4.21.2018

Daughter in Retrograde ~ REVIEW

Courtney Kersten’s memoir Daughter in Retrograde explores her relationship with her Mom.  She was from a rural Wisconsin town and like most preteen girls, she wanted to understand the meaning of life....her life and predicting the future wouldn't be too shabby.  On her quest for deep understanding she discovered the New Age world.  I could totally relate, I was introduced to Astrology around that same age.  Reading when young Kersten went to the book store and bought her first set of taro cards was very reminiscent to me.  When she got home with them I think they proved to be a tiny bit confusing and overwhelming for such a young child and she went and hid them in her Mom's closet.  The study of Astrology felt natural to her and the pull to always go back to it was strong.

Kersten and her Mom Victoria had a bond, a spiritual connection.  Victoria was a vibrant character, you could feel her presence before she even walked into a room.  Sunbathing in the yard in outrageous bathing suits while Kersten seemed more introverted, but they both had interest in the stars. 
When Victoria received a diagnosis of terminal cancer it was devastating.  The diagnosis came a few years after a fortune teller at a bar had predicted Victoria's death in five years.  Kersten searched desperately for signs that would help make sense of her Mom's impending passing.  While reading the last few moments before she lost her Mom I held my breath, it was like I was there with them.  I cried, living through the death of my own parents as a young child I remember those last moments and the long moments afterwards.  This book was beautifully written, I could hardly put it down to make dinner.  The Mother-Daughter bond is spiritual and the ending of the book is magical and unexpected.

4.20.2018

The Painted Art Journal ~ REVIEW


Wow, I literally read the entire book in one whole day. I was so inspired, motivated and driven to create the most beautiful projects Jeanne shares throughout the book. This is something you could leave out on the coffee table and be inspired from frequently. 
I loved the way she shared not just the projects, but the stories behind them...her reason and why. I enjoyed getting to know her and her passion. I took notes, snapped some photos for quick reference and started on my own projects inspired from the book. I loved how there were pictures of the progression of each project too. It makes following along with her much easier.
I learned many techniques and proper wordage, but I think the thing that smacked me hard was the freedom that we have as Artists. There are no "rules", we set the scene, we carry the emotion that comes out of us into whatever medium we choose. 
I recommend if you are new to the world of creating to pick up this book. I have been painting for years and have kept Bible journals and personal journals my whole life and I still was mesmerized by the work in this book. If you are in a stale place and need some inspiration, Jeanne has you covered. She even offers Art Prompts at the back of the book. In my opinion just seeing her work through her own journals is so inspiring....the photography is gorgeous!

4.18.2018

Help Teaching Pro ~ REVIEW

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I was thrilled to get another chance to Review Help Teaching Pro from HelpTeaching.com these past several weeks.  Since Mahala is in her last few months of schooling I decided to hunt for things for her to do first.  And of course it was easy to find lessons and worksheets for Kaden too  Let me share what we did this time and if you want to check out one of my last Reviews for HelpTeaching.com you can do that HERE.
Some of the Life Skills Options

We utilize many forms of educational resources in our house.  Always number one for me is books, I love all books and nothing will ever quench the excitement that comes with flipping through hundreds of pages spread out on our living room floor will researching any given topic.  But, this day and age the internet has come into my view and I accept that it does have it's place.  Much is like having stacks and stacks of resources on various subjects.  I don't know about you, but that has never been the case for me.  Which is why having access to Help Teaching Pro for the next year is absolutely magical, because I don't need stacks of resources.  At my fingertips this online program provides both educators and parents with extra educational resources with thousands of lessons, worksheets, activities and tests.  There are many subjects to choose from like social studies, English/language arts, vocational studies, life skills, art/music, math, study skills/strategies, science and physical education.  And let me not forget to mention all of this is not just one grade level....I'm talking they offer this goodness from PreK-12 grade.  Can you tell I'm excited?  It just makes my life easier and when you are a Special Needs parent, most of the time you need just that to keep you from going crazy. 
 

There are so many services offered like printable worksheets/answer sheets, practice skills sheets, pre-made quiz and tests.   Also there is an area to create your own tests, word searches and other printable fun.  I'll be honest I did not use the test maker or create my own word searches yet.  But, this summer I was talking to Hubby about making a word search with attractions and sightseeing words to give the kids on the way home from each of our RV trips.  The main thing we used was for Kaden the Life Skills was enormously helpful.  He has had a rough few weeks so we did most of these orally.  What we did for instance with this one worksheet above about Dental Hygiene I did like a pretest to see what he thought was correct.  And then we read a few readers on teeth brushing and watched a video.  Having the worksheet provided by HelpTeaching.com rounded out the short unit lesson.  I like being able to pull books I already have along with a video here and there and button it up with a quiz or activity.

A lot of Kaden's Autism  behaviors stem from stress, he becomes overwhelmed by sometimes the most ordinary thing.  I was surprised but impressed to find a worksheet about stress management.  We worked through this worksheet together over 2  different conversations.  We were able to figure out most of the answers just my talking about them together.  It was kind of like swapping war stories, but it was a great experience.

Another fun thing that I did with him since he has been so into Science this year was we went over the Scientific Method as a review and we went over Science and Laboratory Safety,  Mahala is taking Chemistry and he is like a little shadow with plans of lots of experimenting this summer. 




Mahala wanted to get in on all the fun too.  Since she starts college next year and has her own business she took a look at the Negotiation skills.  

 
She enjoys Business so we looked for those type of topics and she worked on the Government lessons, SAT words and Chemistry Lessons.  Oh my goodness, so many Chemistry lessons.  And the cool thing is a lot of the videos in the lessons are from Khan Academy which she is very familiar with.  I appreciate that with each lesson you get a heads up about where the video is from so you know what and where your kids are looking at.  We haven't had any issues at all with allowing both kids to use any of the videos, accept YouTube will have ads.
Not even all of the Chemistry Lessons provided.


Both Kaden and Mahala enjoyed these videos with Vocabulary during breakfast several times a week.
Both Mahala and Kaden have been reading a different Biography each month most of this year.  We are trying to not just learn History, but the people behind the History.  We learned about women throughout History, Ann Frank and Julius Cesar so far.  We will be continuing to use this resource during the summer and beyond because there is so much more hidden in this site.  It truly is an enormous Homeschool Mom's blessing. 

http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/wp-content/uploads/hp-logo-250x250.jpgThere are a lot of things that you can get FREE on this website, but with the Pro Membership so much more is available to make any unit study or lesson complete.  Head over and Connect with HelpTeaching.com on Social Media today.
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Help Teaching Pro. {HelpTeaching.com Reviews}

The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray ~ REVIEW

 
Recently I received an Advanced Readers Copy of

The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray

from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, so let's go!

The story starts out with Young Gwendolyn Gray who is 12, who does not want to grow up because adult life is oh so boring and Gray.  Yes, she lives in a world of sameness and no color.  Everyone has hair that is black or washed out blonde and dresses in the same drab dull gray.  Her whole world is in shades of black and white and gives off a very dystopian vibe.  At school Gwendolyn is bullied because shes different.   The red-headed girl was special in her own way and everyone could plainly see how different she was, although they felt like she was a freak.  She has no real friends and mainly talks to inanimate objects and her drawings.   In class she let's her imagination run away with itself and refuses to use the soul sucking lambents.   
One day everything changed when her imagination made things real, so real that Gwendolyn gave her classmate, Missy bunny ears.  Not only that but something else weird started to happen, I don't want to spoil it for you, but this is when things start getting real good.  She finds herself in a sticky situation as she realizes there is a lot more to her city.  There is something secretly going on and she finds herself running from faceless bowler hat wearing guys.  She finds some adventure companions along the way, Starling and Sparrow and all their steam punk glory. They’re brother and sister that came from a whole new world. Kaden was delighted when these two arrived out of the blue...or should I say gray. :)
I'm not going to share much more, but I will tell you my opinion.  This book was a great read and would be so cool as a movie.  The way the Author describes this adventure and all the details is magical.  I will be honest and say that there are some bully scenes that made me a little uncomfortable.  Maybe it was too close to home with having a special needs child, I don't know.  But, I will say I am happy we read it out loud so I could improvise that part.  I didn't like the use of words like freak, but, I understand it was used to describe the depth of the situation Gwendolyn was dealing with.  I also didn’t like the unnecessary romance!  Gwendolyn wasn’t even in her teens yet.  It seemed a little forced and unnatural, especially for her character.  But all that aside, it ended really well and Kaden and I look forward to more from this Author.

4.17.2018

Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology ~ REVIEW

I came to my computer this morning with a smile....why?  Because I knew I was going to tell you all about Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia.  The past several weeks Kaden and I have been Reviewing this set of curriculum and just like every other thing I use from Apologia we completely love it.  
I know I have said this every single time about Apologia.  Why does it work so well for us?  I have to say I think it's because it's Christ centered for starters.  And also it's not complicated to use, it reads like your having a conversation...even in the older grades.  I can't tell you how many times Mahala has thanked me for using Apologia Sciences with her.  And Kaden will sit down with his Notebooking Journal and work independently and then narrate to me what he learned without me even asking. 

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So, let me show you what we received exactly with our Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology set.  
These two notebooking journals are amazing, I have tried the Junior version before with Kaden when he was a little younger.  But, I still use some of the activities as reinforcement after he completes a section.   The main differences between the two is that the Junior edition has a lot of coloring pages  which is perfect for when you are reading and need something to keep little hands busy.  I love that the pages are bold and simple, not over complicated with intricate designs or muddled pictures.  The lessons are very similar, just slightly less questions and less involved activities.  Both offer puzzles, vocabulary and copywork and several full color cut out mini books in the back, info flaps and activities for lapbooking that you attach to your journal.  


At the very back of both is a Personal Person Project that starts with Lesson 1 and continues through the whole course.  Kaden and I both were super excited to do this.  Each system and organs are beautifully printed on this transparent paper.  I suggest a parent to cut them out so it's not jagged or that the scissors don't cut right through the print.  Very cool project and sparked many conversations about his body, what's to come and how to protect it.  
The Notebooking Journal makes it easy to keep track of what you have learned with sections for notes, narrations, drawings and so much more.  I have kept my other kiddos notebooks from the past and they are so fun to go back through.  Another great feature I almost forgot to add is the helpful Lesson Plan available at the front of the Journal.  It's organized by weeks and then gives you every detail you need for working through the lessons just two days a week.  It's very simple to use and even gives you the text book and notebook pages needed for each day so you know exactly where to go during each lesson.






Some other Projects and activities we did was mummify an apple, yum delicious!  Made a sweet and tasty edible cell and constructed a skeleton clay and foil man with toothpicks.  We are looking forward to making our very own Digestion Theme Park later this week.  Overall I think the projects offered a great bridge between learning Science and actually doing Science.  I notice Kaden retained everything he learned and could complete the lessons in the workbook.  But, the conversations and the sparked ideas came while we were making and observing the projects and experiments that are hidden throughout the textbook and journals.  And this is just another reason why this curriculum works so well for our family.

The Text Book is beautiful with crisp sharp pictures that caught Kaden's attention at every turn.  I was amazed at everything that is taught, it truly is so well round and prepares your student for further Sciences.  This specific book I didn't get to do with my two older kiddos.  Kaden is so lucky to have a quality curriculum to use in the early stages of his education.  Kaden said his favorite thing about the Text Book was all the Try This! sections.  These provide extra experimentation and further learning on the current topic.  Sometimes he would just read them and not complete the task, but it gave him motivation to seek out his own discoveries in real life.  And it provided some great family night discussions at the dinner table.  Here is a Peek inside:

Lesson 1 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
Lesson 2 - The Skeletal System
Lesson 3 - The Muscular System
Lesson 4 - The Digestive and Renal Systems
Lesson 5 - Health and Nutrition
Lesson 6 - The Respiratory System
Lesson 7 - Life in The Blood
Lesson 8 - The Cardiovascular System
Lesson 9 - The Nervous and Endocrine Systems
Lesson 10- The Nervous System Extended
Lesson 11 - Your Senses
Lesson 12 - The Integumentary System
Lesson 13- The Lymphatic and Immune System
Lesson 14- Growth and Development


 
The MP3 Audio CD we did not use as much, only because I love Science so much and want to read along with him.  But, I did use it twice while I was gathering the materials needed for the edible cell and when I was at an appointment and he was at home with his Sister.  I do also plan on using this on our RV trips this Summer because he has requested to continue through the Summer.  This will be great for the drive and any other time I am not able to read with him.  He has no problem reading alone, but I find he retains more when his hands are busy with clay, fidgets or a puzzle while listening to me or the CD.  The CD is very simple to load and straightforward to use.  The readings are done by Jeannie Fulbright and are a wonderful addition for auditory learners are kiddos with any learning disability or special needs.  Sometimes Mama's voice just needs a day off to just listen and learn right along with the kiddos. :)

So, what did I think?  Well...we loved it and plan to really never use another Science curriculum.  Time and time again with all three of my kids including Kaden with Autism this Company has come through for us.  The Exploring Creation Series is magnificent.  They each are so special and created with the goal of teaching your kiddos the truths of Science and that means a lot to me.  I appreciate that Kaden can read or see a show on NatGeo and be able to stand up and say that's wrong and here is why.  I feel confident with this Series in what they believe and teach.

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Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews

4.13.2018

Letting Go of the Stronghold

I'm kind of in a little funk today.  Maybe it's the several days of rainy weather, my achy joints or just the fact that I was reminded today that yes God is still in control no matter how hard we fight to be the head of command.  This is just a jumble of random thoughts, worries and eventually acceptance. 
For me I feel like a conductor of an orchestra, standing tall in front of my life that consists of my family, my work, social media, the world, my health..... And I lean to the left and lean to the right making sure all my ducks are in a row and the music sounds as beautiful as I want it to at least seem.  

And all is going somewhat smoothly until piece by piece begins to play a different tune or nothing at all.  It starts sounding like nothing I ever heard before and I panic...retreat...scramble, until I realize the music is still playing and will go on with or without me conducting.  If I set myself to the side and truly listen it sounds more beautiful then I ever could have conducted on my own.  This is God's song, his story and when I release my stronghold on it it's magical.

4.12.2018

Princess Cut ~ REVIEW


Mahala is 18 years old already and starting college next year.  Life is zooming by and our little girl isn't so little anymore.  Someday in the future some guy is going to come and sweep her off her feet and Mom and Dad may not be able to influence her the way we can now  Which is why we take every advantage to pass on our beliefs and values to our kiddos.  Weather it's dating, money matters or even stressful life situations.  It's always wonderful when we can do this while having fun, playing games or watching a movie.  So, we were happy to be able to Review Princess Cut from Watchman Pictures.

Basically the main character is Grace Anderson and is the daughter of a small time farmer in the Carolinas.  Like a lot of young ladies in their early 20's she is longing for love and that beautifully shaped princess cut diamond ring.  We watched this together as a family and I was hoping it wasn't too predictable.  I want to go on record right now in saying that it's not the same old love story.  This movie is packed with real life feelings, situations and characters.  I don't want to give away the whole movie, but let me just say that more then once I could 100% relate to Grace, her parents and her friend at some point in my life.  Also, I would say that the movie is not the typical girl meets boy, there's a complication and then she falls in love with her hero and lives happily ever after.

It's different because Grace has this idea of how she will fall in love, what it should look like and with who.  But, clearly God had other plans.  And with the guidance from her parents she is able to turn that focus on the Lord and getting herself right as she waits for the Lord to bring her Mr.Right.  We totally related to this practice, because that is our own personal belief.  We don't believe in casual dating and until God brings the right person to you it's a time to grow personally, serve and educate yourself.  I thought the Dad's relationship with Grace was beautiful, there was such a sweet moment when Grace went to him with her Mom and talked I was in tears. 

The movie wasn't all about love, there was some family struggles and hardship that we got to see the family pull together.  There was the not so great friendship that we were able to see unfold.  I haven't mentioned her brothers yet.  There is a certain situation that happens that had us laughing even hours after we watched. :)  And I will mention that there is an out of town guest that caught me by surprise, but makes the story even more interesting. 

So, what did I think?  Well I liked it along with my family.  We all agreed that there were parts that seemed like the acting was a little wonky.  Would I watch it again though?  Yes I would, but it's not a light hearted family movie night kind of a movie.  It is a movie with purpose, a movie you share with others to show the reality of what marriage really is.  To see the dangers to the heart from casual dating, looking for love for the wrong reasons.  We take this very seriously in our home and it's a topic we speak frequently about.  I would also say it's a movie that shows God's faithfulness and the strength behind a family bond.  Mahala said she wished it was a book, she loved the concept of the movie very much, but also thought the acting might have not been the best. 


If you have kids that are nearing the teen years or in the teen years this movie would be a great way to start the conversation about dating if you haven't already.  Or use it as a visual to see how dating with a purpose and waiting for the Lord looks like.  It paints a realistic picture of both paths and I can vouch that both paths are pretty darn accurate.  This would be awesome for both boys and girls to watch.  This would be perfect for a Highschool youth group night at church for sure.  I will be passing this movie on to my oldest Son who is actually a young married guy, but I still think both he and his Wife can still benefit from the lessons shared for their own hearts and in preparation for their own family.

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    Princess Cut {Watchman Pictures Reviews}

    4.11.2018

    Prima Latina ~ REVIEW

    I'm usually one to shy away from starting a completely different topic or subject this close to the beginning of our summer school.  But, when Prima Latina from Memoria Press was presented to me I had to make an exception.  This set is intended for kiddos in grades 1-3, but for Kaden I felt like it was a terrific start to introducing him to Latin.  It's available both printed and digitally, I prefer printed because my printer was around just about the time Regan took office.  Here is a look at a Sample Lesson and a little of the Table of Contents.  We received the workbook, teacher's manual, a set of 3 instructional DVDs, a CD of prayers, songs and pronunciation and finally a zillion flash cards. 


    Once we received our box of goodies I took a few days and previewed the DVDs, checked out the CD and went through the teacher's manual.  For Kaden I knew I would need to start small and take our time.  What I was first impressed with was that the lessons were already in manageable chunks.  Lessons start out with Practical Latin, being just a few words....nothing overwhelming.  Then the main Grammar lesson, followed by Vocabulary....Kaden's favorite so far is learning the numbers. :)  Afterwords is the Latin Prayers, Derivatives followed by the lessons exercises.  The exercises have review questions, writing practice, listening to the CD to practice pronunciation and more.  I like that there are different activities and that each exercise is short.  
    I have been taking German classes, so Kaden was confused at first how this was going to work.  But, once I explained to him the benefits of learning Latin he was intrigued and ready to give it a try.  My intentions was just to expose him to Latin and see where it goes from there.  I was pleasantly surprised how well he did.



    We started first doing one whole Lesson for the whole week then reviewing the following week before introducing the next Lesson.  Is that necessary, no....but that's what you do with a Special needs kiddo, you tweak things to work for you.  After the end of the 2nd week though I realized that because there are so many reinforcements, like the different activities along with the DVD and CD that we were able to get through the next few Lessons at a pace of one per week.

    I divided it up to where he was getting the Practical Latin and Grammar lesson on Mondays.  I usually write up on the board a reference to what we learned and I try and keep it up all week. Tuesday is all about Vocabulary and we get to take out the flash cards.  We also would break out the CD and listen to the corresponding Prayer.  We may or may not have listened to it all, even though we are not even half way through with the lessons.  We were excited to hear everything. :)  

     
    Most of the time I found he was still able to be focused, so we orally would go through the Derivatives.  In a "neurotypical" world I would have him write these out, but his handwriting is a huge struggle, getting him to write out the Vocabulary words is all I can do for now.  Thursday is our big day, we work through the exercises.  What I noticed is the repetition, he knows what to expect and the sections are bite size.  We start with 5 review questions and then 5 questions for the current lesson you are finishing.  Translation of the current words along with practice time speaking with the CD and with me.  And then comes the dreaded writing part, but that's ok he needs the practice.  My favorite part is the Fun Practice section at the end.  Kaden was asked to come up with a poem or song to help him remember the vowel sounds.  He assigned each of them a color....don't ask me how he does it, but he remembers them.  (A- yellow, E-red, I- green, O-orange U-blue)  Another fun activity was finding invisible verbs in a current book your reading.  Kaden was super stoked to even learn about invisible verbs.  He is just grasping all the major components in the Grammar department.  And this curriculum works nicely with what he's using for that.  I was worried it may confuse him, but if anything it has reinforced what he is learning.


    Speaking of reinforcement, after every 5 Lessons there is a Review Lesson.  Perfect amount of review of verbs and nouns, the prayers and vocabulary words.  The last part requires writing and we have only done 1 Review at the moment, so for that one we did just do it orally.  I gave him the Latin word and he gave me the correct translation and derivative.  There was a good bit of memorization involved with recalling the songs and the Latin prayers and I think with time this will get easier for him and by doing this it will help him in future studies and other subjects.

     


    If you asked me if this would be something a child with Special Needs could do, I would say yes for sure with a few tweaks here and there.  But, the short sections make it a possibility for every child that struggles with sitting still or staying focused for 20 minutes.  I think obviously if you have a typical child within the ages range of 7-11 this is perfect.  But, for Kaden who has Autism and is 11 this pushes his ability.  He wouldn't have been able to do this a year ago.  But, a year ago having the flash cards and CD would have been great.  Even doing a Latin word of the day.  Remembering that it's all about exposing our kiddos, they don't have to master every single thing we put in front of them.  The words and phrases are so practical that are taught.  And all of the examples and visuals with the DVDs make this an excellent way to involve even the most struggling students, not to mention that as the teacher you don't have to know any Latin at all to introduce it to your children.  I am so thankful I have this program for Kaden...once again I LOVE Memoria Press for their simple workbook formats that appeal to sensory sensitive kiddos, easy to follow teacher's manuals and sturdy useful extras like the CD, DVDs and flash cards.  We will definitely be getting the next level, Latina Christiana once Kaden finishes Prima Latina.  Make sure to head over and Connect with Memoria Press on Social Media.

    Spelling, Music Appreciation & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}

    4.04.2018

    The 3 Autism Worries~ part1

    You know I worry, I just do...I worry about what life will be like for Kaden in 10 years, 20 years....even when I'm dead and gone.  How will he handle the big bad outside world?  How will they handle him?  With my other two I wanted them to be educated and able to provide for themselves and make a difference in the world.  I didn't worry about them being compassionate, controlling their anger or not being able to self regulate.  With Kaden those are top on my list....he's smart and what he doesn't know by the time he graduates he will easily pick up along the way.  I'm not worried about that one bit, it's the other 3 things mentioned that I worry most about. 

    First up is Compassion.... we have come along way with this.  Used to I could have been passed out bleeding to death and he would use me as a book rest and continue to read.  Now, 7 out of 10 times he is the one who rushes for a cloth with water on it and the Band-Aids when anyone gets hurt.  As long as he is not already overwhelmed or flared he will respond this way.  If I have been sick or my Lupus is acting up that's another story.  So, if I'm moving slowly and can't do something for him then he just won't get the reason why.  It still needs to be a huge visual clue for him to "get it".  And even with the visual clues if it's too overwhelming for him he will freeze or go hide.
    So, I worry about a fire in the house or a car accident where I am not able to analyze how he's processing the current situation.  This is why us Special Needs Parents suffer from PTSD, we live in a constant evaluation of our surroundings and our kid 24/7.


    So, what do I do about this?  Well, right now I'm hitting him hard with nature.  Last year we started full time gardening and he is a natural.  I sing to the plants and he gently touches their leaves, arranges stones around them and churns the compost while saying a prayer.  Is this crazy?  no, I want him to have a gentle heart, to be connected with life.  And right now the life of choice is Plants. 
    Along with gardening though you tend to have little critters.  And he is so gentle with the worms, the grasshoppers and lizards.  Just the other day we found some slugs and decided it was best to relocate them.  One was hurt and he made it a little habitat, but it was just too late.  So, on his own he wrapped it with a leaf, buried it and covered it with small stones and flowers.  I cried because it's working.  My plan to cultivate compassion in this boy is really working. 


    I get asked a lot why I chose to have him connect with nature and not straight to people or animals?  Well because he is so loving with his service dog and other animals kind of already.  I mean a furry, wet nosed pup is not so hard to snuggle and love on.  But, nature gets unnoticed a lot of the time.  And it wasn't until I fully embraced nature myself that I found peace within.  So, that's where we have started...next up, Anger.

    4.02.2018

    The Unicorn Rescue Society ~ REVIEW


     



    All this talk about unicorns lately had me stoked to start a Brand New Book Series called The Unicorn Rescue Society!  We love this new series and know it would be the perfect addition to your kiddo's Summer Must Read List!

    As soon as we opened our package and seen the beautifully illustrated covers we knew these books were going to be packed with adventure.  And an adventure it was, Kaden and I grabbed some leftover Valentine's Day candy and binge read the first two books.  The excitement begins just a few pages in and pretty much is an even flow from start to finish.  The main character Elliot is the new boy in school and on his first day, his class is going on a field trip to the Pines.  He ends up learning about The Unicorn Rescue Society and that the Jersey Devil enjoys eating homemade snack bars. Kaden said he liked that the book focused on only a few main characters and wasn't too overly wordy.  We of course talked a lot about mythical creatures throughout reading this book and we decided if we could be one we would want to be a Flying Dragon and a Mermaid. 

    Kaden would be: A Flying Dragon
    What would You do every day?  I would fly around and look for precious gems in the mountains
    What is your Favorite thing to Eat?  Roasted pig from my own flames
    What do You do for Fun?  I would read book in the high tree tops where nobody would see me
    Mom would be:  A Mermaid
    What would You do every day?  I would collect treasures from the bottom of the sea
    What is your Favorite thing to Eat?  "Sand"wiches :) 
    What do You do for Fun?  I would swim with the dolphins and watch every single sunrise and sunset.

    UNICORN RESCUE SOCIETY: THE CREATURE OF THE PINES
    Ages 8-12 Grades 3-7
    Description:
    A fully illustrated, globe-trotting new middle grade fantasy-adventure series about mythical creatures and their cultures of origin, from the Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitor's Tale.
    Elliot Eisner isn't exactly excited about starting at a brand-new school in a brand-new town; he'd much rather stay at home and read a book. But things take an unexpected turn when he finds out his weird new teacher, Professor Fauna, has planned a field trip for Elliot's very first day. Along with a new friend--brave, outspoken Uchenna Devereaux--Elliot gets caught up in a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world's mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers.

    Unicorn Rescue Society is an exciting and hilarious new series about friendship, adventure, and mythical creatures from around the world by Newbery Honor-winning author Adam Gidwitz teamed up with Mixtape Club founders Jesse Casey and Chris Smith, and Hatem Aly, illustrator of The Inquisitor's Tale.
     
     
    AUTHORS
    Photo of Adam GidwitzAdam Gidwitz is the author of the critically acclaimed, New York Timesbestselling Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching and writing his Newbery Honor-winning The Inquisitor's Tale, including a year living in Europe. Adam lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY. Find Adam online at adamgidwitz.com or @AdamGidwitz. Chris Lenox Smith is the Creative Director and cofounder of Mixtape Club, an award-winning audiovisual creative studio. Mixtape works with a range of brands and artists, including Google, HBO, ESPN, Spotify, Primus, and They Might Be Giants, to create memorable, narrative-driven films. Chris is a two-time winner of the ADC Young Guns Award for animation and music composition, his work spans across media, from short films and commercial work to musical scores that marry influences from the precomputer era with modern techniques. Jesse Casey is the Managing Director and cofounder of Mixtape Club, an award-winning audiovisual creative studio. Mixtape works with a range of brands and artists, including Google, HBO, ESPN, Spotify, Primus, and They Might Be Giants, to create memorable, narrative-driven films. Drawing from his twin backgrounds in computer programming and printmaking, Jesse's work embraces contemporary technology as a means to recreate the craft and artistry of classic film and animation.
     
    ILLUSTRATOR
    Hatem Aly is an Egyptian-born illustrator whose work has been featured on television and in multiple publications worldwide. He currently lives in New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife, son, and more pets than people. Find him online at metahatem.com or @metahatem.

    WEEK ONE
    4/2 – Four Violet Reviews – What Mythical Creature you would be (wear, eat, activities)
    4/3 – Liv The Book Nerd – Favorite Mythological Creatures
    4/4 – Live.Laugh.Love.Library – Favorite Mythological Creature and place to travel
    4/5 – Books4yourkids – Mythical Creatures and Places
     
    WEEK TWO
    4/10 – Pirates and Pixie Dust – Which Mythical Creature you would want to meet
    4/11 – The Pages In-Between – 10 Mythological Creatures you would and wouldn’t want to meet
    4/12 – Librariel Book Reviews – Review + Type of Mythical Creature you would like