as you amaze your friends by:

  • Transforming a simple FM radio into a device that enables you to eavesdrop on tower-to-air conversations.
  • Making a compact fire extinguisher from items typically found in a kitchen pantry.
  • Thwarting intruders with a single rubber band.

By using run-of-the-mill household items and the easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams within, you'll be able to complete most projects in just a few minutes. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things has been a favorite reference tool for 16 years, and this new revised edition is better equipped than ever as a practical tool to build useful devices, a trivia guide to impress friends and family, and a resource guide for the next generation of makers.



My Take on the Book
This was such a great book that made me look at things in a whole new way. I was surprised by all of the ideas shared in this as so many of them were ones that I had not heard of or had not tried in the past. This is definitely a book you will want to have on your shelf as I have already referred to it numerous times. The book is completely a unique collection of fun, handy gadgets that you will love to try out for yourself or with others!

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Book Review - The Secret of White Stone Gate

The Secret of White Stone Gate



About the Book

In this exciting sequel to The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, Emmy's adventures continue as she deals with a sinister organization, a missing father, and secrets she's not sure who to trust with.

After spending the summer at home in Connecticut, Emmy cannot wait to return to Wellsworth for the new school year and reunite with her best friends, Lola and Jack. Before she leaves Emmy receives a note from her father telling her to hide the remaining relics The Order of Black Hollow Lane are after―and to trust no one.

When Lola is framed for a serious crime she didn't commit, Emmy knows that she and her friends are not safe. The Order wants Emmy to give up her father's location... if she doesn't, those she loves will pay the price.

Emmy and Jack need to figure out a way to clear Lola's name without bending to the Order's sinister demands. And Emmy needs to figure out who she can trust with her secrets before it's too late.



My Take on the Book
I really enjoyed this book. It is geared for middle school readers, but even older kids will enjoy this book too. The book really allows you to be transported into the book with strong, well-developed characters and the book's plot is solid. The book is a great mystery with some twists and turns that will keep you guessing from beginning to end. The book also weaves a rich tapestry into the history and secrets surrounding the world that the books takes part within. The book itself is definitely one that had me guessing throughout and had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. This was a fun book that I would highly recommend!
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Book Review - Onward: The Search for the Phoenix Gem: An In-Questigation

Onward: The Search for the Phoenix Gem: An In-Questigation



About the Book

A magical all-new story based on Disney and Pixar’s film, Onward!

Sadalia Brushthorn is an ordinary teenage elf. She goes to school, hangs out with her friends, and dreams of becoming a journalist. But the problem is, nothing exciting ever seems to happen in her town of New Mushroomton. Sadalia wonders if she’ll ever get the chance to write a true investigative story. Then one day something mysterious, monumental, and shockingly magical erupts at her high school, sending everything into chaos. And the whole event centers on two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot. Sadalia thinks this is her chance to finally write a real story. But there are so many questions: What caused this event? How are Ian and Barley involved? And why were they searching for a magical object known as the Phoenix Gem? It’s up to Sadalia to set out on her own in-questigation, to follow the Lightfoot brothers’ epic quest and discover the truth about the events that transformed her town and her entire world.




My Take on the Book
This was a fun book that explores the world depicted in Onward in a different way. You get a mystery, but you also get to have an opportunity to explore new characters that are well developed for young readers. The story is light and fun, and this is a book that you and your kids can read together! If you are excited for the new Onward movie, you will also be excited to read this book!

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Book Review - Onward: Quests of Yore

Onward: Quests of Yore



About the Book
As seen in Disney and Pixar’s film, Onward! Barley and Ian Lightfoot would never set out on an adventure without their Quests of Yore guide book! Based on the book featured in the movie, this guide is full of wondrous characters and creatures to meet, exciting landmarks to explore, and powerful spells to learn. It even includes Ian and Barley’s fun doodles and notes, so you can join the two brothers on their epic quest!



My Take on the Book
This book really explores the new Onward movie through so many fun activities and more. This was an exciting book that made me even more excited to see the movie. Through this book you will not only get a greater sense of the movie itself, but you will also have some opportunities to try out some spells and more. This was a fun book for kids that want to explore the Onward movie more.

This book is so layered with really fun and in-depth magical content that will require multiple readings to capture it all! The amount of backstory for the world is very vast, profiling famous wizards and spells that I assume will be acknowledged in the film! This is the sort of companion book that film fans will likely go nuts for!! We are thoroughly enjoying it and can’t wait to see the film now! A must have for film fans and magical history enthusiasts!

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Book Review - Onward: Ian and Barley’s Magical Book of Jokes, Puns, and Gags

Onward: Ian and Barley’s Magical Book of Jokes, Puns, and Gags



About the Book

Inspired by Disney and Pixar's film, Onward!

Calling all wacky wizards and silly sprites! Join Ian and Barley as they brave the Path of Puns and encounter ridiculous riddles and jovial jokes that would make even the most serious of centaurs neigh with delight! This hilarious joke book includes magical puns, riddles, and jokes along with fun character illustrations inspired by the movie.



My Take on the Book
My daughters love jokes and riddles and this book is full of fun ones that you and your kids will enjoy as well. My daughters have been looking forward to seeing this new movie and through this book you get transported into the movie with great illustrations along with getting a sense of the characters through the jokes too!

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