Non Fiction Book Review: Called to Be Creative

Called to Be Creative by Mary Potter Kenyon

Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity
by Mary Potter Kenyon (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

This book explores what it means to be creative, and how to unleash your own creative energies. There are tips for exploring different arts or hobbies, and advice on gaining confidence and taking risks. I love how this book encourages the reader to try new things, learn from failure, and embrace anything and everything creative!

The authors spends a lot of time talking about her mother and how creative she was, including excerpts from her mother’s journals and photos of her mother’s artwork. I was not expecting this book to be quite so autobiographical, and I got bored with the long stories about the author’s family.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Beginner’s United States Atlas

Beginner's U.S. Atlas 2020, 3rd Edition by National Geographic Kids

Beginner’s U.S. Atlas 2020, 3rd Edition
by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

This beginner’s atlas is perfect for young readers with a curiosity about the world! It starts with how maps show different states and landscapes, and how to read a map using the key, the compass, and the distance scale that shows miles and kilometers. Full of colorful illustrations and photos, this atlas grabs the reader’s attention!

I like how the book is divided up by region into the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, the West, and territories. It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how states that border each other have a lot in common. Each state flag is featured along with the state bird, state tree, and common wildlife and crops for the region.

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Non Fiction Book Review: United States Atlas

National Geographic Kids U.S. Atlas 2020, 6th Edition by National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids U.S. Atlas 2020, 6th Edition
by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

I love maps, and this atlas is full of incredible maps! It’s got photos and facts and culture and history, all with colorful designs and interesting little details.
The first thing I did was turn to the page for my state, Georgia, and poured over the pages, finding my town, and looking for nearby national parks and monuments.

I like how the book is divided up by region- SouthEast, SouthWest, NorthEast, MidWest, etc… It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how states that border each other have a lot in common. I was also happy to see that many of the Native American cultures are celebrated and featured in this book as a major part of the history of many states.

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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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Non Fiction Book Review: Curly Kids

Curly Kids by Lorraine Massey
Curly Kids: How to Help Your Child Care For and Love That Glorious Hair: A Handbook
by  Lorraine Massey,  Michele Bender

4 out of 5 stars

This book details how to use the Curly Girl method, no shampoo, conditioner-washing method for babies, toddlers, children, and teens. There is a lot of useful information with beautiful pictures, and helpful home recipes for hair products.

I really appreciated that this book details all the harmful chemical ingredients found in basic shampoos that are especially harmful for curly hair. Curly hair is way more sensitive to harsh chemicals like sulfates, and it dries out the hair creating that dreaded frizz. This book gives such good advice about looking for sulfate-free shampoos and silicone-free conditioners. Children’s hair can be especially fine and fragile, and the tips in this book help to manage unruly hair without damaging it. Continue reading

Activity Book Review: Mega Maze Adventure

Mega-Maze Adventure! by Scott Bedford
Mega-Maze Adventure!: A Journey Through the World’s Longest Maze in a Book
by Scott Bedford 

5 out of 5 stars

You might think I got this to share with kids, but no. This one is for me! All mine to enjoy and relax and have fun! I’m already on page three.

This book has a continual maze that takes you in one long line through cut-out portals in each page onto the next page and the next until you reach the end of the book at which point you will have drawn a line 607 feet (185m)long. “That’s four times the height of the Statue of Liberty!” Continue reading

Non Fiction Book Review: Unplugged Play- Toddler

Unplugged Play by Bobbi Conner
Unplugged Play: Toddler: 156 Activities Games for Ages 1-2
by Bobbi Conner 

5 out of 5 stars

My favorite part of the book is a quote from Fred Rogers that says, “Play is not trivial. When children play, they’re doing important work.” I love that this book celebrates the joy of childhood play!

This book is divided into sections with ideas for solo play, parent and child play, playing with others, and playing at a party. There is an introduction that goes deeper into why playing is so important for childhood development.

There are so many great ideas for simple games and crafts in this book! There are ball games, a bean bag toss, clapping and counting games, and role-playing as a cook, mailman, or doll mother. You can head outside for hide and seek games, hula-hoop target games, or floating plastic plates in a wading pool.
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Non Fiction Book: Amazing Islands

Amazing Islands by Sabrina Weiss
Amazing Islands
by Sabrina Weiss

5 out of 5 stars

This book gives information about islands all over the world. There are river islands like Manhattan, and mysterious islands with ancient ruins, and disappearing islands that are eroding away. I especially liked the pages about artificial islands that have been created by man. There are factoids about animal life and history and different cultures around the globe.

The illustrations are eye-catching, and I loved the art style. The colors are bright, and each scene is beautifully designed.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the way they presented scientific theories as if they were fact, and they wrote about widely-accepted but unproven ideas as if they were fact.

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Picture Book Review: I’ll Believe You When

I'll Believe You When . . . by Susan Schubert
by Susan Schubert, Raquel Bonita (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

A child claims to have seen a dragon, but his friends around the world say they’ll believe him when pigs fly, or when frogs grow hair, or when cows skate on ice. There are delightful idioms from Germany, India, Philippines, Netherlands, Spain and many more. Each idiom is accompanied by an illustration showing a frog with hair and pigs flying and cows skating and fish climbing trees.

I love the whimsy and silliness in this book as a child from each culture refuses to believe that there is a dragon, and we get to learn a fun saying from their homeland. Language is such a crazy thing, and often doesn’t make sense, but that is what makes it fun!

I love the cute illustrations! The artwork is colorful, and each page made me laugh and chuckle at all the ridiculous things going on in the background.
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