Category Archives: Educational

Heat by: Bill Buford

Heat

Have you ever wondered what went on behind the scenes of a “celebrity” chef’s kitchen?  In this book, Bill takes us to Babbo, a NYC restaurant owned and operated by Mario Batali.  Although, I am not too sure as to how this came about, Bill winds up working in Mario’s kitchen, starting from the bottom and sweating his way through the different stations.  Along the way, he has the opportunity to travel to Italy and learn different techniques and butchering methods.

The story itself was good but it was very wordy.  This book is huge and each page is filled with smallish font.  I did listen to the majority of this book on audio and that kept me from giving up.  I think that if I read it from start to finish, I may not have made it.  This was part memoir, part gossipy, part travelogue, part foodie fascination.

I gave this book 3 crowns.

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Filed under Auto-Biography, Educational, Food, Humorous, Non-Fiction, Travel, Uncategorized

From Ant to Eagle by: Alex Lyttle

From Ant to Eagle Publication date: April 1, 2017

Synopsis:

My name is Calvin Sinclair, I’m eleven years old and I have a confession…I killed my brother.

It’s the summer before grade six and Calvin Sinclair is bored to tears. He’s recently moved from a big city to a small town and there’s nothing to do. It’s hot, he has no friends and the only kid around is his six-year-old brother, Sammy, who can barely throw a basketball as high as the hoop. So Cal occupies his time by getting his brother to do almost anything: from collecting ants to doing Calvin’s chores. And Sammy is all too eager – as long as it means getting a “Level” and moving one step closer to his brother’s Eagle status.

When Calvin meets Aleta Alvarado, a new girl who shares his love for Goosebumps books and adventure, Sammy is pushed aside. Cal feels guilty but not enough to change. At least not until a diagnosis makes things at home start falling apart and he’s left wondering whether Sammy will ever complete his own journey…

From Ant To Eagle.

My Review:

I devoured this book in just a few hours.  I loved Cal and Sammy and their very common brotherly relationship.  As the older brother, Cal is having a hard time doing things without his little brother tagging along and when a pretty new girl moves into the neighborhood, he ditches his little brother to hang out with her.

Seemingly out of no where, Sammy becomes very ill and is hospitalized.  The diagnosis: CANCER.  This is the story of the guilt of the “healthy” family members and a young brothers grief and heartache dealing with his little brothers prognosis.

Yes, I cried.  Yes, I smiled and laughed.  Most of all, I felt.  This is touching, moving, beautiful story and I can’t recommend it enough.  Even though its target audience is upper middle grade, everyone should read this.  Did you watch that television show Red Band Society?  My teenager daughter and I loved that show and this book had that seem feel but from the perspective of the non-ill sibling.  Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything was released in September of 2015 and the hype that followed was out of control.  The hype for this book needs to surpass that.

Even before it publication date the publisher has told me that “Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal have all given it glowing reviews. We got huge orders from Barnes & Noble and Indigo (in Canada) for national in-store listings and we’ve sent out a thousand copies to librarians and booksellers across the country. Indie booksellers have been really supportive, saying it belongs alongside Wonder and Out of My Mind.”  I AGREE!  

Get this book NOW!  I will have a copy of this book forever!

I give it 5 crowns but wish I could give it more!

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Side note:   It’s the debut novel by Alex Lyttle, a Canadian doctor who wrote the novel as a cathartic experience after working in pediatric oncology.  The medical aspects of this book are accurate.  The feelings are realistic. I can’t say enough about it!

 

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Filed under Adult, Educational, Fiction, Inspirational, mature topics, middle grade, Uncategorized, Young Adult

Rice & Rocks by: Sandra L. Richards Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity.

Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.

My Review:

This is such a wonderfully, vibrant book that takes children on a journey to learn about the similarities and differences of other cultures.  Using a simple thing as a meal with rice and beans, we see young Giovanni learn about the traditions of his multicultural friends.

This book is beautifully illustrated and captivating.  It not only gives little tidbits about other cultures but other countries as well.

I gave this children’s book 5 crowns.

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Filed under Children, Educational, Food, Uncategorized

Women in Science by: Rachel Ignotofsky

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About the book:

A charmingly illustrated and educational book, Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.  Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!

About the author/ illustrator:

Rachel Ignotofsky is an illustrator and author based in beautiful Kansas City, MO. She grew up in New Jersey on a healthy diet of cartoons and pudding. She graduated with honors from Tyler School of Art’s graphic design program in 2011. Now Rachel works for herself and spends all day and night drawing, writing and learning as much as she can. Her work is inspired by history and science. She believes that illustration is a powerful tool that can make learning exciting.  Rachel hopes to use her work to spread her message about education, gender equality and scientific literacy.

Sneak Peek Inside:

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My Review:

Rachel Ignotofsky has been blessed with talent.  The illustrations and cover art alone are well worth picking up this book.  My high school aged daughter is interested in the sciences and may want to study in that field in the future.  When I was given the opportunity to read and review this book, I jumped at the chance.  I love that we are starting to see more and more information about women who were or are an integral part of the STEM field.

Each page in this book has an illustration of a woman and then a summary of what they accomplished in the field.  It is not cumbersome in details but it is inspirational in its depth.  There are timelines and statistics, glossaries and sources for more research opportunities.

I love this book and so does my daughter.

I give it 5 crowns.

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I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Filed under Educational, Non-Fiction

One by: Kathryn Otoshi

Image    This children’s book written and illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi has a wonderful message.  It is about bullying and the effects that just one person can have to turn that bully around.  www.Tangledball.com has joined with Kathryn Otoshi to form the “One Can Count” anti-bullying campaign.  Schools are taking part to present this lesson using Kathryn’s book and lesson plans to give students courage to be the “One” that stands up against bullying.

It is a beautiful message and the stories that are told by the schools that have participated in this program are amazing.  it is a great program to implement in the elementary schools as well as at home with your young children.

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Filed under Children, Educational