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

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Book Review: Science Play!


When I majored in Education in college it was within a cohort that focused on multiage education and play education. This is the idea that through play, children learn. My emphasis was math and science and I taught middle school science for a year. So, with these two passions in my back pocket as I am entering my second year of homeschooling, I was overjoyed to find a book that neatly sums up these two loves. Science Play! Has turned out to be everything I hoped. It is a book overflowing with fun activities for 2 to 6-year-olds which will help them begin understanding science that is all around them.

    The book is written in such a way that you could use an entire chapter, or pull out individual chapters. The chapters are split into categories which are excellent to help both the kids and their “Grown-Up Lab Assistants” see how easy it is to enter into science. The first chapter is laid out in such a way that I could start right away with my son. It is written in a way that a kid could understand, and as they learn to read they can even take charge of their own learning experiences. The backyard and bathtub even become science labs in this book. These experiments are so amazing, you really do need this book. I am going to be keeping this book handy for many years to come.

    The very first chapter of activities is my favorite so far, Home Sweet Home. The title is perfect for the lack of items I need to buy, making my home very sweet indeed. This will be a great introduction for my 3 year old to his new class this year in homeschool: Science. The idea is to go on a “Science Safari”. On this safari (there are multiple examples given of ways to do this safari) different items will be collected by the child that fall into categories of either different senses, or the other categories in the book: water, plants, and bugs. Very few materials are needed since the child will be doing mainly collecting. The next few pages share ways to display and store these “treasures” in a “mini-museum”. Once again, the material requirements are few and you can choose based on what you collected and what you have already at home. Then the activities move to observing and learning from what we collected, which involves more trips outside.

    I know I am making it sound too simple, but it really is that easy! If you have a kid 0-6, get this book! I am not just recommending it, but making it an essential if you want to introduce science to your kids. Also, I am going to be using this book in our homeschool curriculum this year, so stay tuned for more posts about how I am using this book!


The facts about the book.

Title: Science Play!

Author: Jill Frankel Hauser

Publisher: Williamson Books, Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date: 1998

# Pages: 143

Special Features: 2-6 Year-Olds, Activities and Experiments, Easy to Read, Many Activities Have No Required Items

Price: From $2.68 on Amazon. I got it for free from the library first, but I liked it so much I bought it for $2.67.

ISBN: 978-0-8249-6799-4

Book Review: The Girl In The Steel Corset (Good)


I have to start by saying I LOVE STEAMPUNK! I love the idea of a parallel universe in which there are gears and cogs and shiny metal in clothes and fashion that is funky. I love it so much that Wild Wild West is a movie I will watch over and over again no matter how many good movies there are up against it. Now, I don’t actually watch it over and over because I have a husband who would like to watch only good movies and I don’t really watch movies alone. But I do read alone, so I found this series that is Steampunk and has amazing beautiful covers.

    The Girl in the Steel Corset is the first in the series, but I do not think I will be reading the rest of the series. However, do not let that dissuade you. The book was fully in the Steampunk world. There were contraptions and gears and it was marvelous. However, I realized that liking to pin Steampunk fashion on Pinterest is not the same as knowing all the lingo, and I missed the prerequisite course to know all of that. It was easy enough to catch on, and I think the Teens and Young Adults that it is targeted for would like to enter into the world building alongside the book and to see what sorts of contraptions there are in other books that are mentioned. The characters were in their early twenties, but it seemed like it could have just as easily been a high school book.

I would definitely recommend this book to teens and young adults. With all the sex and erotica being thrown into the mix alongside paranormal romances and whatever other parent cringing subject matter that is out there, this was a great wholesome book. There was romance and kissing, but no quivering members. It was a book I could quite happily let my kids read almost as soon as they could read at that level. And I think that the characters have a chance for depth in the following books that could make them very interesting reads. For instance, the engineering done by both men and women showed intelligence alongside the fun of their personalities. So, while it was not for me in the end, I could see the many merits and would suggest it to anyone else interested in the world of Steampunk and Electronics.


The facts about the book.

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles Book 1)

Author: Kady Cross

Place: London, 1897

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: 2011

# Pages: 480

Special Features: Beautiful Covers, Steampunk, Intelligent Girls

Price: I checked it out at the library, but right now on Amazon the price is $0.01

ISBN: 978-0373210701

Book Review: Here There Be Dragons: Excellent

Here There Be Dragons

Jane Yolen

This anthology of Jane Yolen’s many works on dragons was a wonderful, magical read. The book traveled through many mythologies of dragons in poetry and prose. It was fun and has many of those transcendent moments where the story was not merely a fantasy about a magical creature but contained some of the stuff we hope we are all made of. Heroes and damsels, as well as a few stories that make the reader reflect on why we need dragons to be a fantasy instead of a reality.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy. I would also recommend this to anyone who is staunchly against fantasy. It is a great book of poetry for those who love verse, and the short stories are great for struggling readers, whether due to a lack of ability or desire. A great book for the whole family, at least for my Middle Earth believing family.