Thursday, July 29, 2021

Hacks, Facts & the Almanac 2022 -- Summer Reading Essentials from Nat Geo Kids [Review & Giveaway]

101 Life Hacks: Genius Ways to Simplify Your World (ages 8-12)

My thoughts:  If you've lived a "frugal lifestyle" for any length of time, you already do a lot of the 101 Life Hacks that are mentioned in this little book. That doesn't mean that you can't learn a few more "make-do" or "neat-do" tricks using stuff you have for purposes not intended.

One I found doable is the bandage for the finger. Take a regular bandage and make a horizonal cut in each end of the bandage. Then apply. This creates a similar bandage to the "finger strips" that are much more expensive than standard bandages. The cut strips are maneuverable. A quick fix.

The hack to tell time with your hand and the sun is a winner! Each finger represents 15 minutes. So the number of fingers between the horizon and the sun times 15 equals the time until the sun sets.

You can amplify your phone's sound by placing the phone inside a tall glass (of course, it must be empty). The sound bounces inside the glass and echoes creating volume.

A very informative and creative book.

About the book: Turn ordinary into awesome with this fun book, jam-packed with science-inspired ideas kids can use to simplify, prettify, and eco-fy their lives at home, school, and on the go.

Upcycle, recycle, and/or repurpose your stuff and engineer your way out of all kinds of sticky situations--all while learning about science and sustainability as you do it. Make cool lantern lights for your room, discover a tried-and-true brain freeze cure, learn how to boost your memory power, and more. In this easy-to-follow guide, kids get tips and tricks for upcycling and reusing old stuff, as well as hands-on activities, fun facts, and insights from professional-grade life hackers who use their problem-solving skills to change the world. By the end, you'll be able to hack your way through all kinds of problems, from a messy backpack to stage fright, a drippy ice pop to smelly shoes!

More Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff (ages 8-12) 

My thoughts: This was interesting to read and, yes, surprises abounded about how everyday stuff came into being. 

The section on food included the origin of cheese. It stated that it had long been assumed cheese originated in medieval times. But later archeologists discovered an implement with holes similar to a device used in today's cheese making straining process in Poland. They dated it back to 7,000 years ago. Also, it mentions that early humans did not have the ability to digest milk because of lactose intolerance but they would have been able to digest cheese. Interesting to consider that early humans could not handle milk of cows, goats, and sheep for nutrition.

An interesting book that will intellectually entertain for hours.

About the book: Prepare to be amazed by the surprising backstories behind the things you use or do every day. Ever wonder how haunted houses got their spooky rep; where cheese originally came from, who invented slime, why do we put money in piggy banks and how Bubble Wrap came to be?  From familiar foods and common clothing items to bizarre beauty regimens and quirky products, this book covers all your burning questions: Who thought of that? Where did that come from? Why is that a thing?

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2022 (ages 8-12) 

My thoughts: I have reviewed the National Geographic Kids Almanac for several years now. My grandchildren absolutely love this and look forward to a copy every year. 

The variety of information is simply stunning and categorized for easy finding. The history buff as well as the budding scientist will love the information. Geographic and cultural features and animals, both currently living and prehistoric, have coverage that tickle the intellect and encourage further study.

Fun, games, puzzles, jokes and riddles are sprinkled through the book giving the opportunity for a bit of fun and entertainment.

This is definitely a must have.

 "...this gathering of upbeat, vividly illustrated, browser-friendly dips into topics ranging from black holes to blue-footed boobies to Bolivian street food is hard to put down, and the pop quizzes and research guides at each chapter’s end will give studious sorts a leg up, too." - Kirkus

The latest installment of the New York Times best-selling almanac features amazing animal stories, explorer profiles, and outrageous attractions that kids know and love, plus more of the incredible inventions, awesome games, and fresh challenges for curious kids who want to learn all about the world and everything that's in it.  Tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, conservation help kids keep up with our quickly changing world and is why this is the number one selling kids almanac on the planet.  There's a whole chapter full of fun and games, including activities, jokes, and comics and the colorful compilation also includes an Almanac Challenge 2022 — which inspires kids to reduce their plastic waste. 

All 3 National Geographic Books featured.
Begins July 29
Ends August 22 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate recommendation post. Prize copies are provided and sent directly to the winner by publisher or publicist, MM Publicity. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. has various neat quizzes, including a shark quiz that would be fun to do!

  2. "(1) If you have ever read or bought to share a National Geographic Kids' Almanac or other Nat'l Geo Kids book/s. Leave a comment on your experience or that of your kid's."

    We've read a couple in the past, and we find them a fun miscellany of info!

    "(2) Do you have a SPECIFIC Nat'l Geo Kids book you RECOMMEND"

    "Treasury of Magical Tales From Around the World" is a fun book!

  3. "Do you have a FAVORITE activity to keep their mind energized avoiding the 'summer slump'?
    "Leave your answers in the comments section, please."
    1. Gardening can be fun and satisfying, and it's something that kids can be encouraged to take an interest in!
    2. Summer programs in acting or the arts, or other activities--there should be programs run by most towns, I think.
    3. Summer school. I never did this, and would have loathed the idea, but looking back I think it would have been a good thing.

  4. 1. Our favorite year round activity to keep the children learning and engaged is reading books and children's magazines. Make sure the materials are age appropriate and have a nice selection of items available to the children at all times.
    2.We like to read recipes and cook together. This activity is great for reading and math learning too.
    3. We like to play with puzzles and building blocks too.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  5. 1. I have my children help me in the garden during the summer.
    2. We take almost daily walks/bike rides to the library.
    3. We visit museums, zoos and discovery centers throughout the summer.

  6. My son has the 2021 Almanac and he really enjoys it!

  7. Hard question for me I only have great niece 1 or 2 times a month

    1. favorite thing to do is paint
    2. go to mcdonald get lunch and go to the park
    3. go outside the apartment building and blow bubbles and talk to people and their dogs

  8. My grandson loves to 1. Read 2. Play video games 3. Play with Legos and Playmobil.

  9. My grandson loves National Geographic books especially the Weird but True Series.

  10. 1. Over the years I have purchased many national Geographic for Kids books. They are all well written, informative, engaging, and have great photos and illustrations.
    2. Older children really enjoy reading the yearly Almanac.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  11. 1. I go hiking every single day in the summer.
    2. I try new food creations, wondering what will taste best.
    3. I starting making up my own games when I was a kid.

  12. 1. I've never read any NatGeo books yet.

  13. I love all the different science quizzes on their website too.

  14. I like to read good thrillers to keep from having the summer slump. Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. I love the Belle Backpack – Beauty and the Beast – Personalized on their website.

  16. I have bought many of the Natl Geo books for my great great nephew in TN. He told me he wanted dinosaur books and they have some great ones. My great great nephew is to young to read them but he goes through and looks at the pictures. And when he finds something he wants more info on he takes the book to his mother to read to him

  17. we always played board games or cards with our older kids and took them camping different places here in wv.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here at Chat With Vera. If you need to contact me directly, please use the "Comment Me" email associated with this blog and posted in the sidebar.