The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

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Title: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Notable: Book #1 in the Mrs. Pollifax series

Premise:

Mrs. Pollifax is an older widowed woman whose children have left home.  She is feeling unfulfilled in her daily pursuits, so her doctor recommends that she try something out which she’s always wanted to do.  When she was younger, Mrs. Pollifax dreamt of being a spy.  You can see where this is leading, no?

My thoughts:

I was not expecting much of this book–just look at that cover!  When was the last time you saw a book cover quite so absurd?  This book surprised me so much with how well it was written, the charming heroine, and the crazy story line.

Through a happy accident Mrs. Pollifax is chosen for a simple mission, but she ends up getting dragged into a complex and dangerous web of intrigue.  Though she’s naive in the ways of secret agents, Mrs. Pollifax is experienced in life and human nature, and she has to employ all of her wiles and knowledge to make it through a truly harrowing ordeal.

I recommend The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax to those who enjoy an unconventional adventure story with a unique protagonist.  This was a completely unique and refreshing read!


Possible Objections:

  • Some of violence
  • A bit of adult language

Rating: 5 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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The Littles and the Perfect Christmas by Joel Peterson

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Title: The Littles and the Perfect Christmas by Joel Peterson

Premise:

It’s Christmas at the Biggs’ house, but things aren’t so merry when Mr. Bigg loses his job!  Despite the depressing situation, Mr. Bigg works on a homemade gift for his son, which ends up being the answer to his employment problem.  The Littles are instrumental in helping to make sure the gift is perfect for when Mr. Winters, the toy company owner, comes to take a look at it.

My thoughts:

My son and I read this book together for school.  We didn’t like it as much as the other Littles books we’ve read.  It was probably because there was very little action in this story.  Mr. Bigg loses his job, the Littles fix a mistake on the toy Mr. Bigg made, and Mr. Winters comes for a visit.  The pace of the story is a bit slow, especially when reading it with a young-ish boy who wants a bit of excitement.

The story is cute and I like the angle they took with Mr. Winters, but I feel like the book would have been better if it were a little shorter.  It would be a fun story to read aloud to your kids during Christmas.

I recommend The Littles and the Perfect Christmas to kids who are reading beginner chapter books, or as a cute family read-aloud.

Rating: 3 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

5 Literary Gift Ideas – #2

Here’s my second installment of hand-picked literary gift ideas!  The last item, the arm warmers, are something that I use when reading in the winter months. For a person with poor circulation, these are a godsend when reading!

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I Have Too Many Books T-Shirt

Magnetic Bookmarks – Crazy Cats

Stickmen Bookends

Rainbow Bookshelves Mug, 11 oz.

Knitted Long Arm Warmers

Wild Eats and Adorable Treats: 40 Animal-Inspired Meals and Snacks for Kids by Jill Mills

wild-eats

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I love the cover of this cookbook!  Doesn’t it look so fun?  Wild Eats and Adorable Treats is a rare child-friendly cookbook which features HEALTHY recipes.

Premise:

Instructions to make 40 animal-themed recipes.  Categories include: breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and treats.  Author shares how and why she started making these healthful and fun food treats–to tempt her own children to eat more fruits and vegetables.

My thoughts:

I really, really like this book and think we might add it to our own collection of family-friendly cookbooks.  The foods are appealing to children, the presentation is fun, and I won’t feel guilty about serving this food to my family.  Each recipe is based on a particular animal, includes tips and tricks, and facts about that particular animal.

The recipes use basic ingredients and mostly simple techniques.  Some of the instructions are complicated though, because there are exact cutting directions and/or precise food arrangement.  For this reason, I think it’s probably best for parent and child to work together, or for the parent to be on standby.  Also, make sure that you leave enough time to make these creations.  Some of them have somewhat finicky details, so don’t make them if you are pressed for time.

In the beginning of the book the author shares a short history about how she started making these healthy recipes, information pertaining to her blog, and why she thinks this kind of eating is important.  I can definitely relate to her desire to get her family eating more healthy!  If we made these snacks at my house, my kids would probably not be clamoring for junk food so much.

I recommend Wild Eats to families who want to incorporate more healthy food into their diets by getting artistic and playful with their food.  I think kids will have a great time paging through this book and picking out a fun recipe to make.

Recipes Included:

Breakfast: Chicken and Egg Breakfast, Whole Wheat Walrus Waffles, Birdy Breakfast, Cinnamon Bunny Buns, Doggy Oatmeal, Kangaroo Pancakes, Owl Breakfast, Pink Piggy Smoothie and Bagel Breakfast

Lunch: Panda Pita Pizza, Cow Lunch, Horsey Hot Dogs, Pigs in a Snail Shell, Crabwiches, Baby Birdy Egg Salad Lunch, Ladybug Lunch, Lion Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Snacks: Peachy Parrot, Gorilla Granola Bites, Foxy Fruit Snacks, Porcupine Pear Pretzel Snack, Penguin Fruit Snacks, Apple Owl, Froggy Fruit Snack, Sheep Snack

Dinner: Chili Cat, “Hippo”tato Soup, Mini Shepherd’s Sheep Pies, Penguin Black Bean Soup, Dinodilla Dinner, Mexican Stuffed Froggy Peppers, Puppy Pot Pies, Mexican Billy Goat Quesadilla

Treats: Mini Moose Mousse Cups, Beaver Brownie Bites, Turtle Turtle Cake, Koala Pretzel Pops, Beary Cute Cupcakes, Cheetah Cheesecake, Animal Cupcake Cones, Monkey Banana Bread Cake Pops

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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Aesthetically speaking, this is my favorite recipe.  It is so cute!!

5 Literary Gift Ideas – #1

I’m starting a new series of posts, probably monthly, to showcase some really fun gift ideas for people who love books and reading.  (Like myself!)  I hope that these posts will be helpful for those of you who have a tough time finding thoughtful gifts for your book-loving friends and family.  Enjoy!

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Just Clip it! Quote Bookmarks – I LIKE BIG Books, BIbliophile, GO AWAY, I’m reading

Agate Geode Halves Bookends

Purple Women’s Hard Eyeglasses Case & Bonus Cleaning Cloth

A Room Without Books 18 X 18 Cotton Pillowcase Cover

I LIKE TO PARTY – Two Tone Black Mug, 11oz.

4 Favorite Children’s Books #1

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I’m starting a new series of posts which feature our favorite children’s picture books.  They usually aren’t long or complex enough to warrant an entire blog post, but if I give you a batch of four, it makes it a bit more worthwhile.  As you can see, our books are well-loved.  😉

Baby Food by Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers

I remember back when this book first came out, and I was so impressed by it.  I loved the adorable animals made from fruits and vegetables!  The text is very simple, but the authors’ creativity in assembling recognizable animals from food is really impressive.  My kids love this book and enjoy reciting the different foods that the animals are made from.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

Who hasn’t heard of this book?  It’s a classic that I grew up with, and now my kids are enjoying it, too.  The sing-song rhyme is very catchy and the illustrations are wonderfully whimsical.  This book explores many animals from the imaginary world of Dr. Seuss.

The Day the Goose Got Loose by Reeve Lindbergh

I love the illustrations of Steven Kellogg–they practically make this book!  This is a story about a goose who gets loose and causes mayhem on the farm.  The antics are hilarious and we laugh every time we read it.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

This is one of those feel-good bedtime stories.  Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare compete to see who loves the other more.  No matter how hard he tries, Little Hare is outdone by Big Hare in his exclamations of love.  It’s a cute and heartwarming story.

Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects by Jack Challoner

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I found Maker Lab when we went to the library in a nearby town.  I was hoping that we would be able to do a few of the projects in our homeschooling, but that will have to wait.  We’re packing up to move and most of our supplies are languishing in storage right now.

Premise:

This book is aimed at kids who want to do their own maker projects.  The 28 projects fall into four categories: Food For Thought, Around the Home, Water World, and The Great Outdoors.  Each project has a supply list, clear instructions, a sample, and a short explanation about how it works.  The pictures are colorful and engaging, and enhanced by whimsical doodles.  There is also a short glossary at the end of the book to explain some of the more scientific terms.

My thoughts:

If I were a child, I would want this book!  That’s because I’m a perpetual crafter/project-tackler.  Any child who enjoys doing those hands-on projects will get excited when they see the awesome projects they can complete themselves.

The illustrations and projects are great, but there are only 28 total projects.  So while this is a fun book, it will not keep the dedicated project-maker occupied for too long.  Once you’ve tackled all of the projects, it would be a nice gesture to pass it on to a friend.

I would recommend this book for children of all ages.  The younger ones will need help with the projects, and the older ones will gain satisfaction from completing the projects on their own.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters: A Children’s Guide to the Old & New Testament by Garrett Romines & Christopher Miko

bible-minecrafters-1

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I spotted The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters at the library and had to bring it home to check it out.  My boys are very into Minecraft, as I’m sure many other kids are.  What better than to illustrate Bible stories using Minecraft illustrations?!

Premise:

This book contains an assortment of Bible stories which are illustrated Minecraft-style.  The illustrations are actual builds which somebody did in the Minecraft game.  The choice of stories is random and this is by no means a complete Bible.  Also the text of the stories is vastly shortened, resembling the style of comic books.

My thoughts:

Personally, I wouldn’t choose to sit down and read this book because Minecraft doesn’t appeal to me.  However, my boys love Minecraft and I can see how this book would hook them into reading about the stories of the Bible while enjoying the visuals of the Minecraft world.

Kids will not gain great understanding of the Bible by reading this book, but it is a fun way for them to enjoy the stories in another format.  I’ve found that younger boys in particular seem to gravitate towards a comics-style Bible versus a regular one.

This book would make a great gift, or addition to a church’s library.  It would also be a good way to get a child to read who is interested in Minecraft, but not much of a reader.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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Standing Small: A Celebration of 30 Years of the LEGO Minifigure by Nevin Martell

Standing Small-w

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Son number two loves this reference book!  Standing Small is a book that really celebrates the LEGO minifigure–for all those addicted to collecting them.  (That would describe our boys!)  It starts with the origins of the minifigure, and then shows figures from some of the major series.  This includes Star Wars, Knights, Space, City, etc.

With some of the figures they show how they changed throughout the years.  That’s interesting to see.  There’s also a double-page spread in the back that shows some fan-built minifigures.

I would recommend this book for those who are obsessed with LEGOs, like my boys are.  This book is by no means exhaustive, but it is a fun addition to any LEGO library.

Until next time…

Lori

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us by Rosanna Pansino

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Title: The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook by Rosanna Pansino

Premise:

Rosanna Pansino shares her recipes for a variety of amazing geeky foods.  These culinary creations will earn you serious cool mommy points!

My thoughts:

This cookbook is so much stinking fun!  It’s the kind of cookbook that you marvel at, thinking, I could never make that!  In reality, I’m sure it just takes willpower and time, but who has those?

Anyhow, there are several sections: Math & Science, Space, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Gaming, Tech & Web, and Geeky Treats.  Each section contains several recipes that somehow fit that category.  The types of recipes included are cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pie, gelatin, cake pops, sweet rolls, hard candies, crispy treats, cheesecake, s’mores, and a soda-ish beverage.  So, don’t get this book if you don’t like sweets.

In the front of the book, you’ll find some basic recipes for cake, cheesecake, etc. that are used as the base for the fancified culinary creations.  In the back, there are some templates that are required for various recipes.

This book is high quality, well-formatted, and has exceptional photography.  I highly recommend it to all geek and nerd types.  You’ll get a kick out of it and I hope that you’ll try one of the recipes, too!

Rating: 5 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

Nerdy Mummies Cookbook 2

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The Nerdy Mummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us by Rosanna Pansino

Nerdy Mummies Cookbook

This post contains an affiliate link.

The Nerdy Mummies Cookbook is so much stinking fun!  It’s the kind of cookbook that you marvel at, thinking, I could never make that!  In reality, I’m sure it just takes willpower and time, but who has those?

Anyhow, there are several sections: Math & Science, Space, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Gaming, Tech & Web, and Geeky Treats.  Each section contains several recipes that somehow fit that category.  The types of recipes included are cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pie, gelatin, cake pops, sweet rolls, hard candies, crispy treats, cheesecake, s’mores, and a soda-ish beverage.  So, don’t get this book if you don’t like sweets.

In the front of the book, you’ll find some basic recipes for cake, cheesecake, etc. that are used as the base for the fancified culinary creations.  In the back, there are some templates that are required for various recipes.

This book is high quality, well-formatted, and has exceptional photography.  I’d highly recommend it to all geek and nerd types.  You’ll get a kick out of it and I hope that you’ll try one of the recipes, too!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Until next time…

Lori

Nerdy Mummies Cookbook 2

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I Love That Minifigure by Jen Anstruther, Jonathan Green, Kate Lloyd, and Simon Guerrier

Love That Minifigure

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I Love That Minifigure is another sturdy LEGO reference book to add to the collection of LEGO fans everywhere!  It highlights some of the rarest and most interesting LEGO minifigures produced throughout the years.

There are eleven sections in the book: Everyday Heroes, You’re History!, Out of This World, You’re My Hero!, Spooky and Scary, The World’s a Stage, One of a Kind, Wild at Heart, Rotten Rogues, We Have the Power!, and All-Time Icons.  Each page in a section shows one minifigure and gives interesting information about that figure.

As with all the other LEGO books, it’s well-designed and a pleasure to peruse.  Another great book for LEGO fans!

 

Until next time…

The Berserker & Slime