Skip to content

Back to School: Weird but True Daily Planner

August 5, 2017
tags:

My baby may have just turned thirty (how did that happen?) but I still remember what it was like getting him ready to go back to school and trying to keep him organized once school started.  I wish NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS WEIRD BUT TRUE! DAILY PLANNER: 365 DAYS TO FILL WITH SCHOOL, SPORTS, FRIENDS, AND FUN! had been out when he was in school because I think he would have loved it.  I know I do.

This fabulous planner is spiral bound and has a soft cover.  The first few pages are for the owner’s information and schedule and then the planner pages begin.  Each page has two days on it and each page spread has a weird but true fact, a question to make kids think, or a fun pop quiz.  Kids can learn fascinating things like one out of ever 10,000 clovers is a four-leaf clover or in Ukraine, it’s customary to decorate your Christmas tree with spiderwebs.  There’s also plenty of room for kids to keep track of appointments, tests, meetings, and assignments.  Fun photos and graphics are spread throughout the planner.

The back of the planner has 14 “Homework Help” pages including a world map, metric conversion charts, and tips for giving an oral report.  If your school age child needs some help staying organized, you’ll want to grab a copy of this planner!   (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

The Week in Review: 08.04.2017

August 4, 2017
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

SNAKES! by James Buckley, Jr, Book 4 in the Amazing Animal Facts series by Animal Planet, is a great way to introduce early readers to serpents.  I readily admit to having ophidiophobia so I thought this book might be too much for me but I’m happy to say it wasn’t.  This book is full of interesting facts about what snakes eat, how they motivate, their life cycle, and so much more.  It includes lots of interesting facts and tons of full color photographs.  Being informed about snakes is a great way to dispel fear of them so I think this is a fabulous book to share with early readers.  It should especially appeal to male readers.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

I loved A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams when I read it a couple years ago so I was excited to pick up COCOA BEACH.  This book features Virginia Fortescue Fitzwilliam, a minor character from the former book.  Virginia went to Europe to drive ambulances during World War II and while there, met her husband, Dr. Simon Fitzwilliam.  They were crazy in love but, because of the war, they didn’t get to see each other as much as they wanted to.  When Simon’s twin brother, Samuel, approaches Virginia with lots of crazy accusations, she doesn’t know what to think and she wonders how well she really knows her husband and she heads home.  Several years (and a baby) later, she receives word that Simon has died in a fire so she heads to Cocoa Beach to claim his estate and finds herself in the midst of a tangled web of lies and deceptions.

I wanted to love this book but, in the end, I didn’t.  Virginia’s story is told in three time periods – her childhood, her time in Europe during the war, and her time in Cocoa Beach and the transitions weren’t always smooth.  I also found the language, especially the dialogue, to be a little bit too flowery and formal, and it didn’t seem to fit the story to me.  I’m in the minority on this one, though, so give it a try if it appeals to you.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

HER EVERY FEAR by Peter Swanson is the story of Kate, a young British woman who agrees to swap apartments with Corbin, her American cousin, for six months.  Kate survived an attack by a former boyfriend so she’s somewhat fragile and anxious and Corbin has a secret in his past.  Just before Kate arrives in Boston, Corbin’s next door neighbor has been murdered.  The police question Kate about her cousin but she doesn’t know much.  She begins to suspect him and everyone else she meets.

Even though this book is brutal in parts, I could not put it down and found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it.  It’s told from multiple points of view so readers know who’s guilty about halfway through the book but there’s still plenty of tension to keep you flipping the pages.  I’ve read two of Swanson’s books and am anxious to read the one I’ve missed plus anything else he writes.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not a thing.

Off the blog

  • Vance turned 30 on Saturday and came over for a celebration dinner on Sunday.  I can’t believe my baby is 30!!
  • Carl and I went to check out a new brewery that opened about 45 minutes from us.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged almost 18,500 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 2, 2017

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I found two words in a middle grade book, SNAKES! by James Buckley.  Both words were explained in the text but I decide to highlight them since they were new to me.

1. vestigial – “One is vestigial (vess-TIJ-ee-ahl) — it has lost its purpose over millions of years as snakes have evolved.”

In this case, vestigial means degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution.

_____________________________________________________

2. ophidiophobia – “So put aside your ophidiophobia (oh-FID-ee-uh-FOH-bee-ah), or the fear of snakes, to meet these amazing animals.”

Ophidiophobia is defined as abnormal fear of snakes.  As someone who suffers from this, I don’t think it’s abnormal at all.

_____________________________________________________

What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 31, 2017

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Wednesday

Friday

 

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 07.28.2017

July 28, 2017
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

WEIRD BUT TRUE KNOW-IT-ALL: U. S. PRESIDENTS by Brianna Dumont is a great way to get middle grade readers turned on to history.  This fabulous book gives facts about each president and briefly shares their accomplishments and failures in a very approachable manner.  There’s also a little trivia and lesser known facts that bring the presidents to life and make them feel more human.  Did you know Zachary Taylor was a champion spitter or that Benjamin Harrison wouldn’t touch light switches because he was afraid of being electrocuted?  This book is chock full of facts, photographs, and graphics and includes a caricature of each president.  I loved it and shared much of it to Carl, much to his dismay.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne is the story of Helena, a young woman who was the product of a kidnapping.  Her father captured her mother and kept her hidden in a remote cabin.  She was raised to be tough and learned many survival skills but she’d like to put the past behind her so she’s kept it a secret from everyone, including her husband.  All that changes, though, when her father escapes from prison and she realizes she’s the only one who can find him.  I thought this story was well written and full of tension but the survivalist scenes became a bit too much for me after a while so, while I liked the book a great deal, I didn’t love it like a lot of other people have.  The audio version of the book is very capably narrated by Emily Rankin – she brought Helena to life.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Shaun Tan‘s books in the past so I was excited to pick up THE SINGING BONES.  The book is composed of two page spreads with a paragraph or two about a fairy tale on the left side and a photograph of a sculpture that was created by the author on the right.  With its full color photos and stunning sculptures, I found the book very visually appealing.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t familiar with most of the fairy tales it referenced so was somewhat lost as I read many of the passages.  I didn’t realize there’s an index with snyopses of the fairy tales at the back of the book until I was finished with it.  I did read the ones about my favorite sculptures but, at that point, I didn’t read them all.  This book is aimed at middle schoolers on up but I’m not sure how much it will appeal to that audience.  I think those who enjoy fairy tales and sculptures will enjoy this book the most.  (Review copy provided by Scholastic.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • Carl was out of town and then Vance was out of town so I worked a little extra this week.

  • My friends and I had so much fun with our kindness rocks, we decided to paint more.

  • I started a new jigsaw puzzle that’s proving to be a little more difficult than the last one.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged just over 19,300 Fitbit steps a day.

 

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 26, 2017

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

This week’s words are from an advanced copy of COCOA BEACH by Beatriz Williams.

1. salient – “A new attack into some salient or another, and if we wanted patients we should take the ambulance down to the nearest CCS, they’d be lousy with casualties!”

I think I had this confused with saline.  Salient means most noticeable or important.

_____________________________________________________

2. flivver – “I didn’t; I learned how to drive and how to keep the flivver in working order, but only because I had to.”

A flivver is a cheap car or aircraft, especially one in bad condition.

_____________________________________________________

3. dishabille – “I suppose I’m not the sort of woman who looks enchanting in dishabille.”

Dishabille means the state of being only partly or scantily clothed.

_____________________________________________________

What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 24, 2017

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Wednesday

What did you find in your mailbox?