Dad of Divas' Reviews: 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Book Review - The Creative Mindset: Mastering the Six Skills That Empower Innovation

The Creative Mindset: Mastering the Six Skills That Empower Innovation



About the Book
"Jeff and Staney emphasize that small acts of creativity can have huge consequences and that ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they can see the opportunities in front of them." --Mitch Jacobson, Executive Director, Austin Technology Incubator, UT Blackstone LaunchPad, University of Texas at Austin.

Nearly all of today's major innovation workshops and programs call on organizations to drive innovation. What they miss is that innovation comes from the personal creativity of individuals. And creativity doesn't require an advanced education or technical skills--all employees can be creative. Often, all they lack is a fitting mindset and the right skills.

The Creative Mindset brings how-to advice, tools, and techniques from two master innovators who have taught and worked with over half of all Fortune 500 companies. Jeff and Staney DeGraff introduce six essential creative-thinking skills that can be easily mastered with limited practice and remembered as the acronym CREATE: Concentrate, Replicate, Elaborate, Associate, Translate, and Evaluate. These six skills, sequenced as steps, simplify and summarize the most important research on creative thinking and draw on over thirty years of real-world application in some of the most innovative organizations in the world.

It's time to rethink the way we make innovation happen. Individual creativity is an immense untapped resource, and you don't have to be Beethoven to make a big difference. As the spirit of chef Gusteau proclaims in the Pixar classic Ratatouille, "Anyone can cook."





My Take on the Book
If you are looking for a book that has practical examples that will help you to be even more creative, this is the book for you. The book is written in a way to be able to teach you how to reframe your own brain and processes to help you bring more to the work that you do on a daily basis. This book helps you see that creativity is not something that you are born with, but something that you can learn to do, and a way to look at the world and the things that you do personally and professionally. The authors have used the word CREATE to help readers to understand the six skills of creativity: Clarify, replicate, elaborate, associate, translate, and evaluate. The authors do a great job at walking you through these skills and provide you with practical examples you can use to start making changes of your own. This is a must have book for anyone that wants to jumpstart their own creativity! 

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Book Review - Practically Poppins in Every Way: A Magical Carpetbag of Countless Wonders




About the Book

Practically Poppins in Every Way is a magical carpetbag containing countless wonders and "a bit o' magic" that will captivate, inform, and entertain readers of all ages.

Ever since 1934, when Mary Poppins descended from the skies over London into Cherry Tree Lane in the beloved book by P. L. Travers, the world has adored the enchanting adventures and peculiar wisdom of this magical nanny.

For more than eight decades, Travers's staunch but charming heroine has been beloved in the pages of eight popular books-and in media-from movies to stage, and music to television, all around the world. Then Mary Poppins lit up cinema screens again in a magical, musical incarnation. Mary Poppins Returns-a colorful and charming new story and a sequel to the 1964 classic-featured an all-star cast and brought to life by a stellar creative team.

Practically Poppins In Every Way is a showcase of the varied creative forces that have brought Mary Poppins to life, generation after generation. It is accompanied by erudite and informative text, essays, and observations by creative luminaries such as Cameron Mackintosh, Thomas Schumacher, Gavin Lee, and John Myhre, as well as renowned Disney authorities Brian Sibley, Jim Fanning, Paula Sigman Lowery, Craig D. Barton, and Greg Ehrbar. This colorful and lavish showcase is a rich, vivid, and frequently surprising visual document of the development behind the stories of Mary Poppins on the page, screen, and stage.

A perfect gift for the Disney movie fan in your life!


My Take on the Book
As a huge fan of Mary Poppins, this is a beautiful book that gives you great info on the history of Mary Poppins as well as an intro to the movie too. The book looks at some great history of Mary Poppins, includes, PL Travers books, the original movie, Saving Mr. Banks and the new movie too. The book is full of great images from the making of the movie and more. For anyone that loves Mary Poppins, you will enter this book with a smile on your face and anticipation in your heart for what is to come and you will leave it feeling completely fulfilled and embraced in the magic that is Mary Poppins. This is a book I would encourage for all!

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Book Review - The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic



About the Book
WELCOME, FOOLISH MORTALS, to the Haunted Mansion, one of the most popular attractions in the history of Disney theme parks.

The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic explores how the attraction's "999 happy haunts" were brought to life. Rare early concept sketches, detailed architectural drawings, and stunning still photography illustrate the Mansion's evolution as it was designed and built at each Magic Kingdom park around the world-including Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Our tour begins here with a twistedly thorough third edition. Based on the retired title The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, this newly updated volume confirms or debunks longstanding urban legends, shares fascinating behind-the-screams stories, and reveals how concepts move from inspiration to reality. Readers will discover the latest show enhancements to this classic attraction and find even more artwork depicting the happy haunting grounds in California and Florida as well as Tokyo, Paris, and now Hong Kong.

This is one book you'll be dying to have on your shelf!


My Take on the Book
My family are huge fans of the Haunted Mansion. We love everything about it and make a point to do what we can to visit the ride, usually multiple times, when we visit the park. That being said we did not know a lot about the development and creation of the ride itself. This book does a great job at providing you the history of The Haunted Mansion as well as information around the storyline, design and more. The book gives you a complete view of the mansion and you will learn so much! The cover of the book even glows in the dark! If you love The Haunted Mansion, you will truly love this book! 

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Book Review - Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai

Maps of the Disney Parks: Charting 60 Years from California to Shanghai



About the Book

This deluxe Disney atlas is bursting with gorgeous park maps from around the work and across the six decades!

It all started with a map. . . . Maps of the Disney Parks are more than just atlases used by guests to find their way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They are snapshots of a place and time, relics treasured by collectors, and gorgeous pieces of artwork. In fact, it was a map (imagined by Walt Disney and drawn by Herbert Ryman) that was used to sell the idea of Disneyland to investors. Unfold this book of beautiful maps from when the very first Disney Park opened in 1955 right up to today. Discover details on how and why the domestic and international parks have changed over time, and enjoy sixty years worth of skillful creativity.


My Take on the Book
This is a great book for anyone that loves Disney parks. The book is full of concept arts, maps and more and really allows you to see not only what is but also what might have been. The artwork throughout the book jumps off the page and really draws you in. I loved that the book went all the way back to the original Disneyland concepts to even more recent concepts. The book is a collectors must have and something that you will keep learning from each time you open it!

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

Activity Kit Review - Disney Villains Cross Stitch: 12 Wickedly Fun Patterns

Disney Villains Cross Stitch: 12 Wickedly Fun Patterns



About the Cross Stitch kit
They’ve got style, sass, and schemes! Over the years, Disney has created some epically evil villains. From cold-hearted Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians to sea witch Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Disney villains are definitely scene-stealers and style icons! And they’ve never been more popular.

So grab your hoop and some edge to your needlework with this colorful kit featuring twelve projects inspired by your favorite antagonists. All twelve projects include a witty overview highlighting fun facts about each villain, easy-to-follow patterns, and full-color photographs to help you visualize your projects.

You'll receive:
  • Bamboo embroidery hoop
  • 10 skeins of embroidery floss
  • 2 pieces of cross stitch fabric
  • 2 cross stitch needles
  • 48-page instruction book

The materials included in the kit allow you to complete two of the projects. Both the kit and your finished projects make great gifts for your friends and family who appreciate the glamorous dark side.



My Take on the Cross Stitch Kit
If you are a fan of Disney, but also love to cross stitch, this is the perfect gift. Whether it is for yourself or for someone else, the Disney fan of villains will be completely transfixed to what this kit offers. You get amazing patterns, and while you will not have enough fabric to make them all, you do have the ability to make two of them. My daughter has been a fan of the villains in the past and this really allowed her to dust off her cross stitch skills to make something unique for her room. She was so excited to make this, but also to share it with us and her friends (which she does not usually do). All-in-all I was really impressed with the patterns and the kit itself and you will too!

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Book Review -101 Dalmatians: Spot the Difference

101 Dalmatians: Spot the Difference



About the Book

Count, whistle, clap, and more inside this interactive bedtime read-aloud starring the puppies from Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians!

Where’s Waldo meets Press Here inside this adorable One Hundred and One Dalmatians picture book that will have kids tilting, turning, and shaking the book to spot the Patch, the mischievous puppy who has stolen the first page of the book!

Meet Patch― and remember what he looks like!

He is going to cause some trouble in this book and disappear among his ninety-eight Dalmatian siblings. Have fun spotting the difference between Patch and the other puppies by counting, whistling, clapping, and more!

Spot the Difference is the perfect book for:
  • Parents looking for a fun, interactive read-aloud book for their kids
  • Kids who love Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmatians
  • Readers looking for a great bedtime that is entertaining for the whole family


My Take on the Book
This book was a lot of fun and for a family like ours that used to love reading through Where's Waldo books, this book brought back smiles to our whole family. The book itself has you looking everywhere for Patch, one of the ninety-eight Dalmatians. Get ready to see spots as you look for him, but that is all a part of the fun. This was a fun book for the whole family!

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Book Review - 5-Minute Disney Furry Friends Stories

5-Minute Disney Furry Friends Stories



About the Book
Become a fire pup with the 101 Dalmatians, go camping with Dug and friends, spend a day at school with Lilo and Stitch, and more in this brand new collection featuring your favorite furry Disney and Pixar friends. Each story is ideal for reading aloud in five minutes—perfect for bedtime, story time, or anytime!
 

My Take on the Book
This was a great book for the Disney fan, young or old. Inside you will find a great variety of 12 stories that you can read with your young reader. The stories are fun and the images draw you in and jump off the page at the same time. The book is something that your child can grow into as well. As a Disney fan myself, I loved seeing all of the different Disney characters all in one book. You will not want to miss this great book!

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Monday, March 22, 2021

Book Review - Go the Distance: A Twisted Tale

Go the Distance: A Twisted Tale



About the Book
The 11th installment in the New York Times best-selling A TWISTED TALE series asks: What if Meg had to become a Greek god?

After Hercules proves he's a true hero and regains his godship, all seems right in the world. That is, until Zeus tells Meg that she can't be with Hercules because she's, well, mortal. Luckily, Hera has a solution, offering Meg a chance to prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt. Olympus--as a god. All Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest.

The mission? Oh, just to rescue her ex's current wife from the Underworld. The ex-boyfriend she saved by selling her soul to Hades. The ex-boyfriend who immediately moved on to someone else while she was stuck in the Underworld. Can Meg put her past behind her and use her quick-wit to defeat monsters and gods alike, including the nefarious Hades? Will she finally figure out her place and contribution to the world? Or will her fear of commitment have her running away from an eternity of godhood with Herc?

Written by the author of Mirror, Mirror and Conceal, Don't Feel, Jen Calonita's latest twist is sure to delight and surprise.

For more twisted adventures, try the other books in the A TWISTED TALE series:

• A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
• Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell
• As Old As Time by Liz Braswell
• Reflection by Elizabeth Lim
• Part of Your World by Liz Braswell
• Mirror, Mirror by Jen Calonita
• Conceal, Don't Feel by Jen Calonita
• Straight On Till Morning by Liz Braswell
• So This is Love by Elizabeth Lim
• Unbirthday by Liz Braswell
• What Once Was Mine by Liz Braswell  


My Take on the Book
This is another great book in the Twisted Tale series of books. As someone that has loved reading the other ones and as a fan of Hercules, this was a story I was excited to read and my daughter was too. The book was a great story as my daughter was always a very BIG fan of Meg. This story looks at Meg in a whole new way and allows you to see whether Meg can become a god on Mt. Olympus. The thing that we loved was that this book looks at the checkered past of Meg, but allows you to experience and see whether Meg can do what she can to earn a seat as a Greek god. You will see Meg struggle with who she is, question her past, present and future and in the end, find that this book is a ton of fun to read for the whole family! 

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Book Review - Where, Oh Where, Is Barnaby Bear?




About the Book

“Barnaby Bear is a true treasure. This book ensures many happy reads with your kids!”—Drew Barrymore, mom and actress.

Where, oh where, is Barnaby Bear? We're searching for him everywhere. Has he flown to the moon? Is he in a balloon? Is he up in a tree? Is he down by the sea? He's everywhere a bear should be!

Follow Barnaby and friends on this rhyming adventure. Enjoy colorful illustrations and a sing-song rhyme that children will want to repeat each night before bed!


My Take on the Book
This is a cute book with fun images and a story that you can share with your young child over and over again. The cadence of the work is fun and one that your child will truly enjoy!

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Book Review - The Bruce Swap

The Bruce Swap



About the Book
Bruce is a bear who struggles with fun.

When Bruce says no to fun one too many times, Nibbs, Thistle, and Rupert secretly wish Bruce was more fun. And the geese secretly wish for sandwiches. The next morning, all their wishes come true. Bruce is cheerful. Bruce is adventurous. Bruce has pizzazz . . . and a basket of sandwiches.

Except Bruce is not exactly Bruce. He’s Kevin, Bruce’s fun cousin. Nobody knows that Bruce has gone fishing. Nobody knows that Kevin is coming. Nobody even knows who Kevin is. But, everyone quickly learns one thing: Kevin LOVES fun.

Is it possible that too much fun is no fun at all?


My Take on the Book
Bruce is a great character and while he may be a bit grumpy at times his friends really do love him. We loved reading this book as you get to see Bruce's cousin and with that some mixed up identities that will not only confuse Bruce's friends, but also turn Bruce's world upside down. The book is full of great images, but also a great story too. If you love Bruce as my family does, you will love this too.

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Book Review - Bots and Bods: How Robots and Humans Work, from the Inside Out

Bots and Bods: How Robots and Humans Work, from the Inside Out



About the Book

What do humans and robots have in common? Find out in this intriguing illustrated nonfiction book that encourages kids to discover their inner robot.

Bots and Bods is an illustrated guide for kids looking to explore anatomy and technology and how they're related. How do we both move or sense the world? How does robot intelligence compare to our own? Middle-grade readers will find these answers and more among the four sections:

Body structures
Muscle and movement
Senses and sensors
Thinking and feeling

An accessible guide with exciting illustrations, fun facts, and special feature spreads about robots in the real world explains why “bots” can sometimes do a better job than “bods” and vice versa.
 

My Take on the Book
This is a great book that allows you and your child to learn together about how their body works but also the way in which a robot works too. This book makes complex topics easy to understand. The book uses fun illustrations to help people to better understand the concepts too. Overall, if your child is interested in how their own body works, this book will compare and contrast in a great way, and your child will come out much better educated in the end!

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Book Review - Baby Montessori Boxed Set

Baby Montessori Boxed Set



About the Book

A Montessori-inspired series of board books for your baby’s first year, specifically designed to nurture infant visual development using black, white, and red shapes.

Combining the latest science with Montessori theory, this beautifully illustrated series follows babies as they grow and change during their first year of life. Each book in the set—Big or Small?, The Garden, Animals, and Follow Me!—explores a different theme using shapes and colors friendly to babies’ developing eyes and minds. Children from 0 to 12 months can discover plants and animals, learn to distinguish objects by size, and practice tracing paths with their fingers!
 

My Take on the Book
This is a great book that brings together amazing images. There are no words in the book, but images, shapes and patterns that allow a child to see and experience the items in different ways. The books allows parent and child to connect and interact with the book itself and allows them to talk, describe and help the child to engage in a whole new way.

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Book Review - How to Draw a Bunny and Other Cute Creatures with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps

How to Draw a Bunny and Other Cute Creatures with Simple Shapes in 5 Steps



About the Book
Anyone can learn to draw an adorable bunny and other cute Spring creatures using simple shapes in five easy steps.

This book will show readers how to draw quirky, kawaii (super cute) spring characters in a wonderfully easy and inspiring way. Step by step, illustrator Lulu Mayo explains how to draw various creatures by using simple shapes—such as circles, ovals, rectangles, and triangles—and how to personalize them by adding your own adorable details.

The book contains 30 of these doodling exercises, featuring a bunny, sloth, llama, chick, lamb, turtle, duckling, and kawaii Easter eggs! Its easiness, simplicity, and quirkiness will resonate with animal lovers, artists, and doodle enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages. Absorbing and fun, it will ignite a doodler’s curiosity and inspire them to experiment creatively.


My Take on the Book
If you or your child loves to draw, this book is a great one that walks you step-by-step on how to creat some very fun characters. My daughters love to draw and she loved this book because it made drawing so easy! This is a great book for any budding artist!

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Book Review - Breathe Deep, Little Sheep: A Calm-Down Book for Kids

Breathe Deep, Little Sheep: A Calm-Down Book for Kids



About the Book
A kid-friendly introduction to self-soothing and mindfulness with adorable animal friends. A child’s “very first step” into mindfulness where the story’s short rhymes can be used as soothing mantras, paired with delightful illustrations of baby animals working through anxious situations. This book does double duty as a self-help story providing great comfort beyond the pages.
 

My Take on the Book
This is a great book for kids that will allow you and your child to process and understand stress but also coping mechanisms that will allow you to to help your children to cope with stress, fears and more!  The illustrations are colorful and interactive, this is a great book that your children will really connect with!

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Sunday, February 7, 2021

Book Review - ArkhaManiacs

ArkhaManiacs



About the Book
ArkhaManiacs is Art Baltazar and Franco providing their unique, cartoony take on a certain apartment building (Arkham) in Gotham City and the people (mostly!) who live there.

There's an apartment building in Gotham City full of life: kids with special powers, pirates in the swimming pool, even a croc (or two!). Young Bruce Wayne is drawn to the fun and excitement he sees going on at the Arkham Apartments, but to Wayne Enterprises, it's just another property they own. Bruce is determined to find out why this apartment building is full of so much fun and laughter. What exactly is going on over there? Time to sneak over when no one is looking...even though it's like the house is laughing at him! HA HA HA!

With ArkhaManiacs, Art Baltazar and Franco return to the DC Universe and provide their unique, cartoony take on a Gotham City quite unlike any we've seen before!

 

My Take on the Book
This is a fun look at some very well known "super" characters. You will get to see some well known villains as kids getting into some strange situations. The graphic novel has great illustrations that will draw you in from beginning to end and you will love seeing what happens when all of these characters are together (I know I did). All-in-all, if you are a DC Comics fans, you will not want to miss this book!

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Book Review - We Found a Monster

We Found a Monster



About the Book
Kirk Scroggs (The Secret Spiral of Swamp Kid) brings you a new type of best friend!

Casey has always loved monster movies; in fact, he considers himself something of an expert in monsters. He spends his day doing normal kid things, like attending school and riding his bike around his town of Serena Mar--and filling his journal with helpful ways to take care of the various monsters who live all around them...whom no one else seems to know exist.

But as Casey delves deeper into the history of his spooky friends--or are they fiends? --he uncovers more than just skeletons in the closet. Turns out there's a Frankenstein and maybe a werewolf tucked in there, too! And he's just starting to wonder if it's possible that his new friend, Zandra, has a secret of her own, as well...

We Found a Monster is a fun, funny, and fast-paced tale about learning what true friendship is, and respecting the secrets we all have inside.


My Take on the Book
This was a great graphic novel that  brings you inside of a monster's notebook which was such a unique idea and concept. The book brings forth friendship, monsters and more. The illustrations were fun and on each page you get a fun story that you will not want to out down! All-in-all this was a book I did not want to put down and neither will you!

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Book Review - Second Star to the Fright

Second Star to the Fright



About the Book
Second Star to the Fright, Book 3 of the all-new Disney Chills chapter book series, tells the tale of a kid who finds he's hooked far more than he can handle when Captain Hook creeps out of Neverland and into our world.

With shuddersome spooks and blood-curdling frights, readers should grab their night-lights and prepare to be chilled!

 

My Take on the Book
Another great addition to the Disney Chills series. My daughter loves this series as it brings forward your favorite villains and brings them into our world. This is made for kids in upper elementary, but really, any Disney fan will love this series too! You get the best of Captain Hook, but also some chills and thrills too! 

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Book Review - Mira, Royal Detective Undercover Princess

Mira, Royal Detective Undercover Princess



About the Book
To solve her next case, Mira has to go undercover . . . as a princess!

Queen Shanti has an important case for the newest Royal Detective of Jalpur: there's a rumor that jewel thieves are planning to steal the Gem of Jalpur at a royal ball. To solve this case, the queen asks Mira to go undercover at the party-as a princess!

After learning the ins and outs of royal life from her friend, Prince Neel, Mira trades in her detective coat for a princess disguise. But not even a fancy party will distract Mira from solving this case!

This 8x8 storybook comes with stickers for even more fun with Mira and her friends.


My Take on the Book
Another case that Mira is on. What I love about this is that Mira is a strong female character and as a father with daughters, I love my girls being able to see girls accomplishing whatever is set in front of them. In this book you get to see the same great characters, but you get another great mystery/adventure and you get to see Mira undercover as a Princess this time. As in the first book, your kids will love getting the extra fun stickers that are included in the book! Looking forward to the next adventure! 

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Book Review - Mira, Royal Detective The New Royal Detective

Mira, Royal Detective The New Royal Detective



About the Book
Before Mira became the first young girl to be Royal Detective of Jalpur, she was just a townsperson with an eye for detail who liked helping her friends. Mira uses all her senses—eyes, ears, and sometimes nose!—to find clues that others might have missed. One day, Queen Shanti happened to observe Mira find a missing baby goat, and she was so impressed that she appointed Mira to be Royal Detective. With her new detective coat and magnifying glass, Mira has the tools and the skills to help people all over Jalpur. Mira is on the case! 

 

My Take on the Book
This was a fun book that lets you get to know Mira and go along with her on a fun mystery. Each page is filled with amazing images and the characters and the story are a ton of fun. My daughters loved the stickers that came with the book as well. I will also say that the author did a great job keeping you engaged from beginning to end and wondering what would come next! Whether you know Mira or not, this is a fun book for all!

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Book Review - Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr

Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr


About the Book

Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface, she is an Arendellian village girl, an aspiring inventor, and the best friend of Prince Agnarr, but she is also secretly Northuldra.


Ever since the day the forest fell, Arendellians have despised and distrusted Northuldra with a vengeance. No matter that the Northuldra-along with some of Arendelle's own-have been trapped in the Enchanted Forest behind an impenetrable wall of mist since the day of the battle.


Iduna doesn't know why the mist refuses to part, or why it descended to begin with. The only clear thing is that she must keep her identity from everyone, even Agnarr. Her life depends on it.


Fortunately for her, Agnarr doesn't know that Iduna is the Northuldra girl he saw seemingly flying on a gust of wind all those years ago, the day of the celebration turned disaster. The day Agnarr lost his father, the king. The day Agnarr himself almost died.


What Agnarr does know is that Iduna is a true ally in the face of his royal responsibilities and the expectations of an overbearing council and a well-meaning regent who will rule in Agnarr's place until he turns twenty-one and assumes the Arendellian throne.


As Iduna and Agnarr grow ever closer, however, friendship is no longer enough. If only falling for each other didn't mean risking their futures: Iduna's as a hidden-in-plain-sight citizen of Arendelle, and Agnarr's as imminent king.


But for a chance at true love, the risk might be worth taking


 

My Take on the Book
I am a big fan of the frozen characters and movies and that endeavors to bring forth a new story has big shoes to fill. As you get into this novel, the author has created a story that was a great read but also that tugs at the heartstrings. 

The author does a great job at bringing forth characters that reflect the characters that you know from the movie too. Going into this book I can say that outside of the limited times I saw Iduna and Agnarr in Frozen 2, I did not feel like I knew them as much until I read this book.

As you read this you will definitely come to love Iduna and Agnarr even more. You will follow along with their relationship and watch as their love grew. 

Overall, this was a great book that is definitely worth the read! If you are a Disney fan, this book will make you wonder if there will be more books exploring the origin stories of other characters like this!
 
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Book Review - The Mouse Watch




About the Book

You've heard of the Rescue Rangers. Now meet the Mouse Watch.

Around the globe, exceptional mice live in the shadows. Under the direction of famed mouse inventor Gadget Hackwrench, they work together as a team to solve BIG problems using SMALL gadgets. They are high trained. They are nearly invisible. And they love cheese. Their mission: save the world.

Bernadette is a small-but brave-mouse with a score to settle. Jarvis is a sensitive rat with a big appetite and unmatched puzzle-solving skills. Both are eager to prove their worth as the youngest, newest recruits to the Mouse Watch.

But before their first day of training is through, Bernie and Jarvis find themselves at the center of an evil plot orchestrated by the Rogue Animal Thieves Society (R.A.T.S.). Soon they are catapulted from new recruits into full-on action heroes, as they learn how to work together to save the Mouse Watch-and the world as they know it.

Mission Impossible meets "Mice in Black" in this action-packed middle grade adventure that will take readers on an epic thrill ride and leave them ready to join the Watch!



My Take on the Book
This was a great book that pulls in a character that I will say that I did not remember from the Rescue Rangers and places them in the limelight. You get a whole new organization, the Mouse Watch. This new organization is a ton of fun and the author has done a great job at setting up the new organzation but even more that that you also get to see and go behind the scene to see the background of the main characters and why they want to be a part of the Mouse Watch.

The book has a ton of action packed experiences and you will also be kept on the edge of your seat as you see and experience what is going to happen next. I loved all of the cool gadgets throughout the book, but even more was the characters.

This is a book you will not want to miss!

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Book Review - Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay

Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay

About the Book

Retaining top talent and making sure employees feel engaged and appreciated is a perennial concern for every business. With over 710,000 copies sold globally, comes the fifth edition of this bestselling book by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans.

Since employees who walk out the door cost their companies up to 200 percent of their annual salaries to replace, retention is one of the most important issues facing businesses today. And with so many surveys reporting that employees are unhappy and not working up to their full potential, engagement is a second serious and costly issue.

The latest edition of this Wall Street Journal bestseller offers twenty-six simple strategies—from A to Z—that managers can use to address their employees’ real concerns and keep them engaged. The fifth edition has been revised and updated throughout and includes many more international examples, reflecting the fact that Love ’Em or Lose ’Em is available in twenty-two languages, from Albanian and Arabic to Thai and Turkish. Its message is truly one that spans continents and cultures.


My Take on the Book
This book is full of a ton of things that you can do (without spending anything) to be able to offer incentives to your employees and to motivate them to find success in their outcomes. The book is set up in a way that all can understand. It is filled with practical advice that can be put into action right away. If you manage people in any way this book is a must have as it will walk you step-by-step to the things you can do to be able to change the work environment for the better. 

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Book Review - Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling



About the Book

Communication is essential in a healthy organization. But all too often when we interact with people—especially those who report to us—we simply tell them what we think they need to know. This shuts them down. To generate bold new ideas, to avoid disastrous mistakes, to develop agility and flexibility, we need to practice Humble Inquiry.

Ed Schein defines Humble Inquiry as “the fine art of drawing someone out, of asking questions to which you do not know the answer, of building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person.” In this seminal work, Schein contrasts Humble Inquiry with other kinds of inquiry, shows the benefits Humble Inquiry provides in many different settings, and offers advice on overcoming the cultural, organizational, and psychological barriers that keep us from practicing it.


My Take on the Book
This was a short read but it really brought in some great thinking from the author after many years of researching and presenting on the benefits of the concepts of humble inquiry. This book articulates his concepts of first, what humble inquiry actually is and then he goes further into how inquiry can be seen as both an art and science. 

The book is short but packed with great examples of what humble inquiry is as well as examples of  opportunities where this type of inquiry was missed. 

The book is written in a way that all can understand and the concepts are practical enough to allow all to start using right away. 

Schein shows you that humble inquiry is something that you do have to work at and build into your life. It is not something that comes overnight, but as he explains, it is an attitude that you also have to embody. 

The book is a great book. It is filled with great ways to start developing the attitude of humble inquiry as well as allows you to see the benefits of using this way of thinking in the workplace too. 

All-in-all this is a great book that really allows you to start making positive changes for the future.
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Saturday, February 6, 2021

Book Review - Disney Baby I Love You, Mom

Disney Baby I Love You, Mom



About the Book
Delightfully illustrated Disney characters are on hand to show some of the many reasons they love their moms. These messages of love come to life with this eye-catching die-cut board book, which also features chunky lift the flaps. Perfect for Mother’s Day, Shower Gifts, or any day, I Love You, Mom is a book of relatable moments sure to inspire bedtime kisses for baby to give Mom, time and time again.
 

My Take on the Book
This is a great book for parents to read to their young kids. It will bring forth some Disney characters that you and your kids know as they share messages of love for their moms. It is a book that places moms in the limelight and allows you to celebrate the moms in your own life too. The book has amazing images that you will love and the story is fun too!

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Book Review - Disney Junior Happy Valentine's Day!

Disney Junior Happy Valentine's Day!




About the Book

Celebrate Valentine's Day with three sweet stories!

Spread glitter and sparkles with Mickey and Minnie, trade ghoulentines with Vampirina, and party down with the baby animals at T.O.T.S.

Preschoolers will love learning about Valentine's Day traditions with their favorite Disney Junior friends!


My Take on the Book
This is a great book that brings together all of your favorite Disney Junior fans to let you explore some great Valentines Day traditions! The book has a ton of great characters and the story is fun as well. If you have a preschooler, they will love seeing their favorite characters in this great book!

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