Children’s Non Fiction Book: Rosa’s Big Boat Experiment

Rosa's Big Boat Experiment by Jessica Spanyol
Rosa’s Big Boat Experiment
by Jessica Spanyol

5 out of 5 stars
I love how this book puts STEM concepts into simple terms for little readers. The children learn that objects float or sink based on their density. “Everything is made of molecules… They are very, very tiny. The closer the molecules are packed together, the denser the object.” That quote is probably the most technical part of the entire book. The rest of it is mostly simple statements about how a marble will sink, but a ping pong ball will float. A sponge will first absorb the water and then sink.

The children in the book build boats out of objects that can float and they have a boat race. The boats are made out of tin foil, milk cartons, and plastic bowls. The boat with the biggest sails and a hull that is pointed at the front will sail the fastest. Continue reading

Children’s Non Fiction Book: Caribou

Caribou by Dorothy & David Aglukark
by Dorothy & David Aglukark

5 out of 5 stars
This book contains wonderful information about caribou, their habitat, their migration patterns, and their young. There are two to three paragraphs of information in each section, giving interesting information like how caribou survive against predators and how their antlers grow. There is even a section about how Inuit tribes will use caribou skin or bones to make clothing and utensils.

I love the warm artwork in this book! It really makes it enjoyable to read and see these majestic animals illustrated in their wilderness home. It immediately captured my attention!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book 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.

Non Fiction Book Review: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography and Other Writings by Benjamin Franklin
The Autobiography and Other Writings
by Benjamin Franklin

3 out of 5 stars

This is an interesting look at Benjamin Franklin’s life. The first part is his autobiography, which he never finished. It tells mostly of his early life and his beginnings in the printing business. Then there are collections of his letters, scientific writings, and political writing. These are divided by topic, with short explanations from the editor giving general information surrounding those letters or publications. It shows his work as a scientist and inventor, his gradual assent into public life as a statesman and politician, and his personal life as a husband and father and his personal relationships.

I found it very interesting and readable, and I loved seeing how meticulous and sensible Franklin was in ordering and organizing his life. He had some excellent ideas and some crazy ideas. He was a person always searching and wondering and puzzling through the mysteries of life. He must have had a terrific amount of energy, since he often writes about diligence and industry. He was a rare personality.

I enjoyed this close look into American history!

Non Fiction Review: Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey

Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon
Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey
by Fiona Carnarvon

4 out of 5 stars

In 1922, Catherine married Lord Porchester, and eventually became the Countess of Carnarvon, and Highclere Castle was her home. This book follows the family living at Highclere, and their neighbors and staff, through the roaring 1920’s and the devastation of WWII. During this time, Highclere Castle was used as a children’s nursery school for children fleeing the bombs in London.

I loved the mixture of history and personal anecdotes in this book. The book is completely non-fiction, but the writing feels like fiction because it pulls you into the story.

I was expecting to skim through most of this, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it extremely interesting and readable. I didn’t skim any of it, and I truly felt connected to the beautiful history and the Carnarvon family. Continue reading

Book Review: A Book That Takes Its Time

A Book That Takes Its Time by Irene Smit
A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness
by Irene Smit, Astrid van der Hulst

5 out of 5 stars

This beautiful book has postcards, stickers, small posters, removable journal booklets, and a dozen other adorable things included! You can write lists, read poetry, make a collage, write in your thoughts, or learn to do your own creative hand-lettering. There are articles about following your dreams, letting go of stress, reaching out with kindness, slowing down, and being more creative.

There are inspirational stories, beautiful poetry, and famous quotes. You’ll find common sense advice about how to get rid of old habits, how to find your life balance, how to start an exercise routine, how to connect with nature, how to be vulnerable, and how to be more grateful.

You can make your own timeline, cook up some of the recipes, send a postcard to a friend, or take a photograph. There are dozens of activities that you can choose from! Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: When the World Feels Like a Scary Place

When the World Feels Like a Scary Place by Abigail Gewirtz
When the World Feels Like a Scary Place: Essential Conversations for Anxious Parents and Worried Kids
by Abigail Gewirtz

2 out of 5 stars

This book has some good ideas about talking to your kids in a calm and productive manner. It has techniques for defusing anger with compassion, and managing stress and anxiety when your children are confronted with difficult issues.

There are example conversations and situations that deal with circumstances like bullying, immigration, social justice, climate change, violence, activism, technology, and more. Some of the issues are definitely following a political agenda, instead of just giving general advice. I didn’t like that the author was pushing politics and a leftist world-view. Continue reading

Activity Book Review: Origami City

Origami Neighborhood by Taro Yaguchi
Origami City: 75 Models to Fold and Build: A Fold-by-Number Book
by Taro Yaguchi

5 out of 5 stars
This kit has everything you need to create an origami paper city! There are pre-printed papers and a book with instructions for folding 75 different elements in the city, like buildings, vehicles, trees, and even animals.

Gradually the book moves from simple designs to more complex designs that require more folds. Everything is explained with detailed instructions and diagrams that clearly show each fold. The thing that makes this so easy is the numbered lines on each piece of paper. You just have to find the number and fold along the pre-printed line.

I love the colorful designs for libraries, fire trucks, and trees. There is even a fountain and a clock tower! Each design has beautiful details that make it really special.
Continue reading

Activity Book: Paint By Sticker Dogs

Paint by Sticker by Workman Publishing
Paint by Sticker: Dogs
by Workman Publishing

5 out of 5 stars

This activity book has 12 beautiful designs, and hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! Each design shows a different breed of dog running, playing, fetching a ball, swimming, or cuddling. It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

The stickers are sturdy and easy to remove from the sticker sheet. The colors are vibrant and it’s simple to follow the instructions to find the right placement for each sticker. I really loved that the pages are perforated, so that you can tear out the sticker sheet or the design or both. That way you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth in the book. Continue reading

NonFiction Review: English Grammar Workbook for Adults

The English Grammar Workbook for Adults by Michael DiGiacomo
The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing
by Michael DiGiacomo

4 out of 5 stars

This book is designed to help non-native English speakers to perfect their English grammar and navigate the many exceptions to the rules while speaking and writing English. The instruction goes way beyond “i before e except after c” type of rules, and addresses common pitfalls and mistakes that people make when learning English.

The reality is that many people who are native English speakers could read this book and learn a lot about their own language. Americans are especially known for having a poor understanding of the most basic rules of grammar and syntax, and could really benefit from a refresher in this book. Continue reading

NonFiction Book Review: Family Tree Workbook

Family Tree Workbook by Brian Sheffey
Family Tree Workbook: 30+ Step-by-Step Worksheets to Build Your Family History
by Brian Sheffey

4 out of 5 stars

If you are doing any kind of genealogy research, this book will help to organize the information, catalogue the facts, and track all the records of your family history. This book also includes wonderful advice about how to find US Census documents, death and birth records, and marriage records of your ancestors. There are also worksheets to use when interviewing family members and recording oral history. There is a log for cataloging family heirlooms, another for charting your distant cousins, and even one for researching the sale of enslaved people.

I do love a good worksheet! But this book takes it to the next level with charts, records, timelines, maps, trackers, logs, medical history, and more. My little organizational heart is so happy with this design! Continue reading