Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Nerd A to Z: Your Reference to Literally Figuratively Everything You've Always Wanted to Know by Tamara J. Resler, National Geographic Society

My thoughts:  As with most National Geographic Kids publications, "Nerd A-Z" provides a plethora of information. In this publication the variety is astounding. Arranged alphabetically, the topics under each letter is varied and surprising. Bite-size bits to plant seeds of curiosity in the minds of young readers for future exploration into subjects that they find interesting.

I found some things about this publication that didn't appeal to me. First of all, the alphabetical idea is good and yet there is not any rationale that I can find behind the bits of information gathered under each letter. Example: "F"
  • F-35 Helmet
  • Fantasy Geopolitics
  • Fashions from Sci-Fi
  • Fire-Making
  • Fire-Tailed Titi Monkey
  • Fire Walking
Or perhaps "C"
  • Chimpanzees
  • Concussions
  • Cosmetics
  • Cosplay
  • Coyote
  • Crop Circles
So while the information is good and the amount of each is in the form of snippets, it seems quite random.

Then I also found the font size to rather small as though they wanted to cram as much information as possible on the pages.

Positive aspects in my opinion include the great amount of information on a variety of subjects, the fun and appealing illustrations - both photographic and drawn, and the sometimes silly or tongue-in-cheek method of description or presentation. These will all appeal to young readers and make the book good for picking up and reading to garner lots of bits of information that all Nerds love to have crammed in their inquisitive brains.

About the book: Want to know how likely it is that robots will take over the world? Or what Viking heroes were really like? Find out in this guide to all things smart and geeky--from ancient history to sci-fi technology, Marvel superheroes to edible insects, and beyond!

Move over dictionary. There's a new reference book in town!

This superstuffed alphabetical compendium of must-know facts from science, pop culture, history, and more is perfect for kids who already know the names of every single dinosaur or want to understand exactly how the Millennium Falcon works. It's a book for grammar gurus, science snobs, music geeks, and history buffs. In short, it's a book for nerds.

Inside, you'll find browsable, info-packed blurbs that'll give you the lowdown on everything from augmented reality to zydeco, with larger features that dive deep into fascinating topics like UFOs, pirates, artificial intelligence, and daring circus acts. You'll find out what kind of nerd you are with superfun flowchart quizzes. And you'll hear from the world's most notable (and quotable) Nerds of Note from history and today.
Begins January 15
Ends February 12 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
 DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of National Geographic to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

NENRENT Q13 TWS True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds [Review]

The NENRENT Q13 TWS True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds (Bluetooth 5.0) come with their own charging case and provide HD Stereo Sound and fast pairing.

The set pairs nicely with my iPad and the sound on them when used paired with the iPad is very good. NENRENT BLUETOOTH EARBUDS - AMAZON LINK

I am very hard of hearing and use hearing aids. So since my hearing aids don't pair with my iPad or laptop computer, I was looking forward to using the Nenrent Earbuds. They work great with the iPad; but although my laptop (HP Pavilion) shows them in the Bluetooth list as "paired," they do not emit ANY sound. I don't know if this is from the incompatibility of the computer with the Nenrent Bluetooth Earbuds or maybe I'm not doing something correctly.

When I use my iPhone, my hearing aids are paired and I hear fine so I don't need the earbuds for the phone. I do need them for the iPad and my laptop computer.

Another disadvantage for me, and I am sure this is a limited disadvantage since I recognize the problem. I have exceptionally small ear opening and canal. The earbuds don't "seat" well and I have to be quite still while they are in my ears to prevent their dropping out. Again, this is a known problem for me and not an issue with the product.

Again, the sound with these from the iPad was very good.

Disclosure: Products I review may have been provided at no cost to me or highly discounted. Regardless, they are products that I have used or a family member has used and we provide our own opinion.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

End Game by Rachel Dylan (CAPITAL INTRIGUE #1) released Jan 7, 2020

My thoughts:  As this story begins, there are three young women who were friends in law school but who all pursued different careers. Bailey Ryan the heroin of this book took her law degree and became a FBI Special Agent. Knowing the law facilitates her abilities to handle cases that come her way.

While investigating the murder of a highly trained American military person, Bailey meets NCIS Special Agent Marco who is handling the NCIS aspect of this crime.

Multiple policing agencies are involved in this rapidly spreading criminal investigation that puts Bailey and Marcus squarely in the line of fire of those who don't want their investigation to succeed.

As this is the first of a three-part series, I conjecture that the three young women at the beginning of the book will each have lead roles in the upcoming two books. Bailey is book one. Who is next? I look forward to seeing who the next game player in the Capital Intrigue series will be.

About the book: When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper who Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, they wonder if there's a deeper cover-up at play. After Bailey is targeted, it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment, Bailey and Marco rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust in this twisted conspiracy. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of them all.

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

The Adventures of Moose and Mr Brown By Sir Paul Smith of London, illustrated by Sam Usher [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781843654285
Hardcover $17.95 - Ages 40-8
Pavilion Books
My thoughts: The first picture book by celebrated British designer Paul Smith and illustrated by Sam Usher, well known for his multi-award shortlisted book Can You See Sassoon? and popular seasonal picture book series – Snow, Rain, Storm and Sun, brings pleasant whimsy to young readers that touch nicely on helping others, caring, sibling love set in the confines of a world of designers and crafters of clothing and accessories.

The highly detailed yet funny and a bit crazy illustrations take the readers on a somewhat goofy world wide tour of major countries and cities as designer Mr. Brown plies his tradecraft and bases much of his designing on ideas from Moose.

Moose has a need to find his twin, Monty, after they were separated in the airport. Mr. Brown invites Moose to join him on the world tour so they can look for Monty.

The story was fun. The illustrations fun. And the end was happy. So although it met all the prerequisites for a good book for the kiddies, it still left me a bit flat. I do see it as a book where you can ponder the illustrations finding lots of detail to talk about. The caring, sibling love, and help to others aspect is top-notch. So the book is good, but for me, not quite outstanding.

I would still recommend it for libraries of all types - school, public, etc.

I just love this two-page spread of the designs for elephant and bat.

About the book: The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown is a laugh-out-loud rollicking adventure story of animals, travel, design and finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places. It follows the story of Mr Brown, an international fashion designer, who agrees to help a Moose he encounters at an airport to track down his lost twin brother, Monty. Along the way they travel the world and help multiple animals by designing garments to meet their particular needs – including slippers for sloths, parkas for penguins and scarves for giraffes. The story was inspired by toys that Paul has owned for many years and which reside in his office in Covent Garden, London.

As anyone who sews knows, to be creative you have to have a lot of "stuff" to pick from.
This picture says it all.

Paul Smith is one of Britain’s foremost designers. He is renowned for his creative spirit, which combines tradition and modernity. From its origins in one small shop in Nottingham, England, in 1970, Paul Smith has grown into a global business, selling in over seventy countries.

Neil Dunnicliffe, Publisher, Pavilion Children’s Books said: "I’m delighted to be working with the brilliant designer Paul Smith on his very first children’s books. Paul has produced a dazzlingly-inventive and very funny story and Sam Usher’s artwork is beautiful, witty and incredibly expressive. I can’t wait to introduce the world to The Adventures of Moose and Mr Brown."

Paul Smith commented: “I’ve known Moose and Mr Brown for a long time and I’m delighted to be able to bring their stories to life in my first ever children’s book. Sam’s illustrations are really special and capture the colour and energy of Moose and Mr Brown’s adventures perfectly!”

About the Author: Sir Paul Smith is an internationally renowned fashion designer. The Paul Smith fashion company has flagship stores in London, Paris, New York, Milan and Tokyo, with a total of over 200 stores worldwide. It has a presence in over 70 countries. Sir Paul Smith has collaborated with a number of well-known brands including Manchester United Football Team, Anglepoise, Land Rover, New Balance and Penguin Classics. This is his first children's book.

About the Illustrator: Sam Usher has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize and the Red House Children's Book Award and longlisted for the Kate Greenaway medal. He is particularly admired for his technical drawing skill and prowess with watercolor.
Begins January 9
Ends February 5 at 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of author and publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaway copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by the publicist or publisher.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables by Michael James Dowling & illustrated by Sarah Buell Dowling

My thoughts:  Beautifully illustrated by Sarah Buell Dowling, this morals teaching children's book has a charming cast of characters.

The stories are well written by Michael James Dowling in an easy to follow story-telling mode. True, some larger words might not be known by young readers, but the glossary at the back will help with that.

Each story has a "Wisdom of the World" and a "Wisdom of the Word" (God's Word) page that can readily be used by parents to help point out the moral of that little story.

Care should be exercised in explaining that the "World's" thinking is often different from that of God's Word. These stories will help to explain the differences.

The stories and attitudes of the characters are quiet well done and I enjoyed the book.

The cast of characters in Frog's Rainy-Day Story....

About the book: Teaching sound biblical values to our children and grandchildren has never been more vital. Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables expertly fills this need as a catalyst for honest family and church conversations about today’s confusing times and culture. As children journey through these eight amusing and thought-provoking fables, the book’s lively characters will become their fast friends and everyday teachers of timeless values and practical life lessons. The insightful stories help readers better appreciate the wisdom of God’s Word and how it is often at odds with the conventional wisdom of the world. Husband and wife creative team brings this 72-page hard cover book includes a glossary to help younger children learn the more challenging words. Parents, grandparents Christian educators and church leaders will find this book a valuable resource for family devotions, home school, and small group studies in churches.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from BookCrash book reviewing program to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Collateral Damage (Danger Never Sleeps #1) by Lynette Eason

My thoughts:  A favorite action, suspense author, Lynette Eason again uses her skills to craft an exciting, mind boggling story that keeps the reader's adrenaline flowing while turning exciting page after page.

The reality of PTSD of those who protect and defend our nation by serving in the military is central to the plot as these issues are experienced by those who return from battle and how they manage to cope or get help.

But a scope of deceit, dishonesty corruption is the underlying current that drives this story and the target of this are innocent lives put in danger and at high risk. A sad tale but more realistic than our imagination can grasp.

I found this an interesting and entertaining read  but it is also and eye opener to how black the heart of man can actually become.

I recommend this book.

About the book: Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can't take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he's not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack--and that her secrets go even deeper than his own--Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

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

Saturday, January 4, 2020

With All My Heart by Stephanie Stansbie and Richard Smythe from Silver Dolphin Books [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN 13: 9781684129102
Find it here
My thoughts:  This is an absolutely precious book. The tone of the sweet rhymes is gentle and loving. The illustrations are beautifully done painting a lovely picture of love (though bears are the characters, it is likewise true of people) of a parent for their little one.

As the pages turn, shaped die cuts reveal words that are meaningful to that page and the next, and sometimes the next. A charming way to capture the idea. A heart cut-out highlights "love."

This sweet book shows love in a special way and is a perfect addition to a little one's shelf of favorite books.

I highly recommend this book from the folks at Silver Dolphin Books. They do such a good job of publishing children's books and this is an excellent example of their quality work.

About the book: Share the love between a parent and child in With All My Heart. This beautifully illustrated picture book showcases the lifelong love a parent has for their child. Each page features sweet text paired with shaped die cuts for a unique reading experience. With All My Heart is the perfect book to cuddle up with and to express the endless love between a parent and child.

Begins January 4
Ends January 31 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Links for illustrator: 
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Nature books from Arbordale provide interesting, fun, and wonderful learning opportunities: The Forest In The Trees & Animal Skins

I always count it a privilege to review the delightful books from Arbordale Publishing. They provide illustrations both drawn and photographic that beautifully portray the subject matter. They are often written in some form of rhyme. They are age appropriate and provide quality back matter that will pique the interest of those children with creative minds. CLICK HERE

The Forest in the Trees by Connie McLennan  

My thoughts:  I have had the opportunity to visit the California coastal area and have seen the magnificent Redwood trees. Awed by their majesty and age yet unaware that in those vaulted treetops lived another forest. The Forest in the Trees is enlightening, and furthermore it makes my heart awestruck by the sheer wonder of it all.

The text is written in a "This is the house that Jack built" rhyming style with repetitive lines building toward the climax. The illustrations are beautiful. The factoids are placed in separate boxes on the side of the page with text and illustration to accompany that fact.

I, personally, learned so much from this book and know that teachers will love introducing it to their students who will love to read or peruse it at their own leisure.

About the book:  It's common knowledge that coast redwoods are tall, tall trees. In fact, they are the tallest trees in the world. What most people don't know is that there is a whole other forest growing high in the canopy of a redwood forest. This adaptation of The House That Jack Built climbs into this secret, hidden habitat full of all kinds of plants and animals that call this forest home. CLICK HERE to find it 

Animal Skins by Mary Holland

My thoughts:  This publication by Arbordale provides clear and beautifully illustrated information for young learners about the various living creatures and their coverings. I absolutely loved the beautiful illustrations that were close up and detailed.

The text is factional and presented in paragraph format which is simply information. This book will appeal to young readers who want to know more about critters and to whom information alone provides entertainment.

This is not a storybook. This is an information book for young readers. With great information through the book and wonderful additional learning materials at the back. As per usual Arbordale publications, they have online information that can be copied or duplicated for individual or classroom use.

About the book: Fur, feathers and scales are all animal coverings or skins. Animals use their skin to stay warm and dry, protect themselves or hide or even to warn other animals to stay away. Following Animal Noses, Animal Tails, Animal Eyes, Animal Mouths (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Science Award), and Animal Legs, Mary Holland continues her photographic Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series by the many different ways that animals use and rely on their skin covering adaptations to survive in their habitats.

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