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Monday, August 20, 2018

The Adventures with Zap Writing Workbook Will Help Young Children (Ages 4+) Grow and Become Strong Writers and Storytellers (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

If you follow my blog, then you know that I homeschool my two girls.  They are currently doing 4th grade level work, as we homeschool year round.  While they love all the hands on learning they do, they hate to do copy work or writing assignments.  It isn't that they don't like to write -- I find them making up their own storybooks complete with a story they have written out as well as illustrations -- but, when I tell them we are going to write or give them a writing prompt during class time, they give me that look, like "C'mon Mom, do we have to?"  But, thanks to a fun new book I received recently to review from The Experiment Publishing, asking them to write isn't like pulling teeth, at least when it comes to having them pull out their "Adventures with Zap: 107 Creative Prompts for Beginning Writers" to work on.  

This book is geared towards children ages 4+ and has them drawing and writing to complete an out of this world adventure featuring Zap, a spunky blue alien from the planet Vox Nova.  Kids play storyteller in this playful writing practice books, where they will make up adventures for Zap and Meow, an Earthling stowaway, to go on, as they try and get Meow back home.

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My oldest daughter, Savannah, is a huge dog and cat lover, so when she saw that there was a cat character in this book, she was excited to help draw pictures and create stories featuring this cute cat.  I have found as a homeschooling parent that finding books and curriculum that feature topics and things my girls like, makes learning fun and easier.  Ad, this writing workbook for kids is right up there with great educational books for kids, especially if they are reluctant writers.  Younger children just learning to read and write can also utilize this workbook with the help of a parent, by having them write out the stories they come up with, and then letting the child draw the illustrations.

I ended up buying a second copy of this book off Amazon so that each of my girls would have their own copies.  And, for the past couple of weeks we have been using as part of our writing lessons.  The girls get excited when I tell them to pull out their "Adventures with Zap" workbook, and read and then write their next adventure, before they share their fun stories and drawings with each other.

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I will definitely be checking out the other books available from The Experiment, as I am very impressed with this particular writing workbook, and how it got my reluctant writers to want to write.  

You can learn more about this and other books from The Experiment by visiting www.theexperimentpublishing.com today.


More about this workbook:

"Calling all Earth kids!

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Meet Zap, a spunky blue alien from the planet Vox Nova. When a stowaway from Earth sneaks onto his spaceship, he makes lots of mistakes. Is the furry creature friendly? Or dangerous? Zots! Quick, grab a pencil to teach Zap about our world. Share memories, too, and make up adventures of your own.

  • Can’t write yet?
    Zip–zapper–zot! Find a helper who can be your reading, writing robot!
  • Learning to write?
    Ka-zooks! No need to worry about spelling to be an author of this book!
  • Already a word wizard? You’re on top of your game. Play with fun ways to edit and shoot for the stars!
Writing coach Diane Landy brings years of elementary and preschool classroom experience to this one-of-a-kind book, in which each writing and drawing prompt is carefully crafted around a comic story. Kids will:
  • create characters, settings, and action scenes
  • bring pictures to life with words
  • brainstorm when stuck
  • write thoughts and dialogue
  • use “power words”
  • express feelings and wishes.

Adventures with Zap introduces the magic of storytelling through playful writing practice. Children build skills and confidence while creating a precious keepsake."

Age range
4 - 8
Grade range
P - 3
Number of pages
Publication date
June 12, 2018

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Growing Up Doesn't Have to be so Awkward Thanks to Bunk 9's Guide to Growing Up -- Just for Girls! (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Secrets, Tips, and Expert Advice on the Good, the Bad, and the Awkward

(also available in hard cover and Kindle format)

Are your kids ready to head back to school?  Did you get all their new school clothes and supplies?  Hopefully you didn't break the bank getting your kids ready to head back to learn and conquer another year in school.  Completing a year in school is milestone for kids, but so are some of the changes and events along the way that they experience as they complete their school years.  

I am hearing more and more parents talking about how they are having the birds and the bees talk with their elementary aged children, in addition to protecting themselves from gun violence in schools.  Kids these days are growing up so fast and experiencing and dealing with things that we never had to deal with growing up.  We never had school shootings, and bullying is not like it is now.  It is so much worse especially with the age of the Internet.  While the birds and the bees talk can be a difficult one, talking about puberty and the changes your tween/teen will experience doesn't have to be, thanks to Bunk 9's Guide to Growing Up from Workman Publishing.  

My oldest daughter just celebrated her 8th birthday over the summer, and is already noticing changes to her and her sister's body.  They are starting to notice the hair on their legs and upper lips, as well as taking note of their breasts and differing sizes.  My youngest is taller and heavier than my oldest, so her features are more pronounced.  She asked me the other day when she would be able to wear a bra, in between talking to her sister about a boy she thought was crushing on her at camp.  When I told my husband this he was surprised that they are talking about things at such a young age.  He thought he wouldn't have to deal with this stuff until they were 12-14 years old.  But, thanks to this book, which is geared towards girls in grades 4-7 (ages 8-12) you can share all the rites of passages they will go through, and help answer questions they may have about going through puberty.  

I remember growing up, my Mom gave me a book about puberty for me to read and then told me if I had any questions I could ask her.  I felt a little awkward talking to her about breast development and periods, and I could see that she didn't have experience with these topics as I had two older brothers who got the birds and the bees talk from my Dad.  When my girls started to show interest in topics relating to puberty, I tried to think back to the book I was given to read.  Then, I took to the Internet and stumbled across Bunk 9's, and was so happy I found it.  This is the ultimate guide for young girls, as it is filled with facts, tips, advice and illustrations, to help get your through puberty and what is to come with your changing body. 

This book is written and structured in such a way it makes this how-to-survive puberty a book girls will actually want to read.  I read through the book and loved how it empowers girls, and makes them feel comfortable with their changing bodies.  Girls will love how this book is written in a "girl talk" style.  You feel like an older sister or best friend is sitting down and talking to you about girl stuff.  Topics covered in this book include your period, bras, sleep, crushes, hormonal changes, nutrition and even exercise.  There is even a chapter about the changes a boy experiences, so that you know you are not the only one dealing with body changes.

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Even though my oldest is only 8 years old, I plan to use this book as part of our health portion of our homeschooling this year.  Both of my girls have already started asking questions, and hearing friends talk about periods that their older sisters are having and wondering when this will happen to them.  So, I am happy to have a book that is written for young girls to relate to, and easy for them to understand, while feeling comfortable enough to talk and ask me questions about these changes they will eventually experience as they embark on their tween/teen years and the womanhood.

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If you a girl in your life who is between the ages of 8-12 years old, and is starting to go through puberty, or is on the cusp of it, then I highly recommend Bunk 9's Guide to Growing Up.  This is one book that will answer all their questions, and can be passed down to younger sisters, too.

To learn more about this book, head over to https://www.workman.com/products/bunk-9s-guide-to-growing-up.

More about this book:

"Filled with facts, tips, advice, and illustrations, BUNK 9’S GUIDE TO GROWING UP is the girl-powered puberty book you’ll actually want to read. Written in the voice of the counselors in training at the fictional Camp Silver Moon, it’s like having your best friend or older sister share everything there is to know about being comfortable in your changing body. From periods, bras, and hormones to nutrition, exercise, and sleep—to crushes, that first kiss, and ALL the feels—it’s the head-to-toe guide to not only surviving puberty but totally, 100% owning it!"


  • The Top Three Tips for the Best Puberty Ever
  • A Field Guide to Breasts
  • Acne: Self-Care and Skin Care
  • The ‘No-Smell’ Basics
  • Rocking Your First Period
  • Why Sleep?
  • Boys: They’re Changing, Too
  • Crushing I

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Friday, August 17, 2018

Here's a Great Children's Book from the Popular "The Amazing Scientists" Series to Keep on Your Radar in Sept. All About Raye Montague, a Gifted Women Mathematician in History (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

On Sale September 4, 2018!

Both of my girls are big into science and math, so I was excited when I learned about the new "The Amazing Scientists" series from The Innovation Press.  We have recently read their first two releases -- The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin and The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath, and were excited when we received the third installment THE GIRL WITH A MIND FOR MATH , which is on sale Sept. 3rd, and is all about Raye Montague.  What I love so much about these books is that it introduces children to famous people in history that they may otherwise not read about in textbooks or books they are reading.  These are the truly unsung heroes that have paved the wave for others in a given field.  What is so great about this series is that it is introducing children to women pioneers in different scientific fields.  My girls had no idea who Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Patricia Bath or Raye Montague were before reading these books.  But, after reading the three books in the "The Amazing Scientists" series, they now know and appreciate how their contributions have paved the way for girls like them to pursue their dream no matter how crazy they may be sound, and prove to others that there is a place in the workplace and history for women...and, that women have been making a difference all these years...it is just now that their amazing stories are being told for all to hear.

We really enjoyed this new book in the series, and like the previous two books read, the illustrations really help to bring this story to life and keep kids engaged as you read all this famous mathematician.  You don't have to be a fan of math to appreciate what Raye Montague achieved in her lifetime.  My girls got excited as they read about her impact on the US Navy.  We live in CT and have visited the USS Submarine Museum in Groton, CT and have never read anything about Raye Montague.  The girls are curious to go back and see if they can find anything about her there, or see if the staff know about her.  They will be bringing their new "The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague" with them, and will probably read it for the upteenth time on the way there, and then on the way back home.  This has become a favorite of the three books in this series, and the girls can't wait to pick up future installments and learn about other amazing women scientists who made their mark in history and are finally having their achievements and stories told.

If you love books that empower kids, girls especially to dream big, then you will want to check out this and the other two books in the "The Amazing Scientists" series from The Innovation Press.  You can learn about this upcoming Sept. 3rd, and the two previous releases here:  http://www.theinnovationpress.com/.

More about this book:

"This is the third book in the Amazing Scientists series - you might be familiar with the first two installments, The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin and The Doctor With an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath. The books have been extremely well received, and help shed a spotlight on diverse women who have often been glossed over by the history books. 

"THE GIRL WITH A MIND FOR MATH introduces Raye Montague, a hidden mastermind who made a huge impact in the US Navy. After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted―finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever."

The Amazing Scientist series is so important in showing, through the stories of real women who overcame countless obstacles to excel in their fields, that a career in a STEM field is not only a possibility, but can truly become a reality for young girls."

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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