Non Fiction Book Review: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021, U.S. Edition by National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021, U.S. Edition by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

This book is full of weird facts and details about exploration, history, space, science, animals, ecosystems, geography, and nature. So of course, I devoured this book and enjoyed every colorful page!

With beautiful photos and maps, this book gives a quick look into fascinating cultures, amazing explorers, newly discovered animal species, and dazzling planets and stars all over the galaxy.

I especially loved the section about Space and Earth. It has information about minerals, and lava, and how the earth is formed, and about the vastness of space and all the wild phenomena out there in the universe. There are sections for dwarf planets and black holes, and of course a 2021 calendar of the best times to watch the skies for meteor showers, supermoons, or an eclipse.

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Non Fiction Review: 101 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera

101 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera by Susan Branson

101 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera
by Susan Branson
4 out of 5 stars

This book lists dozens of uses for aloe vera for health remedies, mental wellness, beauty products, acne cream, cleaning products, and even bug spray. The sections include Health, Wellness, Beauty, Plants, and Home.
There are recipes and advice for using aloe gel, aloe water, the latex in aloe plants, and even a powdered aloe. It can be applied topically or taken internally for different uses.

I am very impressed with all the different things aloe can do! I had no idea it was so versatile and effective. The uses include things like getting rid of warts, dandruff, earaches, eczema, and cold sores. It helps to lower symptoms of the flu, shingles, arthritis, ulcers, and may even help to control diabetes. It can be used in hair conditioner, aftershave, hand sanitizer, deodorant, and eye lotion to repair the skin. And the aloe plant can be used for mosquito control, household cleaners, as an air purifier, and even to get rid of termites.

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Picture Book Review: The Little Dancer

The Little Dancer by Géraldine Elschner

The Little Dancer: A Children’s Book Inspired by Edgar Degas
by Géraldine ElschnerOlivier Desvaux (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

Young Jeanne travels to Paris with her mother, hoping to be accepted into the opera ballet. She works very hard to pass the entrance exam, and then spends her days in endless dance classes and rehearsals. When a painter asks Jeanne to model for a sculpture, she is eager to earn some extra money for her mother.

I love the Impressionist art that honors Degas’ style. The blurry lines and smudges of paint are full of meaning. Each page is awash with color and motion. The design of each scene is enchanting, and each dancer is elegant and graceful.

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Picture Book Review: How to Spot an Artist

How to Spot an Artist by Danielle Krysa

How to Spot an Artist
by Danielle Krysa
4 out of 5 stars

This book encourages children (and adults) to keep creating, keep making things, and be on the lookout for other artists. You have to watch out for art bullies, whether it’s someone else or your own inner critic who wants to squash your creativity and freedom. Don’t let any criticism stop you from being an artist!

I loved the silly art style in this book. The blob creatures are made from yarn, paint, dots, squares, rainbows, string, glitter, and something that looks like shiny gold foil. They all have stick arms and little dot eyes and big smiles. So cute!

There are so many positive messages in this book! It’s a fresh look at the “Believe in Yourself!” message, and it got me really inspired.

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Picture Book Review: The House of Happy Spirits

The House of Happy Spirits by Géraldine Elschner

The House of Happy Spirits: A Children’s Book Inspired by Friedensreich Hundertwasser
by Géraldine ElschnerLucie Vandevelde (Illustrations)
2 out of 5 stars

Some children notice that a house is being built around their favorite tree in the neighborhood. They are amazed at the beautiful designs and colorful structure of the building, but they worry that their tree might have been cut down. Then they meet the architect, and find out what really happened to their beloved tree.

This book was okay. I didn’t like the art style, and the story was weird. It all seems so chaotic. It takes an effort to read and understand what is happening in the pictures. It reminds me of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ when things don’t make any sense in the narrative. Some people like that free and wild style, but it makes me nervous. This book literally made me nervous because it’s so topsy-turvy and nonsensical.

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Comic Book Review: Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge

Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge by Grace Ellis

Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge
by Grace EllisBrittney L. Williams (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars

Lois and her best friend, Kristen, are entering the neighborhood bike race, but the fireworks for the big event have been stolen. Lois only wants to record the event for her online channel where she hopes to create a viral video. She’s so focused on her own project that she doesn’t understand how anxious Kristen is feeling about leaving for camp the day after the race. Can their friendship survive when Lois is so determined to be an internet star?

I loved the artwork and the cute designs! The story is vibrant and the plot is interesting. I really liked how Lois learns about the moral differences between journalism and detective work. “Journalism isn’t about justice. Journalism is about the truth.”

However, I didn’t really understand the characters in this book. Lois is up and down all the time.

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Comic Book Review: Teen Titans GO! to Camp!

Teen Titans Go! to Camp by Sholly Fisch

Teen Titans Go! to Camp
by Sholly FischMarcelo Dichiara (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars

The Teen Titans have been banned from superhero summer camp, so this year for camp they are going to Camp Apokolips. The evil Granny Goodness is looking for recruits and is trying to undermine the heroes’ friendships by getting them to compete against each other. No one is more competitive than Robin, and his enthusiasm sometimes overwhelms his better judgement, causing problems for the team.

I liked the comedy in this comic! Robin is always getting up to crazy highjinks and ruining everyone’s camp experience with his insane determination to win the “Best Camper” award. He is always trying to prove that he is the fastest, smartest, biggest hero in the entire camp, and that is the perfect backdrop for some truly hilarious failures.

The campers have to endure the disgusting food, the crazy counselors, and the ultimate obstacle-course race where the winner is the one who lives through it. But somehow they learn to rely on each other and trust their instincts, and their friendships become stronger than ever.

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