Tag Archives: book review

12 Days of Picture Books – ROBO-SAUCE

9th December 2015

This might just be the absolute coolest, most ingenious picture book I’ve seen in a very long time.

robo-sacue

I must warn you however, because ROBO-SAUCE by Adam Rubin, is actually two books in one. This awesome picture book turns into a ROBO-BOOK! Seriously. My kids and I were so impressed by how unique this picture book is. The illustrations by Daniel Salmieri are perfectly matched with this delightful story of how a boy who discovers how to turn himself into a robot.

Flash! Bang! Boom! You need to gift this cool book to your favourite little people this holiday season. I promise you they will love the twist at the end!! I shared it with a girlfriend at our local bookstore, and she immediately bought it for her boys.

robo-sauce

Want to win a copy? Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books for their 12 Days of Picture Books giveaway promotion, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of SIX copies of ROBO-SAUCE, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY and TOMORROW!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/10/15. GOOD LUCK!

12 Days of Picture Books – Mitford at the Fashion Zoo

8th December 2015

I crazy love this book so much.

mitford at the fashion zoo

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is written and illustrated by the incredibly talented and creative artist Donald Robertson. If you’re not following him on Instagram, you are missing out. I refer to him as the Canadian Warhol – the man has talent!

This lovely picture book is the story of Mitford the Giraffe who desperately wants to work for the fashion magazine Cover. If you know anything about fashion or fashion designers, you will delight in how creative this book is. You’ll encounter the talented Zap Possum, Shark Jacobs, and Mikael Boars just to name a few. The real star of this picture book is the illustrations – they are as Rachel Zoe would say, “Bananas.” Truly incredible.

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is a fun story that kids will love as much as any adult. This is a winner under the tree this year for sure!

Want to win a copy? Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books for their 12 Days of Picture Books giveaway promotion, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of FIVE copies of Mitford at the Fashion Zoo, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/09/15. GOOD LUCK!

12DaysofPB_blog tour

Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History #awesomegifts

26th November 2015

smithsonian design book

Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History lays out the complete evolution of design, from its origins in early cultures to the contemporary design – physical and digital – of today. This comprehensive volume covers every major design movement, along with the iconic designers and manufacturers who influenced everyday life through the objects and buildings they created.

If you’re a fan of design, you will absolutely love this book. Smithsonian Design is a gorgeous coffee table book that covers all aspects of design. It takes the reader through the evolution of design, from the Arts & Crafts period (1850-1920) to the Mid-Century Modern (1940-1959) to the Postmodern & Contemporary of the 80s and onward, and everything in between. At the back of the book, you’ll also find a glossary of design terms and a designer index.

smithsonian-design

Smithsonian Design is full of large, gorgeous photographs that complement the book beautifully. In each section, key dates are outlined and after a brief description of the era, specific pieces are highlighted, naming the designer and estimated date of the piece. There are also several pages that focus on the evolution of the design of specific items, such as chairs. This really gives you a great glimpse of how the design has changed over the last century.

smithsonian-design

If you’re looking for #awesomegifts this holiday season, this is a winner. I’m such a fan of DK Canada coffee table books – they’re always such a beautiful and quality read. They have something for everyone, so make sure to click on the #awesomegifts graphic below to take you to some other great gift ideas from DK Canada. You can find DK Smithsonian Design online at Indigo.

dk awesome gifts

Max and Marla #books

21st October 2015

max-and-marla

Max and Marla is the story of Max and his bestie, his pet owl, Marla. But they’re not just besties, they’re also teammates AND Olympians. They’re adorably sweet, ingenious and always prepared.

This is just the loveliest children’s book about dreams, perseverance and friendship. They just refuse to give up on their Olympic dreams, no matter what is thrown their way.

The illustrations are perfectly matched to this sweet tale, from their matching outfits to the cute doughnut medals, each page will make you smile.

max-and-marla

My nine year old thought Max and Marla was “really cute and funny” and I would have to agree. It’s adorable and perfect for children aged 3 years and up, although I’m a big fan of reading picture books to the younger babes too.

Max and Marla is the debut title by Alexandra Boiger, as both the author and the illustrator. It is published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons (an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, and is available in stores now.

Frozen Fever Books – HairStyles and Party Book #Giveaway

28th August 2015

frozen-fever

A little while back I reviewed this super cute EDDA USA title, The Ultimate Disney Party Book, full of great ideas for having a Disney themed party. I was recently sent two more titles from EDDA USA – Frozen Fever Party Book and Frozen Fever Hairstyles.

FROZEN FEVER PARTY BOOK

This book has 22 fun ideas for creating your very own Frozen Fever party. The book is divided into several sections: Invitations, Decorations, Cakes & Drinks, Games and Party Favors. Each section has several ideas that are simple to re-create for the perfect Frozen Fever celebration. There is also a section that includes some of the templates used for the invitations.

frozen-fever-party

Some of my favourite ideas are the Spring in a Bottle Invitation – so pretty and simple, yet such a great idea for an invite. The Sunflower Table Decoration – my little eight year old artist picked this one as one of her favourites too. I also really love Anna’s Birthday Cake – this is the most complicated thing in the book, but it’s super gorgeous.

FROZEN FEVER HAIRSTYLES

Want to re-create Anna and Elsa’s hairstyles? This book will definitely help you do just that. In it you will find 28 hairstyles to choose from. The first section of the book is called BraidSchool and it teaches you the basics that you will need in order to be able to do the more difficult hairstyles. The traditional braid, french braid, dutch braid, fishtail braid and french fishtail braid are all outlined up front. The book is then divided into Twists and Braids, Updos and Buns, and Waves and Ponytails.

frozen-fever-hairstyles

Each hairstyle is photographed with step-by-step instructions and a final photograph that shows what it should like when it’s done. From simple to intricate, each hairstyle is super pretty and an especially handy reference for changing things up.

Both of these Frozen Fever themed books are perfect for celebrating all things Frozen. Full of gorgeous photos, they’re a great gift idea for yourself or any Frozen Fever fan. Want your own set? I’m giving away a copy of each book to ONE lucky winner!! Please enter below – the giveaway is open to Canadian residents and will run until Friday, September 4th, 2015.

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The Ultimate Disney Party Book

7th July 2015

ultimate-disney-party-book

This book is SO cute.

I was sent a copy of The Ultimate Disney Party Book by Jessica Ward (with Cynthia Littlefield) for review and it’s just delightful.

If you have a Disney fan at home or plan on organizing a Disney themed party, this book is full of fab ideas of some of the most beloved Disney movies and characters. The book features eight different parties – five of them feature Aladdin, Monsters, Inc., Planes, Toy Story, and Wreck-It Ralph. There’s also sections dedicated to a Disney Princess party, a Mickey and Minnie Party and a Captain Hook party.

ultimate-disney-party-book

The best thing about this book is you really don’t have to be Martha Stewart to pull off any of the great ideas. The instructions for every element, including large full-colour photos, are very clear and thorough so even someone like myself (I’m no Martha) can easily pull it together. The book includes recipes, invitation and decor ideas, games, and party favors. You will even find templates at the back of the book to help with the construction of your party elements.

There are so many cute ideas but if I had to pick some favourites, Abu’s Caramel Apples (from Aladdin), Rapunzel’s Golden Braid Garland (from Tangled – SO genius), and Mike Wazowski Cupcakes (From Monsters, Inc.) are mine.

ultimate-disney-party-book

You can check out other Disney EDDA USA titles on their site and find them on Facebook and Twitter.

100 Family Adventures – Book Review

18th May 2015

100-Family-Adventures

Remember when you were young, way back when, when it was the norm to spend hours outside, when fast food meant reheating leftovers and when the only electronics in the house was a big clunker of a television and the Atari with Pong on heavy rotation.

I still remember all five of us kids sitting around watching each other play Pong and being riveted. RIVETED. Seriously.

As a mom now, it worries me how much time my kids will play on their iPads or the XBOX if I don’t limit them. Literally hours will pass, and not a peep. Don’t get me wrong the lack of fighting and overall silence is BEAUTIFUL. But it also frustrates me at the same time. We have a house FULL of toys and crafts and books, let alone a garage full of scooters, bikes and hockey equipment and all that fun stuff. Of course, the irony is the moment I take away all the electronics they get over it and play. They’re outside playing hockey, or baseball in the backyard for hours, and they’re happy and dirty and smelly and it just feels right.

This is why I really like this book – 100 Family Adventures by the Meek Family (Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Meek – known as the UK’s “most adventurous family”). They’ve created an informative, fun reference guide to inspire families to enjoy the outdoors no matter where they are, or what the weather is like. The book includes activities grouped into themes: Woodland, Water, Close to Home (my personal favourite – how did you guess?), Hills and Mountains, Exploring, By the Sea and Extreme Weather.

100-family-adventures

Every adventure also includes great advice and suggestions including tips and considerations, instructions, things to remember, trivia, safety tips, advice and cute jokes. Canoe down a river, Climb indoors, Go on a night hike, Geocaching, Sleep in an Eco Tent are just some of the adventures in this fun adventure book.

100-family-adventures

This is a great, fun resource for families who enjoy the outdoors and/or who endeavour to be more adventurous with their kids. Lots of great ideas to experience no matter where you live, all year round.

You can find 100 Family Adventures (published by Frances Lincoln Publishers) online and in stores. You can find The Meek Family on Twitter, Facebook and on their website www.dotrythisathome.com.

For The Love Of Lego – Book Review & Photo Contest

25th October 2012

I’ve blogged about my love affair with DK Canada and their fab titles many, many times. We own so many of their titles and it seems we can’t get enough.

My son adores their Lego books (especially their Lego Visual Dictionary books) and we tend to run out  and buy them the minute a new one is released.

DK Canada sent us their latest visual dictionary – Lego Batman Visual Dictionary DC Universe Super Heroes and it did not disappoint my eight year old son.

Of course Batman and super heroes are very cool right now, and with a new Batman Lego toy line out as well, this book is seriously popular.

The book features all the Lego Batman sets, from those first released in 2006 to those currently available in stores. Also included, behind the scenes of how the Lego is created, info on the Lego Batman video games and a great two page spread of all the minifigures of every character in the series. It comes with an exclusive minifigure (as do all the Lego Visual Dictionary books) which my son says is “very super cool.”

There are so many DK Canada Lego titles – you can also get Lego books for your Harry Potter, Ninjago and Star Wars fans as well. If your little person loves Lego, they will absolutely enjoy these books. They make a great gift!

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Right now, DK Canada is celebrating Lego with a fab For The Love Of Lego Photo Contest. They want to see what your child (aged 14 and under) can create with Lego! Take a picture and submit it by October 31, 2012 by 6 p.m. EST to enter. All entries will be judged by Canadian LEGO Fan Builder extraordinaire Deborah Higdon (featured in the LEGO Ideas Book).

Send a photo of your LEGO creation (you can more than once with different creations) to general@tourmaline.ca, with the subject For the Love of LEGO in your email. They must be jpgs and no larger than 5 mb. One lucky winner will win a DK LEGO Book collection worth over $200! Woo!!

You can see the submissions online on at cn.dk.com/legopix, on their Facebook page and their Twitter feed @DKCanada.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey – A Review

11th April 2012

Let me start by saying that when I picture Christian Grey – I see this guy:

That’s my vote, Hollywood.

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I read all three books over the Easter weekend.

It’s not that hard (that’s what she said) – they’re a quick read.

So without giving much away because I don’t want to spoil it for you, I actually liked these books. I went in knowing that I wasn’t reading Anais Nin or Henry Miller (erotica for snobs), but a fun, probably dirty/sexy/pervy read, and that’s exactly what it was. Some parts are hilariously farfetched but who cares when they’re balanced out with some dirty goodness.

Yes, they have problems – the writing in parts, is just bad. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar were everywhere. Were these actually edited before pubishing? If they were, that editor needs to be fired or get new glasses. Anastasia Steele, the main female character says, “Holy Shit, Holy Cow, Holy Hell, and Holy F*ck” constantly, and at the most ridiculous moments of this book. Seriously, one way to improve this book – erase every instance of those words. Already better.

Another example of a bad choice of words:  MEWL and MEWLING and MEWLED — if I never see these words again unless referring to a CAT, it would be fine by me. (Insert groans here – and not the good kind)

Also, when you use the word “ARGH!” to describe a response to hot guy giving you the sexy time, I don’t think sexy, I think pirate. Not good.

Finally, “WHOA” needs to never ever be used in your dirty writings people – because all I see is Joey and Blossom. Just wrong.

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Christian Grey, the main hot dude, is kind of a heartbreaker in this book. Yes, he’s rich and insanely good looking and perhaps a tad bossy (ahem), but he has a tragic soul and a heartbreaking background. It makes sense that he was written this way when you see how his relationship develops, but at parts, I felt sad for him. I may have teared up a couple of times as well. The sexiest part of this guy? He responds to your email promptly, answers your phone calls even when he’s at work, and he plays the piano while wearing sexy pyjama bottoms. How sexy is that? This person is clearly NOT REAL. Oh, and he has magic fingers.

He might make your lady bits tingle, and if he doesn’t, you need to get that checked by a doctor, a.s.a.p.

Yes, there are other characters in the book, like the driver and the cook and the slutty architect but these books are really all about Mr. Grey. Oh, and Ms. Steele, but her mewling and Holy Cow talk only gets in the way of your dirty imagination, so try to focus on him. These are meant to be a fun read – for the beach, or when your husband chooses his XBOX over you.

Lady porn. It’s what’s for dinner.

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What did you think?

 

DK Canada – What Did You Make On March Break Contest

23rd March 2012

I know I’ve said this before on past DK Canada reviews that I’ve done, but I LOVE DK Canada. I love the variety of their book titles – so many really cool, educational books for everyone in the family. DK Canada online always has something going on, from fun promos and great sales to unique contests with great prizes. Currently, they have two contests running:

Sign up for their DK Canada newsletter (yup, that’s it!) and you’re entered to win a $150 March Break Survival prize pack (ends April 16th, 2012).

And another that ends very soon:

The What Did You Make on March Break contest is on RIGHT NOW, but ends March 31, 2012, so you have to act fast. You could win a collection of autographed Jane Bull craft books AND a $150 DK Canada Shopping spree!! To enter, parents are asked to send a pic of their child’s creations (for ages 3-14). At the end of the month, Jane Bull will judge the pics and choose a winner. All the deets to enter are here.

DK Canada sent me a Jane Bull book – Made by Me to review over the March Break (I’m a little behind, sorry!)

My daughter immediately took Made by Me hostage and would not share it at all. She stared at it for hours, and read as much as she could on her own. For that alone, this book is a WINNER.

Made by Me is a “stitch-by-stitch guide to knitting, sewing and embroidery.” There are several crafts to make within each category, and each craft has a dedicated page or two with tons of pics to help you along. If you or someone you know enjoys crafting and is looking for a beginner book to share with their kids, Made by Me by Jane Bull is a great choice!

Book: Hardcover | 64 pages | ISBN 9780756651633 | 28 Apr 2009 | geared to 7 – 11 years ($16.99, but on sale for $11.89)

Don’t miss out!! Go enter the What Did You Make On March Break contest before the end of the month!!

Disclaimer: I was sent the book for the purposes of review, but my words are my own.

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