Colton’s Time Machine – Review

*I received these books free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Colton’s Time Machine by Rebecca Massey

I was sent book 3 and book 4. Colton’s Time Machine book 3 is about Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin. Colton’s Time Machine book 4 is about Betsy Ross, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty.

Colton is a little boy with little baby dragons and a time machine in his tree house. They all travel together through time and visit a variety of historical places and historical people. Colton’s Time Machine series is a spin off from Colton’s Pocket Dragon series. That series starts with him finding dragon eggs, helping them hatch, and discovering his dragon friends.

Colton’s Time Machine books each cover 3 historical people or places in American history. The story spends a lot of time on Colton and his Dragons in funny situations back in history and is interspersed with dates and important facts about the historical figure or place. A great way to share historical information with kids without overwhelming them with too many details.

You can purchase all these fun Colton books on Amazon!

Summer Reading for Kids

I’ve purchased so many books for my kids this summer! It’s a good thing. But, that means I’m on the lookout for new books because, for the girls especially, I can’t seem to buy books fast enough!

I received these 2 adorable books for free to review. One for my girls and one for my little guy. They’re both so cute!

Where Are You Puffling? by Erika McGann and Gerry Daly

This is about a cute little puffling who has headed out on an adventure – and her parents search for her. Seriously, the puffling is adorable! I enjoy reading this book to my little guy just because I like the pictures.

The parents talk to the seal and the gannet and the rabbit; they walk to the huts and the cliffs and the cove. They hear lots of stories of the puffling helping others, but they just cannot find their fluffy, black chick. My little guy loves spotting the puffling in each picture, as the parents are always one step behind their puffling’s adventure. – also, kind of reminds me of me trying to keep up with a certain little 2yr old!

Finally, the parents spot her – on a boat out at sea! The puffling is too small to fly home, so the animals of Skellig work together and come up with something very clever…

This is such a fun and adorable book of friendship, helping, and adventure. A terrific addition to my child’s home library!

The Friendship Fairies – by Lucy Kennedy illustrated by Phillip Cullen

This book is written for Elementary students. The reading level is perfect for my 3rd grade daughter! However, because it’s about fairies, her older sister had to read it as well. I never object to the girls reading a fun book about being kind and having good manners!

Emme, Holly and Jess are just like regular girls, always messing and having fun. But they’re also fairies, and instead of regular schooling they go to friendship classes, where they learn all about being kind and having good manners. Then they’re sent out into the human world to teach children what they’ve learned. Of course, it’s not always easy being good! Will they ever be able to graduate from fairy school?

This book is quite funny and entertaining – I enjoyed reading it! And it’s a lighthearted way to remind my kids about the importance of being kind to others and the importance of being considerate towards others in the things that they do.

This book is a fun and charming addition to the girl’s book list.

Carrot Ginger Soup

I was given a pdf copy of My Pinewood Kitchen in exchange for my review. I love cooking and I’ve been doing a LOT of it with being home so much. So, needless to say, I’m getting bored with my recipes and dying for something new.

This cook book looked healthy, hearty, and delicious. And I’ve not been disappointed!

I’ve been attempting to make a carrot soup that I like – and my last one was a major bust (as in, sorry kids, you don’t have to eat it) – so I decided to give this one a try. I definitely haven’t tried one with an apple in it before, so I was quite curious as to how the added sweetness would taste.

Short On Inspiration While Dining In? My Pinewood Kitchen Dishes Out Some Quarantine Cuisine Tips

With COVID-19 keeping us at home more and shopping less, home chefs need to get creative while cooking tasty, healthy meals for their entire family. Chef and author Mee McCormick is an expert: she healed herself of Crohn’s disease, gut issues, and other immune system challenges with whole food recipes when doctors couldn’t help her.

The mom/rancher/restaurateur can share tips for “quarantine cuisine” when you’re hankering for variety in your meals but you’re short on ingredients and inspiration. Perfect for social distancing, many of her recipes are made with items you probably already have in your pantry (for example, her Black Bean Chicken Chili and Immune-Boosting Chicken & Quinoa Soup); she can teach home cooks how to repurpose items to reduce food waste (cilantro pickles, anyone?), and reveal the healthiest foods you need in your pandemic pantry.

My Pinewood Kitchen: A Southern Culinary Cure offers more than 100 gluten-free, whole foods recipes that can be customized for Keto, Paleo, or vegans, making it a truly “all-inclusive” eating plan for the entire family. From smoothies, soups and salads, to dinners and desserts, every recipe is gluten-free and gut-friendly.

•    Curb Your COVID Anxiety with healthy chocolate with Mee’s Chocolate Avocado Mousse & Five-Ingredient Fudge Cups
•    Soups for Social Distancing – Black Bean Chicken Chili and Immune-Boosting Chicken & Quinoa Soup (nutritious, delicious, and they use what you likely have in your home already!)
•    Plenty of plant-based offerings
•    Reduce Waste: Learn how to make cilantro pickles from cucumbers, sweet potato chips from sweet potatoes, a falafel burger from canned chickpeas, and how to make your own healthier ketchup and mayonnaise if you run out
•    10 Gut-Friendly Foods for your Pandemic Pantry

Mee McCormick is a rising Southern culinary and wellness innovator, restaurateur, author, TV cooking personality, farmer, rancher, wife and mother. She splits her time between Nashville and nearby Nunnelly, Tennessee; a tiny, unincorporated community in Hickman County, which is also home to her biodynamic farm and restaurant Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile.

Mee authored her first cookbook My Kitchen Cure, which led to wild success and a book deal with HCI for her second cookbook My Pinewood Kitchen, published on April 14, 2020. She frequently appears on Today in Nashville, and she participates in nationally-recognized food festivals and events, spreading the same level of care and hospitality to audiences everywhere that she has become known for throughout the state of Tennessee. Visit: www.meemccormick.com or www.pinewoodkitchenandmercantile.com.

My Pinewood Kitchen: A Southern Culinary Cure/130+ Crazy Delicious, Gluten-Free Recipes to Reduce Inflammation and Make Your Gut Happy
By Mee McCormick
HCI BOOKS
Released: April 2020/ $26.95
ISBN: 9780757323522
Available wherever books are sold

There are some absolutely amazing recipes in this book! Think terrific and tasty family meals, and the Carrot Ginger Soup did not disappoint!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or ghee

1 large white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1. pounds carrots

1 apple, chopped and skin on

4 cups Chicken Bone Broth (page 120) or Vegetable Broth (page 121) – directions in the cookbook

2 cups water

1/4 cup raw cashews

3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon miso

Sea salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1) In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil or ghee. Add the onion and sweat until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 3 minutes.

2) Add the carrots, apple, broth, water, and cashews. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

3) Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the coconut milk and miso paste. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Incredibly easy and delicious! I paired this with some leftover ribs and steamed broccoli for an absolutely amazing dinner with the family!

Books to Entertain the Kids

I received 3 amazing kid’s books to review. I’ll be honest, they’re all great! I just can’t pick a favorite … actually, I kinda can, there’s one I really just want to steal for myself.


1. Dino DanaDino Field Guide by J.J. Johnson, Colleen Russo Johnson, PhD, & Christin Simms

Fun facts about dinosaurs for kids. Did you know that the brachiosaurus was the tallest dinosaur that we know of today? That the kosmoceratops had fifteen horns and hooks on its head? That the spinosaurus is the only known dinosaur to spend most of its time swimming? Discover this and much more in Dino DanaDino Field Guide.

Dino Dana‘s field guide for your child. Fans of the Amazon Prime TV show Dino Dana will be so excited to have a Dino Field Guide of their own, put together by the incredible show’s creator and executive producer, J. J. Johnson. Full of colorful illustrations and fascinating science facts, this dinosaur book is sure to amaze any young dino enthusiast. View this book on the Dino Dana Store for more information and interactive content!

Review. My son loves this book! He claimed it the minute I opened the box and hasn’t let anyone else near it. It has so many different dinosaurs and lots and lots of pictures! It even has these cute little stuffed animal graphics that he’s convinced me to use as a guide to make him some dinosaur stuffed animals – I’ll post a tutorial if they actually turn out! This book is colorful, fun, and so re-readable. It’ll be a favorite for a while!

2. Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World by Coyote Peterson

Animal Stories for Kids: Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World chronicles some of the wildest encounters Coyote Peterson has had over the course of his travels. The stories begin with his first snapping turtle catch as a kid and lead down a trail of incredible moments he and his camera crew have had while filming their Brave Wilderness shows. From a giant alligator that nearly caught Coyote in its bone crushing jaws, to an 800 pound Grizzly Bear that helped him teach the audience what to do and NOT do if you ever encounter one of these enormous predators in the wild, every tale is laced with fast paced action and daring adventure. With the presence of danger often looming for Coyote, each story reminds the reader that animals rule the wild places of this planet, and if we respect them from a safe distance, even the most frightening creatures are more likely to be afraid of us than we should ever be of them. View this book on Amazon!

Review. I kinda want to claim this book for myself. The stories are interesting and exciting and teach about all sorts of different animals. This is above my 6yr old son’s reading level so I’ve been reading it to him and I’m not sure who’s enjoying it more. Me or him! This book is perfect for those slow days at home when we’ve got nothing to do.

3. I Do Not Like Living with Brothers: The Ups and Downs of Growing Up with Siblings by Daniel Baxter

Learn about the importance of family. I Do Not Like Living With Brothers aims to teach young siblings to see the value and goodness in each other. We never like everything about our brothers or sisters, but if we focus on the positive and recognize that our family cares about us, then we can live in community with greater joy.

Turn sibling rivalry into love and kindness. Exploring the family dynamic of a sister living with two brothers, in this children’s book, our young narrator discovers that while her brothers are dirty, smelly, and sometimes selfish, they are also kind, funny, and helpful. Author and father Daniel Baxter, cohost of the popular YouTube channel How It Should Have Ended, shows kids that perhaps living with your siblings is not all bad. View this book on Amazon!

Review. My 11yr old daughter snapped this one up right away. Which I’m assuming is the whole goal of the title. She read the book through very quickly and found it somewhat amusing. I realize that it’s geared towards slightly younger kids, but she’s not always happy to have brothers, and I’m glad she liked the book. Because with little brothers it’s important for everyone to show kindness even when the boys are doing super annoying little brother stuff. And it’s so nice to be able to encourage that kindness in a fun way.

 

Inspiring Books Review

I received these books for free for purposes of my review.

I don’t know about you, but, when I’m stressed, one thing that really helps me in reading some books just for me.

Between work, homeschooling kids, and not being able to see anyone or go anywhere, I’m just feeling down. Taking some time for me, to read some books that make me think, has been really helpful.

How to Think Like Shakespeare

Lessons from a Renaissance Education
by Scott Newstok

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author talks about current educational methods and compares them to past, renaissance, educational methods. This book has a nice balance approach to this comparison. In that he isn’t saying that one is right and one is wrong. He’s comparing the different methodologies and how they affect education.

A terrific, thought-provoking book that has encouraged me to approach some areas of my kids education a little differently.

My favorite chapter was Of Imitation. Scott Newstok points out that currently in education we are pushing our kids to achieve or create something new without any foundation behind it. Where in Renaissance education plagiarism was almost encouraged, and out of that, people would create something new (like Shakespeare’s writing) after they had copied a lot of other’s work. Basically, learning by imitation.

This one hit home for me because for Easter – at home because of social distancing – I did a scavenger hunt throughout the house for the kids. Complete with hints that were written out as 4 line poems. Incredibly easy for me to write. My 11 yr old couldn’t get over how awesome it was and it was then that I put it all together.

I memorized a LOT of poetry in middle and high school, I loved poetry, actually, I still do. And for me, writing a couple of rhyming lines just happens. It’s fun, it’s easy, and apparently, my kids think it’s awesome. But it’s easy because I memorized a lot of the classics, like The Village Blacksmith and Paul Revere’s Ride. These poems have great rhyme and I find that I naturally fall into a similar rhyme pattern when I write poetry.

My oldest loves to write, and in her writing class they’ve done a lot of summarizing and then writing in their own words. At this point it’s easy for her, and I’m glad she’s moving on to something more advanced next year. But, there’s so much value in studying good writing and reading other people’s good writing if you want to be a writer. It’s important to have that foundation before you try to create your own building.

There’s many other great chapters in this book. In our current moment, obsession with assessment and teaching to the test produces large amounts of anxiety about education. In How to Think like Shakespeare, Newstok argues that education must be about thinking, not just training a set of specific skills. Education isn’t merely accumulating data nor implementing formulas, machines are way better at that than humans. So if there is one thing humans do better than anything else, it is precisely thinking. And who better embodies thinking than William Shakespeare?

Scott Newstok is a professor of English and founding director of the Pearce Shakespeare Endowment at Rhodes College. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Your Story Matters

Own Your Story and Tell it With Clarity, Conficence, & Impact
by Linda A Olson

This book walks you through how to own your own story and then how to confidently share it with others.

For me, one of the things that stuck out, is that I have a story that’s important to others.

I enjoy sitting back and listening to other’s stories and often have trouble sharing my own. So, after reading this book, I’m challenged to think through some of my stories and really try to share them with others.

Whether it’s just sharing them with my kids at the dinner table or typing them up on my blog. I agree with Olson, each of us has a story to tell that can benefit those around us, and I just need to learn how to tell mine with Clarity, Confidence, and Impact.

And what better time than the present to work on this. When we’re all stuck at home and really the best way for me to communicate with people is through written stories.

I’m excited that not only did I enjoy a great book, I now have something productive to work on!

Claudette’s Miraculous Motown Adventure

*This is a Sponsored Post*

Claudette’s Miraculous Motown Adventure
by A.K. Morris & Claudette Robinson
Illustrated by Pamela C. Rice

Summary
Little Claudette lives in the magic kingdom of Motown, where all the happy children sing and dance int he streets. Then one day, an angry witch casts a spell, and the kingdom descends into dark silence. Unhappy and bored, Claudette finds a box of Miracles in her attic. Inside are four little fellows – Smokey, Bobby, Ronnie, and Pete – who sing music so sweet. Claudette and the Miracles begin to sing together, but will it be enough to bring light and laughter back to the kingdom of Motown?

Review
This book was published in 2019, commemorating Motown’s 60th Anniversary celebration. It’s such a cute book, showcasing a little girl’s journey as she discovers the power of music.

The Author, Claudette, uses her own name, and fancifully tells of her journey as the first female artist with Motown Records.

The back of the book has a biography on The Miracles and their lengthy and accomplished career.

About the Author
As an original member of The Miracles, Claudette Robinson was the first female artist to sign with Tamla/Motown Records. In 1960, “Shop Around” became their first million-seller, prompting Berry Gordy to declare Claudette: “The First Lady of Motown.” During the Miracle’s six-decade career, the group has sold more than 60 million records to date, been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2017, the City Council of L.A. awarded a Resolution to Ms. Claudette Robinson for her varied accomplishments in the recording industry and her continuing philanthropic efforts.

Giveaway
Check out the Claudette’s Miraculous Motown Adventure playlist! Print out the coloring sheet for your kids to color while everyone listens. And, enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Claudette’s Miraculous Motown Adventure.

Connect
Follow Claudette Robinson at:
Website
Facebook
Instagram

 

Think Big

*I received this book free for purposes of my review*

Think Big – By Kat Kronenberg, Illustrated by David Miles

New Children’s Book from bestselling, award-winning author captures the magic of our individuality and inspires kids to live their purpose.

In a society that often seems to encourage us all to look, act, and think the same, it can be difficult for kid to feel like what makes them unique matters. And, I’m sure that as we’re all homeschooling these days, we’re all discovering more and more of each other’s unique traits.

As hard as it can be, it’s good for us to discover, embrace, and celebrate all that makes us special so we can use our gifts to inspire others and ultimately make a positive and lasting impact on the home we all share.

Think Big is the third book in Kronenberg’s trilogy of books the Live Big Series. In Think Big, moody Baboon is faced with drought in his home, the African savanna. Even though they are all scared, inspired by Baboon, all the animals learn to reflect on who they want to be and what choices they need to make to shape their futures. The animals discover that they can make positive choices/decisions that allows them to connect their minds to their hearts, igniting their courage. Can they use their newfound power to not only survive, but ultimately thrive, amidst hardship?

As much as I love the story, I’m really in love with the illustrations. These bright, eye-catching illustrations go perfectly with the story and further help children remember how important it is for them to believe in themselves and discover how they can make the world a better place.

Extras:

You can find project guides, videos, and downloadable activity sheets at www.katkronenberg.com.

Available for purchase May 12. Pre-order is available from Amazon and Book People.

Fly Fly Again – Review

Fly Fly Again by Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson. I’ve always loved flight. From building paper airplanes and flying kites as a kid to showing my kids how to do all these awesome things. Of course, we’ve added stomp rockets and drones to our flight arsenal.

So, I was excited to check out and review this cute book.

Review:

The other day, one of my kids asked me what sand dunes are (6yr old is working on 2 vowel words and read the word “dune” but didn’t know what it was). And I remembered a family trip to Kitty Hawk to explore the dunes where flight got it’s start. It’s always awesome to think of how many times people had to try before flight was actually achieved. This book does a great job of capturing that optimism and try try again mentality of someone who is truly passionate about what they want to accomplish.

She even enlists some help in her flight attempts. This really is a fun, and beautifully illustrated book about flight, friendship, and perseverance. Showing that if you just try again, eventually you’ll succeed.

This 15 page book was created for 5 to 10 year olds, but my 2yr old loves the pictures, even if he doesn’t understand the concept of perseverance.

And if you think about it. With over 600,000 pilots around the world, it’s amazing what just trying again and again can accomplish!

About the Authors:

Katie Jaffe: With a passion for children’s causes, Katie has committed herself to several charities, helping children around the world.  As Creative Director and Design Consultant of Aviation for Spectre Air Capital,  Katie has aided in the design of several high profile aircraft.  Currently, she is leading the marketing and design effort of an overseas airline.  She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband–who is a pilot– and their three children who like to fly. 

Jennifer Lawson: Lifelong educator and advocate of the Childrens’ Literacy Program.  Jennifer seeks to bring knowledge to students through creative curriculum and technology on a global level.  As Owner and President of Decision Tree Technologies, she is currently endeavoring to teach using technologically advanced solutions that excite today’s students. She lives in Austin, Texas with her family.

Author Q&A:

  1. Where did you grow up /live now? I grew up in El Paso, Texas and moved to Austin to attend UT.  I currently live in Austin with my husband and three children.
  2. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I have always wanted to be a writer. 
  3. Do you have kids and/or pets? Yes, I have 3 children and 2 dogs  
  4. What first inspired you to write?  Since I was very young, I have always loved to write. I have also had a passion for children’s causes from a very young age, and writing this book was a great way to give back to children’s education with our proceeds benefiting UNICEF and Buzz Aldrin Ventures.
  5. What inspired your story? Our story was inspired by my husband Jordan who has had a love of flight since he was a child.  Our family is in the aviation industry and our 3 children have also developed a love for flying. We are constantly teaching them the basics of flight in our day to day life, and this book was the perfect way to do so for all kids that may be interested in flying.

More Information:

What your own copy of this cute book? You can purchase it at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Google Books

Want to connect with the authors? You can find out more about them at their:

Website:

Facebook:

I received a copy of this book free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

30 Days to Understanding the Bible – Review and Giveaway

I received a copy of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders for free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Review

I like Devotions, to a point. But, what I really like is a good Bible Study. This 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders is a terrific guide to Studying the Bible!

This study goes through the structure of the Bible, the Geography of the Bible, and then walks through all the different eras or time spans in the Bible. And, then after you’ve thoroughly explored geography and time, it goes over 10 Biblical Doctrines such as the Holy Spirit, Angels, and Sin.

At the end of the book are 8 bonus chapters that cover things like comparing the 4 Gospels and different literary forms in the Bible.

I loved all the Geography and timelines! I enjoyed the Biblical Doctrines as well, but my favorite parts were definitely the Geography. It’s so helpful to have a better understanding of where and when events are happening!

I enjoyed this study on my own, but, if you’d rather do this as a group, there’s a 13 session teaching plan in this book. This would make an amazing group Bible study! And something I would love to go through again with a group. I think the Biblical Doctrine sections would be especially interesting in a group. You know, get some different perspectives and really dig into these together.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It got me digging deeper and thinking more and understanding better. And, if you’re like me, and you love all the extra little details – like timelines – you’ll love this book as well!

Find out more!

Buy link: http://bit.ly/30DaystoUnderstandingtheBible

Promo video link: https://youtu.be/6J8xqfbsGBM

Official website: http://www.biblein30days.com/

Enter to win

I get to give away 1 copy of 30 Days to Understanding the Bible by Max Anders. Enter below for your chance to win!

NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition – Review & Giveaway

I received this NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

With over 9 million copies sold, the Adventure Bible brand is beloved by Christian schools, churches, and families alike. Now, the #1 Bible for kids, including all of the trusted essentials loved by parents, is available in an exciting polar exploration theme!

Ready for a frosty Adventure? Embark on a fun, exciting trek through God’s Word with the NIV Adventure Bible, now in an all-new polar exploration theme! While on this arctic adventure, readers meet all types of people, see all sorts of places, and learn all kinds of facts about the Bible. And most importantly you’ll grow closer in your relationship with God.

Features of the NIV Adventure Bible, Polar Exploration Edition include:

• The same trusted Adventure Bible content in a frosty new theme

• Full-color images of polar animals, arctic outposts, and icy landscapes throughout make learning about the Bible even more engaging

• Life in Bible Times—Articles and illustrations describe what life was like in ancient days

• Words to Treasure—Highlights great verses to memorize

• Did You Know?—Interesting facts help you understand God’s Word and the life of faith

• People in Bible Times—Articles offer close-up looks at amazing people of the Bible

• Live It!—Hands-on activities help you apply biblical truths to your life

• Twenty polar-themed pages focus on topics such as how to know you are a Christian, famous people of the Bible, highlights of the life of Jesus, and how to pray.

• Book introductions feature arctic art and important information about each book of the Bible

• Dictionary/concordance for looking up tricky words

• Color map section to help locate places in the Bible

• Complete text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible

• Thrilling new glacial cover on metallic paper

This bible is so cute and I love all the colorful pictures! My son claimed it immediately when it arrived and he’s loving all the awesome animal pictures. He requests that I read out of his Bible every night for devotions. I’m always happy when my kids are excited to read the Bible!

You can purchase your own copy here! And enter below for a chance to win a copy to keep or to gift!