Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: 3 Awesome New Hockey Books From Sport’s Ilustrated Kids

SYNOPSIS: “Hockey: Then to WOW! shows readers how the cool sport has evolved from the early days of its 19th century origins to the game as it is today. Using NHL action photographs, illustrations, stories, and trivia, the book is a journey through time both for hockey fans and those new to the game. Kids will learn how basic equipment has changed from a ball to a puck and how the evolution of game strategy has transformed the sport, players, and equipment. Players throughout history are stacked up against each other in every position so fans can dream up the perfect fantasy team with Wayne Gretzky playing alongside Patrick Roy and Stan Mikita. A fun-filled section of the book explores everything fan culture—from the best ice rinks, to the iconic hockey sweater and the hockey haircut along with key aspects of the toughest sport around.”
SYNOPSIS:”The puck drops, skates flash, and sticks fly-a hockey game is underway! With a fun mix of Sports Illustrated action photography, simple text, a full glossary of terms, and cool graphics, My First Book of Hockey introduces readers to the basics. Kids (and maybe a few adults, too!) will learn how power plays work, how the three-period game flows, what a hat trick is, what’s up with the referee’s crease, and more.
An illustrated “rookie” character appears on every page, guiding the reader moment by moment, and helping to make My First Book of Hockey an ideal shared reading experience between parents and their young rookies before, during, and after the game.”
“There is no greater authority on all things sports than Sports Illustrated magazine. Now, they turn their expert eye to the action on the ice in the fourth book in the bestselling “Greatest” Series with Hockey’s Greatest, which takes you onto the ice and into history like no other book about hockey ever has.

Who is the greatest goalie of all-time, Patrick Roy or Dominik Hasek? Where does Martin Brodeur land in the rankings? Would fans select Sidney Crosby or Mario Lemieux as the better center? Sports Illustrated has polled its hockey experts to determine the top 10 in more than 15 categories, including best rivalry, best single-season team, and best game in history.

SI’s stunning photography and classic stories from the Sports Illustrated archives accompany every ranking, making this the most authoritative survey of the sport of hockey available, and the perfect gift for anyone who revels in the fast-paced, oftentimes bloody action on the ice.”

MY THOUGHTS: Being that we live so close to Pittsburgh, we hear about hockey year round. I’ll be honest, though, we aren’t a sports-oriented family so I don’t know a lot about the game. But, the ‘Rookie’ volume does a tremendous job of describing and defining all aspects of hockey. Younger readers and novices (like me!) will be able to easily understand the rules and the basics of hockey. If you have a child who is thinking of trying out for a team, this would be the perfect read for them. I’m also a fan of the rookie character who walks them through the book.

As for the two other titles, I’d describe them as being a reference material. Sport’s Illustrated is a household name and go-to for all things sports. ‘Hockey: Then to WOW!’ doubles as a sports/history book. If you happen to have a reluctant reader in your house who also happens to be a sports fan, this book is a perfect choice. Geared for ages 8+, readers time travel from the early days of the sport to the present. The photography is phenomenal as are the illusrations. Much has changed over the years and fans will enjoy every minute.

‘Hockey’s Greatest’ is an amazing compilation. When I first saw it, my reaction was, ‘Wow!’ Each of the 15 categories covered jumps off the pages with its stunning photography. Consider it the ultimate guide to sports Trivial Pursuit. Anything you would want to know about hockey is covered. I can’t imagine that there is a better reference material available for hockey- anywhere. It truly is a magnificent piece. Even if you’re not the most avid fan, the pictures alone make the book worth it’s price.

When it comes to sports, go with the experts- Sport’s Illustrated. These three new titles from their Sport’s Illustrated Kids series are perfectly put together and will consume readers for hours on end. 5 stars for SI !

*I received the aforementioned titles in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
**The synopsis/pics belong solely to the author(s)/publisher.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: 3 Great Children’s Titles from David A. Adler

SYNOPSIS:“Where is Michael’s homework? Michael’s sock, book and homework are missing. Can Danny and My Dog solve the mystery? My Dog gets lost a lot and is always looking for food. But Danny knows My Dog is really a great detective. This classic story from renowned children’s author David Adler will delight young readers.”
SYNOPSIS:“Aaron’s bike is missing, but the lock wasn’t broken. Danny and My Dog follow a trail of popcorn and a path of baby powder as they search the neighborhood. My Dog eats the clues while Danny wonders why his friends are acting strange. Can My Dog find the bicycle? Danny has 100 percent confidence he will.”

SYNOPSIS:Eli Zipperbaum, better known as Jelly Eli Z., is a great kid, but he doesn’t always pay attention in class. He would rather daydream and eat his jelly beans while Mr. Moscowitz discusses how many children George Washington had. But then something strange happens that does grab Jelly Eli’s full attention. It starts with his teacher staring at him, during class. Then the principal peeks through the window and stares at him, too. Is Jelly Eli in some kind of trouble? But why?


I am thrilled to bring you these three titles. I was (and still am) a huge fan of Mr. Adler’s ‘Cam Jensen’ series. Each one of these books provides a wholesome reading experience.

In the ‘My Dog’ series, we have a boy (hero) who is an independent thinker. Even though there are moments when his friends tell him to stop looking into the mysteries, he perseveres. In one scene, they even tell him how his dog isn’t smart and Danny stands strong, defending his pup. Children need main characters that stand tall, do the right thing, and press on when things get difficult. They find that in Danny.

Both the mysteries are logical and it’s plausible that 2nd/3rd grade readers will be able to at least come up with a close guess. They’ll have the satisfaction of completing the plot of the mystery beforehand if they’re able. I’m a fan of mysteries for kids because it requires them to become a part of the story, figuring things out and working their brains a bit. Both of these titles are well-crafted mysteries and I give them 4 stars along with a recommendation.

‘Teacher Trouble For Jelly Eli Z.’ isn’t so much a mystery as it is a realistic telling of a teacher-student interaction. The issue Eli faces is relatable and probably has occurred in most children’s lives. The issue in the story is not nearly as important as how Eli handles it. Instead of fighting and arguing with his teacher, Eli gains an understanding of putting himself in someone else’s shoes and trying to make a change within himself in order to help another person. It’s a fantastic life lesson. This was my favorite of the three. Four stars for Jelly Eli Z., too.

Mr. Adler continues to write kid’s books that are fun, thought-provoking and entertaining. I hope these will be as popular for him as the Cam Jensen books have been. Find his works through his publisher or your local book retailer.

All three are available via Amazon or through
*I received the aforementioned titles in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.
**Pics/synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

Posted in Book Reviews, Travel

Cover Reveal: Don’t Just travel to Cuba, Experience Cuba Like a Local: The Ultimate Cuba Travel Guide:Talek Nantes

Don’t just travel to Cuba, experience Cuba like a local: The Ultimate Cuba Travel Guide
By Talek Nantes
Genre: Nonfiction, Travel guide

Want to experience Cuba like a local? This is the guidebook for you. Talek Nantes, Cuban-American author and founder of the travel blog,, has traveled to Cuba numerous times. Her detailed explanations will guide you through all aspects of travel to Cuba and help you make the most of your time while in this unique and culturally fascinating country.

Talek’s passion for Cuba is evident in every information-packed chapter from the classic Havana itineraries you cannot miss to the little-known gems pulsating under the radar in hidden Havana. Visit colonial military forts in Cuba’s eastern capital, Santiago de Cuba. Experience Cuba’s spectacular biospheres and animal preserves. Explore the French-influenced cities of central Cuba with their graceful architecture reminiscent of southern France. Sail the calm waters of underground rivers. Take salsa lessons, learn Spanish, cook a Cuban meal. It’s all here.

Beyond a mere directory of attractions, this guidebook delves into the history of Cuba from the pre-colonial days through the present. Special focus is given to understanding Cuba’s fight for independence from Spain and the Cuban revolution of 1959 along with its key participants.

This guidebook is packed with useful information, facts, and actionable tips:
•Updated guidelines on travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens.
•All you need to know about currency conversion.
•How to locate and reserve the ideal accommodation in any city.
•How to save money and travel comfortably anywhere within Cuba.
•Where and what to eat in Cuba from street food to top cuisine.
•Highlights of the major Cuban cities from Havana to Santiago.
•Walking maps of the key Havana neighborhoods.
* Directory of restaurants, galleries, attractions and music and dance venues in all key cities.
* Current scams and how to avoid them.
* Budgeting for your Cuba trip
* Over 60 full-color photographs

In addition to key tips and advice, this guidebook provides cultural insight gleaned from conversations with local Cubans from the bici-taxi driver to the attendant at a cemetery gate. Explore places and topics tourists rarely see like religious Afro-Cuban dance performances, the hottest jazz clubs in Havana, remarkable art museums and stunning natural beauty.

This extensive guidebook will save you time and money and help you truly experience Cuba like a local.

About the Author
Talek Nantes is an author, travel consultant and founder of the travel blog, She is a passionate travel enthusiast and enjoys sharing her travel experiences with others. In her blog, Talek shares information on unique destinations and provides actionable travel tips and advice to help travelers make the most of their time away from home. Her focus is on cultural immersion and interaction with local people to help travelers create their own unique travel experiences. Her work has appeared in several publications.

Talek’s personal and professional background have led her to travel to over 100 countries. She has lived and worked throughout the world and speaks several languages. Talek is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and lives with her husband in New York City and Miami.
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