Non Fiction Review: Turn It Up!

Turn It Up! by National Geographic Kids
Turn It Up!: A Pitch-Perfect History of Music That Rocked the World
by National Geographic Kids

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives an overview of the history of music and how music developed over time to include different styles. With paintings and photographs showcased in a colorful design, this book is sure to capture the attention of anyone interested in music!

I really love how the information is organized in easy-to-read text boxes. Each chapter focuses on one era of music history, covering Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, Modern, and Post-Modern music.

This book has biographies and songs of music styles like Jazz, Pop, Big Band, Blues, Rock, Reggae, Heavy Metal, and a dozen more, featuring music stars, composers, singers, musicians, conductors, and influencers who created the music we know today. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: We Love Babies!

We Love Babies! by Jill Esbaum
We Love Babies!
by Jill Esbaum,  National Geographic Society 

5 out of 5 stars

This adorable picture book features dozens of baby animals from familiar species like the Elephant and Rabbit, to strange species like the Long-Eared Jerboa and the Serval. The photographs of these cute little babies are colorful and sweet! There are tiny cartoon characters drawn into the corners of the pages who cheer for the babies.

The text describes all the things we love about animal babies, their soft fur, their stripes, and fins. Their hooves, and paws. Their snuffles and snorts, their squawks and peeps. “Big or tiny, fast or slow” we definitely love animal babies!

Photographs of the animal babies are placed in a colorful background design that is sure to capture the attention of little readers.

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Non Fiction Review: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman by Barbara Kramer
Harriet Tubman
by Barbara Kramer

5 out of 5 stars


Harriet Tubman was born as a slave and escaped to freedom. She worked tirelessly to free other slaves and even served as a spy during the American Civil War. She is best known for her work as a “conductor,” guiding slaves to freedom through the “Underground Railroad,” a series of safe houses called “stations” that allowed slaves to travel undetected to the Northern United States and Canada.

I loved the simple writing style, easy for a beginner to understand. There are fact boxes in the corners that explain the meanings of words, and give direct quotes from Tubman. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Susan B. Anthony

National Geographic Readers by Kitson Jazynka
National Geographic Readers: Susan B. Anthony
by Kitson Jazynka

5 out of 5 stars

Susan B. Anthony worked tirelessly to secure votes and liberty for women in the United States. This book gives an overview of her life and her work, with explanations about petitions, laws, newspaper articles, and how these things influenced Anthony’s work. There is also interesting information about clothing styles, employment, habits, and how people lived in at the turn of the century.

I loved the simple writing style, easy for a beginner to understand. There are sections for an adult to read aloud, and then a smaller section with easier words and larger font for the child to read. It’s a great way to teach a child new words, and get them involved in reading together!

The colorful design and old-timey photos captured my attention. There are also activities and questions that get the reader engaged and make them think carefully about the ideas in the book. I appreciated how thoughtful the questions are and how much goes into the design! Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: How To Raise a Reader

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul
How to Raise a Reader
by Pamela Paul , Maria Russo

2 out of 5 stars


This book gives advice for encouraging a child to read at every stage of their lives into adulthood. There are guidelines for reading to newborn babies and toddlers, guiding a child to read on their own, encouraging a middle grader or preteen to love reading, and influencing a teenager in their reading choices. There are chapters for each age group with suggestions on when to let a child explore books on their own, and when to step in with a subtle influence and inspire them to read.

There were some things that I liked about this book. The writing style is good, but a little pretentious in places. The authors write as if they know everything there is to know about parenting, reading, and which books are best.
They criticized some of my favorite childhood books as being too “preachy” and “moral”, so right away they lost my respect for their opinions. They would have done better to be more accepting of different tastes in books, instead of being so quick to judge certain books as “boring” or unappealing to children. Well, those books were appealing to me when I was a child, and they are STILL my favorites! Continue reading

Picture Book Reviews: In the Wild series

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas OldlandMaking the Moose Out of Life by Nicholas OldlandThe Busy Beaver by Nicholas Oldland
Up the Creek by Nicholas OldlandWalk on the Wild Side by Nicholas Oldland
4 out of 5 stars to the “In the Wild” Series by Nicholas Oldland
These picture books are adorable! I love the cartoony illustrations with clear lines and bright colors. I love the simple storylines and funny plots.

Sweet and hilarious, these books are perfect for reading with young children!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of all these books from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

To read individual reviews of each picture book, continue reading….

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Non Fiction Review: Toddler Activities Made Easy

Toddler Activities Made Easy by Krissy Bonning-Gould
Toddler Activities Made Easy: 100+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Busy Parents
by Krissy Bonning-Gould (Goodreads Author)

4 out of 5 stars


This book gives fun and engaging activities for toddlers that require very little set-up, materials, or preparation. In the first pages, there are lists of specific motor skills, language skills, and emotional intelligence that you can look for in your toddler based on their age. There are labels for different skills that are used in each activity.

The activities include things like matching games, pretending to be animals, recognizing shapes and letters, hopscotch, dance parties, and simple construction projects with materials like paper, cardboard, and rubber bands. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Grateful Together

Grateful Together by Vicky Perreault
4 out of 5 stars

This guided journal is for parents and children to write in together as a reminder to be grateful for something each day. The prompts include things like being grateful for friends, laughter, favorite books, pets, acts of kindness, and teachers.

A guided entry might ask the writer to do an act of kindness or generosity and then journal about it and how it made them feel to help someone. Another entry will ask the writer to write about a time when someone helped them, and how grateful they are for the generosity of others. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: With All My Heart

With All My Heart by Stephanie Stansbie
With All My Heart
by Stephanie Stansbie, Richard Smythe

5 out of 5 stars

This sweet picture book features die-cut openings in the pages that showcase an element in the illustrations or a word on the next opposing page of the book. The way the openings are set up is really clever, so that no matter which way you look through them, there is something lovely that adds to the words and illustrations.
The die-cuts also vary between heart shapes, flowers, clouds, leaves, and stars. The openings highlight shooting stars, the pitter-patter of rain, the shining moon, and lovely falling leaves. Continue reading