Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Usborne Review: Muddle and Match series

Muddle and Match series by Stephanie Hinson
16 pages each. Board book.

From Usborne: "Make up your own funny stories of adventure and create crazy characters as you flip through the split pages and muddle things up."


My thoughts: These books have the potential to appeal to young and older kids alike. The sturdy board book pages allow even the smallest of children to flip through, but the tongue-twisting alliteration will have readers carefully crafting the comedic chronicles... ;-) Using different voices for the various characters adds to the fun!




I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing this and other books through the link above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.



I would love to help you earn free books through a Home or Facebook Party, or even have you join my team and share these books with others! Contact me via email if you are interested at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Quick Lit: August 2015

It's been a summer of some things more important than reading. :) 
My goal for this year is to read 36 books - 3 a month - after only finishing 24 last year. I'm barely on schedule, with 21 books completed so far in mid-August. I'll need to finish 3 books before the end of the month, and one that I'm currently reading is pretty long... Oh well, it's summer. :) Here's what I've finished in the last month.


The Martian by Andy Weir
"Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there." This book was featured in my August #bookwormproblems post, so I won't rehash how and when I came to read it. But let's just say I loved it. There was quite a bit of technical stuff (that I'll bet the author had lots of fun writing) that went over my head, but I don't feel like I missed out if I skimmed some of it. I understood enough to realize when things were going wrong (which seemed to happen a lot). Just when we thought things were finally looking up for Mark, something else would break down. Yes there was some foul language -- the opening line of the book almost made me close it again -- but how do you think you would feel if you were trapped on Mars??

I knew as I was reading that it was going to be made into a movie, so quite a few of the scenes I could really picture. I was really impressed that this was Weir's first novel, and will keep him on my radar for the future!


As a typical child of the '80s, I love the movie The Princess Bride. Though I'll admit I didn't first see it until college. It is one of the most quotable movies of all time, and even I myself have been known to throw a line or two into ordinary conversation. Though the beginning of the book was a little more boring -- I didn't care all that much how the movie came to be, and the conversations people had to get it going -- once I got into the actual filming I was captivated. From stories about stunts to broken toes to life working with a giant, this book made the movie that much more special. My husband read it too, and we're going to soon watch the movie again to see if we notice some of the events mentioned. I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes the movie! (but if you haven't even seen the movie yet, go watch it first - then read this book :)


I'd consider this my "fluff" read of the month. I used to read tons of Christian fiction, and have so many free books on my Kindle from one sale or another, but have been turned away by cheesy romance lately. Yes this one has some (it's a marriage of convenience after all) but there was enough of a regular plot to keep me interested. And it's set in Australia -- I haven't really read very many books outside the US or UK. It was good enough that I may read more in the series sometime.




Linking up with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy!




This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Monday, August 10, 2015

What the Cubs are Reading: August 10

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books. Since I recap what I'm personally reading each month with Modern Mrs. Darcy, for this linkup I post what Abby (age 5) and Ellie (age 3) have been enjoying.

----------------------------------------

Otto: The Boy Who Loved Cars
by Kara LaReau
.
 June 2011
The girls picked this one out from the free box at a yard sale we stopped at -- the copy we got was actually an advanced reader paperback. It almost makes me want to do more with getting ARC's. It's a really cute story about a boy who lives and breathes cars sooo much (his friends are even named Chevy, Mini, and Kia, which I think is hilarious -- and his own name is Otto -- get it? auto?) that one day he wakes up and actually IS a car. A great little tale about trying new things! 


by Jane Belk Moncure. September 1983
Yup you read that copyright date correctly. This book came out when I was 6 months old! I had completely forgotten about the Word Bird series until I saw them at the library -- I LOVED them as a kid. We picked this one out last week because it was Ellie's birthday. You'd be really lucky to find this one for sale somewhere, so check your library for it. It goes through all the months of the year, as Word Bird asks when his birthday is. My kids love adding things to each month: "Papa said 'August is the time for picnics and fishing'"... and Ellie's birthday. :)  


by E.B. White. October 1952
I used to do more reading aloud with Abby last year, when she would rest in the afternoons and wasn't in school yet. But now that naps are over for both her and her sister, we tend to choose picture books as bedtime reading so Ellie can stay focused. I got this book on audio from the library, and a couple times over the last few weeks have played it while doing household chores as the girls play nearby. But now the audio is due back to the library and we're only a third of the way done...



Do you read chapter books aloud to your kids? How old are they? Should I try to do it more, or is my easily-distractable, just-turned-3-year-old-Ellie too young yet?



Check out what others are reading in today's linkup!




This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Friday, August 7, 2015

August #bookwormproblems

My husband and I recently went on a little weekend getaway, sort of a belated-10-year-anniversary trip. We drove about 3 hours north (though we took the scenic route up, which took longer than 3 hours) and spent a couple days at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore (yes the place that got hit by a huge storm the following weekend!) and Traverse City.


Just before the trip I got the notice from the library that a book I had requested had come in -- so I quickly grabbed it and we set off. I had a feeling Rocky might enjoy it too, so I volunteered to read it aloud while we drove.

We took turns reading it over the course of the weekend -- in the car, on the beach, in the hotel, etc. WHAT A GOOD BOOK. But we didn't finish it by the time we got home.

(Did I mention Rocky is not typically much of a bookworm? That made this whole thing even more special for me. :) )

So of course our schedules started to get busy again, and we only had time to read together late at night. I should note here that I am a morning person and Rocky is a night owl. [and now you can probably tell where this is going...]

I gave Rocky permission to continue without me if I fell asleep. Which of course I did.

The next day I posted this on Instagram:


He had gotten far ahead... but after a couple days I finally caught up to where he had stopped. And I was amazed that he had stopped at all. Because he had stopped at the most edge-of-your-seat, the-book-is-almost-done spot. I don't know if I would have had the self control to stop there. But he did. And I love him even more for it. :)

THEN it plagued me to no end to wait a couple MORE days before we had the time to finish it together!! But finish it we did. And then I quickly brought it back to the library so the next of the 10 people in line could have it...

And now we have to wait. We have to wait 1) for this author to write another book - hopefully it will be as good as his first novel - and 2) for the movie to come out this fall. I don't mind watching movies that are based on books, but I almost always try to read the book before seeing the movie. And now Rocky and I can enjoy that together too. :)

What is something book-related you have had to wait for? 

Linking up today with Jessica at Quirky Bookworm! Click through to see what other problems bookworms are having this month.




This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make from Amazon through these links help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Usborne Review: Complete Book of the Human Body

by A. Claybourne
96 pages. Soft flexi-cover, or library-bound. 

From Usborne: "A fact-packed, beautifully illustrated, all-round introduction to the human body and how it works. Full of extraordinary photographs, detailed diagrams and stunning scans, X-rays and microscope images of the human body. Engaging, friendly text and clear, simple explanations. Experiments and activities show you how to take your own pulse, test your reaction time and fool your brain with optical illusions. Amazing facts and world records, including the world’s tallest man, the oldest person ever and the longest fingernails on record.

What is an Usborne Internet-linked book? It is a book that contains descriptions of websites that take you further into the subject in a fun and informative way. You can find links to all the sites listed in this book on the Usborne Quicklinks website at www.usborne-quicklinks.com. Will the websites go out of date? Websites do change from time to time, so the sites will be regularly reviewed by Usborne researchers, and the links will be updated."


My thoughts: Usborne is amazing when it comes to non-fiction books. There seems to be something for nearly every age level. Look Inside Your Body and See Inside Your Body are lift-the-flap board books for younger kids, the First Encyclopedia of the Human Body is a basic 64-page encyclopedia for early elementary, and now this Complete Book of the Human Body is packed full of information for mid- to upper-elementary. Many of Usborne's non-fiction books such as this one are recommended in many homeschooling curriculums.

One of the best things about Usborne's non-fiction books is the Quicklinks website. It is continually monitored for both internet safety and up-to-date information, and allows kids an even deeper look into the material they are studying.






I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing this and other books through the link above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.



I would love to help you earn free books through a Home or Facebook Party, or even have you join my team and share these books with others! Contact me via email if you are interested at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Usborne Review: You Choose

You Choose by Nick Sharratt & Pippa Goodhart
32 pages. Hardcover. 

From Usborne: "Imagine you could go anywhere, with anyone and do anything. Where would you live? Where would you sleep? Who would your friends be? This book supports speech and language development, encourages independent thinking and makes decision making fun!"

My thoughts: This is a fun book to look at with your child or let them look on their own. Each page asks a question, then gives tons of images that could be their answer - but the answers aren't labeled, so readers have to use their own words to describe them (or ask mom, what is that thing?). My kids always have their favorites on each page, but I'll often point them to other pictures to get them thinking differently. It would be a great book for helping students get ideas for writing their own stories too. It's a bit difficult to explain, so let's just look at the inside shall we?







I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing this and other books through the link above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.


I would love to help you earn free books through a Home or Facebook Party, or even have you join my team and share these books with others! Contact me via email if you are interested at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Lion's Tales: early July...

This weekly [errr... as often as I have time] recap is where I blog about anything and everything from the past week [or more...]. Could be about books, my kids, my garden... Random things in my life that don't fill enough space for their own post!


It's been a busy couple of weeks! Be prepared for a post with only a few points, but LOTS of pictures! :)

1. Rocky and I helped at our church's Vacation Bible School. I led the Bible Expeditions station, so 4 rotations came to me throughout the morning and I taught the kids about Elijah, Naaman, Jesus, heaven, etc. I love the VBS program that Group Publishing creates, it's all scripted out so I don't have to create anything on my own. And it's always so fun -- the kids got to eat food brought by "ravens" and dipped their spotted hands in the "Jordan River."

Abby was so excited to participate for real this year - both girls have been "attending" VBS since they were babies, as Rocky and I volunteer each year. But Abby was able to be part of the full preschool program this year.

Abby got to help out on stage the last day. 


2. The weather the weekend of the 4th was beautiful. We spent pretty much the whole weekend, Friday afternoon through Sunday, at our extended family's "lakehouse" (not spending the night, as we only live 15 minutes away and others in the family come from hours away). It's the house Rocky grew up in, so it's not just a small summer cottage! There was lots of relaxing and eating and playing in and on and around the water.



Abby and I enjoyed this hammock a lot... :-)
Yup, my almost-3-year-old went tubing! (Abby however
refused out of fear - until the following weekend)
Rocky's family have always been big waterskiers. His sister even is
part of a show-skiing team. His dad's birthday was on the 4th, and
they decided to attempt a pyramid together. They did it on the first try!

3. The week after the 4th, I quickly packed my bags for 5 days in Pennsylvania! I attended the 46th Annual GEMS Leadership Conference. GEMS Girls Clubs is a non-denominational organization dedicated to helping bring girls into a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. The vision is to see girls around the world actively and enthusiastically expressing love for God and others.

I've been involved in my church's club for 10 years, and have done some leadership at the state level for 4 years. This Conference brought together almost 500 women from across the US and Canada to be encouraged and equipped, not only for leading in their clubs but also to just grow in their own spiritual life. IT. WAS. AWESOME.


Adults can have fun too. :) 

Annie Downs, one of the amazing speakers.

I participated in a pre-conference tour -- we went to Gettysburg.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Lion's Tales: June 21-27

This weekly recap is where I blog about anything and everything from the past week. Could be about books, my kids, my garden... Random things in my life that don't fill enough space for their own post!

1. We had a garage sale this week (in fact I'm typing this post as I'm working it). Everyone always says "garage sales are too much work for how much money you end up making." I suppose that's true, but this year I tried really hard to work on things little by little -- I've kept a box by the stairs and anytime I came across something in the last few months that we don't use I'd put it in the box. And then we set tables up in the garage a week ahead, so when I had an hour here and there I'd go sort and price. We made out alright, and whatever is left we'll donate anyway. Abby and Ellie sold a ton of Rice Krispie treats.



2. I'm almost at the end of my "incentive period" with Usborne (my first 90 days). It's been great, and I've reached all of my goals except one. If I get 1 person to become a consultant too, before next Wednesday, I'll get a big box of free books and supplies. Would you like the chance to earn some extra income, build up your home library, and be part of a great community -- all with no sales quotas to meet? I've even known people to just buy the starter kit for a great deal on new books. Usborne is running a really great limited-time deal on a starter kit of 10 books plus supplies for only $55. Email me at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com if you have any questions! You could also sign up right now by clicking through this link.



3. The girls had their first dentist appointment this week. They got to watch a little video about what to expect, then the dentist counted their teeth and just made it a fun experience for them. So far so good, no issues that she could see! We often joke that we hope the girls get my teeth and Rocky's eyes... if it's the other way around we're going to have lots of dentist and optometry bills. :-P


4. Ellie has gotten so many comments lately about how big she is. Whether it's at the store, at our garage sale, or people we know, everyone has a hard time believing she is still only 2 years old. I don't think she's any bigger than Abby was at that age, she's wearing the clothes Abby wore at that age. But she is only a couple inches shorter than Abby, and her speech is amazing. Some second-born kids take longer to talk because their older siblings do all the talking for them -- not Ellie!



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Usborne Review: Beginners Non-Fiction Series

32 pages each. Hardcover. 

From Usborne: "How many eyes do spiders have? What do fire fighters wear? What kind of truck can transport the space shuttle? Find the answers to these questions and lots more in these exciting books for children who are learning to read on their own. Each title recommends terrific, child-friendly websites for fun projects and games."

My thoughts: I am in love with these books! They are full of interesting facts at around a 6 year old level. My 5 year old has just started reading, and I asked her which of these books she would be interested in. She chose Penguins, and has been reading the book on her own for days. What a great way for encouraging reading, when you can find something your child is interested in!

Two specific things I love about these books: 1) Each 2-page spread features both drawings and photographs. 2) In the back of each book is a glossary, plus information about Usborne's Quicklinks on the other. Quicklinks is a website that is maintained by Usborne, with collections of links to other safe, child-friendly sites for more information about any topic. So after we read the penguin book, we were able to watch a video of penguins swimming, hear their sounds, and get instructions for fun penguin crafts.





I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing this and other books through the link above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.


I would love to help you earn free books through a Home or Facebook Party, or even have you join my team and share these books with others! Contact me via email if you are interested at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Usborne Review: The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales

The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales
by Stephen Cartwright & Heather Amery
328 pages. Hardcover. 

From Usborne: "This delightful book contains all 20 of the popular Farmyard Tales stories. Young children will love Stephen Cartwright's charming illustrations of life on Apple Tree Farm, and the gently amusing stories of Mrs. Boot, the farmer, her children Poppy and Sam, and their animals, Rusty the dog, Curly the pig and Woolly the sheep."

My thoughts: Apparently this is an Usborne book that's been around for awhile. Most of the people I've talked to in my parties who actually have heard of Usborne before will ask me "Do they still have that book of farmyard tales?" It is considered a dual-reader, which means there is a simple line of text along the top of the page for a child to read, then longer, more descriptive sentences on the bottom. The story could feasibly be told by a child only reading the top line, or a parent and child could alternate lines and tell the longer story. It also comes with a CD, with a man narrating each story (in a British accent, remember this was made in the UK!) along with sound effects.








I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing this and other books through the link above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.


I would love to help you earn free books through a Home or Facebook Party, or even have you join my team and share these books with others! Contact me via email if you are interested at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com.