Sunday, November 22, 2020

Workman Publishing Has You Covered This Holiday Season with Fun and Educational Books for Kids of All Ages -- Great for Remote Learning and Homeschool Families! (Review)

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

Are you ready for this?  Christmas will be in 33 days....ugh.  Have you started your holiday shopping yet?  Or, are you waiting until after Thanksgiving to begin?  With everything going on this year, many people, including myself, will be doing their holiday shopping online, especially if we have to ship gifts to family and friends.  This year, instead of lots of toys for the girls, I was surprised that they were asking for gift certificates for games they play for monthly memberships, experiences or tickets museums once they open back up again, and even books. It was so good seeing a list of books they wanted -- including chapter books and reference books for school.  Usually they are not as enthused about school books as me, but I think that as they get older, they are finding learning fun and being able to dive into a topic of interest to them, on their own time, is fun for them.

Many of the books the girls are asking for are from one of my favorite publishing groups, Workman Publishing.  I have been purchasing books from them for years, as well as showcasing their books for kids and adults online since I began blogging years ago.  Seeing how my girls are asking for educational books this year for Christmas, I thought it would be fun to share some books from Workman Publishing that would be great to have on hand for your child's remote/hybrid learning this year, or if you are or have decided to homeschool going forward, these are also great books to have handy for reference and use with your schooling.  

"For every middle school kid who has ever whispered, “Hey—can I borrow your notes?” there is the Big Fat Notebook series, a revolutionary study guide series created by the editors of America’s #1 educational bestseller Brain Quest. Each indispensable study guide is like getting to borrow the notebook of the best student in class, with highlighted key concepts, doodles that illuminate tricky ideas, mnemonics, and more."

Only $89.70


I really like these books, and was so excited when I saw they now offer a handful of high school Big Fat Notebook books, as I was hoping they would come out with them, so I could use them with my girls as they progress through school.  Even though I graduated from college and have a degree, it has been years since I was in middle school, so trying to go back and teach 6th grade math, science, world history, american history, and English is like reteaching myself how to do all this before I teach it to my girls. I am not big into the whole common core thing, so teach my girls old school math.  I have found that these study guide books really help my girls grasp each new concept. The way the book is set up with all the colorful pages with doodles grabs my girls' attention, and has them want to read all about the key concepts, timelines, definitions, etc. more enjoyable and not like a chore.  I have found on several occasions my girls reading through these books to advance in their schooling on their own. And, when we learn a new topic, they are also in the know thanks to these books.

I could go on raving all about these study books, but you have probably seen these books in stores or maybe even own one of them. They were popular last year, and I had lots of friends buying the complete 5 book set before they released the computer science and coding book. I have all 6 books which includes the computer science book, and use these books on a daily/weekly basis with school. If my girls have questions or need further explanation on a topic, they are quick to grab a book from this book set to read up on it, before asking for videos to watch online to explain further. These are definitely a purchase you will make and be glad you did, as your kids will get a lot of use out of each and every book in the set. My husband is a computer programmer and was amazed at all the content in the computer science and coding book. He wished they books likes around when he was in school learning key concepts, as the way this book explains things, makes grasping things so much easier.

You can learn all about the books in the Big Fat Notebook series by visiting


In addition the Big Fat Notebook 6-book set with Computer Science, Workman Publishing also offers the following books, which would make for great gifts for kids this holiday season....

About this book:

"For the kid who leaves a wet towel wadded up on the floor or forgets to put a new roll on the toilet-paper thingy, witty parenting writer and etiquette columnist Catherine Newman has created the ultimate guidebook of essential life skills for kids. Jam-packed with tips, tricks, and advice — all illustrated in an irresistible graphic novel–style — How to Be a Person shows kids just how easy it is to free themselves from parental nagging and become more dependable — and they’ll like themselves better, too!

They’ll learn how to do chores like loading the dishwasher and making a bed, brush up on communication skills like making a phone call and apologizing, and master 61 other super-helpful skills including how to stick up for somebody, fold a T-shirt, and turn a 33-cent package of ramen into dinner. Improve work-life balance for the whole family with this kids’ guide to growing up."

My girls are getting older and now want to do a lot of things on their own.  They are looking for more independence, and I am using this time to teach them how to be more self-sufficient.  They have moved up from simply setting or clearing the table to putting their clothes in the laundry room, to now helping clean and put away the dishes, do their own laundry and put it away, and even make food on their own.  It is great seeing them get excited about doing things on their own, and they both say they feel more grown up when they do things like help make dinner, take messages over the phone, or fold their clothes and put them away. And, I remind them after praising them, that their efforts are a big help and make my life a little easier, as I am not doing everything on my own.  All of this wanting to help started after they saw the "How to be a Person" book arrive in the mail, and they started to flip through it. They realized that most of what they were reading and seeing in the book, they could do on their own, and they wanted to show my husband and I that they were old enough for more responsibility.  I highly recommend this book for parents with tween/teens who want to help teach their kids important skills to learn before kids move out or go off to college.  It will make this transition so much easier for them, knowing that they can already do things for themselves, without needing mom there to hold their hand or walk them through each step of the process.


About this book:

"A fascinating compendium featuring over 70 unusual animal species.

What's in a name? This lively, illustrated celebration is jam-packed with creatures notable for their bizarre, baffling, and just-plain-funny names. 

Meet the White-Bellied Go-Away Bird, whose cry sounds like someone screaming, "Go away!" Or the Aye-Aye, whose name means "I don't know" in Malagasy because no one wants anything to do with this bad-luck creature. 

Some are obvious, if still weird––guess what the Fried Egg Jellyfish looks like. Others sound like an inside joke: It's easy to figure out what was on the taxonomist's mind when he christened a fly he discovered Pieza Pie

Along the way you'll learn all about these curiously named animals' just-as-curious habits, appearances, and abilities."

If your kids love weird animals, then they will love this book, as it is jam packed with some of the wildest and weirdest animals around.  My girls have been taking a semester long zoology class where they have been learning about some really unusual animal species.  So, when the girls saw this book, they knew who to show this book to -- their zoology teacher. And, when he saw the books, he thought it was so cool, and ended up buying a copy of this book to get more ideas of other fun weird creatures to teach kids about.

I really like the full color illustrations and photos that fill the pages of this book, and my girls can't get enough of this book. They will sit for hours going through the book reading about the different animals, before grabbing their phones or laptops to try and find videos of these animals up close and moving all about.

If you have an animal loving child in your life, then this is one book not to miss this holiday season.


About this book:

"The third book in the Backpack Explorer series from the Editors of Storey Publishing invites budding naturalists to head outside for a walk — in the woods, a park, or right in their backyard — to spot feathered friends. Backpack Explorer: Bird Watch leads kids aged 4 and up through the basics of birding, from identifying common birds to learning about habitat and migration and listening for bird songs. 

The pages are packed with prompts and activities, including 12 interactive field guides (for common birds, nests, eggs, tracks, and more), sensory scavenger hunts, activities such as building a bird nest, matching games, and simple discovery zone pages about food chains and the life cycle of birds. 

Equipped with a real magnifying glass, stickers, and a birding log for recording sightings and encounters, this book is the perfect take-along for any nature adventure.

Also available in this series: Backpack Explorer: Beach Walk and Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail."

My girls got into bird watching after taking a nature class last year, and have since purchased a few bird identification books. But, I have found that they are either too wordy or have birds that we don't see in our area, so the books just sit on the bookshelf.  So, when I saw this book from Workman Publishing I jumped at the opportunity to review it as I knew my girls would love it. 

What really caught the attention of both of my girls with this book were the fun games and scavenger hunt type activities included in this book.  Also, the addition of the stickers to help identify the birds, make for more fun, too!  Once my girls were done with all the activities in the book, they each put their own bird watch list together of birds they would love to find and see in nature. From ground birds, to singing birds to duck and geese, this bird watch book is chock full of information and fun for kids of all ages, who love birds or want to learn more about them.


These are just a few of the many wonderful educational books for kids from Workman Publishing.  You can learn more about these and other great titles that would make perfect gift ideas for kids this holiday season by visiting

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

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