Monday, September 30, 2019

Best Selling, All-Natural Priti Nail Polish [Review & Giveaway USA]

When we think of nail polishes our mind seems to meander along the lines of harsh, strong, nail eroding ingredients that provide shine and durability but are so hard on our nails. We don't think along the lines of natural. The thought "natural" in cosmetics tends to lend itself to plants and other elements occurring naturally.

#436 Buttercrisp Orchd
#372 Geisha Girl
I have found many products on shelves labeled "natural" and some just don't make the grade. And some are top notch and worthy of our purchasing and switching to.

Priti NYC Nail Polishes are labeled "natural" and they come in a fabulous array of fascinating colors. The pictures show my nails in Buttercrisp Orchid. A beautiful color for any time but especially transitioning into the Fall Season. I just love it!

Priti NYC is a non-toxic nail polish created in the United States. These lovely polishes are 100% vegan. They are not tested on animals.

Priti NYC's colors are quite trendy and they also have some that are more traditional. Priti has a nice glossy finish.

Wanting to have a special "spa" day for myself, I took my polish to a local salon and had a manicure and pedicure using it. I liked going in to the salon having already selected the color (and all-natural Priti NYC polish) I wanted to use and not having to select from their displayed polishes. And I also liked the idea of a high quality all natural product.

The application by the salon was beautifully done -  nice and even, pretty and shinny. I don't do as well myself when I apply polish, but I still enjoy getting my nails as pretty as possible, even if not perfect.

I suggest that if you want a polish that is natural, you give Priti NYC Non-toxic Vegan Nail Polish a try.

Good Earth Beauty online natural beauty shop carries a huge lineup of colors in the Priti NYC polish. Be sure you check them out.

NAIL POLISH #436 BUTTERCRISP ORCHID (Opaque Burnt Orange) This is the one pictured.

Product Information (from
A natural nail polish! Priti Polishes are safe and completely Non-Toxic, and do not contain toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP’s. Each is housed in a 12.6 ml. bottle that is completely recyclable. They are fast drying, chip resistant, non-yellowing, contain a UV inhibitor, and are super durable and glossy. All Priti Polishes are named after similar colored plants and flowers

Made by Priti Natural Nail Care Price $13.00

Ingredients: Butyl Acetate (an organic compound common used as a solvent. Colorless, soluble found in many types of fruit), Ethyl Acetate (an organic compound with a pungent smell like pear drops), Nitrocellulose (a long lasting film forming agent derived from cellulose), Acetyl Tributyl Citrate (colorless non-toxic liquid used as a food adaditive), Phthalic Anhydride/Trimellitic Anhydride/Glycols Copolymer (intermediate for the synthesis of surface coating in dyes and adhesives), Isopropyl Alcohol (non-toxic alternative to formaldehyde, Stearalkonium Hectorite (a thickening agent to make sure all the glitter doesn't sink to the bottom), Adipic Acid/Fumaric Acid/Phthalic Acid/Tricyclodecane Dimethanol Copolymer (an organic compound used as a food flavoring ingredient found in mushrooms, and lichen), Citric Acid – obtained from citrus fruits.

MAY CONTAIN:D&C Red #6 Barium Lake, D&C Red #7 Calcium Lake, D&C Red #34 Calcium Lake, FD&C Yellow #5 Aluminum Lake .... etc. (check website for more)

Don't wait to see if you win it! 
Go ahead & shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY.
Your USA order SHIPS FREE. 
Sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using FALL10 discount code.

2 Priti NYC Polishes - 1 Winner
(Prize polishes selection choice of GoodEarthBeauty)
Begins September 30
Ends October 22 @ 12:01 ET
Open to USA addresses only.
If you have won from GoodEarthBeauty in the past 30 days, you will not be allowed to win this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped by publicist at Good Earth Beauty.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Bathorium "Little Charlie" Bath Soak for Babies & Kids (Coconut & Oat) [Review & Giveaway]

Bathorium - Introducing another great product line carried on - your one-stop-shop for all #natural products for you and your family.


My thoughts:  I am especially delighted to present this lovely product to Chat With Vera readers. Everything I've seen about this company's product line speaks volumes to quality and loving care they use for what they sell their customers.

We have guests today to talk about the Bathorium "Little Charlie" Bath Soak for Babies & Kids. Caleb's back!!!!

Caleb's Mom says..... "My 11-month-old son, Caleb, has struggled with a lot of issues with sensitive skin and eczema since he's been born. We have to be very careful about the kind of soap we use and what he comes into contact with. I'm so happy we've discovered the kid's coconut and oat bath soak by Little Charlie! It is perfect for a soothing, and perhaps a little splashy, bath time and gentle enough for daily use.  
My favorite part the fact that it's a cleanser at the same time, so we don't need to apply any soap. The scent is fresh and mild and he smells so clean, but not the way bath gels with harsh fragrances and chemicals do.              — Rebecca & Caleb

About the product: New Little Charlie was created for our youngest bathers to experience a beneficial bath without the nasties.  Luscious coconut milk and oat proteins nourish dry and inflamed skin while gently cleansing from head to toe.

Specifically designed for newborns to eight year olds.  No need for soap when using Little Charlie. Just the water and a washcloth. Using good natural ingredients is the best way to nourish and clean your little one.

Made by Bathorium in Canada 250 gr. Price $19.00

Ingredients: Sodium bicarbonate (aluminum free), cocos nucifera (coconut milk), fruit powder, avena sativa (colloidal oat), kernel flour, avena sativa protein (oat oil extracts), organic cocos nucifera (coconut oil), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba seed oil), chamomila recutita (chamomile essential oil)

Don't wait to see if you win it! 
Go ahead & shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY where your USA order SHIPS FREE. 
And to sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using GEB10 discount code.

2 Individual Bath Packets
2 Winners each receive 2 Packets
Begins September 28
Ends October 26   at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine and Ms. Roddenberry-Smith's and are freely given after personally using it. Winner's prize is provided and shipped by publicist or directly to the winner.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

My thoughts:  It is such a delight to read short Christmas novellas. They are most always warm-fuzzy-feeling books that just brighten one's emotional being. Often those treasures are tinsel draped and brightly lit romances. You know - boy meets girl, girl swoons, a Christmas engagement or wedding, and happily into the sunset. Not bad, but not always what we wish for.

Melody Carlson's Christmas novellas have a light touch of romance - very light. They reach right into the heart of the characters and pull out bits and pieces of life that engage your interest and bring you a truly warm-fuzzy feeling.

In Christmas in Winter Hill we meet a young divorcee and her one and only child who captures our hearts immediately with her bright spirit.

The story has Krista, our young divorcee, beginning a new job in Winter Hill and she is immediately cast into the town's frenzy that is preparation for the annual Christmasville. As the new city manager, she immediately spots discrepancies into which she begins a quiet investigation - all of which creates at atmosphere that is not at all cheerful and gay as a Christmas celebration should be.

As with the author's previous novella, Christmas By the Sea, we find that Christmas in Winter Hill is about family values, love, and trust. It is also about new beginnings.

I highly recommend.

About the book: Krista Galloway has a good reason to dislike the holiday season, but when her new job as city manager forces her to plan the town's over-the-top Christmas celebration, she and her daughter may find a new home—and some Christmas spirit—in the process.

About the Author: Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Revell Reads to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Playing with Collage: Learn the Art of Collage from a Master, by Jeannie Baker [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

My thoughts: The artist Jennie Baker brings the craft of artistic collage to a new height showing intriguing combinations of materials with which to create beautiful visionary pieces of art. More of a craft than traditional art, the use of textual materials pieced together stunningly are used in the playful art form of collage.

This is a great book for school libraries and teachers of art as well as elementary and preschool. Hands of all ages will enjoy the creation of long lasting or temporary artistic expressions using materials they find about their normal day-to-day living.

Here in the fall of the year and at the beginning of the school year, I can see this as a useful, enjoyable guide for persons of all ages.

About the book: With this gem of a book, readers are invited to trust their instincts -- and play -- as they follow the advice of an award-winning collage artist.

Whether using dried flowers or tiny shells, spaghetti or postage stamps, Jeannie Baker draws from the world around her to make work that is singularly beautiful and imaginative. Incorporating a wide range of textures, her arresting collage pieces have earned her international acclaim. Now she shares her secrets and encourages readers to get creative: each of the four main sections in Playing with Collage presents an abstract collage by the artist and offers suggestions and starting points for anyone aspiring to master the art.
Win a copy for yourself, a teacher, or a school library
Begins September 22
Ends October 20 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
NO P.O. Boxes
Canadian winners must provide a phone number.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

National Geo Kids DOG BREED GUIDE: A Complete Guide to Your Best Friend Fur-Ever [Review & Giveaway]

Veterinarian, San Diego Humane Society President and passionate animal welfare champion Dr. Gary Weitzman debuts an excellent reference for families who are bringing home their first four-legged doggy friend. 

Hardcover $19.99
Ages 8-12 National Geographic Kids
My thoughts:  The amount of information on dogs and their history is fascinating and beautifully presented. Although designed for ages 8-12, this will appeal to adults as well.

I grew up with beautiful, loving Collies. My father even raised a few puppies and he had one Collie that he took to dog shows. But they were family dogs allowed to romp and play in the yard with the children and one was a self-appointed protector to my younger brother. So out of innate curiosity  I looked up the information in Dog Breed Guide on Collies. Such a little bit on Collies, but enough. After all, there are a lot of dog breeds featured in the book.

The dogs are categorized by type of breed. I found it very interesting that there is a classification known as "Primitive Dog." These dogs are actually more closely related in genetic makeup to original dogs than any other breed.

It is pointed out that domestication of wolves is the first case of animals being domesticated. Also, that dogs of today are considered to be direct descents of a line of wolves now extinct.

The grouping of dogs in this book sets them apart by their sense of smell, sight, herding, mountain, retrievers and then specially "designed" dog and those bred to have hair rather than fur (good for those with allergies).

So much information about dogs is in Dog Breed Guide that makes this a book that will appeal to young and old alike and be picked up time and time again for perusal and information gleaning.

Every library needs a copy of this book - public, schools, private libraries. I highly recommend.

About the book: From dachshunds to Dalmatians and poodles to pugs, this comprehensive guide gives an overview of more than 400 different dog breeds. Each profile includes the breed's "dog stats": country of origin, size, coat color and pattern, grooming difficulty, exercise needs, and "K-9 qualities." With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gary Weitzman and dog behaviorist Amanda Kowalski, kids will also learn how to choose the right dog for them, how to take care of their new furry friend, and how to understand their behavior. Fantastic feature spreads cover dogs in popular culture, dog ancestry, how to prepare for your perfect pooch, and so much more.
Begins September 19
Ends October 18 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Get 10% Off All Ladybug & Fairy ItemsDISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

MCHATTE Portable Blender with Personal Juicer Cup for Juice shakes and Smoothies (for Travel and is USB Rechargeable)

I am truly not on-board the "smoothie" groupies that enable one to gulp down their veggies, fruits, and even grains in liquefied form. But this cute little blender for smoothies really caught my eye. So here I sit gulping down an unbelievably delicious, sweet fruity drink.

It is like drinking a cloud of goodness. What I used in this small blender was a small-medium sized banana, 1/4 peeled apple (I buy nice apples, not budget apples), half-dozen baby cut carrots (you buy them already peeled and washed), and about 1/4 cup orange juice.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First of all I unboxed the MCHATTE Portable Blender, Personal Juicer Cup, Fruit Mixing Machine/Blender, familiarized myself with the pieces, disassembled and reassembled the blender, then again disassembled and thoroughly washed the pieces. At this point, I was ready to gather the fruits and veggies and begin blending.

There are no instructions that I can read as it is all in Chinese or an oriental language. There is no recipe book with suggestions. So you have to just wing it. I'd recommend the company have their box and instructions written in the language to which they are marketed or shipped. But that's not what we're talking about today. We're taking about the pros and cons of this nifty blender.

Designed for small smoothies or those traveling who want to be sure they get their daily quota of smoothies, this product is ideal. It is rechargeable using a USB port cord. You get several uses between charges. Personally, I'd recommend you make certain your unit is charged prior to using. You certainly don't want to plug this into your computer and blend your smoothie. Simply because mishaps do happen. So charge your unit with your recharging device only when you're not making a smoothie. (I know you got a laugh out of those instructions, but people do strange things.)

Now the unit is ready and filled with my fruits and veggies. I push the button to commence action and voila I have a delicious smoothie. It is lovely. I pour it into the cup that functions as the lid to the unit. It is such a cute cup and has a lovely handle.

I think this is an ideal unit for home use but especially for those who travel.

Product information (click here to find unit -   Mchatte Blender )

8.07" includes power base. 5.51" has power base removed.
Has flat "lid" attached to become "to-go" unit.
NOTE: Exercise care when removing power base. Flip to
have powerbase on top or removal and placement of flat lid.

  • ULTRAVIOLET DISINFECTION LAMP OF PORTABLE BLENDER: After use, press and hold the power button to turn on the disinfection mode, an ultraviolet disinfection lamp, It's safe and healthy. VERA'S NOTE; I depress the control  a few seconds and the little UV light appears. Do this after washing unit.)
  • POWERFUL AND RECHARGEABLE OF BLENDER JUICER CUP: Blend fruits, baby food, vegetables, etc. within 20 seconds, max speed 18300 rpm. 3600mAh rechargeable battery, easily charged by power bank, laptop, computer, or other USB devices. It's very portable and great for traveling outdoor. 
  • SMART DISPLAY DESIGN OF PORTABLE JUICER CUP: click the switch to display the power, double-click the switch to start the 20-second countdown to blend.
  • CUP SEPARATION DESIGN OF PORTABLE BLENDER: After separating the main engine of Portable Blender , It becomes a sealed cup, which is convenient for refrigerating, on-the-go, Office, and Travel.
  • SAFETY AND FOOD GRADE MATERIAL: Personal blender, safe for babies to drink from with an Enhanced ABS resin bottle(FDA, BPA Free), Contains 6 blades made of 304 stainless steel, an in-cup design to prevent accidental finger cuts.

DISCLOSURE: I received a unit to facilitate review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Doggy Defenders series from National Geographic Kids for ages 4-8 [Review & Giveaway]

Ages 4-8 - Hardcover $9.99 - National Geographic Kids

Children are drawn to puppies and dogs for fun, activity, friendship, and unconditional devotion. In real life or in animated stories, the allure is real and usually pretty hyped-up.

In the shadow of major events like the United States' 9-11 tragedy when dogs were used extensively for search and rescue or earthquakes and floods world wide, dogs unflinchingly serve man.

The Doggy Defenders series from National Geographic Kids places beloved dogs in service in a variety of manners - Search, Fire, Police, Therapy. This is not a set of fictional stories about animals, it is about real life dogs who are lovingly trained to served, how they are cared for, and how they go on to serve man (or woman, or child).

These real-life adventure books will teach as well as brighten the day for the reader.

Stella the Search Dog -  ISBN: 9781426334498

Courageous(and ridiculously cute!) bloodhound Stella spends an exciting day at work as a Virginia police search dog, tracking scent trails, riding in a helicopter, and even saving a lost hiker.

Dolley the Fire Dog - ISBN: 9781426332999

Learn all about Dolley's important role as a fire dog in Loudoun County, Virginia as this Labrador retriever visits the site of a fire, trains to sniff out flammable items, and teaches kids about fire safety.

Tiger the Police Dog - ISBN: 9781426332975

Together with his handler Aida, Belgian Malinois Tiger is a member off the Washington, D.C. police department. Readers join Tiger on a typical day “on the job” where he visits a police academy, trains to sniff out important items, patrols famous landmarks, and keeps us all safe.

Willow the Therapy Dog - ISBN: 9781426334474

Willow is a rescued greyhound and a therapy dog in Washington, D.C. Willow has a very important job cheering people up and making them feel better and shares her day with young readers as she visits a hospital, helps children read at a library  book party, and brings smiles to people who need them.

Begins September 11
Ends October 11 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream & Lip Balm usher in the Autumn season #natural & #vegan from Good Earth Beauty [Review & Giveaway]

Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream (find it here)

As the promise of cooler days and nights is given to us in the changing leaves that tumble from their perch on the oaks, maples, elms in colorful array, we tend to think of changes in our cooking practices.

We reach for the spices and herbs that seem too heavy for warm or hot days. We think of breads, cakes, and cookies lavishly endowed with the fragrance of spices. Ginger, allspice, clove, cinnamon. These say comfort and joy and pleasure to our sensory organs - nose and taste. And now that sense of spicy fragrance is endowing our beauty products as well.

The Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream from Good Earth Beauty Exclusives is a #natural and #vegan product rich in those wonderful oils and butters that tenderly care for our hard working hands. Hands that tenderly touch our children. Hands that vigorously pull weeds from the garden. Hands that fold clothes, make beds, sew, cook. Hands that drive the kids to school and then drive ourselves to work that further enriches our soul and our pocketbook.

What are you doing to care for those hard working hands?

I have found that the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives hand creams feel good, work exceptionally well, are thick enough to endow the skin and light enough to be quickly absorbed. They are not greasy or sticky feeling. They are grand.

And right now, the Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream speaks volumes to my being saying, "Hands we love you. Nose we tickle you and delight you."

I highly recommend and I encourage you to endow your senses with this gentle sensory experience this Fall.

Product information (from Good Earth Beauty): Lavish, modern hand cream repairs dry skin and cuticles, leaving behind the perfectly elegant scent. To heal cracked skin, you only need a small drop of this cream. It's deceptively thin for such a hydrating formula, and it leaves hands soft and supple for the entire day. Perfect for holiday gifts or stocking stuffers.

Made in small batches in the USA by Good Earth Beauty 4 oz Tube $14.00
Free of: parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors. Ingredients: Purified Water, Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Sunflower Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, Mango Butter, Organic, Evening Primrose Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Rose Hip Oil, Chamomile, Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Radish Root Ferment (Natural Preservative), Proprietary Blend Of Natural Fragrance Oils.

Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm (find it here)

The same thoughts are so true of our lips. We use them so much. We kiss the boo-boos. We kiss our sweetheart. We speak harsh words (oh my!) and we croon words of love or kindness and whisper lullabies. They sip hot drinks and bear the brunt of winter chill and summer sun.

They need to be cared for. The Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Lip Balm has the potential to soften, soothe, beautify our lips and protect them from the harshness that shifts in weather throw our way.

The Lip Balm won't sweeten the words that come from your lips, but if you care for your lips and guard them, perhaps those words will be gentled as well as the lips softened.

The Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm has just a hint of spice that helps you conjure images of sweetness and delights.

I highly recommend and I encourage you to get one for yourself and several for stocking stuffers and party favors.

Product information (from Good Earth Beauty): Vegan - natural -  soothing and moisturizing - helps heal chapped lips. Seasonal scent & a great stocking stuffer and party favors.  Slather over your lips for the cool feeling of eating a gingerbread cookie. Sweet flavor. Made by Good Earth Beauty Price: $6.25
Ingredients: Meadowfoam oil, olive oil, avocado butter, candellia wax, vitamin E, natural flavor oil
Don't wait to see if you win it! Go ahead & shop for it on GOOD EARTH BEAUTY where your USA order SHIPS FREE. And to sweeten the shopping trip, take 10% off using FALL10 discount code.
Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream $14.00
Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm $6.25

1 Full Size Frosted Gingerbread Hand Cream
1 Frosted Gingerbread Lip Balm
Begins September 10
Ends October 9   at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given after I have personally used it. Winner's prize is provided and shipped by publicist or directly to the winner.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Young Palmetto Books from University of South Carolina Press: Three Wild Pigs-A Carolina Folktale and Poppy's Pants

Poppy's Pants (Young Palmetto Books) by Melissa Conroy

My thoughts:  This is a cute story and nicely told. I love the theme of a child being given the task (so grown up) of repairing Poppy's pants. A grand opportunity for a child to learn to do a useful task and figure out the way to best accomplish that.

To me, though, the book speaks to understanding someone with a disadvantage. You see, Poppy can't discern colors and Penelope can use any color she wishes on his khaki pants.

The illustrations are "stuffed doll/critter" style which beautifully ties in with the theme of Penelope loving to sew.

I recommend this book.

About the book: Penelope's Poppy always wears khaki pants. When he finds a hole in one pair, he asks Penelope to patch it. Penelope likes to sew, but she soon realizes that mending the hole is more complicated than she first thought. Penelope struggles with the challenges and frustrations, but, with a little help from her mama, she finally—and creatively—repairs Poppy’s pants.

Poppy’s Pants is about perseverance and problem-solving. Through Penelope’s example youngsters discover the satisfaction of finding solutions on their own, even if the solution is not the way other people might solve it. Sometimes the best solutions come from being creative—using your head and your hands.

A postscript written by the author’s father, Pat Conroy, best-selling author of The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides, gives a personal, behind-the-scenes description of the book's characters and the author.

Three Wild Pigs: A Carolina Folktale by Lisa Anne Cullen  (Young Palmetto Books)

My thoughts: A retelling of the Three Little Pigs and while it reflects a bit on my part of the world - the Carolina Coast - I didn't care for it. The Carolinas have a giant size share of hurricanes so this story has the wolf as the personification of a hurricane. The pigs are shrimpers and have set out to sea. Of course, there is lots of huffing and puffing from Hurricane Wolf.

The illustrations are not particularly to my liking, but of course that is a personal preference. They are confusing and cluttered appearing.

While I don't care for it, the story is still basically a Three Little Pigs story and carries a goodly amount of charm.

About the book: Three Wild Pigs: A Carolina Folktale, written and illustrated by Lisa Anne Cullen, is an adaptation of James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps's The Story of the Three Little Pigs. Set on Bird Island along the Carolina Coast, this creative retelling of the timeless tale features three generations of a pig family--Lulu, her father, and her grandfather.On the island Lulu is known for being wise in the ways of the world. Pop is wise in the ways of the waters. Grandpaw Curly, the oldest and smartest pig of all, is wise in the ways of the winds. While shrimping in the Atlantic Ocean, the pigs experience harsh winds and see ominous clouds. Knowing these are warning signs of impending bad weather, they row home. Before long a whirling, swirling, huffing-and-puffing Hurricane Wolf arrives to wreak havoc on the pigs, their homes, and Bird Island. Cullen's colorful illustrations mirror the weather, flora, and fauna of the Carolina coast. Three Wild Pigs features maps of North and South Carolina as well as select state symbols and will educate, entertain, and enlighten early readers and listeners of all ages as Lulu, Pop, and Grandpaw Curly struggle to survive Hurricane Wolf.

DISCLOSURE: I received copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone, and are freely given.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure (Explorer Academy #2.5) by National Geographic Kids

(ISBN13: 9781426333071
My thoughts:  Details, details, details. Reading National Geographic books expands one's capacity to absorb the details simply because they provide such an amazing array of subjects. Their "Kid's" books are simply fabulous. When they started the "Explorer Academy Series" of middle reader level books, I was amazed at the interest and desire to read these stories foster.

Now the series includes a Code-Breaking Activity Adventure where the reader can crack the code in a variety of methods. Looking for clues and tie one clue or adventure to another.

Simply fun that clearly drives the "pay attention to the details" in one's reading that is so very vital as one grows into increasingly complex reading modes through educational pursuits.

So grab one of these for that middle reader and help them have some fun and pay attention to the details.

Explorer is so much fun, it even comes to breakfast!

Parent note: Keep in mind that this is an activity book and requires writing so if you have more than one kiddo in your clan, you'll want to get each a copy.

I recommend.

About the book: Unlock ancient puzzles and secrets introduced via supercool codes and ciphers in this companion book to the new Explorer Academy series.

In the first activity book based on the Explorer Academy, kids test their knowledge of ancient codes and ciphers in a series of head-scratching puzzles designed to outwit even the most clever cryptographers. When kids successfully navigate the codes, they are rewarded with a first-class tour of the Academy.

Kids will have a blast, teaming up with the characters from the series and learning firsthand from the world's most renowned scientists, explorers, conservationists, photographers, and journalists. It's a far-flung adventure, too, traveling to historic and majestic locations around the globe.
Begins Sept. 7
Ends October 6 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped/mailed directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

The Spice King (Hope and Glory #1) by Elizabeth Camden [Giveaway]

My thoughts:  From the very first pages of The Spice King until the very end, this story was amazing and I was enchanted. I found the background information sprinkled liberally throughout the book about the spice and flavoring industry and the cost to procure authentic products thoroughly captivating.

I will never look at a little bottle of vanilla flavoring again without a heap of respect for its history.

Set in 1900, the story captures the social temperature of the times with residual hatred for the effects from penalties imposed following the Civil War and on to the general distaste, disrespect, and disapproval of women in the professional work place.

The characters were richly drawn by the author having them play their role in the story quite aptly. The naive Annabelle, who was bucking the social system by working as a professional in the government offices of the Smithsonian and later the Department of Agriculture, was a true treasure and a character readers will love.

The male protagonist is Gray a quite wealthy man of around 40 who is very protective of the plants he has gleaned from around the world. He also has an embittered spirit toward the Government and governmental intrusion.

The other supporting characters and each a joy to get to know in this story. Of course, you  won't like them all as there are some quite unlikable.

I heartily recommend The Spice King and it is an entertaining, historical read.

About the book: Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building a successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Tasked with gaining access to the private Delacroix plant collection, Smithsonian botanist Annabelle Larkin unwittingly steps into a web of dangerous political intrigue and will be forced to choose between her heart and her loyalty to her country.

Want to know something about the history of spices? Here is a great article.

Begins September 6
Ends October 5 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by the publisher to facilitate a review. Any opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

5-Minute Stories from beloved author, Margaret Wise Brown (Silver Dolphin Books) [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

Margaret Wise Brown 5-Minute Stories (Silver Dolphin Books) 

Hardcover $12.99
ISBN: 9781684128495
Ages 3-5
My thoughts:  Mommies and kiddies love big bedtime storybooks. This compilation of a few stories by beloved author, Margaret Wise Brown - of Goodnight Moon fame, will be sure to please both parents and children alike.

I previously reviewed a couple of the stories included in this compilation when published in separate book form, and you can read my reviews here: Count To 10 With A Mouse, Sleep Tight Little Bears.

Titles included are: Count To 10 With a Mouse, A Song For All Seasons, Sleep Little Angel, Away In My Airplane, Wish Upon A Dream, Sleep Tight Little Bears, All The Families: Everyone Has A Family, and The Tickly Spider.

This large, hardcover book is softly padded to provide ease of handling by the young child. The illustrations are captivating and style varies from story to story. I am especially fond of the illustrations in Count To 10 With A Mouse and Sleep Tight Little Bears. The plethora of insects in the bright and colorful The Tickly Spider are great and the little boy's expressions are just so much fun and joyful. Pure boy!

In A Song For All Seasons the child is taken delightfully through each of the seasons as they begin and transition from one to the next. Beautiful words and pictures.

I think my least favorite illustrations was All the Families but the story/poem is quite nice.

I love this big book of 5-Minute Stories for the little ones in your life and recommend it.

About the book: features eight beautifully illustrated tales from Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown that are crafted for reading aloud to your little one in five-minute chunks so that you can read them at bedtime...or anytime.

This beautifully illustrated, magical story collection from best-selling author Margaret Wise Brown—creator of the children's classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny—will enchant children and parents alike. With eight stories that can each be read in about five minutes, it's a perfect collection to read to your little one before bed or any time!

Begins September 4
Ends October 2 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone, and are freely given. Winner's prize copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publisher or publicist.

Monday, September 2, 2019

New kid's World Atlases' from National Geographic Kids "Student World Atlas 5th ed." and "Beginner's World Atlas 4th ed." [Review & Giveaway]

Spark your children's interest after a long summer off with these new National Geographic Kids Books

National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas, 4th ed (ages 7-10, published simultaneously in paperback and hardcover) 

Hardcover $16.95
ISBN: 9781385075
My thoughts:  In my opinion this is "hands down" the very best beginner's World atlas I have ever seen. The presentation of material is so exceptionally well organized and laid out that the flow of information should readily entrench itself into the mind of the young child that has the grand opportunity to have one of these.

It begins with the very basic concept of translating our spherical world into a flat visual map and then comprehending that though flat in appearance it truly represents our round Earth. The the reader learns what a map "is" and what this Atlas book will teach the reader. The separation of the physical world and its map from that of the political world and its map is concisely explained with illustrations that deftly and beautifully correlate with the concept.

Next the reader sees the book is separated into continents with the material showing the continent's map, factoids about the area, a bit of history, and current images particular to that continent.

Beautifully done and I highly recommend.

About the book: It’s a BIG world out there and this OVERSIZED, kid-friendly, and completely redesigned and updated edition of the Beginner’s World Atlas introduces kids to the people, places, animals and environments of our planet. Nat Geo has combined their world-famous map-making skills and color photography with input from specialists in early elementary education to create an atlas custom designed for kids ages 7-10.  Large physical maps make it easy to find each continent's mountains, rivers, grasslands, wetlands and other features while up-to-date political maps name the countries and cities that make up the continents. Key points reflecting the latest information about the land, climate, animals, languages, products and more are highlighted in the accompanying text. It's the perfect reference for kids to learn about lands close to home or oceans away--ideal for classroom use, homework help, and armchair exploration.

National Geographic Kids Student World Atlas, 5th ed (middle school/high school, published simultaneously in paperback and hardcover) - 

Softcover $12.99
ISBN: 9781426334795
My thoughts:  As our World continues to grow smaller and smaller because man is able to traverse it easily even to some of the most remote areas, it becomes more and more imperative that World citizens from a very early age imbue themselves with the logistics as well as the principal features that make up each part and particel of it.

National Geographic Kids does an absolutely fabulous work of presenting World Atlases for various ages covering the basics as well as providing insights into features of each continent and their physical, political, and human aspects.

Early in the Student World Atlas 5th Ed the book is separated in several categories:

>>Learning about maps
>>Physical systems
>>Human system

These encompass many planetary facts and ideas and economics aspects about our World as a whole. The book is then separated by Continents with each examined in the areas of:

  • Physical & political maps
  • Climate & Precipitation
  • Population & Predominant Economies
  • Focus on a specific aspect of that continent
I find the book so full of interesting information that I am tempted to sit for read and browse for hours. I am excited to see this book and others similar placed in the hands of our younger generation enabling them to learn about our World.

What a gem to have on hand to facilitate discussion of areas to which we have traveled and those to which we look forward to visiting in the future. 

I highly recommend.

About the book: Winner of the Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students, the Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and the Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media Award, the new fifth edition of National Geographic's award-winning atlas is the definitive atlas for middle and high-school students to explore and use in the classroom, college prep, and at home. Dynamic, user-friendly content includes photos, facts, charts, online resources, graphics, and full-color political, physical, and thematic maps on important topics. Completely updated maps and statistics from the cartographic experts at National Geographic ensure that kids have all the latest information as they learn more about current events and become global citizens.

Both World Atlas Books
1 Winner
Begins September 3
Ends October 1 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I was provided copies to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize will be provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or pulisher.