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. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

What the Cubs are Reading: June 15

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 (almost 3) have been enjoying.

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Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins. March 2015
We got this one from the library the last time we visited (it's SO weird to not be working there anymore...). It's a super cute story about a girl's interactions with her new little brother, and it's just impossible to not read without a southern drawl! :) I have yet to grow tired of reading it, I have enjoyed it so much! 


by Joanna Cole. January 2004
Apparently my kids don't care that the first day of summer is a week away... or maybe that's why they keep choosing this one. We have a couple of these MSB Scholastic Reader books that I've picked up at yard sales. We love watching the old shows on Netflix, and I was Ms. Frizzle for Halloween last year! This level 2 reader is still a little difficult for Abby to read by herself, but as she practices it's getting easier. As a science nerd I love love love the simple facts that MSB teaches - this one includes how snow is made up in the atmosphere. 

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We're doing some cleaning and purging for a garage sale next week, and I finally bit the bullet and went through the girls' bookshelves. We've been given SO many books over the last 5 years, and I was sick of picking them up off the floor every day - Ellie has a tendency to search for a specific book, and as she does she takes one off the shelf to see if it's what she's looking for, then puts it on the floor when it's not the right one. 

Before -- this was the everyday look...

After -- I bagged up a lot of stuffed animals too!

The "to-sell" boxes

It is SO hard to get rid of books. Many of them have specific memories. But as you can see from the "after" picture, we still saved a ton of them. I asked my husband to look through the boxes and pull out any that he wanted to save too. And after the sale we'll probably do one more look-through then donate the rest.

Do you have a hard time purging your kids' books too? 


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!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Quick Lit: June 2015


My goal for this year is to read 36 books - 3 a month - after only finishing 24 last year. I'm slightly ahead of schedule, with 18 books completed so far in mid-June. Here's what I've finished in the last month.


I read the first book in this series last month, and raved about Austin's skills in writing historical fiction. I usually enjoy when characters appear throughout a series, and was a bit disappointed at first when I discovered so much time had passed between this book and the last one that only one character bridges the two. But that disappointment quickly faded as I got caught up in the stories of three new characters: Ezra, Amina, and Reuben. The book begins with all chapters alternating between these three, and how the Thirteenth of Adar (the story of Esther) affects them in their own communities. I loved seeing how the three stories, very separate at first, eventually intertwine and interact. The third book in this series, about Nehemiah, won't release until fall... ugh!


Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen
I took a break from adult fiction to read this one from the juvenile section. I enjoyed all of the Percy Jackson books a couple years ago, and I'm guessing this one came along because of the Greek mythology craze. This is the first non-picture book I've read by Yolen (I love her How Do Dinosaurs... series), and it was a fun, simple read. Rather than taking readers to a fantasy world, the concept here is that a bit of magic and mythology enters our world. I thought it was very predictable, but then again most juvenile books are that way for adults. :)


The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I found this book at a yard sale and thought it sounded familiar (shows you how much I know about popular mainstream bestsellers! :-P ). It honestly took me a little while to get into, I really had to think hard about the dates and Clare and Henry's interactions, and what things happened in what order - it's difficult to explain. Once I got into it, I went back to skim some of the events at the beginning and then they made more sense. And once I got to the last 200 pages or so I sped through them and cried at the end. It's considered a romance, so there was a little more descriptive sex than I would usually read. But my overall takeaway was positive -- it made me appreciate the life and family I have and encouraged me to make the most of my time with them.




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!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Usborne Review: See Inside Your Body

See Inside Your Body by Katie Daynes & Colin King
16 pages. Large boardbook. 

From Usborne: "Follow your food as it travels through your body. Take a deep breath and explore your lungs. Let your mind boggle at what your brain can do. This exciting book, packed with lively illustrations and fascinating flaps, is bursting to reveal your body's amazing secrets."

My thoughts: Though recommended for ages 7 and up, both my 5 and almost-3 year old reach for this one almost daily. We spent some time reading through the pages and lifting the flaps together at first, and now they know enough that they can figure out most of the things by the pictures. For a couple of days my oldest wanted to be a doctor when she grows up (now she's back to wanting to be an artist). A very factual book with clear illustrations. No it does not include the reproductive system, yes it does include the entire digestive system.







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, June 6, 2015

The Lion's Tales: May 31-June 6 (including June's #bookwormproblems)

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. It was the last week of school around here. Rocky has finished his 10th year of teaching, and Abby has finished her first year of preschool.



2. In honor of Abby's 5th birthday, we stopped by the library so she could get her very own library card. I know it's more for show than anything (I keep it in my wallet next to my own card, and signed up with my email address for her due date alerts), but she was pretty excited. :)



3. I closed an Usborne party this week for a teacher-friend who got $200 worth of books for $70. And actually if those packs in the picture would have been bought as separate books, the retail would have been even higher. Would you like some free and half-priced books? Let's have a party! If we get a party in during the month of June, you can get double the amount of free books as usual because I'm still new at this. And if you're not local to me, let's do a Facebook party! Send me an email at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com.



4. #bookwormproblem of the month: I saw this photo come through Facebook and it really resonated with me:


I realized a lot of books I read are parts of series - it's been awhile since I read anything stand-alone. But that means I often have to wait until the next book in the series a) gets published or b) comes in at the library (luckily I've gotten in the habit of requesting the next book when I'm about halfway done with the first!). AND I've gotten in the habit of paging through the back of my current book (not reading anything though!) when I think I'm getting to that point where there's a good possibility it will end sooner than I'd like, so I can be prepared...

Do you read those chapter previews at the end of a book? Or just wait until you actually get that next book? 



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


Monday, June 1, 2015

Usborne Review: Step-by-Step Drawing Book

96 pages. Paperback. 

From Usborne: "Discover how to draw lots of things by following the simple step-by-steps in this delightful book, which has space for you to draw in. From rockets to robots… monkeys to monsters... there’s so much to inspire."

My thoughts: My 5-year-old saw this book in my starter kit, and asked me almost every day if she could keep it. I got her one for her birthday, and oh my word she has LOVED it. She claims she wants to be an artist when she grows up -- for Christmas I bought her a ream of computer paper, and all 500 sheets were used up by April. She sat down and drew in this for nearly an hour on her birthday, and I think it's going to help her overall drawing skills tremendously.

There are two other books in the series, Step-by-Step Drawing Animals and Step-by-Step Drawing People.








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, May 30, 2015

The Lion's Tales: May 23-30

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. Last weekend was Abby's 5th birthday and party. How can my firstborn be so old already?! I remember the day we brought her home from the hospital, the purple and yellow irises in my flower garden were in full bloom to welcome us home... Anyway, last Saturday was a fantastic day for inviting friends to our family's lakehouse. I'll do a post in a couple days about the party theme and such (My Little Pony), but for now I'll just say it probably couldn't have gone any more perfectly.





2. A little over a week ago Rocky and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. We went out to dinner and used gift cards to get expensive things to eat that we wouldn't usually cook at home. That's how we roll. :)




3. I'm about 7 weeks into my Usborne adventure, and it has gone amazingly well! When I started, we set a specific dollar amount for start-up costs, and everything I've gotten since then (supplies, samples, etc) I've purchased/earned with my commission and as freebies. I've now reached the point where I have everything I need, so any commission I earn is straight up income. I reached a few milestones with sales and the company rewarded me with free stuff. They are all so encouraging!! If you'd like the opportunity to earn some extra income for your family and get free stuff too, let me know. There are no monthly quotas to meet or anything, it's actually very laid back and that's one of my favorite things about Usborne as a home-based business.



4.  I've been having issues with my eyes. I should start by saying I got my first pair of glasses when I was 7 years old and have been wearing contacts since 16. At first I attributed my troubles to allergies (which I have never ever had in my whole life but everyone has been saying this has been a terrible spring for them...). My eyes were really red and I had people ask if I was okay because it looked like I had been crying. I left my contacts out for awhile and got some drops. Things were kind of getting better, but then I was having trouble with blurry vision, as if my glasses prescription wasn't strong enough (I have horrible eyes anyway). I was afraid to drive for a couple of days because I couldn't see well. I got checked out and the eye doctor gave me a prescription for a stronger eye drop which has finally been working.

We think what happened is that I actually had an allergic reaction to a new brand of contact solution (I just got whatever was on sale when I needed more!), and the allergies and dry eyes compounded things. So I have to wear my glasses for a couple more weeks and then will get new contacts. Yuck! But I'm thankful it's nothing more serious.




Usborne Book Giveaway! {closed}

As an Usborne Books & More Independent Consultant, I've already been exposed to hundreds of amazing kids books. And I want to give you the opportunity to win one!

ABEA's writing prompt for today is Book to Movie Adaptations. One of the things Usborne is known for is their books have NO tie-ins to media. With the fairy tale book shown below, my kids have learned that there is often more to the story than what Disney portrays.

Giveaway Rules:
  • Only open to residents of the US. Sorry my international friends!
  • This giveaway will run from Saturday May 30 through Friday June 5, 2015. 
  • Once I notify the winner, that person will have 48 hours to respond before I choose a new name.
  • One entry per person please.
  • You do not need to have participated in this weekend's ABEA to participate in this giveaway. 
  • I have the titles below available, let me know in the form which one you would choose if you win (and if you don't win, you can always purchase them through the links provided!)