Saturday, May 18, 2013

Children's book showcase and reviews!

Beyond the Solar System: Exploring Galaxies, Black Holes, Alien Planets, and More; A History with 21 Activities

Humans have gazed into the night sky for thousands of years and wondered, What are those twinkling lights? Though the sun, moon, and planets moved across the background of stars, the stars themselves appeared immovable, forever fixed in constellations. Only when astronomers began taking a closer look did anyone realize what a fascinating, ever-changing universe lies beyond our solar system—red giant and white dwarf stars, spiral galaxies, wispy nebulae, black holes, and much more.

            In Beyond the Solar System, author Mary Kay Carson traces the evolution of humankind’s astronomical knowledge, from the realization that we are not at the center of the universe to recent telescopic proof of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. In addition to its engaging history, this book contains 21 hands-on projects to further explore the subjects discussed. Readers will build a three-dimensional representation of the constellation Orion, model the warping of space-time caused by a black hole, see how the universe expands using an inflating balloon, and construct a reflecting telescope out of a makeup mirror and a magnifying glass. Beyond the Solar System also includes minibiographies of famous astronomers, a time line of major scientific discoveries, a suggested reading list, a glossary of technical terms, and a list of websites for further exploration.

My Review:  
My 6 year old was beyond excited to get this book!  He loves space and experiments and this book has given us hours of endless fun!  This book is jam packed with great facts  pictures and experiments.  This will be a book that stays with my kids for years to come!  This book is geared for 9 and up, as some experiments are harder to do, but my kids (age 5 and 6) loved doing the Sweet, Twisted Space-Time experiment.  If you have a child that loves space or scientist in the house this book is a must have.  I rate it 4 stars!

Fuzzwippers Make Good Helpers

In this fourth book in the series, Elizabeth and Fuzzina are enjoying themselves on a fine spring day when they stumble upon an overgrown ruin of a garden. It doesn’t seem possible to bring it back to life, but when the call goes out to earthly and Fuzzwipper helpers, it seems nothing is impossible.

My Review:
I think the Fuzzwippers and funny little things that teach such amazing lessons to children.  In the 4th book in this series the Fuzzwippers learn the value of chipping in and helping and what a big difference that makes.  With the greatest lesson to be learned at the end of the day, is that you are loved, no matter what!  I rate this book 4 stars!

The Buddha's Apprentice at Bedtime: Tales of Compassion and Kindness for You to Read with Your Child - to Delight and Inspire

Master storyteller Dharmachari Nagaraja offers 18 beautifully illustrated bedtime stories, inspired by the Buddhist folk tradition, for parents to read to their children. Nagaraja weaves a thrilling narrative spell while conveying basic life lessons that will nurture children, calm their anxieties, and help them find peace and confidence. The tales explore themes from the Eightfold Path—Buddhism's practical route to a happy life—while gently teaching kids to speak kindly and truthfully, behave with compassion, and think selflessly.

My Review:  

No matter your religious views I am sure we all want our kids to be kind, respectful, confident and calm kids.   This book tells tales that bring those lesson to life and so many more.  With beautiful images and inspiring and uplifting stories this has become our new go to bedtime book.  I love that my kids go to bed feeling good about themselves and with a new lesson blooming in their minds!  5 stars!

Fireflies and Shooting Stars: The Tale of Enzo

Fireflies and Shooting Stars is a delightful and inspirational tale filled with beautiful art and songs about Enzo, a little firefly who was born without a taillight. As Enzo faces the challenges of growing up different, the story tells of his self-determined, fantastic journey and adventures to find his light—a magical ride of hope, understanding, and discovering the importance of accepting the differences in others as well as ourselves.

My Review:
Such an amazing story about Enzo, a firefly that could not find his light.  It is adorable, heartwarming and quite inspiring!!!   This book is one that will be appealing to many children, some going through tough stuff and those that are not. I love the CD that accompanied the book!  What an amazing way to bring the story to life!   I also loved that the book was one that was read over a period of time.  It makes to last so much longer and creates such great dialogue between my kids and myself! I just loved this book and rate it 5 stars!

Mermaids on Parade
Dressing up as a mermaid is even more fun when you get to be part of the Mermaid Parade!
Every year at the beginning of summer, mermaids and Neptunes and creatures of the sea flock to Coney Island to dance and twirl and march in the annual Mermaid Parade! A highlight of the year, one little mermaid can’t wait to put her costume on and join her parents as they take in the sights, sounds and smells of the fun-filled pageant. This year she is “Little Mermaid Coming Out of Her Shell.”
An annual artists’ parade in New York City, the real Mermaid Parade provides the backdrop for an exciting time that every little diva is sure to enjoy!

My Review:
With rich pictures and a fun story set on Coney Island and based on the Mermaid Parade, Mermaids on Parade is such a fun and interesting story!  You feel the excitement fun and atmosphere of the parade. All the music, the floats, the performers and my sons favorite:  Who will win the trophy!? comes together in a grand story! 
My kids thought it was a fun book and we rate it 3.5 stars!

A young woman who loves to grow roses is surprised one day when she receives an unusual gift that will forever change her life. Cecily Brunner learns that love sometimes comes in very small packages.

My Review:  
A book based ion the mystical and magic this book focuses on loving and caring and ultimately the cycle of all living things.   It was an interesting book and I rate it 3 stars. 

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