Book Review: T. Rex


As you may have read in my post about Science being our new subject in homeschool this year, Davy has grown a great interest in reading non-fiction. While my stack of books at the library is mostly Cozy Mysteries, Alternative Fairy Tales, and Activity Books, Davy sticks to aisles with call numbers. It has been quite fun for me to learn about the animals he has such an interest in, so that during playtime I can have some answers about the animals he plays with.

    This dinosaur book was read right alongside other books with names like Ankylosaurus, Baryonyx, Triceratops, and Pachycephalosaurs, so I had no expectation for it other than hand drawn pictures instead of computer generated. I thought it looked cartoonish, and seeing his taste I wasn’t sure he would like it much once we started reading it. He likes seeing the “real” pictures. However, I was pleasantly surprised at this book, and by the time we finished it, I loved T. Rex!

    The book is a conversation between a grandpa and grandson, with each character getting a different size and format to their words. The facts in this book are presented as the grandpa telling his grandson. And where there is missing information in paleontology, places that all his other books have given guesses and theories stated as fact, this book leaves the facts as they are. To which the grandson asks, over and over, “Don’t you know? Why don’t you know?” I love that! It is so disappointing to learn about animals only to find out that much of the information that was stated as fact is not based on fact, but on educated guesses. This book invites the young reader to join in the process of learning and discovery by showing how much we have to learn still.

    Being a Christian it is also important to show my child how there is a lot of theory and guesswork in science, to help him from an early age to recognize why and how changes in science happen. I also want to encourage him to ask questions, to be curious, and to look for his own place in the future. This is a great book for so many reasons that I have kept it beyond Davy wanting to “trade it in” at the library. Go get this book for your little ones. It is so much fun, and opens up a world of curiosity.


The facts about the book.

Title: T. Rex

Author: Vivian French

Illustrator: Alison Bartlett

Place: A Museum

Publisher: Candlewick Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Publication Date: 2004

# Pages: 29

Special Features: Unique – Conversation between a grandpa and grandson, Dinosaurs, Leaves you with many questions, Truth and Facts

Price: Free from the library or from $0.01 on Amazon.

ISBN: 0-7636-2184-6

Book Review: 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids


I got this book from the library, took it home, and realized I had already pinned almost everything in the book! I already follow the blog FunAtHomeWithKids.com and love the ideas! However, being in transition for so long has given me only enough motivation to pin and not enough to do. With the book in hand I was able to share it with my son, who immediately chose some things he wanted to do. I was also able to explain some of the ideas to my husband with the pictures and explanations and chapters. Wow I love books!

    I have wanted to do sensory bins for some time, and this book had some great ideas. Once I was able to show this book to my husband he latched on to the idea, and the next day we went out and bought the bin ($3 at Walmart), a bag of insects, lizards, and frogs ($1 at the dollar store), a bag of shells at Michaels ($5) and we had everything we needed for several of the ideas in the book. We already have at home many many small figurines in lots of themes: farm, dinosaur, ocean, Noah’s ark (multiples of animals), desert, rainforest, Arctic, etc. I am not crafty and artsy by myself, and I was a little concerned that I would put too much work in and nothing would come of it, but Davy loved it! Louis loved it, and I am looking forward to adding this to our homeschooling this year as a recurring activity.

    

The second thing I was excited to take from Pinterest to Reality was Discovery bottles. It is so easy to see the beautiful pictures on Pinterest and in reality the work outweighs the reward, or the supplies are out of reach. Since we chose an ocean theme first, since we were reading Jonah, we wanted to make a Discovery Bottle with sand and shells and shiny marbles. What we got was a murky mess. This book included the same Discovery Bottle I had pinned, and upon actually reading the instructions, it calls for craft sand or no sand at all. As I said I am not creative on my own, so it was essential that I get these two ideas because I had not thought of it myself. The book also explained that upon filling the bottle with water or gel or oil it might be too heavy for baby to lift. This was very useful because it brought my expectations to reality, and when it was too heavy for Kyrie, Davy and I just dumped it into the ocean sensory bin and played with the items ourselves.

    I hope the two experiences I took out of this book can give an idea of the usefulness of this book. If you are like me and are looking for ideas to play with kids, and would like them to be in your hand instead of in the digital expanse, this is the book for you. I love this book, and I am going to be using it quite a bit this year. Too bad the library only lets me renew books 4 times. Other fun things in this book include Slimes, Doughs, Paint (including all-natural paint that you color using items like carrots, beets, & spinach), other Sensory Activities, and DIY Toys. I am so excited to share with you in the coming years all about how I am using this book (and the corresponding blog).


The facts about the book.

Title: 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities from FunAtHomeWithKids.com!

Author: Asia Citro, MEd

Publisher: Adams Media, Avon, Massachusetts

Publication Date: 2014

# Pages: 255

Special Features: Easy Doable Activities, Upcycled Supplies, Age Range for Each Activity

Price: Free from the library or Kindle Unlimited, and the ideas are all on the website/blog FunAtHomeWithKids.com. The books even have some DIY kits to give these books as gifts to a parent. $12.66 on Amazon or read for Free on Kindle Unlimited.

ISBN: 978-1-4405-7615-7

On Being A Mommy Who Reads Voraciously

My baby boy was born in November 2012. During my pregnancy leading up to his birth I was able to finally read quite a few books that I had been meaning to read for years. I read the entire Harry Potter series, and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I reread the three books about The Mysterious Benedict Society and loved them all just as much on the second read. Finally, I reread the Hunger Games Trilogy. I was reading the third book, which is my least favorite of the series. I was quite aware that I may not finish it when I picked it up. I had intended to only read the first two books of the series again, but didn’t want to start a book which I would need to finish. Mockingjay was a book I could put down and not care much if I picked it back up again after my baby was born.

Thinking all of this over as I had made it even funnier to me when my nurse, after I had had my beautiful baby and been moved to the nursery floor for couplets care, laughed at my having a book in the hospital. I was aware that I would probably not get much of it read in the next few weeks, but when she said, “It’ll be years before you get through another book,” I felt that I had met a challenge I could not turn down. I laughed along with her and then determined that I would read all the time. Besides, what would I have to say to this baby if not for the chapter books I would read to him?

However, my true purpose in undergoing this challenge was my own regrets. I have spent years avoiding my passions in the pursuit of work and these five years of committed stay-at-home motherhood are about my own mental healing as much as they are about raising my beautiful baby boy. This is why the books on this site span so many age groups, and genres, I truly love books. My need for a kind of book is as fluctuating as my baby’s sleep pattern, which is a day to day phenomenon. Some days I need an easy read to get my mind calmed down. Other days I want to read to my baby a book that has pictures for him to look at. Often I want a book that speaks to me about my own life, or humanity in general. Sometimes I pick a book up merely on recommendation.

Which is what I hope this blog can be for you. I hope that you can continue, begin, or pick up where you left off being a lifelong reader. Use this blog as a place to make recommendations for me to read, or to find books to read based on your needs.

Book Review: Pecan Pie Baby: Excellent

Pecan Pie Baby

Written By Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrated By Sophie Blackall

A soon-to-be-big-sister is not as happy as everyone else about this new baby coming. Pecan pie is the red thread through this book, reminding us all that life is lived in the small moments. This adorable children’s picture book captures the feelings of an only child not ready to lose her place in the family. The writing is told in such a way that it sounds like the little girl is speaking throughout the book.

My personal take away was a memory of my own lack of preparation for my baby sister. I wanted a puppy and I wanted that squirmy, reddish, loud thing to go back where it came from. As I read this story to my own three and a half month baby, I prayed that he would be excited to be a big brother. I want to also remember the small things in raising him that he will have his own pecan pie moments with myself and my husband.

I would recommend this book to be read to any child 0-12 years of age getting ready to have a new sibling enter the family. A friend of mine has an entire shelf of books on being an older sibling which prepared her for the event. This book should definitely be a part of that shelf in my own house.

Tucson Festival Of Books: March 9th & 10th

It is fantastic to live in Tucson. I love everything about living here! The weather, the people, 4th Avenue, my family: all amazing. We have a Gem and Mineral Show that is huge. Wandering through it,  I was ecstatic! Surrounding me on all sides was one of my biggest passions, rocks and minerals!

Now there is the Tucson Festival Of Books! If I had known about this I would have moved here long ago. However, it wasn’t until college that I discovered this amazing event. Even then I haven’t attended, probably out of some jealousy that others had gotten to grow up with this wonder and I was so far behind. However, now that I live here I just have to take part in the excitement.

I have a husband who cares greatly about movies. He has a list of 1265 favorite movies. I have been impressed by this as I have watched it grow through our five years of marriage. One of my favorite things he has is a collection of lists he uses to find movie recommendations. It occurred to me as I began avidly reading, eating up all the authors on the list for the Tucson Festival of Books, that I could make such a list. I have a passion to share my heart with others, and books often show me a reflection of myself. They teach me something about humanity that is worth sharing with the wider community out there. So, I decided to create a blog sharing about books I have read and giving recommendations about who would enjoy reading said books.

Welcome to my Mommy Book Blog!