Category Archives books

Tuesday Tales: Drawing Animals Shape by Shape

It’s no secret that I love coloring and drawing. From an early age, I would take out Ed Emberley drawing books from the library just to doodle and draw for fun. My boys have definitely caught the drawing for fun bug. We have a great collection of drawing books that the entire family enjoys. When Sixth&Spring contacted me to review the new Christopher Hart book for kids, we said yes and could not wait to check it out.

Family Drawing Time

Drawing Animals Shape by Shape: Create Cartoon Animals with Circles, Squares, Rectangles & Triangles  – Drawing with Christopher Hart  – Published by Sixth&Spring Books ISBN 9781936096954 – $14.95 – Spiral-bound 176 pages –  Ages 4 and up

Drawing Animals Shape by Shape is broken up into different segments by animals of course.There are dogs, cats, farm animals. woodland creatures, safari animals, feathered friends, water animals, reptiles/bugs, dinosaurs, and more fun options in the table of contents. Kids of all ages will see the easy to follow step by step directions using simple shapes layered onto of one another until you see the featured animal friend before you. It truly is fun to see how an oval with some rectangles, circles, and triangles makes Fido the dog’s face come to life. The spiral bound book is filled with over 100 cartoon creatures for your budding artist to replicate.

Drawing Animals Shape by Shape

Moments after the book arrived, the kids ran off with it. They immediately pulled out some notebooks and colored pencils to practice drawing. After some time, they came over to show me several of their drawings. One of the first that was completed was the very fitting Art Loving Hippo.

Art Loving Hippo Drawing

The animals within the book would be great for kids to draw and tell stories, or to create their own fun cartoon stories. The lively creatures within actively engage even those that don’t think they can draw. This book will be on my birthday and holiday gift giving list because it will appeal to a wide variety of kids. Pair this up with a nice drawing notebook, colored pencil set, and voila the perfect creative package. I know my boys are already asking about the original Drawing Shape by Shape – Create Cartoon Characters with Circles, Squares & Triangles. The book has been a great addition to our rainy weather activities and will be fantastic on snow days that are bound to happen in a few months.

Giveaway Time!

Would you like to win your own copy of Drawing Animals Shape by Shape? One random person that answers the following question will receive a copy of the book.

What type of drawing book would you love to see by Christopher Hart next? Remember he already has made over 50 drawing books!

Bonus Entry:

As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

This giveaway ends on Friday, October 23 at 11:50 PM ET. Only open to US and Canadian residents that are 18 and older. 

It's Me

Disclosure: As noted above, I received this family drawing book from Sixth&Spring Books to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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Coloring Books for Adults

Do you like to color and do you have your own coloring book? Yes, I am talking to the adults out there that are reading this.

 Coloring Books for Adults

When I was in elementary school, my fourth grade teacher used to give us coloring sheets to do when we finished our work. She had markers and colored pencils for everyone to add our own touch to beautiful geometric designs and tessellations. My love for these books carried over to my own classroom many years later. I had them for my middle school students to use when they wanted to decompress.

In recent months, the art of adult coloring has become popular. I watched friend after friend post articles about how helpful coloring can be for adults. Taking time for yourself with a design to color has been proven to help relax individuals and reduce stress for some time.

Stress could be my middle name and I was waiting for the right time to get my own new book. The other night, JSL went with me to the book store where I picked up one of the Creative Haven Find Your True Colors books by Dover Publications. This publisher made many of my favorites when I was growing up. After spending time debating several books, I selected the Mandalas Coloring Book.

That night I had to color. The book was calling my name and my Sharpies were sitting there looking for a project. I started before getting the boys into bed and went back to my design later. I was in love with coloring all over again.

 Creative Haven Mandalas Coloring Book

Since that day, I finished coloring a few more designs.

Beautiful Mandala to color

Little things about coloring amuse me and make me smile. I even adore the design that shows up on the back when the markers bleed through the paper. Do you see anything hidden in this college below? JSL sure thinks that he sees something.

Reverse side of Mandala coloring

I adore this book and hope to take it on our cruise. I can just imagine sitting on a deck of the ship coloring while listening to the ocean.

So tell me, have you picked up a coloring book as an adult? I would love to know what books are your favorites and what medium you prefer to use when coloring.

It's Me

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Tuesday Tales: Animal Gas, A Farty Farce

We all know that everyone poops, thanks to the infamous tale. While many of us would like to pretend that we don’t toot, everybody certainly does pass gas. As the mother of two boys and a fan of potty humor from time to time, Animal Gas, A Farty Farce was right up our alley to review. We received a copy of this book written and illustrated by Bryan Ballinger from Sterling Children’s Books.

Animal Gas - A Farty Farce

Animal Gas: A Farty Farce – Written and Illustrated by Bryan Ballinger – Published by Sterling Children’s Books ISBN 9781454916161 – $12.95 – Ages 3-7

The basics behind (no pun intended) this book are that the group of animals think their farts don’t stink. They seriously think they their toots smell amazing. Through a fun rhyming text, Ballinger tells each animal’s tale followed by another one replying. The illustrations are phenomenal and really make the point of the opposing animals opinion. I greatly appreciate the variety of ways to talk about cutting the cheese. I mean who knew that one book could incorporate so many in a silly story that will entertain young and old. There is also an Animal Gas website that has extras like more illustrations and songs. Here’s fun book trailer that I had to share.

 

Warning, this is probably not a book that you will want to send into school with your child. Have mercy on their teacher. As someone who first met Captain Underpants and Professor Poopypants via a read aloud, keep this outside of school. Of course, I highly suggest sending it along with your kids when they visit Nana and Papa. Now please pass me a tissue to wipe my tears of laughter from the Animal Gas songs that we will probably be singing all summer long. We can’t wait to see what Bryan Ballinger has in store with his new emissions!

Who would you like to read Animal Gas with? Come on fess up, you know you need a good laugh. As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. Please let me know what you have read recently. Link up to your book posts in the comments below. Include something you read on your own, with a child, or someone else.

It's Me

Disclosure: As noted above, I received this gaseous tale from Sterling Children’s Books to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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Everything You Ever Wanted Book Review and Giveaway

I received a copy of this book as part of a campaign with Global Influence in exchange for my honest review on Tuesday Tales.

EYEWCOVER

Reading has always been part of my life. As I blogged more over the years, I knew that I wanted to focus attention on books that we read via Tuesday Tales. Parenting has shown me that a lot of my reading revolves around my kids and our family. Reading time with the boys, keeping up on what my middle school kiddo is reading, and assisting with various projects. I have to admit that I crave more ME book reading time. One of my goals in 2015 is to be a little more selfish and stay focused. Reading books that I enjoy is one of those items. While I always have a pile of books and even more waiting for me on my Kindle, I often have a hard time deciding what to read next.

About a month ago, I saw people on Facebook buzzing about a book that they were devouring. Moments later I snagged a Kindle copy of Jillian Lauren’s first memoir called Some Girls: My Life in a Harem. I could not put the book down. Any chance I had, I was reading because I wanted to know what happened next. I was truly fascinated with her life experiences and how one thing lead to another. I felt like I was sitting there with her when she left the United States to go to spend time in the harem for the Prince of Brunei. When the book ended, I was lucky enough to know that another memoir would be released soon. Thanks to this, I didn’t have to wait and wonder as long as others who read the book when it first came out. As luck would have it,  signed up to take part in this review days later.

Jillian Lauren

Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir picks up with Jillian Lauren’s life story. She has moved to California and is transitioning her life after the Brunei harem and drug addiction. While going to cosmetology school, she meets her rock star husband. After time, they decide to start a family. Many readers will connect with Lauren’s struggle with infertility and decision to adopt a child. Through her own powerful words, we go with Jillian and Scott to Ethiopia where they adopt their son.

Jillian Lauren and her family

Jillian’s journey home with Tariku was the beginning of her second act. We get to see how her role as mother helps her to get some closure on events from childhood. There were tears in my eyes as I read about losing her friend to drugs while fighting for her son and his special needs.

Once again, a truly remarkable book by Jillian Lauren. She has a way with words that hooks the audience in so we connect. Jillian does not hold back and sugar coat things, she tells us how she felt in the heat of the moment. As the mother of a child with special needs, I applaud being open and honest especially with your feelings that vary from day to day. Living in the moment can be difficult, but sharing it with everyone else is another story. I applaud Jillian for sharing, caring, and helping others in the process of writing her beautiful memoir.

Giveaway Time!

Would you like to win your own copy of Everything You Ever Wanted? One random person that answers the following question will receive a copy of the book.

What is a book that you have you read recently? Let me know the name of the book and briefly what you thought of it. It is Tuesday Tales and it’s fun to share our love for reading.

This giveaway ends on Friday, May 15 at 11:50 PM ET. Only open to US residents that are 18 and older.

It's Me

Disclosure: As noted above, I received this book to review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

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Tuesday Tales: Technology to Assist Young Readers

#VZWBuzz Disclosure

Reading for pleasure and reading at school can be two very different beasts. As a certified reading teacher, I adore watching young children begin to decode words and tackle their first books. Seeing their faces light up at this accomplishment is amazing. As kids continue to grow academically, they hit other literacy benchmarks within elementary school. This summer, my youngest son started to read chapter books without me. Now you never find him without his nose in a book when we are on the go.

Using Audiobooks with Middle School Students

If you think that this is where it stops, you are not correct. When kids enter middle school, the world changes for them as they begin to dive further into literature. Now it is not simply about reading a story and summarizing it. They begin to analyze more and more about the characters, plots, and connections to real world people, places, and things.

When I was teaching sixth grade Language Arts, I decided to try something different with my class while reading Ella Enchanted. I brought the audio discs of the book to allow my classes to listen and read along. What I witnessed was eye opening. Students that may have struggled reading independently were doing fantastic. They were able to actively engage more in class discussions, they absorbed more of the fine details of the story, and they appeared to really enjoy the experience as a whole.

Fast Forward to my oldest son starting middle school this fall. It was something we were quite worried about since he is autistic, but it seemed to be just what he needed. When he read his first novel, I listened to the audiobook on my smartphone. I knew that the change in Language Arts would be big and I may need to step in and assist him with abstract concepts. The audiobook was a great for me to multitask. Thanks to listening to the book, I was able to discuss topics with him. When he had homework, I was able to listen to his ideas to make sure he understood what the question was really asking. Often times, autistic individuals are very literal and this can make learning to analyze literature more of a challenge.

When NHL started his second novel at the beginning of third marking period, I wanted to try another approach. I thought back to when I was teaching in my own classroom and what I experienced with my students. I immediately went to my OverDrive media app, signed into my local library and looked for the MP3 Audiobook I needed. Once I found it and saw that it was available, I checked the book out and it downloaded onto my smartphone.

OverDrive media player to help with school reading

When NHL came home with his first reading assignment, I was ready. We sat down together in a quiet location. I used my BOSE SoundLink Mini speakers so we could both listen clearly together. I handed NHL his copy of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan and clicked on the app to listen to the first chapter. So far this approach seems to be helping my son. He is a lot more confident about the experience and is able to delve more into the abstract content within the homework questions. It is still a challenge at times because he is very literal, but I see a major difference over the previous novel he read.

Audiobook and paper book reading together

Will this help your child? Every reader is different, so consider your child’s learning style and try different approaches to see what works best for them. Some may do well with simply the paper book, while others may enjoy a digital read using the Kindle app. Other kids are better auditory learners and audiobooks are an invaluable asset that may be all they need. Then some children, like my son, respond with two styles combined. Yes, reading along in a paper book while listening to a narrator is not simply for new readers. Using two senses helps my son to focus more on the words and what they mean. The benefits are something that have been studied and I will share more about that in another post

While I have written about OverDrive media app in the past, I think it is a wonderful resource that students, parents, and teachers may want to utilize more. It is an app that can be put onto a smartphone or tablet and utilized with students of varying ability levels to increase their confidence within class.

Has your child ever used an audiobook for school reading? I would love to know about their experience. As always, Tuesday Tales is all about sharing our love of books. Please let me know what you have read recently. Be sure to link up to your book posts in the comments below. Include something you read on your own, with a child, or someone else.

It's Me

Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers, I receive devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Droid Turbo to test out and share ways that I use it in my life. I am a long time Verizon customer, and all opinions are my own.

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