Review: Quantum Physics for Babies


Quantum Physics for Babies
by Chris Ferrie
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (May 2, 2017)

My Rating: 4 stars

Review:

While I am a writer and lover of words, my husband is decidedly a science and math guy. Yin and Yang, on so many levels. When I first saw an article about Quantum Physics for Babies and the entire Baby University series by Chris Ferrie, I had one of those ah ha moments. I thought, this is what’s missing! Our book collection is comprised of stories about dinosaurs, farm animals, stuff animals and a few counting books, but nothing comes close to covering a topic like quantum physics. Why shouldn’t a baby’s book be about scientific concepts? And surely my husband would get a kick out of it.

Quantum Physics for Babies was certainly a novelty when it was delivered to our door. We had several conversations about the quantum physics because of it, and baby seemed to like it, too. He appeared to be intrigued by the pictures. Baby doesn’t have a real understanding of what I’m saying when I read this book, but seeing that he’s only 9 months old that’s true for most books. At this age, his language learning is all about exposure.

Baby’s just now beginning to show us his opinions, so we’ll have to wait and see if this one is a go-to book. Me, I’m looking forward to the conversation my husband and I will undoubtedly have when we pick up a copy of one of the other ‘for babies’ books, like General Relativity for Babies or Optical Physics for Babies. I’m bound to learn something, and something tells me the baby playing over on the mat, listening to mommy and daddy, will be learning something, too.

FTC Required Disclosure: This blog features Amazon Associate links, including linked images. Purchases made through these affiliate links will result in a my receiving a small commission. This applies to all products purchased at Amazon through the link, regardless of whether or not I’ve mentioned the product on this blog.

Hot Item: Solar Eclipse 2017: The Complete Kids’ Guide and Activity Book for the Great American Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse 2017: The Complete Kids’ Guide and Activity Book for the Great American Solar Eclipse
by Science Across America
Designed by J.G. Kemp
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 7, 2017)

In a little more than a week, on Monday, August 21st, the United States will experience a total eclipse of the sun – something that hasn’t happened in the U.S. in 26 years. It’s an event that has a lot of people excited, especially those who live in states that are in the path of totality where the sun will be completely covered for about a minute or two depending on exactly where you are located. If you don’t live in the path of totality, you’ll still see a partial eclipse – still really cool!

NASA has a dedicated website that provides information and will have live video stream from different locations during the eclipse.

To make this rare event even more thrilling and educational for kids, former science teacher turned author, J. G. Kemp has designed Solar Eclipse 2017: The Complete Kids’ Guide and Activity Book for the Great American Solar Eclipse. It’s a handy guide to the basic science of a solar eclipse plus a bunch of activities and games that will make waiting for the eclipse to happen fun (it does take hours). It has maps, word searches, a mad lib, coloring and drawing activities, story starters and more. The book says the activities are geared toward children ages 5-11, but with a little help from parents or other adults, they can be fun for younger kids, too.

There’s still time to order this entertaining little guide and activity book, but don’t wait too long – the total eclipse happens in just 9 days. And don’t forget to pick up a pair of approved eclipse viewing glasses. The sun may go dark, but the light that escapes around the moon will still damage your unprotected eyes.

Happy Solar Eclipse 2017, everyone!

FTC Required Disclosure: This blog features Amazon Associate links, including linked images. Purchases made through these affiliate links will result in a my receiving a small commission. This applies to all products purchased at Amazon through the link, regardless of whether or not I’ve mentioned the product on this blog.

Review: PIRASAURS!


Pirasaurs!
by Josh Funk
Illustrations by Michael Slack
Published by Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic (August 30, 2016)
Ages 3-5

My rating: 5 Stars

Review:

Imagine you’re the smallest and newest member of a raucous crew of Cretaceous corsairs. That’s right, you’re a little dinosaur and you want to be a pirate. You try and try, but to no avail. Then, one day you lead the way and deliver not only gold and jewels to your pack of prehistoric picaroons, but peace with a rival ship of seafaring dinos.

This is the kind of delightful tale you get from masterful storytellers like Josh Funk. Pirasaurs! is one of two new picture books from Josh Funk that were recently released just a few days apart (Dear Dragon: A Pen Pal Tale is the other). With lively rhythm and rhyme, Josh introduces us to zany characters, such as Captain Rex and her “fabled sword” and Triceracook, whose food makes the crew “slurp and belch and burp.” It’s an imaginative story that’s sure to satisfy the most rambunctious crowds.

Real magic happens when you are able to combine a fun-to-read story that has a heart with colorful, expressive illustrations. Josh Funk and Michael Slack have created a sea-worthy vessel for little ones to explore themes like perseverance and cooperation. And, the journey is so fun, they won’t even know it.

Is your crew ready for a boisterous adventure with marauders from the Mesozoic Era? “Come join the Pirasaurs!

What else has Josh Funk written?


Check out my review of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast here.

FTC Required Disclosure: This blog features Amazon Associate links, including linked images. Purchases made through these affiliate links will result in a my receiving a small commission. This applies to all products purchased at Amazon through the link, regardless of whether or not I’ve mentioned the product on this blog.

Review: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Flora & Ulysses


Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Written by Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by K. G. Campbell
Published by Candlewick Press (2013)
Ages 8-12

My Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
I’d wanted to read something by Kate DiCamillo for a few months. Her name and face kept popping up all over the place. It makes sense, seeing as she was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014–2015. When it came down to choosing which book to read first, I simply couldn’t resist the one with a young girl and a flying squirrel on the cover.

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is a middle-grade novel about ten-year old Flora Belle Buckman, a self-described “natural-born cynic.” Her parents are divorced, and Flora feels alone in the world. She lives with her mother, a distracted romance novelist. Flora only sees her father on the weekends and misses the special bond they had reading comic books together. Flora’s favorite comic book, The Illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Incandesto!, helps her make sense of a seemingly crazy world. When a squirrel is surprisingly sucked up by the neighbor’s vacuum cleaner, Flora Belle runs to the rescue. What follows are a whole lot of “unanticipated occurrences” that change Flora and everyone around her. Would you find reasons to hope if your champion was a flying superhero squirrel who writes poetry? I sure would.

Kate DiCamillo has been called a master storyteller. It’s a well-deserved description. What makes Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures special is that it addresses tough issues, like loneliness and divorce, with a sense of humor.

There is so much love in this book. The way that Ulysses feels passionately about life after being born anew as a superhero squirrel is genuinely heartwarming. His love of poetry and love of Flora make it seem like anything is possible.

Another element that enriches the story is Flora’s discovery of friendship with William Spiver, a quirky kid who is in many ways a mirror for Flora’s loneliness. His quirks annoy her, but she can’t help but find comfort in his presence. He chips away at her cynicism, while the larger story elements propel her toward hope.

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is a journey of discovery. A young girl in a mixed-up world discovers that not everything is what it seems to be. She is loved, and sometimes, it’s okay to have hope.

The comic-book elements, illustrated by K.G. Campbell, are integral to the story – and they’re funny – making the book an excellent choice for younger or more reluctant readers.

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is the winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal.

FTC Required Disclosure: This blog features Amazon Associate links, including linked images. Purchases made through these affiliate links will result in a my receiving a small commission. This applies to all products purchased at Amazon through the link, regardless of whether or not I’ve mentioned the product on this blog. All reviews are my own opinion. I am not paid in any other form to write reviews.

Review: Rosie Revere, Engineer

Rosie Revere, Engineer


Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty
Illustrated by David Roberts
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

My Rating: 5 Stars

Review:
As an adult in my 30’s, I hadn’t donned a costume for Halloween in over a decade, but 2 years ago the friends I’d recently made were into that kind of thing, so I chose a character that was close to my heart. I was Rosie the Riveter. Although the icon’s original purpose had nothing to do with feminism, she was subsequently taken up as a symbol for the message that a woman can do anything if she puts her muscle and her mind to it. It’s that message and my love of history that led me to pick up a copy of Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty with illustrations by David Roberts. What I found was much more than a feminist message.

Young Rosie loves to build gadgets out of what other people think is trash, but she starts to hide her inventions and her creativity after being laughed at by someone she loves. A visit from her great-great aunt Rose, who used to work on planes, sparks another attempt at sharing her work. She wants to help her great-great aunt fly. Her first attempt at making a flying machine is a total flop and she’s ready to give up forever – to give up her dream of becoming an engineer. That’s when she learns a lesson about perseverance from her old aunt. She learns that you can’t be a success without first attempts and failures.

I wish Rosie Revere, Engineer had been around when I was a kid. I immediately related to Rosie’s descent into shyness because of her early embarrassment, and I imagine there are a lot of kids out there who hide themselves away because of the messages they’ve received from adults. Adults often say or do things that seem harmless or are meant in good fun, but those words and actions can sometimes take a toll on the how a child thinks about himself or herself. I can still hear one of my early art teachers telling me, “you’ve got talent, but you work too slowly.” I did not become an artist.

Rosie Revere, Engineer also portrays what it is like to have a creative mind. Rosie stays up at night working on her inventions. The creativity doesn’t leave her because she is too shy to share them. The ideas take hold anyway. Ultimately, this book is about not giving up on your dreams and recognizing that you only fail if you never try. That’s a message I think most of us need to hear.

While this book is a clear nod to women’s history on an adult level, even sneaking in some real facts about women and the history of flight, the story is universal. It offers inspiration to anyone, child or adult, who’s ever dreamt about becoming something or doing great things.

The engaging, rhyming text by Andrea Beaty, combined with the humorous and magical mixed-media illustrations by David Roberts, deliver an immersive story experience that is both heartrending and heartwarming. Rosie Revere, Engineer has the potential to be one of those books that stay with your child into adulthood. Why not give it a try?

FTC Required Disclosure: This blog features Amazon Associate links, including linked images. Purchases made through these affiliate links will result in a my receiving a small commission. This applies to all products purchased at Amazon through the link, regardless of whether or not I’ve mentioned the product on this blog. All reviews are my own opinion. I am not paid in any other form to write reviews.